Thursday, February 28, 2008

Delegation Sensation

I just read John Loomis' post here about delegating. For pretty much my entire life I've been stubborn and insisted on doing things myself. Even yesterday I spent a good hour trying to fix a plumbing problem. I realized a Leatherman isn't made to fix everything. I called a pro. Problem fixed, and actually not that expensive.

With optimism, vigor, and a lot of coffee, I too, have been cranking away at I've learned and re-learned many of the valuable applications necessary to running a photography business.

Then there's the website.

I've been designing and coding my own site ever since I was in college and took an HTML seminar at the Texas libary. I've even managed to make a small profit developing the sites of other photographers and designers.

Enough is enough.

As much as I enjoy working in Flash, and I do, the time finally came yesterday to hand the scripting, coding, and backend development reigns over to a professional.

We all want to maintain high standards, doing things the right way and the best we can. I know I could totally fake it on the backend and my site would look the same to anyone viewing it. However, to really make it a professional site, I would have to eventually work with all of these crazy acronyms: PHP, MySQL, CSS, XML, etc.

Not my job. I'm a photographer. I've used my site to promote that and not the other way around. Don't get me wrong, ever since I was first exposed to HTML, I've continually learned just enough to be dangerous. Which is to say enough to do what I wanted, but not enough to really know what I was doing. Certainly not enough to do it efficiently.

Last year I finally hired an accountant (not that I really needed one until last year), but only now do I feel strangely liberated. I'm free to work on other Flash projects, including my own site, but for once I won't be burdened with tediously recreating and redesigning the site every time I want to update it. And I can focus exclusively on my passion for making and taking pictures.

As my business has grown a lot over the last year, I've learned many valuable lessons. Not least of which is to have a budget and not loose sleep when you pay a lot of money for something (equipment, marketing) that you've determined you really need.

So, the new site will be done by the end of March. At least that's what my new Webmaster tells me. There will be a lot of new work, and my logo may look a bit different. I'm excited, and I don't have to sear my retinas determing a proper tween rate for a movie clip.

I am no longer the webmaster of my domain.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Viral Advertising

From the Creative Review comes the video below, showing some ads for Will Ferrell's new movie "Semi-Pro" digitally added to a woman's clipboard, a building, and the side of a taxi cab.

Knowing how it got there makes it easy to notice. It seems like a more sinister version of the green screen adds behind home plate on baseball games.

As far as what this means for photographers, it means we now have one more place where we have the opportunity to be proactive about pricing the usage fairly.

"Just watch the first minute or so of the above clip, a Brits broadcast from online entertainment channel ITN On. As product placement goes, you might think that Will Ferrell’s new film, Semi-Pro, had lucked in what with the reporter’s clipboard proudly declaring its title to camera (0.33). But keep watching – Farrell’s only gone and innocuously got his film into another shot (from 1.12-1.30): this time the intrepid reporter’s standing next to a billboard advertising the movie and – hey – there’s its title again, on the side of the taxi she’s climbing into! Lucky coincidence?

Well, no. All of these references to Semi-Pro were actually added in to the broadcast digitally and, according to MirriAd who are behind the work, this is a first for “embedded advertising in showbiz content”. While the work is for an online commercial channel, targeting an audience who, potentially, would be interested in seeing the film, doesn’t this all just feel a little creepy?"
-Creative Review

Friday, February 15, 2008

More Alaska

Another new image I'll be adding to the website soon.

© Michael Sugrue

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What could you come up with?

It doesn't much pertain to photography, but I try to use as many different mediums as possible to tap the creative juices. My mom, who works at the Detroit Institute of Arts and is always on the lookout for some cool stuff, forwarded this to me. The Hirshorn Modern Art Gallery in DC recently had an interesting contest. They solicited submissions for designs using only one sheet of paper.

Here's one of my favorites.

You can see the other entries here. (via)

For those keeping score at home, I'll be updating my site soon with some new work and a slightly modified design. Below is one of the new photographs I'll be adding, a headshot of a bowhunter in Portland.

© Michael Sugrue

Friday, February 8, 2008

World Press Photo

The winner's are up from this year's World Press Photo. I highly encourage you to spend a little time and check out the winner's gallery.

UK photographer Tim Hetherington won Photo of the Year, but I was particularly struck by the work of C├ędric Gerbehaye or Belgium, who's story on the Congo won 3rd Prize, General News Stories.

All incredible work.