What a year it’s been. All my camera gear is enjoying a little break over the holidays; time to do some cleaning of equipment, reorganizing the virtual dark room and making plans for 2013.
At the start of each year I set out some goals and objectives that I hope are realistic but the truth is that in some cases I really have no idea how to achieve them. Most of the time I am lucky enough that with just a little bit of effort and by keeping my ear to the track the goals and objectives are met. Maybe not exactly has I envisioned them but close enough that it feels like a small triumph. For 2012 I had hoped for three things; (1) at least 1 out of town assignment (I did two) (2) get some photos published (There were a couple of trade journal cover photos, a weekly newspaper story that featured several of my landscape photos and (3) a small exhibition somewhere – preferably one that would not cost the earth and take too much time (I’ve had a series of photos hanging in a an eco-hair salon for three months).
From a pure business development aspect I was hoping to do more work for my existing clients as well as finding a few new ones; this too came about as I’d hoped; I have a core group of established clients who kept me very busy pretty much the whole year and the new clients who came aboard in 2012 have been very enthusiastic and fun to work for.
I believe that in any field of endeavour repeat clients are the most telling sign of success. My intent is to give my clients images that are better than they thought possible with the least amount of effort on their part. By meeting this objective they reward me with more assignments which is great, but they have also passed on some very kind comments and given my name to others. I have to tell you that is the true reward in all of this.
Portrait photography is a passion of mine in addition to photographing all those buildings. I did a count the other day and in 2012 I photographed around 250 people in a variety of settings; at work sites, in the home studio, in offices and public buildings etc. Often people – almost always women – will say ‘I hate getting my picture taken’...or ‘I always look terrible in pictures’. So I have to rise to the challenge in these situations. Once I get them settled in and give them a few tips we are off and running and they are usually pleased with the results...at least they say they are; maybe they’re just being polite!
There is always some new gear acquired over the year. For the last several years my go-to work horse camera has been a Canon 5DII. It will still get many outings, but a Canon 1Dx has recently been added to the fleet. It’s a very big, heavy camera that is a delight to use. When in the company of friends the subject or books-recently-read sometimes comes up; most of my reading is camera manuals!
So what was the best gig in 2012? Depends on how you measure it; photographing Steve Martin in the summer was pretty cool, spending a few days out shooting the Broadmoor Golf Course was great as was being asked to photograph 20 of Edmonton's heritage buildings. These assignments have a little more status associated with them but coming up with some great photos of buildings that need a lot of help to look good or that for one reason or another are particularly difficult to photograph can be just as rewarding and in fact more challenging.
For my favourite photo of the year I'm going to leave you with this shot taken at a large energy sector construction site in Calgary. It's been featured on the blog before but I think it's worthy of an encore.