Amateur Vs Professionals – Critical Reflection

What did I like from the lecture?


Eric Kessels Photography –

“When people had family albums they used to be private and only for the eyes of the family. Now the role of the photograph has totally changed, we consume images every day. The only thing is that we don’t really digest them. They go in and they go out again.” “Their content mingles public and private, with the very personal being openly and unselfconsciously displayed. By printing all the images uploaded in a 24-hour period, I visualise the feeling of drowning in representations of other people’s experiences.” Erik Kessels

It puts our age into context with the amount of amateurs taking photographs, but it places those images in a space where they are considered as art.

“Why is this metaphor of the flood endlessly repeated in the face of counter arguments? In many ways it is either an alibi or code for larger issues. It is part of the contemporary manifestation of historic concerns about information overload. It signifies the tension between “amateurs” and professionals in the image economy. It gives a possible explanation for why photographs don’t have the power to change many think they once had. And it offers a possible account of why photojournalism seems to be perpetually in crisis.” Professor David Campbell

I think there is a lot of conscious photographers who feel threatened by amateur photographers because they think that with photography being captured by most of the population of today, that people will then forget their work, and then what would they do?

I do feel after this lecture that there has been a ‘paradigm shift’, a massive change in assumptions about photography (Thomas Kuhn), but there isn’t necessarily a battle between amateur and professional because professionals images are a lot more considered than the amateurs. The have context, they are part of a study. The only threat to professionals is if people loose interest for that, but a lot of people are interested in art, so I can’t see it happen in my lifetime.

This lecture hasn’t really benefited my study for Ass1 or Ass2, but it was interesting to be part of it. I love photography, and learning about this paradigm shift has made me feel about the importance of the professional in todays society. 


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