Tom Cruise, ‘Scared Sh!tless,’ Hangs Outside a Plane During ‘Mission: Impossible’ Filming


I have never been a fan of Tom Cruise.  From mediocre acting to control-freak tendencies, he’s never really left much for met to get excited about.  Until now…

In the upcoming installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, which hits theaters at the end of the month, Tom gave his stunt double the proverbial finger and decided to risk his own life to accurately play his character.

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Photo Darwinism: Things Your Mother Never Told You


They lost me at the “Cost of Doing Business” calculator.

You know, the formula everyone starts you out with: Your overhead expenses + desired salary = your total annual cost ÷ number of billable days = your CODB.

No matter how many times I played with it, the number of billable days that I desired was never as high as the number of days I actually worked. My desired salary never approached by my actual salary. So the calculator failed me. Lots of stuff they taught me in those photo business seminars failed me. I had to find a better way to price my work and survive as a new photographer.

I had a marketing and sales background that I could use as an advantage. If you don’t come to photography with my background, I suggest that you start by learning as much as you can from the established pro-photo business blogs and forums. Most are free and probably just as good as paying a lot of money to sit through a seminar. On the other hand, paying for a seminar might be worth it if you tend to drift into “multitasking” while reading at a computer.

In this series of short posts I’ll deconstruct what they tell you in those seminars and give you some of you guidance on how to survive as an independent freelance photographer in the 21st Century.

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How I Fought My Insecurities And Planned A Weeklong Photo Shoot In The Fashion Capital Of The World


We all have those moments, those days, those months where we just can’t seem to come up with a good idea.

It seems like it takes more energy to convince yourself to get started than it does to actually shoot a set. The truth is you don’t always need an earth stopping idea. A lightning bolt of inspiration. Sometimes just committing to doing it gets the ball rolling. Once you’re actually in motion you start to realize that there is a lot more to learn about than just the photo techniques themselves. Lots of business and planning skills go into it as well that will in turn make you more valuable as a photographer. Just the process of saying I’m going to do it…. led to how am I going to do it? That simple question took me on a path that taught more than anything else in my career so far. I’d like to tell you about my self produced week of high fashion photography in New York City.

So, I went to New York City.

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Photographer Shares the Heartbreaking Horrors of Leprosy in Iran


Leprosy is almost unheard of in Western cultures, or we gloss over it by calling it “Hansen’s Disease.”  While there are an estimated 200 cases per year in the U.S., modern medicine has rendered it no more lethal than the common cold, if properly treated.  But, in some locales around the world, it is still a very real and viable threat.

Photographer Ali Hamed Haghdoust wanted to further explore the legitimate threats of leprosy in the Middle East.  In a project called “The Lost Beauty,” he spent six years in the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan, Iran documenting the social and cultural impact of the horrifying disease.

(Warning:  Graphic images after the jump.)

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70 Members of Cast and Crew Were Injured While Making the Most Dangerous Movie Ever


Film sets can be dangerous locations for both man and beast.  But, one film takes the cake in terms of hazardous working conditions, with 70 members of the cast and crew being injured during the process.

Roar was shot over the course of 11 years (NOT a typo) and is basically a reality movie with director/producer/actor Noel Marshall (The Exorcist) and his family (including stepdaughter Melanie Griffith) living with 150 untamed and untrained wild animals.  As one can imagine, living with a collection of dangerous animals, including lions, tigers, and jaguars, can lead to a little bloodshed.  As HitFlix describes it, “It’s Like Walt Diney went insane and shot a snuff version of Swiss Family Robinson.”

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Photographer Crafts the Best Birth Announcement Video with Drone in Backyard


We’re always seeing new and creative ways that parents are using to inform friends and loved ones of a new addition to the family.  But, I don’t think anyone does it quite like Dirk Dallas.  Dirk, a photographer and drone enthusiast with a flair for the dramatic (in only the best sense of the term), created a very memorable birth announcement for their third daughter using a drone in the backyard.

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Meet Jimmy Choo: The The World’s Most Photogenic Bull Terrier


Jimmy-the-Bull-Terrier14__605Someone much more clever than myself once said, “When life gives you lemons, squeeze the juice into a watergun and shoot everyone in the eyes.” Or, at least something along those lines. The point is, sometimes life deals you a rough hand, you just have to make the best of it. For Rafael Mantesso, that meant turning his empty, white apartment into a creative stomping ground for himself and his dog, Jimmy Choo.

You see, on Mantesso’s thirtieth birthday, his wife decided to leave him. It wasn’t what you would call an even split. She took everything inside the apartment. Cookware, furniture, decor–all of it went with her, leaving only an empty apartment and a bull terrier for Rafael. Seeing the freshly empty space as a blank canvas, Mantesso began noticing his artistic drive and inspiration to return. He used all he had left–a blank apartment, his dog, and a camera–and let his imagination carry him. [Read more…]

Photographer Captures Rare Moment As Lightning Strikes An Exploding Firework


We Americans are always looking for any excuse to blow things up, whether figuratively or literally.  Once a year, though, we have a legitimate excuse to get explosive, and every Fourth of July the skies light up with “the rockets’ red glare.”

Mitch Axness, a system support specialist at North Dakota State University, describes photography as a “serious hobby.”  While photographing the fireworks display at Devils Lake, ND, Mitch captured a once-in-a-lifetime image as a bolt of lightning reached out to meet an exploding rocket.

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Why I Don’t Answer My Phone Anymore (Also Why I Cancelled Voice Mail)

why I don't answer the phone and cancelled voicemail

If you’re a photography business owner, you know the feeling:

Your phone rings, you drop everything and rush to grab your phone to take the call…”Hello, can I speak to the person in charge of finances…your website…purchasing…advertising?”

At that moment, I would like nothing more than to reach through my phone and strangle the a$$hat on the other end.

So, I thought I’d explain why I don’t answer my phone anymore, and why I cancelled voice mail.

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