Alot of photographers opens up Vanity Fare or Vogue looks at the cover or a spread and says "I couldaa done that". Sure because it's already road mapped and been done, so that's not that difficult.The trick is not taking the photograph, the trick is having the juice it takes to get into the room to take the photograph and they juice may come from talent, knowing how to hire the right crew, buying the right dinner or having a relative that works at a publisher. It doesn't matter because the Vogue/Vanity Fare photographer is in the room and shooting the job.I don't think anyone in their right mind rejoices at the problems of AL, at least if they are a working photographer.If Annie is at the top, then it's the trickle down theory. If she does bad, everyone down below does bad and considering the economy, nobody should feel warm and fuzzy when another photographer has problems.What do you want to hear, Annie shoots for $500 or shoots for $100,000,000. I'll go for the $100,000,000 routine because it raises our profession and believe it or not raises everyone's rates.As far as the personal attacks, we've all heard them and though some may have validity, it is still second hand information and in my experience the assistant or crew member that screams aboutone photographer treating them poorly is usually the assistant that proceeds to break every piece of equipment they touch, so all of this can be taken with a grain of salt and I can promise you if you do this business with freelance crew, own your own equipment and do a yearly inventory, you'll be shocked at the amount of lost or broken equipment. So it's kind of hard to keep your cool when somebody drops a new powerbook off a table, on an editorial shoot with a $500 per page rate.How is a photographer suppose to react when an assistant ships $2,500 worth of camera supports and doesn't attach a FEDEX label? Thanks, and let me pay you that double overtime? Though is you call the assistant a dumbass, he will tell everyone he knows what a prick you were to work with.The Klinky thing is different, mostly because of the body of work he produced and a lot of the self generated PR that seemed purposefully placed.The one and only thing that Annie and Klinky have in common (other than money issues) is their works now relies heavily on post production. Not that it doesn't take talent or an eye to get the basic image, but one or two soft lights does not make patterns and shadows like the final images suggest and there are no digital cameras I know of that get close to the color pallets they both present.I love it when I hear the praise or complaints that a dalsa chip looks more film like than a Kodak sensor, or ccd is more film like than cmos, when in reality none of them look remotely close in final reproduction like they looked on screen during the shoot.At least not any work of importance, because everything that the public sees now goes through many multiple rounds of post production.I personally like Annie's earlier film work because even though most was staged, it had more reality to it. You honestly believed that whoopie was in that warm milk where today it probably would be cg and whoopie would be squeezed and retouched to look like a 18 year old.Staged or not, you knew it was John and Yoko in that bed and today it would be four pressers, two seamstress, 2 makeup artists, a week of propping and 3 personal managers on set to approve the final image.In fact I think professional photographers have shot themselves in the foot, relying so heavily on post production, to produce an image, because so many images have gone from photography to paintings and drawing something is usually a lot cheaper than shooting it, but once you draw it, a photograph looses a lot of it's validity.Photography on most levels has just become over managed and I blame most of that on digital, because the upside is you know you have the shot before the day is done, the downside is everyone wants to see the shot in micro detail and offer up an opinion at every stage from polaroid, to shoot, to final retouch.We start this with casting, wardrobe, locations and props and the committee think doesn't stop until the final head swap, eye change, smile moved, wrinkle smoothed image is taken down to the level of one of those Japanese CG models with the big round eyes and it takes a strong personality to keep the comments to a minimum and get to something special.(Maybe the "challenged" lcd previews that medium format cameras produce could actually be marketed as a plus. You can show the client the image, but they don't know what the hell their looking at.)I read that stuff in those articles that said AL did "lavish" shoots moving Kristin Dunst as Marie Antoinette, and a crew to Paris for a shoot at the Versailles. Where the hell are you suppose to shoot Marie Antoinette? At the Sav-On parking lot in New Jersey?Until you've stepped out on set with 200 e-mails, 12 conference calls jammed into your head about what you can't do, vs. what you can do, it's difficult to understand the pressure a photographer is under and yes, sometimes that pressure leads to a few sharp comments when the photographer sees an assistant standing there holding his wang in one hand, talking to his girlfriend on his iphone with the other while your screaming give me the 85 1.2 because the sun is falling and he runs over and hands you a 35 1.4, the sun drops, end of story.A few years ago one assistant said to me he knew he will be a great success as a photographer because he always "sees" better photographs than the photographer he is assisting. I replied, ok, maybe that's true, maybe not, but let's be realistic, the only pressure you have on this project is to try and not break my camera. So my suggestion is to take all of these comments with a very tiny grain of salt and never believe anything you read or hear about money (good or bad) until you see someone's bank statement.BC
Great post Mr Cooter. I couldn't agree more
Lisa should go to PDN and read the comments from people who actually worked for them to see how mild the comments on this forum are.
what goes around comes around....