Are “Brands” the Next Big Trend in Photography?

Are “Brands” the Next Big Trend in Photography?

They are indeed, according to Paul Melchor.

The influence of social media and brand identification are quite a powerful force. And where once editorial ruled the sensibilities of the advertisers, it is now “brand” photography that is engaging the ad world. Images developed around and for the brands are leading the advertisers approaches.

This photography is still driven by an editorial ethic, but it also lays claim to the amateur aesthetic as well. Instagram, Hipstomatic, Flickr, Vine and others are capturing viewers, and that is the exact thing that advertisers wish to do.

In a very interesting piece, Melcher lays out a scenario where amateurs, brand aficionados and pro photographers feed from the same pipe of fan response / fan engagement.

This means that photography is beginning to be recognized for the power it has again. This will be a very exciting time for brands who can pick up on this new shift and push it to the fore.

“It will not be surprising, it is happening already, to see editorial photography influenced by brand photography. In an effort to keep pace with current trends, online and print publications are more and more looking into what works for brands and applying it to their spreads. After all, if that type of photography can sell products, it can also attract large amount of viewers. In fact, publications are  behaving more and more like brands themselves, and, as such, are seeking the same results from photos. From photojournalism to fashion spread, the keywords are becoming engagements and shares. Publications are using photography to extend their readership outside of their owned url’s, an exercise very familiar to brands. They are also very closely tracking numbers.

For now, we still live in a world slightly dominated by editorial photography, only because of cultural habits. But deeper, the evolution has already happened and is progressing with patient obstination. As generations shift, the millenniums, who consume ( and produce) more social media pictures than editorial ones, will expect no less than brands using the same visual language they do. And brands will turn to pros and non- pros photographers to execute. And because they will never run out of money, brands will get to define what photography is, how it is consumed and who gets to make a living from it. In fact, they are already.”

Read more here:


More Information on the Licensing of Photographers


Breaking News:

The Governors of New Jersey, North Carolina, Nebraska and Arizona have issued a joint statement (In Colorado and Washington this means something different) on the licensing of Photographers.

A spokesman for the governors just released this statement:

“We, the governors of the aforementioned states agree that the pain, suffering and humiliation of people getting bad photography has become an epidemic. Tens of millions of people are no longer able to function because of this virulent strain of unprofessionalism.

We have been advised by a group of professional wedding photographers and some photographers with awesome Model Mayhem accounts that in order to maintain the public safety we must adopt new and stringent guidelines for the taking and making of pictures.

We have decided the following:

1. All photographers must be licensed, and that license will include private instruction in the proper use and maintenance of the modern capture device.

2. All photographers must pass a stringent test to prove without a shadow of a doubt that they are indeed capable of a Bat Mitzvah shoot and the occasional Wedding event.

3. In order to make this as painless as possible we have decided to administer and manage the licensing of photographers at our state DMV’s. It only make sense. They have cool testing stuff, and they have cameras there already with many of the DMV workers shooting hundreds of portraits a day. We feel these public servants are sufficiently aware of great photography and will be fair and balanced in their licensing management.

4. The Arizona Photographers Certified Liaison will be Candy Barre, a former model on One Model Place and the winner of the Hooter’s Hotbuns 2001 contest in Tucson, AZ. She has issued this statement: “I am very glad to be chosen to represent the state of Arizona in its crackdown on the illicit photography trade. I have asked for Sheriff Joe (Arpaio) and his deputies to take classes in photography on YouTube and be sufficiently aware of the Inverse Square Law to make quick, on the spot decisions on whether a photographer needs or does not need a license.”

Ms Barre added that she wanted photographers “to know this has nothing to do with any personal vendetta against the stupid wedding photographers who did not sufficiently photoshop my big ass out of my second wedding shots, and caused the image to become viral on Facebook. I will administer my duties to make sure that crap never happens to some other adorable bride with all the power and firepower invested in me by the STATE.”

At the impromptu press conference, a professional photographer in the audience asked how the state could tell what good photography was. Ms Barre had him removed from the room for creating and disturbance and being, in her words, ‘argumentative and too inquisitive.”

“I am sure there are many perverts out there with cameras who may not like the fact that we are checking up on them. If you know a photographer who is against this legislation, he or she is probably a child molester worried about losing access to the most vulnerable among us.” Miss Barre then had the Sheriffs there do a demonstration of the enforcement techniques that they had planned to use.

A 6’ male mannequin was rolled out on stage holding a Nikon D7000. “You can tell he is a predator just by looking at the way he is holding that camera,” Ms Barre explained.

At that point, five Arizona Sheriff’s deputies opened fire from a distance of about 10 feet. Firing nearly 130 rounds, the mannequin was hit 21 times with hollow tipped bullets that tore its predatory plastic ass a new one.

More when the smoke clears.

On Creative Certification…


I have a buddy who works for the Licensing and Certification Board of Licenses and Certifications and he has slipped me a working paper on the upcoming change to the way Photographers and “TOGS” will be licensed and certified.

I will be sharing more as we comb through the 1456 page certification of photographers study and proposed bill to hit the House sometime in April.

Ten Questions Sure To Be On The “Professional License Certification For Licensed and Certified Professional Photographers Test for Certified Licensing”

1. What is the correct exposure for a bride facing west on a late summer day? (Note that the bride is younger than 30, and the dress was an off-the-rack sale item.)

a. f4
b. f11
c. f6.3

2. You need to take an environmental portrait of a family in the woods. Which lens is appropriate?
a. 35mm
b. 85mm
c. 135mm

3. True or False: Corporate Headshots should always be done with a speedlight and a shoot thru umbrella.

4. Explain the inverse square law and how it affects the exposure when shooting above the 40th parallel with a flash made before 1987. Be brief, give examples.

5. Explain the difference between “off camera flash” and the older, less popular term “lighting”. Please be exact.

6. Nikon or Canon? (Circle the correct answer)

7. How many images does a professional photographer make at a wedding?
a. 300-500
b. 500 – 1000
c. 1000 – 2000
d. Spray and pray, cards are cheap!

8. When photographing drunk partiers doing the Macarena for the fifteenth time, is it best to;
a. Shoot from a low angle
b. Stand on a chair in the middle of the dancers and shoot a couple hundred frames
c. Sit silently on the sidelines complaining about sore feet and wishing for a quick and silent death
d. None of the above, they’re drunk and no one gives a rats ass about you anyway

9. Scenario 1 (Essay Question)
You are called by a close friend with a request to shoot his sister’s wedding. The sister, a neuro-surgeon is marrying a very successful Wall Street Investment Banker in a small, intimate wedding (less than 1200 guests). There will be 14 Bridesmaids, and a special chariot being designed by Boeing that will fly the couple in to the Caribbean Island venue. Your friend has three questions for you:

a. What lens would you use for the landing of the “Chariot of Love”?
b. Would it be better in black and white?
c. Can you keep your fee under $578 as the couple is on a budget?

10. Scenario 2 (Essay Question)
You have completed a small wedding in NYC. It was a simple affair with wonderful natural light spilling in from large windows and a white dance floor. Explain in detail which Photoshop actions you will use to “enhance” the feeling of “mellow” light while keeping an overall tone of modernity with a touch of elegance? Explain why you chose that action and discuss any changes you would make to the final image to bring it more panache, charm and neo-classical affectation. )Please include a step by step processing flow and indicate new layers in blue.)

More to come.

[EDIT: This just in:

27. When caught cutting and pasting other people’s images into your website or blog post is it best to:
a. Fess up. Honesty is always the best policy AFTER you are caught being, well, dishonest.
b. Blame it on your “web guy”, intern, admin assistant who are expendable little people who are not ‘creatives’ sort of smell bad anyway.
c. Ignore it and tweet that stealing images makes your heart hurt really a lot.
d. Fk ’em, it was in the internet, so it’s free.

We feel that number 27 is a trick question.

“Musings” Free on Amazon all Weekend.

“Musings” Free on Amazon all Weekend.


My new book, “Musings: 28 Essays on Photography” is now on Amazon and available for Kindle apps.

I have made it free for the entire launch weekend. I hope you take the time to download it before the price goes up to the extravagant rate of four bucks…

January 24, 25, 26 the book is free.

Please leave a review… they are the most important things we authors can work with on Amazon.


Project 52 PRO Site

Project 52 PRO Site


I needed to freshen up the Project 52 site and get it out from behind a “Login” situation. Being able to share the amazing work of the photographers involved is now something that is consuming my time… and it is paying off.

Interest in next year’s Project 52 is getting very high, and this was the point of the site. I want photographers to have a friendly, warm community to nurture their creativity and image creation process.

Visit the site at


Bruce Bullied Real Estate ‘Leave Behind’

Bruce Bullied Real Estate ‘Leave Behind’

Bruce Bullied Real Estate ‘Leave Behind’


Bruce Bullied is an emerging photographer in Winnipeg (CA).

He is looking to create some steady cash flow with real estate photography, eventually expanding to adding corporate and editorial work. This flyer is a 6″ x 11″ leave behind for his work.

The plan is to drop them off with agents who show the higher end real estate.

This type of photography is not the highest paying, but it can be somewhat steady if the photographer consistently delivers and can manage their time.

You can see more of Bruce’s work at his website: