Making Time Stand Still April 25 2016, 0 Comments
So much of our lives is spent in motion, too much… absolutely too much. We live in an era where being still, being quiet or contemplative is seen as unproductive, a waste of valuable time. The cell phone, the text messages, iPad, iPod, cable and computer are seen as musts. Many are rarely “in the moment” but preoccupied with these distractions. Time springs by while as a society we are drowning in the misbelief that we must be continually connected. The fact is these things disconnect us and I wonder how we have allowed ourselves to be lead so far off the path of reality. In my work, being still and completely unplugged is essential.
Photography is all about time. Often, I awaken long before dawn and am at a location waiting for the perfect moment in order to capture our amazing landscape. I can wait for hours, sometimes having to return to a place over a period of weeks or months. But when the timing is right I can make time stand still. When I press the shutter button for 1/60 of a second, 1/100 of a second, 1/125 of a second, time is literally stopped. The image is committed to film or a memory card. The laughter, the landscape, the celebration or rage of a storm is documented. In that minimal portion of a literal second, the truth of reality is revealed in only the way a photograph can display it. It is raw. It is unaltered.
We rely on images. Images share world events, our joy, our pain or just an incredibly beautiful landscape. The photographic journey does not alter images. It shares what the photographer sees and documents, not what it creates in a computer. True photographers take time to learn how to meter light, and understand depth of field. They engage the manual settings of their camera and learn to set the Kelvin Scale.
To quote George Eastman, "Light makes photography. Embrace it. Admire it. Love it. But above all KNOW LIGHT. Know it for all you're worth and you will know the key to photography."
Unplug and learn your art, your craft. Refrain from using someone else's intellectual property (software) to correct what you did not know to do in the field. Yes. It takes time, thought. But I can assure you no-one will ever wonder if your work is "real."
Choosing Social Media June 05 2015, 0 Comments
I once had a marketing firm tell me that in order to be successful I had to be on all social media sites and I needed to be on social media several times a day because it is in real time. Social media was new and I knew little about it. It is impossible to be on several social media sites, maintain an active eCommerce website, produce art and sell it at 30+ shows a year unless you have a large staff. While it would be great if I didn’t need to sleep and could go without food for several days, that is unfortunately not the case no matter how much Dunkin Donut coffee I drink. This is what I’ve learned:
Your website should be your priority. One of the first things customers ask when at an art show is, “Do you have a website?” If you don’t have a website, you can create a free one on WORDPRESS. If you want an eCommerce site and are willing to pay a little each month, SHOPIFY is amazing! I have had mine for years and I wouldn't go anywhere else! They are truly the best. Tips: Keep your website current. Add new work regularly. Delete info that becomes irrelevant. If there is space for a blog, write one once a month. Also, let folks know what art shows you will be participating in, giving dates, location and time. Amazing things will happen…people will find you and follow you. Last spring I had a phone call from what I thought was some sales person trying to sell me marketing…It was Amazon. They found me; God knows how and asked if I would like to be a part of their home collection. (They have just two people assigned to search the web for new folks that they want to add to the home collection.) Yes, there is a small fee but the point is the biggest retailer in the world found me based upon my website…NOT social media. As I continue to work with them, they are very helpful, I am starting to see sales pick up.
I do not Tweet, Instagram, Esty or Pinterest. Don't misunderstand, social media can be a powerful tool. I know a lot of folks who use these sites and make good money. But I have to assess my most valuable resource, my time. And so do you. For what you do, how then do you allocate your 24 hours a day? I do have a blog on WordPress. This is because when I write a blog for my website, I can simply copy and paste it into my WordPress account. Future plans do include Pinterest. A Facebook page for your business may also be of value. This is a free tool with great reach.
So, decide what kind of time you can put into online marketing, keeping in mind that you do not need to pay someone to market your work for you…I learned that the hard way…and jump in! There is money to be made with your beautiful work.