Here are some snaps from a quick visit to chinatown/north beach last sunday. I ventured out of my neighborhood to test an old folding camera i've had for years, Agfa Billy Record. The roll is currently being processed and will share whatever gems come out of it...
I'm thrilled to announce that i am the newest member of Wonderful Machine for the San Francsico location! WM is a boutique agency/photographer's representation which helps connect commercial art buyers with specialized photographers.
I'm back in Cambodia finishing up a couple stories, yet trying to maintain my ADD in starting new ones. But in light of my return, I just wanted to share some pictures. I've been a freelance photographer for almost two years now. My income comes from editorial assignments, unpredictable as they may be, although I don't know otherwise, and weddings. This year I was fortunate to afford to continue working on projects outside of my home base.
I've been traveling since I was born. Literally. I was global jet-setter before my first birthday. And I am thankful I grew up in a multicultural home where we celebrated all of our heritages (that means good food). So naturally, my curiousity to see the world grew. But as of now, I'm in my cell-like hotel room with the fastest internet in town, the ethernet, trying to muster up my confidence to head out and finish my stories. At the same moment, trying to figure out how to financially justify why I need to dash off to yet another country, which struggles from two natural disasters.
anyway, lets get back to the pictures (and all images are copyright protected and cannot be used w/o permission):
I just donated to this young photojournalist's kickstarter page to help her afford an opportunity of a lifetime to come to NY and study at the International Center of Photographer. She is from Yemen, a country where education is hard to come by, and professional work by any women is rare. Please support her!! click on the link and watch her video. Pictures of Amira are by known photojournalists Michael Kamber (nyt), Stephanie Sinclair (vii agency), and freelancer Neal Jackson .click on the image below to get to her kickstarter page.
from a recent assignment at a residential care home. but though i was photographing another subject for the story, I notice these little tender moments around me. I know that the moments are fairly similar, and photographed similarly as well. i had review of my work with picture editor Mike Davis and we discussed some things regarding my shooting style and what i naturally tend to see. part of my growth as i embark on another trip back to Cambodia this weekend, is to focus on seeing in a new way, seeing whats happening in other parts of the frame, and capturing those decisive moments.
Sometimes its a hard knock life for freelance photographers: an over-saturated market with photographers, small budgets, less publication space, selective audiences, etc. etc. etc. Since I've been laid off from my newspaper job, I've done fairly well in trying to grasp the business and maintain some work to get me by. I've learned to diversify my photography by breaking into stock and lifestyle photography and weddings, with all the while still shooting photojournalism. And with a little help from friends, I photograph their family portraits. Here are three scenarios that i take as one to grow on in my first official year in the freelance business.
1) I recently had a commercial job that i got via a friend (thank you alli) who called me up to see if i was available. I took the job, no contract, all negotiations over the phone, i sent an estimate for approval, i mean, it was a situation that was pretty much set in stone verbally. I sent in the final estimate, I shot the job, and mailed the images and invoice. My contract was the invoice which had our terms that we negotiated over the phone and that was that. Granted, it was friend who hired me, but still, it was bigger then editorial paid job.
2) For the past several months I had been waiting on payment from a client for two editorial jobs. I still await one more payment. The contract terms was vague. I gave the agency the benefit of the doubt that I would be paid on time. However, what I failed to do, was question their payment timeline. That even though they have a contract, I still need to work with each client with my contract needs, and that includes being paid within a reasonable time frame.
3) Over the summer, I received a phone call from a local wedding photographer who wanted to know if i would be interested in being a contract shooter for their business...on their terms. I was fine with the shooting rate, though less then I would normally charge, and our agreements for shooting and editing fees were made in person during our initial meeting and over the phone. However things got complicated when I sent my invoice in and they were certain i had agreed to a rate via email. Now, this job was significantly less, not only was its less in terms of rates, but the difference in payment between us was $40. Now, I made no such agreement, but this was a very small job that ironically I should put all verbal agreements into the contract prior to working on a job with them. I regret that I didn't do that. But I take it as a $40 dollar lesson, that no matter how small or big a job is, their terms or mine, a contract is everything; it guarantees specific agreements and payments. (Or at least it should).
I'm very excited to share my new wedding photography website with you. Please visit! I would love to hear your thoughts. I've structured the galleries unconventionally, without categories. I wanted to create it by color as best as possible to establish a feeling rather then sectioning off the pictures. I also didn't want to create separate wedding stories because I really just want the photography to speak for itself. But that may change!
over the weekend in ventura, ca i attended a workshop on multimedia for recently laid off photographers to learn some new skills or refresh some old ones. for me i was challenged with the decision-making process of combining two forms of storytelling - pictures and audio - into one cohesive piece. I was also challenged with the fact that my story wasn't complete because i wasn't able to get access to family life of these fishermen; something that i didn't foresee. Friday morning i landed on the docks of the harbor looking for story and this is where i met these two brothers. I get seasick but tried to just focus on shooting and audio recording. I was only able to shoot from just a couple of spots bc it was a small boat. But in the end, i made a couple of nice images and met some great photographers and editors at the workshop. Good people. Thank you thank you team! www.vjworkshop.org