Do you know what?
Us photographers can be our own worst enemies at times.
A photographer’s biggest critic is themselves, and then it’s generally other photographers. It’s what the whole accreditation and certification process is all about within our industry – photographers telling themselves or other photographers how great, or deficient, they are …. in their opinion.
Where does the client fit into all this?
Has anyone actually thought to ask?
I speak from experience here, I was always my harshest ever critic. I would come back from a wedding for example, endlessly pouring over images, rating them myself, classifying them, judging them for artistic merit, composition, correct use and control of light etc etc etc
All this deliberating and cogitating would a) put me in a really bad mood and b) delay the most important thing to the client …. seeing their eagerly awaited images.
What happened then? Well that is the interesting thing; of course some of the images selected would be the ones that you were most proud of, but then many of the images that were chosen would be the ones that you “ummm’d and aarrhhh’d” about for hours and you perhaps nearly deleted.
That Client chose them not because they were perfectly composed, sumptuously lit or dramatically posed. It was because, perhaps, it was Uncle Fred, doing his thing, you know that thing? Like he always does …..?
And this is my point – a fine art photographer can stand in front of his peers and be judged on technical merit; but a working photographer, whether they be shooting a commercial subject, a wedding or a family portrait answers to only one critic, the only one that really matters, and that is the Client.
So I find myself at this point now, distancing myself from others in the industry, and saying:
“Look … forget how good I say I am, or how good other photographers may say I am, can I produce the work for you?
What do YOU think?”