Archive for January 2011

The goal of business

I read/follow a lot of blogs. Some are about economics but most are about photography. Having RSS feeds in google
 reader is a great way to keep up with the photography industry as 
well as educate myself while I’ve got a few minutes to kill. After 
reading aphotoeditor’s post about a business’ goals I had to write about my own experience.

[creative] Business owners … work for the enjoyment of their competitive skill, in the context of a life where competing skillfully makes sense. The money they earn supports this way of life.

When I worked as an
analyst I grew to hate my job. Although he never vocalized it in so 
many words my boss hated it too. What he did express to me, after another heinous work-week ,was that he would do it until he burned out and then get a cake job as a buy side analyst (mutual fund or
 hedge fund). I never made it that far. In 2002 while still at the bank I got a significant raise and bonus.
 After the excitement of the money wore off I still hated my job. That was when I
 realized that money wasn’t going to make me happy.

I am not a
 photographer because I want to make X amount of money. I’m not a 
photographer to surround myself with fun, beautiful or interesting
 people. Making a living, having fun at work and working with cool and interesting people are byproducts of my job. I love what I do. I can no longer imagine not doing this for a living. Although I run a business and want to earn a good living; the amount of money I make is no longer on the forefront of my mind.

My job and lifestyle benefits my family, my clients and me. I hope you love what you do as much as I do.

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Happy Birthday Holden!

Last weekend I shot Holden’s one year Birthday Party. The significance of Holden’s birthday is that I’ve know him since he was a few days old and have had the pleasure of helping his family document his life.  Having a relationship with a family where I am asked to document so many special occasions and milestones is an amazing thing. Besides seeing Holden grow up I have developed a great relationship with his parents and grandparents. For me this level of trust and comfort leads to amazing photos.

Here’s a couple shots from my first session with Holden. He was 11 days old. It’s amazing how much changes in a year.

Michelles with Holden -  Three weeks old

Michelle with Holden -11 days old

Holden - 11 days old

Holden - 11 days old

Holden’s party was planned by Carolyn Mason of Grand Affair. Carolyn does an amazing job creating an event that both the parents and the kids can enjoy. Holden’s party had a room specifically for the kids to play in. Carolyn also arranged a visit from Superman and a face-painting princess who helped entertain the kids throughout the event.

Children's play room decor

Children's play room decor - Manhattan Beach Country Club

Holden_012211_027
Holden_012211_071

Holden - one year old

Holden - one year old

Holden_012211_116

Holden_012211_145

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Birth Announcements and testing out new blog themes

I’m trying to change the blog to a theme that will allow larger images. Stay tuned and excuse the mess.

In the mean time here’s the birth announcement and a recent shot of Charlie.

Charlie's birth announcement - front

Charlie's birth announcement - front

Birth announcement - back

Birth announcement - back

Charlie - 5 weeks old

Charlie - 5 weeks old

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Thanks for a great year

Thanks to all my clients, friends and family that helped to make 2010 a great year.

I have been reading a book by Michael Lewis called “The Big Short” about the sub-prime mortgage mess and the related meltdown. It starts with him describing his work as a broker at Salomon Brothers straight out of college and how as a 24 year old without any financial experience was paid a lot of money to give financial “advice”. He later talks about the investment banking business and all the shenanigans involved. He put into words what I had not been able to describe about my work as a sell-side analyst. We were paid to sell dreams. As much as they paid me I could no longer continue hating my job day after day. Leaving that industry, despite my passion for the market, was the best decisions I ever made.

Now I get paid to take pictures and I love it. As you’ll see in the video it’s not always glorious. Not everyone is a super model, not every house is a beautifully decorated mansion but to me it doesn’t matter. I’m my own boss, I set my hours, I pick my jobs, I get to sleep at night and as a result of my career and lifestyle I’m a different person. Thanks. Thanks to everyone who reads this or took part in one of the shoots. Your help and support allows me to continue doing what I love.

This is the third year I’ve made a year-end review  slide show. The video is a slide show set to a song I found and fell in love with in 2010. It includes a photo from every assignment and photo shoot I had in 2010. Like I mentioned above, they are not always glorious photo shoots but I’m grateful for all of them. My main areas of work are real estate, architecture and interior design, children, weddings and family, head shots and executive portraits and shots of and for models.  Last year a friend noted that it seemed odd that there would be a photo of a baby followed by a swimsuit model…..so this year instead of chronological order I’ve grouped the images by type.  I’ve also omitted the great majority of the photos of my daughter Grace. This year she’ll get her own slideshow. For those of you who can’t view flash you can see the video on my site: http://chuckespinoza.com/#/Year%20End%20Vids/2010/1. I also re-edited last years video organizing the images by subject. http://chuckespinoza.com/#/Year%20End%20Vids/2009/1

Music is huge to me and every year I’ve agonized over what song to use. This year I went with C’Mon by The Soft Pack They are an indie rock band out of San Diego. I found and fell in love with them because their music takes me back to the time I started taking pictures. They remind me of the music I was listening to in middle school which was when I first picked up a camera.

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