So I have been out of sight for a while now on blogger. It doesn't mean, though that I haven't been hella busy. In fact, I've been all over the place in business, photos and more. One of the most important 'projects' I have been working on (or more my wife Anna) has been this super secret project shown in this video.

I hope you like it.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a Happy and Thankful Thanksgiving. Now is the time
not to worry about the things you don't have, but to be very Happy for
the things you do have. Try hard enough and I am sure you will come up
with something. Being alive is one of them.

Legion Photo is up and running

So it has been a while since I put regular blog entires and I do apologize for that. But I now have a lot of catching up to do as I announce the release of my new photo agency, Legion Photo. This is a creative collaboration of 8 other amazing photographers from my military family. Each with a unique talent they all have very diverse styles, but combined we make up the top military background photographers around. Our mission will be to cater and target to a high end editorial and commercial client with photo and video needs in the aerial, machinery, military and special security and service genre.

Take a few moments and check out the site. I am sure you will be incredibly impressed.

Legion Photo is
Stacy Pearsall, Jeremy Lock, Andy Dunaway, Shane McCoy, Lance Cheung, Brien Aho, Johnny Bivera, Tom Sperduto and Aaron Ansarov.

2009 Black Team video

If you don't know about the Eddie Adams Black team then you really haven't lived. Each year a collection of the top passionate people in the industry get together to create the Black Team at Eddie Adams Workshop. Sure the workshop is greta and all, but being on the Black Team is probably the most important life altering experiences on can have.
Anyway, one of the many many things that black team members do (other than mowing lawns, setting up chairs, driving VIPs from NY and other things) is a Black Team video.

Here is 2009's video which was accomplished even with the heavy economy hit. Simply amazing!!! Great job guys.


Living magazines are coming. Get over it! Love it!

If I ever here one more old (ph)ogie tell me that video convergence is a fad, I will just cry.

Watch this now!

Living Magazine Cover & Spread - Outside Magazine from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

Firemen rescue a cat. News at 11

So there was Anna, sitting on the corner of a street with all the gear, waiting for me to park the car. Then she hears it, meow meow meow. So she starts looking around and what do you know, right down a storm drain was this little baby kitten sitting on a ledge a few feet from the grate high above a ten foot cavern below.
So here I come walking slowly not to break a sweat before shooting another VIP when I see Anna waiving her hands and crying to me, "the cat, the cat." So I asked her. Did you shoot it? With an obvious look on my face like it was so obvious that why I should even ask the question. "No!!! Go get help!" She says.
SO I went to a bank nearby and asked if they could call the non-emergency number and within minutes this huge fire truck was on scene. Then I told Anna, "Here they are. Now shoot it!"

It took only a few seconds before the courageous firefighters lifted the steel grate and swept in to grab the cat. One of the ladies in the bank told me that if no one wanted it she would take it.

There you go. We saved the kitties day. And did a nice street portrait of the fire crew as a thank you. Now back to work as we photographed the owner of the Sun Sentinel newspaper. Oh, did I mention that the building next to us was the Sun Sentinel newspaper. Damn I should have brought the images to them.

Watch the video here.





an Iguana found me

This is just one more example of a fact to me that there is a divineintervention in my life. Recently I got the call again from a majorpublication that is interested in possibly a feature about my backyardproject. I won't mention the name (ng), but will say it will be a very cool part of my life.

Only problem for me though was I hadn't photographed a backyard creature in a while. It just seemed to dry up. I do feel like I send out radio waves that attract these things. How else can I explain that this giant 6 foot long Iguana appear out of no where. He showed up this morning right next to the porch. We had one apple in the house and a bag of carrots we were going to throw away. Anna cut them into pieces and we started tossing them to him. Because these guys can be very rough if threatened I chose to try not to catch him, but let him come into the house on his own. After about a few minutes of coaxing him to our open door, he just walked right on in. I was a little unprepared for this (mostly because I wasn't thinking he would come in), but I set up my Elinchrom Ranger RX battery kit with two S heads. One with a soft box and another with a grid reflector for some backlight. Because I didn't think I would have much time with him, I didn't even set up stands and just rested the lights on the floor or a nearby chair. As a backdrop, I used two pieces of giant 4x8 black foam core, cut to fold in half. He had no problem walking onto it and posing for me. As long as there was some carrots to occupy him.

Actually it was pretty freaky how good he was. Almost as if he was
modeling for me. Watch the video Anna shot of the event here.

What to learn from this? Take advantage of every opportunity God gives
you. No matter how trivial it may be. Don't get lazy. Just create.
This has to be one of the coolest shoots from this project yet.

Of course I could have done without the Iguana leaving a human sized
poop on my foam core, but I can't complain.







Socialnomics

Saw this on Ian Summers' blog and had to post it. It is very real and exciting. Just think about our parents and them saying, "If I only knew to invest in this or that company way back when..." Well, here we are on the edge of a shift and seeing the ones that are succeeding. What are you waiting for?

A conversation with Dave Moser



Recently I had a conversation with a friend, Dave Moser. Dave is a photographer based in Philadelphia and strong supporter of the ASMP. In fact it was he that pushed me to join and get involved. While we were on the phone I congratulated him on his latest marketing campaign and decided to ask him a few questions for a blog entry. Below is what he said.

A little background about Dave. He graduated #1 in his class from the University of Dayton with a BFA in 1990 and started full time in 94 after being the most booked assistant in Philly.

When you first started how did you do your marketing?
Marketing is something I have never really made enough time for. I was very fortunate to run a strong business based on word of mouth. I am now looking to grow my business and work more consistently with top creatives who hire based on style and collaboration rather then locale and price. In January 2008 I started consistent efforts by hiring a team to help. This has proven to be a great choice and I am now heavily involved directly with the marketing along with overseeing the team. The team consists of Ian Summers (coach), Anna Adesanya (marketing coordinator), David Samson of Adville (copywriter) and Partners Design (Design Firm). This allows me to wear less hats and do what I really love to do, take pictures! I have not only gained more time after delegating these things but have gained an enormous amount of energy as I am not bogged down with things that are not my strengths!

What influenced you to make changes (if any) to target very specific audiences? Unlike many others that apply a shotgun affect to their marketing.
I want to work for top creatives at Ad Agencies, Design Studios, and Magazines. I am less concerned with the "company" and more concerned with what I saw as great work from an individual. I am now seeking to build relationships with these individuals and looking to maintain them as they move from job to job. I believe this industry is about relationships (even more so then other industries) and this seems to be the best way of growing my business/marketing virally as well as keeping pace with such a transient industry.

What can you expect for the next year's efforts in marketing as we start to ease out of these 'tough times'?
I have received some really great unsolicited national press and really great feedback on my campaign but have been told that there has been very little work out there. Some of the strongest feedback has been about how memorable the campaign and my work is. With continued consistent efforts and follow up, I hope to be considered for the projects that are now starting to materialize. Just in the last three weeks work has picked up profoundly, and I attribute this to our marketing efforts.

What organization would you say helped you the most in your path to success as a photographer?
ASMP and Editorial Photographers. Since the beginning of the internet photographers are less likely to be islands and are more willing to share information. This has greatly empowered us as an industry. There is still much to learn from networking, thank you Aaron for this opportunity, and working together in numbers to insure the profitability and sustainability of our industry.

Anything else that you think a 'self-promoting photographer' should consider on their path?
I believe creatives are very interested in seeing our personal work and experiments along with our commissioned work. Our personal work shows not only where we are going but hopefully shows something new unique and exciting. This also provides a chance to expose them to our passion and why we entered and remain in photography.

Check out Dave's work at http://www.dwmphoto.com/

AA

Backyard project featured in October's Popular Photography magazine

October's issue of Popular Photography magazine is the Nature issue. So it is pretty much an honor to be presented so well in such a specific subject of a large magazine as this. Many thanks to Peter Kolonia for the text as well as Tim Barker who did the amazing illustration.

Click on the photo to see it larger.

A few questions with Matthew Pace

Matthew Pace is a corporate portrait and food photographer based in Miami, Florida. We know each other from the American Society of Media Photograpers (ASMP) where he is current South Florida chapter president. A wealth of knowledge and experience, Matthew is always willing to answer questions and mentor me when it comes to business and photography.
When I first transitioned from the Navy to the commercial world, moved to south florida and became a member of ASMP, he was one of the first to start helping me in getting on my feet. Here are just a few of the important questions I asked him when I first started.

Tell me a little about your websites and email blasts?

I have a few websites that feed off the main one. I also have 2 separate blogs that I sometime feature images on and talk about them or perhaps a subject that relates back to what I do. The blogs have some advantages over the websites but the drawback is, you need to blog regularly to keep them coming back. I send out email blasts to drive them to my blogs and sites but for the most part, I get clients from the searches they do.

Today's industry has changed slightly on usages of images and compensation to the photographers that license them. Tell me a bit about what you are seeing in the industry of usage.

The licensing has changed dramatically today...the fact that usage is web already says ..international use..multi times..and perhaps in multi versions.  Space rates somehow don't seem to make sense to clients in this arena unless they are buying stock as in..a need for a banner ad. For your photography service, web usage seems to be a lumped thing. As for print ads, in the editorial market, usage is often determined by them as space rates. I do find however that work for hire is no longer an issue and I am seldom asked to do it. 

How do you go about coming up with prices for clients?

Pricing is always an issue. You have to determine your CODB (Cost Of Doing Business) and what you think is fair since there are no set rates,.Clients will fall into a few catagories...a direct client(consumer)..third party client( from an agency)..corporate client( represents a company dept.)...and editorial... 
Consumer clients basically shop...they have little clue and often small budgets.They start with.."How much would you charge?" they have little info to offer of what they need as well and require a lot of hand holding. But there are more of them to deal with.They are the small businesses that thanks to the internet can put up a store cheap. I generally ask where they have budgeted at and then try to work from there unless that job is simply not workable. Third party come to agency or designers with a round budget already established by them.The agency will try to get it under the mark to save on their end. Basically, they know how much to spend, it just matters on who.If you are a top name, they expect a known rate,as they are buying that name. At a lower end, they buy the service,talent understood otherwise they wouldn't be calling you. 
A corporate client, is spending company money and is often more flexible in budget.They have a give and take and will usually shop around to get a ballpark figure. They will ask for as much usage as they can get.
Editorial clients already have a set fee in mind.It goes with the page rate and they get one time non exclusive usage as par. 
All never get copyright and none have third party usage.

If (when) the client comes back with a lower budget or needs to come down on price, what factors influence you on negotiating this?

I try to play in the usage end...since most ask for the most, I try to explain why they don't need that much and show them what that can translate to in $$$... I might try to trim some expenses if possible, perhaps in re-thinking the job and finding it really doesn't need 3 assistants..or an extra day if we can do this..but there will always be a point where it simply pays to walk away as that type of client will be problematic to the very end.
I recently had a client down on their budget argue a usage fee.He had a product that I normally buy so we agreed on a barter against usage(not the fee) and we both came out with a win win.

What is the most important thing to remember when discussing licensing images?

Copyright and non third party usage.

Any other guidance you could give someone trying to learn proper business in photography?

ASMP is the best place to go to ask questions and find guidance in this business. They fully address most issues and scenarios, along with the 6000 other members who can tell you what is happening in the field. Their website www.asmp.org  is a host of info and the dues asked for will be compensated in knowledge,friendship, and business generated , but like any organization, what you put in is what you get out .

Matthew's imagery can be seen at these sites.

I can tell you first hand the advice he (and others) gave me was paramount to success in my career in this industry. 

Thanks Matthew!

Fwd: FotoWeek DC Awards Competition - 9/13 Deadline

This is a great competition. I highly recommend submitting.

Dear Friend of FotoWeek DC,

Entries to our 2009 international awards competition are pouring in, and with our Sunday, September 13th deadline just around the corner, we encourage you to submit your best work!  

Our annual festival, November 7th to 14th, is shaping up to be yet another amazing year with critically acclaimed international exhibitions, portfolio reviews at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, stimulating lectures by sought after photographers, and exciting events throughout the metropolitan area.  

Nine good reasons why you should enter! 

    * Have your work displayed at FotoWeek DC Festival Nov 7-14, 2009
     * $21,500 in cash awards
     * Media & online exposure at fotoweekdc.org
  • * National Geographic Society Awards Ceremony & VIP Reception Nov 5, 2009
  • * Published in Limited Edition 2010 FotoWeek DC Book
  • * Open to all professionals, amateurs, and students around the world!! 
  • * Entries judged in 12 separate categories (including social documentary and multimedia)
  • * Images accepted in digital, film, cell phone, and alternatives processes
  • * Distinguished p judges
Enter no later than 11:59pm PST on Sunday, September 13th!  

Visit www.fotoweekdc.org for a complete listing of award categories, eligibility, rules, judges and information on FotoWeek DC 2009.
 
FotoWeek DC relies on your generous support to fund our non-profit programs and events.
 
We look forward to seeing your work & good luck with the competition!
FotoWeek DC

ASMP - Red One Cinema Camera Show and Tell

I set this up and, if you can make it, would love to see you there.

"Red One" digital cinema camera show and tell

Tuesday, September 15th
Barry University
Andy Gato Gallery, Thompson Hall, 2nd Floor
11300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Shores
6:30pm gathering 7:30pm showtime.
Refreshments will be served.


Free to all ASMP members/ guests and students

Anybody following industry trends cannot deny the advances in video capabilities has begun to impact the still market. Many of the new lines of pro digital SLR cameras already have video capabilities and over the next few years this will increase exponentially. Now with the release of the Red One digital cinema camera, the ability to freeze a movie frame and have enough quality for print is now present. Just look at Greg Williams' cover of June's Esquire magazine and you will see the applications are already being practiced and used in the market.

ASMP will be providing a unique 'Show and Tell' from one of Florida's providers of this new equipment. David Cox is the owner of Highway Definition in Stuart, Florida and has agreed to bring a red camera set up with him and to speak about the applications of this technology to your still photography business. He will be showing examples as well as a hands on demonstration of this next generation of digital capture.


Visit the follow ing links for more on this and other happenings:
ASMP South Florida Blog
ASMP South Florida Home Page
ASMP National Home Page


Check out my interview on photophanatics

Recently I was called by David Murphy and asked if I would be
interested in participating in a podcast interview. It was a great
time and wonderful interview. Anybody wanting to know what my path
should check it out.

Check it out here at http://photophanatics.podbean.com/2009/08/26/photo-phanatics-ep-14/



Or here.

Marta and the iPhone

Today my niece Marta left to return to Poland. She spent two months with us and had a complete blast. During this time, we photographed her during her "First time to US" vacation. During our last visit to Ft Lauderdale beach, I took this image with my iphone. Not the megapixel monster that many people think they need or the latest photoshop marvel that many rely on to 'fix' their images afterward.

Just an iphone and a 99 cent application. Cinema FX by Nexvio Inc. (download the App here).

Of course having a beautiful 17 year old Polish woman as a model doesn't hurt.

I read a quote somewhere that really makes a lot of sense to me.

Amateur photographers worry about gear.
Professional photographers worry about money.
Master photographers worry about light.
- unknown


LEAKED: New iPhone Commercial

This is freaking hilarious

Sony's Flexible OLED and video being played in print magazines

For those who have been fighting multimedia, you better beware. For those who think print magazines are going to die, you better beware.
New technology like the Sony Flexible OLED allows for thin bendable screens and now the first ever video advertisement is going to appear in a paper magazine. Check out this article here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8211209.stm
and here

http://www.thewrap.com/article/cbs-unveils-first-video-print-ad_5328

It is only a matter of time before this technology becomes available to everybody and there will be screens in every magazine.

Lead, follow or get out of the way. - Thomas Paine

Interesting facts about images on the web


I am subscribed to frequent updates and articles from
webpronews.com. Some of their info and tips are just simply way above my head, but many times, just from reading headlines can give me insights on directions to move towards web marketing. This article that came in today was so interesting I just have to share it. I would suggest reading the entire article and possibly even subscribing to their email blasts, but the most interesting fact is this...

"Google Director of Product Management R.J. Pittman dropped some facts at SES. 300 million digital photos are taken every day. 100 billion images are taken per year. There were half a trillion images in circulation by 2009. That's the past up to the present. Do you think it's going to slow down? Pittman says there were 800 million camera phones sold last year, and there may be more images online than web pages."


One One Software has really set a new bar

This is totally cool.

One oNes Software has released a new iphone application that allows for you to wirelessly control your camera, trigger and see the images straight on your iphone. 

go here

The software for the Nikon will be out soon. I have recently been exploring the opportunities with setting cameras on remotes. When shooting animals, I currently use a pocket wizard with an adapter that only remotely triggers the camera. I then have a cable connected to a small TV so I can see the result for a few seconds before it goes away.

Now with this software and the WT-4 wifi transmitter. I could set a camera in a remote location, trigger it, adjust exposures (and more) and see the result on my phone.

How crazy is that???

Lacie's new rugged XL 'portable' hard drive


First, I have to give grand props to Darryl Masterson and his team at PC Connection. PC Connection offers incredible discounts for members of the ASMP. This product was backordered by all major companies. I sent him an email telling him of an upcoming assignment and asked if I could get this product to me in time. He was honest and very quick to respond to my need and was able to get this out to me in awesome time. Thanks very much.

I can't say much about this yet because it is literally out of the box, but what I can say from experience is every rugged drive purchased from Lacie has always impressed. This one was a little bit larger than what I was used to, but at 1TB, I am not complaining. Especially when inside it contains a eSATA drive. This means that when I am done using it as a mobile storage (or upgrade to something smaller), I can simply pull it out of the case and slide it right into my Drobo to replace a smaller drive.

That's smart thinking and planning if you ask me.


Ian Shive ROCKS the web with his new new book

I met Ian Shive at an Aurora meeting last year. An amazing man with a very contagious smile and outlook on life. Truly an interesting individual. Recently, Ian put together a book called The National Parks: Our American Landscape found here, which is filled with truly amazing nature photos. I really admire the way he captures light in such a way. Truly amazing.
Part of his marketing for this book has been his prodcution of four webisodes titled Wild Exposure with Ian Shive. But he doesn't stop there. What he then did was market these videos (6 inutes each) to broadcasters and now Current TV will be shown to 50 million US households. Now how would anybody be able to do something like that in the past? With little budget on top of that?
Ian really did a great job and I am sure his approach is already being copied and used as a template for more to come. This saturation marketing is what the businesses want and eventually will need if they expect to get their product out.
As visual communicators, it is your job to start developing these ideas and collaborating with the right people to make these dreams happen for the client.

I can't wait to see what Ian's return on investment is. But even if it is minimal it still is something I am sure he will be very proud of.

Check out an interview with him on this project at LiveBooks blog .


Wild Exposure with Ian Shive from Ian Shive on Vimeo.

Photojournalism in the age of Youtube

I just read this great article about multi-media. Interviewed by Ed Kashi and Brian Storm of MediaStorm.

These two have been prophetic in the concept of where photojournalism is heading. Read the article.

There's a quote that comes to mind on this by Thomas Paine - "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Which are you going to do?

AA

Read the article at Digital Photo Pro

Live feed at Eddie Adams Workshop

At one point or another, many of my friends have been a part of the Eddie Adams Workshop. Most of us have or are currently on the Black Team. This is the "ELITE" group of people that make the backbone to the workshop. From mowing the lawn, repairing the barn to set up and take down. It is quite the team of passionate individuals that give tons of time to make Eddie's workshop great. And a fun crew to hang with.

Now they are testing a live web feed of the goings on at the barn. Check it out here.

Make comments/suggestions. They appreciate it.


Photoshop is great for fish stories

I was fishing with my son, Corbin, today in the backyard. We caught
his first fish ever. It was truly a great father/son moment. We will
cherish the moment for years to come. And we have pictures to remember
it by. Of course in the old days we could make stories up without
proof. Nowadays we can justify our stories with visuals. But I guess
now with photoshop techniques, we can still keep to the "larger than
life" fish story traditions as passed down from father to son for
generations.
So which photo do you think I am going to add to the family album???

Sometimes a "FREE" Photographer proves your point

Over the past few months I was discussing with a local business their needs for a photoshoot of a 'product' they are wanting to market. Not to get into details (not important), but when I sent the client the first estimate, I didn't hear from them again. I was told that they wanted to wait on it until the product came in and they would contact me later.

Ever hear this before?

Well, I was contacted the other day and was told that they had hired a "FREE" photographer. 

Ever hear this before?

As a devil's advocate, I can't blame the client for trying. Being a business person myself, I understand that when budgets are tight we make decisions to cut corners where we think we can. There are tons of examples of decisions we make every day. We make the decision so we can maintain expenses in other areas that we feel are needed. Photography, unfortunately, is often perceived as one of these areas that many people feel 'anybody can do.'

And sometimes they are proven right. In the days of film, a person that didn't know even basic techniques could screw up a shoot very easily making it a risk that a company could not take. With today's advances in camera technology it is getting pretty hard for a person to NOT expose a frame properly, and even if they did, they could most likely 'photoshop' it. They could essentially point a camera in a direction, set the camera to "P" and will have an immediate result with the push of one button.

ALL photographers are going through this situation at ALL levels. 

Check that! 

ALL people and ALL businesses are going through this situation at ALL levels, but in the end quality will always be what separates a person buying a cheap watch instead of an expensive watch. They both tell time right? "It's just a picture."

But when it comes to the quality of an advertising photo of a product a client wants to sell, why on earth would they go cheap on this? 

The one thing that separates the client from the consumer is the communication of the product.

Unfortunately for the client (fortunately for me) the results the client got back from the "FREE" shoot was way below standards. They then made the decision to come back to me with a clearer mind and understanding that "Not just anybody can do it."

They learned from their mistake early. All they wasted was time and realized before moving forward that if they would have used the images for their marketing, then the possible loss of money (from future sales) would be worse. Many other businesses mke worse mistakes by using  substandard imagery and won't see their mistake until after the sales decline.

This state of the industry is worrisome to many photographers. For me, I am not worried. I keep the faith and continue to push my quality photography services (product) as something very worth the investment. 

I still have the best job EVER!!!

There is a quote from Ansel Adams that always comes to mind, "The most important part of the camera is the 12 inches behind it."

snakes and mess



Please pardon the mess as I make adjustments to my blog. I am in the process of having my website redesigned and this blog will soon be attached to it. It is going to look AWESOME so I want everything to be fluid for the entire experience.

In the meantime, check out this image I did a while back. I saw it in the archives and figured I would talk about it.

This is a couple that I met through One Model Place. The woman wanted me to photograph her with her five snakes. That shoot was awesome, but afterwards I offered to do a couples shot with her and her boyfriend. I like this the most because it is a nice view into their lives. The snakes tongue doesn't hurt either.

Velia and Sophia

Recently I had the wonderful privilege of spending a week with Velia
and her daughter Sophia. Velia is an old friend of Anna's from
language school in Canada and is currently living in Colima, Mexico.
They came to spend a week with us and we had a blast. Velia is
learning photography in school, so she asked if I could teach her a
few things. Famous last words. We had fun spending some time learning
basics, but the most important thing I hope she learned, was this.
"Master the basics so you can start shooting." I don't know how many
people I have taught, but what always seems to be the common thread is
the lack of knowing the basics. When you can get past the factors that
affect light (exposure, shutter speed depth of field, etc.) then you
can start paying attention to expression and moments. But I also
believe that you can't talk the talk without walking it, so I got the
two to sit for me for a couple hours.

Be careful of you facebook photos being used for ads.

Here is the terms to consider
From Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (copied on 24JULY2009)-
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account (except to the extent your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it).

That means they can use your image for ANYTHING at ANYTIME and sell or use for ANYONE. You still maintain the rights, but it is like owning a car and someone else driving it and making money from it. 

NOW that said. There is no rights granted to manipulate, crop or alter in any way. As a photographer we are always put in this situation as to sticking our photos in a shoebox for fear of someone else benefiting from them or to show to the world and someone else possibly benefiting from them. One way a lot of photographers help stop this is by slapping big logos and copyright info on the image. I do this for most (nothing taken from my iPhone) of my stuff placed on facebook. 

I want the world to see my images. That's why I take them, but I also don't work any other job. This is my livelihood. If I don't make money from photography then I don't eat. If I work another job, then I can't be a successful freelance photographer.

Well now it seems Facebook has agreed to let a 3rd party advertiser use your posted pictures without your permission. This is a blatant steal of imagery for other's benefit. Don't do it.
You can stop this by doing the following.

Click on SETTINGS up where you see the log out link. 
Select PRIVACY SETTINGS. 
Select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. 
Select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS. 
There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Save your changes. 

Be sure to check your settings on your applications as well.

If you consider any of your imagery of any value (even on a personal level) don't think to yourself that it is good. Lawyers and agencies have been pretty successful in telling the world that photography should be cheap and accessible to anyone. They do this for a purpose. So they can charge the same to a client and not pay you what is due. Trust me, I have been way too nice over the years to people and agencies that seem so noble, but find that they just want to take something and run. We all do it. We love using a free sample to it's fullest extent, but rarely finally buy the product. Any body going to that wholesale club at noon will see what I mean. Crowds of people gather. It's free sample time.

Also, make sure to ALWAYS put your logo, name, something on your image. Most editing programs allow you to do this very easy.
Photographers everywhere are talking about this. Look at this blog at http://photobusinessforum.blogspot.com/ for a more descriptive explanation.

An Eastern Pondhawk flew in my back door





I was just getting ready to settled down for the night when my wife, Anna, opened the backdoor and an Eastern Pondhawk flew in. It was a male. Not because I checked the undercarriage, but rather because I checked online. You see the female is all green and the male is all blue. Now there's something you didn't know. I think one of the most fascinating results of this project is the fact that I get to learn little tidbits about all the species around me. I don't want to be (and never have been) one of those that say, hmmm that's neat and then dismiss it like a misplaced roadsign. These guys are part of our lives. They help to take care of us. Even showing the smallest interest like knowing what color a male pondhawk looks like can be contageuous. I can bet that now that you have read this you (all 2 of you) will remember and mention it to a friend or kid or whoever is next to you when you see it. By me not having the fear to actually catch, shoot and release these creatures, I have the added bonus of adding this experience to my life. I certainly will not forget the beauty and design of this little guy.
I shot this with 2 Nikon SB-800 flashes. One positioned under a white plastic board and another to the side with a snoot.

Feature on some of my Combat Camera buddies




This is a nice feature on the Navy Combat Camera. Some of the best trained and talented guys in the military. I served at Combat Camera in San Diego for three years and can say it was one of the best times of my life. It truly is one of the best jobs out there. If I could do it again, I would stay. The camaraderie is unmatched the motivation and passion is completely insane. Where else are you going to find a bunch of bad ass soldiers with tons of combat, survival, weapons and tactics training that can also take time to take an artistic and creative shot. Of course what the news shows and what they discuss is to entertain the audience, but truly you should see what these guys put out that is other than night vision of kicking down a door. You can view some of my past work as a combat cameraman on my website at www.ansarov.com.

Also here are a few other links to check out.




ΛNSΛROV passion / photo
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The Halloween Penant dragonfly

Over the last few days we have had some crazy weather push through
with heavy winds and lightning storms that seem to come out of no
where. They last for about an hour and then gone. As we returned from
a day out, we had a nice surprise of this Halloween Pennant dragonfly
that must have been either tired of trying to fight the winds or was
too wet to fly (or ready to die). Either way, he was sitting right on
the door nob as if waiting for me to invite him in (or her, didn't
check). I have seen these dragonflies hundreds of times before. They
stay mainly near ponds where they mate and can be found throughout the
year. What I found made him very interesting was the way the orange
color of the wings made for a nice filter effect when photographed.
The light weemed to add a nice glow to him. I am also very fascinated
with every intricate detail of their design. Always cool.

I only had him for about 10 minutes. I grabbed a D90 and 60mm micro
lens while using a SB-800 which was controlled using the Nikon
commander mode of the camera. I used a black foil to snoot the flash
to give a direct snoot effect to the light. He was placed on two
pieces of black foam core and that was it. I knew he was done when
after I said, "that's it. I'm done." He took off flying towards the
door. I opened the door and he was gone.

Sign up to ZenFolio!!! I'll pay you!!!

OK, I must warn, there is a self interest for me to get some credits, but it is also a very good deal and I would not recommend them unless I checked them out extensively. Many photographers use, as part of their service, the ability to archive and upload images and offer for print sales. When it comes to consumer prints, the best company out there is MPix. These guys rock and have an amazing quality control. Also a benefit I use is to be able to sell and ship prints internationally (jobs in Poland hint hint). 
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If you do decide to sign up with them, please use this code.  SAK-6AX-9EY

Now here is the even better deal to prove I am not selfish. 

From now until August 15th 2009, Zen Folio is offering to me the benefit that if someone uses my code, I get $10 back.

Here's the deal. If you sign up and use my code, you will get $5 off. If you do it before August 15th and I get $10 back, I will split my profit with you and send you $5. 
No dishonest people please. You have to become a member and I have to get the referral in order for me to send you the 5 bucks. 

So when it is all said and done, you sign up for the annual premium membership, you will pay $95 (instead of $100), I will get $10 and pay you another $5. I call that a big win/win. 


USE THIS CODE

SAK-6AX-9EY



Action figures as a photo subject






Today, my son, Corbin, asked me if we could take photos of some of his action figures. I said, why not? I actually then pulled out an old box in the garage of Star Wars action figures I used to play with when I was a kid (although a few are newer). We decided we wanted to make portraits like I do of living things. We took two SB-800s. One was put inside a homemade softbox that was blocked off to make a strip light. The other was positioned overhead and to the back to create some separation from the backdrop. Then Corbin helped position the guys as if we were on the Death Star. You can't tell me there wasn't a photo studio on the Death Star. Ok. getting a little geekie here, but the point I am making is from a few minutes of set up, a little mentorship and a little creative thinking my son and I were able to put together a pretty nice portfolio of action figure portraits.

Most importantly we had a great time bonding and playing.

So what did you do creatively today?

AA

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I have been on a much earned vacation for the past week. Celebrating family, friends and, life in general. The blogs have backed up recently, but are going to be coming soon. In the meantime, I wanted to pass along this great deal from Overnightprints.com . After checking out a ton of different companies (some very expensize/some very bad quality), I honestly can say that these guys have great quality AND great prices. Their color quality, QC and uploadability is pretty nice and after ordering tons from them I have had no problems at all. They are also pretty fast. Don't take their name to heart. They aren't that fast. Use this code to get 50% off postcards. Offer ends on July 12th so try them out now. (code is summerpc ).

AA

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