‘I have 30 years experience’ = I’m really old
‘I’m an award winning photographer’ = I’m really not very good
‘It’s not about gear it’s how you use it’ = I can’t afford good kit (me)
‘I really appreciate the lines in the female form’ = I’m an outrageous pervert
‘I know I’m a perv, I’m into sleaze and trashy glamour’ = I’m a perv but maybe if I get in there first no one else will say it
‘A photograph should be perfect in camera, you shouldn’t rely on photoshop’ = I downloaded photoshop but for the life of me I can’t work out how to use it
‘I mainly shoot landscapes’ = I’m pretty dull to be honest with you… And I know it
‘I mainly use natural light’ = I can’t work out how to use flash
‘I’m a strobist, I only use flash, I need to be 100% in control of the shot’ = The guy who works in my studio sets up my lighting. If I used natural light my photos would be wank.
Imagine two types of photographer; the first is a retiree. He has a dentists pension. He has always loved photography but now has a lot of time and money to throw at it. He buys his first DSLR and reads about how to understand and work with light. He takes some pictures of a willing girl off Model Mayhem in a rented studio. The pictures aren’t good. How can he fix it? A better lens? Better flash equipment and Bowens lights? Maybe pay an experienced and amazing model to pose for him so the content of the photos is better? But then his work just looks like the last guy she posed for in a rented studio. Maybe he can pay a more experienced photographer he likes the work of to give him tuition? But then his work just looks like that guys.
This is not (just) me being cynical. I’ve seen this a thouuussssannd times on ‘the scene’.
The second is a young retail assistant who works in the watch department of a department store. He likes looking at the makeup counters opposite and wonders how the ads they use get the models to look so perfect and beautiful. He has a ‘point and shoot’ and an interest in photography. He decides whether he can create an image like that himself. On his wage he could never afford to buy a DSLR but his interest and drive to do better than the beauty adds is calling him and he persuades a new model to pose for him.
He has no lighting equipment or studio so has to learn about the different colours of sunlight - how to reflect it off different surfaces to do what he wants. He uses lamps, car headlights, street lights, projectors, lavalamps to try and get the effect he wants. He cannot afford to pay a model at all so he needs to max all his people (and photoshop) skills to get THIS model to act and look like a supermodel. He has to get better models by improving his portfolio and doing it the long way. That model he has his eye on isn’t going to work with him with his current standard of work, he has to get better. When he DOES get to work with that model she’s agreed to work with him because she likes his work, so puts her ideas and creativity into the shoot as well.
He can’t afford to pay someone to give him tuition so he has to make it all up. Not supposed to shoot into the sun? Not supposed to do long exposure on a portrait? Not supposed to have too much grain? No one told this guy - he’s making all the mistakes but it looks good and he’s come up with something new - his own style.
By the time the second guys work starts to get recognition and he can afford the gear and is getting photography gigs he knows how to work with LIGHT not just ‘bowens lighting gear’ and meters. He can get rapport and expression out of a model and most importantly - he has his own, unique creative style.
Katie Sozes 2012 roundup
This has been a strange year for me - but personal life aside a good one work wise. I really switched from being a beginner photographer to feeling confident with my camera and being a girl who liked drawing to honing my own style of graphic art/ illustration.
So here are some highlights from this year:
- Starting my own designer knit label
- Being active with photography and doing 22 shoots - thanks to everyone I worked with this year!!
- Getting signed to/ joining Moonko (big up yourself Debbie :P )
- Getting my photographs exhibited in Urban Outfitters - My first ever exhibition!
- Getting to 1,000 Instagram followers! Hhehe x
- Being reviewed by Gola
- Being part of an exhibition in the Nichols Building Sheffield (and attending an awesome opening party there).
- Getting signed to London Illustration agency The Cauliflower Collective (and drinking some amazing Malibu at their launch party at The Smokestack in Leeds)
- Continuing to work with Lolly Likes on body positivity and having this photo go down a storm with plus size bloggers.
I feel like this year I’ve come into myself and got to grips with what I’m doing. Hopefully the next year I’ll start to fly!
Thankyou for everyone who has supported me and followed this blog whether you’re a personal friend or relation, a nosey fellow photographer, a fat lover, a young aspiring photographer or just some guy who came across my tumblr. Every like and reblog means a lot to me - and I save all my asks and messages to read in the future.
Thanks for recognising that everyone has to start somewhere and encouraging me as I grow (rather than the narky grumps on my facebook who see no point in doing anything unless it’s your desk job).
Thankyouthankyouthankyou and I hope you have a good year this year too!