Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years!

Some pictures from NYE, had some fun, met up with some great friends, and the images tell the rest of the story!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Adrienne Yancy Swimwear 2012 Lookbook Shoot

So my friends Lucy and Adrienne wanted to have some fun and shoot with her new swimsuits, and at the same time get some images for the upcoming lookbook and online sites. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of in and out of suits, but we managed to do it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Motorcycle trip down south...

Well down south in MN, along the river... Turned out my rear tire rubbed some wires too much, so that stopped me - then a month later the engine blew. I guess 1000 miles on a Guzzi is enough when the timing is advanced more than a bit. Live and learn!
The marina in Red Wing.
River view towards Red Wing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shooting against a white wall, literally!

Sometimes I get lazy, or I don't want to use seamless, or I think the outlet will add something to the image.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Had a friend into the studio and we messed around with a few lighting styles and gels, also my friends suits that I still had.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Motor Guzzi Convert

My old Police Convert from 1975! Looks better in pictures since I could retouch it! =D

Monday, August 29, 2011

Motorcycle Ride around Stillwater MN

Took the bike out for a short ride out east of the cities, and snapped a few fun shots.
And although over in WI, this tree was pretty fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

North Shore Trip! =D

Had the opportunity to go up north with friends and got some great pics!
Had to try and get Split Rock in my lens, which meant hiking a bit towards it on the shore. Worth it, and a bit of a different perspective on the famous lighthouse.
Had to stop by gooseberry falls and get a pic, right before it started to rain - or was raining a little.
Then, and although not "on" the north shore, had to make a quick stop by Jay Cooke state park. Didn't stop for long, but got off a few great shots that make up this image.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tekno Doll does Duluth!

For the 2nd or 3rd year in a row I worked with Tekno Doll and did their lookbook. This time we went up to Duluth and checked out a few beaches and had a bit of fun - or as much fun as we could have with a few models and a ton of suits. Was a lot of work, but totally worth it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

For the Dj who has everything!

Before a happy hour, had to get a pic of Jake! Had him try to stand still a while, and took a lot of pics...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

When hot shoe flashes just won't be enough.

So we've all been there, the choice between travel light or take with the hot shoe equipment and save some weight. There are a few choices here, also with high speed sync and gells the smaller equipment may be the right choice.

But consider this.

Dim lit room with pin spotlights from above. Rather than gell a light or setup an umbrella with a gell, how about take a monolight with a battery pack (or plug in the wall) that has a light which matches the room lights.

Simple, easy, what you see is what you get, and if I didn't have that it would have been a lot harder to do with a gell and small flash.

Oh, by the way, you only get 15 min to deicde what to do, how to pose the subject, light them, and try a few different places.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Talk about stress while taking a picture!

So shot a lady for a magazine, at the Science museum, about 30 min before it opened. She had with her child, and was about 10 min late. The exhibit she designed was about children, so we wanted something with the two of them, and tried, then settled on on a stand alone of her. I know we always talk about planning, and to be ready for anything, well, a client 15 min late with a strict 30 min shoot time is something that also needs to be planned for.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boats out of water.

Had to take a drive and get an image of boats out of the water, before it stopped being cold and they were in the water - and I had been looking at those boats for a few months driving to visit a friend. So no rush trying to get it on film, just had to be done before the end of the year.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Q & A time with Andy!

So got a question from someone... Posting it here is in no way to make fun of them, but to spread the answer around like a person would spread butter on bread. Or in my case, stir it into mac n cheese (the generic brand).

"Hey, this might be a random question but I am new to the cities and am trying to start doing studio photography. I was wondering what you started with when you began studio shooting. I What type of lights do you prefer or backdrop material?"

Lights and backdrop don't really matter all that much - just as long as they look professional and get the results you want. I know that's not as sexy of an answer as it could be, but it's really the truth. Sometimes I want the hard light off my point and shoot film camera, other times I want something off of a bare studio head, other times I want something bigger and flatter. It all depends, but it can all look good.

As far as starting out, and I'm very serious, just use a white wall in an apartment or room. There is a lot of new work happening at the coasts using this, and I guess it is or it's starting to come into fashion. So I'd start there, get an umbrella, some kind of studio light (if you're doing a lot of shots using on camera equipment isn't the best, unless you like burning out flashes and buying new ones), and just setup a space in your home/apartment.

If you don't like that as a background, and I'm not a great example of this, but get some fun fabrics or sparkly stuff and set that up 5-10 feet behind the subject (for headshots), works great.

But in short a person doesn't need anything big and fancy to take good pictures. In fact, I trade big and fancy to "stand in front of this wall" for half my shoots.

Anyway, I hope that helps someone out there! It's sushi time!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yes, for those that don't know, Duck Tape is a brand!

Coming from MN I know all about this stuff, in fact I think the only people who know more about it are from Canada - the home of the Red Green Show.

So for those of you out of state, or just thinking that it's "duct" - you're not correct.

See the links below.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Marketing and Business for new Photographers

- Find your voice, this is the first step. As artists our work/craft is what sets us apart from others. This is true at any level from the JC Penny studios, weddings, products, whatever - we all have our looks, it's what sets us apart from one another.

Although we may want to do everything, it really is best to focus on (at least publicly on a website or main book) a few things. If you want to do babies then focus on them and family - there is no need at all to show product pics. If you want to do weddings then create a site around them and don't show product work or much else. If you want to shoot products then no real need to show fashion/lifestyle unless a product is featured. I'm sure you get the idea.

I know sometimes we think that having more of a range means we will pick up more clients, but in the end all we do is confuse people and get confused ourselves. However, on the flip side having a blog is a great place to show other work, talk about other interests, and post random stuff that doesn't fit in with our core products.

- Find your brand. This is a business, and like any other business we all need to have our own brand, logo, style, and name. Yes, our work does speak for it's self, but we need to have some kind of identity that will stick in our customers minds. It should also be standard and consistent from business cards, fliers, websites, flickr, facebook, etc - everything done is a reflection of the business and the brand. Also remember that consumers only know what you tell them, they can't read minds.

- Find your market. Look up the 4 P's of marketing, and then apply that to your business. Who is your market, who do you want to be your market, how do those people find people like you, how can you target ads to this market, how can you price to this market, etc. From there it's easy.

Let's say I wanted to do headshots for Doctors, and Dentists, well, there are tons of places online I can go to for a mailing list of every dentist and dental clinic in the county/city. There are also professional sites for them, publications, etc... Or, if my market is people between the ages of 30-55, women, who make over $150k a year, and who spend over $1500 a year on makeup, who live in the area - you can find mailing lists for that!

Also know what that market wants’ to see as far as branding. Some will want to visit a studio and see a book (any size), some will be happy with a website, some will want a bigger book, some you may need a few good suits for when visiting them. It all depends, but you need to know who is viewing your work to decide how you want them to view it. Another example, b2b clients may not care to see a really solid SEO'd site, but rather just something with work on it like livebooks or another image based website, so no need to spend a lot of money on someone to create this great wordpress based awesome text heavy website when all you need is simple basic and standard.

Then look at places like ASMP, PPA, mncreative, workbook, livebooks, etc. Not only look at them but see if you can find out if people listed in those places are getting work or if it's a waste of money. Just because something seems like a great idea to us and looks like a great idea to us doesn't mean it's a great idea for us (the Duck Test doesn't apply to marketing). A lot of b2b clients don't really look on google, they don't go on mncreative, and they have internal lists of supported vendors. So the $500 spent on mncreative (for example) may be better spent on a direct mail campaign.

- Find your location. I know I get by cheap, but that's because I'm a bit lazy and don't need to do photos for money. But a studio needs to cater to it's market. This may be having a studio like mine in more of a industrial building, which is fine/great for commercial work or less public work, or, it may be having a store front off of a street. There are costs/benefits to each, and it depends what the studio is meant for. Example, I wouldn't do baby portraits out of my space, I'd go find a location in the burbs where babies are and set-up a shop in an affordable strip mall or affordable location.

- Find your metrics. Running a business or doing anything rarely is a "set it up and leave it alone" type of thing. So finding out if your marketing works, pricing works, and/or general idea works is key. This can be as simple as keeping track of who views a website vs how many calls you get, and how many calls/emails to how many turn into clients. Or how much you're charging vs how much time you're putting into it, vs how much you can charge in that market. But keeping track of numbers, or at least paying attention is key. If changes need to be made it doesn't mean that what was done failed, it just means that what was done didn't work, the results didn't warrant going in that direction, and a new course should be looked at. Even highly planned and detailed airplane flights need to go around storms or work around changing conditions - business is the same.

- Find some help. There are reasons we have, in this world, people who do graphic design, websites, marketing, sales, accounting, etc. The reason is that one person really can't be an expert at everything, and sometimes it's best to hire something out and do it really well then try to limp though it on your own. Sure it costs money, but in the end it's worth it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shows from last year...

Over the summer/fall I really don't shoot all that much black and white, in fact this year I haven't really done much since I'm exploring larger prints and finding new ways to show my work - and gearing up for the spring art crawl here in Minneapolis.

So what happens is I have a bunch of film that sat around needing to be processed, and I finally got around to doing that here the other day. Below are some highlights!

Some Random Hot Dish event at the Record Room (old VIP room) at First Ave. This is always a fun night, and those guys have some great house dj's coming though each first Sat of the month.

My good friend and awesome musician Meredith Firke - - really, check her out! A great local signer songwriter with a nice chill folkish sound (sorry, not a music review person), anyway she kicks butt and you should see her!

My friends in the George Maurer Group at the Dakota last Dec. Two things are amazing about them, first is how they can cram all those people on that small stage, and they do some pretty cool jazz standards in a fun way. Well, and I used to sit in with them back in high school when I played my sax more often.

Finally, got to see the New Standards close their set (before late night took over) at the Dakota with a very good friend. Although I haven't seen them lately, it brought back memories to hear "I'm a dude dad" and watch them close things down.