The most talked about Super Bowl commercial this year was undoubtedly Dodge’s “So, God Made a Farmer.”
But what made this commercial stand out?
Well… instead of using the surefire marketing trifecta (of babes, beasts or babies), humor, or overwhelming special effects, this commercial featured a simple slideshow of amazing still photographs set to a poem read by the late Paul Harvey.
The images were not snapshots. They were not made by the “billions of roaming photojournalists with iPhones” touted in a recent television commercial. No… ten noteworthy professional photographers… including National Geographic’s William Albert Allard and documentary photographer Kurt Markus… were commissioned to capture these stunning images.
IMHO…the impact of this commercial demonstrates that the still image continues to wield power and relevancy.
So God Made a Professional Photographer…
And on the 9th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need someone to capture images of wonderful things and tragic things.” So, God made a professional photographer.
God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and capture that golden light and work all day in the elements (scorching sun, rain, and even snow), download files, edit and then edit again down to the best of the best, tone, deliver, and then archive those images working well into the night. So, God made a professional photographer.
I need somebody with strong back. Strong enough to carry multiple cameras, lenses, and lighting gear, yet gentle enough to put subjects at ease… everyone from little children to time strapped executives. Somebody to deal with demanding clients, small budgets, and ever increasing costs of new equipment, new computers, and new software… and telling them no problem… and mean it. So, God made a professional photographer.
God said, “I need somebody that can shape light, use a hot shoe or off-camera flash… make a light modifier out of cinefoil, scrap paper and gaffers tape. And… who, at busy season, will finish his forty-hour week by Wednesday evening. Then, pain’n from carrying all of that heavy pro gear, put in another forty hours. So, God made a professional photographer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride to the middle of nowhere at a moments notice to photograph and get the assignment in ahead of the deadline and yet somehow have time to blog, answer emails, and continue marketing. So, God made a professional photographer.
It had to be somebody who’d photograph properly-exposed and in-focus pictures with story-telling ability using available light (that is… any light that is available, with some needing to be plugged in)… and not cut corners. Someone to conceptualize and analyze, compose and expose… to bounce and fill and modify and control the light and know how to read a histogram. Somebody to burn a CD and then finish a hard days work with a five-mile drive to the nearest FedEx.
Somebody who’d try to spend time with his family, who’d laugh and then sigh… and then respond with tired eyes, when he tells his son spend his life “doing something other than what dad does.” So, God made a professional photographer.
- Gregg Pachkowski / PachAdams.com