I have been following a recent series of PDN articles on "experts" giving opinions to photographers on what images they should use to enter various markets. You may remember my somewhat jaded comments last time regarding the photojournalist entering the commercial / art market. I really wonder how many are reading this series for the same reasons I do. I am sure that some people are but my inquisitive nature causes me to really really want to know what the readership split is. For simplicities sake let's cut the audience into two broad categories - those that find the contradictions between the "experts" amusing and the idiotically motherhood and apple pie "advice" so non-specific and non-actionable it is worth a giggle or two - and the other category of those hanging on every word of opinion and advice so that they can get the magic secret and apply it immediately to their work, portfolio whatever.
Yesterday's installment was particularly amusing to me for really strange reasons but I had to share the subtle irony that gave me such a giggle with all of you. Yes I know I am strange but hey, aren't we all. So… Here are a couple that shoot weddings together and they want some advice on targeting the "high-end" wedding market. Yep - that situation is so highly unique hmmmm… shoot 3,987,987 weddings a year for $1.49 each or… 4 weddings a year at $100,000 a pop. Is there a wedding photographer alive that wants to do something more toward the latter? For all of you non-english speakers that exaggeration is a hyperbole but illustrates the ultimate universal answer when ANY wedding photographer is asked about developing their business - same or less weddings, higher end client, more money per event. duhhhh.
On to the amusing part - the experts. One of those wedding magazine people from the 5 different conde-nast wedding magazines and… Kevin Kubota. You know Kubota, don't you. He is like the Gary Fong of Photoshop actions for wedding photographers. In other words he has made his name synonymous with Photoshop stuff you must have to be a wedding photographer. You know the stuff that gives wedding photographers their own "style" - he has like 997 different action packs with 342 different effects each. In other words enough that you can pick effect #283 from pack #23 and effect number 118 form pack #765 and you will not look like the other guys. Wow - cool.
I know I am biased here in my prognostication that a lot of today's wedding photographic treatments will be the polyester leisure suite of the next decade but the really really funny irony is that the wedding magazine guy gives a piece of advice to the would be high-end wedding shooters that high-end clientele are "less interested in post production". Now she had to say that for a reason - most likely they are current Kubota customers - or something like that, but that piece of advice did not come out of left field to people that are shooting film producing a portfolio that looks strait out of the camera is it?
Oh come on you have to see the humor - don't you? The wedding magazine person couches a too much Photoshop action criticism - she even used the term "Photoshop action" when she is part of the two person team giving advice with "Mr. Photoshop actions for wedding photographers". That is freaking hilarious - I wonder if she was like - "oooooooooooops" once that escaped into the air? Wouldn't you love to be part of the crowd hanging with her at the bar that night?
"So I was with Kevin Kubota today for a portfolio critique and I said…"
"YOU SAID WHAT??"
"Yea I know. As soon as it came out, I was like, ummm, aaaah, what I mean is.."