Entries in business (1)


weak links | 10.14

I've been cruising the blogosphere lately and have found quite a few sources for inspiration, guidance, and aspirations.  I have decided to share these links with you weekly, sometimes as I find them, other times I may save them up and give them to you all in one go.  When I put them up all together, I'll be calling them "weak links", for no reason other than I couldn't come up with anything creative to call it.  This week I give you pricing help, quotes, inspirational photos, and rights among other things. 

I'll start off with this guide to pricing that was posted over at DPS.  It's a short read, but one that can help any aspiring photography realize that there is more to setting your costs than just your shooting time.  Think about your prep time, equipment costs, processing time, etc.  Look beyond the simple act of taking photos and determine your overall costs - pass these on to your client through your prices.  I even go as far as to explain to my clients that my pricing includes these things, as well as the knowledge I have.  I am not their "uncle bob" with a camera.  It is important they know why my prices are what they are.  This is something that is slowing becoming forgotten.  Great pictures are made by great photographers, not great cameras.

Next up are two galleries of images from National Geographic and Reuters that contain images that inspire me.  I find that I am becoming more of a fan of photos rather than just photography (the techical and gear side).  I've had a backwards progression from most photographers in that I started with a strong technical sense, then moved into creating and appreciating imagery.  Most photographers start out because they love to look at pictures, and have to learn the technical aspect afterwards.  These galleries meld great technical skills with great imagery, causing me to appreciate them even more.

The 1st gallery is from National Geographic, but the post I found them on is on the New York Times photography blog.  It features images from as far back as 1920 and really makes me think a lot about my love for creative photojournalism.  I've been working hard on trying to tell a story with my photographs and these images inspire me to do just that.

The 2nd gallery is from Reuters.  It features unique imagery from created with mirrors.  The more I see these types of shots, the more I think about incorporating them into my own work - problem is, I don't have many mirrors around very often when I shoot.  Photojournalism doesn't lend itself to moving things around very well. I loose a certain level of control that I have become acustomed to shooting portraits.

I think that's the main reason why in my work for the Colonnade that I try to shoot the editorial portraits more than anything else.  I like control.  I've been spoiled.  If anything, these images inspire me to keep my eyes open and all the time be looking while I am out shooting. 

Next up is this video from National Geographic.  It's a quick behind the scenes look at how they made a image (from 84 different images!) of a 1600+ year old Redwood Tree.  It's pretty neat to watch.  The end result is pretty amazing as well.  I can't image what an undertaking that it would be to create such an image.  I'd love to shoot for National Geographic one day (if anyone from NG is out there reading this, I'd love some pointers on how to get to that point). 

In addition to the above video, I encourage you to take a tour around the National Geographic Photography page.  I don't know of a greater collection of images (NG is, afterall, the premier publication for photo work), and I can spend hours just browsing the site.

Another blog I've been following almost since it's inception is "A Photo Editor", run by former photo director Rob Haggart.  This week, he made a posting about what people are doing with new DSLR cameras and their HD video mode.  He posted two videos, one of which is below:

After showing the video, he posted a quick interview with it's director, Yassine (Yazzy) Ouhilal.  In it, Yazzy said this:

"While I probably could have put something together for this project in just a few days, I really wanted to make an authentic film about the experience of surfing in the Arctic- with all the drama and the hostility of the environment. The editing process was done over  3 months. Much like with my photography, I like to distance myself from the content so that I can approach it again with a fresher perspective. It allows me to look at the photos/footage objectively rather than to remain attached to certain shots or clips because of the experience involved with obtaining the imagery. I find that in both photography and filmmaking, being able to “let go” is an important part of the process. Maybe an image means a lot to me because I endured many hardships to obtain it, but I have to keep in mind that the audience doesn’t necessarily know that- therefore will often see less value than I do in a particular shot. Distancing myself from the content for a certain period is definitely part of my approach and it really helps to “forget” about it in order to rediscover it."

I absolutley love this (extra long) quote.  So many times I get so tied up in my images, that I loose focus.  I get to thinking more about how hard it was to obtain the image than how good the actual image is.  Sometimes, the photos you work hardest for are actually the poorest photos, while the photos that just happen are the best.  It really got me thinking and I think I am going to start letting my images "marinate" for at least a week (unless they are for the paper, right Lissa?). 

For all you strobist types out there, Rob Galbraith has just posted new specs on a new Alien Bees monobloc strobe - the Einstein 640.  Read his article for more information.  They are adjustible all the way down to 2.5ws, which, according to David Hobby (strobist.com) is equal to about 1/16 power on a speedlight.  I want to read some initial review of production units, but I think I will be saving up for a set of two or three of these for location and studio work.

Finally, while surfing one of the forums that I am on, I ran across this video that puts a unique perspective on stealing digital images.  Watch it below:

If you want to learn more, click here.

That's all for now.  I hope you have enjoyed these links, I've enjoyed finding them.  Have a great week and remember to get out there and take some pictures this week.