Quavondo’s New Website

Finally, it’s here. The release of my new website! I’m SO freaking excited about it. It’s been 5 months in the making. It only took this long because my attention was always needed else where, so my personal website got pushed to the back burners. Built from the ground up by one truly talented designer and programmer, Marcel Ganz of Flambe Agency. I had all these ideas in my head on what I wanted my site to do and I was blown away that Marcel was able to make every wish come true. Finally I’m able to rid myself of the Flash based website that can’t be seen on mobile devices and iPads! Amen. There are still minor kinks to work out for the mobile site, we’re working on that. Please let me know if you encounter any problems or if you have any suggestions to make my website better. Thanks so much!

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Now that I’m pretty much done with this project, I want to let you guys know that I have two other pet projects in the works for you photographers out there. Both should be done by the end of the year if not sooner. One is with Marcel and the other one is with Pratik of Solstice Retouch. Stay tuned!

 

Quavondo’s Lighting Techniques Volume 2

I was driving a couple months ago and the thought of writing the second book on my lighting techniques came to mind. The thought stayed with me for about a couple of minutes until Avicii’s Wake Me UP came on, I started rocking out, the thought slipped away. That was the last time I’d thought about it until this morning when I received this email.

“Hello,

I just finished reading your book. It is WONDERFUL! The information is clear and well organized. The text compliments the images and diagrams extremly well. In particular I find that your “voice” is friend, fun and honest. Including the stories about mistakes you made (leaving your slave at home etc) creates you on level with others who have done the same. They will, I think, make it easier for a shooter to look for a work~around instead of freezing up in a panic. Also, having to change a plan and idea on the fly when circumstances change will have the same effect especially for the beginning or novice getting started. Another valuable piece of instruction and information is about the use of on camera flash as is the natural light and clip lamp information. It shows that great photography is possible on a very small budget and the book has no feel of “brand” selling. 

In closing, I can say that if I were to teach again, I would use your book as the book to teach lighting. It would be wonderful to find such books for photoshop etc.

I remain most sincere,”

Jacqueline

 

Thank you Jacqueline for the wonderful email. In a World where you usually only hear from people when they aren’t happy with the product, it’s rewarding to get an email such as this. Perhaps it is time to start on volume 2. 

Quavondo’s Lighting Book is Best Seller on PhotoWhoa

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I am truly flattered, PhotoWhoa recently did a review on my lighting book and had good things to say about it. They liked it so much that they are now carrying it. Good news for you if you’ve wanted to get a hold of my lighting book but haven’t gone around to it. It’s currently available in PDF format at PhotoWhoa for $5! I’m also proud to say that it’s one of their best sellers! It’s available until Oct. 25th. Don’t miss out!

Signed paperbacks are also available for purchase through me.

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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.

 

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.