Over the past weekend, I photographed the PGA Tour Canada stop in Montreal, the Mackenzie Investments Open at Elm Ridge Country Club. Hired directly by the PGA for the second consecutive year, my contract was to document the play of as many players as possible over the two final rounds, and then pick up and follow the leaders into the final holes. Taylor Pendrith, from Richmond Hill, Ontario, won the Open with a tour record final score of 28 under par over 4 days. Below are some of my favourite images from the competition as well as a link to the PGA Tour Canada website.
Mont-Tremblant commercial photographer
By Allen McEachern
Late last week I had a wonderful day of work with the international staff of Mirasee. Mirasee teaches internet marketing and social media skills to business of all sizes through an on-line subscription based platform. An innovative company that employs remote workers from around the world. They all came together north of Mont-Tremblant at Blueberry Lakes in Labelle for a week of training, team building, and conversation. I joined up with them for a day of corporate portraits, head shots, team photos, and to create an image bank of technology themed marketing visuals. Here are a few of the portraits.
By Allen McEachern.
Next Tuesday morning, December 1st, BNI Mont-Tremblant Élite along with partner, Chambre de Commerce de Mont-Tremblant, are hosting le Grand Déjeuner - a networking event. A great opportunity to get out and meet the people behind some of Mont-Tremblant's most prominent businesses. Full event details below. Click here to register.
By Allen McEachern
July 2015 marked my 11th anniversary working as a commercial photographer. I am proud of this achievement. Photography is a tough business, but one with many benefits. One of the biggest benefits for me is the accumulation of images, an archive, or image bank. I use my archive all the time for print sales, image licensing, marketing, blogging, and for learning. A power on-line searchable storage and deliver platform is crucial for my archive management and image delivery. Since 2005 I have used Photoshelter to store my media on-line. If you would like to find out more about what Photoshelter can do for you just follow this link. https://mbsy.co/clZVQ If what they are offering to you makes sense and you sign up, you will also be helping me out - affiliate link. Below is an image I shot on a Canon EOS 1D Mark II back in 2006. Click on the image to view how I am using Photoshelter.
By Allen McEachern.
A certificate of authenticity is an important document that accompanies every fine art image that I sell. The certificate lists the name of the piece, the date it was created, and the date it was printed. It also includes the number of the print if it is a limited edition series and bears my signature and date. This document informs my clients that I stand behind my work and that my limited editions are tracked and documented. Certificates of authenticity also serve as a warrantee. Click on the certificate image above to view the limited edition fine art print series I am currently offering.
Vernissage 5á7 30 Julliet 2015 - Les Mots Tremblant. Come have a glass of wine, some tapas and a chat. I would love to see you all! - Allen McEachern.
By Allen McEachern.
As a follow up to yesterday's post...here are a few of the shots from Philippe Starck at the ground breaking, press conference, and 5à7 of Yoo Montreal. Yoo Montreal is a Starck inspired condo development in Griffintown, Montreal.
By Allen McEachern
1. Follow Your Passion, Not The Money
I made the mistake of starting my photography career in debt, fresh from a return to university. I then moved to a part of Canada that I had never been to, where they spoke a different language. I know, not the brightest, but it happened. As a result of this I had to chase the money a bit more than I would have liked. I shot a variety of subjects for a wide base of clients. I never turned down a photo job for the first few years. The positive was that I experienced a variety of revenue streams within the giant realm of photography. The negative side was I was not following my passion, and it showed in my work. I should have followed my passion. I lost two years that could have been better used developing my niches. Specialist = deep niche. Generalist = wide market spread. Both work, one is more profitable.
2. Assist An Established Photographer Who Shoots What You Want To Shoot
I read that approximately 9000 people graduate every year from photo related studies in Canada. I don't know if this is true, but it seems possible. Lets assume it is true. How many of those graduates would do a paid masters degree if they could? To me, this is what it is to assist an established professional photographer. I suggest two years if you can handle it. Assisting will teach you more about what you already know. You will also learn about operating a studio, and how to treat clients. Your knowledge of customer service, value creation, networking, pricing, licensing, and negotiating will increase. For me, the time was hard, because I didn't want to mop floors, but I learned a lot that I might not have gained otherwise.
3. Invest In Learning About Business, Marketing, and Sales
Lets go back to those 9000 graduates. They all learned about lighting, cameras, lenses, post-production, shooting styles, etc. How many learned best business practices? Did they study contract negotiation? What about licensing their work, marketing, sales, small business financials, investing...the list goes on. The reality is as a photographer you need to be a business person, even if you take a staff job somewhere (if these even exist anymore). The more you can learn about business the better off you will be. Do you have a marketing plan, a business plan, a financial plan? The public library is a great place to start. I would recommend ASMP's "Professional Business Practices in Photography" as a good entry read. ( http://www.asmp.org)
4. Buy The Equipment You Need, As You Need It
I see photographers all the time who have gone to the camera shop, loaded up the credit card and filled their bags with everything cool. New lenses, the best flash, the big cameras, and so forth. We all love the gear, but start to act like a business. Buy what you need, as you need it. I always look through the local classifieds first. Sites like Craiglist, Kijiji, and others are a great starting place for good gear. I stay local because I want to be able to meet the seller in person and see the gear first hand. Think back to those 9000 grads...how many went on to start photography businesses or careers? How many of them went broke? How many of them are selling their equipment to pay off their debts? My last word on gear is this...save for the equipment you need. I know I will need to replace my computer every three years, my cameras every two years. I plan for this. I bank 10% of every contract right of the top and invest it in a small term deposit account that pays about 3% interest. This account is there for equipment and other business emergencies.
Protect yourself, your clients, your equipment, your studio, your health. Commercial insurance is a must. I know it sucks to pay, I have paid about $1000 / year since 2005. But I sleep better, and work better, knowing I am completely covered regardless of what happens. There are many options available to photographers. I recommend policies that cover the replacement of your equipment along with commercial liability. I have a worldwide coverage for 365 days a year. No matter where I am in the world, I'm covered. Shop around for the policy that meets your needs. Speak to other photographers. Contact photographer associations such as EP, CAPIC, ASMP, NPPA, and so on...
Do you have something to add? Resources to share? Please feel free to leave a comment.
New Limited Edition Large Format Print Gallery on AllenMcEachern.ca
By Allen McEachern.
I recently posted a list of the "10 Things I Love About Being a Commercial Photographer." Number eight on that list was "Lifestyle." I love living in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, and I love having the time to explore this beautiful part of the world. I love to hike, snowboard, camp, canoe, and the list goes on. I have always been attracted to nature, finding it to be the closest thing I can relate to a religion.
Over the last few years, I have been working on a person project that I call Abstract Nature. To me, Abstract Nature is the subtle details of the natural world. Contrast, pattern, chaos, lines, colours, you get the idea. My goal is to show these details in a context that engages the viewer, making them interested enough in the simplicity of the images to ask what is that they are looking at?
Today, I have posted some of my favourite images from this collection via my "Prints For Sale" gallery. Please let me know your thoughts. Merci!
Click the image below to be transferred to the print gallery.
By Allen McEachern
Meeting people is one of the elements of photography that I love. Back in July of this year, I had a contract with a company called Timbercreek. Timbercreek owns and operates a number of senior residences, one of which is in St.Leonard, Quebec. Part of my mandate was to shoot a series of natural light portraits of some of the residence. Here are a few of my favourites.
By Allen McEachern
July 4, 2014, marked the ten year anniversary of when I registered Allen McEachern Photography as a business in Quebec. Looking back on those ten years I realized what it is that I love about commercial photography, or, what has kept me going. Here they are:
1. A Love of People. As a commercial photographer, I get to meet, collaborate, direct, and react to some very interesting and talented people. From heads of states, to celebrities, to every day folks, photography has put me in front of many people I would normally never had met.
2. Problem Solving. Common sense, and experience are powerful together. Every photography contract, assignment, call it whatever, comes with unique challenges that require individual solutions. I love the daily challenge of solving these problems both through planning, as well as on the fly as they arise.
3. International Events. Shooting international sporting competitions is one of the biggest joys I take from working as a photographer. International media to speak with, compare notes, the fans, and access to world class athletes all combine to create something dynamic. Not to mention the precision, beauty, and excellence of professional athletes in motion.
4. Visual Communication. Capturing a moment is one thing. Telling the story that surrounds that moment is another. Being able to visually communicate with a viewer I think is the reason we are there.
5. Creative Collaboration. When I work, I may appear to be working alone, but I am often not. Take for example runway fashion. I love to shoot runway because I am looking at the finished product in all senses. The design of the clothing, the craftsmanship of the garment, the hair and make-up on the model, the lighting, the decor, the sound, and so on. All of these elements combine to add a bit more to the final product. I love shooting fashion for this collaboration.
6. Physical Work. Never let anyone tell you photography is not physical. Often we work building sets, painting, setting up rigging, lighting, remote power generators, walking into remote locations with many kilos of gear on our backs. Look at photography and try to figure out how the shot was made. Think rock climbing. I love the physical challenge.
7. Travel. Who doesn't like to travel? I have to admit, this was one of the things I thought I would do more of, but the market has changed a bit. I still get to travel a few times a year for assignments, contracts, but nothing compared to the stories I heard from guys in the 70's and 80's. The beauty of travel is being able to take great shots, meeting new people, and the visual stimulation that comes from experiencing new surroundings.
8. Lifestyle. I have a family, wife, and three kids. We live in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. The largest ski resort in Eastern North America is five minutes from my house. Often, on non shooting days in the winter, my wife and I take an hour or two to get about 5-7 runs in after we get the kids out to school. Not many people I know working traditional 9-5 can not do this. Photography has given me a very flexible schedule and the time to do the things that make us happy for which I am grateful!
9. Technology. I am not a geek! But I love new glass, updated camera systems, new software, gadgets, apps, and so forth. I don't go too crazy, but you need to keep up to what is happening.
10. Client Satisfaction. Photography is a great gift when done well. Delivering a completed job to a client can often be very rewarding, especially if prints or similar products are involved. We sometimes loose this with electronic delivery, but even then the same sentiment is alive. As photographers we are often working individually within a team. When the photo looks good, we all look good. The pressure can be great at times, the release is hearing the sincerity of a client's approval.
By Allen McEachern - Montreal Food Photographer