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Vision

Vision Vision starts with personal taste. It starts with a conscious awareness of what you like and don’t like. One of the first exercises you can do is make a list of what you like and don’t like in photography and which photographers you like and dislike. Vision is about …

Fine Art Top 15

The most important aspect of photography is not the gear you own or the techniques you use. The most important aspect of photography is light.

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Advanced Marketing Mastery workshop on DVD details

How exactly does the information in the new Advanced Marketing DVD differ and improve
on my Marketing book and on my first Marketing DVD?

Introduction:
Compared to the book the information on the Advanced Marketing DVD is entirely different and new. The book is based on my first Marketing DVD which was published in 2006.  The book itself was written in 2008 and published in 2011. The information in the book is a summary of the information on my first Marketing DVD.

All this was written prior to the recession of 2007. The recession has had a powerful impact on the world of fine art photography.  Selling fine art photographs today is much more difficult than selling fine art photograph before the recession. Marketing has changed dramatically since the recession.  To continue selling fine art photographs with pre-recession results and income, I had to change my marketing dramatically and the Advanced Marketing DVD reflects these changes in the following ways:

Specifically:

– Offering limited editions has become very important to motivate customers.  However, just putting a number on a print is not enough.  You have to know exactly  how to structure your editions and you have to offer several editions ‘staggered’ in value. I explain exactly how in Section 14 – How are you going to do this ? –  of the Advanced Marketing DVD.

– Customers have more objections than ever before since the recession started because they want to control their expenses.  They have become ‘smart’ and know how to circumvent the techniques previously used by salespeople.  These techniques no longer work. In Section 10 – How to communicate with customers – of the Advanced Marketing DVD I offer sales-generating answers to post-recession objections.  Using these answers will help you sell more art than before.  I also teach you how to answer your business phone, how to use and understand body language, how to write thank you notes, give you examples of phone calls leading to sales and much more.  This section is recorded by both myself and Natalie.

– Knowing what to say has become important. The language you use when talking about your work has never been as important as now.  Customers pay attention to everything you say. In the Advanced Marketing DVD I have a list of ‘bad’ words, words you should never use when talking about your work, and a list of ‘good’ words, words you must use if you want to sell your work.  The vast majority of photographers use ‘bad’ words and it hurts their sales profoundly.

– There are two types of sales in Fine Art Photography.  Most photographers make only 1 of these two types of sales: the first type.  The problem is that the first type of sale represents only  10% of your potential sales.  The second type of sales on the other hand represents 90% of your potential sales. This means if you are not making this second type of sales you are losing 90% of your potential income!  In the DVD I show you how to make both types of sales, focusing on the second type because this is where the money is.

– In the original Marketing DVD, and in the marketing book, I only talked about how I sell my work. In Section 16 -Artist Stories – of the new Advanced Marketing DVD I talk about how other artists sell their work.  In addition to the case studies that I mentioned previously, I also have 12 stories that are accounts of artists that faced selling problems and found effective solutions to these problems. Knowing how other artists solved problems that affect all of us will help you find solutions to your own business challenges.

– The original Marketing DVD, and the marketing book, focused essentially on selling at art shows.  In Section 7 – Where to sell your work of The new Advanced Marketing DVD I go over a vast variety of locations where you can sell your work together with photographs of each locations.

– I also show you how to sell through galleries and on the web.  There is an entire section on the DVD designed to help you find gallery representation: Section 8-How to find Gallery Representation. This section features a step by step approach on how to find the right gallery for your work, how to contact galleries, when to go, what to bring with you and more.  It also includes several ‘Gallery Sheets’ which are  the industry standard approach to showing your work to galleries. Most artists walk in with prints under their arm and this is one of the reasons why they are rejected.  Gallery sheets are the way to go.  They are included with the DVD together with templates so you can create your own.

– Knowing how to sell on the web has become more important than ever since the recession.  Selling on the web means selling worldwide without having to travel.  You cross borders automatically and you extend your reach beyond your physical reach and location.  But opening a web site is no guarantee of success.  In Section 9 – How to sell on the web – of the Advanced Marketing DVD I explain what makes a successful website, which errors you must avoid making to be successful, and how to sell on the web so you make money.

– The marketing book and the original Marketing DVD did not have much theory on them.  Theory is important because it teaches us the foundations on which our business is built.  It also explains how we make sales and how we can improve our skills.  In Section 4 – Understanding the Selling process – of the new Advanced Marketing DVD I lay out the  7 separate steps of the selling process.  These steps are ignored by the majority of artists, but known to the minority of successful artists (most artists are unsuccessful, because they don’t study marketing and make huge, money wasting mistakes).

– In Section 4 I also cover the relationship between the artist, the customer and the product we sell: fine art photographs.  I call this relationship the marketing triangle.  There are 4 possible case figures for this relationship to take place.  Only one of these 4 possible situations will result in maximizing your sales.  Again, the majority of artists ignore this and establish the wrong relationship with customers resulting in a huge amount of missed sales.  I know, I was one of them until I discovered how to make this work!  After reading this section I guarantee you will never make this mistake again.

– Pricing, one of the most important aspects of selling fine art, is covered in detail in Section 4 through the price-achievement pyramid and the venue-cost relationship pyramid in which I explain how to price your work according to your level of leverage.  In Section 14 – How are you going to do this ? – I give you examples of pricing.  In Section 16 – Artist Stories – I give more examples of pricing through the 13 artist stories featured in that section.

– Knowing how to start your business is crucial.  In Section 6 – How to start your business – I show how to find out if you are ready to sell, how to write your business plan, how to write your mission statement, and how to check if your business goals are realistic or unrealistic.

– However, starting a business is not going to work if you don’t know how fine art photographs are sold and why people buy them.  Believe it or not, most artists don’t know this.  So in Section 2 -How fine art photographs are sold – I go over the concepts of luxury and commodity products and explain which of these two categories photographs fall into (do you know which one it is and why ?).

-Becoming unique is hugely important, especially now that we have millions of ‘photographers’ who want to sell their work, with more ‘photographers’ coming onto the scene on a daily basis.  In Section 12 – How to manage your career – I  go over how to make your brand unique and I cover all the aspects that you can use to create a unique product.

– Selling artwork is good but managing your career so you are successful for years to come is better. In Section 12 -How to manage your career – I go over how to do so by addressing time and money management, the two things that defeat most artists.  I teach you how to prioritize your tasks so you use your time in the most effective manner.  This is super important because you can make more money, and you can count it, but you can’t make more time and neither can you count how much you have left.  I also go over how to reach your goals, how to deal with competitors and more.

– When all is said and done, we want to do this because we want to create a specific lifestyle.  In Section 13 – How to create the Lifestyle you desire – I go over the important aspects of creating this lifestyle so that you don’t end up working all the time, making money but not having any time to enjoy it.    I also give you my list of ‘success notes’ as a checklist of things to watch out for in checking if you are truly successful or just ‘busy’.

Limited Time Special Offer
Do you want to place your order now? We have a limited time special offer: Here is the link:

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Marketing-Advanced-SPO.html

But do hurry because this offer is strictly limited to 25 orders! Don’t delay, order right now!

Best regards,

Alain Briot

 

Advanced Fine Art Photography Marketing Mastery updates

April 25, 2013 Marketing, Success No Comments

Advanced Fine Art Photography Marketing Mastery updates

April 26th
What subjects would you like me to cover in the upcoming Advanced Fine Art Photography Marketing Mastery Seminar on DVD? It’s your chance to have the subjects that interests you included.  Write your answers in the ‘Comments’ setion below.

April 25th
Today I am recording sessions on ‘how to create a unique photographic product.’ This addresses the marketing aspects of this process. It does not replace my full length tutorial of this important process which is the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html

April 24th
Today Natalie started recording the sections on ‘How to communicate with customers’ for the upcoming Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD

April 21st
I am recording the limited editions section of the upcoming Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD. I have never provided a tutorial on limited editions. I do now because limited editions have become very important to successfully market fine art photography in today’s economy.

I opened a pre-announcement list for this new Mastery DVD. To join this list simply email me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com with the words Advanced Marketing DVD in the subject line. As a member of the list you will get 20% off the regular price for this new Mastery DVD when it is released.

Want to know more? No problem. All the details are here: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Reflections/?p=1465

April 17th
Natalie will also be recording some of the sections that have to do with answering the phone, writing thank you notes and using a calendar.It’s been over 6 years since I published the first Marketing DVD so it is time for an update. A lot of things have changed!
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Reflections/?p=1465

April 16th

I just completed recording section 10 of the new Advanced FIne Art Photography Marketing Workshop on DVD: How to communicate with customers. This section includes sub-sections on ‘How to handle stalls & objections’, ‘The importance of body language’, ‘Correct and incorrect words’ and much more. The complete table of contents is at this link:http://beautiful-landscape.com/Reflections/?p=1465

This new Mastery DVD will be released in May or June. The contents are totally new and are not available in any of my other marketing tutorials. A pre-registration list is available. To join it simply email alain@beautiful-landscape.com with the words Advanced Marketing DVD in the subject line. As a member of the pre-registration list you will receive 20% off the regular price of the Advanced Marketing Mastery DVD when it is published.

April 3rd
I am recording the audio sections of my new Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD. I released the original one 7 years ago. Lots of things have changed since! The table of contents is here and at the top or bottom of this post:http://beautiful-landscape.com/Reflections/?p=1465

March 23rd
Announcing the new Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD
In 2006 I released the first Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD. Today, 7 years later, I am getting ready to release the new Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.

It is called advanced because the contents of this new Seminar goes way beyond the contents of the first one. It is also up to date with today’s economy. I published the first Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD in 2006. That’s 7 years ago and a huge amount of time in the world of marketing. A lot of things happened in those 7 years. The most significant is that. . . click here to continue reading.

Alain Briot
Beautiful-landscape.com

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1 – I have 3 collections of eBooks

The books:
1 – Mastering Landscape Photography (245 pages)
2 – Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style (370 pages)
3 – Marketing Fine Art Photography (315 pages)
4 – Car Photography (310 pages)

A description of each book is available in the Free Samplers that you can download by clicking on the book titles above

The eFolios
These are eBook versions of my printed folios. The printed folios are released in limited editions of 50 and sell out fast. The eFolios give you a chance to collect these folios affordably even if the printed folios are sold out.

The collected essays
These include all the essays I wrote from 2003 to 2011. There are 8 eBooks in this collection. A description of this series is available in the Free Sampler which you can download by clicking here now.

2 – eBooks Format
The quality of these eBooks is beautiful and the text is illustrated with numerous photographs. There are well over 350 photographs and illustrations in each ebook. These eBooks are only available on my site. They are not for sale anywhere else.

These eBooks are in PDF format. They can be read on any device that reads PDFs. This includes all Mac and Windows computers, iPads, iPhones, etc. Depending on your specific device you may need to use an app to open the PDFs, although this is becoming less and less necessary. For example the Apple iBooks app will open PDFs automatically. On your computer you will need Adobe Acrobat. It is most likely already installed. If not, you can download it for free at adobe.com. I have no plans to offer these eBooks in other formats at this time.

3 – Reader Testimonials
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4 – Printed books
If you prefer printed books, or if you want both, you can order printed books by clicking here.

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Pre-Announcing the Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD

This is the pre-announcement for the new Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.  In 2006 I released the first Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.  Now, 7 years later, I am getting ready to release the second one.  This new tutorial is called the Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.  I call it advanced  because the contents of this new Seminar goes way beyond the contents of the first one.

This new tutorial is also up to date with today’s economy.  I published the first Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD in 2006.  That’s 7 years ago and a huge amount of time in the world of marketing. A lot of things happened in those 7 years!  The most significant being that we went through a dramatic recession of which we have not fully emerged yet.

In 2006 the economy was rock solid and business was rocking.  If you had asked anyone back then what they thought the future had in store, they would have said ‘more of the same’.  In other words, positivism ran wild back then.  People were optimistic.  Everyone was buying and spending freely.

Marketing-DVD-Header

 

The recession came as a shock and took many people down with it.  Housing values crumbled. Net worth was severely diminished.  To face what for many amounted to a disaster people cut down on unnecessary expenses. One such expense was art, photographic art in our situation.  There is no point buying a photograph to hang over the mantle when you are foreclosing on your home.  Similarly, home decor, one of the main reasons collectors purchase fine art photographs, is not on people’s radar when they lose they job, see the value of their investments plummet or face other dire financial issues.

Some fine art photographers went out of business.  Some made do.  Some did better than they ever did.  We know why some went out of business. There is no mystery there.  We can also guess how some managed to ‘make do.’  Cutting expenses, going into ‘survival’ mode and basically waiting out the storm hoping that things will improve.  The real question, the one that is puzzling many people, is how and why did some fine art photographers manage to do better in such a poor economic situation. The short answer: they knew how to market their work successfully during a recession.  The longer answer: the contents of the new Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD.  It’s all there and it works.

This new seminar is centered around the message that is at the center of my teaching:

The most important aspect of selling your work successfully
is taking control of your own destiny instead of waiting to be discovered

The reason for this focus is that I’ve never been fond of waiting.  Call me impatient if you want, that’s fine with me.  Life is simply too short to wait to be discovered.  Plus there’s a major problem with waiting.  What if nobody comes?  What if nothing happens?  What if we are never discovered?  To me that option is no fun at all and I am not willing to take the chance of waiting for nothing.  Especially since there is a solid and efficient alternative and that is to be pro-active and take control of our destiny ourselves.  Who wants to wait?  Not me and I’m ready to bet not you either.  Especially if you know how to make things happen now.

The contents of the new Advanced Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD
All this is nice but I am sure you want to know exactly what is in this new Seminar.  Well, no problem.  Here is the table of contents.  There are 19 sections.  Each section featuring one to ten sub-sections:

Section 1 – Introduction

Section 2 – How Fine Art Photographs are Sold

Section 3:  Theory – The Fine Art Photography Business

Section 4:  Theory – Understanding the Selling process

Section 5:  Theory – Why people buy art

Section 6:  Practice – How to start your business

Section 7:  Practice – Where to sell your work

Section 8:  Practice – Seeking Gallery Representation

Section 9:  Practice – Selling on the web

Section 10:  Practice – Communicating with customers

Section 11:  Practice – Improving Sales

Section 12:  Practice – Managing your career

Section 13:  Practice – Creating the Lifestyle you desire

Section 14:  Practice – How are you going to do this

Section 15:  Practice – The 12 commandments of Marketing

Section 16:  Conclusion

Section 17:  Artist Stories

Section 18:Reference files

Limited Time Special Offer

Do you want to place your order now? We have a limited time special offer: Here is the link:

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Marketing-Advanced-SPO.html

But do hurry because this offer is strictly limited to 25 orders! Don’t delay, order right now!

Best regards,

Alain Briot

White Sands Gallery

White Sands & Bosque del Apache Gallery

CF020070-600

 



About Alain Briot

Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available on as printed books Amazon.com and as eBooks on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing. Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona

2013

Sunrise Reflections, Bosque del Apache – How I created this photograph

Sunrise Reflections, Bosque del Apache – How I created this photograph

1 – How this photograph was created
Each time I visit Bosque del Apache I set it as a goal to take photographs without any birds. This was the first photograph I took that morning. When I created it I believed it would be the best image for that morning and it turned out to be so.

This photograph was taken during our just completed Bosque & White Sands Workshop. The sun was not up yet. I was so convinced that this was a strong image, a ‘keeper’ as they say, that I told the workshop participants that I had created my best image for that morning and that we could leave for breakfast now. Many participants joined me in capturing this scene.  Somehow I knew that this was a strong image, possibly the strongest image I was going to create that morning. How did I know? From experience taking tens of thousands of photographs over many years. In other words, because of practice.

I also don’t use a light meter on my manual camera, instead I set the f-stop and shutter speed based on my evaluation of the light level of the scene. After many years of doing so I have become quite good at it. Usually, I find the perfect exposure after 1 or 2 attempts. That morning I found it at my first attempt. In fact, the photograph above was the first exposure I took that morning. I saw it as a sign that this was a truly exceptional situation.

2 – Skill Enhancement Exercises
Practice finding out if you have a ‘keeper’, when you are working in the field, and when you first see the image on your LCD scren.
– Does doing this come naturally to you?
– Is it challenging?
– If yes, which aspect of this approach is the most challenging?

After returning to your studio, take a look back at the images you believed were ‘keepers.’
– Were you correct? Are these photograph as good as you thought they were once you convert and optimize them ?
– If you were not correct, why do you not like these images as much as you did in the field? What changed?
– If you were correct, what are the strong aspects of these images?
– What is it about them that makes them work visually?

 

 

Sunrise Reflections, Bosque del Apache

3 – About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available on as printed books Amazon.com and as eBooks on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing. Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
2013

Creativity Top 12

February 19, 2013 Art, Composition, Success No Comments

Creativity Top 12
How to stand out from the crowd 

Introduction
Standing out among the ever-increasing number of photographers is becoming more and more difficult.  Gear and software are getting better and better.  Prices for photography hardware, software are consumables are getting more and more affordable.  Technical training is readily available. Information about locations that were once challenging to find is now just a google click away.

When everyone is photographing the same locations, knowing how to get to these locations is no longer an advantage.  When everyone has access to the same tools, and when these tools are both excellent and affordable, having these tools no longer gives us an advantage.  Mastering chemical photography involved owning gear that was expensive and  learning a process that was challenging. The large amount of time and money required to do this gave chemical photographers a significant advantage. Not so with digital.  While still expensive, digital photography gear is much more affordable than film-based gear.  Training, while still carrying a cost, is also much more affordable.  In addition, the number of teaching venues has literally exploded.

All this means that the advantage inherent in finding locations, owning equipment and knowing how to use it is no longer significant enough to create a noticeable difference between photographers.  As a result the gap between photographers is shriking and  it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out among the crowd. Furthermore, the number of photographers and the quality of their photographs is not only increasing, it is literally exploding.

However, being different is still possible.  The question is, how do you do it?  How do you stand out?  The answer is two folds.  First, you have to reconsider what are your true advantages.  It may be your personal experience, your background, your upbringing, a specific aspect of your training that nobody else has, a focus on art and technique rather than on technique alone, your connections, a unique expertise in a non-photographic field.  It may also be simply your attitude.

Second, in order to stand out in the environment that I just described you have to do things that the other photographers are not doing.  You have to create photographs that are different from everyone else.  Not because you used different gear and software, but because you used a different approach to creativity.

Creativity is the foundation that will enable you to create photographs that are different.  In turn, and over time, creativity will allow you to develop a photographic style that will be uniquely yours.  The development of a personal style and the demonstration of a personal vision are the ultimate goals.  By achieving these goals you will set yourself apart from the competition in a final manner.

These are long term goals and I address them during my workshops and in my Mastery Workshops on DVD tutorials.  In this essay my goal is to teach you how to become more creative.  Because creativity is a vast subject, I decided to narrow it down by writing a ‘Creativity Top 12’, a list of what I consider to be  the 12 most important aspects of creativity.  Here it is:

1 – Be interesting
Creativity is necessary to generate the interest of our audience and customers.  We will not generate their interest if we are not creative because people have become blasé about old ideas.  There are so many photographers out there that unless our work stands out as being interesting, different and unique we will not get much attention.

2 – Think differently
Being creative is about creating new things out of old things.  Taking old ideas that have proven to be effective in the past and re-inventing them by presenting them under a new appearance is the key to doing this successfully.

3 – Bring in the new
Creativity is an input-output, import-export business.  You can’t lock yourself in a room and expect to be creative all by yourself.  You have to be in contact with other artists and with other ways of doing things in order to foster creativity.  Think of this as a ‘creative think tank’ . The ‘water’ in the tank is the new ideas you bring in.  These new ideas that you bring in push out and replace the ‘old water’ that was previously in the tank.  By doing this regularly you have a constant flow of new ‘water,’ of new ideas.

4 – Get help
Learn from people who have solved problems similar to the ones you face.  Do not reinvent the wheel.  Instead, learn to use the wheel (metaphorically speaking) by studying with people who know how this is done.  The problem at hand here is how to create photographs that are different from everyone else.

5 – Set yourself free
You can’t be creative with your hands tied behind your back, metaphorically speaking.  To unleash your creativity you must cut yourself some slack.  To do so you need to decide what you are willing to do and not do in your work. Don’t be overly conservative.  Instead, push the boundaries and decide to do things you have not tried before or have hesitated doing until now.

6 – Ignore criticism
Creativity is fostered by self confidence.  You can’t be creative while being concerned with potential criticism at the same time.  In order to bring your creative ideas to life, you have to ignore criticism during the creative phase.  Their will be time to consider criticism later on, if and when it comes your way.

Sand Waterfall, Antelope Canyon, Arizona

7 – Get what you need
You need specific resources to give birth to your ideas.  These include classes, tutorials, tools and supplies.

8 – Engage your audience
You can’t be successful in a vacuum.  While your ideas don’t need to be interesting to everyone, they need to be interesting to your specific audience.  Engage in a dialogue with your audience.  Social media, blogging, live presentations, shows and personal conversations work well for this.

9 – Think simple
Simple ideas are easier to implement than complicated ideas.  Doing ‘simple’ is more difficult than doing ‘complicated.’  This is why most people do things complicated way. Learning to simplify takes time, but in the end it will save you massive amounts of time.  Saving time is the goal because we can’t make more time.  Therefore we need to learn how to use our time in the most efficient manner possible.

10 – Try it
Trying creative ideas is the key to success.  This is because there is other effective way of finding out which ideas will work and which ideas will not work. Only by trying new ideas will we find out which ideas work and which ideas do not work.

11 – Do it
Creativity means creating something, not just thinking of creating something!  This means that eventually you have to step up to the plate and get things done.  Create photographs, make prints, show your work to other people, write essays explaining why and how you do what you do and more.

12 – Defy authority
There’s ‘gurus’ out there that have been around and have achieved more than you have.  Just keep in mind that when they started these ‘gurus’ were in the same position you are in.  They were intimidated by  their own, older, ‘gurus.’  They hesitated to do things that had not been proven yet.  However, they succeeded because they did not let those ‘gurus’ intimidate them.  They defied authority and decided to do things their way. Do the same.

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available on as printed books Amazon.com and as eBooks on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing. Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
February 2013

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Fifteen Remarks on Fine Art Photography Composition

January 28, 2013 Art, Composition, Technique 2 Comments

Fifteen Remarks on Fine Art Photography Composition

by
Alain Briot

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

Zabriskie-collage-3-600
Moonset at Sunrize, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California

Introduction
What are the most important aspects of composing a Fine Art Photograph?  The answer to this question certainly varies from photographer to photographer because each of us places more importance on some aspects than on others.  What follows is what I personally consider to be the most important aspects of Composition.

This list is excerpted from a longer list that I use for teaching during my workshops and seminars.  The decision to create a shorter list, with only 15 items instead of 37, stemmed from the desire to focus on the essential aspects of composing a fine art photograph regardless of the  subject we are studyphotograph or the specific project we are working on. The resulting list is free from a particular teaching emphasis and represents what I look for in a Fine Art Photograph.

1 – Composition is the strongest way of seeing
This is Edward Weston’s definition of composition
It is still my favorite definition of composition

2 – Composition is not just the placement of objects in the frame
Composition also involves using color, contrast and light
Composition includes post processing in the raw converter and in Photoshop

3 – The goal of composition is to express your vision and your emotional response to the scene
The goal of Fine Art Composition is not to create a documentary representation of the scene
Nor is it to create a photograph that is only technically perfect
The goal is to create an image that is superior, both expressively and technically
An image that demonstrate both mastery of vision and technical virtuosity

4 – What the camera captures is objective.  What the artist’s sees and feels are subjective
Take stock of your emotional response to the scene in front of you
Record those emotions in writing or in audio
Use light, color, contrast, composition and cropping to reproduce these emotions visually
Work on this both in the field and in the studio

5 – Think first about light
A photograph is only as good as the light you use
The subject is less important than the light that illuminates this subject
The best subject in bad light does not make for a good photograph

6 – Use foreground-background relationships
Find a great foreground and place it in front of a great background
Make sure your foreground is large enough to play an important role in the composition

7 – Contrast opposites elements
Human beings think and see in terms of opposites
Therefore this is something everyone can relate to

Examples of opposite elements include:

– Static / moving
– Young / old
– Large / small
– Organic / man made

IMG_2252-600
Cottonwood Trees in Fall Colors, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

8 – Composing a fine art photograph is not about redoing what someone else has done before
If tempted to redo an image you have seen, just buy the postcard, the book or the poster
You cannot be someone else, therefore you cannot take the same photographs as someone else
You will waste time trying to do so
Instead, start to create your own images right away

9 – Being inspired and redoing someone else’s work are two different things
You can certainly be inspired by the work of other photographers
We have all been inspired by the work of other artists and photographers
This is an inherent aspect of the artistic process

10 – No amount of technology can make up for a lack of inspiration
Cameras and other gears are technical
Inspiration is artistic
The two exist on different planes
Achieving a Personal style in Fine Art means working as an artist not just as a technician

11 – People, not cameras, compose photographs
Certainly, a camera is a necessity
However, your camera cannot compose a photograph anymore than your car can drive itself
You are the one who composes your photographs, not your camera

12 – “Correct” is whatever works when the goal is to create fine art
There is no such thing as “the right thing” in art
“What is Art ?” is a question to which there are many answers
We therefore have to answer this question for ourselves
We are also bound to disagree with others because fine art is a polarized activity.

13 – Straight fine art prints are a myth
All fine art prints are a modification of the image recorded by the camera.
The composition of the image you started in the field is continued in the studio.
This is done through image optimization because colors, contrast, borders, image format, etc. are all part of composition.

14 – The “right” color balance is the strongest way of seeing color
There is no such thing as the “right” color balance in Fine Art
This is because color is one of the ways you express your emotional response to the scene
For this reason, the “right” color balance for a specific image will differ from one  photographer to the next

15 – The finest compositions are those you never saw until you created them
Recreating a composition you saw before is easy
Creating a brand new composition, one you have never seen before, is difficult
This is because doing so requires transforming the natural chaos into an organized image
It involves creating order out of chaos, as Elliott Porter said.

 

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, raw conversion, optimization, printing, marketing photographs and more. Alain is also the author of Mastering Landscape Photography and Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style. All 3 books are available from Alain’s website as well as from Amazon and other bookstores.

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com. You will receive over 40 essays in PDF format, including chapters from Alain’s books, when you subscribe. You can also email your comments or questions to Alain at alain@beautiful-landscape.com

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
2013

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Alain Briot Personal Style Master Class Updates

January 22, 2013 Art, Success, Technique, Workshops No Comments
Alain Briot Personal Style Master Class Updates
Belwo are the most recent updates made available for the Personal Style Master Class.  These updates are available in the Master Class Updates area on my site.  The link to the updates area was emailed to you when you placed your order.

If you do not have the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD, a detailed description plus a free 20 pages eBook, plus pricing and ordering information are available at this link:  http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html

Update #1 – I believe we have entered a new time for art.

Update #2 – Will there be a ‘Part 2’ to the Personal Style Master Class?
This update is in response to questions from Master Class owners about the fact that ‘Part 1’ is present in the title.

Update #3 – Is mastering HDR, texture layering and Instagram enough to create a style?

Update #4 – How long does it take to complete the Personal Style Master Class?

Update #5-  Which photography subjects does the Personal Style Master Class applies to?

If you do not have the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD, a detailed description together with pricing and ordering information are available at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html 

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
January 2013
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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2012 Year-End Summary

January 12, 2013 Art, Marketing, Success, Workshops No Comments

2012 Year-End Summary

Introduction
This is a summary of my 2012 photographic activities.  This summary is organized by categories.  I have not offered a year-end summary before so this is something new to me.  I decided to do so this year because I believe it is interesting to take a look back at the most significant ‘happenings’ of 2012.

Print sales
2012 marked an increase in number of print sales over 2011.  Both individual prints and Portfolios went through several price increases in 2012, as we do each year, guaranteeing a continued increase in investment value to collectors of my work.

We decided to increase portfolio prices by $1000 each time a copy is sold.  This caused portfolios to reach their highest price point so far.

Investment value
Our regular price increases mean that all prints, Folios and Portfolios purchases increase in value regularly.  If you purchased a print, a Folio or a Portfolio from us the value of your investment has already increased. If you plan to purchase prints, Folios or Portfolios in the future the value of your investment will increase as well because our prices will continue to increase regularly.

You can see my print prices at this link.

Folios and Portfolios update
Folios and Portfolios are released in Limited Editions of 50 copies only. As of January 2013 only 3 copies of the Navajoland Portfolio remain available. The White Sands Folio sold out and is no longer available.

Folios and Portfolios are available in the Print of the month collection at this link.

Publishing
In 2012 I published the 5th Mastery Workshop on DVD: The Personal Style Master Class workshop on DVD.  This is an important release because this tutorial is completely different than the other 4 mastery DVDs.  It is also part 1 of a 2 part series, with part 2 scheduled for release this year, in 2013.  You can see the Mastery Workshop on DVD series at this link.

I published over 20 essays in 2012 on my website and blog as well as on Luminous-Landscape.com where Michael Reichmann publishes Briot’s View, my monthly column, on Naturephotographers.net where I am a Contributing Writer, on NatureScapes.net where I am  a Contributing Editor and on other websites.  These publications are in addition to the more than 75 essays written for the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD series.

Consulting
2012 saw a significant increase in demand for my consulting program. So much so that I had to limit how many students I accept in this program to maintain the personalized attention and high standards I set for this program.  Details of my consulting program are available at this link for studio consulting and at this link for phone consulting.

Workshops
All our workshops sold out including the 9th Annual Fine Art Summit which was held in Zion this year. As an aside the first 3 workshops for 2013 are already sold out.  We have not cancelled a single workshop since we started our workshop program 10 years ago.  A full listing of our 2013 workshop program is available at this link.

Teaching Focus
The focus of our 2012 workshop program was Personal Style.  This focus complemented the new Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD and was very popular with our students, many of them working and developing a personal style.

The focus of our 2013 workshop program is Vision.  This new focus builds onto our 2012 focus, Personal Style, while expanding into a wider field of creative exploration.  More information will be available as the year goes on during our workshops, starting with the White Sands Workshop this March.  Stay tuned !

Student Achievements
We saw a noticeable increase in image quality from our students’ work.  Composition is where we saw the most increase.  Print quality is still one of the most challenging aspects of fine art photography.

A record number of students completed personal photography projects in 2012.  These include folios, portfolios, eBooks and self published books.  A number of these projects were completed in the context of my consulting program.  Many were started during our workshops and seminars.

Students in Business
A record number of students started selling their work in 2012.  At a recent show in Scottsdale, Arizona 3 of my students were selling their work at the same show.  Besides Arizona, our students are also selling their work in many states and countries.

This is no doubt due to the popularity of my book Marketing Fine Art Photography.  Each time I check the book listing on Amazon.com, it is in the top 10 books on Professional Photography.  Sales of the eBook version, which is available only on my website, also rank high.  It is also due to the support I provide through my Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD, my 1 on 1 consulting program and my Advanced Marketing Seminar which took place in Spring 2012.  This seminar was organized at our Country Club, Blackstone, in Peoria, Arizona and it was a wonderful event.

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available on as printed books Amazon.com and as eBooks on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing. Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
January 2013


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