#302 Reminder – Gallery Visit this Thursday!

We announced Thursday’s National Gallery visit three weeks ago and the response has been good so far.

This is an informal social gathering. There is no cost to participate. It is an opportunity to meet, discuss, learn, and enjoy prominent photo exhibitions with other photo enthusiasts. After the event people have discussed visiting the Byward Market.

Scott McFarland – A Cultivated View

Thursday, July 16th, 2009; 6:30pm
Gallery Cost: Free gallery entry after 5pm
Meet: 6:30pm in the main lobby of the National Gallery, 380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa

We visit the National Gallery to see Scott McFarland’s work shot on a large format camera and ‘adjusted’ digitally.

Stay tuned for other Gallery visits.


#301 Nerves to Smiles

Nerves to Smiles

Yesterday’s Portrait Custom Course student was nervous – she is preparing for a 90th birthday party photo assignment. There’s a lot to think about when under pressure!

We went through the material from the Natural Light Portraits course spending time specifically on indoor use of camera mounted flash. We did a quick review before I left Nat to prepare for her final exam – producing portraits for an unknown person – Shirley, past photo student. Her modeling instructions were simply “Be yourself.”

Custom Course Natural Light Portraits Gatineau Ottawa

By the end of the session Nathalie’s nerves had melted into smiles. She did well and had fun shooting. Nice work Nat!

Below, see some photos I shot during her final exam:

Natural Light Portrait Photo Workshop - Ottawa Gatineau

Natural Light Portrait Photo Workshop - Ottawa Gatineau

Natural Light Portrait Photo Workshop - Ottawa Gatineau

#300 Business of Photography

Recently, I went out with a red shirt and cedar canvas canoe for one of our publications – a course notebook for Natural Light Portraits. The photos of the workshop instructor (me) were taken by the notebook editor, an accomplished student of some of our courses.

We brought the canoe to the Ottawa River whereby I paddled while Chris photographed. He chuckled, “you have a pretty good job – canoeing and taking photos.”

Harry photo canoe

I smiled – I do have a pretty good job. Chris saw the 10-20% fun part. Most of the work is editing, selling, marketing, submitting and filing.

With that in mind I present to you an article I stumbled upon recently related to smart principles of press releases. The ideas apply to new photography businesses and, more broadly, any promotional efforts.

The article makes good business sense – the kind of advice we convey in the Creative Business Seminar – dates coming this fall.

#299 Student Success

I just got an email from Susie Osler, ceramic artist, and was excited about her latest successes!

Susie’s work has developed through extensive training and continued development of her work. Her accomplishments are many.

Susie OslerSusieOsler.com

Coming up is the opening for her Fieldwork Project. Also be sure to tune in for her interview with CBC Ottawa’s ‘In Town and Out’  airing Saturday morning between 6 and 9 am!

Susie Osler - Fieldwork

Susie contacted me last winter as she wanted help documenting her ceramic work for promotion, galleries and juried shows. We designed a Custom Course based on the ‘Photography for Art Promotion‘ presentation I did for the Ontario Craft Council to help her shine.

We’re proud of her continued success! Yay, Susie!

#298 Workshop update

Our most popular photography workshop is Creative Fundamentals – we teach the course in the spring and fall as well as throughout the year as a Custom Course.

Currently, only two spots remain. It’s popular because it covers the fundamentals of photography that many advanced amateurs never properly learn.

Creative Fundamentals

We cover the essentials of exposure in a way that will allow you to create better results in tricky lighting scenarios. While auto exposure modes will give reasonable success in simple scenarios about 80% of the time, learning the finer details of proper exposure will elevate your photography to new levels.

Read the next issue of the “Exposed!” photo newsletter for more information on advanced exposure techniques. Subscribe to “Exposed!” in the upper right hand corner of this pag.

We also learn about effective focusing, depth of field, elements of composition to give you a solid base from which to grow photographically.

It’s popular – just see what past students say.

We are looking at bringing in some guest instructors this fall and winter – details coming soon. Check our other workshops for summer and fall fun.

#297 Bluesfest Business

Bluesfest is coming soon!

For many years I have covered Bluesfest, some Jazzfest and Tulip Fest. This year I have not pursued the work and it’s a bit of a relief.

Ani Defranco Ani DiFranco

What happened?!

Nothing bad happened. I started shooting Bluesfest in 2002 and had reasonable success selling Bluesfest imagery through agencies, magazines and newspapers. My work appeared in local media and as far away as the LA Times.

The trouble was:

  • restrictions were getting more strict
  • competition was tight
  • budgets were small
  • there are often young photographers willing to do ANYTHING to get in the media enclosures

In summary:

  • Large supply of photographers
  • Small demand for imagery

My time invested was extensive. My rewards were moderate.
Would I shoot more concert work and festivals? Definitely! If the rewards were appropriate.

Ben Harper Ben Harper

Gaining access to shooting a popular event is relatively easy if you’ve done your legwork and have a strong body of appropriate work behind you. Making a significant living is more challenging. It requires:

  • good people skills
  • business skills
  • opportunity
  • appropriate market

Alison Kraus Alison Kraus
What am I going to do with all the time I used to spend shooting Bluesfest? Work on projects that provide greater rewards.

… And, perhaps, catch a show from the crowd.

#296 – Back to work

I am back in the office with batteries charged. We took a short break and did some small trips including sea kayaking on the Saguenay fjord, cycling, tasting cider and artisanal cheeses.

Cirque Du Soleil

We were also tipped off about free performances by Cirque du Soleil in Quebec City to celebrate the circus’ 25th anniversary. The performance was spectacular in many ways including the fact that it all takes place under the cover of an elevated highway.

There was no promotion and no blazing ‘Cirque lights’ or marketing – the show starts and fiishes without any explanation. There is virtually no promotion although thousands of people flocked to the site. I did some web investigation and found nothing on the Cirque web site and just one review that includes information for the summer shows.

Avoiding Burnout

I do not take much time off but it is critical to a sustainable workflow! I recently encouraged one of our Pro Program students to take some non photo time as burnout was looking a possibility for them.

On this small trip I left any and all photo devices safely at the office. It was good for me. I will also be taking in some of the summer music scene… for fun.

double bass