ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

All Posts By

Thomas Kennedy

Developing Talent

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Among other things, team management is about alignment, coordination, and developing the strengths of those around you by understanding individual aspirations. A wise manager ignites personal passions and makes developing team chemistry a high priority.  This starts with having a vision for each person’s role on the team, and making that vision a jointly shared responsibility.  A manager who is passionate about developing the skills of others on the team is more likely to gain…

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Zig When Everyone Else Is Zagging

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Earlier in my career, I worked for a brilliant editor.   After getting a new position, I went in to have a conversation with him about what he expected.   I described my own vision for my new role for several minutes, then paused, and waited for his response.   After a couple of minutes of silence and staring off at a corner of the ceiling, he looked directly at me and said, “I want you to zig…

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Staying Focused to Build Business Opportunities

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Telling photographers to focus as a way of improving their business may seem like an absurd suggestion. However, after a conversation a former colleague, I realize there is truth to the idea. We are living in a time when providing unique photographs in a specific genre may not be enough to guarantee an effective livelihood. As a result, many colleagues (myself included) are moving to do a number of different things, either nearly simultaneously or…

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Staying Focused to Build Business Opportunities

By Strictly Business BlogNo Comments

Telling photographers to focus as a way of improving their business may seem like an absurd suggestion. However, after a conversation a former colleague, I realize there is truth to the idea. We are living in a time when providing unique photographs in a specific genre may not be enough to guarantee an effective livelihood. As a result, many colleagues (myself included) are moving to do a number of different things, either nearly simultaneously or…

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“Get Better” Goals for Continuous Improvement

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Earlier this summer, I had the chance to catch up on some reading for pleasure that included a book by Heidi Grant Halvorson entitled “9 Things Successful People Do Differently.”  It is a quick read distilling information gleaned from her personal research and that conducted by other scientists who study psychological motivation. I was particularly taken by a concept touted in one chapter of the book that I have recognized throughout my career whenever I…

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The Changing World of Visual Communications

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The ASMP Guide to New Markets will launch next week at ASMP’s Symposium on September 27th where the first 100 people to arrive at the Times Center in New York will get a free copy.  Those who can’t attend live, can watch the livestream via asmp.org/symposium.  Tom Kennedyauthored the second chapter of the book: Visual Communications in the New Economy. The digital revolution sparked by the development of the Internet as a publishing platform and…

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Selecting Photographers

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My observations about selecting photographers for assignments goes back to my time as director of photography at National Geographic.  Fundamentally, I saw it as my role to identify photographers who could contribute to the magazine on the basis of their talent, creative vision, and passion for particular genres that would be useful to us. I looked for evidences of those qualities in their portfolio.  Specifically, I was looking for consistent, high quality execution of a…

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Rediscovering Photo Bliss Through iPhoneography

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For me, iPhoneography is all about restoring a fundamental kind of creative joy that I had as a 12 year old first discovering the magic of image-making.  There is a fluidity to using the iPhone as a camera that is somehow triggering my imagination and visual responsiveness to the world around me. While none of these images may be fully “professional grade”, I find they are similar to the sketches that an artist might do…

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Technology Changes Place New Importance on Visual Literacy

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In an era of  maximum image saturation, where every iPhone is a camera and no aspect of human activity goes undocumented, no matter how mundane, new questions emerge as to the value and utility of photography as a means of understanding human experience. As someone who began as my career as a newspaper photographer and then worked for a number of years as a photo editor and developer of editorial systems to support photojournalism, I…

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Moving to the Collaborative Marketing Model

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I have been reading a book recently entitled  “The Power of Pull:  How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion,” by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison.  The book shows how converging technology has been a massive disruptor of long-held business models,  organizational models, and modes of learning; and how it has facilitated new opportunities in each area, particularly through the power of digital communications tools. The authors’ advocate…

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