The “de-professionalization” of photography

The “de-professionalization” of photography

Everyone who has a phone with a camera is a photographer.

This begs many academics to question the “de-professionalization” of what it means to be a photographer or photojournalist because one no longer necessarily needs professional equipment to capture important moments. Thanks to the filters available within apps like Instagram (shared instantly with Facebook) and Hipstamatic, photographers can make anything look stylized and of high quality, and share it among global databases. And this means that people start shifting their perceptions around “good” or “amateur” or “professional” photography as boundaries are blurred.

An app called “Vizzywig 4K” (going for $999!) allows its user to shoot 4K resolution at the rate of 24 photos a second with synced audio. Still using the app, a user can edit and upload their video to Youtube. Technically speaking, it works by stitching together 24 images per second meaning that a user has raw and uncompressed images which appear to be a video, thus a user will have high quality individual photos to use or edit.

What does it mean to be a professional photographer? There are very few full time jobs in photography, and generally photographers get paid poorly in the commercial venue. A professional photographer does not need a license or degree to call themselves ‘professional’ – in fact, most professional photographers are self-taught. Professional photographers are ‘professional’ because they are able to sell themselves and run their own small business.

Perhaps a different way to think of it is by rethinking the idea of what it means to be a professional photographer.

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