What a great camera!

Started Nov 18, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 11,315
What a great camera!

Last week, I met up for dinner with an old friend I'd not seen in many years. At one point, the topic turned to my photographic work, and he told me that they had not been entirely happy with his daughter's photographer at her recent wedding.

He explained:

She was an aspiring pro who had a "great camera" and made lots of promises. And because she was just starting, she wouldn't charge them too much. Now, my friend lives in a fine home, drives an expensive car, drinks the best wines, travels around the world, and knows how to spend money. So money wasn't an issue. She simply made all the right assurances that things would be great.

Long story short, they were given about 5 CDs full of images that they don't know what to do with. The woman is no longer in "business". Could I build them an album using the photos? (His impression was that they owned the images outrght, but it sounds like nobody knew much about what they were doing here.)

I took a look at the images. EXIF indicates they were captured with a Rebel XT and a kit lens. (Hey, I own a couple of T1i bodies myself, in addition to others.) It appeared that EVERY SINGLE IMAGE of the 757 were shot at ISO 1600, including the flash shots. Composition? Non existent. Posing for portraits? Nope. Timing for the action shots? Are you kidding? Horrible. Horrendous. Shameful. It was as if someone stood around with a camera and basically pressed the shutter at whatever happened in their general direction, and then the images were just vomited onto CD however they happened to be. No culling. No cropping. No adjustments.

Why why why use someone's wedding to "have fun" with your new digital toy? Why take on such an important responsibility without even so much as a fundamental working knowledge of photographic principles?? The couple and her family were not trying to save money when they hired this woman. They just trusted that she at least had the basic competence to know her own limitations. She didn't. And now they would pay almost anything to make their decision over again. They can't.

And so, aspiring pros, if you want to "go pro", learn the skills first. Practice practice practice. Do portrait sessions for free (the kind that are not one-time events). And learn to know recognize your capabilities and limitations.

As we talked, my friend asked me if I'd be interested in doing some traveling to provide photography for his company. Exotic, incredible locations. Rome, Barcelona, Paris, New York, Athens Greece. I told him I'd be sending over samples of my work to him to check out thoroughly, as well as learning as much about the work as possible to see if it was within my capabilities. Hopefully, we'll be a good fit. If not, I'm not going to allow either of us to experience anything similar to what happened with his daugher's wedding.
Michael Thomas Mitchell

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Canon EOS-1D Mark II
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