Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Way of the Agencies

$150,000 worth of advertising from 2 full-page color ads in Seventeen and Teen Vogue

"Given that you no longer test girls directly from the [modeling] agencies, aren't you afraid that you'll become irrelevant with them?"

I'm absolutely afraid I'll become irrelevant.

Afraid I'll be irrelevant with the agencies?


My clients have hired girls from all the top agencies here in LA. And while agents might forget to call you back, they don't forget to call me back. Neither do they forget who I am.

Lest I decide not to cast from them for my clients' next campaigns.

Agencies are businesses. Let me repeat that in case you didn't get that the first time.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Malibu Perfection on the day of our workshop

Planning a workshop 2 months out is a tricky proposition. Ty asked me yesterday how I knew we'd have perfect weather, swell, wind, and tide conditions. To which I responded,

"I didn't. This is fortune"

And then I smiled and thanked my lucky stars.

But I did my homework. I drove out to Malibu on 2 Sundays ago to scout out the locations. I made sure I was informed of the upcoming swell, wind, and weather patterns. When I heard we were getting the Santa Ana winds, I rejoiced because I knew that would bring offshore winds, balmy temperatures, and low humidity. In fact, the only predictable factor was the tide was set since it is tied to the moon phase.

But did I know it would be this nice? No. We got lucky. Really lucky. I didn't know what to expect. For all I knew 2 months ago, we could have been shooting in the rain.

But it would have been a phenomenally unique workshop/shoot.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Eve of the Malibu Workshop

It's been about 6 months since my last group workshop and tomorrow is the big event. Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in the workshop photographers! 

As I put together the curriculum for the workshop I realized that what I was really assembling was my process for how any one of my images happen, from start to finish.

Basically you can take any of the pictures you see on my tumblr or website and I will be explaining the entire train of thought from concept to post-process. The real meat of the process lies in the selection of background, lighting, location, angles, etc. It's one big moving puzzle that I will be breaking down in detail. Sounds complicated and it is. But I have a formula for photographers to replicate that will really help break down a shot into bite-size pieces. So it's never overwhelming. And always repeatable.

After all, if it's not repeatable what good is it?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Core Competency

My favorite Avedon

According to Wikipedia:

A core competency is a concept in management theory originally advocated by CK Prahalad, and Gary Hamel, two business book writers. In their view a core competency is a specific factor that a business sees as being central to the way it, or its employees, works. It fulfills three key criteria:

It is not easy for competitors to imitate.
It can be re-used widely for many products and markets.
It must contribute to the end consumer's experienced benefits.

Core competencies are particular strengths relative to other organizations in the industry which provide the fundamental basis for the provision of added value. Core competencies are the collective learning in organizations, and involve how to coordinate diverse production skills and integrate multiple streams of technologies. It is communication, an involvement and a deep commitment to working across organizational boundaries. Few companies are likely to build world leadership in more than five or six fundamental competencies.

Friday, October 19, 2012


I've always loved these Obsession ads

It must be an obsession in order for it to be truly a part of you. It can't be just a passing craze or something you do to pass time. You must live, breathe, love, hate, and not be able to live without it. It must consume you. It should be the last thing you think about before you fall asleep and the first thing you think about when you wake up.

And it must last. It must stand the test of time. It must not be a "crush" so to speak.

It will draw from sources deep within you. So far down inside you that you can't see that deep. All you know is that this thing is drawing from inner passions, inner inspirations, inner psyche. It is the vehicle that allows you to excel.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Black Magic Cinema Camera

Crushing the 5DMIII in side-by-side comparison footage. But without 60fps, it's a deal breaker for me. But maybe it's just right for you...

Click here for the original page.

Dark Horse: Nikon D600

I had no clue this camera could be remotely competitive to the top dogs from Nikon and Canon.

Here's the full review at DxOMark.

Guess it's one more camera to consider!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Q: I am still struggling a bit (but improving) in my editing. I'm considering having a private session with you on this topic, as I am unsure about what tool to use to get what effect. I attribute what success I've had to have some good basic tools available from other edits and some luck, but I am hard pressed to work from scratch in deciding what tool or effect gives me a look that I want for my image. I'll pull out some previously used actions and hack away but I admit that that I can't say exactly how to get down the direction that i am hoping to get to...its much more random than I'd like.

However, to make the best use of our valuable time during a one-on-one session, I'd like to make sure that I have some basics understood. But when I go into any LR or PS training module (Lynda, etc) I get to learn about EVERY tool, effect, option, etc. Then, to make things worse, many times the instruction says to "adjust xxxx slider until it looks right". Yeah, I get the idea, but a lot of times I don't really know what I'm looking how do I know what I'm adjusting is the correct tool and what is "looks right" for a particular effect that I am trying to achieve?