By the way…

If you still haven’t figured it out, you need to ask for the sale, so to speak. I’ve had a few people state this fact, since the economy took a dive this year (I think Hal Samples can be credited to one of those times). And guess what… It is true!

I used to be able to do my work, and new clients would call me. I’ve heard a few people say their business was the same way. Those same people are saying they have changed gears and are now calling up potential clients and asking for the shoot. This doesn’t mean that you call them and start begging for work. It means you need to put your name out there and let them know that you are interested in working with them.
This proactive mindset isn’t as easy as the old days, when I’d have a new client call me. But, you know what? It is paying the bills. So, find a list of people that you think you should be working for (don’t call up Nike and ask to shoot their next campaign, if you are fresh out of college. Look for REAL day to day clients that you know would be a good fit for your shooting style and level) and call them. You’d be surprised what will come of asking for the work, instead of just sitting and waiting for the phone to ring.

My Photo, as a Painting…

I always admired the work of Cabe Booth, a Dallas artist that paints rock and roll portraits to hang in local venues (you can currently see his work on the walls at Nokia Theater and hanging up at Curtain Club, as well as other places around town.)

As long as I’ve been shooting Dallas music, it took FOREVER for one of my photos to be turned into a painting. I was very happy when Cabe finally painted one of my pics a few years back to hang for everyone to see. The band was Advent, which eventually changed names, then broke up and moved on to bigger and better musical collaborations:
Hopefully, one day more of my images will be used by Cabe, because his work is amazing! It is very flattering to see him turn my work into something new…
Oh, here is a link to more of his work, incase you wanted to check it out:

BJ and Lester…

This post may not mean anything to most of you. You pretty much had to grow up in the Dallas area during the 1980’s, like I did. During school days on channel 39, which used to be a much different television station than it is today, there was a children’s show called The Cartoon Clubhouse With B.J. and Lester. I watched it all the time. It was a great show for kids, back before children had twenty different cable channels all devoted to their viewing pleasure.

Well, fast forward to my adult life, shooting anything and everything performance and art related in town for newspapers and magazines. My job took me to all the best concerts, musicals and plays. A few years back – maybe in 2004 or 2005 if my memory isn’t failing me – I walk into a local musical to shoot the rehearsal for the Dallas Morning News and I see a face that is so familiar. Suddenly it hits me. It’s B.J. from B.J. and Lester!!!
Well, I shot another play review this week and B.J. was in it. It’s funny how I still associate him with this children’s show, even though it was something like 25 years ago. It’s also funny how it still affects me so many years later. Seeing him had me feeling like a kid again, and I left the shoot smiling. Now, if I could only meet Mr. Peppermint and Muffin!

State Fair of Texas…

I haven’t had time to update the blog over the last several days, because I’ve been so busy with shoots. However, I wanted to put something up, so I thought I’d share a fair pic:

Music, Music, Everywhere…

It has definitely been a musical week for me. So far I’ve photographed Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, Bowling For Soup, Boys Named Sue, Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift. Oh, and some band I’d never heard of before (and can’t recall their name off the top of my head) on Universal’s label.

The music isn’t about to stop either! There are some acts performing at The State Fair of Texas that I’ll probably shoot and I’ll be headed to Austin next weekend to get in as many of the 150 or so bands performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Yup, it has been a musical week all right. Well, really a musical month, if you look at the other bands I’ve shot earlier in September. I like it that way. I like music.

Warning: This Photo May Be hazardous To Your Health…

The above article discusses a possible French law to label Photoshopped images with a warning. I am assuming it would not apply to basic cropping, color and contrast adjustments, and only to major alterations (like reshaping someone’s figure, removing their skin blemishes, etc).
It is an idea that will meet a lot of resistance from advertising agencies, and possibly some photographers. When trying to sell the public on your “perfect” product, you don’t want a disclaimer getting in the way. Just as the alcohol and tobacco companies initially lobbied against printed warnings for their products, there will surely be resistance in France – and here, if the US government ever attempts something similar.
But, why would a good photographer care about this warning? If it DID pass, companies would seek out better photogs who could capture a great image in camera. If the photog can get it perfect without the need to do a lot of Photoshop magic, the warning could be avoided. This means bigger budgets for good photographers and more demand for perfect photos. This would actually be a win for those of us who don’t rely on heavy post production!
Now, I’m not saying I am for a law like this. I’m just pointing out both sides. I wouldn’t want some silly “reality warning” pasted on any of my photos. I think people should be smart enough to live life without such a stupid disclaimer. I’m just saying that such a law could actually benefit our industry in the long run – or, at least those of us who know how to shoot well.

Big Tex and my baby…

I’ve been a fan of the State Fair of Texas since as long as I can remember. I have not missed a single fair in approximately 31 years. Big Tex was always a highlight as a child, so to meet the modern day voice of Big Tex was a true delight!

I first met and photographed Bill Bragg (Big Tex’s voice) several years ago, while doing a story about the state fair for a national weekly magazine called American Profile. At the time, my oldest boy was my only boy, and he must’ve been just under a year old. The story required me to make several trips to the fair, and I took my boy on a few.
On the day I met Bill, my boy tagged along, and we took this photo of the two together (after I finished my portrait of him for the magazine):
Well, jump forward a few years. I just pitched a fun photo essay idea to Quick, called the ABC’s of the State Fair. I was really just looking for a good excuse to go to the fair a million times this year. Plus, I thought it would be a fun photo project for the readers. It’s basically 26 fair photos, one for each letter of the alphabet. Of course, I thought Bill/Big Tex would be the perfect photo for the letter B!
After completing our photo shoot today, I had Bill pose with my boy again – now about to turn 4 years old. He was so happy to have his picture taken with Bill, and was so excited to see Big Tex again. I’m hoping that he (and my other boys) will love the fair as much as I do…
On a side note, Bill was nice enough to say that out of the thousands of photos people have done of him, mine is his very favorite! He repeated that statement a few different times throughout our shoot today, so I imagine he really meant it, not like he was just being polite or anything.
I have to say, that is quite an honor to hold that distinction!!! I am such a huge fan of the fair and Big Tex, so to know that out of all the publications and all the photographers who’ve had Bill in front of their lens… I was the best! It’s the Texas State Fair honor of a lifetime for sure.

Bikini Girls?!?

I’m not the kind of guy who normally takes pictures of hot girls in short shorts and bikini tops. However, I was that guy for the current issue of Quick. Now, before you start imagining some sort of party with champagne, loud music, models cavorting around in their underwear, etc… You must be thinking of a totally different photo shoot!
This one was actually pretty tame, though very funny and amusing at times. The girls were pretty down to earth and normal. The wife was working, so I had my baby asleep in his room and the two toddlers up in the studio with me – they have a corner with a play kitchen, so they stayed out of our way for the most part. It was a simple, smooth shoot with little fanfare, though it was pretty memorable when the boys cooked up some pretend hot chocolate for the models to drink.
The wife was surprised at first that I would have the boys up in the studio with these women, but quickly calmed down. After all, it was no worse than what the lifeguards wear at the country club pool the boys swim at all summer long. And the girls were very sweet and nice – nothing was said that couldn’t be said in church. It was really just another day of play for them and another shoot for me.

Morton H. Meyerson, and Not the Symphony Center

A lot of Dallas streets, parks, schools, landmarks and buildings are named for people that most of us have no clue about. Well, I was thinking about it the other day, and thought I’d share some photos of Morton H. Meyerson. Yes, the man who’s name graces our Symphony Center.

You would think it is named after some person from a hundred years ago, but it isn’t. I actually had the chance – no, the honor – to photograph Mr. Meyerson at his home a few years back for The Dallas Morning News. He was very friendly, very sincere, very cool. He just seemed… nice.
Anyway, I only spent an hour or so with him, but I think I got some good shots. Now, it makes me wonder what other landmarks are named after people I could still meet face to face. I know plenty of places are named after the city’s founders and early leaders, but it still makes me curious about the story behind every dedicated building or street sign I see.