Monday, August 3, 2009

Still looking for a great location...

Well the space that I wrote about below isn't going to happen. Unfortunately, trying to get 30 artists together is like herding cats, and despite an incredibly low rental fee, many people still balked at the price. I don't understand the mentality of not investing just a little to improve your business, but that is artists...
So I'm still looking for a CHEAP industrial, loft, warehouse, abandoned mansion that is vacant, unkept, paint peeling, dusty floors, etc. You get the drift. My needs are few. Even electricity isn't necessary, though it wouldn't hurt. I'm not looking for a studio, but just a unique location where I can shoot portraits 2 or 3 times a month for little cost to me. I'm not planning on making any improvements, and I'll leave the space just like I found it. I'm fully insured and can present the owner with a certificate of insurance, so they won't have any liability issues. If anyone can help this photographer out, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cheap shooting space still available

There are still spaces available for lease in the Liberty Ave. photo/art studio I discussed in an earlier article on this blog. Only $50.00 a month with $100.00 security deposit. If you'd like to get more info, just send me an email or give me a call! We need a total of 30 people in order to take advantage of this great 2200 sq. ft. space. Currently about half the spots have been reserved.
Don't miss this great opportunity to have a place to photograph!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Pittsburgh A&E Book

Congratulations is due to Jim Richards for his latest installment of The Pittsburgh A&E Book. This book is available in print and also a PDF version online. It will be extremely helpful for anyone producing film, commercial, or print jobs. It lists numerous crew, talent, location, grip, and venue/location information and I keep a copy handy for my print production work.

Jim is having a kickoff party Saturday, June 6th at the Mogul Mind Studios at 77 31st Street under the bridge. Party starts at 7PM and anyone in the biz is invited. You can RSVP Jim and check out the PDF version of the book on his website linked above.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WANTED: A few photographers looking for studio space

I want to let all my photographer and artist friends know of a new studio space opportunity. My friend John LeDonne has found a 2200 square foot space in the Strip District that has photographer/artist written all over it. The added bonus is that the space is CHEAP. How cheap? Try $50.00 a month which includes utilities! The space is essentially raw space, but has been completely renovated, clean and a great location. For artists to take advantage of this space a 1 year lease needs to be signed and a 100.00 security deposit will also be required. As this is a shared studio, there will be only 30 people who will be able to participate.
This is not a studio to be used as a permanent place of business, but rather for using once in awhile when you need a space to shoot inside, paint, sculpt, etc. The space is air conditioned and heated, has off street parking, keypad security, 24/7 access, indoor loading dock and great light. Please contact John at: to get on the list that is filling quickly.

Photographers will love the high ceilings, industrial look, and easy load in and load out. It is ideal for portraits, fashion, still life, and copy art photography. I'm looking forward to using this space a few times a month, but we need more committed artists to get the space for this cheap price. You do not need to be a pro, but just a serious desire to create your art, be respectful of others sharing the space, clean up your mess and respect the facility. Get in touch with John today and enjoy a great opportunity in this recession!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The REAL Business of Photography-Redux

Today while doing research for a blog article, I pulled down a book of my shelf, shoved the dust bunnies to the side and quickly re-read, The Real Business of Photography by Richard Weisgrau,  former ASMP National Director.  The book was published in 2004 and reflects changes in photography business practices and gives great negotiating examples on how to sell yourself to your clients and get the price that you need to stay in business AND make a profit.
Despite the date published the information is still very fresh and applicable to photographers who want to learn better negotiating skills.

I enjoyed this book the first time I read it, fresh after seeing Dick speak about business practices.  I use many of his suggestions on a day to day basis to help me when negotiating and to keep the goal of staying in business and making a profit in front of me at all times.

One very important point to acknowledge...Many photographers in trade organizations often have an inflated view of their worth by thinking that belonging automatically makes them better photographers or more professional.  It doesn't.  Weisgrau correctly points out that in the end the value of a photograph is how much a client is willing to pay.  Nothing more or less.

Part of this value comes from a tiered level that all photographers work at.  It isn't anything that is black and white, but rather determined by your experience, client expectations, client purse strings, and your creative and business talent.  He goes into great depth using a pyramid as his business model and shows how most shooters start at level "D" and work their way up the ladder where the rewards are higher, but the jobs are fewer and the competition is tougher.

Dick's book, full of practical advice is available here: Allworth Press.  I highly recommend reading this book!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Canon revamps Professional Services for the better!

I'm reading a book currently called, "What Would Google Do?" by Jeff Jarvis. It is an amazing book that addresses the new social media and power of blogging on the internet. He uses a case study of Dell Computer getting beat up on blogs all over the world about their poor customer service.  After some time, Dell who previously didn't pay any heed to the customers complaints and dismissed blogging as something only a few disgruntled people did with too much time on their hands, finally wised up and listened to the bloggers. Dell turned their reputation around when they started asking and cooperating with their customers.  They understood that bad blood with consumers would never be compensated with traditional marketing/advertising channels.  And the lesson learned, is that it is very easy to get a bad reputation quickly in the new world of social media.

Customer service got better and Dell started involving customers with business decisions. That is what is great about the internet...It empowers consumers, and companies need to listen to what is being said on the street about them. Consumers, NOT manufacturers are now in the driver's seat.

I bring this up because Canon USA just announced that they are revamping their Canon Pro Services division (they are responsible for expediting repairs, and loaning equipment to working pros). Previously, the service was free and now they are going to be charging a yearly membership. The charge can be justified. However, they also limited the types of equipment that they considered to be "pro" worthy. Much of the equipment was cameras and lenses that only a few years ago, Canon marketed as pro quality. Pros everywhere (including yours truly) screamed loud on blogs, forums, and pro association groups. Canon has heard us and has now included equipment that should have been in the first place. Canon is to be respected for taking quick action, limiting damage to their reputation with pros and  listening to the customer and realizing the mistake that they made. You can see the list of equipment and learn about Canon Pro Services here.

The internet is changing the way business is getting done in mind boggling ways and we live in very exciting times to be a part of this new journey.