F8 and Be There

An elephant handler gets goosed by an elephant on display in Dallas, Texas.
The story behind the photo.
Kevinv-BW-small1Years ago, as a brand new photojournalist who had graduated from the University of Texas, I was lucky and blessed to land a job at the Dallas Times Herald. At the time, DTH was considered one of the top major newspapers in the nation. DTH was in the midst of a roll in winning Pulitzer Prizes–all in photography! The photographic staff was chock-full of incredible talent who all had “the eye of the tiger”. Being the first photographer to ever be hired there directly out of college is an honor I cherish to this day, especially given the talent I was thrown in with and mentored by. In many ways, I look back and consider my time at the Dallas TImes Herald Newspaper worthy of receiving a doctorate in photography (if there were such a thing). That’s how much I learned from my photo editor and fellow photojournalists. As in any decent organization, the low man on the totem pole has to earn his way up, so me being the “new guy”, I was handed the chicken crap assignments and expected to bring back gourmet chicken soup. One thing I learned from shooting these kinds of assignments was “F8 AND BE THERE!” Which I learned translates to “WHEN YOU’RE LUCKY, BE READY!” These were wonderful days. I think all photojournalists would agree that the photojournalism age peaked between 1980 and 1985. Those were the days when newspaper editors valued photographers the most, and ironically, also when they enjoyed their largest profit margins in history.

One Saturday morning, amongst other lame assignments, there was one to go photograph the elephants being unloaded in downtown Dallas for the circus that was arriving in town. Unlike the oldtimer who would have simply run over, grabbed a quick shot and run back to the newspaper office, I was still low man on the totem pole, so I was trying to prove myself. I was quickly learning I was only as good as my last shot. As I drove over to where the elephants would be staged, I agonized over how in the world I would be able to photograph this subject in a unique and different way from the way so many others had already photographed elephants. Upon arrival, I immediately began looking for something unique, but was disappointed to find nothing that would pull on the heartstrings such as a kid in a wheelchair or an elderly gent watching the elephants. I tried every angle from jumping on tables to laying on the ground to get the shot. Then I noticed that the elephant handler was not a toothless old guy, but an attractive woman. So I thought, let me see if I can find a way to play off this beautiful blonde doing her job as an elephant handler. So I followed her up and down, photographing her with a tight telephoto lens, getting lots of great, cutesy type shots. Then I changed my lens to a 50. Since I had been shooting with a telephoto previously, I’d only been seeing from the waist or chest up. What can I say, I’m a guy! When I switched to the 50 mil lens, and could see her full body, I noticed something I’d been missing when shooting tighter with the 85mm…that as she walked by every elephant, each one threw out his trunk and goosed her in the rear-end as though trying to grab a peanut. So I dropped in behind her and photographed this beautiful blonde elephant handler being goosed by these “overly fresh” elephants. To this day, I’ve wondered what caused the elephants to goose her–did she sit on some chewing gum or something? This truly turned out to be a classic (and funny) lesson for me in “F8 AND BE THERE”.

Ultimately, the end result was the photo won numerous awards, the pat on the back from my photo editor and peers and it opened the door to receiving a dream assignment — spending a week on an aircraft carrier with fighter pilots. To this day, this image has been published all over the world and earned thousands of dollars in royalty fees.

Kevin Vandivier
Website
http://www.kevinv.com
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Contact
photo@kevinv.com
5126367134
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WHAT DEFINES A “PRO” PHOTOGRAPHER?

Real Pro Shooters

Kevinv-BW-smallFor years and in college I was taught the definition of a “pro photographer” was when one starts to get paid for shooting photos. Perhaps in some ways this could be considered true. However, when a photographer claims to be a “Pro”, that photographer is communicating that he can be trusted to shoot the same quality work he presents in his portfolio or website!!! The photographer that can do this 99% of the time is a true “PRO PHOTOGRAPHER” and is qualified to claim so.

The problem is this, I and many true pro photographers I know through the years and especially these days are having to come behind these “wanna be pros” and clean up their messes. It damages the reputation of our industry and people begin to think “well hell, I can just do this myself if this is what pro work is”!

Personally, I would like to see the photography industry adopt the same system plumbers use. If you are serious about becoming a professional photographer, but have not established you skill set consistently, then you need to call your self an Apprentice Photographer. Once you have establishes your skill set to be able to consistently deliver the same work quality in your portfolio and on your website and say have done so successfully for multiple clients over year or two’s time, then you should call yourself a “Pro Photographer”. Before that day, do yourself and the industry a favor and let your clients know you are still establishing your skill set as a photographer.

Just my two cents worth. Let me know what you think!

Kevin Vandivier
Website
http://www.kevinv.com

Gallery
http://www.kevinv.com/faces/

Contact
photo@kevinv.com
512-636-7134

Photographer in China – Raphael Olivier

Shanghai skyline at dawn

Raphael Olivier

id-photographer1 Raphael Olivier is a Shanghai based photographer covering architectural, industrial, corporate, portrait, events and documentary assignments in China and around Asia.

Raphael Olivier

Website

http://www.raphaelolivier.com

Blog and/or Portfolio

http://www.raphaelolivier.com/blog/photographer/shanghai/china
http://www.propagandastudio.asia

Contact

hello@raphaelolivier.com

1270, 01-5 Huaihai Middle Road
Shanghai 200031
China
+86 137-7435-2798

Specialties

Corporate
Architecture / Interior
Portraits
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photograch

St.Petersburg, Russia

Sergey Grachev

grachev I was born in Leningrad, USSR, and still live here, but now it’s St. Petersburg, Russia. I began working as a photographer in the 20th century, and soon I was shooting for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers. In 1994, I began to work for international clients. From 1996-2004, I was a staff photographer at the English- language newspaper, The St.Petersburg Times. I did photography projects for the Ford Foundation in 1999, for NPN worldwide in 2003-2007, the Adam Smith Conference from 2000-2013, and for Nokian Tyres in 2010-2012.

I have done exhibitions:  Prague, ”Ten Years After” in 1999; in St. Petersburg, “Faces of The Times” in 2002; and “Exhibition of One Day in the Hermitage Museum” in 2003. I also participated in the exhibition in the St.Petersburg Manege, ``Melodia e passione Mediterranea'' in 2011. I was awarded the Grand Prix of “Photographer of the Year, 2002″ contest in St. Petersburg.

Who cares about the past? Now I am a freelancer and I successfully work with my Scandinavian neighbors, such as the biggest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, the business weekly; Talouselama; and Dagbladet in Norway. I also work with The Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph in Great Britain, as well as Adam Smith conferences, and others. In the USA, I’ve been published in The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, and others. Despite all these achievements, I do not rest on my laurels and I am always looking for new and interesting projects.

Sergey Grachev

Website

http://www.photograch.com

Blog and/or Portfolio

http://photograch.tumblr.com
http://photograch.photoshelter.com

Contact

sergey@photograch.com

Saint-Petersburg

Russia
+79052139979

Specialties

Editorial
Corporate
People

Grainge Photography Ltd

Sofia

Justin Grainge

IMG_7464b_sml Established in 1986, Grainge Photography continues to produce innovative, creative portraiture and corporate photography. Along the way we have developed a reputation for excellence highlighted by several prestigious awards. The professionalism and attention to detail has lead our clients to use us time and again because they know they receive the utmost in customer care and creativity, whether it be corporate photography for a blue chip client or a piece of art to hang in the customer’s home.

Contact

48 Arden Road n3 3ae
United Kingdom

Website - Blog - Galleries

http://graingephotography.com/
http://graingephotography.com/family-portraiture/

Email

photos@graingephotography.com

Specialities

Portraits
Corporate
Wedding

Raphael Olivier

raphael-olivier-fashion-portrait

Raphael Olivier

self-portrait-150px-bw As a professional photographer working in Asia, I am always looking at staying on top of seo strategies for a better positioning in the area. I was recommended by some friends to join your website, so i hope your editors will see my application as good enough to become a member here.

Contact

Shanghai 200031
China

Website - Blog - Galleries

http://www.raphaelolivier.com
http://www.raphaelolivier.com/photographer/shanghai/china/asia/portrait/editorial-portraits/

Email

hello@raphaelolivier.com

Specialities

Portraits
Corporate
Architecture / Interior