Guest blogger: Holly Hughes, Editor, Photo District News

      Image

Photo District News recently announced our 2013 PDN’s 30 new and emerging photographers to watch. Now in its 14th year, this special issue and online gallery, http://pdn30.pdnevents.com/gallery/2013/ celebrates 30 photographers who have worked as professionals for five years or less, selected by PDN’s editors from more than 300 portfolios submitted from around the world.  The announcement of our selection elicited the reaction we’ve come to expect: excitement, curiosity, warm congratulations for the selected photographers and some grumblings, mostly from veteran photographers, about all the attention lavished on upstarts. But PDN’s 30 is more than a showcase for new talent. It also has an educational mission.

andrew_quernerNoris

Our profiles of the PDN’s 30 include details about how they honed their photographic vision, the challenges they’ve faced in launching their photographic careers and the most valuable lessons they’ve learned so far. With the support of sponsors like Kodak and other companies committed to helping professional photographers succeed, PDN holds panels at photo schools and workshops around the country. During these panels, some of the PDN’s 30 photographers share with students and aspiring professionals their real-world experience of getting started in today’s competitive and rapidly evolving business. Not so long ago, the PDN’s 30 photographers sat where these students are now: Uncertain how to approach clients or galleries, unaware how much to charge for their work or where to turn for advice. It’s encouraging for students to hear how these emerging photographers learned the ropes, what they use, how they found their own voice and style, how they shoot. The majority of this year’s PDN’s 30 say they shoot film, in fact. But what I think what makes their stories interesting is not only the technical information they share, but the inspiration they offer to photographers at every stage of their careers.

It's Not What She Said, It's How She Said It…

Spread of food and homemade pretzels at Easy Tiger in Austin, Texas

How are the PDN’s 30 chosen? Based on the recommendations of photo editors, gallery directors, curators, art directors, photographers and educators, as well as suggestions made by PDN’s editors based on work we’ve seen throughout the year, we invite photographers to submit work that we review (and re-review) and debate. We look for the qualities that are essential for a long and creative career—a distinctive vision, versatility, and a proven ability to experiment and to complete interesting, enterprising projects. We strive to represent a mix of subjects and genres, including portraiture, fashion, photojournalism, fine art, editorial and commercial work. Once we’ve made our selections, the fun begins. As PDN’s senior editor Conor Risch writes in his letter introducing the 2013 PDN’s 30, “One of the satisfying aspects of working on the PDN’s 30 feature each year is the opportunity we have to get to know the people behind the portfolios of images that stood out to us.” No two photographers have shared the same path to success, but they are all share a passion for photography that is infectious.

The North Corrida

When I prep photographers to speak on PDN’s 30 panels, I always tell them that the students appreciate candid talk about setbacks and mistakes. What’s impressed me most, however, about the enterprising PDN’s 30 photographers of the last two to three years, is their ingenuity. In covering the professional photography market today for PDN, we hear a lot about how the traditional business models are changing. Fewer clients underwrite assignments; the gallery world has contracted; advertisers are cautious about taking risks on new talent or new ideas. In a rapidly changing marketplace, many established photographers are scrambling to adapt. But photographers who got their start within the last five years have no preconceived notions about how the business is “supposed to work.” They’re coming up with new ways to fund their projects and get their work seen.  They’re open-minded about the media, platforms and techniques they use to tell their stories. They don’t let categories like fine art or commercial photography define who they are.

toby_smith

PDN’s 30 photographers may be newcomers, but they’ve put a lot of work into finding something interesting to say and crafting an original way to say it. They’re deeply committed to sharing the stories they want to tell and they’re confident that if they stay true to themselves, someone will pay attention. If you want an idea of where the photo industry is headed, you could do worse than to look to these future stars who are reinventing the business as they go.

Hogslop String Band, Harpeth River, TN

Kodak Kiosk: Imagine

Low-Front_MG_3138_english

Walk into any well-known retailer and odds are you’ll see a KODAK Picture Kiosk. That yellow box that invites consumers to create prints, collages, calendars, cards and photo books.

In the past year, we’ve developed and implemented new applications and technologies to make it even easier for consumers to engage with our kiosks and in turn, ensure our retail customers can extract the maximum value from their investment in our solutions. Those technologies have included mobile applications, in-store and out-of-store solutions and the ability to interact with images on some of the fastest growing image platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

But images are just the beginning. We have more than 100,000 kiosks installed worldwide, working with retailers ranging from global brands to Mom-and-Pop shops. The common themes among all of these retailers, based on our expertise, are solutions that meet two key criteria: relevance and experience.

So what do we do with the portfolio and what do we do with the products? First, to create the experience, we’re heavily investing in building solutions that allow consumers to engage with kiosk from anywhere – through mobile applications, in-store, at-home, out-of-store. This comprises both technologies that easily enable consumers to “communicate” with the kiosk, as well as applications and products that consumers can easily use to create memories from their images.

Second, we’re thinking beyond the photo. This could mean books, movies, music and even personalized home goods. Through the kiosk, our retail customers can extend the relevance of their investment to broaden the content consumers can create. In the coming months, we are looking to build on the partnerships we announced last year, providing new content creation opportunities for our retail partners and in turn, new revenue streams from a current investment.

“Beyond the photo” illustrates our strategy moving forward – we enable personalized content creation. We are a market leader in the photo category, but that’s just the beginning.  Our strategy embraces better connectivity, broader content creation and ultimately, revenue driving relevance and experience for our retail partners. In the coming weeks, here at Wednesday Works, we’ll explore more of these solutions. We look forward to your feedback.

Easter cards at Kodak Picture Kiosk

Easter seems to have snuck up on us this year. It also seems so short compared to the days long celebration of Christmas. You might not have time to travel to be with friends and family for an Easter get-together. photo4 An Easter card is a nice way to show you are thinking of someone even if you can’t gather for a ham dinner and egg hunt.  photo3 Kodak Picture Kiosk has some really cute Easter card designs. You can make them quickly with your own photos and messages. photo2Perfect for popping in the mail or even adding to an Easter basket. photoAlmost as sweet as a giant chocolate bunny. Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk near you.

Melissa Niu: Kodak and [F] Network partner for Film Season 2

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.19.33 AM

[F] Network is an educational platform stocked full of inspirational shows and resources for photographers.  And with the ever-changing photography industry that is rapidly shifting to bigger tools and slicker cameras, it’s easy to push and educate to the rising digital world.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.32.04 AM

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.32.45 AM

But within the industry, there is a group that has fallen back in love with history.  They have fallen back in love with film.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.31.17 AM

Shooting with film has been described by our viewership as a pure, simplistic and actual art form that has taken hold of and awakened their inner artist.  And with the film crowd rising with incredible talent, we couldn’t resist producing a show featuring talented film shooters that is real, relatable and educational for the industry.  We call the show, “Film”.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.30.22 AM

Starting in 2012 with Film Season 1 and back again by popular demand, we now are in post-production for Film Season 2 featuring the talented Jan Scholz, Ryan Muirhead, Tanja Lippert, Tia Reagan and Jonas Peterson.  Filmed in the bright lights of Las Vegas, the episodes will be everything analog complete with educational, inspirational and of course, with the unique personalities on the show, moments of relatable and laughable entertainment.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.30.55 AMScreen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.30.01 AM

Kodak film is undeniably the most used and highly favored by each of the hosts featured in Film Season 2.  At any given time, we would see rolls and sheets of PORTRA 160, PORTRA 400, TRI-X, EKTAR 100 and BWCN400 being loaded into the cameras of this talented group. They rave about the smoothness, quality and richness that the Kodak products provide.  This show is about film.  And put quite plainly, it is a must to showcase the film that the hosts love, the film that is a necessity to their art, and most importantly, the film that launched the start and history of image making. See behind the scenes shots on Instagram at http://instagram.com/framednetwork.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.32.25 AM

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.27.38 AM

Our partnership with Kodak is indeed an exciting co-branding opportunity to properly educate the beauty and possibilities of the analog art.  With the Kodak products in the hands of Film Season 2’s talented photographers and the episodes that are soon to hit [F] Network mid 2013, you’ll feel the love and complete passion that these artists have for film photography.  So if you’re a photography fan and want to watch a few episodes of Film, consider yourself warned.  You, too, just might fall in love with film.

Melissa Niu, CEO [F] Network

Photo by Ashely Wall

Signs of Spring Photo Book & Page Background How-To

Yesterday was the first day of Spring but it didn’t feel like it in Rochester. There are still patches snow on the ground here and there.

Image

In order to think positive thoughts and hurry Spring-like weather along, I made a photo book of pictures I have taken in the past of Spring approaching.

Image

I have a lot of Spring photos on Facebook. I get excited when I see the first bloom or bud, so I take a picture with my phone and post it to Facebook.

Image

Since these photos are all on Facebook, I used the My Kodak Moments app on Facebook to make my photo book.

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 2.50.57 PM

It’s convenient to use My Kodak Moments to build a photo book when all my photos are on right there on Facebook.

Image

I like to organize my photos on the pages by themes and add special touches like background photos.

Background Photo How-To:

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 2.53.58 PM

To make a photo a background photo for the page, make sure the photo you want to be the background is on the page. Add it if it isn’t there. (You can remove it later after it’s the background photo if you don’t want it on the page as a feature photo.)

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 2.54.44 PM

Click on the pencil in the upper right corner of the photo and select “Set as Page Background”.

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 3.20.55 PM

If you would like to repeat it on the facing page, stretch it across both pages or add it to all your pages click on the pencil in the upper right corner of the page and select “Photo Background Options…”.

Image

When you are done, if you don’t want that same photo in the foreground click on the pencil and select “Move to Clipboard”.

Image

I really like the look of a background photo stretched across a two page spread.

Screen shot 2013-03-21 at 3.07.44 PM

Don’t forget… after you have made a photo book with My Kodak Moments app, you can share it on Facebook so friends can click through it. Image

This way everyone can enjoy a little bit of Spring.

Right now small My Kodak Moment photo books are $5 with free shipping! The offer runs out at the end of March so get yours before the snow melts!

Start your photo book here –> kodak.ly/MKMFBApp

PRINT. PRESERVE. PROTECT

So what is Pixel Preservation International and who is this guy, Joe LaBarca?

Image

I retired from Kodak in January of 2011 after 34.5 years in R&D, commercialization, technical and management roles.  I spent my entire career in various aspects of hard copy output technologies, with the first two-thirds of the career working on professional color photographic paper.  I managed the Kodak Professional Imaging Systems lab and oversaw the systems and integration development of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Endura papers and display materials (look for “ENDURA” on the back next time you purchase prints).  A majority of my career found me involved in work on image permanence testing, reporting, and communications, both internally with Kodak and externally with the ISO international committee developing image permanence and physical durability standards. Within these roles I became expert in the permanence of not only traditional silver halide color photographic paper, but also the newer “digital technologies” – thermal dye transfer (think instant prints from retail kiosks), inkjet (think prints at home from your inkjet printer), and electrophotographic (think photo books from retail and online locations).

So why tell you about this? Here’s today’s reality. People – your customers – have millions, if not billions, of pictures stored on mobile devices, computers, external drives and clouds.  When those technologies become obsolete, how will they access those memories, those moments, those stories? There is only one proven technology that we know consumers can use to view their images today, tomorrow and 100 years from now. And that is the print. Your job: help your customers free those images from their devices to create lasting, viewable photographs.

In the coming weeks, I’ll guest blog here on Wednesday Works on the topic of long term preservation of images through printing. Last week, Ed Monahan wrote about how soft-copy offerings can drive more hard-copy output. This need for hard copy and preservation are the reasons I founded Pixel Preservation International in 2011. Hard copy is the only format that is totally independent of any current or future digital technologies. Think about that – the only format.

This reality drives Pixel Preservation International and similarly, much of the R&D at Kodak. In essence, only technology independent preservation of digital files through printing can help ensure that as technology advances, your images and your customers’ images are “future proof.” This means making prints, including professional prints on silver halide paper, complementary professional products using electrophotographic media, and instant printing at places like Kodak Kiosks. Kodak has created a framework through which it offers commercial labs, professional labs, wholesale labs, retailers and by association, consumers, multiple proven methods to print, preserve and protect their valuable images. This will help ensure that decades into the future, these moments, these memories, these stories, will be accessible for generations to come.

Leprechaun pugs & Greeting Card Universe

hugo-card-full

If you thought I was going to let a holiday go by without dressing up my dogs and taking photos of them, boy were you wrong.    oscar-card-full

For St. Patrick’s Day, I posed them with a store-bought leprechaun hat and a homemade felt ginger beard.

hugo-card-close

Unlike typical leprechauns they are looking for a pot of corned beef at the end of the rainbow.

oscar-card-close

I have a few St. Patrick’s Day-loving friends that I want to give cards to. It was really easy to upload these photos to Greeting Card Universe and addthem to St. Patrick’s Day card templates.

oscar-hugo-card

I could have had them shipped to my house but I need them right away so I had them directed to Target for pick-up. I can stop at Target on my way home and get them!

I might try and get some pics of the cat in the outfit too!