Well, I've been doing photography as a serious venture for about 3 years. I began the pursuit of my creative side in a number of ways once retirement came my way. In doing so, I realized I have a passion and a growing talent for photography. I've only just begun! I can't wait to see where this takes me!
When I realized that some of my work was good enough to sell, I made a committment to get better at promoting myself and my work.
This journey has many twists and turns. What it has taught me, thus far, is I enjoy networking, however I have so much to learn. Although not 100% confident as yet, I have no doubt I will get there.
I joined the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and this is a great place to promote one's self. As a member, it allows me the privilege of a membership directory, putting my business cards at the Chamber of Commerce office downtown. Last but not least, the privilege of meeting some wonderful, wonderful people that may be interested in purchasing at some point for themselves and/or giving me referrals. At the very least, they give tremendous support.
It helps to join a selective few art associations locally, and then worldwide via the internet. Added to this, is the need to get involved on committees for various local events and charities. I'm still working on that aspect of my personal marketing, but that's getting a little easier as time goes on.
Vista Print helped me design my photography rack card. I can hand it out, mail it out and place it in critical locations around the city. It's another item potential clients can take away with them from any of the shows I'm part of. It's all about getting your name out there in both local, national and international markets. Social media is something that is here to stay and one can't underestimate the power it holds to make people aware of one's talent. I seem to be 'behind the eight ball' when it comes to the technology aspect of promotion. I'm working on it and have found great people to help me out.
My heart says I'm doing exactly what I'm meant to be doing. My confidence continues to grow. I've learned not to be afraid of the word 'No'!
I can't end this post without saying I also love to promote other photographers. For the most part, the ones I've met are quite happy to share their tips and secrets. Thank you to all those who have helped me to this point!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Continuing with my effort to feature talented Ontario photographers amateur or professional, please meet Jesse Brenneman. I met Jesse a week ago today at the Lakefield Jazz Festival and Art Show. He and his wife were actually there to browse and listen to the jazz. They are from the Kitchener area of Ontario. We were talking and I discovered he is a photographer as well. We shared a few tips and some of our history. I was most impressed with his willingness to take some time out of his personal weekend to discuss photography so I asked if he would consider letting me do a feature...he said, 'yes'.
Here we go!...in Jesse's own words.
When did you first get interested in photography?
ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO, IN MY SECOND YEAR OF UNIVERSITY, WAS THE FIRST TIME I REALLY HAD ANY INTEREST IN TAKING PHOTOS.
What kind of camera was your first and what do you use now?
I STARTED WITH MY MOTHER’S FUJI A303 POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA, AND AFTER ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF UPGRADED TO AN SLR. I AM NOW USING A CANON 40D.
What, in your opinion, are the advantages and disadvantages between ‘point and shoot’ and ‘DSLR’?
POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERAS ARE GREAT FOR BEING COMPACT AND QUICK, AS WELL AS BEING FAR LESS COSTLY THAN SLR's. SO, I DON’T MIND TAKING MY POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA OUT IN A CANOE OR SOMWEHERE ELSE WHERE IT MIGHT GET WRECKED…I WOULDN’T DARE DO THAT WITH MY SLR. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SLR OFFERS SO MUCH MORE DIVERSITY, ESPECIALLY IN LENSES AND FULL MANUAL CONTROLS, IN ORDER TO TAKE PHOTOS WITH MANY DIFFERENT MOODS AND EFFECTS. THE FAST FOCUSING IS A DEFINITE BENEFIT AS WELL.
What type of pictures do you tend to shoot the most?
I MOSTLY SHOOT LANDSCAPES AND ARCHITECTURE, AND REALLY LOVE TAKING THESE PHOTOS AT NIGHT. I ALSO LOVE TO TAKE PHOTOS OF PETS AND OTHER ANIMALS.
What type of art, photography etc. do you have in your own home?
AT THE MOMENT, MY WIFE AND I JUST HAVE FRAMED SETS OF PHOTOS FROM SOME OF OUR VACATIONS. BUT I HAVE PLENTY OF OLD MOVIE POSTERS STORED AWAY THAT I PLAN ON PUTTING UP WHEN WE HAVE MORE SPACE.
What is one tip you’ve learned that has improved your photography?
EXPERIMENTATION IS KEY. BEING COMPLETELY SELF-TAUGHT, I LEARNED QUICKLY THAT YOU JUST NEED TO TAKE LOADS OF PHOTOS TO LEARN THE SETTINGS AND CAPABILITIES OF YOUR CAMERA, AND TAKE EVEN MORE TO FIND COOL WAYS TO PUT THEM TO USE. ALSO EXPERIMENT WITH COMPOSITION. DON’T JUST TAKE THE ANGLE YOU FIRST THINK OF. TAKE MANY MORE…AND THEN MORE ON TOP OF THOSE…YOUR FIRST THOUGHT IS VERY RARELY YOUR FAVOURITE FROM THE SET.
When you do portrait work, what is your biggest challenge?
PORTRAITS ARE TOUGH FOR ME. I FIND THAT RELATING TO THE SUBJECT IS VERY HELPFUL, BUT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO DO IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. UNDERSTANDING THE SUBJECT HELPS YOU TO LOOSEN THEM UP AND MAKE THE SHOOT FLOW EASILY AND MORE NATURALLY. BUT I FIND THIS DIFFICULT.
What type of photography is more difficult for you?
PORTRAITS. I FIND MOVING OBJECTS MORE DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH, BUT THE CHALLENGE IS GREAT FUN WHEN I DO PORTRAIT SESSIONS
Is there a particular photo you just haven’t managed to shoot yet, but you really would like to get?
I REALLY, REALLY WANT TO DO SOME SUPER-LONG EXPOSURES OF THE SKY AT NIGHT TO GET “STAR TRAILS,” BUT JUST HAVEN’T HAD THE TIME LATELY TO GO PULL IT OFF
Who influenced your love of photography?
MY WIFE’S FATHER IS A VIDEOGRAPHER, AND SEEING HIS WORK WAS A LARGE INSPIRATION, AND MY BEST FRIEND WAS ALWAYS FOOLING AROUND WITH HIS CAMERA, AND WAS ANOTHER SOURCE OF INSPIRATION AND KNOWLEDGE
Name one photographer you admire living or dead and why.
ACTUALLY, MY BEST FRIEND HIN FAN. HE HAS BEEN MY MAIN SOURCE OF MOTIVATION AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY. HIS PHOTOS ARE ALWAYS SO UNIQUE, AND EVERY TIME I SEE UPDATED PHOTOS ON HIS FLICKR PAGE, I AM INSPIRED TO GO OUT AND TAKE SOME MORE PHOTOS OF MY OWN.
Which shot, up until now, are you most proud of?
One tip you could give a relatively new photographer…
ONE TIP I TRY TO GIVE PEOPLE IS TO EXPERIMENT WITH EXPOSURE. IT IS NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY STICK TO THE “RULES” THAT YOU MIGHT HEAR ABOUT. TRY FUNKY ANGLES AND TRY DIFFERENT WAYS OF FRAMING A SUBJECT. DON’T RELY TOO HEAVILY ON PHOTOSHOP. IT IS A GREAT TOOL FOR TOUCHING UP AN IMAGE, BUT LEARN THE ART OF COMPOSITION, BECAUSE PHOTOSHOP CAN’T HELP WITH COMPOSITION
How do you use social media to grow your photography business….
CURRENTLY, I ONLY USE FLICKR. I HAVE BEEN AT SCHOOL FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS, AND TIME HAS NOT BEEN IN ABUNDANCE. BUT, FLICKR HAS BEEN A GREAT WAY OF SHARING MY WORK AND GETTING MY NAME OUT THERE VIA GROUPS
What shot has eluded you so far?
THE MOON.I REALLY WANT TO TAKE SOME GREAT CLOSE-UPS OF THE MOON, BUT HAVEN’T YET.
What is your ultimate goal as a photographer?
MY GOAL, FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, WAS TO LEARN HOW TO USE A CAMERA WELL ENOUGH THAT I COULD PUT SOME PHOTOS ON MY WALLS WITHOUT HAVING TO BUY ART. IT TURNED INTO AN OBSESSION TO CONTINUE TO GET BETTER PHOTOS. NOW MY GOAL IS TO CAPTURE PHOTOS ON MY TRAVELS THAT MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WANT TO HANG ON THEIR WALLS…AND HOPEFULLY SELL SOME OF THOSE PHOTOS AS ART!
What awards or acknowledgements have you received thus far, if any?
I HAVE ATTACHED ANOTHER PHOTO (A TREE LANDSCAPE) WHICH HAS WON AWARDS IN THE LANDSCAPE AND OVERALL CATEGORIES IN THE GLEN MORRIS LIBRARY PHOTO CONTEST AND WHICH WON FIRST PLACE IN THE LANDSCAPE CATEGORY, AS WELL AS THE “BEST-IN-SHOW” AWARD IN THE 2010 KITCHENER PUBLIC LIBRARY AMATEUR PHOTO CONTEST.
THE FINAL ATTACHED PHOTO RECEIVED THIRD PLACE IN THE ARCHITECTURE CATEGORY IN THE 2011 KITCHENER PUBLIC LIBRARY AMATEUR PHOTO CONTEST.
On a personal note, I'd like to thank Jesse and I have no doubt that his name will be recognized by many in the future.....amazing work!
If you wish to see more of Jesse's photography go to:
Below are a few of my favourites he sent......please enjoy!
If you like Jesse's work and want to comment or get in touch with him, you can email him at jmb.photo at yahoo.ca
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Since I lived 11 years in the USA, and my daughters both married Americans and now hold dual citizenship, I feel a connection to both holidays.
For me, a big part of 'Canada Day' was gardening, making note cards ... so pretty mundane by comparison to what many were doing. However, late afternoon my friend Marg called and invited me out for the evening.
We have a beautiful lake in the middle of our city with a bandstand. Each year from the end of May to the end of August, the city puts on 'MusicFest' which are free concerts in the park by the lake. Every Wednesday and Saturday evening they showcase various gendres of music, both local artists and from across Canada. This year, Musicfest kicked off with Natalie McMaster and her husband Donnell Leahy. For Canada Day, there are activities, cultural events and a very big concert with fireworks in the evening.
My friend, Marg has a VIP membership (which one pays a yearly donation for the privilege) which allows up close parking and a designated area to sit close to the stage. Marg, our friend Laurie, and myself had a 'girls night out'. We had a blast!
The band was local and were fantastic! They were called Keith Burton and the Footloose Band. They did impressions of such people as Shania Twain, Michael Jackson, Roy Orbison, BTO, Madonna, Faith Hill, Tina Turner and Lady GaGa. Musically, they were amazing and they did their best to look like them, but that lacked a little!
Marg, Laurie and myself knew many of the words to the songs and we sang along and danced and danced....FUN!
At the end of the concert, they had a full 15 - 20 minutes of non-stop fireworks that were spectacular!!!
Afterward, we went out for coffee...yes, just coffee. We talked and talked and talked, so it was really late when I got home.
Sunday, I had my oldest brother, Dennis and my sister-in-law Bette come for the afternoon and dinner. We had spareribs, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and Greek salad. For dessert, I made my brother's favourite rhubarb and strawberry pie and served with ice cream.
Monday, I drove to Campbellford, Ontario to check out my show 'Life is Good' at the library. My one woman show will end on July 14th. Although I've only had one sale, the people at the library said there have been really great comments. A few people have come back twice to see it! Now, if only more people would purchase some pieces! Times are tough for many people, including myself, so I just need to hang in and be patient. My heart tells me I'm doing exactly what I should be and to stick with it....until!
I will be putting 5 new pieces at the Kawartha Tourism Centre this week with a summer theme.
Saturday, I'm participating in an art show at the Lakefield Jazz Festival so I'm doing all the last minute stuff to make sure I'm ready. This is my first time, so I'm looking forward to some potential sales and listening to some pretty great jazz!