Required Reading 7.8.2011 – Extra Pretty

Washing paintbrushes at victory studios

Washing paintbrushes at victory studios

Required Reading is a weekly listing of all the bits of visual inspiration, cool videos, news, hip links, and miscellaneous information that rattles my head during the week. The stuff that’s worth bookmarking and gets my brain-juices flowing.

Back from both the holiday weekend and several days of feeling under the weather, but I did manage to get up to some illness related adventures and catch up on quite a bit of work while I was convalescing. We are about a week from opening the new studio and could not be more excited, we can finally say goodbye to the ever-present paintbrush (especially the one above… it’s cursed I tell you) that seemed to magically appear in my hand every time I reached for my camera.

And, as you may have noticed, I have been quite busy revamping and updating the blog over to a new look, one that I feel presents my visual content a little better than the old layout. This is just stage one of a few more planned updates I have slated for the next few months.

• An ever-growing photography tumblr centered around the idea of vintage photography of men – My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

• Warren Ellis’ espousing the importance of an analog notebook,  I keep uncovering more and more creatives I respect who share this outlook on the value of a simple pen and paper.

• Great piece for young and upcoming photographers over at Chase Jarvis’ blog, Yes is for wimps, get used to hearing no, is the perfect rundown on how “no” may end up being your very best friend in this crazy business.

Fashion Gone Rogue is featuring an editorial from Amanda Pratt for Karen #12 that I am just madly in love with.

Blk - Black bottled water

• I have a new obsession with this water I found in the natural foods section of the store while I was sick and looking for vitamins to chase the germs away. I can only describe Blk as the gothest water ever made, the bottle itself is clear… clear and most likely filled with the opaque and refreshing essence of darkness….

Agenda, my new calendar app of choice

• Oh, how I love this new video by the Horrors for Still Life, directed by Oliver Murray

• As an old analog Holga enthusiast, I am really fascinated by the possibility of a digital Holga-D, especially as an innovative open source camera platform.

• On the hunt for some new mixes and work music? I strongly suggest that you stop by the Illuminated Mixtapes for hours of sonic pleasure.

• Been perusing ffffound.com a lot lately on the recommendation of my assistant, Jason (above). Been using it as sort of a quick hit visual research and inspiration clearing house, I log on for five minutes here and there just to click around and see what I come across.

• An important and insightful entry from the inimitable Nubby Twiglet about the importance of starting your journey now and doing what you know you are meant to do.

• Australian fashion label Ksubi presents this short film by Daniel Askill, apparently to reintroduce their colored denim line… and make me re-watch it ten times in a row, this is definitely the one video piece I have not been able to stop watching all week

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

Quick Cuts – Molly Hoeltke

Fashion stylist molly hoeltke

Fashion stylist, friend, and collaborator Molly Hoeltke needed a bio shot for an interview and profile piece thats being done on her.  Heres a quick cut from those images. Molly has worked with me on a variety of projects ranging from magazine editorials to my own self directed projects for promotional images. Molly has a unique eye for combining vintage pieces with unique one of a kind contemporary designs. You may have seen her pop up once or twice in behind the scenes photos here on the blog as well.

Required Reading

• Check out the new blog and site over at Hero Design and see some of the best hand screen printed music posters around. Created by  the team of Mark and Beth Brickey.

Nubby Twiglet recounts her first year of freelancing, applicable to anyone working in a freelance creative field. Some interesting anecdotes and important lessons.

• Post symposium thoughts from ASMP president Richard Kelly regarding the Copyright Symposium that took place in NYC this past week featuring Chase Jarvis, Jeff Sedlik, Lawrence Lessig, and others

• A collection of vintage photographs of New York from the 1940’s

• An archive of brilliant magazine cover photography and design stretching back decades and covering thousands of images at the NMCA: Magazine Cover Archive

Required Reading 12.14.2009

I’ve been doing my best to avoid the weather and stay indoors this weekend, but to no avail, I keep having to leave the warm cocoon of my apartment to brave the cold temperatures and insane winds that have been demolishing my neighborhood and most of Buffalo the past few days. Today things seem to be lightening up a bit, and hot morning beverages are helping.

Action Method

After months of searching for a to do list / project management app that worked on my iPhone, I have finally fallen in love with Action Method. From my phone or anywhere with an internet connection I can check on the status of all my projects. Break them down into manageable steps, and even delegate those steps to stylists, assistants, etc. Rather than other solutions I have tried, which are always context based, I like having one whose interface is project based instead, it works very well for shoot production as well as managing marketing projects. And its very simple to adapt it to day to day uses as well. Right now I only have a free account and use it mainly on my phone, but will most likely upgrade to a full account in the future as it seems that Action Method has quickly become one of my most valuable tools.

The Quentin Tarantino Guide to Creating Killer Content

VIA copyblogger.com

An interesting article aimed at writers but applicable to any creative endeavor. Tarantino’s method of selling a story through owning it provides many great tips, especially useful for photographers writing blogs. Working on your writing skills can help you in many aspects of your business.

Fashion Photography Blog

In a sea of photo business and technique blogs that exist on the internet so few are specifically targeted and offer real world advice in a such a specific industry, Melissa Rodewell’s blog and online community are the best example of a community that relates real life experiences in the fashion, style, and music photography industries to those just emerging into the industry.  The tutorials, stories, and anecdotes that she shares with her readers are topical and valuable. Featuring everything from behind the scenes looks at her photo shoots, tutorials on lighting, discussions on post processing, info on general business, and thoughts on developing ones own style and conceptualizing ideas.

Required Reading: Round Two

I’m on my third cup of coffee and have pulled a few links from by bookmarks bar for your ante meridiem perusing pleasure.

Zack Arias

Zack Arias started out his blog as an Atlanta based music photographer and ended up becoming a guru somewhere along the way. Sure, the blog of course contains occasional helpful technique posts and great displays of his new work, more importantly it contains posts like THIS and THIS .

I read Zack’s blog because its a constant call to action and because I can relate to his story. He went to photography school, tried freelancing for a while without finding much success, ended up working at a Kinkos, and then one day had a chance to come back to photography without looking back. The sign shop I worked at wasn’t a Kinkos, but the trajectory is not wholly unfamiliar to me.

Coilhouse

A magazine and accompanying blog that are important for two reasons. First, they clearly shows what can be done by a small magazine with a willingness to experiment very early into its existence. Coilhouse boasts excellent articles, fantastic photography, and stunning design and layout. They have taken the idea of an alternative arts and fashion magazine and raised it up above the bad stereotypes of the genre, through they may not be large, for pure quality I would rank Coilhouse as equal among several other more mainstream boutique magazines.

Secondly, the Coilhouse blog regularly posts extremely interesting and engaging articles about the arts and culture. Though they do have a somewhat alternative flavor to them on the surface, their value indeed runs deeper than that. Especially interesting is the focus paid to Eastern European artists and film, I have definitely been introduced to compelling and numerous bits of art, style, and design that I may have otherwise missed if it were not for the Coilhouse blog.

Photo Business News Forum

Whether you like John Harrington’s blunt style or not is irrelevant. This is one of the single most informative blogs about the business of photography that I have ever come across. Everyone, regardless of experience, age, or skill can find resources in this blog that will prove useful. And, on occasion, some of the rants can set off a rather entertaining string of arguments in the comments.

The Blog is Back Baby!

Welcome to the new blog here at lukecopping.com. Its been a hectic month completing the first part of an ongoing rebranding project. We have a new portfolio site up and running and are finally working on the new version of the print portfolio. Additionally I have been working furiously over the last two weeks to bind the 30 handmade books that are going to be shipped out before the end of the month as one of my larger promotional campaigns for the year. I plan on making quite a few more versions of this as the months go on, using a variety of techniques to evolve the project as I send out new rounds of promos.

promobook2009