photography

Why is choosing a photographer like playing Craps?

 Lloyd Christmas as Phillippe

Lloyd Christmas as Phillippe

I was laying awake again, wondering about the important shit in life, like why is choosing a photographer like choosing a hairdresser?. Important shit indeed. But hear me out. When searching for a hairdresser we use certain criteria to locate the best fit for us. Convenience, Reputation, Availability, Price and Skills. That's it. Its the order we rank said criteria that determines who we choose. For example say you are needing a trim for your 7 year old son, school has just let out for the summer, but you have a family reunion in a couple weeks. What order do you rank them? CPARS, likely, Convenience, probably most important? Can you toss him in a chair and have him buzzed all while picking up a few things at Walmart? YAY, i’m in! Then price? You will pay extra for convenience, just to save time, not much, but you will. Even if it means risking a bad cut. ”Hell, he’s at risk of losing a chunk of it to a wad of gum at any given moment, anyways?” “So why spend more than 10 bucks on him?” Give him the Wally World special! What!!? You cant do it while I shop? Pfft! There we are at availability. It outranks reputation, but only a little. You don’t even inquire about reputation, you just glance at the customers leaving the parlor, did they look stupid? Were they happy? That guy looks like an idiot in that cut, but hey, he looks pleased. That's you finally settling on skills. The last customer looked kind of happy, and hell, look at the pictures on the wall, they are marvelous! Was that Jennifer Aniston?! Did she get her hair cut here at Walmart? Yes, yes she did, otherwise her picture wouldn't be on the wall. “Get in there Phillippe, and be good, Mommy will be right back with her new cheetah print yoga pants.”

 You chose poorly

You chose poorly

Now, rank the criteria again for your big doo for a job interview… What do you get? I’m guessing that the S for Skills creeped a little to the left, not quite all the way but perhaps somethin like R.A.S.P.C. Reputation, Availability, Skills, Price and Convenience. Now we are willing to take less of a risk, pay a little more and inconvenience ourselves just to make sure we look our best! It’s not everyday a position opens up at Seymour, Hoffman and Skrote, and goddammit I’m gonna rock it! Might as well pack a lunch, because you’ll be on the clock immediately!

Now comes your wedding day, best day of your life, right? Where does the skill of your hairdresser rank now? S.R.A.C.P? Skills, Reputation, Availability, Convenience, Price You analyze their body of work, talk to Trinity who used them for her big day just to make sure, so you then see if they are available, if so, “Fuck convenience and price, I’m bringing those bitches to me!” Does that sound about right?

 Do you smell Clearasil?

Do you smell Clearasil?

Well, now compare that to a photographer. When it comes to kids you rank them the same, right? Phillippe doesn’t matter, he’s just a 7 year old kid, school pictures are plenty good enough, besides, the lovely library background matches the other kids’ grade 2 pics. And guess what? All the kids are getting the same treatment by the big box photographer. One pose, three different sizes, a keychain and a bookmark for 70 bucks, good gawd! Its no wonder that the big box photographers get all the work, they can afford to send a sales team straight to the school board and weasel into a contract supplanting local photographers. They save money on the photographer anyways, there are plenty of those starving for work!

 Mrs Loki is Santa, awww

Mrs Loki is Santa, awww

Now the job interview is for a speaking role in Spaceballs 2 and you need portfolio pics. Guess who you aren't hiring to take the pics? The big box photographer, you don’t look good in a library anyways. So you shop around a little, maybe ask Gunnar the neighbour, he had his portrait done with his cat Miss Loki, and they turned out alright. It turns out he happens to be available and will do it for free (just want someone to spend some time with him) So its a done deal, you hire the most convenient photographer around. Unfortunately, the part in S2 went to someone else. The Schwartz, it seems, was not with the photographer as you had hoped. Back to Seymour, Hoffman and Skrote you go.

Now, knowing what you know, and being who you are, you make the right call on your wedding day, right? You do the research, you scour the portfolios and budget accordingly, you Rank Skill and reputation above all else, you do it right, don’t play CRAPS with any photos, but especially not on your wedding day. Skills, Reputation, Availability, Convenience and Price or as I like to say SRACP! (sca-k-p) Man, I wish that was cooler. I know I had a point, but I’ll be dammed if I found it.. Anyways, What order do you put them in? Do you put convenience and price before skill?




So, why photography?

Logo_Edmonton_Oilers.svg.png

Why try and start a photography business in a time and place where everyone is a photographer? I cant go anywhere without seeing a photographer. The competition is fierce to say the least. You have the mamarazzi, the weekend warriors, the GWC's the perves, the students, heck even the teachers are all willing to take portraits, team photos, weddings, maternity, newborn, product and cake smash pictures the list goes on and on. And they do it for nothing, nada, zilch, zero. Hey, I'm just trying to build up my port, you know? Thats all good and fine, all the power to ya. Giver! Or is it? What are you trying to build you port up for? So you can start a company and compete with the next generation of port builders? Its a never ending cycle. How then does one compete? How indeed. I personally think that some of the fringe photographers do it for recognition. Hey your a photographer? wow, how cool? Then there are the gear lovers, addicted to new gear and obsessed with having something newer (therefore better) than the guy next to him. Yeah but this lens has Quadra axis super hyper image stabilization. (because last years model didn't take sharp pictures while strapped to the horn of a stampeding buffalo.) The book photographers who do everything by the rules. Oh gad, look at this pic, so, not obeying the rule of thirds. Garbage! So many varieties of photographer and with that there are so many takes on great photography. The common bond though is that we all love photography and want to be successful at it. The secret, I think, to being successful is to focus on what you love most about it, where you feel your creativity is best served. Find your happy place and rock it. Don't be bound by restraints, be they, gear, reputation, or popular opinion, create what you need to create. There you will find your success, weather financial or spiritual, success should only be measured by you. Right now my personal success comes in knowing that I am home each night and there is work to do tomorrow, taking pictures. Yay for me! :) And Go Oilers GO!!