I recently had the opportunity to work with Brad on a boudoir shoot for his portfolio. Having never done any kind of boudoir photography, I definitely had my hesitations (and excitement) going in, but Brad has a comfort and confidence that really put me at ease. You can tell just by his excitement for setting up his equipment that he loves what he does. During the shoot he gives positive and helpful direction and encouragement. My hesitations slipped away and I became very comfortable in the space and with Brad. The shots he took are all beautiful. He always asked what I wanted in the shots and included what he needed based on my comfort. Being lucky enough to work with Brad, I can say that you will have someone listen to what you want and deliver what you are looking for.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of exhibiting at a women’s expo for the first time as a Boudoir Photographer and I must say it was quite an experience. Being one of the very few men in a room full of women was an amazing thing. The event was called Girls Day Out and was held in Vaughan Ontario and that’s exactly what it was, just an afternoon out for the ladies.
It was a relatively small event, perhaps 20 vendors and a couple of women speakers. One of which was my business partner and author of the book Brave Ecstatic Woman, Merav Richter. There was also a fashion show and then of course time to mill around the room and peruse the products vendors were selling. I would say there were about 75 – 100 people there, many of whom were parents of the children and teens that were participating in the fashion show but all in all considering the venue and the publicity surrounding the event it was a fairly well attended event.
Among the good number of women that came by my booth, I noticed a common thread among some of them: that they needed to lose weight before booking a session with me. Now to me, that is just horribly sad to think that way. ALL women are beautiful and come in ALL shapes and sizes. I honestly at the moment didn’t have a proper response to that except for telling the women that is NOT necessary at all, you look wonderful the way you are. Upon some reflection and speaking with a couple of women, I managed to craft an appropriate response albeit a little too late for that event but I know now what to say the next time I hear those words from a woman who is contemplating a boudoir session with me. I can just tell them, you are perfect just the way you are now. If you wait to do things until “YOU” feel you are the "perfect" weight etc., you will never do them. Women are very hard on themselves. You should celebrate who YOU are right now.
I think we as boudoir photographers have an amazing opportunity to help change that mindset but not just within the photography industry. I think, we owe it to one another to flip that way of thinking upside down. In fact, we need to eradicate it completely. There is no need for women or men to feel they need to lose some weight before they can do a photoshoot or anything else for that matter. Embrace who you are and how you look NOW and celebrate it.
Beauty fits ANY body!
Ahhhh the internet, it can be such a great thing on one hand and on the other hand a virtual breeding ground for idiocy and ignorance. I was reading a post a couple of months back on Facebook by a very talented and well established female photographer.
Now you might be wondering what the importance of said photographer’s gender is or why I even identified it however I will get to that and actually this blog post was inspired by the issue discussed in her post.
What I read shocked me mostly because of the ignorance and audacity. The gist of her post was stating that 90% of the emails she has been receiving as of late are coming from men and they are telling her she is running her business incorrectly or doesn’t know what she is doing. First off, who the FUCK do these men think they are? Secondly, you are giving all the good and supportive men a bad name and making the good guys look like chauvinistic Neanderthals. This is not the 1920’s! I would be inclined to say jealousy has played a role here in these men for them to have behaved in such an appalling spiteful manner. Frankly, I don’t understand why some men feel the need to bestow their perceived wisdom onto women because they think women are in need of it. That men just know better just because they are men is archaic and ludicrous and could not be further from the truth.
Have any of these men seen what this woman is doing for the photography industry, let alone with her business? Do any of them know her back story and what she has been through in order to get where she is today? She is doing incredibly well with her business and is sharing her knowledge with all photographers alike. Whether they are male or female it makes no difference or has no bearing, she is all about helping out her fellow photographers. Get over it and deal with it! I would say to her naysayers perhaps you need to take a lesson or page from her book. Maybe you could actually learn a thing or two from her instead of letting your delicate ego get in the way.
Shouldn’t we be celebrating our peers’ successes and building them up instead of tearing them down? No matter what gender they are!? We are a community of professionals and when one does well and shares their knowledge and experiences, we all do well. There is enough room for all of us to share in the successes so instead of wasting your energies telling someone who is clearly doing well for herself that she is doing things wrong or she doesn’t know what she is doing, why not spend your energy working on and worrying about what YOU can do to improve your business.
In today’s day and age there is absolutely NO reason for this type of sexist behaviour to play a role in our business/industry. Off the top of my head I can think of AT LEAST a dozen incredibly successful female photographers in our industry and there are dozens and dozens more who are kicking ass and taking names in this business. Let’s keep that in mind. We could all learn a thing or two from our female counterparts in this industry.
There is still something to be said for physically holding in your hands a moment captured in time that was printed on photo paper. When you see a photo hanging on a wall, framed and in print...you just can’t beat the feeling it gives you. To be able to stand back and admire that gives you an indescribable feeling.
With Mother's Day just on the horizon, are you looking for something special for Mom this year? Why not make Mom’s special day memorable by booking a shoot just for her and the children? This will be something that she will have to cherish and look back on with great fondness for years to come.
Visuphoria Photography is running its inaugural Just for Mom Mother’s Day photo shoot promotion. We currently have two dates open with multiple time slots for you to choose from. Allow me to capture and share in some of those precious moments with you and your children by booking your Just For Mom Mother’s Day photo shoot today! Follow the link and sign up now. Limited spaces available! http://www.visuphoria.ca/sessions/
“A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body”
boudoir (/ˈbuːd.wɑːr/; French: [bu.dwaʁ]) is defined as a woman's private sitting room or salon in a furnished accommodation usually between the dining room and the bedroom, but can also refer to a woman's private bedroom. The word itself, by its very definition says this is all about a woman, all about YOU!
Today boudoir photography is one of the fastest growing genres of photography and this is NOT just a photo shoot. It’s an experience and one like no other. Yes, it may take you out of your comfort zone but you will feel like a queen for a couple of hours while in front of my camera.
I am a professional and provide a professional service for you! I will never share or publish ANY of your images without your written permission. As a male photographer, I also feel like I can provide a different perspective. I love shooting boudoir photography and I feel it really comes through in my work.
Not only am I a male photographer but I am also a husband, a father and a friend to many women and I hear the same things all too often: “I’m not that good looking”, “I’m ugly”, “I’m too fat for boudoir” and so on. But I want to be able to show you what I see! I love the female form, hey let’s face it I am a man!!! More importantly, I want you to see what I see because ALL women are beautiful. No matter the shape or size, ALL women are beautiful and I want you to see what I see! I will take the most beautiful photographs you have ever seen of yourself! There is nothing more rewarding for me than seeing the excitement in your eyes and the joy in your expression when you see the finished product
Let me give you a little bit of a rundown on how I like to run one of my shoots.
There are 4 steps to my process. First we start out with a pre-shoot consult. This is where we have a little introductory session so we can discuss what kind of shoot you want. We talk about your ideas/thoughts and desires for your shoot. Do you feel comfortable with a sexy lingerie look? A casual sexy look? Whatever your heart desires. Basically, I want your input too! This is about you after all, I am merely there to help you realize it! Your session will be unique and tailored to you so there is no worry about it looking the same as someone else’s. Just like a woman’s beauty is unique, your shoot will be as well.
Second, we book a date that works for you. I want to work with you, to find the best time for you in your schedule so you are relaxed and ready to be gorgeous!
Third, the actual boudoir shoot! When you arrive for your session, you will be greeted by me and handed a beverage. You will then be whisked off to “the chair” where you will be pampered by our hair and makeup artist. You just sit and enjoy as we chat and you get beautified. You will get 2-3 outfit changes during your session. I will guide and coach you throughout the entirety of your shoot. Your job is to be beautiful!
And the fourth and final step is the moment of truth: the photo shoot reveal! We will set some time aside to meet so we can look at your photos together!
I believe that a boudoir shoot is something every woman should experience at the very least, once in their lifetime. This experience is all about YOU. A boudoir shoot isn’t specific to a “type” of woman, it IS for EVERY woman! I am hoping this experience will “transform” you.
We will celebrate your confidence, your femininity, your elegance, your sensuality and most importantly you will be empowered! This is all about a body positive experience.
“The most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence”
Alright ladies, time for a bit of honesty! Have you been secretly wanting to book a Boudoir Shoot but haven’t been able to convince yourself? For any number of reasons you just cannot convince yourself it’s a good idea to do something for YOU? Well as luck would have it, I’ve got your solution with a very minimal commitment. You see, Visuphoria Photography is going to be booking Mini Sessions and these require only 30 minutes of your time and at a very low and affordable cost. We will be announcing dates soon. This is a crazy good deal so you don't want to miss out. Please fill out the form right below this blog post and I will send you ALL the details very soon.
The other day I had posted a boudoir photography promotion in a group on Facebook and not 10 minutes later I was banned from the group. I was given no reason or forewarning about it just removed from the group. Because of this excommunication of sorts, I decided to do some digging to find out who removed me and more importantly, why?
Armed with the name of the perpetrator, I reached out to find out their reasoning behind it. The first reason I got was because I placed my ad with no accompanying text which was complete and utter bullshit because my ads ALWAYS have accompanying text. Through further conversation I got to the root or “real reason” behind the ban which apparently was and I quote: “your models are in underwear and it leads people to have negative associations with your offer”. They also added that: “a post with half naked women offering a boudoir shoot causes people to make assumptions”.
This conversation infuriated me because of the ignorance and negativity that was expressed. Boudoir photography is very intimate and can be very intimidating for many women. To me, it’s about showing women the beauty in themselves they may fail or struggle to see. There is beauty in EVERY woman and I believe this should be viewed as a form of therapy for some women. Helping them find and more importantly, see the beauty within, to recognize it and realize it. So I ask you, why is there such negativity and misconception when it comes to Boudoir photography?
Yes it is photographing women in suggestive, seductive poses, revealing clothing and lingerie but on the flip side of that, people need to understand this is incredibly empowering for these women. Boudoir is confidence boosting, beautiful and emotive and it isn’t JUST for women. There are men who participate in boudoir photography sessions as well. Does it mean it is negative for men also? There are even couples shoots, are there negative connotations with couples shoots?
I understand that there are some people who use this genre of photography for salacious reasons and personal gain but compared to the legit photographers out there I would have to say they are far and few between. Now this isn’t to say that the negativity is only geared at male photographers in the industry because I believe there is still negative stigma surrounding this entire genre of photography. We as photographers who specialize in this genre need to do our best to educate our clients and people about boudoir. There is NO reason for an adverse connotation with boudoir photography.
Collectively, if we as boudoir photographers are diligent about educating our clients and people we come in contact with perhaps we will be able to elevate boudoir photography to the level it should be and have it seen as a beautiful art form. Could we even begin to eliminate the negativity surrounding boudoir photography? Boudoir photography is a collaboration between a client and a photographer where raw emotion and beauty are evoked and captured in still frames. Boudoir photography NEEDS to be celebrated! We need to promote positive body image! Shout it from the rooftops! Let’s eradicate the negativity and ignorance once and for all!
Image courtesy of pinterest.com
I had a very interesting conversation with a family member over the Christmas holidays. He is older than me and currently retired. Our conversation started about jobs, pensions, vacation time and medical benefits, things like that. I was telling him about all the wonderful things I get from my employer for my years of service and he in turn told me about all his. I already knew about most of it because he is family and I was familiar with the company he had worked with and what they offered to their employees.
I told him all about my job and the things that annoy me about it. He proceeded to tell me that I just need to suck it up and deal with it because EVERYBODY hates their job! It’s just a part of life. He went on to tell me he hated his job and wanted to quit repeatedly over the last 14 years he was employed but stuck with it because of the pension and of course, the money. Typically his generation stayed at one job for the duration of their working careers but things have changed and will continue to change with the each generation.
I found his statement to be kind of sad. Giving it even further thought, I felt that it’s even a wee bit close minded. Just because that was the path you chose doesn’t mean it has to be your destiny. On one hand it’s just human nature we stay with what we know, what’s comfortable but on the other hand so many people stay in something they are not happy doing every day for a variety of reasons. Whether that is the money, the benefits, the pension or just the fear of the being without those things I do understand it and why he made that statement.
It really drove some things home for me. I am thankful for our conversation but why the fuck should ANYBODY stay and be miserable at their jobs if they really don’t have to? Who says you have to? Fear dictates this to a certain degree but why stay stuck in that box? Why be miserable at something we spend over half our lives doing? We typically spend more of our lives at work then we do with our families at home. This miserable feeling/mood will undoubtedly spill over into multiple areas of our lives, right? Break out of that box people I urge you to do so if you are unhappy. Life is far too short to be unhappy. Don’t stay just because everyone else says it’s the right thing or the responsible thing to do! Follow your heart and do something out of the ordinary. Think outside the box and helllllz yeah it will be scary and there will be times you will be paralyzed with fear but at the end of the day, aren’t YOU worth it?
You know, I keep seeing all these ads on the subway and the bus: Become an android app developer in 4 weeks or become a massage therapist in 16 months or a paralegal in 12 months. Are these schools really promising bright futures in these careers if you sign up for their programs and give them you’re hard earned money? Are they creating false hope? Making empty promises? Or is this for real?Read More
For me this was one of my biggest struggles when I was first starting out as a photographer and believe me it was an ongoing inner battle, I was nervous! What will other people think of my work? Will they say it sucks? Will they like it?
I was THAT guy who would only show my work to friends and family and of course the feedback was always good, which in hindsight was more of a hindrance than help when I look back on it now. Showing your work to your family and friends is one thing, they are not going to tell you your work sucks are they? They are going to say the things they think you want to hear which doesn’t benefit you in any way, shape or form.
It’s very tough to put yourself out there, seemingly on display and sharing your work with a bunch of strangers. You feel vulnerable, naked and alone! After all, this is something you created from scratch you put your heart and soul into this. Everybody is a critic, everyone has something to say. It takes a lot of courage. You are worried about being judged, what will everyone say about you’re work, I get it! You are going to get deflated and knocked down but you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and grab your camera and make more photographs.
You have to reach way down within and find the courage to get your work seen. Get as many eyes on it as possible! That way you find out what you need to work on and know which areas you need to improve. There will always be areas you can improve on even after years of being a photographer and just as in regular life you are NEVER EVER finished learning.
One of my past photography teachers reached out to me recently and we were talking and he said: “…as artists, we thrive on encouragement. It's like the tide, when it's in it feels good and when it’s out, it can be damn lonely!” His words rang in my head for days afterwards. This really struck a chord in me and if you are reading this right now, you know who you are. Thank you for all your words of encouragement as of late, they mean a lot to me.
So people don’t give up! Keep consistently putting your work out there. Yes, it is definitely not an easy thing to do but it IS necessary!
Photo courtesy of Linda Langerak
Now I am fairly new to boudoir photography and when I say new I mean I have done a handful of shoots. I know there are lots of guys out there who aren’t photographers at all but think wow that is so cool and what a great gig that would be. Believe me I have even heard that from a few friends. You get to photograph half naked women in lingerie, look at sexy women all day and so on. While yes this is true I photograph women in lingerie this is not what it’s all about for me, not at all!
When I am shooting a session I am not even thinking about how sexy the woman is or anything like that because I am too busy focusing on posing her. I am making sure the lighting works for the shot and ensuring my camera settings are correct in order to make certain I get the shot as close to perfect “in camera” as possible. I really don’t have time to be concerned about the other stuff especially when I am in the zone shooting, interacting with my subject.
I know that some people would balk at that and say I am bullshitting and it must be at least part of the intrigue and interest but it really isn’t. In all honesty for me it is truly about making the women who get in front of my camera feel comfortable in their own skin. Feel beautiful, help them build their confidence, help them love their bodies. Ultimately I want them to be happy with the images/art I create for them and if I can do that for EVERY woman that gets in front of my camera then I know I have done my job as a photographer. I will have helped another person to realize their self-worth and beauty and that my friends is the icing on the proverbial cake!
There is no doubt that networking is a hugely advantageous tool to any and all business owners. Now there are many groups, clubs networks out there to choose from but which one is the right one for you? How do you go about deciding which one is the right fit for your business?
Networking definitely forces you out of your comfort zone but It can generate referrals and increased business as well as creating connections. These sessions give you the opportunity to rub shoulders with highly influential people in the business world. These are opportunities that you might not normally have. It is also a great way to get advice from like- minded entrepreneurs/business people and make new friends in the process.
It’s tough not to drown in the sea of options but you have to keep your head above water. Talk to friends, friends of friends, do your due diligence and research and find the right one(s) for you. I know I am currently struggling with this exact dilemma right now and am trying to figure out a couple of more avenues to explore in order to expand my network.
I currently belong to the Toronto Board of Trade and this is a great organization. Business owners from all walks of life are members it’s a great place to meet people BUT you have to put in the time, do the work and that I think is part of the reason people have a tough time with this type of thing. These connections don’t get built overnight, you have to nurture them they take time and let’s face it you’re not going to connect on an organic level with everyone that you meet at networking events. Sometimes, you just need to walk away as there will be nothing mutually beneficial so move on, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Relationships are the catalyst for success. People tend to do business with people they like and trust. Be a resource for others and help them succeed. Just because there might be nothing beneficial for YOU doesn’t mean you can’t help someone out in the process if you have the capability to do so. Remember, this networking thing ISN’T all about YOU! It’s a two way street.
Image courtesy of accelerateplaces.com
I know for a fact my fears have prevented me from doing things. When I look back on it, I wish I had simply thrown caution to the wind and done them. So often in my life I have been scared to do something or try something new for fear of failure or any number of other ridiculous reasons. I know have missed out on opportunities, lost out on jobs all because I let my fears get the better of me. I know I can’t go back and reclaim the things I have lost out on but I can stop my fears from causing me to lose out again in the future.
I am finding as I grow older and when I look back in retrospect, this has happened on more occasions that I care to admit to. This is probably because when we are younger we don’t really know fear. We don’t consider that we may fail or think about the consequences of our actions. In this regard I am envious of young people. Perhaps as adults we just need to try to find and embrace that fearlessness again.
Sometimes, as scary as it might be, you just have to leap before you look and see what’s down at the bottom when you land. As we have heard so often, there is no reward without risk. I know fear is an incredibly powerful thing and at times it can be paralyzing but perhaps if you are able to figure out how to flip it on its ear and use it to your advantage, the benefits can be life altering. I mean really, what’s the worst thing that can happen to you? Failure? Well you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again.
Now I know these words are easy to say from behind a computer screen but I am also going to put my best foot forward and take a running leap and see where I land, with my photography, my business and life in general. So if you are so inclined to join me on this journey of conquering your fears, embrace it, feel it BUT don’t let it overpower you. It’s not easy nor is it going to be but who said anything would be easy? The real fear is NOT trying! Fear can be a paralyzer or a motivator, which one will it be for you?
Image courtesy of pinterest.com
“All good things must come to an end” and no better way to sum up the second day of Yervant and Anie’s Photography Symposium. This event rolled through Toronto as one of its many stops on June 15th, 16th and 17th. I attended the event for 2 days and there was a master class on the third day which I opted out of.
It was an incredible experience and one I won’t soon forget. If you do get the chance to attend this event in your city, I strongly advise you do check it out, you won't be disappointed. Yervant and Anie put together an unbelievable program packed with a wealth of information, knowledge and not to mention an incredible line up of 6 industry professionals all experts in their particular area of photography. It took place at The Berkley Field House, a truly beautiful venue. It was geared at a smaller more intimate group of about 60-100 attendees which I feel was the perfect amount.
The two days were jam packed with information and personal stories and at times, astonishingly emotional and honest moments. Yervant speaking about wedding photography and making us laugh hysterically. Joe Buissink sharing his incredibly moving story of his childhood and why he is so passionate about wedding photography. Sue Bryce sharing her brilliance on posing your subjects. Michele Neal Celentano and her insistence on existing in your photographs because of her beautifully moving story.
There were a couple of common threads that were strung through these two days of presentations and stories. These recurring threads seemed to be: if you work hard at your craft, you can achieve whatever it is you want for you and your business and you are worth it so charge your clients what you feel you are worth but keep in mind, you must deliver on that promise.
One thing in particular really struck a chord with me, the presenters kept re-iterating was with regards to printing your work. Then I thought about it and we don’t print our work nearly as often as we should! You MUST print your work. Preserve those moments in time through print as you never get a second chance to go back and relive those moments. They are fleeting!
Remember, it’s not a photograph until it’s printed! This statement really reverberated me and reminded me just how important it is for us photographers to print our work. Not only are you helping yourself but you are also helping to preserve our industry.
Never in a million years did I think this one class I was going to take would change my life. Wait, not only my life but change the way I saw things and open my eyes up to a totally different world!
It was grade 10 photography class at Victoria Park High School and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was bitten by the photography bug and have been addicted ever since. My uncle gave me my first film camera, a Konica Minolta and I loved that thing. Photography for me has always been such an incredibly fun, creative way to communicate MY visions. Allowing people into my world, to view things through my lens, my eyes.
Walking into that darkroom for the first time, the darkness, the red light and of course that unforgettable smell of developer, stop bath and fixer all mixed in together. Overwhelming at first but you get used to it and learn to like the distinctive smell that fills the darkroom. One of the toughest parts was fumbling around in the dark, no pun intended. Then getting the film out of the camera and onto the spool and into the developing tank. Once I got the hang of that, it was smooth sailing and good times all around.
It was a bit of a steep learning curve both with the camera and in the darkroom but I enjoyed every minute of it and I think I am a better photographer for it. Having learned the craft before the digital revolution exploded on the scene has made me a better photographer. I see things differently, I shoot differently and I actually think about the shot before I take it.
Making test strips to get the right exposure for your image, dodging and burning the real way, not in a digital computer program. Then, the piece de resistance, seeing what you shot in camera literally come to life on that piece of photography paper right before your very eyes. That my friends is magic! The whole darkroom process is just an incredible experience from start to finish. I am so glad I was able to experience that for a few years in high school. Sometimes I really do miss and long for those days.
Entrepreneurs, are people just born with it? Is it in our DNA? Is it a learned behaviour?
I would say over the past six months while scouring the web I have noticed a huge increase in videos and posts all relating to entrepreneurship and becoming an entrepreneur. Embrace it, there has never been a better time than now to be an entrepreneur. These are all over the internet! Now I don’t know if it has been there all along and I just didn’t really pay attention to it or if it is just exploding as of late? I would have to agree there has never been a better time to start your own business. I mean, with the digital age and the reach the internet has granted every single person who has access to it, it would seem the timing couldn’t be better.
As the saying goes, “If you want something bad enough, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse”. I do honestly and whole heartedly believe this saying and you CAN achieve whatever you set your mind to.
Ever since I was in my twenties I have dreamed of owning my own business. I came to a realization that it has been for twenty years, I have procrastinated to say the least. Fear has of course played a part in this, not to mention the self-doubting questions like “what the hell would my business be? or do? or provide to people?” I know these are simply excuses. Procrastination is a horrible animal that lives in a lot of us. In my forties, I have decided to finally take the leap. Albeit part time but I have taken a step in the right direction. I know this part time thing is ONLY temporary!
In the words of Sir Richard Branson “screw it, just do it”. Is it really that simple? I guess if you have an idea, the hustle and the drive to succeed. I don’t think the entrepreneurship life is for everyone and that’s fine. Some people are happy working for someone else. You know the type going in every day, doing their job and going home at the end of the day and not having to think about it.
Personally for me, I know I am destined for bigger better things. I don’t want to continue making money for other people for the rest of my life. I want to do something I absolutely love and am passionate about and make money at it. Who wouldn’t be happy doing something you love and are passionate about and get paid for it? That’s not to say it’s easy but think about the freedom!? The joy of going to work every day doing something you love. They say: “if you do what you love you will never have to work another day in your life”.
Think about this: we spend over half our lives working, why would you want to be stuck in a job you don’t even like and be miserable for that amount of time? Life is short, make the best of it and make yourself happy. LIVE LIFE!
Image courtesy of ttentrepreneurship.com
When considering whether or not to attend a workshop, a lot of factors contribute to the ultimate decision of attending. They are a great way to expand your network as there will undoubtedly be other like-minded people to speak with, to share knowledge with and of course the obvious, to learn! Do I? or Don’t I? Of course the first one is cost followed by content followed by a series of questions: How will it benefit me? How long is the workshop? and who is giving the workshop?
When the Peter Hurley “Illuminating the Face” workshop was announced for Toronto, well that was a no brainer! I knew I had to attend as I had been waiting some time for this one to come to town. It took place back in March and this was an incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. How could I possibly pass that up!? I figured I wasn’t going to get many chances to actually get to interact, to learn from him. I had to take advantage of being up close and personal with the one and only Peter Hurley. I found the cost to be incredibly reasonable. The location was right here in Toronto, so getting there was easy. The time commitment was only an 8 hour day. This was without a doubt something I had to do.
The workshop was put on by Henry’s Camera and they did an incredible job. I would like to say a huge thanks to them for putting this on. The workshop was also sponsored by Profoto and I have to say their gear is absolutely incredible, so easy to use and easy to work with. Their reps were so friendly and helpful.
It was an absolutely incredible day all around. It was a full, jam packed eight hour day where I got to learn from the master of headshots. I got to meet a ton of great people. Perhaps some of the nicest people I have ever met. Peter Hurley was such an incredible teacher. So easy to talk to, down to earth and just an all-around incredibly nice guy. It was such an invaluable experience I will never forget.
Fear of rejection is a huge thing and I believe it lives in all of us. For some it hides in the deep recesses of our minds and for others it is right there, constantly in the forefront. It’s there in varying degrees depending on the individual and there is nothing wrong with that, it’s natural. Nobody wants to be rejected be it by a member of the opposite sex, not getting a job we applied for or in an artist’s case, not getting accepted to exhibit in that art show or gallery or even a magazine submission.
The result of this fear can be absolutely paralyzing to some that it can even prevent a person from going after what they really want in life. Now to me that’s heartbreaking! We have all faced rejections in our lives at some point and survived the trauma to talk about it. Hell, maybe some of us have even laughed it off. My point being: it will not kill you, it will only strengthen your resolve! In fact, I have had a recent string or run of rejections. I didn’t get my work accepted by a gallery. I didn’t get a job I bid on and I didn’t get accepted to exhibit at a show I applied to and all of this taking place in less than a month’s time. Lo and behold, here I am still standing and talking/writing about it.
You are going to get rejected but you will also go on runs of good things happening and feel like you just can’t lose or be stopped. You have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. As Chase Jarvis says “get used to hearing the word NO”. In this business and in life, the sooner you learn and accept that the better off you will be.
There are always going to be people that don’t like your art or what you are doing but don’t let it discourage or dissuade you. There will also be people that love your work, your style, and your art. Just don’t let rejection and disappointment get the better of you or get in the way. Never stop creating and go after what you want in life. Make it happen, make it work!
Image courtesy of nuclearchowdermarketing.com
In today’s world where ease of access, instant gratification and convenience are king, it’s very easy to get caught up and even lost in the digital world. I have been asked many times: “Do you have an online presence?”, “Do you have a portfolio we can look at online?” Yes I do have a website not unlike most people in our business do and I have some work in other places that could be considered a portfolio. Normally when I get asked these questions, it is usually by people who are looking to see a sample of my work in order to jury it to make a decision for a show or a magazine submission. Now in this type of situation it makes perfect sense because it’s quick and incredibly convenient. This is usually the way I roll when it comes to portfolios. A printed portfolio was always more, maybe I should put one together one day. I never really gave it much weight that is until very recently.
A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he asked me if I had ever given any thought to trying to get my art into some corporate spaces. To be honest, the thought had crossed my mind previously but just as fast as it entered, it was gone again. He told me I should give it some serious thought because he had a place in mind for my work. He just so happened to have some high level contacts and said he would be happy to send along an email to attempt to facilitate a meeting for me. Well that was all I needed to hear and I thought why not! Nothing ventured, nothing gained! I immediately told him YES! Let’s see what happens.
The very next day I was copied on an email from my friend to an Executive explaining how he knew a photographer whose work he thought would fit in well in their workplace. Three days later, I received an email with a request for a meeting to show him my portfolio. I was ecstatic, over the moon excited and a bundle of nerves all at once. I knew I had but this one opportunity to rock this meeting and really make it count so everything had to be perfect! I was only going to get one shot at making an impression so I had to ensure I left one hell of a good one! Right away the thought came to me! I have to present a printed portfolio for this one. I replied back with a date which was a couple of weeks away which would afford me the time needed to get this whole thing put together.
That night I went home and immediately got to work on selecting my images - which ended up initially being nineteen but got whittled down to a final ten - which I would send off to be printed. Fast forward a week and there I was with these images in my hands. Wow, what a very different feeling. Actually having the tactile feel of physical images in my hands. It took me back to my film and darkroom days. I immediately went to work placing them into my brand new portfolio book. When I was finished, I stood there and looked at the images this way and I felt proud in that moment to have something like this in my hands that I could call “MY” portfolio.
In my opinion, a printed portfolio goes a long way and speaks volumes. It shows you take pride in your work and care to take that extra step to ensure you leave a lasting impression. Not every situation calls for this type of investment but at some point you will encounter it in your career and I strongly urge you to follow through and make the investment in print, you will be glad you did!
Ever looked forward to something so much that you were just bursting?! Literally bubbling over?! Remember that feeling you got as a kid on Christmas morning?! You know the one where you just can’t sleep and you woke up at 5am just dying to rip into the presents! After a day of shooting that is the feeling I get. EVERY TIME.
There are so many components to MY creative process. It might start with an idea, an image or even just a simple walk. I so enjoy the solitary act of being out there walking around the streets of downtown Toronto my camera in hand, all alone, enjoying the sites, smells and sounds of the city. There is something to be said for having that time to myself to go out and create. To be able to document the things I see through my eyes is all in a day’s shoot or day’s adventure.
Then comes my absolute favorite part of all in this creative process: the editing process. Here comes that feeling again! It’s bubbling over inside! I can feel it and can hardly contain myself! The anticipation and excitement having built up to the pressure point. I take my camera out of the backpack I got for my birthday a month ago; I open the door on my camera to eject the memory card. I insert my memory card into my computer and copy all the files over to a folder on my hard drive. Next, I throw some music on, get in the right headspace and begin to put my personal touch, or “digital signature” if you will, on each of the images I have captured during the course of the day.
The moment of magic, when what I created in the camera that day comes to life on the screen in front of me! To be able to get these images from camera to canvas is just pure joy for me. Creating images that invoke feelings and thoughts. It’s such a natural high!