Saturday, 20 February 2010


This week has been "working whippets and terriers" for a magazine commission.
An interesting conversation with our thatcher today (ie the guy thats has thatched our house for us), he was telling me how fed up he is of people retiring early/ selling up their business/being made redundant, who decide to follow some pipe dream theyve had about being a thatcher as a dream occupation. I pointed out to him that its not just thatching where this occurs, and that its a daily problem in my industry as well!
This conversation all came about as we were talking about last nights TV programme where some "joe public" went on a 6 week course to learn some thatching.....and one of them had the nerve to say that she couldnt understand why a thatching apprenticeship was 4 years long because after 6 weeks she felt competant to thatch her own house! Wow, the arrogance of that assumption left me breathless. I was so pleased that the tutor put her straight, and told her that her work was not up to even the most basic standard!
The same happens in this industry......I was talking to someone a few weeks ago who told me theyd been asked to shoot a sporting event. They had taken 3000 (yes thats three THOUSAND) shots, in order to ensure they had at least one or two goodpix in the bag. I was so taken aback by this attitude that for once I was speechless and couldnt even offer a response. Who in their right mind would need to take that many images for the event in question.
Firstly its so typical of the "digital warriors" who never cut their teeth on film (yes Im a dinosaur and proud of it!)
Her amateurishness was so clearly apparent, and she also admitted she didnt know how to do wire transfers or have a clue how to optimise images for the publication she was commissioned by....then she wondered why they never asked her to cover another event.
Some things really are best left to professionals.....I dont want my roof thatched by some weekend warrior whose decided to jack it all in and become a thatcher, and likewise I dont expect my publishing clients to want to emply or commission a photographer whose experience in the industry is almost nil, whose never been a pro assistant or who is so arrogant to expect work to come their way, before they know the industry. Sadly though, its not an ideal world and these things will continue to happen.

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