Imagine two very different personality types. One likes authority and control and believes in order and security. The other is independent, inquisitive, and perhaps a bit pushy. Both are convinced they are working for the public good. Now, put a badge and a gun on the first type, and hand the second type a camera. Do you see a potential for conflict?
Increasingly, rights-managed and traditional royalty-free stock companies are having trouble finding photographers willing to shoot for them. Many of the star photographers from five or 10 years ago have given up shooting stock — or at the very least, dramatically cut the number of images they produce and the amount they are willing to spend on production.
Napoleon famously said, “An army marches on its stomach.” The same is true for photographers, clients and everyone else on a photo set.
When you’re called to shoot something, even if it doesn’t span a mealtime, food can make the difference between a good experience and a bad one.
I had the opportunity to interview Tony Messano, an Atlanta-based art director, for a presentation I gave at the NPPA Convergence ’10 educational event in July. In this video, Tony shares the qualities he looks for when hiring a photographer.
I had the opportunity to interview Tony Messano, an Atlanta-based art director, for a presentation I gave at the NPPA Convergence ’10 educational event in July. In this video, Tony offers some practical advice to photojournalists who wish to make the transition to advertising photography.
Are photojournalists unduly focused on the dark side of life — dead bodies, conflict, misery and the like?
Many people seem to believe this. They think we would climb over loving couples, cooing babies and content grandparents just to shoot the only negative scene at an event.
In this installment of “Ask the Photo Business Coach, I answer a question submitted by Black Star Rising contributor Aaron Lindberg: “When is my portfolio in a new specialty good enough to promote on my Web site?”
The myth I’m writing about today has undoubtedly caused thousands of excellent, award-winning photos never to be taken. It’s the myth of the model release for editorial use.
Photography columnists, unaware of their First Amendment rights, have been fanning the fires of this issue for years. A wall of mythology has built up around the subject, and I’ll make the first move to break it down for you:
On LinkedIn’s Photography Industry Professionals discussion group, Brooke Fagel recently asked: “What’s it like to be a freelance photographer?” These select responses provide a comprehensive picture of what a photographer faces.
I recently came across two job postings that say a lot about the state of the photography market today. And while the news is not altogether surprising, it still might stick in your craw a little bit.
It’s hard to turn down help in building your photography business, especially from friends and relatives. But a few years ago, I realized that the assistance I was receiving actually had become counterproductive. To grow my business, I had to learn to say “no.”
Heavenly shades of night are falling
It’s twilight time
Out of the mist your voice is calling
It’s twilight time
When purple colored curtains
Mark the end of the day
I hear you my dear at twilight time
One of the current discussions among university faculty nationwide is whether to ban laptops from the classroom. The logic behind this? Students are using their laptops to access the Internet and social media instead of taking notes in class.
Amish culture is fascinating to me. But as a photographer, documenting the Amish is a challenge, because posing for a photograph is discouraged by their religion. It is seen by many (though not all) Amish people as an act of vanity.
There probably isn’t a photographer in the world who hasn’t dreamed of getting published in National Geographic magazine — and each year, we get our chance. The 2010 National Geographic Photography Contest, one of the most prestigious contests in the world, begins accepting submissions Sept. 1.
His hearing was poor and he shuffled about with the aid of a walker, but 93-year-old H.D. Dennis could still preach to anyone who happened by the one-time grocery store that became a church.
It was a most unusual church of no particular denomination, faded and worn, with 400 feet of hand-painted scripture of plywood signs and cement block towers –- with a weatherworn school-bus-turned-sanctuary that had been parked in the garden for years. That particular day I was this preacher’s flock.
When you are a self-employed photographer, reaching the level of earning enough to support yourself and your family is difficult. There are thousands of struggling and aspiring pro photographers out there, all searching for that elusive key to success.
Second in a series.
The first step to successful project management is to develop what I call a “project toolbox.” This is the foundation that enables us to take consistent approaches to the wildly different situations we come across in the projects we embark upon as photographers.
I recently had a distinctly unpleasant conversation with a client who called me after his subordinate had contracted me for an assignment. The contract included a standard rights package.
The client began the call by referencing the agreement and asked, “We do own all rights to these photos, right?”
Today’s photography market is flooded with functional images that wash over us without impact. They may do the “trick” for cash-crunched art directors and editors — but they have no magic.
They are “good enough” images at a time when being “good enough” seems to be all that matters.
I still remember the first time a photograph really affected me. I was 9 years old and reading a Life Magazine book on the history of World War II. It contained hundreds of pictures by Life photographers — but the one that grabbed me was Robert Capa’s blurred image of soldiers landing on the beach at Normandy.
On Sunday, June 13, 1971, the New York Times ran a front-page story by reporter Neil Sheehan titled “Vietnam Archive: Pentagon Study Traces 3 Decades of Growing U.S. Involvement.”
This story and others that followed were based on a secret government study, commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, that described the history of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, from World War II until 1968. The Pentagon study was massive — 30 to 40 authors churned out 2.5 million words, 3,000 pages of analysis, and 4,000 pages of official documents.
When I got into this business in the 1960s, the dream of every photographer was to do a comprehensive picture story and get a 10-page or longer display in Life, Look or National Geographic.
As time passed and the space to publish stories got tighter, more and more picture editors started looking for the one great image to illustrate a text piece, because they only had space for a single image. Often the pictures were designed more to catch the reader’s attention than to give an accurate depiction of the story.
The group shot is no one’s favorite photo to take.
I’m sure we’ve all been at the big family event where someone hands you a point-and-shoot camera and says, “You’re a pro photographer — take everyone’s picture!”
(The following is excerpted from the new book The Successful Wedding Photographer, by the editors of Photopreneur.)
When viral campaigns work, they can be extremely powerful — but they don’t work all the time. Even professional marketers can struggle to get a viral campaign off the ground, and they often work best when you least expect them to.