Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something Glamorous

A while ago I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with this whole photography business. I did what a lot of people do: photograph attractive women. Like a lot of people, I love fashion and glamour photography, and the world is full of beautiful women.

I stopped doing shooting "hot chicks" though. I just couldn't find a way for it to be valued enough to generate revenue. While I might have loved doing it, the models never wanted to pay for my services, and the one magazine I shot for had a bigger budget for the models than for the photography. So I put that in my past.

I was showing a friend some photographs and the glamour stuff popped up. She seemed to really like the work. I told her that that type of work wasn't what I wanted to be known for.

I was in my studio and I have some images, like the one above, tacked to the wall. They're beautiful. I love what I did with the light and my lens choices and everything I did to bring out the best in the women I photographed. I got to thinking that maybe I was thinking too small. I told a photographer once that you need to see where your talent will take you. Keep pushing the boundaries. I need to take my own advice.

I may never be a Helmut Newton, but I think my work is competitive on a national — or maybe even a world scale. It just needs to get into the hands of the right people. So I sent a letter to Maxim magazine. They spent more than eight minutes on my Web site and then sent me a response. My contact person said, "If you would like to just send your portfolio to us I would be happy to circulate it through our department." What's cool is, I have no glamour work on my site, and they are still interested. So I made a glamour portfolio.

I have one portfolio at Vanity Fair and now I'm walking out the door to send a portfolio to Maxim. I've never been here before (and this blog entry is marking the day that I have two portfolios out for the very first time). I've always felt that the best thing you can do — in a good economy or bad — is keep forward motion. Invest in yourself and think of ways to get noticed so that you can do that thing you love to do so much. And remember to aim for the top.

I may not have originally wanted to be known for glamour photography, but I think I could just amend my statement to: "I don't want to be known for glamour photography under low-ball conditions." But if I can be published in the top magazines, I certainly want to be known for fashion and glamour. I guess it's all about setting your sites high and not embracing mediocrity. If I can't be on top, why am I out a limb?

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