Happy Fourth of July!

July 5, 2010

I hope everyone had a safe and sane Fourth of July. I enjoy taking photos of fireworks displays, and the City of Temecula put on an outstanding show at the Ronald Regan Sports Park this year. The fireworks and the music were a very good fit, and especially well timed.

Here are a few shots from my secret location at the sports park:

Note: This is a post that I’ve been tinkering with for some time and have finally decided to just post it 🙂

Micro stock is an unusual animal. For those who aren’t familiar with it, there are sites where you can license images royalty free for not a whole lot of money. This is great if you need an image for a presentation, a report, or a website. In the past, if you needed an image, you either had to:

a) take the picture yourself. This would work out well if you had the equipment necessary for such an endeavor. If not, it made the image a bit on the expensive and time consuming side.
b) hire a photographer to take the photos you needed. You would get your image fairly quickly, and you wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of stuff, but it could still be expensive.
c) contact a stock photograph agency and license the image from them. This can range from not a whole lot of money to quite a bit, depending on what you were planning on on doing with the image.

But I digress…

I started in my micro stock journey a few years ago, submitting photos to a couple of agencies. Sales were slow on most agencies, and rather brisk at one popular subscription site. After my portfolio reached a certain size, or perhaps a certain age, sales began to accelerate on some agencies, and drop off on others.

Maintaining portfolios on about a dozen agencies is a lot of work–each one has a different procedure for uploading images, assigning keywords and submitting images. Each agency also has differing tastes as to what they wanted to sell. One agency would reject most everything I submitted as being not what their customers were looking for while others would take everything. These inconsistencies between differing business models was just part and parcel of being an “independent.”

And this is how it went for a couple of years. Monitoring sales, keeping track of statistics, figuring out keywords, uploading, assigning categories, oh, and occasionally taking the odd photograph or two in between.

Towards the end of 2009, a number of major changes in the stock industry had occurred. A couple of the agencies to which I contributed closed down. Another agency had it’s portfolio moved completely to a subscription site, and then shut down. Another agency made some changes in their commission structure so that I was nearly giving my work away.

I finally had had enough of playing with all these different agencies, and decided to hang my hat on the one that had consistently outperformed all the other agencies I submitted to: iStockPhoto.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I started pulling out of the different agencies. It wasn’t too hard on the agencies where sales were very rate. It was a bit harder on some of the others. I wound up being in a situation where I had to wait about three months before I could withdraw my images from one final agency. It was a very slow three months.

Finally, in March, I was able to click the “Exclusive” button on iStock, and I really haven’t given it another thought. It’s much nicer with only having to deal with one agency. While I may not make as many sales quantity wise as when I was independent, it’s definitely been worth it financially.

Note: I’ve been tinkering with this post for a little bit and finally decided to just post it. It was going to be a lot longer, but I shortened it up considerably.

I do a little bit of stock photography. A couple of months ago, I made the transition to being exclusive with just one agency — iStockPhoto. It was one of those things that I hemmed and hawed over for quite a while before making the final decision, but it has been sooo worth it. It’s one of those things that afterwards I find myself saying “Why didn’t I do that sooner?”

Here’s the link to my iStock page and this is a direct link to my gallery there.

WordPress 3.0 upgrade!

June 19, 2010

I just upgraded the blog software to WordPress 3.0. Everything went great, and the Tofurious theme seems to be working just fine!

Welsh & Kinnaman family photos

December 23, 2009

So I get an email from Kaite the other day asking about a surprise photo session for her mother. What a neat idea, and a great Christmas surprise! We had originally thought about doing this shoot in Old Town Temecula, but with all the holiday decorations, we decided that studio shots would probably be better. We met the other evening, and here’s the results. Katie’s father is a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, her brother just received his officer’s commission in the Marine Corps, and is a Second Lieutenant. Her husband is a Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy (soon to be promoted to 2nd class!). It was a privilege and an honor to photograph a family that’s given such a commitment of service to our country.

On to the photos:

Ryan, 2nd. Lt, USMC

Portrait taken in Temecula of US Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenant

Here’s everyone in uniform
Portrait Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy

Portrait Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy

Portrait Navy, Air Force

Now for some more casual photos:

Family portraits

I recently took the school photos for Shiloh Christian Academy. Shiloh is a small Christian school located in Winchester, CA (it’s just only a few minutes away from Temecula). The kids were great! Darlene had everyone ready, and everything went very well.

Here are some of the shots from that day, in no particular order:

School pictures for Shiloh Christian Academy taken in Winchester

School photos for Shiloh Christian Academy taken in Winchester

School portraits for Shiloh Christian Academy taken in Winchester

School pictures for Shiloh Christian Academy taken in Winchester

Woo hoo! My new backdrop arrived yesterday–Sweet Apple by Silverlake. I’d been drooling over this backdrop for quite some time.

So, after getting the backdrop set up, my son Daniel volunteered to be my guinea pig. Yeah, I know his hair isn’t the best, but I had to get a shot of someone against this backdrop and he was willing to pose for me.

Portrait of Daniel posing against the Sweet Apple backdrop in Murrieta

After Daniel helped me, I decided to see how well Shasta, our Siberian cat, would look against it…

Portrait of our pet Siberian cat against the Sweet Apple backdrop taken in Murrieta

Here, Daniel is helping out with one of Shasta’s toys:

Portrait of our pet Siberian cat against the Sweet Apple backdrop taken in Murrieta

Portrait of our pet Siberian cat against the Sweet Apple backdrop taken in Murrieta

Portrait of our pet Siberian cat against the Sweet Apple backdrop taken in Murrieta

I had the privilege of taking portraits of the students at MorningStar Christian Academy and those with the Hands of Grace Christian Support Group. This is a great bunch of kids from all over the Temecula Valley, and range from kindergarten to high school seniors.

Here’s a random sampling of shots in no particular order:

School portraits for MorningStar Christian Academy and Hands of Grace taken in Temecula

School portraits for MorningStar Christian Academy and Hands of Grace taken in Temecula

Sibling shots are always fun to do!

School portraits and photo of sisters and their brother taken in Temecula

More school portraits for MorningStar and Hands of Grace taken in Temecula

School portraits for MorningStar and Hands of Grace taken in Temecula

Some camera/shoot information: All of the individual portraits were taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 85mm f/1.2L lens. When viewed at full size, the clarity and sharpness of these images are simply amazing. The sibling shots were taken with the same camera, and a 24-70 f/2.8L lens. The backdrop is by Silverlake and the lighting was done using Alien Bees.

Home | About | Gallery | Pricing | Online Ordering | Contact | Blog