by Bjorn Thomassen Published 01/12/2016
Despite its securities and practicalities, this was to be short lived as the ambitious and adventurous Bjorn felt the college curriculum would eventually institutionalise him.
Since those bygone days Bjorn has gained additional Fellowships in different aspects of portraiture through the SWPP and the NSP. Bjorn also gained a distinction through the European Federation of Photographers. Further on qualifications, Bjorn applauds The Societies tireless work in this field.
Continually raising standards is of particular interest to Bjorn who has sat as a competition and qualifications judge for a great many years. Bjorn’s commercial ethos has always been to never cease being a photographer in favour of being an educator. He loves both genres in equal measure, so equal is the operative spirit - Bjorn divides his contagious passion equally into 50% photographer and 50% educator. Each of his roles as both educator and photographer has enabled him to travel extensively, indulging in what he describes as “the perfect career, the quintessence”. He loves travelling to the countries to which he is invited to speak, as much as people he photographs, the people he inspires and those he educates.
When asked why Bjorn thought so many failed in their aspirations to either create excellent examples of work or to become full-time photographers, he replied, “Sadly most people over-invest in equipment and under-invest in education”. Bjorn feels that we should all set aside time and/or a budget for continual development. Whether that’s photographic development for the rewards of gaining qualifications or winning awards or to further business development and income. Bjorn feels continual advancement is essential.
Bjorn also feels that technical skills as well as knowledge-based education should centre on the 'art of photography'. His reasoning being, “How else will people, our potential clients, differentiate us from the masses who can produce average quality images with their DSLRs?” Sadly lesser educated photographers, most subsidised by other careers, can impact large photographic markets by tempting customers with much lower fees. However, Bjorn does state that losing low-value customers to the masses with DSLRs, isn’t a loss at all. We really shouldn’t concern ourselves with that highly competitive and cut-throat end of the market.
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