This is one of those periods where not much is happening now but previous projects are coming to light. Here's what's been going on the last two weeks.

Shoot for Gypsy Jazz Band

Last weekend I did quick shoot for a promo image for the local Gypsy Jazz Band. Unfortunately TWO of the band members couldn't make it last minute, but this was the only time they could get together, so we had to shoot anyway. Love the image, but quite bummed that everyone isn't in it.

The "venetian blind" shadow was created with a cardboard cutout, or a "cookie" in movie set parlance. I have a video on how to do exactly that in my DIY Photographer series called "Creating your own shadow casters"; check it out! Lots of creative possibilities there. I had intended to add some atmosphere to the scene with a slight haze, but my fog machine decided to die on set that morning. Sad face :-(

Learn Product Photography: Fundamentals

Back in January, I had a crew from in the studio for a week shooting my latest course, "Learn Product Photography: Fundamentals" which was just released a few days ago! You can see some of the behind-the-scenes in this post. It came out great and I'm super happy with it. I hope you enjoy it too! Here's the course introduction:

As always if you're not already a member, you can get a free ten day trial here — plenty of time to watch my entire course!

And another DIY video

While we're talking about lynda, another video in my DIY series was released. This must be getting close to the end… *sniff*. This one is called "Fabricating false walls for a clever backdrop solution". Click the image below to jump to the lynda page to watch it. I don't want to embed it here because this will only be free for another week and I'd hate to have a dead video on this page later!

B&H Presentation is (finally) online

Back in December I did a presentation at B&H in New York, and while I have no idea what the hold-up was, the recording of my presentation finally made it on their YouTube page! I presented there in my role as a Panasonic LUMIX Luminary, showing off some of the latest LUMIX camera technology and showing how I use it in my every day productions. 

Join LUMIX Luminary "PhotoJoseph" on a tour through photography genres shot entirely on Panasonic LUMIX Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. No matter the type of photographer you are, from enthusiast to working pro, or the style of work you shoot, from travel to portrait to commercial, there's a Panasonic LUMIX camera that will fit your artistic style.

Shooting for free?

I wanted to share something that as photographers, we've all dealt with before, and is a topic I often share when I see good articles about. This just happened to me this week so without naming names, I thought I'd share the experience here.

I got a call early this week about needing a photographer to cover some kind of medical-field-related local event. The call came from an event coordinator — someone who's full time job is, according to their outgoing voicemail message, to coordinate events for this facility. Two days, all day, on a weekend, for a total of 18 hours of shooting. Single photographer, so quite a lot of hustle. Naturally photos don't edit themselves, so in addition to the 18 hours of shooting, two hours of driving (30 min. each way for two days), and prep work (let's call that another two hours), there would be a few more hours of editing, client delivery, etc. etc. Let's call it 26 hours total commitment.

"No problem, I'll call you back later today with a quote". Thanks!

I put together a package, and called back. Got voicemail, played phone tag, then eventually got an email response. Keep in mind I had *not* yet shared my quote; I was just trying to get in touch with them to discuss it.

The email that I received said that they have decided to go a different direction, and are asking people to "donate their time" for the event. Naturally this followed a long list of benefits to me by donating my time, including things like mention by the emcee, and that I could put a flyer in 125 swag bags. Oh and I could sell print packages at the event as well! (Which would of course require me paying someone else to do that since I can't effectively sell print packages while roaming the floor taking pictures — not that anyone at an event like this would have any interest in buying prints. It's a conference, not a wedding). I also would get free access to the event (um, was I otherwise going to have to pay to get into the event I'm supposed to cover?), and a free lunch! As they say, there's no such thing as a free lunch…

Needless to say, I said no. I don't work for free — not to say I never would or you never should; there are times where it may make sense or you simply want to do it. But committing 26 hours to something that might possibly maybe just maybe result in a paid booking from a random client who just happened to decide they needed a portrait package or photos for their business… yeah, no thanks.

It's ridiculous but this happens every day. Someone who's job it is — is getting PAID to do this — is tasked with finding a photographer willing to work for free. 

The worst part is, somebody will say yes.