I know it may not be "morning," but I feel the idea of a good morning reflects the opportunity of a fresh start to our day. So, it makes me feel 'good.' My blog is designed to let us discuss the art of photography and the history of ourselves. Follow me as we go along.
Good day and welcome to your weekend!
We all look towards the weekend for that wonderful break in the stress and moments to recharge. On that note, let's keep a watchful eye out for all the people who work the weekends. For them, your pleasure may be their daily bread. Their stress may be high when you are trying to relax. If you can, keep them in mind and let them do their job.
Now I ask, why wait for the weekend to have fun? Try to find the pleasure in your daily tasks. The quiet on the drive to work can help you focus. The time we have with our spouses--doing the run of the mill tasks--are not to be wasted. And the "healthy" food and trips to the gym are there to give us long life. Sure, we know all these things but let us take a minute and think...not everyone has a job, a spouse, a gym, or even food to take for granted. Don't wait for the perfect time to dance. Look for the music, fill your spirit, and enjoy this moment you have. The upcoming moment is all there is. Take time to build a dream and reach for it.
For all my photographer buddies, you want inspiration? Attend PPA Imaging USA in January. Guaranteed to lift you up!
Unless you have been sleeping for 70 years or just born, you know of Dame Helen Mirren--decorated and talented actor who was recently interviewed by Allure Magazine. The article was a pleasure to read but what struck me was her answer to being a sex-symbol at 72. Her response to a woman's 'sexiness' is, "a theory that it's rooted in confidence." "It's an interior power that comes from her intelligence. When intelligence is combined with beauty, it's extraordinary..." Ladies, and gentlemen, your beauty comes from within. The confidence...the glint in your eye is the beauty we all enjoy. The rest is just window dressing. Value yourself and the smile will be beautiful.
Have you seen Downtown Culpeper? Last night we had a new artist enjoy a festive crowd at their ribbon cutting. The Sweets were there, the Chamber was there, the spirit was there, and the people came. We had bottled water, brownie samples, microphones, and traffic control. So what does this have to do with photography? Well I was there with a few photographers as well but the artistic planning was there before we came to wish them well.
When you plan an event--party, wedding, appointment, whatever--you need to ask, "what do we wish to accomplish?" I look for a skilled attorney to handle my legal needs and a different skilled Pro to take care of my car. So please ask questions before you dive into something you may not fully understand. Did you know a cupcake will cook different than a thicker cake? Did you know the accent lighting needed for someone with dark hair is different for someone who is fair? The folks from Seriously Sweet took a lot of time to plan their ribbon cutting last night. The planning of a street event or the baking of 1200 cupcakes for a Bride's wedding takes some Seriously Sweet artistic talent as well as serious business planning.
I don't know what expertise you have, but I pray you will enjoy the skills of the small business people who are eager to work for you. And if you enjoy you favorite...stylist, deli-lady, cheese expert, photographer,...support them and tell others. Some people have not had the pleasure to work with an artist or to visit Culpeper's famous Downtown.
Today this may sound like your Dad talking to you--so in honor of Father's Day, here goes!
I was reminded this morning of a conversation I had after I got my first real 35 mm SLR back in the late 70's. Back then, I was feeling so cool--knocking out color and B/W images of family, friends, and beautiful landscapes. I had shot weddings--for free--for a variety of friends and they were more impressed with my work than their paid photographer! I asked a photographer friend for advice on getting started in the business. He started talking about contracts, business licensing, federal id numbers, accountants, lawyers, and dangers to avoid. I wanted the tricks, the cool lenses, best camera body, and what toys I needed to have in the camera bag. He told me stories of equipment failures at the church, batteries that were suddenly dead, drunk guests that damage your camera, clients that split up after the wedding and refuse to pay their bill, and wedding venues that change at the last minute and you are not told, and on an on.
The story was--film is art and photography is a business. We all want to see the best and prettiest outcome; but as business owners, we need to be ready for any event. There are many legal requirements that artists are not imagining. As I moved from county to town, I needed a town business license. If I use my car, I may not be able to take the personal property discount for my now "business" car. Then we must be ready for the "I don't like these so I am going to sue you" conversation. Or the "you have 15 minutes to take the 120 poses on the list and we can't find the Bride." (That is 1 poses every 7.5 seconds.) And when you come to Tax time, you will find out about taxes you did not know existed.
Now I am not here to bring you down. But as my father told me, do a job you love but ask questions. Don't get penalized on a rookie mistake if you can help it. If you are taking money for a job--you are responsible for the work. The reason you build a doghouse or swing set is because you enjoy the work. But your house is built by those with training and the right equipment. So if you want to be a Doctor or a Professional Photographer, get the right advice so you can get the training and enjoy the work you do.
Pros--they seem to be different. When I am at the gym, they stand out by their abilities and their dedication. When at the garage, they have tools and training that make the job look so easy. And a trained builder can construct a beautiful house that is straight, true, level, and lasts for years to come. And of course, we want our pilots, doctors, and military to be the best because their job is important. They have to be able to do the job, no matter what, and then do it again.
So, on special occasions--births, wedding, graduations, reunions...don't rely on your cell phone or the new skills of someone with a cool camera that wants to help. Hire a professional. Someone who can anticipate and adapt to changes and surprises. They will be there to deliver your work, answer questions, and help you in the future. For them, it more than a hobby.
Go to PPA.com and search for what you need and where you need them. And remember, during your search you can specify Certified Professional Photographers only. They have been through extensive training and testing so you can be sure to get a professional!