It's Sarcastic Saturday, a time when I typically subject you to a little wrath aimed at some segment of life that's simply abusive. Well, this week has been a record week for scam attempts, and it's just too much fun not to share a few of the highlights.
I have fun with these idiots. First, the accent is always coming from somewhere in the vicinity of India. Second, the caller ID is always a bogus number. Third, I'm on a MAC so there can't be any PC error message anyway. I love to start out sounding concerned and needing help. When we get to the part where they want access to my computer, I love to challenge their name, with the following, "Okay, so Bruce, we know that's not your real name. Are you related to Bob, Mike, Terry, Tom, Justin and Larry who have all tried this scam already and called me in the last few weeks?" That's it they're gone, although they usually leave me enough time to experiment with a few combination expletives.
First, the emails always start with "Hello Dear". I guess that's because the last TV show the originator watched was Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote and they think that's a pretty common introduction between Americans. Second, it's always to "undisclosed recipients", making me feel far less than special. Third, there's always a health disaster involved versus the old government budget excess that needed to be moved. Last on the list, it's loaded with typos. I want to give these guys a gift of a little spell check software. They've got the worse spelling and grammar on the planet!
First, I hate that these calls are always generated by a robot. At least my Microsoft guys make me feel important enough to put a live body on the scam. Second, why do they always sound like they have a right to our time? "Please hold for a very important call from..." What is it about the arrogance of the staff of any elected official that makes them believe we're all sitting around waiting for their calls?
Okay, there it is my contribution to the world of sarcasm on a beautiful Saturday morning. Hopefully, I've brought a little entertainment value into your life. Feel free to share any of your scam frustrations and we should be able to build a pretty entertaining list.
Although take your time - I've got a full day ahead. With the eleven million dollars coming in from Nigeria life is really going to change around here, and I promised Sheila we'd buy a yacht today!
Images copyright Matt Meiers. All rights reserved.
I saw this post/video on Matt Meiers' blog recently and I was blown away by the power of what his subject wrote and said about her experience in front of the camera. Matt wrote on YouTube:
I was lucky when I met my new friend Sarah at Shutterfest last week. Sarah came along with a few friends to watch a quick photoshoot of a headpiece shoot with another of my new friends, Heather. I don't think that either Sarah or I knew that she would be posing for me several hours later, in front of one of her friends. What has happened since has been life changing....
Matt asked Sarah to record her reactions looking at the images from her shoot. What she wound up giving Matt was the highest compliment any artist can receive. The experience of stepping in front of the camera, instead of always being behind it, changed Sarah's outlook on herself and for that matter her life.
Tim and Beverly Walden, two of the country's leading portrait artists talk about the importance of making a portrait session an experience, not just a sitting. Matt absolutely made Sarah's session an experience and in turn, she's given him the highest compliment every artist hopes to someday receive.
Matt said it better than I can,
"If you don't think what we do as photographers can make a difference, you're doing it all wrong."
A big thanks to Matt and Sarah for allowing me to share her video and two of the images from the shoot.
The other day in one of my favorite Facebook forums, a photographer posted a request for a "free" portrait session from a potential client, along with his response. His response reflected what we'd all like to say, but it was harsh, right down to the f-bomb expletive.
As his friends cheered him on, I felt more than just a few hairs stand up on the back of my neck. The response was exactly what should have been said, but there's a difference between thinking it and putting it in print and essentially dumping a can of gas on the situation.
Here's a lesson I learned from my Dad when I was in fifth grade. I wrote something bad in a classmate's autograph book. I'm older than most of you - back then, girls had autograph books and would send them around the class to sign.
When it was my turn, I went overboard, straight into being rude. The teacher was a friend of my mother's and passed it on to her. I got home from school that day and was pulled by the ear into the bathroom to wash my mouth out with soap! Seriously, it was a complete spin-off of the scene in Christmas Story. Later that night my Dad sat me down and told me, "Don't ever put anything in writing you wouldn't want the whole world to read!"
We've all crossed the line and written things we wouldn't want to be shared, but Customer Service shouldn't be one of them. The customer isn't always right, but we live in Cyber Space. Today, one angry customer can reach thousands. And, when you share things in public forums you're sharing it with the entire world. I'm not saying you have to be taken advantage of, but you don't need to poke the bear either. The quality of your work should speak for itself, giving you an opportunity to always take the high road.
The next time you have somebody push all the buttons to drive you nuts, instead of losing it, just walk away and ignore them. Don't bring yourself down to their level or worse, lower. Even more important, you don't need to shred somebody to make a point.
Great Customer Service isn't just about following through on your promises - it's about the way you communicate with everybody interested in you and your business. Sometimes the best answer to a potentially hot situation is to just "zip it"!
It's Throwback Thursday and it's graduation season! It's the perfect time to dig out a few old senior head shots. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the Class of 2016 than to abuse two great friends like Lori Nordstrom and Roberto Valenzuela. Here you go - classic portraits of two of the industry's favorite artists.
There's something to be said about the quality of my stash of old images. I honestly couldn't decide what I was going to share today, but when I saw the size of Lori's hair, compounded by the photographer redefining the meaning of a "hair light", I knew it had to be shared. And Roberto, as he looks straight down the lens barrel, honestly doesn't look old enough to have been a senior!
Great friendships are what this industry is all about and Throwback Thursday is just one more excuse to have some fun. It's also an incredible marketing tool. Use Throwback Thursday as an excuse for fun content in your own blog and remind your target audience about the importance of capturing memories through the eyes of a professional photographer.
Happy Throwback Thursday! And, to Lori and Roberto, the devil made me do it!
Welcome to "Why?"
It's the second spotlight post for this new feature at SCU. Each week we're sharing an image from a well-respected photographic artist and then giving them an opportunity to talk about the story behind the image.
This second installment of "Why?" is all thanks to a long-time friend, Tony Corbell. He's an artist, a writer, an educator, a master of lighting and a great friend to so many photographers. However, the best way to get to know him is to attend one of his workshops. In fact, he's about to hit the road on a twelve city tour thanks to Profoto USA.
Click on the sound bar above and listen to Tony's comments and you'll understand why he's had an impact on so many lives in professional photography. And, to find out more about him, his lecture schedule and view more images just click on his image above and link to his website.
"You know you're on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it."
I tweeted this quote a short time ago, but it got me thinking about my career and especially catching up with so many old friends during this past trade show and convention season.
So many times people would say something like, "You look so happy!" Think about it for a second. It's a funny expression. We all understand it, but it's kind of like somebody saying to you at your job, "Why do you look so nice today?" as if you look like a train wreck all the other days.
Well, to answer the question, I look so happy because I love my "job" and my life. I love what I do for a living. I'm proud of what my friends have helped me build, and I'm simply happy. As sappy as it might sound to some of you, I love this industry. Sure we all hit the wall now and then, but the trick is to "fall seven times and get up eight!"
Then there's the partnership I have with my wife, Sheila. She's working every convention right along side me and a lot of good ideas have come out of her non-photographic head! LOL Coming out of the administrative side of the healthcare industry, she's constantly asking me why I do things a certain way. Now and then I realize the way I'm doing something defies logic and thanks to her; it's back to the drawing board.
But there's something else I'm finding that's become very important. At every convention, I now make it a point to catch up with friends. I refuse to be victimized by my schedule. I'll make the time for some new friends over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whatever time management skills I have, which aren't much, will be running on all eight cylinders and it continues through the rest of the year via the phone and social media when I'm home.
I've written a lot about networking and the importance of attending conventions, but it goes deeper than that. Great relationships help recharge your battery and stimulate creativity. But, you can't have great relationships if you're always making contact on the fly. You've got to make a conscious effort to make the time for old and new friends.
So when it comes to defining success, while being able to afford more than macaroni and cheese every night is an obvious part of it, the real success comes when you realize you dive out of bed every morning with a smile on your face!
by Skip Cohen
I apologize for the rant this morning...Wait a minute! No I don't. My only apology is to those of you who know your photography history and so many of the great names in imaging we've lost over the last few years.
I'm frustrated over so many of you not knowing a thing about the history of photography, especially those artists who blazed the trail for you and left a legacy to be appreciated rather than squandered. And, I'm not talking about the greats from fifty to a hundred years or more back, but many of the great contemporary artists of this century.
Here's what got me going on the subject...
I was teaching a workshop a short time ago and talked about Mary Ellen Mark. When I asked how many people knew who she was, only two hands went up! Mary Ellen may have passed away a year ago, but we're talking about one of the most recognized women in photography.
There's so much you can learn by taking the time and wandering through CyberSpace looking up famous names from photography. In fact, here's a lesson I learned from Mary Ellen during a podcast I did with her a few years ago.
She was talking about why she loves shooting with film so much and mentioned a lesson she teaches all her students. She makes them tape over the LCD on their cameras. Why? So they can't "chimp." I'm paraphrasing a little, but here's her point:
"Shooting digitally, your tendency is to look down to see if you got the shot. When you confirm that you did, you move on. However, as a photo-journalist, what if the most powerful image is yet to come? What if that tear in grandma's eye and her expression changed, taking the image to another level? What if in walking away and moving on to your next subject, you actually missed the best image? So, I teach my students to hang in there longer and never assume they've got the best shot."
I started "Why?" as a new feature on the SCU site to help more photographers understand the stories behind the favorite images of some of the most respected artists in our industry today. I can't turn back the clock and chase down photographers who are no longer with us, but stay tuned. I'm going to be sharing a new image every week along with a short sound byte about the images from the artists themselves.
In the mean time Google a few of these greats or click on the link I've given you below. They're no longer with us, but somewhere along the line they are responsible for some aspect of the way you shoot today...
Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon, Arnold Newman, Francesco Scavullo, Monte Zucker, Eddie Adams, Don Blair, Dean Collins, Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Crane, and Galen Rowell.
This list isn't mean to be all inclusive. It's just a quick peek inside my head thinking about some of the greats who many of you never met or heard speak. I'll wrap it up with one more name many of you don't know, Ray DeMoulin. He didn't earn his living as a photographer, but as a champion for photographers and at some point in his career he worked with every name I've shared above!
Note: Photo Credit of Mary Ellen Mark - "Mary Ellen Mark in 2000" Credit Chris Felver/Getty - from the NY Times article by William Grimes.
One of the things people new to the industry don't realize is just how small an industry we are. Many of us have worked together on different projects; often we've worked for the same company, and we all share many of the same friends. My relationship with Vincent Laforet doesn't go back very many years, but we share so many friends and companies we've both worked with. Plus, once you get to know Vincent, he's one of those people who you feel like you've known for years.
In 2011, I was still doing the Skip's Summer School program in Las Vegas. I was hoping to get Vincent as a guest speaker. I contacted the crew at Canon's Explorers of Light to see if they would sponsor him. I was told I'd never get him because he was so busy. Those of you who know me well, know that taking "no" for answer is an absolute last resort. Well, my buddy Scott Bourne made an introduction, and I asked Vincent anyway!
Vincent spoke that summer and couldn't have been more inspirational. He was the perfect guest speaker and immediately made the point about the passion it takes to be an artist in Imaging. Since then we've bumped into each other numerous times at the various conventions and Vincent has even done a few guest posts here at SCU.
In this new podcast, Vincent and I talk a lot about his new book and the importance of special projects. The first shipment of books sold out almost immediately. The next shipment just came in, and it's a definite "must have" for your photography collection. Just click on the image to the left to connect to the AIR "bookstore".
In the meantime, enjoy the podcast. A big thanks to Vincent for taking the time to join me and as always to Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell, the founders of SproutingPhotographer.com and SproutStudio. They've become two of my favorite friends, and they're carving out their piece of photo industry history helping everyone raise the bar on their business!
I woke up this morning having no idea what I was going to write about, and then it hit me - that's simply the way my week went. It's time to do a recap about what a roller coaster life is. I always hope I'm writing about something to bring a little clarity into your lives, as well as my own. That's right, I admit it, I don't always write for you, but my own sanity on a quiet Sunday morning.
This week was a roller coaster ride - no gigantic highs and lows, but not on a completely even keel either, Since I'm work in progress, just like you, here's what I learned.
Low points -Sometimes you just have to go with them. Several times I found myself missing my folks. Nothing, in particular, just emptiness. I know they're in a better place. I know they're together, but that doesn't change wanting just to pick up the phone and call Dad. We'd be watching TV, and I'd tear up over something. Sheila would catch it, hold my hand and just like a cloudy day it would simply pass. A few minutes later the "sun" was back out.
High points - I woke up Thursday morning with an idea to launch a new feature on SCU and have been blown away by the response. It's called "Why?" and the first episode was with John Sexton. I had no idea how good the response would be, especially from the artist's side. The work I want to put into "Why?" completely over-shadowed other things I needed to get done. It's now become a daily "lifeboat" drill of trying to prioritize all the normal components of my workday.
Partners with SCU who can't make up their mind - You have clients who take forever to approve their album, and I have clients who can't make up their mind on how they'd like to work with me. With this client, it's been going on for eighteen months and finally I've recognized I just need to walk away and stop wasting time.
Extended reach - At ShutterFest I had a third program to do, but it was canceled due to a problem with the location in the hotel. I made a promise to everybody to do the make-up class online last Wednesday night. We had sixty people in attendance throughout the evening, and it went well. But, here I go again loading up my schedule and have just launched a twice a month thirty-minute program online for the ShutterFest crew on marketing. Almost two hundred people have hit the "like" button on the concept. It's a high because of the response, a low because I just added another project into the pipeline.
And then comes a little time to procrastinate - I've got deadlines on several different projects, and I keep putting them off. Now I'm down to the wire and rushing to get them done. Even writing this post this morning is a way to put off what I really should be working on.
So, here's my point and I'll admit it's hardly one of my more profound moments - We all have days when we just need to go with the flow. You can't even out the roller coaster ride and even if you could, the result would be as boring as a kiddie ride in an amusement park. The challenge in life is appreciating the importance of change and just going with it.
"Without change there would be no butterfllies!'
"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living."
Wishing you all a day filled with more butterflies than caterpillars. Personally, I'm looking forward to finishing one particular project and then just kicking back and hanging out with Sheila. Those eleven-second hugs are going to be critical and so important as I prepare to buckle up for another wild ride in the week ahead.
If you're tuning in late, there was an article in AARP Magazine last year. Yes, I admit I'm old enough to have my own subscription! The article talked about hugs that are at least eleven-seconds long are therapeutic. If you don't believe me, try it with somebody you care about - they really are better.
Thanks for hanging out with me this morning. I sure do appreciate you guys.
Welcome to "Why?"
Each week we're going to share an image from a well-respected photographic artist and simply ask why the image is special; what makes it unique or what made it a favorite of the artist.
Helping me kick off this new feature is my long time friend John Sexton. I pulled a few paragraphs from his bio below, but the shorter version is simply he's a great guy and one of the most passionate photographers I've ever spent time with. So, if John is teaching a workshop and you have a chance to attend, run don't walk to get a seat!
I can't think of a better artist for this first episode of "Why?" Click on the sound bar above and listen to John's comments and you'll understand why I'm so excited. And, to find out more about John, his lecture schedule and view more images just click on his image above to link to his website.
John Sexton is a respected photographer, master printmaker, author, and workshop instructor, and best known for his luminous, quiet, black and white photographs of the natural environment.
A recipient of the 2005 North American Nature Photography Association Lifetime Achievement Award, John is a
consultant to Eastman Kodak Company and other photographic manufacturers. He worked as both Technical and
Photographic Assistant, and then Technical Consultant, to Ansel Adams from 1979 to 1984. Following Mr. Adams’
death Sexton served as Photographic Special Projects Consultant to The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. From
1985 to 1993 he was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Friends of Photography.
John’s photographs are included in permanent collections, exhibitions, and publications throughout the world. His
work has been featured on the CBS Sunday Morning show, and on the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour. Bank of
America, General Motors, and Eastman Kodak Company have used his photographs in national advertising
campaigns. Sexton’s photographs have been featured in numerous periodicals including: Time, Life, American
Photo, Backpacker, Photo Techniques, Darkroom Photography, LensWork Quarterly, View Camera, Black and
White, Zoom, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, TWA Ambassador, Southern Accents, and Popular Photography.
I put out a tweet this morning asking a question I think many of you can relate to:
"Ever meet somebody and know within the first thirty seconds you were going to be friends?"
At WPPI, I was introduced to Jose Rosado from the Angry Millennial podcast. I don't think we spent more than five minutes talking, but there was something we both picked up on. A few emails later, followed by a phone call or two and I found myself scheduled for his podcast, which he co-hosts with Stevie Chris.
I've been on both ends of a lot of podcasts, as the host and the guest. I've always gotten something out of each one, each guest and more insight into the challenges of being an artist. Well, there's something about the Angry Millenial and the way Jose and Stevie put together their interview format.
Even more important is a point we make early in the podcast about building relationships and strengthening your network. It's the number one reason to attend every convention and workshop you can work into your schedule. Yes, it's important to raise the bar on your skill set with classes; stay on top of new technology; get to know the exhibitors and recharge your creative battery. However, the one thing you take home after every conference is the seeds of new friendships. If you give them, a chance those seeds will grow and support so many different concepts and challenges you'll face in the future.
I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as I did talking with Jose. Just click the banner at the top and you'll access the podcast and Angry Millennial's archives of past episodes..
Welcome to "A.M. Nation"!
"The mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the minute you are born
and never stops until you get up to speak in public."
Over the weekend, I caught up with a relatively new friend on Facebook who mentioned an upcoming speaking engagement and being a little light on confidence. I was surprised because her work is amazing and she's respected throughout the industry.
I've done a lot of public speaking in my career, and while I'm comfortable now, pre-speaking jitters early in my career had me on a constant dose of Pepto-Bismol! If I could have bought the stuff in 55-gallon drums, I would have!
This is the time of year when many of you are looking back over your first quarter convention experiences and thinking about putting in a request to speak/teach at a convention in the future. So, here are some tips to help you in your quest.
Baby steps! I've met so many young photographers who honestly do have a great message to share, but they want to start at the top as a key note speaker, often because they have a huge fan base in social media. Having a great fan base is terrific, but they're on the other side of your monitor - not in the room waiting to hear what you have to say! So, don't rush it and start by speaking to smaller groups locally and then build your momentum. There's nothing worse than watching a potentially great speaker crash and burn because they simply weren't prepared.
“Don't wait for a huge platform before you give of your best performance”
Bernard Kelvin Clive
Sunday mornings I'm always off track. I love to write about whatever is on my mind. I get great feedback from many of you and just silence from those of you think it's the wrong approach for a blog about professional photography. Well this morning I'm like a derailed train and it simply feels right - so bear with me and see what you think.
A few years ago Joe Buissink and I were talking about health challenges as we get older, and he said something that stuck with me,
"You can hide from a lot of things but not bad genes!"
We see it all the time, but I doubt if anybody ever thinks about it. For example, I've still got a full head of hair. My Dad had a full head too - right up to 93. When we go back to any high school reunion, I'm in the minority of guys with lots of hair still. Neither Dad or I had anything directly to do with the results.
Well, those genes carry down to everything we have to deal with when it comes to our health. I've been absent from posting and blogging for a few days going through what's called an "ablation." It involved an overnight stay in the hospital and then just kicking back and chilling for a few days. I chose to close my office door and never went in. I scanned email once and here I am, four days later, feeling terrific and slowly getting back into the environment I love the most.
Things happen that we have no control over, but the one area most important is taking care of yourself. Whether you're married or single doesn't matter; there are people in your life who expect you to be around.
So, when it comes to my genes, I've got a long list of inherited challenges. I've tried to figure out whose side of the family each "defect" comes from, and it's 50/50 thanks to both Dad and Mom's history. However, I choose not to follow in their footsteps. I've stopped saying I'm too busy and walk every day with Sheila. We don't eat a lot of fried foods. I've become a one glass of wine guy, and I stay away from foods loaded with processed sugar. I'm healthier than I was a year ago, but not where I hope to be a year from now.
Here's my point with this short post this morning. Start taking responsibility for your health, both physically and mentally. Recognize you can't hide from bad genes, but you sure can avoid letting them sink their roots into your core.
Take care of yourself for you, because you've got so much to give and share with the rest of us. And best of all, just think of what it's going to be like to be an old fart 20-30 years from now and tell your grandchildren what pixels were because we all know technology never stops. Who knows what we'll be shooting with twenty years from now? And YEAH, I do expect to still be here!
As always, make it a great Sunday. Let's go beyond the eleven-second hugs and spend quality time with somebody special in your life - that one person who you want to be healthy for beyond the face in the mirror. Most important of all, thank you for being a reader, a follower, and a friend.
Happy Sunday everybody.
Nothing beats what I call "Add-on Value Marketing." Here's a perfect example.
Listen to this short video with an outstanding concept from Bob Davis as he talks about how he shares images with every vendor at any event he's shooting. Think about the power in this concept. Instead of holding his images "hostage," Bob is "blessing" each vendor with free images from the wedding they've all worked together.
This is co-branding at its very best. They give vendors images to use as long as they get credit for the photography wherever it's used. Bob goes into more detail on the video, but the idea is brilliant.
If you're a wedding photographer or any part of your business involves event coverage here's an outstanding way to build more relationships.
At an SCU program several years ago Clay Blackmore told a story about a caterer who asked him if he could grab a few images from a wedding they were both working. Clay took it a step further and created a two-minute video of the caterer's staff setting things up. It was so well received and the caterer so appreciative, he started referring business to Clay and has become one of his strongest supporters.
Professional photography is a word-of-mouth busniess. So much success today is about relationship building. As Scott Stratten says in his book, Unmarketing, stop marketing and start engaging! It's a great book and well worth the investment for your library.
"If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business."
Okay, so I'm feeling terrible - I missed National Pet Day!
Seriously, if there was ever a holiday created by a group of marketing executives at a pet treat company, National Pet Day has to be it! Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a pet fan as anybody on the planet, but EVERY day is pet day around our house and Molly the Wonder Dog never has a day when she isn't appreciated.
In fact, I'm betting any of you who are pet owners feel exactly the same way along with the majority of the 160 million dog and cat owners in the US. And, for my old neighbors when I lived in California, who felt it was wrong to call us pet "owners," because you can never own an animal; I apologize. However, until Molly can drive herself to the vet and write the checks, "owner" is the only word.
Well, in honor of National Pet Day, it's my excuse to share a few favorite images of Molly over the years. There was a point in her life, back in my Rangefinder days that she might have been the most photographed dog in the industry!
Bambi Cantrell photographed a whole series of Molly, of which one of my favorites is the image at the top, but her formal portrait on the left is pretty tough to beat!
Carey Schumacher of Barefoot Memories in San Diego took one of her images of Molly and made me a stack of notecards which I've used so sparingly over the years, but I still had one left to share here. The image below is the front of the card.
Carey did a pretty amazing job, making the back of the card just as much fun as the front. This is also a great example of using your own images for stationery. No photographer should ever be sending out a store-bought thank you note or greeting card! Use your own images.
At one point I thought it would be fun to do a children's book about Molly's adventures. My nephew is a talented artist and dropped a photograph of Molly at six months into a little of his own artwork.
The concept never became reality, but that doesn't change how much fun it's been over the years to have Molly along on one adventure after another.
Molly even got to spend a day at Helen Yancy's house in 2011 and wound up being photographed with Charlie Yancy. It was definitely an experience getting her to sit still for a classic portrait session.
Time to wrap up this post and close my personal celebration of National Pet Day. It's hard to believe Molly's been hanging out with me for almost eleven years.
Just like watching our kids grow up and wondering where the years went, our pets are no different. Also, just like our families, photography plays a critical roll in hanging on to those memories. Nothing beats a walk down memory lane with old photographs.
Happy belated National Pet Day everybody!
he fun of Weekend Wisdom and what's made it such a strong podcast is focusing pretty much on one topic and then just drilling it down as much as we can in the time allowed.
Meet my good buddy Bob Coates. We've been friends for a lot of years, and involved in a lot different conventions and projects together. One thing I've noticed, especially in the last few years, is Bob's leadership in testing out new technologies. He's always got a special project to work on, even if it's just trying out a new technique. As a result, Bob's skill set keeps growing and his creativity is never-ending.
In this new podcast Bob and I talk about the importance of taking advantage of everything technology has to offer. New technologies and special projects help keep your creative spirit alive, no matter what your bread and butter business might be.
If you're interested in seeing a great cross-section of Bob's work, visit his fine art site. Also check out his blog, Successful-Photographer.com for plenty of great how-to and inspirational ideas about imaging. You'll also find Bob's work, along with other members of Panasonic's Luminary team in the Lumix Lounge.
A BIG thanks to Bob for joining me on this new episode and to SproutingPhotographer.com. As always, a big thanks to Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell who created Weekend Wisdom. They kicked off a friendship that continues to grow. After only eight months Sprouting Photographer got Best of iTunes' podcasts in 2014. They've now grown to be one of the most listened to podcast in photography!
"If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business"
Now and then I run across a quote that gets me thinking about a post topic. Well, the quote above by the founder of the Forbes empire, B.C. Forbes, got me thinking about some photographers I've met over the years. They're standing still waiting for the "Success Fairy" to sprinkle a magical business dust over them and *poof* their business is going to take off.
I wish it were that easy, but building a business doesn't work that way - you've got to drive your business. There's no time just to kick back, advertise a little and then wait for the crowds to come knocking on your door. However, here's a starter list of things you can do to get yourself recognized!
Here's the point. Way back when you had a dream of becoming a successful artist in photography. If your business isn't going the way you hoped or visualized, then take a step back and think about what you're missing. It's rare that businesses just take off on their own. That means you're in the driver's seat and the only one who can keep building your dream!
The shot above is at least four years old and was taken by my good buddy Bob Coates when he and his wife, Holly, were down here one year for vacation. I've used it in posts and even on a holiday card one year. It's one of my favorite shots of me and Sheila, in the one place that's always brought us a very special peace - the beach.
This isn't a very deep earth-shaking concept this morning, just a reminder and it's for me as much as you. We all have some place we like to be that's an escape from the reality of our daily lives. It's that place where we can just clear our heads; recharge our batteries and where smiles always trump all other expressions.
We used to laugh at my mother because everywhere she went she wanted to be near the water. It would takes us two seatings at any restaurant near water, be it a pond, lake or the sea. Mom had to have just the right table with a view of as much H2O that wasn't in a glass! I guess I got Mom's H20 gene and I couldn't feel luckier.
It's 7:35 and by 9:30 am we're going to be on the beach. I'll spend the day forgetting about business challenges or better yet family issues involving those I was forced to lose when pruning the family tree. Sheila and I will people watch, bird watch and wave watch for most of the day. At the end of it I'll feel like I just came out of the most amazing spa and the smile on my face will be bigger than Alfred E. Neuman's!
So, this isn't a new theme for a Sunday Morning Reflections post, but learn to recognize when you need those special breaks. Savor and appreciate them with someone special and if today's the day you decide to just say, "Screw it - I want today to be special!" then head to the "beach" with us!
As always, make it a great day. Go for those eleven-second hugs and remind somebody special in your life that they ARE your life!
Happy Sunday everybody and thanks for being a part of our lives.
by Skip Cohen
I'm not sure I'd call it Project Lunacy, but having been in the conference/trade show business for a big part of my life, the "lunacy" is in what it takes to put together a great conference. For example, each year, after WPPI I'd refer to the convention as "the most fun I didn't want to do again for a year"! Why? Because of the work it takes to put together a solid conference.
The truth is, the idea is brilliant and anything but lunacy!
Well, my buddy Sal Cincotta and the ShutterFest team have announced a second conference, in addition to ShutterFest '17. Here's what's posted on the website and why it's important for you to know about:
ShutterFest is going back to its roots.
This year, we will be hosting a conference limited to 400 people.
However, there is a twist. Project | Lunacy will take place in a different location around the US and possibly the world every year – giving you the ability to create incredible images and learn from the best instructors on the planet.
Each event will be taught by 4 incredible instructors. You will get to be part of each class. Each hands-on class will have 6+ models and will have a break out component for each class
where students will get to shoot gorgeous models in dresses and wardrobe provided by Enception Rentals.
The cost for this event will be $499. For pre-registering, you (past attendes) will be the first
to receive notification once registration opens up and more details are available.
In addition, once registration opens up,
members who pre-sign will get $399 registration. The event will be early November.
More details will be available in the next 30 days.
What is Project | Lunacy? Well, we are pretty sure Sal has lost his mind. So, that’s that. Welcome to our madness.
Now, here's what I absolutely LOVE about the idea.
So, pay attention to everything you hear from ShutterFest, the Shutter Blog and Shutter Magazine, especially over the next thirty days. If you're a basketball fan, go back to what they used to say about Moses Malone of the Utah Jazz. They called him "The Mailman" because he always delivered! Well, that's our buddy Sal and he ALWAYS delivers!
See you some place on planet earth for Project Lunacy. What a kick!
How many times have you heard the Capital One commercial ending with "What's in YOUR wallet?" Well, I'm doing a spin-off of that same sentiment this morning with "throwback" images.
So many of you are frustrated thinking about things to write about when it comes to posting on your blog, yet you're sitting on a goldmine of great material. I'm talking about old images of your own. Start sharing them as blog posts to remind your clients about the importance of printed photographs.
Think about the old images I'm sharing today. Had they never been printed, they wouldn't exist. And, if there was some sort of way to save images digitally back then, I'd probably have no way to view them and share with you here. They would have simply been lost. Instead, I've got prints in my hand that have managed to survive years in old albums or a shoe box in my Dad's closet.
Sadly, that really was the source. After my Dad had passed away, we spent half a day just cleaning out a closet of albums. Thousands of old prints, slides and memories all in albums, envelopes and yes, even a few shoe boxes.
The three images above all came out of the same box. The first is my grandfather at 17, which makes the print itself 120 years old! It was actually printed as a postcard. The second is a snapshot of my mother around two years old, and the third is my Dad holding me up, and I guess I'm around 12-14 months.
There's a simple point this morning. Take the time to search for some "throwback" images. First, it's a kick when you realize what a goldmine of memories you really have. Second, it's a perfect marketing tool to remind potential clients of the importance of printed images. Old photographs bring back so many memories and stories.
In the end we'll all become stories.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.