With compliments to the chef
I've spent quite a bit of time in other people's homes lately creating photos for use in promoting vacation rentals or home sales. Most sessions go very well as I have an opportunity to chat up the inhabitants and get a brief glimpse into their world via what they display (or try to hide) in addition to adding to my residential interior and exterior photography experience.
Generally we talk about travel or interior design or redecorating - all expected topics considering the purpose of my visit - and, more frequently, photography.
"What's the best camera for...?"
I hear this question quite a bit and try to give a coherent answer (mind you, we're still in the middle of a shoot and my focus is elsewhere) that's neither too vague nor too technical. If we were talking cars or trucks, it might be easier to give a simple rule of thumb governing equipment and usage. For instance, a Land Rover is to rough mountainous terrain as a Prius is to Southern California highways with stop and go traffic. But with cameras, or more specifically camera systems, there are so many more variables to consider.
But then I realized that I hadn't really considered the inherent supposition in the question. Which usually goes something like...
"I could have done this myself if I had a better camera."
As photographers we have the benefit of knowing all of the elements that go into creating the final image. The photographer's eye, experience, attitude, the light, composition, tonality, etc. and how it takes the right proportions and timing to make it work. The camera equipment itself being one (very important) component but not the only, or even most important, one (yes, I said that out loud). Many aren't aware of that distinction. And hence the idea that buying the "right kind" of equipment will assure the best (or even better) photographs.
So, other than beating my breast or cursing the gods for the advances of the digital age or ranting in photog forums, how's a photographer to answer the question in a way get her point across and maybe change a client's perspective in the process?
Humor and delivery.
A couple orders dinner at a fine restaurant. The meal arrives on-time at the right temperature and is fantastic with a great balance of flavors and textures. They hand a note to the server to deliver to the chef. Opening it, the chef reads:
Keywords: client questions, commentary, humor, new technology, photographer's vision, photographers' frustrations, photography, photography equipment, professional photography, small business issues, uneducated clients
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