Thursday, October 21, 2010

Work vs music...

I'll share a little secret with you. Music helps me in all areas of my photo work. If you are going to be a photographer, you need to have access to good music. As you are shooting, you can loosen up your subject by playing their favorite album. It helps keep the momentum going.
Music also helps pace you when you are working on the computer, doing all the post-production work in Lightroom or Photoshop or whatever. Now, I know what you are thinking... You are saying, "Duh, that isn't a secret! I've been playing music during my shoots and post-production work already. Everybody does that." Well, that's not my secret. My secret is that I use vinyl or CD's, not iTunes or some internet-based music service. Why?

Reason number one... I can put on an album while shooting someone and find it's often a perfect length for a smaller shoot or a great length before a break is needed on a longer shoot. It's kind of like an egg timer for me. I lose track of things when I just have a clock to look at, but I can actually get a good feel for the pace of things as each song starts and then the album finally ends.

Reason number two... albums, especially vinyl, force me to get up and away from a computer screen on a regular basis. I've found that I'll sit for hours if I just have iTunes playing. Regular breaks to reset your eyes and stretch your legs can be very beneficial to the quality of your work. Being forced to get up and flip a record is great!

Reason number three... people generally love thumbing through a giant stack of albums while they are waiting for the shoot to start. They love touching them and pulling them out to look at the cover. You just don't get that same connection with an internet music service.

The only disadvantage is the amount of space (and the lack of a quick search feature, like a computer-based catalog) the physical music takes up. I have ten or twelve of the vinyl storage boxes (and a couple more on backorder with Light Impressions). I have almost an entire wall of CD's to deal with. They aren't in the way as much as the big vinyl, but it sure reduces the amount of wall space I have to hang pictures!

Labels: ,

Doctors need pics, too...

I get a lot of work from small businesses, like doctors and lawyers. They need marketing photos all the time. They need head shots updated. They need good photos! What do they need the photos for? Well, they often make brochures, small advertisements that run in area newspapers and magazines, websites... you name it, they probably do it.

Here's a recent advertisement that I shot. It's running in the current issue of D Magazine. It's very similar to what I've done a million times before, usually for lawyers (I shoot a LOT of lawyers for some reason). You take a simple, pleasant and inviting photo that makes the reader/customer feel comfortable and secure with that doctor or lawyer. No, it's not an insane, exciting cover shot for Rolling Stone. It's not some crazy, energetic concert photo. It is supposed to be safe and simple. Your picture is designed to build trust with new customers, not make the doctors look like wild rock stars.

So, don't overlook this great market. There's a steady income ready to be made in Dallas by providing simple, safe, smiling portraits to doctors, lawyers, accountants, realtors and any other small business that regularly markets itself!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recent work, a couple covers...

I thought I'd share some recent work... a couple tear sheets from the daily news and a couple covers from Dallas' best weekly publication: Quick! I'm not all that great at providing juicy details regarding the photo shoots, but I will try to give some sort of behind-the-scenes comment on each pic...

The above shot was pretty much our very last frame of the evening. We did a bunch of stuff in a local restaurant and out on the street in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas for this cover story. Some of the other images ran inside with the feature. It was getting dark and the writer and art director suggested the two models get very close - like they were about to kiss. I told her to grab his collar, and suddenly we had the winning shot!

Out of all the Austin City Limits Festival pics the Dallas Morning News had to choose from, they chose to run a crowd shot of mine. I had some killer shots of musicians performing, but this image must've best set the tone for the ACL weekend. It just goes to show you that the audience can be just as important as the band!

I was hired to shoot an important news conference by a business news wire service. Southwest Airlines made a big announcement and I got plenty of official "podium" shots. After the event, I spotted Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher outside giving a quick interview on his way out (very quick! I think it was a one sentence reply), so I snapped a few frames. The image was picked up and ran around the country! Good thing I was prepared...

TX-OU weekend... it's a big thing here in Dallas every year. For the game day issue of Quick, we actually painted up some hands, just like you'd see waving in the Cotton Bowl stadium bleachers. It's not often that I shoot crazy-colored appendages, but it was fun.


Green Day vs Converse...

I already blogged about and posted my Green Day concert tear sheets several weeks back, from when my photos ran in the Dallas Morning News. I'm not going to repost the newspaper clippings. Instead, I thought I'd share a few extra shots and make an observation that pretty much every image appears to have at least one pair of Converse showing!

I know that Converse is sort of the unofficial shoe of punk and rock and roll, but seriously... the first shot looks like it could be a Converse ad with the shoes flying above the crowd! And, I think Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day is wearing an all-black pair. If not, they are a knock-off of the originals.

I've been wanting to push for more commercial clients. Maybe I need to taylor a portfolio for Converse? They do their marketing in-house, so I could easily send their people a book filled with rock and roll pics that showcase the classic sneakers... Anyway, I kind of got off track with my post. It was supposed to be about Green Day, but wound up being some sort of Converse shoe rant. Back to the music - enjoy the Green Day concert pics!


Everyone says they are a music photographer...

Everyone with a camera says they are a music photographer. Everyone with a camera thinks they are a concert photographer. But, at what point can you claim this title and it actually be true?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Camera vs. Kids...

I do a lot of lifestyle and editorial photography with children. I know it might be surprising to think the guy known in Dallas as the rock and roll photographer actually shoots such cute and innocent pictures... but, it's true! I love music, but I don't actually party or get wild. I shoot in a lot of clubs and bars, but I don't drink or get crazy. When I'm not working, I'm usually at home with my three boys:

Maybe that's why working with children comes so natural to me? I've been hired to shoot a LOT of editorial, corporate and commercial shoots that involved children over the years, and I always love it! Why can't Dallas have a rock and roll photographer that loves kids?!?


State Fair of Texas videos...

I spent a lot of time at the State Fair of Texas this year, producing content for the publications I shoot for. I also did a little video work for The blog. As usual, the fair was a blast!

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Old City Park vs Heritage Village...

The last time I visited Heritage Village in downtown Dallas, it was still called Old City Park. That was a long time ago. It still looks basically the same as it did 25 years ago (when I last visited the park).

Labels: , ,