Friday, May 14, 2010

Life in Brickfields

(Technically, it was harder to frame my shots in the Diana F+ as compared to the Holga. The viewfinder on the Holga is more "forgiving" as in things don't "accidentally" get cropped off while shooting. The Diana F+ gets tricky when you are shooting subjects closer than 2-3 metres.)

The image shows the hardship of a granny preparing her makeshift "fruit stall" together with her granddaughter. THIS IS HONEST CARI MAKAN (livelihood) unlike the common "marketing techniques" used by many "high-end" businesses in Malaysia and around the world.

For example, in the photography industry, it is common to see photographers OVER-SELLING themselves, selling what they HAVE NOT yet achieved, OR WORSE, selling what which is NOT THEIRS. I have witnessed more than a handful of photographers taking others' works and sell them as their own. THIS IS CHEATING! It is no different from robbery and theft.

Do we live photography as a lifestyle OR do we cheat as a lifestyle? Ask ourselves.  

The law of sowing and reaping can never be broken. Selling what we have yet achieved and not telling the client that we have not done a certain job before is also CHEATING. Having photographed a handful of wedding assignments as an assistant to other established photographers also does not mean you have just become an established wedding photographer!!!

Will we ever draw the line between marketing and cheating OR do we even know how to draw this line in this country of corruption?

Can't we just TAKE PRIDE in whatever we do for once???

It is as simple as featuring your own works you have achieved, knowing how well you scored (ask yourself how much have you "censored" from your original works? 20 keepers out of 60 or 1000?), and charging humbly what you think you deserve to be paid based on your "HIT RATE".

Throughout my 10 years in this business, or throughout my entire photography life, I always measure my own "hit rate" based on the number of keeper shots from any assignments and I calculate the percentage out of it. This is how I gauge my own progress instead of always figuring out how to mask my weaknesses each time through Photoshop or through shooting like a machine-gunner to "increase" my hit rate. If you shoot like a machine-gunner, you lack CONFIDENCE!

Showing our Actual Best to our clients and NOT a "Hyped-Up Best" is honesty and honesty will be appreciated in the long run. How many times have you encountered clients commenting your actual delivery is not as good as your initial portfolios?