Is the photographer a dying breed?

Once there was something called a "photographer". The photographer posessed expensive equipment needed to create photographs, as well as the advanced knowledge required to operate said equipment. Hence the photographer could take photos, and others needed to hire them if they wanted photos taken.

But things change. Now everyone has pretty good camera equipment in the form of a smartphone. And everyone knows how to operate it. Sure, not everyone has the sense for aesthetics and beauty on par with a good photographer. But otherwise the use for photographers with their big clunky cameras seems to be constantly shrinking. I used to think thoughts like "well, at least there is one thing that you could never get with the small sensor of a smartphone; short depth of field". Well now you can. Sort of. And sales of advanced digital cameras is steadily shrinking. The sales peaked in 2010, and things have been going south since then.

So where does that place the photographer? What happens when the production means that used to belong to a small group in society all of a sudden is possessed by everyone?

I think my preliminary conclusion is that there will always be a need for photographers, even if we get to the point where literally everybody has the same technical equipment as a professional photographer. Why? Because we simply need someone dedicated to the task when we need photos for our weddings or our advertisements. Someone needs to put in the time to take the photos, edit them, pick out the good ones, and then present them in a good way. Even if everybody would have the ability to do these things, it is practical to hire someone who does it every day and who can do these things efficiently and in a professional manner.

Micael Widell

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