“Convergence” is a great buzzword, and even a good thing. But if you’re not careful, you can “converge” your photography business right into the poorhouse.
Everyone, it seems, is falling in love with the notion of being able to capture HD video as well as high-resolution stills from a single capture device (the artist formerly known as “camera”). I’m excited, too. But I’ve followed technology long enough to see the dangers ahead — most notably, the trap of the endless upgrade cycle.
I photographed a super-groovy young actor named Taylor Kitsch at the X-Men Origins: Wolverine premiere in Tempe, Ariz., in April. Taylor is so super-groovy that his fans express their undying love by doing stupid things like breaking the law.
As a photojournalist, are you ever embarrassed, uncomfortable or even ashamed of what you do?
I recently spent a week at the Arrupe Center in northern Cambodia documenting the lives of villagers. The center works with people who are mostly landmine victims, but it also helps villagers who suffer from polio and HIV/AIDS.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to “green up” my photography business in 2009. Six months later, I am proud to say that I am still sticking to that resolution. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised to learn that being environmentally conscious has led to real cost savings for my business.
All of the photos I post online include a copyright symbol and my name or Web address. No, this won’t prevent everyone from using my images without permission — but it will stop some people from doing it.
Photographers make a lot of excuses for surrendering their copyrights to the publications that hire them for assignments. I often hear this tired refrain: “What are the photos worth, anyway?”
Well, let’s take one example. Let’s say you are a photographer and a magazine called Washington Life hires you to take pictures at a party. You readily hand over the rights to your images because, you rationalize, “They’re just party pics. Who would want them?”
I met recently with a prospective wedding client who was on a very tight budget. The groom, an art director, asked if I would allow him to help with the photo editing in order to save some money. I had to tell him no. I operate a full-service studio, and letting the wedding couple do their own editing just isn’t an option for me.
In his introduction to Robert Frank’s photographic book, “The Americans,” Jack Kerouac wrote that Frank “sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film, taking rank among the tragic poets of the world.”
Fighting for your digital rights would seem to be an uphill battle these days. Let’s face it; the rights of photographers have been badly battered.
First came Google, when it won the case to publish images in its search results without paying anything. Then came National Geographic and others, republishing entire issues on CD-ROM without paying additional fees. Even today, the magazine industry poor-mouths its way to paying pennies for images on Web sites that now have bigger circulations than the corresponding print editions.
Like most photographers, I’m intensely self-critical. I can be absolutely merciless when it comes to analyzing what went wrong or right in my pictures.
And yet, I pretty much hate it when other people critique me. Perhaps that’s why I’m usually more positive and encouraging when I review the photos of others.
First came the Web. Then came blogs and podcasts and Facebook and Twitter.
Most of us think of these innovations as new ways to communicate. But we should also think of them as new opportunities to lead.
I’ve decided to start Photo Editor Awareness Day. Who’s with me?
Not long ago, it didn’t occur to me that such an event might be necessary. When I lived in New York City, I enjoyed a successful career as a photo editor. I loved what I did and for the most part found steady work in the publishing industry — whether full-time employment, contract work or freelance assignments.
It’s 7 p.m. on a Monday. My office manager, postproduction manager and intern have all gone home. I am still working. The phone rings.
It’s a prospective client — and she’s in a jam. She had asked her organization’s PR firm to arrange for photography of certain attendees at a Senate hearing the next day. Apparently, the PR firm originally planned to just snap some photos with the office digital camera. Then, they scrambled to find a last-minute assignment photographer. They ended up with one who did not have a lot of experience.
I was recently asked to show some pictures at an informal get-together with photojournalists in Oslo. In January, we had some fairly rowdy demonstrations here — by Norwegian standards anyway — with demonstrators clashing with police as they protested the war in Gaza.
If you use Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and enjoy reading Black Star Rising, we’ve got good news for you. We’re now available for download.
When you subscribe to a blog’s “Kindle edition,” you can read it even when you’re not connected wirelessly. The feed includes all text and images from the blog, updated daily.
In this part of our video series on Google Analytics, I show you how to set up conversion funnels to track Web site visitors who do not follow through on desired actions, such as completing an online form. (You can find the previous posts in this series here.)
When you’re doing travel photography, it’s easy to think of your time in airplanes and hotels as an inconvenience — a chore you simply must endure to get to your next assignment. But in photography as in life, that’s the wrong way to look at any experience.
If you think today’s college students are just a bunch of self-absorbed Twitter-heads devoted solely to their Facebook pages, I’ve got some videos for you to watch.
Six months ago, if you had told me I’d be volunteering to do a full-day photo shoot and a half day of editing for free, I’d have laughed and called you crazy.
Things are different now. Call me a soft touch, but I’ve become a believer in pro bono karma.
Can you speak photo?
Many photographers can’t. You look at their images, and they are fine — properly exposed, nicely framed, perfectly lit. But they are boring. They do not speak. They do not convey any message or meaning. They are as flat as a line on the screen of a heart rate monitor attached to a dead man.
In this part of our video series on Google Analytics, I show you how to set conversion goals for the visitors to your Web site, and how to track your progress in reaching these goals. (You can find the previous posts in this series here.)
As sad a fact as it may be, the newspaper staff photographer is fast becoming an endangered species. I’ve recently spoken to several current and former newspaper staffers contemplating the move to wedding photography, and I thought I’d share some of the advice I’ve offered.
I left the newspaper world five years ago. There are things I miss about it, and things I don’t.
I miss receiving a steady paycheck to go out and about on new assignments every day. I don’t miss the restrictions and frustrations that came along with that paycheck.
On March 17, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer — Seattle’s first newspaper, founded in 1863 — ceased its print edition and laid off most of its staff. Four of us who had been staff photographers there decided to form our own business, a full-service photography studio called Red Box Pictures. While I’m the first to admit that we still have a lot to figure out, my colleague Scott Eklund and I thought we’d share a few things we’ve learned so far.