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Easy for you to say

Don's post about two jugglers involved in a bit of, um, professional rivalry got me thinking about how we shooters work.

What we photographers see as challenging, and what the client thinks is difficult, can be two different things. Also, *why* we shoot is just as important as what or how we shoot.

How many times has a client dropped off a layout for a shot that they THINK is just a simple shot, "Shouldn't take you more than a few minutes to knock this out, right?", but when you see it, you call home and tell them you'll be late for dinner. Again.
It's part of our job as consulting professionals to increase our client's knowledge of what is and isn't a tough shot, without bragging about our mad skills. This'll pay off both in an increase in the perceived value for our work, as the client understands that it is work you do, and not just goofing with a camera (most of the time... :-) ), and it'll allow your clients to set reasonable deadlines and budgets, win-win scenarios for both of you.

And let's compare those two videos: The first was (apparently) less challenging for the juggler, but it was widely distributed on the internet and entertained a large live audience. Was it an over-the top display of juggling skill? No. Did it appeal to a wide market and entertain people? Oh yeah.
The second is probably a better display of the juggling arts. But it's done in a high school gym, it looks like, to a crowd of none and with little or no thought to appeal to anyone other than other jugglers. (Personally, I've always thought The Flying Karamozov Brothers were the cream of the crop as far as juggling. Their "jazz juggling" routine is... stunning.)
And that's something I've seen shooters do over and over again: We take the picture WE want to take, not the one that the client wanted. Sometimes, in the case of clueless clients, that's a good thing. Sometimes, it's not.

The question remains: Like juggling for other jugglers, do you take photos that appeal to other photographers, or take photos that appeal to your client?

“Easy for you to say”

  1. Blogger Don Giannatti Says:

    Hi Kev...
    Actually I believe that the first juggler has a much higher level of skill than the second. True the second has 5 balls instead of 3, but look how the first juggler actually does the drums - spatially as well as beats - while tossing the balls up, sideways and down... those little moments must take tremendous skill. My point is that sometimes what looks easy is actually more difficult than the 'flashy' approach.