Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today's Mailbag - Pele Awards 2012 - Negotiating Redux

In a previous blog entry or two, I've mentioned that I get regularly tapped to create a Dream Photo Session for some of Maui's less fortunate youth. The locally based philanthropic program A Keiki's Dream, provides child-directed dream days, one child at a time, for some of the island's neediest children; children often caught up in a web of poverty, homelessness, neglect, abuse, major personal loss & other crisis situations. Program Director and habitual do-gooder Darby Gill takes these kids and provides them with an entire day of fun, according to the dreams articulated by each individual child. Whether it's the opportunity to surf or jet-ski, dine at a favorite restaurant, shopping at the malls & boutiques, limousine rides, meeting entertainment heroes... Darby does everything in his power to make sure that each referred child gets to spend a day "living their dream".

Many of the young girls referred to Darby will ask for a day of wardrobe shopping, an hour or so of pampering at a local salon, finished off with a modeling photo session. I've been doing these for the past several years now and it's always a most rewarding experience to watch these children light up once the lights go on and the shutter starts to click. At the end of each session, I sit at the computer with each child as we review the photos we shot only a few moments before and then send them home with a CD full of the best results and a 13"x17" print of their favorite shot. 

A couple of weekends ago, I had the distinct honor of working with another one of these children, this time - a poised beyond her years and indescribably cute 8 year old named Sara. After a morning and early afternoon of eating, shopping and pampering, Sara waltzed into my studio and lit the place up! And, Sara is also a budding portrait artist in her own right apparently as today's mail brought a thank you note from Sara with her drawn portrait of me!

If you'd like to help out the kids at A Keiki's Dream, there are ways to donate, volunteer your time or even sponsor a needy kid. Find out more on how to help HERE.

Last Saturday evening, 300 or so leaders in Hawaii's advertising, design & media industry turned out for the annual dinner and award presentation stroke-fest held this year at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. One of two Best In Show awards went to the Anthology Group for the four-color, "Come, Play" Magazine Print Campaign for the Maui Visitors Bureau, now running in magazines nationwide. Congratulations to April, David & the rest of the team that worked tirelessly to produce an interesting ad series with a twist! I am happy to say that I had a hand in creating two of the print ads in the overall campaign, along with a group of talented other photogs also contributing spots. 

I shot the one on top!
Another installment of Pricing & Negotiating by photographer's consulting service Wonderful Machine appeared this morning at the APE blog. This time, the assignment was to shoot a single image to be used in print as a Public Service Announcement. Lots of good information and detail presented here, as usual - from questions one needs to ask the client prior to sharpening up the pencil, to suggestions on negotiating certain details in order to fit the client's budget. Read it all HERE. Once again, many thanks sent out to Rob Haggart (A Photo Editor) and the generous folks at Wonderful Machine for providing valuable information.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blog Negligence - Art Events - Studio Progress - Thank You WONDERFUL MACHINE For The Help

Back after nearly two weeks of MIA... I had the best of intentions in maintaining regular, if not daily blog updates. Really... I did. Unfortunately, fate and a bit of fortune combined to otherwise occupy my time. If you're still here, still checking in from time to time, then read on...

First of all, I'd like to invite you all to join me and a handful of other talented artists (Kim Mosley, Pat Matsumoto, Erin Dieguez & Travis Joers) for a meet & greet and preview of our newest work now on display (and I might add - for sale) at Maui's newly opened haven for contemporary art.

The Maui Art Hale, located in the South Maui Center at 95 Lipoa Street (right next to Fabiani's Bakery & Pizzeria) in Kihei, has recently opened it's doors and arms to Maui's emerging and established artists alike. This Saturday evening, April 21st from 5-7pm, the Hale will host the event "Alternative Lifestyle/Alternative Art".

Gallery founder & Director Ken Norris has assembled a very nice collection of work from the above mentioned artists & displayed it in an uncluttered environment so antithetical to what is commonly seen in most of the island's commercial art galleries. Plans are underway to host evening events combining live jazz, art, food and much, much more in coming weeks. A gala, formal Grand Opening is now scheduled for May 19th.

I will be unveiling a series of limited edition prints, most never seen before, culled from my month-long visit to Indonesia late last year... 

"Merapi Smolders"

"Mandi Sore"

 Drop by sometime tomorrow evening... raise a glass, wag a chin with a great group of artists and get a first peek at the new work. Hope to see you there.

Today is your final opportunity to see this year's Art Maui, hanging for a few more hours in the Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Last Saturday afternoon,in between runs to the Construction & Demolition Landfill in Maalaea, I had the opportunity to join the juror for this year's show as he walked thru the accepted work, attempting to convey a little  bit about his process in selecting which works would be exhibited. The two hour walk-thru only served to reconfirm that I have no understanding of art speak... 

I was, however, greatly amused by the sight of several volunteers armed with those cricket bat looking paddles usually seen at golf tournaments with the word QUIET painted on them, as they wandered around the gallery waving the paddles in the face of offending cell phone users and other attendees intent on boisterous conversation during the presentation. Those armed with paddles showed remarkable restraint. Had I been asked to wield a bat, there would have been blood!

Maui Patriarch of the Arts George Allan Ready To Strike

Much progress made this week on the new studio space... walls framed and up on monday, roof trusses dropped in by crane on Tuesday, shoring & sheeting for the rest of the week. The space now is completely dried in and walled. Work now comes to a halt for a couple or three weeks as we wait for windows, doors and roofing metal to arrive on island by barge.

Finally, a shout-out and sincere offer of thanks to the very generous folks at Wonderful Machine for taking the time to review and critique my newly revamped website, offer suggestions on improvements I might (and did) make in order to better present my work. Your time, energy and commitment to photographers all around the world is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Tear Sheets

Wailea Magazine
Spring-Summer 2012 Issue

Hot off the presses and in this morning's mail delivery!

Images Stumbled Upon

The sudden break in weather had me out last evening in search of photo-ops on the drive home. Just before the sun had ducked behind the mountains, I drove by my favorite jacaranda tree in the upcountry area and found a shot that could not have been better produced, styled or propped than what I found sitting roadside.

Pictured above is upcountry plein-air artist Michael Clements at work. His old, fully restored pickup lent a perfect air of "folksiness" to the scene, his shirt mirroring the color of jacaranda blossoms. Even better, he was more than welcoming and friendly as I approached with cameras in hand, allowing me to photograph him from numerous angle for at least half an hour, cheerfully taking direction and chatting as I lay prone in the grass. 

You can check out Michael's work at his website HERE.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

View From Home & Other Stuff

Nothing much new to report on today. Busy finishing up the edit on the first round of Maui Memorial Medical Center Campaign photos, answering calls, questions & pleas for more $$$ from the builders busily erecting new studio space.

There is another informative and eye-opening post appearing today at APE. This post, titled Pricing & Negotiating: Custom Publication, comes again from the folks at Wonderful Machine and details the thought process behind estimating for an assignment to shoot environmental portraits of a worker in a manufacturing plant in NYC that uses the client's services, plus additional  documentary shots of showing other aspects of the factory. Read the article HERE and see if you're selling yourself short. Don't overlook the Comments left below the post for suggestions on how to cover some of the costs of doing business without pushing creative fees over the moon, in turn pissing off the client and losing the assignment.

Thanks again to APE's Rob Haggart for continuing to provide & publish one of the most informative & educational blogs for editorial photographers found anywhere one the interwebs. Having had a long conversation earlier today with one of Hawaii's top film/photo stylists where the topic drifted eventually to the death of the industry, it's posts like these that continue to give me hope that it is still possible to earn a living as a photographer without resorting to weddings.