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Tuesday, May 27, 2008 

Mark Battrell | Photographer Meets Videographer

I've worked with my share of photographers - behind the camera, in front of it and editing their images - and I think I'm pretty good at knowing the difference between a great one, a crappy one and a mediocre one. My pal Mark Battrell is a great one.

First, like every master in their field, he makes it look like nothing when he's rolling. The crappy photogs are irritating ("big S M I L E!"), don't know when to capture the moment (i.e., miss the moment), and adopt a shotgun approach with too many clicks, hoping to get at least ONE GOOD SHOT! No thanks. The good ones give you a smooth ride, bring out your best, keep it quick & easy, and give you lots of good shots to choose from.

That said, like some other great artists I know in other fields, Mark has too many dead spots in his schedule, and is constantly trying to figure out how to stay busy/busier. Photography is another of those digital art forms whose value (like music) that the Internet has both helped (a little) and diluted (a lot). So what's the answer? Of course, I said... video.

Here's my logic: Photographers are like caterers. There's a MILLION of them out there, many of them are at a similar level with similar pricing. So why do some keep getting the gigs over and over? Personality & chemistry - lots of folks get a favorite, and use them over and over. Why wouldn't those same rules apply to a photographer?

Although it took a couple of years for him to agree, I kept asking: why not put the artist on camera, talking about his craft, his approach, philosophy, technique, equipment, etc.? So the viewer could get a feel for the artist - and hopefully get some new clients from it? I can tell you it was a complete and total bitch trying to get him to do it - I think, by definition, photogs are extremely vain - but I was glad we did. I think he comes across real well - not like the "used car salesman" he claims to feel like. Maybe one day he'll have me edit the rest of the video we shot, where he went into great detail about other stuff.

I threw down a quick guitar part for the soundtrack, shortened it up and went live with it. So check him out, and if you like it, give him a shout (or hire his talented ass:)


Mark Battrell Photography.

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