Posted on May 21, 2012
On Saturday I attended one of my dear friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah. I’ve known this young lady for years and have watched her grow from pre-tween to now official teendom. Her mom let me know that she wanted to include a photo I shot of her back in 2010, not long after I started in business, in her photo montage during her party. I was thrilled and proud because she said it was her favorite photo of herself. And that was awesome.
So when I arrived at the temple, I saw that they had the 8×10 print of the photo (on my signature metallic paper, no less!) sitting on the table where the programs were located. I think I visibly gasped when I looked at it! OMG, what the hell had I done in editing that picture?! The grass was a fluorescent green!!!
I don’t know whether I used an action or came up with some other means of creating an “urban” edit, but whatever I did, I should never, never do it again! I stood there like, OMFG!! The contrast was too high, the color pop was blinding, her arms were yellow, and the blades of grass had even lost detail on that metallic paper (since I hadn’t learned to soft proof at that point.) It was one of those moments that make you want to go back in time and smack yourself!
Of course everyone else thought the photo was beautiful, fluorescent green grass and all. Only I was flustered and self-flagellating. I was truly stunned. I hadn’t realized how much better my editing has become during the past 2 years but geez Louise…I guess I have learned a thing or two.
The day after the party, I immediately went to the computer and found the old RAW files from my archives and re-edited the picture so that it now looked like a sane person had done the work. Please have a look at the 2010 versus 2012 edits. (You might want to put on some sunglasses so that you don’t get blinded by the horrible 2010 version!)
Of course today I had to apologize tremendously to my friend for my DayGlo editing and told her that I will immediately reprint these offending images. She and her family are too classy to live with phosphorescent green grass! No way!
Posted on November 11, 2011
One of the interesting things for me along my photographic journey has been the way that I’ve grown to love some of the artistic styles I’ve been exposed to during these past few years. Yet the beauty of the art, as we know, often lies in the eyes of the beholder. And what happens when your client doesn’t dig your artistic vision? Or worse yet, sees your vision as a technical flaw? That can be an interesting situation.
And have him say, “Why isn’t she centered?”
He doesn’t say that anymore.
But even today, I can show him an image I love, like this one:
and have him say, “But I can’t see her face!” I then I try to explain that I was going for something different, yadda, yadda. It soon becomes like the old adage you hear about telling jokes: if you have to explain it after you’re done, then it just wasn’t funny. If I need to explain what I was going for in the image, then either I didn’t succeed, or I just didn’t succeed with my husband.
Yet it brings us back to the point about clients. There was a great discussion on a photography board today about how your artsy style might not be liked or appreciated by the client. In the example given, a photographer shot a wedding. In addition to the standard shots, she captured one that was backlit and had sunflare and haze. It was lovely and technically perfect. Yet some acquaintance on her blog commented, “how can you show such an image on your blog?! It’s overexposed!”
Now there was a beautiful and stylistically perfect image being thought of as being a bad shot. Ouch!
This type of comment/attitude is definitely in my mind as I work to refine my style. I didn’t appreciate sunflare, hazy and backlit shots until I got more proficient in taking them (and it is tricky, indeed) and recognized the ethereal, airy quality they possess. Yet again, I am concerned about a client thinking, why does she have this hazy shot in my gallery?! That should have been one of the rejects!
During this phase, I’ve been offering both the “hazy/backlit” and the “normal” versions of some images.
I can recognize and appreciate both versions, though I am starting to lean toward haze and backlight when the light is glorious and yummy like it was in the shoot above. Yet I wouldn’t want those tykes’ parents to look at the hazy shots and say, WTH was she thinking? Doesn’t she know how to take a sharp picture?
I’m getting to become more comfortable with my style, but I know that some people might be left scratching their heads…like my dear husband who looked at my silhouettes and said, “Well isn’t she a bit underexposed in these?”
“Yes, my sweetie, deliberately.”
“Oh,” he began, “I guess I don’t get it.”
You just gotta love him.