The holidays are here and Christmas pictures are starting to pop up in newspapers and magazines. Here is the most recent cover of Quick with one of my photos. It was a fun shoot, doing a little naughty Santa style theme. The girls were supposed to be spiking the holiday punch. The pics go with a feature on fun holiday gift ideas…
I normally don’t book more than one wedding per month, but I had a friend getting married. He was my photo assistant for several years, and he’s a real nice guy. He needed a photographer, and of course I was going to say yes!
The cool thing about his wedding was the great lighting in the church. There was actually enough decent, even lighting that I was able to shoot most of my pics without flash! I’m a big flash guy, so this was special for me. It gave me a chance to blend in with the crowd more – just a few quiet snaps vs. a popping flash. It was nice that there wasn’t a constant flashing to draw attention to me. I was able to get some real nice “fly on the wall” type images.
The other bonus is that it forced me to take more shallow depth of field pics, since I didn’t want to push the ISO too high. This gave me the opportunity to really isolate my subjects, bringing more focus to their subtle gestures and emotions. It was definitely a plus!
Here’s a good example, where I caught one of the brothers holding flowers as he waited for the bride and a bridesmaid. It’s just a quiet little moment that I think would’ve been spoiled with a bunch of flash and a giant DOF…
Not directly photo-related, but with video, graphic design and photo so closely related these days:
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As many of you already knew, I did a lot of PR and marketing work this year for the annual Rhett Miller charity concert – benefitting CF research. I also donated a few of my limited edition prints and acquired a couple other charitable donations – including an awesome commissioned painting by Cabe Booth.
However, I didn’t get to actually attend the show this year, due to my Disney trip. I didn’t get to hear the bands perform. I didn’t get to see all the people enjoying the evening. I never got to see my photos sitting at the silent auction table. I never got to see Cabe’s artwork in person.
Luckily, Cabe sent me a photo he took of his painting. Not quite the same as seeing it live, but still pretty cool. The painting was done from one of my photos, so it is special to me. I’ve always been a huge fan of Cabe’s work, and love everything he does! I hope the high bidder has already hung this piece in their home/office/wherever and is enjoying it right now…
It is hard to tell from the small picture, but this is painted on wood and the edges are torn and roughed up. It is somewhere between three and four feet wide and tall.
You may be wondering why I dropped off the face of the earth recently. Well, I got swamped with shoots when I got back from Disney World. Plus, I haven’t had anything really important to say or share on the blog in the last few days. I’ll post some cool pics from some recent shoots sometime soon. But not now… I’m off to yet another shoot.
Yes, I shoot a small number of weddings each year. I can’t help it. Maybe I’m a romantic, but I love getting caught up in the moment, capturing all the joy and excitement. Last night, I shot the most awesome wedding ever. It was a mixture of western and eastern traditions, and it was a blast! Lots of dancing and singing, laughing and smiling.
There was a big entrance, where all the guests danced and chanted as they led the bride and groom into the reception hall. I got a ton of great still photos of the event. However, the music, movement and excitement were so great that I had to switch over to video for a few seconds (eight seconds to be exact). Doesn’t this look like fun?!?
I don’t shoot stock, and I rarely sell stock (mainly, because I don’t actively promote my catalog of images), but occasionally I will get a call from someone who knew I had an archived image and wants to license it. It can wind up being a nice little payment that I didn’t expect, and it makes me wonder if I shouldn’t be actively promoting my work for stock sales.
It wouldn’t be hard to build up a variety of images for sale, either. I remember a photographer giving a lecture about finding good stock shot opportunities on all of his commissioned shoots. He’d be hired to shoot a subject at a certain location, then spot something else and shoot it before or after the primary shoot.
Here’s a good example… I was in an office building yesterday, hired to shoot a lawyer for their website and brochures. As I’m waiting for her to come in the conference room, I look out the window. From the 20th story, I see an interesting view of downtown Dallas traffic during a wet, cold morning. I snap some pics. All of a sudden, I have images of a busy city highway that can be sold as stock. I was just sitting and waiting at the time, so why not make the most of it?
Or, on the plane home from Disney World… I look out the window and see an interesting shot that may be marketable. Done. I had nothing else to do, so why not take a picture that could potentially be sold. It could wind up being sold over and over, if the image is popular enough!
So, why not start actively offering my images as stock? Maybe I should. If I keep looking for little shots that can be taken during my downtime, it would be easy to find a bunch of potentially profitable shots.
I had a blog going last night, trying to keep my promise of doing a blog post every day in November. Then, suddenly… everything fell apart. Pretty much everyone in my family got sick yesterday, except me. I was forced to abandon the blog and tend to a variety of vomit coming at me from all directions. Yes, it WAS gross!!!
Why do I mention this? Well, as a professional photographer, you still have real life happening all around you. Since the blog isn’t essential to my survival, it wasn’t a priority. If it was an important client’s pics that HAD to be turned out last night… well, I would’ve probably been running back and forth between the studio and the bedrooms and bathrooms all night long. As a professional freelance photog, you have to balance your clients and real life. Sometimes, it isn’t so easy.
OK, so back to blogging. I’ve missed two days out of thirty now. Not too bad I guess, especially considering that six of them were spent on vacation. And, besides dealing with a sick family (and a giant pile of nasty bed sheets to wash), I still had an early morning shoot, prep for an evening shoot and several clients needing to finalize upcoming shoot details with. It has been non-stop.
What does all this have to do with the Jefferson Starship song “We Built This City”, which is today’s blog title? Nothing. But this does:
It’s a cool little video I shot for BlackWhiteRead.com
about a choir performance at Woodrow Wilson High School. The event was pretty fun, especially the Princeton Tigertones
. The high school rendition of “We Built This City”, on the other hand, was not the highlight of the evening…
Maybe I just have something against the song, because the kids sound fine. If only they’d chosen something like “London Calling” or “Anarchy In The UK”. Is that too wild for a high school choir? Hey, I heard the grocery store music system playing Ozzy Osborne the other day (which was very odd), so why not some Sex Pistols in the school choir?????
This is one of the many Disney World photographers. I think his name was Tim. I also took a picture of a female Disney photog who was super nice, but I’ll save her pic for another Disney post…
So, why am I blogging about Tim and his associates? Well, if I were a young, single person trying to find steady work as a photographer in this day and age, I might just consider trying this out for a bit. It seemed kind of fun.
They aren’t like your average high school student working a summer job. They are real photogs. I talked with one last year, and he said some of them shoot the special events/corporate conferences that are booked at Disney. Some of them shoot the weddings and receptions on site. I’m sure they also handle some of the Disney PR photos and other misc shoots needed.
If I were young, single and wanted to get some real world experience under my belt, what better way to hone my photo skills than in sunny Florida? I’m well past that now, but who knows… they may have some pretty good paying upper level positions in the photo dept. I could apply today and never have to leave! Oh, who am I kidding. I could never work for a mouse, even if he is adorable.
OK, so this post may be a bit silly, but I am on vacation, so… I just thought it was fun to see the giant film canister that you could climb through and slide down. It is inside a “Honey I Shrunk The Kids” playground at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Part of me misses shooting film, but digital has so many more advantages. However, I don’t think it would be quite as fun to climb on a giant compact flash card. This is one area that film surely wins out!