Breaking the Rules Gets Noticed

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Ann Braun Wheatley 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #377438

    Kent DuFault

    Bill Hickey is a commercial photographer and film director that lives and works out of my area. He is one of the most sought after photographers for outdoor work at this moment in time.

    He recently published this promotional brochure that features his photographic work, and it will be sent to current and potential clients around the world.

    I asked his permission to post a picture of it here, and he graciously said yes.

    I wanted to make a point. Sometimes (often times) as photographers, we get caught up in nitpicking the details of an image while ignoring the idea of mood.

    When I saw this cover shot, I imagined what would be said about it in the Shark Tank. I’m sure you can come up with your own list of faults and suggestions.

    My point being… this piece will bring Bill hundreds of thousands of dollars in assignment work in the next year. There is no doubt about that.

    And this image, which breaks a lot of traditional rules, is what he selected as the most important cover image.

    It sets the mood and tells the story that he wants to convey to buyers of photography all while using an unconventional crop, subject positioning, and color balance.

    Getting outside the box.

    Something to think about.

  • #377442

    Robert Apple

    Thanks for posting this Kent, I just checked out his web site. Enjoyed his work.

  • #377444

    Federico Alegria

    Thanks for sharing this one Kent.

  • #377478

    Tom M

    Thanks Kent for this…


  • #377482


    he has some great work!

  • #377524

    Bruce Gordon

    Point well taken. Thanks!

  • #377563


    I think there are always (at least) two scenario’s when looking at an image Kent. The first is to crit it based on human ideas of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Based on rules created by guys who needed to sell books or wanted their opinions to be heard.

    The second is to look at an image and it’s either attractive to your brain or its not. Attractiveness ignores all rules and concepts. The average brain either likes it or it doesn’t regardless of what anyone else thinks of it or what rules were followed – or not.

    I like this one! 🙂

  • #377609

    Graham Hart

    I’m with Tobie. You either like it or you don’t. There are ‘rules’ though which aren’t really rules as such but more like guidelines I find. I think this Bill Hickey chap is a good example of the old saying “Learn the rules first and then you can break them”…which is a rule in itself.

    On another note Kent, your photo of Bill’s photo has the wrong perspective, there are shadows and the aspect doesn’t suit the subject (tee hee hee…)

  • #378120

    Ann Braun Wheatley

    Could it be that your friend  already has a reputation, and that makes it easier for him to break the rules?

    • #378160

      Kent DuFault

      He isn’t actually a friend. He’s an acquaintance. He does have an excellent reputation. Does that make it easier for him to break the rules? I can’t say. I think confidence plays a huge role in “doing it your way”. Over the years that I had my studio, I knew a lot of professional photographers who were afraid to break the rules. There’s nothing wrong with that either- if it’s working for you.

      • #378276

        Ann Braun Wheatley

        I can’t say I like Bill Hickey’s photo, but he is an artist.  Deborah Christensen, a writer on the Medium platform, reminded me recently that an artist is someone who paints, draws, or makes sculptures; OR “someone who creates things with great skill and imagination.”  Bill is an artist just as I too am an artist.  We don’t need validation commercially or from others to call ourselves artists.

        As Deborah pointed out, the experience of creating is the most important thing in defining yourself as an artist, not whether or not you earn money from thee process. The English artist Henry Moore(1898–1986) said: “There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.”

        The current  commercial artistic establishment recognises Bill Hickey’s work. But only the art of a few escapes obliteration by the sands of time.  For many, it’s  the sand of time that reveals the art.

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