The Strange Relationship Between Hobbyist Photographers, Professionals, and Influencers

Influencers have invaded just about every space in which there are products for sale. If there is money to be made, there is probably an influencer for it, whether you realize it or not. Photography has not been immune to this, and it has left hobbyist and professional photographers in a strange place. This insightful video essay features a long-time pro discussing the issue and offering his thoughts. 

Coming to you from Scott Choucino of Tin House Studio, this great video essay discusses the issue of influencers in photography and their relationship with professional and hobbyist photographers, the problems it can cause, and the ethics of it all. Certainly, photography is far from the only place in which influencers leverage their popularity to sell equipment, but in an industry in which a single equipment purchase can run into four- or even five-digit costs, it is worth thinking very carefully about where you get your information and how you make your buying decisions. At a higher level, it has a strange effect on the photography community, often contributing to the sort of brand cliques we often see creatives sort themselves into. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Choucino.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Money is the root of all evil. I should be given all my gear for free. Everyone else should pay for theirs.


Usually like his videos. This one is pretty lame. First thing I noticed is he is a bit detached from most of the camera using world because of the type of photography he does. MOST photographers do not rent a camera every time they go on location to shoot. Simply untrue. He also says that cameras haven't improved since 2009. That is really laughable. Again, maybe if you shoot studio shots of food with strobes all the time there will not be a huge difference in cameras since 2009 but in the real world where you need high ISO, dynamic range, faster focusing, auto eye tracking, etc you know that cameras have greatly improved. Can you make a great image from the stuff in 2009? YES. Are those cameras as good as what is out now? Not even close.

Thank you for summing up the video. Now I have no interest in watching it. In fact I barely ever watch any of the videos that get posted here because I greatly, prefer original content.

when people say "cameras haven't improved since 2009" that's just a broad over generalisation because it really depends what you are photographing. Street photographers don't need the latest and greatest cameras but sports and wildlife photographers might appreciate the technological advances, esp focus tracking.