CMMS Studio Advises Creative Professionals – Make New Year’s Resolutions – 2013

Happy New Year

CMMS Studio recommends setting resolutions for the New Year that increase productivity in a creative work environment. During times when artists experience a creative slump, they dig out by making an exerted effort at least once a day to babble, dance, sketch something original, think out loud to strengthen creativity, inspire motivation, and expand their imagination.

 

CMMS Studio offers some tips that have helped them in 2012.

Power OFF technology devices.

Every Monday for two hours the professionals at CMMS Studio, come together for an uninterrupted meeting to exchange creative ideas. They constantly improve their techniques with up-to-date technologies that are implemented in their photography, videography, advertising, and graphic design business workflow. Consequently CMMS Studio has become a technology-driven business whose team are “glued” to either their computers or cameras all day which shortens the time they verbally communicate with one another. A breakthrough was made during one of their weekly meetings when they all took part in an informal Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment to measure their various personality types. This served as a “team-building exercise” which, as a result has made each team member aware of their various traits and personality characteristics and use them in ways that help address and cope with situations in a more positive and effective manner. Due to the sharing of ideas amongst the staff and their constant awareness of current technologies they are experiencing an increase in productivity and profit.

Live the opposite.

Whether a person fits the personality type of an obsessive compulsive or a messy compulsive, it is good to reverse the normal flow. Graphic designers have the stereotype of being extremely orderly with a feng shui practice because of the invisible x and y grid they live every day. They need to let go of feng shui and loosen up to some “messy” shui. Changing the routine up every day by allowing dishes, laundry or other household items to just exist without order helps. Painters, especially men, get the bad wrap of living too “free” with their chaotic piles. Devoting some time in the week to make sense of those piles and organize them as if they were a Pinterest board is a good excersise. They recommend evoking creativity by changing up the flow of the predictive sense. Use smart and easy feng shui tips to create vibrant energy in the office. “Feng shui is all about great energy, and it is needed when it comes to productivity and business success”, says Megan Parker. At CMMS Studio Feng shui is practiced by following these 10 practical tips found at: http://www.workhappynow.com/about/

Give Your Desktop a Facelift.

There are times when a person subconsciously meditates on a mundane desktop background. Everyone does this at one time or another. Imaginations can be rejuvenated by finding a colorful image that goes to another time or place. Computer monitors can be set to change scenes every so often with full-spectrum images that can be rotated every 30 minutes. Exposing the eyes to different hues serves as therapy and is essential in working through the creative process. Remember the world is not simply black and white. It is filled with an array of colors and images that stimulate the psyche.

Speak with kindness to everyone

A person can look in front of a mirror daily and verbally compliment him or herself and thank God for their gift of creativity. The art realm is full of criticism – whether constructive or destructive. The use of creative friction is always helpful to see different sides of the same triangle. Even when creative disagreements arise with someone, always speak with kindness and gratitude. Ask them about their lives instead of always being all business. This doesn’t mean a person needs to pry into another’s personal matters; it just shows an interest in who they are as people. This allows the artistic energy to flow without “ruffling any feathers.”

 

Reasons Professional Photographers Cannot Work Free

Dear potential photo buyer,

If you have been directed to this page, it is likely that you have requested the use of an image or images for free or minimal compensation.

As professional photographers, we receive requests for free images on a regular basis. In a perfect world, each of us would love to be able to respond in a positive manner and assist, especially with projects or efforts related to areas such as education, social issues, and conservation of natural resources. It is fair to say that in many cases, we wish we had the time and resources to do more to assist than just send photographs.

Unfortunately, such are the practicalities of life that we are often unable to respond, or that when we do, our replies are brief and do not convey an adequate sense of the reasons underlying our response.

Circumstances vary for each situation, but we have found that there are a number of recurring themes, which we have set out below with the objective of communicating more clearly with you, and hopefully avoiding misunderstandings or unintentionally engendering ill will.

Please take the following points in the constructive manner in which they are intended. We certainly hope that after you have had a chance to read this, we will be able to talk again and establish a mutually beneficial working relationship.

Photographs Are Our Livelihood
Creating compelling images is the way we make our living. If we give away our images for free, or spend too much time responding to requests for free images, we cannot make a living.

We Do Support Worthy Causes With Images
Most of us do contribute photographs, sometimes more, to support certain causes. In many cases, we may have participated directly in projects that we support with images, or we may have a pre-existing personal relationship with key people involved with the efforts concerned. In other words, each of us can and does provide images without compensation on a selective basis.

We Have Time Constraints
Making a leap from such selective support to responding positively to every request we get for free photographs, however, is impractical, if for no other reason than the substantial amount of time required to respond to requests, exchange correspondence, prepare and send files, and then follow-up to find out how our images were used and what objectives, if any, were achieved. It takes a lot of time to respond to requests, and time is always in short supply.

Pleas of “We Have No Money” Are Often Difficult to Fathom
The primary rationale provided in nearly all requests for free photographs is budgetary constraint, meaning that the requestor pleads a lack of funds.

Such requests frequently originate from organisations with a lot of cash on hand, whether they be publicly listed companies, government or quasi-government agencies, or even NGOs. Often, it is a simple matter of taking a look at a public filing or other similar disclosure document to see that the entity concerned has access to significant funding, certainly more than enough to pay photographers a reasonable fee should they choose to do so.

To make matters worse, it is apparent that all too often, of all the parties involved in a project or particular effort, photographers are the only ones being asked to work for free. Everyone else gets paid.

Given considerations like this, you can perhaps understand why we frequently feel slighted when we are told that: “We have no money.” Such claims can come across as a cynical ploy intended to take advantage of gullible individuals.

We Have Real Budget Constraints
With some exceptions, photography is not a highly remunerative profession. We have chosen this path in large part due to the passion we have for visual communication, visual art, and the subject matters in which we specialise.

The substantial increase in photographs available via the internet in recent years, coupled with reduced budgets of many photo buyers, means that our already meager incomes have come under additional strain.

Moreover, being a professional photographer involves significant monetary investment.

Our profession is by nature equipment-intensive. We need to buy cameras, lenses, computers, software, storage devices, and more on a regular basis. Things break and need to be repaired. We need back-ups of all our data, as one ill-placed cup of coffee could literally erase years of work. For all of us, investment in essential hardware and software entails thousands of dollars a year, as we need to stay current with new technology and best practices.

In addition, travel is a big part of many of our businesses. We must spend a lot of money on transportation, lodging and other travel-related costs.

And of course, perhaps most importantly, there is a substantial sum associated with the time and experience we have invested to become proficient at what we do, as well as the personal risks we often take. Taking snapshots may only involve pressing the camera shutter release, but creating images requires skill, experience and judgement.

So the bottom line is that although we certainly understand and can sympathise with budget constraints, from a practical point of view, we simply cannot afford to subsidise everyone who asks.

Getting “Credit” Doesn’t Mean Much
Part and parcel with requests for free images premised on budgetary constraints is often the promise of providing “credit” and “exposure”, in the form or a watermark, link, or perhaps even a specific mention, as a form of compensation in lieu of commercial remuneration.

There are two major problems with this.

First, getting credit isn’t compensation. We did, after all, create the images concerned, so credit is automatic. It is not something that we hope a third party will be kind enough to grant us.

Second, credit doesn’t pay bills. As we hopefully made clear above, we work hard to make the money required to reinvest in our photographic equipment and to cover related business expenses. On top of that, we need to make enough to pay for basic necessities like food, housing, transportation, etc.

In short, receiving credit for an image we created is a given, not compensation, and credit is not a substitute for payment.

“You Are The Only Photographer Being Unreasonable”
When we do have time to engage in correspondence with people and entities who request free photos, the dialogue sometimes degenerates into an agitated statement directed toward us, asserting in essence that all other photographers the person or entity has contacted are more than delighted to provide photos for free, and that somehow, we are “the only photographer being unreasonable”.

We know that is not true.

We also know that no reasonable and competent photographer would agree to unreasonable conditions. We do allow for the fact that some inexperienced photographers or people who happen to own cameras may indeed agree to work for free, but as the folk wisdom goes: “You get what you pay for.”

Please Follow-Up
One other experience we have in common is that when we do provide photographs for free, we often do not receive updates, feedback or any other form of follow-up letting us know how the event or project unfolded, what goals (if any) were achieved, and what good (if any) our photos did.

All too often, we don’t even get responses to emails we send to follow-up, until, of course, the next time that someone wants free photographs.

In instances where we do agree to work for free, please have the courtesy to follow-up and let us know how things went. A little consideration will go a long way in making us feel more inclined to take time to provide additional images in the future.

Wrap Up
We hope that the above points help elucidate why the relevant photographer listed below has sent you to this link. All of us are dedicated professionals, and we would be happy to work with you to move forward in a mutually beneficial manner.

Article courtesy of: http://photoprofessionals.wordpress.com/

Passion

TalentTalent can be found anywhere in anyone at any time.  But, Passion is rare.  It cannot be found in just anyonePassion is a calling.  Only a select few have it.

Clients motivate and inspire our work in every aspect.  We hope you enjoy our photo journey in this journal.