My answer over the phone when someone asks me if I can shoot something is “Yes, of course.”

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For a photog, the path of the generalist can be a fraught one. You are never the first shooter called, for instance, because you are never the regarded as the “best” at anything.

— Joe McNally

via The Path of the Generalist – The Photo Society.

There Are 4 Comments On This Article.

  1. Great read and mindset from the consummate pro. I have seen Joe shoot; the
    results- and yes he can shoot anything. And it will be amazing. Humility, understanding, talent, and perception- powerful images are the result!

  2. Great advise i suppose, but how come successful guys that shoot everything are always the one’s who are telling other’s to be careful about shooting everything? JM – really? It is somewhat of a strange quote from coming from a guy like JM . . .

    • I think it depends on how you define ‘generalist’. I think it’s become kind of a dirty word because you see it applied to hobbyists with facebook pages that shoot weddings, flowers, their neighbor’s product, real estate etc.

      Some of the best long lived photographers I’ve known are multidisciplinary. They have a style and point of view that could be applied to a variety of subject matter. But they don’t take on everything, you have to know your strengths and weaknesses and what does and doesn’t fit into the repertoire. This is where one has to “be careful”.