Your Brand

Branding seems to be an ongoing struggle with a lot of photographers.  I for one have struggled with a consistent brand, how to market my brand effectively and how to build on it without losing the core ideas.  It's more than a cool logo or letterhead, font choice or website colors.  I believe it's has as much to do with why you shoot, how you shoot, your ethos, and personality as it does the visual interpretation of these.  Especially because as a photographer you are the face of your business, how you talk with a prospective client can be as important as the font layout of your marketing media.  I firmly think all these play a vital role in building a successful brand.  I myself am in the middle of an important and much needed brand/business direction re-adjust, I say re-adjust and not re-vamp because I don't want to fully scrap what I've built but make it clearer, cleaner and much more refined.  A wonderful blog I read call Black Star Rising recently had an inspirational post on the importance of developing a consistent brand, check out the piece here (link to article).


A Walk in the Park

Grabbing my camera satchel, a notebook and a coffee I head into the park to wander amongst the eucalyptus, cypress, bison and many small lakes.  Choosing off trails I'm quickly secluded and the hum of city traffic is drowned out by the high pitched call of the resident red tailed hawks and the constant rustling of trees in wind.  It's easy to get away here, tucked in back corners where wild flowers and grasses still manage to find a place amongst the myriad of planted flora.  I've come today to shoot flowers and grasses, well anything that has interesting shapes and colors at closer than 1:1 scale.  It's meditative walking the park, getting low to get angles and searching for abstractions among the thousands of options.  Using a variation of extension tubes, artificial and natural light, reflectors, scrims, diffusion rounds, I guess it's my version of studio photography without the walls, and what a studio it is!



Close Proximity

Living in San Francisco I take for grant-it that there are a myriad of beautiful places minutes from leaving the city.  After writing emails, marketing notes and to-do lists all morning I had to break away to shoot and headed just North of the bridge to a gorgeous valley called Tennessee Valley; a long, open, roadless valley that empties into the Pacific Ocean.  Native grasses, Pines and Cypress trees dot the landscape while distant screams of marsh hawks and the silent soaring of the Turkey Vulture makes you forget you're just minutes from one of the busiest metropolitan areas of the country.  Needless to say I fell into a deep calm sat and watched the water more than I ended up shooting.  Which is probably why I carried a friendly little tick home with me buried in my belly, he was promptly found and excavated while traversing the Golden Gate Bridge on my way home.  I love all of nature, the weird and the serene!


A Fun Departure

Sometimes it's fun to shoot something you wouldn't normally do without an outside influence.  My good friend Caitlin, whose a wonderful prop stylist (link) wanted to do something fun for her portfolio, so we put together this idea and had a lot of fun shooting it.