It's a rotten job but somebody's got to do it - 'Working' with the Nokia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy 2 camera

Nokia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy 2 cameras

I suppose if you consider that driving down to Worcester, getting my bike out and cycling around the recently fully open circuit of the River Severn and Diglis canal basin and taking some pictures as 'working' then that's what I was doing on Sunday afternoon. 

I do like from time to time to try and show just what a wonderful job I have. Because I'm not sure that cycling around an interesting and scenic place taking some pictures with a couple of new cameras can be bettered as far as I'm concerned and to consider something as much fun as that as 'work' is plainly ridiculous. Now I'm not going to say that I'm lucky to be able to do this, because luck has very little to do with it. It's down to hard work and patience mostly. But it is indeed how I make a living. So not luck, but certainly a privilege. 

And it does strike me as somewhat strange that a lot of professional photographers whinge about what they do. The wedding photographers who moan about the 'weekend warriors' undercutting them and taking their work, the commercial and advertising photographers who moan about the fact that they can't think of a number and double it when they charge a client anymore and the high street photographers who complain about the fact that nobody brings their children to be photographed anymore in front of a 'set' consisting of fluffy kittens and milk churns. 

They moaned (and moan) about 35mm, digital, mirrorless and now smartphones. They moaned (and moan) about people going off to get a print copied instead of getting a new 6x4" from them for £35 and they moaned (and moan) about how amateurs without their skill and experience can sell photographs taken on auto everything cameras and can't develop a film and make a print in a darkroom created from twigs and string halfway up a mountain in a blizzard.

But mostly they moan about "Why can't things be the same as they always were?' Now I said that hard work and patience has led me to where I am today, but there is one other factor that has contributed to my situation. And that is an open mind. The ability to consider new possibilities, new directions, new ways of working, new tools to work with and new ways to present photographs. If ever the phrase 'adapt or die' applies to any profession, then it applies to photography as much, if not more, than any other way of earning a crust. 

To begin with we are all, as professional photographers, doing as a job what most of the world does as a pastime or hobby. So if we manage to achieve a viable financial state doing what most people would consider as a 'luxury' trade, then we should be thankful for that to start with. I know I am. We should also consider the fact that, as in most jobs, nobody owes us a living and it's important to remember that we have to earn our wages. And I see as part of that to be keenly aware of what has happened, what is happening and what might happen in the future. Because, I'm enjoying what I'm doing far too much to let it slip through complacency and a sense of entitlement. 

And the notion that people will fall at my feet and throw money at me just because I pull a big camera and even bigger lens out of my camera bag, is a recipe for a significant comeuppance followed by an even more significant downslide. So over the years I've declined to cultivate the 'old pro' ethic and chosen instead to go with my instincts and keep that enthusiastic approach that started on me on this whole journey. For me there is no other alternative. Because I want to keep doing what I was doing on Sunday afternoon. And I'll do whatever it takes to make that possible.

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