I'd like to share a story with you about Sam Abell, a National Geographic photographer who in this case, embodies passion, and dedication to his art. Although not all of us work for National Geographic, we can all take something from what he says.  Before I go on, here is the video:

I found this video just this morning from Chase Jarvis' blog, which is one I check out more consistently than others.

Twenty-five thousand for eight. That is 0.032%  of the images he shot for the story actually made it to print.  Typically, in the modern world, a photographer walking out of a shoot with only 100 photos will pick his absolute best 3, or 3% and that is being pretty selective by modern standards.  Sam Abell had one hundredth of that make it to the magazine.

He was shooting on film remember, and like he said, no digital backs to see your photos as you catch them.          Could that have helped him from needing a return trip half a year later? Maybe. Is it something we might take for granted now? Maybe.  I wonder if he had autofocus?

Quality over Quantity. Plain and simple. As much as Sam Abell talks about the dedication, hardship and travels involved with shooting that one story during his extensive career, I think the other message is quality quality quality.

As a little quiz for some budding photographers out there, similar to myself --  take your last big shoot, how many photos did you capture? Now divide that into how many photos you may have posted, displayed, or delivered to the client. Multiply by 100 for the percent value.
As a client of a photographer you can do the same thing, Did you get more than 50% of the images shot?  You may have even felt like your not as impressed as you would have been with the pro-photog who is charging more but giving less?

Why wouldn't they be impressed? That is what it all boils down to, you group 70 decent photos of 150 together, and they'll look alright, there may be a couple that stand out, but you'll just 'thumb' through most of them anyways. Instead, take your best 6 from that seventy, and I bet you can spend a full minute staring at each one, from the same person who was just thumbing through at first.

So before I steer too far away from Chase's and Sam Abell's message,  focus on quality and be dedicated to what you do, make your photographs, don't take them.

Ps. Check out Chase Jarvis' blog; here's the link again.

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