Over the course of the last twenty years, the photographic industry has burgeoned. In the 1990s, cameras became status commodities – alongside cars in the 1980s and mobile phones today – and with the bulge in sales came a similar bulge in numbers of amateur photographers. So far, so good. Naturally, a number of these photographers have turned professional with their newly developed skills. So far, still so good. Some industry insiders bemoan the influx of photographers without qualifications. There are, naturally, those who bring more confidence to the table than ability. (Not that this is the exclusive reserve of the unqualified.) But it has provided opportunities to many people with fresh approaches and excellent ideas, which are boons to the industry.
The only issue with an industry which is expanding in this manner is that it can occasionally be difficult to distinguish between photographers who apply rigorous professional standards to their work and those who do not. It’s important to take good care here to avoid disappointment. This is where organisations such as the Association of Photographers, the National Union of Journalists, the Commercial Photographers’ Network and the British Institute of Professional Photography come in.
Membership-based organisations such as these exist to support photographers, from the provision of training to legal advice. But they also support clients, assisting in the selection of photographers who meet the standards required for specific jobs. Through these organisations, it is possible to search through directories of approved photographers, to identify the best photographer for the task at hand. So if you need a reliable photographer, you could do far worse than peruse those websites to help your decision. There’s a good chance you’ll find us, too.