Monday, October 29, 2012

What to do When you Suck

Sometimes you don't do well. Sometimes you can't get the gear to cooperate. Sometimes you struggle in post production. It happens!

The thing to do, is not worry about it.

I'm not particularly happy with my take from this year's Havasupai trip. But you know what? I had fun shooting, I enjoyed myself, and I expressed myself as a creative individual. That act of creation is what is most important. Even if I never sell any of these pictures, even if not even one person "likes" them on Facebook. I have created something original and enjoyed the process.

So I'm not going to worry about it.

So remember, on the days when you suck and nothings comes together the way you had hoped - it's OK. Do your thing. Shoot what you love and enjoy it. The rest doesn't matter.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Are you editing tight enough?

You know what we all see on Facebook, blogs, Flickr, and the rest of those social media outlets?
An obscene number of photographs from the same session with the same person or from the same shoot.
yeah, I'm guilty too

When we're really honest with ourselves - only a couple of them are any good. Sure, the pose varies by a few millimeters here and there and so does the smile or the sexy-face, but only three of those pictures really nail it. The rest are just similar-ish filler to make it look like you put a lot of work into the shoot.

I am here to tell you that you are not doing yourself a favor by posting 50 images from the same session. You are actually hurting your brand as a photographer. I don't care if you're a "professional" or an amateur who just enjoys photography. If you aren't editing your final selections tightly enough, you're telling everyone who sees your photographs that your standards are so low that any photograph you take is good enough to represent you to the world.

This simply isn't true.

We all take crappy pictures. Most of us take a "lot" of crappy pictures. One of the defining traits of a true professional is unrelentingly high standards. You must hold yourself to a standard well above what your clients (and friends and family) expect of you. If the image isn't just right, it should not be out there, representing you to the world.

Light not perfect? Don't have the time to do the skin softening that the model needs? Missed focus by just a little? Underexposed? Sloppy composition?

Do not post that picture! Don't put it on Facebook. Don't put it on your blog. Don't do it!

Wait until you have the time to fix it or to re-shoot the concept. Wait until you can do justice to the image and to your vision. Hold yourself to that standard.

If you choose to put these crappy pictures out there, I assume that you don't believe in yourself, that you don't care, and that you prefer quantity over quality. I'm not the only one making those assumptions. Has your client dealt with other photographers in the past? Are your fellow photographers seeing your work? Do you have an ask into any potential clients?
These people all judge your work based on the lowest quality image they can get their hands on. They will see your Facebook, blog, Flickr, etc. These feeds surely contain some of your best work - but if the client or your peers have to shift through a pile of crap and mediocrity to find those gems, they might assume that you just get lucky once in a while. That isn't what we want them to think.

Hold yourself to a higher standard. Only edit the pictures with great potential. Only post the best of the best and your viewers will assume that you *are* the best of the best.

(As you can see, I've been guilty of this as well. Especially when I can't decide if I prefer an image in color or in black and white, I have often posted both. I now hold myself to a higher standard)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall color in Flagstaff

Spent some time this morning up on Snowbowl, seeing some fall color.

four frame panorama

Beautiful sunrise. It's nice being up early and outside in the real world.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lake day

Today was our last day on Lake Powell for the season. Ryan, Amanda and I had a lovely time on the water. I even took a few pictures.

 Tomorrow is an adventure through Flagstaff in search of Fall color. The Aspens are changing and this week is set to be our first full freeze. Hopefully we can catch some color!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quick portrait: Kristen

A quick portrait I did of Kristen the other day, whilst we lounged around and watched movies.

Love me some window light.

That's all for now...