Today we launched the new re-branded KSP website and updated commercial portfolio, along with stationery and social media identities. Straight out of the gate I gotta thank: Andrew Suggit for the new branding, Cyberdo for the site, and my (new inhouse) producer Bel for helping me curate and shape my portfolio towards getting more work (more on that in a bit).
While I had always been happy with my initial site and branding, it was time to invest a bit in something a bit more fresh and directed at the bigger ballpark that I intend to play in.
Now, before dropping a big investment (read around 8k) on a new digital shopfront and signage, it was important to make sure that my portfolio was pointed in the direction I wanted to go professionally. Over a couple weeks and emails back and forth, we cut/rehashed/revisted a lot of shoots that I have done and came up with what you see here. Around the same time I met Suzanne Murray from Artisan, who is in the business of curating portfolios, and she invited me to bring my book into their office and they would have a go at curating it. While I’ll post excerpts from that meeting at a later date, suffice it to say it was a really healthy exercise and I’d recommend any creative to undertake something along those lines.
Earlier this week I wrapped a shoot that went over 2 days, in which I shot tethered or straight into the computer for the entire time. The shoot went real well and everyone was happy as it was a big logistical effort to get all the elements right.
The moment I walked in the door, I started typing an email when….BANG, the computer went dead and would not boot back up. Over a couple hours I found out that my hard disk had failed and I had lost everything on there.
Now, luckily I had stuck to a backup system and didn’t wind up losing anything. The shoot had been backed up as I went to another drive, so when I fired the shutter it went to 2 places, the laptop & an external drive. Plus between my server and Time Machine, I didn’t lose anything except my laptop for a couple days. I was able to keep working on my desktop and thanks to the service at Apple they had a new drive installed in about 12 hours.
It took me a long time sifting through a lot of articles and talking to different people to figure out a good way to store my digital assets, and there is a lot of info out there from photographers with all different budgets, so I thought I’d share how I do mine in the hope that it helps someone out there. I made a nice little diagram to explain.
I’ve recently been shooting more complex projects from a production value point of view, which in turn has had me exercising my ability to extend my vision beyond the creative into building a team to work with.
Last project was a 4 day shoot with 7 crew including myself, plus art director, client production staff, and brand representatives to ensure we were within the client’s brand message. We had permits to secure access and shoot in public locations and were scheduled down to the minute. Everything from names of each talent and crew member attending each location down to switching on/off ambient lights had to be organized in advance. We built sets with props and furniture, made up and styled 30 plus talent, recreated sunlight, and used artificial light to reproduce window lit scenes. I shot tethered straight into a computer and at most point had a number of client representatives and stakeholders watching every shot in real time as I shot them. Obviously all of the above work is done by a team who, from the moment of being appointed the project, I relied on to help me deliver the final product.
All of this is not possible without putting 100% of trust in people that can either make or break the job. This is where vision extends beyond the work and into other areas of being a creative professional, knowing the work we want to do, how we want to do it, and who we want to do it with. Every detail adds to the outcome like creating the right vibe on set, making sure people are fed and happy, and presenting a unified front as a team to the client. This is what creative shoots are good for, building relationships and locking in the team.
Read this thought provoking post on Seth Godin‘s blog about how successful brands are built on dissatisfaction. Just finished saving up for that Canon/Nikon camera/lens you’ve been wanting? don’t worry, there’s a new one coming out that will make you start saving all over again and so on.
Got me thinking about being successful as an artist, selling to myself. As soon as I’ve wrapped something, there’s that healthy feeling of creating something better, closing the creative gap even more and doing it all over again. It’s about keeping that momentum, and never being satisfied, never being finished.
Just got word that I can now share some outtakes from a shoot we recently delivered for agency Simjen.
The brief called for an image depicting the concept “Revive your Business”.
We got the commission on a real tight timetable, and I literally had about 4 hours to get the team together, get directions to the talent to the studio from the airport & shoot it, and then deliver the proof images that night.
Got to work with former Ralph Lauren model Steve Nation, who you may also recognize from that famous Listerine ad with the cheeks exploding and the barnacles blowing off the bottom of the yacht.
Special effects make up was done by Haley Whittle and on real short notice I was able to get some props from a contact in the medical industry. We shot about 200 frames in studio & that was a wrap!
Below are some of my favorite outtakes, Steve’s acting ability had me struggling not to burst out laughing the whole time.
Here’s a couple pics shot today of the new studio space, what is missing is a desk for post processing and office area, a small rug to go under the couches, and a bulb for the groovy reading lamp. What’s not pictured is the 6 person hair and makeup room, reception area and restroom.
3 walls are painted gray, to stop light bouncing around the room. I left the floor bare which has a cool industrial texture to it with paint spilled all over by the original builders, kinda adds character.
And here’s your truly in a quick test of the setup.
Thought I’d share a couple pics of my portfolio brochures I just had printed up. When working with my business development coach Becs Arnott we came up with the concept for something to leave with people on my contact list that I meet with, beyond the normal calling card. After a bit of conceptualising this is what we came up with.
I split my portfolio between my hard edge look (Core) and my lifestyle look (Life & Styles). The branding is exactly the same as my business cards and the focus is really on the images, 12 nice big A4 sized pages with edge to edge photos. It’s helpful to show what my stuff looks like in print, and I gotta say, it looks really cool. For something different we made the covers plastic and used funky little metal rings to bind it down the side.
As I said in my previous post, I’ve been working with my peeps over at Cyberdo on redoing my blog to make it a part of my site. Blogspot was great for what it was, but I was essentially generating traffic to someone else’s site and it was time to harness that.
This new blog integrates completely into my site and is still really easy to use.
I’ve tried to contact most people who subscribe to my old blog, but in case I missed someone, I’m gonna leave the Blogspot site up for a while with a link here. Please go ahead and change your bookmarks, you will need to resubscribe via RSS feed if you did before.
For those of you who want to know the nerdy details about the shot on white above, here are some tips:
Light the background first and get your exposure right (In this case I used 2 AB strobes on 1/4 power)
Flag the background strobes so you don’t get spill from those lights onto your subject
Once you’re happy with the background, light your subject (In this case I used a single AB strobe on 1/8th power through a beauty dish)
I got a lot of tips from Zack Arias’ blog on seamless white backgrounds, Google him, it’s worth a read
For fellow photogs out there, here are 3 things I’m digging lately:
Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) Being able to upload files by syncing a drive on the computer is awesome, and probably the best way I’ve found so far to deliver images online. You can share folders using a unique email link for each folder, and your recipient can download them, saves heaps of time.
Billings 3 (www.marketcircle.com/billings) I’ve just started using the program Billings for all my accounting, and so far I’ve found it to be AMAZING. You can use a timer for tasks to accurately track your work in progress, enter activity slips for each client, then raise a bill when you want to. The reports module ties everything all together, and if that wasn’t enough, you can sync it with your iPhone for when you are on location. So much easier and more relative for creatives than MYOB. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I got mine from the Apple store for $69AUD!
My custom made lighting case. I used a Stanley “Fat Max” giant toolbox, removed the inside molded compartments, lined it with molded foam and now have a watertight case to house 3 strobe heads, all the cables and attachments. It’s key lockable, and my foam lining ensures nothing moves out of place and can be flipped upside down without disturbing anything. I’ve attached some iPhone pics, check it out.