Timothy Armes' blog
Photography as I experience it
Archive for the ‘Business Practises’ Category
Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
In what has proved to be a very popular post I explained how I keep organised by centralising my daily information such as emails, calendars and tasks. That post was written in 2009 and it’s still largely applicable to how I work today; nevertheless I get enough questions about it to justify an update.
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
There are probably as many ways to organise your image database as there are photographers. How your images are organised will depend on your needs, the number of people accessing the database, the type of clients you have, etc.
Here are some considerations to take into account when cataloguing with Lightroom.
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Photographer’s “promos” are often the first introduction to your work that a prospective new client will see, and as such they deserve your full love and attention.
There are some great resources on the web to help get a feel for how other photographers are thinking about their promos – some of the best include as Heather Morton’s blog and No Plastic Sleeves. If you look though these sites you’ll find all matter of interesting portfolios, many of which are the results of some very creative thinking.
I thought I’d contribute my bit by discussing the creation of my new promo card. My objective isn’t to help you emulate my design – your promo needs be be a reflection of you, not me – but rather to talk you through some of the thoughts and considerations that I had during the design stage. I hope that this may help you to get on the right track for your own creative process.
Monday, August 2nd, 2010
As a commercial photographer I sometimes find myself in a bit of a quandry. Here’s the problem:
- I aim to deliver images that separate myself from the crowd. Post-processing and retouching thus form a critical string to my bow, allowing me far more self-expression than I can achieve otherwise. I’ve written about this previously.
- I put my images into my portfolio, and these attract the attention of potential clients. When I’m hired, they’re hiring me in part for my ability to deliver the certain style of imagery that I use to promote myself. A good portion of that style is due to this post-processing work.
- The client then asks me to deliver images that have not been retouched – they often prefer to retouch in-house in order to have more creative flexibilty and to keep costs down.
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
The Internet’s ability to make the world smaller is astounding. With a minimum of pain I can arrange on-line meetings with clients and then share my screen to discuss work in progress. Amazing.
And yet every time I need to do this I end up tearing my hair out. Why? Timezones.
I’m based in France and when dealing with clients abroad I need to find a time that suits both parties. That should be easy, but typically it’s a frustrating and time-wasting experience. Just yesterday I needed to organise a meeting with an American client who informed me that he was available from 9am to 12am CDT. Converting that to Paris time should be simple. Right?
Wrong. On-line world-time converters typically just list a bunch of cities – I haven’t a clue which of the American cities in the list happen to to fall within the timezone that I wish to convert from. If I want to specify a timezone such as “CT”, or an offset such as GMT+2, or even a whole country (if it isn’t split into different time zones), I can’t.
I got so fed up with the situation that I finally took some time out to search the web for a better solution, and I eventually discovered the best online timezone converter I’ve ever seen. Simple, elegant, ad-free. The author’s accompanying blog article is an excellent read and epitomises my experiences with alternative solutions.
I realized immediately that this would make a great Mac OS Widget, so with the authors blessing I spent a couple of hours making one. Feel free to download it and simplify your lives too.
Friday, July 9th, 2010
Chase Jarvis recently produced a great video detailing his team’s approach to “Workflow and Backup for Photo + Video”.
Chase produces very high end – and high budget – photography, and this shows with the gear that the team are using. For example, the two field drives are G-Tech 256GB SSDs, and at $1200 each they’re worth significantly more that the MacBook Pro itself!
Chase knows this though, and he makes a very important statement at the end of the video when he says “everything I say here is scalable, and you need to design your backup solutions for your needs”. Storage and Backup are vital, but the workflow can be scaled up or down based on requirements and budget. There’s no single “right” solution for that’ll work for everyone, but there’ll certainly be a solution that’s right for you.
I thought it might be interesting to describe – with far less grace and without the cool little graphic doodles – the workflow that I use. I hope it’ll prove interesting for other photographers who have comparable budgets to myself. I’ll compare my workflow to Chase’s so that you can see how the key ideas are the same, even if the gear isn’t.
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Fact 1: One of the great things about photography is that there are so many types of photography to explore.
Fact 2: One of the frustrating things about photography is that that there are so many types of photography to explore. It can be quite overwhelming for those coming into our world.
For those contemplating professional photography as a career then the good news is that somewhere in this gargantuan gulf of photographic endeavours there’ll certainly be something that’s right for you. Whether you’re introvert or extrovert, a recluse or a team player, an image taker or an image maker, an artist or a technician, there’ll be a branch of photography which will suit your personality.
For example, as a professional fine-art wildlife photographer you’ll be spending hours waiting patiently for that perfect moment and then selling your images as pieces of art, whereas a traditional wedding photographer may need to deal with difficult mother-in-laws and control crowds of slightly merry people while managing the technicalities of his or her flash.
The vital thing is that you choose a form of photography that’s right for you.
I’m commercial/advertising photographer specialising in active lifestyle images, very often sports or outdoor oriented imagery, and I love my work. Commercial photography imposes its own requirements on the type of personality that’s best suited to this career, so I thought I’d present my own reasons for choosing this path – it may well help some of you to go in either the same direction, or else strike it off your list and look at the many other options available to you.
Saturday, September 12th, 2009
Food photography presents many small problems that keep the grey matter on its toes. Experimenting with new techniques and keeping them fresh help keep the mind open and aware during all photos shoots.
Should a professional photographer limit his or her photography to just one or two specialist areas, or is it better to be a generalist?
Monday, June 29th, 2009
As a photographer I need to be very organised. I have to manage my shoots, maintain contact with my clients and other individuals, keep up to date with my paperwork, etc. However, generally speaking, and as my wife will attest, I’m not the most organised person. It’s not through a lack of desire to be more organised, it’s just that I’ve always lacked that tools that work for me personally.
All this has now changed. For the past few months I’ve been exceptionally well organised thanks to many services and technologies that have come to fruition, and these services are improving all the time. I hope that others my benefit from my tenacity in making this all work for me…