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Monday, June 13, 2011
Defying Gravity @ 2:55 PM

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”

There are some really talented photographers out there who are overlooked. I’m talking about those entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to photography. They started off with the simple Kodak disposable cameras and maybe moved to something a little more advanced that they got as a birthday present. They take pictures of simple things like people or animals. Then they move up to messing around with their parents 35mm, toying around a bit more with the camera itself. They take a yearbook class and take shots of everything from football games to theater programs, documenting their friend’s high school careers with a simple point and shoot Kodak. Finally the day comes and they get their first real camera a Nikon or a Cannon and they immediately start taking pictures of everything around them- they can’t get enough of it. These are the photographers I want to address.

A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety”

Their portfolio has expanded and they have put together a collection of random yet stunning shots that they just happened to capture by chance. They decide to begin charging for photos [although at a very low cost] and setting up photo shoots. Friends start sharing with others their work and pretty soon they have a nice little fan base. They create a name, logo and attempt to start a business, but herein lay the problem. These friends who passed on their name expect to ALWAYS get this friend discount- they complain when you increase your prices so you don’t break even when driving to a shoot. They whine that you’re charging too much when you spend hours editing photos for them which is included in the price. But you’re worried they’ll go with that other photographer instead because they are cheaper. Let me tell you something about the other photographer.

“Buying a Nikon doesn't make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner”

People ask me why I have stopped taking pictures, and generally I don’t answer them because it’s their friends’ fault. It’s those people who are going to school for photography and their first camera was a Cannon 7D purchased by daddy. The camera does not make the photographer. Remember when it didn’t matter what you had, you just did the best with what you had to work with? I am tired of people stepping into this industry and “making a business” just because they have a nice camera. Here is a news flash for you- your pictures SUCK. Every photo I have seen from most of these photographers is CRAP and it drives me up a wall. You do not have an eye for photography just because you have the top of the line equipment. Get over yourself and get out of the way for actual photographers.

“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera.”

So back to those with talent who have actually worked hard for what they have. Step up. Put up or shut up. Quit under charging. You are hard workers who deserve to be valued. Step over those who are making fools of themselves and explain to your customers why you are worth what you charge. You have to eat too. If they feel you aren’t then too bad, they don’t want quality photography; they can go to the beginner with the nice equipment. When they can get over themselves and actually save for a decent photo shoot then they can shoot with you. Stop undervaluing yourselves. You my friends are talented individuals and you deserve better. Prove that to others. I challenge you to charge what you are valued at- you start doing that, and I’ll start taking pictures again. You are so talented, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

“The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance”

If you have a love and a passion for something pursue it; if not for yourself, then for the future generations who will start with that disposable camera. Who will work hard for what they want whether that perfect shot or that new piece of equipment. Do it for those who aren’t satisfied with mediocrity.

i shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:

two roads diverged in a wood, and i -
i took the one less traveled by,

and that has made all the difference.

the art of uncertainty.