Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I must admit, I have a horrible dreadful aversion to Hawaiian print shirts. I've lost count of the number of photographers I've seen wearing them. Maybe it's a local phenomenon.

There are a few things I notice about other photographers when I first see them in a basic order of importance.

1. How do they carry their gear? Do they have a big SUV (stupid useless vehicle) out in the parking lot with a trunk full of stuff in it and they are working without any bags? Perhaps they prefer belt systems. Are they using a leather satchel with a nice patinae?

2. What are they wearing? Does it fit the demeanor of the event? Do they have any special touches to their clothing to make their job easier?

3. Finally, how is their demeanor and how do they carry themselves? This often requires and introduction and requires a bit of friendliness.

I have a horrible pet peeve with item number two. I should preface this with a bit of background. I used to work in theater, I was the technical director and master carpenter for a troupe and there was a strict policy that all non-actors had to wear black from head to toe. It was a practical policy. It meant you would never draw unwanted attention to yourself in any given situation and you would always appear at least semi formal.

Now when I see someone photographing a wedding in one of the aforementioned Hawaiian print shirts, or covering a ball in jeans and sandals, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up a bit.

I know the photographer is working, and efficiency and comfort are key. You won't see me in a tux when I'm photographing a wedding, but you're sure as hell not going to notice me sticking out like a sore thumb. I think it's largely a matter of professional courtesy extended to the clients or the guests at an event and I think sometimes it gets too easy to overlook such details.

So here's a plea to others photographers, check yourself out in a mirror before you leave the house for a gig. To everyone who already does, kudos to you. Keep on keepin on.

(I forgot my black shoes in the car in the above photo, but yes I always wear funny socks)


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