Our first Minot SMUG meeting had about 35 members in attendance, and the topic was Raising the bar, with Gavin Seim as our guest speaker. Gavin Seim is a successful photographer out of Washing State and hosts the Pro Photo Show, which he created. Surprisingly, he has been in the Photography business for 10 years, but he's only 26 years old.
Listed below are some great tips he gave the group:
1. How we advertise ourselves as ‘professional' photographers, even though we may have just picked up a camera and built a website
2. The days of apprentices seem to have disappeared as photographers sell themselves, probably disingenuously as seasoned professionals.
3. People need to take the time to develop their craft and really learn the fundamentals of photography.
4. The industry is hurting because of this trend and it's time to educate people on what really makes a Professionals photographer and how they differ from the person who just picked up an expensive camera and starts charging money for snapshots.
Gavin is a dynamic and quirky speaker. I personally enjoyed what he had to say, as did many others, but it was very evident that the message he was preaching was very polarising in some ways. I think it's an important topic right now in this industry. We can't survive as a profession when everyone calls themselves a photographer. Just go to any wedding, and you will see 6 people chasing the working photographer around with their DSLR trying to out-shoot the pro.
This is where I really think SMUGs can do their part to educate the new breed of photographers about learning the craft of photography. We need to “Raise The Bar,” so to speak, in the quality of work bring this industry out of the darkness that it seems to be heading towards.
I highly recommend people check out Gavin Seim's websites. He is a master at HDR photography, Lightroom and Photoshop. Gavin also produces the successful podcast Pro Photo Show and offers a number of workshops including Raise the Bar.
Websites: Raise the Bar http://prophotoshow.net/seim_effects/rtb/
Pro Photo Show: http://www.prophotoshow.net/
About the Vancouver Island Scribe: Adam Collishaw
I'm a professional photographer based out of the port city of Nanaimo BC Canada. I primarily enjoy shooting composite portraits and weddings. I shoot primarily with a 5dmkII and 7d. A fun fact about me is I really enjoy playing ice hockey and smashing hard rubber pucks at goalies! Having SMUGs in Nanaimo and Vancouver Island really give us the opportunity to build of community of photographers/friends and help grow the industry right in our area.