Shooting stock photos – Columbus, OH 2017

Drove to Columbus, OH for my day job, and had fun shooting stock photos while I was out of town, here are some reflections on the trip…  What I did right:

  • Planned ahead by checking out popular locations and marking them on Googlemaps, which helped tremendously with planning – Once I was at one location I could quickly scan the map and find other nearby locations, so I could see those that were near each other and prepare my photo taking.
  • Looked up headquarters of companies that might be nearby, to get some idea of what was there.
  • Took my time getting there, so I could pull out as I desired, like a stop at Bowling Green State University. I’d often wanted to check out the campus:

Bowling Green State University Jerome Library

and having my camera on me at all times so when I’m moved to take a photo I can catch it before the opportunity disappears:

long sunny road

  • Went around Ohio Stadium to get a wide variety of shots:
  • Took my time downtown, and waiting for enough people to walk into the shot to make for a more interesting photograph:

Scioto Mile, in downtown Columbus, OH

  • Looked for those random opportunities that present themselves:
  • Enjoyed photography for its sake, not thinking only of stock photography
  • Let a little kid take a photograph with my camera, sharing the joy of photography with others.
  • Processed the photos fairly quickly, just finished just two weeks after the trip.

What I would do differently:

  • Print out a map with the popular locations, so I didn’t have to refer to the phone every time. I hadn’t realized that the saved locations don’t show when in directions mode…

You can see the photos Shutterstock accepted from Columbus here. Hope these reflections help you, and best wishes on YOUR photography adventures!

Susan

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Milestone – Paris Locks accepted to AAWA Summer 2017 Juried show

I was thrilled that “Paris Locks” was recently accepted to the Ann Arbor Women Artists‘ Summer 2017 juried show:

Paris locks 18x12

… and for the first time part of my photo was even included in the advertising postcard:

riverside_2017_summer (1)

 

We were told that they received 120 entries, of which 64 were accepted.The AAWA selections are particularly meaningful to me because the judge is a working artist, so to have one of my photographs recognized by a working artist sure helps with the Impostor Syndrome concerns.

… and with that I think I’m all caught up on what has been happening with my photography, whew, nice to not have that backlog!

Best wishes on YOUR photography adventures,

Susan

Milestone – Photos accepted by Blueprint 2017

This is another update, for the record… I had three photographs accepted by Blueprint, the College’s literary magazine for their print edition and for their show, in February 2017:

Overlooking Paris 18x12Paris locks 18x12Higgins Lake in Winter

The view from Notre Dame was a fun recreation of other similar ones I have seen over the years. Paris Love took me a bunch of shots and attempts to find just the right composition.  The lakeshore is in Higgins Lake, “up north” as we say here in Michigan, the beauty of a lake in the winter.

It’s always inspiring to see the work of my colleagues and students, and I appreciate the time that the organizers take to put together each year’s edition and art show. I like to be a part of these college events to show students that it’s important to have a balanced life, with interests outside of your career – I’m still working on it as you can see from some past posts, but during the summer the balance is much better…

Best wishes to you on YOUR photography adventures,

Susan

 

 

Impostor syndrome rears its head again…

In my day job I often do workshops on Impostor Syndrome, where you don’t think you are good enough, you’re a fraud, and you are going to be found out. I recently had something happen with my photography that I will be able to use as an example in future workshops, thought I’d share it as it might have happened to some of you as well.

So when I first started doing stock photos I had a relatively decent acceptance rate, maybe 75 %, with a number of photos getting denied because of quality issues – Out of focus, poor composition, etc.  And it took me FOREVER to get into iStockphoto, trying year after year until they finally let me in…. When I was catching up on those France photos recently I was submitting lots of photos at a time and I would invariably have sets of a dozen or more photos all get accepted. My first response?  “Wow, their standards must have gone down.”  Seriously, THAT was my response. Luckily I was familiar with Impostor Syndrome, so I could stop and tell myself “Wait!  Is there maybe another reason all your photos were accepted? Is there any chance you are actually a better photographer now?”  I had to laugh. Even knowing all about Impostor Syndrome to the point of doing workshops about it, I still fall for it…  Yes, I have to admit, I have worked hard at it, taken classes in person and online, many things that I would forget about now come naturally, I am indeed a better photographer now, thank you very much…

So lesson for all of us, yes, we always have more to learn and we must remain humble, but let’s take credit for the progress we are making to become better photographers every day and not be so hard on ourselves…

Best wishes on YOUR photography adventures,

Susan

Shooting stock photos – France 2016

Finally processed the photos I took on a trip to France last summer, yey…

I had a few days on my own first, where I visited Giverny and Monet’s house and garden, then had a bit more than a week with my boyfriend, mostly in Paris but also a day trip to Normandy and Omaha Beach area. I was very conscious that this was not a photography trip that he was coming along for, it was a couples trip that I happened to be taking advantage of to take some photographs.

Things I did right:

  • Balanced tourist time with photography time, so as not to burden him.
  • Took photos of every day scenes, like people walking on the streets, and pastry shops:Paris StreetPastries at the Bretteau Jean-Marie  Patisserie, Paris
  • Lined up a shot I wanted then waited for the right combination of people to come into it to make it more interesting:Musee D'Orsay, Paris
  • Took the time to get just the right shot – when my boyfriend was busy doing other things so I wasn’t making him wait forever. I spent over 10 minutes taking more than a dozen shots of this lovely musician while he shopped in the market:Organist entertaining at Marche Aligre, Paris
  • Tried for unusual shots of the Eiffel Tower, with tourists in it:Eiffel Tower, Paris
  • Patiently waited for the wind to be just right to get the cool shot of the weathervane at a train station while waiting for the train to return from Giverny. The weathervane never again lined up before the train arrived, good thing I caught it when I did:Weathervane in Vernon, France
  • Made a note of the names of the streets and tourist signs at photo locations to make it easier to write captions later.
  • Had fun trying to recreate some of Monet’s paintings:Monet garden, Giverny, France

Things I could have done better:

  • Many little technical details and probably missed many shots, but I really enjoyed the trip for itself, the photos were a side thing.
  • Again, process them sooner, it took me months to get back to them. I realized I was overwhelmed by the number of photos I had to get through. Once I realized that the only way to get through them was to… get through them, I was able to break the task up into little pieces: Select favorites, copy them from iPhoto and name them, break them up into little sets that didn’t seem too overwhelming to work on, clean them up on Photoshop, then caption and keyword them. Some days I was all for cleaning up, other days I was more interested in captioning and keywording, I played it by ear until they all got done.

Yesterday I finished the last batch, and submitted the last photos, ended up having over 100 photos approved, yey. You can see the photos that were accepted by Shutterstock here (last few aren’t up just yet, patience..)

Best wishes on YOUR photography adventures,

Susan

Shooting stock photos – Woman’s March in January 2017

Still catching up on old shooting adventures.  In January I participated in and took photos at the Women’s March in Ann Arbor, MI. I learned from past such occasions to get both long, medium and short range shots:

Women's March Ann Arbor 2017
Women's March Ann Arbor 2017
Women's March Ann Arbor 2017

I also have more confidence now to get in front with the other photographers and get close up shots of the speakers, such as our representative Debbie Dingell:

Women's March Ann Arbor 2017

So things I did right:

  • Took short, medium, and long range shots
  • Was more confident getting in there with the other photographers to get the close-ups and crowd shots.
  • Took notes as to who the speakers were for the less famous ones, saved me lots of time later on when adding captions to the photos.
  • I took photos of everyone who asked me to, I am getting much more comfortable interacting with people in that mode.

Mistake I made:

  • Took way too long to process them, should be better about processing them right away, where they can be more useful, and get more downloads…  I find I get such a kick out of taking the photos, but I have to be in just the right mood to process them, both clean up the photos themselves and putting in a caption, keywords, etc. I am mindful that for me this is a hobby and I want to have it stay fun. If this were my day job I would be a lot more diligent about this…

You can see all the photos that I sent to Shutterstock and got accepted here.

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan