I derive about a third of my annual income via commercial photography. I think its great as far as it goes, but I don't feel a need to create my own thread to single people out for admonishment and to make grand (one of) my profession(s) through association.
Originally Posted by mark
man, I hope you guys are joking
Three quarters of what I write is bullshit, and the other three quarters doesn't make any sense.
From that other Michael "Michael A Smith stated that there are times while driving along, that he saw a vista, but would not stop his truck for it, because he deemed it too commercial for his sensibilities, and he would not sully himself or stoop so low as to take this picture and accept money for it."
My, how you do distort things. What I said was that the only reason I would have made that particular photograph would have been to sell it. As an artist, I decided that was not a valid reason.
Please note: I said, "As an artist . . ."
I do not know one photographer working as an artist who ever makes a photograph just to make money. I'm not alone here.
But I do make lots of photographs, and although the motive for making them is to fulfill something in myself, not to sell them, when they are finished I damn well hope to sell them. Doing so is my only source of income (no trust funds here).
Commercial photography is quite another thing. I have neither the time nor the energy to look for commercial jobs of any sort. However, when commercial jobs come along, and three have in the past 25 years, I jump on them eagerly. Doing a commercial job, as pointed out by F. Dave, has lots of challenges and there is a lot to be learned from doing them. And since they pay well, I would not be the least bit unhappy if one of them came along every month. When I do a commercial job I am not making my art (although I hope the photographs will be artful). I see nothing wrong with this and have infinite respect for those who do commercial work. In so many ways they know a lot more about photography than I ever will. (Examples: My idea of lighting is to "turn the lights on." And I wouldn't know how to use a flash if i were handed one.)
So please, do not take out of context what I said with your contemptuous talk of "me sullying myself."
Making art is one thing. Doing commercial work artfully is quite another. Both are worthy things to do. making art fits the sensibility of some people. Doing commercial work fits the sensibillity of others. Of course, commercial photographers try to make beautiful photographs. The difference is that the motivation for the act of photographing comes from different places.
I have comercial photographer friends. In many ways they are envious of what I do, "You can photograph whatever you want to," they say. And in many way I am envious of them, "You get to make money."
Michael: I'm really not sure why you are so touchy and defensive about this. You must be terribly insecure and feel very threatened. When I stated, or someone else stated, a position that has to do with the way we work--as artists--it had nothing to do with commercial photography, what commercial photographers do, or the valuable things they bring to our society.
I hope this is clear.
I enjoy two major hobbies 1.) Furniture making 2.) Photography. Last week I used my furniture making ability ( talent / art ) to do work for the company that I work for on a part time bases. I recieved a lot of compliments and a small amount of money for my efforts. I don't feel at all guilty; and if I can convince the boss that he should buy some of my photos to sell in the showroom, you can bet I will be there with as many photos as the boss wants to display.
Originally Posted by mark
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Before I get attacked again I thought I should clarify. I wrote, "I do not know one photographer working as an artist who ever makes a photograph just to make money. I'm not alone here."
I should have written. "I do not know one photographer working as an artist who ever makes a photograph as art for themselves who makes it just to make money. I'm not alone here."
Many photographers who work primarily as artists also do commercial photographs. And as I wrote above, I welcome every opportunity that comes my way.
Hmm, well, I certainly hear that a lot and can therefore understand where Michael was coming from. Personally, I saw nothing offensive about his post. I'm guessing he's grinning right about now at seeing several people jump to the defense/offense (depending on where you're standing.)
It seems that Michael (Blansky) has taken an interpretation that someone said that commercialism was wrong for that particular person as a blanket indictment of commercial photography in total. I did not gather that from what anyone said in any manner.
Can't deny the guy can write.
Some might sell themselves taking photographs.
The alternative is to sell yourself making burgers, or answering phones for a fraction of the reward.
Everyone sells something of themselves in exchange for something else they want (like food and a roof over their heads). Those who work 6 days a week slaving on minimum wage are selling far more of themselves than someone who does something they love. If you can work as a photographer for someone else two days a week, and have five days to do your own thing then you're doing better than most and deserve respect...
Last things first: NO, I disagree with the idea that your opinion is "useless". I value it - and I'll use to form some sort of framework of "you". Your opinion is certainly to be rated on an objective scale as "high" as mine. Why shouldn't it be?
Originally Posted by Andre R. de Avillez
Now ... Paparazzi ... In a former life, when I still had good knees and better feet...
After the "Princess Diana" tragedy, there was a panic-knee-jerk reaction directed toward ALL "Paparazzi". All of it was based on false assumptions - if anyone had ever been so engaged, the stupidity of the accusations were so obvious that it was difficult to argue against them.
One "High on the Scale Actor" was most vehemently denouncing Paparazzi. Their answer was to give him exactly what he said he wanted: they ignored him. No one to wait with a camera as he left the plane, no one to "catch" him coming out of a Night Club, or "Being Seen with ..."
It didn't take long for his PR people to react - there were numerous "leaks" and "Ooops - I didn't mean to let that information out ..." It was only after the violent attacks on them subsided, and things quieted down, that the "Pappa" once again returned, and the PR people could relax.
I know what the stereotype of Paparazzi is -- and like all Stereotypes, it is really inaccurate. The relationship is FAR more "symbiotic" than most of the RAMs would suppose it to be.
OK ... If you have a negative opinion of Paparazzi ... how do you feel about those who "do" Spot News?
Once upon a time ... There was an aspiring "Starlet", and the local guys were leaked the information that she would be walking down a certain Boardwalk, at a certain time.
The time came for the Starlet to walk, and she did - and at the proper place, "fell" out of the top of her bathing suit. Predictably, cameras clicked. She turned toward the guys and started her rampage ... "You guy are ..." Pappa #1 interrupted: "Damn camera screwed up - I didn't get anything." Papa #2 -"So did mine. Film advance problem", #3 - nearly the same....
The Starlet went back to the starting point and retraced her steps. Astoundingly, at the *same" spot - the *same* accident happened - she fell out - again. Once more - "Camera Problem ... no photos" - etc.
Once again she retraced her steps ... fell out ... and realized that, in fact, the cameras were more reliable than she had been led to believe. No rant this time ... just a lot of laughter.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Your viewpoint does not surprise me in the least. I am fully aware of the primary emphasis of your work.
Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs