Bob Clark Photography

Outdoor Photography of the Rocky Mountain West

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Photographer's Blog

Dove Hunting

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This weekend marks the last weekend of the early Dove season in California and Arizona, areas we normally hunt.  My son and I will be hunting Yuma, Arizona with a group of friends that I have hunted with since before he was born.  They have seen him grow up, first in the field with his double barrel cap gun from Orvis, later with his youth model 870.  He shot his first dove when he was eight, and his first limit when we was 10.  He upgraded his gun last year to a new full size Remington 870.  At 19, he is one of the best wing shots in our hunting group and probably the safest hunter of all.  Needless to say, I am proud of him.

I write this to let other mothers and fathers know the importance of carrying on a family tradition.  I'm convinced that the strong bond that hunting has given us is one of the reasons my son has chosen to live drug and alcohol free.  On our opening day hunt last week, it was interesting to hear him say, "I wonder how it will be when I'm an old geezer out here hunting."  I have to wonder that too.  Which brings up another good point.

All of us need to be aware that hunting is a privilege, and that we need to set an example for other hunters and the next generation.  Pick up your empty shells, don't leave a mess in the field!  I taught my son early on that it is our responsibility to clean up our shooting area, and that if we don't, we may not be hunting there next year.  Our group always cleans up our shells at the end of the hunt, and many times it means picking up after other hunters who choose to leave a mess in the field.  Some of our guys shoot semi-autos, but still make a concerted effort to pick up everything at the end of the hunt.

Be safe, have fun, and leave your hunting spot cleaner than you found it.  See you in the field!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 00:16

Get Back to Basics

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I heard the question asked, is it still possible to make a small fortune as a magazine photographer?  And the answer was, sure, it's easy to do if you start with a large fortune.

That seems to say it all about the current state of the photography industry.  With the increase in sales of stock photos in the $1 range, those of us who made at least of decent share of our income from the sale of stock are suffering.  How can we make ourselves more useful to those who need us most, the editors and agencies who hire us for assignments?

I say get back to basics.  Cultivate contacts in your niche market.  Show that you are dependable.  Always deliver what you promise, no compromises, even if it means going that extra mile and costing you that extra buck.  You'll get it back in the long run.  Follow up email marketing with phone calls and personal contact whenever possible.  Don't be a pest.  Make your client's job easier and you'll get more work.

To any editors or media buyers reading this, what do you say?  Give us some tips, tell us what we can do to make your job easier.  Tell us how we can improve our marketing for our mutual benefit.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 00:17

Do the Math

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With the proliferation of microstock sites, we have seen the price for stock photography drop off the cliff.  Can this price level be sustained?  Can we, as professional photographers, afford to contribute to these sites?  My answer to both is an emphatic NO!

Do the math.  If you have equipment costing $20,000 and you receive $1 for an image, you need to sell 20,000 images just to break even.  In many cases, the price for "microstock" images is a lot less and $1 to the photographer.  Who in their right mind is going to support this kind of price level?  Any professional who contributes to microstock sites is killing his own stock sales and hurting the rest of us in the process.

If I was an equipment manufacturer, I'd be fighting the microstock movement tooth and nail.  How long are professionals going to be able to afford new $5,000 camera bodies if they can't pay for them?  I'd have the smart legal minds researching a way to change copyright laws or doing something to support a higher price level for stock photography before the market for DSLR cameras follows the price trend for stock.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 00:19

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