The Future of Photography is NOT Mirrorless or Mobile
The future of photography is not the mirrorless camera revolution. It’s also not mobile photography. Everybody wants to predict the future and people, photographers and—shiver—influencers have been discussing this topic for a few years now. Well, I don’t believe any of them. Then again, I don’t believe much of what’s written on the interwebs. Except what I write myself, of course… ;-)
So, I’ll tell you:
The future of photography is… photography!
You don’t have to believe me but hear me out. We’re coming at a point where image quality is superb in any camera. We don’t need more. The time of buying a camera every year because manufacturers keep improving their products, is behind us. If you buy a camera today, the image quality will be so good, that it’s all you’ll ever need. Even mobiles phones are getting there. Not just yet, but close…
Photography is not about gear
I find it a bit weird that people talk about gear when they’re discussing the future of photography. It’s not the cameras that decide what photography will look like in 20 years. It’s the photographers who decide what photography will look like. Switching from a DSLR to a mirrorless camera won’t improve your photography or make you stand out. Gear doesn’t change photography. It just changes how we take photos. The kind of device we use now, doesn't matter anymore.
The photographer’s creativity—that’s the future of photography! Of course, I’m talking about real photography, not vacation photos or family portraits. I’m talking about street photography, photojournalism, portrait, and documentary photography. Not being able to buy a mirrorless camera, will not compromise your future in photography…
Everybody is a photographer
Some photographers hate the fact that everybody’s a photographer these days—there will be even more in the coming years. All because everyone has access to the same technology and image quality. It kills the craft and degrades photography to something ordinary, they say. But does it really?
Does everyone who owns a camera make great photos? I don’t think so. Photography is very popular, sure, but I see a ton of great photographers standing out from the crowds. In the coming years, mobile phones will get better at taking photos but does that mean they’re the future of photography? No—nor will mirrorless cameras be. They might be the devices most people will use to take pictures but they’re not the future of photography as an art form.
How people use the technology will decide the future of photography. Creativity and finding new ways of using what’s available will decide what photography will become in the coming years.
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The modern photographer
I think it’s important to embrace all the technology that’s available. Photographers who want to be successful have to take advantage of it instead of complaining. Mirrorless cameras or mobile phones are not the future of photography nor do they kill the craft. It’s creative people who are the future. There are so many great photographers out there who don’t care about the gear they use.
Photography is still about telling stories through photos and that will never change. A good photographer can tell the same story by using a DSLR, or a mirrorless camera, or film. It should make no difference…
I do think that it’s important for upcoming photographers to use the technology that’s available. Social media, the internet, and digital aids are here to stay so why not use them in your advantage. Making pictures is easy but creating photographs and stories is still a craft only a few learn to master.
I think there’s a bright future for photography as an art form. Will it change? Sure. Will mirrorless cameras and mobiles phones decide what photography will become? Nope. Photographers decide how their art form will evolve and the ones who keep being creative and reinventing themselves will be successful in the future, regardless of what kind of gear they use.
Large format film, mobile phones, mirrorless cameras… everything will have its place in photography. New innovations will still come for sure but it’s the photographers and how they use those innovations that will shape photography in the coming years…