Thursday, June 26, 2008

Senior Portraits, Book Reviews and assorted photo ramblings

It's been awhile since posting. I've been pretty busy recently with an assignment from PNC and a number of senior portrait sessions. The phone has been ringing with students who are tired of the same old looks from traditional portrait and wedding studios and they are looking for customized and photos with a slight edge. I've really been enjoying working with the kids and the cool thing about it is that even the boys (who never want their photos done) get caught up in the session and actually enjoy themselves and my working style. My working style is loud music rocking the location, working quickly, getting Mom involved in the process by holding a flex fill reflector, and just trying to have as much fun as possible! The photos I'm getting have been great and if this trend continues, I can see myself opening a small boutique type studio for the retail business. I'm learning more about the retail business every day and it really differs from the commercial circles I'm used to running in.

Pittsburgh: A Photographic Portrait has just been reviewed by Pittsburgh Magazine, July 2008 issue in a glowing and positive manner. Here is an excerpt from the review by Hattie Fletcher wrote, "...You know, I actually have seen all these things, and some of them I wouldn't even call all that pretty. But gosh, Bolster makes them look terrific!"
As a professional photographer I have spent a career working hard to make the non pretty...pretty. So I am pleased with her assessment of my talents!

ASMP Pittsburgh chapter sponsored a talk by former Chicago photo rep, Carolyn Potts last night about the changing world of commercial photography and giving examples of why it is so much tougher these days to communicate with art buyers and to get assignments. Much of the well presented lecture was stuff I already knew, and it could have been useful to have examples of photographers who have adopted and are thriving (if they exist!) As a lecture and seminar junkie, I still always find at least one tidbit of info I can use down the line and that is why I spend time and money to attend those things. In fact, her energy inspired me to write this blog which I have neglected for a couple of weeks! You have to listen with a skeptical mind but yet be very open to new ideas of thinking. Since many of the programs are sponsored by vendors there is usually a soft sell of their products which I don't mind too much as long as it doesn't go overboard. After the seminar it was nice just getting together with fellow shooters at a Sanremos Bar pounding down pitchers of beer and discussing our businesses, our frustrations and our dreams. I, for one, intend to remain focused, positive and will continue to learn and explore all areas of photography. I remain confident that the next "BIG" idea is just around the corner!

These photos are from a recent shoot with high school senior Liz. They were made on an extremely hot and humid day, yet she and her mom hung in with me, worked hard, and we made some stunning photographs! Thanks Liz and Denise!

PHOTO QUOTE OF THE DAY: If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it.-Jay Maisel

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