What Has Quavondo Been Up To?

You’ve probably been wondering what I’ve been up to lately (or not HAHA)…for the past three months I’ve been laying low, staying away from Facebook, blog, twitter and everything else that was just distracting. I was working on 3 major projects. Two of them I can’t share with you yet but will be ready in a couple months, one of them is about to launch, or should I say relaunch. I’m super stoked to share with you the NEW Cliché Magazine!

Around the time of my disappearance, I took on the Creative Director position at Cliché Magazine. I saw a magazine with great potential that just needed a fresh pair of eyes. With my design, photography, and ad agency background I was eager to take on this daunting task of rebranding a magazine. The first step was the logo.

Here’s the old logo:
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Here’s the new logo that I designed:
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I wanted our logo to exemplify elegance and sex appeal. I designed the logo so that when viewers see it their subconscious mind sees the word chic. Well I guess I let that pony out of the barn. We also just launched the new website this week. I don’t have the before/after for this, but trust me when I say that this is way better! It’s not up there yet, but webitorials will be launching on the site too!Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 7.44.31 AM

And finally, the relaunch issue of the magazine is set to release this weekend. It’s packed with so much content and fashion editorials, I hope you guys enjoy it. Would love to hear your feedback.

www.clichemag.com

Workshop Revised

So I’ve been taking some time to move this past week and have finally settled in and ready to get rocking again. During my down time, I’ve been doing a lot of meditation and thinking about the direction that I want to go with my career. As much as I love teaching and giving back to the photography community, I have to evaluate what’s good for me. Do I have time to do workshops? Probably not. That’s why I’ve teamed up with Nicki Callahan for a couple of trial runs. She’s organizing everything for me. If there’s a good head count and everything runs smoothly, I may do more workshops around the country, but if it doesn’t pan out, I am fine with refocusing my energy towards myself.

While thinking about my lighting workshops, I’ve decided to give it a little more “punch.” Instead of just teaching the attendees my lighting techniques, I will now be teaching them how to present their work, branding, what Art Buyers/Directors look for, getting published, making money, and some retouching. That’s a lot to fit into one day.

With this news, we’ve opened up 5 seats for the workshop. First come first served.

Also, the workshop is sponsored by Fundy Software, expect a swag bag filled with goodies if you attend. The workshop is in Seattle on June 29th. See you there.

First Stocksy Emailer

It’s been a couple months since the launch of Stocksy and it looks like momentum is building, the collection is growing, and feedbacks have been overwhelmingly great! Here’s the first emailer that went out:

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It was an honor to be featured alongside some amazing photographers. Go check out Stocksy for all your marketing needs, use the coupon code “FREELOVE” for a free small photo or a $10 credit. Also, check out my Stocksy Portfolio while you’re there. Contact me for a 20% off code for your first entire order. Please pass along to your designer/art director friends.

 

Announcing Photography Lighting Workshop for June and July

Putting on a photography workshop is a lot of work, especially when it’s out of the comfort of my own backyard. I’ve been going back and forth on the pricing and ultimately the desire to teach people won over the desire to make a huge profit. So I decided to have it at a price point where it’s affordable, allow me to cover my travel, hire local talent and studio space, and still make a little bit of money to pay some bills.

How does $225 sound? It sounds dang good to me!

What I need from you to help keep the cost down and to keep me wanting to put on workshops is to spread the word. The more people register, the longer I can do these workshops at this price. Obviously I won’t have a huge network or following in your town, please share it with fellow photographers. Also, I’ll need recommendation on MUA, Hair and models in your town. Also, space is limited, so book fast. Future workshops will depend on how these two go.

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here’s a link to register:

For Seattle, June 29th
http://quavondoseattle.brownpapertickets.com/

For San Francisco, July 20th
http://quavondosanfrancisco.brownpapertickets.com/

I’m also available for one-on-one or smaller workshops up to 5 people. $750/person. Contact me for more info.

We’re All Amateurs

We all have to start somewhere. We were all amateurs. I was cleaning out my email and I came across this email from Craigslist. Oh it brings back memories. I had just decided that I was going to walk to the ledge and jump, be committed to photography 100%, no turning back. So I posted this on Craigslist to find a mentor. A few people reached out to me, but I didn’t stay with them long. Their styles were different than mine. I knew what I wanted to create in my head, I just didn’t know how to execute it.

Where it began

Now I’m blessed enough to be where I am in my career that I feel like I have something to offer back to the photography community. I try to always take on interns, so it doesn’t hurt to always check in with me. Also it took me a while to get settled into LA, but now I’m ready to put on workshops again. The first workshop will be in Seattle, June 29th, and the second workshop on the books is in San Fran, July 27th. More details to come.

Keep clickin’

I’m also available for one-on-one workshops in LA. Contact me if you’re interested.

How to Be a Happy Successful Photographer

Being successful in photography is, well, objective. We all have different definitions of success and we all have different goals. Am I a successful photographer? Some people think so, but if you put me next to Annie Leibovitz or 1/2 of the photographers out there, I pale in comparison. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of seeing my own work. I look at other photographer’s work and I’m just amazed. Sometimes it inspires me, sometimes it just puts me in a funk, not the type you wanna boogie down to. Over the course of time, I’ve learned a few things that has helped me with my success and happiness. I’m not saying this will work for you, but it has worked for me.

1) Everyone shoots shitty images. Everyone. Your job as the photographer is to be the gate keeper. If you’re going through and making selects of your shoot, don’t even show the client the images you don’t like, because they WILL pick them as the hero shots. Trust your eyes, they came to you for your expertise, if they were capable, they would have shot it themselves.

2) Do not throw pictures up on the internet and include a disclaimer (images are unretouched, straight out of camera). What is the f’in point? It’s not your best foot forward, so take the freaking time to edit the photo. Let’s say the model grabs the image, throws it on her site and gives you credit, next the makeup artist does the same, what happens in the end is that your image is going to be floating around the internet with credit to you and some potential client is going to see it and think, “Wow this guy doesn’t pay attention to the details, like that big zit on the model’s nose.” You think they will want to give you the $10k gig? Probably not.

3) Association. You hang out with crappy photographers, you will remain crappy. Just like anything else in life, you hang out with thieves, you’re most likely a thief. If you want to grow and improve as a photographer, surround yourself with photographers who inspire you, produce great work, people you can learn from. If you’re the top dog in your group, you won’t grow.

4) If you’re just starting out, don’t watermark your photos. No one wants to steal them. You think your images are great but just know that your taste will grow and your images will improve. What will happen is 3 years from now, you will do a google search on yourself and all these shitty images will pop up with your name on them. Once you start producing great work, people will know that it came from you.

5) You need a GREAT team. You can’t do it by yourself. If I gave you Annie’s team, including set design, do you think you can create stunning photos? I bet you could. Find these people, feed them, keep them happy.

6) Let go of your ego. No one likes working with know-it-alls or divas. Be humble, be hungry. Help other photographers, mentor them, assist them, it’s rewarding.

7) Make the money, but don’t forsaken everything else in chase of the paper. The best way to be happy is to live in the present. Don’t put things off til the future, the future may never come.

8) Shoot often.

 

 

Farm Boys

Teaser from my Farm Boys series for Salon 77 and Sarah Adams.

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