Posts Tagged photog
Well, I’ve officially made it into the 200s. I’m just hanging in there for right now. I’m hoping some new and exciting things will happen in the near future that will boost my creativity, but for now, you just get me…hanging in there.
I recently had the pleasure of befriending the co-founder of ShutterCal.com, Scott Harris (better known as DefaultArtist), and was able to discuss the success and growth of their project site from inception to present day. “So what” you say? What is ShutterCal and what does this have to do with getting my photography more exposure? Well, hold your horses already… I’m getting there.
In case you haven’t heard or have been too busy trying to get explored on Flickr, ShutterCal has been inching it’s way up in the Daily Photo (or Project 365 if you prefer) community in the last 2 years. The concept for the site is a calendar-based photography site. “We give you a calendar, link you to the site’s community, and encourage you to upload one daily photo.” The creators intentions were to get people to improve their photography skills by getting out there daily with their cameras and just shooting. It was also a quick and easy way to document events, feelings and emotions, as well as places and people met along the way.
So why am I mentioning this site, when there are so many different options out there? To name a few: Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, your blog, the list goes on and on… Sure, take a great macro shot or colorful bokeh and your flickr popularity will soar, but in most cases, posting on large photo sharing sites get you lost in a crowd and other sites continuously flaunt photos to already interested friends and family. ShutterCal is different. It’s about the 10,000 (and growing!) strong community of dedicated photo a day enthusiasts -including creators- that drive me to write about it. That’s right folks, with full time jobs and absolutely no VC money or ads, a couple of photogs like you and me managed to grow this tiny concept into a TEN THOUSAND participant member base in just 2 years!
What does that mean for you? It is a way to expand your community reach as well as easily gather inspiration and support from others that are going through the same daily trials and tribulations as you. A way to stand out from the hundreds of thousands of posted photos from other sites. A way to showcase that one special photo you take in a day to 10,000 other members just like you. It’s also pressure free, meaning you aren’t penalized if you don’t upload every single day – unlike other sites, and it’s built out of a love and passion for photography that doesn’t exist in many other sites.
By using ShutterCal (and don’t forget their awesomely cool photobox and postcards), you are supporting a movement of building a photography community “for us, and by us”. I encourage any of my daring project365 people to at least check it out, and let me know what you think.
I did a little camera swapping recently, so that my mom could have a “real” camera to take on her trip to Victoria, Canada in July. (The amount of flower shots that will be processed is another story)
So I switched out my 20D and nifty 50 with the hubs for his Rebel and kits lenses that my mom can use. As soon as the camera hit her hands, she was off taking pictures left and right. Mack obliged for only a moment to get his portrait taken. It seems she may be a natural. I might have to feature some of her pictures soon
I recently joined a few fellow photographers in a volunteer project call Help Portrait earlier this month. I am hoping to follow up on that experience in the near future, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about a different kind of experience, or almost lesson, I learned volunteering that day, regarding…
We all do it, almost just rolls off the tongue… talking tog slang that is. And I’m sure the more you are into photography, the easier it is for you to “talk the talk” and even becomes a habit. I even do it naturally in my ‘day’ job (us internet marketers love our acronyms.) You see it a lot in the industry mainly because, well, let’s face it, pho-to-gra-phy is a pretty darn long word. I mean we’re talking 4 syllables or more just for one word!
I’m sure some of you have even heard people with conversations like “while shooting, the photog went down a few stops to really pop the bokeh.” (Ok that might be a little over done, but believe me, I’ve heard worse! ) Heck, I’m even guilty of doing it a lot. I think it’s because I surround myself with such a great group of photographers that understand this industry speak. I really had’t encountered any problems with it until…
That Saturday Morning.
What I didn’t realize was speaking in this comfy and familiar language is hard to shake when around the non-photo community. Surrounded by a group of my peers, we quickly set up our equipment at the local Women’s and Children’s Shelter, excited to help out on the big day. We finally had the first set of ladies ready with hair and makeup when I was to direct them to their photographer for the day.
I quickly introduced myself and shook hands, eager to meet everyone, asking them if they were ready for their picture to be taken. I walked them to the set and asked Mike, their photographer that morning, if he was ready “to shoot them”. Mike smiled and nodded at me, but I could tell I struck a nerve with our model to be.
Now this is classic photog speak for taking photos. We shoot things. I even consider it kind of our hip lingo, BUT I had not accounted for one small detail… We were volunteering at a Women’s Shelter, where we were not allowed to publish any photos or names due to the fact that a lot of them were escaping domestic abuse situations.
I felt bad about it when I heard others use those terms throughout the day. I’m not sure they encountered the same reaction I had and most likely did not think twice about using this slang.
I did however meet up with a fellow photog who had been photographing at the main shelter and had been calling everyone ‘subjects’ (a term used in legal proceedings which a lot of the folks at the shelter had been or were currently going through.) He told me he realized that he needed to change his choice of words to ‘clients’ so that everyone would feel more at ease, including himself.
I realized that something so simple could mean so much. Ultimately the lesson I learned is that I need to be receptive to my working environment. I can still talk shop on twitter or forums, but out in the field I need to lose the lingo in order for my customers to feel comfortable in front of the camera and with me.
If you’ve never encountered a project 365 on Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook, you’re in for a real treat! In the simplest of terms, it is a photographer’s, or aspiring photog’s way of slowly torturing themselves one day at a time by having to take, process and upload a photo every single day of the year for 365 days. There are different reasons as to why someone takes on this project, but a lot of them include, building a portfolio, perfecting photographic skills, and challenging those creative juices. Most people decide to start their projects at the beginning of the year as some delusional New Year’s Resolution and of course it makes it easier to track progression. There are even sites and groups purely dedicated to documenting the hijinks of these crazy time consuming quests. (Check out Flickr’s group Project 365 or ShutterCal to see some).
I began on my journey in a different manner… basically a friend bullied me into it. Although this friend, who will remain nameless, eventually dropped out of this time consuming project, I have managed to continue shooting (even though the posting of them daily is somewhat questionable.)
My current Set:
Onto the reason why I brought up the project… It’s DECEMBER! Therefore all you ne’er do wells out there have a good month to think about whether you want to jump on this crazy photo-a-day bandwagon! I really hope you give this project the consideration it deserves. Although there are days (many) in which you will be cursing my name for ever mentioning it, the journey is beyond worth it in the people you will meet and the photos you will take!
Don’t forget, if you do decide to start, send me the link and I will be sure to check them out!