Real People

I am envious of the big name photographers.


No, seriously. I wish I was in a position where I could shoot beautiful and handsome models all day long, models who are being paid to be there, models who know how to act natural, and understand how to pose, and of course, understand what they have to do to look beautiful on film.

Of course I don’t begrudge other photographers their success. My audience thus far has been corporate, and these days this means “real people” and not models. Frequently I get lucky and one out of, say, ten subjects looks great on film. This isn’t to say that they are ugly in person…it’s just that some people look amazing on film.

And yes, before you start bleating about how it’s my job to make people look good: yes, that is my job and yes, I understand that making ugly people look good is why not any schmo with an SLR can do what I do.

Or wait, is it really my job to make people look good? Not so much. My job is to make great photographs. This leads to an internal conflict with me. I tend to want to make people happy with my photography – I want the subjects to like me because I made them look good. This may be holding back my development as a photographer. Perhaps I’m spending too much time trying to make the subjects look good and not enough time trying to make great photographs.

I’m at the stage now where my technical knowledge is strong enough that I can light tough situations and get the safe shot. And I realize that nine times out of ten I got for the safe shot. I need to start taking some risks, risks like making a shot where the subjects don’t necessarily look perfect and the lighting isn’t perfect…in short I need to get more creative.

I’m not concerned – the sort of photography I’d like to be doing is something that I am always developing. A year ago I was worried that I didn’t have a distinctive style. Now I see that my style is starting to peek it’s head out. It’s perhaps not as solid and marketable as I want it to be, but I’m getting there. I still have a long way to go before I’m shooting models every day, but who knows, when I do get to that point, will I really want to be shooting models? Thus far I’ve made a some amazing images of “real people”.  Maybe one of these days I’ll get out of my head, stop thinking about what the other photographers in the world are doing, and bolster my confidence to start taking some risks.

Shooting hot chicks would be cool too.

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