I’ve written about Zack Arias before, and he’s a pretty smart guy. Not only a great photographer, but an inspiring writer and speaker, and I thought I’d share something he wrote here. In his Photography Q&A book he recounts a short story about a couple who brought in a picture for enlargement to be put on top of a casket at a funeral, and it was a terrible photo in bad light, a bad background…. a snapshot. He goes on:
When I got back into photography I remembered that photo. This may sound weird—every time I photograph someone I think about their funeral. It is my goal to get a great photo of whoever is in front of my camera, one that is worthy of being enlarged and placed next to their casket. Everyone needs a great portrait. Everyone is going to leave it behind. The portrait that gets left behind needs to be the best it can be. I’m serious; I think about this on every shoot.
Now when I make pictures of people, I think about what Zack said. I really do. No one deserves their last picture to be a bad selfie with duck lips and an open bathroom stall in the background. At least it should be a good selfie 🙂