April 19, 2011

Finding and keeping inspirations - advices from the Pros

Photoshelter put together this great list in Finding and keeping inspirations - advices from the Pros.
To download visit Photoshelter.  Click here to watch the Webinar.

·      Be interested in the world around you
·      Have non-photographer friends
·      Don’t get hung up on the business
·      Donate time to causes you believe in
·      Fall in love with another person
·      Have a pet
·      Travel to get outside your comfort zone
·      Help other photographers to learn and grow
·      Embrace storytelling
·      Drink plenty of wine, Beer and Tequila

·      Find out who you are
·      Make images that show your personal voice
·      Forced out of your comfort zone
·      Find a network of like-minded people
·      Update your portfolio with new images
·      Make more powerful images
·      A vested interest (i.e. Self funding) will make you work harder
·      Test the limits of what’s possible
·      Inspire others
·      Inspire yourself

·      Get out of your comfort zone
·      Have a life-long photo project
·      Have a year-long photo project
·      Find day long photo projects
·      Study other people’s work
·      Take mental breaks
·      Enter contests (Feed ego and to review work)
·      Find like minded friends to motivate one another*
·      Shoot your own life

·      Read voraciously
·      Talk to different types of people to get different perspectives on the same topic
·      Localize and humanize bigger issue
·      Think visually about an idea. Not all ideas work visually
·      Write a lot.  Put ideas on paper (Will apply to grants just to help flesh out the idea even if you don’t expect to get it)
·      Be an observer on life
·      Trust your own instincts

·      Promote work that you love, not just stuff that you think others will love
·      Presentation matters; sometimes as much as they photo themselves
·      Know your strengths and fill the gaps (i.e hire a designer)
·      Don’t be limited by your budget (there are so many ways to promote yourself at little or no cost)
·      Leave multiple touch points (leave a print with your portfolio, a business card, etc)
·      Make it easy for people to respond
·      Try something you’ve never seen before (or at least make it your own)
·      Balance strategy and execution
·      Have fun with you promotion

·      Identify your serviceable market
·      Research the new market’s business practices
·      Save, save, save money before making the move
·      Have your business house in order (separate checking, EIN, etc)
·      Have self-promotion in order (Website, portfolios, consistency of branding)
·      New work needs to meet the needs of the market
·      Start promoting yourself a year before you move
·      Start showing work to new clients ahead of the move
·      Ideally start working for clients before the move
·      When you’re losing money in the old gig, make the switch

·      Have a life outside of photography
·      Shoot what you love
·      Have a relationship with reporters and writers
·      Go the extra mile
·      Keep list of possible ideas
·      Have a personal project (then you become an expert in that subject)
·      Pay attention to other photographers
·      Look at all types of photography and art
·      Don’t give into constraints of your publication

·      Don’t work all the time
·      Be open to change
·      Have other interests and hobbies that give you joy and pleasure
·      Read books, not just photo books
·      Have an understanding of world events and develop opinions about them
·      Don’t shoot “soul killing” assignments
·      Feed your spiritual side
·      Take care of your physical self
·      Get mindful of your family
·      Always have a personal projects

Inspiration (internal source)
            Career Longevity
            Taking chances, trust your judgment, progress and innovate,
            Inward inspiration (positive feeling after taking risks and break new grounds)
            Inspiring others

            You will be more motivated
            You already know you enjoy it
            You build on existing knowledge
            You probably already have contacts
            Passions rubs off in other areas of your life
            It’s for the really young
            It’s for the really old
            And everyone else in-between

The Importance of Personal Projects
            Confidence Builder
            Connection Maker
            Creativity without limitations
            Explore new methods
            Joy of ownership

Create a Motivation-Generating Routine
            Maintaining a Creative Rhythm
            Small easy steps to avoid Procrastination
            A way to monitor progress
            Proving Productivity
            An inspiring go-to resource

Pitch ideas correctly
            Pitch from their perspective, not yours
            Simple, Clear, and Quick
            Describe the benefits
            Speak confidently and speak visually
            Test your pitch
            Learn from rejection, refine, and pitch again

Trusting yourself and your instincts
            That voice is you
            Recognize Low vs. High Self Esteem voices
            Listening to the positive you

Things photographers can do to help them learn to trust and their ideas more
            Don’t be afraid to fail

Finding ways to market/promote yourself
            Thinking bold and new is good for you
            Nobody gets to the top by thinking small
            Goal: to stand above competition
            Be clever
            Be yourself

            A chance to pursue your passion
            A chance to re-evaluate your skills
            A chance to learn new things
            Turning personal projects into paid pursuits
            Leaving the mundane behind
            Builds confidence and trust in yourself

A Strategy for Avoiding Burnout (Stress from . . .)
            Feeling powerless
            Feeling unappreciated
            Being in the wrong career
            Repetition of mindless tasks
            No room for creativity
            An unbalanced life

April 7, 2011

It pays to be prepared

My camera bags are always packed and ready to go to cover an assignment.  I believe one of the keys to success is preparation.  When it comes to keeping my camera gears in order I am very anal.  My clothes and shoes and dirty dishes could be scattered all over the place.  But my cameras, lenses, batteries, strobes, and other accessories are wiped, dusted, charged, and put away every time I come home so it’s ready for the next time I go out. 
The other day, I got a phone call from SacTown Magazine Editor asking me if I was available to cover the Sacramento King’s Rally at Caesar Chavez Park in Downtown Sacramento.  I jumped at the opportunity and wrote down all the shot requests and info on my little notebook.  She told me the rally starts at 5pm and I glanced at my watch and I had less than 40 minutes to get to downtown (15 miles away) during rush hour traffic.  I told her, “No worries, I will be there to cover it.”
I grabbed my Lowepro bag and took out a camera body, 2 lenses, a couple of CF cards, and my press pass.  I inserted the battery and turned on the camera to check the juice and it showed a full bar.  I jumped in my car and drove to downtown.  I used my iPhone to check on the flow of traffic on the freeway and the best exit to take with the least hold-up.  I knew in advance that I had to park on the street but I had a stash of quarters in my ashtray for parking meters for this kind of occasion.
In the end I got to where I need to be prepared to shoot an assignment with 5 minutes to spare.
Here are some pics from the King’s Rally.  

Carmichael Dan started the Campaign Here We Build Campaign to keep the Kings in Sacramento.