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Should you say NO to shoots sometimes?

Posted on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 11:12AM by Registered Commenterkennethlinge in , , | Comments10 Comments


I think one of the best qualities a photographer can have is to know your own limits at the moment, when it comes to take upon yourself jobs. It's NO limit how far you can go, but is it sometimes better and more right to pass it on? I remember years ago saying no to a job to photograph a lamp catalog. I new somebody else that was really good at that, then I passed it on to him. I got a little % from the other photographer and asked if I could go with him on the shoot to learn and assist. What a great "free" seminar!

Once I said no to an Art Director to do a complicated food shot. I recommended 2 different experts on food photography with kitchens in their studios etc. I said please come back to me when it's anything with people. A week later he gave me a whole clothing line to shoot! Have integrity and it will pay back. One of my proudest moments was when I quit as the drummer in a band  because I could see I was the weakest part of the band. I felt good, I saw it, reacted on it myself. The other band members are still among my best friends. PS. And I enjoy playing drums just for fun at home some times :-)

PS.This image was taken in the mid 90's. It's retro time :-) Nikon F3 Titanium, Nikkor 20mm 2.8 No retouch, scanned from original slide.

Reader Comments (10)

What a great photo. I love it!

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Marcus

very true, know you limits, great post

January 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWill Duris

currently having internal battles over saying no. thank you for reeforcing my feelings of it sometimes being not only ok, but necessary.

January 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentera. gehres

Photographing infants is not my strong point, so I currently do it as freebe favors to friends and family, but don't feel comfortable taking money from people when I know there are other photographers who are much better qualified for that type of shoot. It's hard to say "no" but I know in this case for me it's the right thing to do.

January 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

"know your limits" can quickly turn into a rut. I see what you're saying and agree that the "free seminar" is a good way to go (if you can find photographers open-minded enough to do that in these scarce times).

However, the mantra "I know my limits" rolling around in your head could prove detrimental. If I let the fact that other photographers can shoot better photos than I can stop me - how do I ever get started as a pro? I would be paralyzed.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Personal growth rocks. It's stressful, but rewarding to get paid to learn.

January 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdoug

Excellent and honest post. I completely agree. I refer work to others more skilled in certain areas quite often. Being a good person will have it's positive return.

January 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTrudy

Your info helped me in making a decision. I have recently recieved a comission to do a job that I feel a friend of mine who is also a photographer would be better at so I can handle the graphic design of the comission. Thanks Kenneth for the honest insight.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Soule

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January 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersolar water pump

"I new somebody".....? I'll stop reading and just look at pictures.

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphotog

Thanks "photog" I bet my english is a lot better then your Norwegian! Look at the pictures, enjoy, sorry you have difficulty with words not coming in the order you are used to.
Good thing I am a photographer, and yes I use English experts to edit my articles in Magazines etc, BUT this blog is all personal and I have NEVER heard anybody else having your problem before. I would hardly ever get a post up if I where to wait for editors every time. Please use a name, contact info like everyone else have always done here. Then I could respond directly to YOU! How is your photography doing? Ha en god dag :-)
MVH, Kenneth

PS.I see you used 36 minutes on your PC between 3 posts on my blog, so I guess you sincerely tried. Sorry for your problem.

May 14, 2010 | Registered Commenterkennethlinge

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