This was the first assignment completed by the Project 52 PRO’s. Photographing strangers can be a very delicate and scary idea for a lot of people. The fear of rejection or having the subject be angry stops most from ever attempting photographing people they do not know.
I wanted to get a very uncomfortable assignment right up front. Let’s get over some fears and find our work in the best circumstances.
Knowing how difficult this assignment would be made it perfect for working through the tough issues to follow. To their credit, all the pros made it through the assignment just fine. No broken bones, no irate subjects and very few flying bullets.
All in all it was quite a success.
This is a random sampling of some of the best from the assignment:
I met Jan about five years ago when he flew to Phoenix to take one of my one day workshops. We met again in Seattle when I was doing the workshops nationally. I knew he had a strong work ethic, and a powerful desire to be a photographer, and encouraged him to make it happen on whatever level made sense to him.
Jan left his job in Seattle and became a full time photographer two and a half years ago. After working the Seattle market and finding some success there, he decided to make the biggest move he could… New York City.
Jan in Northern Arizona, just south of Springerville.
Klier wants to be a full time fashion photographer, and he is doing the work. Relocating his family to a little town north of the city, Jan has begun building his business. He is working closely with ASMP there as well as a fashion trade association. These groups give him contacts and a great inside view of how the business of fashion photography works.
Still in the beginning stages of his career, he is learning everything he can and has a lot to say about the business of photography and breaking in to a profession that is highly coveted. I think it is important to hear from the startups, the movers and entrepreneurs who see the challenges and find ways around them. This interview will give you quite a perspective on making the jump into professional photography, at least from one shooter who is actually DOING it… right now.
This past week Jan and I spent two days looking at his current work, past work and the shoots he has planned for the upcoming weeks and months. Building a strategy is more than simply making photographs, it is making the right kind of photographs for the market you are trying to reach.
To understand that, one has to work with a bit of magic as well as detailed strategy and occasional logistical nightmares. It also helps to have a mentor, or someone you trust to help you navigate the way, even though you may believe you have found it on your own. Outside perspective is so important.
Gary Crabbe is a full time landscape and environmental shooter living in Central California. Recently, one of his blogposts caught my attention as it is something I am wondering about as well.
I just came back from Zion and Bryce Canyons and while there found myself staring at those “postcard, iconic” images of these places. My light was no where near as wonderful as some of the shots I had seen, but I nonetheless snapped off a few frames. I ‘got it’ – that shot of Inspiration Point, and the bridge over the river in Zion. Recognizable images, but not very spectacular.
“This month I was fortunate to spend a week traveling through Death Valley as the guest of some friends who were leading a photo workshop. We arrived at Zabriskie Point on the first morning, which is one of Death Valley’s prime photographic postcard locations. Zabriskie Point is a true icon, in that it has become one of the ‘must-have’ shots for photographers traveling through the park. It was somewhat disheartening for our small group to crest the hill only to find a large workshop with two dozen other photographers lined up on the hill below and in front of the paved viewpoint. Their presence in front of everyone else made it difficult for anyone who arrived later, or those with mobility issues who were limited to shooting from the paved viewpoint to enjoy or photograph the scene with any sense of unobstructed natural beauty.
A friend remarked to me this week that nature and landscape photography has become like a competitive sport. I found that to be both an incredibly appropriate and sad assessment when discussing those many “must have” icon shots. Seeing this group, who set themselves up to arrive early and get the best location in front of everyone else, seemed to epitomize that competitive urge to ‘get the shot’.”
A very lively discussion follows, and I wanted to chat with Gary about his opinions on the desire for so many to get that “iconic” shot.
David Giral is a photographer in Montreal, Canada. I met him a few years ago at a workshop near Toronto, and we have stayed in touch. He is a talented young man, for sure, but he is also tenaciously working on his business.
From leave-behinds, to websites, to email campaigns, David has one thing that drives him… success. He knows how important this phase of his business is, and brings 100% effort to everything he does.
Hector “Big Boy Drums” Cruz… I met him a few years ago on on of the Flickr forums we were both hanging out on. His sense of humor and humility was something that was refreshing.
He wanted to be a photographer, and was bound and determined to learn how. We bantered about stuff many times… and then we both sort of drifted away from that forum and on to other endeavors.
Recently I began seeing Hector’s work on Facebook and I was very excited to see how far he had come in a short time. While others are bitching and moaning Hector Cruz (“Big Boy Drums” were dropped a while ago, I am told… heh) is out there making photographs for clients all over the country.
He has recently moved to Nashville, and maintains a studio in Orange County as well.
I will let Hector share that with you in this interview. I had a blast chatting with him and I am making it a priority to sit down in person and have some Corona’s while chatting about photography and drums… my two favorite topics.
I saw this work today by one of the Project 52 photographers. It began as one of our assignments: Photograph a Stranger.
Rui jumped in and not only photographed some strangers… he is developing it into a very cool project.
I will let Rui describe it in his own words:
Jobs with art or endangered …
Every day, on my way home, I see a shoemaker who works in his small space, and every day I want to stop to take a photo…
The will and the idea was following me for some time, and was progressing, I thought it would be fun to do a survey of those professions where you have to have art … professions where experience is the best teacher… and also those professions for some reason are endangered, although some of them seem to want to resurface because of the crisis.
This is a project without end, because whenever possible I will add more artists.
The pictures were all taken with 50mm and with a on camera flash mounted on the camera, always tried to interfere as little as possible with the work of those portrayed.
This idea has no artistic pretensions, aesthetic or otherwise, and serves only to make a record of these noble professions.
In this project, the most important are the professions and professionals and not the photographic techniques.
This will be a truly fascinating day. Plan now to make it a must listen. Selina is a great friend, and a consummate teacher/mentor. Her work researching creativity and its many manifestations will give you insights into the process you may never have touched. I am recommending this to every photographer I know!
NOTE: IF YOU SIGN UP HERE, WITH MY LINK, and decide to purchase the Clarion Call Four “Open to Creativity” program, you will also receive a code to both of my UDEMY Courses to register for FREE. That is a $100 value. In order to qualify for that, you MUST sign up for Selina’s program from the links on this page. I will be notified from Selina when you purchase, and a Free Code will be emailed to you ASAP.
And whether you purchase or not, you absolutely MUST listen in on this extraordinary seminar.
Clarion Call 2013: Open To Creativity – Five of the World’s Greatest Experts Deliver the Steps, Practices and Knowledge to Truly Open To Creativity
Five of the world’s greatest experts have joined teacher/guide Selina Maitreya, for a “first ever” event to deliver the steps, practices and knowledge that all creative souls must take in order to truly OPEN TO CREATIVITY.
In today’s world, those seeking to develop a Creative life, build a creative profession or simply release the artist within have few resources to support them. The key to living an artistic life is to learn how to connect to the creative muse, the higher self and to stay in the zone 24/7. Doing so enables those seeking to build a creative life with a direct connect to true creative power, deeper relationships, more financial prosperity, excellent health and peace.
Clarion Call 2013; OPEN TO CREATIVITY is a worldwide online event that brings 5 of the world leaders together to share information and inspiration for the purpose of transformation. CC2013 will take place March 28, 2013 from 12 pm EST -7pm EST. This is a free, live event hosted by Ms. Maitreya.
Joining Ms. Maitreya will be leading experts Jean Houston, Jill Badonsky, David Meggyesy, Barbara Biziou and Jeffrey Van Dyk.
Each featured expert will share their knowledge, insights and practices that will help all Creatives to:
Bring the artist within out into the world 24/7
Re-Open their sensory systems for maximum creative potential
Access higher states of creativity
Break through creative blocks
Move through procrastination
Build a life that supports the artist within
Develop abundant lives through their connection to creativity
During 6 hours of nonstop content, participants will learn and experience:
How to honor your responsibility and bring your gifts to the world.
How to release the artist within and bring your creativity front and center
A fun and enjoyable meditation that re-opens the sensory systems for maximum creative potential
Rituals to start the creative process
The importance of you the artist as athlete
The importance of redefining the concept of competition
How competition helps you open to creativity
How to leave creative blocks behind
Tricks and Triggers for starting the Creative Process
Secrets to move you through the “old paradigm” of starving artists
Strategies to build prosperity
“Building a creative life is a possibility for everyone on our planet. Whether you are an artist, a person who loves creativity or a being who is choosing to live creatively, working to connect your inner and outer lives has several benefits. Your life becomes deeper and richer, your relationships become more long lasting and beneficial and abundance in your life is everywhere, financial, health and well being, “shares Maitreya.
“As a guide to Creative Souls I am committed to helping as many people as possible discover their path to building a life that is deep rich, meaningful and prosperous. I am thrilled to welcome legendary teacher Jean Houston, author /lecturer Jill Badonsky, author/lecturer David Meggyesy, world ritualist/author Barbara Biziou and teacher Jeffrey Van Dyk to Clarion Call 2013.
I encourage you to join me and my guests for a FREE 1 day telesummit and experience their knowledge and wisdom as you learn what you need to do to OPEN TO CREATIVITY.”
Selina teaches. She illuminates a focus and a purpose for creative individuals of every version and variety. To be “creative” is to make use of one’s divine gift. “Divine”, in a sense of something that flows through you from a place beyond you. Selina helps you release the grip of doubt and move forward from stagnation (a nation you do not want to live in). Selina teaches transformation.
Selina walks the spiritual path with her feet firmly planted on the ground. Selina has a long and respected history of working with and advancing the careers of creative types, especially in the visual realm.
She is now taking that value and vision into all manner of creative enterprise. Whether it’s writing, painting, photography, knitting, pottery, dance, music or a thousand other less-than-obvious creative endeavors, Selina can help you think, work and live a creative life.
At the core of all creativity is a desire and passion to connect. Selina re-energizes and renews that connection.
For Selina Maitreya, creating symbiosis in relationships and empowering the artfulness of the soul are serious personal and professional pursuits.
A life of consulting, partnering and immersing herself in matters of vision and creativity has fully informed her belief system, which Selina offers wholeheartedly to her students. Create a life of human being.
Chronicling Selina Maitreya
Selina has spent over 30 years as a consultant to creative professionals, an author, a internationally acclaimed lecturer (over 100 dates and counting) and developer of several professional workshops. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Boston Graphic Artists’ Guild and is a former correspondent for Photo District News. She has been profiled by The British Journal of Photography, Light Years (Ooty, India), ADWEEK, The Boston Globe Magazine, and PDN. In addition, Selina’s opinions and knowledge on the business of selling creative services have been included in articles in a variety of publications.
The creator of the mega online telesummit CLARION CALL, Selina has brought together thousands of creatives with international teachers resulting in massive growth for all. Unleashing, redirecting and invigorating creative energy is what Selina does for “creatives” of any kind, in any discipline.
Riffing on a post by Ash Ambirge today, I asked the intrepid members of my Lighting Essentials Flickr group to come up with a list of photographic cliche’s and terms that they were also tired of.
I did not edit them, nor did I censor any of them… 33 different pet peeves by 33 photographers.
Now, you may believe some of them should be on the list, and others may piss you off.
Good…. that means it is a great list.
So without further comment:
1. Blowing out the Ambient
2. Creamy/Dreamy/Delicious Bokeh
3. Use the Histogram to _________
4. Gangnam Strobist style
5. Beating the sun
6. Stofen/Fong make soft light.
8. It’s only a phone camera
9. its a little hot
11. “Capturing life’s precious moments”
12. it’s a little soft
13. “put it on the thirds”
14. ‘Clicking’ a picture
15. The “Dave Hill Look”
16. What triggers do I need to buy?
18. I coulda done that better
19. Capture an image
20. Its fine I’ll fix it in post
21. Spray and pray
22. RAW or JPEG?
23. Lost detail
25. Signature (Don’t tell Missy)
26. Just tie some knots in a piece of string.
29. Never use hard light
30. That’s an expensive camera, it must take great pictures
31. pixel peeping
32. Light Depth of Field
33. If you use P you suck.
(Bonus 4 – don’t never say we don’t give you free stuff…)
35. TTL sucks
36. “Editorial ”
37. Document the Experience
If you want to add your single most annoying phrase or term for photographers, add it in the comments. NOTE: arguing with the list is pointless: I didn’t write it, and I do not remember who said what. So if your Ox got gored, consider it for what it is. It’s just for fun.
Direct all hate mail to “ScooterPie@soyouthinkIreallycare.org”
Have you ever gotten a product that made so much sense to you that you think it was made to order? That is how I feel about these Trigmaster Plus II’s from Aputure.
Wireless Triggers for flash is now one of the most important tools we have seen emerge in the last decade. Being able to fire flashes without having cords running all over the floor – or work to create “line of sight” for opticals means more freedom for the photographer.
I am a manual flash photographer. I am not interested in ETTL, ATTL, or whatever your camera manufacturer calls the auto-flash exposure mode. I know others who love it. Fine.
I don’t. I like manual and for the way I work, manual works just fine.
And speaking of ‘manual’… (nice segue, eh?), the manual – instruction book – that comes with these triggers is clear, concise and easy to understand. That is pretty cool, right there. I wish all manuals were this easy to go through to find what I need. Clear illustrations and simple concepts had me working with them within a few minutes of taking them out of the box.
And out of the box… the worked flawlessly. That is even cooler than the instruction manual!
They have literally everything I would ever want in a trigger system. Multiple mounting tools (straps, hot shoes, stands) and the options that make sense for the way I shoot.
All-In-One Transmitter and Receiver
Interlink Triggering Mode
Compatibile with all Aputure 2.4G Triggers
2 AA Batteries
Compatible with high voltage flash units (up to 300v)
Compatible with all major brands of flashes (you must purchase the ones for your brand camera)
2.4G Wireless Signal
1/320 Max Sync Speed
Metal Hot Shoe
Locking Wheel (nice)
Antenna folds down for easier storage
Easy to read display and controls
1/4″ Tripod Mount on cold shoe
All cables needed for most flashes
Extra Battery Case
Flash Sync Cable
Sync Output Converter (for larger flashes like my Profoto’s)
Test Trigger Button
Camera Trigger (remotely fire camera)
6 Channels / Four Zones for maximum productivity
Something I like a lot is the ability to use the remote camera trigger AND have the camera fire a remote flash at the same time. That is new – at least to me – I have not seen any triggers that do that. This is the “Interlink” feature of the units and it is pretty cool
Using the Relay mode on “Super” you can reach out to distances not imagined in inexpensive wireless triggers. I tried it and found that I could get my daughter at one end of the block and me at the other and it still triggered… amazing.
These are not TTL or ETTL or whatever your camera brand calls automatic exposure control of the flash from camera. These units are manual, sturdy, feature rich tools that make shooting with all kinds of flashes (large, medium, small) easier and with less stress.
I have a big batch of different kinds of strobes from Dynalite and Profoto studio strobes to off-brand flashes purchased on EBay for a few bucks. These triggers fired all of my working flashes – without missing a beat.
I need to add an additional big shout out to the designers who used white lettering on the black unit. I know that is an additional cost in the manufacturing process – but it so welcome to many of us who may not have those same young eyes we did back when we were 25. I love the fact that I can see what I need to do without having to angle them to the light to catch black raised letters on a black surface.
Glad you dropped by. This is my love and my muse. We talk about photography here, as well as the folks who make images. I am very focused on commercial and fine art photography, and we don't really spend all that much time on weddings and such. I have written 5 books - two I give away here, and two are for sale at Amazon, and the 5th one is being edited and designed right now! Thanks for visiting, leave a comment or join me the social networks...