Page 1


EDITORIAL

membership is the key DONNA JIRSA, F-PPC, S-PPC Editor, Pro Photo West

Where have the months gone? Suddenly we’re creating holiday portraits and greeting cards for our clients! November is a hectic month for portrait photographers. Along with seniors, our calendar is filled with back-to-back appointments - something for which I am truly thankful!

It seems that more and more people are claiming to be photographers; the economy is tough, they have a “really nice camera” and have been told they take good pictures. I’m sure each of you have dealt with this trend. We encounter countless numbers of photographers doing their “thing” on the sidewalks, in the alleys and in the middle of the streets of our small town. Imagine our surprise when one of them practically fell backwards into our building when the back door was opened to take out the trash last week (who would have thought someone would be leaning on the door)! On occasion we have to wait our turn to photograph in the alley behind our studio. My store front is regularly used as a backdrop for other photographers; they don’t understand that my clients (those that are displayed in my window) have not given another photographer permission to sell their image to someone else – not to mention copyright infringement! Are you promoting yourself as a true professional photographer? Do your clients receive quality products and impeccable service? Is your behavior always ethical? In addition to perfecting your craft, these things contribute immensely to a successful business regardless of your photographic specialty. Professional Photographers of California can be your path to success. Membership offers you the tools to

hone your skills while networking with professional photographers throughout the state … and the mentoring opportunities are enormous. One-on-one connections with renowned pros are priceless. We can help you learn how to rise above the flood of “really nice camera” owners! If you’re not a Member, find out more about becoming a member of the PPC Family at: http://www.ppconline.com/membership/ why-join-benefits. Please don’t mistake my stories about “really nice camera” owners as a rant; I wanted to give you all a little chuckle! We all started our journey in this profession at the same place - the beginning. Education is the key to success. As Thanksgiving approaches, our thoughts turn toward the things for which we are grateful. As photographic artists, we are all blessed with the talent that allows us to capture the beauty all around us and turn it into priceless memories. Even when times get tough, we must remember to be thankful for our special talents!

I have much to be thankful for, but I give special thanks for my family, friends and a successful business. I am grateful for my PPC Family. I’ve been uplifted by my colleague/friends in a way that can’t be described by words. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to each of you for your kindness and compassion … and for allowing me to contribute in a small way to the success of our organization. May you and your family enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving. e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

4


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

giving thanks MARCY DUGAN, CPP, F-PPC, S-PPC President, Professional Photographers of California

“Your Path to Success ” Wow, what a great time we had in Sequoia. A few of us arrived a day or two early to enjoy the National Forest. Patches of snow dotted the landscape and the air had a chill. Everyone who attended was asked to submit a photo for our Facebook page. So keep an eye on our Facebook page to see images of Sequoia from our members. We will be posting a different image every week. I encourage you all to attend Imaging USA in Phoenix this coming January 12-14. We have PPC Mem-

bers who are receiving their Master/Craftsman Degrees. Many more are being recognized for their photographic images. Register by December 3 at a discounted price. As we approach the Thanksgiving season I wish everyone safe travels and the love of family and friends. In closing, I am very thankful for PPC and the friends and colleagues that I have in my life because of this great organization.

calendar of events Save These Dates!

February 9-10 April 23-24 April 24-27 June 15-20

Installation | Quarterly Board, Affiliate & Committee Meetings | Palm Springs 2014 PPC State Photographic Image Competition | Pasadena Convention Center Pro Photo Expo and Conference | Pasadena Convention Center West Coast School | University of San Diego Find details for all PPC Events at www.ppconline.com/events. Don’t miss a thing! Be sure to check often as new Events are added regularly.

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

| 6


FOLLOW YOUR PASSION PART TWO OF TWO By JERRY STEVENSON

2013 PPC Photographer of the Year

The Boxer

9 | Professional Photographers of California

www.ppconline.com


FINE ART PORTRAITURE

Portrait Of My Father An interview with PPC’s 2013 Photographer of the Year appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Pro Photo West. In this issue he shares the pathway that led him to a dramatic signature style that draws us into the soul of his subject. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Jerry attended

the University of Louisville, where he graduated with a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science in 1969. He came to California on a full scholarship to work on a Ph.D. in International Relations at Claremont Graduate University. Dissatisfied with the Ph.D. program, he switched majors and graduated in 1971 with an M.A. in English, specializing in Medie-Supplement

|

November 2013

| 10


Norman

11 | Professional Photographers of California

www.ppconline.com


FINE ART PORTRAITURE

Bobby

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

12


Orpheus

13 | Professional Photographers of California

www.ppconline.com


FINE ART PORTRAITURE eval British Literature.

After graduate school Jerry taught English at the secondary level. Though a dedicated English teacher, he felt something was missing spiritually. Jerry had always been an artist, even sneaking in art classes while in the International Relations program at the University of Louisville. Career counseling revealed to him what he already knew: he belonged in art. He started attending classes at Otis Art Institute and began to develop a portfolio. About the same time he also rented his first studio, a small cubicle above the DA Gallery in Pomona, California. Eventually Jerry became a full time art teacher and went back to Claremont Graduate University in Art, graduating with an M.F.A. in Sculpture and Drawing in 1986.

Jerry has operated a photography studio for the last 15 years. After retiring from the public school system as an art teacher and Fine Arts Department Chairman, he transitioned seamlessly into running his photography studio full time. Jerry heard about photography competitions from a fellow photographer and entered his first one in September of 2011.

Jerry Stevenson 2013 Photographer of the Year CORRECTION The image below was featured in the Fall 2013 Issue of Pro Photo West with a title of “Contemplation”. The correct title is “Daniel”. Apologies to Jerry.

Last year was Jerry’s first full year of competition, culminating in Jerry being named the Portrait Photographer of the Year for IEPPV. He entered the 2013 PPA Western District and PPC competitions hoping to be awarded one or two merits. He was not expecting to have his case be the number one case in California and was amazed to subsequently be named PPC’s Photographer of the Year, Studio Portrait Photographer of the Year, and Environmental Portrait Photographer of the year. What a way to start! Jerry maintains his photography studio in Upland, California, and is always looking for the next great face to photograph. Visit Jerry’s website at: jerry.stevenson3@verizon.net

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

14


going commercial By ALEX MUNOZ

CPP, BA, MA

Since I was little I enjoyed taking photographs. Back then, all we had was film. My allowance only covered black & white film, and I had to enlarge my own prints in a re-purposed guest bathroom/darkroom. Early on I enjoyed photographing people, and was told that my images looked “artsy”. As I grew older, my parents wanted me to learn a “real” profession, so my passion became a hobby. In all the following years I never stopped taking photographs, but felt a new irresistible urge and passion 19 | Professional Photographers of California

when digital cameras started to become good enough for professional work. I was drawn to the new way we could create images, because it enabled me to be more creative. As both a visual and very technical person I soon realized the power of digital imaging and editing. Although I am not a sketch artist, and I have no formal artistic education, I seemed to be able to combine imagination with technical skills effortlessly in order to create my images.

A few years went by during which I was unsure of www.ppconline.com


COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

20


whether I should leave a good paying corporate job, or play it safe. It was then, when a good friend of mine told me that he never sees me more excited and happy than when I am showing or taking photos; I realized that professional photography is what I should be doing. Making the switch was easy, or so 21 | Professional Photographers of California

I thought, because I already had a decent amount of equipment. I started with headshots and portraits, because that was what I knew best. Realizing that all my photos looked very similar, I added online dating images to www.ppconline.com


COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

It took me a while (and closets full of accessories that I have not even used once), to realize that my desired style was disconnected from what I was doing photographically. The reason why I felt I was missing something is because I was not shooting what I should be. I took headshots and portraits, but deep inside I was fascinated by crazy makeup, colors, lighting setups, storytelling, and most importantly, impact; all of which, more often than not, were never a part of my sessions with clients. I was inspired by work from Zack Arias, Lindsay Adler, Joel Grimes and others, but what I came to realize was that neither my gear, nor my basic skills were lacking: it was where I focused my attention that made me question myself. I wanted to be different, and commercial photography offered me the ability to be more creative, while still getting paid. Going commercial sounds so easy, right? After all, we are just taking pictures. This may be true with the occasional assignment for a local business, but when you are looking at national advertising campaigns, or commercial work for bigger corporations, the rules are different. For starters, I had to learn that mixing portrait and commercial work will disqualify me with larger agencies and clients. These customers look for specialists, so I had to create a different website dedicated to commercial work only. Additionally, if you think that competing against other portrait photographers is tough, and commercial work should be easier, think again.

my offerings. My clients loved my work, but I still felt that I was missing something. So I started buying photo gear; I believe they call this gear acquisition syndrome (or GAS). Secretly I was hoping that buying yet another modifier or another light would get me the results I wanted. Does that sound familiar?

There are hundreds of really good commercial photographers in the US alone, those who have the skills to produce work of exceptional quality, reliably every time, and who have more commercial references than most of us can imagine. But because commercial photographers are often specialized, they are not all competing for the same pie. Some are devoted Lifestyle photographers, while others are really good at Fashion photography. In other words, you pick your battles. While Lifestyle is probably the most universal of all styles, as it incorporates all and nothing, product photography for example is a completely different specialization, requiring a different set of e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

22


skills and tools.

It doesn’t stop there. In commercial photography, pricing is different as well. Not only are we often required to bid for projects, but assignments involve licensing for specific uses, location fees, property releases, advanced insurance, lots of equipment, rentals, catering, lodging, travel, and so on. The list is not endless, but long. There are tools that can help you get started, such as Blinkbid and Fotoquote for example, but the overall process of working with commercial clients is entirely different: Before signing a contract, on set, and post production.

Post production is also far more complex. While in portrait often a bit of liquify here, and a subtle skin retouch there is all an image needs; commercial work, especially in fashion and beauty, needs extensive retouching. Being good at retouching is not good enough. As a commercial photographer you can hire a professional retoucher, or do it yourself. In my experience the problem with outsourcing is that it takes away parts of the creative process from the artist (that would be you, the photographer). The retoucher’s style may not be yours, or he/she may not understand where you would want to take an image conceptually. All this won’t matter if your client uses their own retoucher though. Keep in mind that other retouchers may not alter your work for the better, so make sure that when you negotiate, that you will have a say in this, whenever possible. I went commercial, because it is what I always wanted to do (without knowing). I am attracted to the complex light setups, and I am attracted to working with other creatives, stylists, designers and professional models. I am attracted to images with impact, and I feel inspired by the possibilities given to me by the latest digital camera technology and photo editing software. I learned that advice and critique matters, but it matters more from those whose work and experience you admire the most.

Getting a comment from someone outside of your industry is far less valuable, from a professional perspective, than that given to you by an expert in their (and your) field. In other words, surround yourself 23 | Professional Photographers of California

www.ppconline.com


COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

24


with people who know a thing or two about what you want to do; you wouldn’t ask the cashier at the pharmacy for advice about your retirement invest25 | Professional Photographers of California

ments either, would you?

I really believe that everyone should follow their www.ppconline.com


COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Alex Munoz I’m not going to win any prizes for transatlantic sailing. I didn’t have time for the IronMan this year either, and my paragliding wing is busted. I’m not sure the light from 5,000 feet would work out too well anyway. I have dedicated myself to the study of photography for over 20 years. I love it. I love cameras and lenses, working with light, the technical requirements, and more importantly the people I get to photograph. Every shoot is a new opportunity, and every project requires me to apply what I know about my craft in a slightly different way. Photography is my passion, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. Commercial Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle photography takes up most of my time these days, but I still work with clients on portraits and headshots occasionally. I am a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), but also hold a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. In a rapidly changing environment, photographic education is important, and I believe that learning in general is a path, and not a destination. I am a member of the Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographers of California, ASMP, and NAPP. Visit my Commercial Photography Website at: www.alexmunoz.net or follow me on instagram @ALEXLA passion. In my case, my passion is commercial photography. What is yours?

Watch for more about Alex’s work in the Winter 2014 issue of Pro Photo West.

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

26


hdslr - video for photographers An Interview With VICTOR HA By RAE DE VITO West Coast School is getting into the video business!

The June 2014 schedule of classes features a newcomer: HDSLR- Video for Photographers with Victor Ha. Victor, a self-proclaimed walking Wikipedia of HDSLR, took a frame of time from his hectic, travelpacked life to chat with PPC’s Rae DeVito.

Rae: This is a ground breaking moment at West Coast School. You are the first to offer HDSLR – Video for Photographers. Why are you so excited to teach it?

Victor: I’m excited because West Coast School is a school dedicated to pro photographers and we’ve had so many things happen in the industry in the past five to six years. If you’re not doing video, you’re not doing enough. I’m giving them a skill set they need to have if they’re going to continue as pro photographers, and it will help them expand their business quite a lot. Rae: You started as a professional photographer, but made the transition into HDSLR filmmaking. What pivotal moment or event pushed that change in direction for you?

Victor: People started asking for video and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. Rae: What three words would best describe you as an instructor? Victor: Energetic. Knowledgeable. Fun.

Rae: That’s what I got from you and your headshot. Fun.

Victor: Shooting video has got to be fun, because it’s a lot of work. If you’re not having fun, you’re not going to enjoy it. That’s why I like to make the class fun. I take a lot of what I experienced transitioning to 31 | Professional Photographers of California

video and bring it to the table.

Rae: You mention on your website that both photographers and filmmakers are here to develop content. How do the two areas - stills vs. video - differ in your mind?

Victor: Photographers are attuned to capture single moments. The difference is, with cinematography, you are tasked with always telling the story with over a hundred images per minute. We are tasked with a much greater responsibility, as we must guide them through the story while making it visually interesting. Rae: How will learning HDSLR Video skills change a professional still photographer’s business? Do you see it as choosing one or the other, or offering both?

Victor: It’ll allow them to approach different jobs in different ways. You learn to pick the right product to provide the customer and it opens them up to do other things. If you’re doing an executive headshot, for example, you can do a corporate video. You have another creative outlet as well as a financial stream. I don’t want photographers to abandon what they do, but expand on what they do. www.ppconline.com


WEST COAST SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR Rae: What is the biggest challenge you face in the classroom? Victor: I’ve been focusing on video for three years. The biggest obstacle we hit is that they think it costs a lot of money. At the outset, it costs an open mind and a desire to learn something interesting. I know plenty of photographers who have started with the same equipment that they use for still photography. As a photographer, you may need a new lens. It’s the same thing for videographers. Rae: As a teacher, how do you work with students to overcome issues in moving from shooting stills to capturing video?

Victor: We watch a lot of video. We teach them how to watch video. People kind of forget video needs fourto-five angles, whereas you look at stills you get one shot and don’t break apart the action as a sequence. Putting together shot sequences is important.

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

| 32


Rae: How much of your class will be hands-on vs. lecture? Victor: It kind of needs to be 50/50. The hands-on time will also include working on editing software.

Rae: Walk us through the 5-day workshop as you see it - the broad strokes. Victor: The first day-and-a-half is a lot of instruction - understanding camera settings and talking about the equipment. Knowing the differences between stills and video and understanding them. Watching videos. The next three days will be understanding video concepts and recreating them, which is all hands-on.

Rae: How would you describe the type of student who would benefit most from your class?

Victor: Open minded, ready to learn, and excited to learn something that will expand what they do and what they offer their clients.

Rae: How can your students come best prepared for their week of video adventure with you?

Victor: Reading their camera manuals and learning how to set custom white balances. They want to make sure they have Adobe Master Collection or Premiere Pro. It must be downloaded the week before the class. They’re going to need know camera basics, lighting, and F-stops. If they don’t know how to shoot in manual, they shouldn’t take the class. 33 | Professional Photographers of California

www.ppconline.com


WEST COAST SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

34


Rae: What can a student expect to take away after spending WCS with you?

Victor: We’ll show you how to put together a corporate video - you are going to start with your own business. You will learn how to shoot it. I will spend time on video lighting and web tools and techniques you can use from your stills background to create better video lighting. At the end of the class, my goal is for each student to have a skeleton of a company profile for their business: Their partially completed corporate video. Every photographer will have a video. Rae: What is your muse when it comes to creating video? Victor: Watching other videos. Watching the great ones. We get inspiration from watching.

Rae: Which photographers or filmmakers do you find inspirational?

Victor: Michel Gondry, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher and Kathryn Bigelow.

Rae: Do you have a motto or quote that you live by as a videographer? Victor: You can’t edit it if you don’t shoot it.

Rae: How do you compete/react to the change in the photography and video business - with Uncle Bobs popping up with their Costco DSLRs offering to do events for free?

Victor: To combat that and work against that, you need to develop a strong portfolio and have an understanding of what people desire. Everyone is looking for a deal, but they don’t know what that means. Uncle Bob will get a handful of shots; a pro will get every shot. I’ve never experienced someone happy with photos from Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob won’t shoot video. That’s something your customers won’t be able to do, it’s too much work for them. 35 | Professional Photographers of California

Rae: Give us a typical week in the life of Victor Ha.

Victor: That’s crazy. I travel 220 days a year. So a typical week for me is flying into a city, spending time with industry pros and photographers, teach a workshop, and flying out and doing it all over again the next week. Rae: You work for the MAC Group.

Victor: For lack of a better phrase, I’m a market development manager. I’m a field product evangelist for the MAC Group. I work with pros in the industry and I give feedback to manufacturers. I help create products for end users. Rae: What part of your work makes you the happiest? Why?

Victor: That’s my boss, Jan Lederman. He allows me to address needs and find solutions for them. He’s given me a long leash and freedom to do my job with a great team. I get my weekends. I’m really fortunate because of it. Rae: You devote a lot of time to blogging.

Victor: I try to do a lot of blogging, but it’s recently been hard between family life - I have a wife and two cats - and sanity. I usually try to do informative, industrial, and educational news. My blogs are on http://www.HDSLRVideoShooter.com Rae: What do you do in your spare time?

Victor: I play video games; I don’t get to play much. And I watch a ton of Anime. Rae: What’s something that people would be surprised to find out about you?

Victor: I didn’t go to school for photography. I went to school for sociology and theatre. Rae: And how does that background help you?

www.ppconline.com


WEST COAST SCHOOL INSTRUCTOR Victor: It’s been beneficial as a photographer. It made it easier to stand in front of crowds. And I started my photography career taking my theatre friends’ headshots. Rae: Lastly, what would you want prospective students to know?

Victor: I always tell my students that when you take my class, you’re taking from someone who was in your position three-and-a-half years ago. I was shooting stills. I may not be the next Stanley Kubrick or Steven Spielberg, but I’ve run across a lot of people that could be. You’ll find someone who has been eating, living, and breathing HDSLR for three and a half years, a walking Wikipedia of answers.

Victor Ha

Register for Victor’s West Coast School class at: www.westcoastschool.com

e-Supplement

|

November 2013

|

36


Pro Photo West e-Supplement November 2013  

Official publication of Professional Photographers of California to Educate, Inform and Inspire Members.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you