MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.
The Pentax K-S2 doesn't replace the K-S1, but sits above it in Ricoh's Pentax lineup. And quite right too - it's a considerably more serious camera, even if we do miss the shiny disco lights on the handgrip. We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan, where Ricoh is showing off its new 20MP APS-C DLSR, in all manner of color combinations. Click through for some hands-on images
After announcing the development of a full-frame DSLR recently, Ricoh is showing a very early mockup at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan. Although details are extremely limited (limited, in fact, to the words 'Full-frame' in the press release and 'Pentax' written on the front) Ricoh's mockup does give some clues as to the camera's specification. Kind of. Click through for images and some - frankly - rampant speculation.
[by Barry Schwartz]
Over the last couple of years, I had an “aha” moment that was more like an “uh-oh” moment – not even a moment, more like a slow unfolding of embarrassment.
I teach a class in business practices for photographers at a local college, focused on developing a holistic view to building a career, consisting of, roughly, three main parts:
1. Technical knowledge. You can’t do any gig of any kind if you don’t have chops, just that simple. This is not news to anyone. Well, maybe a few people. At any rate, I don’t spend a lot of time on how to make pictures; that’s not the subject of the class. I talk about computer health and happiness and building an efficient digital workflow, however, which is otherwise rarely covered in school. And backing up. You can never do enough backing up.
2. Business practices. This is primarily why people come to the class, and I cover legal issues such as copyright, releases, and contracts, along with marketing, negotiating, networking, and all the different kinds of careers a photographer can have. Proposals and contracts, particularly, scare people. And negotiating – scares them the most.
3. Understanding the cultures of clients. Emerging photographers must comprehend what their clients need and how their businesses work. They need to feel their clients’ pain. They need to do research. This is a big one, and for some students, the hardest to grasp. Part-and-parcel are people skills like how to dress, talk, write, and act. (Spell check! Call when late!) We talk about how social media is different for professionals than for civilians. No beer-bong photos on Facebook.
This leads to focusing on what clients need to see on a photographer’s website. During class, we spend a whole lot of time looking hard at photographers’ websites, and I try to pass along what I have been told by photographers and particularly what I’ve heard countless photo editors, art buyers, reps, gallerists, and art directors say they want to see. Which, since you asked, consists of: big pictures that load fast, clear navigation, make it really easy to find your contact information. The basics. And links to social media so people can find out more about you, whether you’re a freelancer or looking for a job as an employee (remember the beer-bong photos?).
So. My aha moment occurred while staring at the ceiling at three in the morning after my business had slowed to a crawl. After some number of nights of this behavior (I will not reveal how many) I came to understand I had not been taking advice I give to my own students: my website was bloated with too many categories, each stuffed with too many pictures. The photos were not big enough and the sequencing not that great. Navigation was clunky. I was not doing enough active marketing (phone calls and emails). I was not doing nearly enough social media (OK, almost no social media). I could go on, but I think I’ve embarrassed myself enough already.
So I went to town on my site, fixed the pictures, re-did my bio, added a blog and a Tumblr, started using Facebook like a professional and got my Linkedin profile up to snuff. I made my proposals and contracts “friendlier”. I made marketing calls and wrote follow-up emails. It worked, I got busier.
It was like the story of the frog placed in a pan of water on the stove, with the water getting slowly heated so the frog doesn’t even realize what’s happening and never saves itself. This is a little morbid as an analogy, but it points out the importance of staying alert, awake, and flexible. You don’t need to be a frog to understand the value of that.
Barry Schwartz is a photographers, writer, and educator in Los Angeles who actually likes frogs but much prefers the company of dogs.
We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan, where Sigma is showing its brand new 24mm f1.4 full-frame prime lens. The latest in the company's 'Art' series of fast primes, we have high hopes for the new lens based on our extremely positive impressions of the 35mm and 50mm lenses which have come before it. Sigma very kindly let us shoot some sample images on a late pre-production lens and it does indeed look very, very nice. Click through to take a look.
Nashville, TN -- Nu-Blu, the bluegrass band who has been sweeping the nation, kicked off 2015 on a high note, playing several major cities and performing at the 113th edition of The NAMM SHOW, the annual music products convention staged by the National Association of Music Merchants in Anaheim, California. Keeping the momentum going, the band's latest track "That's What Makes the Bluegrass Blue," which features fellow Bluegrass favorite Rhonda Vincent, has been climbing the charts. In addition to debuting at #8 on the Bluegrass Today Monthly Airplay Chart, the track has hit #1 on Sirius XM's Bluegrass Junction Most-Played Tracks for the month of February. Radio can download the track, along with Nu-Blu's latest album All The Way, HERE.
"We cannot express how thankful we are for the support from our family, friends and fans," said Carolyn, lead singer of the group. "If y'all thought 2014 was crazy, get ready for 2015! We'll be logging more miles, playing more shows and sleeping more nights on the bus than ever before!"
Additionally, Nu-Blu and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon Sam Moore are appearing on a very special episode of "Reno's Old Time Music" this weekend on RFD-TV. On this episode, Nu-Blu and Sam Moore perform their collaboration "Jesus and Jones" for the audience, as well as the popular hymn "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." And for the first time ever, the Sam & Dave classic "Hold On, I'm Coming" will get a Bluegrass twist (complete listing of air dates and times below).
Reno's Old Time Music Air Dates:
Saturday, February 14th at 7:00PM/CST (8:00PM/EST)
Thursday, February 19th at 7:30AM/CST (8:30AM/EST)
We're at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan, where Nikon is showing off its new D810a - a specialist version of the D810 which has been modified specifically for astrophotography. The world's first full-frame camera of its type, the D810a is essentially a Nikon D810 with a modified IR-cut filter to ensure the camera can capture light emitted by nebulae and additional features to support long exposure photography. The new camera is being shown under glass at the show, but we managed to get a few shots. Click through to take a look
Upon learning of the win, Moore stated, "I'm absolutely thrilled to have been named Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) for 2015!! I have been blessed with a God-given singing voice that, through the support of our fans, friends, peers and industry associates, I'm able to share with the rest of the world and I'm so thankful for all those things! I'm also very excited about the band's current personnel and the results we've realized after working on new material for a CD that we'll release later this year! Special thanks to all the staff at SPBGMA and to all voters for this wonderful recognition!"
Here's a short video of Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out's performance at SPBGMA featuring Moore on "Farewell Party."
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out is celebrating nearly 25 years as one of the genres most awarded and influential groups in modern day bluegrass. In addition to Moore on Vocals and Guitar, IIIrd Tyme Out consists of Wayne Benson on mandolin; Justen Haynes on fiddle; Keith McKinnon on banjo; Blake Johnson on bass; and Donnie Carver as the band's sound engineer. Their latest CD, Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed, sold exclusively through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, was ranked #5 on Billboard’s Top Selling Bluegrass Albums of 2013. The band continues to entertain audiences across the country with a very demanding touring schedule and will release new music later this year. For more information on Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, visit www.iiirdtymeout.com.
Nashville, TN -- Multi-award winning songwriter and veteran instructor Louisa Branscomb (Founder, Branscomb Mastercraft) and music's fastest rising act Nu-Blu, announce their collaboration to present a first-of-its-kind program called Song to Stage. The program will be hosted at the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo, NC from April 17-19. The workshop includes three days of workshops and three nights of accommodations in the Outer Banks. Reservations are now open HERE.
The program is an inspiring, dynamic curriculum filled with skill-building experiences designed to meet songwriters of all levels in their professional careers. Whether participants are working to develop songwriting for fun, personal enrichment, or professional aspirations, Song to Stage will help inspire and support those goals. It covers all aspects ranging from inspiration, craft, recording pitching and performing. It is an exciting, fun-filled, and personally supportive place to find what you are looking for.
The first series offers seasonal workshops to be held in the gorgeous setting of Manteo, NC, where the peace and beauty of the natural world abound. Workshops will border the tourist season, so that you can enjoy both the island's extraordinary beauty as well as the amenities available to you or your family members.
Reserve your spot quickly, class is limited in size! Sign Up Now at www.songtostage.com! Full registration is only $500 and includes 3 days of workshops as well as 3 nights accommodations at the beautiful Bouter Banks -- a $600 value!
Workshop reservations are on a first-come first-serve basis, no reservations will be accepted after March 17th. For more info or questions please call Daniel Routh of Nu-Blu at 336.736.7297 or email at email@example.com . Song To Stage is sponsored by SAGA Construction & Development, builder of the most beautiful and noteworthy vacation homes on the Outer Banks.
Louisa's song "Steel Rails" has been recorded by over 275 artists and was said to have brought a new young generation into bluegrass as recorded by Alison Krauss in 1991. "Steel Rails" went on to win SPBGMA Song of the Year and a place on Grammy albums by Alison Krauss and John Denver. More recently, Louis won the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association's award for Song of the Year for "Dear Sister." Louisa is renowned for her experiential approach to the fundamental elements of good songwriting, Branscomb Mastercraft, which is home based at Woodsong Songwriter Retreat.
Nu-Blu is a nationally known band with a notable list of accomplishments including performances on Huckabee, Imus in the Morning, Fox News Radio, The Better Show, CMA Fest and more. Nu-Blu will be adding special tracks in business, vocals, instrumentation, and recording, with a special feature that includes following one song through from creation to demo recording.
While the Boston area has been blessed with extra white stuff this winter, we are ready to welcome you to the festival. As always, Joe Val will have great music, wonderful workshops and plenty of pickin', but we also offer the new Sunday night Dance Party! You won't want to miss this fun addition to the festival. Take a break from the shoveling and come join us at the Sheraton Framingham this coming weekend for the 30th Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. It promises to be a fantastic weekend. Something for everyone.
The Sheraton and the surrounding businesses are doing their best to clear their parking areas, and we do not anticipate any significant issues for festival attendees. The weekend looks like it will be clear and the we promise we can provide the perfect cure for your cabin fever. Follow our Twitter account, Facebook or check the website homepage for up to the minute festival updates if you are not planning on joining us all weekend. We will be posting from the event all weekend.
The Heritage Awards are presented each year by the BBU to honor artists and those working behind the scenes that have made substantial contributions to furthering bluegrass music in New England and beyond. Awarded in two categories, industry and artist, the 2015 BBU Heritage Award Industry winner is Berklee College of Music. The White Brothers are the recipients of the 2015 Artist Heritage Award.
If you don't already know, the BBU has an ongoing CD/LP yard sale at our concerts and at Joe Val. All yard sale proceeds go to support our wonderful education programs. Our yard sale inventory depends on YOU. If you have any bluegrass and/or related music CDs or LPs that are in good condition and would like to donate them to our yard sale, please bring them with you to Joe Val and drop them off at the merch table at the back of the ballroom. (As the BBU is a non-profit organization, it's likely your donation is tax-deductible. We'll happily provide a donation letter for your tax records.)
The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival music schedule promises a great weekend of music. Some of the best national acts in bluegrass will join us for the event, along with some of the best bands New England offers. Join Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, The Seldom Scene, Town Mountain and more...