Posts about business - Divine Reflections Photography Blog


If you've been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed that things have slowed down considerably over the last few months. That's because Crystal and I have been reorganizing some things. A couple of months ago, we launched Très Bébé Photography, a separate branch of our business dedicated specifically to baby, child, and family portrait photography. (That site includes a fresh, new gallery of our best portraits.) Most of our energy has gone into that portion of our business, so we haven't been posting here as often.

That leaves this site as it was at its inception: dedicated to my nature and fine art photography as well as my notes about my journey through the photography business. I expect that posts will continue to be slow here for a few more months, but once the dust settles from our new brand, I plan to spend a lot more time marketing my nature work. That will bring many more posts in the future. It will also bring a new brand for Divine Reflections as well as a fresh, new website. So, please stay tuned.

Posted by Greg on September 15, 2008 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under 101 things, business and portraits.

"Photographer's Choice" Exhibit

On the first Saturday in every month, Chico art galleries stay open late for the Art First Saturday artwalk. I'm pleased to announce that I will have two photos hanging in the "Photographer's Choice" exhibit at the Vagabond Rose gallery on Main Street. The opening is from 6:00-8:00pm tonight during the art walk. If you'd like to stop in, I'd love to meet you!

Posted by Greg on August 2, 2008 at 2:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Upgraded Gear (101 Things #72)

I'm excited to report that we've added a sweet new camera to our arsenal: the Nikon D300. This camera will allow us to make bigger prints that look crisper and better than ever! In addition, we bought a new macro lens and some reflectors to allow extra flexibility during shoots.

Posted by Greg on April 26, 2008 at 5:15PM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under 101 things and business.

Better Blog Comments (101 Things #70)

I've just put a new, improved method for adding comments to these blog posts into place. Before, the comments were hosted on another server and had to be typed into a popup window. Now, if you click on the 'Permalink/Comments' link at the bottom of a post, you will be taken to that post's page which includes all comments and the form where you can add your own comment. Now, we just need you, our readers, to add some comments.

Posted by Greg on December 20, 2007 at 5:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under 101 things and business.

101 Things - Business Goals

Written goals are very important. Just the simple act of writing them down makes them more likely to be accomplished. In light of that, I've just posted a list of 101 things that I want to accomplish in the next 1001 days over on the Coates Place site.

Quite a few of those goals are goals for Divine Reflections Photography, so I'm going to post that part of the list here. I'll be updating the 101 things page as Crystal and I work on and complete these goals.


Completed goals will be displayed in maroon

Goals that are in progress will be displayed in gray

The List

062. Replace our logo with one that is professionally designed

063. Catch up on copyright registrations

064. Register a trademark for our business name

065. Purchase business insurance policy

066. Finish our business plan

067. Build our portrait business to the point that we are consistently shooting 1 portrait session per week

068. Read 1 book every 2 months that will help me make our business better [3/16 -- List of books read (on the Coates Place site)]

069. Write a book review for the business site on each of the above business books

070. Add comments hosted on our server to the blog [Dec 20, 2007]

071. Update the galleries on our website with our new, better work

072. Buy a high-end Nikon digital camera so that our low-light lifestyle portraits really sing [April 14, 2008]

073. Completely archive and catalog all film and digital business and all digital personal images

074. Take a trip to Chattanooga to see Amber and Nathan and observe how they run their business

075. Print and hang enough of our portrait images to make our living room and dining room into an adequate client meeting area

076. Design and purchase a sample Baby's First Year album to show clients [April 14, 2008]

077. Take 1 week-long trip each year that is specifically nature photography related

078. Print a portfolio of my nature images

079. Have my first solo gallery show

080. Create 50 book-quality images for my Bidwell Park project

081. Create 25 book-quality images of foster children for my foster child portrait project

082. Create 25 book-quality images for my Street Performer project

083. Take portraits of Nanny and Grandaddy

084. Photograph Mossbrae Falls

085. Complete a 26 things project

086. Purchase and learn to use a large format camera

087. Sell a rights-managed stock photo

088. Attend the WPPI trade show

089. Attend at least 2 photography workshops, or take 2 photography classes, or do 1 of each

090. Attend an OSP event together [Feb 16-17, 2008 - Attended OSP West in Napa, CA]

091. Give 6 framed nature prints to people who would enjoy them but wouldn't be able to afford to buy them

092. Do at least 6 pro bono photo sessions for needy families

Posted by Greg on December 8, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under 101 things and business.

New RSS feed

I'm happy to announce that we've added an RSS feed to our blog! Click on the preceding link or the link directly below the calendar in the sidebar to subscribe so that you can read about our latest work in your favorite feed reader.

Posted by Greg on October 18, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Destination: California, Oregon, and Washington

We're going to be out of town for the next month. In celebration of our new daughters, we're going to take a family trip up the California coast and through Western Oregon and Washington. Some of the highlights of our trip are going to include playing at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, seeing the sights in Seattle, camping in the San Juan Islands, and visiting Mount St Helens. We're very excited about our month together!

We'll try to make a few blog updates along the way. It depends on how much time we have to edit pictures and what kind of internet connections we can find, though. We can promise that we'll have lots of pictures to share when we return in mid-August.

If you're on the website to place an order for fine art prints or images from your portrait session or event, feel free to go ahead and place your order. We'll get back to processing those as soon as we return.

Posted by Greg on July 13, 2007 at 5:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business and coates family.

Website Enhancements

I've just made a couple of improvements to our website that I'd like to point out:

  1. Payment by credit card or bank account. Now when you've finished shopping in our galleries, there is an option on the cart to pay using Paypal. Please note that you do not need a Paypal account in order to take advantage of this payment option.
  2. Blog popup images. If you click on a thumbnail sized image, a larger image will pop up on the same page. Just click the image to close it when you're finished.

We hope that these improvements make your experience on the website even better. Thanks for visiting!

Posted by Greg on July 8, 2007 at 4:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

CSU, Chico Exhibit

California State University, Chico is having an art exhibit for Faculty and Staff. It opens Monday, April 2, and runs through May 18, 2007, and it will be hanging in the Kendall Hall building. There is an opening reception on Wednesday, April 11 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in the Kendall Hall Rotunda.

I will have two pieces hanging in the show: Icicles and Cascade and Cove Creek Falls. I'd like to invite all of my Northern California readers to stop in and take a look. I'd love to see you at the reception as well!

Posted by Greg on March 28, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business, nature and photos.

Photo Business Plus Software

I'm very excited to pre-announce a new piece of software that I'm going to be offering to fellow photographers. It's called Photo Business Plus, and it is a web-based photo business management package. The initial version will include contact management, scheduling, and accounting functionality. If you are interested in being notified when this software is ready for use, please go to the Photo Business Plus website and enter your email address. I will then provide you with pertinent updates as to the status of this exciting new software. The website also contains a few screenshots to whet your appetite.

Posted by Greg on March 19, 2007 at 6:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

New Business Cards

As a second step in branding our business, Crystal and I ordered new business cards. They were designed with simplicity in mind. They also match our web site. The first batch arrived over the weekend!



Posted by Greg on March 6, 2007 at 7:47PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

New Camera - Nikon D70s

I forgot to mention that we've added a new camera to our equipment arsenal. It's a Nikon D70s. Yes, we've stepped into the digital side of photography. I still love film, and I'll still be using it for certain situations, but the instant feedback and cost savings of digital has convinced us to move the majority of our work to it.

Posted by Greg on February 18, 2007 at 4:40PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

OSP West

Last weekend was an amazing one from me. I spent it in and around Pismo Beach hanging out with around one hundred other photographers from Open Source Photo. We spent time taking pictures, attending seminars, and just hanging out and learning from one another.

I'll post a ton of pictures later. For now, I just wanted to let you know what I've been up to!

Posted by Greg on February 17, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

New Website Design

You've probably noticed that the website looks a bit different. I've completely redesigned the site. It has a different look that adds more color and just generally looks better than the old one. It's the first step in some branding work that Crystal and I will be doing this year. I hope you enjoy the new look!

Posted by Greg on February 5, 2007 at 2:42PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Welcome, Crystal!

I'm very excited to announce that my wife Crystal is going to be joining me as an active photographer for Divine Reflections Photography! She's quite talented, and working with her is going to be a great joy for me.

Here's a sample of her skills:

Posted by Greg on January 19, 2007 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under business, photos and portraits.

Chosen for Awesome Photographs

I'm happy to report that my "Lone Tree and Storm Clouds" image has been chosen to be featured on the Awesome Photographs site. Awesome Photographs features photographs that are chosen by the editors as worthy of the awesome photograph designation. Having my photo chosen is an accomplishment that I'm pretty proud of!

Posted by Greg on November 9, 2006 at 12:49PM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under business and photos.

New Hosting Company

I'm in the process of improving this website. The first step in the process was a switch to a new web hosting company. I did some research and ended up going with Virtuoso Net Solutions. So far, I'm very happy. Their customer support is amazing, and there has been no downtime. This is a definite improvement over my previous host. Hopefully, readers will also see faster page loads and, especially, faster loading images.

Posted by Greg on November 7, 2006 at 5:56PM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under business.

New Camera and Flash

I just bought some new gear in preparation for the wedding that I will be shooting next month. I needed a second camera body as well as a second flash as backups in case something happens to my main camera and flash during the wedding.

For the camera body, I chose a Nikon F5. I've been eying this camera for a long time. It has a few features like mirror lockup that are missing from the F100 that I've been using for the last few years. It also has a vertical grip and a more sophisticated metering system that will make my life much easier. The only real downside is that that the F5 is considerably heavier than my F100.

For the flash, I chose a Nikon SB-28. The SB-28 doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles like wireless slave that my current flash, the SB-800, has. It is also missing some features that allow it to work with the most recent digital bodies. Since I'm still shooting film, that's not a problem. However, this flash will do absolutely everything that I need it too. And the price was right.

Posted by Greg on June 22, 2006 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Beta Testers Needed

You've probably noticed that there haven't been too many new images lately. That's because I've been working on office stuff. Specifically, I've been working a lot on a piece of software that I've been developing on and off for a few years. When finished, I hope to have a web application that will allow me to centrally manage my entire photography business. I'm hoping that it will provide a second income stream for me as well.

I'm getting this software to a point where I can release the first pieces for beta testing. If anyone reading this is interested in testing a piece of software that will allow you to manage images and the financial data for your photography business or hobby through a web interface, fill out my Contact form and let me know. I'll be sure to notify you as soon as I get a test copy up on the website.

Posted by Greg on April 25, 2006 at 8:00AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Wedding Booking

I've been the main photographer for several weddings before, but they were all done for family and friends at cost as gifts. I'm happy to report that I have my first paid wedding shoot scheduled for July! It's going to be in Napa, and it's for a couple that was referred to me by one of those happy family members whose wedding I shot earlier.

Posted by Greg on April 7, 2006 at 11:43AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Medium Format Images Sales

I just added several of my medium format images from the last year and a half or so to the Color Gallery. They are for sale, so if you'd like one to hang on your wall, please take a look!

Posted by Greg on March 16, 2006 at 2:56PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Bidwell Presbyterian Charity Auction

Each year, Bidwell Prebyterian Church sends a group of high school students on a trip to help people who need it. Typically, the group goes to Mexico to build houses. This year, however, a group of almost 100 high school students and adult chaperones will be going to th Gulf coast to help rebuild houses that were damaged by hurricane Katrina.

This is a fantastic way for our youth to learn how to give of themselves when other people are in need. This trip is not cheap, though, and in order to make it affordable for the students who are going, several fundraisers have been set up. The biggest of these is a charity auction that will be taking place on Sunday, March 19. There will be a silent auction from 9:30 until 12:30 and then a live auction that begins at 12:30.

A print of one of my photos, Lone Tree and Storm Clouds, will be auctioned as part of the fundraiser. If you are interested in buying this print and having the money go to a very worthy cause, this is your chance. Even if you are not interested in my print, I highly recommend that you go and buy something else. This is an excellent opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people on the other side of the country without ever leaving Chico.

Posted by Greg on March 7, 2006 at 12:52PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Continued Gallery Representation

I'm happy to report that I have another photo that will be hanging at the Gallerie de Souza in Chico. Long time readers of my blog will remember that this is the gallery that accepted one of my photos into the Bidwell Park Centennial Exhibit. The piece that has been accepted this time is "Shrub Skeletons".

Posted by Greg on February 27, 2006 at 12:16PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business, nature and photos.

Icicles and Cascade on Ebay

I've decided to run a little experiment. I've listed an 11x17 print of Icicles and Cascade on ebay. It's a piezography print on Hahnemuhle photo rag, and the opening bid is only 49.95. This is a chance to get this print for far less than my usual selling prices.

Posted by Greg on December 13, 2005 at 8:09AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business, nature and photos.

Gallery Photos

Just before the Bidwell Park Tribute Exhibit finished up, I took a few pictures of the exhibit and people looking at the exhibit. Here are a couple of them:

Posted by Greg on December 8, 2005 at 5:16PM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under business and photos.

Changing Directions

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about where I'd like to see my business go and how I want to get there. I've decided I need to make some changes to the way I'm doing things now. While the end goal is still to make a living selling nature prints, I need to take a realistic look at how I'm going to get to that point. Building a portfolio of nature photos and marketing those photos is a very long process, and I'm finding that it's almost impossible to do it in the time I have available right now. (I'm a Dad, and I work full time.)

So, I've decided to change the main focus of my business for now so that it can be more profitable. My second photographic love after nature is children. I've been taking pictures of children for years, and I think I have a unique style that will be very marketable. In a nutshell, my plan is to offer free portrait sessions to a handful of my family and friends so that I can build a portfolio. (I have a lot of photos of my foster kids, but I can't do anything with those due to privacy laws.) Using that portfolio, I want to build a brand for myself as a lifestyle children's portrait photographer. Hopefully, in a couple of years, I'll be able to have that as my sole source of income. In the meantime, I'll also be working on my nature portfolio as time allows.

Posted by Greg on November 28, 2005 at 5:10PM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under babies and children, business, photos and portraits.

Exhibit Update

I walked over to the Vagabond Rose gallery today over lunch. It's owned by the same person that owns de Souza, where my photo is being exhibited. We chatted for a couple of minutes. She let me know that if my photo doesn't sell before the end of the current show that she wants to keep it and a few selected other photos on exhibit until December or January. She believes that it will sell to someone who's looking to buy a Christmas gift. I'm delighted at this news!

Posted by Greg on October 27, 2005 at 12:43PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Back to Business

Regular readers are probably wondering what has happened to me. Yes, I'm still alive! It's been a busy month, and I'm just now getting to a point where I have some time to work on the business side of Divine Reflections Photography.

The month started with a week-long trip to North Carolina. My original plan had been to fly into Nashville, Tennessee, spend 3 days exploring Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and then spend the rest of the week photographic somewhere in the Asheville, North Carolina area shooting early fall color. As the week of the trip became imminent, it became apparent that there was going to be little to no fall color in the Big South Fork area and that it would be quite hot there. I decided to skip that part of the trip and go straight to North Carolina.

I decided to spend the week in the Mount Pisgah and Graveyard Fields areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway, using Mount Pisgah as my base camp. It turned out that the fall color has been late pretty much everywhere this season, and it was pretty much nonexistant on the Parkway during my trip. There were a few pockets of color, so I worked with what I had. The camping got rained out by the remnants of Tropical Storm Tammy, but I still managed to create some images. I still have plenty of film to develop from the trip, and I'll write a more comprehensive report later on when I can look at the images.

I returned from the trip, and immediately had to go to work finishing up the taxes that got pushed to the back burner because of our move to the new house as well as other family matters. I'm happy to report that they are finished.

On top of all of this, the battery in the laptop computer that I use to manage this business decided to die just before the trip. I still don't have it replaced, but I've managed to set up some alternate ways to get my stuff done.

With all that said, I'm back! I hope to have some preliminary images from the trip online in a week or two.

Posted by Greg on October 20, 2005 at 4:47PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Bidwell Park Tribute Exhibit Opening

The opening reception for the Bidwell Park Tribute Exhibit was this past Sunday. I went with Crystal and our children. There were a lot of photographers represented in the exhibit, so the gallery was quite crowded. I got a chance to talk to a couple of the other photographers. It was fun. :)

I was pleased to find that my piece was hanging in full view of the front door to the gallery. It was very exciting to see my piece on exhibit for the first time. I really hope this exhibit can help me get my name out to potential art buyers in the Chico area and raise awareness of my name and work with other photographers in the area as well.

Posted by Greg on September 27, 2005 at 11:14AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

First Exhibit!

I made it into the Bidwell Park Centennial exhibit! This will be my first group exhibit, and I'm very excited about it. My picture of the lone tree and storm clouds was accepted by the jurors.

The exhibit opens September 25 at the Gallerie de Souza on 3rd Street in downtown Chico. Stop by if you're in the area!

Posted by Greg on August 30, 2005 at 11:29AM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business and photos.

Exhibit Submission Photos

I had several of my medium format slides printed yesterday so I could make a better decision of which to submit for the Bidwell Park Centennial exhibit. I'm going to have these four printed at 11x14 today. They will probably be the final submission, but I'll wait to decide for sure until I have the prints in my hands.

Posted by Greg on August 6, 2005 at 1:27PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business and photos.

Latest news

Life has been pretty hectic over the last week and a half. I haven't been out shooting because of the heat, but I've been occupied with plenty of tasks on the business side of Divine Reflections Photography. I'm still working on the taxes. The end is in sight, finally! It's a good thing, as my filing deadline is looming.

I found out last week that there is going to be a photo exhibit at one of the galleries in downtown Chico in celebration of the Bidwell Park Centennial. They are requesting photo submissions from amateur and professional photographers for the exhibit. The submissions are due in a little over a week, so I don't have time to send my slides to West Coast Imaging for my typical prints. I'm going to take them to the local pro lab and have traditional prints made. I'm hoping this can be a first exhibit for me. I'm pretty excited about the possibility!

Posted by Greg on August 3, 2005 at 10:17PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.


I'm starting to learn my way around the SQL-Ledger program. I've also been looking at my college accounting textbook to refresh my memory on how to to the bookkeeping. I can't say that I thought I'd ever be doing that again.

I think that SQL-Ledger will work just fine for me. Besides, the price can't be beat. I also like the ability to put the program on a server and access it from any web browser. There are a few things -- like exactly how to handle film as an asset/expense -- that I haven't figured out how to do yet, but other than that I have the basic data entry completed. There are a couple of features that the program doesn't have that I'd really like, but I can work around them. Since it's open source, I might even add them myself a little bit later.

Posted by Greg on July 24, 2005 at 1:43PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Death by Taxes

I started working on the business tax return last week and quickly realized that there was no way I was going to have it done by the deadline. I filed for a second extension to give myself some time to figure out what I'm doing and get my records in order. The partnership return I have to file -- Divine Reflections Photography is actually a partnership between myself and my wife -- is a lot more complicated that it looked at first glance.

I've decided to move my business accounting to a new program as I'm getting organized for this tax filing. I've been using Quicken, but I'm finding that I need something that is truly designed for small business use. I found an open source program called SQL-Ledger that I'm going to give a shot. It's a Linux program that uses a web browser interface. I installed it last week, and I'm starting to learn my way around the program. It's looking pretty good so far. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

My goal is to have the tax stuff done in another month, including the move to SQL-Ledger. It shouldn't be too hard, as long as I can figure out how to fill out the forms. :)

Posted by Greg on July 17, 2005 at 11:08PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Back from Lassen

I just got back from my first trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park. What an incredible place! I expected a barren volcanic landscape, but much of the park is beautiful forest, snow, and streams. I didn't take a lot of pictures as this was another family vacation, but I did get a few images that I'm excited about. We'll see how they look when the slides come back. I'll write up a full trip report when I get the photos in hand.

In other news, it's time for me to get my taxes done. Our business return is due at the end of the week. I'll be holed up working on them until then.

Posted by Greg on July 13, 2005 at 7:37PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business and coates family.

Business Cards

I've been working on business cards, letterhead, and envelopes: the image of my business. This is really the first step toward marketing myself. I decided to do two sets of business cards, one to hand to people interested in art prints, and one to hand to people interested in portraits and events. The only difference is the pictures. Here is a sample:

Posted by Greg on June 29, 2005 at 10:40PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Street Performer Project

I started work yesterday on a new project that I've been thinking about doing for quite some time now: street performers. Since I am a musician myself, I find street musicians quite fascinating. So, I'm going to try to put together a portfolio of street performer photographs. I'll probably include dancers and some other performers as well.

Each Thursday night during the spring, fall, and summer, Chico has a street market. The atmosphere is like a street fair, and the vendor booths include food, art, and musicians. I took my camera with me yesterday for what will probably be a long series of shooting sessions at the market. I photographed a couple of bands, a belly dance troupe, and a street magician. I'll post some pictures when I finish up the roll, probably in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by Greg on June 24, 2005 at 9:14PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Odds and Ends

I was out of town for the better part of the last week; that's why you haven't heard anything from me for a while. I traveled with my family to Redwood National Park and the redwood state parks in Northern California. This trip was more a family vacation than a photo trip -- my parents came out from North Carolina, but I still managed to fit in some photography. I'll write a trip report later when I have the developed slides in hand and a scanner that can handle them.

*   *   *   *   *

I have finally added a wide angle lens to my arsenal. I just purchased a used Nikkor 24mm AF-D lens from KEH. It's a beauty, and I can't wait to give it some action.

*   *   *   *   *

I've been working on a business plan lately. I'll share some of the details later when I've fleshed them out a bit, but suffice it to say that I hope to be working more on generating paying clients in the very near future.

Posted by Greg on June 19, 2005 at 11:26PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business and coates family.

Why Film?

Several people have asked me when I'm going to switch to digital. The answer: not anytime soon, mostly because of cost. Here are a few of the common arguments from moving to digital along with my comments about them:

  1. Cost savings - Digital is cheaper than film because you don't have to pay for film, processing, and proofing.

    While film and processing go away, many other costs replace them. If I were to go digital tomorrow, I would immediately have to buy a new computer, a copy of Photoshop, a high end digital camera body, and memory cards. To get the quality equipment to match what I can do with film, I would have to spend close to $10,000. I can buy a lot of film and processing with that money! It is also important to consider post-processing time. Every image that comes out of a digital camera has to be color-corrected and have other processing done on it. With film, I simply take it to the lab and get prints a few days later. They take care of the color correction and other processing headaches.

  2. Higher image quality than 35mm - The lack of grain and huge files from high-end cameras exceed the quality of images made with 35mm film. Some people even believe that image quality is as good as or better than that of medium format film.

    I've always been a fan of quality. I have been impressed with the digital images that I've seen. As far as resolution and lack of grain go, digital definitely has the advantage. Sometimes, though, digital images look almost fake. I actually like the look of film better in a lot of cases -- grain isn't always a bad thing. Also, a lot of my work, especially my fine art work, is done in larger formats than 35mm. Digital can't touch that yet. I'm more inclined to buy a large format view camera than a digital system at this point.

  3. Instant image preview - The ability to review images as they are created aids in learning and allows photographers to avoid expensive mistakes.

    This would be one of the strongest arguments to get me to switch to digital. There are many photo techniques that I would like to learn, and the instant feedback would be invaluable in the education process.

The bottom line? Given an unlimited budget and the time to learn digital image processing, I would probably buy a new computer and a high end digital system. Unfortunately, I don't have those luxuries, so I'm going to stick with my 35mm and medium format film systems for a while. I'll be saving for a 5x7 view camera as well.

Posted by Greg on June 7, 2005 at 11:10PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Gear Talk

One of the most popular topics among photographers is gear, so I'm going to dedicate this entry to that topic. Let me start by saying that gear doesn't make photographs; people do. Excellent photographers can generally create good photos even even they don't have top-of-the-line equipment. Bad ones have a hard time taking good photos with any kind of equipment. It's about the vision more than the equipment.

That being said, good equipment in the right hands can make the task of image creation much easier. I currently have two systems that I use for different tasks. I have a Nikon 35mm system that I use for candid portraits, personal photos (i.e. vacation snapshots), and other things like sports that require a high level of camera mobility. I also have a Mamiya RB system that I use for my fine art work and formal portraits.

Here is what currently makes up my Nikon system:

  • F100 Body
  • 50mm Nikkor AF-D Lens
  • 75-150mm Nikon Series E Lens
  • SB-800 Flash
  • SC-17 Synch Cord
  • Stroboframe Camera Flip Bracket
  • Bogen 3021 Tripod with 3047 Head

And the Mamiya outfit looks like this:

  • Mamiya RB Body
  • Mamiya 127mm KL/L Lens
  • Mamiya 180mm Sekor C Lens
  • Minolta Auto Meter IV
  • Bogen 3021 Tripod with 3047 Head
  • Nikon body plus 75-150 lens used as a spot meter
  • LowePro NatureTrekker AW Backpack

Posted by Greg on May 20, 2005 at 4:27PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

Why a Blog?

Some of you may be wondering why I am maintaining this blog. After all, it takes time and effort to write things on a daily or weekly basis that site readers will (hopefully) find interesting.

Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, I like the idea of sharing my ideas and techniques with other people. Photographers can benefit greatly from shared information. Just look at what has done for the photography community in general. OpenSourcePhoto has accomplished the same thing for Christian photographers like myself. This blog is my attempt to contribute to the online body of knowledge.

Also, I'm hoping that this blog will serve as an effective marketing tool. In the web world, sites that are updated regularly tend to get more traffic. Sites that get more traffic tend to generate more sales. And more sales is what I need. :) A weblog has served as an effective traffic generator for other photographers like Dave Beckerman, and I'm hoping it will do the same for me.

Also in the marketing vein, the blog should help build good will with future clients. Reputation, ethics, and general decency are very important in business, especially in a service business like photography. I am ethical and decent, and over time, the blog should reflect that. If readers like who I am as reflected in my writing about my life, I'll be that much closer to booking them as clients.

Posted by Greg on May 10, 2005 at 1:05PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under business.

A Journey Begins

I have wanted to own and run a photography business for many years. I started taking pictures with my Dad's camera back in junior high, but the photo bug really bit me when I was in college. Since then, I've taken a lot of photos, some good, a lot bad. About a year ago, I officially formed Divine Reflections Photography, a partnership with my wife.

My long term goal is to make a living selling fine art prints in galleries and over the internet. My other passion is hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor sports. I eventually want to take my business to the point where I can travel and backpack several months out of the year, making photographs all along the journey.

Getting the business to this point will be difficult. Everywhere on the internet, there are people who ask how to make a living selling prints. The answer is usually, "Good luck!" I'm going to give this a try anyway. I think that I love it enough and am just stubborn enough to make a successful business in spite of the difficulty. Besides, I believe I'm called to do this, so I don't really have a choice.

In the meantime, I am working as a computer programmer to pay the bills and support the need for film, equipment, and travel. I also hope to photograph portraits, events, and other assignments. I'd like to have the business supporting itself as soon as possible.

With that, welcome to my online journal and it's view into a part of my life. I hope that it is helpful and interesting. Come journey with me!

Posted by Greg on May 6, 2005 at 8:30AM.

Permalink / Comments (3)

Filed under business.