Tips shared by Jeffery Salter to Atlanta ASMP meeting

Jeffery Salter speaks to ASMP Atlanta/SE. Jeffery, an editorial and advertising photographer from Miami. Jeffery has created insightful portraits of celebrities, athletes and CEOs for publications worldwide, and his work has been exhibited widely. [Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 25600, Ä/4, 1/35]
How do some photographers get so successful? I think this is one of the reasons many came to see Jeffery Salter.

Capture Integration sponsored the event. Jeffery is one of their clients using their Phase One backs.

It didn’t take long and someone in the audience asked the question, “How did you get hired to be on staff with Sports Illustrated?”

Jeffery said while he was working on newspaper staffs like The Miami Herald he would look for opportunities to shoot medium format. While most staff photographers would continue to shoot all assignments on 35mm SLR film cameras he was shooting on a Hasselblad or Mamiya 6×7.

He shared how he was shooting for where he wanted to work not for where he was shooting. He worked hard to have a style that stood out. His photos are quite surreal in nature and often need much more space to be appreciated than in a newspaper.

He got an assignment to shoot some athletes in their homes from Sports Illustrated. They liked his style and work and after so many assignments brought him on staff not to shoot sports action, but to shoot the behind the scenes of the lives of famous athletes.

Michael Schwarz helps Jeffery Salter with a computer problem before the event started. [Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/3.6, 1/80]
A little while into the presentation Jeffery was showing his work in Haiti. He shot it all medium format with Phase One back. “Why are you shooting with medium format? Who is your client?” was asked.

The person asking the question knew that the magazines cannot show a difference between today’s DSLR and Medium format. Jeffery then spoke to that he often doesn’t pick the camera for the client but for himself. He wants to be able to have his photos later displayed in the Museum of Modern Art as large as they can be displayed.

He is shooting for the next venue and client.

A couple of tips which are not new but Jeffery also subscribes:

Do self assignments
Learn how light works in nature [he shoots a lot of nature]
Build a photo one light at a time [use strobes to enhance natural light]
Shoot on the very best camera for the situation
Use histogram to be sure you have it in the camera

Now one last thing Jeffery shared that I do, but it was good to hear was he often shoots tethered and is able to open images in PhotoShop or Lightroom and put the curser on highlights and shadows to see the numbers that the computer sees.

Now on gray scale you go from 0% to 100% with amount of light in a scene. The computer records this as 0 to 255.

Jeffery likes his blacks to be around 35 and his highlights to be around 235. he gets the photo in the camera as he always has from his film days shooting transparencies.

Jeffery also answered some business questions as well. To have experiences like this I recommend joining ASMP and come to our meetings. You will be inspired and hopefully from what you learn become a more successful photographer.

Creative Backgrounds for Tabletop Photography

[Nikon D750, Sigma 70-200mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 50, ƒ/10, 1/160]
You can have a lot of fun shooting small items on a table. This type of photography is call Tabletop Photography.

This is a lighting diagram if you are trying to do a product on a white background.

My friend Susan Hawkins came to me to photograph some of her product and wanted to change the backgrounds. She had a great idea I want to pass along to you.

She went to the store and bought different wrapping paper that we used as a background.

[Nikon D750, Sigma 70-200mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 50, ƒ/4, 1/30]
If you want to have fun shooting today and it is raining, then find a table and create something with what you have around the house. Look for the left over Christmas or birthday wrapping paper for possible backgrounds.

[Nikon D750, Sigma 70-200mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 50, ƒ/7.1, 1/160]
The wrapping paper helps to create a mood for your product.

 

Monday Devotional: Anxiety-free Life is a choice

Island Breeze Fijian warrior [Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 200, ƒ/14, 1/400]
Anxiety raises it’s ugly head in my life every so often. It is produced by things that often I have no control over in my life. It is a war that takes it’s toll on your life.

During World War II in 1939 the British government coined the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It was made into posters. If you have seen the latest movies Dunkirk and Darkest Hour you learn how close Britain was to total defeat to the Germans.

Amicalola Falls State Park [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/20, 1/10]
My Christian faith has taught me in scripture that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” [John 10:10]

What I have learned through my faith is that there is much in the world that happens that I cannot power through using my willpower.

What I have found that is one of the best things for me to do is to turn to my creativity using photography. I go and find those subjects that are interesting to me and photograph them.

Azaleas in our backyard. Shot with a LensBall. It was the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament when I went into my backyard and captured the Azaleas are in full bloom as well. [Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/250]
The British lost a lot of people during WWII and one of the things that helped many of them to survive was prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When you have anxiety, you cause many issues that lead to muscle tension: As adrenaline pumps through your body, your blood vessels constrict. That causes your muscles not to receive the blood flow they need, which in turn causes them stress that leads to tension and aches.

Life is just too short to have anxiety rob you of your living life.

Dogwood in our yard. Photographed using the LensBall. [Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/100]
“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” ― George Mueller

Anxiety-free life is a choice for us. It requires a Leap of Faith. This requires us to an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved.

The corner stone of photography

T-Ball baseball game

This is the time that little girls and boys are learning to play America’s favorite pastime baseball.

Some of our families favorite pictures are the ones I took while our kids were playing baseball.

I shot this photo of our son Taylor 22 years ago on film. The camera I used at the time was a Nikon F4. As compared to today’s cameras it had very few controls.

In 1996 I was shooting Fujifilm Provia transparency film which had an ISO of 100. When you put this into the camera it set the ISO. Then I had only two other controls for exposure. I could control the Aperture, which was an iris just like your eye that can open and close to let in more or less light. The other control for exposure was shutter-speed. Shutter-speed would control how long the camera opened the door covering the film.

To master photography so that you can can great pictures anytime of your family and get consistent results you have to master the Exposure Triangle.

I hope this picture helps you see what you need to understand. ISO, SHUTTER, & APERTURE individually control how exposure. You must know instinctively when you turn the dial which way will make it darker and which way will make it lighter.

When you look through the viewfinder of your camera and you are on “M” mode, which is manual, your camera will display a meter on the edges of the screen.

You will change one or all three controls until you get the meter to read on the middle saying it is properly exposed.

Some meters have numbers like the Canon and others like the Nikon have hash. As you can see when you look at the two side by side as I have here where the number and hash are located is exactly 1-Stop from the next number to the left or right.

A stop is a measure of exposure relating to the doubling or halving of the amount of light.

No matter if you turn the ISO, Aperture or Shutter-Speed dial to the left or right [if analog] when you move it the distance between the number or hash, as shown below, you increase or decrease the value by 1/2 the amount of light. We call that moving it 1-Stop.

You can buy a Black, Gray, & White target to use when trying to set your exposure. If you took a picture where you had equal amount of the three in the photo then you can look at your histogram and it should look like this below.

Most photographers will use a 18% Gray target which looks like just the Gray in the middle. As long as the meter shows it is 0 and not + or – then the photo will give you a histogram with the spike in the middle.

So if all you want to do is make photos of your kids playing ball and you want them to be well exposed then you have to master this concept of the exposure triangle.

Then you will know how to stop the ball as I have done in these photos and have just what I want in focus, which is the ball and the faces.

You have to know the Exposure Triangle like you know your Multiplication Tables–by memory.

This is the foundation piece for all of photography. Once you master this concept your ability to get consistent results and make creative decisions as to Depth-of-field and stopping or blurring action is possible.

 

Are You Serving Yourself or Serving Your Client?

The Citadel vs North Georgia College in Rugby [Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8, TC-2001, ISO 900, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000]

Editor’s note: I am sorry that this is so long. I was struggling on how to make this shorter. Hopefully when you read this it will spark you to have some great ideas for your clients. That was my goal.

My clients are hitting the same wall I was hitting back when digital photography finally became affordable for everyone.

I had cut my teeth in professional photography shooting sports for newspapers, magazines, for colleges and for professional sports teams.

Tennessee’s tight end (82) Ethan Wolf is pursued by Georgia Tech’s line backer (51) Brant Mitchell, which he drops the pass, during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. [Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8, TC-2001, ISO 18000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]
The cameras had gotten so good that it was feasible to go to a camera store and buy your gear and show up on Friday Night or Saturday to a football game and get reasonably good photos. The exposures would be OK and the focus would be OK. If it were not just right you could look at the LCD and make changes to the camera settings on the spot. In the past you wouldn’t know if you were exposing correctly or in focus until you looked at the film.

Working at Georgia Tech I saw this happening faster than other places because the alumni of the school were more prone to enjoy the technology of photography. Soon we had the sidelines filled with photographers shooting for free just to have access to the games.

While I still get called to shoot sports and paid the field is so over saturated that few people are able to make a living shooting sports as compared to prior to the digital revolution that too place in 2002 to 2007.

Brenau University Dance [Nikon D3s, 28-300mm, ISO 200, ƒ/16, 1/160]
One of the ways I stayed competitive was through my skills with lighting.

However the year that was the most pivotal in our society impacting my profession the most was 2007.

Three things happened that year that would impact photography like nothing had for many years before that moment.

Nikon introduced the D3 camera. This camera almost retired my lighting kit all together. This was the most revolutionary camera that Nikon had made in my career as compared to those before it.

Steve Jobs announces the iPhone. While it wasn’t the first smartphone, it leapfrogged far beyond the competition and launched the mobile revolution. Few industries or societies have been left unchanged. The iPhone transformed photography from a hobby to a part of everyday life.

Mark Zuckerberg opened up Facebook to everyone and not just college students the end of 2006. By 2007 with the iPhone it was exploding. I joined in 2007.

Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch

Facebook Changed the Way We Consume Content

While Facebook isn’t the only place we consume content it is 3rd only to Google and Youtube. Roughly 71% of 18- to 24-year-olds credit the Internet as their main news source.

Traditional media was loosing their audience while the internet and things like Facebook News Feed, a never-ending stream of content from the people and companies that you’ve connected with on the platform. News Feed never ends; in theory, users could scroll on forever, a feature that was unheard of when News Feed debuted in 2006.

Now that anyone can create content and reach the world using the internet and most likely do this all from their iPhone the audience is now oversaturated.

Some forms of media have seen a resurgence. I have enjoyed my daughter’s theater performances. Just a couple of years ago Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical broke new ground. It was different. When the musical came out they were thinking of retiring Hamilton off the ten dollar bill, but that musical gave life to Hamilton.

Togo, West Africa [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/2500]
Today it is so difficult to get someone’s attention for more than a brief second. Many covering stories around the world for NGOs are having to rely on one photo and just a small caption to “entertain” the audience with an “experience” rather than having their attention enough to truly inform.

This is why FAKE NEWS has taken place. If the audience wants something for an “experience” because spending more time they do not have, then it is easier for those who want to create propaganda to succeed today.

How do communications offices, public relations, and marketing get their audiences attention?

Chrysler at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 360, ƒ/4, 1/200]

BREAKTHROUGH

Today I am seeing a lot of mediocre communications. The reason it is working has more to do with it being “different” than better.

A few years ago one of the most powerful things I heard that changed my approach to working was professional photographer Dave Black saying that to be successful your photos don’t always have to be better–they have to be DIFFERENT.

Just look how we do this with text. We can bold, italicize or even change the color of the type to highlight something. This draws attention because it is different from the rest of the text.

Professional communicators are not sure what works a great deal of time today. They go to Instagram and look for those people with the greatest number of followers and assume that hiring them will translate into more followers for them.

Little do they know that many of those people with a lot of followers bought them through a service and even when they post only a small percentage actually see a post.

Wake up

Your client is struggling to sleep these days as much as you are struggling. The difference is in understanding who you are serving.

When your bills are mounting up and you find yourself in a panic as I often find myself, you need to take deep breaths and calm yourself down. [I am not good at this either, so just know I might not be the best person offering this advice, but I think I need to hear it myself]

What you will soon discover is that when you concentrate on meeting your needs is that you will go without work. It is when you concentrate of how to meet the needs of others that your bills get paid. You are helping someone who needs your help and will compensate you for it.

Pam Goldsmith, world renowned violist played for us when we were visiting her. She is my sister in-law. [Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 5600, ƒ/4.5, 1/125]
My sister in-law Pam Goldsmith for most of her career has played as part of the orchestra for many movies, cartoons and major records. That group is so good that most all the music for movies has only been played one time when it is recorded. They don’t practice. The music was never played before they did so the first time, but they are that good of studio musicians.

I mention this because we should be perfecting our craft so that when we are aware of a way to help our clients with their problems using our skills that our skills are so good that it lifts up the content we produce for the client.

Be transparent

If you are really thinking of ways to help your client then you need to really understand your client’s problems they are facing.

I have a client that their audience is saying stop sending me more stuff already. Just stop it with all your communications. Send us just those things that are going to help them do a better job running their business.

Too often I have proposed interesting feature ideas to my clients. While they may be interested in maybe 1 of every 1000 ideas I pitch to them. They are more likely to be interested in 1 of every 100 or even 10 ideas I have that will help their audience run their business better tomorrow.

Now take a moment and think about your client. If they are Amazon, Apple, or Google do they need to be more successful? Sometimes the companies we are trying to help are having capacity issues. They are so successful that their new problems are not how to make more money, but how to handle the work they have and still enjoy doing it every day.

Oklahoma Banner

Our job is to help our customers to see a brighter future. We are to be serving their best interests. If you look at some of the big companies, they may look like they have it all together, but you talk to them internally, and you see that they don’t.

If you are a photographer, videographer, writer or a producer don’t think of what you do as producing content only. You need to be the one coming up with good content ideas that your clients need to reach their audience.

The Power of Authenticity

Worship in Togo, West Africa. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 8000, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Have you ever heard someone say, “Let’s get real here.”?

Often in meetings and going about life we are performing for others. What I mean is we read the room and situation and plan how we will act. The thing is that organizations often take on this personality as well.

Two little boys I met in a village in Togo, West Africa. [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/800]
Organizations and people look to the audience they are playing for and try and figure out what they want to hear in order for they to get what they want, which is often a living.

Everyone longs for love, acceptance and connection. We often do not know how to make it happen. We learn over time that we cannot manipulate people and trying to pull people closer to us, because that does just the opposite and pushes them away.

Jacob Tarnagda is a leader in the church and is 40 years old. His wife’s name is Clenence. His home is in Soumagou. [Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, ƒ/7.1, 1/250]
When we interact with authentic people, we feel we’re interacting with a “real” ones, people free from pretension and without false fronts. For a group of people to experience authenticity requires leadership to foster a place where sharing of their true selves will be welcomed.

A few years ago when teaching at the end of the week I shared a little about myself. When talking to the person who invited me later to review what I could have done better, he made a profound comment that changed my life. You know if you had let people know what you shared at the end of the week earlier on then I think people would have connected with you more than they did.

YWAM SOP Class that I taught in Kona, Hawaii. My daughter had Skyped with the group and told them about my Monkey face. Here the class is doing the monkey face with me.

The following year I started my week of teaching by being much more vulnerable. I told the class my life story and growing up with autism.


This little boy shepherd is part of the Fulani tribe which is known for being herdsmen and is working in the village of Soubakamedougou, Burkina Faso on October 15, 2005. The Marlboro company gives hats to the young boy cowboys to promote their product in Burkina Faso. [Nikon D2X, 24-120mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/90]
Organizations can do the same thing in their communications by choosing to be authentic with their audience. One of the best approaches to achieving authenticity is photojournalism.

Still photograph stops time. It gives the viewer a moment to think, to react, to feel. When the camera captures a “real” moment in time rather than one that is “setup” then the power of that moment gives validity to the storyline.

Surgeon Danny Crawley is in theatre doing a hernia operation and Comfort Bawa, theatre assistant helps him at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana. [Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/250]
The viewer often cannot know if a situation is real or not, so it is up to the photographer to be sure that they have a moral compass that guides them to remain truthful. All it takes is for a photographer to manipulate one image and then all their work is called to question.

Many nonprofits and businesses use stock photography for their communications. It is often more about convenience than any other reason that they choose to use a photo that isn’t about their organization to communicate some of what they do.

There have been numerous times where the same stock photo is used by competing organizations. The same photo of a person carrying a laptop was used by competing computer companies. The same photo was used by different insurance groups. Just google “same stock photo used in two ads” and look at all the examples.

My friend Gary S. Chapman encourages those organizations he works with to hire him to create real moments. He also encourages them to use his byline. “Photo by contributing photographer Gary S. Chapman” gives authenticity to the photo and helps people know it isn’t a stock photo.


I suggest finding stories that reflect what you do for people. Once you find that story is when I would then assign a journalist team to cover the story. The team can be a photojournalist who writes and shoots or it can be a team that consists of the writer and photographer. You may even choose to use video as well.

David Cifuentes and family sharing with the delegation from Frontera de Cristo how since the forming of the coffee cooperative all his family is finally together. Here he is introducing his children and grandchildren. His son went to Atlanta, GA to work on golf courses to feed his family back in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas, Mexico. [Nikon D4, 14-24mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 8000, ƒ/4, 1/100]
You need to give them the time to “peel the onion”, which is getting to the deeper story, so that they can inform your audience how your organization made a difference in their lives.

Personally I would find a few stories and have them cover all of them so you have a series that helps to validate what you are doing in people’s lives.

What I have found is that those organizations who talk about how they have made mistakes early on and are always correcting to do a better job will win over their audience.

I loved how the organization Honduras Outreach or HOI told their own story about a kiln they bought for the people in the Agalta Valley of Honduras.

These girls are able to go to school due to the giving of the HOI community. [Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/6.3, 1/250]
The people in Honduras asked what are they do with the kiln. Well you make pottery and sell it to the tourists.

A couple years later HOI noticed that the Hondurans had been making donut bricks that they used to then create chimneys for the stoves in their homes. They then started making tiles for their homes and schools with the kiln.

What I love about the story being told is that HOI admitted that they learned that they were not the ones coming to help out these totally helpless and inferior people. The people of Honduras were very smart and creative. While they couldn’t have make the stuff they did without the kiln they also knew that making pottery for the tourists didn’t make sense at all. There just were no tourists and just the volunteers coming to work in their communities.

This story helped HOI be more authentic with their audience. It helped them to get more people involved.


There are times when you may need to setup a photo. Sometimes for the safety of the people involved you cannot get a photo. You may choose to setup a photo for illustration purposes. This is OK to do, but you do need to tell your audience you did this. Credit the photo as an Illustration and where it is possible explain why you chose to illustrate the photo.

Sometimes in the caption of telling why you had to do a setup photo you help the readers to understand even more of why you need their help.

Today’s young people are looking for authenticity.  They want to work with organizations whose words match up with their actions. The strongest way to communicate authentically is to use photojournalism.

Is your communications grounded in a moral compass?

 

 

Old Car City – Great location for photographers

The hood ornament from a vintage Cadillac at Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm Ï/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/800]
Old Car City in White, Georgia is on of the top photographer destinations where wilderness, culture, color, and history come together on a grand scale.

It is the world’s largest known classic car junkyard.

Old Car City [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/1000]

Directions to Old Car City USA

3098 U.S. Hwy 411 – White, Georgia 30184

Take Interstate 75 north from Atlanta, approximately 42 miles, to Exit 293. Go right 2 miles. Old Car City USA is on the right.

Take Interstate 75 south from Chattanooga, Tennessee, approximately an hour’s drive to Exit 293. Turn left, heading northeast on Hwy 411. 2 miles on the right is Old Car City USA.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/800]
Photographers have been going here for many years. Many will come and spend days exploring the 6 miles of trails with their cameras.

The hood ornament from a vintage Cadillac at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/16, 1/200]
In 2005, the European Union forced carmakers to meet minimum standards for pedestrian safety, based on damage caused in frontal collisions. The removal of upright hood ornaments helped meet the requirements and rather than make different hoods for different countries, many international automakers—including Jaguar—removed the hood ornaments altogether.

Old Car City USA hours:

  • Wednesday……Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday………..Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday…………….Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday………..Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday…………..Closed
  • Monday………….Closed
  • Tuesday………….Closed (Will begin opening 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 3rd 2018)

Call: 770.382.6141

The hood ornament from a vintage Cadillac at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 400, ƒ/4, 1/200]

Pricing

There are two pricing options.

$25 for making or taking pictures,

$15 if no pictures are taken.

Interior of a Chevrolet at Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ì/4, ISO 500, Ä/4, 1/200]

$25.00 per person option

If you have a camera, or if you are going to have your picture taken while on the lot, regardless of age or whether a model is professional or not.

The hood ornament from a vintage Edsel at Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm Ï/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/1600]

$15.00 per person option

If you just want to walk through without a camera and not take any pictures.

Children from the ages of 7 to 12:……..$10

Children ages six and younger…………..Free

Chrysler at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 360, ƒ/4, 1/200]

Military Discount:

All active military personnel get in at half price for both payment options.

GMC Hood Ornament at Old Car City in White, Georgia. These were dealer installed GMC accessories. [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm Ï/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.6, 1/250]
Old Car City started as a country store by Walt Lewis. Today Dean Lewis in the owner. Dean believes the cars have been here for about 70 years.

Desota at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 250, ƒ/4, 1/200]
More than a 1,000 old cars are on the property.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 4000, ƒ/4, 1/200]

All about first impressions

We’re built to size each other up quickly. Even if we’re presented with lots of evidence to the contrary, we’re attached to our initial impressions of people — which is why you should be aware of the impression you make on others.
 
How long does it take to make a first impression? Is it the length of your elevator pitch? Actually forget all you have heard, because it is in the blink of an eye that it happens.
 

A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a 1/10th of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost your confidence in your judgments).

Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 400, ƒ/1.4, 1/125] 
Here are just a few headshots which show you how easy it is with just a photo to say something different about yourself.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 200, ƒ/8, 1/200]
You need to control the message of your brand.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 400, ƒ/1.4, 1/80]
Your expression, clothes and makeup for instance can change your appearance and how you are perceived.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 800, ƒ/1.4, 1/160]

Now this is an actress photo shoot for her to use in her portfolio. She needs to show people the looks that she can portray and understands they need to see it to understand what she can become.
When it comes to your company headshots do they look uniform?
When people go to your website and click on your team, do you have headshots?  If not you need to seriously consider adding these in today’s “Social Media” environment.  Just ask your kids what they call a person who doesn’t have a headshot with their profile – “Creeper”
Notice the difference the white modern look verses the dark traditional background can change the mood of the portraits. Both work and you need to decide which is best for your brand.
While having a headshot will help you not look like a “Creeper.” having all different types of headshots can look quite unprofessional.  Are you saving any real money by taking your own snapshot of your team to put on the website or your blog?
Remember you only have about 1/10th of a second to make a first impression.
They are not reading your bio to make that decision–they are looking at your photo!
What does your “About Us” page have for your potential clients to learn about you?  Are you a “Creeper” with no headshots?  Do you look like you cut corners and try to save money and take your own headshots?  Do all your headshots match or does it look like someone missed picture day at the high school and had a snapshot sent in for their senior year yearbook photo?
Give me a call if you want all your company headshot to look similar and help “brand” your company.

If photography is not fun, you’re not doing it right.

Army figurine soldier shot with LensBall [Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/150 – Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL & Flashpoint R2 TTL transmitter]
Consider taking a break by going on a retreat or traveling somewhere new. Being away from the content of your everyday life helps you get out of the rut and gives you space to clear your mind. New faces and fresh experiences do wonders for gaining perspective. Take time to drop in, reflect and enjoy yourself.

I bought a Lensball for something to play around with for fun. My idea was that this could stretch me in some way.

[Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/8, 1/25]
To use the Lensball effectively I found you have to find that spot between the subject and the camera that put everything in focus and compositionally pleasing.

[Fuji X-E3. 18-55mm, ISO 2500, ƒ/8, 1/100]
I also discovered it works best when the subject has more light on it than the Lensball. I learned there is a different focal point than shooting without it. I also learned to use small focus point in the middle of the Lensball.

Figurine Harry Potter portrait using the LensBall. [Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/40 – Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL & Flashpoint R2 TTL transmitter]
The objective for buying the Lensball is being achieved. I am having to think differently. Choosing the right subject for the Lensball is quite challenging.

[Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/3000]
I also learned that the Lensball really concentrates the sun’s power and will burn you when outside. You have to watch where the concentration of light is going. I played with it and discovered you can start a fire with it if you are not careful.

[Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/90]
If photography is not fun, you’re not doing it right.

If you do photography or anything for a job you need to be having fun doing it or you are not doing something right. Look for ways to put some fun back into you profession.

Freelancers date their clients and clients are not looking for a marriage

[Nikon D3, 85mm, ISO 200, ƒ/1.4, 1/5000]
Freelancing is like dating. Dating however isn’t the same as marriage.

Dating is a tryout for marriage. Dating offers you the chance to explore and learn before you make the serious commitment of marriage. … It’s not, however, the same as being married. There are different legal aspects of marriage (such as bank accounts, taxes, will’s, etc.) that you can’t experience while dating.

Now the biggest difference in freelancing and dating is that your clients are not looking for a marriage.

[Nikon D4, 85mm, ISO 2800, ƒ/1.8, 1/100]
Dating provides the opportunity to build a secure foundation before entering into the marriage commitment, but also offers less stability in relationships. Marriage lowers depression risk.

While these are breakup lines for couples dating, they are very similar lines the freelancer hears from their client.

1. “Something about us doesn’t feel right, and I have to act on that.”
2. “I don’t know what I want, and as long as I feel this way, it’s not fair to you.”
3. “I need something more.”
4. “We’ve really tried to make this work, but now it’s time to let it go.”
5. “I have a lot more growing to do before I’m ready for something like this.”
6. “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
7. “I wish I’d met you five years from now. I’m just not ready for this yet.”
8. “Someone out there is perfect for you, I promise. It’s just not me.”
9. “We are not each other’s soulmate.”
10. “We’ve both changed and grown apart.”
11. “You’re my best friend, which is so much more important to me than a lover.”
12. “I just don’t see this working.”
13. “Love shouldn’t be this hard.”
14. “I love you enough to want something better for you than what I can give.”
15. “I think we need to work on ourselves before we can ever share a life together.”
16. “You deserve to find your perfect match. It’s just not me.”
17. “I’m not in a place to date someone right now, but I still love you.”
18. “I need to figure out myself before I can share my life with someone.”

What you should hear in all these breakups is you can be great looking, be a wonderful person, but still they are looking for something different. They are not wanting you to change to accommodate them.

Now we need to look for some of those silver linings. When you go on staff you will not be able to do as much work for others.

Employees have to deal with the politics of working for a single employer. A freelancer may have to deal with solitude and loneliness. I mention this because we need to honest, freelancing is hard and an emotional rollercoaster.

I have lost my job two times as a photographer on staff jobs. I came to realize with so many others in every profession that the days of working an entire career for one employer are rare today.

While Divorce peaked at the end of WWII and even with it going down through the years to the lowest ever, it impacted the mindset far beyond families.

“Welcome to the family…,” is how many employers great you when you are hired. However, the uptick in divorcing those employees has been climbing. Now more and more companies are using temporary employees/contractors over hiring and making them employees.

This is why today you are more likely to be freelancing than working as an employee.

Not surprising to me is that the latest findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics Report show that from 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate in the U.S. increased 24 percent.

[Nikon D3S, 60mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.2, 1/40]
Prayer for Financial Peace

Dear Father,
     You who are gracious and kind, hear my prayer! I face more financial pressure than I can bear.
     “Save [me] now, I pray.” Show me, Lord, what I must do to get out from under this heavy burden.
     Give me Your wisdom and discipline, I pray, that I may move toward resolution of this situation.
     Guard my heart, Lord, and my steps; protect me from bad advice and foolish actions.
     Draw me close to You, for I need Your comfort and guidance.
     In Jesus’ name Amen.

Airborne School First Jump of school [Nikon D3S, 28-300mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000]
When Your Parachute Says Cliff-Diver you are in trouble. So many freelancers are losing clients for all the reasons similar to the breakup list above. Your clients didn’t marry you–they were only dating you.

Like it or not, your industry is changing. Everything changes; it always has, and it always will. You can keep up with and be part of the changes, or you can overlook and ignore changes and let others pass you by.

Take the time to read up on the industry and how things are changing. While some traditional media is going down like newspapers the upswing of media like Instagram is growing.

Join an association like NPPA or ASMP. Both of these associations are communicating what is happening now and who is making the most of the the changes happening and who is going out of business.

Build relationships with people smarter than you. “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I found that when I played basketball with better athletes than myself I was getting better. When I played people with similar skills that I didn’t evolve all that much in my game.

Create your own board. Boards advise executives of large companies. Executives go to their boards and bounce ideas off of them before they implement ideas. Do you have a small group of friends that serve as your advisors?

Listen to your customers. When customers are talking you need to listen. What is on their minds? Also, ask them questions about what is important to them now and what they see as a future need.

Look for ways to change. Try and adapt to trends rather than letting your competition come in and do this for your client because you were resistent to change.

Here is a great scripture which is a prayer that I will end with for you.

Psalm 25

A Prayer for Guidance and Protection

To you, O Lord, I offer my prayer;
in you, my God, I trust.
Save me from the shame of defeat;
don’t let my enemies gloat over me!
Defeat does not come to those who trust in you,
but to those who are quick to rebel against you.

Teach me your ways, O Lord;
make them known to me.
Teach me to live according to your truth,
for you are my God, who saves me.
I always trust in you.

Remember, O Lord, your kindness and constant love
which you have shown from long ago.
Forgive the sins and errors of my youth.
In your constant love and goodness,
remember me, Lord!

Because the Lord is righteous and good,
he teaches sinners the path they should follow.
He leads the humble in the right way
and teaches them his will.
With faithfulness and love he leads
all who keep his covenant and obey his commands.

Keep your promise, Lord, and forgive my sins,
for they are many.
Those who have reverence for the Lord
will learn from him the path they should follow.
They will always be prosperous,
and their children will possess the land.
The Lord is the friend of those who obey him
and he affirms his covenant with them.

I look to the Lord for help at all times,
and he rescues me from danger.
Turn to me, Lord, and be merciful to me,
because I am lonely and weak.
Relieve me of my worries
and save me from all my troubles.
Consider my distress and suffering
and forgive all my sins.

See how many enemies I have;
see how much they hate me.
Protect me and save me;
keep me from defeat.
I come to you for safety.
May my goodness and honesty preserve me,
because I trust in you.

From all their troubles, O God,
save your people Israel!