They learned the craft up until they can go out on their own and compete toe to toe with their masters, but it isn't the way it is anymore... Now you have the instant gratification with digital and the skill level isn't where it should be for a professional industry.
Photography as an art form exists, and will likely remain. Granted, it's not necessarily a way to make a living, any more than being a fine art painter (the increase in value after the artist dies doesn't help put food on the table).
But it's certainly true that event photography appears to be on the way out. That's happened to many 'professional industries' over the years, as technology advances.
You're a photographer with a business to run. If you're like many small business owners, you use QuickBooks or similar software, rather than paying an accountant; you do much of your banking electronically (e.g., instant check deposits from an iPhone). In your personal life, you may use a self checkout line at the grocery or hardware store. When was the last time you dialed '0' for operator assistance in looking up a phone number? Those are all examples of easy, convenient technology being placed in the hands of the consumer, and have a side effect of obviating part of the labor force.
Now, 'Uncle Bob' with a Rebel can churn out 'decent' images suitable for enlargement. But in most cases, no one even wants them enlarged. They want them on Facebook, and they want them uploaded immediately. They're not going to be viewed as a print hung on a wall, or even on a large, color-calibrated monitor...they're going to be viewed on a smartphone.
But in most cases, no one even wants them enlarged. They want them on Facebook, and they want them uploaded immediately. They're not going to be viewed as a print hung on a wall, or even on a large, color-calibrated monitor...they're going to be viewed on a smartphone.Indeed, my last event from last year was a large Christmas event for a huge Florida Corporation. I delivered the images in digital form, High Res as requested and before I got back to my office, they had called to complain that the images wouldn't load on FB and they were having difficulty mailing the 500 plus images to other employees, etc...
I told them that they were formatted at the best resolution for the printing and they said that they didn't care about printing, they just wanted to get them on the web! I obliged of course with smaller lower res image files but was kind of surprised.
Part of the event was about 75-80 kids that had their photos taken with Santa (or a close double). I assumed they were having 8x10's or 5x7's printed of the kids and were giving them to the parents as part of the event package. They said they didn't need to print any out, they were just going to email the parents the kid/santa photos!