Posts Tagged ‘advice’

The Best Advice I Ever Received: ‘Put Down the D*mn Camera’

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My mentor was a cranky dude. He liked to put me through my paces every chance he got. Sometimes, when he needed something: “Hey, Greg—fetch that cable for me!” Yes, he said “fetch.” Sometimes, when he just knew better than I did: “Hey, Greg — get off your a** and come assist me.” Or when I was feeling superior: “Hey, Greg—stop being an idiot.”

Ah, fond memories!
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Why Picky Clients are a Good Thing

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A new client walked into my studio with her three little children, the eldest of which had a session. The little girl was all dressed-up, but very traditionally, so after conferring with mom, we began the session. And it was one of those sessions where everything went right. Happy child, great expressions, and yet, mom was hovering, straightening an already straight bow, smoothing invisible wrinkles in her daughter’s tights, “fixing” tiny details, some of which weren’t even in the frame.
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Why Group Buying Deal Services Are Bad for Photographers and Customers

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The original title for this article was going to be “Group Buying Deal Review: Why WagJag Can Suck It”. After receiving an “offer” to participate in a group buying deal (also known as social buying or deal-a-day. Examples include Groupon and LivingSocial) from one of the larger local group buying companies in my area, it took me a few days, and some good advice from my wife to cool down and write this (mostly) rational analysis of the group buying deal economics.
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What Is Spec Work And Why Is It Bad for Photographers?

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“Spec” is short for “speculative,” and “spec work” is defined by the AIGA (which counts many photographers as members) as, “work done prior to engagement with a client in anticipation of being paid.”

This is the classical definition, and it began in the creative industries, where a photographer would shoot images for a desired client and then show them the work in the hopes of being hired. Notice the very important distinction: the work was done BEFORE contact with the potential client. This “free” spec work was not solicited or negotiated.
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Hey Kids! Wanna Be a Pro Photographer? Here’s How!

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There has been a lot of talk recently about how best to succeed as a professional photographer, now that “everybody is a photographer.” A recent post here by Alex Ignacio emphasized how important it is to “specialize and focus” — Ignacio believes that if we don’t, we’ll “perish”.

As someone who trains aspiring commercial photographers, I agree that some doors may shut if you don’t specialize, but many more will open if you’re versatile.
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‘Everyone Is A Photographer': Specialize or Perish

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Battle hardened photographers will tell you that theirs used to be an elite profession, difficult to do, hard to enter, and accorded the proper respect. Now that everyone and their grandmother has a super computer/camera in their pocket or purse or on their face (read: Google Glass), it seems like everybody is sharing their filtered masterpieces with the entire world.

And like our very own Cheri Frost wrote, next is for the camera-ed masses to hang out their shingles and call themselves professional photographers.
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Attending My First Portfolio Review After Thirty Years as a Photographer

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Having made it through over 30 years as a commercial photographer and photography teacher, I find it daunting, at this stage in my life and my career, to feel the need to seek advice and assurance from professional peers. But participating in the New England Portfolio Reviews this past weekend turned out to be one of the best things I’ve done for my creative self in a very long time.
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Conquering Creative Burnout: Put Down the Camera

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Whether you are an amateur photographer or a professional photographer, there will come a time when you are simply burned out. Periods of your photographic life where just the idea of picking up your camera is exhausting.

Creatives of all types face these challenging times, and they can be both daunting and scary. It can feel like your passion may no longer be your passion or, for the professional photographer, it can impact your life in a financial or business manner.
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Photographer Websites: Why You Need One And What To Do About It

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The modern web was made for photographers; it’s such a visual medium where beautiful images have an incredible impact. Text, or copy, is still important for SEO considerations and for those visitors that want to spend more time on your content. Video is fantastic, and many photographers have the capability to produce great videos with their current equipment.

But unlike still images, by its nature video demands time — you need 30 seconds to watch a 30 second video versus a quick glance at a photo that usually communicates the entire message.
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The Sanity of Craziness: How Your Wild Imagination Can Be Good for Business

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I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years shooting personal projects as a way to get hired by the companies with whom I really want to work. When I began this process, my images were fairly tame. I assumed that mainstream and technically-correct images were better than free-form zaniness.

But then I started attending portfolio reviews, where I had the opportunity to sit down with industry buyers to find out what it is they really wanted to see. It was surprising to discover that my loopier ideas resonated more, even if they weren’t necessarily in the style of the company to whom I was pitching.
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