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.

Why is the profession of photographer still not valued as it deserves?

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In the age of Internet communications there are many reasons why the profession of a photographer is not valued. On the one hand, many people believe that they can make use of any photograph they find on the net and do not take into account that behind each image there has been, on most occasions, the work of a professional. In addition, the widespread use of mobile devices to immortalise almost any everyday moment has led many people to downplay the value of the work done by photographers, not to mention those who haggle over prices or consider that photographers’ services are revalued.

Let’s look at these reasons why the profession of the photographer today is not as well accepted as it deserves to be in a little more detail.

1# Use or abuse of image banks

One of these reasons, and perhaps the most obvious one, stems from the emergence of a number of free or low-cost image bank websites where professional photographs can be acquired at very low prices. On these platforms, users expect to find photographs at an almost symbolic cost. Images that, in most cases, are by professional photographers who have taken their time and dedication to produce them.

This problem is reflected in the #NoBudgetNoPhotos movement started by the photographer Nafa Ribeiro, who was asked by one of these portals to use her professional photographs in exchange for a free listing on their website and prestige. A free prestige that, as she herself said, “doesn’t pay the bills” and where the work of this great professional is being undervalued.

But there is not only the isolated case of this photographer. In fact, more than 400 photographers who have been affected by the same situation can be seen in the campaign. In all cases, the image bank websites requested the rights to their professional photographs completely free of charge.

The #NoBudgetNoPhotos movement has been commented in several international media and from Arcadina we also want to give it visibility and all our support.

2# Devaluation of photographs due to mobile devices

Nowadays everyone has a mobile phone that takes photographs of acceptable quality, which leads many users to the mistaken conclusion that everyone can take good photographs. This statement may have some truth to it, but only up to a point. Who hasn’t picked up their mobile phone and taken a picture of a simply spectacular sunset, or captured their little one in an endearing moment?

But the reality is that these are sporadic photographs that are blurred between hundreds of clicks that are made at the end of the day where most of the results are not at all acceptable. If you really want to keep a very special memory of your family, have professional photos for your work or simply find a beautiful landscape photograph to decorate your office, it is important that you have the experience of a professional who knows how to do the job properly.

A good photographer will listen to and advise their clients, tailor the session to their needs and deliver a final product that far exceeds their expectations.

3# Do your clients know all the effort that goes into a photo shoot?

It is also often the case that clients are unaware of the work that goes on behind the camera. Many think that photographers only work for 20 minutes during the session. This means that they may find your photo shoot expensive, try to bargain with you or even look for a less qualified professional who charges less for a photo shoot for their child, but with what results?

This is important to stress to you and your clients. You don’t sell images “by weight”, you offer quality work where you seek to capture, not only a series of very specific moments, but to capture the essence of your models, recreate a story or materialise a very special moment for them during the photo shoot. This, together with your experience and a professional post-production process, will make your final product excellent.

And to get to this point it is important that you create a personal brand that makes your values clear, explain to potential clients how you work and encourage those who have already passed through your photography studio to leave a recommendation.

How is a photographer’s profession valued?

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A photographer’s profession is valued when it is assumed by both the photographer and his clients that he is not only paid for what he does or the final product he delivers, but for the knowledge and experience he has acquired over the years.

A professional photographer sells not only photographs, but also: experiences, memories, helps other professionals to improve their graphic presence on the Internet, etc. Therefore, the first step that any photographer who is already in a position to offer professional photography work has to take is to disassociate himself from any kind of altruistic term.

“Professional photographers don’t do free shoots, unless it’s for a good cause”.

When all clients internalise this concept, then we will be in a position to say that the profession of photographers is already very fairly and positively valued today.

Campaign in defence of the professional photographer

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From Arcadina we support all photographers, we value their work and professionalism. We take into consideration the quality of the products and the knowledge of the person behind the camera. We are very aware of all the previous work that goes into getting the perfect snapshot and also of the effort in the artist’s head to capture that precise moment with that special magic. And what can we say about the subsequent work that goes into each of those works of art that we like to see again and again.

At Arcadina we hold the profession of the photographer in high esteem. From those who are just starting out to those who already have a well-established career. And with the help of our business solutions, we offer you the possibility of creating a fully professional photography website so you can explain who you are and how you work, a business area so you can sell your photographs, products and services without having to pay any commission to third parties and many other solutions such as a booking service directly from your website, private galleries so customers can view, download and buy more photographs, etc.

>> Do you want to multiply the sale of free photos with download?

Photographers don’t work for free

Any of us, when we take on the role of “client“, are always looking to receive professional and quality work. In the case of photographic services, the value of each image is linked to the ability of the person behind the camera.

And the truth is that everyone can capture a special moment on occasion, but very few can make magic in photography. And that is the big difference between the amateur and the professional.

That’s why we all have a duty to value the artist and make clients understand that if no one wants to work for free, why should photographers? Those photographers who capture the most intense moments of our lives and turn them into precious memories that will last forever.

In Arcadina, the profession of a photographer is valued

At Arcadina we do value the profession of a photographer and thanks to our admiration for all photography professionals, we have managed to ensure that our business solutions are 100% thought out and designed so that photographers’ clients also appreciate the quality that lies behind this beautiful profession.

If you are in the process of becoming a professional photographer and have not yet tried our business solutions for photographers, you can do so for 14 days for free.

Today we would like to highlight the interview with the photographer Luis Bañeres.

>> Meet Luis Bañeres, portrait, children’s and stock photographer

And finally, what do you think is the main reason why the profession of a photographer is not valued nowadays? We’d love to read your ideas in the comments.

Arcadina goes with you

Fulfil your dreams and develop your professional career with us. We offer you to create a photography website for free for 14 days so you can try our platform without any commitment of permanence.

Arcadina is much more than a website, it is business solutions for photographers.

If you have any queries, our Customer Service Team is always ready to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We listen to you.

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