What Pros Think of Amateurs, But Never Tell Them

What pros think of amateurs but never tell them

Especially today, when you amateurs can pick up a DSLR and try to pretend you are a professional. You throw up a cookie cutter template blog and make a nice logo that says “So & So photography!” You do free “shoots” for friends. You take low-grade photos at parties and put up a album that says “Party Shoot II” You changed your Facebook picture to a photo that shows of half your face, the other half is blocked by the still-in-pristine-condition camera (that real photojournalists can’t afford because we do this for a freaking living and make 10% of what you do) which you used once before you took that photo just to post on your Facebook profile to announce to the world “look! I have a camera! I’m a photographer!”

Not sure if this is you yet? Let me go on. You bought $4550 in equipment and no clue how to use it. Most likely a $4500 body, with a $50 lens. You shoot RAW without any clue of why you’re doing it or how to process it. You take 300 horrible ‘engagement photos’ where the couple looks staged, awkward, bored. You watermark them all. THEM ALL. You put more time into getting the damn watermark perfect on each of your mediocre shots than actually taking a good photo. You post all 300 mistakes on Facebook or your ‘photography’ blog.

Then, oh god, then you ask our opinion. We nod our heads, we smile, we may even say “not bad” or “that one’s nice!” to make you shut up and leave us alone. In reality, we are screaming, pulling out our hair, crying for it to stop because it hurts. We are dissecting your shots, sighing at your straightforward angles, predictable environments and boring lighting.

By the way, we are also annoyed that you charged $25 an hour to take these bad photos that you are now forcing us to look through like a never-ending slideshow from hell. Why? Because people come to us expecting brilliant photos (way better than yours because after all, WE are the professionals) at the same damn price you charge because its your “hobby.” Well screw you. We don’t walk into offices to type up financial documents or pull teeth as our ‘hobby’ charging $10 bucks a pop, so stay the hell away from our livelihood. Not only do you take bad photos, but you make us look at them while you are bringing down our industry and asking for our approval.

Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist living in Asheville, North Carolina. He has traveled the world documenting the tears, joys, laughter and lives of people everywhere. He currently focuses his camera on the same topics in America. His work has appeared in such diverse publications as USAToday, CNN, Upsurge, Dream Row and others. A portion of his income from each photo shoot is donated to organizations that help the homeless in the communities in which he works. You can see more of his photography by clicking here.

One thought on “What Pros Think of Amateurs, But Never Tell Them

  1. Hello Jerry

    I went through your post and though I agree that we amateurs are not very proficient in taking pictures like professions, we are keen on improving our skills by getting constructive feedback from our peers who have more experience and skill. It’s a steep learning curve. We take a lot of pictures (thanks to digital era) and make a lot of mistakes while doing so. But every time we gain something from these mistakes and take some learning forward.

    Thanks & Regards,

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