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Thread: Too committed?

  1. #41
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Hi Dorothy

    I've been doing some thinking about where you're at and you know I love your B&W work. My work is 99% B&W but I don't disregard colour if "I" feel it's justified to my style of work. I'm happy to discuss what options there are but if I don't agree that colour will do justice, I don't accept the job. And then I shoot on transparency film for my colour portraits.

    If you feel you can do a good job regardless of colour or B&W, here's an opportunity for you, give it a go. If you don"t enjoy the experience, leave it next time. The choice is yours.

    Best wishes on your decision. It's not easy, but my own advice is always follow your heart.

    Nicole

  2. #42

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    Bill, I didn't think we were arguing, I respect you and thought we were just having an intellectual discussion. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to what i consider professional ethics, and that being that you are actually qualified or capable to do a job before you agree to take the money. Sink or swim is fine if you are the only one who drowns, but if you sink on an assignment you take others with you.

    You come from a similar background as I do, you assisted in NYC and in doing so got a certain level of competence and experience. While you may have felt more than comfortable in taking on any assignment offered to you, you had training and background to fall back on. Not everyone who accepts their first assignment has that. I felt that even if the AD was dumb enough to offer me a gig I was unqualified to do, it was a matter of honor on my part to only accept work I could handle. I also found that my honesty ultimately brought me great loyalty and trust from my clients, which would explain why I had kept so many clients for the duration of my career. The guy that I shot my first national magazine cover for when I was 19, was still a client of mine when I retired 25 years later. That is something that I am very proud of.

    The bottom line though is that regardless of what you and I think, Dorothy, for whatever reason, didn't feel comfortable in accepting the job and turned it down. I think that's admirable on her part.

  3. #43
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Congratulations Dorothy for a courageous decision.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  4. #44
    RAP
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    Reshoots are a part of every assignment budget, whether they are actually needed or not. Screw ups do happen, unfortunately and they usually cost you the client, even if it is not your fault.

    Still, my take is that b&w is really Dorothy's style for her work and that is that. I think there are plenty of photographers who only do B&W or mostly do b&w and are known for it. Avedon, Newman, Karsch, the masters; AA EW etc.

    If the agency said that Dorothy has the look they wanted, why would they want to change it? Don't they realize that b&w is part of that look and that b&w as a whole, is a style all its own? Now that I think about it, just how big, or knowledgable is the agency or the rep handling the assignment? Maybe the agency should make the connection and call Dorothy back and let her do it her way.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  5. #45
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Early Riser
    The bottom line though is that regardless of what you and I think, Dorothy, for whatever reason, didn't feel comfortable in accepting the job and turned it down. I think that's admirable on her part.
    Pretty much what I said 2 pages back while also playing devil's advocate.
    Quote Originally Posted by billschwab
    Again... sorry to play devil's advocate. It took guts to turn that down and perhaps that will work in your favor. Either way, I admire you for sticking by your principles.
    Although I am glad we are not arguing, I still do not want it to seem like I was putting down DBC in any way. Quite the contrary. Unlike others here who seem to think she would automatically disappoint her client with substandard work, I believe she had every chance to shine. In my experience that is a way into the "club" so to speak. You know how hard it is to get your foot in the door. This didn't sound like a rocket science kind of job and it could have helped build some confidence in the process that might have been more valuable than the disadvantage of having to work with color.

    As for your other points about professional ethics and such, I think it goes pretty much without saying. Perhaps I am the one being sensitive in thinking that your going on about the honor, education and experience needed to be a "professional" is somehow placing those of us that have made a living with our cameras in a position that others cannot understand or obtain. That somehow those that choose to take the leap are doing so without morals unless they have a certain number of hours doing grunt work like we and I am sure many others here have done. You are also appearing to assume that Dorothy is some green upstart which her portfolio seems to refute.

    Again, I have the utmost respect for DBC's decision. It was very brave. But I stand by my belief that it could have been a nice entry into some pretty lucrative and satisfying work no matter how dishonorable that may seem to some. I also think we are all being a bit narrow in thinking that it was simply the tonality or lack of color in her work that was desired by these potential clients. Look at the work... the attitude... the style. THAT to me is the strength in these images. Not the fact they are monochromatic. It appears that the A-D or buyer also saw beyond this.

    Bill

  6. #46
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    A-Ds aren't animals - although you should hear how they talk about photographers - and you CAN talk to them. If someone wanted ME to shoot a color job tomorrow, I'd level, and say, "Look, I haven't shot much color in the past few years, but I'd like to give this a try. What do you suggest ? How can we make this work ?"

    There is a misconception that pros are hacks, and the clients are fools. The truth of it is that the partnership is creative, and lucrative.

    Dorothy didn't burn a bridge, nor did she go against her instincts. Good.

    A reasonable possibility would be, should she want, to contact the agency and have a talk. All things are possible.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #47
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    A reasonable possibility would be, should she want, to contact the agency and have a talk. All things are possible.
    There you go! Can you tell I want Dorothy to have this job?

    Bill

  8. #48
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    It all seems pretty straight forward to me.

    If you have enough to eat such that you don't need the work, then if it "violates" your "art" just walk away.

    Otherwise, I'd grab the job in a New York minute.

    You know your financial situation and your needs versus your "artistic" integrity.

    The only thing I wonder - if you feel you made the correct choice - why are you asking about it here?

    EDIT: Wise move not revealing the agency - elsewise half the responders here would have phoned them by now!

  9. #49
    RAP
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    Well, if color balance is an issue, there is always Photo Shop. Which is probably where the images will end up anyway pre press.

    Still, this would be a commercial job, seprate form personal work and should be treated as such. Most have to walk that tight rope and balance the two in just about all creative fields. AA used to get criticized for his commercial work by his contemporaries but he defended himself because he had a family to support and the money funded his personal work. It is much more then just a matter of having enough to eat. When it comes to money, more is always better.

    For me, I have made more money from the publishing of my color work then b&w prints. My color work I consider commercial and the money helps pay the bills.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  10. #50
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    AA used to get criticized for his commercial work by his contemporaries but he defended himself because he had a family to support and the money funded his personal work.

    By WHOM ?

    By Weston ? No, Edw. had done his share of hard, commercial work.
    By Strand ? No. By WHOM ?

    By Halsman, by White, by Dorothea Lange ?

    By WHOM ? BY WHOM ?
    Maybe by strangers who had a safe 9-5 job,
    that thought it would be nice to be able to go out in the woods every day and be artistic instead of having to go to meetings wearing a suit.

    Not his 'contemporaries'.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

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