Photographer Martin Schoeller quoted from a piece in Resource magazine by Charlie Fish.
“If you’re going to take a picture, really try to make it the best picture you’ve ever taken, every time. Always strive for the best you can do.” This level of professionalism requires that you live, breathe and eat photography, and that every step along the way is executed with great attention to—what else—the details. “If you want to be a photographer,” he advises, “Be a photographer ten hours a day instead of spending five hours retouching some half-ass picture you don’t like in the first place.”
Schoeller reveals, “If you want to do portraits, you have to be outgoing and be able to engage people. I always say a third is photography, a third is diplomacy, and a third is politics. By doing a lot of research and finding out what they have done in the recent past I know where their mind is at. I’m able to engage them in a conversation so they forget for a moment that they’re being photographed.” While this may be common practice to many photographers, Schoeller’s research manifests itself in another way. “I always play music that I think they might like, or remind them of their childhood. We always have a little stereo with us.”
So true on all points. No one ever accused me of not sleeping, breathing, walking, and talking photography! I apologize for going on and on about it at times with my friends who are nice 'n polite about it when I do... :)
And I certainly, whole heartedly advocate not taking the so so picture in the first place. That way you don't have to spend 5 hours editing it. Take a good one to start with and you are good to go. Don't rely on post work to make it better than it actually is or ever could be. :)
And while I like the quote from Schoeller a lot, I can't say I am a fan of some of his subjects as illustrated by his images here at his West Coast US rep's Gallery. Chacun son goût, I suppose. :)
Mike Wood Photography