"Chicks Who Click"
Okay, first? It’s in quotes – it’s NOT my phrase. Second, it leads to “MWACs” – “Mom With A Camera.” Also, not my phrase.
Moving on, the New York Times has an article on the growing number of women who are opening photography businesses that specialize in shooting kids. Some are doing well, with established business plans. Some are weekend shooters. If done right, it’s not a bad way to make money. If done wrong, it’s a good way to drive yourself nuts and put professional colleagues into red zones – fiscally and emotionally.
(FWIW, I see bad form in the photo of the photographer … brace yourself, will ya?)
“Still, many are quick to say that the photographer’s eye matters much more than the camera, and that the ability to use technology and respond to light is what makes an image come to life.
That is why they smile when some owners of fancy S.L.R.’s put their camera on automatic settings and then complain that their pictures look like ordinary snapshots, albeit with very high resolution.”
That’s the clincher for me, turning a $2000 piece of equipment into a $200 point and shoot because people think photography is easy.
In one of my other non-photo journalism classes, a student found out I was in the photo emphasis and asked if all we did was just “snap pictures of whatever, because that sounds pretty easy.”
I think the general perception people have is that photography is easy. Easy enough that with no prior experience or formal training you can drop $1500 on a new camera, label yourself a photographer, and start your own business.
However, photography isn’t easy. Good photography is more that pointing a camera and pressing a button. The vast majority of photos on flickr and facebook attest to that. It takes years, usually decades to develop the necessary skills. (Sigh)
That said, do you think these MWAC are filling a niche that professional photographers won’t touch, are they cutting into pro photographer’s business?
We all cut into each other’s business – if you want to think of it that way. These MWAC are smart enough to see a need and fill it using skills that women have been socialized to have – they are good with children and other women. Whether other “pro” photographers want to do this as well is irrelevant. MWAC shouldn’t back down because a few people think they aren’t real photographers. Money speaks.