Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pictures vs. Art

What is the difference between a picture and ART?  Well, a picture is something taken in a camera. Anyone can take pictures and the pictures can be good or bad. 
But what a photographer does is they create an artistic rendering of your image.  They take 'pictures' to the next level. 
A photographers job is to tell the story of an image.  If it is a good image; the story is clear. If it is ART....it keeps you lingering for a while.
As you see below, the picture on the left is pretty cool.  It was a great moment captured at the right time.  The story in the picture shows the dancers talent.
But if you look to the image on the right; you will likely linger for a while wondering where this location is.  The coloring any stylizing is a bit moodier, so the image actually evokes a bit more emotion than the image on the left.

If I have done my job well, you will want to linger.  Yes, I take pictures.  But I make them ART.  When you look at your previews after a session, realize it is just the beginning.  The possibilities are truly endless with the images created. 

Don't hesitate to ask questions, even if the only one you have is, "Now what?"

That's why we are here.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Online image posting

Nowadays with social media being what it is, we have the world at our fingertips.  It's so exciting to be able to have a photo session and see your images online instantly.  It's a great benefit to photographers and clients alike.  But there  is a bit of a downside and a risk to putting your images online. 

First of all the photographer retains the rights to all images (unless they sign a release form, which most don't).  Even if you get a disc of images from a photographer, that doesn't mean you can turnaround and sell them.  They still belong to the photographer.

Secondly, photography is their business; their job...their income.   It's how they make their money and pay there bills.  If someone is using the images without paying for them, it literally takes money (and time) away from the photographer.

I know photography sounds expensive, and I admit, it is an investment.    But if you realize that for every session, let's say an hours time for shooting; there are at least double the hours in editing.  An average family or portrait session can easily yield a few hundred images.

The photographer has to take the time to go through every last image and keep or delete the image.  After that, there is editing to each of the images for color correction, contrast, sharpness, vibrancy, or other artistic rendering.  Below is one very small example of the difference from out of the camera to preview:

Believe it or  not, there are multiple photoshop layers to this image. 
When I shoot, I usually know which images I will be converting to black and white.   And I also know which ones will get even more of my attention and more artistic rendering.

This is why the session fees are higher than most people think.  For a one hour session it's about 3 hours of the photographers time (not including travel to and from the location).

A good photographer will want to emote a mood from each image.  That takes some serious ability and years of education.  Much care is taken for each image before it is seen by the public. 

When the session has been edited and the pictures go up online, the main goal will be that the client is delighted with what they see and they will order the images. A photographer can help guide the best sizes and frames based on the space you will use to hang your images.

But what happens in many cases, is the images are seen online and taken from the website (usually by screen print or thanks to the Iphone, a simple click) and voila....the image can be re-used however one wishes.  Now if I post an image on Facebook and it has my watermark, then I expect it will be shared.  And I would hope that the watermark stays on the image so people will know where to go for images like what are seen.  However, what I have a problem with, is when someone takes an image from the website, and prints it onto actual paper and passes it off as my work, or something they paid for.  This is very bad for business.

The impact on the photographer, you may think is minimal, but when the image gets out there (a poorer copy than the photographer would ever let go), this image is representative of the photographer.  The value of the image is dramatically reduced and the photographer, in the end, pays the price.

I have seen this play out many times over the years.  I have shown up to weddings where a 20"x30" board filled with all my images (basically stolen) sits on display and is passed off as my work.  And it is very difficult to swallow.  And the worst part is; the place that printed it could see my logo on every last little image on that board.  If they were doing their job, it would have never been printed.

Unfortunately, with social media being what it is; sharing is just a click away.

So, what's a photographer to do?

Well, as we try to stay one step ahead, there is always someone in front of us ducking and weaving the system.  So basically, we keep plugging along.  But we do ask that if you hire a photographer, please respect their art and understand that just because the image is viewable, it doesn't mean it should be acquired without proper payment.

Do you expect to show up at your job and work for free?  Certainly not.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Recent Sessions

Where does the time go?  I have been busy with so many projects; families, weddings and dance recitals.  It's been a crazy summer and it's only going to get busier.  Believe it or not; the holidays are upon us and family sessions go crazy around this time of year!  From now until November, my bookies will fill up, so schedule your appointment early!!!
Below are some of my recent sessions.  A wedding - a second chance - an intimate affair.  I loved these two; Dave and Shannon are so in love that their emotion comes pouring through the pictures.  What a great day in Solano Beach.

Also, I had the chance to shoot the MVDPAC Recital. That is 2 weeks of shooting, so it's quite the undertaking. Here are just a few shots that I really loved.



And finally, a family session.  I had the pleasure of photographing this family 4 years ago.  They called me because they are moving and wanted to get their family pictures taken on the amazing beaches in California before they head east.

No doubt they will be using these images for their holiday cards.  The season is fast approaching and sessions are booking up.  Weekend sessions go first, so if you need a weekend family session, call soon.  I only do beach sessions one time per day for the sunset.  Feel free to check out my website and email any questions you may have!  Looking forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Talk about a fun family!  I have been photographing this family for about 5 years now.  They are such a great group!   We went down to San Juan Capistrano and took advantage of everything they had to offer.  Here are a few from our session.

Sometimes the "help" gets in the way....  It's all good though, right?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So much going on! Seniors Galore!!! I have been busy creating senior announcements and wedding Thank You's! Tis the season!!!
So....have you ever photographed a dancer?  What fun!  I have watched and photographed many of these girls for years.  I have watched their talents blossom.  To be able to capture their senior portraits was an absolute blessing.  I'm so proud of these girls and wish them the best going forward!

If you need senior portraits, or announcements, let me know.  I'm running a special through June 15th.