Pricing to the Value of the Work

Pricing to the Value of the Work

I heard a very talented photographer say she charges less than others because she is new to the business and doesn’t think she should charge as much as the older, more established photographers.

I think she is completely and totally wrong. The value of the image to the client is neither less nor more depending on her time in business.

If the image is good enough for the client to use to sell more of his custom colored, whizbang widgets, it is good enough to charge rate for. If it is not, the photographer is wrong to be charging anything at all and the client is an idiot for running an image that will not help him sell his widgets.

The viewer of the ad has no idea the age of the photographer, nor should that even enter into the discussion of the value of the image… that value is intrinsic in whether or not it works to convince, convert, entertain, mystify or indulge.

My thinking is this;

If the work is good enough to charge anything for, then it should be regarded as an item that has the value of being priced in the current rate climate.

If I show you a photograph, and you love it, do you love it less when i tell you the photographer was only 16, or that the photographer had been shooting less than 2 years?

If I show you a photograph and you hate it, do you like it better if when I tell you that the photographer is an experienced, well respected photographer, or that the same piece is hanging in a local museum.

To me it makes no difference… If I like it I like it and if I don’t… well…

In other words the work created has no relationship to the creator’s status unless it is attached by the creator themselves. There is no intrinsic ‘beginner’ value to the image, nor is there something automatically inherent in an image shot by an old timer.

When we create images for people they can only fall into two camps in my opinion. Good or bad, and should considered that way for our clients and ourselves.

To provide a less than excellent product is in my mind a bad way to build presence, create a fan base or even grow into an artist. The reason is that since the artwork doesn’t carry any intrinsic information as to why it is less than stellar, the viewer sees it as representative of the work of the artist. The print doesn’t have a disclaimer “Well, I was just starting out.”

This is not to ignore the fact that artists grow and work that was acceptable before becomes less interesting as the artist matures. That is a different situation though. The artist still held that work in high esteem when it was created.

I know that it seems like I am rather pedantic on this, but I think it is important and can be quite a challenge when one is trying to establish a price that doesn’t make one look like a dork.

(Yes, I used pedantic and dork in the same sentence.)

And remember that when one begins pricing, all other prices are based on that model… so if you start low, it can be seen by your clients and fans as a challenge or “issue” to raise your rates. If you start high, it is seen as a value when you ‘discount’ or ‘gift’ lower rates. The value of your work stays high, but you can always bequeath a lower rate for any reason you want.

A $25 shoot fee is a bargain when your normal rate is $100.
A $25 shoot fee is a steep rise when your normal rate was $10.

Same shoot, different paradigm based on where you started your pricing.

The photograph is loved, used, published, viewed, and scaled to the users wishes… no matter how much you charged or how long you have been in business. The image now lives as its own entity, with no ties to anything but its own value.

So stop tying things that have no relationship to the finished image into your pricing. If it is a good image, it is worth as much as you say it is… and hopefully you will say it is worth much more than the amount of time it took to make it and print it.

Say it is priceless… but you will make them a deal – yeah – do that.

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Are You Making YOUR Photographs?

Are You Making YOUR Photographs?

Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate.”

- Clark Terry, Jazz Trumpet Legend

Always a concern for beginning and emerging artists. Where do we draw the line between inspiration and appropriation (stealing)?

In our examination of what makes an image portfolio worthy, we begin to look for authenticity, and not merely a ‘me too’ approach to the art.

Jan Klier, a friend and photographer in NY sent this to me after last weeks newsletter:

“The question of whether it’s worthy to be in your portfolio is harder. You may put the 24 images that best describe you in your book, or more precisely the 24 images that best describe your sensibilities to the particular audience you’re showing this particular book to on that day. But for an image to be worthy it actually not only has to be describe your sensibilities, but it also has to be in the 1% of your best work, and you have to be convinced that you pushed yourself to create it, that you couldn’t have done it better at the time. I think we all have images that have a rightful spot in our book, but not all of them are actually worthy to be there, and they be booted as soon as something better has been shot.”

While this is very true, and should be regarded as excellent advice, we first must get to that point where the images in the 1% Jan describes do more than emulate what is already out there, but begin to define us as photographers in our own right.

I have heard the questions “what is my style”, and “how do I find my style” from beginning photographers and full time professionals as well. The answer is simple… look at your photos and tell me which ones you love (not like, love) and then tell me what makes them so loved?

Wait… I did say it was simple, didn’t I?

Yeah… I lied. It is not simple or easy, it is a complex decision making process that combines what we know with what we feel and adds in a bit of whimsically applied aesthetics along the way.

Finding the good images is one thing (as we discussed last week) but finding the authentic ones are a bit more challenging. While it may be a good technical photograph, the goal is to achieve something more than mere technical competence.

We want to make images that look as though they came from us. This doesn’t mean that our images are totally unique to the entire world of imagery, but instead that they are uniformly identifiable as ours. They belong to us, and are a part of how we see and present the world through photography.

And while that is a noble and excellent goal for our work, we are now challenged with how to get there.

As the quote above by Clark Terry says, imitate, assimilate, innovate – and that means that now we have a path to follow. A road map for creativity. A plan.

Imitate: In jazz it is important to gain the ‘chops’ to be able to play some licks or patterns that our heroes play. We learn to do a cool fill like Elvin, or a blues change like Trane. We are copying them not from a point of stealing their music, but from the experiential learning method so important for all forms of art. In order to understand,we do what they did.

In photography, the goal is to learn the exposure qualities, what ratios look like, and make images that look like others have made them – others that we admire. That doesn’t teach us to steal the work, but to imitate the technique, and get better with our tools.

Assimilate: Just again as in jazz, we learn so well that the techniques become second nature to us. We can hit that riff just right, and play the turnarounds just like Monk, but with the beginnings of our own flare.

We have assimilated the techniques. We are no longer stymied by exposure, or how to get ‘that look’ or where to put the umbrella. We have imitated to the point of assimilation. The techniques are a part of us, and are called into service without much ‘thinking’ about them.

Unfortunately the first two are the easiest. They require practice and faithful study of something that is currently out there to be studied. The model exists, so we have the base upon which to build. But this is not where we quit. Assimilation is not the goal.

Innovate: Innovation is the goal.

We take the techniques that are now second nature to us and we begin to build our own sound, our own riffs, our own blues turnarounds. And we make the images that are ours, fully and completely ours.

Yes, the homage may be present. Yes, there may always be some areas of crossover, but the images are more “us” than the ones we studied. They are authentically ours. We have broken through the limitations of mere assimilation, and created something unique and ultimately much more powerful. We have innovated.

Innovation comes hard. It requires more study and more practice than the first two levels did, and the payoff may not be visible so quickly. This is where we get to words like ‘vision’ and ‘style’ and ‘personal work’.

The previous LE post discussed making sure the images were portfolio worthy, this one is asking ‘if they are worthy, that’s good. If they are YOURS that is even more good. Gooder, so to speak.

The method we discussed about looking at your work is the first process, now we have to dig deeper into your vision and see the work that is presented as a group. A ‘body’ of work. More than a collection of ‘good’ images, this body of work is a collection of related images that show an authentic connection to the photographer.

Photography can be quite a challenge when you get to the ‘innovate’ part, but it is so rewarding when you do. To create something uniquely yours is very cool, and very much a confidence builder.

Look at your body of work. Lay prints out on a table… the best of the best. Do you see a style emerging? Is there a unique way of looking and seeing the world that connects the images somehow?

Can you say with confidence that someone looking at the group would state… “yeah, those are all yours?” That is the goal we are looking for. That point where we stop making images that look like ‘theirs’ and make images that are ‘ours’.

And remember that your style doesn’t mean a unique to the world style, it means it is YOUR style. It is also not how you process your images, or what lens you use, or how off angle the horizon is. While a little of all three can be involved, your style is more about how you see than the gear/actions/presets you use.

Where are you on this path? Are you still imitating to find the technical control you need? Or are you in the assimilation section, having the skills and using them to make images that look like everyone else’s? Have you begun to innovate – to create something that flows from you as a personal extension instead of looking outward for validation of your work?

And, BTW, here is Clark Terry teaching a master class.

And a younger Terry cooking along with a big band from a little TV show that was on late nights. The man could certainly play that trumpet.

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What Makes an Image “Portfolio Worthy”?

What Makes an Image “Portfolio Worthy”?

That is the essence of a big source of discussion by photographers. There seems to be a lot of hype and ‘science’ bandied about regarding this question.

I want to talk about what makes an image worthy of your portfolio today, and have you think about your work in possibly a different sort of way.

What is your portfolio, anyway?

It is the repository of the work you have made, and limited to be the outstanding pieces from the volume of work created. It is the instrument you use to say “this is what I do.”

Whether it is a printed book, a ‘traditional portfolio’, an online gallery or your website, your portfolio is a collection of your best work. And hopefully one can see a style emerging from that collection.

A portfolio is not a congregation of your most popular shots, nor is it the ones your mom or boyfriend think ‘rock’. Those are great compliments of course, but the portfolio images should show more of another viewpoint.

Yours.

The images should be chosen with care and the knowledge that they reflect your sensibilities, with your unique vision stamped across them clearly.

In fact, they may not be the most popular shots in your collections. They may be a bit on the obtuse side, or more challenging in composition and design. They may show your more experimental choices or they may be the quiet nature of simplicity that you love so much. They can range from mild to wild, black and white to HDR, people to landscapes to interiors to food.

But they are yours. They represent the images you want to make, how you want to make them and with all of the parts genuinely yours.

Why? Because that ‘genuinely yours’ approach will help you as you begin to develop a style, a vision and a body of work that you will be proud of.

Shooting what other people like will make you madder than the proverbial hatter. There is no style in the world that will satisfy everyone. No matter what you shoot, someone is not going to like it. Changing your work to match their needs only means you will alienate someone else.

So don’t bother.

Shoot your work. Shoot it your way.

Find out what the images you love have in common.

Here’s a little assignment for you;

Put 20 of your favorite images onto a single large image… a collage. Photoshop can do that for you now (again) with a tool under the File menu.

File/Automate/Contact Sheet II

photoshop_contactsheet2View Post


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Put the twenty images into a single folder and run the Contact Sheet II script. Choose the largest paper size you can print (or take to Costco/Sams Club/Walmart… whatever) so that all of the images are displayed together on one sheet.

Now take that sheet and look at it closely, with the intent of really seeing each image.

What are the similarities between your images?
What are the differences that jump out at you?
Which images, if any, look out of place in the selection?
Which images, if any, look wrong or not as good as the others that are similar?

Show the sheet of images to people you trust to give honest feedback. Even your mom, BFF, buds, and the guys you hang out with and discuss photography. As long as it is honest, it will be good feedback.

It is not a good critique, however. Critiques are done with intentions in mind, goals determined, and a frank discussion of what the images were created to do.

But feedback is good, and if you don’t know anyone who can give a good critique (yet) they are a good place to start.

The last thing to do is to analyze the ways the feedback made you feel about your work. Do you agree with their assessments? Do you believe they see what you shot the way you see what you shot? Does an image still stand up in your mind as being a strong image even if others say it was not their favorite?

Do this repeatedly with 20 images at a time. Find the ones that really resonate with you. The ones you want to show to everybody, everywhere, every day.

I’ll close with this quote by Photographer Bela Borsodi:

“If it touches you, if it excites you, if it makes you cry, if it makes you smile. A good photograph is something you cannot resist looking at. There might be a sense of surprise or discovery. something pleasant or painful. There is this quote by Oscar Wilde: “I can resist everything except temptation” In a way a good photograph is what you can’t resist and want to engage with. It doesn’t matter if you take photographs of your dog, or girlfriend, or whether you’re in a big studio with supermodels in it. If it speaks to you, then that’s when you know you have a good photograph.”

(Thanks to Bonzer for finding that… great quote and very true.)

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A “Sign of the Times” – Project 52 Pros

A “Sign of the Times” – Project 52 Pros

The assignment was a brochure cover image for a brochure titled “Sign of the Times”… the P52 PROS hit it out of the park.

Project 52 PRO is a group of photographers devoted to becoming the best they can be, while working in a real-world assignment venue. We keep the assignments ‘real world’ with everything from concept shoots to layouts with exacting dimensions. Food, portrait, still life, architecture, beauty and product are all covered.

Photographers are given two weeks to complete the assignment, and the work is critiqued in a live Webinar (video recorded for future viewing) as well as a forum where ideas and inspirations are found daily.

There is a business preparation part of the Project 52 group as well. Photographers will have a working understanding of bidding, finding clients, marketing and portfolio preparation.

We will be starting a new group very soon. If you are interested, sign up for the newsletter on the right column. “In The Frame” is a weekly newsletter sent each Sunday. We keep the subjects fun and vibrant and always focused on the serious photographer.

Now for the eye candy… great job, P52 PROS.

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Interview with Texas Photographer Jennifer Boomer

Interview with Texas Photographer Jennifer Boomer

I love Jennifer Boomer’s work.

The first time I saw it I spent about an hour looking at all the images and loving the style, the point of view and the wonderful subjects. It was imagery that spoke to me.

I decided to ask Jennifer if she would do a webinar with me and she accepted right away.

We discussed her work and how an editorial and advertising photographer lives is a tiny West Texas town and works with major clients all over the world. Her answers are interesting… and great info for other photographers in similar situations.

But enough of my chatter… pull up a chair, grab a cold beverage and enjoy this interview with Editorial and Advertising Photographer, Jennifer Boomer.

If you enjoyed Jennifer’s Interview and images, drop her a line or leave a comment here.

Email: info@jenniferboomer.com
Website: www.jenniferboomer.com/

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Well, This Cliff Jumping Thing Worked Out Well

Well, This Cliff Jumping Thing Worked Out Well

On Jumping Over A Cliff…

So this guy tells me… “You should jump off that cliff, Don.”

I stare incredulously at the guy cause I am not good on cliffs. Not as bad as my bud Charles… but that is a different story. I am not crazy about heights.

“Are you crazy”, I say… “jumping off a cliff can hurt, or even kill me.”

“Nawwww”, this guy says… “I have jumped off a lot of cliffs and never got hurt. Ever.”

“Really…” I am now intrigued… still skeptical, but intrugued. “How did you manage to do that?”

“It’s really SIMPLE”, he said, “all you have to do is know the secret of cliff jumping, which is a really easy method that I can teach you.”

OK, so now I am all in.

“Teach me”, I said. And then forked over $467.93 (still don’t get that price, but another topic) and we began.

He showed me all the techniques he used and we studied his methods of leaping and preparing and ‘thinking’ about his process.

On jump day, I thought the right thoughts, prepped the correct way, ran for the cliff exactly how he showed me, and did a perfect rendition of his ‘cliff-leap’…

On the way to the hospital, he sat next to me with a concerned look on his face. I was bandaged and bent, and had a tube in my nose.

“What happened?” I was going into various stages of consciousness.

He shook his head an looked at me with a look of pure patronization.

“You chose the wrong cliff.”

You can learn all the cliff jumping techniques you want from famous cliff jumpers… or whatever. But you better know what cliff you are leaping from.

They are all different, you know.

After 10 days in IC, and two months of therapy I realized that he was right. The tactics worked fine, but not on that cliff.

“Ahh, yes, I remember you. Your the one that chose the wrong cliff”, he said as I called him on his private line.

“Yes… I want to learn how to choose the right cliff.”

We set it up for the following week. He had a group put together for an advanced workshop ($964.86 – ???) and I found myself in the company of various folks who have been in and out of physical therapy and chiropractors. They too had chosen the wrong cliff.

We spent the next 3 days learning to judge distance, find height and figure out velocity of falling imbeciles versus the depth of sand. This was grueling work, and we finally could judge the right cliff for the incredible cliff jumping to come.

As we were hoisting brews to a job well done and saying our goodbyes, he casually tossed out this little nugget; “I hope you all don’t kill yourself from doing the wrong thing in the air between the cliff and the sand… and goodnight.”

We looked at each other incredulously… “What do you mean… in the air…?”

He stopped and looked at us with a quizzical stare and said… “Look, knowing what to do and which cliff to choose is one thing, but the true power of cliff jumping is knowing how to fly and what to do to keep yourself safe.”

$3672.94 later I had mastered the skills of cliff jumping, the art of choosing the right cliff, and the science of what to do during the jump.

I haven’t done a jump yet, though.

I am quite busy working on my next workshop on “Cliff Jumping for the Young at Heart” which is based of course on all that I learned from those wonderful workshops.

It’s gonna rock… stay tuned.

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First Be A Photographer

First Be A Photographer

I follow a very nice group of people on a forum on Facebook. They are all trying to start their businesses with varying degrees of luck and success.

One of the things that is emerging is that many of them are simply not ready to be professionals and in business. And that is a shame.

It is not a shame they cannot be in business, it is a shame that they thought it was as easy as buy a camera, get some business cards on the way home from the camera store and then shoot like one of their heroes shoots.

Not having any understanding that their hero spent years, decades even, learning and honing their craft, they think that if they copy the light and methods, success will be right around the corner.

It usually isn’t.

And while the perky workshop husband and wife teams go merrily out the door selling young photographers on how ‘easy’ it is to become rich shooting families and babies and weddings, the reality is that it is anything but easy.

Yes, they may have opened their doors five years ago, but they were shooting a lot longer than that.

Marketing plays a huge role as well, but that is a discussion for another time.

My take on all of it is that first, before the business cards and the promos and the vouchers and the awesome website and the perky videos… one must first BE a photographer.

Being a photographer means shooting technically and artistically without encumbrance. It means knowing the gear, how it works, how light works and how to use it to make the images you see in your head… or on someone else’s Pinterest.

Being a photographer means not struggling with simple light, and being able to concentrate on the shot at hand. Being a photographer means knowing what the shot is going ‘to turn out like’ before committing it to the film or sensor.

It takes time. And a lot of shooting and failing and screwing up. It takes understanding the win, and working through the challenges.

Football players generally play more than 8 years before they are considered by the pros. Tennis players play for years and years before getting to the pro circuit. Cello players and rock drummers play and woodshed and practice for decades to get to the point of becoming a paid musician.

Why would anyone expect photography to be any different.

I think it is important to shoot a lot of photographs, and love making photographs so much that it is all you want to do. Live photography and breathe photography and dance photography.

When you are shooting photographs that matter, photographs that everyone thinks is awesome, photographs that YOU think are awesome, you may turn around and realize that you are already a professional photographer.

That’s when the fun begins… really.

Thanks and see you next time.

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One Layout: Many Versions

One Layout: Many Versions

Man these Project 52 PROS are really dialing it in. And that is making it more fun than a guy should have.

The assignment was to shoot to this layout (furnished in PSD layers) and make sure it worked. I wanted them to put the images into the layout and show us what they came up with.

This time I am not going to choose a sample, I am going to share all the images this assignment garnered – because they did such a great job on it.

Our cover photo is by Cincinnati photographer Tom Siebert.

(more…)

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Project 52 Pros: Assignment Four

Project 52 Pros: Assignment Four

The assignment was called “The Tear Sheet” and it involved the students working through creating a “fauxtolio” to help them focus their energy on making images that they LOVED to make.

The “fauxtolio” helps guide the sensibilities of the photographer as he or she begin to do all the assignments in Project 52 PRO.

I hope you enjoy this random sample of images, and if you are interested in Project 52 PRO drop me a note.

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Men. At Work.

Men. At Work.

I recently completed an assignment for an advertising agency here in Phoenix. The Lavidge agency has been around quite a while and it was a lot of fun to shoot this industrial gig with them. The client was United Rentals – a major player in the tool rental niche. These guys have everything from wrenches to cranes.

Tim (the toolman) Taylor would have been in heaven here… heh heh heh.

Whenever I am on assignment, I try to get personal work done as well as completing the assignment to the satisfaction of the client (and myself). If we had a bit of down time or were getting another shot set up, I took advantage of that opportunity to make some shots of these guys… an elite group of guys who know the ends and outs of all kinds of equipment.

While there we shot lots of large tools and heavy equipment for the client. I got some portraits mixed in with the tools, and that’s what made it even more fun.

Gear wise:
Canon 6D
Canon 60D
20-35 Canon L
24 – 105 Canon L
50 Canon f1.4
100 Canon Macro f2.8
135 Canon L f2.0

6 Profoto Compacts
Assorted speedlights
Large Softlighter Umbrellas
54″ Octabox with Grid
Tripod
Booms

And – Charles… thanks buddy.

Below are some of the portraits I shot while working on this gig.

They are of men. At work.

IMG_3929-Edit

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Photographs of Strangers by P52 PRO Group

Photographs of Strangers by P52 PRO Group

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:

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Meet Jan Klier: NY Fashion Photographer

Meet Jan Klier: NY Fashion Photographer

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.

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.

Here is what Jan said about our trip in a blog post titled: “The Importance of Checking In On Yourself”

Here is the interview with Jan on April 3, 2013.

You can find Jan at several online outposts:
Jan Klier Website
Jan Klier’s Blog
Musings

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The “Truck Shot”: Simple Moves for a Better Shot

The “Truck Shot”: Simple Moves for a Better Shot

I asked the folks who get my newsletter how they think I shot it. Many folks tried to figure it out, but most had something about a front light… and that was a no go.

I used four lights (2×2) and Photoshop to get the look I wanted. Working it a bit in Photoshop also helped the image look better.

The Truck Shot as we found it:

The Truck Interior with no lights.

The Truck Interior with no lights.

As you can see, the shot is rather dull and lifeless.

(more…)

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“The ICONIC Image” – a Discussion with Photographer Gary Crabbe

“The ICONIC Image” – a Discussion with Photographer Gary Crabbe

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.

Here is how Gary began his blog on the subject:

“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.

Here are a few of Gary’s images. See a lot more on his website.

(BTW – I designed Gary’s website and structural flow, and logo. Just wanted to brag a moment there… heh.)

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Meet David Giral: Montreal Photographer

Meet David Giral: Montreal Photographer

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.

So pull up a chair, grab your favorite refreshment and meet David Giral.

From David’s portfolio.

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Meet Hector Cruz: Emerging Pro

Meet Hector Cruz: Emerging Pro

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.

Hector Cruz: Photographer. (Website)

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Rui Bandeira’s “Endangered Jobs” Project

Rui Bandeira’s “Endangered Jobs” Project

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.

Thanks to all who allowed me to photograph them.

Thanks for sharing the images, Rui.

Find Rui at these places:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ruibandeirafoto
Telm.: 963384743
Site:  www.imagememarca.com
Facebook:www.facebook.com/Imagememarca
MSN: geral@imagememarca.com

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Clarion Call 2013: “Open to Creativity’

Clarion Call 2013: “Open to Creativity’

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.”

Seating is limited for this event. Registration details are here.

About Selina Maitreya

Sometimes the Greatest is Releasing it in others…

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.

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Thirty Three Tired and Dated Photographic Expressions: Un-Edited

Thirty Three Tired and Dated Photographic Expressions: Un-Edited

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.
7. Capture
8. It’s only a phone camera
9. its a little hot
10. iPhoneography
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?
17. Photoshopped
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
24. tog/photog
25. Signature (Don’t tell Missy)
26. Just tie some knots in a piece of string.
27. Chimping
28. Momtographer
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…)
34. HDR
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”

(And you really SHOULD read Ash’s post… it will get you thinking about the words you use.)

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Aputure Trigmaster Plus II Triggers

Aputure Trigmaster Plus II Triggers

Wow…

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!

trigger-map

trigmasterThey 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
  • Four Zones
  • Relay Mode
  • Multi-Camera Control
  • Power Display
  • Compatibile with all Aputure 2.4G Triggers
  • 500m Range
  • 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
  • Safety Strap
  • All cables needed for most flashes
  • Extra Battery Case
  • PC Cable
  • 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.

Look for them soon on Amazon – we will add a link here as well.
Available on EBay for $59 per.

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