nyc photographer

Getting Your Headshots

A lot of my clients will pop by my studio or I’ll show up at their office and I’m sometimes met with this statement; “They’re making me do this.” I think any photographer anywhere will agree that they hear that more often than not. I also hear “I don’t know why I need this.” It’s like when Ralphie had to wear the rabbit costume in a Christmas Story.  At first, I was taken aback. Say about seven years ago when I first started shooting full time; I’d think to myself “Wow. who doesn’t like to get their picture taken!?” (This is also coming from a dude with slight ME complex)  As it turns out A LOT of people don’t like getting their picture taken. As a photographer, that has informed me to create as comfortable a situation as possible so folks can come away happy with their photos. I’ve seen and worked with plenty of photographers that straight up act like divas around their clients and guess what? That doesn’t help.  The other thing we hear a lot of is “I hate myself in pictures.” I personally take that as a challenge and do have a pretty good track record of shooting something my clients are very happy with. Not to toot my own horn; but toot toot mother f****.

Headshots are important. They show your best self and let people know who you really are. The eyes are the window into the soul and the face is the rest of the house – right?  I just made that up. Your face is a house. Does that make sense? Anyway, we live in the age of crazy connectivity where once your photo gets posted online – it’s literally everywhere in the world in less than seconds. The instantaneous transfer of data is so unreal sometimes that it gives you pause!  I have shot for clients that had to real-time have their photos shot, edited, and sent to their main office overseas to be posted on their website. That’s just mindblowing to me. Headshots are a necessity, and I’m not just talking about headshots for the corporate environment. (I do really love doing corporate headshots)  I’m talking about headshots for yourself. I have done photos for many folks who just wanted to overcome that tinge of anxiety that may lie within so that they can feel confident about themselves by getting in front of a camera, getting great shots, and saying “Hey, I DID that.” I love that. I feel like a proud papa when I can help someone make that happen. I have also done headshots for people to use on dating apps, which I love doing too. Folks gotta step up their dating game somehow, right? They are also great to remember yourself a certain way. Folks are afraid of their own ego but I say to heck with that and feel yourself! Be confident, proud, awesome, and know your worth!

Headshots are a necessity. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. Book yours now.

nyphotony@gmail.com

 

 

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2020 Here We Go!

Better late than never. That’s how I feel about this blog post. It’s January 8th, 2020. Usually, I write these “start of year ” things a little sooner but hey, better late than never. The word “never” has such crushing finality to it, don’t you think? The connotation puts a finite bookend on whatever statement you’re making or some perceived rigidity in your life. On the other hand, it could also mean sticking to your guns. Never is a strong word. But In terms of goals or work, the word NEVER shouldn’t apply. It shouldn’t be taken as an ill omen, point of contention, or a finite bookend. The word “never “shouldn’t be spoken aloud to deride one’s progress or self-worth. Us freelancers ofttimes work doubly or triply (quadruply? just drooply?) hard to establish ourselves as a commodity, have financial stability (Mental stability too!) and reap what we sow. Freelancers cannot be lazy. We all have to strive toward seemingly impossible goals then move onto the next one. It took me years to establish a sustainable photography business. There are of course many ups and downs and truly when you’re a freelancer the term “feast or famine” most certainly applies. We go from the highest of highs to sometimes the lowest of lows but we chose this for ourself and I don’t know if I could live any other way. The thought of sitting in an office and being a drone for someone else drives me absolutely batty. That is something I may NEVER do again.

This is a big year for me. It marks seven years being a full-time freelancer. I’m closer to the ten-year mark than I ever thought I would be. When I first started I gave myself two years. If I didn’t find a modicum of success I would have gotten a job with Con-ed and let the overtime kill me and may have willingly stagnated my creativity. I’m glad this has worked out so far. I can also be very stubborn and a bit delusional and that helps with being a freelancer. Staying fresh also helps. I’m a big fan of removing old work and replacing those photos with new and better work. It shows a nice progression from where you started to where you are now. As a freelancer, we have to be better, right? Instead of just dreaming about the things we want we need to put the work in and go out there to get them. We have the power because we aren’t shackled to a desk most of the day. The downside is that because as freelancers we make our own schedule and sometimes have a little too much fun or downtime when we really should be concentrating on something else. Freelancers love the smell of their own farts. It’s true. I’m guilty. You’re guilty. It comes with the territory. We perpetually want to be the most interesting person in the world. We’re not. We’re just doing our own thing and it works for us. The reality is that freelancers struggle as much as everyone else. We’re all in this together. That being said there is no stopping you from achieving what you want. Most barriers are constructs we place ahead of ourselves that we think we’ll NEVER get over. It’s a matter of perception. Change your own mind to suit your needs. In many cases, we end up being slaves to our minds for bad or worse. Don’t let the cold clammy claws of anxiety or depression keep you from your goals. Don’t let them put the NEVER in your mind. Rise above it. You’re who you are and doing what you’re doing for a reason. Instead of a negative; turn that NEVER into a positive. I’m NEVER gonna stop. I’m NEVER giving up. I will NEVER yield. Throw what you want at me because I will NEVER stop moving forward. Is that all you got? Because it will NEVER be enough.  The ground will crack and tremble with every step I take because I will NEVER be able to stop reaching for my goals and when I get there I will NEVER look back and think of the bad days;  only the days that gave me the motivation to surpass my wildest dreams.

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Product Work

How it works

If you need photos for your product I can shoot them at my studio or your space. If you’re out of state and can ship your items I guarantee a quick turnaround time on edits. Typically photos are completed within ten days. All images are delivered via Dropbox at full res and resized for web. I shoot on white for Amazon/Ecomm, Lifestyle photos with and without model, and can do video for your product as well. I offer a package rate over 2 items. You can message me at nyphotony@gmail.com or at 646 275 4750 Thanks!

What You Get 

You would receive all edited images via Dropbox or Google Drive at full resolution and resized for the web. Once images are approved I can send your items back to you as needed. I also work with a great group of models who can bring more life to your items. 

Contact With Questions

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at nyphotony@gmail.com or at 646-275-4750 I have worked with many product sellers and if this is your first time doing this I can walk you through my process step by step. Invest in your item and invest in great pictures! 

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Fitness Shots

NYC Fitness Photographer Call or text 646-275-4750 or email nyphotony@gmail.com

Your Fitness Photos

Getting in shape is awesome but it can be tough!  If you’re a fitness competitor, bodybuilder, personal trainer, or just made an amazing change in your life it’s time for new fitness photos! I offer a variety of photo packages and will customize the shoot to your needs. I also offer video! And YES – these are photos I have taken for actual clients! (You’d be surprised at the amount I’m asked about that! All real!)

The Process

When you book your shoot please send samples of the shots you would like.I have a couple of great people who do hair and makeup and can also shoot on location if you have an idea of how you’d like your shoot to go!  I have done many personally tailored fitness shoots for a variety of folks including Muscle and Fitness magazine and many fitness competitors. 

Booking

Fill out the form below and let’s get rockin!!

Know Your Worth

Being a freelancer can yield the ultimate highs and the ultimate lows. As a freelancer or small business owner you know exactly what I mean. Committing yourself full time to your passion can be an uphill battle but the rewards far outweigh the risks. It’s all about commitment. That being said – the more you produce and the better you hone your craft the more you should acknowledge your worth as a viable commodity for those who need your service.

That means you shouldn’t sell yourself short. Three years ago when I started my business after quitting my go-nowhere job I KNEW I had to make it work. I had no capital, was getting married, and had no clientele. Looking back on it now I’m amazed I’m here. It took equal parts stupidity, bravery, willpower, and goddamn guts. I couldn’t quit. In that first year I took any and all jobs and took any pay that came with. It didn’t matter if I was working a 6 hour shoot for $200 (My client was mixing cocktails for his family at 1pm on a Tuesday in a 6 million dollar home) or working a 4 hour party for $75 (The party was in a loft in Soho filled with pseudo celebs and hangers on) I knew I had to do the grunt work to better my portfolio, gain more experience, and ultimately charge more and get better clientele so I didn’t have to hear someone say “I’d make you a drink but I don’t want crooked pictures! ::Insert smarmy jerk laugh::” or dealing with flakey clients who no-showed or tried to chinse on an agreed upon price.

After a while of plugging away that stuff eventually falls by the wayside and through a sometimes trial by fire you start to learn quickly and know better about how to handle your business. The type of clientele you will start to get will also rise in quality. You just have to keep working at what you do, don’t sweat the competition, and offer your customers something excellent. Customer service is a huge part of this business and it will get you repeat customers time and time again. As time goes on you can raise your rates accordingly, which is great for your business but your work will come under more scrutiny from higher end clientele who want a more perfect package. That being said you need to quote rates that are firm across the board. It would be unfair for you to charge people differently unless you have those awesome legacy clients that deserve a discount here and there because they have been loyal to you.

One of the major things you need to keep in mind is to never give up and never lose hope in yourself or your work. It’s an uphill battle with many factors that may discourage you from continuing but if your passion is your work then the hard work will start paying off in spades and before you know it you’ll have established yourself. The work never stops but at some point you’ll be able to work smarter instead of harder. For example why take 5 jobs that have a payout of $200 per job when you can have two jobs that each pay $500 within a week? As your work gets better so do your rates.

A huge factor in maintaining your business and your lifestyle as a full time freelancer is your positivity. You need to remain calm and positive and keep your eye on whatever prize you have in front of you. It sounds cheesy but it works. Why do you think people are always talking about the power of positivity? Thanks for reading!

Fashion Feature March2016

 

 

Resolve To Evolve

The New Year effects folks in different ways. Some get excited to start over. Some get depressed because the past year has come to an end. Most people make resolutions that they end up breaking by…ohhhh Jan 8th? (I think that’s fair, right?) Mostly the New Year is a time for reflection of the good and bad over the past year. Although this could be dangerous I think it’s good to appreciate everything you’ve gone through in the past year. With this we can rebuild and reconstruct ourselves. I’m a firm believer in an onward and upward mentality.

At 34 years old I finally realize that those cliche New Years sayings and business sayings are all true. Now I don’t know if I’m getting sentimental as I get older (even though I’ve always been sentimental) or if I’m overcoming the affected cynicism of my twenties. I may also have a different attitude about work and life because I grew up in and still live in New York. I’ve always said this city could be a big balled fist of anger and anxiety one minute and then a paradise of awesome the next. I don’t have small town sensibilities – instead  just a get out of my way attitude that I share with my friends who also grew up here. Is it douchey? Maybe. But that’s all we know. It’s not a malicious thing but New Yorkers have an inherent “keep it moving, buddy” attitude. Combine that with being a freelancer and the anxiety that comes with it means the sentimentality and cliche sayings kind of go out the window and hit you at once when you finally get some time to breathe. Maybe not the best way to live but that’s all we know sometimes – especially as a freelancer. We are driven, go go go, and need to get from project to project to survive creatively and monetarily.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit overwhelmed toward the end of the year with project after project and some very extreme highs as well as some extreme lows. (You could associate being a creative freelancer with being a junkie. It’s feast or famine sometimes but we always want more and sometimes when things go wrong we take it personal and blame ourselves…big time.) However, I took the holiday break to consciously reflect on the past year and the things that went right and the things that went wrong. At first I was adamant about fixing mistakes going forward or not doing XYZ but doing ABC instead and it got to the point where my brain was eating itself because I didn’t have all the answers. I was creating unnecessary anxiety for myself and the New Year didn’t even begin! After a couple days of downtime and reading some excellent articles on wellness as a business owner/freelancer I decided to start from scratch as far as resolutions go and maybe throw them out the window. I decided to maybe try and adopt a different attitude toward things and think differently…maybe even think better.

Let Your Mind Go

Most of us unknowingly walk around thinking about the next thing and the thing after that with a furrowed brow deep in thought. If we let that tension and anxiety go it would lead to a clearer head and clearer thinking. It’s one thing to worry but it’s a completely poisonous thing to worry about the endless possibilities that could happen. Don’t sweat what you don’t have control over. Sometimes we need to surrender ourselves to the universe. That doesn’t mean to stop working and be a bum. It means just keep working hard at your thing, hone it, and know that good things will come your way.

No One Is Coming After You

We get so hung up on perceptions that it’s crazy. I think this is one major thing that separates leaders from the rest of the pack. They don’t worry what people think about them. As long as you’re not hurting anyone then who cares about thinking of the time you stumbled over your words at a meeting and causing yourself unnecessary anxiety. Own your self perceived flaws and move on. At the end of the day no one gives a shit and if they do then that means they’re a psychopath.

Mind Your Manners

You don’t have to engage with everything that upsets you. The best part of freewill is that you can just choose to go about your business without engaging anything! Instead of fueling your day with nonsensical anxiety and anger toward people or situations, why not just let it go and be as nice as possible. Genuinely killing people with kindness not only leads to soulful fulfillment but pretty much diffuses any situation. No one wants to be the one that yells at the nice guy.

Take Care Of Your Body

Work out a bit and stop eating like shit. You’ll feel better.

Work Harder, Smarter, Better

Sometimes we get comfortable and coast. Don’t do that. But don’t kill yourself either. Through experience you’ll find that the things you once did could be done a better more efficient way. If you really go through your routine you can fine tune things in a instant because you’ll be thinking about them for once instead of automatically doing them. Look at downtime as a blessing because you can take stock of what you’ve been doing and grow from that.

Remember The Love You Have

It’s not all about money. Money is nice. BUT money can’t replace your family, your spouse, your kids, or your roots. We get so stressed out during the day that we take that anger out on those closest to us. Instead we should find comfort in their proverbial arms while the outside world melts away. Chances are you wouldn’t be where you are without those people.

Be Firm But Don’t Be A Dick

All this talk of taking it easy and relaxing is fantastic but don’t let folks step on you. As a freelancer it can be hard to speak up sometimes. Lots of times clients or a client’s rep will speak to you as if they own your or as if they could do your job better than you can. Just firmly remind them why you were hired in the first place and if they persist then in a professional way just explain to them that their attitude leaves much to be desired. No harm no foul.

Be Who You Want To Be

What’s stopping you? Just the walls you put up yourself. Have confidence in the person you want to be or evolve into. All it takes is a bit of will power and good energy.

Send Positive Energy Outward

Take a deep breathe and exhale yourself into the universe. Just remember that you’re one being in an endless sea of space and time. You’re the only you. Spread joy, love, and positivity wherever you go. Folks will react in kind, situations will react in kind, and the universe will react in kind. Negativity and pessimism are the greatest anchors that we tow around. Let those anchors go and fly free.

Just chill out and everything is gonna be ok.

 

Anyway, that’s my two cents. Thanks for reading and have a happy new year guys!

 

(Book a shoot or two while you’re at it!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above and Beyond

We have all heard the phrase “Going above and beyond,” but what does it really mean? What does it mean to us photographers?

Let’s break it down. When someone says; “That person really went above and beyond” in reference to an act that was performed that generally means that the person in question took it upon themselves to perform in a manner that exceeded expectations. That also means that they exceeded expectations without asking for more compensation without an added bad attitude. Basic translation “I don’t need to do this for you but I’m going to do it anyway.” Why? Common courtesy? Compassion? You really like the person? Respect? All of the above? Yes.

This applies a lot to the service industry. However, photographers are part of the service industry as well. We take the shots people want to pay for to have for whatever reason it may be. Whether it’s to document an event, capture a location, surprise a lover, for self promotion, for  business promotion, or to make someone feel better about themselves. We serve people with our skills. Now, when a client is amazing they will get the best part of our service. We will go that extra step to make sure that they are happy. If there is someone I like I tend to overshoot a tad and maybe offer them a few more retouched images as well as some more artistic shots other than the ones they specifically asked for. More often than not conversations come up about the photography business, small business, modeling opportunities, or what have you. I personally will take the time out of our session at no extra charge to walk a client through any question, fear, or anxiety they may have with whatever regard they are wondering about. You’d be surprised at how many photographers don’t do that. You’d also be surprised how many photographers don’t do that in NYC, which is a city filled with photographers!

I pride myself on a job well done. We all should. The reason we give these little nuggets of extras out is because we care and that we also know we will make the money back on referrals and get great testimonials out of the deal. However, going above and beyond can also lead to a client being married to you or attached at the hip and we try to avoid that as much as possible. This is the grey area that occasionally arises. In the past I have gone above and beyond for a few higher strung clients and it backfires in the respect that they nitpick because they feel like they can or they call you at inappropriate times for whatever reason. It doesn’t mean you should stop being nice. It just means that you have to be more firm. I recently got married and my wedding photographers went above and beyond. I can honestly say that being on the other side of the lens for once was surreal but they were so great that it didn’t matter and they became friends because we all got along, which is why we hired them in the first place. They catered to our needs and delivered amazing engagement photos (still waiting on the wedding snaps) with such a great attitude that it was inspiring. They gave themselves to their art and that can sometimes be hard to find. If you are reading this and want to know who they are then by all means send me a direct message through whatever outlet you see this blog post in.

Clients also go above and beyond for their photographers. Living in NYC my whole life we know that you pretty much tip for everything. I have overshot and stayed longer than I should have on some shoot and without asking a client would usually throw a compliment my way and give me a “Here you go, kid. This is for you.” Sometimes we live for those sentiments. I am in no way trying to show off because that happens in a one out of twenty situation. I just wanted to show that it goes both ways. The client/photographer relationship can be very symbiotic and you want to ideally avoid it being stand offish. We’ve all been there. Sometimes people just don’t like having their picture taken and it’s our job to go above and beyond to calm that person down and make them forget that you are there to steal their soul with your camera.

As people we should always go above and beyond. As business people we should strive to exceed expectations but not at the cost of our integrity or wallet. There is a balance out there and we can all do well to find it. Sometimes you wake up and just want to crawl back into bed, but you can’t. You won’t. It’s not in you because you know that you have to get out there and shoot. You don’t know what situation you are going to walk into once that camera is around your neck. All you should know is that you are going to do the best job you can and if the situation calls for it you will go above and beyond to put that smile on someone’s face!

As always help support this blog with your comments, likes, retweets, or whatever you crazy kids do. Also, go above and beyond for someone you love this Holiday Season with a gift card from Amazon!

 

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(This photo was a bit of a technical test I set up and did at home. Pretty cool, huh?)

Press

Hello, everyone! This page is dedicated to articles I have written for other websites as well as places nyphotony.com has been mentioned.

Mentioned on MSN Career Builder

Mentioned on Deseret News

Number 10 on this tips link

Shooting from Home tips on PhotographyTalk.com

Dealing With Flakes article for PhotographyTalk.com

Review for F-Stop Magazine

Starting a photography company

Review for F-Stop Magazine: Noel Kerns

Mention on B2B Community: Social Media Predictions

 Mention on The Hound: Why Is My Job Sexy

Mention on Self Employment King: How To Increase Sales

Review for F-Stop Magazine: Robert Herman’s “The New Yorkers”

Mention on National Federation of Independent Business

CarolRoth.com Advice For Entrepreneurs Starting New Businesses

Mention on Granted.com “What are the worse reasons for taking a job.”

Review for F-Stop Magazine: Dolce Via by Charles H. Traub

Mention on Self Employment King: How To Use Instagram For Business

Review For F-Stop Magazine: Paul Chesley: A Photographic Voyage

Mention in an article for NFIB.com

Review for F-Stop Magazine: Moon Viewing

Photo for “Tamed Lightning”  by Susana Acosta

Contribution to Connect: 100+ Mind Blowing Strategies to Use Social Media and Drive Business Growth

Review for F-Stop Magazine: Bronx Boys by Stephen Shames

9 Tips to Propel Your Personal Brand

 

 

 

 

A Fierce Defender

So, I love music. Further more; I love heavy metal music. I have been in NYC metal bands since I was 18 years old. Metal has always been a part of my life since I cranked up that first Black Sabbath album I got through those bogus Columbia House deals many moons ago. That being said; metal is an extremely positive genre of music and for me it’s the most rocking life affirming jammingest stuff you could listen to. People associate great things with music and I have a song for almost every memory or frame of mind. I love to rock, baby.

Every so often you run across a song that means more to you than the surface value of any written piece of music is supposed to mean. Sometimes music speaks to you in untold ways that really strike you to the core. I have recently felt like that about 3 Inches Of Blood’s song “Fierce Defender.” It’s not because I’m killing undead hordes or championing a battlefield with sword in tow. This song is the perfect allegory for a small business start up. You still with me? Good. Here are the lyrics and song and my breakdown as it relates to being a small business owner. If you could stick around to the end I’ll buy you a drink (Call me out on it. You will get a drink and a conversation!)  Anyway, here we go:

The outbreak has begun
End of days are coming
Very few will survive this plague
Gather all supplies, keep your wits about you
A war is coming, prepare for the attack

No more running, here we make our stand
Against the odds we will fight
Be the champion, be the one
A fierce defender til its done

Fortress walls, behind them to defend
From mindless creatures need for flesh
They are coming, they will not stop
Crash upon you like a tidal wave of doom

No more running, here we make our stand
Against the odds we will fight
Be the champion, be the one
A fierce defender til its done

Hold the line, defend it to the end
Destroy the brain and they will fall
Show no mercy for they will give you none
Relentlessly they seek to kill
Don’t wait for outside help
Reinforcements will not come
On ourselves we must rely
Find the courage to last another day
So all of us will stay alive

Outlast the horde
Their ranks are shrinking
The instinct to live on our greatest strength
The will come when all the killing stops
Time to rebuild all that’s lost

No more running, here we make our stand
Against the odds we will fight
Be the champion, be the one
A fierce defender til its done

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP4ge-lAx5A

The outbreak has begun
End of days are coming
Very few will survive this plague
Gather all supplies, keep your wits about you
A war is coming, prepare for the attack

Meaning: You have recently started your small business and the pressure is very real. Statistically, there are only a small number of businesses that succeed. You have to use all of the tricks you have learned and carefully use your funds because you’re on your own now with no outside help. Keep your wits about you.

No more running, here we make our stand
Against the odds we will fight
Be the champion, be the one
A fierce defender til its done

Meaning: You’ve been thinking about this for a while. This is your chance to succeed and employ the tools you have amassed while preparing for your launch. The odds of success are against you but you have to believe in your self. You have to be your own champion because you know you can. Never slip in your own self confidence. Be that Fierce Defender!

Fortress walls, behind them to defend
From mindless creatures need for flesh
They are coming, they will not stop
Crash upon you like a tidal wave of doom

Meaning: Whatever you build there are people that want to tear it down. These are the haters. They could be family, friends, or business associates. They could try and tear you down and tell you that you are not good enough or special enough. It may hurt at first but you have to persevere and defend that wall.

No more running, here we make our stand
Against the odds we will fight
Be the champion, be the one
A fierce defender til its done

Hold the line, defend it to the end
Destroy the brain and they will fall
Show no mercy for they will give you none
Relentlessly they seek to kill
Don’t wait for outside help
Reinforcements will not come
On ourselves we must rely
Find the courage to last another day
So all of us will stay alive

Meaning: Small Business owners must face facts. There is no one to help with their journey. At the end of the day if  you decide to do everything on your own then you must hold the fort and provide victory for your brand. Against all odds you will see the success of your small business and end up being the bigger fish in the pond. Small Business owners must be steadfast in their product and their belief in their product. No one will help  you, no one will back you up, and you have to find the gumption to stand alone, say your piece, survive, and live to fight another day. As small businesses, we climb a treacherous hill with many obstacles and we should never give up. We must find the courage to last another day. We owe it to ourselves, our family, and other like minded individuals. We stay alive through the communal effort of other business owners that hold the line.

Outlast the horde
Their ranks are shrinking
The instinct to live on our greatest strength
The will come when all the killing stops
Time to rebuild all that’s lost

Meaning: The more you chip at it – the more you get out of it. The haters will fade and the detractors will think better. Why? Because you have pioneered and championed your brand through your own belief. The INSTINCT to live on IS our greatest strength. Small business owners know that they have a huge undertaking before them and that is to establish a reputable brand. When success comes then you can expand, take time off, and make up for lost time.

No more running, here we make our stand
Against the odds we will fight
Be the champion, be the one
A fierce defender til its done

Meaning: Get out there and do it. BE the successful person you know you can be. BE the business owner you have always wanted to be.

Whew, well I hope you all got through that in one piece!

The album this is from; “Here Waits Thy Doom.” is also one of the greatest driving albums ever.

I would love to hear what songs motivate you and have meaning for you.

Barcelona

As always, please support this site and blog with some items from Amazon!

 

 

 

Competition And Compassion

Everyone wants to be the best at what they do. With photography it’s no different. As a photographer you always want to be able to outshoot the other guy (or girl.) Photography is a very interesting field APART from the visuals, which is hard to believe for an outsider. As a photographer we are witness to some really amazing intricacies or beautiful simplicities that we may happen to capture or behold or are just in the right place at the right time for. It could be the detail of a model’s eye caught in your lens or the scope of a misty mountainside at dawn (or dusk for you evening shooters.) One thing we all have in common is the fact that we have to deal with a lot of people. We interact with clients, artists, neighbors, friends, family, and other photographers – whether we know it or not. These interactions should play into how we deal with approaching subjects or getting jobs.

Every one wants to be the best. BUT if you want to stand apart and not only be better but be different you have to treat people with as much compassion as you have ambition/passion for your art. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard horror stories from past clients who have shot with photographers that were so self absorbed, spoiled, and rude that it ruined the idea of a good picture. At the end of the day that’s what we do, right? We press a button and hope that at least one gem gets unearthed. Apart from that real fact we photographers are blessed with vision and creativity that should not come at the expense of others.

If you want to be the best you have to treat people better than the rest.

Just because you may be an artist does not mean you have to act like an artiste. There comes a time to be firm but being aloof and rude should not even come into the equation. Our job is to make people as comfortable as possible in order to bring out the best in them so we can capture those simplicities/intricacies that make photos great. We have to check our attitudes at the door. Plus, the same people we meet on the way up could be the same we meet on the way down.

As a photographer we have to remove ourselves somewhat from our subjects and become subjects ourselves and do lots of self study. All that means is that we have to realize that everyone is different and that we should not judge or cast aspersions on those that we meet based on how we have lived our lives thus far. We should also try not to complain because at the end of the day we have the best job in the world. We get paid to make art. We get paid to do what we love. And if you’re a people person like me you get to hear about different lives on a regular basis, which can be worth more than a paycheck in a spiritual sense.

We are not only photographers but we are therapists as well and need to be as accommodating as possible but without sacrificing our own sense of self. Those of us that don’t realize that are lost in the dark no matter how much they make per gig. These are more than likely are the same people who tout how much money they spent on their equipment and knock other professionals in this wonderful field of ours. You can buy Stevie Wonder a Lamborghini but he probably won’t get very far. The same goes for photography.

It’s great to be competitive but don’t lose sight of what puts a smile on the person’s face that hired you. Give them an unforgettable experience full of art and magic. Oh yea. We’re magicians,  too.

Thanks, guys!

Yoga 4

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