#877 Photo Trends

A little editorial today on the photo blog.

I’ve been working in photo for almost 20 years and have seen some interesting trends.

Traditional Photo
When I started photography was perceived as challenging – people knew skills were needed to produce good work – after all you had to be good to create a photo that you wouldn’t see for hours or days.

Digital Revolution
Commercially accessible digital cameras started hitting the market in the very early 2000’s and camera manufacturers billed them as “EASY.” Quickly photography gained a new popularity as people loved the assurance and immediacy of a preview on the back of the camera.

Changing Workplace
Slowly, there was a shift and the perception of the need to hire a photographer waned. The shift towards DIY created tough times for working photographers.

Assignments dwindled somewhat, the prices of stock work plummeted as the market got bombarded with an over-supply of photos and it became harder to sell work because people were giving it away for free.

It was during this time that our photo workshops started to grow (fortunately!) People wanted to learn – quickly – to take better photos and start businesses.

Ottawa photography class

Teaching a photo class - student photo

One woman gave me the task to learn “everything there is to know about photography” in two weeks because she wanted to be in business as soon as school let out. Yikes!! I gently  suggested it would take more than two weeks to learn everything.

Questioning Authenticity
Digital has done wonderful things for photography that we could never do before. But there are downsides to every upside…

Remember the kissing couple amid the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots last season? Richard Lam describes how his now famous picture created doubt as to its authenticity. Why the doubt? In this digital age it’s so easy to fake a photo which puts photojournalists constantly on the authenticity hot seat of doubt.

Not so Easy
I am starting to see a trend where people are realizing photography is not as easy as camera companies once billed.

There is a new appreciation for photography and the skills needed to perform. Phew. It’s nice to see the pendulum swing back to a more central place!

Film Resurgence
And there is a growing rediscovery and interest in film. I’ve always loved film and still shoot – especially for Watershed. Film will never come back to the prominence it once had but it is nice to see the appreciation is still there and growing in niche markets.

Dust starts to settle
It’s been an interesting decade in photography with a whirlwind of change. It’s nice to see some of the dust settling. We now have some good digital cameras and more ways than ever to enjoy and appreciate photography. That’s a good thing.

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