There is a disparaging term used by models in the freelance modeling biz: GWC, which stands for “Guy With Camera.” It’s used to describe the classic stereotypical perv, often with little or no technical or artistic ability, who buys a fancy camera simply as a means to ogle naked chicks.
As a freelance model who has shot with hundreds of amateur photographers, I guess I’ve shot with more than a few who could be classified as “GWCs” — but it doesn’t bother me. I mean technically, all my clients are guys with cameras. Ultimately, art is subjective; who’s to say what separates an Artist from a hack? And who am I to judge, anyway — after all, I’m just a GWT — Girl With Twat!
Either way, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as long as your money is green, I’m happy to shoot with anyone — from beginner to advanced. I don’t care what kind of camera you have or how big your lens is; this isn’t a dick measuring contest! We’ve all met that one guy who always has to have the biggest and best equipment; he’s also usually the one telling everyone within earshot how much this or that lens cost, as he lugs five bags of softboxes and strobes out to a slot canyon already filled with soft, natural light.
But while that guy may end up getting some great results…more often than not, I find it’s the guys with more modest setups who often get the best shots. In my experience, it’s like a watermark: generally speaking, the bigger and more obnoxious the watermark, the less accomplished the photographer. Often, I find this holds just as true for camera gear; though there is definitely some truth to the adage “You’re only as good as your glass,” in my experience, I have found that having a good eye can make up for a multitude of shortcomings, gear-wise.
Taking that line of thought to its extreme, when I made my new commercial advertising my modeling services, I even put a disclaimer at the end: “iPhone shooters also welcome.” LOLz! I was being semi-facetious; no one would really be such a half-asser…right?? HA! Little did I realize that only a few days later, I really would end up shooting with a guy who used nothing but a cellphone. And an old-ass Samsung Galaxy SIII, at that!
Just last week, one of my favorite photographers, JCP Photography, had hired me for a shoot out in a fantastic new part of the desert that I had somehow heretofore missed out on exploring: the area around Gold Butte and Whitney Pockets, off the northern arm of Lake Mead (more about this shoot coming soon). We had a great day shooting around the area, but didn’t have enough time to hit the beautiful, arresting rock formations of Whitney Pockets — and as we drove past it on the way back to town, I vowed to come back as soon as possible for further exploration. I love finding a new corner of the desert!
So I ended up going back out there several days later with my friend Randy a/k/a Shutterbug Studio. Now, Randy is no half-asser; I’ve shot with him many times, and he’s generally on top of his game. But he’d been having a rough time lately; on top of being stressed out at work, both of his personal cameras were in the shop…so he’d had to borrow a camera from a friend for this shoot. And come to find out, just as we arrived at Whitney Pockets, he realized there was no battery in the camera!!! D’oh!!!!!
Now, I can say without hesitation that Randy is one of the best photographers I’ve worked with — he understands natural light as few others do, and is able to get great shots outdoors, even in the harsh light of high noon. (In my experience, I find that the ability to see and appreciate “good” light is not universal; just as some are colorblind or tone-deaf, some don’t seem to notice nuances in light.) Anyway, semi-jokingly, I urged him to whip out his phone: “Just use your cell! It’s better than nothing!!”
To my surprise, he did just that — and even better, it wasn’t even the new iPhone or anything fancy like that; as in all things, Randy is unpretentious and carries an old-ass Samsung Galaxy S3. As the owner of a Galaxy S5 myself, I already knew that the camera takes pretty good shots; on all my adventures with my sister, I always have her use my camera instead of her iPhone when photographing me naked in nature (the latest iPhone is said to have a better camera, but I haven’t tried it).
Sure enough, Randy went in and made a few tweaks, bumping the file size up to the maximum….and then we proceeded to do our entire shoot with this little Samsung smartphone. If anyone happened to see us, it must have looked absolutely ridiculous — the ultimate in GWC amateurishness, with me balancing my naked ass on a rock while he clicked away with one hand in his pocket! LOL!!!
But, the photos speak for themselves — they came out great, proving to me that it is NOT just about the cost of your camera and the length and girth of your lens; if you are truly talented, you can get great shots with just about anything! You can even go into the camera settings on many smartphones to adjust the ISO, metering, white balance and more.
Now granted, sure he’s not gonna be able to blow these up to poster size…but let’s be real; how many of us really do end up making posters of what we shoot? Few people make actual prints at all, anymore; most of us end up enjoying our photos on a laptop or tablet….or even more often, on a 2.5″ smartphone screen. So realistically, very few people need a 5MB file!!
In any event, the photos he ended up getting were more than high enough quality for me to use on my Model Mayhem page and on my various social media platforms — and more than enough for him to use in his planned coffee table book, one of these days 🙂 So it was a win-win.
Go, Samsung!!!! 😀