In the previous article, we discussed the ways to sustain the overgrowing competition in photography, especially in the industries of weddings, fashion and corporate. But attaining sustainability by maintaining your financial affairs is not enough since there are various threats in the photography market that might ruin your business if you do not take care of them. The threats are many but they all can be put together under the category of technological advancements. In this chapter, we are going to discuss these major threats and how to overcome them in order to keep going ahead in the field of photography.
Let’s go in the past when a basic photography camera was a privilege, possessed by a limited few. People used to click pictures from their cameras and later used to get them developed from the ‘negative rolls.’ It was a task to go to the photo studio and get the ‘positives’ that used to cost around 10 rupees per image. Only elder and experienced people possessed these cameras in those days. But today, everybody from a 4-year old kid to an 80-year old granny possesses a smartphone that has become almost a necessity in their lives. Anybody can now click pictures anytime and anywhere and can see the ‘positives’ on their mobile phone screens simultaneously. Most of these smartphones are equipped with good cameras which provide clear pictures that can even be developed into hard copies without messing with the pixels. People are, as a result, clicking pictures all the time and saving them in their phone galleries, PCs, and laptops. Whenever they feel like developing the hard copies, they go to the photo studios with their pen drives and get the desired clicks printed on the sheets.
Such advancements in the technology have really saved people from the unnecessary fuss of waiting for the pictures to be developed in the photo studio, and wastage of money as well. These advancements have certainly brought a revolution in the field of portable photography but not everybody is in their favor.
Traditional photographers- the ones who rely on old instruments and ways and refuse to keep up with the technological advancements are not in the support of mobile phones for working in the field of photography. They turn a blind eye to these advancements and fail to accept that the reason why Kodak camera vanished is that it could not move along with the growing technology. These conservatives comment that mobile phones are a threat to the authenticity of photography, but I do not personally think so. The reason why they do this is because they consider mobile phones as a threat to their business. Their basic thought process is that if everybody is going to possess a portable camera then nobody will hire them to click their pictures and get the albums made. No work would mean no money and their careers would be over. I personally know a lot of such people who still sit in their small photo studios waiting for customers but hardly anybody visits them for getting their pictures clicked. Since they could not keep up with the growing technology, they are left behind, and now they crib against portable photography to pamper their ego.
Truth is, Mobile phones are very much clicking at par with DSLRs now. The following two images have been clicked by my iPhone X a few days ago. As you can clearly notice, their quality is way better than any mid-range DSLR.
Mark my words, within two to three years from now, mobile phones will cross the efficiency of DSLRs completely. Why? Because market works on the rule of demand and supply. Since everybody wants a portable camera now, they will be served with it by the mobile phone manufacturing companies. Point is that you must be prepared for all these things. This can be done by keeping tabs on all the latest gadgets, gears, and other advancements that keep happening in the market so that you do not miss out on anything important that might hamper your sustainability in the business. You might now be wondering that if everybody gets a portable camera, then nobody will hire you and your career will be in the shambles. Relax! Take a deep breath and read on.
What you think the threat is? Everyone is using phone cameras now. Every new phone is now giving an aperture of 1.4/1.2 and 4k video recording options. Who is going to hire us? Who is going to pay for our 3-lakh camera work? My camera is a Sony a7s2; it cannot record 4k slow motion, but my iPhone X can. It had cost me 90k only, but my camera had cost me 2.8 lacs. Where are we heading to? Should I write an article informing people to stop using phones as it is killing the livelihood of photographers? Should I bash every good iPhone photographer who is gaining more and more followers on Instagram by using auto-mode clicked photographs on his phone? How do I cope with this?
What opportunities I see in this threat: Do all people know how to click a photograph by using the rule of thirds or golden ratio? Do all of them know what composition is? Do they know what is meant by framing? Obviously not. And here are my opportunities. To teach them and to show clients that my work is better than his photographs because it possesses my creativity that comes from the use of my active imagination. Photography at the end of the day is an art. You can have the best brushes, large canvas, and all the pallets of colors in the world, but if you lack the talent, you cannot compose a painting. Your talent and creativity is what that will never get you out of work in this field. So, stop worrying about the threats. Instead, use them to your aid by learning about them as much as possible.
I am sure that three years down the lane, even the professional photographers will also start using mobile phones for a basic wedding or fashion shoots not only because of the high-end camera but also due to its feature to instantly post the clicks on Social Media. Nobody these days has the patience to wait for 30 days to see their wedding pictures. All people seek is instant ‘likes’ and comment for social validation. Dopamine, after all, is a big manipulator (I will talk about this in detail in the coming articles).
Basically, thing is that you have to adapt to the changing times. That is the key to survival. And so, instead of fighting the growing technology, use it as an advantage for your growth. Nobody can snatch your talent from you.
- Start teaching others about the things they don’t know (like framing, composition, etc.)
- When they come to hire you. Tell them why they need to hire you. Showcase your worth in front of them and they will be forced to consider you for their projects.
- One last thing don’t shy away from trying new things. People admire those who keep themselves up with the latest tech and not ones who cannot keep up with the evolving trends.
Meanwhile, you can join my Facebook group, “Grow Your Art” which is a community (in the making) of photographers, cinematographers, other artists belonging to the similar stream. This community aims at developing a healthy environment for the collective growth of individuals in this business. The artists here actively participate in the discussions, and help and guide each other to grow in the Indian market.
Chapter 1 — Identify Your Passion Chapter 2 — Learning the ART. Chapter 3 — College Vs Internet Chapter 4 — Investments and Gears Chapter 5- Networking and Advertising Chapter 6- How to get work! Chapter 7- Professionalism. Chapter 8 – Money and Bills. Chapter 9 – Sustainability Chapter 10 - Major Threats and How to Overcome Them