Quitting Facebook.

I have a love-hate relationship with the internet and with technology in general.  I was an early adopter of digital camera technology purchasing the first digital back made by Phase One called the LightPhase.  It was 6 big bad mega pixels and I paid $24,000. 16 years later, the iPhone boasts a 12mp camera and now Everyone is a photographer. 

The PhaseOne LightPhase 6mp digital back.

As far as Facebook goes, I have had a profile for years now, a business page for the studio and one for Elizabeth's photography as well that I manage. (She quit Facebook years ago). There is the twitter account, Pinterest, Instagram and Linkedin.  I have reached a technology plateau.  As I sat enjoying conversation with some old friends over coffee yesterday I thought to myself, it's time to simplify a bit.  So, goodbye Facebook and you too Twitter. It's not you, it's me.

© James Worrell


(You can still keep up with me on Instagram, I can't quit that one, yet.)

Check out this Article from Lifehack on the 7 reasons why quitting Facebook now is good for your future, I would post it on Facebook but...



Sabbatical, it's why they Hiatus

Sugar the chicken, moment's before it tried to peck my daughter in the face.  From my ongoing series "Iowa"

sab·bat·i·cal
səˈbadək(ə)l/

- a period of paid leave granted to a college teacher for study or travel, traditionally every seventh year.

Paid?  Am I right? One can dream.  Best go with Hiatus - A period of time with something (such as an activity or program) is stopped. 

I started this blog in October of 2008, moments before the economy tried to "correct" itself. It has been a wonderful place to show work, talk about issues in the industry.  473 posts later, the blog went on hiatus in November of 2015.

I wasn't sure if I would start "blogging" again as it began to feel like work to come up with something that I wasn't sure anyone was reading.  For a self-congratulatory photo blog I do get a fair bit of traffic, but does it help my career at all?  Should my time be spent doing something else?  The answer you may ask? What wisdom can I impart on my fellow Gen Xer's, the hordes of Milenials and the unfortunate, non-creatively named Generation Z kids?  The answer?  

There isn't one. 

June Kiddie Pool, from on going series "Iowa"

The point, if there is one to this post, is that being a creative professional outside the corporate paradigm has plenty of challenges. Not least of which is the abundance of cheap technology and lots and lots of photographers. My advice, for what it's worth, is to do whatever it takes to remain connected to your work.  In an age obsessed with new, young and social, it is more important than ever to focus on what make your work yours.  Nobody cares that much unless it can directly help them, so make it matter to yourself first.  Does your work speak to you?  If it doesn't, then it won't matter to anyone else either. Selling your work to those who buy photography services is an all together different subject and post. However, you have to have something sell first.

I wouldn't suggest being completely self absorbed either.  For me, being busy is when the ideas come.  I can be busy taking my family to Iowa for vacation for instance, or I can be busy shooting for a client.  My kryptonite is inactivity. So, time to get busy.

With apologies to the photographer who did the original photo, I convinced the kid to reenact the picture.  I couldn't be happier with the result, they really got into it... a new series perhaps?



Real Success

The growth in the photography industry seems to me to reside with those who sell services to photographers, i.e. list services, sourcebooks, consultants, equipment dealers, etc. Don't get me wrong, they're important and I use them all, but the only real success I have had in this business has come from a handful (yes, handful) of extraordinary business relationships. I have always wanted to give those on this short list a trophy or a puppy, or some other token of appreciation because it out of these relationships that most of my other work has been made possible. For example, if you want an electrician what do you do? While some of us will Google "electrician" and our zip code, likely more of us will go and ask a friend "who do you use?" I am nothing but an overeducated, specialized electrician.  

Google Plus, for what it's worth, set it up correctly. We all have various circles from which a 2nd tier of relationships form.  I have circles of clients, vendors, friends and colleagues. Interesting things happen in the intersections, through referrals and recommendations.

I'll give you an example: I live in a funky little town outside of NYC that is home to a lot of creative people (I have always called it Brooklyn West). It consistently amazes me that so many of the people I meet here are in artistic fields. A few years ago I was introduced to an illustrator who often worked with a photographer friend of mine, Jim Bastardo. We ran into each other here and there and one day our friend couldn't help him with a shoot due to a scheduling conflict so he asked me instead. I can only hope Felix Sockwell is as happy with the photo I took of him for his promotional material as I am of the new logo he designed for me. I love it. I have since had occasion to work with him on other jobs, and we've gone out to sit and chat over coffee, discussing all sorts of things from the business to all of the daughters we have (he has 3, I have 2). The main point is this: Felix and I have gone from being colleagues and neighbors to good friends who sometimes work together. And that to me is success.

Mr Felix Sockwell, check him out!

Vertical logo for my JamesWorrell.net splash page

Horizontal version for my site and other parts of my identity
Felix is constantly drawing in his sketch book, he emailed me this the other day...




I'll Stop the World


 "I'll Melt with You" by Modern English. Performed by Nouvelle Vague.
Edited and shot by James Worrell.
A very spoooooky Halloween to you! (or ‘Character Day” as it’s called in my daughters middle school.)
Here is aspecial 15 second stop motion we are calling March of the Pumpkins!





How to add Value? Don't be a Jerk.

I love a good saying, a short, clever expression that usually contains advice or expresses some obvious truth. And in this day and age of short attention spans, if you can't fit it on a bumper sticker... I saw a good one this morning on the site of NYC advertising agency Wasabi Rabbit. "Our policy on assholes, we don't hire them." Makes sense to me.

WasabiRabbit.com

Another saying you hear a lot is regarding value, " Price, Quality, Service... pick any Two."  Think about Costco vs Whole Foods.  It is safe to say you will physically get more for your money at Costco but you will not experience great customer service.  Low prices are great of course, but according to Gallop it is good customer service that creates value and loyalty.  

Price, Quality, Service.  Cheap, Good, Fast.

Increasingly businesses are being told they have to deliver all three and it has become a giant race to the bottom. I find the best way to not work with assholes is to pay people what they are worth. Sure, jerks will be jerks and you don't have to hire them.  But service and quality make value that is worth paying for.