Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wrap-up from WPPI

It's all over. The vendors have packed up their booths. The Master Classes and Platform Classes are over. A week of learning, exploring, discovering and revitalizing for the practitioners of the the personal side of the photograpy industry. This conference is focused on wedding and portrait photographers. We are the ones that capture your personal moments. We are in some form or another your personal historians. 

Over the course of the week masters of the craft shared some of their secrets, motivation, techniques, and style. The challenge for the attendees is now to go home, review what they have learned and use that to create their own personal style. It is that last piece that distinguishes those of us from the rest.

One theme emerged as a constant thread. Digital cameras have given everyone the ability to take pictures. The average person does not hire a photographer to take pictures. Unfortunately, a great many "photographers" simply do just that; take pictures. A true photographer is supposed to create art. The creation of art is what we must return to. In order to do that, we must return to the fundamentals. We must turn off some of the automation that has made us lazy and go back to creating images that do not require massive amounts of tinkering in Photoshop.

We also must present  these works of art to our clients is something with lot more longevity than a plastic disc. We must create images, wall art, and books that can be passed along to generations of families to share in the memorable moments of our lives.

In short, we have to return to being the professionals clients turn to when they want something special. Something more than a picture taken by Uncle Harry who has a big camera that can be printed at Walgreens or posted on Facebook.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Where have all the photographers gone

Catching up with your local photographer may be a little difficult over the next few days. Most of us have descended on Las Vegas and it's not for a wild getaway either. The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) is holding it's annual conference.

This is a chance for us to network, share ideas, learn new techniques, find out about the latest gear and services, and basically OD on information on all things photographic. Yes, we all come back with new products and services. Yes, we will start introducing them to you. Yes, when you see them the grass will be greener, and the sky will be bluer.

In reality, we will have more ideas and products to artistically preserve and archive images that represent the most precious moments in your life. Without revealing too many insider secrets, I hope to bring you a glimpse of some of those things. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 11, 2010

For the really important photos

Some, alright most, of our significant family photo moments these days involve our grandson, Jaiden. This past weekend was one of those moments; his first haircut. Where this isn't normally an issue for baby girls, the boys are usually introduced to a barber somewhere between a year to 2 years old. Trust me, they don't particularly like it.

Jaiden held up to this stranger, messing with his hair for what had to feel to him like forever, pretty well. Yes, he cried as he sat on his mother's lap, but calmed down when I came in. Yes, I have a way with him, he said, no the least bit proudly..... Actually, it was the fascination with the camera and the pictures being taken. I can tell he is determined to get his hands on one of our Nikons one of these days. My oldest son did that at around 19 months, but that is another story, for another time.

For this occasion in particular, there must be two of people present. One to hold the child, the other to grab the photos. My daughter thought she was going to be able to do it all herself. She also thought Jaiden was going to sit politely in the chair while all this strange activity went on. Now I have a flip video camera that takes high resolution stills, but, these are not just casual images that may just go up on the web or in emails. For us, these images deserve the same quality we deliver to clients.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2010

Welcome to 2010. Some of you will be putting some new numbers on the census forms that are coming out shortly. At least a dozen of my own friends, family and clients have welcomed new babies this year. For those families that welcomed their first child, a new digital camera was a very popular gift. I'm sure they plan to put that camera to good use capturing many, many precious moments and memories. Now is also the time to plan how you intend to preserve those images.

There are so many possibilities in this new age of digital media. The exciting part is the array of options for printing. Greeting cards have been available for years. That has expanded into note cards, movie marquee style posters, wall size prints and so on. T-shirts, photo plates and coffee mugs are just a sampling of what could be your own family line of "logo-ware". Admittedly, a lot of that stuff is over the top. Here's a couple ideas that aren't.