business Tag

I wish I were a collector of business cards. I should be able to pursue a hobby with little expense and a maximum of examples to gather - for everyone on Earth seems to have one. They may not have the business, but they've got the card. Of course there is an extensive protocol revolving around these - and quite important in Asian contacts. If you are at all involved in business there you would do well to study the expected behaviour carefully. Here in Australia we hand them out, exchange them, leave them at restaurants hoping for a free feed, and lose them at inappropriate moments. They are part of the stock in trade of the budding professional as well as the blooming amateur. When I decided to change the name of my studio to Dick Stein's Little Studio, I tossed out all of my old business cards. They were pretty dated and had an ABN number that no longer applied, as well as a list of specialties on the reverse side that I am now avoiding like the plague. They...

Yet. The chief word in that title is missing. Because everything that you can think up, someone else can copy. And you can do vice versa when you see what has gone before. It'll get a bad name in some circles - derivative, stale, plagaristic, etc. The people who you rip off will universally condemn you for it - and then look any new stuff you come up with to see if it's better than theirs. And then use it as a springboard themselves. It's bad when it stops you ever doing anything fresh - even if constant repetition and hiving off other photographers can be made to pay a decent income. Of course, eating regularly is attractive in itself, but occasionally you can experiment with vinging in a garret and looking interestingly pale while you come out with a fresh body of work. You need not starve to do it - I've noted several very successful professionals who spent up big to pursue an artistic idea in the last couple of years. I've no idea whether they made a motza from the work,...

Not the band - the real midnight oil that we burn to keep out photography going. There was a day when it was just that - safelights and enlargers with lamp wicks inside and very long exposure time. In later times it changed to electricity, but we still burned the midnight developer and fixer. And many of us went into the early AM with the thing, as it was easier to get a decent darkroom light-tight when there wasn't all that much light outside. If you are a modern digital worker who has never had to develop film on the road in a motel bathroom* I urge you to talk to an old-timer who did. There was a fine art to sealing a door with towels and getting a large developing tank under a very small faucet that is lost nowadays. Also getting the smell of fixer out of the room before you checked out...

You. The reader. The photographer who spends five minutes on one of my essays every two days. Is it me? I hope not. I should be terrified of causing anyone to do anything. Whether it worked out well or ill there woild be great danger of them coming back to complain or praise and I am so very shy...

In my daily routine of YouTube I try to include a session devoted to photography as well as one with scale model building. I daresay you are the same with your hobbies and interests. It makes a nice change from Facebook and the endless Trump and kitten videos. The host of the scale model show has a company in the UK that sells tools and supplies for model building - some of which are made in China. He's been concerned that the factory making a popular range of sanding blocks is closed now, and he's going to miss another window of production time for his stock. The situation is also repeated in Europe where a supplier of pigments is also closed. He says his biz is now on furlough until Christmas. Now you might say that the hobbyists just need to go down to their local Bunnings and get a few sheets of wet and dry and glue them to coffee stirrers...

Every mothballed battleship needs a dedicated maintenance crew to make sure that the guns still work, the boiler is swept out, and the plug is still in the bilges. Plus you need to rotate the rats. Photographic organisations - clubs, businesses, and studios - need to do the same if they are going to be laid up in ordinary for several months.  Now is the time to go through your check list; Has everyone who owes you money paid it to you? If they are still dragging the chain get in touch with them and yank it smartly. It never does to be the last shy person in the line of creditors when the bottom of the money pot starts to appear. You may not be nice, but you might be paid. Does everyone know that you are still alive? I don't mean literally, though that is a thought...