MWAC

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I personally haven't heard the expression mom-with-a-camera before, but I know the trend well. This is a very interesting article from the New York Times about how affordable digital cameras are allowing moms to start side businesses photographing children without any formal training.

Check it out here.

Thanks for sending, Arn (my former boss from the Cape Cod Times, so you obviously know his thoughts when sending. For more discussion, check the comments on this post).

9 comments:

  1. But what I want to know is, what do you think about it? Do you think it's great that this field is becoming more accessible and providing a revenue stream to (primarily) women? Or do you think it's over-saturating the profession and creating confusion for clients who may not be able to discern decent (or not) amateur work from real that of real professionals?

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  2. Hey Rache,
    I was purposely a bit quiet on this front. MWAC obviously has a very different background than myself. I spent a lot of money and invested a lot of time & energy to learn the craft & business with a 4-year degree in photojournalism, not to mention my experience at some of the nation's top newspapers. So, yes, I believe it's confusing for clients to know who is legitimately experienced vs. those who have turned a hobby into a profession. Then again, not everyone is looking for a photojournalist vs a portrait photographer. I know several who have done this successfully, so I can't knock it completely. But I believe my background will sustain in this business, where MWAC might not last long. We'll see!!!

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  3. I agree, I think this is a fun thing for stay-at-home mom's esp the ones that get into scrapbooking. They can take the camera and make a nice photo but in all honesty, I have worked with moms and it is hard to take a photo of that precious face and not like it. There is too much emotional attachement and it makes that type of client very easy to please, no offense. Plus, there is lower pressure when the shoot can always be redone if the client isn't happy. However, I think the stream of ppl will run out faster for these photographers because wo getting into marketing, etc, you will exhaust your client base rather quickly and part-time profession will turn back into hobby. That is just my opnion, I don't think they are a real threat to the working professional but it can make things more difficult for them. Ultimately it is sometimes harder for an amateur to recognize the quality difference in a professionals work and even harder for a potential client. My 2 cents ;)

    Tina

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  4. Kristin9:34 AM

    I think it's easy for the "professionals" to look at this new trend and kind of snub their nose at it because "professionals" want their work to be taken more serious due to their extensive training or education but honestly, I don't think the formal education or training is completely necessary to be successful in this field. There are plenty of successful people in many industries that may not have gotten any formal training or education in that specific area. Since this is something I'm starting to do and of course my work is not at the level a "professional's" may be due to my experience level or finanical situation to start the business where I want it to be, I'm a bit offended when I read about people kind of knocking this and saying it won't last. I think it's a great opportunity for moms to be able to work part time and bring in some extra income while also being there for their children. There are so few viable part time options for mothers, why wouldn't people embrace this as a new way for women to feel creative and productive and financial contributors to their families. I worked at Xerox for years before becoming a mom and when I had my first child, I switched to part time. I was laid off when I was pregnant with my second because I was part time and wasn't contributing 100% to the bottom line. Since then it's been difficult for me to find part time work that is flexible enough while also being worth my time financially. Photography has finally opened a new door for me. I hope to continue to grow in my photography and expand in my business as my children get older and I have more time to dedicate to making it successful. Until you are in a situation where you are raising your own children and still want to work in some way or another, I really don't think you should make comments regarding other women who are venturing into this arena. What we all need is some support and encouragement to go after what we want and do what works for us, not criticism or lack of respect for what we do based on how we came about doing it.

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  5. This is meant to be a place for open communication and I appreciate all opinions.

    Kristin, I don't think anyone meant to disrespect what you do. I definitely appreciate anyone who sets goals and accomplishes them, either personally or professionally. My comment was specifically about my background vs MWAC. It was never intended as a jab.

    I definitely embrace new members to the photography community. I consult with new photographers, specifically wedding photographers, sharing my insight and experience to help jump-start their new career path. Most people's backgrounds don't match my own, and I am constantly impressed with the new talent, especially women. Likewise, I have created a networking group for women wedding photographers in Maine (where do you live?).

    Thank you for posting.

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  6. Kristin, I agree, no disrespect was intended. There is certainly people who have launched great careers based on a new found love for many different types of arts and that does not diminish their art or ability. Just that from a business perspective, it takes more than a good eye and nice equipment to be successful. I think all of us support women going after their passions but the article was talking specifically about low overhead, quick start-up businesses, based on local interest from mom's groups and that was the type of thing I think I was focusing on and why I think most of the time those businesses are unsuccessful and therefore not a threat to the serious working professional.

    Great discussion Emilie!

    Tina

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  7. I've thought about this for a few days, and I can't ever seem to be able to put my thoughts in to words and for it to make sense. LOL! I was a MWAC (still am, I guess). I don't think I needed/need a degree to be a good photographer, but I agree that knowing how to run a business is really important part of being sucessful. I hope that I'm around for a long time, but I KNOW that I have a lot to learn on that end of things and honestly, I wish I was better at it. I hope as my kids get older, I have more time to devote to doing what I love and making sure that I'm around for a long time. Did that make sense? Ah! I hope so! Great discussion.

    Jeremi

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  8. Hi Jeremi,

    Thanks for saying hello and for sharing your opinion. Would you like to be part of our Maine Women Wedding Phootgraphers group? We have only had one luncheon so far, but we hope to meet again in the Fall.

    kindly,
    emilie

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  9. I would love to! Email me! jsjackson@suscom-maine.net. Thanks, Emilie.

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