Is photography meeting your needs? — A reflection on what’s important

Is photography meeting your needs?There’s a segment of readers (yes, those of you who have life and your career all figured out) who will dismiss this as drivel. This is for the more humble among you…

In a recent blog post, marketing guru Seth Godin asked a series of simple, yet poignant, questions:

Is it meeting your needs…

Or merely creating new wants?

Is it honoring your time or squandering your time?

Is it connecting you with those you care about, or separating you from them?

Is it exposing you or giving you a place to hide?

Is it important, or only urgent?

Is it right, or simply convenient?

Is it making things better, or merely more pressing?

Is it leveraging your work or wasting it?

What is it for?

…and, immediately, I began to reflect on my own career as a creative professional.

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I Wish this was an April Fool’s joke; Photoflex Closes Shop After 30 Years

photoflex-01

If you’ve been around the photography industry you must know Photoflex. They make lighting equipment.

Yesterday a photo appeared on their website telling the world that they are closing shop. We were all hoping that it was some kind of an April’s fool joke, but sadly, despite the date coincidence, it is true.

Photoflex has been in business for about 30 years and are known for making good quality products.

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Studio Binder Aims to Simplify the Chore of Coordinating Talent

Studio Binder

For a recent bridal photography fashion session, I had over thirty emails flying around between myself and my talent just to confirm availability, let everyone know what time to be there, where to go, and what to bring.

And that doesn’t include all the reminder and clarification text messages.

This was a a relatively simple shoot with just me, a model, makeup artist, video guy and location owner involved.

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Gender Based Photography Groups – WHY?

gender-photography-group

The first one I ever saw was “Chicks Who Click.” It was years ago and the photography industry was predominately male. I didn’t think too much of it, but wondered (aloud at times) the wisdom of, not only creating a gender biased photography group, but giving it a cutesy name like “Chicks Who Click.” By naming it that, they downplayed the seriousness and professionalism of their chosen profession. They demoted themselves from “professional photographers” to “middle school sleep-over photography club.” I envisioned a bedroom of giggling girls, braiding each other’s hair, talking about boys, and occasionally using some derivative of the word “passion” and “photography” in the same sentence.

A few years later, I was at a national convention and met a woman who handed me her business card. On it, was the name of a photography group she’d founded – “Women Only Workshops, She’fari Photographers.” Whaaaa? Yep, she was very proud of the group and said business couldn’t be better. Of course, I, possessing the wrong genitalia, was not allowed to attend any of her workshops or go on any “She’faris” so I’m not quite sure WHY she even bothered to give me her business card unless it was just to rub it in. She seemed very nice, so I doubt she meant it as an insult though, but still. Helloooo? Common Sense???

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Why “Do What You Love” Career Advice Leads To “I Live In A Van Down By the River” For Creative Professionals

career advice for creative professionals

I have been thinking a lot recently about the direction that I want to take my photography business, and this week I came across two really interesting ways of looking at career advice for creative professionals.

First, there is the “do what you love” genre of career advice for creatives.  Then, there are statistics.

For the sake of this article, lets call them fantasy and reality.

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Is Live Sports Photography Really Photography?

What about concert photography?  Fashion show photography?  Paparazzi? Red carpet event photography?  Or pretty much any circumstance where there are multiple photographers taking the same photos from the same location, in the same light, with the same gear, at the same settings, producing photos that look pretty much the same as every other game / concert / fashion show / celebrity photo ever taken?

Live Sports Photography [Read more…]

Julian Richards Explains Why He Closed A Successful Photo Rep Agency: ‘Photographers are undergoing self-inflicted castration’

julian-richards

There are many times we write about how the photography market is changing. How photographers are perceived to bringing less value to projects and how they are perceived to be worth their gear and nothing more. Heck, we posted an open letter about this today.

But while we have been mainly highlight the small business photographer, a recent interview by PDN reporter Amy Wolff with photographers’ rep Julian Richards sheds some light a similar process is happening at the very high end market as well.

Mr. Richards had a successful photo rep agency for over 20 years and at times his roster included photographers such as David Barry, Chris Buck, Michael McLaughlin, Dana Gallagher, Sian Kennedy, Greg Miller, James Smolka and Henrik Knudsen. A pretty impressive team. Yet, after 20 years he decided to quite. The interview is filled with painful insight from Mr. Richards.

The most striking thoughts comes when Mr. is asked about how the industry changed. (Bolding is mine)

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Open Letter To Client re: “Job Killer” Quoted Rate

re-job-killer
Hello Potential Client,

Regarding your last email in which you said:

“… if they (your client) saw the $700/ $1400 a day fee for the photographer they would dismiss the project immediately … (most of my client’s people make between $25 and $45 an hour)… Showing $100/hr was also a job-killer as you can imagine”.

Well sure thing. I see where you’re coming from… Let’s rewrite the quote to show the actual number of hours I will work on this job, instead of only those spent with my face in a camera. Maybe that will help.

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How To Become A Pro Photographer In Four Steps

With the rise of digital cameras it is becoming increasingly easy to become a photographer. It is not enough to own the gear for the job anymore and you need to bring something extra to the plate.

With this in mind we shared a tongue in cheek post a while back demonstrating how you can become a wedding photographer in ten easy steps. It looks like satire facebook page Being Satan did us one over and is now sharing an easier way to become a pro in only four steps.

photographer-in-four-steps

Have you had a job taken by a pro photographer like that?

[via 9gag]