Just Be Cool.

One thing you will learn about me, if you were to ever meet me in person, is that I am real.  Everything I say here on this site is how I speak in person.  I don’t sugar coat it here and I definitely don’t do that in real life.  Some people think that to stand up to the frauds in the industry you have to be mean or an asshole.  I am neither of those things.  Okay, I can be an ass at times.  But I am not mean.

What I find really amazing is how some photographers will treat their clients.  I don’t know where it came from that a photographer must insult his/her client or model to get them to do what they want them to do.  I have heard so many stories about arrogant photographers being rude on set and I just find it completely idiotic.  Of course, none of the photographers I have personally heard of doing this are actual working professionals.  Apparently they are the type that like to talk big and pretend they are better than everyone else.  Well, in case you are one of those photographers, it is your work that shows you are better than everyone else, not your mouth.  Oh, and part of being better than everyone else is also treating people better than anyone else.

I love working with my clients, whether it is a model or someone who has never been in front of the camera.  Think about this for a second.  I work with women on almost every single shoot that I do.  If I treated them with disrespect or in any negative way would I continue to have work?

I guess I am just frustrated with so many people out there who pretend to be something they are not.  They book a few gigs and suddenly they think they know it all.  Just because you did something for free or undercut another photographer’s price does not mean you suddenly have 20 years experience.  So many people say they have more experience than they really do.  I was taking a photography class in 1991 and happened to get an image published in a car magazine which led to more work and more publications.  I then started working with professional models in 1993, working with them to develop their portfolios and working with actors getting them headshots.  I also went on to shoot weddings, portraits, events, commercial clients, advertising, editorial and the list goes on.  Your experience begins when you first started working, not when you first picked up a camera.  Experience is something you must earn.  Experience teaches you how to treat your clients with respect.

All I know is that I am who I am and I am as real as possible.  There is no bullshit here, even when I say I was Hugh Hefner’s body double, yes, that really did happen.  I have other stories too that sound too good to be true, but they are true.  If you want to know them just invite me out to the bar and buy me drinks all night.  I would offer to pay for them myself but I’m a working photographer who doesn’t make money off of teaching lame workshops.  All that means is that I can’t afford to go out drinking all night!

I do what I do simply because I love it.  I don’t care if I am famous or rich or known by all.  I don’t need an entourage of new photographers following me around WPPI worshiping the ground I walk on.  I am me.  I shoot what I shoot.  If you are a client and want some great images in my style and want a photographer who is dedicated to you, I’m your guy.  If you want someone to just tell you how wonderful you are and blow smoke up your ass, get a personal assistant.  And there is nothing wrong with that, I’m thinking of getting one myself. 😉

Heidi by The Average Jim