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May 12, 2021
I used to be part of a semi-regular photography club in Corvallis. At the time, I was using my phone to take pictures because I didn’t have money for a camera, and all of my photographs were going up on Instagram. But these older and much more experienced photographers had published books and sold at art fairs. They invited me to their gatherings to explain the ins and outs of social media. And I learned a lot from them about the business of photography. As an aside, this group of photographers introduced me to Adobe Lightroom and taught me the importance of having an organizational system for processing, storing, and retrieving my work.
They were eager to learn new technologies, but they were also worried about the democratization of photography. CJ Chivers writes about these kinds of concerns:
“Some variation of ‘snapshots are easy, great photography is near impossible’ or ‘it takes years of hard work’ are repeated endlessly to justify entire careers.... One is led to believe that great photographers are scarce and fine-art photography may be dying out.”
But fine art isn’t dying. Instead, what’s been happening is that more and more people now have access to some of the best and smartest tools ever made (like smartphone cameras), and they are sharing the beauty of the every-day. Which is what art is.
It’s self-expression. It’s the truth of your experience. And it’s a gift!
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