Jul 24, 2008

first person

So, I'm finally working on a real photography website. After reviewing many, many options - I decided to go with clickbooq.com. It's a simple, flexible, feature-rich interface that will work with what I'd like to do. Done deal.

Now the hard part - choosing the photos, figuring out how to categorize photos, and writing a bio. As a writer, you'd think writing a bio would be easy for me. Not so much. Maybe that's why so many photographer bios are written in third person - they have someone else write it for them. For me, a third person bio written about me, by me - just isn't me. But, before I race to a speedy decision, I did what I always do when I'm confused - go to the web.

I have a gazillion cool photographer websites bookmarked - so checking out bios was quick work. Most of them are written in third person and take a pretty conservative, formal approach. This excerpt from a third person bio reads like, how can I say . . . self-indulgently crappy:

"(photographer name) creates compelling, vibrant, and evocative images. Innately curious and optimistic, he finds grace, warmth, and humor in the world around him. His photographs create the bridge between subject and viewer. Blah, blah, blah, blah and blah."

Actually, that unnamed photographer is very talented. Maybe he should fire his PR person.

One of my faves is from a talented guy named Felix Rust. I first met Felix in a lensbabies.com forum. At the time he was an advanced amateur, but now he has a booming little photography business. His first person bio seems to capture him:

"When I was five I once cut my own hair and the hair of my three year old brother. Jeez, what is the big deal? ... I think it would be pretty cool if there was a ventriloquist who had a dummy that was, like, five times his size. He would sit in the lap of the dummy and pretend HE was the dummy. He would somehow control the dummy from his lap but would make like the dummy was controlling him. I've got other ideas, too."

Felix is a clever and funny guy.

A super-fave pro photographer of mine is Erik Almas. In his first-person bio he wrote: "I shoot pictures and I'm too happy doing it, trying to make the ones today better than yesterday." Now that's tasty stuff. The grammar is a little challenged (he grew up in Norway), but it says a lot about his passion without using the word passion (or compelling or vibrant or evocative).

There are many more photographer sites with no bios - just contact info. Those guys probably couldn't bear to write something glowing about themselves or couldn't afford a PR person after spending a gob on a fancy Flash site.

I'll let you know when the site is up and going - hopefully soon. I'm making steady progress, but I'm saving the bio for the end. Maybe I'll just say "I love to take pictures, and sometimes they turn out pretty darned good."


Bruce L. Snell said...

How about:

"Hi, my name is Doug and I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I always seem to be at the right place at the right time. I'm one talented MFer."

I like it.


Doug said...

You're hired as my new PR dude. The pay is crappy, but Freestate trips are part of the benefit package.