Third Favorite Photographer

composite of a girl cloned/duplicated

So my third favorite photographer is a bit undecided. I have a few candidates, one is a pretty good runner, but I’m not sure that I want to give her the spot quite yet.

What makes a person “my favorite” really isn’t all about technical efficiency, as I’m sure I’ve conveyed by my other favorites and my own style. It’s not about worldly success, achievement, or portfolio. What seals a person as a “favorite” is their ability to change my mind. Their ability to change my understanding of the artistic expression, or just my understanding about photography in general. Tamara Lackey made me see the importance of capturing real moments. Jim Garner helped me understand the business side of Wedding Photography, and giving the couple an experience. Blake Beamish helped me understand “lens flare” in way no else has. Mark Janzen helped me see importance of documenting a wedding as if every portion of the day is the most important part of the wedding day.

So at this point in the list I begin to notice a transition in my list. The top three photographers aren’t wedding photographers. Well, that’s not what they’re famous for anyway.

You see I’m torn between three people for the number three spot, as silly as that may sound. They are:
-Jodi Bieber
-Jennifer Hudson

Yervant – I’ve already talked about him in my list of favorite photographers numbers 5-10. He’s incredible with post-processing. And if you’ve seen any of my work you know that I love post-processing.

Jodi Bieber – She made the cover of time in November of 2010 with her portrait of a 18 year old Pakistani girl who had her nose cut off by her husband. This portrait shattered everything I understood about photography. For the first time I really understood what photo-journalism was. This was an image that opened my eyes. It was, and is, hard to look at. But it’s real! This really happened, and happens! I had to read and understand. Until that day I did not know what the war in Pakistan was, or why we were involved. But afterward, my heart was broken for Pakistan. Jodi’s honest portrait changed my understanding about a war with just one image.

However, after looking through the rest of her portfolio, I didn’t find myself nearly as inspired. She’s honest, and she will always be important to me because she changed the way I thought about this medium. No longer am I so naive to think that the camera is just a toy, though it can be, but now I know it is also a tool for spreading the truth.

But I think the photographer who is in the greatest running for third is Jennifer Hudson. Brace yourself for some very powerful images!

Jennifer Hudson – Like I said, her images are very powerful; almost disturbing. But they convey so much. They show, and express so much of herself. I long to do just that. The images you see on her fine are site are all composites that she has made herself. She takes all of these machine parts into her studio and carefully photographs each of them. Then photographs the model in studio. She finally goes out and photographs the location. Then sits down and puts them all together. Look through her “dancers” gallery. Each image is so moving. I feel like I’m looking into a good memory of hers.

Do you want your portrait done? You can make a “reservation” for $1,500. At this point she’ll meet with you and get to know you, learn what makes you “you”. She’ll find a way to express that and together you will create your “portrait”. This is the way portraiture should be done. It’s the way nearly any session should be done, including weddings. Getting to know the person/people you’ll be capturing. This is the only way to tell their story.

The other part of her work that I admire is her wedding work. You see Jennifer Hudson ran/runs a very successful Wedding Photography business for several years before she dove full force into her creative work. It’s incredible work. Just as artistic and moving as her fine art. Her packages start at the same price as mine, which is encouraging. She also insists that she be there to photograph the entire day. The whole wedding experience needs to be captured.

Jennifer Hudson gives me hope that I can be a successful wedding photographer, and maintain my creative expression.

Thanks a lot for letting me share with you. I hope you express your heart in some way today.

God Bless You,
-Adam Allen


My Favorite Photographer!!! - […] I doubt my love for this man’s work will ever change. As I’ve shared before, “What seals a person as a “favorite” is their ability to change my mind. Their ability to change …“. I’ve not yet seen another photographer’s work that gave me the same chill, the […]

Tyler Jones - Super cool to hear what inspires you. I remember delivering that TIME Magazine with the Pakistani lady on it. Heartbreaking.