9th On The List

- - Working

I had a big shoot a little while back that was so last minute and on the weekend that I went through 8 photographers who said no. When I brought the editor the film he said “what happened to your first choice?” Well, lets see, you dump a huge assignment on me Thursday night for Saturday morning and everyone told me to go to hell except this guy.

Truth is I keep pretty tight lists of photographers and it’s not like this guy was my 8th worse choice it just wasn’t my first choice of styles for the shot. I usually have 3-4 photographers I love for a certain style picked out for a shoot when I start making calls. A couple I’ve worked with before, one who’s emerging and one who’s yet to accept an assignment. If that grouping doesn’t work out I’ll move on to other styles. I have to keep in mind all the different photography going in the issue so I don’t get repetitive with the styles.

Here’s the kicker, when I think I’ve nailed the approach on a subject but then have to switch it because the people I like aren’t available it sometimes turns out better than expected. So, I always wonder if I couldn’t just pull names out of a goddam hat.

Don’t answer that.

There Are 6 Comments On This Article.

  1. Those of us that shoot in multiple styles may have a harder time getting on your list of looks, but that also gives us an advantage during the shoot because we have multiple rabbits to pull out of our hats.

    I consider the story, the audience for the story and the personality of the person or place. What comes out of the camera is a mix of all of those elements rather than having a predetermined approach going in.

    Most of my formal photography training came from the Time-Life Photography series of books. I dreamed of shooting the grand photo-essay where you have a mix of styles to tell the story. You have the grand landscape, the intimate portrait and the slice of life images all blended together in a stunning layout.

    Those of us that can do all of that often end up 9th on the list because when you see our books or get our promos it is hard to place us in the the right style stack.

    Perhaps it is time to create a new list? One that represents a group of shooters that can come back with an appropriate response.

  2. or better yet, write a program with an “I’m feeling lucky” button.
    just type in the kind of photography, press the button, and voila!