Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Another excellent video presentation by Photography Consultant Leslie Burns-Dell' Acqua on the design and use of direct-mail promotions and emailers can be found at the ASMP website. You can go straight to the video lecture by clicking here.
Just a couple of blocks from my studio, there is a wonderful old historic home now operating as a licensed bed & breakfast operation known as The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono. Furnished and beautifully decorated in Hawaiian and Chinese immigration period antiques, the Inn is a popular lodging choice especially for business travelers from the island of Oahu. Situated just a couple of blocks away from all of the state & county buildings & offices, a 5 minute drive from the airport & town of Kahului and a twenty minute drive away from the resort areas of Kihei & Wailea, the Inn makes a logical "home base" for doing business on the Valley Isle. The town of Wailuku itself is an historic, funky area mixed with old, local, plantation-era residences, junktique shops, a trendy coffee shop/wine bar and great entertainment venue and just a hop, skip & a jump into cool & refreshing Iao Valley where you can hike, swim in natural stream pools fed by gurgling waterfalls and simply get away from it all.
Monday was spent shooting new room interior photographs for the property. Here are a couple of views of the results.
Tuesday morning playlist from "The Academy of Errors" radio program heard every tuesday morning from 6-10am hawaiian time on 91.5FM, listener-supported Manao Radio. You can listen in from all parts of the globe by clicking here.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Outtakes from yesterday's studio session with brand spankin' new guitarist, Ola, of The Throwdowns. I love launching musicians into the air on the mini-trampoline!
Hawaii's massive publishing & advertising industries have been severely hit by the dramatic national economic downturn. Publishers and broadcasters alike are reporting massive losses in advertising revenues, forcing major cuts and layoffs at the state's two largest newspapers, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin and The Honolulu Advertiser.
Hawaiian Style Magazine, a neat, slick publication featuring architectural designs and some of the most interesting dwellings across this state is reportedly no more. I notice the website is still online and no mention of the publication's demise, but I have it on good authority that publisher Doug King has been forced to throw in the towel, like so many other businesses across the country, due to declining advertising revenues and rising printing & distribution costs. Doug was always very fair in his dealing with me and I know many other photographers specializing in architectural photography that will sorely miss both Doug and his magazine.
Hawaii advertising and editorial photographers have long benefitted from the very large number of both visitor-oriented and lifestyle publications produced here... some would argue that in terms of the visitor-oriented publications, there are far too many. It looks like in the months ahead, a major shake-up and shake-out is inevitable and there are bound to be other 'zines sounding the death knoll.
There are also rumors afloat about more layoffs and cut-backs at one of the states largest advertising agencies and remaining staffers being asked to take a mandatory pay cut.
Without publications and advertisers willing to commission the work of content providers like photographers and writers, along with the declining venues for our work to be published... it is even more important that we all strive to provide our best work whenever the opportunity presents itself. It's getting tougher each day to make a living in this business and clients are now insisting that fees for our work be reduced, more liberal usage rights be granted and less time and money be spent producing the little work being commissioned. No choice now but to hang tough... to 'work" with clients that have shown some sense of loyalty in the past and hope and pray that we all get through this time together.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Today started with an early morning portrait session, a bank executive head-shot... straight forward, vanilla, color portrait of a smiling man in a suit (and aloha shirt just to be safe).
Fortunately, I left all the lighting set-up in place when a friend dropped by to share some wisdom & combustibles and I was able to beg, coerce and otherwise flog him into sitting down in front of the lens for a few minutes. A quick re-tweaking of the lights into a configuration a little less revealing and 15 minutes later, there was a very fun series of very expressive portraits, though I don't quite know exactly what it it they are expressing. Thanks to Ray Gooliak, musician, songwriter & recording artist for enduring my abuse & cajoling and contributing his considerable talents, wrinkles and follicle-challenged skull to yield the two images above.
On a completely different note, Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua is a name that has appeared on this blog on several other occasions. Leslie is a photographer's business consultant of wide repute & publisher of the website Burns Auto Parts. This is not a place to find parts for your broken down jalopy. The website contains lots of interesting and very helpful materials, advice, books all pertaining to the business & marketing of commercial & editorial photography. You can also find a link to her "Super Premium Blog" and it is well worth a read.
Leslie is at it again. This time... over at the ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) website, you will find a 25 minute video clip of a presentation Leslie made to ASMP members recently. You don't need to be a member to view the video... just click on the link here. In the video presentation, Ms. Burns Dell'Acqua discusses how to fine-tune your website and portfolio for bigger bang and better impact. Grab a cuppa and spend a few minutes of precious time watching the video. You'll be glad you did.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Waking just before sunrise, as is my habit, I went straight to the first order of morning business... the coffee making. Then, with steaming java cup in hand, I stepped outside to light up. The first rays of dawn were just making their appearance from behind the volcano when this gorgeous light began illuminating these magnificent cloud formations. A perfect start to the day.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Today's playlist from this morning's "Academy of Errors" radio show on listener supported Manao Radio, 91.5FM 6-10am CPT(live internet streaming available by clicking on the link).
Friday, April 10, 2009
In keeping with the arrival of Spring and the impending Easter Weekend, I bring you some floral still life images made when I was experimenting with alternative lighting techniques. These florals were made using a Lightbrush made back in the day by Creative Lightworks®. All shot with a Sinar P 4x5 View Camera. Each exposure approximately 10-15 minutes long as light was applied selectively using the fiber optic "painting" tool.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Here's a couple of videos to help get those creative juices flowing and stimulate you to think about your relationships to the subjects you capture & the relationships of those subjects to each other.
Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, both pioneers in the world of fine art color photography.
Mahalos to Rob @ APE.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Today's playlist for the radio program "The Academy of Errors",hosted by your's truly and heard every tuesday morning from 6am-10am on listener supported 91.5FM Manao Radio. (Click on the link to get live streaming if you're out of signal's range).
If you've lived on Maui for any length of time, the name Darby Gill should be somewhat familiar to you. If you don't know the name, and you drive in the Kahului area in the afternoons, you are sure to have spotted him jogging while he juggles balls up & down Kaahumanu Avenue. Formerly the director of a rehabilitation program know as Ka Lima O Maui, Darby has, for many years, been a tireless and selfless individual working with disabled and less fortunate members of our island community.
For the past few years, Darby has been the director of a program which he founded to provide services to the neediest of Maui's children. A Keiki's Dream is a program providing that grants child-directed "dream days" to these ids in crisis, reminding them that they are, indeed, special, loved and have the ability and the right to dream. The program is currently exclusive to Maui and partners with individuals and businesses around the island to make special days for these children happen.
One of these dreams often requested by many of the young girls in the program is to have a "model photo session". This is where I come in... as part of the child's dream day, they are taken shopping for brand new clothes (what little girl doesn't LOVE that?), taken to a salon for a new coif and make-up and then they arrive here at my studio for a photo-session. At the end of each session, I sit down with each child and we look at all of the pictures taken at the computer, make them a disk of all of the best images from the shoot and send them home with a beautiful 17x22 Giclee' Print of their favorite picture.
I've been involved in 5 or 6 of these dream days over the past two years and have to say that I feel far more rewarded at the end of each session than the child could ever be. To see the eyes light up and a smile break out on the face of a child trapped in a web of family violence or other disfunction, homelessness, etc. really makes my day. And, to me, it's a gift that keeps on giving when a few days later a thank you note like the ones posted above from both Darby and the child arrives in my morning mail.
Great job, Darby. If you'd like to help, donate goods or services suitable for fullfilling the dreams of children, would like to volunteer, donate funds, refer a child, etc. I urge to contact Darby and get involved, particularly these days when many of our island families and children are suffering from the economic stress. To lend a hand and warm your own heart, give Darby a call at 808.242.8467 or go to their website here.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I wish I could write lengthy, insightful and meaningful entries to this blog today but the fact of the matter is, there's really not a lot of useful or interesting stuff going on in either the world of photography or in the photo-blogosphere at the moment. In fact, I've actually taken a little hiatus from reading many of the usual blogs for the last week or two... reading only served to distract me, depress or bewilder me. I mean, just how many twilight, suburban house exteriors can one possibly look at before losing one's mind?
Everyone seems to be holding their collective breath in the commissioned photography world locally at the moment. Reports from commercial, editorial & wedding/consumer photographers alike are that things are quiet... too quiet. I'm even getting cold calls these days from models on Oahu trying to drum up some business. Trying to get paid for work already delivered is also proving to be a major hurdle and the resorts are cutting hours and personnel in all departments, including administration & accounting, making it highly unlikely that any new work will be commissioned in the immediate future.
What to do? First... try to keep the old chin up. As you can see, I have been using the downtime to focus on my own marketing in hopes that when this economic constipation finally passes, I will hold a position high in the consciousness of those art buyers that remain after the inevitable shake-ups and fallout that is bound to take place at the big agencies and publications. And... since I was going to have to drop off the files at the printers for the mail promo designed last week, I might as well have two different promos printed at the same time. That way, there will be another fresh piece to go out at very beginning of next quarter. So here it is... a little more in keeping with the work I am know for and a little less edgy & more resort friendly than the band image promo of last week.