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Preview: Comments on: Talented Photographers Are 99% A Pain In The Ass To Work With

Comments on: Talented Photographers Are 99% A Pain In The Ass To Work With

Former Photography Director Rob Haggart

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 01:12:38 +0000


By: A Photo Editor – Talented Photographers Are 99% A Pain In The Ass To Work With | 100 Eyes Photo Magazine

Fri, 11 Sep 2009 23:32:19 +0000

[...] don’t think that either Rob Taggart or “the bohemian” actually believe that  99% of talented photographers are pain in the [...]

By: Photoshop Insider Blog By Scott Kelby » Blog Archive » Friday News Stuff

Fri, 29 May 2009 06:05:08 +0000

[...] “It is no surprise that talented photographers are 99% pain in the ass to work with. They have strong opinions, are stubborn, reckless, and most of the time have an extremely bad character.” (link to full story)  [...]

By: Erica Chadwick

Sat, 02 May 2009 14:00:07 +0000

@Art Buyer, Some photographers think they are "great to work with" because they are with the art director and art buyer. But Art Buyer brings up the point I wanted to make- watch yourself around your assistants, your stylists, your agent. If you are lovely to the art director and turn around and yell at your photo assistant, stylists, etc- the client will notice. Don't underestimate that what your crew says about you will create a lot of your reputation out there. This includes when the client is not around.

By: Rummy

Thu, 23 Apr 2009 20:38:25 +0000

Oh Mason you are so dreamy.

By: Erica Chadwick

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 17:17:45 +0000

@New York Agent, So true. How about this for an idea? Let your photographs show that you are a talented bad ass. And be a delightful human being, just to make yourself that much more interesting?

By: T. C. Knight

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 00:39:56 +0000

My last comment was a little facetious. But I was trying to make a point. As a photographer I am providing a service. I have a client who wants that service. My job is to make the client's job of securing photography he or she can use as trouble free as possible. That is why I hire the talent, provide the catering, and all the other stuff I put up with; so that my client does not have to do it. When I finish a job I want the client to be H A P P Y. Thats my job. If my client wants me to stand on my head and shoot the camera with my toes, then by damn, that's what I will try to do. I will give 110% because that is what I promise to do. If my client asks me to produce something I am not sure I know how to do, then I will learn how REALLY fast, and before the meter starts. And if my client is not comfortable through out the process, then I am not doing my job. I will smile, I will be happy, because DAMN it feels good to be paid a rather good living for doing my job.

By: New York Agent

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 23:14:08 +0000

I welcome this post and beg all photographers to follow the prescribed path. Please, all of you become consummate pains in every ass you can find, if you cannot discern a great moaning and bleating from the head end of every ass you are tormenting, please try harder. Make every effort to be willfully stubborn, reckless at every turn and above all I implore each and every one of you to foster an acutely bad character. If anyone at any of your imaginary shoots is smiling, your character is clearly not bad enough so go home and practice on your assistants. In these difficult days it would help us greatly if you all fell by the wayside and returned to stacking shelves at the health food store.

By: Jim Newberry

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 19:12:37 +0000

@A Photo Editor, but that's not being a pain in the ass is it? Editor's don't really want the "same old safe picture," do they? I wouldn't call this example making trouble, I would call it diplomatically suggesting an alternative to the assignment specs. And the results were "great," so would the editor, after this situation, consider Wojcik a pain in the ass? I'm confused about this: are we talking about good photographers that get away with being assholes (yelling at people, being disagreeable, mean, etc), or are we talking about good photographers that don't follow the status quo, but are polite and diplomatic about it?

By: Debra Weiss

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 16:29:03 +0000

@elizabeth avedon, Thank you. This is the only comment in this thread that actually makes sense.

By: dude

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 14:39:51 +0000

@Elvira, Wow, miss the point much? I guess in J-school, they didn't teach you about sarcasm or irony. Maybe if you'd stop reacting, read what I wrote, and stop making assumptions you'd get something out of it. I'm not condoning Jayson-Blair-style fabrication. I'm saying that photographers don't have that as an option. If it doesn't happen in front of the camera, it's of no use to us. A photographer can't go home and photograph the lint in his navel and submit it to accompany your interview though. If somebody is giving you a spoon-fed press release of an interview, you can still go home, write something about the situation, their background, do some research at your local library or on wikipedia and still collect your paycheck. As for kissing your ass, no thanks. I'll pass. As for not working with you, OK no problem.

By: Elvira

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 09:05:43 +0000

@dude, >>A photographer, unlike a writer (Jayson Blair anyone?) can’t just go home and reconstruct things.<< Oh, you poor, under-the-gun photographer. You've really got it rough! Yeah, you've got it right. I know that *I* always report a story safe in the knowledge that I can just 'reconstruct' things if the interviews (which I've taped, at the request interviewees) or situational sequences (which, you know, other folks are also witness to) don't go exactly as I like. Seriously, kiss my a**. Writers can be difficult. Photographers can be difficult. But you might try avoiding generalizations about the 'other side' until you've, you know, walked a mile... Cripes, here's hoping I never pull you as a partner on an assignment.

By: T. C. Knight

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 02:14:24 +0000

I'm a nice guy. Anybody want to hire me?

By: john p. naughton

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 17:23:00 +0000

Well, lets be honest. When and why did picture editors first appear on the scene in New York and then spread like a cancer around the world, and why is it better and easier to work with an Art Director, it's easier to work (A.D.) with someone who is visual and has a sense of history-not just the last five minutes, the last two hundred years. I think Photo editors first appeared in the mid 80's, but to be honest I don't remember. Are Photo editors visual people, I don't think so, did they study the visual arts in the the same manner as a painter or a photographer did, I don't think so-but, they are in a position of power. There lies the conflict. In my 30 years working as a photographer, I have only ever met and worked with three Photo Editors that I felt were truly both well read and also very bright, that is very bad for the magazine industry but very good for me to know the difference. Now it's a common practice for a photo editor to pick a photographer whose work mimics an editorial, Art Directors don't work that way-they want someone new-shake it up a little, being creative is what they are paid to do. Now most magazines are broken up into "Terrority", that is also a problem and there is no fix. Those without a vision are here to stay, they have power-and you need the money. JPN

By: Images of Nepal | Gavin Gough: Travel Photographer

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 05:31:31 +0000

[...] And, finally, Number 37 in the series: Things I Wish I Had Said. [...]

By: Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images

Sat, 18 Apr 2009 03:28:28 +0000

Sometimes, the 100% nice, extremely efficient photog can be seen as a PITA if they ask too many questions about relevant details to a shoot, at the exact time the PE is having a bad day, short on time, and an Editor bitching at them about 5 other things. (read: bad timing) At the right time, you're detail-oriented. At the wrong time, you're a PITA. - not that it's happened to me, but file under: it's possible....

By: P. Money

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 21:33:26 +0000

Here is Apple's famous "Think Different" manifesto: Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

By: Bruce DeBoer

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 21:23:17 +0000

@Art Buyer, I think that is exactly right. The problems come when expectations aren't managed properly - true? Photographers are hired to produce works that match the qualities you see in their portfolio of past projects. If results are demanded without letting the photographer do their thing, you'll witness an ass emerge 99% of the time. Experienced photographers (with the help of good AB's and PE's) use preproduction to avoid finding themselves in that untenable position. Yet, it still isn't easy to avoid 100% of the time.

By: Tyler, Chicago

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 20:15:46 +0000

So, was I naive to be proud of my A+ on my kindergarten report card for the category "works and plays well with others"? I also did well in the "naps" category.

By: maja

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 17:48:21 +0000

i believe u need to be good person first and than u can be good photographer also.. for example talent in the end dont count so much as hard work and respect u show to ppl u photograph.. i know some talented photog. and they were the best photog i enjoyed shoot with or edit with or learn from them or work with them.. also cuz they were greate ppl aslo.. maybe the sad thing is that some asswholes know how to push and have chances to come into bussines, those who arent and try everything in a fair way, need so much time more.. but the best ones are the one who are trying for years and are succesful for years laters.. hopefully in a fair world.. everyone deserve a chance..

By: William Brinson

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 16:16:13 +0000

New marketing strategy: "Be A Pain In The Ass" Cost: $10 APA members free Just kidding, Great post :)


Fri, 17 Apr 2009 15:14:48 +0000

@P. Money, The photographers i have known and know of that are assholes were assholes to begin with...unhappy queens,unhappy lesbians,unhappy people,flavor of the month woes,drug&alcohol problems...too much pressure etc. Has nothing to do with truth..has to do with insecurities coupled with the aforementioned, and the pressures of success.

By: elizabeth avedon

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 15:10:18 +0000

Why only 99%?

By: dude

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 14:26:07 +0000

Also, here's an inspirational quote, not that I usually quote people much. I'd bet Avedon could be a pain in the ass... "I believe in maniacs. I believe in type As. I believe that you’ve got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do. I believe you must betray your mistress for your work, you betray your wife for your work; I believe that she must betray you for her work. I believe that work is the one thing in the world that never betrays you, that lasts. If I were going to be a politician, if I were going to be a scientist, I would do it every day. I wouldn’t wait for Monday. I don’t believe in weekends." Richard Avedon

By: dude

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 14:24:36 +0000

Sometimes it's necessary to be difficult. It's often part of your job. A photographer, unlike a writer (Jayson Blair anyone?) can't just go home and reconstruct things. Something has to happen in front of the camera, or more to the point, the photographer hast to MAKE something happen. Nobody here is questioning whether it would be inappropriate for a photographer to suggest to a writer how to conduct their interview, or to a subject how they should answer the interviewer. This is analogous to what APE is describing in his post. So why is it problematic to stick to your guns when you believe it will enrich your work? I'm sure, die hard right wingers called Katie Couric "a pain in the ass" when she pressed Sarah Palin about her foreign policy experience, but most people saw it as good journalism. She did her job and dug deeper (which is more than can be said for much of the journalistic community). Same applies to photography. You shouldn't just necessarily accept what's presented to you. Embedded reporters in Iraq? Sure. Casket photos? No way. So, it's the same thing when, say, David Bailey shouts at models - it would get a reaction from them and snap them out of the poses and situations they were used to. Is he difficult? I'm sure he is a major pain in the ass. Is he a great photographer? Of course.

By: Tim

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 13:33:18 +0000

@Shane Kislack, True. I stand corrected from my previous post. pain in the ass = anti status quo.

By: Tim

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 13:31:49 +0000

@Mason, more than likely, 'none of the above.'

By: Jason Lindsey

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 13:08:04 +0000

Someone perceiving you to be difficult is totally different than being an ass. You can push the limits and ask for more. You can push the bondaries for something different. You can push for more time, more budget, a location that is hard to get to etc, etc. Sometimes when you ask for all these things you may be perceived as difficult but you can do all these things and not be an ass.

By: scott Rex Ely

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 11:45:33 +0000

I see a lot of projection and self serving justification going on here. Especially the Lonesome Dove ornery atmospherics presented by the almost romantic notions in the Bohemian's post itself. Sorta self perpetuating myths about gifted children and their professionally accepted obstreperous behavior.

By: P. Money

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 05:41:57 +0000

Thought provoking comments. All the best photographers I know are assholes. It is all subjective though, one man's asshole is another man's vaginahole, just as one man pain-in-the-ass is another man's pleasure-in-the-ass. Here's a question for the group, if most people hate the truth then does that make the truth inherently antisocial? A lot of people who speak the truth are considered to be assholes for being correct.

By: Quavondo

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 05:15:53 +0000

@dude, yeah, they say "that guy is nice." =)