Wednesday, June 3, 2009

UPDATED: Gordon Ramsay on Photography & Laughter

Two days ago, we wrote about Gordon Ramsay in In Search of Excellence (6/1/09), which was very significantly commented on, with much color and entrenched opinon. As I am making my way through the series, he makes a point about photography, alongside the idiocy of the owner of a Los Angeles restaurant, who is not only a part time actor, but, apparently, thinking he also can take a photograph. He cannot.

and another one "with ghastly pictures":

Food photography belongs in magazines and cookbooks, it would seem, but definitely NOT on menus. I would humbly agree, unless, perhaps it's Denny's, IHOP, or that type of dining experience.

Next up, is laughter, and the place for it.

(Continued after the Jump)

I've addressed this issue before, as it relates to people in the background while you are on the phone with a client. If you have people in your office, pets, or children, they cannot be making a ruckus while you are on the phone. If you are conversing with a client, and they hear people hooting and hollering while you are carrying on an important conversation, the client will think you are just having a party and taking a few snaps in between beers, and god forbid the laugh in the background come at a pause in the conversation where your client says something that would never warrant a laugh at all.

Dogs barking, children screaming, and other distracting noises in your home office should be verboten during business hours, or at the very least, when you are on the phone. In the above clip, laughter is heard from the kitchen which doesn't make the restaurant come across as professional, or focused on getting the customers' food out in a timely manner.

Details, details details. Unlike the previous clips where many people missed the point and decided to focus on Gordon's language and so on, these clips don't have that.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Brandon D. said...

I don't think it's the language itself in particular. I think what some people were pointing out on the previous blog post was that it seems that the egos out there use this "search for excellence" mantra as a shield to protect and to justify an uncontrollable urge to carry themselves like an ***hole in general (which is quite popular on reality TV).

A lot of these egos hardly ever seem to make any attempt at being kind or polite whatsoever, or at least the editors and producers of these television shows don't care to show their acts of kindness. But regardless, I don't care how excellent of a chef or a photographer you are, impoliteness is a huge turn off. I think it boils down to how well you convey positive energy and a positive attitude.

I think this is best explained in your book, Best Buiness Practices for Photographers:


"The best photographer is one who promotes and markets first himself, second his services and style, and finally, his price. Recently, I was CCd on the following dialogue between one of my existing clients and someone who had sought a recommendation for a photographer from him:

[I'm not going to post it here, but there is a correspondence where the existing client and the potential client agree that John is a "great guy]

Here is a clear and concise indication of this point. How does the party receiving the recommendation gauge me? 'Great guy.' This, in my opinion, is a successful referral (and my ongoing goal to receive)."


While there are excellent photographers out there with undesirable attitudes, there are probably just as many excellent photographers who exhibit great attitudes. So, just to make my point crystal clear, it's not just whether or not you strive for excellence, it's also about what kind of impression your personality makes upon those around you (e.g,. clients, assistants, make-up artists, stylists, models/subjects, and so on).

virginia executive photographer said...

Thanks - I have now wasted the last two days glued like an addict to KN episodes - I'll never get this time back and I still have 15 episodes to go.
Rot in hell John Harrington-

Robert Catto said...

Hey John - on behalf of your international readership, I'd just ask that you post videos from anywhere other than Hulu, which only streams inside the US...the last couple of days your blog hasn't included anything I could see! But I bet they've been great, as always...


John Harrington said...

Robert --

Try visiting a US-based website portal that anonymizes your locale - is one of them.

-- John

Edward said...

well didn't do it for me and TBH I couldn't be arsed looking for a service that does.

So...a paradox. On one had I'd love to see those videos but IP rights deny me...on the other I'm here listening to you (on occasion) harp on about protecting ones IP rights. Can we pick and chose when we respect IP and when we don't?

John Harrington said...

Edward -

Good point, and I appreciate your IP concern. In this instance, Hulu is set up to block all instances of international viewing, to protect them from potential lost revenue when they finally make those broadcasts available in their entirety overseas. Before making the suggestion, I did some looking into it, and the snippets/segments I was posting, fit into the "Comment and Criticism" category of fair use. Since Hulu cannot distinguish between infringing and fair uses, they are blocking all overseas traffic. If I were so inclined, I could convert those segments to YouTube, and then when the production company filed a DMCA takedown notice, file and objection to that, however, I am not in a position to do that, and a cloaking solution would have been a workaround that would not have been infringing, as I interpret it based upon my research.

-- John

Anonymous said...

While I often enjoy reading your site John, you are starting to lose me at times.

Like many other narcissistic reality shows, this one has a self involved overly dramatic lead. He personalizes often, takes most aspects (and himself) far too seriously.

Do you really want your dining experience to feel like a business transaction? There is a difference between a client's expectation of photography services, and the expectations when dining in a restaurant.

Providing an excellent service is one thing. Obsessive perfectionism is quite another.

His comment about pictures on the menu is glib and sensational. It is a display of aggression. Have you every eaten an amazing meal at a little known Asian restaurant which was amazing? Did the menu feature pictures of dishes? Ramsey's comment was one of snobbery (fashionista). This is one more push towards homogenized culture.

Boston Photographer-MWynne said...

The point being made is clear and well taken. Feelings about Ramsay are irrelevant when the man is right.

Thanks for the post.

Brandon D. said...

"Feelings about Ramsay are irrelevant when the man is right."

The next time you feel someone is treating you rudely or disrespectfully, remember that there is no doubt in their mind that they believe they're "right."

Brandon D. said...

"Feelings about Ramsay are irrelevant when the man is right."

The next time you feel someone is treating you rudely or disrespectfully, remember that there is no doubt in their mind that they believe they're "right." And in fact, your feelings about how rudely they treat you are completely "irrelevant." Because after all, they're right and you're wrong.

Newer Post Older Post