Look, you party poopers... I fully understand that if you are rude and/or sarcastic, you're not going to "win friends and influence people". I'd caution that if you cannot provide funny/witty replies to stupid questions in a way that is not downright rude, then you should definitely not engage in any such behavior. Everyone can recite a joke, but not everyone is equally funny telling one, you know? It's all in the delivery. If you are unable to be funny about it, then just refrain. Or not. It's your business.
But there's another interesting point to address: Eric is right - fancy equipment does not a professional make.
Originally Posted by LarryLetzer
Our business is undergoing an attack from the prosumner many of them owning the exact same camera as many of you make your living with. So, unless you, and I act as the consumate professional why should these customers (the people that put food on our table) spend money with us?
First, because their pictures stink. When the average "prosumer" is getting photos as good as yours (after 50+ years in the business?), then your point is valid. But I'd have to assume you're probably just a little bit better.
Second, not everyone has the same access. At many events I shoot, spectators are not permitted into the same areas as I am.
I shot a big motocross event this past weekend. I counted at LEAST ten other photographers with digital SLR's. There were some local camera club members in attendance; although I didn't see any 1-series bodies, one of those club guys had a Sigma 120-300/2.8 just like the one I was using for most of the day. Another had a 70-200/2.8L, another lens I have in my case. One guy was taking photos with the intent of posting them online for viewing/purchase; he even got the track announcers to promote his on the PA. But no one even had sample photos or a display booth. Meanwhile, we had not only sorted photos by rider number, making it very easy for customers to find their photos, but we were showing pictures from that day's event on multiple viewing stations, and making prints and CD's onsite. I had the ~3000 photos we'd taken available through our website a few hours after the event was over, and I've already filled online orders. Meanwhile, that guy who was getting promoted on the PA...his stuff STILL isn't online two days afterwards. And when he does eventually get everything posted, there's the confusing ordering process to contend with. Apparently customers can submit their orders using a provided form, but it's not clear on how they are supposed to make payment. There are no payment instructions anywhere. But my favorite thing?...besides the abundance of spelling mistakes on his website, he mistyped his own e-mail address as com.info@[domain]...
I was the "professional photographer" at this weekend's event. Everyone else was just a guy with a camera...even the guy who's trying to sell his stuff online.
All one needs is a camera.
To continue Eric's analogies, I think I'll swing by the music store tonight and buy an acoustic guitar. What's a good one? A Martin, maybe? Because I think James Taylor has made a decent living writing and playing songs, and I'd like to do the same. I can carry a tune...
Or maybe I'll learn how to paint! That Monet guy just made blotches of color, right? That looks REALLY easy to do!