by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday, and as usual, I'm miles away from writing about marketing. Actually, I'm literally miles away from Florida and my home office too. We came back to Ohio for a milestone high school reunion, which once you get past thirty years, they all become a walk down memory lane...and the older you get, the slower the walk.
But being back where I grew up has profoundly impacted me - all as a result of the nostalgia brought about by simply being here. It's a beautiful but bitter-sweet feeling to look back and realize how much things have changed.
But the best moments came from being with our friends, "Hoss" and Melissa. Before the pandemic, we'd be here at least once a year and stay at their home. Each night there's an almost sacred routine of sitting on their back porch and sharing the backstories of our lives - both current and past. The laughter is often pushed to the max as tears roll down my cheeks. It got me thinking about how my Dad would lose control when something hit him that was beyond funny.
Life is too short, but if you don't learn to cherish the past, you can never appreciate your ability to savor the present. And here's my point - today's smiles are tomorrow's most valuable memories. You can't slow down the clock, but you can make sure you don't miss a minute of being in the present. And those long, poignant views in your rearview mirror help you to appreciate the journey yet to come.
Wishing everybody a day to kick back and spend time with the ones most special in your life; make a few new memories and start writing the next chapter of backstories for your own walk down Memory Lane years from now. As always, go for those long eleven-second hugs, and don't waste a minute worrying about what you have to do tomorrow.
Happy Sunday...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world!
by Skip Cohen
As I write today's post, I'm back in my hometown of Painesville, Ohio. While it will eventually tie into your business and marketing for the fourth quarter, time is the topic.
We're back for a high school reunion, but being here after being away for so many years, it's impossible not to get reflective. I remember as a kid, my grandmother talking about how fast her life had gone by. Well, here I am, now her age back then, and I'm trying to understand where the time went.
I continue to have an incredible life, so my reflections are more like Rip Van Winkle waking up to find the world changed than anything resembling regret. I simply can't believe how fast time has gone by.
But the physical proof, beyond aging and my memories, are the photographs Sheila and I have. Old friends from our childhood are really "old" friends at this point. And that tree my Dad planted at the old house is now thirty feet high and shading most of the backyard. Repeatedly one of us mumbles, "OMG," as we drive by some community landmark. All the while, we've got the photographs to prove that things were different back then.
And here's where marketing hits in today's post – because of the pandemic, there's a greater sense of family in the world that we haven't seen since I was a kid. That's what all those old photographs captured – a time when life was slower, less complicated, and the focus of life was more on family and friends.
Throwback Thursday posts you share of old photographs, remind your audience that today's photos are tomorrow's cherished memories, and you're the magician. You've got the ability to stop time. You've got the power to capture and create memories for your clients this holiday season that will live on for years to come.
Since time doesn't stand still, NOW is the time to lock in your planning. Stop procrastinating and burning the clock – think through your approach for the fourth quarter. Stop for a second and think of something you said you would do this year and still haven't completed. We all do it – and suddenly *poof* we're out of time. So let's end the mañana routine and start to build what you need.
And if you're stuck with putting together a game plan – I keep offering to be your sounding board, but rarely does anybody ask for help. I live vicariously through your entrepreneurial spirit – and you've got a free coach right here. But I can't help if I don't know what you want to do.
So, before you run out of time, let's see what we can do to make 2022 one of your biggest and best holiday seasons ever! Just IM me on Facebook.
by Skip Cohen
I've shared a lot of WPPI images over the years, and because Graphi did a new album every year back then, I'm loaded with great memories for Throwback Thursdays. So here's the short backstory:
In 2005 Maureen Neises, president of Graphi Studio, hit me with an idea - to produce an annual day-in-the-life of WPPI album featuring four different photographers. It was a perfect way to capture different perspectives on the convention each year.
In 2007, the photographers on the project were Catherine Hall, Jim Garner, Calvin Hayes, and Victor Sizemore. These are images that were part of a stunning two-page spread in the album.
WPPI was a huge part of my life back then. And while I may have left to head out on my own in 2009, nothing changes the smiles all those years bring back. Although most of us have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, it's been the mortar that keeps us all in touch. While it's been fifteen years I still catch up to so many friends from those days.
As I've written many times in the past, the best thing about this industry has nothing to do with photography directly but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft!
If you haven't gone on the hunt for your own Throwback Thursday images today, just do it! Find a couple of old photos that make you smile and remind you of the importance photographs play in our lives...and your clients!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Intro by Skip Cohen
Over the last few weeks I've shared a number of Seth Resnick's posts. He always manages to get me thinking about something related to imaging, and today's guest post is a perfect example. Posted last week, he talked about Dall-E. Over a million people signed up, just to try it out.
A big thanks to Seth for allowing me to share his thoughts here on the SCU blog. If you don't already follow him on Facebook, he needs to be on your radar. And if you'd like to share your thoughts about this specific post, scroll down his FB page to August 4 and comment.
by Seth Resnick
Yesterday Dall-E became available and there were over 1,000,000 people who signed up to try it. I was not one of them. So for those who don’t yet know, Dall-E is an AI application that can ingest both language and text and create a single image from the stream. I am a big fan of technology and the technology behind this is incredible.
That said it also raises a stream of questions including the very concept of removing the very experience of photographing. The idea of creating an image by writing a text stream is indeed fascinating but at the same time quite scary.
There are an incredible amount of questions and problems I foresee with this type of software that go way beyond the issues of social media. What will happen with violence, racial, sexual or gender issues? Is this the final death to stock images? In fact is this a death to assignment photography? AI is programmed by humans so how this reacts will be in part based on the programming.
It also immediately raises a giant question. Who would own the copyright? One could easily argue that it would be the artist but one could easily argue that it would always be the software company.
While I always welcome new technology, I look at the image chosen today and would never want to give up the experience of being in this sacred place and experiencing this first hand.
by Skip Cohen
Sound Advice is an experiment using short sound bites with tips to help increase your brand's strength. I've got one goal – to help you make 2022 one of your best years ever!
It's Marketing Monday and a great time to hit a topic all of you worry about – getting your name out there. There are so many things you can be doing to make sure you have top-of-mind awareness with your target audience. It's an old concept, but "top-of-mind" is all about making sure that whenever somebody thinks about photography, your name is right up front.
What good is working hard to create the best images of your life if nobody knows who you are?
by Skip Cohen
Sunday's are ALWAYS off-track from marketing/business but I hope always relatable.
This week, Sheila and I are headed back to our hometown for our high school reunion. It's a milestone, and we're looking forward to catching up with old friends and hanging out at our roots. But there's a level of poignant sadness in going back. Because of the pandemic, it's been three years since we returned.
Here's a fun aspect to a trip like this - it's like the opening act for a great concert. Sheila went digging for old photographs of family and friends - memories to share with people we know we'll see. The stories each photograph brings back confirm the power of the career path we all chose so long ago - photography.
Before starting this post, I was wandering through notifications in my Facebook feed, and it was all about photographs of friends all over the country. In one scroll, I caught up to Bobbi Lane teaching in NYC, Tom Lardiere and his son were on the water in Ft. Lauderdale, Deb Sandidge was in Naples, William Innes was picking on Ohio State fans, Paul Neal was recovering from food-poisoning and biking in Michigan, Tom and Kristen are hanging out at home in CT, and the list goes on and on.
While so many of us have a love-hate relationship with social media, especially Facebook, it's made the world a tiny place. We've shared each other's best moments and sometimes the worst - and each time, it's through photographs and video. Social media has become the mortar that holds us all together.
I know it's not exclusive to me, but combine aging with limited contact through the pandemic, and I have an incredible appreciation for the friendships I've made over the years. They're reinforced daily with one scroll through Facebook. Throw in photographs and their backstories, and there's no other career path I could have chosen that would bring me this kind of joy every day.
Look, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but that doesn't change my gratitude for this moment...right now, and all of you who have touched my life. As you get older you learn to take nothing for granted. And here's my point:
Those who died yesterday had plans for this morning.
And those who died this morning had plans for tonight.
Don't take life for granted.
In the blink of an eye, everything can change.
So forgive often and love with all your heart.
You may never know when you may not have that chance again.
Wishing everybody an incredible day ahead, and time to be with at least a few of those people who own most of your heart. Take nothing for granted and go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs I always write about. No matter what any of us are going through, life is pretty remarkable and it's sure better than the alternative!
Happy Sunday...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world.
Click on any image above to link to this podcast!
by Skip Cohen
Lori Nordstrom joined Chamira and me on this new episode to talk about how business has changed and how to be proactive, taking full advantage of your clients' continued need for your help in capturing their memories. But besides great insight, there's another aspect to this podcast I appreciate.
Lori was one of the first guests when we started the podcast in 2014. Rich Harrington had a great idea, and I felt honored to be his sidekick when we launched this series, and still do. The fun of having Lori on, besides her being one of my favorite people in the industry, is there's no expiration date on Lori's passion for marketing.
Based in Iowa, when she's got a camera in her hands, it's focused on families, kids, babies, and seniors. She's a photographer, educator, and author. Her trademark is being accessible to anyone who needs a little help. She's a friend to so many of us in the industry.
As the pandemic shifted paradigms and business declined for so many artists, Lori's ability to stay relevant brought with it new ways to grow her business. In the podcast, she talks about her diverse target audience, now working with other companies in the community. She points out in the conversation - marketing is marketing, no matter what business you're in.
Lori should be on your radar. Check out her website, and you'll get to know her incredible skill set. Then follow her on her branding site. She's one of the best in helping photographers grow their business and brand awareness.
by Skip Cohen
I left Polaroid for Hasselblad in 1987, so this has to be around '85-86. It's the US marketing and sales support team, photographed in Polaroid's costume studio, then at Quincy Market in Boston. And if I shared it years ago, I don't remember, but that doesn't change its throwback status. And yes, that's me in the middle in the back...LOL
Nothing beats the smiles photographs like this bring back - and while the scan leaves a little to be desired, it's one of the few SX-70 shots that hasn't cracked over the years.
As I've written so many times in the past, half the fun of Thursdays is the hunt for old photographs, followed by wondering whatever happened to a lot of old friends! If you're not already in the habit of looking for old photographs and memories on Thursdays, it's time to start. It's a perfect way to remember the incredible career path we all chose coming into imaging!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
by Skip Cohen
As I've written so many times before, the fun of this industry is in the friendships. Well, meet Erik Cooper. Erik and I met when I was wearing my Platypod hat. He was a new member of PPA, and at the time, there was a new-member benefit to receive a Platypod.
What started as a purely customer service phone conversation has grown into a great friendship, multiple calls, and finally catching up to each other LIVE at ClickCon last year. Erik is a fashion and portrait photographer, although I doubt there's anything he can't photograph. He's based in Colorado Springs. We're a perfect example of how Facebook is sometimes the mortar that holds so many friendships together, especially during a time of limited conventions and travel - combine social media with a phone and it's easy to stay in touch.
Meanwhile, today's post isn't about Erik but the importance of understanding great lighting. Whenever I hear an artist say, "I'm a natural light specialist," right from the start, I know they're afraid of studio lighting. They've never taken the time to learn lighting and expand their skill set. The truth is, all of us love natural light, and that's what understanding studio lighting is all about - creating stunning photographs with whatever light source you have!
But there's another point to today's post - a reminder of the power of a black and white image, especially in portrait work. Bringing a few black and white images into your portfolio/galleries also shows diversity in your skill set. Learn to see in B&W. It's about your thought process from the beginning and learning to see the highlights and shadows in your mind as you create and capture the portrait.
And for on-location wedding and event photographers, B&W also gives you more creativity in tough situations. For example, one of the early books I co-authored was with Bambi Cantrell. In the book she talked about shooting B&W when you're photographing in "the First Church of Uglyville!" We even did a stunning bridal portrait in the restroom at a hotel. It was shot in B&W, and was stunning, hiding the ugly deep pink tile walls!
A big thanks to Erik for sharing these images with me, and if you'd like to see more of his work, his Instagram page is just a click away.
Copyright Nader Abushhab. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
With each new Tamron Recipe, I become increasingly aware of how much great photographers are like our favorite chefs. Every chef has a specialty, and the twist they put on each dish served becomes their signature. Artists are no different, and Nader Abushhab joins us in the "Tamron Kitchen" this month.
Based in Phoenix, Nader's a full-time photographer. Over the last decade, while there probably isn't anything he can't shoot, his passion is clearly in portraiture and fashion. And just like great chefs with diverse backgrounds, Nader started his career in animation and multimedia design. Throw in working with designers and models from around the world; then combine the experiences with ad agencies all over the country, and you've got the perfect mix to appreciate his style today.
There's a great quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson I've always enjoyed. Put together all the things Nader's done in his career in imaging and combine them with his passion for the craft: it fits so well.
"I am a part of all that I have met."
But there's more to a recognized chef than just their cooking. That's a big piece of what I enjoyed getting to know Nader. It only took one phone conversation to feel like I've been hanging out with him for years. Being a successful photographer isn't just about knowing when to click the shutter, but about relationship building and how you work with people. You've got to be personable, upbeat, and make them feel like they're your only client.
When I asked him why this was one of his favorite portraits, his answer said it all:
"From an experience perspective, this image showcases working quickly with a subject in a short amount of time to get them comfortable, perceive their angles, and execute a portrait that feels iconic. A lot of real world scenarios will call for that in photography."
When you look through Nader's galleries, that's a lot of what you see. Natural expressions of people who are having a good time working with him. He needs to be on your radar, and his website is just a click away, as well as his Instagram page.
Along with Nader, put Tamron on your radar. They're manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging. Plus, their focus on education and never-ending support for photographers is legendary. Just click on the banner below to visit their website as well as their new promotional offers.
by Skip Cohen
With the renewed sense of family in the world this holiday season, family portraiture needs to be in your mix of offerings, but let's take it one step further...establishing a Legacy Program. All of you have the ability to do video and help clients tell stories about their life for future generations. Nobody's getting any younger! In the same way, you help clients capture incredible memories in portraiture; this is simply an extension of that talent. It's perfect to add to your mix for this year's seasonality.
I've packed a lot into under three minutes in today's "Sound Advice," but you're the one who can make it work and help enhance everything you're offering this holiday season. I've got one goal - to help you with ideas to make 2022 one of your best years ever!
by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday, and for those of you "regulars," you already know there's no chance today's post is about marketing and business. As I sat here this morning, I was having a hard time thinking through the last week and what I wanted to share. So, I procrastinated by scrolling through Facebook and even catching up to my buddy Erik Cooper on an IM. Then, an hour later, it hit me...
Yesterday was a perfect day - nothing but smiles all day long. It was relaxed, nothing unique, just a full heart all day. Time with Sheila, the pups, a little work done in the morning, chili dogs off the grill for Lupper (Late lunch, early supper), and finishing off with a favorite new series we found on Hulu, "Harrow."
But previously, Thursday was tough, and Friday started pretty bad as well. Both bad days kicked off with aggravation from a battle with Amazon. "Alexa" hasn't been playing in group mode. We love filling the house with music, and the group feature went down on Wednesday. When I called Amazon on Thursday morning, the Alexa team couldn't verify my account. They told me I wasn't in the system at the same time their retail side was delivering a recent purchase to my front door! After forty-five minutes and six calls, three of them disconnected while on hold, I finally got a supervisor in Atlanta.
But it wasn't Amazon that screwed up my day; it was me letting them get to me. When they told me my account wasn't active and I wasn't in the system, I saw red! I allowed them to steal my peace and tranquility. As a result, it set the tone for a big part of the day.
From demanding customers to Internet trolls, we all deal with daily challenges that are simply outside our control. Hindsight is always 20/20 - but yesterday was perfect because I pulled up the drawbridge and refused to let anything into my head that was going to take away one second of smile time.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying I avoided the challenges of the day - just that I was able to get myself to a great place and shut off the negators! You know, those people or situations that seem to exist just to beat us up. There's a great Zig Ziglar quote I've loved for a lot of years:
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude!
And there's my point - we all have the power to set the tone daily. We don't have to give up one second of our life to things that just don't matter. Remember that line about don't sweat the small stuff...it's all small stuff? While I know this is pretty trite, it's a basis for everything we do, and if you're a work in progress like I am, it's one of the hardest lessons to learn.
Wishing everybody a day that's simply peaceful, loving, and fulfilling. You don't have to climb Mt Everest to feel a sense of accomplishment - sometimes it's just the fun of going to bed at night and saying to yourself, "Wow, what a great day!" Go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with everyone in your life that's important, and don't let anything or anyone hold you back from gaining maximum altitude!
Happy Sunday...or Monday on the other side of the world.
by Skip Cohen
On Fridays, I love when I can write a post that gives you something to think about over the weekend. This morning, I caught this post from Seth Resnick:
There is that old saying that says don't try this at home...Ansel Adams famously said, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." Photography isn't always easy, and sometimes the best image can be dangerous to take. That said there is a certain adrenaline rush that pushes. I try never to cross my own line in determining risk but my line is very different from others. Curious to hear some of your stories about pushing the line. Photo credit for this awesome pic goes to a true dear lifelong friend Nancy Leigh.
Nancy Leigh's shot of Seth got me thinking about the headshots so many of you use on your website and in social media. Most of them could put a rock to sleep! They're boring and say nothing about who you are or your love for the craft.
I'm a big fan of environmental portraits for photographers. Whether shot as a true wide angle or just capturing an element about the subject, they tell a story. Here are a few of my favorites from my good buddy Terry Clark.
Here's my point - all of you know how to do portraits that tell a story, but like the old expression about "shoemaker's children always needing shoes," why aren't you telling a story with your own headshot on your website and in social media?
I shared Kay Eskridge's headshot on the right a few years back in a blog post. Just looking at the photograph, you know something more about her. A potential client immediately sees how much she loves the craft. And I love that it's black and white - pushing the point of diversity in her creativity a little more. Even better would be her shot combined with an image or two of her working with a client.
Here's why this is so important - many of you have terrible or irrelevant headshots on your websites and social media pages. From bad selfies to portraits looking like you handed one of your kids the camera, very few of them show your love for the craft. And almost none of them shiow you in action...as a PHOTOGRAPHER and ARTIST.
And that's what hit me with that shot of Seth that started all of this today. Let's eliminate all those bad shots of you and replace them this weekend with images that show your passion for the craft and say something more about you than just being another body on planet earth!
A big thanks to Seth for sharing that shot, but the appreciation also goes to Nancy Leigh, who captured his adventurer side, and that special aspect of creativity you see in his images! It's also a big reason why I get such a kick out of following him and living vicariously through his adventures and posts. He needs to be on your radar.
Wishing everybody a terrific weekend ahead!
by Skip Cohen
It's Throwback Thursday, and fortunately for me, the day's fun is all about memories and not the quality of what's being shared. I recently found a sheet of contact prints, but I have no idea who has the original negatives. But, just the fact that the images were captured on Kodak 160 VC medium format film is in itself a great memory.
They were also shot with Hasselblad. There's a great story about one of our competitors back in the 80s. One of Hasselblad's signatures is the two notches on the left side of the print frame. Well another medium format camera company had a new product catalog or brochure with images printed full frame. What they missed was the photographer they hired shot the whole thing on Hasselblad! Notches were on all the images and they needed to scrap the piece and start over.
For ten years, thanks to Duncan MacNab in Bozeman, a couple dozen of us visited Yellowstone in the dead of winter for the annual snowmobile trip. And considering that I'm posting this while sitting outside in Florida during one of the hottest days of the year, it seems so appropriate.
The image at the top right is part of the Hasselblad team that year - Karen Hart, Bob Thompson, Bob Nunn, Al Zimmerman, and me. For those too young to remember film, these were on a page of twelve prints — my apology for the very tired scanner and the quality of the prints themselves. I have no idea where this sheet came from, and it's hardly been stored properly.
But that doesn't change the love I have every Thursday for the "hunt." So whether you share old images on your blog or social media pages or just enjoy the backstories you remember looking at them, take the time to do your own search.
Think about it - where would we be without imaging?
Happy Throwback Thursday!
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together."
Old African Proverb
by Skip Cohen
Everyone is working hard to jumpstart their business after the impact of the pandemic. As things get back on track, stop thinking you have to do everything alone. Partnerships are a fantastic way to reduce your costs and increase your reach. No matter what your specialty, there are other vendors in your community to work with.
NOW is the time to start planning great promotions for the seasonality of the fourth quarter. It's essential to stand out from your competitors and offer products and services that are unique and exciting for your target audience. I'm hitting a lot of different ideas in today's podcast, all in minimal time.
Just remember, this is really about teamwork...
“Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.”
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and today's "Sound Advice" is about cleaning up your "About" page. For those of you wondering if your "About" page could be a little stronger - it's a 3 1/2 minute investment of your time to listen to today's short podcast.
Remember - There's that old line about how you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make visiting your website an experience, just like walking into your favorite bricks and mortar business. It's your storefront and you want each visitor to not only stay for awhile, but tell their friends about you and your work.
I continue to believe your galleries should be your fist tab, followed by your about page. Hook your clients on the quality of your images, and then let them know why you love being a photographer!
We're not as old as our parents were when they were our age!
by Skip Cohen
I'm off the topic of business as always on a Sunday morning, but it's a subject everyone can relate to, regardless of your age! Sheila and I talk a lot about our folks when they were our age, which is where that opening line came from. We're definitely younger, living a very different lifestyle from our parents. But we are the same ages they were when we used to think they were so old!
Bill Burbank, a buddy from the old Kodak days back in the 90s, sent me the piece below. It really hit home. I get that I'm not getting any younger. I wake up in the morning and creak for ten minutes until everything falls in place, but as far as the pure joy of another day ahead - it never changes. Not every day is a joy ride, but life is good, even with the challenges.
I asked an elderly man once what it was like to be old and to know the majority of his life was behind him. He told me that he has been the same age his entire life. He said the voice inside of his head had never aged. He has always just been the same boy. His mother's son.
He had always wondered when he would grow up and be an old man. He said he watched his body age and his faculties dull but the person he is inside never got tired. Never aged. Never changed.
Our spirits are eternal. Our souls are forever. The next time you encounter an elderly person, look at them and know they are still a child, just as you are still a child and children will always need love, attention and purpose.
As I look back on my life to date and take a long look in the rearview mirror I'm reminded of t-shirt I saw not long ago:
I thought growing old would take longer.
And there's my point - stop wasting time on things that don't matter. These days everyone is wound so tight, often wrapped up in something they can't change. Or, if they can influence change, their emotionalism is clouding the process. As a result, they're lost and can't find a starting point.
Life is too short not to be happy - and if you're not happy, you owe it to yourself to find the path that takes you to more smiles than frowns and tears.
Wishing everyone a memory-making day loaded with time to love and be loved. I've noticed that word coming out a lot lately - usually with good friends who I haven't seen in a long time due to restricted travel, limited conventions, and conferences. It's not unusual to wrap up a conversation telling somebody I love them. It's a great word - stop being afraid to use it!
As always, go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with the people you love the most. Make the most of every minute today. And if you're at that age where your train of thought too often leaves the station without you...don't panic - another train will be along in a minute!
Happy Sunday...or Monday on the other side of the world.
by Skip Cohen
It's Throwback Thursday, and the only person in the shot above I recognize is my grandfather, the second one on the left. He was born in 1899, so this photo would be around 1920 - just over a hundred years ago. But there's a more significant point to make with this morning's Throwback.
First, it's a postcard, printed on heavier stock but printed with a mailing template on the back. It's old school, but in a completely digital world, I love the concept. Second, my grandfather passed away almost forty years ago - there's nobody alive anymore to tell me who these guys were or why they were together. But, it's obvious there was a friendship. It's also an excellent argument for establishing a Legacy program for your clients.
Earlier this week, I started a new series, "Sound Advice." The concept is based on what I hope is the benefit of giving you audio marketing snippets to help you build a more substantial business. I've got one goal - to help make 2022 your best year yet! Today's topic is about using Throwback Thursday as a marketing tool.
...but the hardest of all may just be understanding your own work. Photography is a language.
Do you speak it fluently?
by Skip Cohen
Seth Resnick is back with what may well be one of my most favorite of his posts. To take it a step further, it's a post I wish was mandatory for every artist to read. The issue isn't whether you agree or disagree with him, just the importance of understanding your "Why?" Obviously, there are times when just clicking the shutter has no deeper meaning than contributing to your revenue stream...but I can't help but feel there's always an underlying explanation for why so many of us love this industry.
I've met so many artists in my career and the ones most successful, to Seth's point, speak fluent photography. They don't have to have a camera in their hands to shoot "neurochromes" and still see something most of us might miss. Their images tell a story, capture a memory, and often have a much deeper meaning than just what is shared in print. And it carries further into who we are and why - Seth got me thinking about my writing as well as each time I click the shutter.
Seth is sharing a lot of great concepts on his facebook page. He needs to be on your radar!
by Seth Resnick
Photography isn’t easy. Learning software applications like Photoshop and Lightroom are hard, and understanding all the buttons on the cameras can be confusing to say the least, but the hardest of all may just be understanding your own work. Photography is a language. Do you speak it fluently?
I find that by writing down my thoughts I am better equipped to speak and write the language of photography. Like any language that is studied practice and time certainly help. In developing your skills about photography as a language it is critical to overcome the concept of what your work is about rather than what it is of.
When I first started writing about what my photography was really about I thought it was about entering personal space. I interchanged the word breaking personal space and entering personal space and thought they were the same. In fact a good friend and student Jed Best suggested that I have a show called Breaking and Entering. I thought that was quite clever. For several years my description of my own work started with breaking personal space. After all I started as a journalist and much of my work was about people and to capture them in a personal manner I was either very close or used a long lens to isolate emotion.
The more I started to write and as my work progressed I was bothered by the statement and one day while photographing a rock and writing about it I came to understand that it was really about an energy connection with my subjects or rather my subjects energy connection with me. The more I wrote the more I understood and writing led to my own discovery of Clairsentience which really put my understanding of the language in perspective.
Certain people are born with a mystical sixth sense that allows them to pick up on information about the past, present, and future. We typically call it ESP but for me it is an awareness of additional senses. While we all have five basic senses that help us observe the physical world around us it doesn’t end with just five. There are a variety of ways that people can experience ESP. For me one of the most fascinating is clairsentience, which is the ability to literally feel and acknowledge energy.
This week several things happened that weren’t coincidence. I looked at Leslie and said her son was thinking about her. She looked at her phone and her son just texted her. Three sand hill cranes that have been coming to my house suddenly flew in and they came right up to me as if they were telling me something. A dragonfly then landed on me. I showed Leslie the dragonfly and he stayed on my hand. I thought about him flying away and sure enough he did. No big deal but then I called him back and the dragonfly kept coming back to my hand for over an hour. At the same time there was no wind but the chimes in my back yard started to ring. There were bluejays and cardinals and all of these things were things that my mom loved.
Life comes down to energy and as I continue to write I continue to increase my knowledge about the language of photography.
Many photographers never figure it out and think it isn’t important. I hear so many photographers say that their work isn’t about anything they just like taking pictures. Well maybe, but learning what my images are about has helped me immensely.
by Skip Cohen
It's Tamron Tuesday, but I'm sharing the video below for several reasons. First, this is pretty exciting news for those of you shooting FUJIFILM gear. Tamron's expanded the 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD Lens for FUJIFILM X-mount. Second, Tamron's FLASH Sale includes the 17-70mm for Sony.
But third, is why I like to share these videos, and it's definitely about thinking outside the box! Pay attention to the story they've packed into just over one minute. Watch the video, and as you watch it, what if you told your story the same way? Great images, minimal text, good music - all in a marketing piece that becomes the lead-in feature on your website. Think about the storyboard as you put it together, showing you working with a couple of clients, the process, and the results.
And when you hit the Tamron page for the 17-70mm lens for Sony, you've got a selection of videos, all product related, but each slightly different in its approach. Again, short ideas relevant to how you might tell your story while at the same time putting great optics through their paces!
Meanwhile - the clock is ticking, and there are only a few days left to take advantage of the 14 lenses on the FLASH Sale. Just click on the banner to the right.
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.