Jumping to Conclusions

Jumping to conclusions can be an extremely dangerous pastime…

They lead to unsubstantiated rumours that open up a very smelly can of worms…! The result being, speculation and gossip that the fragile, frail superficial human nature is yearning to justify the decision upon which the conclusion is based…? Here’s the thing, it could all have been cleared up by asking a simple qualified question as to the FACTS surrounding the intrigue…?

But alas, our poor snooty, know all, haughty and stubborn pride will not allow the question to be asked, as what on earth will we discuss now…? Heaven forbid we actually get the facts straight and cut the chase…Accordingly, in the course of our ensuing discussion and speculation many different theories will be offered, and then, Eureka… we have a moment of genius…the theory we are most comfortable with fits our original thought is decided upon…?

What have we managed…? well…we have passed the time with a ‘real sense’ of ‘achievement’ as we are now ‘very clever’ and our precious little egos are stroked. This ‘conclusion’ sends all into a state of ‘wild excitement’ all for nothing as it is far removed from the truth… We have employed a ‘simple’ mechanism for the sake of being accepted, dictated to, moulded by our surroundings and group/s (Similar to a Fraternity or Sorority Sisters…) upon which our entire existence depends…anything that remotely resembles a different angle is frowned upon and can lead to a very real fear of being shunned by ‘mere mortals’ so ingrained in us, we wet ourselves…! When do we start to think for ourselves and say ‘hang on a sec’ let’s check the facts…? Be real, it’s not that complicated…!

The Business of Making A Client Look Good

What is the object of a photographic commission from my client?

When my client decides to ‘show’ their ‘world’, as I like to call it, by advertising in print i.e. brochures, magazines and on-line to increase awareness and obviously generate sales.
My primary aim is to make their ‘world’ or product look good, if I can do this, my client is happy and I’m satisfied.
For the above reason, good quality images are necessary as these will be the window to any business, by creating a ‘want to need it’ with a consumer.

My client and I have decided to meet over coffee where we discuss the brief in detail and put the production into place. Here we write a ‘script’ that outlines the ‘theme’ or simply how the images should look.
This step is one of those where creativity can run wild, and usually does.
The most important factor in putting the package together, is our friend ‘LIGHT’, when we get this right, all else falls into place and we’re smiling. i.e. source, intensity, effects etc.

Once we have agreed on the brief, the set-up stage arrives, with attention to detail being critical.

I urge my clients to be present during the shoot, we are able make minor changes if necessary, as this is where the ‘story’ is being made.
With the many technological aids available to photographers (manufacturers need to come up with the next best thing too…..) Two of these, have helped me cut shooting and editing time.
Tethered shooting, my camera is connected to a tablet or monitor via a USB cable using specific software, we can view each image on a larger screen immediately post shot, which is far better than viewing it on the small screen at the back of my camera.
We decide which images stay. This helps for composition, lighting etc. and cuts down on the number of images we need to meet our goal.

With the ‘money shots’ being a priority and done, we are now able to ‘play’ by experimenting with more artistic set-ups producing some interesting results, in some instances we are surprised by some of the results, these ‘surprises’ sometime end up being preferred to those originally planned for.
I can’t imagine a client that does not appreciate this process, they experience first hand what it entails to get the desired results, AND they are a part of the process.
We are able to interact as the shoot progresses, making it a collaboration!

When we call ‘it’s a wrap’, and we have covered the brief, I start with editing, where the material we have recorded is ‘polished’ and packaged. (This step will have been in mind during the planning stage).
My choice of editing software is Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW depending on what I have to do, and Photoshop CS6 for those finer details.
The editing software and process is only there to aid/enhance, and not, as many would believe to fix bad photos! (that is another story).

All of the above is merely to record the characteristics of light on a subject! and how it appeals to a viewer.
My Client Looks Good!

Some thoughts on Photography:

“Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communication, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution” – Ansel Adams

“Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art” – Ambrose Bierce

“My first priority when taking pictures is to achieve clarity. A good documentary photograph transmits the information of the situation with the utmost fidelity; achieving it means understanding the nuances of lighting and composition, and also remembering to keep the lenses clean and the cameras steady” – Sam Abell, Seeing and Shooting Straight by Sam Abell

“This profession [photography] is deserving of attention and respect equal to that accorded painting, literature, music and architecture” – Ansel Adams