[pullquote]Depends on whom you ask, and who is asking; whether LA photographers
are just like any other photographers or better, or the best?[/pullquote]
I have seen amazingly artistic photographs from photographers in obscure towns across the world who are never exposed to the world of LA photographers with their top of the line equipment, after all Sammy’s camera is just down their block, and I am one of them.
So how is it that a small town photographer can be as good or better than the Los Angeles photographers who get to shoot the magazine covers and two page national spreads?
There was a time in the eighties till late nineties when the LA photographers had the upper hand over most of the world minus NY, London, Rome or Paris. What changed?
The playing field was leveled by the internet, that is what enabled photographers from Kiev to shoot just as good as Los Angeles photographers, these are the “www” photographers. And it’s not just the photographer who was magically transformed by this technology.
You see a photographer’s work is only as good as what he is shooting not just the how, but the what. All the designers, makeup artists, hair stylists and retouchers are in the same boat as the “www” photographer, they are just as up to date which enhances the www photographers work.
So the Los Angeles photographers have a lot of competition now, with one remaining advantage; proximity. If you have your studio on La Brea blvd, you are more likely to get a call and visit by the talent or agency who are clustered around you.
All these choices are great for the talent who is 50 miles or farther from centers of lights, lens and clicks. You can now get you portfolio done in your home town and submit it electronically without a second thought about quality. Chances are there are great photographers with skill and equipment in your vicinity, just look at ModelMayhem with over 600,000 members and tons of great Los Angeles photographers.
These small town www photographers have two ingredients in large quantities; determination and time. The busy Los Angeles photographers have tall overheads to deal with, and many many photos to process in Lightroom for a lot of looming deadlines, they do it assembly line style. I talked to one recently and he was overwhelmed.
But the www photographer can and will spend extra hours on your photo shoot and charge less to close the gap with the Photographers in LA. He has nothing to loose and fame to gain especially if he is just outside the 50 mile drive comfort zone for the talent. His overhead is nothing compared to the rents Los Angeles photographers pay to landlords who know the game and charge top dollar from LA photographers wanting to be near agencies. Heck most of these www photographers have main jobs who feeds their photography passion until they get their break.
Back to the question; Los Angeles photographers are better or just average?
The “average” is a lot better now, so the “better” LA photographers are now just average like all the www photographers.