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Social Media and its Impact on the Entertainment Industry

Guest Post by Brian Testa From a Renewed Bingo Setting to Instant Photo Sharing Capabilities Social media has already made its presence felt in the photo industry with more technologies that cater to portability and ease of access. Although the DSLRs are still a must for professional shutterbugs, casual camera users are leaning more on tiny devices with simple settings and instant sharing capabilities. And of course, given the scope of social media’s presence, photography is not the only field affected. Much like photographers, bingo enthusiasts are also influenced by social media. In fact, social media allowed the present generation to enjoy the iconic pastime. Before the present bingo industry found its rebirth online, it enjoyed little to no audience at all. Most of the hobby’s devotees were from Europe. But outside the continent, you’ll barely find a country where bingo halls are frequently visited. In the past, bingo thrived in a maternal setting. This is arguably one reason why the game remains tied to stereotypes of women as bingo’s target audience. As far as the current setting is involved however, a women-centric audience is no longer the case. A renewed online platform acts as a substitute for anyone who
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Face The Music

Are You Putting Your Best Face Forward? As a photographer, I can’t help but notice people’s profile picture on Twitter.  It really tells you so much about the person.  I can’t tell you how many times I have followed someone on Twitter based entirely on a cool profile images.  How do we reward these creative souls?  I decided to setup a contest to try and figure out who has the absolute best profile image on Twitter.  Eggs need not apply! Face The Music Use your face to win some music.  The winner will get a $25 iTunes gift card to download music, movies, whatever you want!  Sound fun? The Competition The contestants will be randomly placed in a playoff bracket and compete head to head each week.  The winner will take home the title of “Best Twitter Headshot 2011” and $25 in iTunes cash! How To Enter There will be 16 competitors. I will choose 8, based on my own travels around Twitter.  The next 7 spots will be chosen by you- the readers.  If you see someone who has a cool profile pic, just leave their Twitter name in the comments below.  The 7 people with the most nominations
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The Fatal Flaw Of Photography Websites

Is your website helping your business or hurting you?  Could it be bringing in even more clients than it is now? One of the things I like most about speaking at photography conventions is getting to meet photographers all across the U.S.   The crowd usually has everything from seasoned veterans to brand-new beginners.  By the end of the convention, I’ve usually gathered up a big stack of business cards from people and end up browsing their websites.  What amazes me is how people will put up a website with images that are not their best.  Your website is often your first impression with potential clients – and you know what they say about first impressions. OLD TIMERS Long-time photographers are not exempt from this- in fact, they can be some of the worst offenders.  They will have an image that won an award for them 25 years ago – so they keep using it as a representation of their style.  Unfortunately, it gives their work a very dated look.  Sometimes painfully dated.  The problem we have as artists is that we grow attached to our work and sometimes can’t be objective.  The right images can make the difference between you
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Cheering on the Texas Heat

Six months ago, my kids were playing in the snow.  Kinda rare for Texas-but it happened.  My how things have changed. Today is the 41st CONSECUTIVE day of 100 degree weather.  Think about that for a minute…over a month with it getting to be over 100 every day.  The last time the Heat was this bad in Dallas was during the NBA Playoffs. The weird thing is -at this point, I’m actually rooting for another day or two of hot weather.  I mean, as long as we have been miserable this long, we might as well get an award for it – right?  Now they are saying there is a chance of rain Friday night, which would probably break the streak.   Here is the question… do you take the rain or still cheer for the record?  Am I crazy to still be kind of wanting to break the record?  Not really sure why it would be a sense of pride, since I didn’t actually have anything to do with it – other than the numerous aerosol cans I have sprayed into the environment during my life.  I guess it is just kind of a badge of honor. So which are
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LOST in Oahu

Heather and I just got back from spending a week on the island of Oahu.  When we found out that a great deal of ABC’s LOST was filmed there, we decided to drive around and find a few of the locations. It was amazing how they were able to make one small island look like so many different places! Truly incredible. We started out across the street from our hotel- at the Honolulu Convention Center, which was used as the Sydney Airport. Next up was Hurley’s house: After that, we stopped by Sun’s house… After a little searching, we found the creepy forest place where Charlie was hanging and where Kate hid from the smoke monster Another highlight was a round of golf on Hurley’s golf course… After all that activity, we decided to hike up to the famous waterfall. Luckily, the dead body had been removed from the bottom of the pond Since it was just up the road, we decided to drop by Mr. Ecko’s Nigerian village. A short drive away was the crash site – but the wreckage has long since been removed.  It was still a pretty cool place. We finished up with a visit to
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Keeping Perspective

This weekend, the United States officially removed BinLaden from power.  It was a very joyous moment in a long, sometimes depressing story. When things like this happen in the “real world” it really puts life in the “photography world” into perspective.  It really is so important to balance your personal life with your photography life.  We have things that happen to us professionally all the time – like dealing with a rude client or having Photoshop crash when we haven’t saved in 3o minutes…. hey it happens.  At the time, it seems like such a terrible, crushing event.  However, when we put things into perspective, most of our problems are pretty small in the grand scheme of things.   This isn’t always as easy as it sounds. One of the examples I always use is how people who are great at something usually have a big, big flaw.  Take just about any field and choose a few of the people who are at the top or were at the top.  In music, maybe Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elvis, John Lennon – everyone would agree they were at the top of the game – but they all end up a little bit crazy.  
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A Visit From Santa

Every year, we are lucky enough to get Santa to pay a special visit to Lourcey Photography.  Oh sure, there are 100 places you can go see Santa this time of year… the mall, a photography studio, the North Pole – however, our visit is somewhat different. As a thank you for our portrait clients, we invite them to bring their family to the event and get pictures taken with Santa at absolutely no cost.  We even send them free copies of the prints!  That is it – no secrets, no strings attached.  It is so simple, it confuses people – they keep trying to figure out how to order something! Everyone loves seeing Santa- even the adults. If you spent time waiting in line for Santa at the mall this year, I hope you will stop by Plano next year for a more relaxing visit.  We can all use a little Santa cheer in our lives.
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Visit to Pittsburgh

I just got back from Pittsburgh where I spoke at the Triangle Professional Photographers Assoc.  I did my Home Studio program for a group of photographers from across Pennsylvania, Ohia and West Virginia.    (thanks to my buddy Sean from WHCC who took this shot from the back of the room with his iPhone!) I must admit, I was totally blown away by how friendly everyone was at this convention.  Now being from Texas – I’m pretty used to the Texas level of hospitality, which is usually way above the norm.  Even the hotel employees seemed to go above and beyond the call of duty at every turn – it was incredible. I also got to serve as a judge for their print competition and saw several really nice images.  If you are a photographer who lives in this part of the country, you really need to look into Triangle – they are truly a wonderful group of people.
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The Importance of Competition

Over the course of my photographic education, few things have done more to better my image-making than print competition. Having someone critique your work is one thing…. having it judged by strangers in front of a crowd is something else altogether. When I speak to groups of photographers, I’m always curious to see how many of them are active in print competition. Unfortunately, most are not. For every person who enters competition, there are 5 who say “maybe next year.” The great thing about photographic competitions are that they force you to stretch yourself – both technically and artistically. Day to day work usually won’t cut it, so you have to go outside your comfort zone and create something that is truly exceptional. If you fall short, you are still better than where you started – so what do you have to lose? The person who scores a 72 still scores 72 points higher than the person who doesn’t enter. I’m reminded of the famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt, from his speech at the Sorbonne in 1910: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of
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Choose Your Favorite!

Now that the project is done, I’d love your feedback. Of the 40 self portraits, which is your favorite? If you would like to leave a comment as to why it is your favorite, I’d love to hear it!!! <br /> <a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2483106/”>Which was your favorite 4040 image?</a><span style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”>online surveys</a>)</span><br />
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