The Power of the Album
(pleasant piano music) (singing in foreign language)
Thank you. (applause) Okay the music was my friend again, my childhood friend from Ethiopia, Jon Varto. He lives in LA. I love his music. If you want, it's on iTunes. Okay, ask me the question. You see, every one of my album is different. That's what I create.
This isn't really a technical question, but when you're watching your albums back or you're looking through your images, do you ever feel critical of your work or do you just always love it?
Always, always 100% I can't watch my past work, yeah. I am critical, I am critical. If I'm perfect, I won't be around. There's no such thing as perfect. You will be always critical. Sometimes you get bored of it. Sometimes you find faults in it, yes, it's gonna happen but my client won't see that, I will see it. My client is so happy. This couple, the girl bought a boudoir glamor shot to present to her husband. I shot it during the wedding day. When I do those shots I make sure that i...
t's very subtle, very beautiful, not trashy. I want this is a beautiful bride and I want to make sure that her husband is going to respect. She presented that to her husband, he loved it, came in, thanked me. You know I become very friendly with them but I am not, I'm not, I love woman. I have a mother, I have a sister, I have a wife, and I have again I'm a godfather for a young girl and these are beautiful people and I want to make them a statue. A woman is such an important part of my life, and every one of my brides are my little girls. I want them to get the dream they want, and that's what I deliver, full stop. That's my interest, that's my interest and my wife is quite critical also. She looks at my work and say you've overdone it here, this is not good because you need always a second eye. Dan is good at that also. Boss this is not good, she calls me boss. Boss this is not good. Why you're critiquing me, what's wrong? I get upset, I get upset, it's a reality. Even if going to awards, if I don't score high I get upset but it's a human nature isn't it? We will all be upset about things, but at the end of the day it's what everyone looks and I want my clients to see my best. So yeah.
So you're saying to always break the rules and always try to do better stuff and but--
No, not always break the rules, sometimes. Always break the rule, you get arrested. (laughing) No sometimes break the rules if it looks good.
And then, but also I did not know like you are really constant with your work since 20 years ago and you still are doing new stuff. So how that works? Like so you know what I'm trying to?
You see I showed you some of my past work the other day, and they're still current so I try to keep my work constantly not overdone, not overdone. I work little on it, apply a filter maybe after but I just want it, I don't want to remove things like superior postings, make collages, and things. They are real photos. I'm just correcting them, that's all I'm doing. Even the stretching and widening and things like that, I'm making small changes to the picture, not major and most of the time it's because of the lights I'm using. Sometimes the bride says oh we're and we look white, what's wrong with it? I said sorry darling, don't worry about it. I didn't do it on purpose, the camera made that. When I print it, I'm going to fix it. She laughs and that's it you know? Because I want to enjoy with what I have. Shooting wide I really love because if I go to beautiful buildings like that, I want to capture the whole place. That's why if you see the wide shots I try to keep the group in the center more than, but if you shoot tall it's quite good because they become taller and it's great. If you're too close to the bottom, they must stretch their hands or something. That will be distort, but try to move the camera on an angle to see what looks best for them because if you move the camera, if you go down or up it can fix that distortion. So a lot of manual work in my work is manual work. Yeah I have great tools, but I need to have manual, the tools are not magic. They don't think the way I'm thinking. They're helping me to go where I want, so if I rely on the tools then press a button then it's not going to be me, so I need to give manual look to everything. Okay, Graphistudio. It's a, Graphistudio has been my album maker and it's the most important product in my studio. This is why I say this. If I don't have this product, I can't sell myself the way I want it. So I shoot for the album. Pages that sell, what did I say? I shoot for album pages that sell page upon page. Okay I don't understand what I said that. (laughing) Sometimes I'm half asleep when I write those things. My wife checks it but sometimes I wait to ask her to check it. All the images for an album must be retouched and finished, so let's assume we finished Dani's pictures halfway. We haven't applied filter to it. Now we're going to bring to the album software laid out. After layout we're going to still bring it back to Photoshop to apply filters to it okay? Keep the ratio of photos for better layout, so I told you this also. Crop inside the frame so the ratio is always the same, so the album doesn't have one tiny wide picture, one square picture, it's gonna be messy. If you're going to crop, crop in the album software. It looks much nicer, so keep always the ratio the same. Printed results. Give the client the printed results. Album, books, images books, wall art. We don't sell pixels, we sell prints. I am saying this again. This is what made my business successful. If I gave them pixels, I would not have been in business anymore. First, you saw my excitement. I really get excited when I see prints. I ran to the prints. I need to show my clients prints because that's my finished work. Even you guys who are photographers, you saw it on the screen and when I showed you the print, how much different it was. Even you guys as photographers saw it, that's how important it is.