"Everyone is a photographer today." "The iPhone is killing the industry."
I use to say stuff like this all the time. Photography today is a constant game of Instagram uploads, gear acquisition, and proving ourselves above every other Joe Smoe with a camera and a brain. But the crazy thing is this is no new phenomenon. People having been saying that this and that is the end of photography. When disposable film cameras were introduced that was the end of professional photography. The iPhone is the end of photography, that new "consumer" grade DSLR is the end of professional photography. It'd not the end, it's just the beginning of change.
This blog is going to be mostly opinion based and my thoughts about the photography industry as a whole. If you have any comments or questions about this please comment below. I think that the time we live in with various ways to take amazing photographs is vastly different because of one thing. The Internet. Thanks to the internet and sites like Instagram, blogs, and YouTube we can get our work in front of potentially the world. The only reason you think photography is dying and there are too many photographers is because you are seeing everyones work.
The iPhone definitely has put a truely amazing camera in the pocket of many people who would never consider themselves a photographer and may never feel the need to hire a professional, but so did all the people who initially bought the first consumer Kodak 35mm film camera. Everyone said the same thing when the first "Kodak" camera was invented. Instead of complaining that there are too many photographers today we can focus on making work that stands out and that sets us apart from those who are not making a living off of art. If we really are honest, other industries are much worse with oversaturation. I just graduated from Bellarmine University with a degree in Business Administration, and so did several hundred more. That number is growing every year with new grads. Several hundred new Business Admin grads every May, every year, just from one small liberal arts school in Louisville, Ky. My wife has been graduated with a Masters in Occupational therapy and has a certification and license to practice and still can't find a job in our hometown, she has been looking for almost 7 months. Every job is oversaturated, it's really an eye-opening realization and somewhat reassuring. We have to set ourselves apart and do unique work that matters to us.
So how do you be unique? How do you find personal style? Time.
It takes time to get a personal style. I feel like I am getting closer to a personal style and niche to my work but I am still far from it. You are reading this because you are discouraged by the current place of the photography market, just remember you are yourself and only you can make the work you do.