Picture of Me by Mr. Brendan Pattengale
Yet again, it has been a little while. Here is my obligatory recap.
Two Fridays ago, I had a great shoot with Common at my house. He was such a pleasure – energetic, open minded, and not bad to look at either. I have a game I play in my head when I photograph famous or extremely successful people, and I have found it to be pretty spot on in terms of determining the nature of someone’s character. I always take note of whether or not the person asks me a question or questions about myself. If they do, good for them. If they don’t, that’s fine and not that surprising, but it says something about a person (in my opinion). Shooting Common was like hanging out with a friend. He made everything so easy, and we had a real pleasant chat. All in all, a sweet hang.
Tuesday, I flew to Austin, again, to begin a job that I shot on Wednesday. Our shoot was actually two hours outside of Austin, so Wednesday was a day of driving, shooting, driving back, and then flying back to LA so I could wake up early on Thursday to shoot a music job. Then, Friday and Saturday brought two more days of the job we started in Austin, only those days were here in LA. The above shot of me is from last Friday on the field at Culver City High School.
Sunday I spent most of the day in front of my computer getting nerdy with Capture One, but I did break away for a couple hours to see The Runaways with my partner in chick flick crime, and while it wasn’t a perfect movie, it was enjoyable. I thought Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning both did a very good job, and the styling was impeccable. I would love to photograph both of these ladies, so…universe, hear me.
When I was in the airport on Tuesday, I needed a book, so I bought The Outliers in an act of quick decision making before my flight. I’ve read The Tipping Point and several books of similar premise. While I didn’t love The Tipping Point as much as most people, I liked it enough to buy another of Gladwell‘s books, and I’m glad I did. I’m about 3/4 through with The Outliers, and I am really enjoying it. It’s not a “how to be successful” book, but more of a “why certain people achieve an above average level of success while other seemingly ‘equal’ people do not” book. It’s pretty fascinating. One thing I have been thinking about a lot is a theory he writes about revolving around when people are born and how that factors into the opportunities presented to them in their field. For example, it is not a coincidence that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and other founders of Apple, Microsoft, and multiple huge software firms were all born within 2 to 3 years of each other…most of them actually in the same year. The reason why the year they were born makes a difference is that when the software revolution hit Silicon Valley, these people were the optimum age to take advantage of what was going on in their area of expertise and passion. They were not too old to take a risk in life and with their careers. They didn’t yet have all of the responsibilities of their older co-workers. They also were old enough to be out of school and ready to enter the work force.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot in regards to photography, namely digital photography. As aforementioned, I have been really trying to adapt to shooting almost all of my commercial work digitally. I invested in a Canon 5D Mark II, Capture One, etc. I realized a little while ago that these are all things I needed to do to remain competitive and relevant. I started to think about photographers even as little as 3 years younger than me (I’m 33) who have an advantage in the industry that I do not. I think my class or generation really was right on the line in terms of the film to digital switch. When I graduated college, we had one computer at school. I’m betting that within that next year, many more were added. The name of the department even changed soon after I left from the Department of Photography to the Department of Photography and Imaging. Some people are naturally more adventurous and some are naturally more set in their ways. There is no hard and fast rule about age and how it relates to adaptability. All I’m saying is that it took me a while to convert (I still shoot all of my personal work on film and hope I always will.), and if I had been just a couple years younger, it might have taken me half that amount of time or maybe there wouldn’t have even been a transition for me to make. So, that leaves me with the question – Do slightly younger photographers have an advantage over some of the more experienced veterans? It seems to me that the younger crowd gets the direction the industry is going in, the budgets, the technology, and we’ll see how some of the older generation (the 40 and 50-somethings) fare in the future.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing.