ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

All Posts By

Richard Kelly

Collecting People

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I’m a people person. Always have been. My grandmother told me when I was “twenty-something” that she always knew I would be a portrait photographer because as a child, I always asked people what they did and why. Apparently, I even had an imaginary friend named Bob. Like many “Bob’s” in pop culture he represented everyone – he was elastic and could be anyone on a given day. I like people and am never shy…

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The Ears-to-Mouth Ratio for Pricing

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During ASMP’s Strictly Business 3 conference, my colleague Blake Discher reminded everyone that they have 2 ears and 1 mouth that should be used in the same proportion.  I know he wasn’t the first to say it, but it is great advice. Critical listening is key to building a successful and meaningful business. You might thinking, how does this relate to pricing? Let’s consider pricing  a bit differently. If you are selling lots of widgets…

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Revisiting ‘Vision is Key to Your Success’

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“As we move into the challenges of our Internet dominant economy, your unique vision is critical to building a sustainable career in this profession. It is the one completely unique offering you bring to the table. Vision is key to your success.” ~ Susan Carr in her Strictly Business blogpost dated November 28, 2011. I just spent some time looking back over the vast collection of Strictly Business blog posts. When Susan Carr first conceived…

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I am a Maker of Lists

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No matter the size of the production, I make a list. Actually, multiple lists. For assignments involving travel, there’s my clothes to pack list and the stuff I need for a car or plane or train. There is an equipment list from the basics to the exotic and, of course, the list of things to do before, during and after. I always have three or more ways to approach a project or a shot. If…

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In My Book Queue This Summer

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These days I bounce between reading printed books to reading on my iPad. I like both for different types of books and different types of reading. I have always been a reader with a number of books in progress, not to mention my magazines, blogs and newspaper adventures. This summer I am looking for two things out of my book list. One I want to be stimulated intellectually about photography and I am looking for…

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Fail Better

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I’ve read a lot about how today’s younger generation has been given too many “participation” trophies and that we aren’t preparing our children for the “real” competitive world. Our society does not accept failure. We don’t want to accept responsibility for things going wrong. Partly, I suspect, it’s because we fear litigation. Partly out of fear of being wrong or being seen in a bad light. Or possibly just plain fear of fear. A professional…

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Learning to Light is like Learning to Ride a Bike

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Photography without light is well, darkness. Our love affair with light starts by photographing what nature offers us. For some photographers, that’s enough; they follow the light and create beautiful imagery. For others, like me, the curious pull of controlling light in a darkened room is their passion. I remember the awe of seeing a photo shoot in a professional studio. As a young photographer, I was impressed with strobes and the technical know-how needed…

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Is That a Micro Supercomputer in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

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These days I rarely use what was formerly a phone as a phone much anymore. Now I am the first to admit that a micro supercomputer may not be the “best tool” or the only tool that I use. However, I have noticed that more and more I need my desktop/laptop less and less. I suspect that my new iPad will even replace more of those large screen tasks in the next few months. The…

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Advice on Building a Collaborative Production Team.

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I have key people that I regularly count on for my production team.  The team itself scales up or down according to the specific job at hand. Early in the proposal process, I call each team member to get their perspective on the project. Once we get approval for the project. I nail down the specifics by department, camera, data management and grip/lighting. Essentially, all the department heads report to me. When I was an…

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Estimates Are People Too

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Okay estimates are not people but it’s people who request estimates. In my practice, we get requests for proposals, requests for bids and informal requests to estimate a project. Many companies and organizations have policies that require multiple vendors to bid on a project. Assuming the scope and information are the same the bids can help them control costs. In some cases, buyers may be required by company policies or governing documents to only accept…

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