#39 – Late night

Remember, I took off in the middle of last week to go skiing for two days? Well, Saturday was a pretty full workday and I was busy working at the computer late Sunday night.

Guess who e-mailed me at 10:21 pm and 10:45 pm Sunday eve? Two other self employed entrepreneurs with business questions and ideas. Self employed people have the strangest work hours but I do enjoy the flexibility.

Coming up this week:

  • Exposed! Newsetter
  • photo contest presentations
  • prep for upcoming courses
  • uploading of new ChelseaGallery.ca material including the photo, below, from beneath a jumping horse

I got to bed close to midnight…


Horse jump

#38 Zen, food and vegaanism

This blog deals with my life of photography work. Today, I am straying on a tangent
of food, zen and veganism.

A group of friends goes out regularly for dinner to explore different restaurants and food. There are no rules – we have had some good experiences but the last one was fantastic. Really. So much so that I had to share it here.

Last night we visited the Zen Kitchen‘s monthly vegan dinner at the Chelsea Club with chef, Caroline Ishii. I am not vegan or vegetarian and do enjoy a good slice of beef now and then. I was not sure what to expect.

It was an amazing evening – a group meal for the first 40 (?) people who signed up – we couldn’t get in last month. Of the 40 attendees only one was vegan. We had four courses paired with wine from Antonio Mauriello. Chef Ishii, who is not vegan herself, was introduced at the end and answered many questions about her philosophy on food.

Highly recommended.

Now back to photography…


#37 The Judge

Harry the Judge will be working tonight.

InterClub Photo Competition

The annual Ottawa-Gatineau region 2008 inter-club competition is launched tonight! Three judges are invited to evaluate the collection of entries. It’s a daunting task – based on my judging last year there will be many good entries! Next week are results and a presentation to the clubs.

Photo Business vs Photo Hobby

Much of the work that comes from camera clubs is excellent. So what is the difference between a good camera club member and a working photographer?


Often, taking the photos is the easier part of a photographer’s job. A photography business is a tough game that requires good marketing, sales, finance and networking skills above and beyond the photography.

Better Business Skills

Good business skills will take you further than good photo skills in the working world of photography. I am fortunate – years ago I attended Western (UWO) for finance and economics. I also learned practical business skills while running a business while at university. This gave me some good base skills when I started my photo business. My background was diverse before starting my career in photography!

I also have a father who spent a successful career in sales and marketing for IBM, Systemhouse and Nortel. My last 2 days skiing were punctuated with business development ideas and reports with my Director of Business Development… my Dad.

I now run the Creative Business Seminar to help other creative businesses get off the ground!

#36 – Confession

Ok – I have a confession. I have been skiing with my Dad at Mont Tremblant for two days. It’s an annual event.

Tele Skiing at Tremblant

One downside of running a small business is that I work almost everyday – including these two days skiing. While work has been limited, I have responded to e-mails & phone calls, created blog posts & photos and decision making never ends! I bumped into a fellow business owner, Paul, at Tremblant. He snowboarded the downhills and checked /answered pressing business messages on the chairlift.

One upside of running a business is flexibility in time management! After two days of skiing I will be busy playing catch-up!

Skiing has been fun. There has been a mixed bag of weather but it’s nice to ski with Dad and others. The photo above is Jordan, a telemark skier, skiing the bumps at Tremblant. The print is available at ChelseaGallery.ca. It was shot on a fantastic Kodak Infrared slide film – hence the beautifully different hues.

See you soon,


#35 Creative Fun and skiing

So there will be another Creative Fundamentals offered this spring – in May.

It looks like Urban Landscapes will be moved to August. Dates will be confirmed this week. Check the workshops page for details later this week.

Today’s diversion:Ok, I love photography and skiing (particularly nordic and tele) and after a quick google search found the blog of Canadian John Dougall – skier, model, photographer. Have a look! All I know is what I read – but looks fun.

More photos and stories late tomorrow eve…

#34 Easter Bunny

Had a fairly relaxed weekend – repositioning snow, skiing, and fondue. We tried Le Nordik Spa in Chelsea, too!

Workwise I did some thinking among other things. Two sections of April’s Creative Fundamentals have filled and there seems to be some more demand. I am looking at shifting May’s Urban Landscapes to August and filling the spot with a third section of CF. Any comments?

The week is busy and fun:

  • some contest judging
  • teaching
  • photos
  • skiing

Blog postings may be light this week – I will post as I can.I saw the Easter Bunny in my back yard on Sunday. I never (almost) see rabbits here!


#33 Media Relations

I often work in a vacuum making many business decisions alone. I am President, photographer and chief business strategist of Harry, Inc. It’s good for me to get out and meet others. When I saw a Media Relations Workshop facilitated by Karen Flanagan McCarthy, veteran journalist, I jumped.

Karen McCarthy

The workshop was offered by Ottawa Festivals and run by Karen’s company McCarthy Media Group. It was excellent.

Right after the workshop I hustled to a coffee shop where I had arranged to meet an Algonquin College photography student looking for a work placement. We are going to work together for 2 weeks in April. Having more help will be good for me and it’ll be fun to offer some insights to the working world of photography!

Long weekend – some skiing, some work, cheese fondue in one of the Gatineau Park cabins.


#32 Tour de France in moving pictures

I just saw an IMAX film – Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France.

I do appreciate a little cycling, competition and good photography whether
moving or still shots. And IMAX is pretty amazing – their technology and final product is usually spectacular! The science part of the film (about the nervous system) was interesting but I was there for the cycling spectacular!

ChelseaGallery.ca Bike Race

We were not disappointed! The effects and camera capabilities were pretty fun!

I enjoy this kind of film for obvious reasons. But exciting visual media also feeds my creative brain and helps my work! These photos (available at ChelseaGallery.ca) are not Tour de France but they do benefit from an exciting night at the movies! ChelseaGallery.ca Mountain Biker


#31 Snow!

Ok. We have a lot of snow:


I have never seen this much snow in Chelsea! I have never had trouble getting through the door, above! I am not complaining – we’ll be skiing until June! The snow has created some extra work – and not the paying kind! I shoveled my garage roof last week and I can now walk directly from the roof down to the driveway – no ladder needed!

With all this snow is there a boom of photo opportunities? Yes and no. Editorially there are news stories mostly covered by the local papers.From a stock photography perspective there are opportunities but tough ones. The abundance of snow offers ample winter pictures but there are far too many snow pictures out there already!

I just searched for “snow scene” at AGE Fotostock and found almost 7000 pictures available! To make the snow pictures salable through a worthwhile agent there needs to be something snowy and unavailable anywhere else. Supply and demand! What makes a good (ie profitable) stock snow picture? Perhaps buried cars, buried houses? Look for ways to put a positive spin into the picture – positive sells better than negative.

Positive, unique pictures that are well shot – not my snapshot of the porch above – have a chance at earning some dough. There is lots of competition – there are some exceptional snow photos out there and a lot of mediocre ones, too. Check my Creative Business Seminar for more business ideas.H

#30 New pictures

One of my agencies has just uploaded some new imagery. AGE Fotostock in Spain licenses my work around the world. They do not sell photos – they sell “rights” to use photos for specific purposes. This is known as “licensing” the imagery. This industry is called “stock photography.”

See one of the images recently posted:

My Mum had had foot surgery and kindly agreed to model from her wheelchair. I took a dual role as photographer and model – that’s me in the red t-shirt multi tasking. The camera was attached to the wheelchair which gave the opportunity for some funky motion!

Stock photography is, in some ways, my favourite type of work and the initial reason I got into photography as a career! My work is now quite diverse but stock comprises a good chunk of my photo life.