What Qualifies as Quality Photography?
I remember when I started out as an amateur photographer. I loved to photograph. I was like a kid with new gun, I would shoot everything that caught my eye with little discernment or understanding as to why I was photographing what I was, what I was trying to say with my photographs or the technical skills and understanding to do it well. That was back in the film days when I would buy my film on sale, and wait for the coupon specials at the grocery store to get it developed. Now days we buy quality cameras at a very modest investment and there is no necessary cost to create our digital images.
I still remember when I thought I was good photographer and had little clue as to what good quality photography really was. It is no wonder that in today’s world of sophisticated automatic cameras that many, like myself at that time, consider themselves professional photographers and you actually had to know a little bit more back in the old days than you do now, when the camera can virtually do it all for you.
Because I was passionate about photography, I learned of a local professional photography guild (http://www.ppgcs.com) attended and signed up. That was over 25 years ago. This led becoming a Certified Professional Photographer through the international organization of Professional Photographers of America (http://www.PPA.com). When I started learning how real professional photographers saw light and could modify it to create beautiful pleasing images I knew my harsh contrasty images weren’t as good as I thought they were. After many years of learning and attending classes of top professionals I find that you never stop learning, reviewing and practicing what you have learned. Good photography is not a knee jerk reaction, but a thought process of what you want to capture, how you want to communicate your vision of it and all of the variables you need to consider and adjust for in what you capture.
I like to save money just like everybody else, but not all photographers are equal in their skills and ability. Although a lot of photographers in the market today put "Professional" in front of their name, the true artist is defined by their art. We can all get lucky and turn out a good image now and then if we photograph enough, but can we do it consistently all of the time? Do we understand all of the element that go into a good image and how to accomplish them? There are commodities we can find cheap for a good value, but good photography commands so much more. It is truly an art and a skill that is honed through much study and practice. Good photographs are the representative memories of our lives, do we want cheap memories or quality captures of our life and family’s beautiful moments? Trust me, good professional photographers may not be cheap, but they are worth the investment to professionally capture the moments you can proudly display on your walls and in your albums. They are creative artists, not just picture takers.
Kent Stuck, CPP
Artistic Impressions Photography
in Colorado Springs, Colorado
< One of my early "Professional" portraits.
A recent artistic contemporary couple's portrait created in the studio.