Creative Freedom

When creative people start calling for another creative person to self-censor, I have to wonder what the hell is going on in the community, and possibly society at large. I have read posts about how disrespectful Ms. Greenberg was in her images of McCain (the ones she made for herself, that is), but there shouldn’t be any question of whether or not she showed McCain respect. It’s art damn it! The “questionable” images were manifestations of her art. 

Now, you can like her art, the resulting images I mean, or not, but whether or not they are respectful is entirely irrelevant. Respect is not factor in making art or in the end-results. The art itself is often (maybe always) offensive to some people (as is the process, at times).

It is the nature of art to challenge us. It always has been. This isn’t a recent phenomenon–the great masters of the past often challenged the very people who were paying them and certainly they offended so-called “good society.” Artists often lived and functioned on the fringes of society and were repeatedly shunned for their lifestyles and their art. 

But the recent attitudes by other artists–photographers in this case–towards the artist and the process of making the art is very disturbing, in my book. 

Here is what I believe:

1) There is NO such thing as a distinction between Artist and Commercial Artist and no one should “have to choose” as some have called for. Every artist is a commercial artist and every commercial artist who is any good at all is an artist. You should be seeking to create your individual art, as much as you can, within the boundaries of the contracts you agree to with clients. And, when working with a client, you should be pushing those boundaries, even if only within yourself. 

2) In the past, “commercial artist” in the realm of photography was essentially code for “great technician, but not very creative.” Today, there is no place for the technician without the artistry. ANYONE can made a good image today, because technology has lowered the barrier of entry to the field. It’s easy to pick up a camera and make something that is technically proficient. If you are not bringing something more to the table, you will not be in business for very much longer. So, today especially, the imaginary line between commercial artist and artist is gone. 

3) We as a community of artists owe it to each other to defend creative freedom. You can absolutely hate the stuff Greenberg has made, but you MUST defend her right to make it. You can even not like how she made it, but still you must defend her right to have made it, even as she did. Censorship from outside of the community is bad enough, from within it is terrifying…and terribly sad.

We have a fundamental constitutional right to creative freedom, but we will keep that right ONLY if we defend it, even when it makes our skin crawl to do so. Just like freedom of speech and other freedoms which are arguably quite threatened these days.

If we continue down the path we seem to be starting down, censoring and calling for the virtual shunning of one of us, then in the not to distant future, what kind of art will we be allowed to create? Thomas Kincaide-ish stuff? Beige art to match the beige houses and beige personalities of the creatively challenged masses? Safe art like happy smiling babies and puppies and rainbows over golden fields with a photoshopped flag in the sky?

I shudder to think, but I believe that future is not that far away if creatives themselves attack each other as they have been.

35 Responses to “Creative Freedom”

  1. Charlie Says:

    I have no problem with artist creating whatever they want, but to use someone’s likeness without their permission or in a way that defames the person in the name of art is wrong. It does everyone a major disservice. McCain gave his permission for use of his image for use on a magazine cover and pr use, not for the purposes Greenberg choose to use it for. This type of behavior would be like photographing one of your clients with the understanding that it will be used as a headshot for an article. Then, you create a splash page for your website with the word child molester next to the image, because you don’t like the person and you hate child molesters.

    We as photographers have a certain responsibility to maintain our integrity in spite of our personal beliefs. Being a creative person requires that our subjects are completely informed and understand about how we are going to use the images and the message that are art is going to convey to the public. Then if we deviate from the subjects understand we need to secure their permission first before we provide it for public viewing. The courts have upheld this, just look at the lawsuits filed against unauthorized uses. And would we hop up and down, throw a fit if someone took one of our images and manipulated it into something that we didn’t approve of.

    And for the record I have no respect for McCain nor any of his beliefs, but that does not give people like Greenberg the right to misuse his out takes.

  2. Kurt Says:

    Ahhh… I was waiting for this. Well said.

  3. Rebecca Redman Says:

    I agree with you that art is subjective and people should be allowed the freedom to create their own art. But, you state

    “You can even not like how she made it, but still you must defend her right to have made it, even as she did.”

    My only question in this whole scenario is did Ms. Greenberg have the legal right to use the photographs as she did? Or was she in some sort of violation of the terms of her contract? If she didn’t violate her contract, then kudos to her for getting the publicity and making her art. If she did violate her contract with The Atlantic then I do take issue with ‘how she made it.’ As a photographer, I value copyright and contracts and would expect other photographers to do so as well … even in areas outside of photography such as music. I have been trying to follow the news to see if she has acted according to the terms of her contract, but still not getting a definitive answer. I’ll keep looking.

    I do appreciate you putting your perspective on these issues out for all of us to consider.

  4. info Says:

    As I understand it she did NOT violate her contract. She made the images the mag wanted, held the others for the 2 week embargo, and, as she kept her copyright, she could do whatever she wanted with them after that.

    Btw, public figures can be ridiculed and satirized with much greater freedom than private citizens. I’ve already learned that in law school. :-)
    -Leslie

  5. Noni Says:

    I have no problem with Greenberg’s art. However, is this ethical – to despise your subject, yet still take the photo and take the money? It’s hypocritical. I don’t see anyone criticizing the photo itself, it’s the unethical behavior.

    And then slamming his consultants as “not sophisticated”? That’s like calling someone behind their back stupid.

  6. info Says:

    How else would she ever get this kind of access to McCain to make her art? How is this less acceptable than DaVinci taking the Church’s money and then putting his own spin on the resulting tableau? In that case he was screwing his actual client! In hers, the harm to the magazine was peripheral, if that (they’re probably happy for the exposure, at least on one level).

    Sometimes to make the art you are compelled by your creative vision to make, you have to do some uncomfortable things. She didn’t hurt anyone, really, so I’m okay with it in this case.
    -L

  7. Charlie Says:

    Leslie, do you mean Michelangelo and the painting of the Sistine Chapel? If so where do you get your facts that he did not create what the Church wanted?

    Do you advocate misrepresenting yourself and your intentions in order to get access to someone? Doesn’t that lead to a lot of distrust. If someone is not ethical in one area of their business, why would anyone think that they will be ethical everywhere else? I hope that our industry doesn’t follow your way of thinking, because a lot of doors will start closing. More importantly public figures will only allow themselves to be photographed by people they know and trust, period.

    In these days with the current financial crisis affecting both individuals and business, it is hard enough to find work without having people acting badly and creating even more distrust.

    As for me, I will take the high road and hope that there are many more out there that will act with integrity.

  8. John Fowler Says:

    Leslie, you say I “still must defend her right to have made it,” Not when it’s mad eunder false pretenses.

    You ask how else would she have gotten that kind of access? She could have asked, perhaps?

    She has done us all a great disservice. Not the least, herself.

  9. Rob Haggart Says:

    Defending her right to make it does not include censure of the critics who decry the lack of ethics. Without ethics journalism is toast. It should be very difficult for someone to do something like this without intense scrutiny and criticism from peers. The last thing we need is more contracts and more lawyers ;)

    I seriously doubt The Atlantic will reap any benefits and I’d be surprised if the AD isn’t close to being fired. They take this sort of thing very seriously.

    Also, anyone can take a picture of McCain. Go to an event and take one yourself. His participation in a private photo session implies something entirely different.

  10. Danno Says:

    good posting leslie.

    you’ve been posting a fair bit on the greenberg situation lately, been gettin a bit of flack have you? or just responding to the criticism at large?

    either way, good points to spur some discussion.

    Rocksteady,
    Danno~

  11. Jeffrey Chapman Says:

    I have no problem with her making her art (in fact, I encourage it), but I do have some problems with her conduct. She bragged about being sneaky in how she took one of the photos. That was unnecessary. And she tied it all to The Atlantic. That was unprofessional as the magazine had nothing to do with her anti-McCain art. If she had just done it without bragging of being sneaky and without tying it to The Atlantic, I’d simply view it as political satire. She shouldn’t have dragged her client into the fray.

  12. James Madelin Says:

    uh-oh ! common sense alert !

    you make excellent points brilliantly. even those who disagree with you ought to have the wisdom to appreciate your opinion.

  13. David Says:

    Finally. Some sense, and a voice of reason. Thanks for the post Leslie.

    It’s the reactions to Jill which have left me gasping. Ignorance, fear and so much hatred – Everyone trying to compartmentalize this industry. The problem is Jill has, I believe, raised the bar in artistic integrity with a completely gutsy and ball breaking move, taking on someone of notable statue (I use the term loosely). In doing so she’s set her self at his level…not something the average joe or jo can do. When you raise the bar for yoursef, you also raise the bar for everyone else. I’ve found that when this occurs, it’s easier for people to lash out and try to force the bar back down where it was so they don’t have to respond in an equal measure. Don’t have to change. I commend Jills response and strength by posting the pictures on her website, a fingers up to the mockers.

    I greatly respect and admire Jill for what she’s done – a true artist in every sense. Strong voices are what’s needed in this world. And truth be told, Atlantic has probably received more attention and sold more copies than it ever has. I’m guessing Jill will be in hot demand now. Bravo.

  14. info Says:

    Charlie @ 9/17
    I meant Leonardo and his Last Supper…painted on a monastery wall–
    “The Last Supper, a mural in the refectory of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan” (from msn-encarta).

    Though Michelangelo certainly had his own Church issues…

  15. Blake Pearson Says:

    If “The Manipulator” would have used existing images to make her artistic statement, few people would be mad. Everyone would have chuckled or winced and then went on with their day.

    Contempt for Greenburg’s actions has risen because she subverted her client’s desires, risking the reputations of everyone involved, for her own selfish interests.

    Beyond embarrassing her client, she also completely disregarded her industry and everyone in it––again, for her own selfish interests.

    No one cares if Greenburg manipulates images––or what artistic statements she expresses in doing so; but, when she manipulates the lives of others to better herself, anger is justified.

  16. Charlie Says:

    Leslie,

    Thank you for the Da Vinci information, I greatly appreciate it.

  17. Brian Says:

    Bravo, Leslie!

  18. Simon Says:

    Leslie,
    Your well-reasoned and otherwise quite correct assessment is founded on the assumption that those berating JG are wilfully creative/artists. Many – the vast majority of – working pro photographers are neither wilfully creative or artistic. At JG’s corner of the business then yes, it’s a given, but that’s largely why she is where she is in the industry and most of those attacking her actions are some place else.

    Rob,
    I’m confused by your association of the commissioned image with journalism. JG does not do journalism. A ‘private photo session’ is not journalism. JG creates a fiction with every one of her images. That cover, as with all her covers is all about commercial packaging, not editorial integrity. The Atlantic was buying itself some good packaging.

    Her one unethical action in all of this was her statement about her client, The Atlantic, once the proverbial began to hit the fan. That was blatantly unprofessional and unethical. Instead she should have made an unequivical statement to clearly distance her personal work from the client.

  19. James Aronovsky Says:

    Hi Leslie (and blog readers). I agree with you absolutely about the importance of creative freedom, but the issue here is absolutely not censorship, whether self or imposed. It seems that the whole issue of artistic censorship is a straw man in order to defend a serious breach of vendor-client relations.

    I’m sure you woudn’t defend snuff-film cinematographers by claiming “creative freedom”, no matter how artistically they arranged the corpses. (and please understand, I’m not accusing JG of commititing a crime). But at what point do you stop defending bad behavior by claiming artistic freedom?

    The issue isn’t the art, but the commerce. If Jill Greenberg had managed to arrange a photo shoot on her own, or if she had snapped a shot of McCain at a rally, then go for it – be an artist and go nuts.

    The real issue is that a photographer violated the trust a paying client gave her. It’s not that she make a presidential candidate look bad – it’s that she lied to her subject and humilitated her client who had hired her in good faith.

  20. info Says:

    James:
    I hold no boundaries for Creative Freedom. None. I think there are no limits to the creation of art.

    That being said, when the act of creation (of art) violates fair and existing laws (like in the case of some VERY imaginary artistic snuff film), then the creator must be ready to submit to the punishment that the State imposes for such transgressions and I would hope that such a person would be arrested and punished for the homicide, no matter how great the resulting art may be (and that is one hell of an unlikely and envelope-pushing example).

    Now, stepping away from such a clearly socially wrong example… Generally speaking, making art often requires what at least some parts of society call “bad behavior.” I do not believe that we should ever judge (in a global way) an artist for what s/he chooses to do for his/her art. That is to say, one must keep the importance of the creation of art in mind. There are artists out there who make their art with feces an others who do self-mutilation as a part of their art. I don’t get any of that, but I uphold their right to make their art and to express themselves as they choose. So, in Greenberg’s case, I could understand someone saying “I would not have done the same–I would have chosen not to make that art or to have made it in that way” but I cannot understand someone saying “She was wrong to have made the art.” It was HER art and she had to make it HER way.

    And, yes, that also includes suffering the negative consequences that society may impose (legal and otherwise) as well as reaping the positives.

    As for what she said afterwards, of course she could have handled it better, but what I am talking about in this post (above) are those who have criticized her for making the images, not the statements she made about them and the mag, etc.

    Oh, and one cannot separate art and commerce in a professional creative business. Each is a part of the other. They are intertwined, inextricably.
    -Leslie

  21. CR Says:

    Bravo Leslie and way to stand up for all creatives (even those giving you grief for your comments)
    I certainly appreciate the candor and ensuing comments all over the photo blogosphere about this issue. Some of the more absurd and downright nasty/unprofessional comments I could have done without. I’d like to point out that really the only people still talking about this is our little world of photography and art. A few latecomers are just picking up the story but for the most part it happened and is now gone a forgotten by everyone outside of photography… a blip.
    I think part of the reason there is such a hoopla is because it is political in nature… something tells me if it were Paris Hilton no one would give a rat’s ass.

  22. James Aronovsky Says:

    Hi Leslie,

    I fear that we (and probably many other posters) are talking past each other, focusing on different issues. Once again, I agree that creative freedom should not be limited. I don’t care if McCain is portrayed as a vampire monster with feces dripping on him. That’s artistic freedom and I support it whole-heartedly, even though I may not personally like specific examples.

    I think most photographers’ ire is raised by Greenberg’s violation of trust with the people who hired her. I have spent decades developing not only a personal style, but a reputation for integrity which I hope gives the client (whether commercial or editorial) confidence that I will not only get the shot, but also not anger my subject or humiliate the client. That helps me get more work. If Jill Greenberg chooses to anger her subject and humiliate her client in order to make her art, she is FREE to do so in our great country. But the beauty of this freedom is that others are free to express disapproval. It is the wonderful “marketplace of ideas” that allows anyone to say (or photograph) anything without prior restraint.

    Jill Greenberg has the artistic freedom to do what she wants, and maybe this public uproar will make her more notorious and marketable. Good for her. But she has now helped make my job a little more difficult both in dealing with the magazine’s lawyers, and in getting the cooperation of a reluctant subject for an editorial portrait. Bad for me and the editorial photography profession.

  23. Matthew Says:

    I’ll support JG’s right to make art if she support’s the photo industry’s right (or at least mine) to distance ourselves from an artist who will might have made our professional lives (as distinguished from our creative lives) more difficult.

    This argument is not about her art, it’s about her conduct. Any one of us would love to have a person we hate sit down in front of our cameras so we can manipulate their visage and then make those images public. This is akin to being in fourth grade and hitting the principal with a spitball when she wasn’t looking. It’s great to dream about, but in the real world you, and possibly the whole class gets detention. She took the opening when the principal wasn’t paying attention. Super. Good for her. She succeeded. She hit that principal square in the back of the head with a big wet one. Then she brags about it all the way down to the office and everyone’s guilty by association.

    Here’s the thing: I don’t have time for detention, I’ve got a job to do.

    I hope she’s happy. She’s a real artist.

  24. Craig M Says:

    For what its worth I’m with you 100% on this Leslie. We for sure are becoming a beige society.

    “I like people who shake other people up and make them feel uncomfortable”.
    Jim Morrison

    Long live the 60’s

  25. Joe Says:

    ‘Censorship of an artist’ is not the issue here. But ethics and professionalism are, and are the tenets that working professionals should hold dear lest our industry be defined by such liars and sneaks.

    As such, Leslie’s assertion that we should “disagree with the respect one of your colleagues deserves” turns my stomach.

    “Respect” is not given, but is earned by the worthy. And someone who would deceive her client through such an act of cowardice (pretending she is serving the assignment’s needs while secretly lighting/posing the subject with malicious intent) does not deserve anyone’s respect.

    If this had been a paid portrait session of your young child, but the “artist” subsequently ‘manipulated’ her lovely face onto the body of a graphically dismembered and sexually abused corpse, and then gloatingly (without asking) posted it on the web for all to see… I think every person responding on this site would be sickened by such crass deception.

    What Jill Greenberg has done is no different.

    So with all due ‘respect’ Leslie, keep up those law school studies girl because that would seem a perfect segue into your next life!

  26. Giulio Says:

    Amazing how many people are up in arms over some silly photographs. There’s far worse stuff going on with the government and no one is up in arms over that.

    In the long run no one will care about Greenburgs photos, we’ll all be wondering where our freedoms went.

  27. Angelo Photography Says:

    It would be nice to move on from this subject. I am quite sure we have spent enough time on this one. It would be amazing if everyone were on the same page, but this unfortunately is not the case. Both sides have spoken their peace, now it’s time for us to focus on the more important issues at hand. We all have the freedom to speak our mind. We also get to do what we love, create art and get paid for it. Let’s never forget that. Professionalism only goes so far in this industry. It would be such a waste to look back on your career and realize that you played it safe for all those years. You only gave the client what you thought they wanted. You only thought of yourself as the hired help, and in the end, silenced your own voice. At a certain point you have to step back and look at your own body of work. Ask yourself if you are really pushing the limits, if you are really creating art at your fullest potential. Be satisfied in the fact that the work you have created up to this point is a true reflection of who you are as an artist. At the end of the day it’s not the people you pleased in this life that will make the difference…it’s what you represent as an artist, it’s what you believe in. Are you passionate? Does it show in your work? Are you a photographer with a fire in your eye? Or are you the average run of-the-mill-people pleaser that has long given up on anything meaningful? We as artists have always had such a huge impact on society. We have always spoken up for what we believe in. Ethics and professionalism are fine, but ultimately you must decide which is more important in your life. Artists who create their art based on ethics and professionalism will ultimately never reach their true potential. Someone, somewhere along the way will not agree with their world views. Just ask yourself one question…is there really a universal truth? Just by reading this forum and watching the news, it’s obvious to see that we all have different views of “ethics” and “professionalism”. This shows that ethics and professionalism alone are in no way a valid reason for becoming a visual artist. Would you really sacrifice your own vision just to make others happy? Will you be silent for fear of the consequences? Or will you push the boundaries in search of truth and meaning? No one has the right to judge who we are. Freedom is not something to be desired…it is an absolute! Art is about freedom of expression and that is one thing that should never be taken away. We should all learn something from this. One thing is for sure, If I were ever to walk in Jill’s shoes, I would most definitely want people like Leslie on my side!

  28. Joe Says:

    What Angelo, Leslie, and others are missing here is that each of us is indeed free to make passionate art which expresses our inner voice and satisfies our soul. The more, the merrier!

    However, we are not free to do so on someone else’s dime (our client) if we break their trust and abdicate our professional ethics and moral responsibilities in doing so.

    ‘Ethics and professionalism’ can never be so flexible as to allow lying, deceiving, and cheating those who sustain us with their trust and that of their clients.

    Express your art all you want, but when you do so by accepting money from and then stabbing in the back those who entrust and support you (your clients), you are no better than a thief.

    To those who still do not ‘get’ this, read on:

    eth·ics
    Pronunciation: \ˈe-thiks\ Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English ethik, from Middle French ethique, from Latin ethice, from Greek ēthikē, from ēthikos Date: 14th century

    1. plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and
    with moral duty and obligation
    2. a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values
    b: plural but sing or plural in constres : the principles of conduct governing an
    individual or a group
    c: a guiding philosophy d: a consciousness of moral importance

  29. Angelo Photography Says:

    Technically, we are free to do whatever we want when creating art, as long as it is legal and not breaking any contracts or documents between the client and the artist. Unfortunately, this opens the door for artists to take advantage of that freedom, sometimes at other’s expense. However, it is still the artist’s right, to do as they please. Please note, they will face consequences to their actions, good or bad. This is their choice and in this case the artist was okay with that decision. She may have chosen to as you say, “stab her client in the back”, but she has the freedom to do so. Remember, your view of ethics and professionalism is yours and yours alone. Many times people do “lie, deceive and cheat” in order to get what they want. This is a harsh reality you may not agree with, but you must understand we all have that right, whether you like it or not. So yes, of course ‘Ethics and professionalism’ can be VERY flexible.

    eth·ics…
    1. the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
    Q: Whose morals…yours or the artist’s?

    2. a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values
    Q: Whose set of principals…whose theory of values? Yours or the artist’s?

    b: the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group
    Q: Whose principals of conduct? Maybe the artist doesn’t want to comform to your set of principles…maybe the artist has their own idea of right and wrong.

    c: a guiding philosophy
    Q: Does every artist have the same guiding philosophy? I would hope not.

    d: a consciousness of moral importance
    Maybe the artist’s conscience told her this was a morally important issue to speak out against. Maybe it was morally important to HER to voice her political opinion in an extreme way. Ethics is not valid in this case. It comes down to each person’s own idea of right and wrong. We must question everything before pointing the finger at anyone. If you just conform to “a set of moral principles” then are you really worthy of calling yourself an artist? Artists have the legal right to exercise freedom of expression. Remember, an artist pushes boundaries seeking truth, a thief breaks the law. Both face consequences to their actions. The difference is the thief goes to jail.

  30. Joe Says:

    What Angelo is espousing is a ‘relative’ morality, where everyone is free to choose a behavior or set of guiding principles which reward her/himself alone, without regard for the bigger picture (society at large).

    But civilization can only exist if its society (or a trade group in this instance) sanctions a set of moral principles that are generally beneficial to that society in guiding each individual away from acts that are destructive to the group at large. Calling oneself an ‘ARTIST’ does not absolve one from the bounds of civilized behavior.

    If the very talented SURGEON (labeling her/himself an ‘artist’) who is called in to remove your appendix decides to also transplant the heart of a giant squid into your chest cavity to make an even greater name for her/himself, because ‘they’re a GREAT ARTIST’, you’re under the anesthesia anyway, and … they just can… Then you wake up three days later doing fine so far, but now every day will become a challenge… Not to mention the fact that now whenever you’re attracted to someone of the opposite sex, you suddenly excrete a huge cloud of black ink and must immediately run away to change your pants…

    Did the surgeon have that right, just because she/he was redefining their ‘ART’? Or did those money managers and CEOs who measure their ‘Artistry’ in terms of generating more and more of their own wealth without regard for the rest of us and have now thrown our industry and the entire the planet into a financial tailspin… did they also have that right to pursue their ‘ART’ at everyone else’s expense?

    In Angelo’s world, they did. There is no right nor wrong…if it benefits me to believe so. Oh, maybe there will be some penalty imposed upon me down the road by those I’ve hurt, but that should never stop me from being ‘AN ARTIST’!!!

    ‘Pushing boundaries seeking truth’ is admirable, Angelo. But posting someone’s smiling photo inscribed with the headline “I called my wife a cunt in front of reporters” (among the several other repulsive uses of the photographs supposedly created for ‘Atlantic Magazine’) may yet be found illegal, or at the least, civilly liable.

    If McCain decides to sue Jill Greenberg for $20M after the election is over, a jury of our peers will make that determination. And if he has lost the election, he will have an even stronger case.

    Either way, our profession will suffer due to the extreme vigilance and even tighter contract restrictions that will become the norm going forward for this type of assignment, due to the ‘ART’ of one unscrupulous individual.

  31. info Says:

    Joe:

    Many of your facts are wrong (she did not make ANY of the questionable images for the magazine–NONE…not a one) as are your suppositions about liability (McCain has NO libel/slander case–see Falwell v Hustler and others).

    Also, you are making an incredibly wild and inapplicable analogy between art and medicine.

    Further posts like this will get deleted as they are not contributing to the discussion.
    -Leslie

  32. Joe Says:

    Leslie I apologize, but you have misinterpreted my words above.

    The original photos Ms. Greenberg later ‘manipulated’ to suit her own anti-client uses were indeed created under the auspices of the Atlantic Magazine photo shoot, an access granted her only by her acceptance of their assignment.

    In terms of liability, I said “if” McCain sues her. He is surely allowed to pursue that option whether or not she is eventually found liable. As someone currently engaged in the study of law, you best would understand that a jury would make the final ‘liability’ decision if indeed he did so.

    And if you do not believe that other talented and highly educated professionals who have advanced their skill sets far beyond ‘book learning’ also consider their finest work as their ‘art’… well, speak with any top surgeon some time.

    On a personal note Leslie, I am a photographer and studio owner who has been working successfully in the advertising market for these past 25 years. I heard you speak at an Atlanta seminar many years ago and was impressed with your understanding of our business and the art of promotion. This is why your original ‘take’ on this issue caught me so off-guard, as it did many other professionals including the one whose own blog initially linked me to yours on this issue. He too is incredulous.

    I would be extremely disappointed to now think that you are unwilling to allow reasoned, on-point discussion on your blog just because you disagree with points made in opposition to your thinking. It is to your credit that you are allowing this exchange of ideas and reasoned discussion to take place before our entire (viewing) photo community..

    To do otherwise would truly be the ‘censorship’ you decry, which sparked in you the impetus for this entire discussion thread.

  33. info Says:

    Joe:

    Again you resort to spurious arguments. I never said I would censor intelligent, on-point discussion. However, you have not been on-point. You have already insulted me once (using respect in quotes when saying “with all due respect” to me is an insult) and as I pointed out before, your analogy to medicine is not valid. We all know what we mean when we speak of art–medicine os completely out of this context.

    It was a warning.

    Btw, why not come out and post under your real name? Why are you hiding? It is pretty hypocritical of you to call for professionalism (even on your own terms) when you aren’t behaving as a professional yourself (posting anonymously is not being a professional in my book).
    -L

  34. Angelo Photography Says:

    Joe…the medical analogy you used is illegal and has no place in this discussion since the “artist” did not break the law this case. In your analogy that IS wrong because it is illegal….I was quite clear on this fact when I said “as long as it is legal.” Please use a more relevant analogy. PS- I would love to see some of your work. Always curious to see what other talented and highly educated professionals who are “working successfully in the advertising market for these past 25 years” are shooting these days. Where can I find it online?

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