Thursday, July 27, 2017

the ineffable "it"

I really don't know how to make the case for something I know from experience to be true but there is no way to prove it to anyone else: They either get it or they don't.

A number of things fall into this category for me, but this morning, after skimming the local newspaper and reading a few news wires as usual, I am thinking of photographs.

Two photographers at the local paper, Jerrey Roberts and Sarah Crosby, take photos that I can recognize as having a je-ne-sais-quoi "it" without even looking at the credit line. There is a gob-smack in them somehow. The paper's other photographers take pictures that I qualify as "adequate," but the lack the "it" -- that gut-level, whispered deliciousness that elevates an "adequate" photo into something ... something ... something better-by-miles -- is missing.

Wire services that run photo compendia are lately running the "adequate" photos by people whose photos are pretty blah ... but "important" because, perhaps, the photographer is dead or the photos come from a bygone era. Adequate, but where's the "it?" It's not there because whoever picked the photos is unwilling or unable to winkle out the lush core of what a good photographer can purvey.

My photog buddy Bob Stern (we worked at the Republican together) once tried with some pals to start a portrait-photography business based on the "it" he too knew about and could convey. To the best of my knowledge, the business flopped and I imagine it flopped because those being photographed could not see the "it." Why spend the money on what was, from their point of view, just a sit-still family snap?

I've looked around for photos to illustrate what I'm talking about here -- I know they're out there -- but can't readily find them. Even if I could, would it prove the point? I doubt it. Maybe it's all just taste ... but I don't believe that.

Eye candy is nice, but to be consumed ... ahhh, that is living!


  1. Light cleaning. Shopping. Cooking.

    Price it out & if you can, give it a try. You might find that it's a great relief.

    Do it before you get too weak to even get your brain around the project.

  2. No accounting for marketability of creative efforts, even creative efforts that are very good in some objective sense.

    Either that or the marketing efforts need to be brought to very high levels e.g. like saturation advertising and price cutting until a reputation develops, and very low levels (like bribery at the local bridal shops and catering halls).