I’m an Android user. I see no reason to spend several hundred dollars on an iPhone that will be replaced in 8 months and most of the apps that I use are available cross platform.
When I first heard about Instagram I had the reaction that I think most photographers had: “Oh boy, an app that lets your shitty camera-phone take your shitty camera phone pictures and put a less than shitty filter on it.” I admit, I was on the train of “This app is ruining photography” for a brief period and the millions of users annoyed me to no end with their “artistic” photos of their food and coffee and every day household items. But then Instagram came out on Android 2 weeks ago.
And I *LOVE* it.
To me it harkens back to when I discovered photography for the first time. I was using a point and shoot, and the camera would do all the work for. I would simply push the shutter button and get the photos developed. Easy.
It all came with this sense of wonder, of not knowing and the excitement of seeing those images for the first time was palpable.
These days with all of my digital equipment, computers and photoshop taking that snapshot isn’t as simple as a task as it once was. Part of that is me, wanting to put out a polished finished photo is part of who am, it’s what makes me “professional.” So when I want to upload some photos I took to facebook it’s a bit of a pain. I plug in the card to the card reader, download to the computer, open in photoshop, process, downsize and export and then finally upload them to facebook. With Instagram I point, shoot, select a filter and I’m done. It goes to my followers primarily, but it can share them on Facebook and twitter if I want. And it’s so easy and fun.
If you are simply interested in sharing your day to day life with your friends in photographs, I would highly recommend Instagram. No need to lug around big cameras and laptops, all you need is a smartphone. It came out just in time for my big trip to the Salton Sea last week and I shot the road trip, the locations and the shoot days and they were promptly shared.
You can follow me if you like, my user name is what_an_ahtist. I think my favorite filter is either Hudson or Sierra. I have yet to take a photo of a meal, but I have taken a picture of my morning coffee.
I’ve started fund raising again to get the “Portraits of the 99%” photographs mounted! There are 77 that I have selected for this process, and I’ve got a few done already to show to galleries. I’ve been shopping these around for 2 months now and I’ve got some places interested. You can check it out and donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/Portraits-of-the-99-percent
You can also “Like”, tweet, +1 and share the page with your friends and family. Thanks for all your help!
My google reader has blown up in the last year. I personally hate getting my inbox loaded up with emails from blogs and RSS feeds, so when I discovered that Google Reader lets you put everything in one place along with providing apps for your iGoogle, android phone and tablet, I was all over it. So today I want to share my Google Reader list with you guys, the blogs I read cover a broad range of things from industry news to awesome photographers to hearty laughs. I won’t be sharing my ENTIRE reader list of course, because not everyone wants to spend the entire morning reading blogs as I get 40-50 entries a day. So, without further ado;
500 Photographers‘ Pieter Wisse digs through archives and various forms of media around the world and finds the most unique photographers that I have ever seen in one place. The collection is eclectic ranging from fine art to documentary to commercial photography and is worth a look for anyone looking for some inspiration. As of 1/17 the list is at 427.
Feature shoot showcases a small body of work from various user submitted photographers. They also have a great section called “Photo du jour” which features a single strong image from user submissions. Alison Zavos, who runs Feature Shoot also works in the photo industry as a photo editor, photographer and consultant.
A Photo Editor is hands down the BEST industry blog I have ever read. Rob Haggart is a former director of photography and he shares his stories, opinions and advice for all to take in and absorb. He shares interviews, magazine spreads, real-world photo job estimates and quotes from industry leaders. You’d be doing yourself a disservice to not read and subscribe to his blog.
Stella Kramer is in the same boat as Rob Haggart, she’s a seasoned veteran of the photo industry and she offers her views and advice on a broad range of topics. A large portion of her blog is dedicated to the politics of the industry, especially in relation to historical context.
Strictly Business is the ASMP’s industry business blog and is run by several established professionals. Obviously the blog covers business related topics but believe me, it’s not some boring business 101 class, it’s some of the most useful blogging I’ve read because the professionals who write for it are working NOW, rolling with the punches and adapting to change.
David Hobby runs Strobist and he’s all about using small lights to shoot big assignments. Mostly the blog features tutorials on how to shoot certain subjects with speedlights but there’s also great advice on how to tackle the organization of a shoot and how to use your software to the best of it’s ability.
Weather you’re on a budget or looking to to test out your crafting skills, DIY photography shows you how to build any light modifier or tool you can think of, on the cheap and with things you can find around your own home.
Photoshop Disasters features so many hilarious “How did they get away with that?” moments that most of your time spent on this blog will be spent boosting your own photoshop confidence.
We’ve all had difficult clients and Clients from Hell lets you vent about them and read about some of the most ridiculous requests, fits and naivety that you can’t even imagine unless you’ve been there.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next promo look no further than No Plastic Sleeves. The feature some of the most original and creative promo pieces I have ever seen ranging from a simple series of post cards to box sets with branded disposable cameras in them.
Everyone loves gear so Nikon Rumors is my go to place for upcoming Nikon equipment. The author finds, through various tips and speculation, new Nikon Products and news and presents his findings. It’s really interesting to see how often speculation becomes truth. For those of you non-Nikon users there’s also a Canon Rumors.
This is another really important blog especially for those just getting into the industry. Photo Attorney has articles about copyright, contracts and laws and situations that we will all find ourselves involved with in some way or another.
Thanks for taking the time to check out these great sites. They have been a huge help to me and my own work in Photography. What are some of your favorite blogs?
Those of you who were there at the beginning of my “Portraits of the 99%” project probably saw my IndieGoGo page, which I was using to raise money to continue the project. The fund raiser was successful, I raised almost 2500.00 between donations at the site and private donations from funders in San Francisco. This allowed me to travel and work on the project more or less full time and get it published in numerous print and online publications. It’s a pretty interesting resource that’s become available thanks to the internet. It’s especially useful for Photojournalists who rarely get their travel expenses covered by magazines and newspapers anymore.
Crowdsourcing is great because you can show something to the public that you’re excited about and if they’re excited about it as well – you can raise the money to make your vision happen. But there’s a few things you need to consider before you start spamming your friends with a link to your kickstarter;
Know your audience
Since your audience is your source of funding you can’t just start a project about anything. You need to think about your project and who your audience is. Who else would like to see this project happen? What age group does this project appeal to? Are you photographing the rise of the hipster trend in foreign countries or are you covering elderly men adjusting to retired life at home or in a home? These obviously have different audiences. Do some research – find out who’s already involved in the things you want to explore and get funded.
Make it awesome
You can’t post up a few scans of some sketches and drawings of the photos you want to take – you need to already have the project going. This shows initiative on your part, that you’re actively working on the project and will make potential supporters more likely to help you out. It has to have some semblance of completion and it has to look good, it has to look AWESOME. Below is my video pitch which featured me shooting and interacting with people, as well as photos and interviews with protestors. Make sure you keep it short and sweet.
Your audience needs some encouragement to get involved aside from the satisfaction of helping you fund your awesome project and a tax write-off. The best way to do this is reward them with different things depending on the amount they donate or pledge. For a donation of say, 10.00 supporters can get a nice hand written thank you card or a “thank you” credit in your project. Other amounts can get them access to behind the scenes stuff, prints, posters, books… the possibilities are endless.
Follow up, be involved and deliver
This is the most important thing. Be actively involved with your audience. Send them updates and pictures of work in progress. And ALWAYS deliver on your promises. Don’t just say you’re having an exhibition of the completed project at the MOMA if you actually don’t. You’ll upset your audience and it’s just plain dishonest. Always be upfront and transparent with what you’re doing, what you’re capable of doing and how you’re doing everything.
IndieGoGo: Takes 4% if you reach your goal, 8% if you don’t. Disperses within 7 business days after fundraiser has ended.
Kickstarter: Takes 5% and disperses ONLY if you reach your goal. Seems to be more focused on products and inventors.
Emphas.IS: Tales 15% and disperses ONLY if you reach your goal. You must get your project approved before you can begin funding. It seems to be THE place for serious photojournalists so it carries a lot of prestige.
Great video on crowdsourcing:
San Jose was the third city I visited to continue my portrait series on the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I actually got the most portraits here than any other city, but the whole process is exhausting for both me and my assistant so we can only do so many in a few hours. If you’re interested in helping me travel to other cities to do portraits there, go and check out my indie go-go page. Anything helps.
I’ve decided to have another print give away, I had one last February and it went over quite well – I gave away a signed and numbered 11×14 print of “Finding my way” to a lovely girl in Madrid. Well this year I’m upping the ante and giving away THREE prints, from my “Recreational Landscapes” series. The prints are 11.7×16.5 on Epson Premium archival Matte paper and they are signed and numbered. Each print is number 1 (That’s right, number ONE.) through 50.
How you enter to win is you simply tweet “I want to win the @robschultze Recreational Landscape print!” and you will be entered.
If you are on Facebook you can go ahead and “Like” my fan page and then share this story with your friends.
If for some reason you have neither facebook OR twitter you can simply mention this post in your blog and show a link in the comments.
Three winners will be chosen, each will win 1 print from the series, in the order that the winner was chosen.
The contest closes on June 30th and a winner will be announced July 1st. All entrants will be assigned a number and winners will be selected using http://www.random.org/ a true random number generator.
Good luck to everyone, I hope the turn out is as good as last years!