I refer to this story, about a Vancouver wedding photographer who had her Macbook stolen from her car, with wedding photos on it. Not yet backed up.

There is so much wrong with this. Of course I don’t know this photographer, but the story as reported (i.e. if true) gives me no sympathy for her at all.

“No backup yet”? Huh? Her memory card is one, the laptop another, i.e. the laptop is the backup. Why did she wipe the memory cards? I am guessing, to save a few dollars. A very unwise choice; a very false economy. You must never have any photo in only one place. Every hard drive fails. Not if, but when.

She “normally backs up online”? Oh? An all-day wedding probably involves 1000 pictures. And if they are RAW (which they must be for something as important as a wedding) that is 1,000 x 15 MByte, i.e. 15 GBytes. Try uploading that.  So if she does back up online she is backing up small JPG files. Ouch!

In the video, she is holding the camera wrong; an amateur dead giveaway. It looks like she is using a low end camera with a kit lens. According to the news report, she is “relatively new to the profession”, and these were “among her first weddings”.

In my opinion, and again, if the facts are as reported, she has no business shooting weddings until she learns more. Weddings are very, very demanding. The most difficult photography. You need mad skills. Experience. In areas like fashion, food, product, event, portrait, and journalism. You also need high-end equipment, cameras, lenses. Spares for all that equipment. Flashes. Cameras that always save each picture to two cards at the same time (I would not touch a wedding without that!).

If you ever think “why is this photographer so expensive”… it’s because that photographer does things properly, so you do not end up the way these newlyweds did.


The State of Photojournalism…

…is not great.

My Israel trip is off, alas. Funding did not succeed.

Many people feel passionate about proper press coverage of the conflict in Israel/Gaza, and complain (justifiably, I feel) about the current coverage. Alas, it appears that this passion does not extend to helping fund proper coverage. I received pledges for around $550 of the $8500 needed.

And alas, self funding is the only way. Newspapers and other news outlets do not pay—a national daily would offer me maybe $600 for the entire story, as an exclusive. That doesn’t even pay for half the airfare, let alone any of the other costs. Governments, NGOs, etc: none of them will pay. All my photojournalist friends and acquaintances do the same: do it at their own expense; shoot weddings to cover the expense; hope to get some of it back eventually. I too was going to do this as a volunteer: all I want to cover is flight, food, place to stay, guide/fixer, etc.

And photography is the way to clarify the reality of a situation. Thoughtful photography that opens eyes. When we say “a picture tells 1,000 words”, it may be a cliché, but it is true. It is a crying shame that photojournalism is falling by the wayside.

Those of you who did pledge: I can’t tell you how grateful I am. You have not been/will not be charged anything now, of course.

And everyone: plan “B” is in the making. So stand by… I am determined to keep working on this. And I am glad I tried. Rather than just wondering why there’s no good coverage that helps you understand why Israel does the things it does, I want to go out and provide some of that.



Yesterday’s post about corporate portraits: I have decided to do a special for the rest of this month. See for the details… and have a pro headshot made now.


Blatant Commercialism, but…

…but you need this. A business portrait:

There are times that an iPhone selfie, or an Uncle Fred attempt, just will not do. For your LinkedIn profile, for example. or your web site. Or a job application. A professional portrait, like the one above, which I made today for bookkeeping expert Gary Layng, sets you apart from the crowd.

And it is remarkably easy and quick. And surprisingly, it does not hurt. Best of all, if you can get to Oakville between August 1 and August 7, I have good news:

AUGUST 1-7 ONLY, A VERY SPECIAL PRICE FOR A CORPORATE HEADSHOT. See for the details. Book now: Aug 1-7 only, and first come, first served. Session is in Oakville; session must be paid before August 7, booking upon payment; actual portrait can be made until August 14. Evenings, weekends, daytime: all possible. I aim to make it simple for you.