Stunning pictures and videos aside, I judge a photographer’s professionalism neither by his skills. Nor by his equipment. Nor by his looks.
I judge him by his inconspicuous presence.
When a skilful photographer covers an event, he is discreet. Low key. And unobtrusive.
He does not hinder the proceedings. He does not obstruct views.
People hardly notice he is there. He works quietly. Without fanfare.
He is invisible.
The more invisible he is while taking pictures, the more skilful is a photographer.
Contrast that with the photographer I worked with a few parties ago. He kept insinuating himself into my show. He called attention to himself while taking pictures. Making grandiose motions. Flitting all over the place. Getting on the stage. More grandiose motions.
In one instance, he poked his camera so close to my nose I could see my reflection on the lens.
I had no objection to him taking a close-up photo of me. But why use an 18mm lens to do that?
The guy seemed to work hard to include himself in his own shots. I was afraid he’d take out a banner saying, “I’m the photographer, people. Don’t watch the magician, watch me.”
You guessed it. He distracted me. He cramped my style. He upset my timing.
I was this close to wringing his neck.
As I said earlier, I’ve worked with the best photographers in the industry. I love working with them.
Yet, a few days after, I get tagged on Facebook. My eyes then feast on gorgeous videos and photographs of the party. And surprise, several shots include my photogenic self.
How in the world they could take my pictures without me being aware of it, is a mystery.
These guys are invisible. They are like magicians.