Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Shoot For Free- No, You Don't!

No way, no how; never did, never will. If there's one thing that really gets my ball rolling, it's when yet another jackass proclaims his complete and utter joy and liberation at being able to shoot for free. "I don't have to pay for film, I shoot for free!" The only way you shoot for free is if you're one of the chosen handful who doesn't have to work to pay their own bills (ask Joel).*

No, this aint about digital v film- please; or even which is bloody cheaper! This is simply about what would possess someone, anyone to buy: the necessary computer hardware (incl all the extra memory, RAM, extra hard drive, whatever), software (incl plug ins, etc), monitor calibrator, paper (now more expensive w/o silver- explain that one), inks worth more than their weight in gold, printer, and of course, camera, lenses, accessories... A multi-thousand investment anyway you look at it- and then turn around and yell, "Hey, look at me. I shoot for free! Free, I tell ya!"

Yeah, and the last eight years have given us unprecedented economic growth and security.

*Joel Meyerowitz-- Eggleston came to New York in 1969 or 1970 and someone sent him to me. He showed me a box of black and white photographs from the south. Mediocre photos, in my opinion, without tension, without energy. I then showed him approximately 500 colored works. We sat together until the early morning. And when he left he murmured something like: 'Color photography, that's it.' He then started to take pictures similar to the ones he had done before, only in color. As a millionaire he could afford to have them printed. Szarkowski liked my work in color. But he kept saying:' I need prints. I need something for the wall.' Only I did not have the money for prints. That's how Eggleston became the pioneer of color. But that's what it's like in photography.'


mikepeters said...

Often, people ask if I'm free to shoot on a given day. I reply, I may be available, but I'm never free.

Unfortunately a great many people who are in the position of buying the creative service that photography is, and an even greater amount of people actually using a camera, do not know how to tell the difference between a well executed and well composed photograph and mere camera based technological competence that allows the lens to focus and can calculate the right amount of light to make an exposure.

Experience counts far more than equipment. However, good equipment never hurts.

That was a great little tidbit by Meyrowitz. It is a well known fact that Egg was rich and never had to worry about paying bills, which is why he was able to indulge his inner muse with such abandon. But something as simple as putting prints on the wall, funny.

beatriz said...

when i was working a grunt-labor job and saw people with cameras walking in the area where i worked i realized that a walk, a camera, the time involved are all luxuries.

Stan B. said...

That's a whole nuther discussion Beatriz- and what a luxury it is!

Tom White said...

I can't tell you the amount of work I've lost because people didn't want to pay me...

Oh and film costs but last time I shopped, hard drives weren't free!