Monday, August 30, 2010

A New Week Begins And A Wrap-Up of the Last...

Still reeling from the sudden, tragic loss of my long-time canine companion, the seminal opening event that kicked off the week past, things could only get better. Still, the adjustment has been difficult and I expect it to be for some time. I regularly catch myself looking for him, listening for the sound of the tinkling dog-tags outside the door, moving in the bed at night to press up against him at the place where he usually slept by my feet, getting up automatically at the customary meal-time to prepare his bowl... habits developed over a time of ten years that will take some time yet to get used to no longer doing.

Tragedies aside, much effort & thought, considerable sheets of fine-art paper & quantities of ink were expended in the production of the new portfolio last week. I'm happy to say that it is almost finished now... just a few cuts to make and a couple of new pages to print and I'll be armed and ready to hit the streets of H-lulu for meetings with every art-buyer that will let me thru the door. Plans are now being readied to set up appointments with agencies & photo editors for the end of September... a time when things are typically a little slower in the islands and late enough in the summer to catch most of the intended targets post-vacation time & just before the heavy Holiday advertising/publishing cycles begin in earnest.

In between the running back & forth from the workstation to the printer, I was also running back & forth between the studio and the Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali where this year's 2nd annual Maui Photo Festival was taking place. There were many great lectures, hands-on workshops and opportunities to chat with colleagues and friends, moments spent with photographic heros, cocktail receptions & dinners to occupy one's time. There were so many programs being offered, I found it difficult to choose the ones I could actually attend.

Highlights of the week for me were (in no particular order or ranking) dinner and several other opportunities to hang with, get to know better and converse at length with combat photographers Stacy Pearsall & Andy Dunaway & their lovely kids. Stacy & Andy are based out of South Carolina and travelled to our island for their second year as principal presenters at this year's Festival. New friends that I will certainly be keeping in touch with. 

One of the first how-to books on illustration photography I purchased when first starting out in this business was one written by New York based photographer Jack Reznicki... a well-know & highly respected photographer, lecturer & consultant. Jack was also making his second appearance at this year's festival. My one big regret of last year's event was not having the time to get to know him a little better. This year, I was able to attend two of his lectures, one on copyright, the other on the paperwork and business of photography. Both were excellent and informative... too bad so few of my local colleagues were in attendance. Jack & I also had an extended one-on-one lunch together on saturday afternoon where we talked about the business, swapped horror stories and compared mutual friends in the industry. 

Great quotes from Jack:
"We sell our talent... we license our images"
" Get it it writing...."
 Lori Barbey is not only a fine wedding photographer, but also the photo editor of Bonnier Publishing Group's Islands Magazine. Lori was also making her second appearance at this year's event. Funny, witty, charming... all this and more. I had the pleasure of also having dinner with her during the Presenter's Dinner and later in the week got her review of my brand-new portfolio. 

Best quote during Lori's review of my portfolio"
"Your book doesn't scream Hawaii... that's a good thing..."

Saturday afternoon it was show time. A four hour presentation on Food Photography presented by yours truly. A standing room only crowed turned up for the first two-hour part of the session where we began with a discussion on "landing" the assignment and getting the information required to estimate/bid the job, some of the tools & techniques employed, etc. Joining me for this presentation were Lewis Carlyle, photo editor of the upscale & trendy urban lifestyle journal Meridian & Executive Chef/Restaurant Owner Christian Jorgenson. A lively discussion ensued, covering many of the finer points of what considerations a photo editor might make when assigning a photographer to what a restaurant owner might need when considering a marketing budget for photography. The attendees were inquisitive and attentive and I think they got their money's worth with having the rare opportunity to ask questions directly of an art buyer.

The second part of the session began with me setting up and beginning an actual food shot with delicacies prepared from Christian's restaurant. The class was then divided up into three teams and everyone had a go at using studio lighting and taking a stab at producing their own food photography. From what I saw, there were a few excellent attempts made by several class participants.

Also in attendance during the presentation was Lynn Erfer of the Maui Visitors Bureau who promises a blog entry on the workshop in the near future. I look forward to seeing it.

Thanks everyone for the great week!


Maca said...

Thank you Tony for your wonderful presentation on Food Photography. I learned so much!! What a great opportunity to see you in action!

Tony Novak-Clifford said...

You are very kind! It was again a pleasure to be included as a presenter this year. Thanks for attending. Hope the dog & pony show was helpful.