Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Andrew vs Canon Printer = Printer Defeated!

So the other day I finally got ink for my printer, got some great paper for business cards and post cards, and started up shop. Now my printer isn't anything fancy, just a decent $150 (at the time) Canon desktop inkjet. Only really got it to do paperwork for the business, envelops, and normal office type stuff.

So I was printing off some 5x7 images for some postcards. The paper is so thick that it didn't really want to feed right going one way, but the image would get shrunk and re-sized weird the long way. So after a few hours I finally figured this out as well as there wasn't much I could do to get around it. Still have no idea how I printed my envelopes out as I did - but that's besides the point.

I will have better luck when I get to the 8.5 x 11 sheets of the card stock since that should feed just fine, and the 5x7's came from the butt end of the press sheet - since they only sell the paper per press sheet rather than cut down, and although "cheap" it wasn't like going to office max or something.

The next part I didn't really enjoy but knew what coming is color. So what we have going on here are viewing conditions, paper stock, inks, printer, and the actual image. I knew this was coming because I do have a background in the print industry from college, and a person can take control of the situation and calibrate everything. But, my point is that for the use I needed the post cards for (and will need) are some color prints sent to clients now and then, and some black and whites made for fun and sold online cheap. Also, the viewing conditions of those images will vary widely, so spending all this time calibrating something expendable seemed silly to me, and my printer is on the low end so it wouldn't have even been worth it.

I guess the lessons of this rant are the following...
- If you can farm out printing it's worth it. Granted my business isn't setup on selling prints, so for me it's perfect to order online and pick up the mail.
- Buy a printer with a rear feed tray. There is no chance at all the card stock would make the bend in a normal printer.
- Learn how to use the printer and read the manual. (oops)
- If you don't need to calibrate, don't, it will be in the ballpark and honestly if you need things nuts on dead accurate, well, then you wouldn't be reading this blog for advice =).
- Keep the use in mind. I only needed about 20 copies of the post cards I made, and it would have been super expensive to farm that out. I came out ahead even with all the time learning how to do this.

Again though, if you don't need a nice photo printer at home there is really no reason to get one when really nice prints are pretty affordable online or even at locations here in the cities.

Andrew | 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Minnesota Rollergirls!

We usually go to pretty much every bout/event, and made our way there last night. For those who don't know about derby check them out here or the North Star league here It's a really good time and a great family event, also they are always looking for new members, so women who want to do this should check the sites out and see if it could work out!

The other reason for the post, is that sometimes it's fun to leave the big camera at home and see what I can do with my old cell phone. Just add a bit of brightness/contrast and we're set! So for those photographers out there, or those that take pictures, sometimes see what you can do


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Stones Peak - Rocky Mountain National Park

So I learned a few things about myself and the word here last spring on a trip to Denver/Boulder with my girlfriend. One of them is that the mountains are pretty neat, which I found out driving around the 3 mile Caynon (or just west of Boulder where they were hit with floods) and going though Gold Nugget Hotel Creek Mine Hill Town (or whatever that town is just west of Boulder). I also found out that, yes, the air is thinner and I was a bit out of shape, after climbing some stairs in a parking ramp.

Then the next day we took a trip into the mountains. Which, from Denver we went out on the freeway and got on the Peak to Peak which went up to Lyons and over to Estes Park (both of which as you know were hit bad with floods over the summer). Mountain driving, or foothill driving is a weave of turns and no real area to go straight, it's also up and down all the time. Oh, and there are crazy people on bikes everywhere! Not that they are crazy for being a pedal biker on the roads, but that these are pretty hilly and they must be in just amazing shape to do that.

Anyway, more to the image, I found out I'm not really a fan of being high up in a car with no guard rail, oncoming traffic, on a skinny mountain pass road - which was Trail Ridge Road in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Not that it's unsafe, just new to me, and I didn't like it all that much. What I did enjoy was getting out (after getting over my fears of getting out) and grabbing a few images of the landscape. This is the first one of them I was able to retouch, and there are a few more that I'm going to work on soon.

Also hopefully soon I will setup my online store, and my more art black and white website.


Andrew | |

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The New Standards Holiday Show

So I must admit, I've been a fan of them for many years, almost from the beginning, or at least their first time playing at the Dakota. The part about seeing them first, and then another time early on is what made me hesitant to go out and see their new work. To me, and it is jaded, I think of them as a small room acoustic stripped down jazz group, not a huge theater with guests and larger arrangements. That's not taking away from their music, what they do, or what they want to do, only that in mine mind the picture that I have of them is a bit different than some of the things they do now.

Also please excuse the photo quality for a moment, we were pretty much in the back row, my phone isn't too new, and I was more worried about enjoying the show than taking pictures.

Anyway my girlfriend was looking at something and stumbled on tickets to the second show. It's amazing that they even pretty much sold out a second show, and that they had to move venues to a larger place, and that the venue move was pretty late, only a month or so (I think) before the show. So we were able to get some tickets, all the way up at the back top level, and I geared up to see what this holiday show deal was all about.

Tell you what it turned out to be a great time, I'll post a link to a better write up about it on the bottom of this post, and I'd recommend the show to anyone and everyone (well maybe not younger kids). They brought on a great set of artists locally who did an amazing job, they had fun, and their covers are always a blast. Also, and wasn't expecting this, but Trip Shakespeare got back together for a few songs which was pretty fun to see as well.

So again, when it comes around next year I suggest to anyone that they get some tickets to this show, or listen to it when it's on the radio Christmas Eve and Day. 

A better review than I can write is here  -


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Smiling with your eyes, Squinching (by Peter Hurley), and other ways to pose for a headshot.

So, everyone always hears about how to pose, how to do expressions, how to move, and "smile with your eyes" has been around for a while. In fact, Peter Hurley did a video about it (which is long and I didn't make though most of it) - - and a friend of mine commented on the video and the Model Mayhem thread "that must be a joke". I'm not going that far, as learning new expressions has advantages and it's own merits.

I get asked all kinds of stuff about expressions like that along with what to wear and all that sort of stuff. Thing of it is, I don't really have the answer, and doing odd (for you) expressions can and do look uncomfortable to a viewer. You don't want to walk into a interview for a job and have a half finished draft resume, likewise you wouldn't want to walk into a casting or meeting with a headshot that looks uncomfortable and forced.

My best advice to those getting headshots is to practice, learn how you want to present yourself, and look though your market and try to figure out what the person looking at your headshot wants to see. So if you're a model, are you going to do more commercial (as in everywhere but NYC and LA just about) or are you going for more of a fashion look. As a actor do you want more of a serious image, dark, light, funny, what do you think would fit into the roles you want to play? For a business person, what do your clients and consumers want to see, someone in a suit or more of a casual look?

I can help and give advice, believe me I can, but in the end it's really all about how you want to present yourself, who your viewer is, and what the market is like, and again, how you want to approach it. I can give direction, but the majority of choices are up to you and I'm here to help you get the best results you can.

Andrew Thomas Evans

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hurling, when you look it up, it's under "best sports ever" seriously!

I mean check it out!

These guys make our football players look like, well, I bet they could kick their butts!

Andrew Thomas Evans

Retouched on a iPhone?

So, I've been busy lately and my friend Jessica couldn't really wait to get images posted and ended up taking a few proofs and running them though her iPhone. This was a week or two ago, the shoot was a bit before that, and I'm still a bit busy to get to some of the fun shoots lately (snakes, dancers, fashion, oh my!) but honestly what she ended up doing was great.

I only wish they were higher resolution, maybe some day pushing a button can take the place of retouching (at least for common stuff). This isn't that bad of a thought actually, since a lot of us don't really do much "creative" with retouching, it's mostly cleaning things up a little and other minor stuff. Pushing a button would be great, and give me more time to put into shooting and my business.

Not saying these are the end all be all, and they will be replaced with ones I retouch sometime, but in the mean time they are pretty good.

Andrew Thomas Evans

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fitness photography meets fashion!

So the other week I had the pleasure to work with a great model, who is also in pretty good shape. I've wanted to try some fitness for a while but didn't have a chance to get around to it much this summer. I was either busy with clients, motorcycles, vacation, or it was way too hot to think about doing anything outdoors and outside of air conditioning.

This kind of shoot really doesn't take long, and I travel light enough that we were only at the location for maybe 30 min tops. It also helps that she is great to work with and we didn't really need to try much as far as poses to see what worked out and what didn't work out. Looking forward to setup a few shoots like this soon, then going after some more fitness style senior pictures or others who would need some more fitness style images.

Andrew Thomas Evans

Friday, June 7, 2013

Yes, this weather is bad - Yes we can still shoot portfolios in the studio!

The weather lately can go without really getting into details, but needless to say we haven't really had many great days to get outside and enjoy the start of summer - let alone do anything picture related. There is good news though, we can still do a lot in the studio and still set someone up with great images, and it's always swimsuit weather inside!

Andrew Thomas Evans

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New to modeling in Minneapolis Minnesota?

So, some may think that just because they are totally new to modeling that they won't get work or won't be successful. I just got word last week that a headshot client of mine a few months back, a gentleman in his late 40's to 50's was picked up by an agency here in town and got work. I think he did do some acting way back when, but nothing recently, and was pretty much new to it. This adds to what I keep saying, that a person only needs the desire to try more than anything else - and you never know what will happen unless you try.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Headshot Photography and Printing

I've been getting more calls lately of not only headshots for professionals and talent in the area, but also new models who need them for a upcoming meeting or event. I'm going to try and go over a bit on what is involved with shooting headshots and getting prints either locally or online. Unlike comp-cards headshots are pretty easy, don't take too long, could be expensive ($1-2 a piece), but can be done same day at most printers.

So first off, a headshot is your business card if you're a model or actor. It's what you leave with potential clients, agencies, put online, and use to represent yourself. Now I'm not going to get into what kind of looks work best for what, but they need to be professional and give a honest representation of you. Unlike comp-cards they are normally pretty quick to shoot, with studio time lasting anywhere from 1-2 hours, and they can be quicker to retouch. Where as I don't really like doing last minute comp cards and retouching 25-30 images in a day or two, I don't mind doing that with 5 images that are just headshots. So, if needed, it's not a big deal to get files out within a few days of the shoot.

From there, you have a few options to get them printed. Locally, I would suggest going with National Camera, but costco, target, or just about anyone will do a decent job printing them and all be around in the same ballpark of price. If you can wait a few days and want to save more I would suggest as post office shipping to me here in downtown Minneapolis only takes a day or two, and 8x10 or 9x12 prints are usually around a dollar or two each. Cost is going to be around there no matter where you go, and although per piece they are more expensive than comp-cards, you're more than likely not going to hand out 50 of them in a day, so it's not like you're going to need 100 or 200 of them at a time.

That's really about it, they are straight forward photo prints, anyone can print them with decent quality, and within the same week you should be able to do a shoot and get the prints. Again, it's not a great idea to sit around and wait until the last minute, but if you do they are something easier to work with and get done in a tight deadline.

This is something where if you had a photo printer you could more than likely do them yourselves. Personally I don't have a printer - I don't do prints for clients, and ordering online is easier for me than keeping ink stocked and printer heads clean - but if you had a good or decent printer this is something you can do at home and it should be just fine to hand out if it looks good.

Andrew Thomas Evans

Comp Card Photography and Printing

Lately this year I've been getting a few more replies than usual about comp card photography and printing comp cards (or zed cards, same thing). This post here is to try and go over what a comp card is, how they are printed, why they aren't really cheap to print, and why they take longer to get than regular photo prints. Also, I'll explain why it's not a good idea to wait until the last min with these, as (again) they do take some time to get done and get printed.

So first, what is a comp card. Talent usually have a few things to help promote themselves, the first being a headshot - which everyone has, even top name actors and models, and the next would be a comp card or demo reel. On the comp card side, it's usually a post card sized, double sided, handout that would include the talents name and headshot on one side, then their stats, contact info, and a assortment of images (usually 4-10ish) from their portfolio. This is left behind in place of their actual printed book, so the clients can go back from a casting and remember who they were talking with, or so the agency has something to send out to clients so they can pre-screen talent for a casting. Either way they are like business cards and every working model needs them.

That's what they are, now let's talk about what goes into making one. First, the images aren't all the same, or the same outfit. Usually it's about 4-5 different looks, and we try (weather and location permitting) to get a range of shots and backgrounds, or maybe for fashion a single background (white wall) or something, either way it's not a simple as a few shirt changes for a headshot. The shoots usually take anywhere from 3-4 hours, and that all depends on makeup and hair. It's not a quick in quick out type of deal. Then, I usually have clients pick the top 25 images from the shoot (about 4-5 per look) and retouch them. Retouching normally takes me a business week starting when I know what the selections are. Sure, I can get them done faster, however I don't like to be rushed if possible. So already you're out a week from the date of the shoot before you're going to get images.

It's time to order the prints once you have images. Now yes, you can go to websites that specialize in headshot printing, and they will be faster, however they will be about twice as expensive as a normal online printer. As I said before, you're ordering what is pretty much a postcard. I like to use and for a 5x7 color two sides, coated two sides, online proof print it comes to about $80 with shipping (at 04/13/2013) for 250 of them. In the long run that's not a lot of money, and a person may be paying that much anyway on headshots, but it's not like they are $20 and you get them in a hour. The last time I ordered business cards it took about a week for it to get printed, then a short week in the mail. So now you're about 3 weeks out from the date of the shoot before cards will come in, unless you pay double or more and have them done faster.

Lately some of the calls I've been getting are from parents who's children are interested in modeling and they have appointments for shows, conventions, contests, and other places where they may need a comp card. If this is something you want to do, and if you really do need printed comp cards, then it's best to start arranging a shoot and get ducks in a row sooner, since again they do take a while, and again they aren't like headshots that you can just get locally and pick them up same day.

I have thought about what would happen if you try and print some yourself. The issue with this isn't the printing, any normal printer made lately should give the color quality - however it's the gloss coating and paper that will be an issue. Comp cards are so standard, that you're better off getting them done professionally so they don't stick out (in a bad way) in a pile, or that the ink doesn't rub off and stuff.

Andrew Thomas Evans

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tim's Custom Exhaust in Coon Rapids

I was looking for a custom exhaust on my old motorcycle, and did a quick google search to try and find someone or at least get a few quotes. The first place I came while looking for exhaust around Minneapolis was Tim's. I called on a Saturday and the call was answered with a "he loves bike exhaust", went up there to drop off what I had, and got a great quote the next week. The work was done within a few weeks, which being fall/winter, was just fine, and it sounds great. I would totally recommend the shop for any bike related exhaust needs.

Fast forward a few months and the muffler/tailpipe of my Jeep fell off. First off I thought it was going to be more expensive than what it turned out to be, so I tried to fix it myself - with mixed results. I did fix it, and it lasted a month or so before my fix failed and it fell off again. This time I did what I should have done and brought it up to Tim's shop. I brought it in on a Monday morning around 10, and by 11 I was out with a new muffler and my problems were solved. It really didn't cost all that much, and the Jeep sounds better than it ever did. Again I would not hesitate to recommend this shop for anyone needing exhaust on a vehicle.

If you are in need of exhaust please check them out and give them a call.