Archive for July, 2011
One of my greatest challenges as a photography business owner is time. Between managing my studio, photoshoots and post-processing, my day is filled to the brim and sleep is in short supply. Still, I never compromise on the quality of my service or client communications. Jason Falls, founder and editor of Social Media Explorer, puts it succinctly in his article, saying that good communications, like good bourbon, takes time. I’m excited for Jason’s contribution as he is a leading thinker, educator, speaker and consultant in the world of social media marketing, public relations, digital marketing and communications.
Follow Jason Falls on Twitter.
Post By Jason Falls
The dichotomy between the making of bourbon and the marketing of bourbon is amusing to me. Working with some of the most recognizable brand names in the spirits category isn’t unlike working with any other top-tier company, product or service. Marketers, public relations counsel and even social media strategists have to be nimble.
“When can we get that done?” said in a tone that suggests tomorrow morning is too late is a popular question fielded by those in the advertising, marketing, public relations and social media industries.
This isn’t a bitch session about my clients. They’ll know this is all true. Bear with me.
While some of the best communications ideas in the world were created in that hyperventilation chamber of death that is client deadlines, the one thing lacking in most approaches to market is the appropriate amount of time to ensure the program, campaign or effort is done right, or at least well.
“Everyone is competing for time,” Ben Worthen of the Wall Street Journal told me in a Vocus webinar I moderated. He was referring to public relations professionals competing for the time and attentions of journalists. But the statement can be made as an umbrella for the world.
I’m competing for time and my clients, agency, family, blog, extra-curricular activities, friends, fitness and personal hobbies are competing against me. (Note that I didn’t put sleep in that list. It is currently drawing the short straw.)
As a result of the cacophony of buzz that is our lives, we seldom have or even think to take the appropriate time to ensure what we’re doing is done well. Look closely and you’ll probably find a misspelling or awkward sentence here I would have cleaned up had I taken enough time. We do it with our clients or company. We do it with our meals or sleep. We do it with our friends and family. Some of us do it there too much and too often.
Bad PR pitches? Not enough time was taken to carefully craft them. Bad social media execution? Not enough time was taken to fully digest the possible challenges and outcomes or not enough time was spent being responsive to the audience. Bad advertising? Not enough time was set aside for quality checks, audience testing or research to ensure the strategy matched the collateral.
But good bourbon can’t be rushed. Many bourbons have age statements on the bottle. Knob Creek, for instance, is aged nine years. Nothing anyone does can hurry the aging along. Nine years is nine years. If it isn’t nine years, it doesn’t go in that clever little square-ish bottle. Other bourbons, like Maker’s Mark, is bottled to taste rather than age, so there’s no age statement on the bottle. But it still has a sweet spot window of aging that can’t be changed because more bourbon is needed.
In order to craft an ideal product, bourbon makers know the most important ingredient is time. We should all take a lesson from that philosophy.
My photography of Angela and Jeremy Webster’s gorgeous beach wedding at Lake Tahoe is featured in the June Summer Beach issue of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons. The wedding, held at the beautiful Fairwinds Estate, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, was attended by 110 guests from Taiwan, Japan, Canada and all over the U.S. Stephanie Anderson of One Fine Day was the creative genius planner and Sara Spurlock of Bellissima Floral crafted exquisite floral designs of fresh bursts of yellow, white and green.
Only a handful of people in the world can call themselves Grand Master of Photography – and Peter Eastway is one of them. Peter is a master landscape photographer and has won multiple awards such as Australian Professional Photographer of the Year and at WPPI. This week on TWiT Photo, we’re going international and we’ll be chatting with the Australian pro to learn his photography insights. Watch here or download for free on iTunes.
Have questions, suggestions or praises? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get to know the Novogratzes, you must first take a tour of their house. I was lucky enough to photograph the beautiful, eclectic family, helmed by Cortney and Rob from Sixx Design, last year and stayed with them in their five-story house in NYC last Spring. Like a modern museum, mixed with the whimsy of the occasional street feel and traditional piece, the house is a fashion-forward amalgamation of colors, art, personalities and the warmth of a loving family. In this photograph, Cortney and Rob sit on a Adid Aziz desk – the other is residing in the famed MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York City – which they hauled into their master bedroom with a crane before installing the windows. To witness the creative brilliance of the couple and how they manage their 7 kids, watch Home by Novogratz on Saturdays at 10/9 (c), which premiered on July 16 on HGTV. Also, stay tuned for images from my full shoot with the family this summer.
Human beings have an odd fascination with our selves, our features and it’s even more so for us artists and photographers. Perhaps it is a sort of rite of passage we each have to go through before we are able to extract and capture the essence of our subjects. Following my curiosity with the power of self-portraits, I partnered with Lowepro to find the most visually creative and beautifully executed shots. And the results, as you can see, are no short of amazing.
After a grueling and difficult process with my editors, I narrowed down 2 honorable mentions, who each get a Lowepro Slingshot 100 AW. Congratulations, Jeremiah and Sofia, both your self-portraits blew everyone at Catherine Hall Studios away. Of his portrait, Jeremiah (picture, top) from Austin, Texas, says, “I was thinking of magic when I went to take this picture. On how could I translate my thoughts into an actual factual image, and make it speak not only to me but everyone else who saw it.” Sofia (below), on the other hand, is from Naples, Italy.
See the other 11 finalists, including a notable mention for Laura, who created a mysterious portrait that reminds one of an bygone era. Of course, not to mention her courage for posing nude!
Vero Beach, Florida
“While enrolled in a photography class, we were assigned to do a self portrait. I wanted to do something totally different, and eye catching! We also had to use an old fashion manual camera. No digital. My props included an old swing, and antique mirror. I was going for a vintage nature look.”
I took this photo during a very hard and stressful time in my life. I was struggling with the things that every 24 year old deals with in addition to some family members have medical issues. I was simply “Down And Out”. It was shot with a strobe and a softbox.
Born in Romania, Living in Austria
I tried to make something memorable for those who are still reading the “paper” newspaper, not the online versions of them every morning.
New Braunfels, Texas
This photo represents who I am through an endless amount of aspects you might see in my picture. Not only does it reveal my physical features, it also helps to reveal my thoughts, aspirations, and creative outlook on life itself.
This day was a rainy winter sunday afternoon, not shaved, alone with my camera… Well, it’s me :)
Originally from Ohio but has lived in San Diego, CA, since 1997
I had a great time making that portrait. I was having some trouble finding creative inspiration so I decided to just work on some technical stuff to keep improving the craft side of my photography. Things started out sort of serious and technical, but then my imagination got going and I thought up the Bugs Bunny idea. By the end of the evening, I was laughing and inspired to do more self portraits and make up more characters.
Originally from Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, but currently residing in England.
It was late; I was editing a wedding when I decided to play with my new flashgun. Flashgun held to the right at 45 degrees and synced with a cable, flash overexposed to darken background. Face resembled my mood induced by long editing hours. Pleased with the light catching my eye!
Asheville, North Carolina
I was testing out some new speed lights and reflectors and the pics came out pretty good.
In this photo, I was at my grandparents (and wanted to go into the fields) and used the wind and the color of the wheat and my hair to create a play of colors.
I couldn’t believe I came across a road that was identified with the Number of the Beast! This sort of thing doesn’t happen in England. I was feeling particularly impish at the time (as you can tell)! This was taken on New Year’s Eve 1990, with a Canon 35mm. Yes, actual film! So I had no idea whether I had the shot or not until the roll was developed back in the UK! One shot, no crop!