There’s no doubt that being a photographer these days isn’t easy. But arguably, there have never been more opportunities for photographers than there is today. So it’s not all doom and gloom.
I know what you are thinking. That I have finally lost my mind and all sense of reality. I mean who in their right mind will ever try to argue that it’s a great time to be a photographer? The reality is that every photographer is facing increased competition at a time when fees have been declining rapidly for over a decade.
There have also been advancements in technology that mean that anyone with a smartphone can now take photos and sell them. And moreover, sites like Unsplash have popped up that give away images for free. And of course, we have seen the end of many a print publication.
Yet, I do honestly believe that there has never been a better time to be a photographer…
Let’s start with technology. No one can deny that the advancements in photography haven’t led to far more creativity. The best drone cameras and even affordable waterproof cameras have allowed us to see and capture the world in a whole new way. And the advancements in photo editing software and camera equipment have made it easier than ever to bring our vision to life.
Of course, this advancement in technology has also meant that photography has become more accessible. Whereas it was once the hobby or profession of a select few, now more and more people can take up this art. Some people will feel threatened by this increased competition.
But rather than see this as a bad thing, I believe that all photographers should see this increased competition as a positive. I know that I have used this to raise my own level of photography but also to learn new skills to be able to stay ahead of the competition. This has helped ensure that I’m constantly learning and being inspired rather than stagnating and producing the same sort of work over and over again.
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Whilst there are far more photographers than ever before, there are also far more opportunities to earn money from photography. Once upon a time, the only opportunities for photographers were either in magazines and newspapers or advertising. Some were also able to sell fine art prints and books. Every single one of us can do all of these nowadays including self-publishing books.
There are so many more options out there today, if you can think creatively.
For example, all brands, companies, or businesses are a potential client these days. They will all have an online presence, email campaigns or even social media presence. If you can find your niche and target the right business, you could potentially have a client for several years.
As well as businesses, there are also lots of publications out there as well who are looking for photography. Sure, established print publications and newspapers are in decline, but there have never been as many independent magazines being released as there are nowadays. And publications don’t just include print. There lots of websites and digital-only publications out there that are all desperate for content.
Of course, the wonderful years when we as photographers would be able to charge high prices have long gone. But I believe that the positives are that there are far more possibilities than ever before.