I was enamored with the clone tool, bevel and emboss, Papyrus, and of course, spot coloring (black and white photo with a colored point). I committed several (hundred) Photoshop atrocities. It hit me one day when spot coloring the lips, eyes and flowers of a bride that what I was doing was not only wrong, but embarassing. After I pretty much made her look like a clown, I called her up and told her that I would recommend we go for the "Timeless" look of simple black and white. I haven't touched spot coloring since, I would say I have been clean for about 8 years now.
Cut to today. I saw the site of yourarenotaphotographer.com and was instantly humbled, realizing that I came from these same roots, made many of the same mistakes that these less experienced camera holders made. It made me also think "What about now? Please tell me I have improved somewhat in my photo making abilities!" In my mind, I believe I have gotten past it, and I hope I am, and that all the time spent studying photography has paid off, but I sincerely hope that I never end up on the pages of youarenotaphotographer.com.
BUT, if that does happen I would hope that I would take it as a learning experience. You see, that is the whole purpose of this blog, is to help the camera holder who does struggle, and can admit that they struggle, and wants to improve. A lot of pros (when I say pro, I am talking about someone who uses photography to contribute to their income more than 50%) are angry at the "faux"tographers for taking legitimate business at a fraction of the cost (like charging $50 for a wedding) and doing a piss poor job to boot. What I would like this blog to be about is a resource for the fledgling photographer, who needs some guidance, who wants to make a go of it. Even if you only shoot a few sessions a year, I want to help. Here's my reasoning. It's because if the entire photographic industry has enough education (not necessarily formal, but basic smarts) then it can change the industry. If I can get a photographer off of using "auto" or P, and on to M on their cameras (if you don't understand what I just said, e-mail me) then the overall product will improve. If I can convince this same photographer to set up a real business with a license and pay taxes, legitimately, and charge decent rates, then that's one step up for the business.
From now on, the only crappy photographs I want to see are the ones from instagram (who came up with that anyway, seriosuly let's make a picture look like crap and people will love it!). Actually I don't even want to see the instagram ones. What I mean is, if you are a photographer, then your work should reflect at least some basic understanding of photographic principles, and your pricing should build up your business, not send you on a road of destruction (more on that later).
So Let's all say the pledge:
The beginning photographer's pledge:
I (State Your Name) Solemnly swear that I will not abuse the effects palette, spot color and/or instagram and try and pass them off as fine art. I further swear that I will shoot all my images in Manual mode, not use my pop-up flash, and if I plan to sell any photographic work that I do, that I will do so legitimately and within the law. If I do not adhere to the above said pledge, I do hereby give my friends, co-workers, family, and random strangers on the street, permission to seize my camera equipment, and slap me in the face with a grey card, until above said pledge is fulfilled.
"Never, never, never, do this to a photograph."
-Any sane photographer
P.S. I do not, and will never say that I know absolutely everything there is to know about photography.That's why I would love to hear from you if you have some tips, suggestions, or heck, if I did something completely wrong, let me know.