Friday, August 20, 2010

The business of Photography


This is a very large topic, large enough to be covered by plenty of excellent books. I'm actually going to start off by recommending buying or borrowing the book "Best business practices for photographers" by John Harrington. I'm sure there are plenty of other books out there but this one I've read more than once and I can really recommend it.

But what is the business of photography? I'm not going to try and say I know the secret everyone else is missing, the harsh reality is probably the opposite, but I'm still young enough in the business to not be to upset about it.

I've been serious about my photography for a little more than a year now, I've loved photography for plenty of years and I started with studio photography a couple of years ago, but it was about a year ago that I knew I wanted to do something serious about it. With that in mind, here are some of my insights. And I know for a fact that I'm not alone with these insights.

Aimless business plan.
A business plan is crazy important and, at least to my experience, one thing that doesn't work is to live by the sentiment, "I love photography I'll go to any lengths to be shooting anything". Don't get me wrong, I'll shoot almost anything for money, but where I invest my time, energy and marketing is very narrow.

Passive marketing
Waiting for someone to discover your website for example will take forever, since I came online I have not been contacted once due to a random visit to my website, and I have had plenty of visitors.

E-mail marketing
Sending out masses of emails dosen't work. I spent weeks digging up e-mail adresses to some 50 art directors and photo editors in Stockholm and also some 100 record labels in Sweden. I've used those email lists a few times, thus far I've recieved 2 replies where they politely declined my services but wished me good luck.

E-mail communication with clients.
Sweden have since the beginning of internet been one of the most well connected countries in the world. Yet it's only a small percentage of the clients I've needed to communicate information to that knows how to use and behave over the net. OBS! I don't blame my clients, I've shifted my methods towards normal snail mail and telephone even though it's uncomfortable and expensive.

I'm sure that I could continue this list for a long while, If you have anything else that would fit this list, please share it in the comments.

Right now I have to figure out and work more on methods that do work and I will share some positive strategies in a later post. For my next post however I'm thinking abut writing about pricing and the economy of photography. Read the full post

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why so few blog posts during the summer?


Work & money!
It was a clearly outspoken goal for me to generate enough revenue from my photography this spring/summer to at least break even and perhaps also pay part of my rent. The harsh reality is that I failed that goal, I managed to land a couple of assignments paying for some of the gear but the numbers are still way in the red, so I felt I needed to take a summer job when I got the chance earlier this summer.

So, the last couple of weeks I've been working from 07:00 till 16:00 plus overtime with maintenance at a major steel industry located in the town where I grew up and my parents still live. It's messy and dirty and most of the times the work is heavy enough for me to skip working out afterwards without feeling bad about it ;-) But it's been a good time and I have lot's of energy now for more photography and blog writing. (as well as a cash buffer)

The major problem with me working and blogging is that 90% of my blog posts are written in the early morning hours, that's when I'm the most inspired and my thoughts are the clearest. Due to the work Iv'e been a bit too tired to come up with interesting blog posts in general and I've also been a bit too pressed for time to have done to much interesting stuff with my photography that I could write about. The little photography I've done (that's not unfit for the blog) I have shared.

Anyhow, I have a blog post under construction where I will share some of my thoughts about the business side of photography, and I'm on my last week of work now so I'll be back in full soon.
Stay tuned.

P.S To be perfectly honest (which I always am of course) the release of the computer game Starcraft 2 has played a part in me not dedicating enough time on the blog, but hey! We all deserve vacation from the real life some times don't we, and who's gonna save the universe if I don't do it?
Read the full post

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Photo shoot with Johanna W.


Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography
model: Johanna "Hanna" W. , Synk Casting
Makup: Christina C.
Photography & retouching: Me Mårten Keijser

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

I've been working a lot with various non photography related stuff the last couple of weeks and this project was such a great break from all that. We didn't really have any opportunity for this project to create something major with a big production and lot's of planning. We sort of, as a team, just threw ourselves into the project, shooting and experimenting while letting fate, instinct or whatever guide us right. I think we were guided right.

Johanna is such a great model, no problem expanding the comfort zone and "freaking out" in front of the camera. And despite what it might look like on this other series below, throughout the shoot she was always 1 sec away from a happy laughter, that sort of positive energy is so valuable that I can't really put it in words.

Anyhow, I hope you like the result, I'm very happy with it at least.

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

Fashion and conceptual editorial artist portrait photographer Marten Keijser Solna Stockholm Sweden Internationall, mode och konceptuella porträtt musik band artistporträtt, film video DOP director of photography

P.S Once more I say, You gotta love the add noise feature of Adobe Camera Raw. Read the full post