Tag Archives: elitism

Photoland shibboleths

Inspired by Lazenby.

Name Pronunciation
Ansel Adams Actually I prefer Robert
Diane Arbus dee-ON
Eugène Atget ah-JAY
Rineke Dijkstra DIKE-struh
Robert Doisneau row-bear dwa-no
Peter Lik I’ve never heard of him
Philip-Lorca diCorcia Just get the hyphens and capitalization correct
Lázló Moholy-Nagy mo-ho-li naj
Edward Ruscha roo-SHAY
Alec Soth rhymes with both
Kip Praslowicz

Dismissal via Snapshot

Kip Praslowicz. Chester Park. Duluth, MN. November
Kip Praslowicz. Chester Park. Duluth, MN. November

Start with the snapshot. Start with the connection. Figure out why grandma cares about the subject and make that the keystone in a photograph. Then pile on the better gear, experience and technical tricks to make it a better damn photograph than grandma can take.

(via Dismissal Via Snapshot | Kip Praslowicz)

Yes! Yes! Yes!

The irony of dismissal via snapshot is that “snapshots” are almost always the most-posed and edited photos in the album. Seriously. Think about all the photos your parents, relatives, friends’ parents, etc. took of you. “Everybody get together. Smile. Stop screwing around! You too! Okay let me back up and get everyone in. On three. Okay, I think someone blinked, let me take another just to be safe. etc. etc.”

Aspiring to take meaningful and good family photos is all I truly care about in my photography. That this is somehow an inferior practice? Please. Those are the only photos most of us really care about.

Anne Geddes, Down in the Garden.

Flower pots

“Look, I’m one of these people, I do not have a green thumb. I look at plants, and they wither and die. And so I had this empty flowerpot that was sitting in my studio, and a mother came in with this little 6-month-old baby, who was wearing a little woolen hat, a little fluffy woolen hat, and I saw the flowerpot and I thought, well, wow, she’d look like a lovely little cactus. And so we sat her in the flowerpot, and it was a black-and-white image, and that was that.”

(via Anne Geddes “in a very lucky situation” with baby photography fame – CBS News)

From humble beginnings to a publishing powerhouse. And yes, it’s totally important to look at photographers who are popular but not necessarily good or important* since it forces you to confront issues of taste and why you like or dislike something.

*More on the popular vs good vs important discussion. Also relevant to this is where I decide to call this kind of photography kitsch.

Geddes is easy to use as a punchline. But she’s popular and a ton of people want to ape her style when taking photos of their kids. I have my photographic influences as well. I’d like to think that I’m not aping them just because I like what the images look like.