Personal, Professional

Personal… Professional

Someone asked me what direction i was going with my blog/website. She thought it started out as a professional blog where I would post reviews, videos, and photography. But said it is becoming more and more personal. I felt this is my place to post whatever I feel like posting. Personal OR professional. Anything related to my life and my career as a photographer. I post links for interesting videos, pictures I have taken, reviews of equipment I use, but I also post about experiences. I post about things that happen to me in my life on a professional level but also on a personal level. This is the place where people can know who I am. Know how I think and what I feel, to be able to tell what kind of person I am. Some things may reflect poorly on me, and others will put me on a silver pedestal. No matter the outcome…….. I am being truthful of who I am.

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Mood Swing

Break Down?

I posted to my facebook about two amazing opportunities I had this past week that I just passed up. Just didn’t go. Why did I do that? Was it swings of my mood, or just a rotation of my perspective? My friend Joe chimed in.

Chris Helton:
Had full access to Naval Air Station’s museum before they open to film a veteran… didn’t go. Had full access to battleship USS Alabama today to film the remaining crew members from WWII… didn’t go. Just tired of everything, and don’t see the point in anything anymore.

Joe:
it struck me late in life trying to figure out if being creative is a curse or a gift because the mood swings are so tough to deal with. Fortunately, I have learned to stay away from making any big decisions during my downward swings, I’ve really messed some things up in my life by doing so…same applies to my extreme highs.

My thoughts:
It’s a real trade off. Do I go to the events and film even though I don’t feel it? Or do I do nothing at all? These projects are things I began doing just for the joy of doing them. They seemed right to do, noble actually to document these stories. I felt for sure people would be helpful in my journey. They became an extreme annoyance because of the obstacles and the people who showed no support of the project and I started to wonder if it was worth doing at all.

You are right Joe, there are ups & downs being a creative. I feel the true ups and downs are not created by being that type person but are created because of the influences on you from being that type of person. The largest influence in my life (and many lives) is money. Money runs the world we live in. As a project in it’s self I felt wonderful doing it. When it began costing me considerably though, when I did not have the support from others I had hoped for, I felt no purpose or passion to continue.

The battleship originally denied me being there. After several messages they came 180 and gave me full access. If you have to convince someone to invite you to a party, do you still want to go? It would have been a great opportunity to film the crewmates from the battleship, but at what cost to me? Gulf Shores to Mobile @ $4 a gal of gas, day filming, 2 days editing, all for what? This became an big expense on me.

There are three types of values to any gig. Income Value, Creative Value, and Opportunity Value. You consider what kind of opportunity value a gig may have, consider what kind of personal creative value you can take from it, but in the end it all comes to one value. The income value of anything you do. Rent has to be paid. Does what I am putting into it = any kind of return? Is the expense to myself for doing this project paying off? Not to say you have to profit off everything you do. We will never be able to repay what our veterans have done for us. But that is the way the world turns. If not a profit, we have to justify the expense of what we are doing. If we are not gaining anything from what we are doing, then why do it? Madonna had it right. We are material people in a material world.

So in the end, looking at those events and why I didn’t go. 
Was it swings of my mood, or just a rotation of my perspective?

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Blue Angels

I went over to Pensacola Naval Air Station on Wednesday. I originally had an interview set up to sit down and record a WWII veterans story. But after I got there I was told in another hour it would be to noisy to record anything because the Blue Angels were practicing. So I rescheduled the interview and watched the Blue’s :)

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Verbal Contract

I have to say in a way it is like growing up in a small town and working in a city. Growing up in a small town you are friends with everyone, you TRUST everyone, you believe people when they say they will do something. The city? Not so much, people will take advantage of you every chance you give them. Lie, cheat, and steal. It’s a sad fact, but one we have to face. You can not believe what is told to you, you have to have it in writing. Half down, before you do any work at all. A signed agreement to the terms of what you are doing, the deadlines of when a final product is expected, copyright to where the work can be used, and when full payment must be paid.

Good business is designed that way. Get as much as you can for as little as possible.
But I have come across to many situations where business is much like Congress. Twisted.

A college wanted to hire me to film a production for them. Having had issues with this college paying their bill in a timely manner, I sent a contract to be agreed to before I would film. I outlined what I would do, the time I needed to edit, exactly what I was giving them, and they had 30 days from time of invoice to pay their bill in full or there would be a penalty charged. They refused to agree and retracted their offer for me to film the production. Sad I talked myself out of a job, but I thought it fair and not to much to ask that they agree to terms before I filmed. Odd that they would refuse to agree to such conditions and makes you wonder if they had something up their sleeve?

It’s a fine line to walk. I have become almost over paranoid taking on a job by a verbal agreement. I almost did not film a band this weekend simply because of my paranoia from being taken advantage of so many times. I thought they were going to not pay men, pay half and refuse the rest, or not be satisfied with my work and want revision after revision. These things have happened in the past. I took the job though and I look forward to filming the band. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Dark Side of the Lens

I’ve had a lot of great opportunities to film and photograph, I’ve had many pieces published over the years and made very little from it. I think Mickey Smith sums up the way I feel thus far in his video “Dark Side Of The Lens

“If I only scrap a living, at least its a living worth scrapin. If there’s no future in it, at least it’s a present worth remembering. For fires of happiness, and waves of gratitude, for everything that brought us to that point on earth in that moment in time, to do something worth remembering. I never set out to be anything particularly, just to live creatively and push the score of my experience for adventure, for passion.”

I get so caught up in the business of things. The money end of everything, I forget what it’s about. Making the paycheck is ultimately the goal. But living life, enjoying life, and doing something I take pleasure in is what it’s about. A snippet from my friend Tiffany, who really said it best, can be pinned to every photograph I truly enjoyed taking. Those moments are what create something not just for the cover, but for your soul.

“”love: basically all those things that allow “yeah” to unconsciously an assuredly slip from your lips.”-Tif

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Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II printer

Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II printer.

Last month I bought a Canon 60D DSLR to pair with a second 60D I already shoot with. Like usual I buy all my gear from B&H Photo Video out of NY. They had a promo going on with Canon at the time that if I bought a Pixma Pro9000 Mark II printer with the Canon 60D camera I would get a $400 mail in rebate. Now the printer cost $350 so it seems like a no brainer to me. We’ll have to see if/when I actually get my rebate.

ANYWAYS, on to the point. A few years ago I owned a Canon i9900 printer (much like the pro9000) and I loved to print panorama pictures on that printer. I still have a couple rolls of photography paper and thought I would give it a go on printing a panorama of a Blue Angels photo I took.

No matter what I did the print would cut off the first 4-5in of my 12×30 picture. After beating my head on the desk, I had a realization… well that and I found a post someone wrote saying this printer will only print 26in long prints. Tada! Re-sized to 25in length and it printed beautifully. Hope this post helps someone else who’s having this same problem…. before you throw the printer out the window :)

Oh the joys of troubleshooting.

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Volleyball

Photographed Volleyball for the Sports Commission this weekend. Thats always the hard part about shooting inside a gym during competitions. I need to use the flash, but thats super distracting to the players so I always shoot no flash.

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Imitation Is the Greatest Form of Flattery.

What about poor imitation? Is it flattery when you butcher someones idea? Denis Smith is a photographer from South Africa who has been creating these amazing light painting called “Ball of Light”. I fell in love with these photographs the min I saw them. I went out to try to make my own ball of light, and I have to say this is going to take a couple tries haha.

Well, here is TAKE ONE!

And of course while I was there, I snapped a couple other night shots.

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I just hung out the plane, and snapped the picture.

biplane_Snapseed

Oh what fun this was!! Bar took me up in his biplane for a ride over the Gulf Coast. Him and his wife run the Birds of Paradise biplane rides out of Jack Edwards airport here in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Someone asked me “how did you get that shot!?” and of course I wasn’t thinking about it but said “well, I hung out of the airplane and took the picture” HA how many times in your life do you get to say that?

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kids soccer tournament

I photographed the soccer tournament this past weekend for the Alabama Gulf Coast Sports Commission. Here are a few shots I liked and thought I would share

The goalie kept an eye on the ball every step of the field never taking her eye off it.

This shot has such power in it! Obviously it’s a bit difficult to see in the small picture but the pure concentration on the faces of the girls in the foreground, the girl in the background standing on the edge waiting to react, and the goalie screaming. Love it.

I kept putting myself in their shoes. In this shot I thought “Oh man, if I was that kid the only thing I would be saying is… oh crap oh crap oh crap”

These next two shots I really thought were Cartier Bresson moments. That moment just before. Is it going in? No? Yes?

Happy Ball :)

WHO wouldn’t LOL at this capture?

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