Good morning everyone!
The last few weeks have been photographically hectic on my side of the world.
A few people asked me if it was possible to push some bts shots online… I usually would not care much since it does not really teach anything but how crap reality looks indeed!
So what? You want to know which camera I use? Which lense? Software maybe? Which online tutorials do I pay a regular visit to? Then there is something you should know about me…
My gear is old, stained, rusty, broken for a large part (but still works so far, thank god).
I don’t use photoshop (honest figure would show maybe 2% of my workflow achieved through Photoshop). My tripods don’t hold much…
What do I consider essential material then?
1. An ok enough camera with a GOOD lense. By good lense I mean something sharp enough to take decent pictures without reaching the stellar price figure. By good lense I also mean a lense that matches the picture you have in mind. Do me a favor, skip the Photokina this year and go plan a shooting instead, I swear you will learn much more through practice.
2. Excellent planning. Browse the online world of photography, organize moodboards, talk with your team mates. Funny thing is, all this prep won’t help you at all during shooting time… But if you are one of those believing they can rely on their godly given inspiration breath on D-Day and go hands in pocket rock the photo world, pass your way please this blog isn’t for you.
Exploring the world of online fashion magazines and alike will give you the culture necessary to approach any given situation and help you fine tune your taste.
3. Get yourself a decent photo book library. I don’t ask you to get mad like I do, but go to museum, galleries, borrow books at the library, read Barthes, Sonntag , Krauss so at least you know what you are dealing with. Flickr, Fotocommunity and tumblr are fine but stopping there is like an attempt to understand the nature of humanity by reading Elle or Gala. Those, only are the froth at the top of the gossip.
I had a few discussions the last few days after with people over my Facebook page and have been criticised for not using the “right” camera brand (Fuck that) or others asking me for detailed nomenclature of the gears I used for doing this and that (?!?).
Well, I d like to heartily answer that Shakespeare did not have to use a golden pen to write Romeo and Julia… But I am not Shakespeare indeed…
Anger set apart, all I needed here was a prime 35mm, a telelense, a TTL flash system with one master and one or two slaves (flashes not assistants), a few tripods (from 35 to 65eur max each),
A set of broken umbrellas or octabox and a reflector.
Good mood and Michelle Weyand for the makeup on the go, cakes, drinks and an iPad playing Pj Harvey or Nick Cave. Later, your copy of Lightroom will do the job.
By no means I ignore the fact that better gear would give better results, but hey let’s face it: it makes no sense to by a Lamborghini to ride an Icelandic road. And I swear our roads are much more Icelandic than highstreety. You ll still have time to buy top end gears when you will feel like it’s time to bid for Vogue Cover. We all have seen sooooooo many reeeeaaaaaallllllyyyy shitty pics taken with a digital Hasseblad by a “pro” and same amount of awesome pictures taken by teens on their entry Canon 1000d, haven’t we?
One last thing: be unmerciful with yourself and others if you don’t have what you want. Crappy photo sessions start with compromising. The models, the location, the lights, the topic are so-so? Well your pictures will be so-so. No miracle here.
You are the photographer, here is a handful word that will help you when planing with others: “No”
You think the model doesn’t suit? Say no. Something is technically nonsensical? Say no.
Propose alternatives tho, you are the one with the knowledge and experience about photography here or am I wrong? Don’t get me wrong! This should not mean you must keep all doors closed but I trust you enough to find the right balance, the one that pleases your “client” AND looks awesome! To you want to be the one they picked cause you look awesome or the one they picked cause you are the cheapest?
Alright? Now pack your Polaroid and target awesomeness! 😉 oh I forgot… Join our photo book club at cafe Lecca :-p