Someone sent me a link to this the other day:
Basically, if you don’t get a major in photojournalism, you clearly aren’t a real photojournalist. Without that $100,000 piece of paper, how will anyone know that you are a real photojournalist? Students of Ohio, Mizzou and Western Kentucky are the true story tellers of American photojournalism.
But what these students love more than their worthless majors, is talking shit on other photojournalism programs. While Brooks students like to take pretty photographs, we all know they can’t put a story together for shit. Ohio kids get so wrapped up in shooting lens flare and poverty, that they forget how to work on other subject matter. Mizzou students get off on expensive gear to make up for their inability to shoot more than a daily assignment. Western Kentucky? Let’s not even go there.
When it comes down to it, photojournalism graduates all have one thing in common: unemployment, with the bitter taste of watching photographers with no degree make more money than they do.
I thought it was pretty funny even though I was not a photojournalism major. However, I WAS a lowly photography major. I say lowly because the last sentence of this quote is very true. I have the kind of degree that will never make money unless you happen to be the next Peter Lik (unlikely). It is a bitter taste seeing people with no formal (or informal) training being able to make a living doing what you have been trained to do. The fact is, most of us are snobs. These "amateur" photographers are making tons of money doing wedding photography and family portraits. When it comes down to it, us "trained" photographers do want to do wedding photography, we all have our reasons. For some, its seen as being a sell-out to your trade, for those like me, we simply are not interested in that form of photography. We're especially not interested in dealing with nasty little bridezillas who threaten to sue you because you "didn't full fill your contract" when really she's just trying to get your service for cheaper. I AM interested in some form of photojournalism, which means I have to eventually have to get out of my comfort zone, get off my butt and take my portfolio in. Of course, being pregnant with twins and possibly moving out of state in a few months put kinks in that plan. But more than that, I would have to get over my fear of rejection. Being in this field, you are very vulnerable, you take photographs that you love and are happy with only to have them shot down by people with more experience. But guess what, thats part of the job and thats part of life. Being vulnerable and being crapped on comes with the territory of being human, and honestly that is one of the reasons I love this field of work. Having your tush handed to you now and again is a good thing, thats how you grow in your craft. Whoever wrote the quote above has it right, only its not relegated to just photojournalists. I know, because I have fallen into that myself, sure there is a part of me who looks down on every Tom, Dick and Harry who picks up a camera and is suddenly a "photographer".....but they are the ones with work, not me.