The Future for Photographers

Ben Brooks argues the iPhone will continue to displace activities normally performed by photographers:

"More and more, and with every new iteration of iPhone, many of the most basic photography tips are becoming built in to the single most popular camera in the world. What else could the iPhone automate?
Does this take away art from photography? No, hardly, but it does raise the level of skill one needs to be a photographic artist. The iPhone can’t set the stage, pose models, or move itself to the correct angle, but once there, it likely won’t matter who is taking the picture — or if the photographer actually even triggers the shutter — to get a solid photo. The bar for being a pro photographer is now no longer being able to take a solid photo, but being able to take a stunning photo."

I'd go even further. It won't be enough to make stunning photos for long either. And it won't stop at the iPhone.

This is why I harp on storytelling and personally-fulfilling photos. These things will remain scarce and valuable. Storytelling will be the primary focus for professionals, because humans are hardwired for thinking in narratives. Photojournalists and advertising photographers shouldn't have a tough transition to this approach.

Personally-fulfilling (hobby and family) photos are a bit trickier. It involves admitting that the ROI for all the time, money and energy you invest in photography will be in the form of contentment, not money. This is where 99.99% of us will be for the rest of the foreseeable future.