Then the digital revolution took place. Suddenly, getting a good shot became a whole lot easier. Of course, a good deal of skill, attention to detail and technical knowledge is still required to capture a shot that might be worth money, but often it’s about being in the right place at the right time, and the cost of getting a good picture has dramatically fallen.
No longer do photographers have to shell out on rolls and rolls of film, only to get a couple of good shots. Nowadays, photographers can snap away without having to worry about money. With memory cards of several gigabytes that can hold thousands of pictures at a time, which can then be deleted and new shots recorded for free, the editing of shots is now of an equal importance to taking them.
With millions more images being captured now, compared to a few years ago, we needed a place to store them and share them, and new websites such as flickr appeared, which allowed the tagging of images and the subsequent searching and browsing. Many armatures photographers have sold pictures after their work was found through such sites.
The web has also created a massive market for photography. Whereas previously, print publications were the main outlet for pictures, the thousand of new blogs, forums and online publications also need pictures, and though the money involved is normally much less than for a print publication, there’s still revenue to be generated.
Another area where digital photography has exploded is in the industry of photo products. It is now possible to get your favourite shots printed onto hundreds of products, creating interesting and quirky gifts, and even sellable merchandise for some entrepreneurial photographers. Indeed, one of the most stylish and popular things seen decorating bedrooms bars and lounges are canvas prints canvas prints where a photo is blown up and then printed on to a large stretched canvas.
But it’s not just wall hangings anymore, the range of photo products is massive; from mouse mats to men’s watches, stationary to stickers, pillow cases to pendants – if you want to put a picture on it, you probably can.