Required Reading

Part of my morning ritual, aside from groggily stumbling over every inanimate object in my home and the consumption of what may be medically dangerous quantities of caffeine, involves reading a variety of professional blogs and other sites. Some of these are photography related, some… less so; I also try to keep up with whats going on in other industries, art, and the occasional smart humor site for those early morning chuckles. These pages serve variety of purposes, they help me keep abreast of the industry, allow me to see beautiful and inspiring work, and provide the occasional tidbit of overlooked common sense that I need so early in the morning. They also  remind me to occasionally think about things other than the actual taking pictures part of my job like marketing, design, food, sleep… etc

Earlier this week I received an email from an inquisitive art student, who, in addition to requiring a small bit of technical advice , was very interested in trying to find other resources to help them learn about being a photographer and a professional creative. Rather than blasting him with the entire list of links all at once I forwarded him a best of digest of what sites I hit up in the Early AM. and I figured I would do the same here. Over the next few weeks i’ll be dropping some link love on the sites that I like to visit and new ones that I discover. I’m positive that many will be familiar with some of these links, I cannot hope to provide 100% pure revelation all the time (I would totally put that on my business card if I could) but hopefully you might find one link on this list that helps you out or makes your morning just a little bit better.

Rob Haggart’s site is one of my first stops everyday. Engrossing insights on business, marketing, and photography from an editor’s point of view is the daily norm for this site. Rob goes out of his way to generate content that is actually of great use to his readers and often gets them involved in asking questions of the other industry professionals that he occasionally interacts with through his blog. The fact that there is an active community of readers asking thoughtful followup questions is also a bonus. Don’t overlook the snippets of other blogs the Rob Re-publishes on the sites sidebar, there are often little nuggets of photo zen to get you about how you approach photography.

The End Starts Here

For years, since a professor first introduced me to his work when I was in college, Rodney Smith has been one of my favorite photographers. Naturally I can not be blamed for reading his blog with a near fanatical fervor. The End Starts Here brings a new spread from Smith’s upcoming book every week. More importantly, it attaches to these beautiful images quirky and thought provoking stories about the images he creates as well as musings on his working process and photography in general.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Most definitely NOT a photography site, McSweeney’s is all about words. Daily bits of well written creative humor, short stories, and columns of all sorts. There is a sort of blissful randomness in the range of material that they publish on the site that has, on more than one occasion, caused strange and alien ideas for new creative endeavors to grow in my brain. Its also one of the few sites I read regularly that can cause me to fall on the floor in near cataplexic laughter.