The professional photographer is often associated with a glamorous lifestyle and lots of money. However, sadly this stereotype is not the reality. Professional female portrait photographer Kelly Weech debunks 33 of the most common myths of the professional photographer and reveals what life is really like for those who get paid to take pictures.
Myth 1 – To be a photographer, you just press a button, right?
Many believe with the clever technology of digital cameras today you simply point and shoot; however, this is simply not the case. You can have the best camera in the world but if you only use it on auto you might as well own a compact (see our 44 essential digital camera tips and tricks).
Myth 2 – Anyone with a nice or expensive camera can be a pro
Being a professional photographer is more than just the gear and equipment we own. It is about running a business and making a living to survive not just taking pretty photographs (hear more professionals sound off: 50 photography tips from famous photographers to jobbing pros).
Myth 3 – When in doubt, 1/125sec @ f8 always works
No it will not always work. Professionals know how to handle lighting situations and the problems you may encounter to still get the shot. Particularly at a wedding, there will be no second chances so you best know how to capture the dark church to the bright midday sun (check out our guide to Common mistakes at every shutter speed – and the best settings to use).
Myth 4 – All pro photographers act in a professional manner
Unfortunately not all professional photographers know or understand that to be a professional you are servicing the needs of a client and not your hobby. A true professional knows how to act and handle people in most situations that may arise.
Myth 5 – A professional produces better quality image than an amateur
I have seen many talented amateurs with a passion for photography who produce better quality images than many ‘pros’, but being a professional is a lifestyle choice as well as a career move. Some people really just do it as a hobby and for the love of technology or photograph (find out How to be a Getty contributor).
Myth 6 – Everything can be fixed in Photoshop
Photoshop is another skill set altogether and you cannot make a bad photograph good in Photoshop. However, you can make a great image exceptional if you know how to use it to the best of its ability (check out our 101 Photoshop tips you have to know).
Myth 7 – Qualifications guarantees a good photographer
Becoming a professional photographer is like driving a car. The more experience you have the better you become. Qualifying is just the beginning.
Myth 8 – A wedding photographer only works on Saturday
Photographing the wedding is the fun part; however, wedding photographers then need to edit the photographs, produce albums, market their business, find new clients, update a website and blog constantly, file accounts, handling enquirers, meet future brides and grooms, network with suppliers and compete against 22,000 other registered wedding photographers (download our free wedding photography cheat sheet).
Myth 9- Nikon is better than Canon – and vice versa
This is a debate which dates back many years but in all honesty, just choose the brand or camera you personally prefer and be happy with your equipment. All digital cameras are very good these days. The megapixel war will always continue, but remember it is what you do with them that counts.
Myth 10 – That we always get paid
Sometimes to get ahead you will have to work for free but what you need to do is evaluate what it is you will actually gain in terms of exposure and publicity (see our 10 tips for preparing and selling photo prints).
Myth 11 – Presets and Photoshop actions make up for a bad photo
No. These should enhance a photograph but will not cover up a critical mistake such as exposure or focus (check out our in-depth guide to Manual Focus: what you need to know to get sharp images).