Back in 2001 when wedding photojournalism was a relatively new term and a digital camera was unheard of to bring to a wedding, I was interviewed by Susan Wornick of WCVB-TV Channel 5 News Center Boston for "Bridal Survival Guide: Weddings Week" on NECN. This interview I found recently is highly edited, which is too bad. I remember Susan (who was a consumer watchdog reporter at the time) grilling me about my untraditional style and prices, nearly fainting when I told her my photography packages ranged from six to fifteen thousand dollars.
In terms of money, now all I can think to myself is how the events of 9/11 proceeding only six weeks after that interview would change the world and the ripple effects into the new economy. After the collapse of the world economy and the local dot-bomb, there was a flood of newly unemployed people from all sectors rushing into the photography business as the barrier had been lowered by the rise of cheap digital cameras, and wedding photography was now considered an artform (vs a fat guy in a tux with a huge flash commanding people to do make cheesy poses for the camera.) I must admit, I really miss those days of making a healthy living from creating images, not just teaching workshops or selling software that's so prevalent in the pro photographer community today. On a personal note, I can't get over how dorky and awkward I looked in the video to try to look "business like" back then- I thought if I dressed 'artsy' (which was how I normally looked) I wouldn't be taken seriously, I guess.) At least my look got more confident with age. My albums and photographs are featured throughout, and it's funny to think back on all the time I spend in breathing in darkroom chemicals and hand gluing those prints into the albums - that also another part that got better with age thanks to the digital world.
The big question my videographer, musician, designer, writer and photographer friends ask ourselves (at least the ones over 40 who remember the golden age of being able to make a living on one's artistic passion): Are we better off in the digital age where we are expected to do more for less in a shorter time due to the pressures of automation and cheap labor from craigslist and foreign markets? Has the digital age broken barriers but made it harder for people who aren't as internet-savvy to be heard and hired? Please forward this blog post to 100 of your friends and mail your answer with a $20 Paypal donation to me.
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