Archive for May, 2010

2D Welcomes Brendan O’Donnell

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The studio is opening shortly and I’ve been looking to hire a full-time lead assistant for a while but now my search is over.  On behalf of 2D Photography Inc. I’d like to welcome our newest employee: Brendan O’Donnell.  Brendan’s got a lot to offer 2D and I’m personally looking forward to working with him.  Now to take his portrait to add to our Team page and get him some fancy business cards.  He’s got to pick a theme for his portraits as we usually prefer to do some fun stuff.  Personally I think he looks a lot like James Roday from the TV show Psych (I like this show!).  I’m not sure if we should just go ahead and ask James Roday if we can use his photos or we should get Brendan to pose as though he was Roday.  This is a big issue for me us me.  Brendan doesn’t seem to see the resemblance although I believe it to be uncanny!

Any opinions out there?  The order of these pics is: James Roday, Brendan, James Roday, Brendan.

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Sorry Brendan for stealing images from your facebook account.  Although in all fairness this is kind of what you signed up for ; ).  Should be a fun time over at 2D I think.  I’m looking forward to the future.

David Dvir

A Step in the Right Direction for the Thursday Roundup

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
Clayton

Photo: Clayton L. Gooding

Earlier today I was messaged by someone I have never met.  Not too uncommon in this line of work.  However this person wasn’t looking to hire me, they just wanted to comment on the Thursday Roundups.  With his permission, here’s what Clayton wrote.

“David

I have meant to message you for some time now. I wanted to tell you that I find it very inspiring that you have started up these Thursday Roundups and that it has grown in popularity the way it has, it’s a great thing that you are doing.

Having seen your original posts on Craigslist; I had planned on attending most of them but life has gotten in the way too many times. I have long considered joining a photo club in order to network and learn from other photographers, but have always shied at the fact that most of these meetings seem to be held at a venue where photography is discussed rather then getting out and shooting while talking, like you folks do every Thursday.

Despite not being able to attend, I have found some new locations to shoot thanks to you! I was very excited about the Cheltenham Badlands shots you got and had to head out there a weekend or two later to get my own shots and see it in person.

Keep up the great work and hopefully one day I will see you at a roundup!

Thanks again,

Clayton L. Gooding
www.momentsthatclick.ca

Over on my side of this message, I was overjoyed.  I’m especially happy that the point of the Roundup is reaching beyond the Roundup itself.  We’re still just about two months into this little “experiment” and it seems to continue growing.  My hope has been to encourage others and give an outlet to those who might find it difficult to get out and shoot.  So it’s great to hear stories like these.  Clayton has never met me, nor has he attended a Roundup, though simply by keeping a watchful eye on our activities he’s taken something away from it.  Thanks Clayton for sharing this with me.  This makes my day!

Here’s a link to Clayton’s post of his badlands shots.

Hope to see Clayton and many more new faces at future Roundups!

David Dvir

Who Pads? iPad.

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

product-wifiSo the iPad has been out for a while.  I’ve read plenty of reviews and seen a few online demos.  I haven’t actually held one of these babies yet but I’m beginning to think know I want one.  I wasn’t too sure for a while but it was actually my friend James who’s opinion has made up my mind.  James is a fairly tough critic when it comes to things like these and if he of all people sees a use for an iPad then I know it’s a decent product.

As a photographer I’ve shown many folks my work/portfolio.  I’ve always liked the feel of a printed portfolio and in all honesty never thought this could be replaced by technology.  Prints however are expensive and can be time consuming in regards to keeping your portfolio up to date.  Enter the iPad.  This little thing is easy to hand to a client and have them peruse.  I still don’t think it replaces the printed portfolio for certain clients, but certainly for quick updates on projects during meetings or to show/give an idea of something it’s going to be very helpful.  I believe I shall acquire one.

There’s just something to be said about being able to handle a portfolio.  It’s a big reason why I like printed ones.  Having control over what you’re looking at is a great feeling.  If a photographer is sitting there with his finger on a button and a laptop there just isn’t that control for the viewer.  Handing someone an iPad will surely make them more comfortable.  Not to mention they’re kind of cool.

What are your thoughts on this little device?  Seeing as to how a full printed portfolio can cost $200-$300 (if you’re getting some pretty nice quality pigment prints) and we’re constantly replacing them, is the iPad a friend or foe to the photographer?

Thanks for reading!

David Dvir

Rising Through the Ranks – the Noble Fight

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Every now and then someone asks me how I got started in photography.  I give them the same story again and again and after enough time that story has sort of turned to mush.  It’s just that I tell it and each time I’ll include slightly less detail.  It’s easy to want to rush through it after so many tellings.  Well today I took a minute to think about it all over again.  Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with my tale.  What I will discuss is the plight of the amateur photographer (henceforth referred to as the AP).  Remembering being an AP as I pondered earlier today gave me recharged respect for those fighting that noble battle.  It’s possibly one of, if not, the most difficult stages in a photographer’s career.

tadpolesThe AP is a breed unlike any other among industries.  The AP is much like a tadpole.  Hundreds will spawn at once, all feeding off of the same tiny, nearly microscopic, amounts of nourishment in whatever small pond they happen to co-inhabit.  At any given moment there are thousands of APs in and around a major city.  They’re all hunting down any little job they can find – mind you not for any ill mannered reason.  They simply want to prove themselves, get a start and have a chance to build that portfolio.  The question is will they land the job?

AP’s typical choices:  Build my portfolio by asking friends and family.  Build it by working and offering my professional services for low low prices that cannot be beat by any respectable photographer.  Build my portfolio by working for free.

The competition is fierce and undercutting is commonplace.  Lately there have been postings for people looking to hire student photographers for free.  In exchange for services rendered these photographers can build their portfolio.  It’s an option many APs will take and not one to be ashamed of either (I’ve done it) as it can be more important to gain experience than to earn capital.  The problem is how will these APs eventually earn what they’re worth.  How can an AP raise their price when there are 300 others who are still 1 stage behind and offering their services for slightly less.  The consumers will nearly always have a cheaper option, all the way down to free.

I’d love to give some magic formula to any would be photographers right now.  Some information that can unlock the secrets of rising through the ranks.  The simple truth is we all have to tough it out.  Many APs will turn out to be that tadpole that just didn’t get enough food to survive.  Some times it will be unfair.   Among the students and amateurs lies an abundance of extremely talented photographers.  They are gifted and have vision though some of these APs will not make the cut.  The only reason being not having enough opportunity.  It’s heartbreaking to think about.  The bright side is that we get to choose how much opportunity is enough.  We each get to decide whether or not to continue pursuing our dream and ultimately, if any AP wants to succeed bad enough, they will.

This much I can promise. No photographer that succeeded from the AP struggle understands what the letters “q” “u” “i” “t” spell out.  I think it might be a word but I’ve never heard it.  Nor can I make out it’s meaning.  Looks like someone misspelled quilt, which is a nice warm knitted blanket!  It’s that perseverance that separates the tadpoles from the frogs.

I’m fortunate in many ways right now.  I do still have to work extremely hard but as a commercial photographer I realize that my competition is far more sparse than that of most other types of photography.  I don’t really have to worry as much about undercutting and so that brings me back to the beginning of this post where I realized that I have forgotten exactly how difficult being an AP can be.  APs deserve a lot of respect.  Not many jobs out there require that you start out working for free.  Volunteering your time is not something you might consider when applying for a job.  At the very least you’d expect to make minimum wage.  Well an AP not only might earn nothing on a job, but they’d lose some cash simply for travel, or if you work in the cost of their equipment.

All you APs out there keep fighting.  Giving up is only an option if you dream of wanting to become a photographer, rather than dream of becoming a photographer.  Many of you are far more talented than I, and surely you will be a pain in my side soon enough.  Until then though.

Good Luck.

David Dvir

Thanks to Vistek

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

So, if you’re reading this, you likely already know that I’m opening a studio shortly.  It’s going to be home to a slew of various things however one important group of items will be the actual photography equipment.  Yesterday was a big day for 2D Photography Inc. as it marked the day that we rounded out all of the equipment needed for the studio.  It was a fairly large order and Jacques (my long time sales rep from Vistek) and I had been punching out the details for literally weeks.  Going back and fourth for prices and items we finally settled on everything and I couldn’t be happier with Vistek’s service.

I know there are loads of stores to choose from, and I’m not trying to endorse Vistek over any of the others, but it was nice to search their website and find every item I could possibly want.  They don’t have too many stores either, so when I walk in I feel a bit more like I’m being heard.  Especially when the owner of the company is helping out with my order.  Here’s a shot of a tired Jacques as he lugged out all my swag from the back.

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Just wanted to say thanks to Jacques, Ron, James and anyone else at Vistek who may have had a hand in my purchase.  Now if only the studio was finished so I could play with these new toys!

David Dvir

Photo of the week, May 13th 2010.

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Here’s my favourite shot this week.  Tulips at Casa Loma

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Hard choice this week.

David Dvir