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October 8, 2010 - No Comments!

Ditch the Newspaper Buckets

If you’re a newspaper photographer thinking about freelancing, or if you’ve made the move and are working on your website or print portfolio, please do this one important thing:

Ditch the newspaper and contest entry buckets.

Toss ’em. Lose ’em. Just fuhgettahboutem.

Sports, News, Picture Story, Pictorial, Portraits, Community Awareness, Features, Portraits, Issues, fashion, multimedia,...whatever.

As a newspaper photographer, you’ve learned all that it takes to cover a broad range of subjects for the features and daily news sections, including making amazing “multimedia” packages. That is awesome because you can adapt pretty damn well. You’re flexible, take pride in it.

If you don’t know already, you’ve got to figure out what you love and what you are good at doing. Once you do, you’ll have clarity. That focus will help squash fears, build confidence and help make the infinite decisions you’ll be making about your business so much easier.

If you love sports and you want to grace the covers of ESPN or Sports Illustrated or want to just sell kick ass sports images, edit your images to show that you are the best sports photographer on the planet. (It doesn’t matter if you think such and such a photographer is better than you. Go for it!)

If you love getting all the food assignments and you dream of styling, setting up lights (or no lights), putting that sprig of thyme in the perfect spot and making scrumptious images of food, focus your portfolio to show that you know what makes amazing food photography.

If you love making portraits, meeting a wide range of people from all walks of life and relish the challenge of making that one picture that says so much about a person, show work that communicates your style and the connection you make with your subjects. Share the range of what one picture can say about a person.

Even within a speciality, there is great depth and variety. You don't need a lot of buckets.

Your niche, your specialty, your je ne sais quoi... If you are still trying to figure it out, don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be perfectly defined and as long as you keep a general idea in mind, you can edit your images to attract your greatest fans.

Remember, your adaptability and your flexibility are great assets that will serve you well as your business evolves but when it comes to presenting a portfolio of work, tighten your edit to your dream. This is just one step in helping your true fans find you.

June 2, 2010 - No Comments!

Letterpress Business Cards for Code72

John Knotts of Code72 was kind enough to send me some samples (thanks John!) of the business cards I designed for him.

They were printed and shipped to him a week ago and my samples just arrived today! I was dying to see them.

I designed the logo and we made a bit of a mad dash to get a portion of his website (still in progress) up and his cards printed in time for the ExpressionEngine CodeIgnitor Conference 2010 in San Francisco.

Code72 Letterpress business cards

Letterpress Business Cards Detail

The cards are 2x2 inches square and letterpress printed on 220# Crane's Lettra Pearl White paper; two colors, PMS 3015 and Black.

Kevin Cox of Jazyrain Letterpress printed them and I think he did a beautiful job. If you are a professional designer looking for a letterpress printer, I highly recommend Kevin. He is slowly shifting his business to print for independent designers and design studios.

Let him know I sent you!

April 3, 2010 - 5 comments

What I Learned This Week: Random Mix

12 Million: Americans with sensory disabilities
26 million: Americans with Physical disabilities
16 million: Americans with mental/cognitive disabilities

— Scott Mayer, Usability Services Specialist, American Family Insurance from the art of web accessibility by Steve Grobschmidt, in his article, Multiple Facets of Accessible Design - Scott Mayer Presentation

I’m still processing a ton of information about web accessibility and disabilities. All I know is that I want to do better to help make experiencing the web easier for as many people as possible.

Web Standards is About Quality

“...when you examine the fullness of the technical and experiential results of crafting websites and web applications according to Web standards, and compare the results with efforts not crafted according to these standards, what you’re confronted with is a stark contrast in what really matters: quality. It is the idea of quality, not standardization, which provides the compelling argument for the Web Standards Project and for the W3C.” — Andy Rutledge, Web Standards: it’s about qualty; not compliance

Quality. It was the first article about Web Standards that put all my learning and efforts into a greater context. (Thank you Andy for being so eloquent.) The learning continues of course, and I highly recommend reading the entire article. If you are interested, he also has a great cycling blog.

Really, Write to One Person

I’ve read and heard this advice at least a million times and for some reason, Sonia’s marketing advice resonated with me this week. Maybe because I like the photograph of two girls dancing in the snow. It brought back a memory. Maybe it was just the right time. All I know is I feel like I’ve been all over the map and I want to make the kind of connection she made with me.

I Want to Grow My Business

So my goal in the next few weeks is to hire a virtual assistant. This scares me and I know that if I ever want to grow my business, I need to get the help I need. But finding one is not easy. I did a search on twitter and wow, there are so many! After what seemed like hours, I finally stumbled upon a woman who created this great resource for hiring a virtual assistant. Now I feel more confident speaking with one or two or more to find a good match.

Great Grey Owls Can Live to 40 Years

I think that is amazing. I never really thought about it much until I saw this picture of a Great Grey Owl by photographer Markus Mauthe. I wonder if the owl in the photograph will make it to 40.

There it is. Five things I learned this week.