Friday, November 13, 2009

As If You Don't Feel Stupid Enough...

I was working in the yard yesterday, trying to wrestle a section of privacy fence into place. I lost control of it and one of the many old rusty nails in it punctured my right hand. Eesh! My eyes crossed looking at the hole right before it started bleeding. That was a big nail! Look at the hole it made! Better get inside and clean it up, maybe dump some hydrogen peroxide on it and see how I feel about it then.

So I am washing it and I give it a good splash of the ol' peroxide. I am thinking I would like it to bleed a little more, you know to get the dirty blood out. (Why do we think like that?) I decide to squeeze the pad below my thumb, where the wound is, to make it bleed some. When I squeezed it, some kind of white grissely stuff poked out! Kind of like I had popped some colossal zit on my hand. I get a paper towel to wipe it away and I dragged it out further! It was attached and part of my hand - only now it was outside instead of inside where it belonged.

That's it! I'm going to the ER. I probably need a shot for the rusty nail anyway.

After I checked myself in, the doctor comes in to take a look. "That's your fat!" he says, pointing at my hand and identifying the strange protrusion. "Thanks", I said. "Good to know I am carrying around so much that some of the guys tried to make a run for it."

He washed it and gently poked everything back where it belongs. Now it's time to close the wound. He reaches over to his little assortment of supplies and picks up a common band-aid. "No stitches?" Then he gives me this look that says "There, there, Mr. Anderson. Doctor make it all better" as he pressed the band-aid in place.

I think leaving with a band-aid is the highest form of insult from the ER. I did get the tetanus shot though. Lessons learned.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Who Will Save Us?

Our little Stevie came home with a costume and couldn't wait to assume his new character. I think it suits him well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Whew! Big Week

There has been a lot of activity recently. Last week there was the appearance on Fox 59 Morning News (man, was I nervous! It was live, so there were no re-do's), then the awesome interview with Joe Konz and his blog Photo Potpourri, followed by the Headshots for the Unemployed event at the Fishers Library on Monday!

I got all of the photos posted to the website and word out to all the participants yesterday. I've got to say what a wonderful group of people they were. It was a pleasure meeting all of them and I hope to hear from them soon that they are back in action. You can check out their photos here.

Meanwhile, I have some ideas for micro-stock photography that I want to work on and start networking hard with area ad agencies.

Stay tuned,


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Appearance on Fox59 Morning News

In case you missed it, here is the video from my appearance yesterday on Fox 59 Morning News to promote my Headshots for the Unemployed event on Monday October 26th from 1:00p to 4:00p at the Fishers Library.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And Now For Round Two!

As I have previously mentioned, last month's Headshots for the Unemployed was a great success, so now we are doing it again.

This time I will be at the Fishers Library on October 26th from 1:00p to 4:00p. As before, the event is open to anyone who is currently unemployed and looking for a job. You can drop me an email to reserve a time or even just show up.

I will take a professional business portrait of you at no charge and you will be able to go to my website the next day and download the high res file of your portrait for free. No strings attached. The picture can be used on any social networking site like Facebook or LinkedIn and you can make prints to include in your resume package.

You might ask what motivates me do a full scale professional shoot for anyone that cares to take advantage of it and then give away the resulting product. I believe the unemployment problem is not just the problem of the unemployed. It affects all of us. We all like to plunder the rewards of a fat economy. When times are lean, we then need to nurture the ground we feed on to ensure our future sustainability. (Should've warned you to put yer boots on before we wandered into that muddy field!)

In case you happen to be awake around 7:45a on Monday the 19th, I have been asked to appear on the Indianapolis Fox affiliate, WXIN 59 to discuss the upcoming Headshots for the Unemployed event. This is a first for me, so I am sure I will screw it up somehow! I would love to hear any advice anyone may have.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Headshots Followup

First, I want to thank Melissa Stewart and all the nice folks at the Noblesville Library for allowing me to host my first Headshots for the Unemployed event. Everyone at the library was very accommodating and made sure I had everything I needed as well as the great location and space. I had a great turnout and everyone I met was so nice.

If you are an "employer" that complains about a lack of quality applicants to choose from, those days are over. The recent economy has forced many capable and highly qualified people out of their jobs and now they are looking for you.

If you are one of the people I met that day, keep in touch and let me know when you have secured your next position.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Headshots for the Unemployed

I was thinking about reaching out to a friend that was looking for a job and offering to do a professional business portrait for them. You just know a prospective employer is going to check you out on Facebook or LinkedIn, plus I thought the photo would be a nice inclusion in their resume package. Well, before I could present my offer to them, they found a job! Then I thought, if it was a good idea for my friend, it will be a good idea for everybody else too.

On September 21st, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm I will be at the Noblesville Library, in the North Meeting Room, providing free professional business portraits to anyone that is unemployed and looking for work.

Looking for a job is a difficult business, especially with the pressures of providing for your family. I know you need encouragements, like a new suit and a great resume. Hopefully, these portraits can be another layer of confidence, or just a general assistance in helping someone land that next job.

Please pass this information on to anyone you know that might be able to benefit from this event. I am trying to reach as many people as I can. If you have any questions or would like to participate contact me at

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Parables of Jesus

It has been two weeks since my last post because things are picking up around here. I was asked by my friends at White River Christian Church, in Noblesville to create a set of images for a sermon series they were doing on the parables Jesus used when He was teaching. The idea was to have one image for each of the seven stories they were going to cover in as many weeks.

Now, if you are familiar with these parables, you know they are usually complex little stories that illustrated a different complex little idea. My challenge was to boil it all down to the essence of the precise point that was being made and then devise a single image that would convey that same idea. This assignment was a blast for me because I got a chance to use all of the tools in my bag. With the pressure of a looming deadline, but no direction whatsoever, I had to dig into the creative reserves and make quick decisions to keep the project moving forward. There was no time to rethink things and no committee to discuss them with. Once I decided what the image should be I went and set it up the way I saw it and that is how the image was.

Fortunately, they were delighted with them and decided to put large prints of them around on the stage to help illustrate the messages. I have to send out a big thank you to my son Isaiah for being my patient model in four of these images.

I don't believe in over-explaining art so I won't tell you why I did what I did, but I will give you the parable that each photo illustrates.

The Sower

3 Lost Things

The Talents

The Growing Seed

The Pharisee and Tax Collector

The Mustard Seed

The Wicked Tenants

I look forward to your comments and I hope you have a great week!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Oliver Winery

"And now for something completely different"

For our anniversary, Kim suggested we tour Oliver Winery. My immediate reaction was "Seriously?" with doubt all over my face. Then I though about it for a minute and I realized it could be kinda cool.

We went down on a Tuesday, so there weren't a lot of people there and I was able to relax enough to really enjoy the place. We were also fortunate enough to get a tour, a feature usually reserved for the bigger weekend crowd. They took us through a portion of their facilities, enough to get the gist of what they do to make wine and a full background on the company. After the tour we went to the wine tasting room.

Now I have to tell you, before our visit to the winery, my only experience with their wine was the transparent red stuff they sell at Meijer and Walmart. That stuff is only a heartbeat away from Kool-Aid. Once in the tasting room, I was first of all surprised by all of the varieties of wine they produce. I have always heard they make such great wine, but I could never find any of it before. Anyway, I ended up being quite impressed and we went home with several bottles of amazing wine. If you can find it, I highly recommend one of their dessert wines called Maximun Port.

After a few sips of the good stuff, we ventured outside to check out their botanical garden area. This is the point where I decided I need to take some pictures. There was an incredible variety of flowers and everything had these neat little signs under it telling you what it is (even the weeds!).

Please click this link here to see the full set of images from that day.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hamilton County Co-Op

I was in Noblesville taking pictures when I noticed a huge group of grain silos just south of downtown. They seemed old and weathered, which is probably what caught my eye, that and the fact that they were so huge with intricate pipe structures. There was no way the camera wasn't coming out of my bag.

I approached the property and started taking pictures. I assumed it was abandoned, just like the Fortville Grain Company I had written a post about three weeks ago. Off to my right, I noticed a man coming toward me with a nervous smile on his face.

"The boss don't want nobody taking pictures." I had already written him off as someone passing through on his way to somewhere else. Then I realized he must work here.
"The boss don't like people taking pictures, unless they ask him about it first. Even then he wants to be careful about who can take pictures.
One time he gave a photographer permission and come to find out they had a girl out here taking nude pictures! The only other time he allowed it was for a heavy metal band to shoot a video."
Sensing he was telling me to leave without getting the pictures I had walked over here to get, I offered to speak to the boss directly.
"Well, he's out of town right now"
I assured the guy I was only intending to walk once around the outer perimeter of the property and usually, I manage to keep my clothes on while I work.
He seemed to run out of objections and agreed to look the other way.

Standing close to these silos was like being at an Apollo rocket launch, without all of the cool smoke and fire, of course.

Check out the full set of images from that day here. As always, I look forward to your comments.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Old 238

Highway 238 has been under heavy reconstruction for over two years now. For my purposes, it is the fastest way to get to Noblesville or I-69, though there are alternatives. I can remember, when I was dating my wife, that I could make it from my door to her's in 12 minutes, but that was before they tore up the road.

In the process of building the Saxony Corporate Business Park and Hamilton Town Center shopping mall some of the roads and access had to be reconfigured. As a result, there is a section of Highway 238, perhaps a mile long, that has been clipped off though it still sits there inaccessible.

Seeing that little strip of unused highway sitting there reminds me of that last scene in the original Planet Of The Apes movie. Its the scene where Charleton Heston makes it out to the beach and discovers what's left of the Statue of Liberty.

My wife and I share a house now. I guess I don't need that little piece of road anymore either. Recently, I walked it... to feel like Charleton Heston.

The full set of pictures are here. Don't forget to leave comments, I read them all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fortville Grain Company

I have taken a new direction with my photography and I would very much like input from anyone reading this. The blog is open for comments as well as my direct email. I am going to be making posts with some of my images on a weekly basis. I would like to have a huge number of subscribers to my blog available to shoot some feedback to me as I make the posts. If you don't currently subscribe to my blog, consider this my invitation for you to do so. I would also encourage you to invite all of your friends as well. Thank you.

These images are from an abandoned structure in the middle of Fortville, Indiana. It used to be the Fortville Grain Company. You can see the full set of images here Click on the section called "Proof/Events"

I appreciate your comments.
Take Care

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Professional Integrity

As a photographer, I am constantly being advised by my peers to limit myself to one area of specialty. Pick one thing to do and hit it hard. Be the best and be known by what you do. Streamline your website. Focus your whole message in one direction. Be consistent.In the marketplace, however, I see a very different and disturbing trend.

In an effort to corner all of the business they can, many service oriented businesses (and what business isn't service oriented anymore) are expanding their service offerings to the point that some professions are being homogenized down to commodity offerings. You know, the Wal-Mart syndrome. Now you can go to Wal-Mart for groceries, portraits, a hair-cut, banking, tax preparation, see a doctor, auto maintenance and now some kind of eye-brow ripping place! Where will it end?

I think the answer is it won't.

Where this trend crawls me is when small businesses start adding photography to their list of services. I have been a photographer for sixteen years now. When I started out, there was a significant investment of time, equipment, process and craft. I had to buy expensive cameras, multiple lenses, lighting equipment, backdrop rigs, darkroom equipment and all of the necessary supplies to process and print images. Now I have made the switch to digital and there are new cameras to buy and then you have to learn computer image manipulation. There are still a zillion things to learn if you want to stay competitive.

Well, here I am making the new equipment investments, learning Photoshop, learning what all my new camera can do and staying current on the latest lighting trends and I see a shop open up on Main Street in the town I live in. The business is graphic design..and photography! The front window is full of portraits and there is a sparse studio set up inside. The owner is a very good designer, but just likes to do photography also. Then I look across the street (literally, right across the street) and there is a business offering tattoos, fine art gallery and photography. Nearby, in another town one business offers a hair salon, massage therapy and you guessed it, photography! All of these businesses are doing portraits. It is worth mentioning that one proprietor is providing all of the services listed for each business. I don't want to deprive anyone the opportunity to make a buck doing something that is very fulfilling, but I wonder how much they enjoy it if it is listed second or third in their list of services. How much skill and technique do they bring to the table?

So what is the harm? Live and let live. They are not likely to be as good as me and that will separate my work from what they can do and customers will seek me out over them, right?

Not necessarily.

Many people have the perception that one is as good as another and if you are charging me $200 for a portrait session and they can do the session for free or for say $15, why should I spend the extra dough for some hot shot that thinks he is worth more? Well I am here to tell you, it's not that the "hot shot" thinks he is worth more, but his cost of doing business is higher because everything is riding on his (or her) ability to bring it when the shutter falls. If you aren't blown away by your photographs and you don't invest in prints from the shoot, we can't make it up with a few extra haircuts. We have poured everything we have into an art form we feel and believe in. We know what we can do, get excited to face a new challenge and thrill to see the look on your face when you see the results. I can't believe there is as much personal suffering and achievement involved if your photographer is distracted by their other occupation's deadlines and challenges.

The same principle applies if your plumber sells real-estate on the side. When you need your plumbing fixed, you call a professional. When you need to sell your home in a tough real-estate market, you don't screw around with a part-timer. If I come to you for accounting advice, I don't want to know that you also happen to sell MonaVie on the side. I want to believe in you as a professional. Don't dilute my perception of you with sidelines, it tells me you don't believe in the thing I am trusting you with, or that you don't work hard enough at it. When people see me, I want them to know me as a photographer, not an insurance agent who also does photography. I am a photographer….and that's it. When I look at you, I am sizing up how the light plays on your face. I am walking around thinking about how I would compensate for the crappy lighting in the doctors waiting room, or in the mall, wherever. I think in the language of how I can use the equipment I have to make something spectacular out of what is available.

I am making myself stop. It feels good to finally get this bothersome topic out in the open. I welcome any comments anyone may have.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Night Out

Went out for my birthday last night. Kim and I had a great dinner at Matteo's Italian Restaurant in Noblesville. Our first attempt at dinner was a trendy Italian restaurant in Indy, until they told us we would have to wait four hours for a table! We quickly decided to go north and I am glad we did. As we entered the restaurant, the hostess greeted us and immediately led us to our table, the same one we had the last time we were there almost a year ago. I don't know why we don't go there more often! The service, atmosphere and food were all great. Basically, we love that place.
As we were walking back to our car, I caught a glimpse of the moon through an alley. For my money, the alleys in downtown Noblesville are some of the more notable photographic features of the area and I couldn't resist grabbing my camera out of the car.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!

Central Indiana got pounded with 10 to 11 inches of snow last night. Obviously, schools and everything else are closed, driving is slow. After a few hours of intense shoveling in the driveway, the sun came out, everything looked beautiful and we decided to do the only responsible thing - we took the kids sledding! Apparently everybody else in town had the same idea. There were so many people there, it was like we wandered into a snow festival. In case you missed the festival, here are some of my shots from the day. To be honest, I wanted an excuse to go to the park for some photos of snowy splendor.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remembrances and Restlessness

When I was young, I would walk everywhere. I was too young to drive, but too restless to sit around. Within a one mile radius of my house, there were suburban homes in all directions, a gravel pit (we called it "fake lake") with woods and weed packed field, retail stores and industrial developments.

When you are on foot, you get a completely different sense of your surroundings then you would from a car. You can take adventurous short-cuts. You find all kinds of things. You get scared thinking that no one would ever know how to find you. You find little places most people will never know exist.

Well I might soon have to make a trip back to the old neighborhood and take a walk around.

I am feeling restless, but there is snow and I don't need to go anywhere. For consolation, I ventured outside and took a few shots.