Intro by Skip Cohen
Ever meet somebody and after just a short time it seems like you've known them for years? Well, meet Andrew Funderburg, founder of Fundy Software. We had a great phone conversation about business a couple of weeks ago. I then had some fun sharing some of his images from Japan. Most of you think of him as a software developer, but as this guest post demonstrates, he's got a whole bunch of different talents, including being a teacher, business executive, wedding photographer, street photographer and oh yeah, a writer...just to name a few!
Over and over again I hear so many of you afraid to take risks, essentially worried about failing. I'm so in tune with that lack of confidence. Remember, I'm the guy who left what many of you thought was the perfect job, president of Rangefinder Publishing and WPPI. I left in 2009 to start my own business, the worst economic year in my life time and many of my friends and family were convinced I was nuts. The truth is, I wasn't getting any younger and I was tired of living vicariously through so many of you.
I've written before about my wife Sheila asking me, "What are you afraid of?" My answer was immediate, "Failing!" Well, here I am celebrating my fifth anniversary since starting my own company. It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but the ship I'm on is MINE and I can take any course I want on this journey. My days, like Andrew describes, are often long, but they're fun and rewarding and the more I learn, the more I realize how much I have yet to learn!
So as you're white-knuckling through life trying to keep your sanity because you're worried about taking risks, follow Andrew's lead in this terrific guest post. Welcome a little chaos and uncertainty into your life. It'll make you stronger and remember this old proverb...
Smooth seas don't make skillful sailors!
I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really been afraid of risking everything. It’s probably not the smartest trait to have, but it does make for an interesting life. I’m not sure if it’s the deep belief that everything will work out, or if it is a deep confidence I have in the human will to succeed.
My father was a teacher and my mother was a loan officer in a bank. I grew up on a steady stream of 70s and 80s belief of “you can do whatever you set your mind to.” It wasn’t the recent, “anyone can do anything - everyone succeeds” mantra of the past decades. It was very blue collar - if you work your ass off and do your homework, you can accomplish anything.
It’s what made me decide to travel around Europe in ‘91 on a $20 a day budget. It’s what made me join the Peace Corps and live in the former Soviet Union. It’s what convinced me to move to Japan on a whim – where I ended up owning an English school and becoming the contract wedding photographer at three Iron Chef restaurants.
So when, after 13 years in Japan, I was ready to move back to the U.S., we sold everything and jumped in with both feet. I had my wife, two boys (ages six and eight) and our dog, but no job, no business, no back up plan. But, personally, I knew it was time – I was ready to move back home.
This was 2008 and unbeknownst to me, the worst job market in decades was about to fall on the U.S. and the world. The “finding a job plan” was down the toilet. A few months before I had taken $2,000 and put together a group of Photoshop Actions and Scripts to create Album Builder v1. The goal was to have a little hobby and be able to put some cash away for my children’s college fund.
Little did I know at the time, this University of Oregon literature grad, with a Masters of Business Administration and zero experience running a software company, would build an award-winning company with 13 employees – in just six short years. But in the fall of 2008, I did not know this. I was working a terrible sales job, barely making enough money per month, and scraping by with Album Builder sales.
That fall, I was sitting in a parking lot with a friend I had recently met, unable to hold back the tears, telling him that I was afraid of losing our house we had just bought. The overwhelming guilt of uprooting my wife and kids from their home in Japan and the cushy life we had created there. We were just 6-7 years from paying off our house and never really had to worry about money.
These past six years have included reading dozens of business books, countless 60-70 hour work weeks and too many sleepless nights. Instead of spoiling ourselves when small successes did come, we took every extra penny and re-invested it in the company – hiring more people, paying the people we did employ more, and just making the company better.
So, if you are asking yourself if you should quit your job and follow your dream, ask yourself these questions:
If yes, then go for it. You might fail. There are no guarantees. But if you succeed, the feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. If people tell you that you won’t succeed, they might be right. People fail everyday. But you never know if you don’t try. And I’ve always heard that it’s better to regret doing something than not doing it at all.
All images copyright Andrew Funderburg. All rights reserved.
You Can't Fake It 'till You Make It as a Wedding Photographer - Guest post by Michael Novo
Intro by Skip Cohen
I first met Michael when he came to an SCU summer program in Chicago. Since then I've spent time with him at WPPI and ShutterFest. Michael's a perpetual student, doing everything he can to perfect his craft and raise the bar on his shooting skills.
When he first sent this guest post to me, I honestly thought it was too harsh to run, but the more I thought about it the more on point it is. Sadly, the people who need to read this most, don't follow many blogs, let alone spend time thinking about how to raise the bar on their skill set.
Being passionate about photography isn't enough by itself. You've got to be willing to invest the time in your education. That doesn't mean there won't be times when you might be in over your head on a particular assignment, but if you've worked hard to build a good network, then you should have access to a wide variety of resources so your clients are never at risk of mediocrity!
Looking to check out Mike's work and see if he can walk the talk? Check out his site and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
You would think of all the contacts I have in the photo community, finding my own wedding photographer would be easy. But in having a particular style I was after, my search went outside of my personal network and to the web.
The photographer I selected did not have any posts on his blog where he discusses which coffee he had that morning or a recap of running around after his kids that day. He did not have an excess of images on his site nor did he have too many galleries. The two wedding and portrait galleries he did have, kept me on his site for much longer than other sites featuring half a dozen or more galleries.
He didn’t have a page loaded with his awards and there was no annoying music with a nearly invisible ‘stop’ button. In fact, pretty much the only thing his site had was unique, interesting and consistent images. The images were real clients and real shoots. This was all my fiancé Ruth and I needed to book him as our photographer.
It was this one experience of becoming a client myself that I realized some of the key challenges in the photo industry...
From the dozens of sites I visited in my search, I could see photographers who put together a price list from that of another professional photographer. There was no shortage of gorgeous images from different studios that looked the same or similar, which often turned out to be from a workshop. Subjects in one photographer’s portfolio would magically appear in someone else’s.
Clear as day was the difference in the images which the photographer did on their own versus images which were obviously done either in some sort of workshop or guided by someone else. I would see a capture of a stunning bride and groom bursting out of a scene with a magical and perfect level of editing, then quickly followed by a poorly composed photo of a wedding cake which looked like drunk Uncle Harry might have captured. No consistency, skill or hint of artistic ability whatsoever in portfolio after portfolio.
This was my first glimpse of how we, the portrait and wedding photographers appear to the outside world and it was somewhat of a sad sight. Some portfolios were so awful they provided a comic relief for us as we would literally sit and laugh with actual tears in our eyes as to how it would ever end up online in the first place! Oh look, the veil is magically floating (being held) up in the air in what appears to be a church that must be very drafty. That’s the signature image I want hanging on my wall at home…my wife gazing at her bouquet while her maid of honor holds the veil just out of frame.
So let me ask the following question. “How dare you?” How dare you, the photographer with that shiny new camera and no experience attempt to scam me? That’s right, I said scam. You’re not just trying to scam me out of my money which can be replaced, but you are going to scam me and my family out of our memories with your lack of ability.
What you show is not what you can deliver. You know it, but unfortunately not all brides and grooms know it and end up devastated. What would you do if you got on an airplane and shortly after takeoff found out that the pilot didn’t have a whole lot of experience, but had a passion and an “eye” for flying airplanes? Assuming you made it back, would you ever fly that airline again? Would you take legal action? Would you do everything in your power to spread the word to everyone in your community to never deal with that company again? Just as a pilot needs a tremendous amount of training in a simulator, perhaps the same should go for a gatekeeper of memories.
That was mean wasn’t it? But a little tough love up front to get a new photographer on the right track is better than dealing with a devastated bride and groom later, who saw a few images you made in a workshop or outsourced to a professional editing company, but got images that were nothing like what they saw originally.
If you have been photographing for less than a couple of years, relax. Get some education, carry around a few bags and possibly clean some studio toilets to earn your way into the industry. Point your lens at test family and friend subjects that pay you with honest feedback, gratitude or lunch just as an intern would be paid. Learn and follow the rules for an extended period of time before breaking them.
It’s tempting to go to a workshop or two and then declare you’re in business, but that’s like watching the Indy 500 and saying “well I have a car so I can do it too!!” Slowing down and taking the educational route will not only allow you to learn at a faster pace, but to also enter the market at a higher quality point. Pause, listen, observe, learn and repeat this process many times before even thinking of pointing a lens at someone as a professional.
Image copyright Michael Novo. All rights reserved.
Three SEO Strategies Often Misunderstood and Overlooked by Photographers - Guest post by Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Intro by Skip Cohen
One of the fun things about social media is the social side! As silly as it sounds, think about how many people we have access to every day. Well, meet somebody new I was talking to in the Photography Bloggers Network on Facebook, Scott Wyden Kivowitz. We were talking about the challenges of SEO, most of which I don't completely understand myself and Scott offered to do a guest post.
The key is, if you do it right, you'll build up a level of reach that just a few years ago only magazines had. Scott is the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati. He's a photographer, blogger, author and educator and interested in helping you expand your reach.
Photographers are artists and not always the smartest business people, and they are definitely not the smartest search engine optimization (SEO) people.
I’ve had the fortune of learning and implementing SEO for many years now, and the pleasure of teaching photographers about it over at the Photographer’s SEO Community. So when Skip and I discussed what to write about in the SEO category I sat down and came up with a few items that are often overlooked and misunderstood.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Per-page Keyword Optimization
A keystone to a well optimized page (not full site… just one page) is ensuring that the content is written for one keyword.
One Page = One Keyword
That means your homepage should be optimized for a keyword, your about page for a different keyword, your blog article for a different keyword, your portfolio for another, and so on. A well optimized website will have four main keywords:
Choose (Keywords) Wisely
Now that you understand that each page should focus on one keyword, it’s time to discuss what keywords to use.
Quite often I come across photographers who are not offering their picture making services, but rather simply selling prints. Coming up with keywords for those types of niches are a lot more difficult than others. So typically when these photographers are choosing keywords they try to use something like Maryland landscape and nature prints for sale.
Obviously that keyword is very descriptive and if the website was optimized for the keyword then there is a good chance it will come up in the search results.
However, unfortunately that keyword gets zero (yes, not even one) search a month. So the keyword might describe the photography service available, but if no one is searching for it then why bother optimizing for it.
This is where rethinking the keyword strategy and using appropriate tools come in handy. I mean… imagine if Indiana Jones drank out of the same cup that Walter Donovan drank from. Jones would have died too. So why go out of your way to do something useless, right?
Create an Excel spreadsheet with all of your potential keywords. Use broad and specific locality and descriptive words.
If the keyword gets more than 1,000 searches a month then it’s already a good choice. If none of your keywords get 1,000 then it’s time to rethink the keyword choices once more, or use the one with the most.
Title vs Meta Title
The last item I want to talk about in this article are titles. There is a big difference between a page or blog post title and a meta/SEO title. For this topic I’m going to use blog articles as the example, because it’s the easiest to relate to.
Imagine you’re writing an article and the title is "This article is so awesome that everyone should read it and if I am lucky it will rank well in search engines.” Obviously that title is extremely long. In fact, it’s so long that the two most popular search engines (Google and Bing) will only show part of it.
Using a meta title, you can control how the title looks on search engines. You can also change the title so it’s a little shorter and more optimized for the keyword you want to rank well for. Going along with the same example, I would change the meta title to something like “This article is so awesome you won’t want to miss it"
Now the meta title is within the 70 character limit which Google specifies, and is also better optimized for the desired keyword (which in this case is "article is so awesome”). I know the example title isn’t the prettiest, but hopefully that gets the point across.
Not every content management system provides an option to override the meta title, however if you’re a WordPress user then there are plugins to help. My personal favorite is WordPress SEO by Yoast, but another very popular one is All in One SEO. Either way you can’t go wrong.
So there you go - three items that are very often misunderstood and overlooked by photographers.
I hope that this will help you as you journey through website improvements for your photography business. If you have questions please comment so I can help. I’ll do my best to answer simpler questions via comments and any more difficult or complex questions I may answer in a future article here at SCU.
Thanks for reading,
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
PS. For some bonus advice, check out this awesome video on 3 SEO strategies that will hurt rather than help your photography business.
Illustration Credit: © Creativa - Fotolia.com
Intro by Skip Cohen
I'm always amazed at photographers who "eyeball" color management. It reminds me of the time I installed shelves in my first apartment, thinking I could find the studs just by tapping the walls and not measuring. By the time I found the studs, the wall looked like it had been hit with a shotgun blast. Sure I got the shelves up, but had I done things right from the beginning I would have saved myself a whole lot of time and headaches.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about installing X-Rite's ColorTRUE software on my iPad and was blown away by the difference it made. I don't make my living as a photographer, but you do. The technology and dedication that's gone into ColorTRUE is in every X-Rite product. Even better, John Paul Caponigro is about to take you through six simple steps to color management!
You're a professional photographer and the tools are right there at your fingertips, but it's up to you to take full advantage of what they can do for you.
6 Simple Steps To Good Color Management
by John Paul Caponigro
I remember the days before color management. They were painfully imprecise and inefficient. Color management changed that. Now I get better results, more quickly, more easily, and with less waste. While there’s more to learn, once you’ve got the basics down and the right tools (a colorimeter or spectrophotometer) with a few simple steps you can get high quality results quickly and consistently. Sure, there’s more to learn. You can dive in as deep as you’d like to. Color management is rocket science. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to drive the rocket. Instead, be an astronaut. Take these six simple steps and the quality of your images and prints will soar.
1 – Make Profiled Conversions
Assign an ICC profile to all image files either during Raw conversion or scanning. Use appropriate profiles to make conversions into other color spaces with derivative files only. Minimize the number of conversions made.
2 – Calibrate Your Monitor Using Hardware
Once a month, use a colorimeter to build an ICC profile for your monitor. Minimize the influence of other light sources during characterization. Use the colorimeter’s software to help you set monitor brightness between 90 and 100 and choose White Point D65 and Gamma 2.2. Check the results with know target images afterwards. (I use X-Rite’s i1Display Pro; it takes 5 minutes once a month.)
3 – Set Good Photoshop Color Settings
In Photoshop’s Color Settings (in the Edit Menu) Set Color Management Policies to Preserve Embedded Profiles and Ask When Opening / Pasting. And, choose a wide gamut device neutral editing space. Start with North American Prepress Defaults and then change RGB to ProPhoto RGB.
4 – Softproof
Simulate the appearance of a print before printing. Go to View : Proof Setup : Custom and choose the profile you intend to print with. Check Simulate Paper Color and choose a rendering intent of either Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric. Make output specific adjustments before printing. Use these adjustments only when printing these media.
5 – Navigate Your Printer Driver Correctly
Use Photoshop / Lightroom or your printer driver to manage color – not both. In general, favor using Photoshop/Lightroom as this is the most versatile allowing you to use custom output profiles. (I make printer/paper profiles with my X-Rite’s i1Pro; it takes longer to print and dry the target than it does to measure it and make the profile.)
6 – Control Your Environment
Edit and evaluate your images in neutral surroundings. Minimize the effect of extraneous light sources, such as glare on monitors or back-lighting. Evaluate proofs and prints in appropriate lighting.
There’s much more that can be said about each of these topics – but, not much more to do. Take these six simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to achieving consistent, high quality results with your images.
Need more help, just click on any of the links below. Nobody does it better than John Paul Caponigro!
The Real Benefits of a Great Engagement Session - Guest post by Jennifer Halley
Intro by Skip Cohen
Meet Jennifer Halley. It was the image below that caught my eye and got me thinking about engagement sessions. I remember working with Joe Buissink when we wrote Wedding Photography from the Heart. Joe talked a lot about the real benefits of engagement sessions.
It's all about building trust with the client. On the day of the wedding ,when he arrives, Joe's greeted like an old friend of the family. A great engagement session takes him from being just another vendor involved in the event to a friend of the bride and groom's. The result is more fun on an otherwise stressful day, along with better images. Joe's working with subjects who are relaxed and gets more natural expressions throughout the wedding. The trust is there and they know how he works.
Jennifer believes in using the engagement session to help build that trust with her clients. She's working to build a solid relationship with them and it all starts with this first fun event.
After just a few minutes on the phone with Jennifer and hearing her enthusiasm about engagement shoots, I knew we had the potential for a great guest post. What I enjoy most about her philosophy is her goal to always exceed client expectations. You've got to make yourself habit-forming and Jennifer's goal is just that!
My husband and I kicked off the adventure of owning our own business almost three years ago, but we weren't new to photography. Together we'd been shooting for fifteen years and have loved every moment. Josh and I expanded from being just a little photography couple into a full business I had dreamed about for years. While we still have a long way to go and continue learning new and exciting things to help our business, nothing changes how much we love this industry.
I recently started to change my engagement sessions. I wanted to go from ordinary to extraordinary. I wanted to stand out and be different, original and get away from the typical "safe shots".
To me, engagement sessions are for the couple and the artist to get to know each other. I want them to be relaxed, so when it comes down to the bridal session and wedding day it's not awkward. I hate that feeling when you're going into a wedding and you don't know anyone. There's also another huge benefit. I really want to know and understand the couple. My goal is to exceed their expectations and the more time I have with them, the more I understand what kind of images they want.
Questions I ask myself before the sessions are: What exactly are they comfortable with doing or not doing? What can I get away with when it comes to posing? And, where am I (personally and creatively) going with this session?
Those questions set my mood for the engagement session. I'll have an idea of what I want to do and I go with it. I do not go for the standard engagement sessions. They are so BORING to me. Why would I want my images to be the same as every other photographer's? Don’t get me wrong, I have my “safe” poses and shots, I make sure I get, but I am a risk taker. And, honestly, most of my “risky” shots are my best and the ones my clients LOVE!
With the images that resulted in Skip calling me and shown here, it all started as a family trip to Indiana. It soon turned into an engagement session in Chicago for my cousin, Kelsey. It was never intended to be “safe”. I had images in my head two weeks before I was even there.
Once we were out and about, we'd stop in the middle of crowds of people walking and just shoot. At one point we were at a crossing and I told my cousin and her fiancé to run out in the middle of the street and stop and kiss. I got the shot and we moved on.
We wandered around Chicago for about three hours stopping and posing and getting shots. We ended up at Navy Pier when I saw the rides. I bought two set up tickets (suppose to do two rides). I told them to do the swings first and I stood on top of a table while they road. I got pretty dizzy following them around, but it worked.
Of course there are moments you just can't plan for. We were headed to the carousel next, but Kelsey was looking a little green after getting off the last ride. In the future, if I'm in an amusement park, any ride that's going to hit your stomach will have to be last on my shoot list! Kelsey was definitely done for the day, but the session was a memory-maker regardless and that's my goal with every client.
An engagement session is critical to building a relationship with your client. It establishes trust and creates an amazing building block in the friendship. It's also your chance to be bold and "color outside the lines", so why not do it?
Images copyright Jennifer Hailey. All right reserved.
Intro by Skip Cohen
It might be an old post, but there is no "use by" date stamp on inspiration. This is one of my favorite posts from Vincent Laforet and it's a classic. At this point, you might be asking, "Of all the great posts he's done, why pull this one?"
Well, first, it sets a stage for a great example of the fact that Vincent never does anything half way. Second, this is about doing whatever it takes to get the shot, the story, something that nobody has done before. Last on the list, it's about making yourself unique.
You've heard me talk about the fact that personally, I'm a photographer groupie...well, Vincent is on that list of artists who I simply admire. These days he's more into film-making than still imaging, but nothing changes from the standards he's repeatedly set with his work.
If Vincent isn't on your radar, he should be. Check out his blog and then make it a point to hit his "Directing Motion Tour" coming to 32 cities in the US. It just started this month and here's the promotional video to tell you all about it!
In 2000, I climbed to the top of the Empire State Building. It was an AWESOME experience.
The kicker is: I didn’t have any harness… they simply didn’t bother to give me one and I didn’t need one for the most part, as I was climbing up INSIDE the antenna to get to the top.
BUT, when I got to the top – I should of had one as I was out in the open, on a 3-foot wide crow’s nest… again with no harness… leaning on my stomach, with my shoes hooked in on the gap near the needle – looking straight down to see this image.
The next shot is me on the crow’s nest in January of 2000!
When people hear this story… they call me crazy. The real scary part about the walk up – was that there were 14,000,000 watts of radio/tv waves coming from the top of the Empire State Building – you’re not supposed to stand up too long: or you may never have kids…
My pager was going off non-stop (this was the year 2000 remember pagers?) And then it was windy – and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the tower sways when it’s windy… just to add to the fun.
Sometimes a Detour Puts Your Career on the Right Track! Guest post by Jennifer Tallerico
Last week I published a post about making the jump from part-time to full-time as a professional photographer. What started it all was a post in one of the forums from a photographer getting ready to make the change and expressing her fears. Jennifer Tallerico was one of the forum members who responded and shared just a couple of sentences about making the change years ago and loving life ever since.
She wrote: I looked at doing full time for awhile, but with a huge salary and comfy state job, who could leave with two kids at home? Well the state of Florida decided I needed a push and laid me off along with over 1200 others...It was the best thing that could have happened for my family, but every situation is different, so it is that decision that only you truly know.
That led me to contact Jennifer and see if she'd be willing to expand the story of heading out to become a full time photographer.
The thing is, so many of us have done it in our careers and all for different reasons. I've written a lot about making my own change from a great job, salary and benefits to starting my own business five years ago this month. I've never looked back and never been happier with my career choice.
One of the things that makes me happiest is being able to share stories with you about or from other photographers with the same fears and challenges. One of my most favorite posts was from Cindy Harter Sims last year about all the things she did to make the move from a music teacher and part time photographer to full time studio owner. Like Jennifer in this post, Cindy's made it a point to NEVER stop learning and growing her skill set.
For all of us as independent business owners, education is a never-ending process, whether focusing on technique, marketing or business. However, the reward is waking up every morning with a smile on your face and being excited about the day ahead.
It doesn't get much better! Skip Cohen
Three years ago this July, I had already achieved the "American Dream". I had a two story home in one of the best neighborhoods in town, two amazingly talented children, and a hard working husband who cared so much for his family. To top it off I worked in a cushy state job as a scientist in the environmental field. Pensions, matching 401K, vacation and paid gym membership! Why would anyone leave?
July 15th, my birthday of all days, I was told I was being laid off due to major budget cuts in the state of Florida. I worked through that emotional stage of shock, but then quickly recovered with the thoughts of my "back up plan." For years prior, I was working in the photography industry as a small business boudoir photographer. It was something I had always thought of doing full time, but who in their right mind would have left the "cushy" state job when they and two kids at home?
The lay off was the push I needed.
I became very motivated in marketing myself, knowing that there was no one at the end of the day handing me a guaranteed paycheck to pay my bills. The passion for photography was always there, the love of the art was ingrained into me from early on, and the drive to succeed was in my blood. But what about the business sense? The bookkeeper? The IT guy? The legal guru? These were all roles I was not familiar with, at least enough to run a successful business. So I went to the internet. I spent hours researching, watching youtube videos, reading forums and interacting with other photographers who either perfected the art of marketing, or were working towards it in their own company.
Fast forward to present day, and I am still learning. There isn't anybody, even the top in our industry, who is not actively learning every day. I am finally at the wonderful stage of feeling comfortable in my business, yet I will not become complacent and the gears never stop churning out new ideas.
I actively seek out new ways to make my business more efficient, more streamline as well as working to get the best for my clients. Was this the life I had imagined for myself when I was handed that Masters in engineering 11 years ago? Actually it was, but I detoured through a "cushy" state job to get where I belong.
All images copyright Jennifer Tallerico. All rights reserved.
Intro by Skip Cohen
This guest post is part of an outstanding trifecta with one of my favorite new friends, Jonathan Thorpe. I realize that calling him a "friend" after just a podcast and a couple of phone calls is pushing it a little, but I've written so much about the importance of the people in your network. The best part of this industry has nothing to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
You can't help but pick up on Jonathan's passion as an artist looking at the images on his site, reading his blog or just listening to him on the podcast that goes with this post. You'll also enjoy visiting the Tamron Theater and watching the behind-the-scenes video that goes along with the image below.
Most important of all, read what Jonathan wrote about personal projects. No matter what you're working on, day in day out, personal projects can help you stay focused on why you got into photography in the first place. Personal projects are a necessity to feeding your creative spirit and keeping your dream of being the best, alive and fresh!
To see more of Jonathan's work, visit his site and check out the galleries. You won't be disappointed! And, a big thanks to Tamron USA for introducing me to Jonathan and turning me into one of his groupies! This is great stuff from a talented artist!
It's very important to shoot personal work for a lot of different reasons.
The Cupid Shot
For me, I try to especially do a personal shoot on major holidays. The “forever alone” cupid photograph was my homage to the worst holiday of all, especially if you're single….Valentines Day. In the photo we see cupid drunk, miserable, sad and alone at a bar, whilst all the couples around him are kissing. If only he saved an arrow for himself…
This was a really funny project, as I got to get my friends involved. I put out a casting on Facebook asking any couples who wanted to be in a photo to show up to this bar I was shooting at. We shot the whole thing as a composite as couples were coming and going all day long.
It was shot with a Tamron 24-70VC2.8 lens on a canon 6D. The camera was triggered via the wifi signal it has by an iPad so i can see the framing of the shot better. I lit cupid with a few overhead lights to simulate that cold overhead lighting of a bar top, then lit the background itself with a couple strobes.
It's one of my most viewed images, and it's one that has gotten me booked numerous times, check out the Behind the Scenes video too!