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Anonymous asked:
Hi Zack. Could you be more cynical? It's really cool to see how cynical and depressing you are in this Q&A. I especially like when you tell others not to do certain types of photos, even there's only so many different ways you can shoot a picture. But it's fun when you say will probably fail. Can't wait til you just say that photography is dead! Keep up the great work! Cynicism rules!

I know right? 

Look. This blog is me kicking and screaming against the flood of bad advice, stupid top 10 lists, and the overall bastardization and corruption of the industry and the craft that we all love so dearly.

In an age where we all need to be nice and helpful and not say mean things we have weakened the respect for the craft. Too many young photographers completely dismiss those who have gone before them. Too many people are picking up the camera and falling in the same traps over and over and over again.

Not enough people are speaking up. Not enough people are pointing out the traps. Not enough people will be honest about how hard this can be. I’ve sat in keynote speeches where the world was promised to the emerging photographer. With the right branding and a smile and an 85mm 1.2 lens the world of photography is at your finger tips.

No it isn’t. 

Photography isn’t going to die because I’m pissed off. It’s not going to die because I tell people how to shoot or what to shoot. It’s going to die because far too many leaders are leading far too many people down the wrong path. People are lowering the bar of expectations in this industry. Even manufacturers are on this bandwagon. A certain company stopped production of an amazing little flash they used to make. I asked them why. Because they weren’t willing to redevelop it into a TTL flash for Nikons and Canons. They had done that with other flashes and were just sticking with TTL. 

I’m going to tell you that if you try something like launch a portrait business and gallery fine art business you will most likely fail. Or I could pat you on the back, tell you to believe in yourself, follow your dreams, and wish you the very best of luck with it! 

BIG SMILES! Positive thoughts!!!!

And then watch you walk into traffic and die when I knew, all along, yeah, you’re probably gonna die if you do that. 

Or. How about I point out the difficulties you are about to face. I might bring a few things to the table you haven’t thought about yet. Maybe what I’m doing is trying to save you several years and several thousand dollars of frustration. Look back at my cynical posts. Am I just being an asshole or am I trying to help?

Keep it simple. Keep it focused. Work on this. this. and this. Don’t get too carried away or it will be too soon and too fast and you’ll fail. Honestly look at your situation. Are you prepared for this, this, and this? That lens isn’t going to help you right now because you can have this lens over here for $1,700 less money and still get the job done. Spending your money in this direction will hurt you. Instead spend less here and do this or that to grow as a photographer. You’re putting too much time into photographs that aren’t going to further your career for the region of the world you live in. Take a look at this kind of thing over here and translate what you like about that you are doing and make it work over here instead.

If you are just getting started in photography you’re most likely, by the numbers, going to have a lot of failure to contend with. You can be twenty years into this and still have failures to contend with. So I’m the cynical son of a bitch who will make you honestly face it and, quite possibly, maybe… help you avoid breaking your leg in a few of the traps along the way.

Want to keep shooting mediocre photos that won’t further a life long career? GO FOR IT! Have at it! Yay! Most other photo blogs are out there ready for you to read their killer awesome tips and tricks. Suhhhweeeeet! 

My goal with some of these posts is to kick you in your teeth. Knock the wind out of you, and take your legs out from under you. My promise is to give you my hand, help you back up, dust you off, and show you my broken bones and bruises. I’m also going to make sure that if you think I have a strong left hook you should look up the food chain and see the greater fighters. They’d kick both of our asses in a hot second.

The next time I come along to punch your lights out I’m hoping you can block it and kick my ass to the ground. 

"Zack you’re so violent. I don’t like that."

Fine. My goal is to give you more padding for your saddle so you can enjoy your unicorn ride across the gum drop mountains.

Oh. Bee Tee Dub…. Photography is alive and well.


58 Notes

  1. jamesgarfieldphotography said: Hi Zack Personally I like the way you critique and think the truth is the only real currency in this world. Unfortunately most of the world is so Disney’d up with the expectations that rainbows will appear on every corner that when someone does break the bubble they are…
  2. nicolemlakar said: radness <3!!