Photographers doing or not doing their own processing/printing.
The examples that Russ quotes are photo-journalistic sorts of snappers. Their remit and reality isnít the same as for general advertising, fashion, industrial or even high street lensmen.
All manner of restrictions can come in to play: in my inudustrial baptism, for example, high security wouldnít permit the farming out of most of the work, and on the very few occassions when some was, it had to go to labs with special security clearances. Fashion shooters used either to do their own or, if big enough, had their own in-house darkroom teams. Commerical guys were the same. Farming out work increases prices, reduces control over the quality of the final result and holds you captive to the Ďexternalí servicesí whims and priorities.
Fine art photographer. Whatís that? Is it a guy on his own, is it another chap with a team doing the production? I think the fine art photographer is a distraction because hardly anyone Iíve heard of can earn a living from selling gallery prints and nothing else.
The reality is that fine art, as a full-time genre or job, is much of an invention, and a relatively recent one at that. There were always the independently rich snappers; they donít really count in this general discussion because they inhabit another planet and are too few to count.
The big thing is this: in commercial photography, one doesnít usually think of oneís output as art: itís thought of as photography, either good, excellent or best not mentioned. Art as in photography is an artifice, a creation of the gallery world. That in no way knocks or belittles the very good commercial shooters of this world. Their talent is real, and they have an eye for their genre, and thatís about it, the rest coming down to the clients, projects and the budgets available. But art? I donít think they ever thought of what they did as art; only the hangers-on, their groupies, had those golden words to bandy about.