151 MC: Amateur vs Professional

Over the many years, more people have been able to take part in photography. In the time of Fox Talbot, only the rich could afford the camera, plates, chemicals etc to take pictures. Nowadays, there are more opportunities for amateurs to take photos. And this had led to a rise in digital photography, leading almost to a “death” of analog photos, as people tend to avoid it.

Erik Kessels installation of 24 hours of Flickr pictures uploaded shows us how many pictures are uploaded; it almost shows how photography has now changed to being so open and access, it takes away the special feeling of a photo as we are now used to seeing photos all the time.

However though, the way we consume things everyday has also changed the way we see things. For example, in past wars there have been iconic pictures, yet in the current war of Iraq there is no singular image that sums up the war. Perhaps this is how various ways of media show different ways.

A Paradigm Shift: A change in assumptions, a new way of ordering and making sense of things (Thomas Kuhn, 1962)

So what is the role of the professional within 21st century photography?

  • Becoming Specialised
  • Keeping up with current technology
  • Placing yourself in your audience

With some amateur photographers today, Corinne Vionnet shows that even though amateur photographers can take pictures everyday of objects, places etc. but still make it different. E.g. with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, there may be 100’s of pictures that are very similar, yet Corinne as a visual artist has been able to change something we see everyday into another picture that we appreciate.

Martin Parr talks about how amateur photography takes so many pictures on phones, cameras etc. they don’t actually experience what they are looking at. The idea of taking a picture of everything, it almost destroys the motion of seeing/experiencing.


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