Ashton Kutcher is Not a Photographer

When I think of great actors, Ashton Kutcher is not at the top of my list, to be honest. But he’s not at the bottom either. And he is funny, he’s “The Man” when it comes to punking other celebrities and he’s married to the beautiful Demi Moore.

For what it’s worth, I think he does a good job of pitching Nikon cameras: Handsome Ashton is at a restaurant, a clothing store…a Wedding, that’s my fave. Bridesmaids scope him out from afar, flashing wry smiles and fluttery lashes. Ashton, apparently unaware that’s he’s an attractive actor, boyishly goes about his business, which seems to be Photography. When a soccer match suddenly breaks out at the reception Ashton is there to cover it before skipping over for some shots of champagne flutes before knocking the tray out of the waiter’s hands. Ashton and the giddy Bridesmaids are astonished upon seeing frame after perfect frame he was effortlessly able to capture. This makes for good marketing and an entertaining commercial that we’re more likely to watch than not, but…

I’d guess that Ashton might be able to take reasonably good photos, at least good enough to share on Facebook or whatever Ashton Kutcher does with his photos. But if you wave away the magic Hollywood fairy dust, and Ashton love-dart potion, you’ll remember that he’s an actor playing himself in a Nikon TV ad pitching cameras to consumers. Consumers who might believe that if they buy a Nikon camera, that Ashton himself might even use, they’ll be taking astonishing photos in no time. To be perfectly honest, Nikon makes good cameras. I use them myself. Mine are from Nikon’s line of Professional DSLRs and they cost around $3000, without a lens. The lenses cost another $2000.

Of course, I’ve never gone head to head with Ashton in a photo contest, but I’ll confidently say that regardless of what camera I use, I’ll always take better photos than Ashton. Why? Because I’m a Professional Photographer. Ashton is an actor playing a photographer, or at least someone who can take exceptional photos with a prosumer camera. The fact is, taking good photos has more to do with the person holding the camera than it does with the camera itself. It’s about creativity, composition and knowing how to use light. It’s about knowing your subject and coaxing their personality into the lens. It’s about knowing your camera and how to control it, not letting it control you by putting it in autopilot – more commonly known as Program mode – and firing away.

Answer this question: If you boarded a commercial airline jet, took your seat, and saw Ashton Kutcher in a Captain’s uniform, heading for the cockpit, what would be your first thought? “Uh, am I being Punked?” “Can’t be, I’m not famous.” Would you ask the flight attendant, “is Ashton Kutcher going to be flying this jet?” That would be crazy, right? Of course. Because Ashton is an actor, not an airline Pilot.

And he’s not a photographer either.

Ashton most likely doesn’t know any more than you do about the cameras he’s pitching or how to use them. Photography is a combination of artistry, skill and camera know-how that can take years of practice to master. Don’t just think that because Ashton is good in front of a camera that he’s just as good behind it.

The bottom line is that a no one is going to buy a Nikon, or any other camera, and start shooting Wedding photos like a Professional Photographer. Their photos will be good enough to remember the vibe from their Carnival cruise, but you certainly wouldn’t entrust one of these newbies with photographing your Wedding, would you? If your answer is yes, then jump on a plane with “Captain” Kutcher at the wheel and I’ll see you later, in the promised land. Just tell yourself, “Ashton isn’t a Pilot but he’s probably played one on TV.” Or was that a Photographer?