ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

All Posts By

Charles Gupton

Using Collaborations to Up Your Game

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Most of us have heard the old adage: “You’re known by the company you keep.” This can be especially true when it comes to collaborative efforts. Collaborative projects often present an opportunity to raise the bar for our own work. Foremost when considering collaborative partners, seek people who want to do what you want to do, to the standard you want to do it. Most people tend to seek out other people who are at…

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Contractual Thinking

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Without exception, anytime I’ve had a difficult, unresolvable conflict or misunderstanding arise as part of a project, it was the result of not having a written contract. That’s not to say that misunderstandings don’t arise at times even when I have a solid contract in hand. But, I’ve never had a disagreement that couldn’t be worked out as long as we had a contract clearly outlining the terms of the agreement in place before starting…

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Starting With The “Why” Of The Story

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Taking the plunge from being a still photographer for 30+ years to creating motion projects was a huge one for me. As I started out, I thought the greatest obstacles were going to be learning the technical aspects of editing and audio or the learning curve related to purchasing and understanding how motion equipment differed from my still cameras. Although each of these areas has had its specific challenges, the greatest hurdle has been convincing…

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The Value of Beautiful Constraints

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Creative people often don’t understand that to produce creative work, you need boundaries. While it’s true that too many limitations inhibit creativity, not having any boundaries reduces creativity in much the same way. Finding the sweet spot is what we all seek. In their book, A Beautiful Constraint, authors Adam Morgan and Mark Barden take a very deep and expansive dive into why establishing thoughtful limitations on the work we do can encourage greater clarity…

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5 Suggestions for More Effective Interviews

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The ability to ask good questions and draw people out of their anxiety over being photographed has always been an important skill set to have as a still photographer. But over the past several years, I’ve gone from being behind the camera exclusively to taking a more active role in interviewing subjects for motion projects — and more recently, a podcast where I interview creative leaders. As a result, there are a number of interviewing…

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Can You Embrace Multiple Media?

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For several years, I avoided the idea like it was a virus. I associated it with the sleazy spam-meisters of the business world. Until I realized its value and embraced it. As I looked around, increasingly more and more creative people I respected were not only doing their particular craft well, but were also branching out into public speaking, writing – blog posts, e-zine articles, e-books, etc. – webinars, educational courses, and various other means…

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May Your New Year Have A Freak-y New Perspective

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Are you able to say the words “I don’t know” when you really don’t know the answer to something you think you should? Until you’re able to admit what you don’t know, it’s virtually impossible to be open to learning what you need to know. In the early chapters of their newest book, Think Like A Freak, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, posit that even the smartest people have a tendency towards confirming their biases…

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Creating Space for Gratitude

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Creating time and emotional space to be thankful in the midst of a deep struggle — or even a time of emotional darkness — does not seem either intuitive or congruent with the over-riding fear of the moment. However, I’ve come to believe that it is one of the most important and necessary actions we take during the times of discouragement we all, at one point or another, have to face. And by action, I…

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Freak Out! And Show It!

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If you’re the owner of a small business, it’s easy to feel isolated – on the margins of activity – from time to time. As an artist working in the commercial field, I’ve frequently felt like the misfit in the room of corporate suits. The trick in that situation is to turn the feeling into a strategy of differentiation. A successful and satisfying business is about finding the kind of clients that you belong with,…

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Successfully Learning From Failures

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Several months ago, I made a huge, bumbling mistake. Recently, it reared it’s shaming head and bit me. My mistake was not delivering a proposal for a project we were hired to do. After being hired, I was asked for – and usually, routinely deliver – a written description of what our client has asked for as well as how we intend to meet their objectives. I always include as much detail as I can…

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