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Sunday, October 31, 2010

How Twitter Can Help Photographers – Scott Bourne

PDN Photo Plus Expo

Scott Bourne, founder of Scott Bourne Media Group, has been using Twitter its inception and for the last year he has been successfully using it to sell his wildlife photography prints

He had a plethora of information to impart on how to navigate and use Twitter to its full potential in relation to marketing and selling photography.

He began with a couple of statistics:
200million users on Twitter putting up 50 million tweets put per day!

The “traction point” is around 9 months– this is when you should begin to reap the rewards of your tweeting (if you follow the basic guidelines and use Twitter efficiently)

He then went on to say that in order to promote your business well as a photographer on Twitter, there are a few basic guidelines such as:

Have a goal and know your objectives.

Know who your audience is.

Be concise with content – avoid “fluff” If its business then stick to business related tweets – i.e. don’t mix it with personal stuff (you can always start another Twitter account for personal/chatty tweets).

Make sure your design reflects your style – i.e. put up your images in the background design and change frequently.

Brand yourself effectively by using a profile image of yourself as opposed to one of your images. “People respond more to faces”. Ensure that you have all the relevant professional information in your profile set up – business name, email, website,, blog.

Interact with the photography community you want to part of – have a voice – follow all the people/businesses that you have a commonality with such as connect with photographers, photo editors, curators, art buyers, photography magazine’s etc.
. Connect to the photography lists. This will help to increase your profile on Twitter.

Interlink your Twitter account with Face Book, LinkedIn, Flickr, your website, blog and other social media groups you are connected to, to ensure a wider audience.

If its your first foray into Twitter land, then ease your way in gradually by “listening and learning the language” of the communities your want to be involved in. “Get the feel of how it works” Don’t go blasting in there, pushing your ware’s as soon as you sign up. Build up a relationship by offering advice, tips or share contacts with others in the community and hopefully they will begin to reciprocate. “put others ahead of yourself” Scott Bourne

Establish credibility within your community first by re-tweeting others tweets if you find them valuable. Have a conversation with other photographers you link with, about work, the business etc. Ask questions.

Every day you use Twitter, you should see your followers growing in numbers. If you don’t then you need to re-evaluate how you are using your account to help increase your followers.

According to Scott Bourne, the most effective times each day to reach your chosen audience in the US are:

6am Pacific Time – 9am Eastern Standard Time
4pm Pacific Time – 7pm Eastern Standard Time
(Adjust accordingly to the countries that are relevant to you)

This is “real time environment” so its important that you are on there at the most effective times in order to interact with your community. Whatever you are promoting in the morning, then repeat the tweet(s) later in the day. This should ensure that you are reaching your desired audience at all times.

To find out how to effectively sell your work on Twitter, Scott recommended that you check out certain sites to see how well they do it:

He then went on to tell us how he sold out of 100 limited edition prints in just 8 months (at $400 per print – you do the math!) and he said himself “I take photo’s of birds….who really needs photo’s of birds?!” The reason he sold the prints was because he “told a story” about how he took the photograph in question and how it had actually taken him 13 years of going to a place in New Mexico (sic), to capture. He linked the tweets to his blog. And, that was the story that captured everyone’s attention (and their wallets!). So, think of a story that will capture’s the community’s imagination and see how it works out. I know that I will try this for Jason Florio’s fine art prints gallery!!

Scott finished with a re-cap on the seminar and to say:

Be patient – don’t expect success to happen overnight (remember the ‘9 month traction time’).
Listen and build your community slowly – “everyone wants to be a rock star but remember you have to learn the chords too”
Don’t just try to attract a large audience with people who are not relevant to your business and goals.
Ask questions and answer them. Be a voice in your community.
Always respond to messages – its only 140 characters maximum!

Ok, I’m off to get my tweet on!!

Helen Jones
Follow Helen Jones & Jason Florio and their journey around The Gambia in 2009 - a 930km walk with 3 Gambians, two donkeys and a cart! Award-winning photography and road stories:
Follow us on Twitter:!/hellyjonesphoto

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

PDN 30: Strategies for the Young Working Photographers

This seminar always seems to attract a lot of photographers.
As a photographer, I know it's a huge accolade to be listed in PDN's pages when they do the annual PDN 30.
This panel was run by Holly Hughes who is the editor of Photo District News.
The folks on this panel were photographers, Nick Onken, Elizabeth Weinberg, Wayne Lawrence, and Matthew Jordon Smith. Also Sr. Art Producer from McCann Erickson, Agatha Maciejewski.

Wayne Lawrence started off the panel by showing his work and giving a moving story about this image below. He discussed how important this image was at it reminded him of his relationship with his brother who had passed away eight years ago and would be in his thirties now. He had some funny stories about meeting a photographer who became his mentor by just seeing him on the side of the road in Venice Beach and recognizing him from Communication Arts and asking him if he could work for him. He went on to discussed his ah-ha moment when he decided he wanted to turn around his life and do something he loved. Wayne's access into his subjects seems very intimate, and he describes his work as being "a celebration of life (that would) affect positive change."

Elizabeth Weinberg lives in Brooklyn, New York. She was selected as one of PDN's 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2010, and has been published in American Photography 26. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she graduated with a degree in Photojournalism from Boston University in 2004. She discussed her background as a student at BU and working for different music management companies while still in school. How she used that to get a foot in the door and make some connections with bands and managers. She describes wanting to be "the next Annie Leibowitz" when she was coming out of school. Which I can relate to. Her work all has a certain free, fun feeling that shows her ease with her subjects. She believes in being proactive and believing in yourself and creating opportunities for yourself. Case in point is some of her personal projects on her website that have landed her commercial work.

Unfortunately I had to run off in the middle of this seminar to catch one other as the Expo is nearing the end! But stay tuned for more updates!

-Andrea Fischman

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Presenting Work To Fine Art Community – Mary Virginia Swanson

MVS knows her stuff! We listened to her talk yesterday about how to get your work out there, particularly to the fine art community. She talks with such eloquence, ease and a whole heap of knowledge along with years of experience.

Because we are running (writing) on the hoof at PDN’s Photo Expo, I’m going to list a bunch of mainly bullet points from the seminar:

Get your work out there
– as often and as much as possible – whether it’s a finished body of work or not. Create a dialogue about your work. This will help to grow your work.

Portfolio reviews – these are really important in not only getting exposure for your work but getting it seen by the right people in the industry. Their expertise and critique can be paramount in helping you to move forward – and to evolve as an artist. You get the opportunity to have your work reviewed by top editors, publisher’s, corporate art buyers, gallery curators etc. MVS mentioned a whole list of the best portfolio reviews which you can find on her website Including:

Review Santa Fe
, Center, Santa Fe, NM – a tough one to get invited to and/or accepted (only 1 in 7 photographers who apply are accepted) but its one of the top portfolio reviews around. Once the review is over, the Santa Fe100 is listed on their website until the next review. Your name and website are linked from this list for a year. You also get to meet some amazingly inspiring photographers.

Fotofest, Houston, Texas – the ‘grandaddy of portfolio reviews’ (MSV)

Lens Culture, Photo Nola, Photoweek DC…..and more on MVS’s website.

When attending a portfolio review, make sure that they remember you after you have gone. ‘Leave behind’s’ – make up a postcard with an image of your work or a mini book These don’t have to be expensive to put together and can leave a lasting impression, Be as creative as possible to make sure you are remembered. After the review, send a thank you postcard or email embedded with an image to the reviewers. And don’t forget to add your website and contact details!

Your graphic identity: ensure that all your postcards, emails, booklets, website are consistent. This is your branding.

Competitions and grant applications:
don’t wait until the last minute to apply. Get a dialogue going with the organizers as soon as possible. Plan ahead – i.e. keep a diary of comps/grants and the deadline dates.

Don’t just enter comps or apply for grants willy nilly! Do your research before you enter/apply – find out who the juror’s are, what work they like, who won the previous competition/grant etc. Is your work applicable?

Prestigious art fare’s such as AIPAD, in NYC, are key for research purposes alone. There is so much to learn from just walking around and listening to business deals being made between curators and agents or artists. You won’t hear this kind of talk in a gallery (at least not out on the floor!). So, take advantage and listen to the language and, above all, learn. Check out what dealers are looking for. Study price points, size, edition numbers, the paper choices photographs are printed on, installation styles etc.

Your website: this is ‘your voice’ so keep it consistent. As mentioned, this is your branding; this is the face of who you are. Make it clear on your home page what it is you specialize in. A succinct, concise sentence or two can say it all. Make it easy for any photo editors, curators, collectors, corporate buyers etc who may visit your site to see immediately who you are and what you are about. These people don’t have time to search your site for the relevant information that should be right up there in the first place.

If you have a book – don’t forget to promote it on your website!

Prepare for viewing your website on ANY device – how does your site look on an iPad, iPhone, other computer screens (the view can often be compromised on smaller screens)?

Sending out your work to curator’s, fine art buyers, agents, etc: don’t just cold-send work. Call them first to find out what their policy is on accepting work. They may only accept work once a month or once a year even. MSV is a great advocate of picking up the phone! Again, research everyone that you want to approach – know their market. Will your work be relevant to them? Also, find out the name of person (i.e. don’t address an email to anonymous you wish to make contact with at, i.e., a gallery – personalize any communication as often as you possibly can.

Social networking: is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc relevant to your market? If so, do it well, update regularly and keep it consistent.

MVS tip: Art buyers and curators are looking at the following sites for new work. Contact them to see if your work can get featured on these two great sites:
Fraction Magazine

MSV Soundbites: Know your market. Who do you want to target? Plan your career well. Don’t sell for less than you are worth. Research is key. Be consistent. Plan. Communicate what you want. Be present wherever you are. Your branding has to be clear at all times. Be patient. Own your decisions!

MVS’s website is a treasure trove of information for any photographer – however established or not your may be . And, if you ever see her listed on a panel for a portfolio review, then get your 15 minute slot booked with her asap!! It will most definitely be worth it!

Helen Jones

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Photoplus Expo 2010- A quick video peek from Friday 10/29

Check out a little video clip we made from day 2 of the Photoplus Expo 2010!

A quick video peek from Friday 10/29 PHOTOPLUS EXPO 2010!!!

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Some interesting products so far at Photoplus Expo

A couple of cool little things at the expo this year!

1. Black Rapid camera strap.

2. New Gary Fong Flash Diffuser to fit the New Nikon SB900 and other new flashes that the old Gary Fong diffuser didn't fit.

3. New somewhat cheaper but super high end looking business cards from MOO (Great name!)

4. Tamrac Zipshot Tripod
Although I made fun of this earlier, it is actually cool. It's a a super light tripod that fits into your backpack.

more tomorrow..

-Andrea Fischman Digg it Facebook MySpace Slashdot Technorati Stumbleupon Twitter

PhotoPlus Expo Day 2-Making Money In Stock Now

It seems that there is still money to be made in stock photography, but like everything else, the world has changed. Where in the past there was royalty-free and right-managed stock only, there is now micro stock and direct sales as well. And questions about quality versus quantity remain. Is it better to edit and submit many images hoping to make more sales, or is it better to submit fewer, but better images?

According to the panel (Sarah Fix of Blend Images, Ellen Boughn and Jonathan Ross), you want repeat sales, so your business strategy needs to be based on how you can make that happen. Agencies and clients want to see that your sell-thru rate is high, and keeping your selects down will give the images you do submit a better chance of a higher sell-thru rate. So when they search your images or want to know more about you as a stock photographer they can see that you make money.

Sarah Fix made some great points about knowing your competition. Echoed by Jonathan Ross, they both spoke about looking at agencies and other shooters and identifying holes in the coverage. You have to be smart and strategic in approaching your career. But isn't that true for anything?

Jonathan also made another point worth considering: think about the way you shoot and how well your image works as a thumbnail. If you open the front page of any agency there will be a grid of thumbnails. The ones that speak most clearly at that size are the ones people will open. So shoot cleanly and with clarity--crafted quality. Make your work stand out.

If you shoot travel and are wondering how to do more, and wondering what to do when there's no money to travel to exotic locations, remember this: You can shoot in your own backyard. Someone is interested in where you live, so take what you know and put it to use to build a great, intimate library of images that no one else would have of the place where you are. You know it best.

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Turning one wedding into five with Gene Ho

Gene Ho is a photographer from down south yall!
He's a good guy and from the looks of it has turned his wedding business into a money making machine by word of mouth marketing. Through some what seems like pretty simple word of mouth tips you too can do the same....and here's how!

1. Be Santa-Give to Vendors
2. Network with the Lowest
3. Work on your memory
4. Talk about people
5. Have a loss leader
6. Be the Ice Cream Man
7. Secret Seven-Krispy Kreme

His whole thing is to have other people talk about you to essentially avoid the
age old adage of, "tell all your friends about me, please!"
Here's an example he gave.. You do a photo shoot of model and instead of mentioning to the model that she should refer him. Ask her where she got her hair done and then when she mentioned that Suzi down the street at The Edge Salon did her hair, come back and say I love Suzi's work. Then a couple weeks later when your client, the model goes to see Suzi to get her hair done again, an instant conversation about you begins. It could work, right? I agree that this Suzi example could work, but in a market like New York City, you do have to go above and beyond because of the wedding photographer saturation level here.

Another overall point he made. You need to create a buzz for yourself by being as far away as possible from your potential client, so you are not the one referring yourself.

#5 Have a Loss Leader refers to doing something that's not your bread and butter and can provide you with a source of income that can also lead you to referrals. Your loss leader is basically your rock bottom prices and it helps you create a buzz. He does headshots as his loss leader.

#6 Be the Ice Cream Man. What does that mean? Let your client know when you are coming around so they can expect you to be around. For example, offer promotions at the same time every year. Then you and your customers know what to expect.

#7 Secret Krispy Kreme. This is a fun one, although again not sure how it applies to the New York City market. Drop off Krispy Kreme donut and then when the folks you dropped the donuts off at eat them, they talk about you..Hmm.. Does this really work? And always have an excuse for why you dropped off the donuts so it doesn't seem like a blatant marketing move.

You can check out Gene Ho's website here.

More lata!

-Andrea Fischman Digg it Facebook MySpace Slashdot Technorati Stumbleupon Twitter

Thursday, October 28, 2010

End of Day 1 PhotoPlus Expo

This is today's last post. We'll be picking it up first thing tomorrow, and promise all kinds of surprises, including video. It's been a long but good day that ended on a perfect note, with a Sony AmericanPHOTO party that was exactly what we needed. There was great food and drink, all in a wonderful space with amazing work projected across huge walls. I want to thank Brain Smith for the invite.

One of the highlights of the day was the Darius Himes/Mary Virginia Swanson "How To Publish Your Photobook" seminar (a book with the same title will be out Winter 2011). They are both wonderfully engaging speakers, and so giving with their information.

Some of the important points they made were:

1. Own the domain name of your book. Know how to use social media to build a strong audience for your work.

2. Is your book a S, M, L or XL project?

3. Know how to talk about your book. Does your idea have a clearly defined subject? What is it?

4. Figure out who your audience is and be able to spell it out. Do you know how to reach them?

They suggested you really do research--looking at a lot of books to understand what different publishers look for, what kind of books they publish, what kind of paper they use, etc. Spend time on the publishers' website to understand who they are and what they can offer. Know that it is very rare for publishers to take blind submissions. Try to build a relationship with a publisher--portfolio reviews can help you in this.

Darius talked about his company, Radius, and what kind of books they publish. It is not in the publishing a photo book where the money can be made, unless there is a way to spin off things like calendars, cards, etc. Money can be made back through limited-editions done in addition to the trade publication. But if you're looking to become rich through publishing you will be disappointed.

Both touched on self-publishing and made the most important point: If you are not able to be the one and only--to be able to handle all aspects of getting your book out there, then it isn't for you. There are so many facets to putting a book out into the world that it is important to remember that your book needs to have a life of its own--it is a book, it is not your photographs. And that is an important and vital distinction to remember.

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The Documentary Hybrid in Photography + Filmmaking with Lauren Greenfield

My last seminar of the day was with the very talented and inspiring, Lauren Greenfield called, "The Documentary Hybrid in Photography + Filmmaking." I had the opportunity to be the still photographer on a commercial she was doing for a pharmaceutical company last fall. She was the director on this commercial. Her intensity, precision and professionalism on the shoot was really amazing to be around. She has such a clear focus on what she needs to get shot-wise and emotionally from the subjects or actors.

In this seminar she showed various projects she has been working on: Delta, U.S. Army, and other Drug Companies. She also showed us clips from her documentary, documenting girls with eating disorders called "Thin" which aired on HBO. Some still images from Thin are here from that project. Some of the clips she showed us were at times difficult to watch, however with that said, it's amazing how close she is to the subjects and that's what differentiates her work. She assimilates with all of her subjects and gives them such a sense of respect and comfort and earns a great amount of trust. She also has been working with some of these girls and woman for a number of years throughout her career with her work in her published book, "Girl Culture" and "Fast Forward." Both books documenting a subculture on young girls and women in our society.

She wrapped up by showing us a film piece that the NY Times Magazine commissioned her to do based on her still images in her book "Fast Forward." The piece documented the lives of the rich youth in LA. Pretty cool to get commissioned to do a film piece based on still images!

Lauren Greenfield is always very riveting to hear from and a great ending to Day 1 of photo expo. Check back tomorrow for more updates!

-Andrea Fischman Digg it Facebook MySpace Slashdot Technorati Stumbleupon Twitter

Developing your wedding brand with Jasmine Star

So Jasmine Star is a trip! She's the daughter of a preacher.
Before we got started in the seminar she said that everyone had to "leave their ego at the door." It was cool though.. Then she said we should stop tweeting and meet each person to the left and right of us. Novel idea right!

Anyway, she's cool.. definitely an inspirational speaker!
She started out in law school and then got married and through the process of finding her wedding photographer realized she wanted to be a wedding photographer herself! forward 4 years and it sounds like she's booking 50+ weddings a year.
Some key-points:

1. Create your own game and your own rules and be the star pitcher
2. Use your assets to their full advantage (she happened to not be a photographer to start) She's a writer so her focus is her blog and her writing and of course her photography.
3. Write down your top 3 liabilities and your assets now!
4. Write down 5 words that describe you now!
5. Action not though, branding is about doing, not thinking
6. Don't let other photographers define your style

Be yourself, keep it real, keep it simple!

Check out her blog and her website.

-Andrea Fischman Digg it Facebook MySpace Slashdot Technorati Stumbleupon Twitter

Grant Writing

Grant Writing – sponsored by PDN
Moderator: David Walker
Panelists: Brenda Anne Kenneally, Ellen Liberatori, Justine Reyes, & Yokiko Yamagata

The do’s and don’ts of grant writing

All of the panelists were well-versed in the art of applying for grants. Having applied for a couple of grants in the past year or so, with Jason Florio, the information today was invaluable; particularly as we are planning our next expedition (see blog link below for award-winning images from our first expedition – A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey).

There are so many grants to choose from and it seems the obvious thing to state, but be sure that you only apply to the organizations that are relevant to the body of work you are applying to for a grant for. As Yokiko Yamagata said, you would be surprised how many people apply for grants that have absolutely no relevance to the grantee’s particular project – thus wasting both the organizations time and the applicant’s time.

Network and find out what’s going on: sign up for newsletters with i.e. Jerome Foundation, The Gates Foundation.
Attend information and networking sessions i.e. ‘brownbag and Leadership Lunch seminars’, join relevant forums and tune into relevant webinars

Do your research. Whichever organization you turn to, to apply for a grant, read their mission statement on their website thoroughly.
70% of all grant applications are thrown (and/or disqualified) out due to bad research, shoddy presentation etc.

Read the guidelines thoroughly before filling out the application. Don’t email or call the organizations of foundations with questions that are already in the package guide.

Apply for grants early – as in don’t leave it until a day before the deadline!! Applying early means you have a chance to build a relationship with a Program Officer from the grant organization.
Their advice will be invaluable in helping you to strengthen your proposal and get it right.

Be concise in your opening proposal pitch – get in all the key points without using ‘flowery’ language. Make a list of sound bites and then work out how you can embed them into your opening pitch.

Grant givers often have read 100’s of proposals each week, so make think about how your pitch might catch their attention.

If you are unsuccessful, try again. Louie Palu applied for the Alexia Foundation grant at least a dozen times before he got one! However, if you do apply again with the same body of work, show how your work has evolved since the last time – i.e. add new images, ideas etc. This shows commitment. has a very comprehensive list of grant organizations and foundations

Helen Jones

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Notes from : 'How to get work from ad agencies'

Three criteria for whether to take an assignment from mega advertising photographer Glen Wexler

1. Does the project have a portfolio value?

2. Will the relationship you create with the creative team potentially lead to other work?

3. The Money ?

Glen says he would take two out of the three for him to take on a job.

I would personally think # 3. could stand by itself .

--Jason Florio Digg it Facebook MySpace Slashdot Technorati Stumbleupon Twitter

An Intro to HDSLR Cinema with Vincent Laforet

Just saw my first seminar this morning at the Photoplus Expo here in warm and sunny (i think although I am in the ominous Javitts Center) NYC!!

"An Intro to HDSLR Cinema" with Vincent Laforet.
First of all, he's not only a talented visual person but first and foremost an educator. Take a peek at his blog when you have a chance. So, this seminar covered basically all you need to know to shoot your HD DSLR films, shorts, commercials, music videos, you name it.

We started out watching his short called "Reverie" which is his first short with the Canon 5D Mark 2 and also his first short video that he made himself. Or at least that's the impression that I got, as he never went to film school. At the time that he shot Reverie, the 5D had only auto-exposure for video and a lot of the kinks of the camera had not been worked out.

Key Points about Reverie
1. Was shot with a very small crew
2. Used a number of lens, 45 mm, 50 mm, 85 mm, 200 mm, 400 mm, Fisheye and the Canon Mark 2
3. He used Profoto 7B's to light the film (what!!)
4. A lot of the more "Hollywood effects" were done in very simple lo-fi ways. For example, there is a scene where a guy has a flickering Tv light look to him and that was done by plugging in his laptop to the Tv screen and changing the hue/saturation level up and down in photoshop. Go to the behind the scenes look on Reverie on his site and you can see how it was done in more details. There is a great scene where the driver is filmed by suctioning a manfrotto suction cup mount to the side of the car.
5. The budget was $5000. Most of which was spent on the helicopter rental
6. That film led him within 72 hours of being released online to a very high paying job from SmugMug shooting surfers in Hawaii! Much better use of $5K than sending out a promotional mailer campaign right!

Vincent touched upon the explosion of HDDSLR onto the scene for the photo industry and how there hasn't been a revolution like this since the time when Auto-focus was introduced. I can attest to this at the Expo just by walking around the showroom for 15 minutes. There are so many vendors here geared towards HDDSLR and handheld lighting rigues etc.

From there, we discussed the nuts and bolts of work-flow with HDDSLR. Here's some highlights.

1. Shoot on Mark 2 (or whatever HDDSLR camera you have)
2. Copy into folders on external harddrive
3. Load into Final Cut (or Premier or Avid)
4. Convert footage using ProRes 422HQ or LT or Proxy. You don't need to use the super high res 4.44. Not worth it unless it's going to the silver screen :) This makes the footage much easier to work with in Final Cut.
5. Use application Pluraleyes to sync audio (i have used this and it's incredible, no more slate boards- especially helpful if you are only one person shooting)
6. Start editing!

But still most important according to Vincent is the following below. You can have all the gear in the world but no one will want to watch your film because you don't have a clear message. He really has some cool shorts he has made testing cameras for Canon.
Here's the skinny to a great short or film:
1. Concept
2. Story
3. Emotion
4. Sound
5. Motion
6. Editing

Lastly...glad I stayed till the end because he brought out his rique which is impressive but not over the top. Which is his thing, to K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid)

Also some take-home knowledge that I found valuable below to do before you start shooting with the 5D:

1. Set the Canon 5D at ASA 100 at 1/50 sec
2. Turn off all Sharpening and Contrast and keep your color tone to Neutral
3. Get a couple of pieces of equipment (i.e. tripod with fluid head or some sort of steadying device to make your work move up to a pro level)
4. Pick up a decent Microphone and shoot with a Dual System. You can buy an inexpensive Zoom recorder even for $500.
5. Pick up an ND filter

More to come from me! Stay tuned.

-Andrea Fischman Digg it Facebook MySpace Slashdot Technorati Stumbleupon Twitter

Live From PhotoPlus Expo Part 1

Good morning from the cavernous Javits Center where I hope to not have to rely on coffee to keep me going. Just left the "How To Get Work In Advertising" workshop, where David and Claudia Monaco, (Monaco Reps), Michelle Chant (Wieden & Kennedy), Glen Wexler (photographer) and Debra Weiss (moderator) filled the panel and talked about the general sense of the business. What started with no mics later ran into the typical sidetracking and soft talking so that I wasn't able to get my fuzzy brain focused. They did make some clear and important points that I hope Jason Florio will elaborate on later today.

1: Your website is a tool, nothing more. So don't spend so much time and money that the imagery becomes surperfluous to its purpose--to promote your work. Clear and simple seemed to be the preference of all. So don't over design, add music, text, etc. As Claudia Monaco said: Your soul is in your imagery."

2: What makes the website and iPad great, according to Glen Wexler, is that it gives you the flexibility to show several bodies of work. That's something your portfolio cannot do.

3:Don't send large posters as promo work. people have small offices and no where to hang them up. Postcards, small books to keep probably work better for the majority of art buyers.

4: If you don't have a personal style you won't be hired. And show you can produce something and work with clients.

5: The still aesthetic translates into motion, not vice versa, so if you have a feeling for video, do it! If not, put a team together.

So keep you eyes peeled here all day and through Saturday for more and more opinions, news, attitude and surprises from PhotoPlus Expo!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PhotoPlus Expo starts Thursday!

I just want to remind everyone (remember to tell all your friends) that I will be blogging the 3-day event (and after-parties) with my cohorts Andrea Fischman, Sari Goodfriend, Jason Florio and last but certainly not least, Helen Jones. Keep watch and read as we cover everything from seminars to equipment reviews to interview, etc.

You can also read additional posts at the ASMPNY blog, Sharpen .

You won't get better coverage anywhere else!

Oh yeah, if you see us, stop and say hello.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

More Celebrating Photography in Atlanta

The first night I arrived to town, after all the galleries and the High Museum, we were invited to dinner at the house of two Atlanta collectors. We drove out of the city into a landscape of woods and gigantic mansions of dubious design, until we came across a modernist house and knew we had arrived at the right place. Their house was full of Tina Barney, Andreas Serrano, Annie Leibovitz, Larry Sultan, Jenny Holzer and many others. What a treat! And what a fantastic finish to our day.
We looked at their collection and ate and had a splendid time. Then it was back to the hotel to prepare for a full day of portfolio reviews.

In all I reviewed thirteen photographers the next day. It was great to see regional work and get a sense of what people are doing outside of New York. Besides, everyone was so gracious and personable that I couldn't have had a better time. Even though it is a lot of work.

There were several personal projects of a very emotional nature that were striking, like Sara Keith (above) who uses a pinhole camera in an attempt to document the small, familiar features that make her grandfather( who suffers from Alzheimer's) come alive and remember who he was talking to.

Vicki Hunt moved back to her family farm in a poor, rural district in Alabama and befriended her neighbors who she photographed on their porches. Even more impressive, Vicki began talking with people about their daily lives and discovered so much need in terms of food, books, blankets and the like, that she is now working to bring these and other necessary things to the people of her community.

Jimmy Williams has been photographing Southern musicians over the years for his Music Makers Series. These strong, expressive portraits capture years of deep felt emotions and reflect Williams' love for the people and the music.

For John May, it's all about small town wrestling bouts, and the people who frequent them. He has a great eye for emotions and the strange juxtapositions of a scene that sometimes teeters on the edge of chaos.

Susan Barnett says, "By photographing from the back these pictures try to challenge the time-honored tradition of a portrait being of the face and tests whether body type, dress and demeanor can tell us just as much as a facial expression might."

My trip to Atlanta ended with an exquisite dinner with my fellow reviewers and Amy Miller and Michael David Murphy of ACP. I think all of us will agree we had a wonderful time and hope to do it again next year.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Arriving in Atlanta and Celebrating Photography

I've never been to Atlanta before so I've really looked forward to this. I arrived and began gallery hoping shortly after. The first thing I saw that I love is Paul Hagedorn's "Peachtree Battle."

In these images below you can get a feel for the meticulous and extraordinary work that went into each large scale photo created over 353 days. Hagedorn used a magnifying glass attachment over a wide angle lens, without strobes, using kiddie fireworks and smoke bombs to simulate warfare. His work forces the viewer to think not only about reality and fantasy clashing, but how often we approach war as a game. TV is full of video games with tons of death and exploding action.

I found myself thinking about how fascinating it would be to show this work opposite the work of photojournalists, blurring the lines between the fun of looking at toys exploding and the true horror that millions of people face everyday around the world. There is something so insanely fun about this work, yet I can't help but think of the real images I have scene that are somewhat similar. The irony is that no photographer could get this close without being killed.

Then it was onto Jackson Fine Art and the thought-provoking work of Joseph Guay, whose "Memory Portraits" featured large black and white portraits of people he had met on over the past three years in Atlanta, New York, and Cuba. He asked each to carry a small camera and capture, at eye level, moments within their lives. The result is a projection of each participant's memory; the videos capture in real time the images and experiences that inform a person's psychic life.

The black squares on their chests are where the videos run, and the two portraits above made the most fascinating films: Bubba D Licious (top) because the film was so intimate--family and friends at home (my guess), and Vashaun Jones (bottom) who is blind, and obviously cannot see the film he made. It had me thinking a lot about the use of still and moving image, something photographers in New York are talking about (and experimenting with) all the time these days. It was as if we were given a small window into the intimacies of some other life.

And yet we were not finished. Next was a private tour of the Peter Sekaer exhibit at the High Museum of Art.

Sekaer was a contemporary of Walker Evans, and work in the mid-1930s for the US Housing Authority, Rural Electrification Administration, Office of Indian Affairs and the Office of War Information. In 1936 Sekaer accompanied Evans, who was hired by the Resettlement Administration (RA, later to become the FSA) on a photographic journey throughout the South, often shooting the same subject. But where Evans images were more impersonal, Sekaer went to the root of the humanity of the people he found, in particular in sums around the country. As an outsider (he was born in Denmark) he was most interested in seeing people as they were, and was able to put people at ease enough to be invited into their homes.

For the image above, titled "Family Shelling Pecans, Austin, Texas", Sekaer attached a label to the back of the print providing information about the subject: "Leonidas Hernandes—He is 78, his wife 39. They have six children. The entire family works at pecan shelling—piecework—3 cents a pound. Daily output for the family is 10–12 lbs (30–35 cents a day)."

I suppose it was hard not to be overshadowed by the like of Evans, Minor White, Dorothea Lange, etc. in those days, but the High Museum has amassed the largest collection of his work, and it is a wonderful body of work full of poignant and illuminating images of American life in the South during the depression. While generations have passed, I find myself thinking of our current economic mess, and the photographs don't look so far in the past.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Atlanta Celebrates Photography

I'm heading off to Atlanta tomorrow (my first time there) to review portfolios for Atlanta Celebrates Photography. Each October, Atlanta is transformed by over 150 photo-related exhibitions and events, including a core of ACP programs hosted by a diverse network of venues across the Atlanta metro area. I'm really excited to have been asked to participate, joining my illustrious colleagues David Bram of Fraction, Danielle Avram-Curatorial Assistant, Photography & Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum of Art, Taj Forer - Editor, Daylight Magazine, Sylvie Fortin - Editor, Art Papers Magazine, Stuart Horodner - Artistic Director, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Michael Kochman - Creative Director, Turner Image Management, Lisa Kurzner - Independent Curator, Writer, Art Consultant, Yan Li and Li Shufeng - Curators, Beijing, China
Evan Mirapaul - collector, art critic, independent curator, Laura Moya - Director, Photolucida, Christopher Rauschenberg - Co-Founder, Co-Curator and Board Chairman, Blue Sky Gallery, Anna Walker Skillman - Owner, Jackson Fine Art, Susan Todd-Raque - Private dealer, independent curator, Paula Tongarelli - Executive Director, Griffin Museum of Photography, Caroline Wall - Director, Robert Mann Gallery.

I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of work and getting a feel for the photography scene in Atlanta. I will try to blog about what I do and what I see, so check in over the weekend.

And if you're in the area, come on by and take in the sights!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

PhotoPlus Expo Is Coming to Town

Now that fall is here it's time to make your preparations for PhotoPlus Expo to be held at the Javits Center from October 28 - 30th in New York. Here's your chance to hear keynote speakers Chase Jarvis, Albert Watson, Laurie Kratochvil and Christina Mittermeier, plus attend seminars that cater to nearly every topic available.

This year the Palm Springs Photo Festival is sponsoring a portfolio review with a great cast of reviewers. So there's something for everyone, and that doesn't even include the big bash to be held this year on The Intrepid! Should be a wild time for all.

Remember, the earlier you sign up the better.

I will be blogging the entire event with photographers Andrea Fischman, Sari Goodfriend, Jason Florio and producer Helen Jones so that we can cover everything from seminars to exhibitors. We will be filming interviews and equipment reviews, giving you a front row seat on many of the seminars and some surprises still to be announced. So if you can't make it, you can learn about everything here at Stellazine and also at the ASMP blog, Sharpen.

You will also be able to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (more details to come).

If there are things you want us to cover, feel free to email me and let me know now, and during the event. And if you see any of us floating around at the Javits Center, come up and talk with us. Maybe we'll put you on camera.

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