Tag Archives: Ziegfeld Follies

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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2013 Year in Review for Studio5Graphics Top 10 Galleries

Chantal Water Nymph

2013 Year in Review for Studio5Graphics Top 10 Galleries

2013 is basically going down as the best year ever for sales, views, gallery show, and love. It has been a great and wonderful year and all because people found me and decided they liked what I was doing. Of course there are a lot of Y-Chromosome pictures this year, but also some surprise sleeper hits along the way. Overall this is has been my best year, and I owe it all to you, a couple of walled gardens, some of the most amazing models to walk the planet, and finding time to do this.

Top 10 Most Popular Galleries for the year

1. Chantal Water Nymph – one of the most stunningly wonderful and talented models I worked with this year coming in at 200,000 picture views for the gallery alone.

2. Steamcon V Cosplay – the most outrageously fun three days I had this year was at Steamcon and you should go if you get the chance clocking in at 122,000 picture views

3. Pinup Model Ange

e in a Bikini – this was the surprise sleeper hit of the year, taken over another photographers shoulder and just hanging out because I was between models, the lovely Angee is clocking in at 86,000 picture views. I am sure this will tick off the primary photographer but then there we are, this happens when you are at a group shoot.

4. Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2013 – they let me hang out with the regular show photographers and ended up with thousands of amazingly cool pictures. They were surprised that a photographer would show up from the west coast, so the good folks at Wizard World made me feel right at home and I can’t thank them enough for that.  They are clocking in at 82,000 picture views.

5. Pinup Model Anika in front of an Impala – beautiful model, beautiful car clocking in at 66,000 picture views for the year. Sometimes you have to choose between the car and the girl, in this photo set you didn’t have to.

6. Jet City Comic Show photo booth – this is my favorite shoot of the entire year, there is nothing that compares to running the photo booth for a comic con. Lots of good people lots of fun and some amazingly good charity work with Comic Book Characters for Causes. They clock in at 62,000 picture views.

7. Grid Girl Rebel – ok, anyone who has shot Rebel knows that she is one of the most amazing young ladies out there. She runs Femme LTD here in Seattle getting people together so that they can make cool art and pictures. She clocks in at 61,000 picture views, which in my opinion just isn’t enough, she is that amazing.

8. Marilyn Outdoors Part 2 – another wonderful model clocking in at 57,000 picture views.

9. M.O.d and a Vintage Car – I know she didn’t like some of these, but darn it I am not photoshopping out things in a picture, or otherwise. The only thing I am using photoshop for is balancing color and exposure or resizing an image. She is a wonderful pers

10. Pinup Model Inspired – wonderful, simply a wonderful young lady and probably goes into the top 10 list of people who I really think are simply very cool for 2013. She clocks in at 54,000 picture views for the year.on to begin with and she clocks in at 57,000 picture views.

Those are just the galleries; I really should wait for a couple of days before I really start cranking the full end of year numbers for total picture views. But simply put it has been a wonderful year for having people taking a look at pictures, and buying pictures, along with my first gallery show this has just simply been one of the coolest years I could have. Just a big shout out to everyone involved, you are all part of this and should feel warm fuzzy along the way.

 

 

 

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Liquid Light Project

Liquid Light ProjectLiquid Light Project

As I close out the Ziegfeld Follies project and prepare to send that off to make a book out of it, the new project for 2014 is going to be a Liquid Light Show project. Liquid Light is something that was very popular in the 1960’s, where we had a fascination as a population for the psychedelic experience. Underground shows often showed liquid light with Go-Go Dancers, the hippy culture, and everything that went along with the drugged out experience.

What I will use for this project is four 48 inch black light fluorescent bulbs zip tied to lighting stands, a white background and I will have to cover the window in the studio with something sturdy to cut the light. The black light will be used in conjunction with UV glow body paint of flowers, peace signs, and anti-war messages much like you saw at the height of the protests against the Vietnam War. Digging through the archives, the sad part is that shows like “Laugh-in” will end up being one of the major inspirations for the body paint style of the time. The messages were subtle in the 1960’s to evade the censors, and I seriously doubt that a show like “Laugh-in” would even make the airwaves in this age.

For the liquid light we will be using the instructions out at the Liquid LIght Lab and information from Virginia.edu to help out and set up the technology. There is always something interesting about recreating vintage lighting from an era where good notes were not taken because they were all tripping on LSD or other drugs. It does seem though that others have been able to reproduce the effects without any major issues once they got the chemistry down for creating liquid light. The more interesting part of this is that there has to be a mechanical motion to make the liquid light pulse so I will be needing someone to manage spinning the liquid light table to make this puppy happen the way I want it too, although there are some modern colors that will respond to the bass movements of the music making Rave music something to explore along with this project.

If you are interested in participating I will be looking for models that want to be nude and covered in UV glow body paint wearing only a pair of 1960’s Go-Go boots. I will also be working with some of the more garish designs from the 1960’s that were designed for the higher end clubs that were pretty much so black light only but I have to find the costuming first.

In this entire project the costs will probably be about 500.00 to set up not including modeling costs, and should be a longer term project. I see this one extending well into 2015 as finding vintage 1960’s clothing, posters, and other ephemera will be an interesting project in its own right. Drop me a note if you want to be a model for this project. Check out the video below if you want to get an idea of what the background will look like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW733Ut5zE0

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Latex Electrical Tape Model

Latex Electrical Tape ModelLatex Electrical Tape Model

I know I really have not fallen off the face of the planet, but it has been remarkably busy which is something that any photographer would be happy with. Over the last couple of months I have done a lot of photography and while I have a little downtime it is time to write about some of the photo shoots I have been doing.

One of the most interesting photo shoots of the year has to be the electrical latex tape shoot I did with JohnMStudios and Miss Kate over here in Seattle. There was no MUA for this shoot, but covering someone in artistically designed electrical tape is something that I have not done before, and it is something that ended up being interesting to try out. The model Miss Kate was an amazing person to work with and has a high level of experience with standard modeling poses, if you get the chance to find her to hire her as a model it is well worth the time you will spend with her. JohnMStudios is one of the local photographers here in Seattle and has set himself up with covering people in electrical tape as his signature series, much like my own Ziegfeld Follies style recreations.

A couple of things I learned while doing this, is make sure your model does not have a latex allergy. Electrical tape is based on latex so you need to make sure your model is not allergic so you don’t have to deal with hives and itching later on. The other is that you have about three hours to do the shoot before the tape starts peeling away. In some of the later pictures they had to be deleted because the tape was peeling away from private bits of the body.

The other thing to do is to have a design board with a plastic surface so you can work out the larger designs. If you work them out on the design board, you can work out your idea there without making your model uncomfortable or feel like an experimental lab rat while you try to figure it all out. Any plastic coated board will do including a plastic cutting board from the kitchen if that is all you have available to you.

It is an interesting style, and unique to JohnMStudios so far as I have been able to find. It is always fun working with a photographer who has a unique idea that is not commonly found, and you get a chance to ride side saddle with them to learn the ropes, and pitfalls of working with electrical tape as a primary clothing choice.

It is worth trying out. Check out the gallery below to see what you think.

Latex Electrical Tape Model

 

 

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Thoughts on a Modeling Shoot and some lessons learned

 

Thoughts on a Modeling Shoot and some lessons learned

Thoughts on a Modeling Shoot and some lessons learned

Taking pictures of models is hard for me, so I am thankful that some of my contacts sometimes throw mass modeling shoots and I am invited along. Along the way, I get to learn a lot about lighting, and how to take better pictures of people. The Femme LTD modeling shoot in Burien was my third modeling shoot since the early 1980’s, making for an interesting day to go along with that and some important lessons along the way.

Probably the most problematic and this is something I could have controlled was one model who wanted to have permission to post the pictures. I really didn’t think anything of it, and used that model for 2.5 hours of a 7 hour shoot, with hundreds of pictures. It was much to my surprise when she said she didn’t want any of them posted, and was finally able to negotiate them down to some of them being posted as long as she was not in her underwear. Never ever change your model release on the fly; you could end up like me with a few hundred pictures that took a significant amount of time that you suddenly can’t use anywhere. So if any model ever wants to change the model release, just say no, you worked hard on that release and there is nothing worse than having awesome pictures that the model has said you can’t use. It is not worth the lawsuit later on down the road, and this delays my model mayhem debut until next week.

The good part is that I have another model shoot this weekend so I can try to fill those lost pictures in. There is also a huge difference between taking pictures of Caucasians and African Americans, I got to work with my first two African American Models, and both were awesome. However, you have to change lighting and you have to change how you take their pictures. I also learned that a white background can be a detriment in a small crowded space, so the need for a neutral or black background is apparent as I was getting wicked shadows across the background that are hard to filter out without filtering out the Caucasian models.

Yellow light sucks, even when you white balance for it, yellow regular incandescent light bulbs suck and makes shooting in a house difficult. I should have turned off the yellow lights, but didn’t so that is on me. Color corrections across the entire photo shoot along with the white background made for some interesting pictures. You end up bleaching out the whole thing and either going for a soft black and white effect or end up with washed out models with a wicked red shift in the color correction that you really can’t get rid of in lightroom. I ended up either doing my best for color correction on the cool side, or using vignettes and/or black and white treatments to get some of these pictures to come out awesome. But you end up with bleached colors, which does not make for model mayhem quality pictures.

I had a blast though but shooting pictures in someone else’s house with a lot of incandescent light bulbs and a white background with Caucasian models means I have a lot of pictures that require a lot of work. Work I will make time for, but will be a significant amount of work to make them come out usable, not awesome, but something I can use on my own right. You can see one of the heavily modified pictures above.

Good lessons learned, and with a model shoot tomorrow, and then an ongoing project to recreate some of the Ziegfeld Follies pictures later in December will keep me busy. Then a hot car and hot model photo shoot in January, it looks like it is going to be an interesting way of closing out the year. I have a black backdrop, a different way of lighting the set, and if I see regular in house lighting, the first thing I am doing is turning it off. And yes, there will be no more last minute changes to the model release ever and going forward. The bad part is that I also cannot afford to use that model again, because I want to use the pictures I take.

You can see the pictures over here on Smugmug if you want to brave it, they are mostly rushes as I have not had time to clean them all up.

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