MY NEW PORTFOLIO V.12.2 2016

New port cover_500xI’m very happy to share my latest portfolio update: a mix of new commercial and personal work merged with some of my favorite projects here: http://bit.ly/21aoyD3  Many thanks to my agents at Stockland Martel for patiently working on this with me. I’ve been so lucky in my career to be able to collaborate on global brand campaigns for A list clients. That work is fun and satisfying because I’m being hired for my eye but also because it funds my personal documentary projects on subjects I care about. (see www.fearlessgenius.org)

The process of creating a portfolio is sometimes gut-wrenching. You end up doing a lot of deep thinking about everything you are doing and why, and probably that’s a good thing. I was reminded recently by a former student of an essay I wrote in 2009 about creating your “fuck you” portfolio; a liberating process to find your true voice by letting go of fear. This is about making a portfolio that shows what you truly, deeply, passionately love to shoot. And want to get paid for. The essay still rings true to me, despite all that has changed for photographers since: http://dougmenuez.com/on-chaos-fear-survival-luck/

TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE PHOTOGRAPHERS HAVE TO EMBRACE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The idea is that if you are trying to make your living solely from your photography you can’t just follow the herd and present what is selling at the moment. Although that will get you started, perhaps, it won’t last as tastes change and ends up crushing your soul. You have to do the hard work to figure out what you see that no one else does.

Once you have refined your eye, you have to build a solid financial foundation and business structure to support your vision, like all entrepreneurs who chase a counterintuitive idea. Imagine a lifetime of satisfying, creative challenges. It can happen but it’s extremely hard, no different from a tech start-up in many ways.

The problem is that if you follow my advice you are more likely to fail. But if you don’t you won’t ever hit it out of the park and live the dream. You just can’t be for everybody, only the best creatives who get what you bring.

I’ve failed hard a few times and find that the path can be a more of a cycle that we end up repeating now and again. I’m still on the journey, learning new things as I face new challenges. But I know from experience that the reward for risking everything and pushing myself to grow is indescribably sweet and worth all the pain.

 

 
 
Sunday
06
March 2016

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Rick Smolan: Friend’s Suggestions Trump Ads

People trust people they know for product recommendations over ads, says my good friend Rick Smolan, multitalented photojournalist, producer, book creator. We caught up with each other recently in a phone call and in a conversation ranging from the economy and what’s happening with photographers, to how photographers and the public in general use social media. While this has always been true and a natural starting place when hunting down a new lens or printer, the scale has changed with the rise of the social networks and easy access to friends and “friends” alike as a resource for information or recommendations on what to buy. For advertising shooters this will be interesting to watch as companies figure out new ways to reach consumers. Print ads are down significantly this year again with no bottom in site. Will this lead to another rise in “real people” ads or just fuel the growth of non-trackable grass roots marketing efforts?

Check out Rick’s recent interview he did with Nokia:

http://www.ideasproject.com/idea_person.webui?id=2402 

Sunday
22
March 2009

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Rick Smolan: Friend's Suggestions Trump Ads

People trust people they know for product recommendations over ads, says my good friend Rick Smolan, multitalented photojournalist, producer, book creator. We caught up with each other recently in a phone call and in a conversation ranging from the economy and what’s happening with photographers, to how photographers and the public in general use social media. While this has always been true and a natural starting place when hunting down a new lens or printer, the scale has changed with the rise of the social networks and easy access to friends and “friends” alike as a resource for information or recommendations on what to buy. For advertising shooters this will be interesting to watch as companies figure out new ways to reach consumers. Print ads are down significantly this year again with no bottom in site. Will this lead to another rise in “real people” ads or just fuel the growth of non-trackable grass roots marketing efforts?

Check out Rick’s recent interview he did with Nokia:

http://www.ideasproject.com/idea_person.webui?id=2402 

Sunday
22
March 2009

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EMIRATES CAMPAIGN BREAKS

The new Emirates Airline worldwide campaign “Meet Dubai” of 18 ads created by Leo Burnett Dubai is breaking this month.  Commissioned to shoot for an entire month all over Dubai, this project epitomizes everything I have been saying about merging art and commerce: get hired for your eye and paid to shoot what you love and would be shooting anyway. The creative team and client gave me a free hand to document the daily lives of Dubai citizens from a range of cultural and economic backgrounds, exploring the traditional Arab culture and modern Western influences, as I normally would on my own. Does not get better or more fun than this if you work for a living. And yes, these kinds of campaigns are becoming rare as the economy sinks.

Friday
20
March 2009

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Uncommon Schools Pro Bono Campaign

As a photojournalist I’ve shot hundreds of schools going back to the 1970’s, of all kinds, worldwide, as well as the various educational trends in the US coming and going as we as a society have sought to fix our school system. (I personally was the worst student, so bad my own mother tried to have me expelled from High School.) Never had I seen such intensely interested and dedicated kids– they really seemed to love being in school and learning. Imagine that! Alan Blum and his agency Re: Vision pitched my agent Bill Stockland for someone to help out with this new campaign for Uncommon Schools, a charter school system, and Bill brought the project to me. At first I was reluctant given how much pro bono work we did in the last few years. Honestly, we really need to work these days. Once I met Alan, heard about the schools and understood that he really wanted me to do my thing and collaborate with him,

 I was hooked.  From their site: “Uncommon Schools (Uncommon) is a nonprofit organization that starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college.” We shot in two schools in Bed Stuy. Look for these hitting the NYC Subways this month.

Wednesday
18
March 2009

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