Leave it to DC Comics (Batman: The Killing Joke) to depict the Joker as a photographer.
Yet, how many photographers are jokers?
(Continued after the Jump)
I don't mean practical jokes like muttering "please be seated" in an authoritative tone in the East Room of the White House at a Presidential event, only to see the entire room actually sit, on cue. Thank you Mr. D, for years of entertainment from this.
I don't mean grabbing a photographer's camera who inadvertently left their camera unattended, and taking images of your colleagues' backsides, or slipping a wide-angle lens down the front of one's pants to make a few images, and then standing behind them as they review their cards in the pressroom. Ye who shall remain nameless, I still laugh at your hijinx on this.
And I surely don't mean the juvenile attempt at humor by putting nose grease on the front of someone's lens. I see enough smudges on the front of photographers' lenses (including my own) that they probably won't even notice that it was an intentional joke, and more than once just blamed themselves.
Instead, what I am referring to are photographers who just aren't professional. These jokers:
- Turn up at events incorrectly dressed. For photojournalists, I don't care if you were just out on an outdoor assignment in the hot sun, carry atleast a blazer/jacket (and, preferrably a tie for the boys) in your car so you can turn up at an event where everyone else is in business attire and not stand out like a sore thumb. For editorial photographers - dress like you respect the office location you are entering - t-shirts are not acceptable. For corporate/commercial photographers - dress like your client - they will have so much more respect for you. One of the things I see all too often is videographers dresses in jeans when everyone else in the room is in business suits, a nd then they wonder why they don't get respect they deserve.
- Comport yourself in a professional manner. This means not slinging your bag against guests at an event (both PJ's and event photographers). This means don't make inappropriate remarks or comments you haven't fully thought through on a shoot (both editorial and corporate photographers). If what you are thinking of saying does not contribute to the image you're trying to make, or does not contribute to the client's positive opinion of you, then don't say it. This also means turning your cell phone on silent - or off - whenever you are actually working, or in the presence of others "on site".
- Treat others with respect and due consideration. This means, when you're at a news event, don't be the ass who goes in with a 14mm lens while everyone else is respecting their colleagues and staying back where a 35mm lens works so everyone can get the shot. Doing this means you just may get a monopod across your skull - I've seen it happen. Further, respect TV. I can't tell you the number of times I have seen still photographers just walk through a videographer's shot, or stand up at a press conference infront of a video camera on sticks - which results in the "down in front" or "stills move" burst of a loud voice from the back of the room. Additionally, while I can throw an elbow just as well in a press scrum as the next guy, I'd much rather work with my colleagues to get the shot, or better yet, when everyone else is getting the same shot, look at things from a different angle.
Respect your profession, those whom you are working for, and those who you are photographing. Doing so ensures that same respect is returned to you.
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