The Digital Photo Guy

It’s All About Me, Me, Me!

by on Aug.12, 2009, under Articles, Workshops

I follow fashion photography but rarely ever mention it here because I feel my readers wouldn’t be interested. One photographer I recently started following is Benjamin Kanarek, a fashion photographer out of Paris. While reading his blog, I came across a comment that caused my dim little 15 watt bulb of a brain to light up like the sun.

A reader left this comment on Benjamin’s blog:

“I’m not sure I have ever in my life read a blog that says so much of “Look at me me me me me. I’m the God of Photography!!!” as your blog shows. Your work is good, but certainly not as good as your ego is big.”

To which Benjamin replied:

Sally…That is what Blogs are for. I think you might be better off finding a Forum…You are in the wrong place.

When I read that, it struck me that I had it all wrong. My blog is MINE! It’s all about me, me, me. I write my opinions about what interests me from my perspective and in my style. In the past, I tried to make my blog appealing to a wide audience because I wanted people to like and agree with what I wrote.

Well, that’s gonna change. I have 40+ years of photography experience and I’ve been an engineer, marketing VP, college instructor and now, a professional photographer. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the best photographer in the world. No one can be the best photographer because there are too many niches within photography. My niche is teaching photography. Photography today is a chaotic swirl of art, technology, art, talent, did I mention art. My forte is the technology of photography. I reduce incredibly complex technologies down to simple, easy to understand lessons that make it easy for people to connect-the-dots.

Like anyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock for the past 25 years, I regularly surf the ‘net for new information and ideas. I visit an ecelectic assortment of sites and read a wide range of opinions. Much of what I read is such total, complete nonsense that it always reminds me of something I heard from my friend, Dr. Mits Tomita, “Keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out.”

If you want to learn the art of photography, register for my classes for the following reasons:

  1. I answer your questions long after the class is over. Students have e-mailed me 4 or 5 years after they sat in my class and I still help them if I can.
  2. I know how to teach. I’ve taught students in college, university, corporate and adult education classes. I reduce complex technologies down to simple analogies.
  3. I demonstrate why something is important. It’s not always clear why you need to know something. I make sure you see the whole picture, not just the nuts and bolts.
  4. I always relate it back to the art of photography. I don’t mistake technical excellence for artistry.
  5. I have no patience for whiners or slackers. If you’re tired of classes where the pace is set by the slowest person in the group, you’ll love my workshops.

I feel so much better now, as if I can just be myself and not try to please others. Here’s a photo I made at the San Diego Fair. It breaks all the “rules” of composition but I like it because it reflects the wild, chaotic, colorful excitement of the fair.

It Ain't Art but It's Fun

It Ain't Art but It's Fun

If you’re the sort who reads all the way to the bottom, here’s a reward. This Saturday, August 15, the Pala Band of Mission Indians is hosting the 2nd Annual Powwow. It starts at 10AM and continues until 7PM. I’ll be there from 10AM until about 2PM. If you’ve never taken a class with me and would like to see how I teach, meet me there. If you’ve taken a class and just want to hang out, I’d be pleased to have you join me.

Also, on Sunday, August 16 at 5PM, I’ll be at San Diego Zoo to photograph flamingos, bonobos and guenons. If you’d like to join me, meet me just inside the front entrance at 5PM.

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6 Comments for this entry

  • Benjamin Kanarek

    If you want to assist me, it will only COST YOU 2500 EURO’s per day and no I don’t accept checks…Hard cash, unmarked bills, nothing over 20’s. Meet me under the Queensboro Bridge in Manhattan at 18:00 and don’t bring any witnesses. Oh..I am the bald headed fart wearing dark grey sunglasses, a mini skirt, Gold High Heels, unshaved and talk like a truck driver on a bender.

    None the less, have a good one… 🙂 LOL

  • Lee

    Wow! Ben, thanks for taking time out of your incredibly busy day to post here. I appreciate and admire your style. Somedays, you are so avant garde and yet, the very next photo is so classical. Even your over-the-top photos amaze and inspire me.

  • Benjamin Kanarek

    After 25+ years of experience in this very strange yet exciting business as well as a Creative Director and Web Concept Designer, I felt it was the right time for my own blog.

    However, the experience I do share with others is often more personal than general. The techniques I share are those that I attained through my personal experience, as I never studied photography. If there are those who wish to study generalist photography, my blog is not the place to come.

    None th less, just wanted to give you a short response to the the above statements.

    Best Wishes
    Ben

  • Ric

    Lee, great article.

  • Lee

    Hi Betsy,
    Thanks for the “thumbs up”. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize all this. Just slow, I guess.

  • Betsy

    Great article! Go for it. I wish I could join you at the Powwow, but I live in the midwest.



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