Archive for August, 2010

New Creative Lube, and more

Friday, August 27th, 2010

First off, the August 2010 Creative Lube podcast is now available. In it I talk about success and offer three ideas on how to be more successful. You can purchase the podcast here ($8).

Speaking of the podcast, I am looking for an alternative hosting service for the podcast. If anyone has suggestions, that would be grand. Shoot me an email.

In other news, I’m sorry I’ve not been posting here as regularly lately. Most of August has been taken up by getting my new book out and taking some time off before school starts again. I’ve been traveling for fun too (even went to Vegas for the first time–and returned with money!). So, although school starts again on Monday, I will be posting here more regularly.

I promise. At least one new post a week. That’s what you should do too, if you are using a (photo)blog to market to your targets–update it at least once a week. Buyers say that not updating a blog is a big negative in their eyes.

However, honestly, for the most updates from me, I encourage you to “like” my Facebook business page. It’s much easier for me to post quick links and blurbs there. This blog is better for longer format posts.

Oh, and if you are using Facebook for business, make sure you are doing it from your own business page. Buyers see FB as a personal space generally but will look more kindly on business contact from FB if it is from a business page (not a personal account).

Finally, the next free Manual will be issued via email in early September. Are you on my list so that you will get it? If not, shoot me an email and please remember to include your URL if you have a generic email address (like so that I know you’re not a phisher/spammer or other non-creative scumbag.

It’s My Birthday

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Today is my birthday and the gods have given me a great gift: my new book is now available! Business Basics for the Successful Commercial Photographer (or how to use your left brain too), 2nd ed. can now be purchased in print or PDF (not ebook, just PDF) on It will be available in stores and on sites like Amazon in about 6 weeks.

There will be an eBook/iBook version available in the near future as well.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement in getting this book done during my term off from law school. I’ve received many kind emails/FB notes from many of you. Thanks so much!

Now I’m going to take my own advice and play hooky for my birthday. 🙂

About Creative Details

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

I just spent the weekend with someone who works in movies–does SFX and has worked on some pretty impressive films like Star Trek. It was fascinating to get a peek at a different part of the creative world. He showed me examples of his work, from creating animatronics to rigs for flipping cars and dragging burning tankers over cliffs to set dressing he’s done and props he’s built*.

His work is often not obvious in the final film, but that’s as it should be. If you noticed how the elevator worked or the car was flipped, the movie wouldn’t be as good.

And although I’m not sure he would call his work creative, it most definitely is in my book. Figuring out how to make something look real and work as it must, yeah, that’s creative. The traps in Indiana Jones, for example, are as much a part of the story as Indy’s attitude and his hat. If the traps look fake, the movie doesn’t work as well as it could.

Just like if you see the wire in some shot in any film, the experience is lessened. The details, in other words, count.

To add to that, I ran across this article about the clothing in Inception. In it, the costume designer talks about the clothing as an important part of the story-telling process. The details are important. Each item, each choice of collar or scarf, defines the character and, in this case, even reveals clues about the complex story.

I haven’t seen the film yet, but when I read about this attention to creative detail, I feel even more compelled to get my butt in the theatre.

Anyway, back to my point…

Think about how many creative parts go into making a film. Clothing and make up and set design/dressing and SFX and lighting and directing and writing and acting and, and, and… the list is huge. The more attention is given to each of these creative parts, the better the whole is. The more it reaches us, the viewers.

Now, think about the details of your own creative process. Are you taking the easy way on some parts? Are you saying “Oh, I can fix that in post” or “No one will notice that” as you create an image or a prop or a set or casting talent or lighting or, well, whatever? If so, you are cheating your audience but, more importantly, you are cheating your art.

Creating images is your job. Why do any part of it half-assed?


*Btw, if you ever need a prop or set built, let me know and I’ll give you this guy’s contact info. Depending on the scope of the project, the cost can be quite reasonable.