ViewFinder Photography Forum

General discussion - our photography living room. Talk about aesthetics, philosophy, share your photos - get inspired by your peers! Moderated by another view and walterick.
ViewFinder Forum Guidelines >>
Introduce Yourself! >>
PhotographREVIEW.com Gatherings and Photo Field Trips >>
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,505

    I was at a loss how to connect

    I went out tonight and met some friends at an upscale bar in town. My friends were being much more outgoing that I was and before I knew it we all were in a big conversation with the other patrons. After awhile, I discovered that one of them is a professional photographer ... works for Getty ... has lived and worked in New York and Chicago for 20 yrs. and just recently moved back to this area.

    Anyway, (I had no desire to flirt with him up or anything), but I found myself wanting desperately to connect with him and discuss photography, because it's my interest too, yet at the same time I was aware of this huge chasm between us ... like he was the celebrity and I was just the lowly fan. I felt like anything I might say to him about photography would make me feel really dumb. So I just clammed up and said very little.

    How does a non-professional converse with someone who's been doing it for 20 years, whose work is on billboards, advertisements, etc.? What kinds of things could I talk about with him? I'm so bad at stuff like this.
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  2. #2
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Sweet home Ala... Florida
    Posts
    4,749

    Re: I was at a loss how to connect

    Quote Originally Posted by kellybean
    I went out tonight and met some friends at an upscale bar in town. My friends were being much more outgoing that I was and before I knew it we all were in a big conversation with the other patrons. After awhile, I discovered that one of them is a professional photographer ... works for Getty ... has lived and worked in New York and Chicago for 20 yrs. and just recently moved back to this area.

    Anyway, (I had no desire to flirt with him up or anything), but I found myself wanting desperately to connect with him and discuss photography, because it's my interest too, yet at the same time I was aware of this huge chasm between us ... like he was the celebrity and I was just the lowly fan. I felt like anything I might say to him about photography would make me feel really dumb. So I just clammed up and said very little.

    How does a non-professional converse with someone who's been doing it for 20 years, whose work is on billboards, advertisements, etc.? What kinds of things could I talk about with him? I'm so bad at stuff like this.
    When I worked a the lab I was in constant contact with pros from every level of photography, and what I learned is that if you approch them like anyone else they will treat you like anyone else. Just act normal and approch the subject from your own standponit. Any pro worth talking to will be as happy to talk shop with you as you are with him/her.
    John Cowan
    Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
    ~Ernest Hemingway~

  3. #3
    has-been... another view's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    7,649

    Re: I was at a loss how to connect

    Remember that twenty years ago he was in your position.

    If he's a nice guy he would probably be glad to talk to you about photography, regardless of who he is or how famous he is. Just ask him a couple of questions to get the conversation started (how did you get started professionally, would you look at my portfolio, etc) and see where it goes. Professional photography ain't easy, and to suceed for many years this guy must have at least decent people skills.

  4. #4
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    3,972

    Just say...

    'So I understasnd you are professional photographer?
    I am VERY interested in photography, I consider myself an 'advanced amature".
    You have a common interest.
    I am sure he would be more than willing to talk photography with you.
    Just step out of your comfort zone, Kelly and intorduce yourself. The rest will come naturally!
    Brian
    My "Personal" Photography Website...
    高手
    My Moderator Bio Page...
    Nikon Samurai #2 - Emeritus
    See more of my photography here...

    A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed, and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in its entirety... - Ansel Adams

    "Photography Is An Act Of Life" - Maine 2006

  5. #5
    shake it like a polaroid picture berrywise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    401

    Re: I was at a loss how to connect

    You: Wow you have really muscular arms, do you work out?
    Him: Actually I just shoot hand held with a 300mm f2.8 a lot.


    well maybe that's not the best way to go about it.

  6. #6
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Middle Florida
    Posts
    3,667

    I'll be honest, it's tricky...

    Kelly,

    I'm not going to pretend to be in this guy's league, at least when it comes to accomplishments with a camera and career, but I've done this for a long time, and I think I'm very good at it.

    I've been published quite a bit, I've had some reasonably high profile gallery shows over the years, and have accumulated a great deal of experience through both my commercial and artistic shooting.

    Now you've met me, and hopefully you found me to be a fairly personable guy, but truth is, the amount of patience I have when beginners or advanced amatuers (or even beginning pros) want to "talk shop" with me varies greatly depending on the stuation.

    I can't speak for others, but usually the LAST thing I want to to discuss at length is photographic equipment. A little bit is fine, especially when comparing the general advantages and disadvantages of different types of camera and lighting systems, but the less brand or model specific, the better.

    What I find very fun and interesting when talking with other photographers of ANY skill level is ideas. What you like to shoot, what projects you might be working on, and what your career goals may be. If asked, I'm always willing to talk about the thing I'm working on, both actual projects as well as the many "back burner" things that constantly seem to be floating around in my head.

    Another good topic of conversation would be stories behind images. Most veteran photogs have many stories about how or why they shot something, and they're usually pretty willing to tell you some of them. What was the toughest assignment you had to shoot? What was the most surprising or unexpected photo you ever took? What the most dangerous time you had or the funniest moment trying to take a photo? Things like that...

    I also enjoy helping others by giving advice and talking a bit about the business and marketing side of photography. Try talking a bit in general about your experiences and your career (without, of course, droning on and on with uneccessary details or trivial) and asking someone what they did at that point their career and why.

    Most people like talking about themsleves, and I'm sure the other person will (at some point) make it clear if they're not interested in what you have to say or how you're saying it.
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

    Running the Photo Asylum, Asylum Steve's blogged brain pipes...
    www.stevenpaulhlavac.com
    www.photoasylum.com

  7. #7
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,505

    Re: I was at a loss how to connect

    Quote Originally Posted by berrywise
    You: Wow you have really muscular arms, do you work out?
    Him: Actually I just shoot hand held with a 300mm f2.8 a lot.


    well maybe that's not the best way to go about it.
    Berrywise, actually (ahem) um I did say something like that ... while I was giving him a neck and shoulder massage ... my friend bragged up my talents and made me take over for her ... yes he appreciated it but it's not like it sounds. Honestly. (My friend is trying to convince me to become a professional massage therapist.) My contact with him was totally innocent.

    And that was before I found out he was a photographer. So I really didn't want to display a *whole* lot of fascination with him for fear he'd think I was flirting.

    But Steve, those are fantastic ideas! I would guess you are at least in the neighborhood of his league, and yes I found you to be a personable guy, although I think I understood exactly where your patience limits were. They were precisely where I would expect them to be in an accomplished person.

    I may run into this group again, and if so I like your idea about asking about stories, and things that might be on the "back burner". I really don't feel he'd be interested in looking at my portfolio. I'm not ready to do anything with it yet, anyway.
    Last edited by opus; 06-30-2005 at 11:17 AM.
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. loss of dynamic range
    By bkindred in forum Photo Printers, Drives, Computers & Other Hardware
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-06-2005, 07:29 PM
  2. xD-Picture Card: Quality Loss?
    By Ecks Vanguard in forum Digital Cameras - General
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-16-2004, 09:12 AM
  3. What do you guys think of this idea?
    By schrackman in forum ViewFinder
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 11-24-2004, 07:57 AM
  4. From tiff to jpeg conversion, strange loss...
    By Seb in forum Photo Printers, Drives, Computers & Other Hardware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-16-2004, 03:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •