Thursday, October 20, 2011

Outsourcing And Team Work

Three discarded employees stand in garbage cans in this photo about outsourcing, lay offs, and employment issues.  

This "Outrsourcing" image is the result of several "collaborations" with other photographers.

Outsourcing And Team Work
Outsourcing because this image is about outsourcing (and other employment related concepts), and team work because the image is the result of a collaboration among photographers. Building up a network of photographers, seeing your peers as a resource, can add to your productivity as well as to your enjoyment of the profession.

Collaboration And Discarded Employees
This image of three discarded employees in garbage cans is actually the result of more than one collaboration. The office location was from a shoot that a friend and fellow stock shooter invited me to participate in. How wonderful is that?  Yet another friend and photographer, Tom Penpark, did the digital compositing work.

Brainstorming, Photography And Digital Imaging
Tom and I brainstormed the idea together and I photographed the models as part of another stock shoot. By combining our efforts we came up with an idea we might not otherwise have come up with, got more mileage out of the models from my shoot, and I was able to work on another image while Tom handled the digital imaging for this image...or series of images...we did three versions.

Sharing Equipment, Ideas And Information
Over the years I have participated in numerous gang shoots with a number of photographer friends and the experience has always been a good one. Not only have we managed to make our production dollars go further, but they have inevitably been great fun and very productive. I have been involved in "gang" shoots in Argentina, Mexico, India, Thailand, Brazil and here in the U.S.  I have digitally enhanced other photographer's work, and some have done the digital work on mine. I have a great network of photographer friends who help me out, and who I help out. We share equipment, ideas and information; we help each out in all kinds of ways.

Collaboration, Gang Shoots And Concept Images
Collaborating with my fellow photographers, whether in gang shoots, jointly produced concept images, or just in sharing equipment and information, has enriched my career and my life. It can enrich yours too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The road to success, the high road, and the highway to heaven all in one image!
 The road to success requires going the extra mile.

Six Tips For Building A Photography Career

1.              Have an income. Here is why. You are better off turning down jobs that are not right for you, and in which you are not being provided the budget and resources you need to do an exemplary job. You will be known for the quality of the work you do…only do great work!  With a secondary (or primary) source of income, whether it is waiting on tables,  assisting, or substitute teaching (I did that...) you can afford to be choosy as you build your photography career.

2.              Shoot what the market wants with your own unique style and you will make money. Shoot what the market doesn’t want or need, and no matter how great your work you won’t earn money.

3.              Keep your expenses down. Don’t throw your money around. Make careful decisions about when to rent and when to buy. Build a network with other photographers and share equipment, studios, models and resources. In marketing, cultivate personal contacts rather than throwing money into marketing campaigns. Personal contact actually is more effective too. There are a thousand photographers who can do the job…the art director will hire the one that can do the job AND that he/she has good chemistry with.

4.              Keep your production values high. Don’t skimp on the essential props, models and styling that are needed to insure great work. All of your work needs to be great work whether you are shooting stock or assignments.

5.              Ideas are Paramount.  What are you bringing to the table? There are plenty of photographers who can do the job…set yourself apart with your ideas and creativity.

6.              This may be the most important tip of all: Treat your client like you want to be treated. Whether your client is a stock agency, corporation, designer or ad agency, go the extra mile. Don’t over-promise…over deliver!

 Having a successful career in photography is doable and with perseverance, patience and passion it can become a reality.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It takes time, patience and perseverance to succeed in the business of photography.
Building your photography business takes time.

It took me seven years to build my photography business to a point where I could support my family with it.

It took me twenty-two years to get an image on the cover of time magazine.

It took me ten years of producing stock photos before I could free myself from assignment work.

Seventeen years elapsed between the time I first showed my book to Portal Publications and the when they gave me a line of greeting cards.

To go from one visitor a week to a thousand a day, on my website, took me three years of intense work.

It took six months of long, long days to gain proficiency in Photoshop.

The last stock photo I created took me three days of work.

Building a photography business, stock or assignment, takes time. The question is, do you have the patience and the perseverance to make it work?