I know there are charlatans with cameras all over the place. And I know this isn't a forum for ranting about bad "photographers," but let this be a caution that if you don't have definite skills (and most here certainly DO) that it's not nice to take money from people for bad pictures.
Recently a member of my family I haven't seen in several years gave me a CD full of jpg images taken by a "professional" photographer. This person was paid $100 for two hours work taking pictures of two teen-age daughters and a couple of family portrait shots out on a seashore location. She dumped all the image files on a CD and gave them to my family member. She had been "recommended" by a hair dresser my aunt uses. Looking at the photographer's Web site she indicates she went to art schools and shot for magazines for several years. I wasn't exactly sure what my aunt wanted when she handed me the CD and asked me to "develop" the pictures and select the best 10 for printing.
Overall, the images are awful. Out of focus, grainy, even badly tilted horizons. The photographer used a Nikon D800 with a Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. A little research suggests it is an inexpensive lens that has a reputation for generating noise on its own. The shoot day turned cloudy with a breeze and misty rain. Setting were typically ISO 2000 around f/4.5 to 5.6. Flying hair can be a good effect, yet this photographer made no attempt not to have it flying across their faces. There are dogs in some pictures (on laps, being held, etc.) and they look scared -- a look I've never seen in a dog's eyes. I was angry when I looked at the pictures and realized she took money from my aunt for this. She even had the audacity to include a document releasing the images for print -- but reassuring that she retained all rights.
When I talked with my aunt she finally admitted she was deeply disappointed with the pictures. She thought perhaps she may be wrong and the pictures really were good, but she wanted me to see them. I had to confirm for her that bad pictures are simply bad pictures. I did soften it by suggesting maybe the photographer was trying for a "soft focus" look with the girls. Also, maybe the tilted horizons were purposed to add "drama." I told her there wasn't much I was going to be able to do but that I would pick the best 10 and have them printed by a good printer.
I cleaned up the files as best I could -- sharpening, noise reduction, horizon straightening, etc. The lens even had mustache distortion that had to be corrected! Then I sent them off to Bay Photo for printing on metallic paper. I'm hoping for the best.
Sorry for the big rant, but bad photography is unfair, and it makes me angry. Not only is the $100 (plus cost for printing) gone, but the expectation of great pictures of cherished family members has also been stolen. The kids and their parents don't live on the seashore, and they can't be reassembled for a do over.
I've often encouraged inexperienced photographers here to take opportunities given -- but only with the explicit understanding that clients know what they can expect. If you're going to present yourself as a seasoned professional, you must produce professional results!
agreed, that said $100 isn't exactly a lot for two hours of shooting and, if it had been for carefully sorted and processed RAWs which would take hours more to do, it would be insanely cheap
what is bad is that many of that type get more clients and press than some really skilled people with solid equipment, but a lot of it is just how much gumption and what sort of a promoter you are, as with well I guess many things in life