About a year ago I wrote a post that was titled THE PHOTOMETER, maybe someone remembers it. Might it be that the holiday brings me to be more meditative and write a little less of the usual bullshit – I did this, I did that, I published here and there – I’d like once again to make a further contribution to that discussion. Trying to (as far as I can…) be less of an asshole.
If last year’s photometer indicated the negative (don’t do this and don’t do that) this year I would like to do exactly the opposite, giving ten rules of what to do and how to become and above all remain (which is most difficult) a professional photographer. Some things I’ve said in the past, forgive me if I repeat them. Anyhow we know repetita iuvant.
One last thing before I begin: not for false modesty, but it is not far from clear that I have ever applied or that I strictly apply all the points I’m about to make. If I did I might have become a better photographer that what I am now. But I am a professional photographer, and I live only and solely on this job: necessary quality and sufficient enough to know how things should work…
Here are my ten rules to become and stay a professional photographer:
– Be yourself. Its simple! Be yourself. Become your story. To take pictures like Terry Richardson its not enough to take photos while a girl gives you a blowjob: everyone knows how to take those! You have to first LIVE like Terry, you have to have a mother that gets her picture taken with her tits out at 80 years of age while smoking a joint. The photographs have to tell who you are: if you are a nerd it is better to take photos like a nerd, you will never be good at taking the rockstar ones.
– Photograph what the client wants like you want it. I wonder why most beginners do exactly the opposite, namely photographing what they want in the way the client wants it. Let me explain myself: every client has its needs. And they are HOLY. He is paying, he looks for a solution to his problem and your job is to solve THAT problem. I love culinary metaphors: if you are running late for your train you want a simple sandwich, tasty and economic. If someone offers you orange duck, it might be the best duck in the world but it is not suitable to eat it while running for the train. So one will bust his back to get the duck to fit on the train. Nobody wants your fucking duck! Make that sandwich that they are asking for, but use the recipe that your mother taught you. Simple, right?
– Shoot a lot. If for ALL the things in the world the concept is that by doing it often and many times you improve I wonder why it should not apply also to photography. If you have done a thousand omelettes it is very likely that you are very good at making omelettes. I assure you, it also applies to photography: shoot!
– Photograph what you know. The well known and presumed ease of photography leads us to think that we can photograph everything, like that, bullshit. No! You want to go and photograph a boat race? You must know everything about boats and winds! If someone gave you a piece of paper and a pen and asked you to write something about the city of Ulan Bator what would you write?!? NOTHING! Because you’d know nothing of this city in Mongolia! And for what reason would you feel able to go to that city and photograph it?!? What could you tell about something that you know nothing about?!?
– Be contemporary. You often hear: I used to do that thing ten years ago!!! Well done asshole! You are wrong of exactly ten years! All expressions and not only artistic, but let’s say creative, must have a great quality: being the story of the time in which they are made.
For now the first 5 rules: the others will follow.
PS: I wrote everything on my iPad, so then all the caps where autocorrected, which are normally banned from my blog: for once you get them…