There is a lot of malice in the world today. Most of it is intentional. People hating on you for whatever reason. Spreading lies, gossip and ill-will. Unfortunately you cannot control all the bad publicity that may come your way, when a person hates on you it let’s you know one thing. You MUST be doing something right. So guess what? Continue doing it.
But there is that second type of malice that comes under the radar that if you don’t pay attention you just might miss it and sometimes that malice may even come innocently enough from yourself, and that is the reason for this blog.
Today’s world is built on a phrase known as “branding”. And for the neophytes, a lot of people misconstrue branding as just the “image” of themselves. As long as a good photo is floating around out there about them, then you would seem to guess that that is the only thing you need to worry about, right?
In my previous blog “Stop It!” (http://dallasjlogan.blogspot.com/2011/08/stop-it.html) I discussed the importance of not being a Photo Whore and producing the best possible images with the best possible photographers. If you go through my blogs you will see a history of me discussing doing the best possible image of you that can possibly be done. But in this blog I am going to discuss the “whys”.
Story One: A friend of mine came to my studio for a fun shoot. We were just killing time and she got in front of my lens and we took harmless photographs. She was playing in a tee-shirt, big smiles, great images. She posted them somewhere on the internet (this was 4 years ago). Fast forward, she applied for a job in Finance. They ran an internet search on her and these images came up. Needless to say she didn’t get the job. Why? They felt that “she was not a good person to suit the representation of their company.”
Story Two: A model is applying for a television show. She got in contact with all the photographers that she worked with because the network wanted to use her images. During the time of shooting her, I was featured on a retouching blog which showcased her image. This time she did an Internet Search which brought that blog to light. She begged me to have it removed. Fortunately there was enough time and we got the blog changed. She did make it to the television show, but things could’ve went a completely different way if I didn’t have that blog pulled. We will never know.
Story Three: A male model was trying make some extra money before he decided that he wanted to become an actual legit model. He was featured in some underground pornographic videos. It didn’t take long for them to surface. The major modeling agency he was signed to had to drop him immediately. A major company is not going to have you represent them and you are tied to activities that can sully the name.
All three instances above ALL have to do with branding. The public’s perception of who you are. It didn’t matter that the girl in the first story was doing something on her own time, in a time of her life that she wasn’t thinking of even joining a finance company, but her “brand” was viewed in a negative light. The second story the girl simply had poor skin at the time of the shoot, the third was a simple case of “you do what you have to do to eat.” I get it. I don’t hold judgment, however, the major populace does. Even with me, there are times I have to step away from projects, because they may be viewed in a negative light (no pun intended).
Branding covers everything that is publicly known about you and it only takes a single indiscretion about you that can put you in an unfavorable light. So when you are being cavalier with the attitude of "I don't care" realize that it may come back one day. You must be aware of yourself and your image and how you are portrayed at all times. In the world of instant information, anyone can do a simple search on the internet and find anything they want about you, without your control, or your knowledge. So when information/photos/stories/interviews/blogs are released about you, you should know at all times what is going on if you have control over it. There is an old saying “you are only as good as your last __________________” [I will allow you to fill in the blanks].
So when I come along and tell you about shooting with bad photographers there is a reason why. If I tell you not to associate yourself with a project, there is a reason why. If I tell you not to release something about you, there is a reason why.
There is also a reason why Google exists. Use it and use it often.