I’ve got photography on my mind today, because I actually have a paying gig tomorrow night! My usual modus operandi is to shoot photos, Photoshop and post them to my Smugmug website, and hope someone will buy them. Not the best of business models for making money, that’s for sure.
But this time my friend Karen called asking if I would take photos of her younger son and the other Cub Scouts who are bridging into the Boy Scouts during their Arrow of Light ceremony, which I did three years ago for her older son. There are 23 scouts from three dens; that’s a bunch. Karen said they didn’t want parents taking photos because of time constraints; that definitely would be better for my sales. I asked her to poll the parents to see how many would be interested in buying pictures, and she reported that the majority would.
I know from taking youth sports photos for the last five years or so that some parents think you’re a great photographer only if you’re giving them free pictures of their kids; otherwise, they’re not about to pay you for your time, effort, expertise, and equipment, no matter how good your photos are. Some will argue, “But photos only cost 20 cents to print at Sam’s Club, CVS, or wherever.” They don’t seem to appreciate all that goes into producing a wonderful memory of their child. Kind of like how some people don’t appreciate how hard teachers work. Funny thing . . . one of my friends, who happens to be an excellent teacher and whose sons I’ve taken many photos of, matter-of-factly told me she preferred another parent’s pix over mine simply because they were free. They weren’t better, but they were cheaper. Really hurt my feelings. But that’s what can happen when you give away your photos at first.
But I digress . . . . I told Karen she had several choices. I would take the photos, but I would have to be paid for my time and gave her what I thought was a reasonable price. In return, I would burn every parent all the photos on CDs, and they could print out their own photos. I also will consider making 8 x 10 collages that I will sell through Smugmug; just depends on how the pix look and how motivated I am. Second, she could find another photographer to do the job. Third, she could have a savvy parent with a good camera take the pictures and give everyone copies. I told her that even though I felt my price was fair, there would be a handful of parents who would object, and that it wouldn’t bother me at all if I wasn’t hired.
As expected, a couple didn’t want to go along, apparently, but enough did for the scouts to decide to hire me. Because the ceremony is at 6:30 p.m. outside, I bought the CB Junior flash bracket (shown above) to help cut down on red-eye and shadows caused by the flash when the camera is oriented vertically. I’ve used the Stroboframe bracket before with my Nikon D200, but I’ve had trouble with its bulk and the way the handle won’t stay upright. The CB Junior seems to be a better bet. I should have a full report Monday.
So my main get ’er done for today is to learn how to use the bracket and try it out with some probably unwilling young, male models from my household. Here’s the line I’m going with:
“Want Pei-Wei for dinner? Stand over there and smile!” I’ve used the boys before for photo practice, and it’s never pretty. They hate it.
Another “Survivor” blindside
Wow! Two weeks into the new “Survivor: Tocantins” season there have been two tribal councils and two blindsides. Love it! This time it was Candace, who’s an attorney by trade but didn’t learn that trust is everything when it comes to advancing in the game. Here’s a clue for future “Survivor” contestants: The minute you think you’re safe and get all smug about it, you can count on one thing—being voted out and heading down the walk of shame.
Look at this photo of Candace: Think she’s been enhanced in any way (and I’m not talking about HDTV!)?
And a shout-out to Taj: Why in the world would you tell your tribe that you’re married to former pro football player Eddie George? Don’t you watch the show? If the other players think you don’t need the money, you’re also going to be taking that long, lonely walk from tribal council. Better hope you find that hidden immunity idol.
I had forgotten that “American Idol” will have the judges pick three wild cards for the final 12. That could mean that Tatiannoying could continue to plague us. Noooooo!