I'm into photography because I love movies

Before I was into photography, I was into movies. 

If you hear an interview with a filmmaker, you usually here him say, "I was so shaped by films when I was a kid." The same goes for a writer, chances are they were influenced by books they read. It's kind of weird to hear, "I got into photography because of my love of movies as a kid." That's not necessarily a common jump.

Nowadays with the way technology is, photographers are almost required to be filmmakers as well. I definitely love filmmaking, although I've hardly done anything notable in that field yet, other than a few video jobs here and there. I can't help but love photography more, and it's always been that way.

Why? I love cinematography. Cinematography is always more incredible to me than setting up a stylized portrait shoot or something like that; these objects or actors or whatever the case may be have to live and move within a frame. You're not freezing a moment, you're planning for these characters to move around in the space. You have to be aware of past, present, and future. Everything must be arranged for the character ahead of time to walk from one side of the frame to another. You have to know where your view ends and where it begins; every object has a place.

I've been heavily influenced by cinematography more than anything else. I want interaction, and I want a story to be told. I like wide shots so a lot of objects can fit in the frame, giving ample awareness of the space.

Anyway, I wanted to share my favorite frames, the shots that really get me excited:

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

Magic Mike- an unassuming cinematography powerhouse 

Magic Mike- an unassuming cinematography powerhouse 

Magic Mike- The color pallette in this movie has balls (pun intended)

Magic Mike- The color pallette in this movie has balls (pun intended)

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul

Hateful Eight- This movie has so much to look at with the frame being so wide 

Hateful Eight- This movie has so much to look at with the frame being so wide 

Rocky

Rocky

Rocky again

Rocky again

Big Lebowski- Jeff Bridges actually shoots photos behind the scenes of his movie with a panoramic film camera. His stuff is great, Google it. 

Big Lebowski- Jeff Bridges actually shoots photos behind the scenes of his movie with a panoramic film camera. His stuff is great, Google it. 

Sicario

Sicario

No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Men

John Wick

John Wick

Skyfall

Skyfall

The Social Network

The Social Network

Arrival

Arrival

Arrival again- crapped myself multiple times from the beauty of this film

Arrival again- crapped myself multiple times from the beauty of this film

Ugh, here I go again

I have a weird love/hate relationship with blogging. 

I love writing and getting stuff out to clear my thoughts, so in this way this place is like my diary that everyone can read. I write with the mindset that this is my own gross little corner of the internet; a, dare I say, safe space for me.

 But a lot of people read this thing now, which wasn't the case when this started. 

I used to be able to write some crazy stuff on here, but now I leave the controversy to my slightly click-bait titles. (Throwbacks Are For Losers was part "I can't think of a good title"/"Oooh this will get a bunch of clicks") When this all started with my lowly blogspot (which is still up), pretty much my mom was my most consistent reader. (If Will blogs a forest and no one reads it, does he even make a sound?) I still write as if no one is going to read this, and sometimes, I'm afraid I go too far.

I just want to be clear: I'm not an authority on anything. Certainly, rawness and abrasive rants sell, how else would Anthony Bourdain or Gary Vaynerchuk be a success? I don't have the experience of those guys yet. Yes, I probably have more knowledge about photography than the average 24 year old that starts a photography business, but that's only because of the smart people I've been lucky enough to have around me.

Ranting about photography is such a low-stakes game, it doesn't take much to get knowledge about it. In 20 years or so, when my kids are old enough to talk back, they'll scroll through Dad's early-twenties ramblings and say, "Why are you saying photographers are greedy? Did people used to get paid to take photos?" 

I think my biggest fear is coming off like one of these bitter, know it all 20-somethings who thinks he's figured it out so he can start telling people how to live. The way I talk is dry and sarcastic, and I write how I talk. The people that know me know this (a friend told me he enjoys reading it because he can hear me narrating it in his head), but if you don't know me, I come off like a prick.

There's my constant struggle with being an internet person. If you're a blogger, vlogger, Insta-famous, or whatever, you're always going to end up having to pretend you know something and can give advice to the world. I get caught up in that for a moment, and then I remember, "Yikes, this doesn't feel good." Then I usually take an extreme measure and quit blogging for a while.  

That said, I've gained a readership that I didn't expect (ever), and so maybe writing like no one is going to read it is attracting people to come read this thing. If I didn't write about something that triggered a post earlier in the day/week/month or whatever, I don't know what I'd even write about.

Anyways, this was a long way of saying that I want to make sure I stay in check here. I don't want to be or sound like a know-it-all jerk. I know it's taboo for an "internet entrepreneur" or whatever the hell I am to admit that I don't actually know anything, but hey, I'm a taboo guy.  

The Unimportance of Logos

Think about all of the great logos in the world; the ones that are embedded into your mind because of all of the products you interact with day to day.

They are an important piece of the branding strategy, because to us, the "users" they are an easy identifier for that company. What I'm saying is nothing new or anything interesting.

Logos seem to really only be good for companies, but next to useless for individuals. What do I mean? When you think of an "LG" washing machine, their logo most likely pops into your head. If you think of your friendly neighborhood wedding photographer, you probably think of that particular guy or girl, but I highly doubt you think about the logo on their business card.

This is because a photographer's logo will never become as ubiquitous as an appliance company's logo. You may have one or two consistent clients, but most photographers are dealing with new clients regularly. There's never a chance for a photographer's logo to be embedded in your client's head. 

Logos for photographers/graphic designers/filmmakers are fancy decoration, and so changing the "look" of your business cards or website is a pretty low stakes game. 

If you run a freelance business, making a logo for yourself is just something you do. Quite a few freelancers add a lot of self-importance to a logo, when the importance isn't really there. If you were Apple, changing your logo is a big deal. If you're Will Malone Photography, you're not going to lose any work over it. You're just a picture-taking grunt, and if you do that well you're good. 

Certainly though, maybe this is an opening for some new ideas. What if you as a photographer attempted to make your logo slightly ubiquitous? I remember that back in college, I had a stack of free stickers of the logo to the right and gave them out. For the remainder of my college career, I saw my logo on strangers laptops all over campus. (I only think about this because I happened to see my logo downtown stuck somewhere the other day.) Now, the problem is that no one knew what this logo meant or what I did or even who I was, but that's an interesting social study for another day. 

I'm always slightly interested in the experimentation of branding for a freelancer, and since it's so low-stakes, there's almost no risk to experimenting more. The photography business is shrinking and there's less and less money out there every day, so why not make changes to the "it's just what you do" type things? I feel like us photographers put to much stock in the photos themselves, but really that's the easy part. Why not play around and change the game in other aspects of the photography business?