Evernote for Photographers: Part 1

I’ll admit this right off the bat: I am an Evernote addict.

I use Evernote to keep track of all aspects of my personal and professional life, but the real life changing aspect of Evernote is how I’ve learned to use it to keep track of my photography business. As any photographer knows, running a photography business is more than just making beautiful images. For every photo shoot that I get hired for, there are hours, days, and weeks of administrative work that goes on behind the scenes, whether it is my day to day accounting and marketing tasks, or the coordination of large scale production shoots.

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Spring Potting Shed Photo Shoot – Feast Magazine

Each month I am luckily enough to shoot a column for Feast Magazine called What We’re Buying. The column focuses on a variety of products from a variety of different manufacturers that tie-in together as a theme. In the April issue, the focus was on spring and gardening, so the art director and I set about creating a quaint country potting shed … in my downtown urban studio.

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St. Louis Food Media Forum

FMFSpeaker

I’m pleased to announce that I am going to be a presenter at the second annual St. Louis Food Media Forum August 9 -11, 2013 at The Culinary Institute of St. Louis. The Food Media Forum is a super fun event that covers all aspects of food media including food writing, recipe adaptation, food blog design, social media techniques, marketing and a whole lot more. There are tons of great presenters for the forum and the list is a veritable who’s who of the St. Louis Food Community. In addition, there will be a keynote presentation by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot of Ideas in Food!

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Thinking Outside the Porthole

Let’s be honest, sometimes corporate head shots can be pretty dry. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in many cases a corporate portrait is a way to show professionalism and success. This usually means a portrait of the subject in a suit looking, well, professional and successful. The trick with corporate head shots is keep an open mind and look for opportunities to make a dramatic portrait when your client gives you a little more flexibility.

This is exactly what happened while working for Clayco, a construction management and design company based here in St. Louis. Unlike the standard cubicles and offices you find in most corporate headquarters, the Clayco building is a showcase of their architecture and design capabilities, and as such has a lot of really cool glass walls, industrial materials, open spaces and in general is a really fun place to shoot.

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Glass Wall Corporate Portrait

The first thing that I do when I’m setting up a portrait is to scout out the area where I’m going to shoot to find something cool and unique. When shooting corporate portraits this can be a bit tough. Beige cubicles are the norm in office construction and let me just tell you that they are no fun to shoot in. As a way to get around this I generally take a walk around the office and try to find something that will give my photo a little more interest – with a little luck I can usually find a lobby or a hallway that will do the trick.

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Beverage Photography Tips: Invest in Cubes

For anyone who has worked with beverage photography, they will all tell you that ice cubes are a real pain to shoot. First of all, unless you have a professional grade Kold-Draft ice maker (which will set you back quite a few bucks) you’re most likely stuck with those ugly half moon “cubes” from your fridge – clearly these will not work for beverage photography. Ugly ugly ugly. A cheaper alternative to a professional ice machine is to make pretty cubes that are actually cubes by using square ice cube trays – from which I’ve gotten decent results. However, it is fairly difficult to get beautiful, clear cubes even if you have a method of crafting the correct shape for your particular shot.

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You Haven’t Got It Until You’ve Got It

The great thing about digital photography is that we are no longer bound 12, 24, or 36 frames at a time. And we don’t need to waste time during setup to snap a few polaroids. And yes, as a commercial photographer, it is in my best interest to be economical with my shots if for no other reason than the amount of time needed to edit 1000 shots is obviously much great than 100 shots. That said, however, I’m not afraid to keep shooting until I’m sure I’m got the shoot, and more importantly, until the client is sure as well.

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Listen to Your Clients: They Have Good Ideas Too

Being creative and finding the perfect shot is the photographer’s job. Period. When you accept a job, you also accept the responsibility for taking ordinary situations and turning them into something amazing. This is why the client has hired you and this is why you charge the rates that you do – because not everyone can do this. Therefore, you, as photographer are the master of the universe and all creative decisions that you haven’t thought up yourself are crap.

Right?

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Feast Magazine - October 2012

Tips for Photographing Beer

People often ask me why I’m a Redskins fan, and although I often ask myself that same question, the answer is really quite simple. When I met Dr. Fiance nearly eight years ago, she told me that she was a big football fan. I never really minded the sport, but I never really paid it much attention either. She immediately went to work on her campaign to get me to like football. I was a little meh about the whole thing, but then she divulged a key piece of information that for some reason I hadn’t put together before: watching football means that you get to sit in a bar on a Sunday afternoon and drink beer and eat hotwings to your heart’s content … all in the pursuit of rooting for your favorite football team. Beer! Hotwings! Huzzah!

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