I met a "Master Photographer" tonight. What is a "master photog" you ask? I had the same question. He told me that he's spent the last 40 years as a photographer, and I noticed that he had several medals around his neck.
No, he didn't look like Yoda. He did look like he might have recently eaten Yoda. He didn't sound or talk like Yoda, ... more like Mr. Haney from the tv show "Green Acres". (sorry, for you young people... google it)
When asked how he became a "Master", he said that he'd won 4 prestigious awards from PPA, the Professional Photographers of America. I'm a member of PPA, and have never been impressed with the organization. It's a very pompous group who bestow awards and titles like an ivy league university. All of their speakers have PhD's and MPA's, and whole alphabets of initials after their names.
The "master" was a guest speaker at a local photography club. I don't attend many meetings. A lot of them are on weekends, and I'm usually tied up on weddings during the weekend. The club charged $10 to attend this presentation by the master. I was somewhat intrigued, so I paid my $10 and anxiously awaited to hear what nuggets of wisdom the master would share with us about Wedding Photography.
He started out with a slideshow of some of his work. "Not bad" I thought... but not what I thought a Jedi Master Photographer would present. Then he started talking. It took me a bit to get over his high pitched voice, and the way he talked reminded me of an insurance salesman. Every sentence had a punchline, and he would slap the back of the nearest person as he laughed at how funny he was.
Then he started telling wedding horror stories. I especially liked the one where he said the groom was so drunk, he kept unzipping his pants and showing his anatomy to anyone in the room. (I'm thinking "did I really pay $10 for this?") Let's get to the wisdom, master.
Finally he said, "Here's a little tip from me to you: During the ceremony, if you're having trouble with something or someone blocking your shot, just hold your camera high over your head, and shoot down. Sometimes you'll get a great shot that way."
Wait... it gets better. Then he tells more stories, about the groom that passed out during the ceremony. Then... it's over. He told stories for 40 minutes, and now it's time for the door prizes. Ooohh!! I like door prizes. Too bad most of them were lens cloths, a flashlight, and the grand prize was a free 16x20 print from one of the photo labs in town.
I didn't win. Bummer. I didn't get any wisdom from the master. The force was clearly not strong with this one, and these were NOT the droids I was looking for.
May the force be with you, Master.