I haven’t seen or worked with Deanna in a couple of years, so when she emailed me about crashing at the studio for a night I of course said yes!
On another North Eastern tour, she reached the studio at close to midnight and was given the star treatment: “Hi! Come in. Are you hungry? Food is in the fridge. Here is your blanket. Good night.”
The next day was one of those no rush, start shooting whenever you want, kind of days. Her ever changing hair color is currently vibrant blue and purple and I had some beautiful white flowers growing in the back yard, so we started with that concept and shot an easy going portrait session. Perfect considering the heat and lack of air conditioning in the studio.
In 2010 a friend of mine quietly shared the news about one of her closest companions, Garry, who had been diagnosed with Cancer. Given a very grim prognosis, he was told to settle his affairs and say goodbye to his family and friends.
I’ve never met Garry, but over the course of nine months we heard about his stubbornness and bravery, fighting his Cancer and seeking treatment despite what he had been told about the odds. We learned that he found a surgeon who would give him a chance and that taking that chance meant changing location, something difficult enough without fighting cancer. With support from his family, he made it work and transformed his ordeal into a fight for and celebration of life.
It was a quiet day for me when I heard of his passing. Even though we weren’t there with Garry, we could feel his fight and love for life. His story, like many other’s, is a story about not shying away or giving up under the pressures of life but moving forward with support and love surrounding you.
In pure Garry fashion, my friend became determined to do something to make a difference for cancer sufferers. She and I teamed up and built a website and as we worked, I learned more and more about the different ways we can help those who are seeking treatment. That’s how I learned about the Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund. This program helped finance some of the treatments and services Garry needed, making it possible for him to receive the treatment he requested.
Taken from Freak Poker Run’s website:
While being treated for cancer, many people do not have benefits. Their illness makes it impossible for them to work, leaving them with no income during this trying time. Patients can be forced to deplete their savings, sell assets, or go into debt just to finance the costs for treatment that government funding does not cover. Because these patients at one time had assets and/or income, often they do not qualify for other assistance. This can put hard working patients and families into financial crisis.
This is the reason for the patient assistance fund. The Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund helps to bridge the gap and take part of the financial burden from these patients so they can focus on battling their disease.
For more information on what their funding is available for, click here.
Visual Echoes has donated numerous prints to this cause. June has been an exciting month and many people have already chipped in and received beautiful prints. It would mean the world to me and many cancer victims, if you could share the word and maybe lend a hand. Print donations are affordable, starting at only $20.00
This was an amazing shoot. It really progressed more like a short film than a regular photoshoot. I got to build zombie wounds from scratch and the props were custom made too. I admit that this video is mostly outtakes and a look into how we interact during shoots, it’s fun to share, but I realize that people might be looking for more tutorials or how-to videos so I am going to work on that as well. This shoot was done on a very very low budget so it’s really something anyone can do!
The world of photography is like any other world, where friendly discussion of techniques can turn into an outright brag-fest for the socially awkward. One of the greatest and most important things about the art world is that we all do things differently. Despite this simple (and happy) logic, many times we will find ourselves roped into a conversation or debate with one or more photographers and someone will decide that their way is the best. Now, granted there are many get-on-your-nerves things that fellow photographers can say, but these are my personal top five…
5. Never editing photos
Photo editing is a tool and has almost always accompanied photography as a way to enhance or alter a photo for various reasons.
Despite this, many unique individuals hold themselves to a self imposed higher standard by refusing to even acknowledge editing as part of photography. Is editing essential? No. Nor is it essential for a photo to remain un-edited in order to maintain its meaning and soul. Bragging about never editing your photos will result in most people shrugging you off, assuming you just don’t know how to edit to begin with.
4. Using Film
Most level headed artists view film and film photographers with respect. Using a more traditional medium often requires a different set of skills and film photography is no exception. When you’re with a group of mature individuals, the differences in medium are
acknowledged but soon bypassed in favor of examining the end results: the photos. Let me put it this way: You can paint with oil or water color but the painting will still either succeed or fail in appealing to the public, regardless of your chosen medium. Scoffing at digital photographers doesn’t put them in their place.
3. Your studio space
This one is short and simple. It’s not how much space you have, it’s what you do with it. A hack photographer could have warehouse amount of space and STILL produce absolute mediocrity.
2. Never accepting Trade Shoots
Bragging about never accepting trade shoots is one of the quickest ways to broadcast that you’ve lost your taste for the art of photography. Trade shoots are not just about everyone doing something for free, they are about artistic collaboration. When you proudly slam the door shut on the faces of those who could enhance your portfolio, you lose out on those important connections in favor of cold hard cash.
1. How expensive your equipment is
I don’t think I have ever asked what kind of camera someone uses, unless it’s in response to them asking me for help with their camera. Most people get it: It’s about results, not the equipment that got you there. I instantly tune out someone who starts bragging about how much their camera lens or lighting equipment costs. What photographer hasn’t been cornered by an overly aggressive fellow photo taker and interviewed about how much THEIR equipment is worth? It’s an embarrassing conversation to be suckered in to, so don’t do it. It’s a tasteless way to behave!
It goes without saying that in the world of art, we, at our best, are eccentric individuals and so clashes of beliefs and attitude will not only be frequent, they will also often be irritating. I wanted to keep this list short and simple. It’s also a good reminder to myself to not fall into these traps of distracting myself from my goals in favor of posturing in front of others. If you’re going to push your way through the crowd, do it so you can slap your work down on the table and have people look at it, not so you can hold your opinion or equipment up and demand that others acknowledge how amazing you are because of it.
Now that I’ve typed out my top five, what are yours? Have you experienced an attitude or argument that has just grated your nerves? Leave a comment and let me know!