by Skip Cohen
A couple of years ago I was doing a project for PDN. My assignment was to do a short interview with Kirk Voclain about what makes great senior portraits. He's one of the top senior photographers in the country and does some amazing work with high school seniors. These kids love their first real experience with a professional photographer and he does everything in his power to make it memorable.
I remember hanging up the phone and thinking about the qualities that make great photographers, in addition to a sense of humor! I've worked with hundreds of different photographers in my career, including the recent SCU Summer Session Faculty and there are some powerful common denominators.
We already know how clients define satisfaction and being happy with their photographer, but what about from the industry side? How do we as photographers, manufacturers, advertisers and vendors define a great photographer?
So, go back to thinking about your favorite presentations and the photographers who you love to listen to. They were passionate. They were confident. They understood photography, the topic they were presenting and they could communicate. Most important of all they were willing to share what they've learned to help you. No secret ingredients - just a bunch of great people who believe in giving back.
I've often said I'm the luckiest guy in the photo industry. I've worked with some amazing photographers and have an incredible network of talented friends and consider Kirk one of them. Check out his faculty page here on SCU and follow the link to his site to see more great images.
Jim Collins, business author and theorist said it best:
"The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do, an unwavering desire for excellence in the way they think and the way they work. Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step."
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.