Can Personality Trump Talent When Selecting Crew?

Your crew is who you’ll spend countless hours with – Vincent Laforet takes a look at the tactics for selecting the people you want to work with.

The first lesson I learned in life with regards to this took place when I was 16 years old.  I was working at the Gamma Liason photo agency in the library pulling files.  My job involved running around the library to retrieve contact sheets and slides when they were requested by sales agents for potential sales to magazines around the world.   This also afforded me the opportunity to look at hundreds of photographers’ work from around the world of all different levels of skills.

 At one point I saw that one local photographer who clearly had superior work, and I noticed that he wasn’t getting hired nearly as much as another photographer who’s work was relatively lackluster

I sheepishly asked the assignment editor why she kept hiring the “lackluster” photographer over the photographer we mutually agreed had a significantly better eye.

“The [lackluster] photographer returns his pages in under 5 minutes,”  she said.  “Every time.”    She continued:  “The other one is always busy, and angling to see what the assignment is prior to accepting it,” and I simply don’t have the time to deal with that for a lot of bread and butter assignments.   If it’s something special I might make the extra effort, but I simply have too much to do,” she explained. 

Basically, this wasn’t just a case of “the early bird gets the worm” it had a lot to do with the more “talented” photographer being too high maintenance.    Simply put:  he added stress to this assignment editor’s life, as opposed to making her job easier.  

The “lackluster” photographer was cleaning house and getting assignments with a 5 to 1 ration over the other photogrpher because he simply answered his pages (these were the days before cell phones or e-mail  ) and did the job reliably with little fanfare.  Every time.  No muss.  No fuss.

Vincent Laforet | Read the Full Article