As some of you may already be aware, the last two years of my life have been quite hectic to say the least. The business (not the art) of my photography has somewhat been placed on hold.
With our recent out-of-state move and settling in a bit more and our lifestyle changed, I'm finally able to get back into the swing of things.
They say you should trust your 'gut' and for the most part I always have. But yesterday, I began to have a slight 'tinge' of 'did I just do the right thing?'
We received a phone call from a very prominent ad agency (I'd rather not use their name as it may bite me on the butt later...I'm sure you all understand :) ). They said they found my work via my web site and contacted me based on the impact of my portraits and on the work they needed. They wanted to hire me for an editorial shoot for a national magazine. After discussing the wants and needs of the potential job...my husband (who handles all of our business) told me that they wanted me to shoot portrait work...IN COLOR!! Of course...the whole thing came to a screeching halt! The only time I have or do shoot color is for my own, personal family stuff (snapshots) or when I work with slide film...again, for myself. Other than that...my work has been and always will be in black and white film…Period.
My husband was very polite but when they stated that they loved my work...knew it was exactly what they wanted and would give them the 'look' they were after, but in color, my husband said 'the work you say you want is all in black and white...part of the impact is the fact that Dorothy's work is black and white film…you just wouldn't have that same impact in color.’
I felt we did the right thing...I guess it's just the idea of turning down something big because I know that my best work is what I've always done…black & white film. I just wouldn't comfortable seeing my work 'in color'.
Just a vent...but still, can't help but thinking 'oh, darn.'
If it's any comfort, I too think you did the right thing.
If they liked your work, they shouldn't have asked for something different from what they saw?
I've turned down jobs myself for similar reasons, and would do it again.
When I was younger I could never how people could do what you have just done. For the last decade or to, I have been unable to understand how they cannot.
Keep the faith! But also -- commiserations. It hurts turning down money.
It's hard, but stay true to yourself. You'd hate it if you weren't able to do your best work for a big job like that.
You never know.. maybe they'll decide they want b/w after all!
To do what we do, you have to maintain your own vision, if you felt it was the right thing to do, then it was.....
Some folks can switch between the two mediums. Not everybody can.
In any case, if you aren't shooting color at the present, you're inviting disaster
to take on a job that demands color.
Your choice is just good professionalism.
( but it's up to you to choose, or not, to say to the potential client,
that you're interested in working for them in the future after brushing up on your color work )
Some people will say yes to anything, and then attempt to wing it. Integrity in your work and in your dealings with those who would hire you is far more important IMHO. Take satisfaction in having had your work recognized for the excellent qualities it has, and be glad you've not comprimised. In this case, it's a black and white decision! ;)
Proud to know you Dorthy Blum Cooper.
I am no professional photographer, but I do get asked to give presentations based on my style of presentation. You did right telling them no. I've turned down a few presentations because my knowledge of the subject matter was not as good as it could be. On the other hand I think you might be cutting some potential business opportunities. Maybe this could be the start of a new avenue.
Could you transmit the same emotion with color film? Have you tried to do it seriously, not just snap shots?
It is the same dilemma that I have had.
I have not yet been contacted by any important client, but it has been on my mind ever since I decided I wanted to do photography as a profession.
Many times I wondered if staying with my artistic decision to do BW would be naive in the broad professional world and I would just end up starving and kicking myself for being such a fool.
But then, if I did just what everyone else does, color and in digital and whatever the client asked for, then what would be the difference of any cheap whore with a digicam that calls themselves a photographer? Putting artistic and personnal matters aside, what would be the reason to get a job then, if anyone else can do it? Wouldn't my name and my professional status dissapear in a sea of identical clones?
Practically, would I make any money, or would I just end up working for an one hour shop in cliche weddings and crowded events for spare change?
Would that decision, to sell my artistic vision out, lead me anywhere? Would I have a career and a future or be a beggar clone with really nothing to look for?
Someome who makes the decision to stand aside from the crowd has always a rough beginning. But atleast has some chance for an interesting life and career.
So, in the end, better to be a fool full of dreams and passion than an empty clone.
There always going to be people who don't understand and ask you to change your artistic work to suit their shallow and ignorant fancies. Don't let them destroy you.