This beach holds a special place in my heart, before we moved to Australia permanently, we stayed here with my Paternal Grandparents for three weeks. When we moved to Australia, we moved to the same area, but lived about 3 blocks up the beach. A few months after we moved, my Nanna died. I keep a photo of the last photo we had together, at this beach, in the locket that I inherited off her.
So, today was the second day of school. Because it was so overwhelming the day before, I had to get a shot of the sign that Belas Artes made for us.
They told us that they would need to take it down soon as there is a piece of legislation that restricts signs and advertising in Brazil (or something like that).
After we did our portuguese and photography classes, we took a field trip to Pacaembú Soccer Stadium and Soccer Museum. We weren’t allowed to take photos in the musuem, so this day is a bit light on photos.
This is a HDR that I did on the way in. It is a massive place and the Brazilian’s love their soccer. So it was hard to get a shot without there being someone in it.
So the scene is this: You’ve been in this country for a whole two days, it’s your first day of school and you are going on your first cultural field trip. You realised that whatever portuguese that you learnt before this trip was extremely handy, but not enough. Your tour guide meets you and oh, by the way, there’s going to be a film crew following you around this place where people may rob you cos they are very poor.
Cool, just a little scared……
But then you see that everyone is nice and happy and friendly….
and because they don’t spend much money on where they live and their cost of living so they have more money to spend on car, motorbikes, etc
They are also quite inventive….
All the animals are really healthy
and there are small cheeky kids posing for you, and then photobombing you (I must admit, it got a little bit old). But it was so cute as we walk along the street and they are telling everyone that they are famous models now and that we are from Australia and very famous.
Also, it get really exciting as you plan your trip to Rio, your news story comes on…..
I have more images than this. I’m going to make a slideshow with all the photos put it somewhere….
Our teacher Cam Attree bought in another commercial photographer to talk to us, Toby Scott. He photographs alot of furniture and still life, in his studio in Clayfield and on location around Australia. I describe his work like an Ikea catalogue, everything has that Scandinavian feel to it. He started shooting commercially about 4 years ago and works with ad agencies, before that he used to work at Dragon Image while learning photography. You can find him here at tobyscott.com.au
He shoots with one lens where possible and with a medium format camera
Doesn’t shoot room with windows between 11.30am and 1pm
In commercial photography, it’s easier to keep the same clients and keep up relations with them and they will pay the bills. Get 1 or 2 big clients
He uses “Keystone” for image correction
Use magazines to learn and reference back to. Study each image, break it down to what each image contains and figure out how to replicate it
Set yourself apart from other photographers, but not by saying you are the best
Go in and interview with an agency. Follow up but don’t expect to hear from them for up to six months. Sometimes they don’t have much coming through or they don’t have something that would suit you.
It’s harder to sell yourself than it is for someone else to. Have a production manager to help sell you, write emails and make phone calls to help sell you to potential clients. Also, build up a team around you.
Depending on the shoot, it sometimes will be styled by a stylist and sometimes they will expect you to style it by yourself. Hire one yourself unless they have one on staff.
Be on the same level as your stylist
Use an A3 folio to show examples of each genre you do. Toby has one with 15 pages, with a french fold and nice paper. He updates it every 6-8 months.
Paper and typography is important and appreciated, depending on who you are working with.
Keep different books for different clients
Keep it simple
Select the jobs you want to do and give those jobs 110%
Stand your ground, even at the start. Toby decided that he didn’t want to do weddings and has never changed this rule. To this day, he hasn’t shot a wedding.
Always check and constantly update your terms and conditions and change your licencing to what the clients wants.
Get the best stuff you can afford to do the job.
Professionalism is something that used to exist in commercial photography, but doesn’t much anymore.
Toby always shoots tethered and uses an ipad to view as shooting. He uses Mac in post-production. He then backs up everything using a Drobo. Current work is stored on an external hard drive which gets taken home at the end of the week.
Give everything a job reference number and reference to it in invoices and letters etc
Use a budget to upgrade equipment and then add to it every year.
Be yourself and do work that makes you happy.
Toby doesn’t do much post-production. Colour balance, exposure and straightening up.
Nothing leaves his studio unfinished. His production assistant is a retoucher.
Day 1: Spent over 24 hours travelling, it was ridiculous. Chile was pretty cool and had some good views at the airport of the Andes. When we checked in Sal and I got given a room that already had people in it (half-naked football players to be exact, it was so embarassing). We had amazing food a restaurant in the next street.
Day 2: Went on a walking tour of Praça da Sé and other places in downtown Sao Paolo. We then went to a graffiti street in Vila Madalena and went to an awesome restaurant.
Day 3: Was our first day at school. I learnt heaps more Portuguese and about the history of Brazil thanks to our awesome teachers, Michael, Sandra and Cristiano at Belas Artes. We were treated to a delicious welcome lunch by Belas Artes. In the afternoon, we went on a walking favela (slum area) tour and met some of the locals.
Chris, our fearless leader, and Littlebear, my travelling companion
Mine and Sally’s room……. number 181
Random Skateboarder in the square
Homeless man on the church’s steps
Inside a Catholic church
Coconuts on display
Graffiti down the alley in Vila Madalena
Man cooking chicken in an oven
Down the street in a favela
Our awesome tour guide, Luiz
Steph showing her image to the cheeky boys in the Favela
AJ Moller is a commercial photographer. Our teacher, Cam Attree, brought him in to chat to us about his work as a commercial photographer, how he started out and how to get our foot in the commercial photography door. You can find his work at his website www.ajphotography.com.au
Reputation is worth more than a billboard advertising. If you have a good reputation, then it will be easier to get work. Reputation along with hard work and education. He explained to us that education is good to get a base knowledge, but not to rely on education alone. AJ studied at TAFE before moving onto a Bachelor of Photography at QCA at Southbank
The water splash photos, which were a personal project, he explained to us that he used one light with a bare dish, lots of water balloons, lots of black plastic and a spike on stick being held by an assistant. The shot was taken after the water balloon had exploded.
He places a high priority on doing personal projects. He told us that the first place that an advertising agency will go on your website will be into personal project. They are less interested in previous campaigns that you have done as they are generally concepted and retouched by someone else and aren’t an accurate reflection of your creativity/ability.
At this point Cam explained that within this subject, the types of shots that we needed to do were architecture, fashion, lifestyle and still life.
AJ explained to us that an example of lifestyle photography would be people laughing and drinking coffee. He told us within lifestyle photography, you have to choose to light it well, take your time and risk having models that lose their smiles, or, work quickly, get the models in a good mood and fix up the lighting in post production. This is assuming that the model/s that you are working with aren’t as professional as some.
To light the chrome, featured in images like this, he told us not to light the chrome directly but to light what the chrome is reflecting, such as a white wall or light coming through white perspex.
He encouraged us to use retouchers and website designers where possible to do things that we may not be able to do. It’s better to be excellent at photography than to be average at lots of things within your business. He noticed that he got more business from his website once he paid a website designer to do it for him.
Find a good assistant. Also becoming an assistant is a good way to get into the industry, extend your contacts and your knowledge, and pay your way through your education. He told us that the going rate for a professional assistant would be about $350. If you are starting out, then the rate would be about $150. You would be expected to go out the first time for free as an evaluation.
If you want to work with a professional photographer, then hassle them if you don’t get a response out of them straight away. Photographers are notorious for being lazy in replying to emails and phone calls.
Get involved with the ACMP and the AIPP if you haven’t already. He told us that the Trampoline is a good resource.
Commercial photography is a different market to the wedding or portrait market. Within Commercial photography, you have clients that you have been working with for the last 10 years and continue to work with the same clients whereas you photograph a wedding and then you may never shoot with those clients again, or maybe shoot again with them once or twice.
So, while I’ve been on holidays from TAFE, I have been crazy busy with different shooting opportunities. One opportunity that I came across was to go out shooting with the Gold Coast Bird Observers. They are a lovely bunch and I thoroughly enjoyed my day. I also learned lots about birds and had never seen so many birds in my life (saying that, I don’t think I ever looked).
Here is 19 out of the 200 I shot that day. I just did a few edits as I have been so busy lately. I might do another blog with more photos down the line.