This is One History Lesson YOU Can’t Afford to Miss!

In history we all learned that those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them, like many things you learn in school that is negative, I prefer to say, “without studying the past you will never know what works and what to expect in the future”. In photography for example, there have been many changes over the last 15 to 20 years in professional photography.  I was a film photographer that had to adapt to digital and if you tried giving me a film camera, I would give it back.  I love shoot digitally and I have made it very profitable to work with a digital format.

With that being said, although I wouldn’t want to shoot film again, I would not have missed the education it provided me for any amount of money. Using film taught me how to think, plan and create an image in my mind before I ever pick up a camera.  Unlike the young shooters of today that don’t have any idea of what actually have created until they download all the images from a session on to their computers.

Using film taught me discipline. I like every other film shooter realized every time you snapped off a shot it cost you about a buck, (medium format film, process, proofing).  We quickly overcame the impulse control problem that all photographers have when everything starts coming together with an attractive subject! We learned that there is no benefit to taking twenty-five shots of the same pose of the same subject when 6 to 8 shots we provide enough variety of expressions. I don’t know what bone-head is responsible for the thinking that many young shooter have the each shot is free!  It’s only free if you don’t understand mathematics or put no value on your time and if you don’t value you time your worse off then the person that doesn’t understand mathematics. You can always learn math, but self-worth is a hard thing to teach!

Another major benefit from learning during the days of film was the basic understanding that photographers created the image in the camera, as the name “photographer” would imply.  We learned that the more refined we made the image, the better we posed the client, the more perfect the lighting, the more money we saved.  Back in the day we created images that only needed to be negative retouched for basic acne/wrinkles.  If you didn’t do your job as a photographer and your photography needed to be saved by an artist, it would take all the profit out of the entire order, since the artist had to do artwork on each and every print.  Money is a real motivation to learn your craft. When you see your rent money go to the lab’s artist to fix what you should have fixed in the camera, you push yourself to never make those mistakes again.

If the average photographer today had to shoot film, they would never make it.  Too many people put off learning how to advance their craft with the thinking, “oh well, I will just fix that in Photoshop”  We have produced a generation filled with mainly graphic artists, that take a sub-standard snapshots and create something out of them in Photoshop.  While this “fix it after you shoot it” mentality can work for a while, you can’t sustain a career that you profit from.  Sooner or later young photographers run out of spare time.  Then they finally realize that when you count up all the time they spend fixing all the problems they profit little or nothing. Combine that with the “almost free” prices they set and sooner or later they get frustrated and quit.  I read the comments of a young photographer the other day and he said, “the only money to be made in photography is when you sell off all your equipment!”

While there is still a great deal of money to be made in this profession, most of those making the money are the older photographers that learned photography using film or the few of the younger photographers that learned their craft first, then started trying to make it a career. Where ever you are in this profession, the past is the only thing you can not change.  If you went from buying your first camera to working with people foolish enough to give you money (otherwise known as clients) in a week in a half, you can’t change that, but you can change the future.  Learn photography, learn it like you can’t fix it, learn to make it perfect in the camera, because when you have the knowledge of how to create in the camera, you will find you have the knowledge to make a good living and the confidence to charge what needs to be charged to have a career.

Watch my Video on Youtube, Natural Photoshop Retouching to learn how to Retouch and enhance an image quickly and effectively while giving your portraits a beautiful, natural look.  CLICK HERE


~ by jeffsmithbooks on August 25, 2010.

One Response to “This is One History Lesson YOU Can’t Afford to Miss!”

  1. A very interesting blog with a fantastic design!

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