#136 Handed in

Yesterday, I presented two projects to clients:

  1. Ottawa Magazine assignment on the Whitewater Slalom National Team Training site in downtown Ottawa – the “Pumphouse”
  2. A wedding assignment

Ottawa Magazine – Jane was pleased with the work – “I always get good results when the photographer is passionate about the subject.” I enjoyed shooting it, too!It’s due out next spring/summer.

We talked about a photo project for next summer that looks promising. Jane is also on the Working Creatives list – a networking group for people working in creative fields.

candid fun           Fly on the wall photography

Wedding assignment – The newly married couple were all smiles of, course! They had a very small wedding and wanted someone to document the fun. I really don’t enjoy the formal, posed wedding style – it’s cold, rigid and staged. Blechh.

The photo above is far more my style – taken years ago from atop a chair – posted with permission. The bride’s smile is honest and true!

I am hired to be a fly on the wall. Consequently, my photographic instructions for the bride and groom are simply “forget about me.” And the candid, wonderful emotions start leaking out. The recent couple really wanted me to capture the stories, the gestures and the nuances. That’s my kind of wedding photography!

I was hired once because, as the bride put it, “your portfolio was the only one that had me on the verge of tears.” A big formal wedding is hard work! Shooting candidly is way more fun and makes my clients tears flow!

As Jane says “I always get good results when the photographer is passionate about the subject…”


#135 Student success!

Recently I was hired to help a family with their photos. Mom and dad had a simple film camera and a digital point and shoot and wanted to learn to take better pictures of their young kids.

I produced a 4 hour Custom Course to teach the material of the Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop. The session covers the base material of photography at a level to help anyone improve their photos.

After the course I got an email from ‘Mom’:

Thanks Harry.  I am having fun with it.  I love the motion photos.  The kids are always running around so photos that show this energy seem much more depicting reality to me.

These photos were taken by ‘Mom’ on a simple point and shoot. printed with permission:

family photos

Better photos is not rocket science. It has little to do with camera technology and everything to do with understanding the fundamentals of photography!

Take photos, have fun!


#134 Now that’s big!

Below – an announcement about the RA Photo Club prize winner but first, a BIG announcement from Leica.

The big news:

Leica has just announced a leap forward in DSLR camera technology. The most advanced DSLR’s are trumpeting their 24 megapixel sensors. Leica has come out with a 37.5 MP SLR format camera the Leica S2. While size is only one element of many when evaluating a camera I am certain Leica’s quality reputation will seep into all aspects of the S2. Read more at PDN.

While I am not one to pay a lot of attention to technology – technology doesn’t take good pictures, experienced people take good pictures – this is a significant leap. I shoot much assignment work digitally but I have really held off investing heavily in digital until digital started catching up with some of the finer points of film. Please don’t start screaming – digital has it’s shortcmings, as does film. This Leica may be a good step in a good direction.

The RA Photo Club winners: Malcolm Taylor and Mante Molepo win a $100 gift certificate for any photo course run by HarryNowell.com up to the end of September 2009! Yippee!


#133 Hot water!

Jill Greenberg is in a little hot water… or is that the hot seat… or the spot light?

You see, she was asked to photograph Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain for The Atlantic. Greenberg, a democrat, did a fabulous job for the magazine and then shot some, erm, less glowing portraits for her own site – as reported in PDN.

The ‘scandalous’ move created some strong ethical debates and also got Greenberg some excellent press coverage! … bet you’ve just been to her site!

A less controversial self portrait below- experimenting with motion. Notice the background horizontal streaks. There was significant movement going on. How did I capture this self portrait?:

Self Portrait

RA Photo Club $100 draw winner to be announced Friday here at the blog!


#132 “Wanted: Photographer for well paid, exciting assignments”

My new Exposed! newsletter has been sent to subscribers. Sign up to receive the newsletter above, right.

You can read “Wanted: Photographer for well paid, exciting assignments” and learn about the obstacles and successes of running a photo business!

Obstacles   Successes

The RA Photo Club also asked me to attend their open house last night to present my latest offerings of photo workshops. A draw will be made today for a $100 gift certificate awarded to one of the attendees. Winner will be announced on Thursday or Friday here at the blog!

Have fun!


#131 Leading Photo Equipment Trade Show

It starts tomorrow – Tuesday, September 23, 2008.


The world’s largest photography trade show.

Manufacturers wait to announce their newest and best. According to Wikipedia at the 2006 Photokina there were

  • 1,579 suppliers from 46 countries
  • Over 162,000 visitors from 153 countries

Many people hold their breath for big announcements – the newest, biggest, best…

Also coming out tomorrow is the new Exposed! Newsletter from HarryNowell.com:

“Wanted: Photographer for well paid, exciting assignments.”


#130 Photos, sponsors, Olympic medals

I have been talking about a couple of athletes who competed for Canada at the Beijing Olympics in whitewater slalom paddling:

Sarah Boudens 

James Cartwright

Canadian elite athlete’s jobs – full time pursuit of their sport – are hard enough. What makes their work harder is the financial constraints they face. Money! They need to be business savvy as well as athletic to ensure they can survive and train.

I finished a photo shoot with Sarah. As I approached my car she was getting ready to leave. I took a photo of Sarah with her car, below. Thanks to Lapointe Brothers Auto Dealer! That generosity, I am sure, goes a long way!

One of Sarah Boudens sponsors!

Also, have a look at Zina Kocher‘s video supporting her pursuit to the biathlon podium at the 2010 Olympics. Olympic athletes, like photographers, need a good business plan and foresight!

Thanks Dave McMahon for the link to the video.Support the Olympians.It’ll make them smile.


PS ‘Exposed!’ comes out next week – this week got too busy!

#129 The less glamourous side

This week I am spending more time in the office than I like. I am doing more processing, editing and filing and prep work than I like! It’s a good sign that there is lots of work coming in. The ‘glamourous‘ work – behind the camera – is only a fraction of my work.

What’s going on this week:

  • editing magazine assignment due by the end of September – most of the shooting is done!
  •  editing a wedding shot last weekend
  • prepping for the Creative Fundamentals workshop (section 1) starting Thursday
  • prepping for a Custom Course on Sunday and another Monday/Tuesday
  • finishing a proposal for a prospective client
  • following up with three recurring clients
  • daily administrative tasks
  • following up with a stock submission for an agency
  • investigating a system to allow me to accept direct credit card payments.

My photo creation will be limited over the next few days!


#128 Stock Photography List

My photo career started with a very narrow goal – to shoot and sell stock:

stock photo

The stock aspect of my business continues through agencies and my office, but my business is more diverse now than I ever dreamed it would be.

Why? Partly because other photo work intrigued me and became commercially successful. And partly because the stock industry started changing in big ways in the mid to late 90’s:

  • Royalty free hit the market, offering “ludicrously low prices” on stock imagery.
  • The web had a huge impact and made more imagery more available.
  • Crowdsourcing undercut the “ludicrously low prices” of royalty free!

Stock is still one of the most fun parts of my business. I found a blog posting recently from APhotoEditor.com that lists many stock agencies worldwide – mine included – it’s a fun list to cruise.

My favourite stock subject – anything dynamic, fun, different- see swing above.

My biggest sale – fun, dynamic, different shot of a car in rush hour shot from above the driver’s window. Licensed in Columbia through AGEFotostock.com

My image with most sales – bowling pins being blasted by bowling ball – with motion. Licensed by FirstLight.com

Shoot what you enjoy – it’ll make a difference!


#127 Creative Portrait Session

I met last week with a group of working creative people. We spent some time on a purely creative exercise. Each member had about half an hour to let their imaginations run wild in a portrait session. There were no real restrictions – just some time to experiment and have some fun.

I worked with Duncan Marshall of Marshall Maruska Aerial Images. I like playing with motion and asked Duncan to whirl circles around me at the end of a rope. Some of my favourites came from the whirling because of the motion and how the fun made Duncan react:

Duncan Marshall

Duncan Marshall

I also produced some more traditional work:Duncan

And some photojournalistic portraits as Duncan told stories about flying:

Have fun,


PS “Exposed!” Photo Newsletter comes out this week.