Matthew and Sandy's Blog

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"My cooking sucks! I need a better oven, what kind do you use?" - tools or skills

Just got finished reading an article by a portrait photographer where the author address one of the most irritating comments photographers receive:  your camera takes great pictures!        

She very eloquently compares that comment to giving the oven credit for someone's decadent masterpiece.

 

Imagine that you’re baking dessert for a party.  It’s your special recipe: the one everyone asks for.  You make it from scratch, of course, never looking at the recipe that you committed to memory so long ago.  Sugar, beaten eggs, sift in the flour…  you’re crafting something delicious from basic elements.  Now you’re at the party and everyone is gushing about your dessert.  The flavor!  The texture!  But most of all you’re being asked, “what kind of oven do you have?  It makes great cakes!”

That’s pretty much how a photographer feels when people look at their photos and say, “your camera takes great pictures.”

 

Then she goes on to hand her expensive camera which "takes great pictures" to a non photographer and she compares his photos to hers.  http://www.erinfarrellphotography.com/theblog/?p=817

 

 

I'll admit, comments like that do bother me a little.  Not that I need credit for what I do, because lets face it, I know all about the hundreds of hours I put into mastering my craft, I don't need you to tell me. 

But the reason it bothers me is that I know the same person who would go out and spend $3k to get a camera like mine really cares about the quality of the images they present.  And I know they are going to be really disappointed when they realize that a great camera doesn't take pro quality photos any more than a great oven makes you a master chef.

 

On a side note, my cooking really does suck, but I don't plan on purchasing a new oven any time soon.

 

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Sandy Jagmin

Brick Road Visuals

We offer professional photography, virtual tour production, and property marketing tools in Northwest Arkansas.

Comment balloon 15 commentsMatthew and Sandy Jagmin • July 28 2010 12:25AM

Comments

Matthew and Sandy, having a good camera sure helps. I am going to take some pics of a property tomorrow, and I am taking 3 cameras with to make sure I get enough. It is a 50 acre outdoor project. nice post.

Posted by Bryan Watkins (LRA Real Estate Group) over 9 years ago

My husband is a chef...so I rarely cook. Lucky me. And I know that. But because people know he cooks for a living, they don't think it's our oven that does the cooking.

I have a decent camera, but I also know how to take pictures. I worked in a photo lab for 2 years, and that really teaches you how to NOT take pictures. Even though, I don't have a 3000 thousand dollar camera, I still take great pictures. My camera costs 200 dollars, and I know how to aim it.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 9 years ago

Oh yes, one of my favorite peeves!  It reminds me of this blog, and I've seen several like it, from someone who purchased their first dSLR expecting to get great photos and find the photos are worse than from the point and shoot camera they were using.

Guys in my office know it's one of my buttons, so they will often say to me, "Your camera takes great photos."  I've learned to ignore them or just play along and agree.

Posted by Lee Jinks (Jinks Realty) over 9 years ago

Bryan,  like any tool, having a good camera definitely helps, but it doesn't stop there.  Sounds like a fun project tomorrow, hope it goes well.

 

Debbie, exactly, that was my point.  No on ever thinks it's the oven that does the cooking.  (I bet its nice to have a chef in the house.)  I worked in a lab for a couple years too.  I learned a lot about photography equipment, but little about the craft.

Posted by Matthew and Sandy Jagmin, Marketing, Virtual Tours, Photography (Brick Road Visuals: marketing, virtual tours, photography) over 9 years ago

Lee - I, too, have heard way too many stories just like that blog. 

Posted by Matthew and Sandy Jagmin, Marketing, Virtual Tours, Photography (Brick Road Visuals: marketing, virtual tours, photography) over 9 years ago

I have zero tools or skills so what do I do from here/??

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) over 9 years ago

It's the eye behind the camera that ultimately makes the difference. 

Have a great week.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 9 years ago

It's the eye behind the camera that ultimately makes the difference. 

Have a great week.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 9 years ago

If you think about it, a modern, state of the art point and shoot camera is actually capable of taking great pictures.  People have grown accustomed to getting 'pretty good' pictures just by pressing a button.  You can have zero skill and still produce acceptable photos in most cases.  I understand how people can associate getting better pictures with having a nicer camera, (i.e. camera with a better auto mode.)  The technology got them that far, I see how they assume that more advanced technology would yield a more advanced result...   

Posted by Iran Watson, Marietta Real Estate Agent - Photographer (Georgia Elite Realty) over 9 years ago

My camera doesn't even have an auto mode ... it would be very amusing to watch someone try to figure it out!

Posted by Glenda Cherry, Realtor / Photographer (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

I really love the oven analogy.  It's like when I bought my first electric guitar.  I sold it soon after because it couldn't jam like all the rock stars' guitars.  Musta been  broken.  ;-}

Posted by Don Corson (Coldwell Banker King Thompson) over 9 years ago

Don, I do too.  It really makes you think of how absurd it is to give all the credit to the camera without aknowledging all the time and effort the photographer has put into the craft. 

 

Oh well, if the occasional "your camera takes great pictures" is my biggest worry, I guess I'm doing pretty well.

Posted by Matthew and Sandy Jagmin, Marketing, Virtual Tours, Photography (Brick Road Visuals: marketing, virtual tours, photography) over 9 years ago

I think sometimes the camera takes great pictures and sometimes I take great pictures.  Most of the time it is the eye behind the camera that makes the difference.

Posted by Gene Allen, Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate (Fathom Realty) over 9 years ago

I love this post!  I feel your pain Sandy!

Nathan

Posted by Nathan Strauch, Colorado Real Estate Photography & Video (Hot Shots Digital (HotShotPros.com)) over 9 years ago

thank you very much for the informative and interesting post. I get so much out of the active rain network.

Posted by Paul Gapski, 619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo (Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty) over 7 years ago

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