graduation photographers.

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by DirkDynamo, May 20, 2006.

  1. DirkDynamo

    DirkDynamo Member

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    It's graduation season and there was a graduate in my family, so i got to go to a graduation ceremony. It was a catholic high school so not only was there a mass beforehand but there were a few guests that might not be at a public school's graduation - namely the bishop of our diocese. i know that some people arent familiar with catholic pageantry (sorry all you catholics, but he was wearing a fuschia jumpsuit thing with matching hat) but bishop's are pretty important i think. anyway on the graduation stage, you shook hands with the principal and then got your diploma from the bishop and shook his hand too. then everyone freezes and looks at the photographer (DSLR professional) and he snaps off a shot for the parents. theres a set system the kids have practiced. supposed to go smoothly right?

    the first graduate comes out, shakes hands and poses. while the next kid in line is being announced, the photographer takes his shot of the first kid.

    but then guess what he does? he CHIMPS! on stage in front of a theatre full of people, he stops to bend over his display screen and examine the shot! and the bishop and principal are looking around and the next kid is already waiting for his pose but they kept calling kids! there were at least 5 kids on stage at this point awkwardly standing around and he chimps over the next shot too! the first 6 shots he did this for. and nobody understood why he was doing this. did he miss the shot? do they call back the first grads and run them through again? is something wrong with his camera? the kids didnt practice it like this - they didnt know what to do either but ended up not caring because they got their diploma. he eventually stopped but throughout the 250 grads he was fiddling with knobs and pushing buttons the whole time. thats a real professional there.

    must have gotten a new camera. TEST your equipment BEFORE the important shot! come-on! and thats the moral of the story for professionals going through the 'switchover'. get there early and make sure everythings working! hunch over that tiny little screen before the guests start getting there. or you can put down the point and shoot and stop calling yourself a professional.
     
  2. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've seen this too. There were three 'Pro' digi-snappers at my college graduation (adult student...) and all three were doing the same thing. They kept missing the shots because the kids kept right on going - just as they were supposed to. It was kind of funny to see the photographers scramble, but sad too, for the kids are the ones who are paying the price. The pics I got were OK, but could have been better. These guys (and gals) were not using new gear though - I think it has something to do with growing up using digital and forming habits that are not conducive to all shooting situations. Under fixed lighting conditions, you should not have to worry about the histogram and if you can't compose in the viewfinder, you need to spend more time behind the camera before taking on that level of responsibility.

    - Randy
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I have seen this happen at weddings as well, I did some back up work for a "Pro" at a wedding a few months ago, I was using film of course and he had a new canon digi body, after every shot, he would look at the preview! I just took the shot, I asked him what he was doing, as I figured he would know what he was doing, and he point blank looked at me and said he was making sure he got the shot!, I asked him if he had ever shot film at a wedding, he told me yes, but it was so nice to be able to check, and he wanted to know how I knew if I got the shot? I just told him because I knew my equipment, I knew how to use the light and I knew how my particular film(NPS) would reacte in a certain situation, well I have to say, that was the longest formal shooting session I have ever been involved in, all the way to the point the bride actually was getting irritated (not a good idea on her wedding day!) Make sure if your shooting a job for money, you KNOW without a doubt how your gear works and why it works the way it does, that is what they are paying you for..
     
  4. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I think it is just one more problem with digital, it's too hard to resist the urge to look immediately.
     
  5. celluloidpropaganda

    celluloidpropaganda Subscriber

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    Don't blame digital, blame the incompetent photographer.

    If someone hits you from behind because they didn't brake fast enough, you don't blame their car's ABS system, do you?
     
  6. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Yes, but most people don't play with their ABS system while they are driving. As a professional, this person should have known his equipment well enough to pay attention to the CLIENT.
     
  7. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I would!!!! ABS is not an excuse for not paying attention, rear end me, and It is your fault..

    I think Digital has allowed many more INCOMPETENT photographers(if I can call them that) to make money with no skills.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think incompetent is incompetent, whatever the equipment, or even vocation. Prior to digital, there was still no shortage of hack photographers.

    Now you will find most of the hacks behind DSLR's, mostly because thats where the "anybody can be a pro with this camera" marketing hype is now located.

    These types have always made business challenging for the real pro, no matter the medium, because they outnumber the ability to teach the client the hard lesson.

    The promised "cost effectiveness" and magic bullet mentality of d* have swelled the numbers further. Graphic artists experienced this mess with the advent of the affordable PC and "design software" After a little carnage, the market corrected, and the same will probably happen with photography.

    I don't think film will be making a big come back in the picturemill segment, but the hacks will recede as they learn it is not as easy as the magazine promised. A few will have talent, business sense, and ability, and go on to succeed. Some of them will go on to shoot film.

    For some, digital will be the perfect gateway drug to film.
     
  9. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I think it is human nature to immediately look at the results of something when that is possible. But one would expect a pro to be better disciplined with such a simple shot.
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You know, it is possible on most professional DSRLs to turn the LCD off.
     
  11. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Keeping up with the flow is an important part of being an event photographer.

    Bob
     
  12. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Being able to verify the shots while still on site is one of the reasons I keep hearing for shooting events digitally. The real pros only do this during a 'break' in the action.

    As a contrast, Saturday I attended a wedding that was covered by a real pro. He wa unobtrusive, yet took a lot of pictures. He handled and posed the people well for group shots, and only 'reviewed' his work in a quiet corner during a break. There was a teenager there with his own DSLR who aspires to become a professional photographer and approached him. The pro treated him cordially, encouraged him and let him assist with lighting on a few shots. The kid was on cloud nine. What a breath of fresh air!

    Bob
     
  13. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    The digi-cams get obsolete so fast no one actually learns how to work them before the next - better model gets handed to them.

    My daughter was walking with 1300 other grads at UNR this Saturday past. It was a cluster ($%@! Sorry, no more accurate descriptor. When she was within the next 20 or so I made my way down to the fence with my trusty camera to get my shot. A guy on the other side of the fence was being abusive to the dad's and mom's that had paid a jillion $$$ for their kids chance at life. There were about 40 other parents trying to do the same thing. 2 fat lady's got up and slowly moved their large a$$e$ in front of me. Sometime in the confusion my daughter received her diploma and I missed the whole %&&+^)(*& thing.

    So I guess I'll be trying to buy a photo from the "professional".
     
  14. anyte

    anyte Member

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    I don't think it's necessarily human nature. Perhaps self-doubt, conditioning, or something else. I've used a digital while doing volunteer work for an area park district and nothing was easier than keeping that screen turned off. I set up the shot, snapped the picture and went on to setting up the next shot. It's entirely on the photographer if they are doubting their abilities so much that they have to keep checking to make sure they got the shot.
     
  15. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    Darn right. I am no pro nor do I pretend to be. I just am smart enough to know that when you are hired for a job, you get to the church/building/whatever before hand and run some tests. Of course if I was doing a job like that, the ONLY thing I would use is print film, preferably one with a really good exposure latitude so just in case I screw up and overexpose by a stop, a good lab can fix it.

    Not that I've ever left my meter bracket to +/- 1 or 2 stops without realizing it before; oh no, not me. :wink:
     
  16. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    That's great! One of the things about photography I love is how so many of us, especially some of us here on APUG, are so generous about teaching others. This summer I am teaching my sister about black and white photography and how to develop her own film. Plus I'm the Vice President of my Photography club on campus and it's so much fun showing kids cameras that are 50 years old and take great shots.

    Whether you learn on a Canon/Nikon DSLR or an Agfa Isolette or whatever, so long as you learn the basics and have fun doing it. One of the best ways to enjoy something is to share it.
     
  17. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Two weekends ago I was at a wedding being shot by two photographers with DSLRs. The lead said he missed using his Bronicas, but really had to go digital from a workflow perspective. He only looked at the screen when there was a break or to show the couple a shot. And he invited me to join him, including offering me a spare radio slave for the reception.

    His digital excuse held up well, the proofs were posted to his website Monday, from a Saturday wedding. Pretty good work, too.