Eric Muetterties: East Bay Commercial Photographer

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Meet Eric Muetterties, a working photographer in the East Bay area of San Francisco.

I met Eric 4 years ago at a workshop in North Carolina, and we shared a plane coming home. His attention to detail and love for the medium made me think he could actually do this crazy business. Adding that he really understood business made it all come together.

Eric started out wanting to shoot people, but has ended up as a studio still life / product photographer. Working mostly with direct customers, he has built an exceptionally strong client list and shoots 4-5 days a week in his Dublin studio.

Eric is still a relatively new shooter, but doing very well in a competitive market. I attribute that to his skills as both a photographer and a business person.

Eric feels he owes his success to an acronym he calls COPS.

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Consistency | Opportunity | Persistence | Stamina

You will hear him discuss it on the video. I think that is a very solid set of traits for anyone considering this business, or any self employed business that you can think of.

Links:
Eric Muetterties Photography Website
Eric on Linked In

Some of Eric’s Images:

A video Interview with Eric Muetterties.

A big thanks to Eric for spending some time with us and sharing a lot about his work. Visit his site and drop him a note if you like what he does.

Eric reminded me that he would love to recommend this book for anyone considering becoming a photographer:

If you are interested in the “No Fear” last edition of Project 52, visit this page for more information. We will fill this group very quickly.

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Finding and Keeping Commercial Photography Clients: Part Four, Staying Connected

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(NOTE)
If you are just coming into this series, I highly suggest you start at Part One, and then do Part Two and Part Three before starting Part Four. Links for all of them are inside the protected area, and you can access them easily.

A brilliant portfolio won’t get you work if no one sees it.
A full set of Channels and SubChannels means nothing if you have not implemented a plan to get the work.
Having an amazing list of possible clients is worthless if you are not contacting and showing and sharing your work with that list of clients.

This morning before I sent out this week’s In The Frame to subscribers, I received an email from Chris Brogan, someone I follow and admire. In it he asks if we are the “Sharpest Saw in the Shed?”

And we would all like to consider ourselves the sharpest around, right?

Then he pointed out the that sharpest tool in the shed is the one that is NOT working, or being used. It just sits there retaining its sharpness… and if that is the goal, then great. But the goal of a sharp saw is to cut wood, trim trees, build things.

So it is time to get dirty, so to speak. To take all that we know and have listed out and make a plan for getting in front of the clients we want.

It wont be easy – did you expect it to be?
It wont happen overnight.
It wont happen without extreme effort and deep commitment.
It may get messy.

But it is absolutely vital to your growth and health as a commercial artist with a camera.

No selling on this post. While this program is being finished up, I will be working on some marketing for it as well. I didn’t want this mini-program to be a huge selly-sell. It is designed to be real, positive, and constructive teaching on what you can do NOW to increase your viability in this great business. More will come later this summer. I expect the program to be finished around the end of July or first of August.

Subscribers to “In The Frame” have gotten this information already. Please subscribe to get access to this video, and the next two. They are full of information you can use right now to help build a strong client list. “In The Frame” comes out each Sunday, and we never spam you. We focus on the business and art of commercial photography. And please et me know if this series is helpful to you.

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Every Sunday a new relevent newsletter on the art and business of commercial photography.

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“Light Conversation” Volume Four

EDIT:

In the discussion above, we look at this image by the incomparable Herb Ritts.

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We were wondering where the shadow of the black cloth went. I know that Ritts shot film, and figured there must be another answer for where the shadow went.

Then I researched this photo:

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From the same shoot, and the shadow is plainly visible. As it must be for the light to present the way it is on the image above it. It appears that Ritts indeed took out the shadows in post… whether it was digitized or multiple printers, the shadow was removed.

See this close up of the image two above:

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That is INDEED a hard shadow on her face and neck. This indicates a very bright light, and since the cloth was casting a shadow to the left, it would only stand to reason that the shadow would be cast from the model as well… but…

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Seeing the dark, sharp transition on her face and neck from the light source that is clearly leaving bright speculars on her legs, it is only logical that the shadow was removed in post in order to create a more graphically interesting image.

 

Another example: There is no way to make this shot without a shadow of the cloth… it has been – – eliminated.

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Mystery solved.

Finding Commercial Photography Clients: Part Two

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“How do I find clients?”

One of the most asked questions I get when chatting with photographers is where can they find clients.

It is one of the questions I ask when reviewing a portfolio; “OK, these are nice shots. Who do you know who will pay you for this kind of work?”

Too often I get a sort of lost expression and some mumbling. Occasionally someone will answer with a couple of ideas – but usually what I call the “Low Hanging Fruit” of possible clients; magazines.

Well, there is much more to commercial photography than working for “magazines” and we need to identify those areas who will purchase our work so we can move toward getting them to do just that.

In this video, I discuss the discovery of “Channels” – vertical markets that help you identify the types of businesses that would be able to use the kind of work that you do.

“Discovering Channels” is part two of our “Finding and Keeping Commercial Photography Clients” program. Part One is on the blog and open to all. The entire series is free and open for subscribers to “In The Frame”.

This step by step program will help you build a solid client list, and help you keep them while you build your business. Many of my Project 52 members have been successful working this program.

Subscribers to “In The Frame” have gotten this information already. Please subscribe to get access to this video, and the next three. They are full of information you can use right now to help build a strong client list. “In The Frame” comes out each Sunday, and we never spam you. We focus on the business and art of commercial photography. And please et me know if this series is helpful to you.

Subscribe To "In The Frame"

Every Sunday a new relevent newsletter on the art and business of commercial photography.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

This video is over 45 minutes long and includes a case study to help you build a strong channel list.

 

Inspired by Skrebneski

The first set of images from the 8 Week Portrait Class came in last evening and they are really good. The class takes a close look at 8 major portrait photographers by analyzing what they do, how they accomplished their imagery and what the thought process was behind the work.

The students then create a shot that was inspired by the photographer we studied. The goal for some is to replicate the style (to see if they can capture it) and for others it is to simply be inspired by the work and then create something within their own style that pays homage to the photographer.

We call it building the toolkit. The more ways you can think of to create an image, the more your creativity will take over. Creating your own personal style is the goal, learning from those who have great personal style is a method that works.

This first image set was inspired by the work of Skrebneski.

Enjoy.

Portrait Class Members Discuss the Workshop

“Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate.”

Clark Terry, Jazz trumpet genius.

This portrait class (and the companion 102 class) have been huge successes. The students are fired up and some are saying they are making the best images of their lives.

We look closely at the work of 8 major portrait photographers and study their way of working, lighting, posing, gestures, style and presentation. NOT in order to copy them, but in order to find the elements that ring true with our own experiences and aesthetics. To be ‘inspired by’ is the goal, and we all want to be inspired by the best.

Skrebneski, Karsh, Moon, Lindbergh, Ritts, Winters, Sieff, and Coupon are amazing photographers. Each brings something to the art of photography that can inspire us to push harder, light better, be more deliberate with our work.

Many of the students remark that their images coming straight out of camera are better and better. When we think deliberately about what we are doing, the quality of the work cannot help but get better.

We currently are enrolling for a class that starts May 19th, 2015. Get more information here. These are limited engagement classes.

Photographers on the broadcast:
Barbara Brady-Smith
Catherine Vibert
Irene Liebler
Virginia Smith
Jay Chatzkel
Bob Earle
Ron Velasquez
Marianne Cherry
Hiram Chee