Photographers "About" pages

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Eric Rose, May 24, 2018.

  1. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber
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    I have to laugh when I read a photographers "about" page and their major claim to fame is the endless list of equipment he uses. I can see mentioning the printing process as that might be of some value to those that collect a certain kind of print. But really who is going to buy your print because you use xyz lens or abc camera system.
     
  2. faberryman

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    I found writing my About page difficult. I am usually thinking about my next project, not looking back. Fortunately, I resisted the urge to give up and just list my equipment - the dumb but easy way out. I kept mine succinct, but did mention my current printing processes. If you have never done it, it is a good exercise in thinking about your work. The writings I get the biggest kick out of are Artist Statements. I think most of them are written by MFA advisors as a sideline or the photographer's therapist.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  3. michael_r

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    The worst is when someone uses "fine art" in the website name, about page, artist statement etc. Things like "master printer" are also ridiculous to read. I'd rather read a list of equipment than this sort of nonsense.
     
  4. paulbarden

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    Indeed. Using the "fine art photography" tag to separate ones work from "casual" photography is pretentious, IMO. It reminds me of those horticulturists who use "Master Gardener" in their title.
    The world at large gets to decide who is a "Master" at what they do, and whose work qualifies as "Fine Art".
     
  5. Merg Ross

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    I'm guilty of using the term "fine art". I never really liked it. How about "creative photography" instead?
     
  6. faberryman

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    Sometimes saying you are a fine art photographer comes in handy. Then you won't be ask to take a picture of the person's pets/babies/wedding. Fine art painters generally say they are artists not painters so they won't be ask to give an estimate on the person's house.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  7. BradS

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    As someone who buys other peoples' photographs, I can say that I absolutely will not buy any inkjet / Giclee print. Nor will I buy any other digital imagery. So, if they say they use a DSLR or some computer printer or some scanner...I'm done looking.
     
  8. ReginaldSMith

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    I can't see anything distateful about "fine art photography." For example an artist who paints pictures is often referred to as a "painter". However, if one is promoting one's work as such, one wouldn't want the piublic to confuse you with "house painters."

    Is a commercial wedding photographer, or commercial product and promotional photographer, different than a fine art photographer? I would say, most of the time, yes. Doctors are specialized, as are lawyers and real estate agents, and construction contractors.

    I assume if a potential customer sees "fine art photographer", they are unlikely to call and ask to have a family picture or dog portrait taken. Of course, I am speaking generally, not absolutely.

    As an artist, I take a lot of photos which cause non-photographers, or non-artists to ask, "Why'd you take a picture of a stranger standing at a brick wall with an umbrella?" And just as often, no explanation will suffice to satisfy. Of course there are other terms possible, like photographic art, or the cumbersome "photography as art." I live with the assumption that the long, early argument, "is photography art?" was long ago answered in the affirmative. None of these qualifiers or descriptions of course have nothing to do with the person's characteristics, or values, or skills, etc. It's just an attempt taxonomy and organization.
     
  9. MattKing

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    This tends to be used to differentiate from those photographers who do commercial work, so I understand the rationale.
    I don't know whether this is universal, but up our way there is a fairly rigorous, time consuming and moderately expensive certification process that results in a "Master Gardener" designation for anyone who completes the requirements.

    As for "Master Printer", I can think of a few photographers who are known for their printing skills and deserve this designation. They do tend, however, to print both for themselves and for others or, additionally or alternatively, teach others how to print.
    People like Tim Rudman comer to mind.
     
  10. CMoore

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    I thought that WAS the point of "labeling" something as Fine Art.
    The photographer is not making any Lofty Claims...they are not necessarily saying their photographs are "Fine", or "Art".
    The purpose and intent of the photograph is purely for Display/Appreciation.....It is not Sports, News, Commercial/Product, or Fashion.....it is Fine Art
    The typical pictures shot by Garry Winogrand are not Fine Art.
    The majority of Ansel Adams pictures Are.

    We should be careful with threads like these.
    They can become a reason for members to leave or not join This Forum to begin with.
    Surely we can find plenty of Positives and plenty of Photographers to discuss that excel at things we find common and enjoy about the Hobby/Profession.

    I am just a hack "Street Photographer". I go to San Francisco a lot.
    Just a few weeks ago...typical "Tourist" scenario...a guy taking a picture of his wife standing next to their friends, another Man and Wife couple. He wants to get in the frame himself and needs "somebody" to hold the camera. He sees me with a camera around my neck, so he asks me to do the honors.
    I do not own a Digital SLR and have never held one.....and the guy hands me this giant, Nikon, D-Something or other.
    I had to ask him how to use it. He looks at my camera and then notices it is a Canon F-1.....he smiled and showed me how to let his camera do Auto Everything.
    Turns out the guy is a professional photographer and a fairly big name on Youtube.
    We talked about some of the things you guys are discussing here. He mentioned how he sometimes "Hates" technology and its perceived importance. Said he started listing all his latest and most expensive gear, because it impresses a lot of people that consider hiring him. Said he misses some things about the "Film Days".
    People like to read that you use ABC car parts at your auto shop, or that you use XYZ flour and sugar at your bakery, or that your body shop uses 3M sand paper and DuPont paints.
    You guys do. You guys get that about a business you might be considering.:smile:
     
  11. MattKing

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    Probably not. Ansel Adams made a living as a commercial photographer for a fair number of years. If you ever get a chance to see the type of commercial work he did, you are likely to be relatively un-impressed.
     
  12. CMoore

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    Touche.....i was talking about those pictures that most people would be familiar with.....Half Dome, Moon-rise, that kind of thing.
    I had forgotten about his other work. Didn't he shoot some Damns or Highways...something like that.?
     
  13. nmp

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    I am assuming you are using a scanner or some other d-means to put your photographs on Flickr.
     
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  15. ReginaldSMith

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    While reading the thread I see the age old question arise: Who decides what is art? Often repeated is this answer: The public will decide what is art. I disagree on on the basis of personal autonomy. When an artist creates an artifact, if his intention is art, then art it is. Public acceptance has nothing to do with his intentions. Mostly, the public is manipulated by clever art marketeers and patrons in NY and London and Paris. That's the commercialization of art as business and really doesn't impinge on art creation. An untalented artist is none the less an artist.
     
  16. nmp

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    "Fine art" term was first coined, as I understand, to differentiate one's commercial work from the personal work. The former mainly paid the bills and the latter met the creative need. I think perhaps at some point people started thinking fine art was opposite of not-so-fine art which clearly would be wrong and pretentious.
     
  17. jnanian

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    i have heard that is what really matters anyways .. its an endless race to acquire gear
    some people are master printers ( like bob carnie ) but im not sure what a fine art photographer is
    because what most people think is "fine art" isn't what i call "fine art" to me its just
    marketing-stuff but if they are having a good time i can't really complain ...
    for me its the folks who claim they are a fine artist ( photographer ) and they
    don't really have the skill or expertise or experience, they are kind of a noob with expensive gear
    but as i said if they are having a good time, i really can't say much..
     
  18. [QUOTE="MattKing, post: 2079774, member: 6437...Ansel Adams made a living as a commercial photographer for a fair number of years. If you ever get a chance to see the type of commercial work he did, you are likely to be relatively un-impressed.[/QUOTE]

    This reminded me of something I read in either his autobiography or biography. A critic commented that he "made rocks look like people and people look like rocks." The critic struck me as someone who was raised and still living in the East and had no interest in ANY landscape work, being a victim of an environment of wall-to-wall people.
     
  19. Ko.Fe.

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    OP might not know it, but until recently, don't know if current regime closed it, you where allowed to claim photography as business and write off your expensive gear.
    One guy in know was very surprised what I have not made tax return claims for business I don't have. In his community he told me back then, everyone did.
     
  20. Andrew O'Neill

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    Sorry.... where is this About page? Is it our Profile page?
     
  21. faberryman

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    Standard page on a photographer's website.
     
  22. NedL

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    Here's mine. Made 5 seconds ago:

    Courtesy of:
    https://artybollocks.com/

    EDIT: okay I've added this to my "profile page"... on photrio, if you click on "information" on a person's profile, it will show an "about". Time to start shooting my Bauhausian sensibilities.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  23. Andrew O'Neill

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    Thanks!
     
  24. esearing

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    As a web developer I have seen about pages from a variety of businesses trying to express to the public the persona it hopes will attract customers. Some approach it as personal qualifications/attributes , or a dedication to their commitment to their cause/beliefs, or merely describe what the business does. Sometimes its a mix of these.

    When a Copywriter is employed the About page usually becomes a statement written from a third party POV and much more "flowery" with the language. Galleries publish Artist info bios which photographers tend to mimic in their artist statement or bio.

    The end goal of your site may shape the about page too, sales vs showcase vs personal journal.

    IMO the about page should have a few sub sections:
    A personal bio - Who am I (married, kids, dog/cat, education if applicable, mini history of your journey)
    A creative intent bio - Why I do what I do and maybe how (especially for those who practice non-current methods)
    A curriculum Vitae - Where I have been shown/published
    Gear and preferences should be a separate page for the technically curious - brands are not as important as showing breadth or depth, maybe more critical for professionals who practice commercial photography to show a wide range of skills.

    And test different versions. In corporate world every word is scrutinized before being released to the public. One can use simple web statistic software and monitor time spent on a page to see if it holds the readers interest or if they abort at that page after a few seconds. Revise and test again.
     
  25. David Brown

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    Lordy! I went and revised (shortened) my "About" page ... :whistling:
     
  26. ReginaldSMith

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    David....this is only a SUGGESTION. Most people write about themselves in the first person, and I think it is far nicer to read than when written in the third person. "I dig hotdogs" is a better read than "Reggie Smith digs hotdogs."
     
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