There’s been a lot of talk, and I mean a LOT, over the demise of photography as a profession. Digital photography gave MOBs (Members of the Public) of the world the chance to play with the big boys and almost everyone now thinks they can be a photographer.

True you still have to have an eye for a good picture, but even a beginner can have creativity and luck on their side. Wildlife photography, Landscape photography, documentary photography … all have slipped away from what could be called professional photography. To make a living most photographers – good and bad – have to run courses or trips to keep the bottom line from jumping up and slapping them on the butt.

The market for Stock imagery too is overrun and it’s possible for buyers to spend pennies on pictures. Strange then, some think, that camera manufacturers are still producing cameras that cost thousands of Pounds, Dollars, Yen, Euro … and any other currency you can think of.

With such a heavy cloud hanging over professional photography and with amateurs and hobbyists seemingly basking in sunshine as they make a few beans for pictures they’ve taken on a semi pro camera and not paying for insurance and other associated bills with running a photographic business; it is easy to see why many pros are depressed.

But I have have some good news. A glimmer of hope if you will.

It occurred to me the other day while out at a popular Dorset tourist attraction. I looked around me as photo opportunities lurched towards everyone like a Zombie in a horror movie. Instead of a sea of DSLRs, hybrids or even compact cameras the majority had … mobile phones! Yep that ubiquitous tool that once upon a time allowed you to talk to someone while not standing next to them with either your voice or bad typing.

They have, you may have noticed, evolved. Better lenses, software and chips in these devices mean people don’t feel the need to buy a separate camera.

So what?

Well as good as a mobile (or cellular) phone is for a snap, they cannot really compete with the gambit of photographic situations encountered. The images, while fun to create and even play around in various apps are good to look at on a computer. At a push they’ll blow up to an ok newspaper print size, but magazines, books and even prints for the wall are out of the reach of even the best mobile phone.

So as long as the majority keeps down this path, I think life for photographers may get easier. Camera manufacturers will have a tough time of it I think. Until recently they just had themselves to compete with. Now they have Apple, Nokia, Motorola, Google and Microsoft etc to take on. Any so long as compact and hybrid cameras only take pictures, they’ll never be as good as a mobile phone.

So I say long live the mobile. Professional photography could do with a break!