Everyone Thinks They're The Best At What They Do...

A question has weighed on my mind due to recent events in my personal life. And the question is this: If someone with less talent but who has 2+ years of photography classes under their belt really any better than someone who has more talent but no education in photography (aside from experience, let's say they both have the same amount of experience, just for argument's sake)? People who know me personally know why my answer is what it is. But I'm curious as to what everyone's opinion is. Does talent trump education? Sound off!

Photo credits: Bri Williamson.

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Go for it! I think it's a highly debatable topic! :)


Some people have natural talent, and some have to work hard to achieve results. I think I can feel a blog of my own coming on here :)
Nice article.


my teacher of drawing said that talent is 20% and hard work is 80%.
I agree with him. And education looks great in CV:)


I'm only self taught so far but I am looking into courses at the mo to try and notch my skill level up a few notches in both photography and image manipulation.


Talent and education are together 2 ingredients for success.


No amount of "education" will work if you don't have an aptitude or talent for what you are educated.


nice horse


And yes we do get educated every day. Especially if you have a set of good macro lenses :) Pop one of those babies on and go outside, it will never cease to amaze you!


Agree with these two comments as well! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
P.S., I'm learning old school too. I wanted to post this topic because I've been taking pictures for about 5 years and I was pretty much cut off at the knees by a fellow photographer with a poor eye for pictures but had passed college courses in photography. This person, in the end, felt threatened business-wise by me apparently as I found out later.
You're right, Ela9, art is free a free spirit. As soon as I take that lens cap off I'm free as well.


I think we all get educated everyday.We all learn in different ways.Some school and others old school :)) But we learn.Who is to say one is better than the other.It depends on how much we learn..I hope I never stop learning.Good blog Thanks OH btw .I am learning the hard way.


i think the most important thing is inside you, and you can not buy it together with expensive equipment. i dnt have education in photography or arts, as i do not like follow any rules, i think the only useful thing in photography education is to learn camera settings, everything else u need to find in yourself :) many people around me are telling me to go to art school as i like to do creative stuff like making cards or drawing, but i always answer them that im not goin to follow any rules, art is like a free spirit and i am free :))


Both very good points!
I do think that education is vital to better oneself and to use your talent to its fullest potential. However, when two people aren't on the same level talent-wise, I have to pick talent over education. But there is a difference between formal and self-taught methods, or apprenticeships, etc. Any thoughts on that? I'm curious as to what everyone thinks.


I think talent is a great advantage, but it needn't be enough. You need an effort and enthusiasm. And I also think you can learn a lot of things about photography or take photography classes and if you practise and take pictures regularly, you can become a better and better photographer in despite of having less talent.


Years ago I was reading this somewhere:

Talent and energy makes a king.
Energy without talent makes a prince.
But: talent without energy makes a beggar.

No one has totally no talents and when you are less talented you have to be satisfied with what you got. Although you perhaps never can beat the combination of talent and energy: hard work always pays off!


Thanks for the input I agree 100%
There's nothing wrong with being "educated" in fact I am in favor of bettering oneself but only if it is something you're actually good at. I wouldn't advise a person who never bathes to go sell bathtubs at Lowe's but to each his own, I suppose. I think that people who are educated but not quite at the top of their game are more threatened by people who have never taken a course in their life, but rely only on their equipment and talent.


I think talent is infinitely more valuable...you can always educate a talented person, but you can't create talent for an educated one!

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