Tag Archives: Photographer

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.

 

 

When Shooting in Rapid Mode makes Sense or Why Spray and Pray can be an option

When Shooting in Rapid Mode makes Sense or Why Spray and Pray can be an option

Using Available Lighting in Photography

We all hear about spray and pray as a derogatory remark about when someone is simply clicking the shutter or shooting in burst mode on their camera. The implication is that the person shooting the shot is an untested noob, but the reality is when you need to shoot in burst mode, you have to shoot in burst mode.

Low light, lots of action, go burst mode, shooting wild life, go burst mode, shooting action anything, shoot burst mode, or as “photographers” will call it, spray and pray. Got a guy running towards you with a sword recreating a roman war scene, shoot burst mode, got someone dropping a bowling ball off a ladder in low light onto someone sporting a cinder block, shoot burst mode.

Sorry folks, not every shot can be carefully orchestrated so you only have to take one shot. There is always someone derping, there was movement on the hands, there were eyes closed, there was something that is going to totally invalidate that picture. Event photography like side shows, burlesque, darts, archery, maybe roller derby all means you can’t sit there and finesse the shot, you gotta shot when you gotta shoot and try not to over run your camera buffer.

Small children, animals, you name it where the event cannot be controlled and the process is unpredictable because of large groups because there is always someone derping with an eye closed or something else, shoot in burst mode, or as the “professionals” will call it, spray and pray.

We all know that spray and pray is not for every purpose, like in the studio where everything is controlled down to the lighting. Over time as you get more comfortable with your camera and the situation around you, you will know when to take the single right moment frame, or when to burst mode on your camera. That is part of the trick of knowing your gear, knowing where you are, and knowing what the situation calls for when taking a picture.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to take a picture, there are a lot of darn fine mechanics out there with a camera, but few artists. Not everyone is going to be Ansel Adams, we just can’t be, shoot the way you want to shoot, shoot what works best for you, you are the photographer. If you want to take 100 shots of the same thing do it, if you want to take one shot of the bowling ball landing on someone’s chest, that is your call, not some other photographer’s call to tell you how to take a picture. It’s just that simple, all the other photographer does is show he is a diva, and I think we have all had enough of prima donna photographers.

 

 

 

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RawArtists Seattle September 2013 You are Invited

RawArtists Seattle September 2013 You are Invited

RawArtists Seattle September 2013 You are Invited

Huzzah it is my first showing in many many years, I got invited to RAW Seattle to show off the stuff I like the most. I’ll post ticket information when I have all the data to get it to you. I have been trolling my pictures to see which ones the public has liked the most and using that as a way to determine what non-nude pictures I can use. Racy is cool, but I think in going through their web site that nude/semi-nude is not on the buffet for this one. Not that I mind, I have some awesome non-nude pictures  and have been building up the list of interesting things to show off from the collection of 50,000 thousand pictures that I keep on line, winnowing them down to 25 or so that I really love, and the audience loves has been a challenge.

Overall though this one should be interesting to approach. We will be going to the one on the 27th of July at the Trinity Night Club to check it out and see what the show is all about. I’ll take some pictures to see what others are doing and what the standards are going to be like. If anyone knows what passes for cocktail dress now a days please let me know, I have no clue. I am more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of person, heck we are lucky if I am wearing pants some times.

I do think that this will be a lot of fun either way to see what the process looks like, the last time I was at a gallery show was in the 1980’s. I am sure that gallery shows have changed since then, and getting inside the Trinity is just going to be a lot of fun in the longer run. The club is wonderful, and a pretty cool place to hang out. I like the idea that this is a multi-modal show, fashion, art, music, everything, kitchen sink. That should keep things all the more interesting as they go through the process of finding people to show stuff off and add to the collection of artists that they are supporting by offering them an audience, a space, and time to get to know others in the community.

If photographers are not doing their best social media, it is really super important that you do so. The only reason I think these folks found me is that I am posting a lot, and that is what keeps this all interesting, and fresh in people’s minds. Hope to see you there, it should be a riot. September 28th, hope to see you there.

 

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Should a photographer honor a takedown request?

Should a photographer honor a takedown request?Should a photographer honor a takedown request?

We all have them, over the last year I have had three people request that I take down the pictures I took of them. Generally they might be because the pictures are crappy (which happens), or they have some other reason. Let’s look at each of the three requests and then ask yourself how you would handle them. On all of these, I did honor the request, and will explain more after I get done with the examples.

Public Protest Pictures – one young lady was at the Annual Slutwalk and was captured in four pictures I took at the walk. Her office workers found out that she was part of the event and started harassing her. She was not just caught by me, but caught by a major news outlet as well and posted all over the newspaper. That is probably what caught the office workers attention. She is a rape survivor, but the actions of her office workers started triggering bad events. The e-mail that was sent to me to take down the four pictures was impressive, and for what I thought was a very good reason. She is getting harassed by her office workers for talking about surviving rape and participating in Slutwalk which is a major anti-rape event/protest here in Seattle. I took the four pictures down, and never heard from her again.

Model Shoot – model revised the paper contract so that she could control what was posted online from the modeling shoot. Model refused to release any of the pictures because this was the first time she had pictures taken of her in underwear. I am not talking a small shoot here, but because she was an awesome model and I didn’t notice what she had penciled into the contract (that is my mistake), I spent a significant amount of the day taking her picture. When the model refused to release any pictures, I was stuck with three hours of lost time, and a couple hundred pictures I could have used. The objection was not to the pictures, but that she was in her underwear. The pictures were taken down because my lab assistant countersigned the contract. My assistants no longer have the ability to sign contracts on my behalf (didn’t realize they had them before, and this might be a way to scoot out of the whole mess), and I moved over to electronic copy for the model releases that cannot be modified by anyone but me.

Event Shoot – a performer of the event was so concerned about her image that she needed to approve any picture posted online from the event. She requested a take down, but since technically I don’t own the pictures, the event does, asking me to take down the pictures rather than the event organizers asking me to take down the pictures made this one highly unusual. The event eventually decided that it would be better to take them down rather than have an upset artist.

The only other issue with pictures over the last year was a gallery name and how the model perceived herself, which is a quick easy fix and no loss of imagery.

Each one of these is a different circumstance I have had with models, needless to say yes I do keep a black list of models or event performers who ask for a take down and will not take their picture again in the future. Like all cities, this is a very small town, so I figure I am on a couple of models and event performers black list as well. Fair is fair, if the relationship is not working with the model or performer then it just will not work. The first one though is unique, I have never before or sense seen anyone in a protest march ask for their picture to be taken down from the internet. I have no idea how the newspaper reacted, but the pictures were missing from the news site a few month later. Other than being seriously annoyed that someone would use a protest picture to harass a co-worker, that one was probably the most legitimate reason to take down a picture I have seen yet.

If the photographer has taken crappy pictures, tell them that they are crappy. That you don’t like them or that they do not portray you as you wish to be seen by the public. Don’t go all copyright on them, don’t go all ‘but I am in my underwear’, look at it realistically. The photographer spent time on those pictures. It is unlikely that they ripped them off the camera and posted them, they went through some kind of post shoot process that meant time with the shoot far beyond what you saw. The photographer has an equal investment in time, and would much rather hear the pictures are crappy than pulling some kind of bone head maneuver about copyright or underwear. Most photographers are going to be cool about it, and would much rather deliver a picture you are happy with along the way. Realize the photographer is also an artist in their own right, so an argument like this just fails:

“It isn’t just about quality of photography. I like to be in control of my art just like any other artist.”

 

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Pinup Model Angee in a one piece

 

Pinup Model Angee
Pinup Model Angee

Sometimes the most popular galleries surprise me, and this set with Angee has ended up being one of the most popular sets out of the last Femme LTD model shoot. The photo shoot happened in January, and unfortunately with my schedule it will be sometime in April when I get to come back to the whole Femme LTD modeling group. Angee though has ended up being a surprise hit over here at Studio 5 graphics.

One she is not your typical pinup model, the cool part is that she has curves, natural lovely curves, and this was an over the shoulder shoot, in other words I wasn’t really paying attention like I usually do, rather just rattling off pictures while another photographer was busy doing his thing.  Surprise hits always makes me happy, and Angee was a really cool person to just go and take pictures of. Sometimes your most popular work are those things you just went crazy with and did for fun.

Pinup Model Angee

 

 

 

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New Year Rollup how did I do with Pictures

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New Year Rollup how did I do with Pictures

2012 is simply going to go down as the year that I hit the professional photographer stage with a wallop. 2011 was a very simple year, some 183,000 picture views and not many people all that interested in what I was doing; as well I only uploaded around 3,000 pictures in total. This year though I wanted to stretch my wings a bit and see what I was capable of doing, what I wanted to learn, and how to get some of those coveted sales that were so important to crossing over from amateur to professional. I did get sales, but not many, and I stomped all over last year’s picture views with a vengeance.

Total picture views for the year officially are 1.9 million, however with all the sharing, and other places I found my work over the year we can easily bump that up to 2 million, but I’ll stick with the official stats on what I can directly record as people’s interest in the things I took pictures of. Sharing however became one of the critical components to what I was doing, sharing meant a lot, and introduced me to a whole new level of people who were interested in what I was doing. But here is how things break down.

Most popular sites I posted at:

Flickr

Smugmug

Deviant Art

Tumblr

Most important places to find places to take pictures

Meetup.com hands down the most important place I went to this year to find photo events in my area

Events like Sakuracon, Emerald City Comic Con and sharing those pictures with the fans

Personal contacts, thank you for inviting me to come along and take pictures

Most popular galleries in total:

Freemont Summer Solstice Parade

World Naked Bike Ride Seattle

Sakuracon 2012

Emerald City Comic Con 2012

Jet City Comic Show 2012

Kumoricon 2012

Faerie Con West 2012

Crypticon Seattle 2012

Geek Girl Con 2012

Latex Model Shoot December 2012

Most important social networks:

Facebook

Deviant Art

G+

Tumblr

Lessons learned from this year are probably the most important for me to understand and use 2013 as a way to monetize the picture taking. The whole hobby has to start paying for itself now that it is getting to be rather expensive in terms of hosting, sharing, and the way that I go about taking pictures. Personal contacts were important, but honestly, Meetup.com out performed everything else that I could think of for finding modeling events to take pictures at. While I did get my Model Mayhem account this year finally, it was meetup.com that really made the difference, and has already made a difference in what will happen in 2013. I am already booked through the end of April because of meetup.com and the events I went to in 2012. I cannot recommend meetup.com enough that is what opened so many doors this year for taking pictures of models.

Overall, now it is time to monetize the picture taking and that is what I am going to work on a lot in 2013, need a way to feed the beast, and this is going to have to start paying for itself, I would at least like to break even on the events I take pictures at, so let’s see what happens with 2013.

 

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Selective Focus Productions in Seattle Pinups makes me happy

 

Selective Focus Productions in Seattle Pinups makes me happy

Selective Focus Productions in Seattle Pinups makes me happy

This was quite possibly the best group model photo shoot I have been on all year. All the models were really awesome to work with, the set up was very nice, the location was easy to get in and out of, the experience level in the group was well above all the other group shoots I have done recently. This will make three studios now in the Seattle area that I have had positive experiences with doing the group model shoot experience.

Really had a good time with this group and was so worth attending, this is a studio hands down I would work with again.

There were four models for the night, Heidi, Hitomi, Faye, and Angel who were all very cool about working with a bunch of photographers and each of us had our differing styles. Some of us used the flash kit provided, a couple of them used an LED hand held light, and while some photographers were going for the whole effect, some of them were going for body parts. You really never know what a photographer is looking for along the way, we all have our own particular bent. The models seemed to have no issues with what the photographers were up to, and we did a lot of sharing with the models about what we were doing with their images.

Of course I was going for pinups, but this was also my first full nude shot as well so that was quite the experience for me to work my way through. The shoot was more about pin-ups, which is really more my style when it comes to what I want to take pictures of, but shooting nudes was really an interesting experience because everyone is so vulnerable throughout the entire shoot.

Shooting Nudes is my next blog entry though.

Overall if you get the chance to shoot with Selective Focus Productions they are well worth the time. Unfortunately they do not do this every month, although I would really like a group that would take pictures at least once a month. There is always something to learn, and working with diverse models and diverse photographers is always an experience and when the group is awesome, we share camera settings and ideas and our pictures right then and there.

There are really good experiences when working with people who have good ideas, you can learn a lot from other photographers, and you can learn a lot from models that have a lot of experience or some experience. Good models make a huge difference in what you are able to get, and while I am not dinging on models with little or no experience, the photographer needs to rise to the occasion and help the model more, they might not know how to do what you want them to do.

 

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