Coming up through the ranks

Michael Clinard wishes you and yours a very special. . . oh wait? Did I miss the cutoff for sending out gimmicky, holiday-themed ephemera?!

Oh no, that’s just me and my good friend, Patrick Kehoe, hanging with Santa Claus some months back on a job I shot for Brooks Running Shoes.

Pat’s too modest to admit it, but he’s on a serious tear right now with projects for Fast Company, The Guardian and Washington State Farmworker Housing Trust now under his belt.

You see, Pat and I came up assisting together, and we’ve been in more photo trenches than you can shake a stick at. That said, it’s incredibly satisfying to see someone who understands the technical side of photography so well get his work out and about.

You probably don’t know this, but a handful of those ‘exceptionally great’ photographers that shoot big ad jobs and heavy-duty editorials rely on uber-skilled assistants and lighting technicians — who Pat and I used to be — to do the work they do. In truth, some of them probably couldn’t find their way out of a dark cave if you gave them a Maglite and the four D batteries it takes to turn it on because there’s always been some super-capable assist/tech to hold their hand OR just light the job for them.

I have such great respect and admiration for photographers that come up through the assisting ranks. Additionally, I can get behind a photographer’s work if I know that they’ve practiced the actual craft of photography — under a working photographer OR in some kind of structured curriculum at a university or technical school.

What I’m getting at is that I see a lot of those ‘f/2.8-soft-focus-backlit-joints-made-sexy-with-a-lightroom-filter’ styles, and I die a little inside each time. It makes me wonder if that individual ever loaded, logged and ran film like I did in the old days. Could he actually take a negative and achieve the same effect in a wet lab area if prompted?

Pat can. And he can fly spaceships, too.

Anyways, what do I know? Maybe it doesn’t even matter now in our industry. I just think there’s something to be said for true photo OG’s (if you will) that are now getting to showcase their style in a larger arena. Kudos to Pat and all the other photo bro’s and bro’ettes who are hustlin’ out there and keeping the torch aflame.

More always,

Mike

See full post here: The Office of Michael Clinard, General Photography BLOG2012-01-06.