Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I guess I'm a "generalist" photographer.

When I started my career, I always strived to have a couple of specialties, but didn't really want to be a "generalist". After all being a specialist generally means better jobs, more exposure, and the opportunity to be considered "the expert" within the industry. After working in NYC (where everyone's area of expertise is extremely narrow) I moved to Pittsburgh where specialists were few and far to be found. I continued my specialty at the time of corporate/industrial location photography and this actually served me quite well. However...after a few years you find yourself relying on tried and true techniques. While these are safe, it was kind of hard to find personal reward by not pushing your limits of your comfort zone. It was shortly thereafter that I started to shoot a lot of stock production which consisted mostly of models, real people, and lifestyle photography. This came at a time when my family was growing and I tapped into many personal feelings I was going through and I had a blast shooting these subjects. It was rewarding. I allowed myself to make mistakes. The work was almost like film making. The best frames were always in between situations and trying to make "just one more" shot the best. Gradually, I found myself enjoying more things and working closely with people is what I have found I do best. While I'll probably never be a still life photographer, I have found expanding into different subject manner has allowed me to feel better about filling creative voids. After all, I've got many interests and didn't get into this business to be pigeon holed. While this attitude probably won't land me any big time reps, it does allow me to take advantage of many situations that come forth in this rapidly changing market. I always feel better saying "no" to jobs that don't fit me as opposed to the phone not ringing. At least that way I know what markets are bustling and what ones are lagging. Having multiple portfolios that are "specialized" go a long way to showing my experience without burdening art buyers with work that they can't use or aren't interested in. As I grow, so too will my areas of expertise. I always feel that the best is yet to come!

This photograph is of Jenn Thomas shot at the Creative Treehouse. Jenn and I have worked together a few times, and she is a joy to work with. She is professional, works hard, and up for just about any idea. She works very hard promoting herself through various websites, and has grown to be a very popular swimsuit/lingerie model. Check her out here... Jenn Thomas Is it a stretch from the previous steel mill photo? Absolutely! Did I enjoy both jobs? Let's just say it beats sitting in an office cubicle all day long...

1 comment:

Creative TreeHouse said...

Mark. That photo looks amazing.