When it comes to building a video production and photography business, it can take years to cultivate good clients, get high paying and interesting projects, and form relationships with reliable help. If you move, losing that local network can take a huge toll on your business.
Some days, as we plod through our respective news feeds, it seems as though the Internet was invented for one thing and one thing only; to share photos. Although the quality of the photos we have to wade through can sometimes be questionable, and at times our feeds can become overwhelming, the relative ease with which photos are shared is in my opinion, the greatest benefit to our seemingly photo-obsessed and Social Media saturated society planet.
I've been there, standing in the middle of a field on a hot day with a scorching sun, mulling back and forth on how to capture a quality shot. In the back of my mind, I'm wishing for some cloud cover or an overcast sky to magically move in. A commercial client or art director doesn't care what time it is, they just want the right image. It’s up to you to capture that image with the weather Mother Nature has dealt.
About 5 years ago, when I was still in my Photography college in Australia, our teachers would regularly introduce us to the new and noteworthy Australian photographers' and digital artists' work. Among others there was one artist, whose work really grabbed my attention and I have been watching her growth and success ever since.
Alison Wright is a tremendous inspiration as a photographer and a human being. In this always fantastic episode of National Geographic Live! we are shown just some of her adventures and a glimpse of her unrelenting fearlessness. After almost being killed in a bus crash in Laos in 2000, she persevered though a recovery process where she was told she would have trouble with mobility and never work as a photographer again. Two years later, she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.
I'm guilty. As a commercial and fashion editorial photographer as well as a writer for Fstoppers, I love lighting, bokeh, rigging, and all technicalities involved with cinematography and photography. For many months, content fell second to setup. From my experience, there are three types of photographers: those that confide in instinct and sunlight, those that rely on post processing, and those that excel at artificial lighting and formalities.
If you shoot video, you know that sliders make all the difference. I personally love the cinematic production value you can get out of a slider; the kind of shots you can produce are those that really elevate the end product. However, sliders can be large and obtrusive, not to mention difficult to travel with. When I saw that Edelkrone's SliderPlus promised to deliver that quality I was looking for but remain compact, I couldn't wait to try it out.
You may have read my previous post previewing the first modern CMOS-based medium format back to hit the world market by Phase One. Soon after my post, Phase One HQ sent me one of the first IQ250 backs to arrive in the US to review for this site. I had a solid 2 weeks to try it out and see what this system was capable of doing.
Several months ago I noticed a spike in our website traffic from a fairly large website called "The Fancy." From a web traffic standpoint I initially thought this was good news and that one of our blog posts was picked up again. After following the link provided in the backend of our Squarespace analytics referral page, what I found was outright unlicensed image use for profit.
Imagine someone were to ask you to count the number of photographs you see from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until the moment you close them again that night. Between looking through your own work, as well as the various social media and news sites, the number of images we expose ourselves to is probably well over a thousand.
The world's largest stock photography service has recently taken off the majority of watermarks on their photos online. Getty images has millions upon millions of photos in their stock library and will now allow anyone to use eligible images from their library for business or personal use, but it comes with one stipulation that could be a deal breaker for some.
Last summer, my friend Andy and I, and his six year-old son, were out location scouting. As we drove around, the three of us were playing a very intense game of word association. One of us would say a word, and the others would quickly say the first word that came to mind. As we neared a potential location, Andy called out, “Key West” to which I mindlessly responded, “Jimmy Buffett…” In that instant, I realized that everything I thought I knew about marketing myself as a photographer was completely and utterly wrong.
Some may say it’s quite the phenomenon. I only shoot commercial and editorial fashion and I seem to make a living out of it without shooting weddings, families, babies or seniors. I don’t live in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles and I don’t travel like George Clooney in the film “Up In The Air.” The number one question I’m asked on a daily basis: “Clay, how do I get more paying clients?”
Some years ago, I got started in photography and started looking to find clients that would pay me for my work. I showed up to client meetings, polite, cordial, and generic - hoping that my portfolio would "wow" them. I was sure that keeping a personal life and business life separate was the way to go, boy was I wrong.
Some of my most favorite photos are those which I had little or nothing do to with. I love my work, but when I look at a photo that I took, it's often difficult to get past the fact that I know too much about it. I know the edits, I know the tones, I know that it could have been better had I just moved a foot to the left or the right, and I know how many times I ditched the file and started over from scratch. In short, as an artist, sometimes knowing what’s behind the curtain makes it difficult to enjoy the overall work.