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October 2011 - Yep, it's groozi!

October 2011 Posts

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

I am strangely saddened tonight after learning that Steve Jobs has passed away. Perhaps it is because he and I are close in age and it’s a reminder of just how important each day is. Or perhaps it is because I am humbled by his achievements. Someone more eloquent than I tweeted just a short time ago: “Countless people are learning Steve Jobs died on devices that would not exist without his vision. That’s a legacy.”

Below is the text of the Commencement address he delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. (If you’d rather watch the full-length video, click here.) I’ve seen it before, several times in fact, but watching it now, it affects me in an entirely different way. In any case, he will always inspire me. These three sentences are the ones that have stayed with me from the first time I heard the speech: “And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Rest in peace Steve Jobs.

How One Photographer Is Beating the Economy

On one of the professional forums I read daily, there is a conversation about the lousy state of the industry, how clients are hiring based only on price, how protecting one’s intellectual property rights has cost clients, how competitors are charging less and giving more, and blah, blah, blah. It’s the usual bitching and moaning that happens in any economic downturn when photographers: 1) are selling a product that a buyer can obtain elsewhere for less; or 2) are inadequately conveying their value-add to their clients; or 3) have clients that don’t care about the additional “value” the photographer adds to a project.

Michael Albany, a Philadelphia photographer specializing in architecture and portrait photography offered up some valuable insight that I think can help to inspire other photographers. He wrote:

I totally understand the fact that the old grey mare ain’t what she used to be and that our industry is A) in a total state of flux, and B) that the market is becoming saturated with too many Uncle Bobs but I have to say that I am so tired of hearing people whine about it. So you want to charge less or leave ASMP because they don’t [fit] your agenda, bye. Have a nice day.

I joined ASMP to learn and to grow and guess what, I am. Is it the end all to be all? Nope. Is my photography business where I want it to be? Well if you don’t know my name then no, it’s not. Is it growing? Yes.

On Selling, Negotiating, Commodities & Differentiation

Negotiating for PhotographersThis essay originally appeared in the handbook given to attendees of the American Society of Media Photographers‘ (ASMP) very successful Strictly Business three-day conference series earlier this year. The essay is reprinted here in its entirety. (ASMP’s updated-daily “Strictly Business” blog is another great resource for photographers.)

Selling and Negotiating.  The words strike fear into almost every creative person I’ve met.  As creatives in the photography business, we love to take pictures and have a strong desire to satisfy our clients.  The selling process, by its very nature, involves give and take, and at some point along the way, we’re likely to not give the client (or potential client) everything he or she wants. And, keep in mind that sometimes we won’t get everything that we want. That’s negotiating.