Belinda under the Jamaican Skies.
Obsessing about your job is a quick way to make life suck. Letting go of job-session is a quick route back to happiness. Over the last couple of years our industry has been pummeled like an ugly pinata at a teenage birthday party. We've heard that stock photography will eat our lunches. We've seen that clients under duress have the loyalty of a Goldman Sachs executive. And we've been beat over the head with the concept that legions of amateur photographers will steal our clients (the same feckless clients) and undercut us by working for free. Well. What a special and happy way to look at your chosen profession. (sarcasm intended).
I'm not buying any of it anymore. We're in full mercenary mode at Casa de Kirk Tuck Photography. No mercy, no prisoners. But we're doing it by re-inventing reality to suit our disposition. The rules going forward are simple: Provide a great product and provide it at a fair price. If someone wants it cheaper, say, "No." If no one wants the product then take the day off and work on one of those long term, big payoff, personal projects. Part of the new reality is that we've got existence and subsistence covered and we're only working for the gravy anyway. My own European social welfare construct on an individual and self directed basis.
So today a job got postponed. No worries. I had lunch with a wonderful art director instead. We even had beer at lunch! I swam at the pool this morning. I'm writing a blog now. And I'm going on vacation in my mind, remembering all the fun places I get sent....just because I am a photographer.
The image above was done on a vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Again, on vacation with a Hasselblad and a 100mm 3.5 planar. One pocketful of Tri-X. We'd done a project here a few months earlier and part of our payment was an equal amount of vacation time at the same resort. We sampled many islands over the course of two or three years, nearly always with the same bargain. One week of work in exchange for a fee and a one week of vacation. And vacation can be a beautiful thing.
So I'm banishing all those negative presumptions and my new reality includes the fact that the phone keeps ringing, the e-mail pinging and the checks arriving like clockwork in the mailbox. Job postponed? Off to lunch. Job cancelled? Off on vacation.
GEAR NOTE: I like to keep my friends up to date about what I'm shooting with. As you may remember I got some feedback from a big agency client a few months back about the need for much higher resolution in my files. I'd been shooting exclusively with Olympus cameras because I find their lenses to be wonderful and the color palette very attractive. And to a certain extent I'm enough of a curmudgeon to not want to shoot what everyone else does.......
But I am running a business, I'm not paid by Olympus and I do listen to my clients with the intensity and focus of the Echelon System. So, knowing that Olympus isn't making any higher resolution cameras right now I added a Canon 5D mark 2 and some lenses. Decided I could work with the system and started filling in the blanks spots.
I just picked up two pieces last week that I actually like shooting with a lot. The Canon 7D and the Canon 15-85mm EFS zoom lens. I'm practicing with them now and I'll be wringing them out at the next few swim meets and then I'll be ready to let you know what I think about them.....
Love the idea of full disclosure. Just wanted to let you know what's jangling around in my brain and my camera bag today.