the weirdness of social networking

Yesterday, I posted a photo on my business page of a three-month old cutie pie that Tina and I photographed over the weekend.

It’s one of my favorites from the day. You can see it here.

The image got more likes than we’ve ever seen on one of our photos. Ever.

One “like” came from a name that didn’t immediately ring a bell, but the face thumbnail beside it seemed eerily familiar. The last name happened to be the same as my high school girlfriend’s married name.

The face — especially the eyes — were like looking at my exgirlfriend. Kind of.

After clicking on the face, I found a teenage girl’s facebook wall. She had red hair and bore an uncanny resemblance to my then girlfriend.

We had a mutual friend, who happened to be my ex’s younger sister.

Clicking through the little girl’s photos, an image of my high school sweetheart popped up standing next to this little girl. The caption read: “mom and me.”

Mom and me.

Weird.

Not only is it weird to have inadvertently connected with a person who wrote me off, a person whom I haven’t had contact with in, I don’t know, 15 or so years. But it’s weird that this person’s daughter is now old enough to be on Facebook and like a piece of art that I shared on my business’s Facebook page.

Glancing through more of her page, I figure out that my exgirlfriend has about 90 kids. Which is depressing. I have none.

I have no idea how old this little girl is, but she’s nearing the age when I met and started dating her mother.

My mind was, well, blown.

Love to live and live to love Quiet Company!

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If you’ve never had a chance to check out Quiet Company live, here’s your fucking chance.

And by chance … I mean distinct, don’t-miss opportunity.

I can’t get enough.

You’ll have to go to Audiotree to watch it, because I can’t embed here.

Set list:

1 Everything Louder Than Everything Else
2 You, Me & The Boatman
3 …And You Said it was Pretty Here
4 The Easy Confidence
5 Preaching to the Choir invisible, Part 1

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Billy Rood, Fashion Photography and Filmmaking basics

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On Monday night, Tina and I attended an educational seminar delivered by Billy Rood, a Chicago-based fashion photographer and filmmaker.

That’s Billy above.

The class was $60 through Dabble, which I’ve never heard of before.

The seminar started a bit rocky, but the crux of the information was insightful and helpful. Billy decided four short years ago that he would like to be a fashion photographer and he has seemingly succeeded on that mission.

The major points that I walked away from the seminar were these:

  • Validation for how we are already marketing ourselves, but encouragement to really focus on the market we want. That’s to say, when “selling” our business, it’s perfectly reasonable to basically show your work to friends and colleagues instead of saying, “Hey, HIRE MEEEEEE!” But then again, we can’t show everything we do. It’s confusing to the market we hope to attract. 
  • Many successful photographers are marketing themselves as motion picture artists as well. I’ve found this to be the saving grace for my business, but it reignited that passion and reminded me to do more.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: It takes as much work going for the bottom than for the top.

That last one was a big D’uh moment for Tina and me. In other words, if you spend all your time aiming at the bottom and making it there because you want to make it to the top, you’re going to spend just as much time aiming for the top. So aim for where you want to go and bypass the bottom.

Tina and I do a lot of event work. But we don’t want to do event work forever. So if we market ourselves or brag about our event work, then we’re pigeon holing ourselves.

Tina and I decided to back out of a large-scale services donation to a “good cause” recently. The cause itself was okay. But we were turned off by the fact that the cause was run by someone who — when we met her — didn’t so much as raise a finger of appreciation.

Instead, they acted pompous, and that arrogance told me that this obviously is not the right way I want to donate $3,500 of our time and efforts.

It would also put us in front of a lot of important people as event photographers, instead of where we want to be as fashion/lifestyle photographers. We want to break into markets that show beautiful spaces and gorgeous people in ways that are compelling and intriguing.

I’m afraid that means we need to walk away from some of the work we’ve been doing. Or at least walk away from advertising it.

Photography is a tricky business. It’s fun. Stressful. Creative. Always new.

Below are a few other shots from our experience on Monday.

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Check out Ming Thein’s Chinatown photo essay

8618109353_786087d3db_c-1This photo essay in Chinatown from Ming Thein’s recent USA trip is nothing short of inspiring.

The street photography he gets with his mirrorless and $3000 Leica lens is just stunning.

If I had to guess, I feel that he finds a place that has great natural light with great natural highlight effects, and he waits there for a while snapping off a series of shots before moving on.

Or he waits for the right moment given those criteria, and snaps before moving on. Regardless, his execution and output are beautiful.

Thein writes:

Though visiting Chinatown in the USA is somewhat ironic for a person from Asia (we do have Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur too; it’s just not that different from the rest of town); I did find it to be quite photographically rich – especially with San Francisco’s inclined streets. Between the Cantonese and interesting side alleys, it felt a lot more like Hong Kong than anywhere else – which is perhaps a consequence of the origin of the immigrants.

Read (and look) on.