Society & Culture & Entertainment Photography

iPhoneography - Will It Become a Professional Service?

When the term iPhoneography was coined I was at early stages of using my other phone camera and never thought about these pictures seriously.
But word was spreading and when I got my first iPhone 4 I was quite prepared to the different level of picture quality.
Phone-wise at least.
As a professional photographer I knew in advance that it still will be a toy, not a working instrument, despite of existing rumours predicting death of SLRs.
Right, pictures taken with iPhone were way better than with other phones cameras.
What made them outstanding - is software.
All these apps flooded market in very short time and helped users to convert simple pictures of anything into work of art.
From these users point of view.
One can argue that 99% of this "art" should and will go straight to the bin.
May be.
May be not.
The issue is getting into philosophy grounds and have no simple answer.
Every individual with an iPhone has got a straightforward but effective tool for expressing themselves in artistic way and share it with friends.
Often enough with satisfactory feelings coming from enthusiastic support of friends - "likes" - that leads to positive emotions.
And this satisfaction is growing very deep in human nature...
With the help of the internet and social networks certain people suddenly and unexpectedly become popular and even famous because of their iPhone pictures! Some of them starting to think what to do with their new position and newly developed skills.
And one day inevitable question pops up - HOW CAN I MAKE MONEY WITH MY EYE AND iPHONE? Here it comes - the question has been asked and genie let out of the bottle.
Now you can see from time to time requests for iPhone coverage for events, even weddings.
I bet that for awhile it'll be just a modest share but considering speed of gadgets development we will soon see something like "full-frame iPhone camera" and then...
Will iPhoneography become a professional service? I'm trying to be logical now.
My first reaction was - never! It is a good fun and a great toy for everyone.
The key word in this case is "everyone".
This is a major benefit and purpose of the tool - to make it easy and available for everyone without the need to get trained with special skill.
So my initial judgement was simple: no skill - no profession.
How it might become professional then? However, on a second thought it all became much less obvious.
There are a lot of factual and intuitive hints that this is developing into something Big.
iPhoneography is growing into some sort of industry.
And when you have an industry - some people make living from it, just running around and somehow making money.
So it is then just a question of "HOW".
How on earth can you sell something that is available for everyone? Actually, not everyone can make pictures of the same level even using same camera and same software.
Apart from the skill there is also some space for a talent.
Some people are born with Absolute pitch, some (let me improvise) - with an absolute eye.
They see things, angles, shadows.
And it does not matter what sort of equipment they hold in hands - their main advantage in their eyes.
And what happens nowadays when such a person who never thought about photography as a profession start using an iPhone, producing an interesting results on the go, without any special training? He/She become popular.
Will they necessarily go to photography course at college or Uni? Nope.
They can make living snapping around! And in respect to financial income they can be counted as iPhoneography Professionals.
So let's think again, why someone will look to employ an iPhoneography professional instead of a normal Professional Photographer with all their cameras etc? What is the benefit of doing so? Well, coverage speed of course.
Not to mention the fact of being trendy.
Here we go - someone might want to do an online reportage of an event with some pictures to be available just as event go.
Without visible bulky gear, semi candid.
For example, it might be some Industry Awards Ceremony with organizers wanting to Tweet and FB the pictures of lucky winners just the next minute after announcement.
Yes, it will be a value for them to create some fuss on Facebook and other networks showing the images of how great is the event.
Provided the budget is big enough, they might be more than happy to employ someone just to make sure that pictures are as quick as possible.
Now my imagination is running wild and I see lots of possible scenarios.
Actually, I now see a complete photography market niche.
And of course when there is a niche, as always it will be quickly taken.
Worse than that - most possibly it is already taken.
Some relaxed and bold kids in pyjama looking pants are most probably already making more money with their iPhones than I ever dreamed of.
Never mind my years of experience and set of unbelievably expensive equipment.
It's good for me I don't see them around yet, at least I can't Google them in my area.
It means I still have my chance to be the in the first raw to enter this race.
May be it is just a question of getting a popular or well known for cool pictures in Instagram? The one who will make it first will get the jack-pot? JI am working on that, but apparently it is not only about pictures, but also about communication skills that allows you to connect with people easily.
Easy sounds but not easy goes.
My iPhoneography category on the blog still underperforming in terms of SEO.
Remarkably, Wikipedia defines as "Professional" not someone having a skill but "a person who is engaged in a certain activity, or occupation, for gain or compensation as means of livelihood".
Basically it's a person who paid for what he/she does.
Well, indeed the question is not about the special skill really, but about finding someone prepared to pay.
It doesn't actually matter for what: for the skill, for the talent, or for being the first on the market.
So let's keep eyes wide open and follow the development of this field, it might be an interesting story...

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