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One of Those Things…

July 4, 2013

I don’t know what it is.

Perhaps we have to earn our stripes, go through enough life experience and build up that aural sense of gravitas or whatever so that when people see us, their first inclination may be to say something, but then they’ll think better of it.

I’m speaking of professional photographers new to their careers – specifically in the military. In my specific case, MCs in the Navy, though I’m sure it applies to Marines, soldiers and airmen as well as those functioning in civilian capacities.  It’s that experience of going out on assignment where you’re supposed to capture imagery of whatever it is that’s going on and someone else who fancies him or herself as “a bit of a photographer” (which is probably 80% of the population at large – just a WAG) tries to recommend possibly good shots to you and won’t leave you alone until you uncap the camera and at least pretend to get the shot when you see that there’s actually a significant obstruction, bad lighting, or something else altogether that keeps you, the one actually trained and paid to take photos, from even considering the shot in the first place, thus taking away time from you actually looking for a good shot.

It’s not a huge deal, but it’s one of those things that begin to wear on you after awhile.

Personally, when it’s not strictly part of the assignment but supplementary to it, I may not feel like getting a shot of that particular mountaintop. Maybe I already have 18 or so shots of misty mountaintops from the previous days’ work because I felt the same excitement you do now, only I was going for it then and you weren’t because it’s not your job to document what it is we’re doing. And that’s okay.

There are times when I feel like leaving the cap on the lens and the camera in the bag so I can experience the world and love it for myself and not always, always, always for the sake of another. Sometimes I and my photographic brethren want to enjoy the world for what it is and not just for the sake of a photo-op or for the sake of sharing with someone else.

Or…maybe I’m a bizarre outlier and not a pureblood photographer. I’m certainly open to that possibility, too.

All I ask is: trust the photographer to do his or her job. When you have a photog who enjoys his or her job, it’s all gravy anyway, baby.

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