…argumentative and jealous. And some tips and pointers.
Sometimes, I will bring in some 4×6 photos to work with me and show a few people, mostly those that I want to show them to. There is one lady in particular who always drops in and looks at them as a snoop and rarely has anything great to say. One day several months ago I brought in some photos and I was showing a small group of people and this same lady walks over and pokes her nose in as well. One of the people asked me what kind of camera I use and before I had time to respond, the nosy lady says…
“I have one of the same kinds of Canon cameras that he uses, ya know the ones that take the big lenses. I have one of those too.”
I turned and looked at her and asked. “Does your camera say Digital Rebel on it?”
She says…“Yes it does.”
I replied. “Well, that is not the same kind of camera, no offense. There are three different kinds. There are the cheap and plastic Digital Rebels, your XXD series and your XD series…I use an XD series Canon DSLR and I do not use big lenses, let alone own one.” (note, that is not to say that a digital rebel or any other type of dslr camera is incapable of good results, just put some prime glass on that bitch and you will be good, oh and btw dont drop the camera or else it will shatter into a thousand plastic pieces)
This is the same lady who interrupted once before when someone asked me if I took photos professionally and she replied for me. “Well, he didn’t go to school for it.”
And I snapped back. “There is no degree required nor you do not have to be certified to be a professional photographer. If you make money with your photography, you are a professional at what you do.”
Then there was a time back in 2007 when I was talking to someone on break about buying Adobe Photoshop CS3 for around $800. And this lady stuck her nose in this one too…
“Photoshop doesn’t cost that much. We have Photoshop on our computer at home and it came installed on our computer.” She said.
Sure, just like that Ford Mustang that came free with the purchase of my home. Having a Canon DSLR is one thing, knowing how to use it is the other. Having Photoshop is also the same way, just because you might have it doesn’t mean jack-fucking-shit when it comes to knowing how to use it.
First off, I am not a fucking idiot and neither am I the smartest human-fuckin-being on the planet. Just because I work a factory job, doesn’t leave one to automatically assume that I must belong into the category of an uneducated fucktard.
Often times I get asked: How did you learn how to do all that stuff?
So, for those wanting to take a dive into photography, this is some advice.
Yes, reading! Left to right, top to bottom…a group of words makes a sentence!
Due to the invention of the faster PC and faster internet connection, I have put aside books and magazines and kept money in my wallet by reading online articles and tutorials. Youtube has a vast amount of information on it, yet 90% of which is garbage, but it’s that other 10% that matters most…you just got to keep looking and digging for what applies to you.
In the last 4 years I have developed a process that I have stuck to. I spend a week for a couple hours in the evening reading photography articles or reading tutorials and learning ahead of time about how to do something. Then I spend another week for the same amount of time scouring for new music…then an hour or so before bed I sit back, listen to that music and wait for an image or images to form. I’ve come up with entire photo set ideas and video ideas doing things this way. I also do not write any of my ideas down, but you might find that best to write them down but I’ve found that once I’ve written them down, the idea becomes stale to me and when it comes down to finally tackling that idea for composition, it feels overly saturated with a staged or fake look for the end result. I feel it’s best to keep the basic idea in your head because when you go to do it for real, several new ideas will pop up while you are doing it and you will be glad and thankful for being spontaneous rather than to be going by a list on a piece of paper. Nothing I have thoughtfully planned out before has turned out worth a shit and has always ended up being a failure, but the times I have went out with a basic idea in my mind that things have came together well.
Then, get off your ass and go do it. It takes a lot of trial and error. Learn the basics of your camera first and understand how it all works. Actually, read the damn manual that came with it. You’re gonna take dozens or even hundreds of bad photos before you ever start taking good ones.
Back to something I was talking about earlier in this post. Do I consider myself a professional photographer?
Honestly, there is nothing in the way that makes me not a professional. I have made money doing it. As of right now I have a different perspective of things and it has taken me a few years to learn from it. What is that? Well, people fucking piss me off. Yes! People annoy the fucking shit out of me! And why is that? Well mostly because the same fucking people that condemned me for my weird artwork growing up, the same folks that spent time making fun of me, calling me a weirdo or psycho are the same exact people that ask me to take photos for them. Funny how all that works out huh? Oh, and then there is that so called rule of the “professional photographer.”-“Do what the client wants, always.” I now say, fuck the client and what he or she thinks or wants. I am the artist/photographer and this is my creative vision and if you don’t see it that way then you can take a fucking hike. Because of my experience with people over the years I have come to this and I am perfectly content with doing my photography and selling my work as I choose to. I am my own goddamn boss and I pick who I want to photograph, where I want to photograph and how I want to photograph. A professional photographer who makes a living doing it every day, also becomes the victim of something else altogether, the victim of the system of things. The freedom of the original artist/photographer becomes no longer present and the body of work although good, becomes repetitive…yes the same fucking bullshit that the other local photographer is doing. Evolution as an artist is important to me and having the freedom to tackle new things is the most important to me. So, the question…Am I professional photographer?
I will leave that for you to decide.