Friday, June 18, 2010

So you think you can shoot?

I've recently read a book by Monte Zucker, a master of the craft that has been in the business for at least 60 years.

Monte continually asks professional and aspiring photographers to what extent are they willing to subject themselves to in order to become the best photographers that they can be. As always, most of us would enthusiastically exclaim "I'm ready to go all the way!" or "Bring it on!"

Thats a pretty passe response isn't it? I mean most of us don't mind saying it, but doing it is another thing because we are afraid or unwilling to push ourselves too much, and learn from timeless, proven techniques of the trade.

Some folks who profess to be from an artistic background would say " I want to be my creative, individual self! I don't bother about what other photographers have done in the past, or who're doing currently. I'd rather experiment and find out on my own what makes things work for me and my clients." I humbly profess that I've gone through those thoughts at times.

I mean, seriously, do you think anyone can figure it out all by themself, just by simply getting a DSLR and racing out there to shoot a wedding for a few hundred ringgit for the sake of their "college assignment"?

I guess we have to ask ourselves, where do we stand on the issue of mediocrity. Are we willing to study hard, practise hard, and to obtain the necessary equipment to do the job? Are we willing to make the effort to learn through the proper avenues and put them to practise? Are we willing to struggle through the various stages of becoming a photographer in whatever genre we aspire to be, and find our maximum potential?

Like our instant noodles and disposable plates, most of us at times would prefer an instant route to success. Unfortunately there is none. We can try our own hit and miss techniques until we stumble on something miraculous that will work once in a while, but the outcome is totally our responsibility.

Until then, I choose to be safe and put my money on the masters of the craft, and continually learn from them so that I can be the best that I can be.




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