Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I was reading an interesting article in December's PDN Magazine about the advantages and disadvantages of hiring photojournalists for high-end commercial work. The advantage is we are able to catch more decisive moments and work in more harsh, unpredictable conditions. The main disadvantage is that we aren't good at setting shots up. This is a very important point. We have been trained to have such strong set of ethics(and rightly so) about setting our photos up that when it comes to a staged situation with models, stylists, assistants, catering, we're like fish out of water. I know this, there have been many days where I'll go from a newspaper shoot to a corporate shoot in one afternoon. I have to literally shake my head or slap my face just to switch modes. I used to feel a certain amount of guilt setting up these commercial shoots until I just realized they are completely different beasts. In fact, I'm really trying to combine elements of photojournalism and commercial work together. The question I ask myself is "how can I create a scenario that is completely staged and make the subject or scene look as real as possible". I'm finding there is a real good market for it as well. Many clients seem to want that "reality look" and are a bit tired of some of the cheesy, stock style shots that are available in mass quantity online. It's corporate Photojournalism baby. Spread the word because there will be lots of us flooding the market in the very near future.