It’s something I hear- a lot. Especially when I have my monster 150-600mm sports lens on my camera body so that I can shoot from the back of the room or from across the field. Someone- usually a gentleman- will call out, “That’s a nice camera!” My go-to reply has become, “Thanks! I taught it everything it knows!” I know it’s a snarky reply, but it’s true! I have taught my otherwise inanimate camera how to take photos.
This day and age, many tech companies and many more people would argue that photography is as simple as pushing a button, especially with all of the advanced cameras that are now coming to the market in the form of cell phones. But, the truth is, these cameras are only as good as the people using them- the photographer pushing the button. Using a camera does make you a photographer, but do you know how to take full advantage of that camera- that tool- to help you create a piece of art? If not, it’s okay! Most people only know how to take snapshots (an old-fashioned term for ‘pics’). These snapshots are an important piece of every day life. They are the stories between the professional photos that I get to take.
Photography is a form of art that I am passionate about. Like any artist, I’ve learned to use my tools (i.e. camera, lenses, lights) to create something beautiful, something meaningful. I use my tools to create a piece of art featuring you in the best way possible. It’s taken me a great deal of time (5 years!!) to learn how to use my tools- and I’m still learning new skills with those tools! I’ve loved learning to become a photographer- even through some of the more frustrating parts- because it makes my soul happy to create beautiful photographs of people and of the world.
Now, I could wrap up this post by explaining to you all the logical reasons that professional photography costs so darn much (Gear is expensive!! My time is valuable!!) but, there are a million posts by other photographers out there that you can read explaining those exact things. I could also explain to you that any service (i.e. hair dressers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics) you pay for is going to be expensive, but you already know that. Those are all the reasons small-business owners commonly use to justify to the public what they charge. And it is true. But what they won’t tell you is this: we love what we do, but we hate to be taken advantage of. Charging a premium for our skills allows us to kill two birds with one stone: we get to make a living and we don’t get taken advantage of (and if we do, it’s worth allowing it to happen).
It really is that simple. So, yes, I have a nice camera, and all I appear to do is push a button, but I’ve worked long and hard to know exactly when to push that button to create a piece of art. Please don’t take advantage of me and assume my skills aren’t worth paying for.