A little dramatic, I think. I posted a link to this article from The Guardian on twitter and facebook, and it caused quite a stir.  And I can understand why.  When you are talking about certain types of photographers (wedding, portrait, photojournalists) increasingly being replaced by do-it-yourselfers, it is true that the democratization of photography has caused the market to shift.

#selfie
#selfie

I started a family portrait photography business nearly fourteen years ago (yes, seriously - what? you didn't think I had time for more?), and the market has changed dramatically in that time.  When I first started, it was all film.  I used two cameras - one loaded with color film, and the other loaded with black and white.  I charged by the roll of film.  I made darkroom prints.

Once the DSLR began to make sense (and the last for-hire darkroom in Atlanta closed), I had to restructure everything.  But the most significant shift has happened within the last four or five years.  Every mom has a DSLR.  They don't necessarily know how to use it, but with enough hours of pressing the shutter button, they can probably get one in focus picture with both kids looking that will work for a holiday card.  I used to make holiday cards.  Now a half million websites let you upload digital images to one of a gazillion designs.

In the Guardian Article, photographer Antonio Olmos says, "Increasingly we don't need photographers – we can do just as well ourselves."  I disagree.  You may be able to get away with doing something on your own, but most cannot do just as well.  Just because you have a camera, does not mean you can create the same things I can with mine.  So adjust your business model and move forward.  Life is change.

On the fine art side of things, I say the more creativity the better.  The more people that make images, the more the medium gets demystified.  Also, the more people may appreciate truly artful images.  I am a photographer who collects photography.  I'm even a pretty decent photographer, but I look at the art that is on my walls in awe.  Maybe because I appreciate how hard it is to make something truly phenomenal.  And maybe all of those people trying to jazz up their images with Instagram filters will too.

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