Photographers are competitive by nature. We follow each other on Facebook, review our competitor's websites, and feel a pang of jealousy every time someone posts a beautiful photo that we didn't take.
It is all extremely foolish.
Moms with cameras have just as much right to take the most beautiful photos of their children as we do. Other photographers, whether they're just starting out or are well-established, can capture amazing images.. and by doing so, they do not take away our ability to do the same. There is no monopoly on taking a great photo - anyone, and I mean anyone, can do it.
There is a lot of snobbery in the photography business. A lot of rampant jealousy and guarding of trade secrets. There is a belief that professional photographers do something completely magical and inaccessible to the "common folk". We fight hard for this belief - the notion that we do something that anyone else with a camera cannot. That is all bullshit. Anyone can learn to do what we do - in fact, that's how we ourselves got here. Nobody is born with the ability to pick up a camera knowing how to use it... what settings to use, how to look at light, and how to make people look pretty. Some of us are more talented than others, but in the beginning, we are encouraged more by luck than ability.
I follow several photographers who I admire. Some of them are world-famous. Some are local businesses who simply do great work. I like seeing their photographs and every time I do, I say to myself "That is AMAZING!". The fact that others are able to product gorgeous images does not diminish my abilities.. not even a bit.
I also have mom friends who have DSLRs. They take photos of their babies and children and post those gorgeous images on Facebook. It's very easy to think that they're somehow encroaching on my livelihood. But come on! I couldn't be happier to see moms documenting their little bundles of joy without the need of hiring a professional photographer (and btw, there is nothing wrong with doing so). What I want to do, instead of feeling jealous or threatened, is help them understand their camera better. Teach them what took me years (years!!) to learn so they can take even better photos of their kids.. lead them past all the technical barriers and offer straight-forward practical advice on all things photography.
I know a lot of photographers are extremely guarded with their methods. They prohibit cellphone pictures and have their clients sign contracts that forbid sharing anything they saw. I am not like that. In fact, I am really happy to answer any photography-related questions my clients feel the inclination to ask. I could spend the whole day talking about that stuff! Light, camera equipment, lenses, settings, why this one spot in your home is best for pictures.. I seriously don't mind. And I'm so happy to share my knowledge. I want all families to have better photos of their children, even if I'm not the one who took them.
So starting now, I will be offering in-person photography lessons to all the Moms and Dads in the area (Fairfield County, CT) who want to get the most out of their fancy DSLR camera. I feel like there is so much confusion about all those camera settings and features, and nothing would make me happier than having the opportunity to demystify the process of getting great photos! :D