Photography and art should go shoulder to shoulder. After all photography is art. Photography is poorly paid because of a fundamental mistake in understanding what it is. Some people don’t value photography because they think that it is about the tool you use. As everybody has a camera nowadays, they think that anyone can take pictures.
To be precise, photography and art can be the same thing. In the same way painting can be art, but not always it is such. It is true that everyone can take pictures nowadays, but are they all art?
Photography and art: where does the misunderstanding start?
The main issue in “photography and art” is that people think photography is not something you make. They think it is something you do. You “take” pictures. That means that unless it’s something extraordinary, like a painting, it’s not art. The misunderstanding between photography and art starts here.
When it comes to painters, it’s a completely distinct deferent story. If the painter makes a painting of a person, that is art. People are still intimidated by the tools of a painter. Everybody knows it’s not the paint or the brush that creates the strokes, it’s the painter. Also, we perceive a painter as an artist because he creates something on a blank canvas. What he produces is his craft, seen as unique because nobody else can have done the same.
How are you making your photography perceived?
People are willing to pay a creation because it is unique. If we don’t educate, people won’t see the craft behind what we do. How can they understand that in photography it is the same? It is the expression of subject, composition and light which are never going to be the same.
If you let people tell you that your “snaps” are great, that “your camera takes great photos”, you have a problem. As photographer, you need to educate your potential clients to what you do. Do you press the shutter, or do you capture a beautiful moment like anyone else? Do you value more your photos or the paper that holds them? This is what you need to change. Photography and art will go together when you will be able to make people understand the value.
Photography and art: quantity VS quality
Photography has a problem of quantity. How many painted portraits would you expect? And if you expect one, why do you show your clients 200 photos? You are lowering the value of your photos. Photographers were once regarded as artists. This was because of how much the cameras were expensive and how complex the film world was. You had 36 exposures in a roll, today you have space for hundreds of images in a card. There is no shortage of frames nowadays. Photoshop makes a good camera redundant, so what can you do?
You can start valuing yourself more. Photography and art will go together if you will be ready to show people your worth.