I struggled through yesterday’s task of printing a client’s images. I find it so frustrating because for 30 years I was the print production manager and had sales reps and CSRs at my beck and call. These were the people who would color correct our highly paid professional photographers’ work so that it would look good when the ink hit the paper. NOW I am the photographer, sales rep, CSR. retoucher and printer – having very little formal technical training in any of the categories doesn’t make it easy for me. Ever since computers came into play, we’ve done away with the ” background – technical talented people” because we now have all the tools of the trade in our CS suites bundled programs. I watched creative people become the mechanical artists when they didn’t know how to build a page in page maker. The head of our production dept was wonderful and she made sure the artists had ample training in design, illustrator, PS etc and all the upgrades over the years. Being in production, I was not given that opportunity but I watched these people become very proficient in their areas.
Jene says we need to upgrade from CS4 to CS5, that the buzz is about how easy it will be to retouch telephone wires out of our landscapes or stray hairs off faces. Sometimes I think was meant to stay in the 20th century. I’m still struggling with the most rudimentary PS tools… I need the upgrade where I tell the computer what I want the PS program to do and viola. There you have it – done to my satisfaction and in an instant!. Now click print and let it rip.
WHY can’t I just be good at what I do – why do I have to learn about layers and masking. Shouldn’t that be someone else’s job. I think I’m starting to whine…. Sorry.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m working too hard in my retirement. Maybe I should move someplace warm and learn how to play golf.
But I love what I do and I find myself in the midst of some very formidable photographers and they understand what I am ranting and raving about – even though they themselves have the staff that supports the behind the scenes stuff. They have lighting technicians, computer techies, production managers, baby wranglers, assistants, studio managers, location scouts, etc… and few do their own printing. It’s not that they haven’t worked hard to get to this point, but a lot of them started in the lucrative commercial photography field, working as assistants for the Avedon’s, the Leiberwitz’s honing their skills where money, the best equipment, and top models, etc were readily available. Now they are the mentors for kids coming out of ICP, SVA, FIT – non-paid interns that will work long hours for the chance to shoot along side these masters… I think I’m too old to be an intern but would love the opportunity to be on set with a Jack Resnicki, Howard Schatz or Kenro Izu.
I have my team of one and am very lucky to have my guy, Jene Youtt to shoot with under our Labor Of Love Pix fine art portrait photography. Working along side someone who has 2 emmys for lighting design is not always easy on the ego, because he has so much more lighting experience then I have (as well as the equipment) It is a learning experience and that is usually a good thing. He too is learning – t he is learning to appreciate me for what I bring to the party. (Of course, I have to remind him of that every now and again 😉 Maybe we’ll have a nice size studio and our own interns someday but for now… I have to smooth the blotchy red veins of a 9 day of baby’s skin. (layer, mask, blur) myself and do some test prints before sending them off to our new parents to cherish.
BTW – I did complete yesterday’s print job and got it over to UPS to arrive today (1 day eariler then scheduled). One more print job to complete today and I am free to design a photobook for another client of ours. I’m looking forward to working on that, in between editing a ‘bump’ (maternity) shoot we did on Mother’s Day. See what a glamourous life I lead… not sure anyone of my friends wants to be me now.
definition of retire – to tire again. Good thing I love what I do 😉