Friday, December 25, 2009

Charlie Freeman: Honoring Our Friend

Thank you to each of the students who contributed to the planning of the impromptu event at the school on Wednesday, December 23, 2009. Also, thanks to those who shared their memories of Charlie and to those who attended, even during their holiday break. If your schedule allows, please plan to attend one or both of the services scheduled to honor the memory of Charlie Freeman:

Viewing: Sunday December 27th from 2pm to 4pm Jeter and Son Funeral Home. 4830 West Illinois Dallas Texas.

Memorial Service : Tuesday December 29th 10:00am Lovers Lane Methodist Church 9200 Inwood Road Dallas Texas.

Charlie Freeman was a trusted friend of his students, and one of his students, Miranda Smith, emailed an image of Charlie that she wanted to share with all of our readers:
photo credit: Miranda Smith

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Charlie Freeman

Thank you, Roderick Pena, for writing a beautiful memorial to our beloved Charlie Freeman:

Charlie Freeman: You Made a Difference

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
It is with my saddest condolences that I write this note. Charlie Freeman, a highly respected photographer, instructor, husband, and friend, passed away this morning.

Charlie Freeman, however, was much more than all those things - he was a human being that cared about those around him. He made sure everyone received the knowledge, attention, care, and highest level of commitment that they deserved. He taught his students to become sensitive to one of the most powerful elements in photographs - light. And as Charlie moves on from this world, we are blessed to have been a part of his light, his vision, and his methodology of reaching the world around us and making a difference.

Those that knew Charlie will never forget him. His personality and attention to his profession will forever be unmatched. As the holidays progress, keep Charlie, his family, and his friends in your prayers. Although it is a time to mourn his passing, it is also a time to celebrate the gift of the time that we were able to spend with Charlie Freeman. No one can ever take that away from us. Charlie will forever live in our memories, in our hearts, and in our photographs. I know I am not alone when I say that Charlie provided one of the most powerful catalysts for my life and my photography. He continually and endlessly took that extra step needed to support his students and push us to better ourselves in as many ways as possible.

You made a difference Charlie. You touched the lives the people around you. You will not be forgotten. Thank you for everything that you have done and for everything you will continue to do as we grow and move forward. Go in peace and with the knowledge that you have been a positive impact in the lives of the people around you.

Roderick Peña

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pin Show! Fashion Photography Opportunity!

The Pin Show is Texas’ Premier Event for the Independent Fashion Industry. Up-and-coming fashion designers take this opportunity to showcase their Independent lines on a runway before their target market, including industry buyers, reps, retailers & clientele. The Pin Show staff will produce the perfect environment to introduce new lines for 2010. Designers will be hand selected by our committee of producers and fashion industry professionals.

Where do you come in… The producers of this annual show solicit PHOTOGRAPHERS to work behind the scenes as photographers. Please visit for complete details in regards to this event. Should you decide to volunteer, please link from the Homepage to “Participate” and then click the “volunteer” link that most interests you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Larry Travis - On Campus! Tuesday!

Larry Travis, fashion photographer, will be on campus Tuesday, December 1 at 6:00pm in our new 5th floor Photography Studio.
Click on the image below to view the invitation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dallas Photographer, David Woo, Releases Book

David Woo and Richard Pruitt have released Top Dogs and Their Pets, a coffee table book featuring celebs and their dogs.

David Woo is a two-time Pulitzer finalist and has more than 33 years experience at The Dallas Morning News. His work has also appeared in People, Parade Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Texas Monthly, GQ, and other notable publications.

Upcoming book signings:

November 14, 2009
Dallas World Aquarium
This is a special event sponsored by the Cesar & Ilusion Millan Foundation
6 to 9pm
1801 N. Griffin St.
Dallas, Texas
Contact: Daryl Richardson

November 15, 2009
Unleashed indoor dog park
3pm to 5pm with celebrity guest
5151 Samuell Blvd
Dallas, TX 75227
Contact: Mandy Mulliez

November 20, 2009
Neiman Marcus, Downtown Dallas
6:30 to 9:30pm
1618 Main St,
Dallas, Texas
Contact: Quentin Pell

November 21, 2009
Arlington Camera
10am to noon
544 W. Randall Mill Rd.
Arlington, Texas
Contact: Bill Porter

November 21, 2009
Ken’s Man Shop
This event will benefit the Peter Burks Unsung Hero Fund
1 to 5pm
6025 Royal Lane
Dallas, Texas
Contact: Kory Helfman

December 5, 2009
Neiman Marcus
2100 Green Oaks Rd.
Fort Worth, Texas
2 to 4pm

December 11, 2009
Neiman Marcus/ Willow Bend
2 to 4pm
2201 Dallas Parkway
Plano, Texas

December 12, 2009
Neiman Marcus/ NorthPark
2 to 4pm
400 NorthPark Center
Dallas, Texas

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Click on the image below for more information:

One internship is automatically offered to the winner of the College Photographer of the Year contest administered by the University of Missouri, Columbia. For information go to

Monday, October 26, 2009

I can't believe this photographer was "undiscovered." Can you?

You may have read about the John Maloof's discovery of more than 30,000 negatives by Chicago street photographer Vivan Maier. John is what I'll call a curator/historian/photographer, and he has put an impressive amount of effort into publicizing the beautiful work of Maier.

Maloof was so inspired by Vivian Maier, that he became a photographer himself. He also co-authored Portage Park, a collection of photographs documenting the Portage Park neighborhood in Chicago. Check it out HERE on

The images below are all credited to Vivian Maier. John Maloof has them posted on his tribute blog HERE. Can you imagine shopping at an estate sale, buying a box of negatives, and discovering these images by a photographer that you had never heard of:

You can see Maier's influence on John Maloof as you look at his personal collection of Chicago Street Photography HERE.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

PHOTO CONTEST for MUSIC LOVERS is sponsoring its first ever photo contest, and the contest is geared toward the photog who loves MUSIC (and wants to be a part of a great local event).

On November 14, the Cystic Fibrosis Concert Series is hosting its third annual Rhett Miller Show (with the O's and Shibboleth) at the Granada. All proceeds go to research and adult studies of Cystic Fibrosis (a life-threatening genetic disease affecting 70,000 children and adults worldwide).

The rules are simple: post an original image (taken by you) of a show you attended, a musical performance, backstage experience, etc. to the assigned Flickr account. Deadline is November 4th. Winners will be announced on November 6th for a grand prize of tickets to the Cystic Fibrosis Concert Series!

Click HERE for the full story...

Monday, October 19, 2009


Thanks to Roderick Pena for the information below:

We will also discuss Seminars this Quarter hosted by Capture.

Speaking of seminars, I want to know how many people are actually interested in learning about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. If you click the following link, it will take you to a short survey, the results of which will determine whether or not Capture hosts a seminar this quarter for Lightroom. Click HERE for the Survey Link.

Lastly, I'm still looking for a few members of Capture that are interested in helping out during the AID Halloween Party on Friday, October 30th while we photograph students in their costumes. If you're interested in being a part of the event, please let me know.

For those of you who weren't here last quarter, Samantha Nance, an 8th quarter animation student from The Art Institute of Dallas passed away nearing the end of the quarter. As our condolences go out to the family of Samantha Nance, AID has named a scholarship in her name.

Proceeds from Capture's print sales of the Halloween pictures will go towards the scholarship.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,
Roderick Peña

Friday, October 16, 2009

Book Signings and Job Leads, Oh My!

Jason Sheeler, writer for F!D Luxe, has posted a blog entry about a FUN event on Tuesday, October 20: Photo blogger captures portraits of on-the-street fashion. Wanna meet the author of this crazy street-fashion book along with Jason Sheeler?

Meet Scott Schuman Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble (7700 W. Northwest Highway, 214-739-1124) for a book signing and Q&A with Dallas Morning News style writer Jason Sheeler.

Also - maybe you need a job....Job Fair is on Tuesday, October 20 from 11:00am to 1:00pm. 8th floor. 20 employers and 9 student organizations will be there for your networking delight!We're posting jobs like crazy on our job board. Check it out HERE!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Historic Week

So, this has been a big week for photography.

First, the Nobel Peace Prize for physics is given to William S. Boyle and George E. Smith, without whom we might not have digital photography as we know it. Read about it HERE.

Also, photographer Irving Penn passed away at 92 years old. More about his life HERE.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Guest Blogger: Assistant Director of Photography at the Dallas Morning News, Irwin Thompson

Irwin Thompson is the Assistant Director of Photograhpy at the Dallas Morning News. Here's what he shared with us:

"I graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1984 and worked with the Monroe News Star World for two years and three years with the New Orleans Times-Picayune. I have been with the Dallas Morning News for 19 years - three years as the Assistant Director of Photography.

With the recent downturn in the economy, I think the biggest challenge in the newspaper business has to be what to do with online content. It's difficult to compete and sell your product when you're giving away the content for free, as most media organizations do on the web. I think when the economy starts bouncing back, hopefully, we can find a way to charge something for the content.

The biggest mistake I see in photographers is attitude. Attitude is everything and it shows in everything you do in life. Before you can take a great picture, you have to believe you can take a great picture. Nothing comes easily in life or photography; you have to work for what you want.
You're not owed anything, you have to put in your time and the more you shoot the better you with get. It's ok to make mistakes, but learn for your mistakes and build on them, and you will improve your shooting. If you think you can or can''re right!

Learn everything you can, listen, ask questions and never ever give up. It's going to get tougher and tougher to get a job in the newspaper industry, but learn to shoot pictures and video, build slideshows, edit video and do audio slideshows and multimedia. The more you know, the better your chances are of getting hired. Don't be afraid to work long hours and do whatever it takes to get the job done. You have to love journalism to work in this field. Where else you get a chance to live the news?"

For fun, we submitted two images (below) from Ai Dallas student, Christian Fries, as if they were submitted for publication. Irwin put on his "photo editor hat" and gave the following critiques:

"I love the light on the metal worker, but the only way I knew he was a metal worker, was by the slug. Very nice composition, and portrait. I love the rule of thirds here, but I need to see more of his environment. I want to know what he does without reading it. I need to see more separation on the cap and background. Overall nice effort."

"A simple black and white portrait. Everything is great here...except the cropping. I think we can crop down from the top to the black line on the wall and up to the belt on the bottom. It just cleans up the picture and takes you to the center, and it reads quicker. Again, love the rule of thirds."

Finally, Irwin sent us one of his own images, which we found to be pretty powerful:

(photo credit: Irwin Thompson)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Faculty Member Mark Rogers - a Different Perspective

As students, you probably have a pretty good idea of photojournalism instructor Mark Rogers' Talent. We wanted to give you insight into his CHARACTER. (Above image from the Mark Rogers Media website. Photo by Mark Rogers)

We asked photographer, Mei-Chun Jau for her perspective on Mark, since he was her photo editor at the Fort Worth Star Telegram from 1996-1999. After her time at the FWST, she moved on to the Dallas Morning News, and she currently works as a freelancer. You can see her work HERE. Though it's been a few years since she worked for Mark, this is what she had to say:
"Mark Rogers was my photo editor during my stint as a staff photographer at The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He always offered great insight to any assignment I had to take on. Not only was he a great manager, Mark is a quick thinking, creative photojournalist and one of the most thoughtful person I have ever know. He always took his time to listen to my thoughts and concerns.

I remember once, all my photo equipment was stolen during the time I was working on a story about a teacher dying of breast cancer. Not only was I exhausted from working long hours on this story, but it was emotionally draining and the loss of my equipment made things even worse. Fortunately, the newsroom generously took up a collection to help me out. The support of my fellow journalists was incredibly touching. When Mark handed me the newsroom's donations, he also handed me an extra donation of his own and told me that he believed in my talent. His encouragement during that difficult time was key in helping me get back on track.

Mark Rogers was a great mentor and for that I am truly honored to have work with him."

We're lucky to have you, Mark.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Must-Have Accessories for Video DSLR Cameras

Many new professional and prosumer level digital camera models now have high quality HD video capability. Accessories for this new feature are springing up all over the place, since so many consumers (and manufacturers) see the value in this camera feature.

There are lots of gadgets to make shooting with an actual video camera more fluid and professional, and now many of these accessories are being adapted or redesigned for use with digital still cameras with the HD video feature.

Check out this article for more information:
Tricking Out Your DSLR for Video by David Speranza

Monday, September 21, 2009

Advice from Editor and Photographer Rep, Lara Casey

Lara Casey is Editor-in-Chief, Southern Weddings Magazine and CEO of Lara Casey Reps, a luxury wedding market consulting firm handling such photographers as Jeremy Cowart, Kyle Barnes, Jory Cordy, and Jeff Holt. She agreed to answer a few questions for us...

Here's a quick BIO:

Lara was born in Washington DC. She spent most of her youth growing up in the small beach community of Pensacola, Florida. Ms. Casey graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University and studied art and design at Yale University. Lara is a member of Mensa and an avid fitness buff. Mrs. Casey has a wide array of successes including having been a celebrity personal trainer in Manhattan and a contributor to Shape Magazine. Lara is currently Publisher of Southern Weddings magazine, CEO of event design firm Bliss Event Group and just launched Lara Casey Reps, a luxury market wedding consulting firm. Lara frequently speaks on the use of social media for business and is a self-confessed Wired magazine and Luna Bar addict. Ms. Casey lives in Chapel Hill, NC, and loves to travel.

Lara Casey. Photo credit: Jory Cordy.

Lara, Why have you chosen to work within the luxury wedding market? “Luxury” can have negative connotations. To me, luxury is about the client experience. I’m passionate about weddings and the sacred experience. I believe every couple should get not only a great product in the end, but unforgettable memories in the process of getting there. True professionals recognize this. In turn, it translates to a greater sense of value for the art that is being produced, more income for the wedding professional, and the changed lives of the couple. Luxury service can be that significant.

As an editor, what is the importance of deadlines for the photographers you use? I have a twitter account for Lara Casey Reps- @WeddingRep. I just twittered yesterday, “Responsiveness sells. Overdeliver, exceed expectation, send things well before deadlines (build it into your workflow) and you build trust.” It’s one of the most important keys to success.

Do photographers approach you about being included in your publication? If so, what are some successful tactics and unsuccessful tactics they have used to gain your attention? I could write a book about this! I get very generous gifts, long emails, strange tactics galore, and pushy publicists daily. What outweighs them all is integrity, great branding and most of all... Powerful work. If you are great at what you do and truly passionate about it... And your branding mirrors that, you can’t go wrong.

How important is reputation in this industry, and what are some things that can destroy a photographer's reputation? Reputation is key. Destroying factors: unresponsiveness, sloppy branding, not using social media in the best way possible, and poor relationships with other vendors.

What are qualities of your favorite photographers? Being the best at what they love. Don’t try to be someone else. Take time to explore your art and find what really makes your heart sing. Study, learn, grow daily, take workshops, study art and design, and just get out there and shoot! I think the mere fact of being genuine in your art, true to what you love, translates into future success and a following. I love so many photographers who have completely different styles for this reason- they are fully themselves and the best at what they do.

As a photographer rep, how do you decide who to take on, especially since you are in a specialized market? I look for very specific qualities: marketability, drive, follow-through, the ability to take criticism, and a keen sense of relationships. Building relationships with clients well can make or break you.

What is the best advice you could give to a photography student who wanted to either shoot weddings or work as an editorial photog? Get educated. Don’t just learn wedding photography- learn commercial, advertising, psychology, and art. To be a great wedding photographer you need to of course know the technical aspects of using a camera, lighting, etc, but you also have to have an intuition. You are capturing people’s most intimate public moments... Sacred experiences, joy, tears, fear and transformation.

Other than the photographers you rep, of course, who is the one photographer (living or dead) that you would like to photograph your own wedding? Jose Villa. He’s a warm, giving, wonderful person and his images make my heart take flight. They are timeless. And Jeff Newsom because he looks at the world like no one else. --two polar opposite photographers, each with their own skills and a clear passion for what they do.

I see that you are an avid fitness buff and have even contributed to Shape magazine, but I'm going to ask this anyway... if you were forced to eat an entire wedding cake in one sitting, what flavor would it be? Oh goodness! If the wedding cake was the size of a cupcake ( After you work in weddings as long as I have, wedding cake does not sound appetizing!), I’d say red velvet or carrot cake.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Studio Manager or Rock Star...

... or both?

Eric Trent Performing with Ugly Mustard (photo credit: Jason Janik)

Eric Trent has been Studio Manager at JCPenney Corporate for ten years. His daily activities include designing and building environments for photo shoots, booking assistants and digital techs, and maintaining equipment.

According to Eric, most photo shoots are planned weeks in advance, and he states, "This gives me time to build a team and the environment. Our producer team handles stylist and models. If a shoot is scheduled last minute, I always have an emergency crew or I’m able to move people around."

We asked Eric a few questions, which he was happy to answer for YOUR BENEFIT!

How do you cope with the variables and unknowns with photo shoots and assure that you have a positive outcome? I always create a buffer and establish the best resources.

What are some deal-breakers for you in regards to photo assistants, digital techs, and photographers? (i.e. worst offenses/mistakes) Be true to your ability. Are you really an “expert” in photoshop CS4? As a starting photo assistant, what is your day rate? Some agents will encourage you to set your rate high. You will move faster with an honest rate and work more often.

If there was only one quality that you could choose in a photo assistant, what would it be? Have ambition

If one of your Photo Assistants makes a mistake, how can they redeem themselves? Mistakes are made often. Just learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask.

At JCPenney, what are the most realistic job opportunities for an entry-level student photographer as he/she graduates from college? If your ambition is to become a photographer, photo assisting is very likely at JC Penney.

So, we hear you are a member of Ugly Mustard. What’s the craziest thing you wish you could have captured on film at one of your shows? We were playing in Zurich Switzerland and the opening band came on stage in the middle of our set and started removing all of our equipment while we were playing.

What parallels do you see with your job at JCP and your job as a musician? Any commonalities? Running a photo studio is much like being in a band. It’s the same language and the show must go on.

If you were hanging from the edge of a cliff, and your life depended on one person to rescue you – would it be a Photo Assistant or a Roadie? Roadie of course.

Eric Trent with Ugly Mustard (photo credit: Jason Janik)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Josh Levy, Art Director with Sony, Puts in His Two-Cents...

We asked Joshua Marc Levy, Sr. Art Director and Illustrator with Sony, to shed some light on forging a path in the music industry...

What are some of your basic job duties? Setting up photo shoots, cover design and/or illustration, package design, color proofing, press runs

How did you make your way to Sony? Its a long story of strange fate and odd twists...and I took an independent study with someone who used to work here.

What are the greatest challenges you face in your position?
Really depends from job to job. Sometimes its a matter of working with a band that has 5 members with 5 different opinions. Sometimes you win an artist over with your first cover design and other times its the 200th cover. It might thunderstorm your photo shoot day in the park. And of course office politics.

What are some of your favorite/most memorable projects?
AC/DC (one of my all time favorite bands)...We shot in London, special packaging with 4 different covers and a hard-bound deluxe edition. Went to 4 shows on the tour and everyone is wearing my art! Also Ozzy Osbourne, Modest Mouse, Love As Laughter, and Buddy Guy to name a few. (Below is the AC/DC project to which Josh refers...)

Lots of students would love to work at Sony. What are some tips you can provide for students wanting to work in Photography at Sony? There are no in-house staff photographers. That is all freelance, and there is a LOT of competition. I receive up to 20 emails a day from Photographers and I probably open maybe 1 or 2 of them by random selection. It’s all in the timing. Half the time its not even my choice who shoots the band or artist. Please do not call me. :) Best way to start shooting artists is to meet some of them before they get big and ask if you can shoot them for free. I’m not talking about live photography, set up actual shoots.

How frequently do you work with photographers and photo assistants? Really depends on the year. One year I may have 2 photo shoots and another year I may have 10. Really depends on each specific artist assigned.

What are some qualities you look for in a photographer? You must have other artists and bands in your book in order to get hired here. This is the top. Start small working for independents and small labels.

How important is a photographer’s or photo assistant’s reputation? What mistakes have you seen photogs make that should be avoided at all costs? Do not send a fashion book or a landscape/lifestyle book to a music art director. Do not hire an assistant who has to check her facebook every 15 minutes.

What advice can you give to Photographers about how to break into the music industry? Try and get into advertising or fashion, because the music industry is dying and the pay for photographers gets cut in half every year. If it really truly is your passion then go for it and don’t give up.

Recently, you made a trip to Dallas for a shoot, so… do you know who shot J.R.? Yes, I actually do. But do any of your students even know who J.R. is? I bet they’ve never used a typewriter before.

If you could be on the cover of any musician’s album (living or dead) who would it be, and what would the image look like? ahhh, there are many I’d love to design. A lot of the old rockers...My top are Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Mudhoney, Bruce Springsteen, The Buzzcocks, Social Distortion, Iggy Pop, to name a few. ...and what would the covers look like? I have no idea. It’s a giant puzzle you have to solve when the time is right.

View more of Josh's work HERE.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ouch. Really sad saga....

"Debts closing in on photographer Annie Leibovitz...."

According to this headline, Annie's copyrights are on the line. Read the full article HERE.

But we expected that she was in big trouble after reading THIS a few weeks ago. Here's hoping that she is able to financially recover and to protect her assets (i.e. her copyrights).

Field Trips

The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth has quite a lineup of photography exhibits in the coming months.

Here are the Titles, Dates and Descriptions of each show, as seen on the Amon Carter website:

Circle of Friends: Portraits of Artists
Through November 29, 2009

For much of the history of figurative art, artists have made self-portraits and portraits of their patrons, but with the advent of modernism they began making portraits of one another with increasing regularity. Although the practice of artist portraiture was widespread in painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography through much of the 20th century, photographers were especially perceptive of a need to document their circles of artist-peers and friends.

As part of the process, photographers created works that embody their artistic and personal ambitions, from the glamorous femme fatale of Hollywood to the purposeful self-consciousness of the Stieglitz Circle painters, each of whom faced the camera in turn. Circle of Friends, drawn from the Amon Carter Museum’s collection of photographs, examines these historical moments via portraits of their key participants.

Masterworks of American Photography: Moments in Time
Through January 3, 2010

Journey through photography’s history in an exhibition of works from the medium’s early years to the present day. Taken together, these images from the Carter’s permanent collection reflect the diversity and richness of an American visual tradition and explore photography’s unique relationship to time.

The exhibition includes a number of recent acquisitions that relate to the passing of time in works that range from enduring still lifes to fleeting moments captured by the camera. This display of Masterworks of American Photography is supported by Canon U.S.A. and Fort Worth Camera.

Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian
December 12, 2009–May 15, 2010

In 1900, Edward S. Curtis undertook the momentous task of documenting American Indian cultures across the United States. Over the next 30 years, he took over 40,000 photographs and collected information about more than 80 tribes, ranging from the Inuit people of the far north to the Hopi people of the Southwest. He assembled this material into 20 lavishly illustrated text volumes, each accompanied by a folio of approximately 38 exquisitely printed, hand-pulled photogravures. Today, The North American Indian is widely heralded as a masterpiece of unparalleled scope and beauty, revered by many as a key artistic and historical resource. The Amon Carter Museum will display a selection of works from this compelling new acquisition.

Admission is FREE at the Amon Carter, and the museum stays open late (8:00pm) on Thursdays.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Great Source for You

Digital Photo Pro has posted some great tutorials:

Tips for how to get proper exposure for RAW images HERE
Tips for mastering the art of effectively capturing various skin tones HERE
Tips for fighting dust on your sensors HERE

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guest Blogger: Rhonda Reinhart, Managing Editor of D Weddings, D Home, and D Beauty

We asked Rhonda Reinhart, Managing Editor for D Weddings, D Homes and D Beauty, a few questions on behalf of our Fashion and Photography Students. Here's what she had to say:

I got into the business in a very traditional way. I majored in journalism in college, got my fist newspaper job while I was still in school (way back in 1997), and stayed in newspapers until 2005, when I got a job as the xxxxxxx (photo credit: Matthew Shelley)
managing editor of Spirit, the in-flight magazine of Southwest Airlines. After that, I started working at D, where I’ve been the managing editor of a wide variety of publications. And I do mean wide. There was even a golf magazine, some medical directories, and a real estate magazine in the mix at various times.

In the editorial industry, what is your opinion about the Dallas scene as it relates to opportunities for photographers? Publishing-wise, Dallas has a lot going on. Of course, there’s D and all of its sister publications. But American Airlines Publishing is based in DFW, too, and so is Cowboys & Indians. There are also all those D competitors whose names I won’t mention. Plus, there are lots of opportunities with Neiman Marcus. That’s not editorial work, but it seems like a lot of people we work with got their start there or have some sort of previous relationship with the company. Photographers have opportunities with all the non-glossies around town – the Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, etc.

How important is networking and relationships, when stylists and photogs are ultimately hoping to work within the editorial industry? Networking is important in getting to know the right people, but relationships are important in getting those people to hire you more than once. The best way to build a good relationship is don’t be difficult. If you’re given a deadline, meet it. If you’re asked to change direction at the last minute, do it. And don’t whine about it. That’s the way the magazine is going, and they’ll do it without you if they have to.

How do you coordinate working with writers, stylists, photographers, and your subjects to create the end-product? Is this challenging – how so? Well, it is challenging as far as scheduling goes. Sometimes I’m amazed we pull it off. There are just so many moving parts. Luckily, we have a good team of people who know what they need to accomplish and when, and a lot of tasks are highly compartmentalized. The art directors oversee and hire the stylists and photogs, the editors work with and hire the writers and fact-checkers, etc. Basically, we all have to be on top of our game as individuals. While I’m writing a honeymoon travel story for D Weddings, our art director might be on a photo shoot for a D Home feature. There’s a certain amount of teamwork in play, but we don’t always work together as a team.

What are your favorite job duties? I love writing headlines and copyediting. But that’s just the word nerd in me. The most fulfilling part of my job is when I can hold the finished product in my hands and flip through the pages and know that just a few weeks before, that magazine didn’t exist. We made it out of nothing. That never stops being a cool feeling.

What are the most difficult aspects of your job? Deadlines! Meeting them and getting others to meet them. Creative types are just the worst.

Who has been a real DREAM to work with (can be co-workers, your subjects, other pros, etc.) and why? Jamie Laubhan-Oliver. She’s the art director for D Home and D Weddings, and she is awesome. She’s been with us for less than two years, but she has already made such a difference. Besides being amazingly creative and more than willing to put in long hours, she also just absolutely loves what she does -- and it shows. Her excitement is contagious. Plus, she’s tough. I like that.

If someone wants to break into the industry as a stylist or photog, what is the best advice you could give as an Editor? First and foremost, do good work. Without that, nothing else matters. But, assuming you do good work, I would say the next most important thing is knowing your audience, so to speak. If you want to shoot or style for a particular magazine, for example, then buy that magazine and actually read it. Learn that publication’s style, its tone, its overall message. Then read the staffbox. Find out who is in charge of hiring photographers (usually the creative director or art director) and who is in charge of hiring stylists. You have to get your name and portfolio in front of the right person. Magazines, for the most part, are short-staffed and hectic. You don’t want your stuff ending up in the wrong hands and getting lost in the shuffle.

Did you realize that your first and last name begin with the same letter? Are you a fan of alliteration? I am definitely a fan of alliteration. It’s one of my favorite headline-writing techniques. And you know what else? My middle name is Renae! Sorry if I just blew your mind.

If you had to share your Twin-Pop Popsicle with someone in the industry, to whom would you give the other half? I have this editor friend who always seems to know all the juicy gossip. He seems like a good choice for my Twin-Pop. But, knowing him, it would also have to come with a side of Maker’s Mark.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cautionary Tale

We want this Blog to be helpful and encouraging, and sometimes, we will use it as a way to communicate what NOT to do. Reputation is EVERYTHING in the photography industry.

Everyone makes mistakes when they are starting out, so as a new photog, you need to learn how to minimize those mistakes. You might burn a few bridges here and there, but overall, your goal should be to have a GREAT reputation.

Here's what clients and photographers for whom you work are looking for:

Reliable transportation
Good, professional communication skills
STRONG knowledge of use of equipment
Ability to deliver whatever is promised. In other words, DO NOT overstate your skills.

If you need help trouble-shooting a client-relationship, please let us know. We can help with this!

Remember that photographers talk to each other. Below is an email from a photographer about a student photographer:

John Doe was a nightmare to work with.
1. Doesn't have a car, so he's dependent on other people's schedule regardless of the photo deadline - which he blew.
2. Doesn't have a flash. He asked to borrow mine last minute, which meant that I had to be at the venue (defeating the whole purpose of him covering me).
3. His card messed up, and I guess has never heard of Googling an issue to proactively figure it out or using CF card recovery software on his own. I hand-held him through the latter.

He's a nightmare to work with. Had I known about any one of the above issues I would have shot the event myself. Suffice it to say, had I know all four issues existed I never would have considered him.

His photos are mediocre and he really didn't hop on the event with gusto.

To top it all off, I had to pay another shooter who happened to be there that night, which was embarrassing.

My new student photographer shot last night. Seems pretty together type person. Haven't seen the photos yet, but working with this person has felt like a far more professional situation.

The student who originally took this job could have addressed these issues by:
1. Borrowing a flash for this night-time shoot, which clearly required off-camera lighting.
2. Securing transportation - and arriving on time.
3. BEING A PROBLEM SOLVER! Before asking for help - read the instructions!
4. MEETING DEADLINES! Some employers allow for one missed deadline or one missed assignment, but the photography industry often hinges on a combination of timeliness and quality of work.

For another perspective, take a moment to read this blog article entitled "Going Pro: Upping Your Level of Responsibility."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feedback from the Pros. Re: Gabe Gonzalez

We heard through the grapevine (thanks Roderick), that Gabe Gonzalez was a student whose work is just getting better and better.

After checking out Gabe's site, we agreed that Gabe is one-to-watch, and we aren't the only ones who feel that way. Check out Gabe's site, and read what the pros have to say:

Stephen Karlisch, who remembers meeting Gabe at a number of forums, had this to say:
"Looking through his work, it's obvious that he is observing the photography world around him, and trying to find his place. There is still not a defined look or direction, but great effort in achieving good photographs in many styles.

He is young and is trying hard, one of the most important aspects of making it in this business. I'm sure with time he will find his niche and look and never look back.

The fact that he is setting up shoots, getting paid (I hope), and producing good results, and posting for critique on a world wide stage is the right direction. Tell him congratulations on his site and blog, and to keep shooting and having fun with it."

Stephen Karlisch's work can be found at HERE and HERE. Stephen (pictured to the left) is an incredibly sought-after wedding photographer, and he also specializes in architectural photography. Do a little research on Stephen. You'll find that his work has appeared and continues to appear in some pretty great publications!

Leslie Katz of Urban Photography took a look at Gabe's work and wrote, "I love that Gabe’s portraits are experimental. He experiments with light, composition, color and textures. Good photographers figure out what works and stay there...great photographers are always trying different things, pushing to the next level. I think with more experience, that’s exactly what Gabe will be. A great photographer.”

Leslie's work can be found HERE, and her blog can be found HERE. Leslie (pictured to the right) is a portrait photographer whose photos of children and seniors definitely have a fashion-photography bent.

Thanks to our Pros, Stephen Karlisch and Leslie Katz! Both are focused and know their clientele, and they love to share their insight with students and other photogs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guest Blogger: Mike Daniel (Networking Advice from a Media Veteran...)

Name: Mike Daniel
Job Title: Dallas Editor

Q: So, Mike, what do you do?
A: I’m Dallas Editor for Thrillist, a free daily e-mail blast aimed at young, urban, educated 'regular guys' that focuses on cool, new and/or under-publicized restaurants/bars, fashion, gadgets, home items, services, activities and such. It’s basically
Daily Candy for dudes, and it has more than 1 million subscribers in 13 markets nationwide. Previously, I was a writer/editor/critic for The Dallas Morning News’ Arts and Guide sections for 14 years.

Q: So, your job hinges on KNOWING people. Why do you believe networking is important?
A: A statement about why networking is so important.A journalist who uses a cliché is akin to a musician ripping off a classic rock riff, but I’m going to do it here because it’s true: ‘It’s not what you know. It's who you know’. Simply put: the more people that you can form a relationship with — no matter how trivial it may be or feel like — the better your chances of expanding upon just about everything about life, whether it’s related to your career, your education, your personal life, whatever. Knowing the ‘right’ people (or, more succinctly put, making sure they know you) is the no-brainer part. Knowing others who may not seem to have much value to you upon introduction is just as important, however, because you never know when those folks will, all of the sudden, become valuable to you.

Q: Can you give us some networking tips?
A: For some, meeting people is excruciating — it was for me because I grew up very shy, and in the beginning I really had to work to make myself both approachable and unafraid to approach — but even folks such as me can do it. Be friendly, be confident, relax as best you can, and listen; that’s all you really need to do. Oh: when you’re at an event or place, act like you own the sucka.

Keep telling yourself that you belong there. You’re there, aren’t you? No one’s thrown wine on your head, spat on you, or thrown you out, right? So you belong! Getting out regularly (but not every night, you lush. Calm down!) is critical. No one’s going to meet you while you’re sitting on your couch inhaling a quart of Blue Bell while watching America’s Next Top Model. Networking is the best way to figure out where to go and what to attend (hint! HINT!); knowing people with your same interests will mean you’ll be ‘in the know’ by osmosis. Get to know a few folks who dig what you dig.

But here’s the really important part – don’t limit yourself to just things that you’re passionate about. Try out new stuff; be adventurous. Chances are – and this is gold for creative types — you’re going to happen upon new stuff that you like, and that’s not only going to inform your creativity, broaden your education, and buoy your passions, it’s going to open up new avenues for networking. Then: presto! You’ll know more people who’ll introduce you to even more cool things. It’s the sweetest snowball effect in the world. Well, except for pyramid schemes…when you don’t get caught… Before the one-way flight lands safely in Argentina...

Mike Daniel (right) at Platinum Motorcars Grand Opening.

Q: What is the best networking advice you can give to students, especially since some of our students will want to work in the media?
A: Besides what I’ve said above, I’m a big believer in simply being yourself. Wear your talents on your sleeve, not up your sleeve and out of sight – but don’t rub your sleeves all over everyone. By that, I mean use what you’re good at to your advantage when forging relationships, but don’t force any of it down anyone’s throat. (Besides: no one wants your cooties. Well, she might. Or maybe he does? Hmmm ... ) Remember that knowledge is power – yes, another cliché that’s filled with truth, but only upon the realization that it’s not just referring to book smarts or skill smarts, but people smarts, too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Capture will be having a meeting next Thursday, September 3rd at 12PM in Room 209. Our last meeting did not have a great turnout, so if you are available, feel free to stop by. We won't bite.

However, we'll have some pizza to munch on. Please bring some of your favorite work - whether they are assignments or personal work for a critique and to start our club book. Physical prints, digital files, a website, whatever works - as long as we can see the work.

If you have any questions please ask. Thanks! Hope to see you there!Roderick Peña

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fashion and Photography Collide

For those of you with a curiosity about fashion photography, here is a bit of fun info...

This weekend, the Kim Dawson Model Search was kicked-off at NorthPark Center. Part of the event includes all contestants being photographed by fashion photog Larry Travis, whose work can be seen locally in F!D Luxe.

Another great photo-centric bit of news...
Tim Gunn, host of Project Runway (on Lifetime), is featured on the Life Magazine website, as he selects his FAVORITE FASHION PHOTOS of all time. Life Magazine also features its own BEST FASHION PHOTOS slideshow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Resources at Your Service... was started in 2002 by a young photog who used the domain as his portfolio. He now works in publishing and has even been an editor for a major magazine. He gives great ideas, like this one for how to submit images to publications and how to follow up on those submissions. was started by photography Udi Tirosh who says, "I started this site, as an amateur photographer, who needs studio equipment, but can't always afford to buy the expensive, branded top quality studio stuff that you can find on photo equipment stores.
So… I began looking for alternative. My first creation was a flash bouncer from Brian Zimmerman (which kindly agreed to contribute the design to And what do you know, it did the work, in almost no cost at all, and had the added plus of making something yourself.
I then tried to create something of my own and designed and build the cheap flash softbox. Again, it was cheap, easy to build and effective. I tried building other stuff and time and again found out, that the build was part of the fun and that the results are very good.
So to answer the question, why is this site here? This is my way of sharing the knowledge I have, and trying to help other photographers to make cheap affordable photography equipment."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Use the iPhone to Your Advantage

A lot of you are faithful users of the Apple iPhone. We know that certain iPhone apps are helpful to photographers, and we found a few, with the help of local pro photogs. Check these out, and try to find others that might be helpful! Let us know if you find any great ones.

Sunrise & Sunset: This applications helps to calculate the sunset and the sunrise times and the total sun hours for each location in the world on each day of the year. Enjoy planning your next holiday, trip or photo session where ever and when ever you want to go. Just click on the location, choose date and timezone and optionally add 1 hour daylight saving.
Practical Application: This app will allow you to project sunrise and sunset for shoots you have scheduled a month down the road. This allows you to capitalize on available, natural light.

The Lens Angle Calculator is used to calculate the lens angle or focal length for a given sensor size. As the App store states, "this is useful for planning out camera placements in advance."

Chen's Photography and Software produces the Visual DOF Calc iPhone app. This is a depth of field calculator.
Practical Application: If you want to blur out the background to accentuate your subject, you'll need to determine the depth of field necessary. This algorithm will help you do that.

Top 10 Portfolio Faux Pas

The online photography portfolio is essential, as is a well-crafted book and leave-behind.

Top 10 Portfolio Faux Pas
by The Creative Group

A well-crafted portfolio can open doors to new jobs and clients. But if you submit a sub-par book, you'll likely find "no entry" signs at just about every door you knock on. Following are some mistakes that can drive hiring managers a little crazy, especially when they need to find a talented designer quickly. These 10 portfolio faux pas can cause employers to pass on your book and move onto the next one. Avoid these errors, and you'll have an immediate advantage over the competition.

Faux Pas #10: Providing "over the hill" examples. Don't include dated items in your portfolio, unless they're from a particularly high-profile assignment. No hiring manager wants to see a logo from a college project you created 15 years ago. Instead, include only pieces from within the last three years.

Faux Pas #9: Not bringing a leave-behind. Sixty-four percent of executives surveyed by The Creative Group said it's important to leave a work sample behind after an employment interview. You might want to develop a piece to use specifically for this purpose, such as a stand-out postcard that contains all of your contact information.

Faux Pas #8: Only having an online portfolio. The good news is that you have a visually stunning and well-organized online portfolio. The bad news is that this is the only way a hiring manager can see your work. Most design firms want evidence of your ability to produce excellent work online—in addition to a book you can show them in person. How you present that portfolio is important, too: In a survey by our firm, 65 percent of advertising and marketing executives said they preferred a bound book or separate container with loose pieces inside.

Faux Pas #7: Not customizing your portfolio to the client's needs. When preparing your book, make the samples specific to the project type, industry and client. If you'll be working on direct-mail pieces, for instance, be sure to provide samples of that type of work at the beginning of your portfolio. There are three common ways to organize your book: by industry, media specialty or chronologically. Most corporate clients will be interested in an industry-specific portfolio with examples that relate to their lines of business. If you're just beginning your career, however, arranging it chronologically may be preferable so you can highlight your career growth.

Faux Pas #6: Not telling a "story." The way you arrange your portfolio and present it is just as important as the pieces you include. Your samples should spark conversation about your contributions to previous employers. Ultimately, your book should tell a story about the value you provided clients over the years. Always be sure to strike a balance between showing any challenges you overcame and not coming across as a prima donna. When describing a piece in an interview, for example, you might talk about how a redesigned website increased traffic by 20 percent or how an award you won helped improve the firm's brand recognition. Essentially, you want to demonstrate what changed as a result of your work on a project. Companies want to know that they'll make a good investment in hiring you.

Faux Pas #5: An online portfolio that takes forever to download. David Langton, a principal graphic designer at Langton Cherubino Group, says it best: "Don't make me wait for your portfolio to download. I won't." Hiring managers are short on time and none of them wants to waste it waiting to see your work. Likewise, skip the musical introductions. Depending on your musical tastes, it can be jarring to go to a website and be greeted by Beethoven's Fifth Symphony or Michael Jackson's "Thriller." If you must have a fancy introduction for your site, be sure to include a prominent "skip introduction" button.

Faux Pas #4: Creating an unsolved mystery. Be sure to clearly identify each piece in your book by including the name of the client for which you produced the piece, your role in the project, the software you used and a sentence or two describing why it's important.

Faux Pas #3: Leaving no piece behind. You might be able to assemble enough material in your book to rival "War and Peace," but resist the temptation to show the hiring manager all your work. When it comes to portfolios, less is definitely more. A survey by The Creative Group shows that prospective employers feel the ideal portfolio should include about a dozen items (for print - more if online).

Faux Pas #2: A sloppy book. Thirty-one percent of advertising and marketing executives polled by The Creative Group said unorganized samples bothered them most when reviewing portfolios. Your book should be neat and clean. If you're including bulky items, carry them separately. Along these same lines, don't give too much information about a particular example. Displaying numerous versions of the same piece, for instance, can be confusing to the person reviewing it. Generally, it's best to include only one final version.

Faux Pas #1: Not having an online portfolio. You must have an online portfolio; because all companies have a web presence today, few hiring managers will consider you for a job if you don't. And keep in mind that 22 percent of advertising and marketing executives surveyed by our firm said they preferred an online portfolio when viewing a creative's book. Cover all of your bases and have both an online and hard-copy portfolio available for hiring managers to review.

Remember that your book is never a finished project: You will constantly need to update and revamp it to reflect the job market and your skill set. While it's true that developing an online and hard copy of your portfolio requires significant time and effort, consider it a long-term career investment.

Used with permission from The Creative Group.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

ASMP Seminar on Pricing and Negotiating

Pricing and Negotiating

Are your clients asking for more and paying less? Are your costs increasing? Are you struggling with how to determine your fees? And, what about talking to clients about price?

Susan Carr presents a candid discussion on licensing and pricing your work. Take the mystery out of determining your fees and setting licensing terms. Get real world strategies for pricing in this tough business climate. Learn how to sell your prices with confidence.

Seminar topics:

  • What you need to know about copyright.
  • A real world look at how to license photography.
  • Why are copyright, licensing and pricing connected?
  • Pricing models.
  • Learn the steps to determining what to charge.
  • Selling your price.

I Stink At Negotiating

Do you panic when you have to discuss money with a client? Do you talk too fast, ramble or sound indignant? Do you give in too fast to a lower price or broad licensing terms?

Join Blake Discher for his highly acclaimed "Strictly Business 2" lecture on how to win jobs. Blake will teach you the steps to become a top negotiator. This critical skill can change your business in the most profound way — more and better work! Blake will walk you through real world scenarios, show you how to listen and talk to prospects turning them into loyal clients.

Seminar topics:

  • Learn how to prepare for a negotiation.
  • Researching the client.
  • Increasing your clout.
  • Listening skills.
  • When is it time to walk away?
  • The follow-up is critical.

  • When And Where
  • September 19, 2009
  • 9:00AM to 1:30PM (social time starts at 8:30AM)
  • Bolt Space, 2410
  • Farrington Street
  • Dallas, TX

    Click here to REGISTER ONLINE

    More In

Friday, August 14, 2009

Email from Capture

Below is an email from Capture, our on-campus photography student organization.
Hey everyone!

There's a hot air balloon event going on this weekend that you might be interested in! Check it out at Highland Village Balloon Festival.
Might be a great place to get some cool shoots!

Also, below is a link to a pretty cool video about a nature photographer and his journey as he documents the changes in the national parks across America - more specifically in this video, The Northern Rocky Mountains.

Very inspiring. Check it out:

Finally, below is a website I came across the other day with tips and tricks for the Do-It-Yourself photographer. There's a lot of cool tutorials and methods on this website for those that might not have the budget for the big equipment. Either way, it's a great site to take a look at:

I hope everyone has a great weekend!