May 7, 2016

Random True Confessions of a Professional Photographer

Saratoga Photographer
I am just sticking this image in this post because I really like it a lot. Made last year at After Dark with the fabulous Brian and Dena DeMint.

I was driving around doing errands and was thinking about a lot of random stuff related to photography today.  I love when I drive around with my music loud and get some really Random Deep Insights.  LOL.  So here are a few, because I know you are all dying to read this.  Some of you might find this super snobby.  And if you are a fellow photographer, don’t bother sending me Hate Mail because I kind of don’t care.


  1.  I think it is absolutely ridiculous that there are people who only shoot with their lenses at like 1.8.  WTF?!  It’s like having a box of 64 Crayons and only using the Red One.  Because it is your favorite color.  There are times for “bokeh,” sure.  But what about when you are posing a subject and there is an amazing background/architecture that would really add to the image?  Do you really want to reduce it all to formless blobs?  First Confession–I only shoot at 1.8 if I am like in an alley and there are dumpsters and shit in the background.  Usually the widest I go is 3.2.  Because guess what?  If you use a longer focal length lens, the compression helps you out and you don’t need to shoot at 1.8.  Why not take the time and choose the correct aperture for the image?  What a concept.


2. Second Confession–I hate, hate, hate back light with lens flare.  Like seriously loathe it.  In my personal opinion, it is the most over used, hack trick in the book.  Like if you don’t know how to light correctly, you just throw your subject into a back lit/lens flare situation to make it look “artisitic” or some bullshit.  Again, WTF?!  Just.  No.


3. I absolutely LOATHE  the Actions/Filters in Post Production that look like poorly exposed Black and White Film.  Why would you  INTENTIONALLY want your images to look like a MISTAKE?  Confession Number Three–I really don’t understand this, so maybe someone wants to enlighten me?  Am I missing something here?


4. Why on earth are people so obsessed with getting all the digital files, but then never doing anything with them because they don’t really know what to do with them?  Confession Number Four–Sorry, but I kind of think this is dumb.  Nothing personal.  Why not have a really   beautiful large print that you can walk by several times a day and enjoy looking at it?  Instead of the digital files that will sit on your hard drive doing nothing?  Because you know once you download them, you will look at them once or twice and do nothing with them.  Then the drive gets corrupted and you really have nothing.  Or the only place people want their images is on Social Media?  WTF?!  How on earth is this a great thing?  Dumb.  I am saying it.  Hate all you want.


5. Confession Five–When I was in the City last week at the Met, I was totally struck by the size of the portraits in the Vigee-LeBrun exhibit.  Seriously, nothing was smaller than 16 x 20.  You know why?  Because that is the size wall portraits should be at a minimum.   Because you want to see the FACES.  If you print a large group portrait at 5×7, everyone’s face is the size of a freaking M&M.  You legit need to break out a magnifying glass to see the faces.  In art history, smaller portraits were called miniatures.  There is a place for miniatures–you can carry them around on your person.   The only time an 8×10 looks good on the wall is in a grouping or gallery.  And for it to look good, all the images should have the same color/tonal range and have unifying elements like matching mattes/frames to give it a cohesive look.  Because you don’t want it to look like someone just vomited pictures all over your space.   But sticking an 8×10 on the wall by itself is absurd.   Print large, please.  Yes, it is not cheap.  However, I know you all have cell phones and data plans. . . .You will love it more than you can ever imagine.


There were a few more, but I think this is really enough for everyone to chew on for now.  Haters gonna hate. . . .