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Photographer
CLiKK
Posts: 18
Bellingham, Washington, US


So I'm wondering what differentiates a GWC from a real photo artist.  I've been shooting photos for a while now, but am new to shooting themed model shoots... Does that relative inexperience shooting models automatically relegate me to that category? If yes, why? And what is the threshold that an aspiring artist needs to cross to be a serious artist and not just a weekend warrior.

This is my hobby, but one I take seriously and put much effort into, so I'm curious to hear some feedback. smile
Jun 24 12 11:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,470
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


I'm a GWC.... guy with camera smile
Jun 24 12 11:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,180
Salem, Oregon, US


if you like looking at the models then you are a GWC. if you see the model as just an art object to be placed into a landscape then you aren't. simple as that.

if someone hires a model partly because they like to hang out with them where's the harm in that? assuming they're respectful about it.
Jun 24 12 11:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Terrell Gates
Posts: 1,029
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US


Move away from your snapshot period and into your serious statement period. Make images that are committed to your style as it develops... Make statements with your images. Make them emotional and thoughtful....
Jun 24 12 11:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Teila K Day Photography
Posts: 1,921
Richmond, Indiana, US


CLiKK Photography wrote:
So I'm wondering what differentiates a GWC from a real photo artist.  I've been shooting photos for a while now, but am new to shooting themed model shoots... Does that relative inexperience shooting models automatically relegate me to that category? If yes, why? And what is the threshold that an aspiring artist needs to cross to be a serious artist and not just a weekend warrior.

This is my hobby, but one I take seriously and put much effort into, so I'm curious to hear some feedback. smile

My advice would be to not give-a-care what someone else might think about something so silly...  the definition of a GWC varies with who happens to be defining it at any given time.  It's mere opinion... just like the difference between "art" and "glamour" and "porn" is merely opinion.

Inexperience has nothing to do with whether or not you're going to be considered a GWC.  20 years of experience and if you're still shooting crotch shots, women in bikinis, butts with wide lenses, etc...  many will consider you a GWC  (I'd simply consider you a businessman trying to get paid if that type of photography is your hustle... and it's paying the mortgage).

Just get out there, click the shutter and forget about such trite things as what someone on MM may think a GWC is.  wink

Best in photography to you!

Jun 24 12 11:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R A V E N D R I V E
Posts: 15,867
New York, New York, US


GWC is meant in a pejorative way, but its really not such a distinctive term from other

have fun, respect people, thats that
Jun 24 12 11:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Black Dog Studios RI
Posts: 274
Providence, Rhode Island, US


GWC has no meaning, so I would advise you to stop trying to measure yourself by it. Do the work that pleases you and enjoy life.

GWC means: a photographer that the writer or speaker wishes to denigrate.

It has no objective meaning.
Jun 24 12 11:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bare Essential Photos
Posts: 3,213
Upland, California, US


Don't worry about it. Just do photoshoots and have fun : )



Gabby
Jun 24 12 11:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio La Donna
Posts: 423
San Francisco, California, US


Bare Essential Photos wrote:
Don't worry about it. Just do photoshoots and have fun : )



Gabby

+1

BTW, a lot of "Artist" or "Professionals" on MM are actually GWCs, and a lot of GWCs on MM are really fantastic artists. But who cares, don't let anyone else's thinking stop you from doing what you love.

I love looking at beautiful women, so I must be a GWC. Wear it with pride.

Jun 24 12 11:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RBM Photo
Posts: 557
Bellbrook, Ohio, US


http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/2126/greenwhitechecker.jpg
Jun 24 12 11:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CLiKK
Posts: 18
Bellingham, Washington, US


I'm actually surprised at how much similarity in response this received. It's all very appreciated.  I realized that the GWC term was meant, in most cases, deprecatingly... just wasn't sure if there was a legit distinction or not.

I'd say you answered that question quite nicely for me, thank you all who contributed. smile
Jun 24 12 05:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
eos3_300
Posts: 1,458
Brooklyn, New York, US


Look up Terry Richardson
Jun 24 12 05:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


The term 'GWC' isn't related to your skill with a camera - it's about your motivation for taking pictures in the first place.

If you're only there to see/be around pretty/naked girls then you may well be a GWC, but if you're primarily interested in the images that result, then you're most likely not.

That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy the ride - most of us do - but don't let the thrills of the ride become more important than the destination.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com
Jun 24 12 06:15 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 5,917
New York, New York, US


twoharts wrote:
if you like looking at the models then you are a GWC. if you see the model as just an art object to be placed into a landscape then you aren't. simple as that.

if someone hires a model partly because they like to hang out with them where's the harm in that? assuming they're respectful about it.

Huh?  If you don't like looking at the models, why the hell are you taking pictures of them?????  And if you're not a guy/girl with camera, how the hell are you going to take pictures of them?

This whole GWC thing is just a way for people who don't take pictures to denigrate those who do.  If you're worrying about whether or not you're a GWC then you're wasting time that can be better spent taking pictures.  There is no magical threshold that transports you out of the realm of jerkdom.  If you're a jerk who takes lousy pictures, you won't stop being a jerk when you get to where you're taking good pictures.  You'll just become a jerk who takes good pictures.

If you take good pictures, they won't suddenly become crappy, uninteresting or out of focus if you make an inappropriate remark to a model.  The pictures will still be the same, but the rates you have to pay to get a model will probably go up.

It's the quality of your commitment to the art that makes you an artist.  It's the quality of your work that makes you a good one.

All IMHO, as always.

Jun 24 12 06:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Garry k
Posts: 26,735
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
The term 'GWC' isn't related to your skill with a camera - it's about your motivation for taking pictures in the first place.

If you're only there to see/be around pretty/naked girls then you may well be a GWC, but if you're primarily interested in the images that result, then you're most likely not.

That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy the ride - most of us do - but don't let the thrills of the ride become more important than the destination.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com

add to this that photography of any genre rarely approaches the level of true art

Jun 24 12 07:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CLiKK
Posts: 18
Bellingham, Washington, US


Rays Fine Art wrote:
It's the quality of your commitment to the art that makes you an artist.  It's the quality of your work that makes you a good one.

This is one of the best takeaway quotes here.  Thanks again for the perspective, all.

Jun 24 12 07:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CJ Standish
Posts: 212
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
The term 'GWC' isn't related to your skill with a camera - it's about your motivation for taking pictures in the first place.

If you're only there to see/be around pretty/naked girls then you may well be a GWC, but if you're primarily interested in the images that result, then you're most likely not.

That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy the ride - most of us do - but don't let the thrills of the ride become more important than the destination.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com

Yup! Pretty much it, when a llama calls someone a GWC. The camera is just the tool to allow them the company of beautiful women. They know they gotta ha e some skill to get the women's time but its just subterfuge. And some GWCs come on to the llama hoping to get laid.
So donwalk around proudly telling llamas or your mom you're a GWC unless you fit this image......

Jun 24 12 07:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julian W I L D E
Posts: 1,798
Los Angeles, California, US


Hey, we were ALL Guys with Cameras at one point.  And with just a little luck and a LOT of hard work... you may someday find yourself in the next category.

Best wishes,   -JULIAN

PS. But the best part?  If you're REALLY lucky... you'll always feel the excitement of being a "guy with a camera."  {winking broadly}
Jun 24 12 07:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jayc Yu
Posts: 523
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


GWC's like to call themselves artists. Snapping a picture =/= creating art.
Jun 25 12 05:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dimitrio
Posts: 1,000
Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas


photographers are either, hobbyist, amateur, semi-professional, or professional, each having a meaning based on how you regard photography as a money earner. 

GWC is really a denigrated term used for those guys, could be girls too (quite a few are) that simply look to shoot models to see them naked or to simply hook up.  I think many photographers started out with that type of thinking, and eventually matured a bit and started actually looking to create meaningful images.

If you feel you are that type of individual, then you can label yourself as such.
Jun 25 12 05:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Four-Eleven Productions
Posts: 739
Fircrest, Washington, US


It's just one of the many ways some MMers use to denigrate others whose business model is different than their own.

One example of its frequent over-use is the way some photographers brag about how "I NEVER pay models!" (and often have a port full of Plain Janes to prove it lol), and suggest that anyone who does pay them must be a GWC.

[Also see "sticks and stones."]
Jun 25 12 05:51 am  Link  Quote 
Film/TV Producer
ButchArri
Posts: 53
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


I believe the distinction comes down to training, be it at a school, a grouping of workshops, as an apprentice/assistant to a professionally trained photographer and in many cases all of the above.  Obviously, we are all still learning as we go and we all experiment but the difference between a trained and untrained photographer is huge as focused experiences that allow one to accelerate their understanding what's necessary to get certain types shots of in various environments is critical.  Another thing is that it does come down to equipment or at least glass anyway.  The one thing that will keep a great composition out of great territory is a little bit of softness.  Typically the GWC has mediocre glass which isn't that expensive and they try to shoot every kind of image imaginable where the newly trained photographer will have one or two lenses that have the sharpest glass they can afford...and they only do one or two types of images.
Jun 25 12 06:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,207
Atlanta, Georgia, US


GWC used to refer to someone who was using a camera to gain access to young women with intentions other then creating images.  Now it appears to mean nothing.  Its used around here to refer to anyone form those with limited skill, to voyeurs, wannabe playboy photographers, or actual sexual predators.

Don't worry about it, just continue to work and strive to improve.
Jun 25 12 06:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


ButchArri wrote:
Typically the GWC has mediocre glass.

ROFL

No. Some of the worst GWCs have the best equipment money can buy, a fully equipped studio, maybe even a long list of paying clients...

It's about motivation, not glass.




Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Jun 25 12 06:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
My Perfumed Alibi
Posts: 49
Kansas City, Missouri, US


I go out of my way to look like a GWC....thats the "style" I like!
Jun 25 12 07:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KonstantKarma
Posts: 2,513
Hickory, North Carolina, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

ROFL

No. Some of the worst GWCs have the best equipment money can buy, a fully equipped studio, maybe even a long list of paying clients...

It's about motivation, not glass.




Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

+1

Jun 25 12 07:41 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Dekilah
Posts: 4,859
Detroit, Michigan, US


I think it all depends on your definition of a GWC. Some people use it to define an amateur or hobbyist. Some people use it more negatively (a lot of those definitions have already been shared here).
Jun 25 12 08:03 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 5,917
New York, New York, US


ButchArri wrote:
I believe the distinction comes down to training, be it at a school, a grouping of workshops, as an apprentice/assistant to a professionally trained photographer and in many cases all of the above.  Obviously, we are all still learning as we go and we all experiment but the difference between a trained and untrained photographer is huge as focused experiences that allow one to accelerate their understanding what's necessary to get certain types shots of in various environments is critical.  Another thing is that it does come down to equipment or at least glass anyway.  The one thing that will keep a great composition out of great territory is a little bit of softness.  Typically the GWC has mediocre glass which isn't that expensive and they try to shoot every kind of image imaginable where the newly trained photographer will have one or two lenses that have the sharpest glass they can afford...and they only do one or two types of images.

I'd have to disagree.  Defining artistry based on the quality or cost of the tools used to produce it reduces artistry to a mere technical skill, something a robot can do better than a human.  Often times the softness that you describe is an artistic choice, not a lack of equipment and the very sharpness that you like may be the sign of a recorder of events rather than an interpreter or creator of them.  Again more like the work of a robot than an artist.  Possession of more toys does not make you a better player.  ToysRUs has more toys than anybody, but a kid with a cardboard box has more fun.

Or as a scenic artist I once worked under used to say, "Anybody can look good if they do it right.  But when you completely screw it up and it still looks good, that's the sign of a real artist!"

All IMHO, as always.

Jun 25 12 08:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
intense_puppy
Posts: 862
Brighton, England, United Kingdom


GWC's don't shoot on film big_smile tongue wink
Jun 25 12 08:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jayc Yu
Posts: 523
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
the worst GWCs

Edit:
:d

Jun 25 12 11:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mcary
Posts: 1,803
Fredericksburg, Virginia, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

ROFL

No. Some of the worst GWCs have the best equipment money can buy, a fully equipped studio, maybe even a long list of paying clients...

It's about motivation, not glass.




Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

+ 100
Some simple math:)
Talented photographer + cheap glass =a talented photographer with cheap glass.

Talented photographer+ expensive glass = talented photographer with expensive glass.

A untalented photographer  + cheap glass = untalented photographer with cheap glass.

untalented photographer+ expensive glass = untalented photographer with expensive glass.

Jun 25 12 12:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ultimate Wet Dreams
Posts: 96
London, England, United Kingdom


Am a classic example of a GWC smile
Jun 25 12 12:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Erik Manwaring - Philly
Posts: 665
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


I'll be your GWC...
Jun 25 12 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,180
Salem, Oregon, US


exactly. which is why all the fuss about GWCs seems silly. models should be more concerned about guys who violate the terms of the agreement (by not providing images or mis-using the images) or who want to have sex with them on set without their permission.

Rays Fine Art wrote:
Huh?  If you don't like looking at the models, why the hell are you taking pictures of them?????  And if you're not a guy/girl with camera, how the hell are you going to take pictures of them?

Jun 25 12 01:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CLiKK
Posts: 18
Bellingham, Washington, US


twoharts wrote:
... guys who violate the terms of the agreement (by not providing images or mis-using the images) or who want to have sex with them on set without their permission.

WTH? Seriously? Its pathetic that they have to worry about that. Anyone else finding it hard to like people, in the general societal sense, these days? =/

Jun 25 12 06:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
BlackPlanet Styling
Posts: 680
Newport, Wales, United Kingdom


I'm an artist with a camera. If I was any good as a photographer I'd probably not bother painting and I like painting. lol I get roped in to shoot photos because I blew all my budget when I designed a collection on the clothes so had no dosh for a photographer; only models. So I shot them myself. Then other people ask me to do stuff when they haven't got photographer budgets. Fashion students, small designers , etc. Then I also exhibit some of the photos small time; had a few published. But I am in no way a photographer in terms of tehnical ability. But I like taking the pictures and its kind of more instant a buzz than painting; and now and again I have got something quite good. Yes it would be better if I had the technical skill but I have that with painting so this is just for me about freedom and immediacy.

I didn't know what a GWC was until recently but I understand it to mean 'guy with a camera.'
I think that is some of the 'serious' photographers way of protecting their status; and the technical skill and craft behind it. Which is fair enough; they have put a lot of training in; and we gwcs haven't.
It is odd though; because though I have been a professional artist for twenty seven years I wouldn't think of calling a beginning artist as 'a guy with a paintbrush'. So I don't know why it is used. It's weird art is considered everyone's right to express oneself but pick up a  camera to do it and you are an upstart!

But lately - and here - I note a lot of serious photographers now saying they are gwc's ! So it has almost become cool in these parts to say you are a gwc now.
Jun 25 12 06:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chuckarelei
Posts: 9,250
Seattle, Washington, US


Heck, I'm proud to be the Director of GWC, Pacific Northwest chapter, USA. I'm officially demanding this thread to be locked as it is an obvious attempt to insult our outstanding members. This action is a direct attack and assault on our integrity, harming our reputation in the community as well as the industry which we have supported financially all these years.

-----signed: http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/23237789
                 -international GWC Association, members of 1 million strong

If all fails, I shall urge all members to rise up and declare war on this unjust practice.
Jun 25 12 07:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
James Sioux
Posts: 1,267
Los Angeles, California, US


Bona fide GWC here.  Don't care how others interpret it, positive or negative.  Make no apology about it.
Jun 25 12 07:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Faulty Focus
Posts: 695
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada


ButchArri wrote:
Another thing is that it does come down to equipment or at least glass anyway.  The one thing that will keep a great composition out of great territory is a little bit of softness. 

Typically the GWC has mediocre glass which isn't that expensive and they try to shoot every kind of image imaginable where the newly trained photographer will have one or two lenses that have the sharpest glass they can afford...and they only do one or two types of images.

I guess all those Renoir's will never make "great".

I really do not think a photographer is a GWC because they have mediocre glass.  We are seeing more and more phone pics that are remarkable images, obvioulsy shot with mediocre glass yet scoring very high on an artistic level.

Confusing me even more, are you saying a "newly trained" photographer will not be a GWC and will have no more than 2 lenses?

Finally, what in God's green earth does the number or variety of types of images have to do with anything. Did Leonardo or Michealangelo limit themselves to one or two types of images? Hell no, they did mulitiple mediums and diciplines and still kicked ass. And we are all very fortunate they did.

Jun 25 12 08:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Barry Kidd Photography
Posts: 2,367
Red Lion, Pennsylvania, US


Jun 25 12 08:31 pm  Link  Quote 
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