G. G. Granger Photography
GERALD G. GRANGER
© 2018 by Linda M. Granger
All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved
Gerald Granger spoke to many photography clubs. Below is one of the speeches he gave – date unknown, probably near 1944. Delbert was the name he used for his son, Gerald Jr. The “jury” is a group of judges that judged the photographs at salon shows.
At least pictorial photography was lots of fun when you started it. When you made pictures of little Delbert on his birthday, and of aunt Hattie and all the folks at the family reunion, when you took pictures of the big fish the next door neighbor caught, and that night shot of the old home town from Main Street bridge, and the boys at the camera club agreed that it was no masterpiece, but not so bad.
But something happened. Little Delbert hasn’t been photographed since he was graduated from the third grade, and when you go to the family reunion, you work all afternoon trying to get a new angle shot of the cabbage salad. All the common things are out. Why? ---- Because you have become profound about your pictures. You have been in the game for a long time now and you have learned a million or more things you can’t do. The jury won’t like it this way.
You made a lot of pictures just for yourself, the family and friends before you knew much abut making pictures, but now that’s out. Why should that be out? Now that you know how to make good pictures, why not make some more family pictures. Ones that will have real lasting value and importance.
Perhaps not of so-called pictorial importance, but pictures of importance so far as you and the rest of the family will be concerned in years to come. It will be nice to have some fine pictorial works to look at and admire in your old age, but money, marbles or chalk say that many of them will “fade” with the years. A print that is knocking them loose in salons in 1944 may be a has-been and at the bottom of the stack in 1954. However, a picture that makes people laugh today will also make them laugh tomorrow, and a fine picture of little Delbert will always be a joy to you and all the family.
This year he may be in the “cops and robbers” stage, next year he may be all for airplanes, and the following year a mighty hunter or a football player. Gang busters, aviation, football, or hunting, photograph him as he is. Picture of the little fellow as he looks when he is the height of his elements.
Don’t send him to the barber shop to get all slicked up and then pose him in a brand spanking white shirt and freshly pressed shoe laces. He can’t be himself that way. When he is a boy of 12, let him look like a boy of 12. That will give the picture lasting importance.
It will be something the boy will enjoy in the future and something that will definitely mark a period in his life. Pictures of this type should depict character, and when a person is all done up in an unnatural manner, he losses his real character.
A picture of the great Einstein in winged-tipped collar and top hat and tails would surely be an untruth.
How long is a fresh haircut a fresh haircut? Most of the time you see your boy with slightly long, to long hair – and it is not too frequently combed. This is childish beauty and character. Have fun photographing him and let him have fun while he is being photographed.
This doesn’t end with little Delbert. Too many of the real things in the world are made to appear unreal. It is rather nice to dress tings up once in a while and make them appear as you would like them to look. We all have our little fairyland, and we probably all have our delusions of grandeur and beauty, and resent it no end because life is not that way.
For instance, when a girl passes the years of childhood, she becomes a thing of beauty not necessarily all real, and here the photographer may exercise his glamour treatment and rise above those things which smack of the earth.
However, the smell of the earth will aid tremendously in bringing us back to it and it and it alone is basic in the things we see, hear and touch. And humor is as basic as sorrow and sorrow is as basic as the dirt under our feet. So let’s take pictures for ourselves and make pictures for fun lest we end our photographic career with the facial expression of one of those who are just too, too divine, or an undertaker with the care of the world on his shoulders.
The opposite of sorrow is joy, and the opposite of profoundness is triviality. We all know that opposites create balance and we must have balance to have good pictures or to have successful life, so let’s balance the lines and masses in our pictures and also balance our pictures, one with another. We will make better serious pictures if we balance our photographic life with a sufficient number of those pictures of the light nature, and we will have much more fun.
You started the hobby all in fun. It should still be fun at times, all work and no play makes Jack a dull photographer. Don’t you ever get the urge to use a little film and paper just for fun? Give way to that urge once in a while. Ignore the judges and be yourself for a few shots. Why not get a few laughs from the fellows at the camera club? Your pictures may not take first prize, but a few good laughs are worth a lot too.
The world today is too serious. There is a funny side to things, you know, so why not bring a bit more humor and real sport into photography. Then too, you may make something that will be appreciated by the judges. Make them bend their faces up a little and they may also get the idea.
EDITOR'S NOTE: (He crossed off this line: “I know a lot of real human judges”)