Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Real Deal

Images of me assisting Photographer Al Lada (Flickr page HERE) in Chicago during the early 80's. FILM! You had to get it right the first time by knowing your craft and having the confidence in your professional abilities. A huge learning curve for a young aspiring photographer. After shooting all day on location you would see your finished photos a day or more later, no checking the back of the camera for an acceptable image. No photoshop. Time management, even then some shots required more time than others, but it was never a cookie cutter situation putting out mediocre photography (or what I call...Making Sausage), every shot counted. We were selling merchandise, big time. The image sells it. The books prove it. Today, most of your internet photography and a hell of a lot of your catalog photography is people making cheap, quick images, 20 maybe 30 or even more a day. And well, it looks like it. That will change. Thats why I love the current tough economy. "Making sausage" in your photo studio is not going to endure. The consumer demands a better product and will pay for it, if it is value oriented. The advertising needs to be professional and creative enough to spur that decision. Great photography is the single best investment a company can make to break through the clutter and sell merchandise. Glad I was able to work and learn from some of the best in a professional atmosphere when the value of commercial photography was taken much more serious. Thanks Al.


  1. I'm 100% with you on those sentiments...and on acknowledging Al's unique ability to teach us by simply loving his craft and the characters that it attracted.

  2. Thank you John for these kind words. Love for photography, is what keeps me going. It was never a job, it was passion and still is.
    I can cry like a kid over a beautiful image, or someone making a great performance.
    A good photograph will always be art, something that gives one a visual pleasure.
    At this time we are bombarded with images coming from all over, it is so easy to capture and post. Technology changed photography, but it is the unique way of seeing, and capturing, seeing the light, knowing when the moment is right, that makes the difference.

  3. Amen Guy!
    When I started ass an apprentice in Chicago, illustration was king. I was fortunate enough to experience the birth of photography as an advertising medium.I cherish the memories of working with some of the great craftsmen, actually artists,over the years all over the country. (and that includes Dodgeville)
    Don't lose the heart!