Photography’s Dark Side: Two Cautionary Tales
The vast majority of photographers are a happy, friendly, easy-going lot (not entirely normal by any means, but nice people). That’s the majority, mind you; there are a few that none of us want to spend too much time with (unfortunately). Today we have a story about one of those types – interesting while kind of sad. It was passed on to me by good friend Jeff Schemmer, and it is well-worth sharing.
First is a cautionary tale about a wedding photographer who is being threatened with a lawsuit by a client for an incredible 300 grand (that’s right – $300,000). The client, an attorney, claims the photographer did a poor job capturing the wedding. He wants his money ($3,800) back along with $15,000 for (the proverbial) pain and suffering. Wow! Especially since a whole bunch of people (photographers and non-photographers alike) have viewed the images online and proclaimed them terrific. In any event, there are some lessons in this short video for all of us: use contracts for paying jobs that spell out who gets what and why, don’t rely on verbal contracts or handshakes, and ONLY FURNISH CLIENTS WITH THE GOOD STUFF (leave the bad shots at home). Watch this one and learn. Oh, and this is not just for wedding photographers – any work-for-hire could be subject to the same type of crazed client.
Sad, isn’t it? What some people will do ………..
Then the second dark tale-of-the-day. Annie Leibovitz is rightly recognized as a BIG NAME in the world of photography. She has taken some amazing photos of some amazing people over the years. Famous people. Prima donnas. People pressed for time. People used to being pampered and catered to. People used to getting it their own way all the time. Beautiful people. So she of all photographers should commiserate with photographers and what they have to sometimes suffer through to get the shot. And what happens when Annie is the subject of the photo? Oh, friends, it isn’t pretty.
Jeff Schemmer turned me on to this one, also. Thank you, Jeff, for a look at what can happen when the bright lights are turned on the one usually behind the camera. The big question here is: why? Why would you agree to a photo session with a well-known and well-respected photographer for a very well-known magazine (Allgemeine) and then turn into a digital version of Shakespeare’s The Shrew? It boggles the mind. Or maybe it is just what happens when you become one of the Beautiful People. In any event, click here to read the story. It is not just gossip or curiosity – it is a primer to the rest of us of what NOT to do when you find yourself on the other side of the camera. It is a cautionary tale that it is nice to be important – but it is more important to be nice.