Better Photography means growing as a person.
When one grows as a person it helps them also become better at photography too. The more we know about others helps us to know more about who we are as people and as an artists.
The idea of capturing the moment in a person’s life, or even a moment in nature as a landscape photographer, it’s all about knowing when the moment is right and clicking the shutter. As we start this photographic journey we are new-fangled dSLR shooters. Some use the machine gun approach and fire off several rounds of the same subject in hopes of capturing a keeper. As we gain experience and knowledge (we do not want to sift through dozens of the same subject/pose hoping and looking for a winner) we slow down and become more Zen like, setting up the shot, pose, and waiting for the precise moment to capture the image.
I once heard a story that a new photographer asked a very famous photographer how he could become a better photographer. The answer was “become a better person”. This can be taken in several contexts. My take was to know more about who you are as a person and how you relate to the rest of the world as a photographer. Years ago it was a lot harder to discover one’s self because the information on how to was only available to very few. Today with books, audio / video, and the internet, the path to this self-discovery knowledge is available for everyone. But how many are open to taking ‘the road less traveled”? We are in the “I want it now, and I want it for free” generation.
Patience’s Grasshopper- as the road to knowledge and understanding is well filled with curves, bumps, and potholes. Let us relate this to being a photographer, and how one starts down this road. As we know everyone who has a camera is a photographer, and if you sell: one print, do one wedding, or one portrait then you can call yourself a professional photographer. Many of the newbies know more about the new cameras, hardware and software than a lot of the seasoned Master Photographers.
We are all faced with the new never ending “catch up with technology” or wilt syndrome. Film, digital, now video, Photoshop, Lightroom, Plug-ins and tomorrow maybe 3d or who knows what. The playing field has changed and will keep changing; that is just the way it is. In order to keep up and stay ahead we must push ourselves to meet these new challenges, because if we are ripe (staying the same) we are wilting and rotting. This phenomenon is not just here in the USA but all over the world. I heard in England that the art schools are releasing 10,000 new photographers every year (population of 51 million).
California has a population of 36 million and no guess of how many “professional photographers” we have here. But I know it is a hell of a lot more than 5 and 10 years ago.
EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK The following information is from the California Projections of Employment published by the Labor Market Information Division for Photographers.
Estimated number of workers in 1993 9,260
Estimated number of workers in 2005 11,720
Projected Growth 1993-2005 27%
Estimated openings due to separations by 2005 2,600
Based on these estimates there was a 27% growth in the 12 years up to 2005. California population was 36 million in 2005 so that equates to .035% or 12,000 professional photographers.
My guess is that from 2005-2011 the growth in professional photographers in California has more than doubled. Let us just pretend that there are 24,000 individuals calling themselves professional photographers in California. So 24,000 out of 36 million is about .055% of the population.
Contra Costa County has over 1.1 million people, of which .055% would equal 605 pro-photos in the CCC area. I would imagine that there are more like 600 Prophotogs and another 600 part-time pros.
So what does all this mean? More professional photographers, more semi-pros, more dSLR owners, more Meet-Up groups, more tutorials/videos/podcasts on the internet, and bottom line more for us as Professional Photographers to learn. As more consumers buy better cameras (sometimes better than our gear) there is a never ending need to learn more and be better photographers.
How does one accomplish this? Join NCPP J, join Meet-Up groups like NorCalProPhotogs, ask photographers to come to an NCPP meeting or join the group, give back to your fellow photographers and community. To quote Kevin Kubota “IF you live in a vacuum you’ll suck”, so get out and recruit photographers to join NCPP so we can become the best Professional Organization around.
Denny Weigand received his Cr. Photog., degree at PPA ImagingUSA, and also retouches for NILMDTS. Denny gives back to the community as your 1st VP of Programs, and also as a person.
The Cr. Photog., degree requires one to receive 13 speaking merits, and 12 service merits for the degree. Denny was my sponsor when I joined NCPP and also pushed me to receive my Cr. Photog., degree last year. We are all in this together and one person cannot do it all without help from another.
If you are reading this and are close to Walnut Creek why not come to a meeting and see what NCPP is all about? If you are a current member then go a step further and help out by doing something for the organization and your community of Professional Photographers. We need people to help raise the bar for the Prophotogs community if we are to rise above the masses. In this sea of change and influx of Semi-Prophotogs we need to help raise the bar for the newbie’s as well as the established Prophotogs.
So I am calling you out…….. Prophotogs, Semi- Prophotogs, join up, help out, and get off your assets: Join NCPP, come to the meetings, enter PI Projected Images Competition (video/rules on how to enter), give a “Tips from the Pros” class, do Something, Anything just get moving, get going, and help grow the craft.
Know you know the answer to becoming a better person, or you can stay the same old same old…and the world will pass you by faster than a hot NY second. It is up to you, no excuses!
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Wayne Miller is a 2011 Certification Liaison for PPA by Professional Photographic Certification Commission (PPCC). If you have questions of how or what a CPP (Certified Professional Photography) is all about contact me.
Join PPC Professional Photographers of California at Pasadena, CA March 11th-13th, 2010
Wow what a great honor NCPP-Northern California Professional Photographers bestowed upon me at our Feb 8th meeting. These honors mean a lot to me because being chosen by one’s peers is a great tribute to being acknowledged as an artist and a photographer.
NCPP Photographer of the Year 2010-Wayne Miller
NCPP Member of the Year 2010-Wayne Miller
NCPP Annual People Choice Print Award “Red Rock Canyon”
NCPP Illustrative 2nd Place “Little House on the Prairie”
NCPP Environmental Portraiture 3rd Place “Trapped”
I want to thank NCPP for these great honors and I am proud to be current President of this great organization of professional photographers.