Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"I know kung fu"

Some of you might know that I am a practitioner of Pai Lum Kung Fu. For those of you that didn't know that already.... Yes. Really.

The number one thing I hear after I tell someone that I practice kung fu is,"Oh, that's just like Karate/TaeKwanDo/RexKwanDo/WhateverDo isn't it?" or "Like Bruce Lee! HWHA!" .... Right after hearing that, I want to punch them in the face. Why? Cause the only thing that those statements have to do with kung fu is that they're martial arts. I cringe at the thought. But what's important to me is educating people that those things aren't at all related to what I do. There's a difference that can be seen easily be someone that's on the inside...

The photography industry is the same way.

Part of the reason that people still go to places that sell toilet paper three isles from their "photography studio" is because they don't know any better. They believe that all photographers are the same. Part of changing that attitude is educating people; educating the client. I feel strongly about trying to educate people that need photography in their lives, but I'm trying to reach one person at a time. I need to broaden my scope, so I'm posting some basic things that I feel everyone should know about photography. These points are by-no-means exhaustive or ...objective. In fact, it's terribly opinionated. (meh, whatev)

  • Anyone with a SLR can take a photo. My youngest daughter is 5. She takes lovely photos on my Pentax K2. The photo of my son below was taken by her. She didn't know how to focus at the time, but it's something she's practicing now. I love this photo for one reason: It's of my kid, by my kid. They're flippin cute. It's by all standardized practices, a poorly composed shot, but I love it because it's my kids. Is the only reason you like the photos of your kids because your kids are in it? Or because it's a really good photo?
  • The "photographer" in the big-box photo store is an understudy. Yup. They didn't have any experience taking photos, so they got a job under another photographer at the big-box place. That photographer that couldn't open their own studio because they weren't good enough themselves. "But they have the gear! They look so impressive!" Um... Ansel Adams would be sad to know that he isn't a good photographer since he didn't have a Nikon D3s. Indeed...gear is everything (puke). The "photographer" you just shelled out $100 for 15 minutes of their time learned how to use their camera last week, and someone probably taught them about how to set up the strobes that morning. #youbeenrobbed
  • The path of Groupie -> Janitor -> Assistant -> Producer -> Photographer is gone. It doesn't exist anymore. The internet blew up the bridge to "Famous Photographer Land" so dreamers started to make new ways to get there. The best part is that no one is wrong in the path they're taking. Some people might take 4 years to get where they wanted to go (Jasmine Star). And others take 15 years to get where they wanted to go (Zack Arias). And others still are just starting out and are scared of what might happen next week if a client cancels because their car broke down and they can't pay for photos this month (Jeremy Corbin).
I care about the photos that you need me to make for you. I say need because that's exactly how I feel about it. As people, we need art in our lives. When you move into a new home, does it feel complete without art up on the walls? Don't you have style and art in your bathroom? Your BATHROOM of all places has art in it. Someone designed your toothbrush holder... right? We need to surround ourselves in art, so much so that we don't even realize it.

I totally lost my train of thought. I probably won't post this. (sigh) I had somewhere I was trying to go and I failed to get there...my life's journey isn't ending today, which is good cause this would be an awful last post.

On to the next.

*There are some awesome styles of martial arts out there, and total respect goes to those that decide to make a life of it, but your little brother doing it for 6 months doesn't make you an expert on the topic.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Torn apart

There are times when everything is rolling with you, and other times where everything is rolling against you. Right now, it feels like things are rolling against me. Nothing bad has happened or anything: My family is healthy, I'm developing my craft and getting better every day, but the hardest part right now seems to be getting my voice out there.

I have a lot to say, both verbally and photographically. I have so much to tell people that sometimes I lay awake at night trying to think of the best way to say what I want to say. Sometimes I'm not sad or depressed, but sad or depressing images float to the top of my mind. Actually, I'm going to roll with that adage: My imagination is like a huge body of water. You can find the occasional iceberg or island, but most of my interesting sights lay beneath the surface... just begging to be discovered.

Discovery is what this is all about. I'm trying to discover my path while trying to show everyone what I can do for them. I don't consider art to be something that rich people put on their walls, or untouchable items in a museum. Art is something that everyone needs; Rich and poor alike. I want someone to see my pictures and want in on what I'm doing. I want them to have a vested interest in it, but selling myself seems to be incredibly difficult. I'm the guy that couldn't do a door-to-door job, so putting myself out there are and saying nothing about it is what I've been doing... But I'm not reaching you.

That's right..... YOU.

This isn't a one-way monologue. This is a dialogue; a conversation. If you come here and read what I have to say, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. But if I can't hear back from you it's reaches into my soul and pulls on me. How on earth can I give you service that only I can provide if I can't hear you? All anyone wants is to be heard, but that means acknowledgment!

So I want to hear from you. Tell me you're hearing me, and share something back. If you love what I'm saying and what I'm showing you: Tell me. If you hate it and you've seen better things from the back of an elephant at the zoo: Tell me.... But please... Tell me you hear me, that you understand me. What do you need from me? I'm willing to bear my soul to give you the best I can, but that's only if I know you and know what your needs are.

Your turn.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm lame!

Okay, so probably not really lame, but let me explain:

I really feel conflicted sometimes about the blog. On one hand, its the perfect platform to share with people what I'm doing and what I can do for people. On the other hand I have a lot to say that has nothing to do with photography, or if it does have to do with it its personal work. So do I share the personal work or what? I feel that I should, but who would actually be interested in it? I am interested in it, but I'm only one vote!

I think maybe what I'll do is just share a photo once in a while that I like. I could even tell a story about the photo; fact or fiction. Dunno.

Any thoughts?

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Website!!!

I've been looking forward to today for a long time.

Today, I'm officially announcing my new website! It has some of the work that I've been doing, but most of all, it's a complete platform for my photography to stand on. I can display my work that I've made for you. I can display work I've made for me. I can can fulfill orders directly from the site. Having that peace of mind means that I can sleep better at night, spend more time with my family, and more time making photos. Isn't that what this is all about? :-) I'm so freakin happy right now.

Check out my site and leave me a comment, even if it's just to say "hi."


Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hi, so I kinda thought about making a list of Frequently Asked Questions that I've been getting. I'll try to address them here, and edit and add to the list as time goes on. So, in no particular order:

1)Are you single?

Married, 3 kids, 1 dog, 2 cats, and whatever bugs my son smashes with his foot that didn't quite expire on the way in the door.

2)Are you interested in shooting my (insert cute kid, cute couple, head shot, family, etc here)?

Of course I am! Just email me and we'll meet up for coffee or something so we can chat about what your needs are.

3)Will you shoot my wedding?

No, probably not. I'm not a wedding photographer. I could probably recommend one to you, but I don't intend to shoot weddings. Why? There are lots of photographers that do that, and some of them are great at it... some of them, not so much. I want to do the best I possibly can for you, not half-ass my way through the most important day in your life. I like to take things slowly, and a wedding is a full frontal assault on time.

4)I've heard that the best photographers and artists use (insert gear spec here). Do you use that?

Uh, maybe. But Dali, Rembrandt, Adams, and Penn would be sad to hear that they weren't any good at making art.

x)Some question not listed here.

Just email me. I'm sure I can answer your question.

It's all about the gear!

I've heard this phrase over and over: You must have great gear to make great photos. I think that's BS. You need something that can actually record a photo. That's it. I've had some awesome photos from my phone that I've wanted to print and hang on my wall. Granted: Better gear can make it easier to make photos, but that's about as far as I'll go. You're free to disagree.

You know what I haven't heard over and over? "There are too many photos of kids in the world." I'm fairly certain we won't be hearing that any time soon.

That's it really. Nothing else to report. Things have been awesome. Maybe in my next post I'll have something incredible to say.... In fact: I guarantee I have something incredible to say.