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Showing posts from 2014

Tim, What Do You Read?

Had a question the other day:

"Tim, what do you read"?  This spawned an hour long conversation about books, why each of us liked to read certain materials and why.  So, here is a watered down response!

Honestly, I'm not much of a fiction buff.  I'm really into self-improvement readings.  I read them because I feel that no one is perfect (especially me), and these types of readings give me excellent new views on life, and true time tested ways to make myself a better person.  I understand the philosophical debate that the previous statement could spawn, but lets avoid that for now and get to the list!

My current reading is The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy, and up next on the slate is Failing Forward, by John C. Maxwell.  The last book I read was Worth Every Penny, by Sarah Petty.  I highly recommend the Sarah Petty reading to any small business owner - it is fantastic, and entertaining.  I'm only half way through The Compound Effect, but I already know it will …

Mitigating My Mistakes

I've made a few mistakes with my business and will continue to do so.  Each mistake I make is an opportunity to grow, and continue building a successful and enjoyable career.  The following was my most substantial mistake and greatest growing opportunity to date:

THE PROBLEM
I was a "Shoot & Burn" photographer - after the photo shoot, I would burn a disc of images with a print release for the client and be done.  Clients rarely ordered prints off my website, though they often would gloat about how much they loved my work.  I would talk with them months later, and find out that they had yet to order prints from anywhere with their CD either.

I now realize how much of a disservice that business model was to my clients.  By simply burning a disc and letting clients run free into the world with their beautiful images, I wasn't helping them to put the right image in the right place in the home, on the right type of product to tie everything together.  Without guidance…

Finding Inspiration

Inspiration for photography is all around me.  I see compositions that interest me everywhere I go.  I love to look at a scene, weather it be in nature, a town, or in my camera room, and then find a new way to create a visual story about it.  For instance - in the collage below, are 4 images of the Courthouse in Coudersport - all taken on the same day, with the same camera, same lens, same focal length, and same f-stop.  Each image is unique, and presents the Courthouse in a different way - which I imagine is much different than most people viewed the building on the same day.

The image of the Citizen's Northern was a hired piece.  I was asked to create something to use for their website's header image.  They allowed me creative control, which is excellent.  I had a vision of the bank being backlit by the sun, with beautiful lighting - possibly a sunset or sunrise, and no cars or foot traffic.  Unfortunately non of those conditions were ever going to happen within the time fram…

What happens after we place an order?

Once an order has been placed, it is up to me to properly prepare the images to the specifications needed for the individual lab that will be handling the post processing work.
Now, some may say – “Tim, why don’t you print things yourself?”Ah, good question.My answer is this:I want to spend as much time as I can doing what I do best – creating great images, and designing the end products.I know a bit about printing, and I also know enough that I would have to hire a full staff, open a much larger shop, or off-site building just to handle print orders.I also know that there is a multitude of equipment to buy (and provide upkeep for), and then I would have to oversee all of the quality control for those things.By having a professional lab handle my orders, I am left with more time to spend with clients, creating images that they are going to love, and finished art pieces for their home that are going to be displayed for a lifetime.
Back to the topic – Processing an order.So, once an or…

Santa Is On His Way!

This year we are doing things a little differently!  We have Santa available for sessions by appointment.  This means that we can spend a little more time making the most adorable images with Mr. Clause and your kiddos!

Of course, you can still come on either Saturday December 6th, or Saturday December 20th from 2-5pm for an Open House with Santa!

Egg Nog Will Be Flowing!

Where Craftsmanship Begins for a Wedding & Portrait Artist

Where Craftsmanship Begins for a Wedding & Portrait Artist
Brides often gush about the beauty of their wedding images, or how amazing their custom art installation is at their home – or the beauty and quality of their wedding album.Nothing really makes me feel better than making a client happy – it is very self gratifying to know that I have given someone something that they love, and will last a lifetime.
I have spent countless hours honing my skills with camera equipment, from the camera itself to light meters, to remote flash triggering systems, to specialized lens/camera/monitor/projector calibration hardware and software.I have also spent more time than I can log designing in photoshop, and working with print labs to create perfect printed products.
With all of the above in mind, there is really no piece of equipment, no technique, no product, and no magical way to create a well crafted image without the right pose and expression.  I always tell my photography students, “Pose, …

I Failed...

I make it a point to fail at something during every photo session or wedding.WHAT! ?Yep.I know I’m going to do it – I’m going to make an image that is terrible.I am always trying new things – new ways to direct people, to pose people, new ways to play with light and exposure, to compose an image, new ways to put multiple images into a single composition… the list goes on and on.This means that I am going to fail, and fail often.
Failing is a huge part of success, discovery, and growth as a photographer.  If I only stick to what I know makes an excellent photo, then I will never make something extraordinary.  I know that I want to make the best images, which are unique to and for the people I am working with - and that requires me to experiment all the time.  I have a core of key compositions and poses that I use (I call those the "safe" images) because I know they will work, which ensures that clients are going to be happy, just incase whatever I try thats new ends up being…

Are Your Files Safe with Tim Walck Photography?

File handling is a very very important part of being a professional photographer.I am an over organized geeky file Nazi when it comes to proper storage of a client’s images.

The thing about storing a clients files, is that they may come back in days, months, or even years, looking for a specific image that I made for them.They could be looking for an image because they just wanted one, or they finally had the budget for an over the top customized art installation, or… tragedy could strike.What if the client lost their home to a flood or fire, along with their wedding DVD, custom designed album, metal printed wall collage, and 30x40 canvas gallery wrap….Insurance may cover the replacement costs, but if the images were nowhere to be found, what would they do?Cry.And it wouldn’t be the tears of joy that normally happen in my shop! I know the images that I create at a wedding are a once in a lifetime memory, and it is imperative that I keep those precious memories safe.I employ a simple sy…