The Seven Year Itch

So what did You do this summer?  I thought way too hard about Blogs and Photography.  Where is photography going?  And does anyone still need a blog? I have had this blog for exactly seven years, the first post being October 1, 2008.  And true to the psychological term that shows divorce spikes after Seven years of marriage, the blog and I entered into a trial separation earlier this year. My most recent post prior to this one was in January but I had been feeling the blog fatigue for some time.

Billy Wilder's 1955 Comedy

After much thought and too much coffee at my local coffee shop, the Able Baker, I have decided to relaunch the blog in more of an idea/macro view format. There will be a lot less of me going on about my personal work and more about ideas and tips. Photography has fundamentally changed and I am once again attempting to change with it.  I was really struck by this recent Time Lightbox article by Stephen Mayes,

The Next Revolution in Photography Is Coming

A multiple exposure by Stephen Wilkes
"It’s time to stop talking about photography. It’s not that photography is dead as many have claimed, but it’s gone." - Stephen Mayes

In his article, Stephen compares photography's shift from film to digital with puberty. I am not sure I agree completely with this analogy but Stephen is a smart guy and has clearly thought about this a lot.  ALL I KNOW is that I fell in love with photography in the black and white darkroom of my High School in Iowa.  I have watched my idea of photography change multiple times as well as been in the middle of one of it's biggest changes, the pubescent shift from film to digital.  I wonder what that makes all people in the "I still shoot film" subgenre?  Read the article, it's very thoughtful and well written.

So, are blogs relevant for photographers?  Is photography relevant?  We are literally standing on the edge of the unknown and we can either choose to go with the excitement of change or hang back with the familiarity of fear.  For me, it's a little of both.

I will see you soon for the new Less Is More, Volume 8, with a look at the Service Triangle of Price, Quality, Service.  It has long been the understanding that a customer can only pick two...

Iowa -vs- Martha's Vineyard

We typically take a trip to visit the family farm in Iowa every summer as well as a trip to Martha's Vineyard in late August.  It has been incredible to watch my kids and their cousins grow up  in these two places.  Although I met my wife in NYC 18 years ago, we both have deep roots in Iowa, and the kids love it. 

This year, my daughter wanted to enter some artwork in the Martha's Vineyard Ag Fair, something we go to every year on our vacation to the island.  I am overjoyed to report that she won first place in "still-life" for her age group while I got 2nd place in the professional category.  She is thrilled of course and loves to say she beat me at my own game.  

I personally feel I could retire now, I have never been happier for a 2nd place finish.

Edie with her photo and blue ribbon on Martha's Vineyard.
I entered one of my cow photos from the farm.
My 2nd place ribbon.  
June "driving" a John Deere tractor with my Uncle Jim.
The kids jumping off the dock in Martha's Vineyard.
The cousins watch the cows.
Oblatory sunset photo from MV.

Me being the last one told that the family photo was not to be shot at that time.

Putting Yourself Out There

When I first started shooting some 20 odd years ago there was a marketing formula for photographers which consisted of sending out 4 direct mailing pieces a year and taking out a source book ad. We didn't have to worry about email marketing, web sites, SEO, blogs, social media, etc.  These are all tools that I use but nothing beats a printed card, portfolio or book in this photographer's humble opinion.

This past year, I decided to go back to basics.  I have advertised in At Edge which puts out 5 books over the course of the year and recently I sent out my first direct mail piece in a while.  I have plans to do at least 3 direct mail pieces in 2015.  The big difference is that I still have to do a lot of the other stuff as well.

I have spoken to many of my colleagues regarding these issues and the bottom line, as summed up by my studio mate Beth Galton, seems to be that you have to put yourself out there.  I think this mainly means putting a consistent product out on as many platforms as you can afford within your budget, target your efforts and follow up.  And keep shooting, always keep shooting.

My At Edge Microview 48 ad, which comes out in June of 2015.
It is an ice cream collaboration between myself and food stylist Brian Preston-Campbell.

The winter direct mail folded card, we are sending this one out now.

Microview 47 due out in April. This shot styled by Jen Everett.

The Holiday card featuring my work for TUMI.  Styled by Molly Fitzsimons.

Microview 46, March 2015.  Styled by Jen Everett for Marriott.

Macroview 2015 due out this month.  As the name suggests, it's bigger.

Microview 45, the first one that came out in 2014.  Styled by Alexandra Niki

October 2014

It's time to check in with what's been happening around here.

We did the cover for Matt Burgess's new novel on Knopf DoubleDay
Styled by the Set Goddess Megan Caponetto from Apostrophe
Creative Direction by Emily Mahon

Latest Cover for Shop Smart - They are the BEST!
Karin Olsen - Stylist
Karen Shinebaum - Photo Editor
Art Director - Tammy Fernandez
Melissa Plonchak - Creative Director

A couple of fun covers for Barron's
Adrian DeLucca - Photo Editor

Kickstart video for Instagram

And finally, we are putting the finishing touches on the new site -

Yo, it's Better in Jersey!

Let's just get this out of the way, everyone in New Jersey feels the same way about you as you do about them ;)  No, seriously,  I moved with my family out to New Jersey about 10 years ago when I realized how many square feet we could have there compared to where we were in Brooklyn. 2860 vs 680! Ha! In reality, when we decided to leave the city for the burbs, we looked west for the simple fact that it was closer to family in Philly.  But I must say, we love it!

I have two small kids making their way through the school system in our lovely town of Maplewood, so when this latest assignment from NJ Monthly came along I jumped at the chance to get involved. The new creative force behind NJM is Laura Baer, she and I have worked together for years at various publications.  She is one of my favorite collaborators, enjoy! 

New Jersey Monthly Cover September 2014
Laura Baer - Creative Director
Stephanie Hanes - Stylist
Nathan Kipe for Every Pixel Counts - Retouching