The Value Of A Wingman

The Value Of A Wingman

The wingman. The second who accompanies a fighter plane pilot on a sortie – who alternately sticks close or dodges away to watch out for the safety of his mate. Who shots down whoever gets on the tail of his partner. Who can switch roles instantly if need be.

Well, you don’t have to be in combat to need a wingman…or as Justin Trudeau might have it…a wingperson. You don’t have to know how to do the Thatch Weave. You don’t even have to paint kill marks on your camera. But having a partner in photography can make all the difference.

The wedding workers and the studio shooters know this. In some cases they could do what they do unaided, but they would be fools to try it. The workload and the duties of art, care, and observation can be fearsome in paid photography. Physical lifting, shifting, and packing are one thing, but mentally coping with models, brides, products, clients, and equipment can be nearly impossible for one person. Assistants and employees help, but there is also the unutterable comfort of a wingman photographer who is also seeing the broad picture and can look out for the bandits as they appear. In many cases if they have a stake in the final success past just a salary they can be even more effective.

But it’s not just the paid people who need to fly in formation…the amateur photographer benefits greatly from a close buddy. I saw it time and time again at the Photo Live 2018 fair. People could wander alone through the halls and look at the exhibits in silence, but the ones who did it as a pair of visitors got 100% more out of asking questions and trying things. It was interesting to see how many were users of the same photo equipment, and how their perceptions of what was being shown could differ.

From a business point of view, I also think that some of them were goading each other into spending money. Working for the camera shop, one can only applaud this!

Let’s hope the partnerships continue and that they all take a hand in hauling the equipment, deciding on the settings, and slogging through the post-processing.

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