“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas Edison
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the media industry is having a difficult time at present, even without the global recession. The digital revolution, while opening up exciting new channels of communication, is also rendering some of our pre-existing business models obsolete and forcing the redefinition of others.
A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from Playboy. It was Friday at 4:30 p.m. — and they wanted to see four nude images by Monday.
I don’t normally shoot nudes. I had been a photojournalist for more than 20 years and most of my subjects preferred to keep their clothes on. But I figured, “Why not?” So I began searching for a model.
(Second of two parts.)
In part one of this article, I wrote about the creative process, how it applies to photographers, and how a better understanding of it can help us to avoid or escape photographer’s block. In this part, I offer five recommendations for getting the creative juices flowing again — specific steps that have worked for me, my students, and others.
For over two years now, I have been trying to photograph a coal mine in China to show the conditions of the miners. The coal mining industry in China has been called the world’s most dangerous; it is reported to claim the lives of over 5,000 workers each year. And it’s not only the miners who are suffering. In the mining areas of Yunnan, more than 60 percent of the children under the age of 14 are affected by lead poisoning.
The following is excerpted from Winning Digital Photo Contests, a new book by Black Star Rising contributor Jeff Wignall.
Jim Richardson has a career that most photographers can’t help but envy.
In this part of our video series on Google Analytics, I show you how to set up reports on your site’s performance that are compiled and e-mailed regularly to you. (You can find the previous posts in this series here.)
(First of two parts.)
All artists, including photographers, go through dry spells. In my case, the symptoms of being creatively blocked are obvious: ideas for new images or projects stop flowing; I take pictures of things that don’t really interest me; I find myself photographing the same people, places and things, in the same “old” ways.
If you’re not careful, you can spend a lot of time and money scouting locations for photography shoots — driving around aimlessly in your gas guzzler, seeking that inspiring spot. But if you work smart, you can find the locations you want without spinning your wheels.
We’ve all heard the expression “blind as a bat” — but bats aren’t blind, they just “see” differently from us. Bats supplement their small eyes and poor visual acuity with echolocation, a radar-like quality that enables them to ping their environment, gather data and use this information to locate prey, fly in the dark, and so forth.
In my previous “Notes from the VisCom Classroom,” I wrote about crafting course assignments and making sure they furthered both school-wide and course-specific learning outcomes. In this column, I’ll discuss how I go about evaluating those assignments once the students turn in their work.
As group design director for a large U.K.-based publishing company, I’ve found that understanding the photographers I work with is an integral part of my creative process.
What motivates a photographer to take the photographs they do? How do they like to work? What are their influences and interests? These are all questions I ask myself before commissioning a photographer for a specific project.
In a day and age when anyone with an iPhone or a Flickr account can call themselves a photographer, it can be a little difficult to figure out when you’ve separated yourself from the pack to become a real photographer. After all, beauty — in photographs as in all things — is in the eye of the beholder.
A “landing page” is the page where a visitor enters your Web site. In this video in my Google Analytics series, I show you my strategy for optimizing multiple landing pages on my site to attract more traffic — and more prospective customers.
The world is hard on those of us who sometimes, or primarily, still like to work with film.
“Pro” labs handle lower and lower volumes of film, which in some cases results in chemicals that are refreshed less frequently and technicians who lack training, particularly with slide film.
If there is one thing photographers like almost as much as buying a new camera, it’s buying little toys to go with it. Unfortunately, many of the more popular accessories — flash units, filters, tripods– can be quite expensive.
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
At the heart of marketing for any small business is word of mouth. Creating an experience that gets people talking about your photography business is the single best way to attract new customers.
I was in military boot camp when I first heard the expression, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” When we think of leaders we tend to think of drill sergeants, CEOs and politicians. But to be your best as a photographer, you need to be a leader, too.
Manuel H. Rodriguéz, 89, died last week after a long illness. Manuel H. was the Colombian Capa: a man who for more than half a century captured the history and “moments” of his country with his emblematic Rollei. And like Capa, his career in photojournalism was born out of chaos and violence.
Back when I used to golf, my friends and I were constantly in search of the next “perfect” club to add to our bags. Brands changed. New putters and drivers appeared. And with each change, there was fresh hope that — somehow, someway — this latest upgrade would make all the difference.
Black Star Rising received the following question from a reader, Nick Arnold of MinistryAllies.com:
Am I at legal risk in the U.S. if I use a photo with a Creative Commons license where a recognizable face is in the photo and the photographer did not acquire a model release? This would not be for commercial use, just the cover of a free ebook.
Photography has existed since the 1820s, according to most historians, giving the medium a history of less than 200 years. Two-dimensional art, meanwhile, has been around for 20,000 years, as far as we know — with the animals painted on cave walls in Lascaux, France, being among the first-known examples.
Hi, I’m John Lawlor and I’m starting a campaign to stamp out naked photos online.
No, not that kind of naked photo. I’m talking about images that are not optimized for Google and other search engines.
“Partisanship is our great curse. We too readily assume that everything has two sides and that it is our duty to be on one or the other.”
– Historian James Harvey Robinson
Funny thing is, that quote’s about 100 years old. So when we talk about the excessive partisanship that plays itself out across the U.S. media landscape on a daily basis, we’re not talking about a new phenomenon.
With all the emphasis photographers are placing on social media and online marketing these days, it’s easy to overlook the value of the good old-fashioned business card as a means of introducing yourself to prospective clients.
Bogota-based Black Star photographer Richard Emblin had the opportunity to interview Joel-Peter Witkin during the photography legend’s recent visit to Colombia. Here is his story.
For much of August, Joel-Peter Witkin moved through Bogotá without the custody of bodyguards and the media hype usually associated with an artist whose work has reached the celebrity stratosphere. As we meet in the Parque 93, Joel puts a condition on our meeting and the chance to talk photography: that I treat him to breakfast with “real juice.”