Is there a future as a professional outdoor photographer? As a professional outdoor photographer, I think about the future of outdoor photography, and where the art or profession is headed as a way to make a living. I’m asked questions like, “aren’t you afraid that you wont be able to make money,” and “what about all the competition – everyone has a camera these days and are literally giving away their photos just to see their names in print – doesn’t that worry you?” Another common one, “what do you fear most about the future of your profession.” People are assuming that the profession of photography is dying due to lower barriers to entry, more free time, more people with more money, and the improvement in technology, not to mention the changing culture and the fact that today’s younger generation want what they want, and they wont be guided by rules and constraints. . .
So here’s my answer. It’s always the same, “I’m worried about my health (I’m not sick, but as our bodies wear out, it’s harder to stay on top in the outdoor photography world), motivation to keep going, and ultimately my happiness.” I don’t spend time worrying about what other’s say, do, or publish. I don’t worry about the prices I’m paid for my hard work dropping though the floor. I’m in competition with myself to do the best job I can and make certain that everyone of my clients is taken care of. In other words, I just do what I do, and let the chips fall where they may.
So, why am I writing this? I’m writing this because I read a great article about photography and the new generation, and I absolutely loved it! I wanted to share it with my community of photographers.
The future is exactly where the past has been. Moving forward. Inventing newer, faster, smaller, better ways of visually communicating. The profession will leave behind those that can’t or wont adjust. There’s no stopping the momentum.
To me it’s like a wave. If you’re surfing, you’re either paddling out and over the wave, riding in front of the wave trying to get enough speed to actually ride the wave (get on top of it), or you crash . . . I feel like I’ve always been paddling in front of the wave but never really been on the top – “owning it,” so to speak. . . As good as some of my work is, (I’m not back slapping, I’m acknowledging hard work,) I still feel like I’m never “killing-it.” The younger generation does not worry about “killing it.” They “kick-it.” They grow their hair out like we did when we were kids and I swear if I had my Welcome Back Kotter (I hope some of you remember that show) t-shirt that said, “up your nose with a rubber hose,” I could sell it to one of these kids for a mint! That’s just the way things are going . . . No restrictions, and no boundaries. The rules are blurry and becoming more blurry by the day. The younger generation is not compelled to follow the traditional process or get stuck in the quagmire of some sophisticated system of becoming an artist, they just do it!
The future of the professional outdoor photographer is positive. There is a future in it for those who are willing to embrace change learn to live the lifestyle . . . So, embrace the future. Move with it not against it. Ride the wave but better yet, skip “killing-it,” and go right to “kickn-it.”
If you’re into photography, or philosophy, read this pieces by Kirk Tuck, I think you’ll like it! Here is the link to Kirk Tuck’s article,
The graying of traditional photography and why everything is getting re-invented in a form we don’t understand.
Where do you think photography is headed? What are your challenges?
P.S. Check out this great interview with Maury Postal if you want the “big-shot’s, take on professional photography, it’s worth the read http://www.pdnonline.com/features/Social@Ogilvys-ACD-9327.shtml
Montana Photographer Tony Bynum Interview – Exhibitions without Walls – “images should stand on their own.”
Montana Photographer, Tony Bynum sat down recently with Ed Wedman, creator of “Exhibitions without Walls,” a website dedicated to showcasing unique digital talent from around the world, for a short interview. Exhibitions without Walls, also operates a fantastic juried competition with some great prizes! Here’s the Montana Photographer, Tony Bynum’s Interivew: http://www.exhibitionswithoutwalls.com/?p=7239
It looks like the day has finally come, an adventure, outdoor camera with interchangeable lenses and RAW file format! Are you kidding me? Nope – according to Nikon, it’s on the way. The Nikon 1 AW1 is the first waterproof, dustproof, freeze rated, interchangeable lens digital camera ever made. I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for […]
While I was home briefly, I made some time to take the MindShift Rotation 180 photography backpack to the field for an authentic, live test. The Mindshift Rotation 180 backpack was developed though a crowd soured model – very cool concept! Think Tank is the parent company to MindShift and the Rotation 180 is really […]
If you want to consistently capture great nature photographs, the following rules apply. . . 1. Great Nature Photographs come from getting up early and/or staying late – not even Photoshop can make this rule go away; 2. you must use good technique and quality lenses; 3. great Nature Photographs mean you can’t be afraid […]
Wildlife Photography – Glacier National Park New Wildlife Photography and Viewing Policy is Unrealistic
Most people enjoy wildlife photography. In fact, the chance to see and maybe photograph wildlife is among the top reasons people go to Glacier National Park. Are you aware that there are new viewing rules in place than may surprise you? Today, wildlife viewing and wildlife photography may be a bit more challenging based on […]
Ring, ring, ring – “hello.” ”Hi, my name is Harry, I love your photographs, I’m planning a trip in July to photograph wildlife, can you tell me where is a good place to find mountain goats?” My first reaction is usually a deep sigh, followed by, “July is not a good time to photograph mountain […]
My answer, a true legend in the outdoor media world. Marty Stouffer is at least partly responsible for inspiring me to become a nature, wildlife, conservation and commercial outdoor photographer! As much as I like to think that my inspiration came completely from the heart, I must admit it did not. The passion, commitment and motivation comes from there, but the inspiration […]
Montana Nature Photographer Tony Bynum and Science Teacher Stacy Dolderer Dive Deep into the Montana Prairie in Search of Wilderness Characteristics
When Erin Madison, (@GFT_EMadison) outdoor writer for the Great Falls Tribune (@GFTribue) called us to do an interview about the Montana prairie project we worked on recently, we were happy to say yes! As many of you know, my partner Stacy Dolderer and I spent several months bouncing around the prairie lands of Montana last summer. […]
I finally found what I think is the holly grail of photography in the words of Antonin Kratochvil – “You should never use camera to make your pictures. You use yourself, your experience, to make the pictures with the camera. Not the other way around.” For years I’ve been trying to put this concept into words. I’ve […]
“My photographs have better colors than the one’s you’re using on the covers of your magazines. . . when you’re ready to work with a real professional, give me a call” – source: unnamed “professional” photographer. Those are the paraphrased words from a real freelance photographer to a magazine editor asking if the editor would […]
I always try to have a plan for my photography adventures. Part of my plan is to always have a backup plan because when you’re dealing with mother nature, you never know what she’s going to hand you from one day to the next. Sunday morning my plan was to search for some unique landscape photos that […]
Stacey Dolderer and Tony Bynum spent the summer bouncing around the wide open prairie and badlands regions of Montana. They hiked across its dry, sun scorched dirt, around mountainous gumbo plateaus, and over grass sprinkled beaches of ancient ocean bottom while dodging rattles snakes and lizards in an area so vast the long-look includes both time and […]
The editorial team @fieldandstream combined with the digital illustration talents of @thejesselenz really hit a home run with the February 2013 cover. As a professional outdoor photographer you might be surprised to learn that I don’t see many of the photographs we license wind up in print, like the grizzly bear used in the creation of the February 2013 […]
Montana Quarterly Magazine features an essay by award winning author Scott Mcmillion about an important prairie conservation project conducted in the wild prairie lands of Montana . . . One of the most rewarding and fun projects I’ve ever had the privilege to work on . . . Stacy Dolderer and I had a great time exploring […]
How in the world does the U.S. National Park Service and the media depict two guys, anyone, who gets lost outdoors and survives a difficult or even life-threatening situation, as heroes? Neal Peckens and Jason Hiser owe their lives to the rescue efforts of various teams from in and around Glacier National Park. The duo likely […]
I just decided to make this video required for anyone that desires to ever go to the field with me. If you desire beauty and wildness in our world, you must take what Mr. Mahoney has to say to heart. You be the judge. Take a little time out of you busy schedule and listen […]
Adding time lapse “video” into my outdoor photography routine brings a new dimension of creativity, one I enjoy very much. In this short time lapse video, I captured about 2000 frames of the clouds, sun and lake during one early morning adventure at Two Medicine Lake, in Glacier National Park. The time lapse took just over an […]
The grizzly bear that killed a hiker in Denali National Park in late August 2012 was later killed by officers. The first time in recored history that a grizzly bear has killed and ate a human in Denali National Park should make news, but what, if anything should be done about it? And what about […]
Every year I make time for a trip or two to the badlands of Eastern Montana. The badlands are located where you find them – meaning you just have to tour around until you see them. Why, because I’m not even sure what badlands are these days. I mean, it seems that at least in […]
Lands with Wilderness Characteristics – Montana Short Grass Prairie – roads, ways, routes? Who cares . . .
Greetings! It’s been while since my last post, I’m sorry for the delay, we’ve been out trekking though the last of Montana’s native, short grass prairie lands south and west of Glasgow, Montana. We covered 1500 miles over the course of that week exploring the vast network of roads, ways, trails, and routs. Along the trail, we met […]
On Saturday, June 9th, I finally made good on a conservation donation I made almost a year ago. Back in September I donated a day with me photographing nature to the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance. The purpose of the donation was to help raise money for the organization and help it reach it’s ultimate vision, “A child […]