Up until now we've talked mostly about how to shift your thinking away from the unfortunate standard of the professional artist. However, we can't really talk about how to build a thriving business without addressing the stretches when nobody is walking through the door. In fact, many of us are probably running head first into that season right now.
Articles written by David Bickley
We see mass evidence of poor goal setting once a year without fail. New Years comes around and people resolve to change their lives in one fashion or another. Why is it that statistically only about 10% of resolutions are ever actually completed? Are the goals impossible? Probably not, most of us don't set goals we know we can't achieve.
The process by which small businesses develop is changing. Thanks to the "lean movement" people are realizing that the same strategies governing large companies simply don't work with startups. Make no mistake, you are a startup.
Perhaps it's only my opinion but I believe that one of the fastest ways to fail in business is to try to do too much, for too many people. Right behind that is producing a product that nobody wants, but we'll get to that beast later. When I talk with photographers looking to go pro, the first thing I ask them is what they intend to shoot. A solid 80% of the time their response is something like "well, some weddings, family portraits, maybe kids, and seniors too."
I still remember this conversation from several years back. A fellow photographer was about as stuck as you can get. He worked perpetual fourteen (or more) hour days, never got much of a day off and was struggling hard with a record-setting case of burn out. He was making good money, but it wasn't enough to justify the time being put in...and this had been the same story for years. From the outside he was a very successful photographer, but on the inside life was a dark and frustrating place.
It's no secret that most photographers are really bad at actually running a business. After all, the idea is to make a living making art and art doesn't require you to know what ROI means. All you need to know is how to create with your chosen medium right? Yes, if you love Ramen noodles. I don't know about you but I've certainly had my fill of them and despite the fact that I could easily win Iron Chef: Ramen...I'm not in any hurry to be that broke again.
If you haven't had the opportunity to attend one of Greg Heisler's lectures, you really need to find a way to do so. I realized after saying this that I have no idea how to help you do that because I can't seem to find touring information anywhere. Nevertheless, as far as I'm aware he is still traveling all over the country speaking and promoting his book "50 Portraits." In these lectures he goes through many of the life experiences and stories from his long and incredible career. This video is one of those stories.
Before you ask how this relates to photography, let me just put it out there for you. I'll be honest, I'm not sure yet. My first reaction is that this product is using photography to potentially save lives...but let's break it down and see how likely that is. The product is called The Defender. It claims to be able to snap a photo of an attacker, send that photo to authorities, sound an alarm, and blind them with pepper spray all at the same time (or in rapid sequence, sort of unclear on that one).
I'm not usually a huge fan of action sets or other kinds of preset applications, but I am a big fan of free stuff. From now until May 12th OnOne software is giving away free licenses of their photo-effect software, Perfect Effects 8 . I took it for a spin earlier so I would at least know what I was talking about when I went to write this, and it's not bad! This isn't a review so I'm not going to dive into anything about it other than to say that some of you will love it, and others
As far as product photography instruction goes, it's not too common to see a good (free) tutorial video that breaks down the tricks behind capturing challenging cosmetic products. Nikonian Academy trainer Andrew Boey not only makes this topic very approachable, he shows you how to do it on the cheap.
I'm pretty excited about this behind the scenes video. Not because it's anything spectacularly informative, but because for whatever reason, people in my industry don't generally produce them. I couldn't tell you why that is. It's not like fitness photography is anything revolutionary. In fact, I would venture to say that rendering the human body is one of the most basic exercises in art.
Anyway, to the point...
Craig McDean knocked it out of the park again for the May issue of Vanity Fair. I mean, I doubt a bad picture of Scarlett Johannson exists in the first place but he did an awesome job as per usual. Vanity Fair has taken to creating beautiful behind the scenes videos to accompany their covers lately and this is my new favorite. The video is beautiful. Granted, it's a little difficult to see exactly what is being used as far as lighting goes, but we
It's pretty common knowledge by now that flying drones around can easily go wrong. To date I have no idea how many videos I've seen of pilots that, either out of silliness or stupidity, have crashed one into someone else's favorite head. Obviously being a cautious and responsible pilot is a given but, do you still need to be concerned when it's sitting innocently on your floor?
Apparently the answer is yes.
Talk about doing advertising right...wow! As part of their "What do you see?" campaign the spot takes a unique approach to selling camera gear, by never mentioning it once. Instead we are treat to closeups of peoples eyes as they look at the things most important to them.
"There are over 7 billion of us on our planet,” says the narrator. “All looking at the world in our own way. But no one
The camera movements in modern timelapses are impressive enough to me. However for some, like Piotr Wancerz, it's just not good enough without these movements being matched over the course of fourteen months. Using tripod timelapses, hyperlapses and a motorized slider, Piotr was able to capture the passage of time over all four seasons. As far as this author is aware, nobody has ever been able to do that before.
I'm going to be honest with you right off the bat. As far as behind the scenes videos go, this one leaves a lot to be desired. However, as always there is still some information to be gained from it. The first and most important being that this entire series appears to be lit with one Profoto Acute2-D4 head nestled snugly in a Softlighter. Naturally with this being a Leibovitz shoot there is a solid bit of post production and that is surprisingly where the lesson lies here.
When I sat down to write this, its was originally going to be a pretty solid list of 5 crucial apps for traveling. However, when I got going I realized that most of what these apps did could be done in no time without them. Which led me to wonder...What is the most complicated thing you have to deal with when you're traveling. The itinerary? The packing? Getting everything booked? Maybe none of those things jam you up when traveling domestically, but what about when traveling internationally?
There is obviously no shortage of camera apps out there in the world but, every once in a while something new hits the market that actually seems a bit useful. While not something I would recommend to the casual, or even semi-pro photographer the Mark II Artist's Viewfinder actually looks very helpful to directors, and photographers that need to do a lot of scouting and planning for their shoots.
You gotta love a good copyright blunder and horrid damage control story. Thankfully, there's a new one still in development (totally unintentional photo-pun, I'm sorry). What makes this one even better is not only the completely intentional watermark removal, but the colorful email the photographer received after asking that the photo be taken down.
Late last month Mac turned 30. This might not seem like a big deal, but I remember when Apple sucked...and I'm sure many of you do too. I'm not talking about the way a lot of people believe they still do. I mean, like hardcore terrible products and corporate direction. They almost didn't make it, and taking that into consideration I believe they have more than enough reason to celebrate.