Art vs. Science

June 05, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I just read an article on photography trends that described the industry as being a little bot of art and a little bit of science. The article was talking about pricing and the way most photographers apply a cost to their services. It proposed that photographers with more technical experience tend to charge more than photographers with more creative experience. Speaking as a photographer who learned on the job from other photographers, I would absolutely agree with that. Someone with a photography degree or certifications from a leading association will tend to charge more. Not because their art is technically better or because they produce higher quality images. They charge more because they believe they can. At the start of the 20th century the argument over photography as art vs photography as a technical process came to a head when Alfred Stieglitz and a group of pioneering photographers started a movement toward more artistically inspired photography. They moved away from technical purity to produce amazing images with a painterly feel and an immeasurable artistic quality. Today, we see professional photographers who focus on the technical, like National Geographic photographer Vincent Laforet and professional photographers who focus on the art, like Vanity Fair photographer Annie Leibovitz. Is one better than the other? In my opinion, no. It all boils down to the photographer’s personal aesthetic and how it matches up to yours. Keep that in mind when you are looking for a photographer down the road. It doesn’t matter how perfect the image is, technically or artistically, if it doesn’t mesh with you style.


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