Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
But if you were to step out of your world and into mine you would see that there are almost zero people involved in analog photography anymore. The clients could not care less. They are buying what it on the paper/canvas and not how it was made. They are buying pictures of their loved ones and the emotional impact is built in. In my little world of hundreds of thousands of photographers, we are putting hundreds of thousands of portraits on the walls of people homes. We have no angst, and we have no major concern for process per se. We want the best we can get and we now have it.
Sure, and I think just about everyone on APUG agrees with all of that, except for quibbling about the definition of "best" in that last sentence. That's a photographic world we aren't talking about here, precisely *because* it's gone almost entirely digital, but I think much of the OP's question would apply there too: Can people appreciate family portraits that have some damn CHARACTER in them, that say something about the people they show, rather than just documenting an image of the person and relying on the viewer to supply the emotional content? I think statistically the answer is "kinda but not very much", and that's not a new thing having to do with any particular medium, it's just that human beings tend to be kind of lazy viewers.

Let me ask you this: Do you do portraiture out of a profound artistic attachment to portraiture as well as for the paycheck, or is it a "just a job" kind of photography for you?

I ask because, if you picked door #1, I'd expect that you might feel some frustration about those philistine customers and how they can't tell a good portrait from a mediocre one, as long as it's in focus and of the right person and the skin isn't green. That's not film vs. digital, I don't think it's even a purely relative aesthetic judgement, it's "investigative viewer" vs. "passive viewer". And I think it's quite understandable that in a crowd like APUG, where people are intentionally taking a particular and somewhat challenging route to a final image, many of us wish we could get a world of more investigative viewers, who notice and care about the details that motivate our choices of process.

-NT