Think the law is on your side as a photographer?

If you think you are safe, just because the law states you SHOULD be, well… think again.  Taking photos in public can get you arrested:  

So, be careful when shooting in public, even if you are allowed to do so.  Remember, the police department doesn’t need to worry if you are actually breaking a law to arrest you.  They may get in trouble for false arrest after the fact, but they can still arrest you no matter what.  
And don’t take this as some sort of anti-police or anti-government blog post.  That is far from the truth.  I have met several nice and caring police officers while shooting pictures.  The story linked above even mentions that Robert Taylor had been stopped by other, normal officers in the past – ones who just asked him what he was doing and then left him alone.  
No, this merely points out that every once in a while you may be unlucky enough to run into one of the few bad apples.  The ones who don’t care much for the actual laws they uphold.  So, again… Don’t think you are safe, just because the law says you are.

Objects of desire…

Look at the link and you will understand:  

Will I have the money to buy either of these beauties?  Not anytime soon.  Will I have enough of a need to use these lenses every day or every week?  Probably not.  They are specialty lenses that would be used maybe once a month, like my Profoto ringflash is a specialty flash that only gets used once or twice a month.  But still…  They are SOOOOOOOOOOO nice!!!

Sharing tips…

Everyone wants more work (at least I assume everyone does).  The best way to get more work is to help your friends get more work, too.  Seem like a backwards idea?  If someone else gets a gig shooting something, isn’t that one less job I can get?  Glass half empty people may see it that way, but not me.  I know from experience…  

I try very hard to help other photogs.  When they have a question, I try to answer it.  If they want a tip on how to do something, I’ll show them how I do it.  I’ve even loaned out gear to close peers/friends when their equipment broke down at the last-minute.  
I mention this because Rex Curry wanted to see my portfolio and my studio space.  He’s a great photographer – at least my peer, if not better than me.  I didn’t hesitate to help him out.  I showed him a way to put together a good portfolio, told him where to look for more advice/tips, and discussed other important details.  
Why help someone else who might get a job I want?  Well, it’s not really like that.  First off, it is rare that two people will shoot so similar in style that they are literally competing head to head.  An art director or photo editor is going to need a certain style of photography, and it won’t always be yours.  I’m not worried about him stealing my clients.  And he’s safe, since many of his clients would probably not want my style of shooting.  
So, I help him with his portfolio, and one day he may help me figure out how to maximize my stock image sales or where to buy new invoicing software.  It’s a give and take kind of thing.  And trust me, the photo biz is a tough business, so you want as many people on your side as you can find!  
Secondly, many of my best clients have all been referrals (and nobody will refer you if you aren’t a team player).  Other photogs and photo editors have passed along my name as the person to go to for a certain shoot.  I have passed along work to other photographers, as well.  I was out of town and missed a couple GREAT shoots last year, but wanted to make sure my clients were taken care of.  I gave them the names of a few friends that I knew would get the job done right.  
It builds a relationship with your fellow photogs, keeps your clients from scrambling to find someone to fill your spot, and eventually pays you back (those same photogs you referred work to will eventually need help covering a gig, you know).  Call it Karma, call it networking, call it whatever.  I always try to share in this business…  

Words to live by…

As I sit here late at night, printing my newest portfolio, I am reminded of how true this is:  

I always say that editing will make or break you.  I always say that less is more.  I have sixteen images in my print portfolio.  I have thought that I might have a few too many images on my website, but as the link points out, it is HARD to whittle things down.  It is tough to remove some images, but you have to.  
The other tip mentioned?  Have a theme or specific style.  I have heard both sides of this.  And both sides seem to have a valid argument.
Some successful photogs use a general portfolio, but keep the images and themes somewhat focused.  Like they wouldn’t have automobile shots, them wedding shots, then photojournalism shots.  
Other photogs say to be very defined and only show one type of photography.  If you want to shoot weddings, don’t waste the viewers time showing Senior Portraits.  You need to look like the best at weddings, not the best at weddings and other things.  
Several photogs have a general portfolio that can be pulled out when ASKED for it, but initially show a very specific portfolio.  I will eventually have this system set up, but not at the moment.  My portfolio is focused, but is still a general portfolio.  Maybe it is a bit too general, come to think of it.  I always second-guess myself.  
I’ll show it off when I’m done and you can be the judge. Anyway, read the link and take the info to heart.  you MUST edit your work down and not let personal feelings about a picture get in the way of work…

Want to talk shop?

If you are serious about photography and live in Texas, this seems to be a great place to hang out:  

I just joined, so I can’t give a ton of details… but, it seems to be filled with good info and good people.

Starting up this blog…

OK, so I’m going to get this thing moving.  I’ve been blogging for a long while now, but it’s on myspace.  I figured this would be a more efficient way of doing it; plus, I can eventually link this blog directly to my website.  To start things off, I will share a few of my recent myspace blogs with you:  

1.)  About Guy Reynolds – 
I’ve known Guy for a long time.  I’m glad that another blog site has taken the time to interview him.  Read more about it here:  
2.) About the Canon 5D MkII – 
I think this is going to be a great camera for professional photogs who also want to shoot some video.  Here is a link to some info on how to get the best sound quality for the videos:  
3.) About me – 
When I did this photo shoot of Dallas Cowboys player Martellus Bennett, he had his crew there filming us.  Apparently, he posts videos of his life up on youtube for his fans to see.  You can see me in action, taking photos for the Valentine’s issue of Quick:  
By the way, you should keep an eye on Quick’s website if you don’t already.  You can find the print version all around Dallas, but it may be just as easy for you to check it out online at  
OK, so I’ll start posting new (original) blogs here soon and not just rehashing my myspace blogs.  I plan to discuss tips, techniques, and real-life situations that a professional photographer might face.  I’m going to transition the myspace blog to a more personal blog, talking about my boys, wife, cats, etc…