Workshop post – My 50% is better than your 100%

Melbourne-Food-Editorial-Photographer-Supernormal
The topic of childcare is inevitable when you have a baby, or when you have friends with babies.

Recently a friend shared his experience.
Before sending his kid to a place full of strangers, he was worried.
The environment at childcare centres will never be as cosy as home.
Will they love his child as much as himself?
Will the child be given enough attention?

Turns out, the kid did not miss home at all.
She was engrossed in all the activities she never experienced at home.
She was more sociable, more switched on, and more responsive.

My friend said, sure, the caretakers might be operating on auto-pilot mode.
But they have been trained. They have experience.
They have seen so many other kids, so many different scenarios, that they don’t have to love your kids to educate them.
Their 50% is better than his 100%.

I relate that experience to being a professional wedding photographer.

We do not need to love our job to do a good job.

We do not have to love your wedding, your family, share all your aesthetic value, the same spirit animal to do a good a job.
Our job is to show up and document what we see.
Find the best lighting, find good composition, know when to click the shutter and make sure important things are in focus.

In fact, I’d argue we’d work better if we do not care.
For example, I treat my cameras like I hate them.
Because when I make a dash for that moment, when I need to get to a higher or lower ground, I do not have the capacity to care about my camera, my lens.
If I break my camera, I have another in my bag.
That’s why we have insurance.
To not care about the trivial stuff and focus on getting the best possible outcome.

I’d argue being a professional means we deliver under ANY circumstances.
When the bridal car is running late.
When we don’t have natural lighting.
When we have to change location.
We don’t need to get along with the bridal party to capture a great portrait or moment.
(Although, it would help a great deal if they don’t spit in my face.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to hire sloppy assholes.
But perhaps next time when you consider hiring a person who’s never shot a wedding but has a passion for photography, bear in mind ‘passion’ might not be enough to carry the weight of a wedding.
I’m a good cook, but never in a thousand years I’d volunteer to cater for a party.

Here’s a question:
Would you entrust your newborn baby with an inexperienced babysitter?
Then why would you entrust the memory of your wedding day – a VERY important day, to an inexperienced photographer?

End of lesson.
Class dismissed.

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