Friday, May 4, 2012

An Unfortunate Truth

Above is a photo from my latest shoot that I booked. I really think this one speaks to a lot of us in the photo industry... Clients, Artists, Photographers....

No, there's nothing wrong with your browser. There really is nothing in that photo.

Here's why:

I had a lovely woman book a boudoir shoot with me recently. She was so excited to book a boudoir shoot for her dude that the opportunity had both of us spinning with ideas. She had seen some of my previous work that I had done for a friend of hers and just wanted me to create something unique for her. She trusted me to be a badass photographer and make something beautiful, classy, and artistic. She was, in my mind, the perfect client.

Then, her dude caught wind of the shoot that we had booked... and was furious. The same shoot that she wanted to do for HIM and he was furious. Why? Jealousy. He insisted that I, as a male photographer, was going to sleep with my client and was using "being a photographer" as an excuse to get into the lady's pants. When my client let me know about the argument I was crushed. There are many MANY things wrong with this scenario that I'll apply generally across the board:

  1. I have a wife a three kids, whom I love and cherish. Do you honestly think I'm going to ruin the life I've been working on to sleep with your wife/girlfriend?
  2. Exactly how confident are you in your relationship with your wife/girlfriend that you don't trust anyone (men/women) to be around her?
  3. This boudoir session was a gift to you for being awesome to her and for supporting her through everything that you've been through together and you react so negatively to it. Do you think she'll want to do anything nice for you in the foreseeable future?
  4. The "I got a camera, I'll take naked pictures of you... Ain't no way I'll let some sex-hungry asshole take pictures of you...Go Arkansas!" argument makes you look like a fucking moron. Yes. F-U-C-K-I-N-G   M-O-R-O-N. I'm a professional photographer... and I make a living with the skills that I've been honing for years. You could have the exact same equipment I have and have no fucking clue what you're doing with it, make horrible photos, and then have your wife/girlfriend feel like shit about herself because you're too proud to hire a professional, you fucking moron. 
    1. When your car is broken, you hire a mechanic.
    2. When your roof needs replaced, you hire a roofer.
    3. When your plumbing needs done, you hire a plumber.
    4. When you need a massage, you hire a message therapist.
    5. When you need your dress hemmed, you go get it altered.
    6. When your computer crashes, you hire a geek.
    7. When you punch a hole in the drywall cause you're drunk, you hire a drywall company.
Yes, you can learn about those things and do them yourself... You might be talented enough to follow directions in a book or on YouTube and figure it out... But there's no way to hand you experience and inside information over time that you could possibly do the job with the same expertise and quality that a professional can. When you decide that your wife/girlfriend doesn't deserve the professional treatment that an expert can provide you are devaluing her. Ask her how she feels about being devalued.

No, really. Go ask her how she feels about being devalued. I'll wait here.


People in general make these mistakes on a regular basis... We should consult not just one expert, but many experts, before deciding that we can do this stuff ourselves or hire that expert to do it for us. Human beings are capable of many things, but it's very difficult to master more than one thing at a time, let alone many things. 

Let the experts do their jobs. 

Let ME do MY JOB and make beautiful photos of your wife/girlfriend so that she can present them to you and spark a little romance in your life. (You do want to get laid, don't you?) If she doesn't do it for you, she might just do it for herself and not share the results of her efforts with you. Maybe she'll keep them to herself since you didn't believe that she deserved the best-possible experience. If you don't treat her how she deserves the only pictures you'll get look just like this:

(Oh, and for-the-record: JCPenney, Kmart, WalMart, and Target don't hire photographers. They hire button-pushers, interns, teenagers that took a "photo class", anyone that can check email.... Anyone that can do as their told. They aren't photographers. Anyone that takes their kids to those places obviously doesn't love their kids enough to hire a professional either. Want to support Small Business? Hire a Local, Real, Professional Photographer.)

(Yes, I cuss. I swear. I say mean things, but I'd rather that people that know that the guy behind the camera is a real person and not some fake brown-noser out there to make a buck off of you. I would rather you not hire me because it bothers you that I cuss than run around pretending to be someone that I'm not.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dude, where's my life?

Hello, all 3 of you.

Things have just been crazy lately. I started a new day job which has been taking up quite a bit of my time... Well, not so much the job... but how I've had to rearrange everything and get used to a new schedule:

6:30am - Alarm goes off... I hit the snooze button.
6:45am - My wife calls me from her work and tells me to get up.
6:50am - My mother arrives to watch the kids
7:00am - Leave for work
7:05am - Forgot my wallet, keys, brain... head back inside to collect them.
7:10am - Leave for work
7:55am - Arrive at work in Boulder
5:00pm - Leave work
6:00pm - Arrive home
6:10pm - Eat dinner with the family
6:45pm - Play a game with the kids, Usually Scrabble or Candy Land in Deutsche
7:15pm - Kids get sent to bed
7:30pm - Kids tucked in
7:35pm - Kids retucked
7:40pm - Medium-sized-kid retucked
8:00pm - Talk with the wife
8:30pm - Watch a movie or The Colbert Report with the wife
9:00pm - Wife goes to bed since she has to be up at 2:30am.
9:05pm - Work on lots of photo projects that need lots of attention
9:15pm - Realize that I don't have lots of photo projects that need lots of attention
9:30pm - Realize that I need to promote myself better so that I have more projects
9:31pm - Realize that my client base is now in bed and my opportunity to promote to them is gone for the day
9:32pm - Get depressed
9:35pm - Read about what other photographers are doing and how busy they are
10:00pm - Watch YouTube videos and Flickr streams for inspiration and entertainment
11:30pm - Android Sleep tells me it's time to go to bed

That has been my routine for weeks now. I got tired of it so I made fresh flyers to put up at King Sooper's bulletin boards and Starbucks. Made 1/4 page flyers to pepper the neighborhood around a local high school. I put myself on "sale" which is a double-edged sword; People are interested in hiring me all the time, but only jump on it when I have a special running. It lets me be busier, but it makes me feel cheap.... I hate feeling cheap. I work my ass off for less money.... Most people would quit their job if their boss told them to take a 20% paycut... That's what I do to myself when I have a "sale".... I hope my clients realize that... I love them, but it's hard to communicate how crazy things are when you own your own business instead of punching in and out for your check: When I go on "sale" I literally take a paycut.

Anyway, enough loathing: I was able to schedule a shoot with Cassie a few weeks back. That girl is awesome! We had a plan to borrow a wedding dress and go up the hill and do some sunset/bride/whatever-we-can-think-of shots. Instead, it was mucky an rainy and not what we wanted so we went to Plan B.... Plan B was to put her in a tub and cover her in black... I wanted noir and although I didn't push the noir genre at all we definitely got some cool shots out of it. One them is above, but you can check out the rest on my site: I hope all 3 of you like them.