I think that everyone can be a photographer but few really are. What I mean is that everyone has a camera in their hands and we take over a billion photos every single day. I have posted about this before and how there are so many people out there who have a nice camera and they say this cost me a thousand dollars so it should take great pictures. Umm no it can't.
What I'm about to mention is truthful, to a point, I'm omitting names and places on purpose because my intention is not to embarrass the person I met. In fact I rather enjoyed spending time with them and helping out and sharing my knowledge with them about camera functions.
I was shooting a concert at a local venue and is the case in most instances the band comes on you get three songs and then you have leave until the next band comes on and so it goes until the headliner comes on. It was in between one of those moments when this person came up to me and stated they were really excited to be there taking photos. I understand that passion, I still feel the same way every time I pick up a camera. This person mentioned that all of their photos had turned out dark so far and they didn't know why. I asked what their settings were and they stated I just put it on manual and snap photos. This person mentioned they felt as though they were a really good photographer but they never took the time to learn everything about taking a picture. I asked how is it they came to be here, and they stated they knew the band members and they wanted some new photos.
I was a bit surprised by this, a band who can't afford their own photographer? Now I understand this band was never to the caliber of the Stones, Justin Timberlake etc...but they were A listers about 10 years ago.
Apparently the band had asked this person to shoot photos for them an in exchange they would give them full access to the concert and they could stay as long as they wanted to, no three song limit like the rest of us who were in the pit. As it turns out that was all the payment this person wanted and they were more than happy to do the photos for them. I set them up on their settings for their camera and tried to give them a crash course on composition and anticipating what might come next. But they were quick to point out they knew how to take photos they just didn't know how to set up the camera.
We all have a camera in our hands at all times and yes you CAN learn to be a photographer but most don't want to take the time. And what's worse there are companies, venue's and artists out there willing to let anyone shoot because it saves them a few bucks. My old man used to tell me that you get what you pay for. If you're paying five dollars for something you will be getting something worth five dollars. In the one area where you shouldn't go cheap on is image, your image sets the stage for everything, from future clients to corporate sponsors.