What a year!
2012 has been an unbelievable year. I’ve created more commissioned work for others, and more of my work is finding its way onto people’s walls. I also feel I’m continuing to learn and grow as a photographer. I’d like to share with you my favorite 12 images from the past year.
(For this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge theme: Surprise. The “surprise?” I can’t count, my favorite 12 of 2012 is actually 20! Enjoy!)
Didn’t see your favorite Jeff Sinon Photography image? Well then click HERE and cast your vote and you could you see it in the upcoming “Fan Favorites Of 2012,” AND you’re vote automatically enters you in a chance to win an 8″ x 12″ copy for your very own. Contest details and rules here
Awaiting The Launch.
Not long after sunrise, large groups of photographers gather for the morning launch of the hot air balloons at the 2010 Pittsfield, NH Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Canon EOS 1D Mk IIN
Canon EF 50mm f1.4
iso 100, 6 seconds @ f11
I would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
I also want to thank each and every one of you who have followed along on my journey a I grow as a photographer. I hope you have enjoyed my writing and the accompanying images, and continue to follow and enjoy throughout the New Year.
It is my sincerest wish that you and all your loved ones have a joyous Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year that brings you joy and happiness.
I had another go at the craft fair thing this past Friday and Saturday at the Washington Street Mills in Dover, NH. The event was an open house / open studio event for the artists in the mills, but was also open to outside artists like myself. Through my association with Rebecca at RSP Studio, who does all my custom framing, I have come to know many of the artists in the mill. If you live locally, you should stop in to see a wide selection of locally made arts and crafts. There is still time for that last-minute stocking stuffer.
To get to the point, I didn’t sell a thing. I had a few close calls, and several people expressed interested in different sizes of a few of the images on display. One woman had to check with her co-workers about “After A Dive,” for their boss who loves loons, for their Christmas gift to him. But no actual sales.
As in my past craft fair type ventures, it has been the networking where I have received the biggest benefit. A graphic designer with a studio in the mill was, to put it mildly, very enthusiastic about my work. She also happens to be in the early stages of starting a magazine focusing on the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. “Would I be interested in creating landscape / cityscape type images on assignment?” Um, let me think about that for a… YES!
I also developed a lead on doing some product photography for a woman who creates some amazing jewelry. I’ve never done any product photography, but after doing a bit of searching online for cheap, DIY lighting and light boxes, I found I have most of the gear I need sitting in my basement. For about $10-$15 more dollars I’ll be up and running.
I’m looking forward to both of these challenges.
My one and only disappointment in not selling any work is that the amount of stuff I have to take down and carry to my car weighs that same as what I carried in. At least it was down three flights of stairs at the end of the day.
Show your work, show your work, show your work. If there is one common piece of advice voiced by almost every professional photographer whose opinions I respect, it is this. If you want people to appreciate and possibly buy your work, you need to show it. And to paraphrase Rick Sammon, “you never now who may be looking.” I happily came to realize just how true that last statement is, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
I have set up a fan page on Facebook (go ahead and “like” it, you know you want too), I’m on Flickr , and recently I’ve been sharing what I consider some of my best work on 500px. I’ve also been testing the waters over at Google+, though I haven’t really jumping in with both feet yet. And let’s not forget, if you are reading this, my name and images have now reached you!
Most of my efforts have been centered on getting my actual framed work in the public eye, with my biggest effort put forth at the Portsmouth Open Market in Portsmouth, NH. This has also been my most productive outlet for image display. While I have only sold a few prints at these outdoor markets, I have noticed a big jump in image views on my website. I’ve put a business card in the hand of anyone who will take one, and at my second market I was fortunate enough to catch the eye of a local real estate agent who also happens to write a blog. A mention on his blog was also good for a boost in image views! All leading to potential future image sales.
Here is where “you never know who might be looking,” worked out for me. My last market of the season also produced the biggest potential benefit to my beginning photography business. I was approached by a very nice woman asking if I would be interested in creating 8-12 images to decorate the walls of their soon to open dental practice. How cool is that?! For pros who make their living from this kind of thing it may not be a big deal, but for me it is a huge boost to both my ego and potentially my bottom line. To think, my photographs will be seen by every patient and employee who walks into the office.
The most recent success from the results of my shameless self promotion, someone who saw the above image on my fan page, loves it and wants it. They want it on canvas, and they want it big! Social media does work!!
I have also found another good source for potential outlets to show your work, and this goes for almost any type of artist. Craigslist, that’s right, Craigslist. In the community section under “artists,” there are always several people/business owners/galleries looking for artists to display their works. I found the Portsmouth Open Markets this way, and now have my own personal gallery hanging for sale at MusicalArts Hampton, NH location. I’ve seen everything from “Mom n Pop” craft stores to larger office buildings. It’s worth a look in my opinion.
The moral of the story: If you want people to see and hopefully buy your photographs, you have to get out there and show it. It won’t do you any good sitting unseen on your computer. If you insist on waiting for people to find your work by accident, so be it. I’ll be enjoying the fruits of my labor, soaking up every last compliment, and enjoying the increased image sales.
I was in Newmarket, New Hampshire this past Saturday participating as a vendor during the town’s Olde Home Day celebration. The weather was perfect for an outdoor market, and the people were great. But as the day wore on, I was repeatedly asked two questions, both of which make me cringe every time I hear them.
“What kind of camera do you have?”
Possibly number one on my list of annoying questions. Until I put a little thought into it though, I didn’t realize why this question bothered me so much. Then it hit me, at its core this one questions my ability as a photographer. The idea that you can buy your way into creating great images is quite prevalent among the general public. To me this says they think it’s the gear that made the photograph, not my skill, vision, and creativity as an artist. Not to mention my effort to be at the right place at the right time. I’ll bet no one ever asked Picasso what kind of brushes he used, or Stephen King what kind of typewriter he created The Stand on. I’ve decided I’m going to start telling people who ask, that I use a Kodak Easy Share, the look on their face will be priceless.
“Is that photoshopped?”
I went into this in more depth in an earlier post, so I won’t go too deeply into it again. I consider that what I’m creating is art, and not photo journalism, so I make no secret of the fact that I use Lightroom3 and several plug-ins to achieve the result I envision for an image. The fact of the matter is, do you like it or not? If so, does it really matter what I did to the image during the editing process to get to the result you see? Buy it, or not. Like it, or not. The process shouldn’t matter.
Another question I get asked a lot has to do with the perception that, as someone serious about their photography who uses a “real” camera, I know everything about the features and operation of every camera ever produced since the dawn of time. The question can take many forms, but usually goes something like, “what does this mean?” or “how do I get my camera to do this?” Usually asked by the owner of their new point-and-shoot. My standard reply is almost always, RTFM,* and I think most of you know what it stands for. However after this smart-ass reply, I do try to help when I can because, one, I’m not a total ass, and two, it is usually asked by a family member or close friend at a family gathering or some other social occasion.
Well that’s it for now, I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting at the moment, so in the mean time why don’t you tell me, what photography related questions most annoy you.
*For those who can’t guess it’s, Read The F—-n Manual!
First off, let me welcome you to the Jeff Sinon Photography blog. This is my first effort in writing about my photography and where it takes me, what goes on in my head as I compose an image, and what tools I use to create the final print. I won’t bore you with too many technical details, as that is not my purpose. This will not be a place to come for the “How – To,” of photography, though I will often describe the camera settings used, and why I chose them.
I hope that through this blog, and the images I create, others will come to appreciate nature and the great outdoors as much as I do. Primarily, the photographs I take are shot in New Hampshire, with occasional trips to the surrounding New England area.
Initially I will be posting weekly, usually after a shooting trip. I will freely share the locations where my images are made, either directly in a blog post or should a person contact me with questions about the where, when, and how of a photograph. I have learned a great deal through the generosity of other photographers willing to share their knowledge, both online and in person, while I was starting out as a photographer and I wish to continue this tradition. I will share all I know, as I have no secrets when it comes my photography, however, I do not claim to be an expert. I am always learning.
I will be providing links to the site of other photographers whose work I admire, and who have inspired me to become better at my craft. Without them, my photography would not be where it is today.
I want to thank you, and invite you to follow along.