A Year In Photography 2012

As 2012 comes to an end, take time to reflect on each moment you captured with the camera that was available at the time and share your story, right here, without posting it.

This will be your chance to express yourself in your own words, without the support of the image and maybe we can see the picture later.

Consider this the photo op, without the photo. And for those who need help, here is one for you to practice with.

Happy Holidays
k/d morris – photographer and poet
Photo taken with my iPad 3 in Nassau, Bahamas (c) 2012 kdm

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Teach A Man To Fish, Hunt or Take Pictures

In a world inundated with technology and information, it is easy to assume that “everyone knows…or should know (by now).” Surprisingly, there are clusters of people who have resisted the movement and the universal urge to belong to a robotic lifestyle, managing to maintain their bond with “nature.”
There was a time when someone had to teach you how to fish and hunt for your next meal or two. You actually had to make your own weapons or gear, get up before the sun and walk/paddle into the wilderness and fish it out of a stream or ocean with your bare hands, rod or net, or hunt with bow and arrow, spear, axe, traps or lures in order to survive. If you didn’t learn, you didn’t eat (as well as the rest).
To document these daily rituals, that later became a “sport,” an artist either drew your likeness onto a cave wall, canvass or a photographer had to load film into a camera and “pop” away, in order to immortalize the participants.
The art and business of photography is the same. We weren’t born knowing, but for some, learning came easy. Trial and error was an expensive lesson in the realm of film and triumph. Each image had sentimental value and told a story worth a millions words and one satisfying emotion: gratification.
Technology has made some people lazy, especially, photographers. It has killed the hunt and fish ethic and left it to die on the floors of retail outlets, beside receipts around the globe, slaying dreams of becoming a highly trained professional. One is no longer required to leave their homes in order to shop for their next meal or any household items. Technology has given false hope to many, whom THINK that they are great, when they are only beginners, shooting every shot in PROGRAM MODE. The equivalent to driving a hundred miles in cruise control and flying cross country on auto pilot. It’s cheating you out of the experience and learning process and joy of mastering photography.
A seasoned individual can walk into almost any environment and almost know from experience, what lighting adjustments, equipment and lens that they will need for the occasion. By shooting in program mode, you will always be left guessing and will have great difficulty maintaining a respectable client base, if this is your objective. Unless, of course, you have no intentions of becoming or being considered a professional. One never knows what the future will bring.
Ironically, acceptance is key to success in any business. And if you take the art and business of photography seriously, then you will be taken seriously and chances will be taken on you. Seasoned photographers will be more open to mentoring and teaching someone who has displayed a sincere interest in learning, respect for the craft and others, a humbled spirit and patience, paired with an aptitude for learning, instead of those who are “unreachable” or think that they know enough or know it all.
So, if you get hungry enough (want to know), you will patiently learn how to fish for information that will help you grow as a photographer (where to find it), hunt in any condition for the perfect opportunity and take some fantastic photographs (when the time is right). Practice patience and find patience comes with practice.

k/d/morris – photographer
Operation Give Back: Photography

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It is harder to be trusted.’
k/d/morris – poet

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Using Our Cameras and Critiquing Other Photographs

I have been doing some subjective reading and listening as it all pertains to photography, photographers and photographs. We each have the camera (tool) of choice, and although there is great debate on “which camera is better or best…” in reality, it comes down to brand loyalty.
Beyond all the technical comparisons, charts and graphs that show this range and ratio, it doesn’t matter how much or little one pays for a camera, when the techniques and style behind the camera is someone who is highly trained or the image is the result of a stroke of luck.
The objective in the art and business of PHOTOGRAPHY, should be to get work, not compliments from other PHOTOGRAPHERS about your PHOTOGRAPHS. Cater your work to potential clients, not to please or woo other photographers: PERIOD.
I know from experience that photographers have egos. Plain and simple. As fragile as our cameras are, so are our egos. It takes years for some to become humble, where some are forced into humility. Either way, be respectful when being honest. Your work is out there too, and up for criticism at any time.
The way to get work, is to minimize the content on your website, FaceBook albums and share useful information as it pertains to your forte or creative interest. If you are flexible with your “eye” and subject matter, offer services that cater to the needs of the potential client.
Bare in mind that, being KNOWN does not mean you are RESPECTED for your work. Some may disagree, whereas that they don’t have to respect someone or their work for PERSONAL reasons, and that is fine. What is important to keep in mind, that every business has a “grape vine” and once the word is out there, it can make or break a career, because of one negative referral or competitive dog fight with another photographer who has the ear or eye of a potential client.
I am an advocate of contracts and “covering your bases” when it comes to RELEASE FORMS and know your limits and be specific as to what you will shoot, where and when, as well as what you will be providing to your client. There are expectations of privacy in some public places (a house party is open game, unless the subject or hosts objects) or locations where people are not aware that they are being photographed (parks and beaches usually fair game) because they are popular locations for photographers. Large or small venue concerts and performances are protected and you need permission from the promoter, artist or venue. Local or Federal Police activity where you are NOT interfering with their duties and activity, is ok. Just don’t interfere with their work.
Finally, cater to the creativity of a person when critiquing their work, not them. When it become personal, the intent is lost and so is the respect for or from the other person/photographer.

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Time Really Does Equal Money

Any one who knows me as a poet, knows how much I hate using clichés. But, in order to make this point 10000% relevant, I will use one that we can also AGREE with: “time is money.” That pesky metaphor that places financial value on an intangible item.
How many times have you been running late or waiting for someone or an event to start that is “running late?” it appears that we will get a lesson in various metaphors as well. Because now, our “intangible” has physical capabilities – Time is probably out chasing your money…who knows(?)
Enough with the metaphoric introduction, because by now, you get the point that I am leading up to, all you require is the reason I am (about to say what I am) saying. Ok. Here it is.
I will take a page from some of my business experiences and apply the information accordingly. When making an appointment with ANY client, especially NEW clients, require them to pay a deposit for the time and services they wish for you to render.
This way, they have committed themselves to your craft and abilities. And make sure that you have the following readily available:
• Contracts: detailing the specifics of the services to be rendered and ALL expectations as well as EXCLUSIONS.
• Policy/Policies: Have them in plain view or readily available to give to your customer(s). Your policies should give specific details and conditions as they may pertain to refunds, credits, cancellations, “failure to show” and returns.
• Release Forms: Limited, full and conditional releases can be customized to match your contractual obligations and expectations and offer additional protections.
•Time management:
Once an appointment is set. Both parties should arrive ON TIME or have the decency to call if “running late” or not going to show. Conditions for cancellations should be specified in your policy and contract.
• Value of time: It took years to master your craft and the knowledge that comes with it. You may have taken (paid) classes, purchased and read millions of paragraphs on the topic or had someone become a mentor to you as you learned through trial and error. Whatever path was chosen, it was done on YOUR time, right?
So, why not put a price on your time? Your level of skill? Besides, it is you that is providing the service and making time to take time out of your already busy schedule to do SOMETHING for someone who should be (if not expected to be) respectful of your time. Agreed?
So, in closing. And I do not wish to take up much more of your intangible irrecoverable…
Consider why you do what you do and who benefits from it. And in the meantime, always be considerate of yours, mine and their time.
You can lose more than time while waiting on that metaphoric bus to come back.

k/d/morris – poet/photographer

Hiatus until August 7, 2011

August 3, 2011

Hiatus Due to the Passing of a friend

I will be on a brief writing hiatus from the blog in honor of William Medlock, also known to many as KOP – Keeper Of the Peace, Kurakin Flowers who transitioned to become an ancestor last week.
I will return to complete my writings as they pertain to the series: “Things I’ve Learned and Share” next week

Regretfully,

k/d/morris – photographer & poet

‘if you walk with your head down,
you will miss your chance
to make someone smile.’
k/d/morris – poet

“Things I’ve Learned And Share” • Part One

July 24, 2011

“Things I’ve Learned And Share” • Part One

Recently, I had the pleasure of facilitating a photography workshop and discussion with five (5) teenage young ladies as part of a College Bound Program in my home town of Philadelphia PA through my program: Operation Give Back: Photography.
Although I am accustomed to teaching what I am good at and know, I still have challenges when presenting to a group that may not be familiar with who and why I am. I have a way which I can’t explain, that have participants appreciative of the exchange of information. Because, that’s what teaching is; an exchange.
As with most confined spaces that contain this much energy, the ability to capture and hold their attention was a challenge. And anyone that knows me, knows that I like a challenge and usually meet them head on.
On Friday-July 22, 2011, I was challenged by five personalities and ideas. Five teenage girls who at some point, before it became interesting, probably were thinking of all the “other stuff” they could he doing instead.
So, if any photographers who have never been in a “position to give back,” here’s a some steps to take that may help you when the time
comes.
Of course, it begins with using your contacts and reputation as a respected photographer to get the call, one you should accept. Follow the following steps.

1. Prepare and submit an outline and purpose of your presentation. Organizers like to have an idea of what information is to be shared.

2. Know how much time you are working with and the physical space allotted to you and the participants.

3. Create a “script” to follow, one that discusses the creative, therapeutic benefits and business side of photography but be ready to digress at a moments notice.

4. Actively listen to what they are saying and give honest and accurate information. Especially when speaking to teenagers. They will “call” you on it. Some even pretend “not to know” just to see what you know.

Now that we have got the “business” out of the way, I am going to take a break and return with:
“What I’ve Learned About Five Young Ladies”

k/d/morris – photographer

http://www.kdmorrisphotography.com

Welcome to k/d/morris photography

Hello:

k/d/morris here. Some of you are familiar with my work as a producer, poet and spoken word artist, educator and mentor. Some are familiar with my work as a photographer and some know just about everything there is to know about what I do and who I am.

Since this is our first time together in the blog world, allow me to share the intent of the content that you will be reading.

What I intend to gain from you all, in an uncensored environment is feedback about what you find most suitable to your taste and level of quality you expect from a business or service provider.

In closing and from now on, we will learn from and about each other by way of this mutual platform and informative exchanges.

Thank you

k/d/morris – Photographer