I’m writing my blog today about Photography. Photography is the exclusive art medium for any artist with the sense of sight. A direct evolution of the camera obscura.
The good things about the profession of photography are mostly the good things about the invention of the camera itself. Chiefly, detailed records of physical reality and unreality. I mean unreality in the artistic sense of contrived falsehoods of physical reality. And, of course, living the dream of having art as a livelihood.
The bad things about professional photography are innumerable. Professional photography equipment is expensive! Camera’s, lens’, studio equipment, a studio, computer software, etc. runs in the $4-$10,000+ range. Obtaining a professional degree is expensive rendering it a privileged field.
Of course no one can become an expert without practice. However, it takes much practice at several skill sets to become a professional photographer worthy of being paid. You need to understand, both, the artistic side of photography and the social side. The artistic side includes all the fundamentals: color (hue, value, and intensity), light, shape, space, backgrounds, foregrounds, and composition. Composition is a balance of the following elements; patterns, variety, lines, texture, symmetry/asymmetry, & focal point.
Additionally you need steady hands and controlled breathing to eliminate camera shake. No one wants a blurry photo and if they do then it can be photoshopped in afterwards. Timing is another skill you must hone. Any monkey can push a button on a camera to take a photo and with the self-timer option no button clicking is even necessary. But timing takes more than luck and you’ll need to practice to get it down. To get pictures of views no one else has seen will require strength training to hike and climb uncharted terrain. The best photography requires being in top physical condition. It’s imperative you experiment with every possible variable within your camera settings, computer software, studio equipment, and natural surroundings to master what works for you. Leave no stone unturned.
The social side requires professionalism. Specifically fluency in the abilities to communicate clearly with clientele, ethics, manners, and directing poses for people to make them look their best in a photograph (which brings us back full circle to the crucial skill of composition.) Here’s a link to an established blog about Things Model Photographers Shouldn’t Do!
Often overlooked and not pretty to admit is the case of ugly people attempting to judge beautiful people. Like beauty contest judges who have never won a beauty contest themselves (nearly a catch-22, but avoided with unanimous election.) This defies logic, reason, and nature for you lack the physical credentials to judge beauty. If you are a physically ugly, classically unattractive, person then do not make the mistake of entering into the field of human portraits and model photography. You’d be living in denial and on false hope that will end in wasted time, money and emotion. You do not belong in this profession for you are grotesque. If you can change your looks for the better then do so before you begin fantasizing about photographing people pleasing to the eye. If you are permanently disfigured and/or ugly then accept your position in the pecking order of human society and stick to photographing inanimate objects, lower animals, and scenery.