Saturday, April 11, 2009

Not everything should be judged by the paycheck...

I have a few clients that I don't bill my normal corporate rate for. There are a few non-profit groups that get a special rate, and a rare few charities that get my pro bono work. Why? Well, sometimes it is better to help a worthy cause. Sometimes you will gain more from helping them in the long run (like networking with bigger, better clients during your non-profit help). 

If they are making a buck, you should expect to make a buck. But groups that are on shoestring budgets, trying harder to help or educate the community rather than making a huge profit, well, they deserve some help.  And, I feel good helping them.  I know that I'm doing something positive with my talents.

And it's not like there aren't other ways to get a few perks. Some of the clients throw nice fundraising events with fancy food, and I get to join them. Some have services that I can use for free, in exchange for being part of their "family".   Some have given me access to cool rock stars or important people.  It doesn't always have to be just about money. Some clients can be judged by more than just the paycheck you bring home from them.

This was the case today... The oldest boy was away at Grandma and Grandpa's house, but the wife and two other boys were sitting at home. I had a shoot scheduled for a really cool and fun museum, and I can usually get them in to any of the exhibits for free. 

So, I loaded up the posse and let them enjoy the afternoon with me. After I was done working, I joined them and we toured all the dinosaur stuff, let our middle boy dig in the sand (you can "hunt" for fossils), and played with a bunch of really neat displays and projects. It was a good time.  We all loved it a lot!  

Heck, even if we had to pay, it still would have been worth it.  It was a fun place and a fun day.  But that's not the point of this blog.  Just remember to weigh all the factors when deciding if you're going to work with a client and whether they will receive any sort of special rate.  

I know one photographer that shoots for an airline in exchange for free tickets anywhere/anytime.  Not exactly a non-profit organization, but the point is that he actually gets a better deal than if he billed them for money and then purchased tickets like a regular customer.

Speaking of deals to make with clients, I have heard of a few other non-cash deals to go down here and there.  I have heard of some photogs that shoot for firearms manufacturers that have had the rifles/shotguns transfered to them instead of taking a check.  

Not a bad deal to get a $1200 shotgun instead of a $600 check (if you want/need that sort of thing).  Or, I've heard of people shooting for camera or lighting companies in exchange for free photo gear instead of money.  Again, you'd get more gear than if you'd bought it outright with the money you could've charged from the shoot.  

I bet these kind of deals go on all the time, though I have always limited them to charities and non-profits.  Maybe it's because the right client hasn't come along yet.  Heck, if I shot for Porsche or Ferrari, you know I'd try to work out a trade!!!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Forget about being a photographer at the moment...

I have several friends who were all just laid off earlier this week from a major newspaper (one of the biggest in the country).  One of them was there for 34 years and was an amazing photographer.  

I hope you aren't expecting to grab a camera, walk right into this industry, and find a job right now.  It's a tough business and getting tougher.  The equipment costs are insane, the number of jobs are shrinking every day, and the number of people fighting for work is growing like mad.  But, if you continue to make it, the rewards are out of this world...


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Art Crawl...

I will have two pieces displayed in the upcoming Oak Cliff Art Crawl.  You should try and attend the event:  



Go Tonight!!!

I'll be at the ASMP meeting tonight.  If you are a Dallas area professional photographer (or a current photography student/assistant planning to become a pro shooter at some point), you NEED to attend ASMP meetings (and hopefully join them).  For more info on tonight's event, look here:  

See you there...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I am the law...

I shot more lawyers Tuesday.  It's getting to be quite a regular thing, between all my clients that need portraits of law professionals.  Add to the fact that I'm starting to court a few law trade magazines, and I could go from being the big name in Dallas music photography to being the big name in Dallas law photography.  That would be cool (no it wouldn't - unless it paid a lot more, then it would).  


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A blog about Sarah writing a blog about me... confusing?!?

I stumbled across this today:  

It is a blog about me photographing local artist Sarah Jane Semrad.  I didn't even remember her snapping a shot of me that day.  It's odd what you find on the internet...

Monday, April 6, 2009

First look at the cover...

I've been sitting on this quietly, anxiously waiting for the first official press releases to come out.  They finally have...  

It wouldn't have be right for me to show the album artwork for Rhett Miller's upcoming solo album before he (and the label) were ready to start sharing images and sneak peeks.  Thankfully, I don't have to keep the cover under wraps any longer.  Rhett's official website just sent out an email to all his fans and put a copy up on his website for the world to see.  

I'd love to show you the rest, but I doubt that any other part of the upcoming album will be revealed until its release date in June.  It's not my place to start leaking any tidbits of the album that he (or his label) aren't prepared to share.  I wish I could, because there are several great shots used throughout the packaging... but, I won't.

I'm absolutely in love with the picture on the back, and think you will be, too.  There are also some nice detail shots used inside as background pics.  And, the PR/promo pics that are starting to hit blogs, websites, and print publications are pretty cool, too.  

Anyway, I have real work to get back to.  I just had to take a break to share this info.  When I saw they finally released an image of the cover, I got too excited to not tell the world!  I hope you like it - and buy it!!!