Good or bad picture isn’t always the photographer’s fault

Presidential candidate Michelle Bachman by photographer Chris Buck

Editorial photographers face a very different problem than those who shoot directly for their end user–the client.

This is headache is compounded when it’s an assignment for a magazine.

I thought it worthy of a post because many wonderful photographers have never worked for publications.

For one thing if you get an assignment, most publication these day will want you to under ‘work-for-hire’ conditions. But that is easily the subject of another post.

In the instance of commissioned work of ‘high profile’ like a presidential candidate, the photographer is really only responsible for the visuals–the image especially if it’s a portrait.

Often times, the photographer has no clue what or how the story is going.

I always operated on the basis of getting the image which portrays my subject at their very best.

I suspect Chris Buck did his part but we’ll never know simply because he probably shot a lot of images of Michele Bachmann then turned those over and the decision was out of his hands.

I’ve been there and I know exactly how that feels.

Needless to say if the editor had a personal agenda politically, then more than likely the editor will base their choice on that.

The poor photographer really has nowhere to go except decide if that publication is paying them enough or if they are ‘big name’ enough to move on and pass when that publication calls again.

Unders some of the comments I saw that folks suggested that Michele Bachmann bring their own photographer.

Folks, you need to understand that is not going to happen unless you’re talking about a small publication with no budget.

Esthetically the picture isn’t that great but we’re dealing with real people and not a centerfold which is made as perfect as possible thanks to Photoshop.

I haven’t seen enough pictures of Bachmann to decide if that situation with her eyes could be avoided, so what I’m saying is this:

It’s not a terrible, terrible picture but let’s just say the headline doesn’t help.
Peter Phun Photography

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