Do You Really Need A Camera To Be A Professional Photographer?

If you’ve taken a vacation and been a tourist over the last few months, you’ve probably noticed the one thing tourists don’t take with them much anymore. A camera. Instead, they take out their phone, and start shooting away.

In fact people are starting to use their phones so much, there is even some question about the future of traditional cameras. Do we really need to lug around the big, SLR or point and shoot cameras anymore? Or are phones good enough?

I laughed this week when I came across an article College Offers Class On Cell Phone Photography. Really? My daughter is now starting the process of looking at colleges, and I don’t know if I want to spend that kind of money on a cell phone photography course.

Yet in some cases, I do agree with the professor and the needs for such a class not just in college, but also all the way down to the elementary level.

…the professor’s new class will focus not only the technical and artistic aspects of photography, but also the ethical responsibilities that come with having such a handy recording device with you everywhere you go. In other words, students need to understand “the full gravity of what’s at their fingertips and the power they can have…

While Flannery encourages students to grapple with issues such as privacy and voyeurism, professional photographer Hunter Martin will supplement by teaching traditional skills such as lighting, composition and editing.

Yep, there’s a definite need for that right now, as everyone in some way or another is a photographer.

What does that mean for the professional? Even professionals are being impacted by cell phone technology.

If you haven’t been to iPhoneography, take a quick tour. There you’ll find every app imaginable, how to use it and the results you can get from it. You’ll also find camera, oops, I mean cell phone reviews, resources and tools you can use right along with your cell phone camera.

Have you heard the latest app to be released this week? Its called Color, developed by 8 times serial entrepreneur Bill Nguyen, who has sold previous companies for as much as $850 million.

Color is an app that allows you to simultaneously use multiple iPhones and Androids to capture photos, videos, and conversations into a group album. There’s no attaching uploading or friending to do so. You just share together in a new, moving social network.

Imagine using this at a wedding. Instead of leaving the traditional disposable cameras on the reception tables, and allowing your guests to snap away, ask them to download Color instead. Then they can shoot to their hearts content – photos and videos – and you can see everything as long as it’s taken within the app itself.

Okay, that probably sounds scary to some of you. Do the bride and groom really need you with all that content happening all day long?

Hopefully to others of you, it’s starting a whole new concept. Yes, there is one thing we are awash in and that’s content. But what do you do with it all after the fact? Sure, the social site is cool the first day after the wedding. But what about a year later? Does this app exist? What happened to all the content – are the memories gone forever because they weren’t collected and organized?

Yep, things are changing. And we as photographers need to change right along with it.

We may not be shooting with traditional cameras and presenting our clients with traditional photographs very soon in the future. But our jobs can be equally important if we do something new with the technology, and reach out to a new and growing crowd.

What do you see in the near future?

2 thoughts on “Do You Really Need A Camera To Be A Professional Photographer?”

  1. be a Photographer is more about the style then the equiptment. Some cell phone take great pictures so why not offer class on photo basics on a cell phone… Many of the photo being sold on the internet today were taken by cell phones.

  2. I think it’s a great app and it would be a wonderful application to cover many aspects of a wedding, reception or special event. No photographer could be in those places even as a team. It would be great if everyone has the iPhone or Droid, otherwise it’s back to the disposables. I think it would add a great deal of excitement and fun to the occasions and the resulting collages could be outstanding. I do love technology but I will always carry my cameras and their equipment.


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