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  • What I am carrying in my camera bag and WHY

    Photographers love gear. I love gear. But, in the end, my gear does ONE thing. It solves my problem(s.) Usually that problem involves getting something in front of the camera recorded for a publication, exhibition or web-site. The gear I use is constantly changing. Every couple years I create a new podcast to show what I NOW carry with me when working. This record of my gear is accurate for late summer of 2014. In a year or two it will be outdated, as will my cameras and I will have to do this all over again.

    15

    Oct 14

  • Why would anyone do stock photography

    In the last couple weeks, my nephew and a long time student both asked me if they would be wise to start producing stock imagery to be licensed through agencies or photo libraries. Though reusing existing imagery is a part of my business, I worked pretty hard to discourage them. In the process, walked them through the question “why would anyone do stock photography.” In doing so. I realized the form of my answer would be useful to any one considering getting involved in stock photography.

    28

    Mar 14

  • Looking at web sites

    Many photographers ask me to look at their web sites to give them feedback. When I review web sites, I think back to when my web site was reviewed by someone in a position of authority. His review reshaped my web site and still influences how I look at web sites. This podcast explores that initial review, which serves as a springboard for me to look at a series of other web-sites.

    19

    Feb 14

  • Clearly crossing a fuzzy line

    Last week I blogged about intellectual property in general and the theft of photographs in particular. The line between the borrowing of ideas and concepts, verses actual stealing of intellectual property can occasionally be fuzzy. But the thefts I was writing about were clearly over that line. In writing that blog, I was prompted to think about my own borrowing/appropriating/reusing.

    03

    Jan 14

  • I was wrong but they are even more wrong

    Throughout my career as a commercial photographer, I have had a fairly consistent attitude about copyright theft (and its impact on my imagery.) This was based on my world-view of the photography market and my ability to realistically respond/control that. A recent experience has shown me that my attitude was, to put it bluntly, wrong.

    31

    Dec 13

  • Cafe Coffee Day vs Starbucks (advice to Howard Schultz)

    People who know me are aware that I don’t drink alcohol, be it wine, beer or hard liquor. I do love my coffee though. In fact, am something of a “specialty coffee” junky (as the marketing types call it.) Starbucks will soon be opening locations across India, expanding into a country and culture that I know relatively well. I am rooting for Starbucks to change the India specialty coffee market, but not for the reasons you might expect.

    01

    Feb 13

  • The business side of workshop teaching

    In my last blog entry, I wrote about how interns/teaching assistants can maximize the opportunities that such professional opportunities can offer them. Since then I have received a few comments and queries based on what I wrote (including two that are at the bottom of that blog entry.) This week I want to answer another professional development question, in this case about photography workshops, which I saw posted in a forum. It was one of those rare questions that I see on line which I actually feel qualified to answer.

    17

    Aug 12

  • If I were starting out now

    I am an old photographer, (duh!) That means I have been taking pictures seriously for a very long time (forty years to be exact in 2012.) It also suggests I have some kind of wisdom to offer young photographers, which may or may not be true. Arguably, the most common question I get from young photographers is what would I do if I were starting out in today’s photography market. My answer usually starts with “I don’t know” and ends with “I’m glad I am not.” Since neither of those are a real answers, I owe a real answer to readers (and to a friend who asked me that same question recently.)

    15

    Jun 12

  • Photography books with authorship

    Last week I blogged about a couple of my favorite photography books, neither of which have any pictures. This week I am thinking about photography books that actually have pictures in them. What got me thinking about these books is how the authors each bring something special to their projects. I am not writing about the books because the photographers are my friends (though some are.) I am writing about them because each of the photographers in question has done one or more things to make their books interesting and distinctive.

    13

    Apr 12

  • Lessons learned judging a photo contest

    I spent time in early October judging the annual Pollux Awards, which are given out by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards. The juror’s statement, which I wrote after the judging, was recently posted along with the winning work. The whole process was an education for me. I thought that turning my experience into a blog entry would enable me to take others on the same educational journey that I recently undertook.

    04

    Nov 11

  • Selling prints, for love or money

    I am just winding up a workshop in Italy, which was great fun (and equally great food.) A question that came up in this workshop, as it does in many, (and came in this week from a former student via e-mail) got me to thinking about selling photographs as fine art. The former student who raised the question is part of one of the ongoing critique groups that I lead, where I meet (on-line) with a few photographers every couple months to do a group critique of their ongoing projects. The question spurred an great dialogue within that group, which in turn spurred this blog entry. As I was laying out my thinking for the blog piece, I was thinking of titling it simply, the good, the bad and the ugly.

    24

    Jun 11

  • Hastening the demise

    Regular readers know that I often write about how rapidly changing technology is killing off various markets for professional photographers. I am concerned about this for selfish reasons, since I am a commercial photographer. I am also concerned for the next generation of photographers, wondering which photographic disciplines will be left for them to actually make money working in. If my recent experience is any indication, the future, with fewer and fewer financially viable market for pros is already here. I should know since I personally just hastened the demise of one viable market for commercial photography.

    05

    Jul 10

  • A new look at complaining about the “good old days”

    I was exchanging e-mails with Bob Krist, a freelance photographer who works regularly on assignment for National Geographic Traveler. Our dialogue started with the idea that when we were younger, the older photographers we admired complained about the good old days. I wondered if, today, when he and I are no longer young and are more prone to complain, are we just being nostalgic or is something really being lost in today’s photography market/climate?

    04

    Dec 09

  • A big, what is the meaning of life, kind of a question

    A former student/intern wrote me with a big, “what is the meaning of life” kind of a question. The process of answering her ended up becoming something of a dialogue within myself about photography and “meaning” for me. After I sorted things out in my own thinking, I wrote her an answer I could also use as a blog posting.

    24

    Aug 09

  • Summer freedom

    Summer time is supposed to be about relaxing and freedom from school/work. With that in mind, this post is going to be a bit more relaxed than some recent entries. I will mostly talk about the free things I have been taking advantage of recently.

    07

    Aug 09

  • An aspiring photographer wrote me…

    An aspiring photographer wrote me: “What advice might you give me on how to find opportunities (no matter how small), where I might find some interest in my work, or how to best focus my efforts.” Such a question leaves me wary because answering it takes away from what little time I have left between earning a living as a photographer and nurturing this site. As I pondered how to answer him, I realized the answer was really another blog post in the making.

    31

    Jul 09

  • Pricing images for publications: Part One

    A friend/former student wrote me with a great question. He wrote: “I have an opportunity to license some images to a travel company for their brochures. I’ve never done this before and therefore I’d love to get your quick opinion of what the right price range should be. The email below is from the director of communications from the travel company.”

    03

    Jul 09

  • Basics of capturing images for a time-lapse animation project

    This enhanced podcast introduces the viewer to the basics of capturing images for a time-lapse animation project, in this case while photographing a flower market in Bangalore, India.

    06

    May 09

  • Thoughts on web sites for photographers

    A friend asked me about web sites and I got to thinking about my own web site.  I considered how it evolved from a coding disaster, to a nice try, and finally to the real thing.  My path, with all its ups and downs, may be instructive for other photographers thinking about their existing (or) future web sites.

    30

    Mar 09

  • Adapting to new technology verses adopting a new philosophy

    As commercial photographers, we are continually adapting to new technologies, moving from black and white, to color (then to slides) and now to digital. Similarly we are often expected to adopt new strategies and philosophies as the market we work within changes.  More and more folks I hear from are finding that second process of adopting harder to take, and I am not sure it is just a function of our advancing ages.

    13

    Mar 09

  • Marketing is the key to being a professional photographer

    The longer I work as a professional photographer, the more I am reminded that taking pictures is the easiest part of this job. The hardest part is marketing your work and yourself. I have tried various marketing strategies over the years, some more successful than others. All of them are built on the idea of regularly getting your work in front of the folks who will pay to use your images. So how do you find those folks?

    21

    Nov 08

  • Some thoughts on being a professional photographer

    This podcast explores important questions that aspiring professional photographers should be thinking about.

    19

    Nov 08

  • Making inexpensive, high quality, archival photographic prints

    An exhibition of what I call my “light study” work just closed in Providence. One of the many fun things about this show was that it featured my newest color “light study” work. In the past, this work was only in black and white, so this is a new and exciting direction for me. You can read more about the new work here: http://meredithcutler.com/image/david-h-wells-light-studies-for-artscope-magazine-septoct-2008.

    17

    Nov 08

  • Alone on the water: the last Rhode Island Quahoggers

    This enhanced podcast takes you on a journey into the lives of Quahoggers (Rhode Island’s shellfishermen,) exploring their traditional (but threatened) way of life.

    05

    Nov 08

  • Portugese photography festival

    I was connected to information on an interesting photography festival in Chaves, Portugal.

    10

    Oct 08

  • Keeping up on the stock photography business

    If you are interested as I am in keeping up with developments in the rapidly changing world of stock photography, you should be reading a new blog called “about the image.”

    06

    Oct 08

  • Visual search engine

    Right now, if you want to search for an image, you are limited to searching using keywords. TinEye is a new and possibly revolutionary visual search engine currently in beta testing.

    03

    Oct 08

  • Lists of awards, prizes or grants

    There is a new blog attempting to “bring together a listing of all the awards, prizes or grants which are given in the various fields of arts.”

    22

    Sep 08

  • Photography driven Marketing campaign

    My agency, Aurora photos, is running an interesting marketing campaign that explores both the artistic and commercial aspects of photography.

    19

    Sep 08

  • Portfolio reviews

    The biennial portfolio reviews in Portland, Oregon scheduled for 2009 are now open for registration.

    12

    Sep 08

  • A market moment

    This video photography podcast, “a market moment,” is an animation of a series of images at an Indian flower market.

    10

    Sep 08

  • “Opportunities” for photographers

    I read a lot of stuff, every day, offering “opportunities” for photographers. Many of those are suspect, at best. Here are THREE interesting opportunities.

    22

    Aug 08

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