2nd Quarter 2011 - The Business of Photography
I found out, over the past several quarters, the "Business of Photography" class was ... well, not. This quarter, though, they hired a "real" businessman/established photographer to teach the course, which could be very interesting, in the sense that he will be running his own business at the same time. Conflict of Interest? Or for that matter, best use of time? We will see. More like too many hands in the mixer. Whew.
Whatever! Anything has to be an improvement from what I was hearing from the prior class' students. I simply could not believe what they were considering "the photography business." Admittedly, from what I could tell, this new fellow seems to really know his stuff and that, my friends, is where it all "good" education starts, in my book. Active and timely interest is definitely appreciated when it comes to photography.
He actually provided us with a personal survey to complete, which kind of left me a little flat ... because I know what I would have to write compared to the remaining 20-24 year old students in the class, if were to be completely objective and honest. ... and I felt that was more than a little lop-sided, so I opted for a terse overview and offered the fact that we would get to know more about each other during the class than we probably ever wanted to know. One other aspect of the class is that there are currently only five-students in it. That's pretty good one-on-one, considering the class is usually scheduled for more than 12. I just hope it survives the academic cut for participation purposes.
Anyway, just in case you might be interested in the content of the class, here it is:
- What it means to be a photographer
- Finding your Niche
- Professional Equipment
- Business Plan
- Pricing your work
- Building a Body of Work
- Overhead: the Cost of Doing Business
- Marketing vs. Sales
- Legal Issues
- Protecting your work
- Networking (vs. Notworking)
- Breaking the RUles
- Stock Photography
Definitely a nifty Quarter, this time ... picture that! ;)
The rest of the quarter ...
The remainder of this Spring 2011 Quarter belongs to "Print Production", which is really a graphics design course (GD271), rather than a photography course (DPH-prefix). I mean, it is winding up to be an overkill exercise of deciding how to effectively produce a 28-page catalog of product, complete with cover, item descriptions and a contrived order-form.
As I look at it, it is quite a bit more involved than the "Digital Grid System" class, where I had to create 24-page one-off magazine and take it to press. The beauty of that one is that everything (art, text, layout) in it was my own work. This one, will be more of an assemblage of "stock" images and prepared text. Okay, where's the photography angle to this? Theoretically, I won't have to pull the shutter once. It is more of a test of my (left brain) artistic and creative skills, than the eye-of-the-hunter.
Again, this could get complicated, more due to my nature than the requirements of the final product. Perhaps, that will be the real test. Flexibility ... until you ->SNAP!<- :eek:
I have been re-evaluating my original "battle plan" for school and have dropped back from the aggressive four classes per quarter I had originally conceived down to three classes a quarter. I originally thought I would be fine with graduating in the Summer 2011, but with the way the economy still is dragging along and the fact that the Congress cannot seem to find its rear end with both hands ... I am delaying the overall progress by two quarters and planning to graduate in Winter 2012. This allows me more time to sharpen up my Portfolio-projects and healing time for the economy to either get rolling or really take a dump. Admittedly, this whole Japan-earthquake scene is really savaging the digital photographic industry and associated support.
I am also concerned with what direction the 3D releases are going to go. I know SONY had the initial 3D-World idea on the table, but again ... things really got shook up on my b-day. That's going to be hard to forget. :rolleyes: I am hoping they might modify the current curriculum at the Art Institute and put some 3D-aspect classes into the photography program, otherwise I may have to seek formal training, elsewhere.
Again, I have added two more quarters to my program, by removing a class from each of the next four quarters since last Fall. I hope it is the right move, but there does not seem to be any rush to get finished, at this point. The unemployment rate is still well over the published 9% ... so, what the heck, I might even consider rolling it into a Master's Degree and really make some noise. :D
Curriculum requirements truly need another look
Well, I took a shot ... and I boldly asked the Graphic Arts instructor of the class what value there was to the "Print Production" class to a photography student, as it really does seem like nothing more than "glorified" version of the "Digital Grid Systems" class ... and he said it could be considered a "fall back" to my photography.
Originally Posted by DonSchap
Huh? :confused: . :confused: . . . . and . :confused:
OMO: Look, I do not know about you guys, but I did not spend $30,000-40,000 in lighting, camera bodies, lenses, printers, filters, enclosures and all the rest of the gear to "fallback" to pencils, colored-markers, scissors, paper and all sorts of other ape-capable implements of the Stone-Age to design catalogs and menus. This "walk-before-you-can-fly" mentality is self-defeating and wholly expensive for no good reason. The over & above, out-of-pocket cost is estimated to be $300-500! For what? The catalog to nowhere? There goes another lens, electronic flash or something nice ... like the next refill of my EPSON 3800 ink tanks.
I figure we get little enough real "shutter-time" as it is and I'm not spending my nights competing with a bunch of post-high school kids abusing artsy-fartsy cut-outs and colored/embossed paper, because they either will not or cannot afford a "big gun." I mean, if that was my design, I would have happily foregone the rather expensive walk through fused-silicon valley. It is just plain insulting to think of Print Production "Scrapbook" as a creative "fall back." I'd rather bag groceries for a living.
The most telling aspect of this ... I would not have to hoist my camera the entire quarter and can still get an "A"! Does that sound like photography to anybody? It sounds more like cut-and-paste plagiarism, if you ask me. Designing and fabrication the 24-page magazine was expensive enough and, at least, it was constructed entirely from my own work. This POS ... seems to be just another walk down memory lane, that may very well have none of my work in it. Nothing learned, just good money kicked to the curb.
I am pretty convinced it simply is a way for the institution to "pad" the digital photography curriculum and allow the school a way to charge for another fundamentally useless class. They even do this kind of thing for the "Internship." I mean, you actually have to pay for a 12-week, four-hour class to work for, essentially, work-for-no-pay provided by the school! C'mon! :eek:
They say, do not criticize unless you have something positive to add, so aside from the internship-nonsense, if they really wanted to have a proper 4-year digital photography curriculum, they would immediately drop this stupid "Print Production" requirement and substitute it with a far more useful "Color Management" course, so that the graduates would at least appreciate color conformity/standardization between the school's systems, the outside print shops and even their own personal systems. Again and again, even in the print production class, it has been brought up that there is no real color management going on at the school. Guys, that situation is just wrong. The school should be setting and keeping the standard of how this is properly done. Any properly-trained student should be able to properly explain and demonstrate how the color management flow is conducted and maintained on a scheduled basis from the camera to the final print or projection/optical reproduction. That is my improvement proposal and I am waiting.
Good lord, this is infuriating. :mad: