Judge Joe Brown Knows His Photography

Here’s a portion of the Judge Joe Brown episode that aired Monday in the US. The case involved a woman who felt cheated when the wedding photographer she hired delivered poor results after using a Canon Rebel XTi, 18-55mm kit lens, and a 70-300mm. What’s interesting is how Judge Joe Brown actually seems to know a thing or two about photography.

It’s funny how the defendant shot “hundreds of weddings” without knowing what the speed of her 70-300mm lens is.

  • baldywilson

    But the level of gear – for a wedding shoot – is still extremely important, and an 18-55mm and 70-300mm lens setup? Come on! That’s a kit lens and the tele everyone buys with their first DSLR just because it’s a cheap tele. The body may not be terribly important, but the lens most certainly is, and if you don’t know the speed of every lens you bring to a job, there is no way you can get professional results.

    Also; “tripod” is not a lens speed ;)

  • marc

    hahaha awesome

  • brian

    lol. wicked

  • Christopher McIntosh

    Anyone know where I can get a Joe Brown original print??

  • Miles

    That's hilarious, there are so many godawful wedding photographers out there.

  • QuBe

    Browne knows jack about photography.
    I did professional jobs with a Canon XT.
    8mp raw will most definetely cover the needs of a wedding shoot, including enlargements.
    It's as much the photography and editing skills of the person, as it is the level of gear.
    And unrealistic bridal expectations (read: delusional fantasies) are certainly not uncommon in the wedding photo game…

  • Michael Zhang

    Though he got some things wrong, it seems like he understands things like “lens speed” and “diffuse lighting”.


  • ivan_S

    Did you use the kit lens, not find out the flash policy in advance, and not know what your maximum aperture was? The camera is just a tool but it's obvious these people were incompetent and unprepared.

  • allanwhite

    Re: delusional fantasies – LOL! So true sometimes.

    Judging by the photos we saw in the clip, the shooter clearly has no aesthetic sense of what looks good (exhibit A: couple inside flower comp).

    “She don't know what camera that is, it's a black camera body!” hilarious.

  • Michandphoto

    I'm willing to bet her 70-300 is the sigma that's 4-5.6

  • allanwhite

    A real professional is going to plan ahead (c.f. flash policy, lighting, fast lenses), adjust accordingly, and manage client expectations.

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  • Foques

    That is wonderful!
    I hope this “pro” will get outta game some time soon..
    I love the lens set they used :D

    There was I, spending thousands…

  • videoflyer

    Look. She's certainly not a photographer I'd hire but Judge Brown is berating her, refusing to allow refutation of any of the points he's making all while holding himself up as sufficiently expert in wedding photography to MAKE these determinations in the first place. If you ask me, he was grandstanding. I wouldn't hire her, like I said…but she just got shafted.

  • Miles

    It's television, it's not a real court room, his character is supposed to bully the apparent transgressor, he was totally grandstanding, he felt the crowd behind him and went for it, like a stand-up comedian picking on the guy in the front row with a beard, everyone's laughing because they're glad it's not them. It's just what passes for entertainment on daytime trash tv. Sure, it's at someone's expense, but when you agree to go on these moronic shows you have to know there's not going to be anything fair about it.

  • Dixon Marshall

    QuBe, about the XT, you are correct; I use one as a backup to my 40D, but the judge was concentrating on the low speed kit lenses used indoors with no flash. I own both of these lenses, and the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 won't capture a sharp picture under the best of conditions (you can buy this one at Target for less than $200). The equally slow 18-55 kit lens does a fair job outdoors, but to use either of these in low-light, no-flash conditions is a big mistake that no real pro would make. Then, there is also the very limited high-ISO capabilities of the XT, which especially dictates that high-end fast lenses must be attached to it.

    When my wife uses the XT as a second shooter, there is either a 24-70 f/2.8, or a 70-200 f/2.8 attached to it. The pictures are sharp and clear. I use the same two lenses on my 40D, because they are professional lenses that produce professional results in less than adequate lighting conditions–not to mention that all important “bokeh” that is the hallmark of good wide-aperture lens, which is something that especially sets the pro equipment apart from from the cheap kit lenses.

    Judge Joe brown knows his photography, and he nailed exactly what the problem was: consumer “snapshot” lenses and the poor photographers behind them. As for the body, it will do the job, but it certainly doesn't inspire confidence to see a so-called pro shoot a wedding with an old Rebel and two of the cheapest lenses that Canon produces.

  • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

    Wedding photographers should be required to be licensed. We have the next best thing though, and that is the ability to sue them, and not only in small claims. Luckily, one lawsuit can put one of these wannabees out of business for good. How many have business insurance… if they're running a kit lens, not likely.

  • QuBe

    I do agree, she wasn't a polished pro…and she wasn't an expert at Photoshop.
    Based on the images shown, some pixel pushing and the issue would have been resolved long before the courts were considered. There looked like there were salvageable images there…a bit of cropping, scaling, vignetting, high pass and cloning out ugly relatives and zits, and and you'd deliver the bride's dream.

    I just didn't like ol' Joe sounding like his judgment (and the case) was polluted with gear snobbery…I've no patience for that. He seemed bigoted against the defendant and ignored her defense before he even saw product from the shoot.
    Heck, sometimes even I forget aperture ranges on my lenses…and once I've have had to resort to the kit lens when my L was knackered with dust. It happens…

  • Bergur

    Hahaha! This is just about the funniest post here on PP ever!

  • SlvrScoobie

    “Wheres your 1 Series?!”

  • Dave

    I shoot weddings.
    I always consult with the official at least two weeks before the wedding regarding flash. I look at the venue. If I don't have what I need in my lens arsenal, I rent it. There is no excuse for this photog. She didn't even take the time to read a book on the subject. Other gross errors… A wedding photographer should have two of everything, and a ton of batteries. A wedding photographer should also have a contract in place with the bride.
    My fear is that this televised hearing will make brides suit happy.

  • Lee

    “My fear is that this televised hearing will make brides suit happy.”

    Exactly my concern…Brides seeing this now assume that if they don't like the photos (and even if they do) they can sue….not only for a partial or full refund, but also for damages.

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  • fstop

    ugh. bridezilla and the mothers always get their way.

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