This post is going to be about shitty assignments and shitty photos and the way we portray ourselves on the internet. I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject lately so I want to weigh in. I think the internet (specifically the photo world) has a way of making you think everybody else is doing better than you, shooting better assignments than you, making more money than you, blah blah blah. it’s because as photographers, we can carefully decide what to put forward and the kind of image we want to cultivate for ourselves.
I think it can be unintentionally misleading to other, younger photographers trying to figure out what they are doing. I shoot a ton of shit assignments that I hope nobody ever sees. It’s just the reality of the situation. That’s not to say you can’t make good work in tough situations, but sometimes, the cards are stacked against you. This photo above is a great example. The assignment was to photograph Congressman Jim Matheson shaking a couple hands at a conference put on by facebook for small businesses. I was told the congressman would be there for an hour, shaking hands and stuff. He showed up, everybody was already seated, said 20 seconds of introductions at a podium in an incredibly dark room, and then left. This lady was the only person he shook hands with outside. I asked his PR person if I could shoot a portrait of him for 30 seconds over a by a window. They agreed, and he smiled super awkwardly the entire time. That’s just life. I was really pissed off about how things turned out but you can only shoot what is in front of your camera sometimes and sometimes what is in front of your camera blows.
Being a professional photographer isn’t glamorous and very few of us get to shoot badass assignments all the time that perfectly match up with our personal style. That’s definitely something i’m working towards but it’s not reality. So, here is what I hope is the shittiest photo I shoot on assignment all year. Enjoy!