ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

All Posts By

Barry Schwartz

A Feature Not A Bug

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It took me a lot longer than I care to admit to understand that a lack of security is a necessary component of being an entrepreneur. Counterintuitively, actively taking risks is a requirement for a stable career. Championing risk is prescribed in books, magazines, conferences, movies, all over the culture at large, impossible to escape. Easier said than done. There is no getting around it, though, you have to do two things at the same…

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Use Your Words

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In every class and workshop I’ve taught on business practices, contracts are the source of more anxiety than any other topic, except perhaps SEO. And SEO doesn’t count because everyone already understands instinctively that SEO is a mystical, ever-morphing process whose secrets are hidden in a vault in an undisclosed location in a bunker in the basement of a Google building guarded by Sauron’s younger brother. Or someone like him. Fortunately, contracts can be decoded…

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Sometimes The Best Things In Life Really Are Free

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I love it when the fact that something is free overcomes the main rule about such things, that you get what you pay for. These links are resources I get in the form of email newsletters that give me solid, valuable, and interesting notes on what’s happening in my professional world about places, companies, software, marketing techniques, and things I never knew I needed to know about. Communications Arts –  http://www.commarts.com A fantastic source about…

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A Generalized Specialty

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My first career was in construction and kitchen-and-bath design, so when I became a professional photographer many years later it was a pretty natural progression to specialize in architectural photography. The business culture was something I understood very well, I already had industry connections, and I was more than happy to hang around pretty buildings. As a young photographer in my teens, making images of whatever caught my eye and for years after, I often…

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The Vision Thing

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I used to worry quite a bit about finding my “vision.”  I could not figure out where it might be located or how vision was even defined.  I believed the responsible thing to do was get a fix on my vision in advance in order to stick to it.  But how could I recognize my true vision if it was something that was more-or-less ephemeral, maybe not even recognizable until the work was a finished…

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Frog In The Water

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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,…

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An Honest Job

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A major perk of a creative career is the requirement to connect art with the world. One of the most influential newspaper editors of twentieth century, Ben Bradlee, former editor of the Washington Post, died last week.   Bradlee was instrumental in turning the Post into one of the best papers in the country.  The Pentagon Papers were published on his watch, exposing (along with the New York Times) damaging facts about the Vietnam War…

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Laziness As A Remedy For Stress

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I’m lazy, always looking for the easier way. Problem is, the easier way takes so much work to set up it can really stress me out. It’s an engagement with neuroses (it takes a lot of work to be neurotic!). As far as clients go, my stress is not their problem; it’s all about them, as it should be.  Here are a few tips that simplify my client’s lives, and my own: Delivering Big Files:…

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HDR Sees the Light

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HDR (High Dynamic Range) is an automated process that layers different exposures of the same scene into a single image containing more information than sensors might be able to capture in a single exposure.  Layer-blending goes back to the earliest versions of Photoshop, so really except for the name, HDR is nothing new. HDR sometimes gets a bad rap.  And, to be fair, results can look like a bad acid trip (or a good acid…

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Through-Line

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Salsa, country music, rap, and rock often contain an instrument that holds a steady, unwavering beat: a kind of metronome, a through-line. In salsa, it might be the high, percussive strike made by wooden claves or a cowbell at the same point in every bar, cutting through the other instruments. In rock, it might be a snare drum or a tamborine. It’s there from the beginning to the end, a foundation, something to come home…

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