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Studio 5 Graphics Year in Review 2015

Bre Projector NSFW
Bre Projector NSFW

Studio 5 Graphics Year in Review 2015

 

I know I have not posted since April of 2015, but it has been interesting even if I don’t write amazing things every day about taking pictures. These year end reviews are important to me to help me bench mark where I am and what I have done over the year. One of the hallmarks of 2015 was the reduction in picture taking because of you know life and things like that. 2014 I took somewhere on the order of 28,000 pictures, 2015 saw about 18,000 pictures taken, but the pictures that are coming out are cleaner, brighter, and jacked up, I’m finding my signature now, and you can tell a S5G picture just by looking at it.

 

It is funny where my pictures end up, that will not stop I think.

 

The biggest changes that came this year was watermarking, with the sheer amount of appropriation and borrowing I decided in August to start watermarking everything and pushing up the low res images rather than the full high end images online. This caused no decrease in traffic, but a wad of name recognition that would do a porn star proud. It is just a simple watermark, easily removed by those who chose to do it, but with the amount of meta data in the images now a person has to be really dedicated to remove all the watermarks as they are embedded throughout the image and metadata now.

 

Now to the numbers, we know that was what you are reading this for; image views are how I am measuring success in getting my name out there. Sales are how I am measuring success in turning this into a full time gig.

 

Flickr, starting number 30,631,971, ending number today 53,726,372 comes out to 23,094,401 million picture views this year. Good times on that one seriously. I did not post to Flickr as much as I could have, and keeping somewhat steady with last years 20,408,331 million picture views is a small gain of an 11.64% increase in picture views with some 10,000 pictures uploaded. I also saw a sharp increase in followers, almost doubling going from 700 to 1,587 followers now. Flickr continues to be the top performing site I post at, with a great group of followers the community is strong on this one. We have won awards on Flickr this year, which was new and exciting to experience. As always we really honestly wish that we had a way to sell pictures on Flickr.

 

Smugmug, total for the year comes out to 11,092,337 million picture views, which is just a tad lower than last year’s 13,500,000 million picture views. A 17% decrease in picture views. This year we did not have the great Smugmug boudoir hack, but because of that hack, we have a small and loyal following going on for our work. We also had some sales on Smugmug this year that was nice to have. We posted almost everything into Smugmug this year and used it as a drop site warehouse as we have done almost since inception.

 

Deviant Art – meh, it’s dead, we still have it, but not really using it, we posted maybe a 100 pictures this year and got 17,520 picture views. Time to shut this sucker down. It’s not really an art site anymore, it’s a site where children post their crappily drawn My Little Pony Friendship is magic shit that would be better on their parents refrigerator. Seriously if you are 13 DA is probably awesome and edgy, but it simply is not a place for anything else at this point.

 

Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook – we really tried to use them this year and are seeing a little fame, just a few hundred followers and some likes. Most of what we do is not safe for work, so Tumblr really has been a key for us as we really do not want to spend time in limbo while having our Instagram and Facebook accounts shut down. We would dearly love to have a space that we could post our stuff without having to worry about the morality patrol. You know it is just skin folks. You are all naked under your clothes.

 

This years total, 34,204,258 picture views, with book sales going strong over the year and being a primary source of income. Not many new titles this year, it’s been one of those times where I wanted to cut back and try other things, but 2016 promises to be even more interesting as I have my ideas back and have some amazing photo shoots set up in my head. 2016 is going to be an interesting year.

 

 

Using Liquid Latex in a photo shoot

Liquid Latex Using Liquid Latex in a photo shoot

 

A dear photographer friend of mine this weekend taught me how to use Liquid Latex as part of a photo shoot in a way I never thought of before. All the credits go to JohnMStudios (Facebook link) for showing me how to do this, and a big prop out to Porcelain and Bri for actually allowing this stuff on their bodies and doing the work.

 

The liquid latex to use for this is Ammonia Free liquid latex body paint, it is kind of pricey, but a JohnMStudios used a 4-ounce bottle per model to do this. It covered about ½ of the body for the purposes of the photo shoot over the weekend. It was basically smeared on, and then allowed to get tacky on the models before he did anything.

 

Thing to note, when liquid latex dries it does generate heat so make sure your model knows this otherwise it might be a surprise. And make sure that they have no latex allergies by applying some to a test patch and make sure that there are no adverse reactions being noted on the models skin. Apply the liquid latex to a place not easily noticed in a picture, like the underside of the wrist so that it does not show up in pictures if there is an adverse reaction. Few models ever show the underside of their wrist in pictures.

 

The smudge marks on the naughty bits are done by me so I don’t get shut down by my ISP in case you are wondering. It is not a liquid latex feature or problem, just trying to do my part to keep the Internet PG-13.

 

Once you have the liquid latex tacky, press the models together and have them slowly push apart. The liquid latex will stick to itself more than it will stick to skin, and give you that awesome skin pulling effect that you see in so many horror movies. The good part is that you can get the liquid latex at amazon here (non affiliate link – I don’t get anything if you follow the link), and it comes in a variety of colors, including day glow black light colors so you can do pretty much so anything you want to do here.

 

I personally recommend that you do the skin prep formula as well for the models, but this effect requires you don’t do the skin prep. You want it to pull away in chunks rather than in one solid sheet. Try it out, it is a pretty neat effect, and show JohnMStudios some love by following him on Facebook here.

 

 

Projektor Ebook Available

Projektor Ebook Available

 

I have been able to finish up a lot of the interior space for Projektor, the new studio art book using humans as a canvas for projected art. Personally I think this is one of the best art books I have done to date and I am really excited about seeing the finished PDF’s on the interior design.

 

The sample blurb for the book is:

 

“Welcome to Projektor, an art book using projected images upon human canvases. The idea of projected images goes back to the early days of photography, but saw a lot of use in the early 1900’s. Bauhaus images used projections, polarization, montage, collage, and other techniques to develop unique works of photographic art. Since then the use of this has gone somewhat out of favor, but is still an important aspect of early photographic techniques. This book recreates some of the techniques but using modern digital equipment as part of the process. “ Projektor Self Blurb

 

Personally I am very excited about this book, it has been long in development, and long in hiring the right people to do help with the project. As I tend to go more for project style art work, very organized photo shoots with a limited number of participants it is always fun when you hit the nail on the head right out of the gate. The link to the ebpub at 4.99 is right here. 

 

I hope you love this book as much as I loved doing it, and enclosed are some sample not safe for work pictures by the way so if you decide to go any further in the entry be aware that someone somewhere is going to get offended, and while we can’t stop that, this isn’t Facebook either. You can hit up my ISP, but my ISP and me have already talked about hosting this kind of content on the site.

 

I would really love to get your feedback on the book, and while the cost of production on this one was more expensive than I thought, you can order the hard cover book here (and sorry hard cover self publishing prices as well) for 24.95. Click on the Lulu link below to capture it and purchase it for your own fine art nude collection of books.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

We are thinking about putting the print editions up on ebay as well, see what we can do with this, we do so few print editions of anything anymore preferring to do kindle editions that it might just be worth taking the more popular kindle editions and doing a physical book of them as well. We will have to see.

 

Lillias Right – Projektor

 

Projektor Lillias Right
Projektor Lillias Right

 

Lady Aera – Projektor

 

Projektor - Lady Aera
Projektor – Lady Aera

 

Justine – Projektor

 

Projektor - Justine
Projektor – Justine

 

I hope you enjoyed the preview images, if you go get the book remember to do a review for us, that is super important to get your feedback either on Amazon or on Lulu, or in the comments below. We will listen and use it to improve our products over time. If you look at our first books and what we are producing now, there is a huge difference, and that is due to user feedback.

 

 

What is Freelance Modeling?

What is Freelance Modeling?

 

What is Freelance Modeling?

Editors Note: This is a guest post by Kristie Jessica of Femme Photo LTD, you can find her on Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr and Twitter. I have done a lot of work with Femme Photo LTD, and they are an amazingly cool group to work with.

The common Perception of a “model” is stick thin, 6 feet tall. This is a media-spread image fueled by the fashion industry. A very small percentage of women in America meet the standard for a fashion supermodel. Plenty of other women out there are beautiful! Small businesses and Freelance photographers have caught on to this, and many have decided to cut out the agency middle man to hire freelance models! The advent of the internet has made it possible for women of different styles and body types to get involved with freelance modeling. There are benefits and disadvantages to freelance modeling opposed to being represented by an agency. One must do all her own bookings, act professional, and adopt an entrepreneurial way of life.

The number one difference between freelance modeling and agency modeling is that freelance models book their own gigs. Open castings, Word of mouth, and online networks are options for freelance models to find work. The largest network for freelance models and photographers to connect is currently a website called ModelMayhem.com. An Agency represented model is usually contracted to work for a specific company that finds gigs for the model and takes a percentage of the income. Agencies charge high fees and have insurance requirements for those who want to hire their models. For those who meet the standards of the agency, this may be a good option. Freelance modeling allows for models to consider what type of photo shoots they would like to seek, what days and times to shoot, and they can keep 100% of any modeling fees they negotiate. However, freelance photographers who find models online are not always safe people to be around!!! One year ago, 19-year-old Colorado Springs model Kara Nichols disappeared on her way to Denver for a photo shoot she booked through model mayhem. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Fortunately there is a way for freelancers to check references by contacting models in photographers portfolios, if there is no contact information provided for models via model networking sites; it is likely a red flag! Booking your own gigs can be very successful if you’re responsible at it!

Responsibility is a key element to being a successful professional freelance model, as well as having success in ANY job! If one wants to be paid for their services, they must act professionally! This is what separates the divas from the ladies. Having a good attitude is important. Other responsibilities rely alot on managing ones appearance: staying fit, working out, eating healthy, and knowing how to style your own hair and makeup are some basic modeling responsibilities! You can’t just show up and look hott, you have to be coachable and learn to use different poses and facial expressions: the skills of your trade! By responding to emails efficiently, showing up to gigs on time and ready, and being clear on the rates and job description in advance, freelance models can build a reputation for reliability and will get more work through word of mouth.

One of the greatest rewards of freelancing is being your own boss! Agencies organize most of the behind the scenes work for the models they represent: finding casting calls, advertising, sending inquiries, managing a schedule, negotiating the fees etc. Freelance models have to have the entrepreneurial edge to do all this on their own! Earning a living as a model also means you can write off your expenses when tax season comes along! Receipts for makeup, hair products, outfits, etc should all be cataloged! Having a monthly or weekly goals help in managing a schedule: How many gigs per month does one need to cover living expenses? Did you leave room for down time and hobbies? Balance is important!

Hollywood, TV, and magazines promote an impossible standard for women to live up to, but there are millions of beautiful women out there! Leave the insecurities behind! If you or a friend of yours wants to model but don’t meet the strict height or weight requirements for agency modeling, consider modeling in the freelance world! All it takes is a little research, a coachable, positive attitude, and a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit!

 

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2013 The Statistics Year in Review

Behai Park Beijing China2013 The Statistics Year in Review

We all know that being a photographer means that you have to be an attention whore in a number of ways. We need to get people looking at our pictures online just to even think about getting started selling them. That means we need to stand out from the crowd, we need to keyword and tag what we are doing, as well as dealing with age gates, other photographers, linking and embedding, and all the processes that help us literally stand out from the crowd.

According to the blogs on Flickr and Smugmug something on the order of 3.5 million pictures are uploaded daily on those sites. Instagram if you use it and Facebook are more than billions a week. It is very hard to stand out from the crowd, and 2013 is the year I took SEO (Search Engine Optimization) seriously.

And it paid off, this is the first year I sold pictures, and sold enough pictures to pay for all my hosting plans at DA, Smugmug and Flickr. Here is how the numbers work out.

Flickr:

Starting number 700,000 ending number 10,223,640

Total picture views this year

Sales – Nada, Flickr really needs to figure out a way that others can purchase our pictures. While linking back to Getty Images is cool, that has turned into a dead process for me because of the pictures I take. I don’t do stock pictures, and that complicates Flickr for me. So no sales and unlikely to have any sales via Getty any time soon.

Smugmug:

Total picture views for the year 4,649,198

Sales – enough to pay for hosting and a small craft beer, which is not bad because this is the first year I have ever had sales. The interesting is the graph below, you can see the obvious difference between understanding Smugmug keywords and its internal audience and those days I did not understand them. The midyear point is an amazing turn for people looking at my pictures.

Deviant Art

Starting Number 112,000, ending number 236,927

Total picture views for the year

Sales – enough barely enough to pay for hosting, but this is also the first year I have sold pictures on DA so that makes it special. I mostly sold electronic downloads there, no prints.

Total picture views for the year are: 14,297,765

Facebook and Google Plus

After a small ruckus caused by my pictures from AMDEF 2013 this year, I had to move all the photography over to a page. I was effectively shutdown in Facebook for something like 30 hours this year because people would flag them as porn or something else. While I have had thousands of picture views on both sites, I had to move everything over to a fan page to keep the flaggers/trolls at bay and not upset their fine sensibility, or run afoul of Facebook’s solid issues with Nipples. Seriously Facebook has almost a deviant psychosis when it comes to nipples, or at least some of their users sure do. Although I am ok with it because a lot of other international and national photographers also found themselves shutdown at times. So I am not going to count them this year because of the transition from timeline to fan page.

All other sites, I don’t really post much to 500PX or Instagram or others so they don’t really count. All the numbers are below 10,000 and insignificant in comparison to what is happening over on Flickr, Smugmug and Deviant Art. 2012 was in comparison a pretty paltry year, with maybe a couple hundred thousand picture views, and with the millions of picture views this year along with making enough coin to make hosting payments I really cannot argue where this year ended up. Remember to do all the SEO you can to help you stand out of the billions of pictures that are uploaded weekly.

 

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Broken Doll Horror Themed Photo Shoot

Broken Doll Horror Themed Photo ShootBroken Doll Horror Themed Photo Shoot

As part of Crypticon Seattle’s 2014 show, I was fortunate enough to be able to do some advertising copy for them, and they said it would be cool to help them out and help me out by doing a blog post about doing advertising copy. This is just one of the galleries from the photo shoot, and it was awesome having a very bendy flexible model to work with for this shoot.

The idea was a broken puppet that would be forgotten and broken in a corner, with a ton of clarity to help set up the idea that this is a grim dark gritty issue.

It gives you a nice visceral feeling, and in some comments on facebook we definitely got a reaction about the ideas of women, horror, victimization, and everything else that would go along with that. In all it was a great way of seeing how people would consume and if possible get them to react to the picture. We are constantly flooded with images of sex, violence, horror, that getting people to react to anything is a small miracle. There is a long way to go with women in horror and coming up with some kick ass strong archetypes. But really the boyfriend gets chopped into bits and the movie ends up with fire, flame, and generic general mayhem.

Crypticon Seattle is one of the biggest horror conventions in the Seattle area so it is always interesting to see what their volunteers are up to when it comes to arranging a photo shoot. I was glad I got to participate in this one as it just ended up being a lot of fun, and there are a ton of smaller galleries to work with and for them to pick something for their advertising campaign. When I see the final proofs of what they are using I’ll post that along and see where we go from there. You know ad people, once they get their hands on an image it does not matter what the photographer intended, everything changes. And we so rarely get to see what the original image looked like. So here you are a super bendy flexible model to work with as a broken abandoned toy in a corner. We should all take better care of our toys, all the time.

Here is the gallery to go along with that as well so have some fun with it.

Broken Doll Horror Themed Photo Shoot

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AMDEF 2013 Show Pictures – Angie and the Car Wrecks

AMDEF 2013 Show PicturesAMDEF 2013 Show Pictures – Angie and the Car Wrecks

It is going to take me a while to go through all the AMDEF pictures I took this month, so they will be coming slowly out of post processing. But have about 1/2 of them done, so time to talk about them. AMDEF rocked, and is something I am going to do as the event progresses and I can get access to the show. Lots of interesting things to go see, the combination of Art, Music, Dance, Entertainment and Fashion made for an awesome night out. Of course we had to leave early, but maybe next year I can hang out for the whole show and see it through to the end. It just seemed like the party would never stop and I had other things to do the following morning.

Overall though, AMDEF makes for an interesting look into the arts and music culture here in Seattle. I don’t know if any other towns do something similar to this, but they should. I can’t speak for the self esteem of those I took pictures of, but I also know that this set of pictures caused the most controversy that I have had with a photo shoot in a long time. From getting flagged for porn on Facebook, to general upset that “this makes me look fat” to misuse of tagging on Facebook, and then the general silence on G+ this obviously was something that people loved, hated, felt uncomfortable with, or otherwise caused an emotion of some sort.

This just leads me on to my continuing problems with facebook, and we decided to cut down on the pain on my regular person feed that I would start a new fan page for Studio 5 Graphics, as well as moving into my own studio so I get out of the house living room. I don’t know why something like AMDEF would cause problems on Facebook, but it sure did. Maybe that is what art and culture should be all about, making people uncomfortable. Maybe I scored a win here, and that is something that a photographer should be happy with, making people uncomfortable.

If I have not made you uncomfortable yet, give me some time, I’ll get to you eventually. In the mean time enjoy the best show of the night – Angie and the Car Wrecks, punk-a-billy was awesome. As I get more done, I’ll post them.

AMDEF 2013 Show Pictures – Angie and the Car Wrecks

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