Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My most important job ever

Of all the awesome things I've ever done, and I'll ever do, being a family man is the best.  I have an amazing wife, son, and a little boy coming up any second now and it is just bliss.

Isaiah makes everything worth working for...striving for...

He has a funny little personality, even with these quick snaps that took me five minutes...

Fatherhood is an amazing thing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Photographers Rights

This is, of course, a huge, multifaceted issue.  With so many things happening in our communities today, we've seen a spike in journalist, photojournalist, and civilians with cameras being put in situations against law enforcement or government officials.  Never a very good place to be.

If you are ever caught in this position, as I've been, numerous times in the past, here's a few points to remember:

1.  Be nice.  Be polite, when you can, and make sure your answers, if you have to give any to begin with, are clear, concise, to the point, and...polite polite polite.

2.  Clear view=clear shot.  This is the basic rule to working in the press.  If you are on public property, and what you are photographing is in plain view, you are good.  Nobody can tell you otherwise.  They can request you not shoot...and by all means, there are times where you extending a little bit of professional courtesy is the right thing to do, but it is not against the law to shoot.

3.  Private property=game changer.  This is where the rules change.  If you are on private property, and the property owner request you not photograph while on private property, then you must not do so.

4.  You must still obey laws.  Shooting photographs...not against the law.  Trespassing on private property...against the law.  Kicking in a window to get into a building and photograph...definitely against the law...and so on and so forth.  Obey the laws.

5.  Nobody can delete or confiscate.  Law enforcement wants a look at your images...there are instances where they can do so...LOOK at your images.  Not confiscate.  Not delete.  Look.  And these are in extreme circumstances, where a major issue was occurring.  This is a rare exception.  For cell phones, a warrant is necessary to search, and this is direct from the Supreme Court.

6.  Its not us vs them. enforcement is on our side.  Police officers and order are to be respected, honored, and adhered to, as much as possible.  They are some of the most valuable assets in our world, as civilians, and as artist, and we should remember that...but we must also remember that we have our rights as well.

Obviously there's many more aspects to this subject, but, keeping these points in mind will help you out quite a bit in the long run.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Arts and Business Part I

Let's face it.  Us artist have a reputation for not being the best with financial matters.  Many of us tend to focus more on the creative aspects than on the money making aspects.  We don't enjoy paperwork, and such things like cold calling and hard networking aren't things that normally fall into our favorites category.

Still, these, among several others, happen to be things that fall within the "necessary evil" category.  Here's a few tips to help your day stay balanced and productive:

1.  Make your calls early.  Who cares if every single call ends up in utter rejection, humiliation, etc?  Well, actually, you should care, and that's something we will cover on another post, but, get these calls made early.  Decision makers are usually most prone to having phone conversations early in the day, before the demands of daily business consume them.  Get them early, while they are fresh, and a bit more at ease.

2.  Plan plan plan!  My wife chuckles at me.  I have a yearly goal list.  And a quarterly.  And a monthly.  And a weekly.  And a daily.  And oftentimes, an hourly.  Don't beat yourself up if you don't stick to it 100%, because as we all know, those last minute meetings, shoots, opportunities, are often coveted...but for the rest of the time.  Get yourself on track, and do your best to stay on it.  

3.  Finances.  This is such a broad, intense subject, I could literally spend the rest of the year writing exclusively about finances for artist, and not even cover a small minority of this theme.  Again, this is another post for another day, but bottom line is this: the pressures of being a successful working artist in today's society are already difficult enough.  The last thing you need to worry about is an accounting error, bills being paid, invoices in or out.  Stay on top of this as much as you possibly can.  
4.  Schedule.  Back to the plan plan plan part.  Set some time aside, every single day, to sit down with someone new.  A new potential client.  Art director.  Portfolio reviews.  Even if you don't book a job that same day, those small investments can amount to larger long term gains.

5.  Invest.  I just said it in #4.  Invest your time.  Invest in further educating yourself...more training...more dedication to your craft.  Obviously, financial investments are a necessity, as there's not many of us that have pensions waiting at the end of the rainbow.

There's so many things I could put on here, but this should get you started.  

What have you tried that has worked?  What has helped you come along in your career, that you can pass on to others?