We are today in 2018, in a digital age, an era of the image. Pictures speak to everyone. Quite simply it speaks to the ones who do not know how to correctly read as to the ones who no longer want to “waste their time” reading. It also speaks to those who do not yet know the whole story of the making of an image.
It is a medium that is also easy to access, in this digital age. As a matter of fact, it is like painting, drawing or other arts that, to be seen by many, must also be digitized.
So why to choose photography as a career?
If you want to get a message to a wide audience, it seems that it remains one of the fastest and most effective ways to transmit information.
This is done via the internet or via smartphones, everyone, or almost everyone, has access to it. Almost everyone constantly creates and consults new images, especially on social networks, to talk about something or simply to share an event, a landscape or even personal photographs of family and friends.
So why ? Why is it so hard to live as a photographer today?
Why is it so complex to make a living as a photographer while everyone on Earth loves and needs images to various extents?
All companies and/or brands, from any field, need images to make themselves known or to sell their products. Just as we, consumers, need those images for our purchases from or to get acquainted with an existing brand.
Reading a description is not enough anymore, we have to see what we want to buy before making the purchase. That’s just the way it is. A question of safety first and foremost, but also to have the choice because it is now possible to have it. The choice to react and agree on what we want to get if it fits with our aesthetic selection criteria.
On a more personal note, we also need images to travel, to visit the world through the eyes of other people or to keep abreast of the news because the information remains more anchored when we see it.
Or even more simply, for the sake of art in general, the love of creation, the love of novelty, beauty, and ugliness, for all those who in whatever way want to satisfy their needs.
But now, since art is part of the economy of the world, it is necessary for an artist, to fight to assert his rights, to get to live. Also ever since photography became accessible to a large majority, in this digital era. The market has been devalued, and it has been quite a long battle. In addition to this era of mass consumption and overproduction, some photographers have decided not to make it their main job because everyone cannot or is not ready to pay for quality. It’s a tough reality.
It is not said that it is impossible to become a professional and accomplished photographer. It is simply said that this job is not the same as it was twenty or thirty years ago. Today, if the photographer wants to live from his/her passion, he/she must also be a good technician more than an artist, a worker more than a craftsman. He must also become a fine retoucher.
Today, there is such a need for mass production of images that in order to earn a living, you have to be ready to produce more and more every day… Especially in the e-commerce, as it is an expanding area. You have to be ready to produce countless images, to charge monthly fixed prices to stay in the market and to let go of your artistic principles because it is not what you are hired for anymore. Your artistic touch has a lesser scope than the product. Well, that’s a shame …
Admittedly, it is a bit of a generality to say this because there still remain some brands or agencies which believe that it is the difference in style, the adopted perspective and therefore the quality of the image that overrides quantity. Here is the work of art direction. And let’s not forget that before being a marketing tool, above all photography is an art above all!
And that’s what I personally enjoy about being a photographer. I like this way of seeing things and of valuing art and quality over quantity. I like people who see photographers as artists, not content producers. Photography and art buffs feed the creative flair of the few survivors of the creative industry.
I think we are simply in an area of abundance and strong competition that sometimes and for some, leads to pushing the prices down in the photography industry.
I think and I hope that it is only an ephemeral trend which will fade away as people will realize that images produced by photographers should be better considered. I believe in perfectionism, in having an artistic soul and in producing quality work.
I believe in Art and in the “why” we started to create using photography as a tool. Photographers work around lights and use it as a medium to convey emotions and ideas. I am a photographer and I am still able to fulfil that thirst for freedom. The latter is a quest that has been forgotten by too many. It is also one of the types of art that can evolve over time, in our digital age, even if the evolution does not always take the right direction. There is still this possibility of living from being a photographer, while other forms of art are even harder to monetize.
In the end, I don’t mind if one day I cannot make a living out of photography anymore. Today I find compromises that allow me to flourish but if someday I have to quit this job because the compromises I have to make become unbearable, it does not mean that I would stop photography. Being a photographer is more than just a job. It’s a real way to express yourself, a real passion.
“For me, photography is an efficient medium and a haven of peace.
I want people to read my images, I want them to agree with what I have to say. “