About this shot | Photography business

Trying to shoot months worth of work in one week

By on May 14, 2018

Last year was a very lean year in photography. So much so that I ended the year jumping on a TV show. A nice steady paycheck is great but the television industry is a life killer. I was scheduled 60 hours a week and sometimes ended up clocking in 65-70 hrs. Add some lovely Los Angeles commuting and you have just enough time to eat, shower and sleep before you have to go back to work; rise and repeat. Hence I didn’t shoot much personal work last year.

When my show wrapped in March we took a much needed vacation and then after I got back to Los Angeles and I tried to cram six months worth of personal work into one week of shooting.  Ever tried getting a drink of water from a fire hose? Despite my best efforts I left wet and thirsty.

I rented a pool and threw out my casting net. I ended up shooting 15 models over the course of week. It was great to be in the pool, meeting new talent and experimenting with new ideas but in the end, the work-flow stifled the flexibility I crave when shooting new ideas. I shot 15 different models, video, BTS… hundreds of gigs worth of data over the course of the week.  I also learned that as much as I wanted to shoot new talent there is such a steep learning curve for modeling underwater that I would have been better off shooting models I had worked with in the pool before.

A new model posted this little blurb on her instagram page:

Underwater modeling was incredibly difficult. Water was going up my nose almost the entire time. The camera was a blurry blob plus no communication with the photographer! I had no idea what I was doing! I had to learn how to keep my face looking natural and relaxed!

Did I come away with new and interesting work? Yes, did I meet new talent? Yes. But in the end, like my fire hose analogy, after I had all of the images edited I realize that I was left wanting and that the quick pace of the week was very confining. Lesson learned.

Ivanna Jackson
Kim Manning

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Photography business

Creative confusion

By on October 11, 2017

I just can’t get my head around what’s going on. It’s like I fell asleep for fifteen minutes and the entire marketing, advertising and photography world changed. While we scroll past hundreds of images without much thought given to the process or work needed to create it the value of photography seems to be on an ever diminishing trend. What good is a single still image in a world full of motion?

What is the value of a still photo in a world where we are bombarded by it? We have so much imagery  in our daily lives that sometimes we just want to turn it off. As I annoyingly scroll past “sponsored posts” I wonder who in their right mind thought that a commercial that I can fast forward with a flick of my thumb would have value? What agency or creative convinced Sun Chips that spending money on this branded content would be money well spent?  While the bots and the stats show that Sun Chips received value we all secretly know that the Youtube star eating a can of Pringles is what really has value.

While so many of us discounted the value and importance of YouTube stars and social media influencers we blinked and they have moved into the driver’s seat. They are controlling the narrative and it’s flipping the industry upside down. Good for them. To hear their stories and see how they were ignored and lambasted for years and now have brands and agencies begging for their help.

What do I do as a photographer? I know there are people that still find value in a single still image. We see it in advertising, we see it in the news and we even see in it on social media. Photography has value.

Sun Chips you should ask for your money back because if anyone watched that video on Instagram, it was by mistake.

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