It's becoming an "anyone can do it" world. Not just with photography but in other careers as well. In some ways and in some endeavors, that world seems like it's already here.
For me it does.
For most of my career life, I've pursued vocations of a creative nature. Be it shooting a still camera, a video camera, video editing, or writing. The only endeavor that, so far, hasn't been replaced by "anyone can do it" technologies is writing. But writing, as luck's fickleness would have it, is the vocation I've made the least amount of money pursuing.
Here's what happened, leastwise, as it effected yours truly over the last ten years or so. I'm only using my case as an example. I'm not whining. I don't think all is lost. I have confidence in my ability to turn scars into stars. In spite of downward spirals, I'm a survivor. I always have been. No reason to think otherwise now. I'm just recounting history. My career history over the last decade or more.
First, it was video cameras. When cameras like Sony's VX1000 and Canon's XL1 and their successors came out, everyone was suddenly a pro vid-shooter or a movie-maker. How so? Because, suddenly, you could shoot broadcast quality video with a $3500 (or less) camera that could deliver a decent-enough picture in AUTO modes. So what's the first thing all these new vid-shooters did? They took the rates for shooting video into the toilet by whoring themselves out for shit money. You know, to get their feet in doors.
Next, it was editing systems. When people had to spend a $100k for an AVID digital non-linear editing system, the industry standard, only pros and real production companies had them. I had one. Actually, my partner and I had two. We spent well over $200k on those systems. We had to work them around the clock to pay for them plus the small facility we housed them in. Then, Final Cut Pro came along, knocked AVID off its pedestal, and suddenly everyone became an editor for a small fraction of many people's investments. So what's the first thing all these new editors did? They took the rates for editors into the toilet by whoring themselves out for shit money.
Finally, it was dSLRs. Suddenly, it didn't take much know-how to snap decent enough pics. Guys like me, with years invested in learning and gaining experience and know-how were faced with competition from everywhere. So what's the first thing all these new photographers did? They took the rates for photography into the toilet, whoring themselves out for shit money. Worse, many of them started giving it away for free... for bragging rights or whatever. Whoopee!
As more and more vocations fall victim to the "anyone can do it" trend, how are many people going to make a decent living? Is a socialist world in our future? That's not very appealing to me. Too many strings attached to socialism. No such thing as a free lunch and all that.
On the plus side, the one thing many new, "anyone can do it," technologies offer, in terms of creating opportunities, is in education. But when the economy takes a nose dive, like it has, many people might think less and less about improving their skills through educational programs (that cost money) designed to increase their know-how using these new technologies. Instead, many are worried more about getting by. For those still getting by, they might be worrying they're not going to be able to do so in the foreseeable future.
Technologies give and take. Economies give and take. Lately, for me and probably for many others, they've both been leaning heavier on the "take" side. Hopefully, one or both are gonna give!
Oh well. What'd'ya gonna do? The world changes. Opportunities appear and fade and appear. Sometimes, new opportunities appear, only to be shot in the foot by economies.
Wish I knew.
Here's a bit of advice from an old school guy for those starting out, trying to take advantage of "anyone can do it" technologies: It's pretty damn hard to raise your prices once you've set your rates low regardless of how much better the products and services you offer become. It wasn't always that way. For the most part, it is now.
The pretty girl at the top is Amber. Perhaps vid-shooting chicks like Amber are also a reason less opportunities are in my court and more in other people's courts... like Amber's court.
I'm not trying to be a downer. I'm just saying.