Years ago a photographer friend of mine told me a true sales example of how he perceived the value of a picture. He was at a client's home doing a sale's appontment and they reacted to his price of $85 for an 8x10. This was around 1990 and we were still shooting film. Looking over at the client's book shelf he saw an old, beautiful 8 x 10" black and white photograph of a couple. He went over to the bookshelf to have a closer look at it and said: I love this picture, it is so beautiful. I would love to buy it from you, what about $200? The wife answered: It's my grandparents and the only copy we have, so there is no way I will sell it; it means a lot to me. My friend said what about $300? She answered it is worth more than money to me. Then he said: And you think it is to expensive to pay $85 for the one of your own family?
I hope this post can put some thoughts in your mind on the value of what we do and what we should charge; we are creating so many priceless treasures for people. Let's treat our work as what it truly is, wrap it in silk paper, hold it up carefully by the edges when we show it to our clients and be respectful of the truth worth of beautiful images.
The picture above is of my parents, taken on their wedding day February 23rd, 1952 in Asker outside Oslo, Norway. It was during the 1952 Oslo Winter Olymipcs. The picture was taken by Harald Ohnstad, who was the very first photographer I worked for (in 1972). Oh, how I wish I had a signed original print of this image.
PS. May 17 2013
Since I wrote this post back in Dec 2011 this picture has increased even more in value to me. My Dad died a few weeks ago, so I treasure it more then ever. Hope my work do and will do the same as this do to me.
R.I.P Jens Linge, Respectfully your son Kenneth
Today I want to present one of my favorite photographers and people Michal Tomaszewicz. You will see some great off camera flash photography with info under each picture. I been following Michals progress over the last 20+ years and he is one of those photographers that keep improving and have an amazing specter of technique and style. Michal is born in Poznan, Poland in 1965, based in Norway since 1981.
Famous Norway national handbal team player Jan-Richard Lislerud Hansen photographed for his team Drammen HK's website etc. 2 Canon Speedlights 550 EX off camera triggered with Pocket wizzard TT5. No flash modifiers. Camera Canon EOS 5D Mk II. Lens Canon 17-40mm f/4.0.
Wedding picture of the year in Norway 2011. The groom is famous sculptor Nico Widerberg and his wife Camilla. The picture is taken on the way out after the ceremony with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II with a Canon 17-40mm f/2 L with a Canon speedlight 550 EX handheld on cable.
Self assignment. The image of the fish itself is bought on iStock.The waterbottle is photographed with two strobes bouncing off the wall behind the bottle. Michal blew bubbles with a straw into the water. He picked out the nicest looking bubbles and used them in this multiply layer image. Camera Sony Alpha DSLR A-900. Lens Sony 70-200mm 2.8.
This pictures is for the clothing company Sorbet off camera flash Bowens 1000ws with travel pack and a Photoflex softbox multidome Q39. The shoot started at 3:30am in the morning, this image is shot around 7 am in cloudy weather. Camera Hasselblad H3DII 31MP. Lens Hassselblad 50-11mm f/3.5-4.5 HC
I strongly reccomend you follow and like him on his Facebook page PHOTOSTUDIO-Tomaszewicz, link to web and blog from there. Michal also teach workshops on off camera flash photography worldwide.
I personally want to invite you to PTO's 25th Anniversary in Tunisia Jan/Feb 2012. Yes 2012 is a bit down the road but this excellent training program already have 80 people signed up. That should tell you something about the quality of their events. I'm one of several speakers and feel honored to be part of such a professional event. One week in such a beautiful place by the beach in the middle of the winter for me will be fantastic. I will teach several times during the week, but also get to learn from so many other excellent Photographers of such a high level. Check out the program and place on their website: http://www.pto-uk.com/pto2012.html and here is a link to a very informative Newsletter about the event.
Hope to see you there? One of the many things I will teach and demonstrate is my love for LED lights.
Link to the 1 gigapixel panoramic image: http://www.hdpano.no/gpweb/gigapixel_h_48/ZOpen_48.html
After you click on the link, click on the picture to move as far as you want to into it. Wait a few seconds while it loads. Then use arrows to navigate.
What is a 1 Gigapixel Image see Wiki
In Norway we have a Photographer I just call "The King of Furniture Photography". His name is Karl Otto Kristiansen and he shoots for many furniture companies. He is so well rounded and good at many other kinds of photography both over and under the water. Check out his web page.
Over the years he has spent thousands of hours photographing and working on files and slides from this view of the beautiful city of Ålesund, Norway. I've had the pleasure on going with him to his favorite spot where these many exposures that makes up this 1 gigapixel image is taken. It's a lot of preparations, he will call companies to ask them to keep lights on their building the nights he shoots. He once showed me where he put out generators with tungsten lamps to light up dark buildings and on and on. I guess we can say he is pretty much obsessed with getting the "impossible" picture of his city and he has succeded. He had wonderful pictures of this motive many years ago, but have kept going to get it just better and better.
The link under the picture takes you to the 1 gigapixel image and you can click and scroll way into it, look and see if people are home, who is out walking etc. Simply amazing and thanks to Karl Otto for sharing his amazing work.
You can find many more beautiful images and panoramic pictures by going to his website http://www.foto-kristiansen.no/
Here is a link in Norwegian from a newspaper article about it: http://www.smp.no/nyheter/article352330.ece
Today I want to talk about communication in the digital age. I been working full time in Photography for 35 years now, so yes I'm getting old, but I started early. It's been so fun to watch the changes in the photographic profession over the years from hiding under some black material years ago to how we today hide behind our DSLR's.
I know it's exceptions to every thing, that some people have worked with Leica and 135 SLR's their whole life, but the main new thing is that curious little fascinating screen we now got on the back of our cameras.
What is the great news is creativity is up with todays technology, bust sadly expression is down, let's talk about it.
This is my friend and great photographer Devin, sporty to model this illustration pictures for me.
The way most portrait and wedding photographers worked for decades was with medium format cameras. I loved how they had the view finder where you could just look straight down and be right back at communicating with your client like with this Hasselblad. Photographers also took most of their pictures on a tripod, I often call tripod creativity destroyers, but it's absolutely some great things about them. For portrait sessions in the studio and often on location I like to use a tripod to be more free to communicate with my clients, also love a release cord, wireless or not.
Try to imagine yourself being photographed by Devin here for a minute. He is now SHOOTING you with a Canon haha. He is in full hiding from you and any eye to eye communication.
Turning the camera gives you a great view of him and the camera, love his expression BTW :-)
But here comes one of the BIG NO NO's which is one of the main points of this blog post. He goes straight to looking at the screen on the back of the camera after taking the pictures. Does he think you look funny? Well this is what almost every photographer I been observing in the digital age is doing, I been studying a lot of them working.
Start by telling your clients to not worry how they look as you are doing some test shots, making sure the light is great etc etc, get them relaxed and when your exposure color etc is right, get done with the screen for a while. Then give your main attention to the client, communicate with them, help create moments, get strong good contact.
See how much better it is when Devin is looking at you taking interest and focus on you rather then the screen on the back. What is more important then making people look good with GREAT expressions which is of course not necessary a smile which to many people measure the success of a photograph by.
PS. Let me ask you a favor, I love comments on my blog post, but I am a bit sick of people correcting my english when it got nothing with making it more understandable. English is my 2nd language and I'm sure if you don't happen to be Norwegian you rather read my bad english. I hate to write about any thing negative, but...