Similar logo…

I stumbled across a photographer that is using a logo very similar to my design. I’m sure it is just coincidence. It’s not like my logo is some “one of a kind” super-rare design. It’s clean, simple, and to the point… probably why someone else is using the same approach.

This is mine, and has been for around twelve years now:

This is her website, where you can see her logo:
Anyway, I’m not crying foul here. I’m sure someone else had a very similar design before me. I’m sure more people will try something like this in the future. I’m just blogging about it, because it caught my eye.

Don’t forget…

Don’t forget to make time for your personal photos. Take pictures of your family and friends, get them printed, and put them in a real scrapbook or album. It will do a lot to help clear your head. It will make you a better shooter. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and your personal photos every week. Even if it just means looking back through your photo album. Trust me. It will make you feel better.

About half a second of backside…

Sometimes stories are held for a while… a long while.  A few months back, I was assigned to do a video story for on some storm sewer spelunkers.  While I was there, I was surprised/happy to see Randy Grothe on assignment for the DMN.  

My video ran shortly after the assignment, but Randy said they were holding his for a while.  You see, if a story isn’t time-sensitive, publications will occasionally hold onto them.  It helps provide content on slower news days, and makes room for more important breaking news stories.  I’ve done stories for publication that have been held for months before…  
Well, Today’s DMN finally has Randy’s video piece online, with a fun story by contributing writer Page Phelps and photo intern Cody Duty.  Why do I bring up Randy’s video?  First, because Randy is super-cool, and second because you can see my backside for about half a second if you watch really carefully.  I know, not exactly my best and biggest “cameo”, but it still brings back memories of that fun, dirty, slimy day.  
Here’s a link to Randy’s video:  
Here is a link to the one I shot:  
and a follow-up story with some of my photos:  

Building an album cover…

I accidentally stumbled across this page while researching a client that contacted me. They had a blog with a link to something cool, and that had a cool link, which had a cool link, which led to this random page:

I just thought it was neat to see how they built the set for this album cover. They don’t show how they lit it, but you could study the disco balls if you were that curious…

Think about what you need…

I mentioned a lot of recent business spending in a previous post. This month has been a bit crazy. I don’t usually drop a few grand on new camera bodies every month. Actually, I have budgeted to purchase a new body every two years.

I also don’t spend a lot on computer stuff. I will have to get a new hard drive or two, maybe every six months or so (they fill up fast). I will have to add memory when needed, maybe increasing it every year until the computer is maxed out. But, I try not to get a new computer until I have to (because a machine has died or the newest needed software won’t run on my current machine).
Well, I’ve been lucky enough to buy my last two Powermacs used. One at an auction for a few hundred bucks – it lasted me a few years. The other through ebay – it’s still running fine, and has been for the last three or four years now. It just runs a little slow on some things and won’t really work with Adobe CS4 or the newest version of Final Cut Pro.
Believe it or not, I’ve been able to get by on this G4 dual 533mhz Powermac for the last few years. It cost me around $400 to $500 and maybe a couple hundred dollars in upgrades to keep it going so far. No three or four grand Intel-based powerhouse for me… Why would I spend that kind of money if I don’t HAVE to?!?
You see, all this gear is just a set of tools to help me create my art. I’m not afraid to say that I didn’t go to Apple and spend a few grand for a new unit, plus another grand in memory and other hop-ups. I am not using my computer to impress other people, and I’m not using it to do hardcore 3D rendering or major motion picture video editing. It doesn’t HAVE to be the newest, fastest, flagship model computer.
My new computer purchase is for a older Powermac Quadcore 2.5ghz computer. I figure that will be just enough to get me by for the next three to four years, until I have to find another used unit that is “just quick enough” and “just modern enough” to be relevant for the next few years after that.
I am fine with a machine that is already a few years old. It will work with the most current software out today, and it will run fast enough and smooth enough for what I am currently doing – and plan to be doing for the next couple years. That’s all I ask for.
Here’s the deal, I spent $1,100 for the newer computer. If I add in another $400 in upgrades over the next four years, I’ll have spent $1,500 on this computer overall. Divide that by the years of use and I’m spending $375 per year on my computer to use it. That $375 per year operating cost is on par with what you’d spend per year on a new, but very basic basic Intel-based Mac Pro, if you kept it for the next eight years.
And, just to compare the cost of operating the best, fastest, hottest, newest Mac currently available: If you purchased an 8-core Intel-based Mac pro (runs two 2.93ghz quadcore chips) with 16gb memory for $6,500, you’d need to keep running that machine for almost 18 years to reach the same $375 per year cost!
Sure, there are advantages to getting the newest, biggest computer currently available. I’m not suggesting you should always buy used. I’m really just pointing out that you should get what you need, with some room to grow for a few years. However, you are just wasting money if you don’t really need it, won’t actually use it, and especially can’t afford it.

An expensive month…

So, June was very profitable, but also very costly. Just part of doing business, I guess. Let’s break it down:

* new Canon 5D mkII with some misc accessories: $3,000
* repair my original Canon 5D: $400
* repair my BeachTek audio device for my video camera: $150
* replace some old rechargeable batteries for my flash: $85
* buy a newer Powermac for the office: $1,100
* buy new CF cards: $150
Maybe not a lot of money to some people, but I’d rather not spend so much if I can help it. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of all the things you need to consider when running your own business. If something breaks, you can’t just send it off to the IT department or have the company buy you a new one. You need to factor in all these upgrades and repairs when you are bidding on jobs. You have to pay for it somehow…