3 reasons why the profession of photographer is not valued today

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30 Jan 2024

At Arcadina we have been in direct contact with photographers every day for years and we know first hand that in many cases the profession of photographer is not valued as it should be by clients. It is very common that we receive through our media comments like: “Why do I have the obligation to lower the prices of my photo shoots if I do a professional job? Do I have to offer my photo shoots for free? etc.”.

These and many others are the questions that fellow photographers who are just starting out ask themselves when they see that every day they are questioned and tried to haggle over their work, or even asked to do a photo shoot for free. Something inconceivable in any other profession. And we know that many of you veteran photographers wonder why the profession of photography is not valued as it should be. “What are we doing wrong, when will the rest of society really appreciate our work, etc.? If you want to know where the lack of appreciation of this precious profession lies and how to try to solve it between all of us, be sure to read this article.

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Today it is still a fact that the profession of photographer is often undervalued.

Photography in the times of the #photogr@phy (second part)

la-fotografia-en-tiempos-de-fotografia-arcadina

26 Jul 2023

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) showed us a future that, by November 2019, has become dystopian in many ways. Although many of today’s cities resemble that futuristic Los Angeles, bleak, dank and saturated with neon lights (now LEDs), the truth is that robotics, AI and genetic engineering are still in their infancy. Humanity has not colonised outer space and the closest thing I have ever seen to a flying car was the Ford Thunderbird in Thelma and Louise.

But Blade Runner, an undisputed masterpiece of cinema, and not just science fiction, should be compulsory viewing for any lover of cinematographic photography, or photography for that matter. He gave us some of the most iconic artefacts in the history of cinema, such as the spinners, the blaster with which Rick Deckard eliminated replicants with a clean shot, or the famous Voight-Kampff test case. But undoubtedly, the gadget that surely delighted any photographer before the digital era was the Esper photo analysis machine.

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Photography in the times of the #fotografi@ (part one)

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22 Jun 2023

For many of us who have still touched analogue photography, processing all that has been involved in the convulsive road to this digital era, exhausting in many respects, has left a somewhat bittersweet taste in our mouths.

Sweet, no doubt, because of all the creative possibilities that technology has brought with it, and bitter, too, because, as the photographer Siqui Sánchez defined five years ago in that legendary piss-up, Apotheosis of Shitdography, when an artisan activity (because that is what we photographers were: artisans of the image) becomes a fast food product, the essence of that artisan act ends up being swallowed up by trivialisation and the absence of that intellectual complexity in the discourse, which is necessary in any creative or artistic process.

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Harvey Keitel in one of the iconic scenes of Smoke (Wayne Wang 1995)

Robert Capa: the “American” who was there

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24 May 2023

Robert Capa, the American who was there. Learn the true story of one of the sacrosanct names in the history of photography.

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Things are queer

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20 Apr 2023

I remember a review written after a photographic exhibition I did, more than 20 years ago now, in which the author of the exhibition called my images “black and white landscapes”. At that time I was much younger than I am now (xennial optimism) and as disenchantment had not yet hit me hard in the face, I still dreamed that, with time, I would make a respectable place for myself in the photographic Olympus.

It is true that at that time I still photographed exclusively in black and white, and it is also true that most of my photographs were taken outdoors. But I have never had, neither then nor now, any interest in the “realism” of the photographed space, neither at the time of seeing it, nor at the time of capturing it in a photograph. That “black and white landscape photography” thing felt a bit like a kick in the pants, more for the fact of thinking that, perhaps, my photographic style (if there was one back then) might be somewhat undefined, than for a review written by someone who, presumably, hadn’t quite understood what it was all about, probably as a consequence of the former.

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The Illuminated Man. © Duane Michals, 1968

Photography as seen through the eyes of cinema

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28 Mar 2023

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Artificial intelligence in photography is no longer science fiction

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1 Mar 2023

Artificial intelligence. It was the word of the year 2022, although in reality there are two, according to the FundéuRAE (Fundación del Español Urgente). And there is no shortage of reasons because, over the past year, AI has ceased to be just another of those words that come in one ear and end up going out the other with no further consequences, and has become the name of something sufficiently relevant to start to stick in our heads. Artificial intelligence in photography is no longer science fiction.

Let’s say that something similar has happened with AI to what happened with another syntagma, climate change, two words that have also been part of our vocabulary for decades, which, despite the warnings, we interpreted as something alien to our lives until, in the midst of the energy crisis, the hottest summer in history arrives, precisely the summer of 2022, and more than one begins to become aware of its meaning and the consequences of ignoring it. Welcome, then, even if it is already a little late…

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Origami Sneakers. Nat Gutiérrez 2022. Midjourney+Photoshop+Topaz Gigapixel AI.

Selfie

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5 Jan 2023

There is a debate on the Internet about the authorship of the first selfie in history” (inverted commas, please) and the time frame in which it was taken. The debate, beyond breaking some millennial’s mind by placing the first action attributable to the Anglo-Saxon term selfie outside the 21st century and without an upload option on Instagram, involves another secondary debate (or perhaps it is the main one) about the correct definition of what a selfie is supposed to be.

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8 must-have photography catalogues for photographers

1 Nov 2022

If you want to become a professional photographer and make a living out of it, it’s important to study the greats and these 8 photography catalogues helped me a lot in my early days.

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Essential Photography Books (1)

20 Jul 2020

 

essential photography books

 

 

Vice

When I started to earn my living with my first photographic assignments, more than 25 years ago, I had two clear “vices”, music and photographic catalogues. At that time I had not yet set up my first studio and therefore was not yet aware of the meaning of “living to pay”. My only investments were records and books, and I wasn’t really planning to do much more either. I was happy with so little or… so much, depending on how you look at it. In fact, when I recall in my mind some passages from my previous youth, I can still clearly relive that almost orgasmic feeling of tearing off the plastic wrapping and discovering the interior design of a CD by Mike Oldfield or Wim Mertens, or the photographs in a catalogue by Duane Michals, Jan Saudek or Helmut Newton. Usually this scene used to take place on a train, back home, after liquidating much of my income in music shops and bookstores in the capital, and I think my ecstasy was more than evident because when I looked around it was not uncommon to come across someone watching me as if I was the same Gollum engrossed in his “treasure”.