…there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers, when there’s everything is professional photographers. Certainly there is varying levels of skills, but we didn’t want to have a Flickr Pro anymore, we wanted everyone to have professional quality photos, space, and sharing.”
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo Event, May 2013 (Please also read her later retraction)

Being a great photographer, like most disciplines, requires standing on the shoulders of those who came before you and learning from others’ mistakes as well as your own. One of the mistakes being made is the “good enough” mistake. If you’re shooting for lowest common denominator and low profit margins or low esteem, sure, go ahead and take pictures and share them at the low bar level. The Chicago Sun-Times seems to think that’s okay. Marissa Mayer and Yahoo think it’s okay. Susan Sontag might have something different to say about that. I certainly do.
Thom Hogan on The Chicago Sun-Times firing their entire staff of professional photographers in order to cut costs.

The images have no direct connection to the quotes. But they are only just “good enough”. Maybe this means I can get work at the The Chicago Sun-Times.

17 thoughts on “Petaling

  1. LOL about the Chicago Sun Times … i think especially in news photography, it’s interesting what becomes iconic and what can tell a story. I think it all comes down to, right place at the right time.

  2. It’ll definitely be interesting to see what happens in photo journalism now, Michael. Indeed! In the meantime, carry on doing your own thing!

  3. I really enjoy looking at your street photography. Re: Chicago Sun Times decision to fire the photojournalism staff…it has nothing to do with photography…it’s all about the bottom line and keeping shareholders happy…maximize profits and minimizing expenses.

  4. You can have confidence that your work is better than “good enough.” Aiming for the “low bar” Is something that I don’t see happening for most who consider themselves to be photographers. We all take snapshots now and then, but I’m not sure that is even the “low bar.” When photography is simply deemed as an grudgingly expected addition for a story, or when we don’t challenge ourselves in some way (seeing differently, new techniques, etc.) then, yes, we are at the “low bar” level. Maybe the fired photogs for the Sun-Times are really very lucky after all. Sometimes freedom hurts. I do like your photos here. The market place with the lanterns looks entertaining, but the Reggae Bar–Love All, Feed All in Kuala Lumpur really is intriguing. Nice work!

  5. The only definition of a professional photographer is someone who makes (most of) their income from it, whether they are bad, good or brilliant…

    Another thought. We’ve all seen photographs OF Susan Sontag, has anyone ever seen any good photographs shot BY her…well you know what they say, if you can’t do it – teach it – or in her case, write about it.

  6. Lovely photographs. Everyone has a different skill set and also the amount of time they have to pursue photography. I would love to do photography full time, but I can’t. My point is there are so many factors involved…

  7. Making money with photography is almost impossible, where are the times that we had to develop in the bathroom all darkened. Now any ‘idiot’ who is a little handy with Photoshop can come up with reasonable shots.
    I think you do good, too bad there nos money at the end of the line, only applause… 🙂

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