Friday Night Photography Quote:
My work is about making candy for the eyes. It’s about grabbing your attention. Even though my work is appearing in magazines I am trying to make a large picture. I want my photographs to read like a poster. — David LaChapelle
“American Photo”, July/August 1995, page 53
I’m calling this Issue “Education”!
I am in a strange discussion on Facebook about higher education and the other person was saying how it destroys individualism and personality.
I’m going to quote him here: “Colleges to Not hire conservative instructors. The ones that actually do are the Colleges we never hear of”. Seriously he said this. He was saying that it (Colleges) destroys conservative ideals.
When I was going to College in the Department of Mechanical Technology in those many years ago. Nothing of any political ideas were even discussed. I don’t know and actually didn’t want to ask how this person knew this but it sounded like a bunch of excuses why someone should not go to an Institution of Higher Education.
Using this as a background I am now pointing this of course to Photography.
Starting off being “Self-Taught” is probably how we all start. Reading everything we can get our hands on. Trial and Error with the equipment we could afford might not be the greatest thing. But it does teach us how to “Push” said equipment to help us create something that can inspire us to further our knowledge. Watching Video Tutorials and Joining the many Photography Groups out there also gives us an education on how and why. Learning by others and by getting C&C. Constructive C&C is what truly helps us. That for those that don’t know is “Constructive Comments and Criticism”.
Now the big leap of faith has come upon us. Becoming an Apprentice to someone who is in the know. Trying to get a job in an existing Photo Studio. Learning the ropes and becoming an assistant or even a light person helps us in understanding the basics. We can study all we want. But learning under someone who possesses the skills that will seriously give us an education that is almost impossible to acquire anywhere else. But at the same time we can learn if that person is “Not” a true Artist!
If that person is not someone you want to learn from then you’ve already reached the next level of understanding and then its time to move on. To find someone else that has the knowledge and skill you seek.
The Schools of Photography
I always wanted to go to this one famous large Photography School that was always featured in the Ads of the Magazines back in the day. I couldn’t afford it. Then many years later when was a Manager of a Portrait Studio I had ran an ad seeking a person for a Photographers Position.
At first I was impressed with the first few people. But after a while I was disturbed by those seeking employment. Every person had the exact Same Portfolio of the exact same Models including the same lighting patterns.
Even if you are aware that the school probably hired the same people to be models for different classes. That a Lighting Situation was set up by the Instructor and the students were to shoot it the way the Instructor set up the situation.
To mean it didn’t look like anything more than a Drone doing what they were told!
Even speaking to those people. They were repeating the same exact words like a Scary Sci-Fi movie.
Not one Portfolio I saw included anything different than the previous person.
Nothing Creative that they had shot on their own. Nothing!
Now the time period was also before “Digital”. Where to test a person I had given them a negative to go into the Darkroom to create a Print. Told them that the darkroom was already set up. Where the paper was and that I had changed the settings for exposure of the Enlarger so they were to actually do it from scratch.
If I tell you that I knew they had Darkroom Classes in that school and that they should actually understand and have the knowledge to be able to create a print from a good Negative. That is a Basic Knowledge of Photography people. Besides shooting and using the Camera. To going into the Darkroom and Creating a Print.
I was surprised at how many of said people couldn’t do this very Basic principle.
I gave them a good amount of time before I knocked on the door to enter. Remember this was a busy working studio and I also had to do my thing with customers. Sometimes I would find test prints hidden that they didn’t want me to see…
Even a few didn’t know how to get the Negative into the proper Holder in the Enlarger. I would make excuses for myself that all Enlargers are Not the same. But the real principle of how it works should have at least made the person try to find where the Holder inside the Enlarger was???
Very few of these people actually made a proper print. They were the ones that I had Hired. You see I was actually Hiring a Darkroom person to fill that position besides having someone who could handle the camera for all the different reasons that were required.
Required you Ask??? Ha For a simple Studio we created images for a whole slew of things. From the basic Passport to images that were needed for an article in either a book, magazine, in house brochure and last even a newspaper. We also did fast headshots that some models needed to bring to an agency to give them an idea if they had “The Look” that they wanted. I even had phone calls from an agency that requested that the person in question get a full frontal view without any kind of posing because they wanted to see details. Nothing Fancy for them for a change. It was actually a special request. Most of the time the agencies wanted a little bit of a pose to get an idea. For some reason this image of the young lady they wanted to see something. Maybe a specific look they were after for a special purpose. Who knows?
As a photographer it was my job to fulfill those requirements.
Lighting Drama? Posing to make the person look more professional? Even the Business Section of the Newspapers still have those articles making an official announcement about either New Employees. Or someone who recent’y received a promotion. Being able to handle all of these situations pushes us to the limits of creativity when necessary.
Being Self Taught at the start is a great idea. But being able to handle every situation that comes our way puts us into a different ability level.
Welcome to the Next Level …………………………………………..
Being Hungry to improve! Being Hungry to be better Now than you were Yesterday!
I have an expression that some of my long time followers I’m sure can picture me saying it again here:
“The More We Know! The More We Know We Don’t Know”
— Mark G
Yeah thats me. I say that. I made it up. My Quote! My Only Quote that I take credit for…
Where are you in your travels through learning about “Photography”?
Are you happy with your current ability or skill? What do you want to learn next? How will you feed your next hunger?
My current delema is finding people to shoot. I’ve been getting a bad case of Cabin Fever because I have Not Shot a Portrait in a while. Portraiture is in my Blood. I’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s a way for me to express myself. I shoot wildlife, landscapes and sceneries. Even Still Lifes including flowers as a way of distraction.
Distracting me from the Hunger. The Hunger to learn and better myself in my Creativity for Portraits! Why? Because there is always something to learn. New Poses! New ways to Light a person. Notice I didn’t say New Gear? Yeah there is always something to buy. But All Gear! Especially if you h ave enough.. Hmm Never enough. How bout enough to shoot with the Gear we already have.
Having the latest and greatest will Not Make You a Better Photographer.
That’s Hype from the Advertisers…. Having a New Lens? Hmm only if your current Glass can’t handle the situation that your going to Face? Can I make do with my current gear? Yes!!
Out of frustration I am sharing two Images here of two lovely ladies that I had photographed during my life’s journey.
M/U and Hair being created for the Workshop. Model sitting patiently and she had given me permission to shoot this after I had asked..
While I was shooting an Event I was able to pose and did a fast shoot.
All Questions and Comments appreciated.
Have a great Weekend everyone.