photographic art

Life Thru the Lens 46/52... why I am not cheap

I see posts like these often, "looking for a cheap photographer." 

As a photographer, it is especially frustrating to see these words. 

Why do we as an industry continually undermine the work/art that we diligently strive to perfect by underselling ourselves?

I'll admit it I used to undersell myself as well; I have undersold myself. 

But, I also think it comes down to the fact that we as photographers lack in educating the public as to why photography should cost more. And so, this is my post about why I am no longer able to be a "cheap" photographer. 

I posted this photo of The Thinker and I recently. We took it about two years ago, but I decided to re-edit it because I am focusing on sharpening my editorial skills. I have a dream of working for a little photography boutique, or to own one, and I want my editing skills to be on par with the industry itself. 

To do this, to edit photos in a fine-art method takes time and skill. I may not have walked the hallowed college halls to gain my editing skills, but I have put in long, arduous hours scouring the internet for videos and information on how to obtain certain looks with Lightroom and Photoshop. Then I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. It's the hours of training that bring this...

to this....

Or, this...

To this....

I understand wanting a bargain. Shoot, I'll hunt down a bargain, and rarely purchase anything at full price. However, there are certain items I will splurge on because I understand the art that goes into the item.

I read a quote one day that sums it up...

"Professional photography is not a need, it is luxury." And, a luxury is something you should save to splurge on. 

I understand that everyone desires a professional portrait of their kids, or their families, hanging on the wall. And, I believe every one should have a professional portrait hanging on their wall, but not to the extent of undervaluing the time, skill, education, and tools it takes for a photographer to capture, and create, a portrait.

It's important to remember as a consumer that photographers spend years perfecting their art. They begin with the fundamentals of capturing a perfect SOOC and move on to editing techniques. But, for fine art photographers it is not all about the SOOC, it is also about the end product with their editing techniques. So, a fine art photographer learns their camera like the back of their hand so that they can obtain the image they need in order to produce the look they want. Hence my first shot that was a bit underexposed and my second shot with the highlights blown. Those were not "saved" photos, they were images I took with an end product in mind. It is not the image you are paying for, it is the creative knowledge to create that image you are purchasing. And that, that, is why I am no longer cheap. 

Life Thru the Lens

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.


~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

Glacier National Park... a Photographer's Defining Moment

There are moments in your life, defining moments. Those moments when the scales are removed and you know the path you want to be on. They, are the moments that you are not waiting for. They, are the moments in that come at you unexpected and linger into hours, and then years. Those defining moments are the ones that you do not fully comprehend until you process them as a whole and realize with intensity of passion that you are defined: you are a person with purpose. This was that moment for me. 

It took me years to realize that our trip to Glacier National Park set me on a charted course. It took me years to call myself a photographer and believe that I truly was one. It took me years to admit that not only was a photographer, but I wanted to be one as well. 

If we could live anywhere in the world, and money was not "the" object that stood between home and living there, this is where we would live. On the North Fork, in Montana. Even as I write these words, tears fill my eyes and my heart builds with anxiety at the truth revealed. Yes, I have fallen in love with a place as much as Germany. I honestly did not think that I was capable of feeling home; I have never had a home, I have been a vagabond my entire life. To know deep within my soul what home means, and how it feels, and how throughly etched it can be in my heart, is mind boggling. 

I do wonder if my intense feeling of home is tied to my defining moment? Maybe, it is where you are defined that you feel most at home?

Ansel Adams is one of my absolute inspirations. His imagery is breathtaking, and the contrasting tones of his back and white photos are mesmerizing. He is an artist I would have loved to sit under and to glean as much as I possibly could.

It always amazes me to sit and watch the light change during a sunset. It is one of the best times of the day and I find myself entranced by the beauty of each stroke of the artist as the sun sets and the light shifts.