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Why An Image With Technical Merit Won't Always Cut It Any More

Getting noticed as a photography has never been easy but with the rise of the internet, social media and digital cameras, things have got a little bit tougher.

Posted: 17/06/2015 - 10:11

Everyone's A Photographer 

Choosing to work as a photographer has never been an easy career path to take and improvements in consumer cameras along with the rise of Smart Phone popularity has not made things any easier as technology seems to have turned everyone into a photographer nowadays. News sites are often asking for images captured at the scene by on-lookers or featuring pictures they've sourced from social media in spots that were once occupied by images captured by a professional photojournalist.

The public have turned what was an already over-saturated market into something that's now bursting at the seams. You only have to look in Pentax Users's gallery or on sites such as Instagram to find portfolios created by those who just enjoy photography as a fun hobby that actually, really stand out from the crowd. It's great that more people are enjoying photography, breaking out of moulds and trying new things, but this uniqueness and creativity is starting to leave some photographers out of the limelight. 

Listen To The Silence

Listen To The Silence - Michal_Zahornacky

You only have to listen to the opening part of the below video to realise how true this statement is becoming with artist rep Maren Levinson, founder of Redeye Represents, saying:

"You don't need to pay a professional to fill a space... the only reason to hire a professional and to pay the rates that allow them to make a living is if they can offer something you can't get anywhere else."  

Rules & Creativity 

Times have changed and taking a good photo isn't just about getting it technically correct anymore. Instead, people and to some extent, even advertising and creative agencies are looking for something they've not seen before. They want images which are attention grabbing and really demonstrate what the photographer is passionate about. 

"Brands now say 'do what you do for us' which is now a very different conversation to what they would have had 10-15 years ago which is 'we need a picture of a boat'," says Maren in the interview with John Keatley. 

Creativity is something that's now looked for more-and-more. Images, and the photographer taking the images, need to have something to say and it needs to be their own voice, rather than something that's been spouted a million times before by others. We're not saying don't look at others for inspiration as, of course, this is a great way to fuel your fire but don't be a copycat. 

When it comes to the rules of photography, these are becoming increasingly blurred by the new generation of bloggers and smartphoneographers who aren't so focused on 'what's correct' anymore. 

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

I Want to Ride My Bicycle - karolkaczmarczyk

Break The Rules 

What they're showing us is maybe we've all become too focused and stuck on following the photography rules we've all studied along the way? You only have to look at these younger photographers who haven't been exposed to the rules so much to see that there could be something in breaking the rules from time-to-time. 

"They don't understand settings, shutter speeds or apertures, they don't have a hang of the rule of thirds, they don't care about focus and sharp bits." Said Peter Bargh who admits to being envious of younger photographers who 'haven't yet absorbed the rules'. So what did Pete do? He challenged himself to recreate that young vision of someone with an un-photographically educated eye and the results are edgy, artistic and eye-catching that stand out even as thumbs when you look at his portfolio. 

Unrestrained by age - Peter Bargh

What Makes You Different? 

Focus on the one thing that really makes you, you. What's your passion and what area of photography do you love? From there, hone your skills and really pay attention to what can make you stand out in an incredibly saturated market. 

Yes, a sharp, technically perfect image that's nice to look at deserves merit and praise but if your aim is to grab someone's attention, be it a person admiring your portfolio or someone you're pitching an idea to, having something to offer others can't or don't will get you noticed. 




Members photos with related tags: Creative

Posted 17/06/2015 - 10:43 Link
It's all true, and very nicely expressed as well.
Best regards, John
Posted 17/06/2015 - 13:46 Link
Make a small fortune from photography. Start with a large one

Posted 17/06/2015 - 16:59 Link
Interesting and so true, photography is difficult, sometimes i take a better picture on my mobile phone
Posted 20/06/2015 - 11:32 Link
I thought the only 'rule' of photography was 'do I like it?' In all 'interests' I have come across, their is a tendency amongst enthusiasts to be overly concerned about technicalities. I see this evidenced in competition judging on this website on occasion, where what to me is a good picture might be unduly criticised for a bit of graininess, or an area that is black or washed out, or some minor issue of cropping, for example. Whereas a technically perfect 'snap' with little pictorial impact (or little relevance to the topic) might be applauded. I suppose it all depends on what you think the object of photography is, but we aren't selling to Home and Garden, are we? I think one might argue that if you want to encourage participation and creativity in competitions, then nit picking over composition and criticising entries on minor technical issues should perhaps be discouraged.

My favourite picture on my wall was taken on a 10 holiday film camera; I love looking at it, but for anyone worried about technical quality just don't get too close!
Posted 22/06/2015 - 00:01 Link
Getting noticed as a photography

The sub-heading doesn't seem grammatically correct. Shouldn't it be photographer?
John K
Posted 28/06/2015 - 18:20 Link
JAK wrote:
Getting noticed as a photography

The sub-heading doesn't seem grammatically correct. Shouldn't it be photographer?

It's edgy and rule breaking!
Posted 29/06/2015 - 00:26 Link
It does make you think about all the posts on here about sharpness, noise, resolution, focus speed etc. etc and I'm as guilty as anyone.

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