Oh dear. I think I'm about to become more the outsider than ever.
I used to believe that a free and open market was the way to fly, mainy because I had the luck to get into an idustrial unit as my first pro experience, and that was before I had any truck with photographic education. My experiences there in that unit taught me all I ever needed to know about photography, the doing of, but nothing about business or art. The educational bit, via night school, was an unmitigated disaster of poor pros teaching naive children how to do it their way. Would you believe 4x5 Gandolfi and tungsten light for head shots, in the day when Hasselblads and electronic studio units existed? Dear God. And then the day the 'lecturer' informed me that were he to shoot picture as did David Bailey, he would quit photography...
So, you'd imagine that I'm all for free access then? No, I'm not.
I think that pro photography falls into two main camps: a. commercial, and b. 'for the people' in the sense of the high street and all that means.
In the pro world, you live or die, almost literally, by your last shoot, and it's a damn small and incestuous community of shooters and agencies in most towns. Screw up and your reputation is done, and you can do no more harm, and very quickly.
But, when you work for the public, that does not hold true. I have seen Scottish snappers in that world continue to work and get fat producing crap. And nobody is any the wiser. The public does not have the protection that the knowledge that the business world has provides.
Because of that, and to a far lesser extent to the benefit of the business world, I do now think that some formal certificate of competence should be mandatory as a form of basic protecion. People can spend thousands of pounds they might not really be able to waste on wedding pictures. Apart from the money aspect, I am reminded of my own wedding: they picked the 'best' wedding guy in town and we bought two images. They sucked, big time. Really terrible in basic things such as camera shake, would you believe? And remember, with many wedding operations you have no idea who will actually turn up with 'his own camera' and shoot your once-in-a-lifetime day.
Why are some afraid of sitting a basic test to gain a basic certificate that proves they can, at least once, get it right to order?
Sorry, this is too short to make the point properly, but I can't bear to write any longer having to keep ducking under the bottom of the little hole in which we are supposed to pen our missives. I should have used Word yet again.