Why You’ll Never Be David Hill or Innovation Will Never Die

If you visited Scott Kelby’s blog you know that yesterday he revisited the “Dave Hill” technique, and today’s post was part II. I was surprised to read the disclaimer on the top of Scott’s blog, yet another reminder that people can be idiots. First of all, it’s disappointing that anyone–let alone a man who devotes his time to educating people–would get insulted and personally attacked for a blog entry. What’s worse, the topic wasn’t even a controversial one. You don’t like the David Hill style? Fine. Is it really necessary to rant incessantly in blog comments about being sick & tired? Frankly, I’m sick & tired of all the whining. On the surface, the arguments appear to be about the widespread use of the “Dave Hill” look, cheating your art by using plugins, or talentless folks taking money away from professionals.

I have to ask, “Why are YOU so angry?”

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But I’m an Artist! or Understanding Art & Business 101

This morning I caught a post by @Landailyn over on her blog Janinealogy. I felt the opening dialogue made the point:

Question: I am: a) retired, b) bored, c) unemployed, and I’m looking to work from home! I’ve used Photoshop for years!

Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to: a) start my own business, b) make extra money

Answer: Photo restoration!! It’s so easy, even an anencephalic monkey can do it! You have everything you need! Photoshop! Good luck! 🙂

Janine not only beats the proverbial dead horse, she makes sure the poor thing is ground & chucked, and served as a violator’s last meal. I was going to leave a comment, but then I thought, “What a perfect opportunity to blog.” So yeah for you my loyal readers.

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Firgs This Tequila Shot is For You

Habanero Tequila Shot
Bring it on…

DO NOT, under any circumstances, for money, power, a display of bravado or even that brief moment of insanity, do a shot of Habanero Tequila…

It’s not the fact that it’s hot, REALLY HOT, a wet-sloppy-tongue-kiss from Satan’s daughter, it’s the unexpected pain – excruciating stomach pain to be exact, like being trampled by a hundred gazelles and then “stopping the insanity” with Susan Powers and her own twisted variation of Tae Bo, and just for fun let’s do some stomach crunches while Mini-Me does that flying elbow drop 50 times – mix in the cold sweat that runs endlessly for three hours, flowing like the Niagra Falls and you might hesitate just a little…

of course, it’s done.

and I did it…


Yeah, that was a blog entry posted back in 1999, long before blogging was the everyman game it is today. I did the shot at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant at 5929 Geary Blvd. in San Francisco. Still have that shot glass, still sweat when I look at it.


Backup Like Nike – Just Do It

Today was a rather worrisome day. Not because I’ve a mountain of work to catch up on (I do), but due to my Mac Pro crashing, downing not one, but two of my external drives. Anyone who’s attended a class with me knows I preach backups, and you’re not truly backing anything up without redundancy. In this case, I was doubly screwed. I had just moved all my image collections to a new WD terabyte drive about a week ago. I had a GINORMOUS number of images spread over several drives/machines with the most important going to my backup Lacie 150GB. I had a number of images crowding space on my laptop, and I’ve been meaning to prune my folder sets for some time. The problem with the terabyte drive reminded me of why I don’t use high capacity compact flash cards in my camera. I was looking at a potentially dead drive with several years worth of images on it. Here is how my afternoon played out:

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How Much Are You Worth? AKA How Much Should I Charge Clients?

How much should I charge clients? It’s a question that comes up a lot in the classes I teach, especially from students excited about the possibilities of entering a new industry. For some it’s a newly discovered passion of photography, others graphic or web design. Inevitably, the money question comes up. What’s a fair rate? A valid question to be sure, but I encourage students to think about a good rate or an acceptable rate instead of dwelling on the moral dilema of fair or unfair. When pressed for hard numbers, I give students a basic formula, take your ideal salary, divide by 2080 and that equals your hourly rate. That means a rate of $15 per hour, equals about $31k in salary per year. That formula works well in putting money in perspective. Suddenly, charging $300 for a wedding event or $50 for a photo retouching project doesn’t seem like such a good idea even if that’s your passion. $300 a wedding would total about $15k assuming you worked one wedding every week for a year. In the context of additional income not so bad, but factor in travel costs, and any time spent processing images and that’s a pretty low rate. Likewise for the person that charged $50 for photo retouching. Every hour spent working on that retouch project reduces the profit received from the job.

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