Jim Colburn...Don't Ask

Some Things Every Still
Photographer Should Do

Some things every still photographer should do:

1) For one day, let's make it July 1st, why doesn't EVERYBODY shoot everything with a 50mm lens? If you've only got a zoom lens then gaffer's tape the bastard at the 50mm mark and shoot away. If it was good enough for (fill in the blank with the name of your favorite old photographer) then it ought to be good enough for me AND that stupid editor.

2) Go to France, or Spain, or Italy. Take the wife if you've got one. Travel cheap but bring lots of film. Walk a lot and enjoy yourself. Take pretty pictures that your mom/wife/non photographer-friends will enjoy. This will give you some "slack" for those times when you stay out late for days at a time doing "that project" because they'll understand that you CAN take pretty pictures when you want.... Remember that almost all of the cost of your trip is deductible on your Schedule C and is therefore affordable, in the long run.

3) Tell someone to "Fuck Off!" Do it tomorrow. Or by Thursday at the
latest. It might be your boss, a cop at-the-scene-that-knows-everything or even the mother-in-law. Choose carefully for maximum effect with minimum fall-out. Do it under your breath if you really have to (the mortgage, that sort of thing) but do it.

4) Borrow your bother's video camera and make a movie! That's how Steven Spielberg got started and he's worth a few billion. Pay attention to the fact that It Isn't As Easy As It Looks On TV but feel good about the new angles that you use compared to the guys on Channel Eight. Forget about "Verticals."

5) Tell the person from item 3 that you're sorry and it'll never happen again. Offer to shoot their kid's wedding at a discount in order to make amends.

6) Buy five new rolls of slide film, all different. Use them. Look at the results. If they suck, they suck. If they're any good they still suck because you live in such a small town that you can only get C-41 developed. Deal with it.

7) Join a new email list. Pick one at random. Pose silly questions that are off topic and watch the flame wars start. Unsusbscribe and then laugh about the trouble you've caused with almost no loss of life.

8) Buy a foreign magazine and look at the pictures. Then try to figure out just what the hell they're talking about. Who is Princess Caroline anyway and so what if she's pregnant?

9) Go to bed early every night for a week. The extra sleep will make you feel a lot better.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed are barely my own much less my employer's so don't blame Time Magazine, Time Inc. or Time-Warner for anything written here. If you have to blame someone try the guy at the WB network that posponed the season finale of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." I WANT to see the principal turn into a 60 foot tall slug and eat the marching band......

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