Friday, October 03, 2008

Self-Promotion

One of the things that I have found most difficult about being on my own with photography, other than the lack of mentors, is learning the art of self-promotion. I think that I have gotten better at it but I've never been one to toot my own horn so doing things like sending out promotional emails and even writing this blog are sometimes hard for me. It's a process and I have come across some wonderful articles out there, including this one from Magical Places, one of my favorite websites.

Magical Places notes that many photographers never use their websites for anything more than displaying some photos and posting a bio page (like me). But for the professional or aspiring pro, a website can form a key part of their self-promotion strategy, and even generate income directly from sales of prints or stock images.

The goal of any commercial photographer should be to have an innovative website that’s simple to navigate and with content that gets people talking. One group of young photographers in London have done just that with their great website, JumpGallery.


You should definitely check out the Magical Places post and certainly spend some time over at JumpGallery.

Also, stay tuned because I'm in the process of putting together a gallery over at Etsy.


On a different note, I have a fascination with the rain. The other night we went out for drinks with some friends over at the Village Tavern and the cab ride on the way down there made for some pretty great images. I had my nifty-fifty and I used manual focus instead the automatic setting. I really think that there is beauty everywhere...especially in the places where you least expect it. When it rains everything seems brighter and I feel more inspired. Here are some photos from my 5 minute cab ride down Seventh Avenue.









And to change the subject again, a while back I blogged about my trip to Cuba in 2001. At the time I shot only film on a Nikon n70 and I said here that I would start to scan and post some of photos of that wonderful journey. I started that project this week and I'm going to do several posts about the trip and about the images. In the meantime, here are three images that I think are particularly special. I can't remember what kind of film this is but I haven't done anything to these photos on photoshop since I've scanned them. I spent a lot of time examining my images from Cuba. I was 24 when I took this trip to visit my family and in fact, I had my 24th birthday in Havana. My style is definitely there - it's apparent, at least to me, that these are my photos.

Beyond my skills clearly evolving, I have changed so much and obviously grown since I traveled there nearly 8 years ago. At the time I was feeling so many different emotions and I think it will be interesting for you to read my thoughts about the different photos, where they were taken, why I chose to take a particular image, how I felt about it, etc. I have this uncanny ability to remember a moment as if it were yesterday simply by looking at a photo. Sometimes I am even able to remember what I ate or what I was wearing even if it's a photo of a brick wall. So, please stay tuned.

I took this photo on a busy street in Havana. The little girl was rubbing her belly for a long time and she was just taking in all the activity of the plaza where I was standing when I took this photo. There was live music and it was really hot out. She reminded me of me when I was little with that panza sticking out, her curious little face, chunky legs and her furiously curly and unruly hair...it made me sad to think about her childhood and it made me lucky to remember my own so differently. I felt guilty about that. In a way I think I took the photo because I wanted to be reminded of how blessed I am.



This photo was taken on our drive from Havana to Santiago de Cuba. It's a long story why we drove there instead of flew there...it ended up being the best part of the trip that our flight was unsurprisingly canceled and we rented a car instead. I remember thinking that there was probably never a flight to begin with and that we were sold bogus tickets. We never got our money back. I remember that when I got home, I had lost the roll of film that I took at the airport. I love the smiles on the faces of these gentlemen. I found so many Cubans to be like this...so optimistic and kind and honest.



These boys stole my heart. I was with my cousins and my uncle walking in Havana and they were following us and talking to us. They wanted to know everything about us. I gave them a pen each - they loved that. My uncle gave them a dollar each right before I took this picture and they loved that even more. I'd love to try it in black and white. It makes me smile and makes me want to cry all at the same time.



Finally, here's are photos of Paloma and me...I can't help it. I never post photos that aren't my own but my sister took this on my camera and I processed it in black and white. I love this kid.





Happy weekend!





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