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Archive 2013 · Design Image / Slogan ...
  
 
RustyBug
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Sure ... I'll have some form of navigation / hierarchy involved to "hint" at "more to see" at the web site.

But, this particular piece (in theory) would also serve as an "integrated" piece @ calling card / placard / business card. As such, it kinda has "dual thinking" associated with it ... both field application and online application.

Possibly ... I could leave the slogan off the web image. If it is on the printed materials ... and the same image appears on the web page (driven from the printed materials), it may not be necessary to re-generate the verbiage to convey the message ... as much as it could be helpful in the field with only a single image to carry the message.

So back to the core question:

Does the image / verbiage serve as a tool to help convey the message of "serious" or "earnest" photography ... sufficient to warrant extending credence to my ongoing / future endeavors, in the face of opposition / suspicion noted elsewhere?

I've tried to "fly under the radar" for a long time ... and it hasn't been nearly as effective as I'd have expected / hoped. Keeping to myself (i.e. non-promotional) has only served to cause suspicion for lack of credence in the eyes of others. I'm just looking to flip that around through respectable / reputable / nominal promotion materials ... online & off.



Jan 04, 2013 at 09:49 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Design Image / Slogan ...


AuntiPode wrote:
Ah, the utility of creating a brand!

Hmmmm.... perhaps I shall ponder creating a more official brand, "Auntipode"


Go for it ...



Jan 04, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Design Image / Slogan ...


It seems that your primary motivation for putting text on a business card or other printed piece is for people to take you seriously and to avoid their suspicions in the field. That, frankly, is an unusual motivation. If you handed folks a card with that image and the text "Kent Southers Fine Art Photography", I'd bet they'd be much more understanding of your motivation and your approach in the field.


Jan 05, 2013 at 12:15 AM
sbeme
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Steve Wylie wrote:
It seems that your primary motivation for putting text on a business card or other printed piece is for people to take you seriously and to avoid their suspicions in the field. That, frankly, is an unusual motivation. If you handed folks a card with that image and the text "Kent Southers Fine Art Photography", I'd bet they'd be much more understanding of your motivation and your approach in the field.



I agree.
But it's likely that your reasons are more complex.
BTW, I love the image. But I agree it is not representative of the style and content we usually see you post on FM.
I think the slogan is problematic. Yes, an excellent statement of the constant striving to improve our art, but that does not make for a concise selling point. Instead it implies that you have not arrived.
You have arrived. You are emphasizing always going further.

Scott


Edited on Jan 05, 2013 at 02:33 PM · View previous versions



Jan 05, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Eyeball
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Steve and Scott have touched on two points that I have continued thinking about as well.

First, regarding Steve's suggestion for "Kent Southers Fine Art Photography", I do think it hits the target in terms of you wanting to sell yourself as a serious artist/photographer. That's pretty much what it comes down to, isn't it? You're trying to make a distinction between artist and hobbyist. Whether you are selling your work right now is pretty much irrelevant. The camera is your canvas; light is your palette.

With that in mind regarding your site, you are selling - just not prints (yet). So you should probably approach the site just like you would a commercial site - you're just not going to have a price list and order page (yet). I would suggest leaving the "Do you get paid?" aspect ambiguous. If asked, say something like "I consider purchases of my work on a case-by-case basis" or something to that effect. Live the role of the artist who sells his work when it pleases him to do so.

Now regarding Scott's comment, it clarified a point that was bugging me about your slogan: it's negative. I am a bit of a geek and Star Trek fan. If you ever saw the original series, you remember the opening title voice-over:

. . . the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

With your current thinking, it might sound more like this:

A billion new worlds full of new life and new civilizations; we'll never make it to all of them.



In other words, keep it positive. Who are you and who do you want to be. What are you doing and what do you want to do. Mentioning a goal is fine; you don't have to telegraph that you may never get there. Remember, you ARE selling here - just not your images at the moment.






Jan 05, 2013 at 02:16 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Design Image / Slogan ...


So, let me see ... current count 43,271 people that don't like the slogan (as part of the image message) vs. 1 who's unsure. I just wish there was some way it could be more clear to me what people really think about it.

Steve, Scott, Dennis ... all excellent points. Things I mostly know and truly agree with, but apparently have been letting slip by me a bit.

Thanks again ... muchisimo ... for the feedback / dialogue / consideration. Always good to hear from others who are not "emotionally connected" (i.e. pride of ownership) to an image/concept/etc. ... which is why I asked from those whom I've come to know as "straight shooters".

+1 @ complex reasoning (some over thinking may be involved here)
+1 @ not representative of my usual postings here ... focused @ convey message of "serious"
+1 @ constant striving to improve (but not to admit / suggest need of more growth to others)

Thanks much @ you have arrived.
It just doesn't feel that way inside. It feels like I have much left to prove to others (always having to defend my presence), even if I can see the potential, direction & growth for getting to where I'd like to be.

I've tried to "fly under the radar" ... not ready to hang out my shingle. Still not ready to hang out my shingle, but in order to progress in what I strive to do ... I'm feeling like I need to come out from under my rock. I feel like I need a strong, "serious" crutch to lean on.

"Kent Southers Fine Art Photography" ... while it is a part of what I want to develop toward, not sure I'm not quite ready to wear that badge just yet (based on what that means to me). Things like Mitchell Museum certainly help with my perspective that I'm headed in that direction (at least in the local domain) ... but my work still seems a bit too scattered, omnidirectional for me to feel comfortable making that claim.

I get the selling "me" (really).
I guess I just happen to be seeing "two versions" of me ... arrived vs. arriving ... and am struggling with how to merge or ignore their coexistence (without falsely presenting myself). The two versions of "Star Trek" make a salient example of the perspective potential. Exploration is "understood" to be wrought with imperfection, setback, temporary failure, etc. ... thus no need to mention / focus on it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. No guts, no glory. No risk, no reward.

But, along with ventures, guts & risk ... comes the "understood & unspoken" imperfection, setback, temporary failure ... just no need to focus on, advertise or expose them externally. Looking ahead, they can loom as rough territory. With tenacity of purpose in hand, and once having traversed them, they become realized as only speed bumps in the rear view mirror, en route to a worthy journey.

I guess a career in the terrestrial version of Star Trek in the role of "Scotty" helps explain my "under the radar" (i.e. below decks) positioning. Gonna be a bit of a change to come up to the bridge and and be a bit more like "Kirk" in the spotlight (although I am totally comfortable as "Spock").

Of course, if the shoe were on the other foot ... I'd probably tell you guys to "get over it" and "get on with it". Just be very selective to not show your "so-so" stuff and allow your discriminating work to fit the bill for "Fine Art". For other stuff, label it as "project specific" and distance it from your "Fine Art".

Hmmm ...



Edited on Jan 06, 2013 at 03:49 AM · View previous versions



Jan 05, 2013 at 02:42 PM
sbeme
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Of course, if the shoe were on the other foot ... I'd probably tell you guys to "get over it" and "get on with it". Just be very selective to not show your "so-so" stuff and allow your discriminating work to fit the bill for "Fine Art". For other stuff, label it as "project specific" and distance it from your "Fine Art".


Yep.
Scott



Jan 05, 2013 at 03:30 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Design Image / Slogan ...


The image and slogan are fine for a business card although the aspect ratio and orientation are not, most business cards are landscape. It would need to be on one end or the corner of a normal card and then you would have blank space to fill.


Jan 05, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Eyeball
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Just to clarify, Kent, are you hesitant on the "Fine Art" thing because:
A. You may be considering other areas of photography (formal portraiture, weddings, commercial, etc.)?
B. Because you are shying away from the possibility that some may interpret "Fine Art" as "Great Art" and find you lacking?
C. Because you have certain personal goals in your work (independent of public "acceptance") that you want to achieve before you give yourself that badge?
D. None of the above?

I like Zack Arias' work and a lot of his ideas about photography. One of his recommendations to photographers starting a business is to not worry too much initially about having to define their "style". His view is that you should let that develop naturally over time. It may take years. Be selective with the quality of the images, perhaps focus on a particular genre of photography so as not to dilute your skill, but don't feel you need to prematurely shoe-horn yourself into a particular "style".
Here is a link to an interview he had with Chase Jarvis where he talks about it. I'm not saying he is perfectly right but I think it is worth thinking about.

http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2011/09/developing-your-photographic-style-with-zack-arias/



Jan 05, 2013 at 03:45 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Design Image / Slogan ...


A. 10%
B. 20%
C. 40%
D. 30%

A) is of little concern. If something evolves otherwise, that's fine, but I'm not chasing it.
B) may be related to that perception of "serious" by others
C) my own inconsistencies
D) my own perception / expectation of what constitutes "Fine Art" (could your clarify @ diff "Fine Art" vs. "Great Art")

Noting that C + D = 70% "internal" stuff.

I've been allowing the "naturally over time" thing for a few years now and am starting to get a sense of direction for a few things (some genre, some style ... shoehorned @ neither) that I'd like to pursue deeper.

Thanks for the link ... will check it out.



Jan 05, 2013 at 04:52 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Design Image / Slogan ...


sbeme wrote:
Yep.





Jan 05, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Eyeball
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Design Image / Slogan ...


RustyBug wrote:
(could your clarify @ diff "Fine Art" vs. "Great Art")


I was just trying to make a distinction between the genre of "fine art photography" and a viewers appreciation of an image ("Wow. That image is a work of art!")

My understanding is that the term "fine art photography" is a pretty well-recognized term in the industry to describe work that has little or no "service" component and is produced pretty specifically as a "work of art".

For example: wedding photography, portrait photography, photo-journalism, and commercial photography all have aspects of a service. A company or a person is contracting for that work and there is an objective beyond producing a work of art (remember an event or person, document the news, sell a product, etc.).

It's theoretically possible that a fan could contract you to produce a work of art and all of the other genres that I mentioned above can certainly produce an artistic image but I think the aspects of service and objective allow a fairly clear, if imperfect, line to be drawn and I think that line is fairly well accepted within the industry if not with John or Jane Doe off the street.

By the way, Zack Arias has several free video critiques of photographers' web sites on his web site. It is several hours of video and includes people with commercial sites but you still might find them useful for thought-starters. Here is the direct link:

http://zackarias.com/category/for-photographers/critique_for_photographers/



Jan 05, 2013 at 05:47 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Thanks for the clarification.

At present, there would be no "service" component.

I am considering the prospect of doing what I'll call "docu-fine", "histo-fine" / "industry-fine" for a project. In a fantasy realm, it would be a commissioned / sponsored effort, and at a minimum it will need some accessibility assistance. But, getting such commission / sponsorship / accessibility would certainly necessitate a certain modicum of credibility to begin any such efforts.

You can kinda see the circle of where this is going to / coming from regarding the "serious" / "credible" factor. This might show how I would need to be cognizant of the "selling me" aspects involved ... striving to present a "serious" portrayal, both in the field and online.

The closest (very loosely speaking) thing that comes to mind is some of Paul Strand's work ... but without the people ... if that makes any sense.



Jan 06, 2013 at 12:50 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Eyeball wrote:
http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2011/09/developing-your-photographic-style-with-zack-arias/

Sort of a "first we emulate .... then we create" summation.


http://zackarias.com/category/for-photographers/critique_for_photographers/

Kinda neat concept.

Had to love the first one I watched, when he commented that it looked they were trying to be "all things to all people" ... classic / been there, done that (haven't we all ) ... not there anymore.



"Kent Southers Fine Art Photography" ... not sure I'm not quite ready to wear that badge just yet.

From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_art

Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the artist.
Fine art photography is created primarily as an expression of the artistís vision


I guess that is a badge that I can wear with some degree of comfort ...

That helps, thanks.



Jan 06, 2013 at 01:08 AM
Steve Wylie
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Design Image / Slogan ...


You're welcome. Now go make some art.


Jan 06, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Camperjim
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Kent, you have already gotten much feedback. A surprising amount has been negative or at least pretty critical. I guess that is what you asked for but I think all the negative comments might be misleading.

I like your idea of branding including a slogan and image. I think the slogan is fine and reflects your approach to photography. I like the simplicity of your image and simple slogan and fonts.

I am not sure I understand the connection between your photography and the fin of an old gas gussler. Is this supposed to exemplify perfection? Does this reflect subject matter or style that represents your photography? Do you want to send a message that you are interested in old cars or photography of old cars? If you want people to take you seriously as a portrait, or street or cityscape or landscape photographer, then a different image might help. To keep you options open, you might want to consider a more abstract background or a simple graphic design.



Jan 06, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Camperjim
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Design Image / Slogan ...


ben egbert wrote:
Hi Kent. I started my own blog about 4-5 months ago. It was not for image presentation or selling, just for essays and discussions. I can say now what my experience has been and what I expect to happen in the future.

1. My goal was to have a place for travel photographers to visit, this seems an undeserved area of photography. My essays are descriptions of the icons (where when to go) and some technical tips etc. Plus a lot of philosophical rants.

2. I have no idea how to promote it. I would have even less on how to
...Show more

I am not sure I understand Kent's plans, but in case they are similar to yours I will make a few comments.

First everyone with a camera (or even cellphone camera) seems to post images on the internet. This could be facebook or another social media site, or on flickr, or smugmug, or on an individual webpage. If you want to setup a webpage and generate traffic, you will need great content, time and effort. All of which brings up the questions about motivation and intent. That can be clear for someone trying to generate sales but for us hobby oriented photographers the goals are not so clear.

Setting up a internet forum is a whole other issue. An individual blog-type webpage with room for comments is not close. A few visitors might leave comments, but the format needs to be like other forums in order to function as a forum. Even with a suitable format, it could take years and lots of promotion to achieve any success. I would imagine most attempts fail.

Every pro needs a webpage. I would imagine portrait and wedding photographers could generate some business directly from the internet. Selling images is even more complicated. There are plenty of free or low cost images availble. To generate any sales would require that you build your reputation, maintain webpages/blogs, give seminars, lead groups, participate in galleries, tweat, facebook and work constantly at the business of professional photography. I should also mention that great images and a distrinctive and innovative style might also help.

For those of us who are not ambitious professional photographers and are not willing to devote the energy to self promotion, well, we can expect limited results.



Jan 06, 2013 at 02:54 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Camperjim wrote:
Kent, you have already gotten much feedback. A surprising amount has been negative or at least pretty critical. I guess that is what you asked for but I think all the negative comments might be misleading.


No worries ... I've not seen it as negative, but rather as a "micro-nit" (which we are very good at around here) critique.

I like your idea of branding including a slogan and image. I think the slogan is fine and reflects your approach to photography. I like the simplicity of your image and simple slogan and fonts.

Thanks. I think the thing that others were trying to get across was the A) change in mood / tone to positive and confident rather than incomplete/insecure, and B) consideration to when / where to use it (i.e. About Me, etc. might be better served than Home Page.) Time will tell, but with the advent @ getting my head better wrapped around the whole "Fine Art" thing ... the crutch of the slogan may be lessened somewhat. We'll see.

I am not sure I understand the connection between your photography and the fin of an old gas gussler. Is this supposed to exemplify perfection? Does this reflect subject matter or style that represents your photography?

The fin / car ... it has an underlying concept that the people that created the car did strive for perfection (or at least to be distinctive). As well as the person who did the restoration, also strove to bring back such perfection / distinction. While that is a bit on the philosophical side of things, the lines, tones and light play do represent what I find of interest. Thus, it serves both aspects to a certain degree.

Do you want to send a message that you are interested in old cars or photography of old cars?
Not necessarily specific to that. But no matter what subject you choose, the same question could be asked @ landscape, floral, abstract (which this also is), architecture, etc. I mostly feel that the combination of lines & tones represent at least a portion of me (accepting that no single image will get it all).

If you want people to take you seriously as a portrait, or street or cityscape or landscape photographer, then a different image might help. To keep you options open, you might want to consider a more abstract background or a simple graphic design.

No interest @ portrait. Actually, I would like to project that I DON'T do portraits (I can, but there are way better portrait photographers ... I would only be someones "last option" and don't aspire to go down that road ... except as a starving artist to pay the bills. <cringe>

I'm thinking that I can fit landscape, rustic, antique, history, industrial, architecture, etc. (maybe even a flower or two) can likely exist as sub-genre's under the latitude afforded by the overarching umbrella of "Fine Art" ... if done judiciously and with discrimination.

Not sure where the road will take me with this ... but I am grateful to have found the keys to the car. I'm gonna fire this bad boy up and take it for a ride. I guess we'll just have to wait & see what kinda trouble I can get in.

Gotta love FM ... you guys ROCK !!!

Muchisimas Gracias




Jan 06, 2013 at 03:47 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Design Image / Slogan ...


Camperjim wrote:
I am not sure I understand Kent's plans, but in case they are similar to yours I will make a few comments.

First everyone with a camera (or even cellphone camera) seems to post images on the internet. This could be facebook or another social media site, or on flickr, or smugmug, or on an individual webpage. If you want to setup a webpage and generate traffic, you will need great content, time and effort. All of which brings up the questions about motivation and intent. That can be clear for someone trying to generate sales but for us hobby oriented
...Show more

The bar has been raised with the advent of easy access to great photography tools. It lets in more people who otherwise might not have attempted it. Some people are naturals and get the hang of stuff with little effort. Teach them to shoot pool and they are whipping you in a week. No place left for duffers who are simply trying to find a way to keep busy while waiting for the great bus to take them away. Anyway, that's my problem.



Jan 06, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Camperjim
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ben egbert wrote:
The bar has been raised with the advent of easy access to great photography tools. It lets in more people who otherwise might not have attempted it. Some people are naturals and get the hang of stuff with little effort. Teach them to shoot pool and they are whipping you in a week. No place left for duffers who are simply trying to find a way to keep busy while waiting for the great bus to take them away. Anyway, that's my problem.



I have no idea what "bar" you are concerned about. Photography has always been an affordable hobby which has attracted millions of people.

I have no idea what you mean by "whipping you". Photography does not seem to be a very competitive hobby. I did participate in camera club competitions. It did not take me long to learn how to make images that were likely to succeed at competition. It also did not take long to realize that the standards used for scoring really had little application to what I wanted to do with photography. I think most camera club members soon find themselves arriving at the same conclusions. Participating in competitions can be a fun, social event but it is something that should not be taken seriously.

"No place left for duffers...." As a retiree and a duffer, I find I really like photography. I don't plan on making a living at photography. I don't plan on selling but I might give that a try someday. I like the creative aspects. I like trying to be able to use photography as a means of communicating. I like trying to make an image out of chaos. And when I fail at those attempts, I am still left with a tangible memories. I can still remember and enjoy the photo trips I took even when the results were not very impressive.

If photography is getting stale for you, you might want to consider some new aspects. Why not do an exhibit or show? I am traveling or I would try to do that. Before I hit the road, I gave a show at the local library. You might be able to also donate images. Hospitals usually want images and often try to sponsor "competitions" as a means of getting some art. Nursing homes are another possibility. Make a donation and help brighten up institutional walls.

You could also try to find some different interests within the realm of photography, but that has been discussed before and you want to remain a specialist within the realm of landscape photography. If don't want to become stale, then you need to be willing to change.




Jan 06, 2013 at 06:43 PM
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