Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Choosing the Wrong Images

It had to be said.

Not every photographer's eye is as acutely developed as the next.

When Anna Wintour looks through images, she sees things that I might not even consider.

Similarly when I look through images, I judge by a different set of criteria than most others do.

As an example, in my last workshop I saw some amazing images on one photographer's camera as we reviewed them... literally on the back of his camera. Later on however, these same amazing images failed to find their way onto the LUCIMA Workshop Facebook group. Instead the photographer uploaded other images. Much to my chagrin these images he chose instead paled in comparison to the ones that I saw on the day of the workshop.

I bet if I went on his computer, I'd find better images of the models.

So why did he choose the "wrong images"?

Honestly I don't know. Actually I do know, but I'm going to answer this question in a roundabout way as I usually do. The point of the story is that I've developed my "photographer's eye" by having my wrist slapped time and time again. By models. By model agents. By designers. By makeup artists. By wardrobe stylists. By hair stylists. Sometimes they ask me to capture a different angle during the shoot. Sometimes they ask me to find another image in the set to retouch (instead of the one I already edited).

Time and time again I've been "corrected" in my selection process. Each time I evaluate their concern. Each time, I realize that they are (mostly) right and that I "missed something".

Without these experiences, without having your "wrist slapped" over and over again, you'll just defer to what you think looks good.

And boy, lemme be the first to tell you. You don't know what looks good. The bland expression. Awkward pose. Chopped off limb. Hand coming out of nowhere. Scrunching the model with lens distortion making her look fat and short. The list goes on and on.

Some of y'all need a good wrist slap or two. You need to hear it from someone like me because you'd rather not hear it from a paying client. Or a modeling agent.

Good thing we'll cover this in the Business Photography Workshop!


  1. Great post Charles, thanks for sharing! I'm glad to know that even the pros -- whose work constantly inspires me -- have been where I am too: find issues time and again, or even worse having them pointed out by others, as I develop my "photographer's eye" and try to catch all the details that really make an image "Wow" vs. "huh". Often times the images look amazing in my 2.5" LCD but on the big screen I find I'm disappointed, either out of focus, a minor expression, or some other detail I missed while being mesmerized by the model and her pose to begin with. I'm learning though, and getting better, and you've certainly treaded this road before too...

  2. Ha ha! Love your spirit and sense of humor. AND your wisdom!