As photographers, we must view our profession as an art. It’s not just a way to make a few bucks. Otherwise, we’re only taking snapshots and someone is hiring us for the equipment we own, not for our artistic vision and experience.
Think of it this way. You could hire anyone to paint your portrait, but does that mean every artist’s painting will be of the same quality? Of course not. Will you automatically go with the lowest bid, regardless of style and quality? It depends on what you’re after. The artist who has studied and mastered his craft will undoubtedly produce a fine work while the beginner who does not understand lighting, color, and posing will produce something that is sub par and unappealing. Yes, it will cost less to hire the inexperienced artist, but do you really want to look at a poor painting of yourself for the rest of your life?
In the same way, photography is an art. We are “painting” with light and capturing the results on a camera rather than with brushes on a canvas. It can be difficult to remember this when our work and prices are compared unfairly to lesser qualified photographers. But trust me, there are plenty of people out there who still value our quality and want to create art with us.
When someone visits our website and decides to contact us, they do so because something in our portfolio appeals to them. Perhaps they’re moved by a particular photo or can envision themselves being photographed in our unique style. They consider hiring us because they want us to make them look beautiful and create artistic photographs to remember a certain moment in their life. This means we get to collaborate together on wardrobe, setting, mood, and more. Rather than taking snapshots of a client, we’re teaming with them to make art that evokes emotion and lasts. This is exciting!
Keep learning and pursuing your passion in photography and the recognition and respect for your work will come. Always put forth your best effort and give your clients something they can’t get anywhere else. They’ll love you for it! No matter what, view photography as an art and not just a means to an end. This will keep you thriving and loving your profession while others fade away.