Sunday, November 6, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I've been going to my "special secret spots" for nearly 20 years, but this autumn it seems everyone caught on more than ever! I've never seen so many tripods everywhere I went in Southwestern Colorado last week. That's why it's still important to get off road and hike, hike, hike as much as possible for unique perspectives on popular areas and to just get away from the crowds.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
My thoughts exactly. I wish I would've written this myself. Well done, Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai!
My Advice For Aspiring Photographers
12 Mar 2008
I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here's my answer.
- Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don't look outward for your style; look inward.
- Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It's like money; you only have it when you don't need it.
- Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.
- Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don't fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you're stressed and anxious.
- Learn to say "I'm a photographer" out loud with a straight face. If you can't say it and believe it, you can't expect anyone else to, either.
- You cannot specialize in everything.
- You don't have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don't have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.
- Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don't, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that's tough.
- Accept critique, but don't apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn't make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.
- Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business "Precious Chubby Tootsies"....but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?
- Remember that if your work looks like everyone else's, there's no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you're cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as "the cheaper photographer".
- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.
- It's easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you've got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don't spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you've outgrown your current equipment and you're being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.
- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.
- Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.
- Never compare your journey with someone else's. It's a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never "arrive". No one ever does.
- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
This is terrible! Let's hope it gets under control soon. Everyone please be careful out there!
(NEWSER) – A mutant strain of a common horse virus has resulted in the deaths of seven animals and appears to be spreading quickly in Western states, the Wall Street Journal reports. The USDA reports suspected or confirmed cases of Equine Herpes Virus-1 at 42 stables or farms across 18 states. (The Journal says cases have been confirmed in nine of those states.) The outbreak appears to have started at a national riding competition in Utah earlier this month, and now similar competitions, rodeos, and fairground expos are being canceled.
"This outbreak is much more widespread than most, or perhaps any, previous outbreak," says Colorado's state veterinarian. While there's a vaccine for equine herpes, vets think the outbreak is a resistant mutant strain. The virus is highly contagious, and horses can pick it up from water, equipment, or feces. It doesn't affect humans.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
1. Have a plan
Know what you are trying to achieve in both the short and long term, and follow a plan to make sure you get that done. Whether that's a detailed business plan or a daily "to do" list, having a plan will keep you focused. Plus, it gives you a boost when you can tick things off the list!
2. Break targets down
Large goals can feel overwhelming and send you into a kind of work paralysis. Break the pieces down into small tasks and you will find that the end goal is totally achievable. So for example, if I set myself a task to myself of getting 10 new clients over the next few months, I could break this down into practical tasks such as running a special offer to encourage new bookings, or follow up on undecided clients.
3. Discuss ideas with others
Running your own business can be an isolating experience. Colleagues, friends and family are very useful sounding boards and have expertise and experience in areas you don't – amongst my group of friends are lawyers, PRs, journalists – so ask yourself, who do you know? Talking to others gives you a fresh perspective, help you from ideas more clearly, overcome stumbling blocks and feed your creativity.
4. Keep it fresh
Keep thinking of different ways to promote yourself – I love how MOO customers never run out of these types of ideas, like thesebeautiful pocket portfolios made from MiniCards. As part of my promotional plan for 2011, Inspirit is the official therapy partner to RSVP 2011, a big events industry showcase where our team of therapists will be giving out free massages.
5. Visualise better days ahead
Ok, so it makes me sound like a hippy, but I find it helpful to visualise the benefits to my life that will result from achieving my goals. Whether it's a dream holiday or simply a boost to your self-esteem, imagine how that will feel if you keep going and make it happen. At the moment, I'm obsessed with buying a mini-cooper, which I simply can't afford. So I designed my perfect mini online and have a photo of it on my wall to remind me that if I keep growing the business, one day it will be on my drive.
6. Be open to change
It can be very deflating when things don't go your way. I've had times when I have lost a client or an employee or a deal has suddenly changed its parameters. You need to adapt instead of losing hope, and think how you can work the situation to your advantage. Sometimes what seems like a setback can turn into a positive, and if not, at least you can minimise the damage and learn from the experience.
7. Do regular exercise
I swim regularly which re-energises me and yoga classes keep me calm and clear. Choose whatever form of exercise suits you best, but make sure you do some - it improves your mental clarity and decreases feelings of stress, anxiety and frustration.
8. Establish clear working hours
Don't burn out - I learned this from experience! It's too easily done, so make sure you get some work-life balance and build breaks into your daily and weekly schedules. As we all know, there's a difference between working hard and working effectively. Since my office is my home, this is a particularly challenging one for me. I have to remind myself that its ok to be at home relaxing, instead of attached to a computer at 10pm.
9. Treat yourself
Give yourself things to look forward to – a visit to a gallery, a shopping trip, a night with your friends. You deserve some rewards for all your hard work! I book a regular massage every month to relieve the muscle tension that accompanies hours in front of a computer, and to combat work stress. After a massage, I feel like a new person.
10. Accept the cycle
No one can stay motivated 100% of the time. When you're struggling, do what you can on the list to help and be assured that inspiration will return if you just keep going. And don't forget to keep putting yourself out there. Hand out your Business Card to anyone who seems interested – the upswing will happen sooner than you think.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
But in reality your vision is superior so your photos are finer. If you didn't have such an awesome style no one would care. But since it is so good, people will copy. How many billions of people copy Van Gogh and Monet? Yet the original is still the most respected. And look at the "Dave Hill" style. Hoo Wee did he ever get his style ripped off? Yet he went forward with his work and is working more than ever. He made a name for himself. You are making your name.
So be smart. Now all you need to do is capitalize on your style and run workshops or whatever and make some money on your vision. Be encouraged. This is what happens when you are successful. So Congrats! Think Bigger!" Gregg Boyer