From about 2002 I embarked on a NEW digital photography career of what was the game changer for those in the Photography business for many years, with my first digital camera a humble Canon 20D and supporting digital equipment and Kodak dye sub printers and Elinchrom Studio Lights, I was well equipped, for my new journey.
The learning curve has been interesting and challenging coming from film photography, but what was more interesting was some of the rules of engagement, with the relationship of professional photographers and the buying public who wanted photographs to be done, for whatever reason much cheaper.
For many years many great Film Photographers were put on a pedestal of superiority for what they had achieved in photography, that was soon to change.
However, with the rise of and the affordability of digital cameras, that was made worse when many photography manufacturers started to put professional features in more consumer cameras.
Along with the learning curve of photography becoming much easier, especially with some of the new generation of online learning of digital photography and the new generation of Photography Educators assisting new hobbyist to the world of photography.
All this had a knock on effect in opening the floodgate of many hobbyist photographers entering the world of professional photography, looking back, however, I must say that many of those hobbyists have become more established than many of the established film photographers, as well as adding much value to the world of digital photography, because they came into the industry with fresh ideas, and were not grounded in some of the more established rules of photography.
As well as bringing a new lease of life on how to engage with your clients, including marketing a photography business, along with taking on some of the new marketing platforms like social media that photographers could engage in.
Not sure how it really started or when, but as the world of professional photography started to be dumbed down, another area of marketing your photography business started to make a great impact on how many Photographers run their business.
And that was providing a “Shoot and Burn” service of images of a job on a CD, DVD or on a Memory Stick.
Many of us have done jobs this way for many years, from the bottom of the photography market to the top end of the photography market with an option to buy a quality Photo book or Wedding Album, for that reason, some Photographers demanded good money for their shoot and burn images, and rightly so.
Because once you had given images to your clients, they were free to do with them whatever they wanted with their CD of images.
Since many of us also gave them the copyright's to the images to be reprinted, which in many cases created its own problem because images were not always printed the way we as Professional Photographers would have printed them ourselves.
When I look back on some of the jobs I have done, on a CD or Memory Stick, one thing that is very clear to me and many other photographers, and that is how such a “Shoot and Burn Service” may have been a quick turn round of images and money, but it also contributed to "Cheapen A Photography Brand", regardless if I had charged well for my images on a CD or Memory Stick.
Many of the jobs I have done was put into draw's and never seen or shared again, this sadly has caused me some problems when CD of images have gone missing and we have had phone calls requesting a replacement of a CD for free.
This never happens for free, since we do tell our clients how important it is to copy the images to their computers or elsewhere.
The other point that I noticed when reviewing some of my old jobs, was the lack of appreciation for photographers like me, which was probably more about professional photography not having the same respectability, like in the days of film.
Since many of the images would have been better edited like you can see with some of the images included in my blog, I have been re-edited with an improve editing ability of myself.
If it was the culture to buy large from canvas or large framed printed images to complement a clients home, since many people just wanted a quick turn around of images, unlike what we prefer to do know, that is with every job we use to do, is done via a quality wedding album or photo books.
We have had the privilege of doing some interesting birthday events over the years all over the country, especially those who have spent a lot of money to mark a birthday milestone, such as reaching 50 years of life on God's Green Earth.
Regardless what the year to be celebrated of one's birth, and the money being spent, having your birthday milestone documented by a Professional Photographer and presented into a quality photo book and a presentation box, is a very good way of complementing all the hard work put into presenting and organising a birthday celebration to family and friends who mean a lot to you, as part of your legacy story or a chapter in your life.
Having a photography company like we use to be, offering an option for a roving photography that tells a story, especially in documenting many family and friends we hardly ever see unless there is a family gathering.
Also having an onsite studio printing images for invited guest to take home photographs with them, has to be considered as an upmarket, bonus to the average birthday celebrations I see on many social media sites, that will soon be forgotten with the next birthday celebration, many people are invited to.
A Shoot and Burn CD or Memory Stick may not always be appreciated as part of a person hard copy Legacy Story because sadly as technology changes, there is no guarantee that your images will be able to be viewed on computers in the future.
As well as over time or years CD‘s or Memory Sticks will degrade depending on how they were kept or stored, which may also have something to do with the quality of the CD or Memory Sticks used.
If you are going to have a quality event that needs to be documented by a Professional Photographer, then having a photo book instead of a memory stick will always reflect the quality of your Birthday Celebration.
If your options are to rely on images from camera phone captured by your invited guest, then please note that as good camera phones may be they will always be very limited compared to the ability of a professional photographer, like those of the Image Makers Network, tend to use up and down the country.
To be honest if you are motivated to spend decent money on your Birthday Event, at a nice location, with those in attendance dressed to a very high standard, then it makes such a gathering to be recorded by a professional photographer or videographer, to tell the story of your marked year of your birth may be.
Remember to Celebrate your Birthday Event with a Quality Photobook in a Presentation Box, instead of a Memory Stick or a Camera Mobile Phone, which will reflect the quality of all the hard work gone into making your marked birthday milestone so special and a Legacy Story for years to come.
Please note some of the pass quality Birthday Celebrations we have had the privilege to be involved with over the years below.