The final result of the secret not so secret photo shoot. It all started when I had an idea to create a Japanese style wood block print. I realized that I didn’t have any images for that type of thing so I decided to shoot something specifically for the idea. You never know how things will turn out. For me, its more about the process rather than the end result. However, its always cooler when you come away with something beautiful.
Visited NYC this weekend and there was some sort of long boarder convention going on. Got some great shots.
Update: Defying a court order, a few hundred skaters raced through Morningside Heights on longboards Saturday.
I need to figure out a way to transport my computer monitor. I went to NYC this weekend to shoot and I am super anxious to work on the photos so I can share them. I am leaving in a few hours to go back home but if I had my tablet and computer monitor the photo would have been done already.
This is my favorite winter hat and cholo shirt. This is pretty much how I dress all winter.
I’m going to try to keep this story as short as possible. A photographer was stealing my work and using it as his own on Model Mayhem. The same rapist guy I mentioned in a previous post. See here.
I flagged the image for copyright violation and a MM moderator removed the image from his page and cancelled his account. Everything was cool until a separate moderator jumped into the convo and pointed out that I only had one image on my account. They informed me that the minimum was four.
I only have one image because one of my favorite photographers on MM does the same. I felt that the impact of one great image is more powerful than 4+ ok images. I’m not going to say the photographer just in case MM reads this and tries to hunt them down.
I told them to delete me if it was going to be an issue. Finally, they sent me a deactivation link and closed the thread. I thought I won the battle because they left things up to me. I was wrong. I got an email this morning saying that my account had been deactivated. They said I can reactivate my account whenever I wanted but, I won’t be going back.
I must admit I am being stubborn but MM is a breeding ground for mediocrity. When I say mediocrity, I mean sameness; everything looks the same. There was a time when the site was useful but, with social networking, I have a hard time seeing its value.
Depending on who you asked, MM could be considered a soft porn site. There are a lot of shady photographers that prey on young girls’ dreams to become a top model. “Take your top off and you will be a star.” It reminds me of that one scene in the movie Fame.
I won’t lie. I’m a little salty. I felt like the work on my profile was adding some credibility to their site. But it is obvious their main concern isn’t about quality. MM is a good starting point for people new to the industry but I think it’s time for me to move forward.
I added a screen shot of the convo. What would you have done?
I just watched a great interview of photogrpaher Brigitte Lacombe. Videos like this make me fall deeper in love with photography. I just bought her book used on Amazon for dirt cheap. The only downside to buying used books from Amazon is that it takes between 4 – 14 days to ship. I hope the book arrives sooner than later.
“I want to be the man-Oprah of photography.” –Glenford Nunez
The other day I found out that a photographer was using my photos on his Model Mayhem account. I was surprised but it didn’t bother me much. Someone suggested that I should watermark my photos to prevent this type of incident in the future. That comment inspired me to write this post. Here are the reasons why i don’t watermark my stuff.
It looks cheesy.
I think watermarks take away from the aesthetic of the photo. Negative space – where watermarks are usually placed – is often overlooked. Negative space is very important for the entire composition. I spend obscene amounts of time getting the crop just right. This is my number one reason for not adding a watermark. Everything else is just extra.
If someone really wanted to steal my work a watermark would not stop them.
The most elementary Photoshop artist could easily remove a watermark in seconds.
I love my photos but not that much.
By the time I post a picture to the web I am already tired of seeing it.
I do not hoard or cling to my photos like a prized possession because I know there are more to come. On to the next one.
I try not to take myself too seriously.
No one cares if I took the pic or not. No one knows who I am. Yet!
If people can’t look at my pic and say that it is a Glenford Nunez picture, it’s not worth watermarking. When the time comes, and my photos are easily recognizable, there will be no need for watermarking.
Anonymity is sometimes a good thing.
Adds to the mystery. (@_@)
I could care less about money.
Some people watermark their work when they want to be paid for it. Sure, I have to pay bills but I am not looking to get rich from personal work. I just like to shoot photos and share.
Digital images on the internet photos are worthless.
Photos on the web are a commodity. That means everyone has access to it. It is not a tangible item. It floats in cyber space. It’s like trying to put a price on air. The idea behind the image is worth more.
Also, anything you post to the web should be a low resolution file. (72 ppi to be exact) You cannot print from low res images. So, this means that if someone steals my images they can only share it on the web. They wouldn’t be able to print the image without going through a lot of headache.
My images are watermarked but you can’t see them.
Most digital cameras tag all photos with EXIF data automatically. If you are not familiar with EXIF then Google it. Long story short, my photos have a heat signature that includes data like my name, lenses I used to shoot, f-stop, shutter speed and ISO settings.
Times Have Changed
People often compare photo sharing to music sharing on the web but times have changed.
Wiz Kahlifah – Currently on the cover of XXL and Rolling Stone magazine – doesn’t make the bulk of his money from album sales. He makes his money from touring and showing his face. No one would want to see him if they didn’t know who he was. No one would know who he was if it wasn’t for the Internet.
This is just my view and I don’t have anything against people who watermark. Everyone’s process is different.
This reminds me of a mini documentary I saw called The Stolen Scream.
You should watch it. It’s really good.
This post inspired by Shelley McIntyre
Update: I found out that the photog using my photos is no photographer at all. Apparently, he is a serial rapist using the Model Mayhem account to lure young women. Creepy!
I still get a rush when taking photos. My heart races and my animal instinct kicks in. I go into auto mode. Out of body experience maybe? In the zone. Nothing else matters. My happy place. Mediation magnified. I reach enlightenment when my face rests on the back of the camera. Panic, frenzy and deep calm all into one. I’ts a Jeffrey. Yes, photography induced Jeffrey. So just stroke the furry wall. (If you didn’t understand that last reference watch the movie Get Him to the Greek)
It’s like the lens is the perfect filter for all of the bull in the world. I can see through people. I feel like a superhero with my cam. I have the ability to chat with people’s souls like the little dude on The Sixth Sense.
Only a photographer would understand.
The presence of another photographer forces me to find better position causing me to get a better shot.
Example. I was shooting a banquet reception for the Boys & Girls Club of America. Another photographer positioned himself to the left side of the stage so that he could get shots of the speakers. I could have posted up next him because there was plenty of space but I chose to find another position. I ended up on the far side of the stage. I didn’t realize until half way into the banquet that the celebrity table was right behind me. I was so close that Denzel Washington and Ashanti could have dropped croutons into my mouth. I literally could smell their dinner. (Which smelled really good because I was hungry because I didn’t eat the food. I have always felt self-conscious about doing anything other than work while I am working. A lesson reinforced by the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” but that’s another post.) The point is I got the shot of the speakers on stage which were pretty straightforward but I also got great intimate shots of the celebrity guests. Shots the other guy didn’t get.
Ashanti’s arm looks big because I captured this photo with a Nikkor 20mm f/2.8. Wide angle lenses tend to distort objects that are closer to the lens. She is on an angle so her elbow looks huge. Haha.
So, when all of the photographers are huddled together trying to get the same shot I move to a different place. The jerk inside of me laughs at those other photographers battling for the same shot. I rather miss the shot while trying to find a different spot than to have the same shot as all the others. Sometimes I can be a little stubborn. Sometimes I just want a little elbow room. And sometimes, when I’m lucky, I get a memorable shot.
“When you see a group of photographers all shooting form the same vantage point, shoot quick and then run the other way and find your own camera position.” – The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great (Voices That Matter) by Steve Simon
Skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a helium balloon from space today. My adrenaline was rushing for like the first three seconds of the jump until they switched to the infrared cam and I got bored really, really fast.
So, this dude broke all kinds of records and blah blah blah but I couldn’t help but notice the photographer taking pictures after he landed. I wonder what his name is. I know he got some great shots. Especially when Baumgartner fell to his knees. How do you even apply for that job?
Saw a video on YouTube about two guys getting married. It was more like a photo montage with music behind it but whatever. The pictures captured were amazing. I found the photographer in the video description. Todd Pellow is a Louisville photographer who shoots mostly weddings and his shots are really good. No, they are great. His work completely made me rethink my vow to never shoot weddings. Check him out.
The creatives have rushed the gateway. The gatekeepers have left their post. We have a secret weapon called the World Wide Web. There is no reason to be a starving artist anymore. We have access to the WORLD!
I think Yeezy put it best.
“There’s a thousand yous, there’s only one of me.”
One person with my style. One person with my perspective and vision.
This is what I do. They need me. If you don’t feel my work then we aren’t the right fit.
I will find someone who will take me as I am.
Funny how the same things go for personal relationships. There is someone for everyone, even in business.
This is why I would give my exclusive work away to a start-up blog for free rather than have someone pay me to take pictures. Paychecks bring perusal – my SAT word of the day – and it’s difficult to do good work under the watchful eye of Sauron.
I know it can be hard when you have to eat but if you can find a way to alter your situation, so money is not an object to be held over your head, you will have complete and total control.
All of this only applies if your work is great. If not then you have to get better. You have to become unique, you have to become great. Then, the world is yours.
“The series is brilliant, simple, full of grace and breathless elegance. Each of the portraits has a unique flair and a strong personality, and tells a beautiful story.” – The Nublk
Today I saw a news story on MTV about Nellys tour bus being raided. Weed, drugs and guns were found on the bus. Made me think about a shot I got of Nelly a while back for a project.
“Rapper is detained but not arrested after another of the bus’ passengers claimed the items, according to TMZ.” – MTV
Nelly Cricket Wireless Muve Music Next CW show Interview with 92Q Jams
Sometimes old pics come in handy. Exploiting the web? Possibly.
Linking to current events are great for SEO but only if they are relevant to what you do. The people at Google are smarter than you think.
For some reason I have always been anti flash. Everything about them is unnatural. I love the subtleties of natural light. I recently saw a photo collection of President Obama by Pete Souza that encouraged me to keep doing what I am doing. I read an interview on Souza and I learned our techniques and camera setups are similar, even though he uses Canon equipment. His reason for using Canon bodies is that the shutter make less noise than Nikons. I never used a Canon before but my D700 does make a lot of noise. Natural light and fast prime lenses get the job done.
“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic.”
― Bill Watterson
Story. I visited Johns Hopkins today. I saw Big Jesus. The End.
I’m sure all photographers who have submitted work to an agency have been rejected before. Rejection hurts a little inside but I read a great article by Lone Wolf Magazine that gave great tips on how to increase your chances of getting your work published. The first tip is to use agency models. This is a big step! Partially pretty girls will not cut it. The models have to be other worldly with their looks. They have to stop you in your tracks. You will know when you see her.
My dream last night. Actually I saw this in that moment between sleep and being awake. This is the place where I get my best ideas. I hopped out of the bed and drew this on my iPad.
My mind has been filled with a lot of stuff lately. I had to move out of my apartment because things did not go as planned. My apartment served as my studio space. I have been there for two years and I am feeling a sense of homesickness while I sit in the basement of my grandmother’s house.
I also feel a sense of failure but such is life. All of my favorite people went through some hardship before they became successful. I guess I wanted to become successful without the hardship. This is what I mean by things not going as planned. But, the important part is not to give up. It sounds so cliché when you are actually experiencing it. This is whack.
I guess I should look at the positive things. I have accomplished a lot in a short period of time.
I am in the middle of a really big city project that came just a little too late. Or maybe it came at the right time. Not sure.
The city project is providing a big paycheck for me. The biggest of my career. Paychecks like these makes me realize that I am in the right business. One and a half weeks of work is a quarter of what my salary as a full-time web developer.
This means that if I get three more projects like this one I would have made my annual web developer salary with one month of photography work.
Just on the 30% shoot deposit alone, I was able to pay bills, pay back loans, and buy a new camera with money to spare. I am fantasizing about what I am going to do with the remaining money. First thing is to buy a car because it is impossible to travel without one in the County. Next thing I’m going to do is go on a long trip. Just me and my camera. Not sure where I am going.
The paycheck does not fill the void of losing my place though. I needed to clear my mind. I stumbled on a YouTube video of Alan Watts. Watts was a philosopher who lived not too long ago. I think he is dead now. Watts believed in meditation which is a Buddhist concept. He argues that we need to rest our minds in the same way that our bodies need rest.
My thoughts are like party guests that don’t know when to leave my head. And when they finally do leave a new group of thoughts rush in and head straight to the dance floor.
I try to meditate all of the time but I get really bored. I often fall asleep like old man Jenkins.
Today, I accidentally discovered that I could trick myself into mediation through drawing and writing.
I lost myself in my iPad drawing app. I started out writing random words that described how I was feeling then I moved to other things. The last thing I drew was a sunset scene which happened to be up on my computer monitor for some reason. This is the result of having too many web browser tabs open at once.
When I finally snapped out of the drawing trance I Googled “Meditation through drawing.” And there it was! Millions of search results discussing meditation through drawing.
The key is to draw without any thought. Just let it all flow. I think this works best on my iPad because I have to draw with my fingers. The act of holding a pen takes a lot of thought. It’s like my brain goes into draw mode when I hold a pen or pencil. This is not good because the whole idea of meditation is to turn off your brain for a little bit.
They are amazing. The style reminds me of the Art Deco period in the Western world.
Everyone gets inspiration from everywhere else. Westerners copy traditional Japanese art. Japanese copy Western art. Everyone is always borrowing from different cultures. Will we eventually meld into one big giant culture?
Bought my first full frame camera. It may be all in my mind but I can see a difference in the images. I feel like a little kid with a new pair of shoes. Somehow the new shoes make him jump higher and run faster.
I purchased a Nikon D700. This is the camera I always wanted. I did not buy the newer D800 because I did not want to deal with the large file sizes it produces with its 36.3 megapixel sensor.
I was also thinking about getting the D3 but the body is way too big. I want to be stealthy when I take photos of people. The Nikon D4 will be my next purchase for studio work.
I decided to keep my crop censor D7000 as a backup camera until I purchase another D700 or D4.
I can’t wait to start using my new camera. I can now use my FX lenses to their full potential. Hype!
Think I’m going to go on a trip somewhere soon. I have to wrap up this project first.
“The world is a bridge; pass over it, but build no house on it. The world endures but a moment; the rest is unknown.” – Shaykh Isa (Jesus) according to Mogul empire.
It’s a wrap! My work week is ending when everyone else’s begins. It has been a full week of shooting for my first commercial client in Baltimore City. We shot seven days instead of the projected five days. This happened because we were able to take photos while we were scouting. I did not mind because I rather get the shots done early rather than to rush on the tail end. The third shoot day was the most challenging because we had to fit multiple shots in one day. We had to do this because the forecast called for rain. This was a little hectic but overall things went smoothly. Other challenging things about the shoot were some of the locations. I had to climb a church bell tower and stand in the middle of a highway to get some of the shots. I didn’t die so it is safe to say that those challenges ended well.
I met a lot of great people during the shoot including the Dean of Johns Hopkins and his wife. We photographed their house for this project.
The D7000 DX body has major back focusing issues. Back focusing is when you use auto focus and the images are out of focus even though the camera meter says that they are in focus. I used to be upset about this until I realized that the reason I was having back focus issues is because I was using FX lenses for DX camera bodies. FX lenses work best for FX full frame bodies. This may sound obvious but all Nikon lens use the same F-mount so you sometimes forget the lenses work best for different camera bodies. You can use an FX lens on a DX body but this means you must fine tune the auto focus. For my FX lenses to be functional I had to fine tune it to -15. Check your camera manual to find out how to fine tune your camera’s auto focus. This is one more reason for me to purchase a full frame FX body.
I am writing this post exclusively for models in the DMV.
Today I got a chance to review photos from about 90 models for an upcoming photo project.
About 87 percent of the photos sent by models in the area were unusable. They consisted of blurry photos, twit-pics, fb bathroom shots and girls showing way too much cleavage. I’m sure these people meant well but they will be overlooked for this project.
A professional head shot will make you stand out and can be the deciding factor for getting paid work, especially in Baltimore where the talent pool is very thin.
In Germany and other parts of the world people are required to send headshots along with their resumes when applying for a job position.
Most people wouldn’t wear tribal themed makeup to a job interview. The same applies when sending your image for a casting call. Think of a casting call as a brief job interview.
No-no’s for casting call image submissions.
Casting directors need to see what your face really looks like.
Distracting pieces of clothing.
You cannot go wrong with a black top.
Excessive cleavage For the ladies This issue actually came up in the casting meeting. If you asked me last week to name top things that will get a model overlooked I wouldn’t have thought of cleavage. However, this is a valid point. You learn something new everyday.
The photos you send to the model call must be recent and up-to-date. The model selection process is long and tedious. So if you show up to a shoot and look nothing like your photo there could be some problems.
Excessive Photoshop. Once again the casting director wants to see what you look like flaws and all.
Paying modeling jobs in the DMV can be scarce so it is important you don’t eliminate yourself by sending photos that don’t work.
New old work comes from when I’m inspired but there is no one around to shoot.
We were waiting for the nail tech to come back from the store so I took a few pics in the meantime.
Shot this portrait with my 20mm lens.