Think Before You Click!

I see many programs from a variety of photographers and the new approach to education of professional photographers seem to be adding into the line-up a photographer with little or no education in photography, who shoots images as faster as Rambo shoots a gun, with no idea or concept of lighting, posing or what he or she is actually getting while they are taking the images.  After this flurry of shooting thousands of images, they sit down at the computer to see what they can salvage in Photoshop.  Hours later they have a few images which are so over processed you don’t notice the person, you notice the technique or trickery.

This photographic sleight of hand and the philosophy of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks isn’t edgy or cool, it is reduce the art of photography to something that any junior high student can create.  Shoot crap and fix it in Photoshop.  The truly great photographers that started the journalistic/candid style of wedding and portrait photography didn’t stop thinking and start shooting, they just started thinking faster than the traditional portrait photographers of their time.  Some of these programs today are like watching a photographer living in a house of cards.  You take away their TTL flash and Photoshop they would be walking around in circles talking to themselves like Rain-man. They have no clue how to create a salable portraits without technology,gadgets or gimmicks.

I guess the thinking is that since high school students are actually getting some business from established studio owners we need to learn to start shooting like them to compete.  We are lowering the bar to shoot like people who have no knowledge of lighting, without thinking far enough ahead to realize these young photographers are not getting business away from most established studio because of their work, but because they work for next to nothing and are willing to spend hours at the computer salvaging the crap they create.  This is a GREAT BUSINESS MODEL TO FOLLOW (I capitalized it for the program directors of conventions and those that produce training materials!)  Let’s ask ourselves why so many photographers fail in business?  Is it the economy, the increased competition or is it the dumb-assed ideas presented to young professionals that excite them but have no business merit.

Not thinking is never an approach to use when creating professional photography of any flavor that you expect to sell.  The more you think before you click the more of your life you get to live instead of sitting in front of a computer screen fixing all the mistakes you should have dealt with in the session.


~ by jeffsmithbooks on May 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “Think Before You Click!”

  1. I agree 100%, I’ve been saying exactly the same thing and I am completely convinced that the fundamentals of great photography haven’t changed one iota even though the camera’s have advanced. Great lighting, great posing along with correct exposures will always win the day with me. My clients get it because I educate them on what makes a great portrait. Great comments Jeff!

  2. I love this on so many levels! It truly is sad what has happened to the profession but it is wonderful that there are those like yourself that understand what it takes to be successful long-tern and are willing to teach those that are willing to learn something correctly. This is a wonderful vocation and I hope that the future is as bright as I wish it to be for those that embrace quality craftsmanship in their work.

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