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Tagged With « strategy »

  • Why listen to me?

    I write a lot of blog entries, teach a lot of classes and give many presentations. Those are NOT why you should listen to me when I write something or say something. You should listen to me because you think I know what I am talking about. The question is how do you know that and by extension, why listen to me?

    14

    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

  • Road trip road tips

    My daughter is setting off on her semester abroad in college. She chose not to go on a college-sponsored program in some sunny and warm spot, where she might be surrounded by other American college students. Instead, she chose to enroll in a university in the chilly, damp and often gloomy U.K., to follow her passion, costume design for the theatre. Needless to say, I am very proud of her adventurous spirit.

    10

    Jan 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

  • A GREAT question

    A former student of mine, who has gone on to great accomplishment, wrote me with a GREAT question. My answer was be used on his blog page, but I thought it was such a good question that I am cross posting it on my page as well.

    06

    Dec 13

  • Seven Questions You Should Ask Every Accomplished Photographer

    I have been taking photographs for almost four decades—mostly for money and always for myself. Over those forty years, I have slowly figured out what I wanted to ask the many photographers I encountered along the way.  I have distilled this down to a list of questions that I would ask any photographer, knowing that the answers will help any photographer.

    02

    Aug 13

  • Labeling and Defining Photographers and Photography

    As a professional photographer, I am often labeled—even pigeon-holed—using simple titles like stock photographer, documentary photographer, photo-essayist or fine-art photographer. That makes sense to me, because people want a quick way of knowing who I am as a photographer, and what kind of work I can do. A student recently asked me to explain how one photographer (me), would approach one subject, and photograph that subject different ways while wearing those four different hats.

    26

    Jul 13

  • How and why I use Tumblr

    A wise student asked me:”Tell me about your Tumblr. How it works & how it serves your purposes.” I thought it was a brilliant question, that if I answered it fully, would benefit many photographers. So, I made a podcast answering his question(s.)

    17

    Jul 13

  • How to organize the unorganized

    Another query comes in and another blog post comes out…. I received an e-mail with a question that was so good that I immediately answered the writer AND told him I would turn it into a blog post. His question, to put it succinctly was “How could he organize the unorganized?” This is a question nearly every photographer working digitally may have to face.

    22

    Mar 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

  • Day to day India, part two

    I am continuing my time in India, most recently hosting some old friends from Brazil as well as my daughter (and her friend.) As we have been taking them around, I have been again paying attention to the advice, warnings and cultural highlights I have shared with them. I recently blogged about some of those same things and this blog entry is ANOTHER collection of advice to anyone considering visiting India, including people in my future workshops in India.

    18

    Jan 13

  • Day to day India

    I am about half way through a six month adventure in South Asia. I am going to be leading more photography workshops to India in the future, including ones in February and December of 2013. Both of these realities prompted me to pay attention to the day to day routines I encounter (and practice) in India, in order to share them with readers of this blog and future workshop attendees coming to India.

    11

    Jan 13

  • Words of advice for a soon-to-be graduate (part two)

    In last week’s blog entry I parsed an e-mail from a “soon-to-be graduate” The two questions that he raised were: “…what are your favorite aspects of your work” and “…how someone could break into a field like this.” I suggested the real question to ask and answer was “…what are your least favorite aspects of your work.” I answered that question last week so now I can turn to the “…how someone could break into a field like this.”

    04

    Jan 13

  • Words of advice for a soon-to-be graduate (part one.)

    With a subject line like the title above, how could I not reply to the e-mail that recently came in from a “soon-to-be graduate” and how could I not turn my reply it into a blog? I have been sitting on this for awhile trying to figure out how to answer without turning into some cranky old man talking about the ”good old days.”

    28

    Dec 12

  • Safety tips for working in less developed countries

    I work a lot in the developing world, partly because my wife is from India. Before we met, I was also working a lot in the nether-reaches of the globe because personal projects and paying work took me there. A friend just asked me if I had any tips he could incorporate into his working process as he heads off to Mexico. The challenge for me in writing this blog was not coming up with advice but rather with figuring out how to explain those things that I do almost automatically when I am photographing in places like India, Guatemala, Vietnam or Turkey.

    31

    Aug 12

  • Google Plus Hangout with Jay Kinghorn

    I recently chatted with fellow Olympus Visionary photographer Jay Kinghorn for a Google + hangout where we discussed our experiences with the new Olympus OMD EM-5 camera as well as the challenges of transitioning from still to multimedia photography. We also discussed the gear we use, where we find inspiration for our work and where we are going next with our multimedia work.  It was a great conversation which I hope you will find as interesting as I found it.

    27

    Jul 12

  • Keeping my momentum

    As a self-employed editorial photographer, I tend to work in isolation. As a self-directed stock photographer with less and less assignment work, I need to keep motivated so I can move my work and career forward. One of the real joys of blogging and workshop teaching is that both of those do an excellent job of counterbalancing that isolation and keeping me motivated. I never really thought about this situation in those terms (or really much at all,) until someone wrote me with a question about isolation and momentum.

    17

    Nov 11

  • Books, ideas, frameworks

    My recent road trip left me with a lot of time for thinking about, among other things, books. In the “old” days, which were not that long ago, such a trip would mean buying / reading a few books over the six weeks I was on the road. It also meant planning how to get the books while traveling, how to carry them and where to leave them (or who to give them to) when I was finished, This trip, that whole routine was gone.

    04

    Feb 11

  • The thinking behind my photo-essay “Foreclosed Dreams”

    In this podcast, I take you with me as I am photographing part of my ongoing photo-essay “Foreclosed Dreams.”

    13

    Oct 10

  • Defining my own place in photography

    It is mid-September, which for me means the beginning of my working year. During the summer that just ended, like most recent summers, I certainly worked hard, but I also relaxed a good bit. So, now I am starting my busiest season of September to June. That is when I travel the most for work, teach most of my workshops, give most of my presentations, make most of my stock photos and do most of my assignments. I have been planning out the next nine months or so for the last year and a half. I am aware that in this age of last minute planning, this much advance planning seems counter-intuitive. But for me, such long-term planning allows me to get as close as possible to achieving most, if not all of my goals. Defining those goals has been a long process, as has been learning to manage my time in order to achieve them. That long (and continuing) journey is the subject of this week’s blog entry.

    24

    Sep 10

  • Formulating the grammar, aesthetic and style of multi-media

    During my recent time at the Maine Media Workshops there was much discussion about what is being called “convergence.” The idea is that in the future, still images, video and audio are going to converge into one common media. With nearly all communication moving to the world-wide-web, that logic is largely irrefutable. The works that results from this mixing of media is currently referred to as multi-media. The faculty, staff and students at the workshop spoke often about that. I have been making such multi-media pieces myself, often for this site. To me, one of the most interesting things about multi-media is that as a new medium, we have a unique opportunity to formulate the grammar, aesthetic and style of this new media-in-the-making.

    03

    Sep 10

  • Musings on developing a style

    I have been back in India for a few days after a week in Singapore. Returning reminds me how the chaos of India contrasts dramatically with the order of Singapore. As a street photographer, that same unruliness is one thing that makes India so compelling. On the other hand, as a person who thrives on efficiency and order, Singapore holds an equal attraction. I wrote in the first of these three blog entries about the “journey” that Singaporean society as a whole is trying to take as it moves up the economic ladder. As I see it, such progress will only be made when individuals embrace the more unruly aspects of the creative processes. In this blog entry, I will answer the query of one Singaporean who has taken on that challenge.

    26

    Jul 10

  • Technologies, necessary and otherwise (part three)

    This is the last of three blog entries, for the moment, exploring my thoughts on technology. The entire set came from things swirling through my head lately. Events, especially e-mails, prompted me to organize those thoughts into the first two e-mails. This entry explores the starting point for all three posts, which was the fairly non-technical process of spring-cleaning.

    26

    Apr 10

  • Technologies, necessary and otherwise (part two)

    Earlier this week, I blogged about GPS technology and how one photographer, Lowell, had found a great use for that particular technology, one that does not interest me in the least. Another photographer, Michael, recently wrote me about another technological question he had issues with. I know now how he and I deal with the technology in question, but we wondered about others.

    23

    Apr 10

  • Technologies, necessary and otherwise (part one)

    I recently blogged about what I think of as the four questions each photographer should ask themselves. The fourth, and newest question was “What technology/software/camera gear will keep me focused on what I do best…?” The idea was that we are so overwhelmed with new digital imaging technology offerings that sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. A recent email exchange prompted me to think about that question again. This will be the first of a few blog entries exploring my thoughts on digital imaging technologies, necessary and otherwise.

    19

    Apr 10

  • Learning how you learn, photographically and otherwise

    I recently finished my annual class built around photographing the Tucson Rodeo. The weather was great and the pictures were even better! Most everyone we encountered was happy to be photographed. The class was a small group, so everyone got lots of attention. Because it was such a small group, I had time to analyze how each person learned. By the time the class was over, events had reminded me that in some ways, the most important thing ANY student should learn is exactly how they do learn.

    12

    Mar 10

  • Valuing creativity in music (and photography)

    I recently wrote about the similarities and differences between music and photography. While we experience each through very different senses, they also have a lot in common. Both have long, rich histories, which I pondered briefly in the last blog entry. This week, I am thinking about the fact that while both are used artistically and commercially, their respective approaches to compensating creators are very different.

    08

    Mar 10

  • Darwinian competition among photographers….

    I am now working out West. Last week I was in California photographing for my ongoing project on the foreclosure crisis. This week I am in Arizona photographing and teaching a workshop at the Tucson Rodeo. I am thrilled to be out of the cold in the Northeast. Since coming West, I have been watching some of the winter Olympics. That way I get to look at plenty of snow and ice, without, of course, the shivering that comes with it. Watching the competition in Vancouver, I noted the ever-narrower differences between the medalists and the also-rans. This got me to thinking about evolutionary biology and that lead me back to photographers.

    22

    Feb 10

  • Thinking points for any photographer

    I was recently catching up on my reading of photography magazines and enjoying one of my favorite magazines. I remembered what great a resource it was and how much I had learned from the recently started publication. Then I also remembered it was free, which made it all that much of a better “read.” I am assuming they make their money via advertising because they are not making it via subscriptions. I think one reason they are so successful (and get lots of advertising) is that they do a good job of staying “on message.” They focus on their one area of interest and largely ignoring the rest of the vast world of digital photography.

    19

    Feb 10

  • Video vs photography, past, present and future

    What I know about video (other than what I have taught myself about editing in Final Cut Pro) could easily fit on one small page. What I will learn about video in the coming decades is unknowable. But, if I had to venture a guess, I would bet that fairly soon, I will be among the thousands of working photographers who will soon have to decide just how much more we want to, or need to, know about video.

    30

    Nov 09

  • Isolated or interacting, that is the question

    Back in August, I wrote a blog post titled “A big, what is the meaning of life, kind of question.” I was intrigued when a friend wrote me back with his answers to the questions that I had posed (and then answered.) Some of his answers were so specific to his life and work that, though they were interesting to me, I am not sure the points he raised would be of interest to anyone else. He did raise one point that is almost universal for photographers, which became the seed of another blog post.

    28

    Sep 09

  • Frequent Flyer (Part Two:) Commuting for personal and creative purposes

    I fly a lot for work, like most photographers.  I initially commuted for personal reasons like most people do. I wanted to be with my family as much as possible, while I was working on projects that seemed to always be “somewhere else.”  Eventually commuting became an integral part of my creative process as a photographer. This blog post is an argument for the idea that most photographers who work on long-term projects should consider building commuting into their creative processes.

    19

    Jun 09

  • Frequent Flyer (Part One:) Before and After Digital

    Like most photojournalists, I fly a lot for work. My experiences flying (both good and bad) can be divided into two periods, pre-digital and post digital. “Going digital” has had obvious benefits technologically, but also unanticipated benefits socially, especially when I am traveling.

    15

    Jun 09

  • Top ten keys to be a successful photojournalist (Part two)

    I just wound up an interesting assignment in California.  I wrote the first half of this two-part blog entry right after the first day of the project.  Now that I have finished and I am writing the second half of the entry, certain points I wanted to share are even clearer to me than when I started.

    04

    May 09

  • Top ten keys to be a successful photojournalist (Part one)

    I am starting an interesting assignment in California.  So far, it has been a lot of fun, but it has also been a great deal of hard work. To be honest, because I do not work on as many assignments as I once did, I was worried I would be rusty.  In fact it has been quite the opposite. All the skills I developed over the decades that I was doing assignment work came back to me easily, a bit like riding a bicycle (or motorcycle.) Thinking about them led me to writing them down as a blog post.

    01

    May 09

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