This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.
by Skip Cohen
I know I've shared Jodi Picoult's quote easily a dozen times in past posts, but in all honesty, there is no better quote to describe what makes photography so important in our lives. And as most of you are professional photographers, her statement further emphasizes the importance of never compromising the quality of an image. Your clients trust you to capture not only what you see in front of you but also what's in their hearts!
It's hard to believe it's been twelve years since I started blogging. However, it's Throwback Thursday, and fun go back to one of my earlier posts. Digging around my archives, I came across this video interview with Mary Ellen Mark from Profoto's Icon Series. It ran in 2012 and is a video EVERY photographer should be required to watch.
I met Mary Ellen in 1987, back in my Hasselblad days, and even had the honor of presenting her with "Photographer of the Year" at a PMDA dinner in the 90s. Sadly, she passed away in 2015, but her spirit, love for imaging, and influence are still very much alive.
In a podcast I did with her around 2010, I asked her to talk about why she has students shut off their LCD screens in any of her workshops. She talks about this in the video below: When we look at the screen and think we've got the shot, we let go of the scene, when in reality, there might still be more to happen. How do we know we captured the decisive moment if we've accepted what we already have?
For example, many wedding photographers might see a scene, let's say Grandma is giving her granddaughter, the bride, a kiss on the check. The photographer sees the shot, clicks the shutter, might do a quick "chimp," and then moves on. But the best image might still be coming, and the tear rolling down Grandma's cheek was missed. But, had the artist stayed focused on the scene just a few seconds longer, the photograph would have been incredible!
Mary Ellen's website is just a click away, and it's loaded with some of the most outstanding documentary images in photography. She was remarkable and such an amazing influence on artists worldwide, with a passion for the craft that was simply unmatched!
...If you love it and you really want to do it, then you must do it.
Because you'll never forgive yourself for not doing something you care about or believe in,
if you don't do it now.
Mary Ellen Mark
11/4/2021 11:16:51 am
I was a fan of Mary Ellen Mark's work in B&W many years ago in the film days. Love her philosophy of image capture. This is the best 3 1/2 minutes I ever spent. Thank you, Skip!
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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.