Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fewer Keywords Better than More?

A short ramble about stock photography. I've been wondering if a few very pertinent keywords are better for rankings and CTR. I used to go through all the possible aspects of the photos, including emotional permutations and such. Now I'm thinking the mass of keywords was a counter-productive waste of time.

Perhaps it's better to be very literal.


Be Opportunistic

I was given an assignment from Cross Currents magazine to shoot photos of Mary Piper, who's an administrator at Radio Maria, a missionary radio station. We had hours to get everything done, so there was no time to do on location shots at the station, so I went over to Mary's house to see what I could get.

My first shot was just a typical head and shoulders shot, just in case we need it, taken out by her front door, which had a bit of stained glass, so it fit with the theme.

It was a nice shot, but didn't tell much of a story and she was a bit stiff (who wouldn't be?).

Enter my assistant: Andrew! He comes out of the house, and instead of shooing him away, I encourage him to jump into the picture.

Already, it's a nicer, warmer photo. It's still not telling a story yet. Mary typically hauls boxes of stuff back and forth to the station in her van. So, we gathered up some props and headed to the van. I took the rear seat out to give us more room and jumped into the middle area with my 17-40.

Andrew was still with us, so I asked him to jump into the seat next to me, while Mary was at the rear like she was loading gear into the van. I gave Mary some instructions, but gave more instructions to Andrew: "stick your tongue out, put your thumbs in your ears, make silly faces".

It worked out really well. I got just the shot I needed and I think everyone had fun.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Party Dress

What a happy shot! It just makes me smile.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pic of the Day

I've been working on Jessica's photo shoot more. Here's another one of my favorites from her session.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

It was my pleasure Saturday morning to shoot photos of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur celebrating their jubilees. These women have been living a life dedicated to service, one was celebrating her 75th year as a nun! How cool! They were an inspiration to me and I really enjoyed spending the morning with them. The photos will run in an upcoming issue of Cross Currents magazine.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Everyone's a Producer

"When the tools of production are available to all, everyone becomes a producer." --Chris Anderson in "The Long Tail".

Beautiful young woman from last week

Jessica came over last week and we had a great time shooting. It was great working with her. Here are a few pics from her session. I'll post more soon.
Leave your comments and let me know which one you like the best!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Flower photos from the yard today

I managed to get out for a little while this morning with my camera and caught a bit of the early summer magic. I'm going to start an area on my site to buy photos from my oeuvre (when's the last time I used that word!?). Here are a few to start with.

Leave a comment and let me know which one you like the best!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Staying busy

Ah, the relaxing days of summer...yeah, right. It seems like this is the time to do all the things we've been putting off all fall, winter, and spring. We'll see if it all gets done. In the last few weeks, I've taken a class at Wright State, worked a weekend at the St. Helen Festival, painted the living room and put up crown moulding. That was an interesting experience. I had to make a wooden prop to hold the moulding at the appropriate angle while cutting it with the mitre saw (no mamby-pamby compound mitre saw for me!). We're currently are working on painting and putting up the crown moulding in our bedroom. We also had the water heater blow the thermostat and one of the heating coils yesterday, meaning a whopping plumber bill.

Ah, but I've also been doing photo shoots and working on paintings! The paintings aren't ready to show, but I can upload one of the shots of three sisters that came over for photos.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Family Violence Prevention Center Auction

I'll be donating a framed print of this photograph of a newborn holding her father's finger to the Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County's silent auction at their fundraising dinner. It will be held on Friday, June 13 at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. For more information about supporting this worthy cause or attending the fundraiser, call 937-376-8526.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mustache Party!

We recently had a mustache party! What fun! I'd bought a bunch of mustaches on eBay (Hong Kong specials!) and we had everyone wear one (until they fell off). I made sure to grab some pics while they lasted.

Suburbia can be a lonely place

My wife and I were sitting on our front porch last night having a little bit of ice cream and just enjoying the late afternoon sun dancing among the trees and flowers. I made a comment about how there were two of our neighbors that I'm not sure I've ever seen, even though we've lived a few hundred feet from for the past three years. I often wonder about all the people who I know must live in the houses near me, but I just never see outside.

This morning, I was checking email and such with my coffee when I heard what I thought was a child crying out in front. I thought it was weird, since school is still in session. I waited a few minutes, but the crying persisted, so I got up, coffee in hand, and walked outside. The crying persisted, wailing in a strange way. Not like an injured child sort of way, more like a cry that just doesn't want to stop. I couldn't see exactly where this person was, so I walked down the driveway past the trees that were blocking my view.

There, in the middle of the street, sitting on her bottom with her legs straight out in front of her, was an asian woman, perhaps 40 years old, just bawling. She continued to cry as I walked towards her with a slight smile on my face. As I got closer, she quit crying and stood up. I asked "are you hurt?" at which she lunged her face at me and screamed, sort of an angry bark, and walked past me down the street. I stood there in the middle of the street, watching her walk down the middle of the street and I looked around to see if any of my neighbors were poking their heads out to see what was going on. Nope. No one noticed.

The woman walked down past my house and again sat down again in the middle of the street. I decided that she had made it clear that she didn't want my help, so I went inside to grab a phone and get the number for the police, in case there was something seriously wrong that they might be able to help with. I walked out to see if she was still there, but she was gone, so I didn't call.

I don't know who this woman was. I don't know what was wrong. I don't know why she was crying, or why she screamed at me when I was offering help. All I know is that this woman must've felt very alone. Suburbia can be a lonely place.