Feb 2014 President’s BLOG–Shooting From the Lip

Direction and Purpose, Love and Hate, What’s My Worth?

Before I talk about photography, I’d like to pose a question to the club membership:  Where do you want your club to go?  Why am I asking this?  Very recently, one of our board members, as part of a discussion about having a photography and copyright attorney speak to the club, made this statement:

“I’m also guessing no one wants to hear about running a small business or how to do just enough business to write off your photography related expenses either then.”

“…as an organization I feel we suffer from a lack of vision. We could be more than a social club organized around photography.  Actually add value to the membership that some members might be willing to pay for.”

Great comments!  They made me think.  So what do you, the membership, think?  What should be our club’s vision or purpose of existence?  What can the club offer its members?  Are you satisfied with the club’s current offerings, or do you want something more or different?

Our board is creating a survey we will present to the membership.  Hopefully the survey replies will help us define a vision and future path for the club.  I’ll provide more information about the survey later.  Until then, please think about the club’s direction—where do you want it to go?

Now, for something completely different…

February—the month of love and romance and Valentine’s Day.  Thinking of  love reminds me of my love of photography.  Even though I love photography, there’s one thing I have to admit:  Sometimes, I hate my camera!  No, it’s not because I shoot with Canon instead of Nikon.  Regardless of what brand of camera I shoot with, I would still hate my camera.  Why?  Because sometimes it fails to fully capture what I experience with my eyes, heart, and soul.  An example is a beautiful sunset, with its bright, glowing reds and oranges, and subtle shades of peach, salmon, lavender, and other pastel colors one would see described in a Land’s End catalog.  No camera, no technique, can fully capture the experience of Nature’s creation.

Photographer Steve Giralt writes about hating his camera and the challenge of capturing a mood, feeling, or experience.  Read his comments here.

Another thought about photography—what’s your work worth?  That’s one question many photographers often ask:  “What should I charge for my work?”  I know we’ve had club members post that query.  Unfortunately, there are few hard and fast rules or definitive price guides.  There are numerous variable to consider.  But one fact is certain—your work, as a photographer, is worth something.  Don’t give away your work!

Why am I discussing this?  Over the last 15 or so years, with the advent of digital photography, the business of photography has radically changed.  Digital photography has made photography accessible to everyone.  As a result, there are more photos.  Not necessarily more better photos, but more photos.  Considering the law of supply and demand, with an increased supply, demand and price drop—drastically.  Some photographers are so eager to “get published”, that they are willing to provide their images in exchange for a credit line—Photo by Your-Name-Here.  Publications, including financially healthy operations, take advantage of this.  Even though they can afford to compensate a photographer for their work, they try to seduce photographers with a promise of being published and a credit.

One pro photographer was approached by a magazine requesting use of her images in exchange for…..just guess!  Anyway, this photographer’s reply to the publication is very enlightening.  Read pro photographer Trish Reda’s reply, and let it give you a laugh!

Best Wishes,

Mark Naumann

MVPC President


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