Before I get into the body of today's post, I wanted to give a bit of a kick-back to my previous post "Between Takes"
I had a comment from my dear friend Greg, who had said
"Why not shoot other genres while you are not travelling? Street, studies, portrait even. That's what I do. It keep me busy."
And I thought about it after a while. Yes, he was right, I had to keep busy doing other things. Studio work was never my thing, Street, there's a possibility. Studies. Yes.
And just like that, something cool fell into my lap.
My godmother asked me to photograph her late-mothers violin.
Having been an ex-childhood violinist myself, I could relate to the types of shots required to document a beautiful old family heirloom. The intimacy of what a violinist sees - the individual notes, the strings, the bridge and the tuning knobs, the fine horse hairs on the bow.
I get a second time with the violin this weekend, but wanted to share some of the initial shots I got last weekend. I realised after trying to shoot and battling the light, that I'd do it during the day when the light was plentiful (rather than at night under warm lights).
Now, onto today's post.
I’ll preface this by warning you that it’s probably going to turn into a bit of a rant…
Increasingly, as a Photographer running a business, I am spending more and more time researching those who email me and present me with an offer “that I just can’t afford to refuse.”
Often, the “offer” had something to do with supplying my high-resolution, untagged or watermarked images in exchange for “credit” or future remuneration. This is not a new thing. It's been increasing in occurance like a snowball down a mountain, ever since companies realised that there are many eager photography amateurs and enthusiasts out there, willing to give images away for free. All it takes is the dangling of the smallest carrot and the value of all other work has been greatly diminished, to the point that payment for digital photography as digital files, is beginning to look extinct. Anyway, that’s for another time.
My point being, companies now approach Photographers seeking their best work, for use in ad campaigns, company branding, interior or exterior designs, magazines, shoots, the list is endless.
As a photographer running a business, the act of checking my email is becoming increasingly about seeing through the tactics of those who contact me, asking for my work. It’s something I can no longer do when half-asleep, checking the account on my mobile. Why? Because everyone is trying all sorts of different ways to get our stuff, with minimal to non-existant compensation. You need to absolutely have your wits about you when you reply to these people, if you choose to reply, that is.
It’s always about running the background checks, or the idea past your social media outlets, “Has anyone ever heard of X?” Googling the company name and getting any notes on their reputations.
But it’s more than that now.
I’m receiving more email than I ever was before. My business account is attracting more stock-seeking representatives (who I have given an earful to, as they never stop emailing me) and companies looking to rent advertising space on my website, which I do not want. I keep checking my email on the feint hope that there could be a new offer just sitting there waiting for me, something cool, something worth my time.
Sigh. I'll stop.
Lastly, some news.
If you've read this far, thank you!
Over the next few blogs I'm going to be launching something different. Taking it to new levels. A collaboration of sorts...!
I won't tell you what it is just yet, only that I'm excited. Collaborations are fun, don't you think?!