Photographer faces law suit

Started Aug 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
larrytusaz
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I Hope Not: I Shoot For ME, And NOT for the Clients, Even If I Were Pro
In reply to Clyde Thomas, Sep 5, 2013

I will repeat this later, but to quote John Mellencamp regarding his album "No Better Than This," he said "I have only one interest: to have fun while we’re doing this and maybe have something that somebody might discover....if I can't do what I want at this point, I'm not going to do it. If it's not fun, I'm not going to do it."

That says it all.

In answer to your rhetorical question, I would absolutely hope you would NOT have to photograph such. To me, people get into photography because they like shooting certain subjects & getting exceptional quality images from said shooting. It just doesn't work unless you really "feel" what you're shooting and it's something "up your alley," the whole reason you got into it to start with was for the enjoyment of seeing a picture which you were responsible for.

At some point it occurs to them, either from their own thinking or their friend's etc, "hey, I'm pretty good at this, I could make a living doing it." So you offer yourself out there. This is where it can get sticky.

You see, there are those who believe that once you do so you are now at the mercy of what the client wants, & what they what they get. I don't entirely agree. Once Tom Petty became a musician, did he start singing the songs people wanted, or did he create what he created & then people just really liked his creations & bought them as they were, HIS creations? To me, the latter is the only way I would ever do photography for hire, because (say) you've seen the photos I've taken of my kids, my niece-nephew, and friend's kids, and you want such results for your kids.

Now, if I can't handle things such as autistic kids, kids who won't keep still, or getting several kids all at once to make a good smile, that may be a case of me just not being fit for professional-level work, and if so, so be it. But if you, say, ask me to take photos of someone in bathing suit attire or such, I could reply "I don't do MODELING shoots."

But you also have other things. For example, I've noticed a lot of recent photography has this style I like to call "bed & breakfast," a lot of "another mom with a camera" types do this. It's where you see things such as 80 thousand "props" in the photo, you have "go to" shots like the family walking down a railroad track holding hands, the colors are jacked way up with that "Instagram" look, etc. I despise that look. I like the classical look, such as this image I took of my son November 2011 (Nikon D5000, 50mm f/1.8 AF-S G):

My Son (20111113_113612_rj_b_lr3_d5000)

Maybe it costs me business if I were a pro, but THIS is the style I like, something classical, without so much "jazz." The only "environmental" or "prop" as it were was the straw hat, the colors might be "warmed" up a BIT, but they sure aren't jacked up to level 23 either. I blurred the background by shooting at f/2.5 with a 50mm prime at close range. That's enough, frankly. Why photographers now think you have to do all of this extra work with all of this extra "fluff" is beyond me. It's too much work & I think it's too fake anyway.

Simply enough: I'm a photographer, not a fashion consultant. I'm like the musical artists who don't like doing videos because to them creating the song is enough, having to do a video to promote it is not what they got into music for just as coming up with gimmicks & being a fashion consultant is not what I got into photography as a hobby (or profession) for.

I DO NOT want my name attached to that "Instagram/bed & breakfast" style of picture-taking you see. It appalls me, I find it tacky and gimmicky, and I want no part of it, I don't care if I am a pro & you're paying me. I do what I want, I only accept a for-pay project if the client lets me photograph their child or such MY WAY, even if it is for them.

This is my main point.

The way I see it (I love music analogies), if John Mellencamp can do a very "folksy" album like "No Better Than This" and record it in mono with a 1950s era tape machine using 1 microphone, and say about doing it that way I want to do it this way, and if I can't do what I want at this point, I'm not going to do it. If it's not fun, I'm not going to do it. I'm through digging a ditch" and to also say "I have only one interest: to have fun while we’re doing this and maybe have something that somebody might discover,"then I think photographers also being people who are creating artistic creating works of expression should be able to do the very same thing. If that means not doing the "bed & breakfast/Instagram" style of photos, or not photographing a gay wedding because you don't agree with such unions, or not photographing obese women in lingerie, so be it.

If the law says otherwise, then the law is wrong and, frankly, screw the law (and change it while you're at it).

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