Tag: photographs

Crowd-sourcing your editing

Every photographer knows how hard it can be to edit a large set of images down to a select few. Every photographer also knows how that process is key to strengthening any photo-project. The way that I handle this same challenge is that I now often crowd-sourcing my editing. Read More

9/11 changed the world (of photography)

The tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 has come and gone. I listened to, watched and read many of reports on the commemorations. I was equally interested to read the many commentaries exploring the long-term impact of those horrible events on our nation and on the world. Throughout that process, I never read a commentary that explored the way that 9/11 has impacted the world of photography. With that in mind, this week I will explore my reaction to the events of 9/11 as a blogger/photographer. Read More

Selling prints, for love or money

I am just winding up a workshop in Italy, which was great fun (and equally great food.) A question that came up in this workshop, as it does in many, (and came in this week from a former student via e-mail) got me to thinking about selling photographs as fine art. The former student who raised the question is part of one of the ongoing critique groups that I lead, where I meet (on-line) with a few photographers every couple months to do a group critique of their ongoing projects. The question spurred an great dialogue within that group, which in turn spurred this blog entry. As I was laying out my thinking for the blog piece, I was thinking of titling it simply, the good, the bad and the ugly. Read More

Staring at life, staring at death (part two)

In the first part of this two-part blog entry, I shared my daughter’s perspective on our shared experience photographing kids with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses through an organization called, “Flashes of Hope.” Although I was in the exact same place as she was, working on the same project, I took away a different set of experiences from that very emotionally compelling day. Out experiences are divergent of course because of many reasons including the fact that she is a child and I am a parent. Our perspectives also diverged because of how we experienced the same people in very different ways. In the end, we came to the same belief, that family photos are an especially important part of the world of photography. The route we took to get there was a bit different. Read More

Staring at life, staring at death (part one)

As an art photographer I like to think of my photographs as creative interpretations of an idea or experience I have had. As a photojournalist, I hope that my images work as narratives of an event or issue that I think others should know about. I have recently been considering some other particularly compelling ways to think about the photographs that we photographers make. Read More

How do you critique photographs?

How do you become a better photographer? That’s the big question isn’t it? In my experience, the best way is to take a lot of pictures and then get serious feedback on those same photos. (The second best way is to look at the work of other photographers.) With that in mind, then how exactly how do you critique photographs? As I say in my classes, “Saying wow, neat or cool is not critiquing photographs.” To seriously give (and get) feedback on photographs, we need a common, serious, analytical language for critiquing photographs. Read More

Onward and __ward in the world of stock photography (part two of two)

Because I make my living primarily as a stock photographer I spend a great deal of time and energy trying to understand the “stock market.” (I am not referring to the one in New York City’s financial district.) Today, the market for and suppliers of stock photography cross the globe. So the more I know about the business, the more successful I will be within that growing global market. In the first part of this two-part blog entry I wrote about which of my own images seem to work better and why. Now I am writing about other concerns that any stock photographer (practicing or aspiring) should think about. Read More

Onward and __ward in stock photography (part one of two)

I make my living primarily as a stock photographer meaning most of my income comes from licensing the publication of existing images. This is compared to being primarily an assignment photographer or a teacher of photography (though I do plenty of both.) The stock photography business is known to be increasingly competitive, with too much supply and not enough demand, the classic signs of a declining market. A few recent experiences served to remind me which parts of the market for stock photography are still doing reasonably well and why! Read More

How do we think about the “age” of a photograph?

I have been thinking/writing a lot recently about how photographs “age.” I do not mean physically, though that is an important question. I mean in terms of how we experience them as old or new. Recently, I blogged about my wife’s current project, photographing three or more generations of Indian women and turning those portraits into animated, multi-generational family portraits. Last week, I wrote about the importance of making actual, physical prints in order to preserve important memories. More recently, I was corresponding with a friend about his images, which were made decades ago. We were trying to figure out when an image changes from something contemporary (even if not recent) into a historical document. Since most photographs capture a moment in time, all this pondering makes some sense. On the other hand, it may just as likely be that I am extra sensitive to the passing of time, having just had a birthday. Read More