Posts Tagged ‘Actors’
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.
A few weeks ago I got a call from David Skinner, a friend a production designer. (David’s Reel) He was working on yet another Bing TV commercial and wanted to create and old masters type portrait to use as set decoration for the commercial. His first thought was to spend some money comping a portrait of the general into a stock photo purchased from Getty Images. Although my estimate was more than the cost of a (good) stock photo we both agreed that it was worth spending the extra money having me try to match the concept so that we would have total control.
In a matter of days I was setting up in the production office for an impromptu shoot that coincided with the wardrobe fitting. On the way to the shoot he called and informed me that instead of a single portrait of the “General”, we’d be shooting the general and his trophy wife. The benefit of having the shoot at the production company is that we would be close to both the director and agency to get approval. There’s nothing like having the director and the ad agency art directors around to help out during a photo shoot. In the end we got so many great shots it was hard to pic just one.
After the shoot the image was turned over to (ridiculously amazing) Graphic Artist Jamie Rama to get the old world painting look. The ending result was printed on canvas and framed.
Every spring Photo District News announces their 30 photographers to watch. It’s a great time to see what the commercial photography industry is taking notice of and because of the respect and reach of the magazine it’s a pretty big deal to make the list. Each year when I view the PDN30 I see a lot of what I am not. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing.
Knowing what I am not helps me to figure out what I am. Being able to wander around shooting ideas helps me find out what’s for me and what’s not for me. In college my goal was to be a sell-side analyst. For those unfamiliar with the investment banking chain of command, a sell-side analyst is the person responsible for writing research reports on sectors and companies and making buy, sell or hold recommendation to the investment community. I achieved my goal and eventually hated the job. With photography I have taken a different approach – try different things to see if what’s a good fit. In 2006 some friends suggested I look into children’s photography. I booked a couple test shoots with friend’s kids, had fun and a new business was born. The following was a shot from one of those test shoots.
A few years ago I started working with small battery powered strobes and wanted to set up some test shoots to find their limitations and see what I could pull out of them. I asked everyone who came in for a shoot to wear the same thing; a white wife-beater. Despite all the different faces, shapes, colors and moods the wife-beater helped bring everything together. It was a great exercise and I learned a lot. Recently I was looking over the series and appreciated how real they were. I was able to capture great images of people without fancy lights, locations, makeup or wardrobe. I also noticed that through that series I made some great friends and continue to have relationships with quite a few people I photographed.
I saw the value in the exercise and my current project was born. It’s a similar portrait project although a bit more stripped down. Back in November I had a model sit for a very close up portrait before our fashion shoot. It was the spark for the current series. It’s ongoing and I welcome everyone who’s willing to come in for a shoot. Click on the photo to check out the project’s website.