by J. Rae Chipera
Owner

Most photographers have heard at least one of these questions before. Regardless of how harmless they seem, they really hurt a photographer's soul. We all have our way of reacting to these questions. Here are a few funny (and a few serious) suggestions for those photographers who haven't heard them before. I hope you don't get caught off guard.

<<Disclaimer. This is intended to be funny.>>

QUESTION: Are you really a professional, though? You don’t have a degree.
ANSWER: No... me so stupidz me thinky four plus four is seven.
ANSWER: Actually, I just like taking pictures of naked people. Art school rejected me for that.
ANSWER: I fit into a unique group of professionals without a degree. Other members are Katy Perry, Halle Berry, Michael Dell, Michael Jackson, Rachel Ray, Steven Spielberg, and Henry Ford.

QUESTION: Your camera takes really nice pictures! Will you give me some advice on my photos? 
ANSWER: That pen in your pocket must write some great novels. Will you give me some advice on writing best-sellers?
ANSWER: Yea all you have to do is point and shoot.
ANSWER: Sure. The best advice I can give is that the lens goes forward.

QUESTION: I want to learn how to use Photoshop. Will you give me your RAW files?
ANSWER: Sure. I can give you the RAW files I took of my dog pooping.
ANSWER: What's a RAW file? Is that like a negative?
ANSWER: I sell my RAW files for $1000 each. It is probably cheaper for you to just pay for one of my workshops.

QUESTION: Can’t you just photoshop that? 
ANSWER: What's Photoshop? Is that like Picasa?
ANSWER: Yea, as long as you're willing to pay for the added time that will take. It might take up to 13 extra hours.
ANSWER: Unfortunately no. Photoshop can only fix dust spots and pimples.

QUESTION: Can I have all the reject photos too please?
ANSWER: I don't take reject photos.
ANSWER: That's what my parents said about reject kids, but they lied. They never wanted me.
ANSWER: Actually, they're all reject photos.

QUESTION: I wanted to invite you to my event. Can you bring your camera?
ANSWER: Sure, I'd love to. Tomorrow, I can give you an invoice so you know how much I charge for event photography.
ANSWER: What camera? I don't have a camera.
ANSWER: Why? Are there going to be any people there to take pictures of?

QUESTION: Isn't it just the camera? I mean if I had a camera like that, I could take the same photos you do.  
ANSWER: By all means, use my camera. Let's show the world what you get.
ANSWER: Oh no. You've discovered my secret. Please don't tell anyone about this ripoff of a business.
ANSWER: Which way do the Canon balls go into this thing?

QUESTION: Is it easy to run a photography business? 
ANSWER: As easy as it is to run any other type of business. 
ANSWER: Wait... this is supposed to be a business?
ANSWER: No. It's really hard. The voices in my head keep telling me to click the shutter at different times. It's a constant war over art.

QUESTION: Isn't your job easy? I mean, all you do is click a button all day, right?
ANSWER: Yes it's really easy. In fact, I'm looking for an assistant next week when I go to ___________ (name of remote place requiring lots of physical strength to get to). Do you want to go with me and help carry my gear so I can click the button better?
ANSWER: That's not cool. I have a disability that makes it really hard to move my fingers. Except my middle one.
ANSWER: I guess the same could be said for those people who set off the dynamite with the push switch. I think I'll go do that for a while.

QUESTION: Which is better? A Canon or a Nikon?
ANSWER: Actually, the best camera on the market right now is an iPhone 6.
ANSWER: Well not this piece of crap camera. You need the most expensive one on the market if you want good pictures.
ANSWER: I prefer ________. They're the only camera you can completely submerge in water.

QUESTION: Can you post your photos onto Facebook without the watermark? My mom wants to print them out.
ANSWER: No, but I can print them without a watermark for your mom for the price of $______ , my going rate.
ANSWER: Sure. Should I put up the naked ones too? I'll make sure to send them directly to her wall.
ANSWER: Wait, which ones were the ones of you? Were they the ones in the strip club, or the ones at the nude beach?

QUESTION: Can I pay you in three installments over a year? My wedding took a lot of money out of my pockets.
ANSWER: Sure, I can let you pay in installments, but like any other business, I have to charge you interest. Most people end up paying at least 10% interest, depending on their credit score.
ANSWER: This is not a furniture store or a car dealership.
ANSWER: Only if I can take your images in three installments over a year.

QUESTION: I only need a few photos taken. Is that cheaper?
ANSWER: If you go to a restaurant and order your cheeseburger without pickles and onions, is that cheaper?
ANSWER: Your mom is cheaper.
ANSWER: If you can convince my cable network to only charge me for the seven channels I watch and not all of them, then yes.

QUESTION: Why is the background blurry like that?
ANSWER: I think you might need glasses. You seem to be nearsighted.
ANSWER: I didn't notice that before. There must be a ghost haunting you in the image.
ANSWER: That's a rip in the fabric of space. We were lucky to get out of there before we fell into hell.

QUESTION: Will you edit the selfie I took for my Facebook page?
ANSWER: Well that depends... do you still have the negative?
ANSWER: Sure, as long as you don't mind my making you look like a zombie.
ANSWER: Sure, as long as you want to look like an alien. I've been meaning to get more familiar with the blur tool.

QUESTION: Is there a discount if I edit the pictures myself? I have Picasa.
ANSWER: No, in fact I charge more for that because of added legal fees.
ANSWER: You use Picasa too? Best editing software ever!
ANSWER: Sure. Does Picasa read a RAW file?

QUESTION: I don't have to give you credit when I post your photo on my Facebook page, do I? 
ANSWER: No, it's not necessary, as long as you don't mind me putting a giant watermark in the corner. 
ANSWER: No you don't. I'll just make sure to take terrible pictures of you so that I don't mind not getting credit.
ANSWER: No, as long as you are willing to pose next to my cat.

QUESTION: Is it okay if I crop your watermark off the photo?
ANSWER: Sure, as long you're willing to pay an invoice for a photo without a watermark when I send it.
ANSWER: If you bribe me with enough alcohol, then still no.
ANSWER: Oh you can't crop off my watermark. It's made of real water, and it stains the picture like blood on white carpet. Oh... speaking of blood on white carpet, I need to go to the store.
 
 
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Recently, there were some photographs stolen from female celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton -- nude photos. And now, people everywhere have been talking about what is essentially cyber rape.

Some people blame the victims, saying they shouldn't have photos taken if they don't want them leaked. I have met very few people who have never taken a naked photo of themselves or had a photo made of themselves while they were naked. Whether that photo is for a spouse, a prospective date, for yourself, or for some sort of industry (modelling, glamour, porn, etc.) everyone deserves the same amount of privacy. 

Some say "well if you don't want them on the internet, don't put them on the internet." Well let's discuss that. The images were stolen off iCloud. Cloud storage is something many photographers use. It's cheap, and it affords a lot of storage space. The storage there is safe from fire, flood, dropped hard drives, etc. Therefore, photographers love it. Many people in the modeling / fashion photography industry use the cloud (though, I do not unless it is for people who have consented to have their images stored there). Many photographers and models live on the road, and therefore, use of programs like Dropbox are much more convenient for photograph delivery.

In what other ways can a photo be delivered? It could be mailed through the postal service, but it could get bent. It could also get stolen through those means, scanned, and put on the internet. It could get stolen out of a safe at home, scanned, and uploaded to the internet.

You don't actually have to have nude photos of yourself to be at risk of having them on the internet. Do you remember the scandal where a French magazine published images that were sneaked of British Princess Kate Middleton?

I've also seen "well then, just never be naked if you don't want others to see." For those humans who take showers and / or want to reproduce some day, that is simply not an option. And blaming the victim for the crime is an act of misogyny that must stop if we want our women to have any thread of self esteem, and if we want our society to progress at all. So what, exactly, can be done to protect yourself from having photos of you on the internet?

The fact of the matter is, no matter what opinion you have, the display of naked photos of celebrities (or anyone else) over the internet without a model release from the star and without holding the copyright of the images is illegal. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects image theft. Therefore, if the images are selfies, the actresses have complete and total control over where the images are shared, by law. Period. 

Say the images are not selfies. That means they are not the intellectual property of the stars, and therefore, the photographer or owner of the images will have to file the DMCA violation. What happens if the photographer doesn't want to do that? I would then hope that Lawrence, Upton, and the others had contracts and model releases with the photographer where it is discussed where the images can and cannot be used. If you are new to having nude photos taken (so, if you're not a famous model or something), make sure there is a model release signed. If the photographer refuses, they are not a professional photographer.

Chances are, the photographer wants to stay in business. Therefore, if the images are stolen from them and used in a way that is contrary to how a client wants them to be used, they will be right on board with filing that DMCA complaint at the federal copyright office. I will definitely do this for any client (AND I have done it in the past for a client whose clothed image was stolen off my social media account and altered for use in an advertisement without consent.)

Here is how to file a DMCA complaint (you can do it even if it is a selfie taken with your mobile phone):
                           <<<<<<<<<<I am not an attorney>>>>>>>>>>
1) Check to see if your data is date / time-stamped. Chances are, it is. If it's not, you want to start doing that.
2) Create a letter of demand. Include the following: "This is a NOTICE OF INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT as authorized in § 512(c) of the U.S. Copyright Law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This content is an unauthorized reproduction of the copyrighted material originally found at (insert authorized uses here). Remove the content immediately, or the owner of this copyrighted material will file an official complaint with the U.S. Copyright Office, Google, and other pertinent parties. I am the copyright owner of this law, and the use here is illegal, and my exclusive rights as the owner are infringed. (Your full name, contact information)"
3) Search by image for any other unauthorized uses. If you find some, insert your notice into any comment lines underneath the stolen work.
4) Do a whois search to determine the web host from where the pirate rents server space, and ask them to take it down immediately.
5) If they don't take it down, ask your lawyer to help you draft a letter to the U.S. Federal Copyright Office or equivalent agency.

Moreover...... you want to do something about the infringement IMMEDIATELY when you see it. Copyright Law is complicated, but (last I checked with the Copyright Office), you have 90 days after the theft of a work to register it. If your work is registered, you can collect more money than just damages. (In other words, you can get awarded a penalty fine paid by the thief.) You want to register your work as soon as possible. You can register copyrighted works online here.

 
 
by J. Rae Chipera
owner

When working with models, the pose can determine which genre of photography you are shooting. Professional models specializing in specific fields will know how to pose, but amateurs will not know. Then it becomes the photographer's job to ensure the pose is appropriate for the client, whether it is a magazine or a designer or otherwise.

The best way to illustrate the difference between poses is to state it in terms of fashion versus glamour. Models who have worked in the porn / glamour industry often arch their back more than fashion models do. This highlights features of the body that are more popular in glamour and men's magazines. Glamour models often tend to pose with their mouths open because the brain associates that with sex, even if the model is clothed in the image.
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Glamour model Jessi June (Maxim, Playboy, Hustler etc.) poses in a Florida penthouse.
People who have watched America's Next Top Model have heard fashion modeling guru and host, Tyra Banks, yell at a girl, "that's too hoochy!" Unlike glamour photography, fashion photography is not about implying sex. Fashion photography needs to emphasize the clothing and not the model.

Fashion models should arch their back less than glamour models should. Fashion often utilizes more interesting poses, maybe bending sideways or forming odd angles. This catches the viewer's eye, and makes them interested in the product: the clothing. Fashion models can pose with an open mouth, but only slightly open. It should look relaxed if the mouth is open. Photographers need to watch this and tell them, "close your mouth" if it becomes too much about the model and less about the clothing.

Fashion photography is much more about creating height in a model than glamour photography is. For this reason, it is important to pose the model so that you can shoot slightly upward at them, even if they are already tall. It is also the photographer's responsibility to ensure the model is not doing something with the pose that makes her look shorter. Elongating the neck, legs, and arms make the model look much taller.
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Fashion model Uzuri Sims poses outside Death Valley National Park. Designer: Fatima Jabwari.
 
 
by Steve Boyko
Special Guest Writer

Photography is usually about capturing an instant in time. Sometimes, though, we want to capture the feeling of motion in a scene. This article will talk about some ways to capture that feeling.

Freeze the Moment
The simplest way to capture motion is to use a high enough shutter speed to “freeze” any motion.
The shutter speed required depends on the relative speed of the object(s) in motion. If you’re photographing trains, like I often do, a shutter speed faster than 1/500s is often required to freeze the motion. For fast passenger trains crossing perpendicular to your sight line, even higher shutter speeds are required. Keep in mind that it is the relative motion that is important. An object traveling toward or away from the photographer will not need as high a shutter speed as an object crossing “sideways” through the scene.

Motion Blur
In some cases it is not advantageous to completely stop the motion. For example, when photographing helicopters, if you use a high shutter speed, it appears the helicopter’s blades have stopped and it looks odd. It is beneficial to have just a bit of blur on the blades to show motion.
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Shutter speed: 1/800s
Panning
In some cases you may want to pan as a vehicle or person moves across the scene. “Panning” is moving your camera to track the motion of the photo’s subject. This can be done while holding the camera, or while the camera is mounted on a tripod. Panning keeps the object in focus while blurring the background. Done correctly, this can create a powerful feeling of motion.
The key to a good pan is a low shutter speed. The photo above was taken with a 1/20s shutter speed. The relative motion determines the shutter speed required. I find for trains moving at around 40 MPH (65 km/hr) a shutter speed between 1/15 and 1/30s works best in daylight.

One advantage of a pan is that it can be used in low light situations where a high shutter speed is not available. That way you can still capture the object even though the available light is too low to stop the action with a high shutter speed.
The above photo was shot just before sunrise and the available light was very low. However, camera settings of 1/20s shutter, f/3.5 aperture and ISO 100 were sufficient to capture a serviceable photo of the locomotive.

Panning takes practice. The key to a good pan is to move the camera with the object in a smooth motion. Try it out - a local highway will provide all of the practice objects you will ever need!


Steve Boyko is a photographer who especially enjoys chasing trains and documenting grain elevators. You can find him at www.traingeek.ca, on G+ at https://plus.google.com/+SteveBoyko, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TraingeekImages among others.

 
 
by J. Rae Chipera, owner

Photographing nude models (glamour photography) requires more than simply recruiting a model who is willing to pose nude. Obviously there are the photographic staples: lighting, set planning, composition, post-processing, etc. but there is even more than that to consider.

<<<<<Right off the bat, let’s cover some essential legal topics. Always always always check the model’s identification before allowing him or her to pose nude for you. I recommend keeping a photograph of the driver’s license for your records in case someone challenges the age of your model.>>>>>

Ok… now that my lawyers are satisfied, here’s the real article:

The decision to venture into the world of glamour photography will require you as an entrepreneurial photographer to prepare some answers to a few questions you will undoubtedly encounter when working in this field.

First, most models require a payment to pose nude even if they typically do not ask for payment otherwise. Decide whether or not you are financially capable of paying a model, and if you are, you should determine how much you are willing to pay. Models typically have a rate in mind. The industry standard for an average model is about $100. If the model is published in glamour magazines like Maxim or Playboy, expect to pay more – maybe significantly more.

There are clients who will be uncomfortable working with you if you have glamour or nude photographs in your portfolio. If your primary business as a photographer comes from these clients, then you may not want to shoot glamour. Shooting nude models will probably rule out clients who are of certain religious persuasions, and it could rule out photographing minors. This is not to say that you must choose between photographing children and photographing glamour models, but more questions will arise if you have both genres in your portfolio, even if you have pictures of the models’ driver’s licenses.
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Model: Rebecca Carter, (C) 2014 J Rae Chip Productions
Earlier this year, I photographed Melissa Kat, one of the top models in the industry. She approached me about shooting topless in an interesting empty closet with a chain and punk wardrobe. She wanted something that was more edgy than other work in her portfolio, and I thought it was a great idea. So we shot it. It was artistic and beautiful, and I was very flattered when a glamour photographer I admire praised the image. However, that image has been a new kind of adventure for me as an entrepreneur. Although neither Melissa nor I intended it this way, it was seen as a “bondage image.” Some models are uncomfortable with that. The difference between art and pornography is sometimes in the eyes of the viewer.

I have already branded myself as an edgy photographer, and it’s perceived that there are few emotional lines I will not cross for the sake of art. The vast majority of the people I know from back home – who knew me as a kid – would say I pole vaulted across a line in 2011 when I photographed Kailtyn Roberts in the Linda Vista Hospital. Some ideas from that series were hers. Some were mine.

The decision to shoot a nude model for the first time is like getting a misdemeanor. It stays on your record, and it’s something you can never undo. And it can keep you from working for certain people. Now that I have shot those photographs, I can never become appealing to certain markets. I will forever be the photographer who shot "bondage," who shot a girl nude on the set of SAW IV, who shot the girl naked in church for Chrissakes, and who shot the naked zombie in the abandoned barber shop.

So in a nutshell, if the answer to any of these questions is no, then you might not want to shoot nude models:

  1. Do I want to be known as the photographer who shot that model nude, even if it was only once?
  2. Do I intend to photograph people who are under the age of 18 on a regular basis?
  3. Do I intend to work with a lot of clients who are Christian or Muslim?
  4. Am I prepared to have people call my art “pornography?”
  5. Do I want to ever work with clients who might be offended by what I am about to shoot?
  6. Am I prepared to get negative comments from the public if they are offended by my work?
  7. Would it bother me if certain organizations refused me as a member because I photographed nude models, even if it was artistic and not pornography?
  8. Do I want to become a controversial artist?

Finally, as I often say in my writing, it is important for you as a photographer to create what makes you happy. My reputation as a puritanical photographer was short-lived. But I’m glad.

Personally, I don’t get much joy out of shooting with children or puritans, so it doesn't bother me when people say my work is “not safe for work,” “of the devil” or “painful to the eyes.” I make it for me. And for the model. And seriously……. Not once has a model ever NOT had fun shooting with my crazy props. It’s like Halloween all the time over here, and who doesn’t like Halloween?

I will honestly say that I closed some doors to business that could be open if I had never taken those images in the hospital in 2011. That is something I will forever have to deal with. BUT it has been quite a lot of fun taking those images and all the “not safe for work” photographs after that. And like all things in life, some opportunities lost meant others were gained. I’ve met a lot of amazing models, photographers, and designers whose minds are similar to mine. And really, my art would be shit if I didn’t take photographs that I enjoy, so the clientele that is a “lost opportunity” probably wouldn’t be satisfied anyway.
 
 
by J Rae Chipera

Sometimes as a photographer, I get stuck in what I like to call "the abyss of the perfect frame." Film shooters might know more about what I'm saying. You go out with your camera and shoot 24 or 36 frames. Limiting yourself to just a few dozen photographs ensures you only shoot when everything is perfect. Then you develop the negatives, and when viewed under the enlarger, there is only one frame out of those few dozen that you think is worthy of your portfolio or just one that you think garners the vision you had for that particular shoot.

But that doesn't do if the client paid for more than one image. In fact, it can be a death sentence if you only have one frame you deem good enough. One saving grace is that inevitably, the client will always have a completely different opinion about which image is the perfect frame.
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"The Haunted Shower" - model: Calissa Lieben
For this particular shoot, I wanted to shoot glamour model Calissa Lieben as the ghost haunting the shower. Though I had many shots, this was the only one that I thought really captured that story. But I needed more than one to satisfy the shoot. So what do I do?

Well sometimes, even though one image tells the story just fine, adding a few other frames gets the story better. Calissa didn't get to see the images after I took them, as I had to scurry back to California right away, but I have a good idea of what models like, and I discerned that she would like the last image in my series the best - the one that looked the least like a ghost and the most like a model. 

These three images were not taken in this sequence, but when looking at each photo individually and rearranging the negatives or thumbnails in different ways, I was able to find the perfect three-photo series that tells the story of the sighting of the beautiful ghost and highlights just how beautiful Calissa is.
These are my two main objectives as a photographer who shoots horror: 1) Show the fear. 2) Show the beauty. The different emotions that Calissa was able to show on her face is an added bonus.

Adding the extra frames made me as the photographer - the creator - wonder what would happen if I took her hand in the last frame and followed her. I wondered how she died. What is she disgusted about in the second frame? If I as the photographer now have questions, the photo series tells the story needed.
 
 
by J. Rae Chipera

Every artist ends up with a style they become known for, photographers included. Most of the time, that means choosing a photographic genre like portraits, landscapes, wildlife, etc. Exhale, though, because that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the genre you choose exclusively. Even some of the greatest photographers of all time ventured outside their chosen specialty if there was a photo that was screaming to be taken.

Ansel Adams is known for black and white landscapes, but he also shot in color. He took some portraits too. Robert Capa took a few landscapes.

But how should you choose your genre? There are a few different approaches you should consider when answering this question.
First, there is the mind of the businessman to consider. Lots of photographers do this. If you put “what kind of photographer” into search, the first suggestion is “what kind of photographer makes the most money.” However, there is a reason why this doesn’t work for most entrepreneurs: how much money you make does not have anything to do with the subject matter you shoot. Instead, it has to do with how well you shoot, and to a greater extent how good you are about bragging about your work.

If you decide to photograph weddings because you think wedding photographers make a lot of money, you should do it if you like that style of photography. If you don’t like what you do as an artist, you will grow to be resentful of your own creation, and that is the recipe for failure every time.

Of course, I’ve known some photographers who have made a decent living shooting only what the world around them demands. They are photographers for the business and had no attachment to the art whatsoever. So it’s not all-exclusive that one must be an artist as a photographer, but I would say that at least 99% of photographers consider themselves artists at least to some extent.

It’s best to satisfy your artistic mind. Most people don’t become artists because of the high pay, but because they enjoy their medium, whether it is photography, painting, sculpting, or otherwise.

Photographers take pictures of what they like and inspires them. Ansel Adams was an environmentalist, so it makes sense that he mostly enjoyed landscape photography. Capa was a photojournalist and Co-founder of Magnum Photos. He liked living on the edge and documenting atrocities of war, but that doesn't mean he didn't enjoy a pretty view every now and then.

Following this train of thought, maybe you should look through the photos you have taken, and see what you like to photograph most often. Maybe you like sunsets. Maybe you like flowers. Maybe you like wildlife. The first consideration when choosing a photography genre should be what you enjoy shooting most.

But what if you can’t decide? What if you like photographing everything? Okay. Next consider where you live. Travel to other places is often expensive, so what is around you that you can photograph? If you live in the city, wildlife photography might not be the most affordable option for you. Maybe you also like shooting sports. Choose something that fits with the area nearby where you live.

Are you still having trouble deciding? This time, consider choosing a style instead of a genre. Maybe you simply want to be known as a black and white photographer, but not specify the subject matter. Maybe you have a specific mood or emotion you enjoy portraying, no matter the subject.

Most people should now have an idea of what kind or kinds of photography they want to specialize in. If you still don’t know what to pick, you would be best off remaining a holistic photographer. You might not be ready to choose one thing over everything else yet. If that’s you, then you probably just need some more time to do more exploring of everything you can make photographically. And that is perfectly okay. 
 
 
by J. Rae Chipera
Owner, portrait photographer

A reliable model is a beautiful thing. Literally.

Every portrait photographer has had at least one model flake on them. If they haven't, then they're either lying or they've only photographed a model or two.

Simply, the way you get a model to show up to your planned shoot - is to promise something in return. If you don't want to pay the model, then you have to offer something else of value. And offering "prints" or "exposure" is not going to cut it. Contrary to the "dumb model" stereotype, I've never worked with a dumb model. They've all got brains to think with. Professional models are professionals. That means they do business, and that means models think.

The world of business is all about revenues and expenses. If the model isn't going to directly make money from you, offering something that could make them money indirectly is key. The mind of the professional model thinks about how to make more money just like the mind of any entrepreneur.

I once took a gig for free simply because of who I knew would see my photographs. In this case, it was technically working for "exposure," but not in the typical sense. In my little entrepreneur mind, it was a gamble. A risk. But it was worthwhile because my photos were seen by a fashion diva, and I got time to speak with one of the editors of a magazine I wanted to be in - and get advice about what they looked for in photography.

Had the model approached me asking to shoot for trade, I would have said no. But she said, "I would like for you to photograph me. I cannot pay you, but I can promise that your images will be seen by ___________." I went to her Model Mayhem page and saw that she had the professional experience to back it up. So I took the risk.

That brings me to the second point: never lie and promise what you can't deliver. If you can't promise anything, you'll be stuck working with the noobs until you're also not a noob. And if you promise something cool, be confident about it. If you seem flaky, the model will flake.

I have had models want to work with me when I promised them publication on my site and in a eZine. A few were eager to get put onto metal prints and displayed as art around the United States. I offered them something.

No business engagement in any field is ever completely flake-proof, but this is the way to get people to commit and take you seriously as an entrepreneur.

Remember:

Step 1: Confidently promise something it's obvious you can make good on.
Step 2: Deliver that thing.

Repeat.
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Playboy / Maxim's Caitlin Lee poses for me in the light.
 
 
by J. Rae Chipera
(not a Twitter stockholder)

Alas, my un-named source who works for Google has informed me about the truth behind the rumors that Google+ will abandon ship.

The truth is that they are dismantling Google+ and all existing employees are going to work on the secret Dinosaur Cloning Development department. Jurassic Park will benefit our economy by eating Facebook. After all, Google's only concern as a corporation is NOT increasing the wealth of its shareholders and ensuring the longevity of its long-term assets - it's all about taking down that face place. 

The reorganization originally happened because of a broken light bulb. Nobody could figure out how many Google employees to get to fix it. Thus the light bulb went unchanged, and our beloved Mr. Vic Gundotra had to resign because he couldn't see the power button to turn his computer on at work.

With his departure, the entire platform will go to the Dinosaur Development project because no project on earth has ever survived after its leader leaves - ever. In the history of all time. Though people have been working hard on Google+, it's just not allowed to function anymore now that Gundotra is leaving.

<<Disclaimer: This truth has been completely made up. Thanks for clicking.>>>
 
 
by J. Rae Chip

<<UPDATED 3/15/2014 due to additional information from a Google employee>>

Bigger photos in links: a photographer's dream come true, but a headache to make it work in some cases.

Google rolled out a new feature on their social network, Google Plus, and it quickly became a popular topic of conversation. Big links are a great solution to a debate: should links emphasize the content or the photograph? And in my opinion they look great.

The problem is that they don't seem to work consistently throughout the internet. Some photographers have had the luck of the big links just happening and others have not. I originally thought that, like all new features, it was just going to take more time for it to reach my profile. In this case, though, that was not true. I could post a link to someone else's page and it was big; I just couldn't make links from my own blog work in that way.
British Columbia photographer Michael Russell, whose post to the right, was one of the several people including employees at Google who helped me troubleshoot why big links did not work. That is important because I can't be the only person with this issue.

We thought it might be because I did not have authorship enabled, as one Google employee suggested on my initial test post.


Harald Wagener
Yesterday 6:48 PM+
+J. Rae Chip you need rich snippets on your site:https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1211158
http://schema.org/docs/gs.html

The language on the schema site is a bit too complicated for me, so Martin Heller helped me attempt to use webmaster tools to get my website and plus profile communicating better. Though we got it to work, that did not fix the problem completely.

It didn't fix mine initially because there was more work to be done, but it might help some people.

Leo Deegan, one of my favorite Googlers who works closer to this topic, helped too. He thought it had to do with a code that had to be in the head of the website. Inserting the code <meta property="og:type" content="article"/> in the head works for some people.

Taking those steps caused big links to work on my site on SOME of my blog posts but not ALL. In any case that's better than none, and I'll take it.

((UPDATED 3/15/2014: Via Leo Deegan again Yesterday 10:29 PM on the right, the algorithm has trouble choosing an image if there is more than one in the post.


I was able to trick it into publishing the header image in the big link by publishing the below photo afterward.

However, Deegan suggested the more correct way for people with control over their HTML: "move your main image of the blog post to be the first image in the mark-up."))

Like all things, this feature is not perfect. But one of the things I like about Google's social media site is that Google tries to help people as much as possible. Try getting this kind of response at the Face Place.
The evolving conversation on my social media account is below:
THANK YOU
Michael Russell, Leo Deegan, Harald Wagener, Martin Heller, and Rachael Alexandra for struggling through this with me.
Picture
This is what it will look like when your authorship is verified in Webmaster Tools.