Mary Fisk-Taylor 4th Quarter Janet Boschker Relationships that Last Victoria Kelly Itâ€™s Hip to be Square Kevin Newsome Fixers and Inhalers
Each month, Southern Exposure magazine will feature images from the annual affiliated judging. All images in the “Gallery” scored 80 or higher and have earned a credit toward the SEPPA degree (SPF). Loan collection images earn one additional credit.
Steve Bracci Bay City Nights
Mary Lou Johnson Crayola Eight Pack
Gregg Martin American Made
Adrian Henson Night Guard
Chairman of the Board
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Doug Peninger firstname.lastname@example.org
District of Columbia
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Salon Exhibition Chair
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***Don Engler Peggy Parkinson
***Bob Blanken Joe Tessmer ***Donna Campiz Kaye Newsome
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Southern Exposure Southern Exposure magazine is an online publication of SEPPA and is published monthly.
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***Karen Goforth Janet Boschker
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Year Three Begins What am I talking about? I am proud to announce that the October 2011 issue marks the beginning of our third year of the digital format of Southern Exposure magazine. I’m not kidding. We have shared some twenty-four issues up until now and we are not about to slow down. Something to celebrate is that our magazine has won first place in its category both years in the PPA Affilate Editors’ competition. This was accomplished by the hard work of our talented team of writers, contributors and advertisers who help make this magazine happen. It’s a team effort and I am proud to call every person involved a great friend and colleague. So what’s next? We promise to deliver educational articles each month which will inspire you to be a better photographer, artist and business owner. Next month, a new writer joins the team. With great joy we are proud to announce that Marilyn Sholin begins her tenure as a regular contributor next month. She will be presenting Painter instruction that will go into great detail. Her articles will be spread over multiple months so that you may have ample time to learn the techniques and gain the knowledge needed before moving to the next step. There are other new writers in the works, Be excited! Be happy! Get out your pencils and tablets and take good notes!
Doug Peninger SEPPA President Editor
The SEPPA Board of Governors, at the 2010 meeting in Franklin, TN, approved the all new SEPPA Degree Program. The Southeastern Photographic Fellowship is now a reality! You can earn your new SPF Degree in two categories. The orange ribbon is earned with a concentration in print credits, the purple ribbon with a concentration in service to the organzation. The requirements for both options are completed with education and/or service credits. You may also achieve both Degrees, signafied by a purple and orange ribbon. SEPPA will post the Credit Chart and submission forms at a later date. Be sure to check back. All events, beginning April 1, 2010 will be eligible to submit for credit.
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE OCTOBER 2011
8 14 18 22 24
Janet Boschker Relationships that Last Victoria Kelly
It’s Hip to be Square
4th Quarter Pitfalls
Incidence & Reflectivity
Kevin Newsome Fixers and Inhalers
Shop 17 21 24 25
Michel Company White House Academy Productions Millers
“Clean Cut” by Julie Lowry
6 7 12 20 25 27
Georgia Seminar Georgia Convention PPNC (North Carolina)
IMAGING USA PPMA
It started more than twenty years ago, when Mary Capps’ daughters got married. I was there and our friendship began. Mary is one of my favorite clients and we bonded over those two weddings back in the late eighties – or was it the early nineties? It doesn’t matter – I worked for Phil Aull Studio back then, when I was shooting between 40 and 50 weddings every year myself – the studio averaged 250+ weddings annually… we were busy! But back to Mary Capps…. 88
I started my own studio in 1994, and the following year I got a call from Mary. Kim and Lisa had produced a total of five grandchildren and she wanted me to do a portrait of them for her. I was thrilled! I was working out of my living room at the time, but she really wanted to have them photographed in her front yard so that is what we did. She bought a 30x40 canvas portrait and I felt like I had arrived as a portrait photographer! I was so excited I made a sample and it has hung in my studio since then – I love it probably as much as Mary did – my first really big wall portrait! It continues to be a great conversation piece at the studio… Its timeless in its design – could have been taken last week, but in fact it was done more than 15 years ago. I know we are supposed to change our studio samples on a regular basis, but every time I think about taking it down I feel sad, so I don’t! Over the years it has quietly reinforced the concept that a well done portrait will never lose its appeal. It reminds me to stay the course and not stray too far from what brought me into this business originally – the feeling that I could help my clients hold on to the important times in their families lives.
Mary thought her family was complete at the time the portrait was made, but Kim had other plans – Will arrived on the scene and suddenly the portrait was obsolete! I just hate it when that happens….. We had to do another portrait with Will included. We decided to wait until he was about three, but Mary wanted update portraits in her home before then, so we did a grandparents session with all six children and from there a tradition was born – she sent her daughters every other year to have current portraits made – the result was an amazing family history of her grandchildren that I have been priveleged to share. It has been so much fun to watch these kids grow up and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you. The most recent session was just last month which was the inspiration for this article. It really brought home how wonderful this profession is for those of us who are in it for the long haul. I know we have heard it before, but what we do is priceless!
Mary’s grandchildren arrive in a state of mass confusion – the parking lot is overflowing since the majority of the clan have their own cars and busy schedules to boot. The moms are armed with clothing; the kids are joking around. Mary walks in beaming her usual air of composure. Young Mary is late, Lisa is on the phone trying to find out if she is lost – the boys change out of their athletic clothes into the required white and khaki the moms have settled on for the portrait session. Mary just shakes her head and smiles as the commotion rises and I am struck by how very large these children are – they take up so much space! My daily sessions are mostly tiny babies and their moms, so this is an incredible contrast. I look over at the original 30 x40 portrait hanging on the wall and marvel at how quickly time passes, families grow and change and I‘m happy that I am in this wonderful profession of portrait photography!
You might recall that one of my philosophies in running my studio is being efficient in my workflow. While you might think I’m talking about the digital side, this month I’m going to talk a few minutes about the business side of the workflow equation.
I’ve accepted credit cards in the studio for years... but I had noticed that I seemed to be spending more and more time reviewing the statements, keeping up with those darn tiered fees and becoming totally aghast with the cost of it all. (And let’s not forget the days that the machine was down, it couldn’t find the mother ship or some other “something” that could/would go wrong.) While I was at Imaging in January I noticed a couple of tradeshow vendors using a funky little card reader attached to an iPad to process their credit cards. And since you know that my alter-ego is “geek diva extraordinaire” I’m sure you can imagine just how much that piqued my interest.
I did some research...talked with the vendors...saw it in action...and then watched it for a few months to see if the little postage stamp-size thing was going to catch on. And, boy, did it ever! Square came out of beta testing in the fall of 2010 and has shipped about 500,000 of the card readers that will attach to the iPhone, iPad or Android-powered smartphone. The card reader and the app that’s downloaded to your device are both free. Yes...FREE. The only cost for the service is a 2.75% fee for every swiped transaction. If you’re entering the card number manually, the fee is 3.5% plus 15 cents.
Most credit cards are accepted---even American Express! Your client signs a digital receipt on the screen and then a copy of the receipt can be sent to their email address or texted to their phone. I linked my bank account to my Square account and, at the end of the day, I get a little email from Square telling me the total amount of the deposit that will be coming my way. Square’s CEO is Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter. You should also note that the company raised $100 million in venture capital funding in June. Square has plans to expand outside the US next year and its phenomenal growth makes it a player to watch in the emerging market of mobile credit card processing. Now, before you start sputtering over those transaction percentages...I did an informal comparison between what I paid in fees in 2010 and what I would have paid if I had been using Square. I’ll offer up that I would have saved SEVERAL THOUSANDS of dollars if I had been using Square.
Admittedly, Square and its technology won’t be for everyone. The big advantage is I can process a credit card pretty much anywhere I am with a phone signal and that’s a big plus for me. And I’m no longing cringing when someone hands me a rewards card and tells me they’re saving points for a Disney trip. Think about giving Square a try. As I mentioned earlier, it’s totally free and there are no long term contracts to sign. But I’m thinking, though, that you just might become as enamored with it as I am...all the way to the bank! Visit http://www.squareup.com to learn more about the service. You’ll thank me.
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Summer sure is over and we are now in the glorious months of autumn. Personally, this is my favorite season. I love the colors and the weather and the opportunity to wear boots and sweaters. And, oh yes the loveliness of the 4th quarter. Those of us who work in and/or own small businesses LOVE the “er” months of September, October, November and December. Generally these months mean family portraits, school pictures, fall weddings, holiday cards and the almighty sentence in the sales room of, “wouldn’t this make great holiday gifts for friends and family?” Yes, typically these months build our self-esteem, library of images and most importantly our bank accounts. For those of us in the southeast we get to embrace and enjoy gorgeous weather and the ringing of our studio telephones. We find that our calendar fills up almost to capacity. We are super busy and spend the next 90 to 120 days with December 24th highlighted in bold red on our calendars. Praying to ourselves, to hang in there, please let me deliver everything before the bewitching hour and watch our bank accounts build. So, what is the problem with this? Nothing really, all of this is great and welcomed. However, I have found the hard way that these months can and will bring a false sense of security. And, by that I mean extra money in the bank. Yes, all of a sudden we are out of the red, into the green and coincidentally it is holiday time and those are the fabulous colors of gift giving. I have found myself totally overspending and taking larger draws or paychecks in these months. Treating myself and friends and family to retail love. Why not I ask myself; I have worked so hard and, after all, the money is finally there.
Flash forward to January of the next year. Guess what? All of a sudden your lab bill is triple, your album bills are piling up, retouching artists need to be paid and the framer really would like to run your credit card. Gulp! What happened? And, then you see that new purse or the broken toys in the playroom or perhaps that new camera you just had to have gathering dust in the cold corner of first quarter. This is typically the time of year for many of us that we are more likely to hear paint dry than the phone ring. Obviously this is not my first rodeo and I have fallen into all of the traps and pitfalls. I made the mistakes, shamefully, more than once! So now we keep a reserve account that will guarantee first quarter success. Whenever we receive a wedding retainer, that goes directly into a secondary account that is reserved strictly for fulfilling and paying for that wedding order. We also will keep up to 30% of our revenue in this account during the entire year but especially in the last quarter. This insures that I have money put aside for my vendors, sales tax and overall expenses.
By keeping this secondary account of reserve funds I have the peace of mind and sound business sense to know that I can meet my expenses in the first quarter and pay my bills. Seems like a simple idea, right? Perhaps I am just not as efficient with money managing and many who know me understand I may have a spending problem. But, this keeps my funds separated and there is no question about â€œextraâ€? money. The good news is, quite often, we will find ourselves with a gain as we close out the year. At this point we can decide to invest it in the company with a capital expense or take a bonus, etc. So, enjoy this beautiful time of year. Enjoy your busy studios. Enjoy your larger sales and bigger bank accounts. But, enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you have avoided any and all of the 4th Quarter pitfalls.
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One of the most powerful forms of expression a photographer has at his or her disposal is expressed with light and one of the most important factors of lighting is the angle in which you place your lights to achieve the desired effect.
One of the lighting rules I most remember from photography school, yes you can actually learn photography in a real school just like any other profession, was the law of the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. Elementary physics states that the angle at which light strikes a smooth reflection surface returns at the exact opposite angle. This can be a great tool when you only have a few lights to work with but want the look of more in the final shot. This month’s image was created for a fitness expert in her training studio. I was shooting the “before” shots for her new clients as they committed to a 10 week intense workout. These clients are part of our partnership marketing plan for her and her business partner in which they will each receive an 11x14 canvas portrait and free session fee from our studio as a gift from Oxygen & Iron at the end of their workout commitment. Naturally we wanted even the “before” picture experience to be the most amazing, fast and professional photo shoot of their lives. So here is what I did. Since I had to shoot this at 8:30 am on a Saturday morning I wanted to get the most out of the least amount of gear to haul and set up. This is where the angle of incidence rule would allow me to get a 4 or 5 light look with just 3 strobes.
Now for the real lesson: I used one strobe with a standard zoom reflector “focused”. Only the Profoto Compact series allows for this feature. Placed behind and aimed to the left side of each person, I bounced the light into one of the mirrors on the wall so that the angle of the returning light would create a specular highlight on the shadow side of the body, mimicking the highlight on the other side. Photo 3 & 4
For the background I choose their logo on the training room wall. I used the entire length of the room to compress the logo, placing it slightly our of focus and scaling it to be prominent in size and scale. I lit the wall with a 9”x24” Larson Soff Strip, removing the inner and outer baffles to make the light harsh and very contrasty. By placing a side of the light modifier closer to the wall than the other side, I was able to place a highlight at the top of the ”O” in their logo. Photo 1 I selected a Larson 3’x4’ soff box for the main light to create a soft but directional main source of illumination and to most flatter their “before” bodies. I positioned this light so the bottom half of each person would be slightly darker than their top since most of us carry our weight around our mid sections. Photo 2
I have included set up photos showing the exact location of each light. The location was marked on the floor so each person would know where to stand and to insure the lighting would be consistent for each subject. Today anyone can create a decent photograph in flat natural outdoor or window light but a true professional knows how to use the rule of lighting and posing to make the best of any situation. Have fun and try something new, or in this case, something as old as photography itself.
Kevin Newsome vv
FIXERS & INHALERS Sometimes it’s nice to see where it all began. In celebration of the commencement of our third year, we are proud to re-visit Kevin’s very first video. SEPPA is lucky to have our very own Kevin Newsome. Kevin is featured each month as he gives us his latest rant. Some things may hit home, some may be surprisingly poingent. When it’s all said and done, it’s just Kevin’s opinion and he thought he should share it. We, at Southern Exposure, hope you will enjoy this month’s installment of “A Few Moments With...”. This month, Fixers and Inhalers. (Click on the title, Fixers and Inhalers, and you will be linked to the video.)
Each month, Southern Exposure magazine will feature images from the annual affiliated judging. All images in the â€œGalleryâ€? scored 80 or higher and have earned a credit toward the SEPPA degree (SPF). Loan collection images earn one additional credit.
Barbara Yonts Lovers
Mary Lou Johnson Mystic Morning
Adrian Henson Mellow Morning Mist Jessica Vogel Sun Burst