Plumbers & Photographers

by William Lulow

We all know that photography can be an art form. Many of us who are in the business of photography love taking pictures and are extremely happy that we can get paid for it. There is a problem with the business end of things though, brought about by the advent of the digital revolution. Whereas, good photographs used to be rather difficult to produce, now, because nearly everyone with an iPhone can snap a picture, it has become very easy to take pictures. And, the line between pictures that are really top notch and those that are, well…just “good enough,” has become harder to distinguish.

Many people who are thinking of getting professional pictures done now think twice about it. If they’ve got a decent camera, maybe they can just ask friends to take a few shots. After all, they know how to use their DSLRs!

Maybe they do know how to use a digital camera. But, they haven’t studied lighting. They don’t know how to stop movement. They don’t know how to download the image to a computer and then size it for web use. And, they don’t know the ins and outs of posing, composition and cropping.

Let me relate an analogous anecdote: Not long after I moved into my house, I decided that I would change the faucets on my sink. I read the Reader’s Digest bible on home repairs and, based on the diagrams and list of tools needed, I figured I’d give it a shot. I went out and bought a basin wrench, washers as well as new faucets to replace the old. When I actually got under the sink and tried to use the wrench, I found that there was no way I was going to remove them. They were stuck on, frozen. I finally had to call a professional plumber. He took one look at my new basin wrench and said, “Bill, you never stood a chance!” He proceeded to use a reciprocal saw to cut the old faucets off the sink.

The point of the story is that professionals have a whole arsenal of tools at their disposal to do the job right the first time. More often than not, those “tools” take a lifetime of study and practice to acquire…not to mention the physical tools themselves.

So, let professionals do the jobs they were trained to do. No matter how much you think you know, it pales in comparison to what the pros know. And, you will have wasted all the money you thought you were going to save! DIY is surely not going away, but it’s a technique you should only use when you know you actually can!

Canon 5D Mark III