Sometimes, it takes a jump in the deep end to learn how to swim. That’s certainly what happened to Tim Wu, writer and amateur photographer who, after attempting a challenging fashion photo-shoot despite limited experience, is amateur no longer. In taking photographs for his friends’ fashion start-up, Tim sought to answer the following question:
Could an amateur photographer create good-enough images using basic equipment, the kind of thing you can find on Amazon?
The answer—complete with hilariously captioned photographs—can be found in Mr. Wu’s article here. The biggest lesson he learned? “The photographer can only capture beauty, not create it. That makes the team as important as the photographer. Good shots depend on a professional for hair and makeup, someone else to pay constant attention to wardrobe, someone else to hold the reflector or secondary light.”
The photographer can only capture beauty, not create it.
Speaking of light, “more subtle still is a lesson that is true for any kind of photography: It’s of paramount importance to really see light and appreciate its qualities, the way a cook understands the difference between salt and cilantro.” In fact, “shooting fashion has cured me of my addiction to lighting gear: For most shots the sun at the right time of day has advantages that will never be matched,” says Tim. All helpful conclusions to be sure, but reader, be warned: As insightful as the article is, you may come to the same dismaying realization as Tim that “once you’ve shot beautiful models using fancy equipment, there’s no going back to snapshots of friends”!