So you want to be a photographer, huh? No problem. All you have to do is visit the App Store on your iPhone, search for “Instagram,” hit install and you’re 90 percent of the way there. At least, that’s how our local celeb, Chet Haze, entered the photography world with his renowned uploads. And by renowned, I mean that he sometimes gets a few likes and maybe a comment or two from his friends. But really, @CHETHAZE (the official Instagram account of the one and only Chester M. Hanks) is a goldmine of photographic genius. From countless selfies, to wannabe artistic nature shots, to the classic Throwback Thursday photos, Chet never fails to disappoint his followers, or at least make them feel like phenomenal photographers in comparison.
Now that Chet has approximately 345 Instagram photos in circulation, a little photo critique is most definitely in order. I will break down, and essentially judge the shit out of, Chet’s photographic attempts at being particularly hipster/artistic, proving to the general public that celebrity, especially at Chet Haze’s overwhelming level, does not guarantee aptitude in photography.
The quintessential Chet Haze selfie (His caption: Bout to get throwwwed)
Technical Quality: Sure, the lighting of this photo is great (and by great, I simply mean there is, in fact, light) but the background is lacking in contrast and is admittedly quite boring. What I really want to see, Chet, is you taking a mirror-selfie with Tom Hanks standing in the background giving you bunny ears. Clearly there is room for improvement here.
Composition: Well done. You managed to keep the subject of the photo within the frame. And maybe I’m giving you too much credit here, but the off-centered subject is almost kind of artsy. Almost. But then again, it’s hard to get those mirror pics completely centered, so maybe that was unintentional.
Emotional Appeal: Even as a devoted Chet Haze fan, I would have to say that this photo lacks emotional connection and just isn’t good. The only way this could have been salvaged is if Chet was looking straight into the camera while simultaneously giving a flirtatious wink. But we understand that multitasking is difficult, Chet, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
The Chaze #tbt (His caption: Yung! #throwbackthursday #TBT)
Technical Quality: As far as cliché Throwback Thursday photos go, this one’s actually kind of good. So good that I think it’s safe to say that Chet had no actual hand in the capturing of this brilliant photographic moment. The clarity and exposure here are really not iPhone caliber, but cheers to you, Chet, for recognizing that this high-quality image would make a great #tbt shot.
Composition: Since it has been established that Chet was probably not the photographer of this photo, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he at least is responsible for the inspired cropping. The emphasis of the subject’s face is nicely framed here, and the background isn’t too boring or overwhelming. Gold star, Chet.
Emotional Appeal: Gonna be really honest, this photo is actually pretty cute. Chaze was surely on the right track when he decided to toss up a childhood photo for #tbt, considering I couldn’t help but say “Awwwww,” when confronted with baby Chet. Well played.
Sewwww kawledge (His caption: In Chill Mode watchin this NU Soccer game with the homie @BriggsG... Go Cats)
Technical Quality: Upon first glance, this photo actually has very vibrantly striking colors and contrast. It’s almost pretty. But once I got past that, I realized that this Insta is really just two random Chaze portraits and a photo of a soccer field, all of which my dog could probably have taken just as easily as Chet. At least the images aren’t blurry. (Where would we be without iPhone auto-focus?!)
Composition: Not gonna give Chet too much credit here… Instagram does a pretty good job of taking care of that whole framing thing for you. But the whole multi-image collage is a welcome divergence from the typical, solo selfie that Chet likes to throw around. At least my eyes can get a break from Chet’s overwhelming badass-ness by checking out the painfully boring photo of the soccer field in the top left…
Emotional Appeal: “Bro, you are, like, soooooooo college right here.” This photo makes it feel as if you’re one of us! Almost. Thanks for reminding the lowly laity that even pop stars have to go to college sometimes.
The because-everyone-else-does-it food photo (His caption: Ladies: take notes!!! This is how to keep a man)
Technical Quality: Usually when people Instagram photos of their food, it’s because there is something so especially impressive, unusual or aesthetically pleasing about their meal that they just have to let everyone else see it. Unfortunately, I don’t think Chet got that memo because your average bacon-and-eggs power breakie is neither impressive nor unusual, and honestly, no one wants to see it. This is just an overall Insta-fail. Sorry.
Composition: I mean, there’s definitely some legitimate framing going on here… Maybe even some “rule of thirds” in effect… But I really just can’t get over the absolute idiocy of this photo. I can’t take it seriously. This just goes against all Instagram etiquette.
Emotional Appeal: Interestingly enough, this photo got more of an emotional rise out of me than most of Chet’s Instagrams. I laughed, I cried, I judged. Okay, that’s a lie, I mostly just judged, but condescending laughter would’ve been an appropriate emotional response as well. I’m going to recommend that you don’t use this for your next album cover. Just sayin’.
Fifty shades of Haze (His caption: Had to see what all the fuss is about... All I can say is I ‘Do It Better’ lol #50shadesofHaze)
Technical Quality: Technically speaking, the photography here isn’t great. I really think Chet could’ve tried a little harder to brighten up the colors on his selfie, and the glare on the Fifty Shades cover is definitely a sign of amateur work. At least I’m getting some shadowing and depth of field with Chet’s whole nonchalant, “Oh, is that a camera?!?” pose.
Composition: Meh. I guess this whole half-and-half photo thing is cool, but in my humble opinion, the white line down the center of the photo really breaks up the coherence of the two images. I would suggest a more organic approach to this—less framing and more fusion between the two.
Emotional Appeal: I like what you did here, Chet. That brooding expression, those quizzical eyes, that mysteriously placed hand … How very Christian Grey of you. If this doesn’t make every girl at Northwestern fall in love with you... Kidding, it won’t. But I’ll give you props for the confidence. Now we all believe you can “do it better” than Christian Grey.
That rock star lifestyle (His caption: Yung Haze)
Technical Quality: The brightener button was undoubtedly used on this photo, but it totally works. The colors are striking, the contrast isn’t too harsh, and the lighting is decent. Not going to lie, this photo also has some quality movement to it. Unfortunately, this is one of those @CHETHAZE Instagrams that was surely not taken by him, nor do I believe he even knew this moment was being captured. But hey, it’s a fun pic. Props, Chet (or whichever cronie is responsible for this photograph).
Composition: I would personally like this photo a lot more if it didn’t have that “wide-screen-movie” effect frame around it, but for the most part, this is a decent shot.
Emotional Appeal: Doesn’t this photo almost make it look like Chet is an actual celebrity having his own, actual concert? It’s just too much fun. But as much as this picture reminds us of the rockin’ good times of Summer 2012, keep in mind that it’s just Chet. Really, don’t get too excited.