I’m glad we presented our mission statement yesterday. I received personal messages from some of you confused about what it meant. It’s always been clear in my mind but didn’t translate very well to the public. So, without changing the meaning, we have changed the wording.
The mission statement was originally written to declare our intention to change the photography industry. From the beginning, we’ve wanted to influence all of it. And there’s some things that need to change. FotoFly is thriving, but the rest of the photography world is headed into a weird direction. Here’s what I’m seeing.
We’ve seen many photographers who have hung on to old business models close down. They are being replaced by hundreds of ‘amateur professionals.’ These are good people with good intentions that love photography but may not have formal training.
As of last night, there are 745 amateur professionals advertising on KSL. I spent a couple of hours looking through them and I have some concerns. Today, I took some time to attempt to duplicate the type of problems that I was seeing. The issues fell into four main categories:
There was a lot of splotchy lighting, some just bad lighting, and mostly FLAT lighting:
This is what I call ‘splotchy’ light.
This is light coming from below her.
I saw awkward posing, unnatural posing, posey posing, and unflattering posing.
They seem posed. This isn’t flattering to both of them.
This is unnatural and weird.
We’ve changed the shape of her body with how we’ve posed her and positioned ourselves.
This looks cheesy.
I am into pensive looks. Sometimes I like crying pictures. I love smiles. But, I dislike fake smiles or bored/nothing expressions.
This just seems staged – not authentic.
She seems bored.
Many of the pictures were incorrectly composed. In other words, they were cropped wrong (too tight, unbalanced) or there was something in the foreground/background that didn’t belong. Or, they were just weird…weird vignettes or colorizing.
We call this a ‘floating head.’
This is cropped too tight and feels uncomfortable.
We need to stop the colorizing thing. It was super cool in the 80′s.
White vignettes were also cool 20 years ago.
Again, I’m still seeing colorizing out there…
Bad photography has always made me a little angry. Whether it’s a random family portrait on someone’s wall or as I’m reviewing our own pictures – I always feel some level of anger. I think I put myself in the family’s or the parent’s or the bride’s shoes and it is upsetting. Especially when money has been paid.
This is my angry face.
As I looked over the 745 photographers, I thought: “If I were a customer, how would I EVER choose? How would I know if this person actually knows what he/she is doing and know that I’m not wasting my time and money.” Then I thought, “If I was one of these 745 photographers, how would I ever stand out?” Tomorrow night, I’m going to talk about FotoFly’s step in solving this problem.
Until then, I would like to have a fun contest that involves you and YOUR pictures. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org pictures that YOU have done that, after you’ve looked at them, you’ve realized that you had a lighting, or posing, or expression, or composition problem. Please don’t send pictures that you had someone else do of you. I don’t want to embarrass any fledgling photographer out there – but if you’re okay with it, post pictures that you’ve done. I don’t want any copyright issues… We will pick winners in each category. So, tomorrow night at 9:00, we’re picking four more winners. This is the most I’ve given away in a long time.
Here’s the deal, you must send them by 7:00 am tomorrow morning because I’m going to post my favorites of each category tomorrow morning and we’ll spend the day voting. Tomorrow night at 9:00, I’m going to announce the winners and finally make our big announcement.