Feel The Love

Apparently I’m an asshole.  Simply because I speak the truth that people don’t want to hear.  I get shit from people because I offer a workshop, yet a few years back I shot an editorial for a major magazine and a week later a photographer hires the same model, shoots nearly the same thing and puts up a workshop on “how to shoot fashion editorial” when he only had less than 5 editorials (none in actual print) and used the image that looked very very similar to the one I shot for a publication with the same model.  But I’m the asshole.

I guess my downfall is that I don’t lie.  I don’t claim to make $150,000 and barely work, I don’t claim that this is an easy career choice.  I work my ass off in many different fields of photography in order to make a living as a photographer and not need to have another job.

Of course people outside of the photo industry actually do recognize my work.  Which that is technically the most important part of my career.  You see, I am able to make contacts with clients and models and thousands of people outside of the photography industry, this is how you make money and survive.

Here is a little story, and this has not lead to a paid job…. yet.  A few weeks ago I was home alone and wanted to drink some adult beverages and watch a movie on Netflix.  Well, my wife and another friend of mine told me about the movie Zombeavers and I thought, why not?  Well I take an Instagram photo of my beer and the movie title and tag it #Zombeavers.  What do you know, one of the stars of the film likes my photo and this leads to a conversation.  This conversation led to a photo shoot.  This photo shoot is now on Arsenic Magazine’s website and I have built a great working relationship with a cool person in the entertainment industry.

I look for outlets outside of the photo industry.  I look for opportunity and I take it when it comes along.  I wrote about that the other day, so go read that if you want more on the topic.

Anyway, here is the shoot that happened all because I wanted to drink cheap American beer and watch a B-movie!

This is one of the stars of Zombeavers, Cortney Palm @vegan_actress on Instagram and @cortneypalm5 on twitter.  Go follow her, she rocks!  Go click the little heart and like the photo set here Arsenic Magazine

Cortney Palm by The Average Jim

The Average Hunger Games

Yeah yeah yeah, I’ve slacked on the blog again.  But if it makes you feel any better I have been working and getting a time-out from Instagram.  I guess promoting your new account is frowned upon. Sorry for being popular, and motivated.

I think the one thing that has kept me going over all of the years is the hunger.  I am still hungry to pursue this career.  I remember photographing all of my classmates back in 1991 in college and making them pose for me, which actually turned into a career because of that!  I was hungry then and I am still hungry.

I shot a killer session last week and am dying to share it with everyone, but I am waiting to see if it gets picked up by a magazine first.  Some of them want to be the first to show it, dammit.  But it will be on here soon!  And I’m sure I will post an image from that shoot every day for two weeks!  Okay, enough about that.

The whole point is to keep up the drive, even when you want to quit and say fuck it all.  When you see new photographers shooting crappy editorials for free and getting known for it.  But what is all that attention for if you can’t pay the rent?

Technology has made it easier to get published, but it has also made it easier to fail.  That first little burst of success comes much easier these days and crawling up the rungs of the ladder may not be as easy.  Insta-fame is not all it is cracked up to be.  But I guess you gotta play the game.  The thing you gotta remember about the game is that you need to have a game plan.  This is where 20 + years of hunger comes into the equation.

I’ve got my plans, I’ve got my whole year planned out now.  It will be the same old Average Jim, but a lot more of the fun stuff!  I may be King of the GWC’s in some respects, but if that is what the camera gods have in store for me I’ll take that ball of T&A and run with it!

Stay hungry my friends. ;)

Here is a film shot back from an editorial shoot I had with Jessica Today

Jessica Today by The Average Jim

The Average Opportunist

One trick I have learned over the years is how to know when opportunity is knocking.  There are many photographers out there who say they “don’t shoot for free” but if you’re gaining something from it, you’re not shooting for free.  I have worked with many people where money has not been exchanged and it has helped me out in other ways, including financially!

Here is a small example of what I mean.  I was shooting for a local (very small) clothing company for very little money, but the gig was weekly.  That company found me because of a trade shoot I did that ended up getting published.  From that small company I put up a casting for models for her shoot and wound up getting noticed by a slightly larger clothing company who had a slightly bigger budget.  They liked my work, hired me several times and also referred me to another paid gig.  I then booked two more shoots with a third company who knew of my work with the 2nd company.  So directly from this one “free” shoot I got published, booked thousands of dollars of work and made more connections in the industry.

My point is that you should always look at the big picture and not just look at it as “free”.  I have had my photos run in magazines that I didn’t even know were publishing them.  But I got credit, and I put it on my list of credits which can lead to more work.  Just because you do not get paid immediately does not mean you won’t get paid eventually.  Of course I am selective and won’t just shoot to shoot, well okay, sometimes I just shoot to shoot.  But I look for opportunity, I try to create opportunity.  The biggest secret to my success, I am just an opportunist!  I take it and run.

I’ve posted this image before, but this is proof that sometimes you just have to take the unpaid work and make something out of it! ;)

Lola and Roarie by The Average Jim

Making it work

I feel like I sometimes do better with more on my plate rather than less.  When I don’t have a lot going on I feel like I forget everything and just want to lay around and not be creative.  But now that I’m putting together this workshop in July and starting to get busy with shoots again I feel more centered and like I’m pushing forward.  Also with my Naked Travels getting funded I’m feeling pretty good about finally finishing the book!

But more about the workshop.  I’m not going to keep discussing what will be discussed, as I am working on the plans for it still and trying to cram all of the information I can into two days!  The whole idea behind this workshop is to host a workshop that teaches what I feel is the real side of this business.  I have spoken at major photography conferences before and hosted workshops before.  But honestly this isn’t my main gig.  My main gig is as a working photographer.  So the information I want to give is based off of how to make a living as a full time photographer.  I know some people make their living off of teaching workshops.  And that is great if you want to learn a specific photographic technique.  But when some of those photographers (who teach workshops) have asked questions how my wife and I are able to book clients and make money, well that says a lot about what they are teaching.

I’m an open book, if you have questions please let me know.  Here is a photo of the info for The Average Jim Workshop.

The Average Workshop

Workshop Update Again

Holy crap things have been busy lately!  The studio has been booked and so many other little things going on that I just have not had a chance to post here!  I just did a shoot for my Naked Travels project, thanks to the wonderful people who donated to my Indiegogo campaign!  Those who donated will be getting a sneak peek via email very soon, and I’m pretty sure they are going to like it!

You can view Naked Travels Here and donate if you can or want to help!

Aside from that I have also been planning the workshop for July.  Busy busy busy!  I think I am going to add a few things to the list on the workshop, of course, any and all questions will be answered.  I shoot nearly everything, fashion, glamour, editorial, portfolio, natural light, studio light, weddings, portraits and on down the list.  I am a people photographer, so whether I am working with an agency model for their portfolio or shooting a wedding I am happy because I get to work with people!  So I thought I would add how to work with agency models and how to get agencies to want to work with you.  It isn’t too tricky, but there are some key points to be able to make it happen and happen over and over.  And then there is how to make money once you’ve got your portfolio.  I will also offer portfolio review, we can go over your portfolio and see what is missing and if it flows properly.  I am constantly changing mine based off of the type of work I wish to get.

If anyone has questions before committing to the workshop please email me at jim@jimminics.com and I will get back to you right away!  I’m hoping to make a more philosophical blog post tomorrow or the next day, today has been too filled with business, I need to clear my head! ;)

Here is one from the archives!  Back from my shoot with Adrienne Manning

Adrienne by The Average Jim

The Average Jim’s Playground Now Open 24/7

There are some big things coming soon from The Average Jim’s Playground!  More boudoir, more “Naked Travels” and more editorial shoots too!  I took a break from the industry for a little while because I was getting burned out.  It happens every now and then.  But I am back and for the past month the creative juices have been flowing!

Yesterday I had a random shoot.  Yes totally random.  A good friend was supposed to shoot with Stacey, well she had car trouble and asked if I would shoot with her.  Well, yeah, of course I would!

So, without any knowing of what I was going to shoot we just took what she had for wardrobe and I took what I had here at my playground and made it work!  It turned into a very nice little boudoir session.

I love having a gritty look to the images, there are ways to create this look in post-production, or you can just live at a home like I do and be lucky enough to have what I like to call “natural filters” available.

I’ll be sharing more from this shoot soon, but I need to get ready for my shoot tomorrow, and yes, the Mercedes is involved. ;)

Here is one of Stacey from yesterday’s shoot.

Stacey Lea by The Average Jim

Workshop Update

I have a couple of updates regarding The Average Workshop.  I have confirmed the first model, the wonderful Amanda Harris!  I have worked with Amanda a couple of times in the past and she is awesome!  Great person, great model and an amazing look!

I had an email asking me what exactly I was going to be going over as far as the business end of things and this is a rough idea, but I’m open to any and all questions.

Last year I shot 68 boudoir sessions, 15 fashion/glamour editorials, 6 lifestyle editorials, 11 weddings for my company, 6 for another company and 2nd shot about 8-10 times.  I can’t remember how many portrait sessions I had either and I also shot 2 lookbooks and some more random clients like head shots and stuff like that.  This year I have shot a variety of work as well and have been focusing on the art side of things while continuing to book boudoir sessions, weddings, editorials and headshots etc…

I will be talking about how I did it, how I build relationships with magazines, how I have found work in the past and things I do now to find work.  I will also go over how I set up a shoot, how I have an idea, mood board and how sometimes I just end up winging it and go with my instincts.

We will also be discussing style and how having a definite style to your work will help you book more work!

I will post more over the next few weeks, if you have any questions my email is jim@jimminics.com

For now here is one of my favorite shots I took of Amanda Harris.

Amanda Harris by The Average Jim

The Average Workshop

It has been a bit since I posted here.  I’ve been working, shooting, promoting and working on new ideas for my business.  One thing I really think I might want to possibly try is a workshop.  I’ve done them before, some with success and some where the guys who showed up just wanted to take photos of the models and not learn anything.

This one will be a little different.  There will be two models on Saturday and Sunday and limited to 6 photographers plus myself.  It will be over a Saturday and Sunday here in Palm Springs.  I will go over how to submit to magazines for editorials and get them published, going back and forth between boudoir clients and working with professional models.

There will be a lot of shooting, going over images in post-production, how to create a style and I will answer any and all questions regarding my own work and process.

The locations will be at my own playground along with a couple of other locations where we will all get in the van and I will take you out to some killer spots!

I know I’ve made fun of some workshops in the past, mostly because they are given by people who are popular who have not really worked in the industry.  I shot over 20 published editorials last year, have worked with major magazines, had over 100 clients last year and have been a working photographer for over 20 years.  Plus I know my shit.  Also I just attended a killer photo festival where working photographers gave workshops and gave quality information.  I’m in a positive mood and am in the mood to share!  So why not?

If you’re up for a fun workshop with real world information email jim@jimminics.com and reserve your spot!  The reservation fee is 1/3 of the total price and refundable only if I can fill your spot, or you can transfer it to another person.  Email me for details if you have questions.

Dates are July 11th and 12th.  It will be in Palm Springs, CA.  So bring your sunblock and lets have a fun time!  I’ll also be hosting a pool party on the Saturday night at my place for attendees and models.

Total cost: $600.00

 

Desirey by The Average Jim

The Average Tumblr

I’m always digging through my archives from older shoots and I was doing this yet again the other day.  I realized that there are thousands of photos that I have never shown anyone.  But then I realized that this is why there is tumblr!

So as of yesterday I am bombarding my tumblr with new photos from past photo shoots, and when I say bombarding I mean it!  I am posting at least 50 new photos a day!  With the amount of photos I have this could last for months!

I used to post one image a day on this site, but that means I would still not have time to post all the good ones from every shoot.  So if you want to see entire sessions, or just a lot of photos from each session I highly suggest you follow my tumblr.  theaveragejim.tumblr.com

Here is one from my session with Emmy, this whole session is being put on tumblr now over the next couple of days!

Emmy by The Average Jim

No Explanations

I do not wish to explain myself anymore.  I handed out my business cards to some fellow photographers lately and I got some funny looks.  Yes I shoot nudes, fashion, glamour, boudoir and women.  I feel as though I do it well.  But for some reason when they see my card they just have this blank stare, well some of the time anyway.

I guess if I shot nature I would be considered more of a photographer?  No because one of my friends is an incredible nature photographer and he loves what I do and we have talked about how we have different skills and mutual respect for one another.

It is the taboo of photographing nude women that makes people uncomfortable.  Well, get over it.  I am good at what I do and the women who step in front of my camera seem to like it a whole lot too!  I’m not going to stop doing what I do.  In fact I think I want to start doing more of it!

So that is what I’m going to do.  No regrets, no explanations.  Just my work, as it stands. ;)

Emmy by The Average Jim

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