So what caused this old photography anecdote to pop back into my mind? On the one hand I have been reading a fascinating book about how our brain really works, how we think & how we perceive the outside world. In a nutshell we all see a lot less than we assume and the brain is very very good at filling in the gaps.. And then there is the growth of online web sites for booking photography services; with the one I came across most recently referring to itself as the UBER of Photography. This site also prominently featured the
On the surface these online photography booking systems seem attractive because they attempt to make photography into a fixed commodity, like a car trip from A to B or buying a new stove. Simplistic price points and deliverables give an illusion of choice and control. A final focus on the camera (just one part of a photographer's tool kit) is an easy layman's; no really it's an amateurs most obvious point of photographic reference, much easier than understanding the nature of photography itself. "What camera do you use?" Nikon or Canon.. Not that it probably matters anyway. All in all you have something that feels like it should be all you need to take control of your marketing, and at a price point you can choose for yourself.
Which brings me back to how our brains work. Now I am no neuroscientist, nor am I psychologist with a degree in marketing. I can however tell you that when I go to a life drawing group and put pencil to paper, my eyes and brain tell me I am doing well; until I need to join the last lines together; then unless I have been practising regularly I find out I am not so good a judge of what I saw and put down on paper after all.
My brain fills in gaps, but in the end, I have a gap I cannot fill. This is why I practice my photography every day. If not on commercial jobs, then on personal projects or just photographing things that interest me. This is also why I went to art school and assisted photographers - back in the day - who were much better than me. So I could learn to see what was really there, to reduce the brain fill gaps with what is really there, to learn to see creatively and develop a vision for my craft.
While cameras may be a commodity; photography never will be. There are just too many variables. And as the saying goes, "if you are not sure where you are going, you might end up somewhere else". Thrill of the unknown journey aside.. when it comes to choosing a photographer, take a good look at their portfolio or website; keep an eye out for consistency; if you don't know what you are looking at, or for, enlist specialised help - editors or designers. When you find a photographer with the photographic vision that suits you. Give them a call or send them an email, I can assure you, they will be very happy to hear from you; and you will be making the best decision you can to get the most Fantastic Pictures possible!
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