I have had quite a bit of experience researching and analyzing the world of professional photography. In my 4.5 years of fact-gathering, I’ve finally reached a conclusion. We don’t really need professional photographers anymore. Just to be clear, I’m not saying we don’t need photogra-phy. It’s just photogra-phers. I believe they really should go the way of the dinosaur. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this photo:
My photographer/blogger wife wrote a post about this photo a few days ago. It generated quite a good discussion. Why? Because the bodies on these models are all computer-generated. The heads are real though (albeit I’m sure they are Photoshopped to the hilt). They’re part of an H&M ad campaign wherein the clothing company will be using these computer-generated “mannequins” in many of their web and print ads.
Computer technology has gotten to the point where companies can create photorealistic imagery that only the most astute eye would be able to tell is a fake. Truth be told, there are enough photos of real models in the world now, where ad agencies, clothing and make-up companies, etc., could create an entire database from which to pull. So theoretically, you never need to take another “real” photo of a model again.
And it’s not just humans. For years computers have had the ability to create realistic landscapes and cityscapes too. See below:
This photo was taken on the plains of New Zealand. This ancient city and citadel is all that’s left of a great race of horse-riding warriors known as the Rohirrim. However, this photo is a fake! That city is computer-generated. Again, no photographer needed.
Move On – Adapt
I know a lot of you reading this are professional (or wanna be professional) photographers. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it won’t be long before you will share the same fate as Borders bookstore. But, there is time to adapt. Here are some ideas to help you in a zero-photographer future:
- Learn computer programming. There are enough “how to” YouTube videos where I’m sure you could become an ace programmer in just a few months.
- Master Photoshop. I foresee there still being a huge need for Photoshop artists. If you think about it, all the best photographs are heavily Photoshopped anyway.
- Start a used camera gear website. Even though professional photographers will soon be extinct, there will still be soccer moms and scrapbookers who need camera gear to take photos of friends and family. It’s not like they’re going to go out and create computer-generated husbands (although at times I’m sure they would like to. 😉 )
- Politics. This may seem weird, but I think a lot of professional photographers would make great politicians.
- Show Business. Rock star and celebrity photographers (i.e. not photographers who take photos of celebrities, but those who are themselves celebrities) could take up acting and get into show business. Actually, I take that back. Movies are becoming just as computer-generated as photos. May not be the best idea to head into that field. I’d hold out and wait to see how Avatar 2 does. I predict real actors will also go the way of the dinosaur.
So, fear not. Even though you and your skills will soon no longer be required, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have purpose. What ideas do you have that ex-pro photographers could do?
Note: BEFORE you leave a comment, read this.