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Boudoir and the glamour photographer

Boudoir and the glamour photographer

Boudoir and the glamour photographer is a question or situation that appears many times in our career. As you may or may not know, I am known for having an opinion that is…different than others, but is unique and all my own. Continue Reading..

Money and model photography

Money and model photography

Money and model photography, some would say that’s an oxymoron, others would say they are rolling in the dough. Yet others would say the latter are liars.

A few weeks ago (OK, months. Forgive me!) I started to make a post about this, but ended up going into a rant because of my annoyance with people who are more worried about MY work and not their own. Today, I plan to finish that original thought and put my feelings out there. Money is a necessary evil. In my entire life, I’ve not known something that has turned so many good people, evil. Some would digress and say through out history women have been the cause (No, this isn’t a slam on women but if you’re a religious person, you use Adam and Eve. Sampson and Delilah, etc.) that the love of a woman can make men do crazy things. Today, it’s money. There isn’t as much of it floating around, so people feel the best way to get it is to lie, cheat, steal and sometimes kill for it. All of these have happened in the modeling industry and as of late.  We need money. We all have bills to pay, things we want. Need gas in the car and most of all, need food and security of a home. Money provides those things. In our profession, it also provides power and there lies the problem. In our industry, most people equate money with success. I lead an event where a photographer from a small town in PA said well over half of the attendees would never reach any sort of fame. Those in attendance were crush Continue Reading..

Can you not use my pics anymore…

Can you not use my pics anymore…

I stress quite often my displeasure with TF* or Free shoots. A large part of why displeasure? the email “…can you not use my pics anymore…”

My built in response?

“No. Go kill yourself.”

But I never say it. Want to, but never do.

I think free shoots are a valuable asset to both model and photographer, however, BOTH parties need to understand and accept the work, time and money that goes into it and respect it. I will greatly admit a lot of my frustrations come from working with inexperienced wannabe models, or those who think they are beyond value that I and everyone else must bow to their whims. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone has value, but your value doesn’t supersede mine. In my findings, there are two types of people who shoot, take up time and effort:

The “almost were” and the “never will be”.

Both groups share a lot of the same pathology: They want to be models. They love the idea of having photos taken and at one point in time, they’ve actively pursued it. The only difference is the final outcome. The “almost were” girls were those

Janelle is one of the few models I've shot and want to be a better photographer the next time we shoot.

Janelle is one of the few models I’ve shot and want to be a better photographer the next time we shoot.

who legitimately almost were models! For one reason or another, life got in the way: read a boyfriend, finding Jesus or not making a million dollars on their first or second shoot and thinking everyone is a scam. Continue Reading..

Kim Kardashian breaks internet

Kim Kardashian breaks internet

Kim Kardashian breaks internet didn’t happen then way she wanted, but it happened in other ways.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, that has no internet and you don’t own a phablet, smart phone, tablet, laptop or any other device that attaches to the internet, you’ve seen the hoopla over Kim Kardashian and the Paper Magazine fight. I call it a fight because that’s all that seems to have happened. I had first heard of it the way most of the world had: “Kim Kardashian nude” and thought to myself; “Who cares? She has a sextape and Playboy pictorial, we’ve seen her wares, inside and out” but became intrigued because I saw a group of supposed professional boudoir photographers making comments that defied the term, professional.

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The comments contiContinue Reading..

The great negative debate

The great negative debate

The great negative debate is a debate many photographers find themselves lulled into and unable to get themselves out of.

This debate is one of epic proportions such as the Nikon vs Canon or Apple vs PC, Samsung vs Apple. If you are unaware of the debate, thank your God’s you’ve been spared, although I’m going to tell you now: Customers requesting the digital RAW files. If you’re older than I, or recently in a high school photography class, you will know film cameras used negatives. These negatives contained the photo and you could get a negative scanner or print them at your local pro lab or Walgreens. During the 35mm or 120mm era, your negative was usually the only ones you got, unless you paid for duplicate negatives. So hanging on to your negatives were vital to your career as if people wanted reprints, you sent these off to the lab to get reproduced. Today, with digital cameras, there isn’t any cost involved with reproducing the negative since we most likely have it on a drive or backed up somewhere. Back in the day, a negative scanner or store willing to reproduce the film negative wasn’t available.

Holly the fashion model turned glamour model

Holly the fashion model turned glamour model

Today, with pro-grade DSLR’s being under 900.00, the everyday average customer knows that digital negatives Continue Reading..

Traveling freak shows?

Traveling freak shows?

We all know photography as an industry has taken a hit. When an aspiring photographer contacts me and says he or she is in school for photography, I find a way to work in “Dump photography and go for business”. Perplexed, they ask me why and I explain to them that they can learn photography, business skills are best learned in school. There are plenty of traveling freak shows near them they can go learn photography from.

Jay Kilgore teaching a workshop  2007

Jay Kilgore teaching a workshop 2007

Some don’t get it, others are offended once they do. I don’t mean to offend anyone! Ever! But when I was learning photography, I was faced with an industry that kept everything close to the vest. No one was really teaching so wannabe photographers had to learn by trial and error or shooting and getting it wrong, until we got it right. I used to hate that no one would share anything in my industry. I wanted to be handed everything and make adjustments and my own style. Today, I am VERY thankful that I had to learn the hard way as my style is truly mine. I’ve learned may things that make my photography mine. Business school will teach you about marketing and running a business and it’s a generic enough of a degree that should you decide you don’t want to do photography, you can do into any aspect of Corporate America and do just fine. With photography, you can grab a friend and shoot, or your spouse/significant other and shoot them. No one wants to invest thousands of dollars into something that is a waste of time. At least I don’t.

This is where we enter the traveling freak show pandemic. Over the years, I’ve watched photography, model photography, go from a way to make a living, to almost a side job. There are many people who were forced with two options: Branch out from model photography alone, or sell their skills in workshop or photoshop actions…sometimes both. I have watched how not only model photography, but general portrait photography take a hit as a once big time Colorado child and family portrait photographer start shooting wedding photography. She posted on a forum that she’d not shot a wedding in 10+ years at the time, and a few weeks later she was teaching a workshop on wedding photography!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m Continue Reading..

Lies

Lies

Every professional must tell a small lie from time to time. We all tell lies from time to time:

 

Model: “I love your work, but at this time I’m only accepting paying jobs.” When they’ve most likely never gotten a paying job in their lives.

Photographer: “I can get you published with Playboy if you shoot nudes” When they’ve never been published anywhere.

The two above may be a bit extreme and put me on the side of non forgiveness with my peers, but I don’t care! Let’s look the green-eyed monster in it’s one big bloody green eye and call it as it is: dirty lies!

We all tell them. We all know for the most part, when we’re being lied to. It’s up to us to accept it or reject it. The problem with a lot of people, new people, is they don’t know when they’re being lied to. In order to be successful in our industry, you almost have to over embellish yourself and or talents. To get to the next level in your career, you have to oversell your skills to land the job you want, not the job you have. No one is ever happy with the job they have and always dram about the next gig or next opportunity. It is here that the problem lies.

Instead of loving the moment we’re in, we’re pissing away today and because we’re doing that, we lose the importance of what it can give us: the opportunity to tell the truth! If we commit to today and our clients today, we can do what we embellish so we don’t have to lie.

I see a LOT of photographers tell models and wannabe models Continue Reading..

All about that bass

All about that bass

All about that bass is a new song that is the “it” song. If you’ve not heard it, I’ll give you a few to check it out  and then we’ll cover why it’s on a glamour photography website:

Now I know when you first read the title, you thought I was bringing you back to when I was a teenager and bumping:Continue Reading..

The end of an era

The end of an era

The end of an era is now. After 10 wonderful years in Colorado, it’s time for me to move on to glamour capital of the world, Los Angeles, CA. Some people ask why I never went there to start with and I’ve never really been able to answer intelligently until now: I wasn’t ready. Some people said I should have moved from MN, to Cali and made my bones out there. I say I did it right.

I didn’t want to start my career in Cali as a rookie making my bones. I wanted to move out there established and having a direction. Lots of models and photographers pick up and move to Cali or NY with out a clear and defined goal and end up moving back with their tail between their legs. I’ve never wanted to be that and have always prided myself on having a plan. Even if people didn’t understand or like it, it was a good plan and it worked for me. My plan was move West, but not West Coast, not yet. When I looked at how I was shooting, making the stop in Colorado first was smart:

Granted, not all those images are as terrible as I remember. There are three, the first three, that aren’t so bad and could actually be used today. But the rest, meh.

When I got to Colorado, I was determined to make a stance, to be different. I had publications in FHM, at the very back of the mag in the FHM 20 Hot dates or whatever it was back then. Pic the same size as a postage stamp, but it was a national publication either way! I could have taken a few decent images and moved to Cali, but truth is, I was afraid. I wasn’t ready for Cali. I wanted to make sure when I hit the big stage, that I was ready.  And Lord knows I was no where near ready with the work above. At that time I thought I was a professional, but looking back, I’d say I was a hobbyist with good intentions. I speak often about Continue Reading..

Paying gigs?

Paying gigs?

Hello friends!

Been a while, eh? Sorry about that! As you know, I’ve been preparing my move to Los Angeles so that has been taking up a LOT of my time. I want to talk about paying gigs and the ignorance surrounding them, as well as my feelings on CO.Continue Reading..

Canon 6D and my style

Canon 6D and my style

Canon 6D and my style. I have my own style of photography. Everyone who has been shooting has their own style, their own eye. For me, I’m very particular in my style. For the first time in a long time, two years ago I decided that I wanted new gear. A new rig: so I purchased a Canon EOS 7D. Right away I hated the image quality, or IQ Continue Reading..

2014 workshop announcement on the way!

2014 workshop announcement on the way!

Just wanted to say that tonight, tomorrow or the day after I will be announcing my first workshop in 3+ years! It’s been some time since I’ve done one and to help me prepare for when I head out to Cali, I’m going to have one or two small ones here in CO!

Members of my mailing list will be emailed FIRST with the info and models (Models are confirmed-Glamour nude) so be sure and join by clicking here

 

Hope all is well!

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20 things about me

20 things about me

I’m naturally a very private person. If I know you, and really get to know you, I will share small things, but for the most part, I don’t share much about me. I figured it might be fun to do a 20 things about me that you might not know. This makes me vulnerable so go along with me. I don’t think I’ll add any personal things, but all business things. Let’s get started:

1.) As my bio states, I’ve been holding a camera in my hand since I was about 4 years old. This makes me a photographer for 37 years.

2.) My first 10 national publications were shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel 300D and kit lens.

3.) I am never happy with the work I produce.

4.) I never shoot to make anyone, clients included happy. I shoot to make myself happy. Clients will come based off the strength of the work I share.

5.) I started off as a Street Photographer.

6.) I enjoy shooting Weddings. This is directly related to my being a street photographer.

7.) I have about 3 photographer friends.

8.) I’m a type B personality, so I never want to upset people.

9.) It bothers me when I see potential Continue Reading..

Meet the Models Caleb

Meet the Models Caleb

Meet the Models Caleb is a good one!

I first met Caleb via Genna. I was offered to attend a shootout by a former student of mine. He got all my info from my workshop and used it to create his own. He was wise enough to market his shootouts to beginner photographers and continues to do so. Genna had wrote me saying she couldn’t shoot with me that Saturday because she was asked and accepted to model at a shootout. When I told her I was asked to go, we made an agreement to meet up together. I got there a little late, around 11 (event started at 9) Genna showed up with Caleb at about 1. Genna went through makeup and Caleb just hung around. The theme of the shoot was 1950’s and it was one of the more unorganized event’s I’ve attended. I hardly shot any but told Genna to stick around and we can shoot after. Genna agreed and said she was getting ready to tell me the same thing.

 

After everyone left, Genna, Caleb, and another photographer friend and I did some shooting. The first thing Caleb said to the friend and I was “Continue Reading..

OId School: Caleb

OId School: Caleb

Today I do Old School: Caleb.

Yes, I know Old School is set for Friday, but I wanted to change it up a bit.

Caleb is the first male model I had actually worked with and thought of as a friend. The first convo I had with him was an…interesting one, but the last one was the topper. Be sure and tune in Friday to find out the entire story of Caleb and I!

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Not good enough

Not good enough

Any photographer who is worth their weight in their profession has asked themselves “Am I good enough?” Not good enough is a constant thought for the consummate photographer. We all are chasing our next best image and sometimes the chase leads us away from what we’re most comfortable.

For me, I’ve always invited change. I like the uncertainty that change causes. I like that I don’t have total control, but Continue Reading..

When is a free shoot free?

When is a free shoot free?

When is a free shoot free?

NEVER!!

If you’ve owned a camera longer than 4 hours or if you’ve had modeling photos of yourself posted, someone has wrote you and either asked to date you, sleep with you or shoot you/with you. As addressed in a previous article, professionalism goes a long way, but they’ve more than likely asked for a free shoot. There’s nothing wrong with free shoots! I do them from time to time, but it should be noted, a free shoot is not “free”.

How? You ask? It doesn’t make sense, you say?

Let’s break down the free shoot:

Most photographers work a 9-5 job to pay the bills. Nothing wrong with that! Making a living in the Fashion and Glamour world is difficult since there are so many wannabe’s out there. To keep it all fair, let’s break it down from a photographers point of view first.

Spend time finding studio.

Booking studio (25.00/50.00/hr).

Booking studio anywhere from one to half hour early to prepare for model (Paying for an hour extra to allow for model to be late and still have decent studio time).

Find MUA (If it calls for one or if shoot calls for one)

Meet model, get over awkward time.

Shoot.

Say goodbye and tear down studio. Clean and return to as it was prior to use, most clean it better than when they had it.

Get in car.

Notice that 16 text messages were missed where model is asking when the photos will be up. How many she gets and reminding you that the other photographers she worked with, had them setup long before now.

Forget that you haven’t eaten Continue Reading..

Why Colorado will fail as an industry

Why Colorado will fail as an industry

Why Colorado will fail as an industry is simple. Yes, I didn’t ask you why, I stated: Why Colorado will fail as an industry and not only will it fail, it has, was and always will fail as an industry. Normally at this point, I will start up on the wannabe models, the poor professionalism or the main one, the lack of fashion industry Colorado represents, but not today. Today, we talk about the one thing Colorado (and maybe your state as well) lacks which is the reason of it’s down fall:

MONEY!

The root of all evil. Bank. Benjamins. Bread. Dough. Greenbacks. Loot. Cheddar. Duckets. Gappers. Stacks. Paper. Dolla-Dolla-Bills. It’s why the Average Joe goes to work, its why we are free to do what we want to do. The problem is that in the digital world, the value is less and less on paying for quality, and more value on work for the sake of working. Am I against TF* work? No, not at all. I think it has a place with in the IMG_3167-copyindustry but I think there’s more TF* work than paying work. This becomes an issue for the simple fact people will be unable to advance their own careers. As a photographer first and business person second, the talk of money always makes me uncomfortable. If I had my way, I would shoot everyone for free all the time, however, I can’t pay the mortage with free photos to the bank. While I’m sure they would take them, they would also take my home.

Here in CO, most of everyone is a hobbyist. They do it because it’s “fun” and “Cool”. They litter their facebook pages with “Keep it classy” and “#modelstatus” and flood it with below level quality images. Continue Reading..

Professionalism

Professionalism

Victoria of California

Victoria of California

Are you truly a professional photographer? Professionalism rears it’s head in many ways, most often times photo quality is second in nature. I’ve seen many of my peers being called unprofessional for the things they do, I am no exception. Many of my peers have done things that I’ve thought unprofessional which brings me to today’s post. What is considered professional or unprofessional? Let’s break it down:

At the start of this update I will note emphatically that there is no single one way of defining professionalism. How one person chooses to run his or her business is totally up to them. If how they run it nets zero profit gain, they will make the proper changes or leave the business.  For me personally, when I question someones professionalism, it’s due to one of the three: Confidence, business sense and dedication.

Confidence is HUGE in the professional world of photography. I’ve always stated that photography is a career that doesn’t require any permits, Continue Reading..

I will never shoot glamour again

I will never shoot glamour again

Glamour image of Fashion model Holly

 

While talking with a new photographer friend, he said “This is why I’ll never shoot glamour again” when we were speaking about the drama associated with glamour photography. I heard what he said and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Now I understand glamour isn’t for everyone and I’m ok with that, but to think someone was bitten by the glamour bug and now hates it bothers me.

I was posting saying that I had some drama going on. Drama isn’t anything new to glamour photographers, more so than fashion photographers, but I had some. He said this was exactly why he would never shoot glamour again, dramatic, childish behavior on part of the model. He said it wasn’t worth it. I got emails from several other friends that were glamour guys that moved on to other styles of photography to avoid it all. I was stumped. There’s always drama with glamour, so why allow this to break you?

I have noticed that a many photographer friends have been shying away from glamour work. I have a few guys local to me here in CO who are tired of the drama glamour brings. They are continuing to shoot it but their interest is falling. A good friend and mentor of mines, David Hickey, has expressed his major decline in shooting glamour. For him, he has lots of local OC/LA photographers that are gossiping and causing him drama. David is the most laid back, chill photographer EVER, so for him to lose interest is huge.

What is happening to our industry? Does the wannabe models really have so much control that they can decide the fate of a world renowned photographer such as Hickey? Does the wannabe photographer that has more of a mouth than skill, have the ability to kill the career of another? Or is it not worth it to fight for glamour?