Every time I see a photography list on the internet, I think “that must be easier than actually learning to write, you fucking hacks.” One like this, titled 12 photography gimmicks to keep your lips off the barrel of a gun, I think, is a great example. This is some serious grass-is-really-clay-but-the-bulls-are-eating-it-anyway bullshit, for lack of a better term.
I’m talking about the first 10 points, cause the last two are bullshit squared. I have both sold images and had pictures that made a difference. It’s just a matter of making your definition tight enough. Like, grandma, can you give me a buck for these pictures I brought here for you?
First off, the list assumes everybody is a general interest photographer. Ya know what, a lot of people specialize. Some dudes won’t shoot a person to save their lives, others shoot nothing but people, dudes specialize in babies, pets and product shots. They’re worthless as human beings, but they’re still around. Think about it. Why would a dude like Helmut Newton be shooting the northern lights or a blue iceberg. Or why would Ansel be shooting portraits. I mean, he did, but he sucked at it. For fucks sake, dude spent the second World War hanging out in California, smoking pot under the half-dome and eating udon with all the blz azns that got locked up.
Only a douchebag would think there’s only one kind of photographer. That’s the kind of thinking that devalues every photographer who’s trying to do more than be a flickr whore, licensing his pics out under Creative Commons for use in Olde Paedophile Weekly. Look at all the incredible, life changing photographers that never shot war, and all the incredible war photographers who’ve never shot a landscape. Or Minor White, who never shot any of this shit, but pretty much helped to define expressive/abstract landscape as an area of photographic art.
So fuck a list, even mine. I mean, my list is awesome, right? But fuck it, you’re the one taking pictures, shoot what you want. Just do it better than anyone has ever done it before.