Pro-Photographer Tip: Fake It Until You Make It

Here it is...

Here it is…

For those of you who want to be a professional photographer, here is my fake-it-until-you-make-it tip for the night. And with a little practice anyone can do this with panache.

When taking photographs, especially pictures of motionless inanimate objects — say an orange or maybe a GOP congressman — set up carefully, patiently and frame your shot. Get it just absolutely right. Place your feet firmly beneath you or perhaps take a dramatic knee, put a slight curve in your back, maybe add a turn in your torso, and make sure you cock your right arm (pretend you’re a duck with a wounded wing) and freeze. Then hold it, hold the pose…hold it…and click! You took a picture! Good for you!

...and here it is again.

…and here it is again.

But wait…you’re not finished. Don’t move. Hold it for a couple seconds more. Don’t move. Don’t change a thing. Now take the EXACT SAME picture again. Click! You took two pictures, just like a pro!

But wait again…you’re still not finished. No, no. These are pro moves. Don’t jump to your feet and skip to your next subject. That’s the sure sign of an amateur, unless you’re shooting an alien invasion or those cute puppies playing football. Stay cool. The style points come with a strong finish.

Step back in the self-satisfied — but not too enthusiastic — manner of a job well-done. An expressionless stare seems to be the trick. Give your subject the eye. Smugly, pretend people are watching and you don’t give a damn. Only then can you move to your next orange or potted plant or blue-suited legislator. And be sure you do so with grave purpose.

That’s it. That’s what the pros do. They take the same picture twice — yes, they do! — unless they’re taking pictures of dragonflies or running backs. This is what gives photographers that je ne sais quoi that the girls find sexy. It is all about mocking practical behavior and common sense. Was it Heraclitus who told us you cannot step in the same river twice? Ha! Tell that to Annie Leibovitz! (I don’t know what that means.)

IMG_2140By the way I think all of this double-clicking is a carry over from the pre-digital days of photography when the price of film and processing mattered; it was a gesture of nonchalant excess reserved for the professional, something like lighting a cigar with a burning $100 bill, but much less costly and much more believable. And with digital cameras…well shoot (no pun intended…or was it?…you tell me), anyone can be nonchalantly smug and self-serving…

Your entire being will be saying: Oh yeah. I just took that. Watch this…I’ll take it again. And forever after women will want to play in your dark room for sure.

So that’s it. My pro photography tip of the day. Tomorrow I’ll explain how to fake you’re a defense attorney.

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One thought on “Pro-Photographer Tip: Fake It Until You Make It

  1. Pingback: A Sunday Stroll in Minneapolis | A Little Tour in Yellow

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