“You have really high standards..”

A few days ago, I was talking to a good friend of mines. We were talking about a local photographer who has her own studio. When I told my friend that I wasn’t too impressed with this photographers work, my friend said “Wow Jay,  you have really high standards” I replied back with “Yes, yes I do”

Her comment bothered me.  Not because of any misconceived intentions, but more of the implications of it. My standards aren’t high, they’re based off of “proper” photography techniques.

Let me set up the back stage of us two:

Friend: Likes “photojournalism” style photography. She likes the hip modern stuff that is done today, but gone tomorrow.  She doesn’t know much about strobe photography, so she writes it off as not liking it.

Me:  I will do candid photography (AKA photojournalism) and I don’t care for fads. I like the things that are tried and true. I know a fair amount about both, strobe and natural lighting. I prefer neither as long as I can get the shot.

All of the photographers I love, are guys who are not only technically sound, but they also have a connection with the client. They have real post processing and everything is good. Her comments were disheartining to hear as I feel we ALL should have high standards if we’re professionals.  I teach photography workshops and often when I’m talking to people, I see that they have the typical setup:




Why is it that people will spend a ton of money on camera, lens and everything else, only to buy a crappy 49.99 action and expect that action to make them professionals over night? As a people, have we gotten so lazy that we prefer to let something or someone else do our work for us?

I have high standards,  yes  I do.  Having high standards is what’s helped push me along in the model photography and now general portrait world.

I guess there’s no point to this post other than to ask “When did having high standards become a bad thing?” Why should we set our goals as high or as acheivable as possible?


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