Hit for Average

Overnight, after posting the POTW's, I had a fellow PJ make a (physically misplaced, I think) comment that I assume was meant to go under the POTW post just below this one. He felt that it would be better to stick with the good stuff and lose the group shot.

Granted, the post would look better (no offense, Chris.) But I would point out that for many people shooting for a living, this is more real-world than the other two photos. In fact, at my last workshop, "how would you do a group shot" was a question in which there was wide interest.

Here's how I feel about that.

First, group shots are a fairly common assignment for many of the people who read the site.

And second - and I strongly believe this one - the biggest gains in photography come from learning to hit for average.

To some of the foreign readers who may not appreciate a baseball reference, "hitting for average" means making it a priority to do well on the less glamorous jobs. I think you can effect the biggest change the fastest by bringing up your minimum quality level on every single job you shoot - even group shots.

Look, we all want to hit home runs. And by that I mean shooting the occasional amazing photo or winning the big, important contests, or whatever. But far more important (to me) is what you do every time you go out. What do you do with the little stuff?

Heck, you send me to Darfur and I will come back with interesting photos. A trained monkey could, as one of my colleagues is wont to say. But how many times am I gonna go to Darfur?

(The answer, so far: Not once.)

But I do mundane assignments all of the time. So that's the first place I am gonna look to improve when I want to raise my overall quality level.

And that'll give me a better chance of getting more of the really interesting assignments.


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