Posts by remote

Off The Record: Rio

The First Album The first official album cover for my “Off The Record” project has been completed and was unveiled today – appropriately enough – in London during my program at SWPP.  I decided to start the project off with an iconic album cover from a British band that helped define 80s music – Duran Duran. Rio When we were first kicking the idea around, the idea of doing Rio came up immediately.  My “Off The Record” partner, Julie Spero, told me she knew just the right person to model for it.  Going forward, most people will be choosing their own covers.  But we had to start somewhere and kind of did this one backwards by choosing the model that fit the subject.  Casey Donato ended up being the perfect fit.  She is a photographer herself, so she had an easy time acclimating to the process.  She also had that exotic “Rio” look. Creating The Cover Honestly I decided to start with Rio because I thought it would be an easy one to get out of the way quickly before I left town.  I could not have been more wrong.  Simply “blowing out” the highlights did not create the right
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How To End Fake Smiles

How To End Fake Smiles Every portrait is ultimately judged by the expression on the subject.  It doesn’t matter if you are a photographer or a client- everyone hates fake smiles. Nothing spoils a session like a long, dramatic “CHEEEEEEEZZZEEEE!”. So how do we avoid it? First Things First Like most projects, the planning is a critical part of the process. When you are scheduling a portrait session for your child, there is absolutely no need to prep your child in any way. A good photographer will know how to work with your kids to get the expressions that they need.  Any coaching you do ahead of time will only make the photographer’s job harder.  Kids are pretty good at just going with the flow, so they don’t need a whole lot of build-up for the portrait session. Clothing One common snag that will derail a portrait session is when a child is forced to wear an outfit they don’t want to wear.   I was lucky to not ever have this issue with my boys – they would generally just put on the outfit and be done with it.  If your child isn’t so tollerant, try this:  Bring two
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The Weakest Link

In every operation there is a weakest link. It is the part of your business that holds you back. Think of a bunch of people stranded on a desert island. If the island has enough water for 12 people, enough shelter for 15 people and enough food for 8 people – how many can really live there? You could build a high-rise apartment complex on the island – capable of housing 500 people – and the island still couldn’t hold more than 8 people. The weakest link always holds you back. The key is identifying your weakest link. Don’t feel bad – we can’t be good at everything. The key is being able to determine which things you are good at and which things you are not. In a typical studio, for example, you need to have competent skills in photography, marketing, sales, general business, etc. You don’t have to be good at all of them. If you are bad at marketing, hire someone else to do that part of the business. If not, your business growth will always be limited by your marketing skill. You can even get more specific with some of the areas, like photography. You have
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Examining Creativity

Last night, I went to a fantastic lecture by Julie Burstein at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Burstein has produced public radio’s Studio 360 program for the past 10 years.  During that time, they have interviewed hundreds of the world’s best artists.  Julie pulled from these interviews to create her new book, “Spark:  How Creativity Works.” It was a very entertaining lecture and an interesting examination of the creative process-interspersed with audio clips from many of the artists that were being discussed.  So what were some of the common keys to creativity? Be Observant – always be on the lookout for inspiration all around us.  There is a lot of material that we come across every day that we just don’t take the time to notice. Take Time To Refill your “creative pantry.”  Sometimes you need to step away and allow your creative batteries to recharge.  Expose yourself to great art and allow it to inspire you. Be Persistent – Set a goal and go for it.  Don’t give up and don’t wait around for inspiration.  Artist Chuck Close one said, “Inspiration is for amateurs.  The rest of us just show up and get to work.” Appreciate your friends and
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