Toronto. In the beginning photography was limited to those with both scientific ability and artistic skill. Making a good daguerreotype image was challenging. Over the years the processes were simplified and streamlined. Near the end of the film era, almost anyone interested could make decent photos using the hour photo shops to process and print both paper photos and slides.
When digital took over, the act of photographing a subject was further simplified. Today, everyone has a smartphone and every smartphone has a built-in camera making everyone a photographer in this, the 21st century.
Most photographs taken today are forgettable – selfies, personal vacations, friends, personally memorable moments, etc. Newspapers and magazines are disappearing and TV channels encourage viewers to submit their best photos for free. Computerized smartphones sort out white balance, ISO, stability, and even at times, smiles.
In this era of compact, portable phones able to snap photos and upload to friends, traditional media and social media immediately, the need and value of the professional photographer seems seriously limited. Few want to pay for the skill and thoughtfulness of the professional photographer.