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The After Mac

Interview with Dominique James Part III

by Jayvee on June 16th, 2006

This is the last part of our interview with Dominique James. You can read the first part here and the second part here.

Any interesting gossip with models and Macs?

The models usually have the least number of songs in their iPods. They have the slimmest collection of music. With my Mac computer setup in the studio, I end up teaching them and influencing them about all things Mac. I bring them to the iTunes music store where they are surprised they could browse and buy songs legally off the Internet. I show them the many different must-have accessories for their iPods. I am able to share with them new things they never thought was possible such as the podcasts and vidcasts. And they are amazed to learn something new. In other words, I become a resource to them that makes them appreciate their iPods more because they discover things they can do with it. They begin to renew their appreciation for their iPods. And since they are using my Mac to surf the net, browse sites, and check online emails, I end up influencing them to shift to the Mac from PC.

Their first-hand experience with the sleek Macs in my studio becomes a very positive force that makes them re-think about their crummy PCs at home. And, the shift is actually easy for them because they are surprised at how reasonably priced the Macs are. I must have converted a lot of people to the Mac already. Models, celebrities, politicians, socialites, and business/industry leaders. They fall in love with the Mac easily when given the chance for them to play with it, rather than to tell them why a Mac is better than their PC. The hard-sell strategy often does not work so well. When they are doing things on the Mac, and they begin to realize how easy, how fast, how convenient, and how elegant it is, they are the ones who convince themselves. If you think about it, because of the iPod, and the Mac, I have an easier time building rapport with my subjects and my clients. There, right there, is a subject we can talk about openly and extensively.

How do Macs give you an edge? Would it be very different if you were using a PC?

I am very tempted to come up with a kilometric laundry list of what kind of edge the Mac gives me over the PC. But that would be, ultimately, bragging. Enough to say, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration at all, to say that everything about the Mac gives me a decided edge in everything that I do as a photographer. Everything, including photo shoots, client meetings, post-production, promotions, project managements, sales and business management — is easier, faster and better on the Mac. I can concentrate on what matters the most in my work, and I can focus on the important things, and I can be more productive, and I end up becoming a far better photographer because the Mac gives me the right tool and the framework with which to do things. In real life, you will realize that there are people whom when around makes us feel out-of-sorts, and then there are people who, when they are around, makes us feel great and confident, and in the process, brings out the best in us. A PC is a friend who makes us feel inadequate and out-of-sorts. A Mac is the kind of friend who makes us feel great and confident, and who brings out the best in us.

Any advice you can give to aspiring fashion photographers about equipment and attitude towards photography?

I’ve noticed that young photographers, particularly newcomers in the industry, are lured into photography for the wrong reasons. If I am not mistaken, I think they have the mistaken notion that photography is a very lucrative, money-making venture they can easily cash on. That is not the case at all. If a newcomer is thinking of photography simply as a means to make money, or as a business proposition, the likelihood of prospering is considerably less. While it is necessary to have business acumen, it is also necessary that one engages in photography because of the love and passion for it.

Photography, first and foremost, is both a craft and art. We become photographers because we have mastery and expertise over both aspects. And that kind of mastery can take years to develop and hone. It is not as if we can learn everything by simply taking the basic course of photography, and expect to be reasonably good at it. It takes more than that. It goes beyond acquiring a digital camera, enrolling in a primary course, and announcing to the world that one is a professional photographer. It takes long years to become proficient and to be truly a master of photography, and, to build a serious portfolio of works, and to gain the trust and confidence of clients.

I’ve been asked several times why I teach photography, and why I openly share my photo secrets and techniques to anyone and everyone who’d care to listen. I tell them that one of my goals is to fast-track the learning process of the new and young photographers. To make everyone I teach a measure of expertise and that they can individually develop on their own. I tell them that I want everyone to learn so that, in the end, we will end up competing on price, but instead, we will compete on quality.

As to equipment, I have 3 best advise. First is, get into the Mac/Apple hardware and software (iPhoto and Aperture are awesome addition to any photographer’s post-production and works well with Adobe Photoshop CS2). It’s not just the same when you’re on PC. And second, don’t rush to buy. Buy the best only when you can afford it. If you can’t afford it, postpone the buying decision. Buy only the top-of-the-line. And the 3rd advise is, love your work. The true measure of the love for photography is when you can afford to give up everything else.

POSTED IN: Interviews, Jayvee's Posts

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