Monday, December 5, 2011
There is something underneath all of that: we as humans need to share our thoughts. The preferable option is to tell someone who cares, about them and/or the situation. Often though, some of us don't have that luxury and in those cases, any ear will do. Beware if it happens to be yours. The flip side of that coin is that there are people who PREFER not to speak to their loved ones for fear of judgement or reproach. We have a whole profession dedicated to listening to people so that they don't have to talk to their family and friends! When you spill your guts to a stranger, they don't know you enough to critique your point of view. In fact, if you're truly a random stranger more than likely you will just stand there and listen while as we rant and, for a lot of people, that's all we really want: someone to LISTEN while we go on about how bad our lives are. It makes us feel better. Kinda.
So the next time you get confronted with a drive-by counseling session, just listen and nod, or do what I do...try to out "whoa-is-me" them and tell them about how bad YOUR life is. Even spice it up and make up maladies! Let's see how they like it for a change!
These are my thoughts...what are yours?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The exhibit will run from November 4th - 20th at the JujoMukti Tea Lounge, 211 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009. We will kick off the run with an Opening Night event on November 4th at 7:00pm.
Dozens of photos will be on display (like the ones in the sidebar) and available for purchase. Want to WIN one? Just leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered into a raffle to be drawn at the opening (you must be present to win). While you're at it, join the blog for future updates and giveaways.
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to see you at the exhibit!
Hayden M. Greene
Owner, Greene Light Photography
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I pride myself in not being a studio photographer. There is nothing wrong with being a studio photographer. Some of the most renowned pieces of photography are the result of studio sessions and for some people, that is the exact environment that works for them. But not me. I love shooting in the elements whether that be a park or in someone's living room. I think that pictures speak more when the background adds to the conversation. They are more artistic that way. I always tell people that if they want they normal white background kind of shot, I'm not the right photographer for them. And there is nothing wrong with that.
So, with that in mind, I assume that people that hire me are looking for that treatment and for more of an artistic, quirky type of picture. Which brings me to the confluence of the two goals. Sometimes, after a shoot, I see a picture that is truly artistic and beautiful that I am SURE that the client will choose. I send them the proofs and get their selections back, only to realize that they have NOT chosen the picture that I thought was amazing! What!?!?! In my mind, I am screaming, "ummmmm ya missed one" but this is their choice. They are paying the bill so they get to decide.
So what do I do with this great image? Put it on my website (with permission, of course) or just put in the archives? If I put it on the site, am I risking not attracting clients? After all, it WAS a rejected image. I then have to decide whether the images on my site are there as stylistic representations of me or advertisements to draw in more clients. I haven't come to a decision on that yet, by the way, and I am leaning towards it being both. If I store the image, I feel like I'm burying my talent.
There is one other option I guess: tell the client that you think that they should choose this image instead. That's a tough call. Clients already have a hard time narrowing down their selections. I recently did a shoot and took 460 frames (that's another story altogether) and I will probably edit and deliver around 100 images. From that pile, the client will choose about TEN!!! Can you imagine after you painstakingly agonize over which 90 to discard that the photographer comes back and says you should reconsider your choices? My head would explode! LOL Clearly, there is no easy answer to this quandary. So I'll keep shooting and hope that my clients and I see eye to eye.
And you thought we just pick up our cameras and start taking pictures! On to the next frame...staying in focus.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Recently, I've started to get a lot of similar jobs. When I first started Greene Light Photography, almost every job that I did was the first or second time that I had done that kind of job. I remember my first wedding/family portraits/concert/newborn shoot clearly. I remember how nervous I was for each of those and, subsequently, how happy I was with the results. That said, I saw room for improvement. So I improved. I read, I downloaded, I upgraded, I sought counsel. Now I know exact WHY some of the poses that I used early on were successful and how to recreate them with other people and get even better results.
But where does that leave my original clients? I wrote a blog about using other people's ideas for your own shoot and how it puts you in a quandary as to how to use the idea without plagiarizing (click here for that blog post). Well where is that line when it's your OWN idea? Are my clients who thought that they got a one of kind photo now upset when they see me use that same technique on another subject? Would they be more upset if they see it done better than their original?
As a photographer, my job is to constantly come up with new and innovative creations for my clients. For the record, I work really hard at not repeating iconic poses and images. However, what am I to do when a client REQUESTS a particular pose because they saw it in all of my advertisements and on my website? It would be crazy for me to say to a customer "I'm sorry. I only did that picture for that client and I promised that I would never recreate it!" That's not logical to me but it very well be what my original client wants me to say. I almost feel that I would lose that original client because they chose me because they WERE going to get a one of a kind type of picture. Or is being the first person ever photographed in that way enough to appease them.
And you just thought we showed up with our cameras and started taking pictures...
Well off to the next frame...staying in focus.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Recently there have been numerous monumental events in the lives of people that I know: engagements, weddings, births, etc. I am genuinely happy for my friends and I express that to them. Here's where it gets weird: I found myself hacking my services in the same breath that I am congratulating them! It got so bad that I would see that someone got engaged or announced a pregnancy in Facebook and I would immediately send them a message letting them know that I would love to be their photographer...when they were ready, of course! I had to stop and really think how that made me seem to my friends. I know I personally hate it when people only reach out to me to sell something to me or to tell me about a 'great deal'. But there I was doing just that...not intentionally though.
Here is the funny thing; I don't know if I WOULD be able to handle the volume if everyone that I solicited actually said YES!! I think would be swamped. I had to take a long look at what was driving those actions. After pondering it for a while I realized that it was driven by the artist not the businessman. Subconsciously, I think I saw the 'event' as an opportunity to capture something beautiful and I wanted to be the one to do it. I am always in search of that one amazing image and I guess I am always seeking new chances to capture it. Note: if I have asked to shoot your important occurrence it's because I think you and your family would create amazing pictures...my form of a compliment, I guess.
I have decided to pull back on the hard sell and go back to the guy who could just say congrats without people thinking that there was an agenda behind the well-wishes because there shouldn't be. It doesn't mean that I won't ever suggest to people that I should be the one to capture the important times in their life. I just won't do it in the same breath as my 'way ta go'! Hopefully, people will find their way to me when they start to make decisions about their photographic needs. I hope.... :-)
Well, on to the next frame...staying in focus.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
This is the second wedding that I have been invited to that I was not the photographer. I have already come to terms with the decision as to whether to bring my equipment to a wedding that I'm not working. This weekend I found myself wrestling with another conundrum though.
Photographers see the world in a different light that most people. We see the world in frames and pictures and what may seem to be boring tends to yield interesting pictures in the eyes of a photographer. That's even more true when the environment is beautiful and the layman can see how they can create a great picture. In those situations, a good photographer can create a phenomenal, one of a kind image. So here I was, at a wedding, with a gorgeous background, and with all the necessary equipment to create an iconic photograph. But that wasn't my job at the time! My job was to be a guest! So there I sat twitching, wanting to get in and pose the couple the way that I thought would result in the best shot. I just KNEW that I could take a better picture than the guy that was assigned to work that day. I bit my tongue and let the guy work because that the respect that I would like when I'M working but it was torture!
The next day, we were able to see the pictures, edited and stylized (I WISH that I could have that fast of a turnaround time!!) and they were gorgeous!! The photographer did a great job and I felt stupid for doubting his ability. After all, he works for the resort and this is what he does every day! Oh course, he know the right angles and what composition to use for that scene. That's HIS gig!
I made me wonder if other artists had the same issue. Did musicians go to concerts and feel like the band would suck after hearing their warm up session or their sound check? Do chefs go to other people's restaurants and criticize the potential of the meal from just the list of ingredients? Are directors hypercritical of other directors when they learn of the cast of characters and feel like they could do it better than they could before open night? I don't know the answer but I DO believe that photogs struggle with this all the time. The funny thing is that I don't feel that way when I'm shooting an event with dozens of photogs around taking the same shot. Maybe weddings just make EVERYONE crazy!
Just another thing to keep in focus...see you in the next frame.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
I say all of that to say that I can't imagine doing what I do with film! I look at the greats and I am flabbergasted that they achieved the amazing prints that they did just using math and post production. It makes the images even more astounding. I remember shooting a roll of film and rushing it to the photomat so I could get the prints back in a week. When the time period started to get shorter (eventually we could get prints in an hour), the anticipation was even greater it seemed. I can't imagine what it must be like as a photographer shooting a wedding or an amazing scene and not knowing whether you got the shot that you WANTED. Nerve racking!
I try to emulate those photographers by doing the math as if I were using film. I still shoot a lot of frames but I know what should pop up on my viewfinder now as opposed to wondering what would happen if I change x setting or moved y amount of feet away. It has given me much more rewarding shoots and has given me more of a connection with my brothers and sisters using film.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
This was taken off the side of cruise ship at twilight. My fisheye, old faithful, was the perfect lens to capture the majesty of this scene. Later I completely changed the colors on this image but this is the original. Hope you enjoy.
Staying in focus...on to the next frame.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Follow the blog (if you aren't already following it) AND tell me what you think it is as a comment to the post (anonymous posts will not be counted).
I will draw a winner from the submissions on Wednesday May 18th and they will win two free movie passes.
Let's get started.
What do you think this is a picture of?
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Photographers consider themselves artist and they are. This is especially true of those who are trying to sell photos to people who are NOT the subject of the image. We want you to, at that point, display that picture in your home/office with pride and appreciate it as a work of art. It's easy for people to want to hang a picture of something that they care about (family, pet, friends) but it's quite a different matter when they choose something that the photographer thought was beautiful or striking.
So it's with that backdrop that I received that comment and it made me recoil. The bathroom? That's where you perform the dirtiest acts of your day. The 'art' that goes up there are pedestrian at best or plaques with cute sayings like "We aim to please. Now you aim too, please". That's not where a work of art should go....right?
What I take into consideration was that that was how I decorated a bathroom. Maybe this person's bathroom is her respite and she goes there to relax and strip away the worries of the day. What if my image is exactly what she needs in that space to create a serene atmosphere? I began to realize that I was looking at it from a completely myopic point of view. Shouldn't I be elated that she choose MY piece to grace her walls?
I admit it's hard for an artist to want their work to be anywhere else but front and center in a client's place but that's NOT our decision. There are countless photographer's work who never ever hang on ANYONE'S wall, even friends. I had the honor of being selected to enhance someone's home. And for that I am no longer offended. I am extremely grateful.
That's my focus...see you in the next frame.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Photography is no exception to this phenomenon. There are people who try to recreate Ansel Adams shots and perfect his Zone System, for example. I bring all this up because recently a friend showed me an engagement shoot for a friend of hers and the photographer used a very interesting prop. I commented that I liked the idea and then bemused the fact the I couldn't now use that prop myself. She wondered why and I said that I felt it was photographic plagiarism. I think that when you take another photographer's creative idea and use it as your own, it's bad form. But am I right to think that? I read countless photo magazines and see techniques that I would like to try. Sometimes I will see a creative shot and try to recreate it to get the technique down. However, learning new techniques is different to me than copying a creative rendition. It's the difference between learning HOW to shoot a bride or a child in a particular light and trying to exactly recreate another fellow artist's composition.
This for me becomes complicated when a CLIENT sees a pictures and wants to recreate the same thing. Should I tell the client no, that's not MY idea so I can't use it? Should I be crediting the original photographer for the idea somehow in my photograph? Do I even have bother with all of that? I wonder how I would feel if I did something creative, posted it on my website, and then saw a replica of it in a magazine the next month. Would I feel flattered or robbed? I honestly don't know and therefor I don't know how the photographer that I'd be borrowing creativity from would feel either! Unfortunately, this happens more often than not. I guess I'll have to keep playing by ear and hope I don't ever piss someone off...or vice versa!!!!
Still staying in focus...see you in the next frame.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
One 11x14 CANVAS print!
This one is simple:
- Donate to the March for Babies in the name of The Greene Machine. Any amount counts from $1.00 to $1M !!! (http://www.marchforbabies.org/s_team_page.asp?seid=1517229)
- Follow this blog!
Last day to enter is May 3rd at 5:00
Good luck and thank you for HELPING THE BABIES!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Quite often, a client will not be able to use you again. It may be because you shot them originally because you happened to be in their town and they live far away. Or maybe they could only afford your fees that one time. Or (gasp) they didn't like working with you or didn't like your finished product. The reasons are endless. These days where every picture people take or have taken end up on Facebook and sometimes you see people that you worked with displaying pictures taken by another photographer. Sometimes it's Sears-like stuff but sometimes it's professional artistic stuff and then we photogs feel cheated on....well at least I do! Hahahaha As I mentioned, I know that there are many factors that go into a client using another photographer but it's always a weird feeling to see someone that you were able to create amazing images with using someone else. But should I? Do fashion photographers feel a tinge of jealousy when they see a model that they used show up in another persons portfolio? Probably not.
But what about the client? Do people stick with photographers like they do with , say a plumber or handyman? Do people see photographers as a dime a dozen or do people stick with good ones when they find one? Like I said, photographers have a hard time maintain relationships sometimes. Maybe it's because we're thinking about stuff like this!
As always, staying in focus...see u in the next frame.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
At this wedding, I didn't have a second shooter so I was only going to get the shots from the two cameras strapped around me. I then remembered that I had a remote trigger for my flash that DOUBLES as a remote shutter release. I set up one camera on a tripod behind the officiant and therefor I was able to get shots of the couple with their guests behind them. It didn't work as well as I would have liked because I got a bunch of shots of the officiant's back but the technology worked well. I just have to pick a better spot next time.
I was also able to place that camera back there and know that, if I did pick it up in one of my images, the technology also existed where I could very easily erase it as if it were never there. That process used to be laborious and splotchy at best in the past. Not it's ridiculously easy.
Speaking editing software, wide angle shots are now easier to create. I happen to own a Fisheye lens which has an 180 degree range. That means that I can take a picture and capture almost everything from my left and the right peripheral sightline. The problem is that as you get to edge of the image, everything gets warped. The easy solution is to take a bunch of pictures and stitch them together in an editing program. Everyone looks normal and you have a nice wide angled shot.
There are many more examples but you get the point. Photographers used to show up to events with their cameras and shoot and then a week later hope that the images turn out the way that they wanted them to. Now there are so many ways to fix or augment your shot that shutterbugs are allowed to be creative, even at a stress filled event like a wedding.
That's my focus...see you in the next frame.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
First the Relaunch competition:
1st Prize: One photo shoot goes to....
Dave Stollman of CampuSpeak!
2nd prize: One signed and numbered 11x14 GLP print goes to...
Sharnise Johnson of Zeta Phi Beta!
And now for the Mystery Picture contest
The two free movie passes go to....
Look out for more giveaways this spring and keep checking the site for new pictures every week.
Staying in focus...see you in the next frame.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
However, I am nervous now. I have a wedding in a few days. I am not the groom. I am not a guest. I am the photographer. I think I might be as nervous as the bride herself! Once again, weddings are events where things go wrong. When I got married and if something went wrong, I knew at the end of the day, we'd get a laugh out of it and I'd still have gotten married. It's soooooo different when you're the photog! If something goes wrong with me, I may ruin someone's entire day AND their future ability to share those memories with friends and family. I am completely prepared for the event but no-one can be prepared for walking backwards to catch a bride approaching you, tripping, falling, and smashing your camera. Shooting a wedding is one of the most nerve racking jobs that you will ever take as a photographer! Remember that sneeze at the first kiss? Well if YOU sneeze at the moment at MISS the kiss, you can pretty much forget about a high satisfaction rating and residual income!
Even with all of that looming over your head, a wedding is the most exciting event you will shoot because you get everything rolled into one: portraiture, party scene, candids, detail & macro shots, and sometimes even musicians. It's a great ride and will leave you exhausted but if you're prepared, you may get some of the best photographs that you will ever take.
And I'm off to sharpen my focus and make more memories. See you in the next frame.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I will post an abstract photo.
You then follow the blog (if you aren't already following it) AND tell me what you think it is as a comment to the post (anonymous posts will not be counted).
I will draw a winner from the submissions and they will win two free movie passes.
Let's get started.
What do you think this is a picture of?
Monday, March 28, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
To celebrate our re-launch we’re giving stuff away!!!
WE ARE GIVING AWAY ONE OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING:
· 1 photo session (60 minutes, up to 4 subjects, within an hour of Brooklyn, NY).
· 1 11x14 print of your choice of from the Greenelight Photography Gallery.
To enter, do both of these things:
1. Go to our Facebook page and like us. Then post this phrase “@Greene Light Photography’s new website is up. You should check it out!” and link us. (From a computer, type the @ symbol and then start typing “greene light photography” and select our profile).
2. Go to our Twitter page and follow us. Then enter this phrase “@greenelightfoto’s new website is up. You should check it out!”
Let us know in the comments below that you have done both of these - it will be verified.
Last day to enter is March 31st, 2011 11:59pm EST
Two lucky winners will be randomly selected to win one of the prizes. The first random selection will win the free photo session. The second random selection will win the GLP original print.
Good luck and have fun!