Sunday, August 17, 2014

Photographers do you finish strong everytime or just when you are inspired?

Lisbon, Portugal [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/50]
There are two photographers that my friends talk about a great deal when talking about the type of photographers out there. One is my friend Ken Touchton and the other person I will not mention.

The unmentionable photographer is one of the best shooters any of us had ever known, but we all qualify that statement with if he was into the subject.

If the subject didn't excite this unmentionable photographer he shot so poorly that anyone with a camera could out produce the photographer.  One time the photographer was so unmotivated that the actions he took are still legendary.

While in Europe the unmentionable photographer became so disenchanted with the story that he called the home office for the organization he was on staff with and told them his camera gear was all stolen. Miraculously the equipment showed up just as he was leaving for the airport to return home. Rather than staying and finishing the coverage, he came home.

Lisbon, Portugal [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/22, 1.1 sec.]
All of my friends that know Ken Touchton respect him and his abilities. I hired Ken to shoot a job for me and many of my editor friends have done the same thing. All of us talk about the consistency you get with Ken.

Ken Touchton
No matter how mundane or how exciting the coverage Ken Touchton puts the same amount of heart and sweat into each and every project.

The words we use to describe Ken are dependable, consistent and most of all a good friend.

Even the way Ken dresses is very consistent and very professional for every situation. If a coat and tie is called for at a funeral, he is wearing it. No matter the situation you will notice that his clothes always look freshly pressed and clean.

It probably takes more talent and skill to finish consistently as Ken Touchton does with every job than to be a hit and miss photographer.

Lisbon, Portugal [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/90]

Tips to be consistent:
  • Listen to the clients needs
  • Listen to the subject and find their story—not your story
  • Know the audience that the photography is intended for
  • Know your gear
  • Build in redundancy in your gear
  • Build redundancy in your coverage
  • Use checklists to insure you have it all
  • Study the great photographers
  • Study your competition
  • Treat every person you encounter with honor, dignity and respect
Here is Ken Touchton with one of his mentors Tom Kilpatrick catching up over dinner. 

1 comment:

Tim Shirey said...

Good article. What especially grabbed my attention at the end was the photo of Tom Kilpatrick – my photography professor in 1980/81 at Tennessee Temple University! I learned so much from him that I've carried with me all these yrs.