Friday, November 21, 2008

CEO at Webnow

We did a quick shoot at Webnow (www.webnow.co.za) - the guys I use for my nifty newsletters, which you should be subscribing to, by the way - yesterday. Basically the brief was to shoot Jean-Pierre, the CEO, to get some imagery for general PR and media purposes. It's a funky, trendy company, so the images needed to reflect that.

Now this just made me very aware again of the need of companies to get a decent profile of media friendly images together for their respective MD's, CEO's, Managers and all who will have some media exposure. I cringe every time I see a photo in a business magazine grabbed while at a party by a mate (because I wasn't looking at the camera, and it looks friendly),  or while making a speech of some sort (grabbed by the event photographer from below, showing podium, powerpoint presentation, and oh, a pic of some indiscernable figure, basked in all colours of light), or the latest fad: the company bought a nice new camera for these purposes and my secretary will quickly take a pic for us. Because of the inherent damage such a pic will do to your press release, I must implore you not to go that route. Why not actually manage or even control the image you put forth? Magazines will be forced to search for ANY image of you if you don't supply decent imagery with your press release.

You need to remember, magazines don't just need mug shots. They need some creative options: i.e. image with copy-space, headline space, mast-head space (if you get cover you  know) etc etc. Designers like cropable pictures as an option.

Now, this call goes out to all companies: spend the money (and really, this isn't megabucks we're talking here) and get a decent profile of your people. Magazines are so much more likely to accept your submissions from you or your PR company if you have good imagery to go along with it, in a media-friendly format: (300 dpi, correct size, Adobe RGB colour space etc). Also, your newsletters, blog and Plaxo Avatar will just look so much more slick with a nice portrait.

Yes, photography will bring value to your brand. Just look at what all the big names are doing. Do not be caught unawares.

Now back to BTS talk:

We had 2 hours to shoot and get a couple of options. So strobists: it had to be my 2 Speedlites, brolly and bare, Elinchrom Skyport and trusty 5D to do the job. Oh, and Jeremy, also now affectionately known as Mary (or Mark) Poppins, because of his constant frolicking around with umbrellas. (Thanx for that Kanya...)

 

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Annie Leibovitz book

Celebrity (READ: I'm more famous than the people I photograph) photographer, Annie Leibovitz, has brought out a new book, discussing her behind-the-scenes workings and dealings, explaining a lot of stuff she felt, went through and got around. I haven't read it, but will hopefully be reading it soon.

 

If you're interested:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lighting Light

The other day we got a call to come and shoot some lamps at a company supplying lamps and interior decor items to some big retail chains. First catch: location, second catch: even background, third catch (my own gripe): lamps have to be lit, but in this case you can't see the power cord...

 

_MG_2967 Setting up. We had limited space, so 2 heads had to do the job. Visatecs with shoot-through and reflective brolly box.

_MG_2884 Jeremy inserting the magic in the lamp. Strobists, it shouldn't be too difficult for you to figure out.

_MG_2922 Jeremy placing the lamp, me in my default position for the day.

_MG_2929 Final raw shot.

Half-day: 60 odd products. Not bad going.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Good Taste Shoot

I recently shot a article for Good Taste magazine, featuring Giorgio Nava of 95 Keerom fame. The plot of the whole affair is that a chef rocks up at the designated winemaker/punter's house, and needs to put together a dish or 2 with whatever he finds in the kitchen. It was good fun, but called for some shooting and thinking off the cuff, as it all needs to be shot as it happens.

 

Go and view the images and article here: http://www.goodtaste.co.za/Special-Interest/Theres-an-Italian-in-My-Kitchen.html

Also see the neat little video - although it's only about cooking, you can see my Speedlite and my figure in the back briefly!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A poem relating to photography

Through Gods eyes

A photograph could be just that

An image of the all incumbent nature of sense and emotion

Pasted together by colour and light

A woman’s smile

A Veteran’s wrinkles

A child playing

A funeral

A tree

Behind the lens lies a potent instrument a master’s eye much more vigilant

It manipulates the palate and its artificial friend

To draw the truth by it’s reluctant thread to the other end

The Sadness within happiness

The long journey towards maturity

The young soul’s vulnerability

The farewell to flesh

The vessel of time

A photograph could be just that

Pasted in a book to fade and grow older

Forgotten forever

Or something more mysterious and bolder

Immortal

An exhibition in the gallery of the Beholder

By: Nadine Potgieter

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

From a different era

I happened to come upon this little optical slave whilst shopping for some manual flashes. I was offered this Nissin Synchro-Eye Slave Unit for a mere R100 as a novelty throw-in with the SB-16 I was buying, which by the way, I overpaid by about R500 (it cost me R600...) .

Compare this little thing with the Falcon Eyes (the ones I use) or even an upscale Hama for packaging and presentation. Its just not quite the same anymore!

 

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Oh, it works by the way. I think the resin body is ingenious as it lets light in from everywhere. The suction cup sucks and generally it's a neat little product that stood the test of time. It's small, real small, about half the size of a normal slave.

I own a Nissin hammerhead flash, which seems new enough, but haven't been able to find any info on this little gizmo anywhere. Anybody?

Support this cause

A message from a muso friend of mine - please support his effort.

 

It's finally here! I wrote a song of hope and peace with 11-time Emmy Award Winner Andy J Gundell and Grammy Award Winner Julie Gold.

We're shooting for a World Record of 1000 000 'listens'.

Be a part of it - Let's wrap this song around the world together.

Visit www.jamesonline.co.za

Click on the BIG ROUND BUTTON

Surf around the Khululeka [freedom] site.

Listen and watch.

If you love it, click 'SHARE' and forward to ALL of your friends.

If you'd like to BUY the song, you are welcome to. ALL proceeds will go to the Desmond Tutu HIV foundation.

Go for it!

Lots of love

James