Posted by Josh Mackey
The best part about a blog is being able to rant and rave at my own expense. These are my opinions and not the opinions of NWMotiv, and should be taken that way. Something needs to be done about the term “photographer”, as it seems as though anyone with a camera now can consider themselves a photographer, or even worse, a paid one. There used to be an unwritten rule in the automotive photography realm that you have to prove your worth and expertise to be considered for a shoot, or be used at all for future shoots. It seems that rule has gone the way of the dodo, and without a sense of irony, the dodo has returned, for lack of a better term.
Photography, of any form is built upon a form of basic principles of how to properly expose a shot, and I use that term loosely because almost any shot is now “fixable” via some post processing. You can open up almost any automotive magazine and see some photos were you just go “what happened?” The shots are poorly executed, poorly lit, poorly composed; the list can go on, and you get the point. My question is, why don’t these magazines take the necessary steps to prevent such poor quality work in a highly respected and quality publication? There used to be a time with a magazine that if they were delivered poor shots, they would tell you, and more importantly, they would tell you to re-shoot it. A lot of photographers aren’t accustomed to taking feedback and criticism and get easily offended now because of it.
Think about it for a minute: we’re a generation living in an information world with a ton of new technology to help us achieve that. Photographers are a dime a dozen and there is a wealth of talent out there to tap from. I think it’s time for editors and art directors to start pushing their photographers to do better work and push back on them when their photos aren’t of quality. Don’t be afraid to hurt their feelings every once in a while; they need it, trust me. No one likes a photographer with an ego bigger than the size of his or her camera’s megapixels.
If you’re a photographer and you’re reading this, do yourself a favor and try and do better work EVERYTIME you go out to shoot. Don’t go out and shoot because it gets you an easy paycheck, or you know you can get the shoot done in a short time so you can go snowboarding or to some party. It speaks volumes if you actually take the time to research location, lighting, weather, composition and shot development.
I’ll quote a line from one of my favorite movies to end this post:
“Now, it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Well, like Brian, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile.” Stan, Manager of Chotchkie’s Restaurant, Office Space (1999)