04 December 2006

Fancypants Photographer (the original)

My "fur" picture --- caught at my first wedding within the first hour.
In the beginning of my photography career, I was given advice by a highly respected professor and extremely knowledgeable photographer... 1. Don't piss in the pool before you get in. 2. The difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional gets paid. Being a "professional" doesn't mean you're good. Prostitutes are professionals; they get paid for what they do. At my first bridal fair show, The Bridal Fair at Provo High, I introduced myself to the "old-timer" photographers (donotes time in the business, not age) as a new photographer. Most of the other photographers were kind but, of course, there had to be the ONE that wasn't (isn't that always how it is?). He was talking with a videographer I knew and I made my way in to say hello. The videographer introduced me and explained that this was my first show. The photographer instantly pricked up and started in on me: he didn't do his 1st bridal fair until he'd been in the business 12 years, he has 20 years experience, did I have complete weddings from start to finish to show potential clients, am I giving away the digital negatives (a sore subject to old-timers), this is his livlihood and not a hobby and will I still be taking pictures 5 years from now since I'm a mom. He was cranky, tried to belittle, demean and criticize me and my work without even seeing it or knowing me. I'm not one to back down from a fight and it was a fight this guy wanted. I answered all of his questions honestly and suggested he come take a look at my fur picture to get a better idea of my abilities. I explained that I have had great feedback for my eye and candor with the clients. He was visibly irritated and it was during this rebuttle when I christened him with the new nickname "Fancypants." I told him the story about the other fancypants photog that implied prostitution and that he must be a fancypants too. I explained that a fancypants photog is one that's been in the business a while, is using it as his only source of income and doesn't hide that they're irritated by newcomers. Throughout the day I would walk by his booth and say, "How's it going, Fancypants?" "Hey Fancypants!" "When're you coming to see my work, Fancypants?" fancy-pants  –adjective Slang. fancy or snobbish; foppish; dandified. When he finally came to the booth to see my fur picture he said he was impressed as he inspected it up close. He then said that "just because you can take 1 good picture doesn't mean you can take more" then I showed him the rest of the pics I had on display from the 4 weddings I had done. He didn't hide that he was annoyed by me. By this time in the game, there were other vendors that knew about the Fancypants fight and watched as if we were on Jerry Springer. They got a kick out of it because they'd heard he was high on his horse. His reputation preceeds him everywhere he goes. A few weeks ago at this wedding, I ran into FancypantsII in the SLC temple vestibule. Shaved head, expensive suit with a dark burgundy dress shirt open at the neck, monstrous camera gear, wheeled case for the rest of his equipment and Bluetooth in his ear at all times. He looked familiar and I asked him if I saw him at the Thanksgiving Point Bridal Show, he said no. I put my hand out and introduced myself then HAD TO ASK what his name was (he didn't offer it). He asked if I shot with a studio or on my own; on my own. How long? Under a year. Then he had that familiar prickly look like Original Fancypants and started in on me just the same. What was peculiar was that he would accuse "new" photogs as giving away the farm with their point-and-shoot cameras and they don't have the experience or education like he does... THEN he'd end each point with, "But I'm not saying that YOU do that." Without knowing what my images look like he'd say that these newcomers have barely passable images THEN he'd end with "But I'm not saying that YOUR images are bad." He even had the audacity to ask me how MUCH I was getting paid for that days wedding. I admit that I was caught off guard and actually TOLD him. I won't be doing THAT again. After I left, it came to me. I HAD seen him at the bridal show. He was standing off to the side, trying to look inconspicuous, watching a photography booth. I approached him and asked if he was secret service or something by the way he was standing there watching the booth (had his Bluetooth in his ear, again). He said "no" then I asked if it was his booth and he was watching his employees with the customers. He said that it was his friends booth. However, I now know that it WAS his booth. What was the point of lying? Then I ran into him again at a photography conference just 3 days AFTER the vestibule incident (wedding was Saturday, conference on Tuesday). I approached him with my outstretched hand and a smile (which I'm famous for). The surprised look on his face was unbeatable as faces go. Then I said, "Long time no see!" The entire conference he kept to himself (except showing attention to haute Rebekah for a few minutes, who was sitting between us) taking off to the lobby during the break to importantly talk on his phone -- pulling his case on wheels behind him. The only other people I noticed him talking to was the conference president and another semi-Fancypants (he's actually pretty nice but has underlying Fancypants tendencies). The point of this post is finally coming... it's been a while and I appreciate you for sticking it through until the end. Original Fancypants was standing in line at the Provo movie theater Black Friday. I couldn't resist approaching him (that's what I do) and said, "Hey (name) Fancypants photographer!" He smiled crookedly, trying to figure out how he knew me, and asked if he had shot my wedding. "No, I met you at the Provo Bridal Fair earlier this year and nicknamed you Fancypants." He saw the light and replied, "Oh, right, now I remember! You're the one with the fur picture - are you still taking pictures?" Yes, actually, I am! Then, here it comes, he replied, "Good... that's amazing." Amazing? I laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

12 comments:

compulsive writer said...

Yeah, that fur picture is AMAZING!

And you do have an engaging smile...

Knock 'em dead girl!

b. said...

I agree on the smile....it definitely put me at ease. You got nards, girl! A Hero for sure....taking on mean fp photogs! How far you booked out, by the way? Can you make me look like the fur lady?

luckyzmom said...

I feel sorry for "Fancypants". He may seem full of himself but I think he is probably trying to fill himself.

Nancy called yesterday and was telling me about this ceramics sculpturous, Ruth Duckworth, who she saw on TV and who she thought put "something" incredible in her work that she kept trying to explain to me in words and finally realized it was a feeling that can't be explained in words. And I think that that "something" is in so many of your photos.

Staci Mikelle said...

I love your pictures...I was wondering what kind of camera you are using...and if you had to list a must have lense list what would they be? I'm interested in learning...I especially love the picture you took a while back of the curly haired girl with the leaves!

LuckyRedHen said...

Welcome, Staci! I have all Nikon gear so far: D200, SB600 flash, 17-55mm f2.8, 18-200mm f3.5 and 50mm f1.8 lenses; next, and last, on list is a 105mm macro for CLOSECLOSECLOSE ups. I have a hankering for the Canon 5D but the gear is SO expensive; if you are starting out I'd go with the 5D. As for a must have lens I'd say the 17-55mm f2.8 ($1300) for all around and a 50mm ($100) in low-light and to create a greater depth of field.

Thanks for the compliments and glad you watch! Get to blogging and post your pics - would love to see what you can do :o)

AzĂșcar said...

I despise being underestimated.

Lyle said...

there was a saying as a kid growing up...tick-tock, the game is locked, nobody else can play... Did some fancypants forget to grow up?

Rebekah said...

Shannon!
I can't stop laughing. I am almost crying I am laughing so hard! It is too hilarious! Stupid Fancypantses. They think their so hot. You've only been doing this for a year and your stuff is WAY BETTER than theirs. And your cool too! They can't beat you even if they tried. So HA HA HA! Fancypantses can kiss it!

Bek said...

What I love about you Shannon is that not only are you talented, but you have taken the time to study and learn and KNOW your craft. You need a good eye...but you also need technical knowledge... you are an inspiration. I need to get my booty in gear and learn more so I can catch up.

Can't wait to have you do our little family... :-)_

Haley said...

We all have had these fun experiences as "mom" photographers who are just doing this as a "hobby." The best is when you are waiting at the temple for your bride and groom with many other photographers and the "old man" photographer tries to tech talk with you to show you he knows more than you.. It's the best. I try to keep up with his tech talk and force myself not to mention how he probably has no artistic ability whatsoever and that his favorite shot is the hands on the temple door shot. Whatever. This is great, great, that you stood up to fancypants.

cazmom said...

That's my Shan Shan for ya. Good job spreading the love, sista.

MattDJ said...

OK Shannon, because your skills are out of this world and since you haven't updated your blog in what...DAYS :-) ...you forced me to scan through your older stuff and I'm still floored at your eye. You are one gifted girl!!

Anyhow, you're probably NEVER going to see this anyway (I'm what...one whole year late to this post!) but for the sake of other "young" photogs out there, welcome to the new breed of photography. You will most definitely run into a "Fancypants" but don't ever, absolutely...positively...ever, let an old school photographer bring you down.

In the end, its not about them. Its about impacting the lives of the people you're shooting for. Sweet!!