I've been doing market research for licensing for the past few weeks, and so doing, it took me back to the days of bidding jobs for the sign industry.
I'd read through the specs (and they were pretty precise) - two, three, four times just to be sure - and I'd find what the contractor was asking for was impossible. Not "I really don't feel like messing with this particular job" impossible. It was literally impossible. After reading the specs two, three, four times - just to be sure, I'd often call one of my sign sources and ask for what the contractor wanted and they would tell me, more often than not, "that can't be done". In the end, we both usually had a good laugh.
I'm noticing this in the photography industry. I'm finding it in both the needs of the market and specs for shooting.
The needs list goes something like this:
Adventure, action, animal, pet, architectural, real estate, artistic, event, macro, medical, nature, portrait, scenic, sports, stock, travel, urban, industrial, experimental, avant garde, symbolic, recreation, multicultural, environmental, humor, technology, pop culture, health, fitness, beauty, entertainment, historical, vintage, decorating, gardening, seasonal, product, still life, education, political, glamour, fashion, cities, food/drink, kids, teens, families...
...blah, blah, blah.
And the list goes on and on and on.
Quite honestly, I'm still trying to figure out experimental (hey, if I haven't done it before, it's experimental), avant garde (my understanding, nothing more than experimental) and symbolic (that's essentially all art). Give me a break.
It's like reading those contractor specs all over again. Does all this mean, like those contractor specs, that no one really knows what they're talking about or are they covering every base just because they don't know what they're talking about?
In the photography world, I think the brainstorming meeting goes something like this:
"To be safe, we'll throw out every adjective in the English language just to cover our butts. Yeah, we'll have more photos to look through, more rejections to send, but hey, we don't really know what we want. Let 'em figure it our for themselves."
And then the meeting continues with the specs discussion, which provides questionable shooting and formatting information, that if you choose to follow, could totally screw up your photo. They're definitely not photographers.
Now don't get me wrong, these types of needs and specs are few and far between; most of the needs are exact and the specs in check. But some, well, I just roll my eyes and move on.
I'm seriously not complaining about all of this. I find the whole thing rather funny. But had I not learned from those contractor specs, I'd be totally frustrated and running for my life.