Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Flattery will kill it DEAD

Recently, there has been much discussion about where the line is drawn, if there even is one, between appropriating or copying another artists work.

Many art teachers will tell you art is simply adapting and refining past art. But what's the difference between refining and copying? This particular discussion can go on endlessly, and it isn't the point to this post.

I've actually had my work "refined". It's an irksome feeling, especially when you're work is much better.

This is the final image I turned in for a project, about 2 semester ago. Literally the next project, a classmate turned an image identical to the composition and style of mine, simply a different subject matter. I walked into the class and my friend simply said "Wait till you see Bob's..." I wasn't too impressed with the image. When I had done mine, the critiques were overwhelmingly positive. And the reinterpretation, I felt diminished my work.

But that's just my personal experience with the subject. Another issue with "refining" is that the more it's done, the less powerful the images become. "Imitation is the highest form of flattery". Well flatter a style of work enough make it cheap and unoriginal. The revision of Barbara Krugers work above is pretty much the point.

I've recently gotten into the work of Terry Richardson. I'd seen his work before and loved it, but it's only been recently, this week actually, that I've been able to put a name to the art. His style is simple. Shooting portraits on a bare background with only a hot shoe flash on his camera. He is also Lady Gaga's photographer.

(Check out the Barbara Kruger shirt)

And the man himself,
Terry Richardson

What becomes dangerous with work like this, is that assumptions are made that it's easy. This idea can actually be applied to every style of photography; hence the Walmart Picture Studio and "photographers" running a business from home. Soon, people who think Instagram makes them photographers will be taking a crack at Terry's style. 

The best analogy I can come up with for what happens is via music. When a new song comes out, we put it on repeat and hear it over and over on the radio. We listen to it so much that the song is ruined and becomes awful.  The same thing happens with styles of photographers, it's done so much that people lose appreciation for the original artists work.

And this isn't to say you can't be inspired by Terry Richardson or me or any other photographer or artist. But make it your own.

Until next time...
(don't forget to like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/erinbeephoto ) 

Monday, September 17, 2012


Art, like anything else, has styles that come and go. Some photographers style's are classic and will astound people 50 years from now. Others....not so much.

There are tons of websites dedicated to awkward family portraits or awkward studio portraits. Most are circa 1995, which pretty much explains everything. The 1990s weren't the best years for fashion and style.

Here are a few images that made me laugh:

As photoshop became more available to people
there was a lot of experimentation with it, trying 
out different techniques. This one I would
label a miss.

There is zero excuse for this 2006 was more than 
enough time for the tainted fashions of the 90s to 
have faded.


I would be willing to bet big money that the ball
was meant to be a reference point and the 
photographer was to put in a globe. 

Tacky backdrops and cheap portraits studios are the 
mullets of the photography world.
I strongly suggest against photographing yourself
with your collection of anything. It makes you 
look crazy.

I hope these made you smile. Have a fine day!

Don't forget to like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/erinbeephoto

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Moving Up in the World

OK, OK. I know you've been missing me. I've been doing fun and not so fun things. So lets just say I've been on a blogging sabbatical.

Some exciting news. I'll be graduating COLLEGE in December! Battling the financial aid office has been awful. But the count down to graduation has begun.

With the "real world" right around the corner, I've been working the business side of my work. While I did have a website, there wasn't much beyond that. So I've been working on things.

The first of which has been the development of a logo for Erin Bee Photography. I did it myself, and it came out pretty good, if I don't say so myself. I'm not a graphic designer, and so I'm sure the logo will go through an evolution over time. But here's what it is right now.

The next thing I did was create a Facebook presence for Erin Bee Photography. So if you haven't already, go to Facebook and LIKE us! Or just click https://www.facebook.com/erinbeephoto

I've written up a client contract. I felt like not having one was leaving me open to being screwed. So I did some research and looked at other photographers contracts and came up with two pages. First page is mostly basic information. Second page outlines the fact that the images being produced are copyrighted by the photographer (that's me). Also spells out fees and cancellation policies. 

ALSO! I got myself a shnazzy card reader from Square. I hook up to my phone and open up the app and I can accept all major credit cards. Which is exciting. It takes me from being a cash run business. One step closer to being legit. 

I've got a few projects in the works, so stay tuned!