Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stock photos are everywhere...

I don't shoot stock, and I rarely sell stock (mainly, because I don't actively promote my catalog of images), but occasionally I will get a call from someone who knew I had an archived image and wants to license it. It can wind up being a nice little payment that I didn't expect, and it makes me wonder if I shouldn't be actively promoting my work for stock sales.

It wouldn't be hard to build up a variety of images for sale, either. I remember a photographer giving a lecture about finding good stock shot opportunities on all of his commissioned shoots. He'd be hired to shoot a subject at a certain location, then spot something else and shoot it before or after the primary shoot.

Here's a good example... I was in an office building yesterday, hired to shoot a lawyer for their website and brochures. As I'm waiting for her to come in the conference room, I look out the window. From the 20th story, I see an interesting view of downtown Dallas traffic during a wet, cold morning. I snap some pics. All of a sudden, I have images of a busy city highway that can be sold as stock. I was just sitting and waiting at the time, so why not make the most of it?

Or, on the plane home from Disney World... I look out the window and see an interesting shot that may be marketable. Done. I had nothing else to do, so why not take a picture that could potentially be sold. It could wind up being sold over and over, if the image is popular enough!

So, why not start actively offering my images as stock? Maybe I should. If I keep looking for little shots that can be taken during my downtime, it would be easy to find a bunch of potentially profitable shots.


Friday, November 20, 2009

We Built This City...

I had a blog going last night, trying to keep my promise of doing a blog post every day in November. Then, suddenly... everything fell apart. Pretty much everyone in my family got sick yesterday, except me. I was forced to abandon the blog and tend to a variety of vomit coming at me from all directions. Yes, it WAS gross!!!

Why do I mention this? Well, as a professional photographer, you still have real life happening all around you. Since the blog isn't essential to my survival, it wasn't a priority. If it was an important client's pics that HAD to be turned out last night... well, I would've probably been running back and forth between the studio and the bedrooms and bathrooms all night long. As a professional freelance photog, you have to balance your clients and real life. Sometimes, it isn't so easy.

OK, so back to blogging. I've missed two days out of thirty now. Not too bad I guess, especially considering that six of them were spent on vacation. And, besides dealing with a sick family (and a giant pile of nasty bed sheets to wash), I still had an early morning shoot, prep for an evening shoot and several clients needing to finalize upcoming shoot details with. It has been non-stop.

What does all this have to do with the Jefferson Starship song "We Built This City", which is today's blog title? Nothing. But this does:

It's a cool little video I shot for about a choir performance at Woodrow Wilson High School. The event was pretty fun, especially the Princeton Tigertones. The high school rendition of "We Built This City", on the other hand, was not the highlight of the evening...

Maybe I just have something against the song, because the kids sound fine. If only they'd chosen something like "London Calling" or "Anarchy In The UK". Is that too wild for a high school choir? Hey, I heard the grocery store music system playing Ozzy Osborne the other day (which was very odd), so why not some Sex Pistols in the school choir?????


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Disney photographers...

This is one of the many Disney World photographers. I think his name was Tim. I also took a picture of a female Disney photog who was super nice, but I'll save her pic for another Disney post...

So, why am I blogging about Tim and his associates? Well, if I were a young, single person trying to find steady work as a photographer in this day and age, I might just consider trying this out for a bit. It seemed kind of fun.

They aren't like your average high school student working a summer job. They are real photogs. I talked with one last year, and he said some of them shoot the special events/corporate conferences that are booked at Disney. Some of them shoot the weddings and receptions on site. I'm sure they also handle some of the Disney PR photos and other misc shoots needed.

If I were young, single and wanted to get some real world experience under my belt, what better way to hone my photo skills than in sunny Florida? I'm well past that now, but who knows... they may have some pretty good paying upper level positions in the photo dept. I could apply today and never have to leave! Oh, who am I kidding. I could never work for a mouse, even if he is adorable.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jason vs. film...

OK, so this post may be a bit silly, but I am on vacation, so... I just thought it was fun to see the giant film canister that you could climb through and slide down. It is inside a "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" playground at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Part of me misses shooting film, but digital has so many more advantages. However, I don't think it would be quite as fun to climb on a giant compact flash card. This is one area that film surely wins out!


Monday, November 16, 2009

More than just a photographer...

I pulled double duty for the annual CF Concert Series held at The Granada Theater in Dallas, TX, this year. This is the second year that I not only donated some of my rock and roll prints to help raise money for the charity, but I also handled all the PR for the event.

I'm excited, because my photos raised a LOT of money for the charity. Plus, I did a pretty good job at handling all the press and PR for the event, with tons of newspaper, blog, radio and television coverage happening. Not that I'd want to give up photography as a career, but I could probably do promotions and marketing to pay the bills, if I had to - based on the media coverage and attendance this year and last year...

Here is some video of the VIP portion of the event. More video coming from Stan Rouleau in the coming days:


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jason vs. Epcot Center...

OK, so Disney World's Epcot Center would have been an easy one to beat, had I really been trying hard to get some fun photos. It is filled with picturesque scenery and hundreds (if not thousands) of great, picture-perfect moments. How could you not leave Epcot without a ton of wonderful, family-friendly vacation pics?

Believe it or not, I didn't really shoot many, though. I don't plan to sell any stock pics of Disney World. I don't have any specific magazine or newspapers that need Disney pics, either. So, I turned off my professional photographer mode, took it easy and kept the camera in my bag for most of the day. I got a few family pictures here and there, and that was it.

There were two things that caught my eye, however. One was the Giant ball that houses the Spaceship Earth ride. My babies kept staring up at it. They were in awe. Their fascination made me take a step back and try to examine it from a very simple, innocent perspective. I found that when I deconstructed it into basic shapes and balanced it against the clear, blue sky, it almost turned into abstract art.

The other thing that got my attention as a photographer was the Living Seas building. It was filled with colorful sea creatures. They weren't the easiest things to shoot, but it was fun trying. This one was especially fun to look at and photograph...

I don't mind that I skipped a million picture moments today. I had more fun just walking around with the family. My mind was still analyzing all the different photo opportunities, though. I kept seeing spots, objects, things, etc. that would be fun to photograph. I don't know how to turn that off completely. It's just in my blood, I guess.