A NEW SELF PORTRAIT

Self portrait of buffalo photographer Luke Copping Dec 2012

I have never liked having my picture taken. In most of my high school yearbooks you can search and search for me, but for the most part all you will find are footnotes reading “Picture Not Shown: Luke Copping”. I was the kid who was mysteriously sick on picture day (except for one very unfortunate and very 90’s looking school portrait of me with long hair, a bright purple dress shirt, and a very bad tie – I promise I’ll share it someday) But in the last few years I have become more comfortable with being on THAT side of the lens – mainly due to my girlfriend’s complaints that there are almost no photos of me other than the occasional Instagram or night out party shot, and her almost paparazzi like urge to snap photos of me when I am unaware. Over the holidays, as I was spending a lot of time in the studio doing yearly equipment inventory and maintenance, I decided to embrace her suggestion that I should take some time to work on some self portraits.

I had a lot of fun.

It was nice to slow down and work on something like this, given the rapid pace of the corporate and editorial projects I have been working on the last few months, it gave me a bit of open air to have a good time, experiment, fail, start over, and just play. I enjoyed the process so much that I have decided to try a little experiment; in addition to the new work, news, and other regular features that make an appearance on the blog I am going to feature a new monthly self portrait – the picture above is the first from this ongoing side project.

Required Reading – Back from Holiday

Back from a short but relaxing holiday in a self imposed exile from work, emails, and doing anything that wasn’t relaxing or fun. 3 days spent with my girlfriend eating barbecue, hitting some bars, and visiting family. The weekend culminated last night when we spent the evening together exploring one of Buffalo’s most beautiful waterfront parks. It’s the first time I have walked the entire length of the grounds, and found a few treasures. The first is a huge concrete slab that served as the foundation/parking lot of a former outdoor mega club. The slab is slowly being reclaimed by nature, cracking and splitting with strong plantlife coming up through the fissures.  The next was several huge blocks of white marble of granite (I couldn’t tell) laid out in a pile and nestled up in the shadow of a small green hill. It seems alien for them to be laying there in the middle of such an empty space, these cyclopean blocks of stone that just seemed so out of place, but they were laid out so beautifully. The evening ended with us eating some of Buffalo’s finest tacos. and then early to bed for me so that I could get up for an ASMP breakfast.

Heres some links that I cultivated over the weekend for you.

Luke Copping - Walking away

• The phone call is a dying art in some circles, but its still one oft he finest marketing tools around. Leslie Burns thinks so too. and her opinion is one I trust.

• Clever use of Google AdWords nets a creative a wish list job.

• Richard Branson, long touted for being a publicity hounds, says that entrepreneurs need to build for the future, and that  sometimes showy projects and stunts can be calculated experiments in disguise, not grabs for the headlines. Here are his five tips to running a successful business.

• From Ryan Freitas – 35 Lessons in 35 years

• Take your freelancing to the next level. become a thought leader and exercise some smart control and influence over your fans.

Erin McPartlan