Also, musing on our upcoming trip to Nashville to teach my fashion photography MASTER CLASS, and about everything I love about this charming and wonderful city. So here are my TOP 10 things I love about Nashville!
Ever thought of making your own backdrop rather than wasting money on a new premade backdrop? It's easier than you think, fun and fast!
First you will need a big open space that you don't mind getting dirty! We used our roof in Brooklyn with a beautiful view!
Then you need your canvas for creating your beautiful backdrop! It is very easy to buy. We got ours from an Art supply store in Chinatown, but you can find it in most Art Supply stores, anywhere. Our canvas was 12x24 feet and was on sale for $50.
To start this process you will need your paint! We bought a light grey to paint our first layer!
Your brushes and a small tube of black tint! (Black tint $2.99, 3 Brushes $3.99 each, 1 gallon of cheap flat paint $30)
And some roller brushes to make the process quicker!
And then your ready to start! Starting with the roller brushes to just quickly give the backdrop a light grey base. We only needed to use half of the paint, saving the other half for the second layer.
Done! This is what it should look like after the first layer!
Once your done with the first layer, take a break and have some fun while you wait for it to dry!
Your first Layer dry? Awesome! Now its time to start with your second layer. Because we want our backdrop to have a vintage look we want more than one layer to darken the backdrop as we go along, so now we will add a black tint to our light grey paint.
Next we add our water, because we don't want our paint to be too thick and so that we don't lose all the texture created from our first layer. When it's watered down to a 50 by 50 ratio then it makes a nice "glaze".
Now you can start your second layer, for the second layer we used a paintbrush adding to the texture of our already light grey backdrop.
As you go along and the paint starts to dry you will see the backdrop get darker with more texture to it.
Second layer done! You can already see the difference!
Although the backdrop looks perfect after the second layer, we added one more layer just to bring it all together! We had another gallon of paint lying around so we used some of that paint (mixed with plenty of water) and paint brushes and cloths just to blend all the textures together.
After giving it one last touch up, it's done! And how easy was that! If you are not covered in paint then you must have done something wrong. :)
Now you have you very own homemade backdrop!
And here again is my first shot from my first photo-shoot with the new backdrop! The lovely Oksana Dennis Jager! Voila!
To learn the ins and outs of the Fashion Photography industry, join me on my upcoming Photography Master Class series "Fashion School". And be sure to come to my next photography workshop this fall!
I've decided to make some drastic changes in my life. One of them is my focus on becoming wealthy in ALL areas of my life.
My steps to becoming a Millionaire.
My ultimate goal is to become a Billionaire, but for the sake of this journey, we will start with the first simple goal of becoming a millionaire. Now most of us want to be rich. I have always WANTED to be rich, healthy and successful, but I never actually took the time to really STUDY the process. I just assumed in order to get rich, it was about hard work, competitiveness, and focus. While some of this is true, I have discovered a much better way to success. A far easier, more fun way to having all that you desire in life.
I decided to write about this journey and share it. I am going to be putting the principles that I learn from successful leaders into practice. I have begun to drastically change my philosophy about life immediately just from one month of study.
"Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out." Jim Rohn
So what does that mean, our personal philosophy about life? Basically that means, the way you THINK about life, your BELIEFS, and your daily THOUGHTS. These are what create your reality. These thoughts and beliefs that you hold right now are what shape your future. They are also what shape the future of the entire world. But don't just take my word on this, study the minds of the greatest leaders, inventors, innovators, and thinkers throughout history, and you will find that they follow a certain formula, if you will. They have a BELIEF system that we should look at and study. This is exactly what I have been doing, and I will be recording my personal progress here throughout this journey. If I can follow these principles and philosophies and become a millionaire, we all can. I'd love you to join me on this journey, as we take the insights, ideas, and philosophies of the world's greatest minds, and we adapt them to our own, and even add our own insights that we gather along the way to the pool.
It doesn't matter where you are in your life right now. It only matters where you want to go.
We will take this journey step-by-step. I am making a strong commitment to this daily process, and will record the process with all the little successes and failures along the way. I encourage you to join me!
Here's a bit of back history.
Up until recently I have had this philosophy that life was hard. I've always been a pretty happy person, and have had a quite a bit of success in my photography career over the years, but I still somehow had this mindset that I had to work 80+ hours a week, give up having much of a social life, be highly competitive in my industry, and never let anyone know of my struggles. I had always read plenty of self help and spiritual books in the past, and was aware of many ideas and ways for creating a better life, I just didn't have any solid disciplines. I would occasionally meditate and luckily I was eating healthy for many years. Even though I have been highly ambitious with my career, there was always this internal voice that didn't really believe that I either deserved, or could get the big ad campaigns, contracts, or acquire vast amounts of wealth. A part of me I suppose believed that a true artist struggles a bit, and it's ok if the marketplace doesn't see the value in my work, because I am an artist and "they," the marketplace, is all too commercial and just don't get it. I also thought that the world was full of corruption, greed and sadness, and probably spent a great too many hours watching documentaries on all the problems that face society in this world. I focused on those who were less fortunate, our insufficient health care system and the struggle of society's impoverished and hungry. I have had strong political views on how messed up our government was here in the USA, and how we would spend so much wasted money on wars and violence, rather than feeding and educating people. The list goes on and on. So how did all of this STUFF that makes up my "reality" make me feel? My daily question became "Today, do I want to try and enjoy the world or try and change it?" But usually the task at hand of trying to change the world seemed overwhelming. So rather than deal with all of that today, I would focus on my work. For pleasure I subconsciously would turn to a cigarette to give me a little feel good boost. Since I am an "Artist," my day would begin later that the rest of what I called "the corporate world". Since I didn't have to be up early, I'd stay up late and sleep in. I wanted to wake up and exercise, but almost always my craving for coffee and a cigarette overtook the urge to workout. And so, here I was, creating a bit of a toxic life for myself - in my mind and with my body.
In late May of this year, I decided to get out of my usual routine and go spend 5 weeks in France. It had always been a dream of mine to live in Paris, so I took the money I had and lived in Paris for 4 of those 5 weeks. It was a really wonderful experience being around a new culture every day, and I no doubt got a lot out of it, but part of me still felt something in life was missing. After France, I went to visit my family up in Michigan. My sister has been battling with stage 4 cancer, and has beat it, thanks to her really great attitude on life. And here I was still smoking. When I left her place I knew that I was ready for a drastic life change. I went to visit my aunt Caren who has always been one of the most successful people I have known. She has a brilliant mind and seems to be able to turn anything she touches into gold. So I asked her, who has influenced you the most in your thinking? What motivational speaker do you most enjoy? She said "Jim Rohn." Leaving her house that day for an 10 hour drive back to New York City began the first step that would put the wheels in motion for my transformation to a wealthier self.
Here's today's video inspiration to get your mind thinking differently!
"CHANGE YOUR PHILOSOPHY, CHANGE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE." Jim Rohn
New Philosophy - "Getting rich is easy!" Jim Rohn
Now go watch this video, and check back here to see the updates!
This afternoon, we had the distinct pleasure of commencing Fashion Week by speaking with designer and industry pioneer, John Patrick of Organic by John Patrick. After only a few moments, we were deeply moved by his zeal and humility and found ourselves immersed in his genuine ethos as well as his insightful and candid commentary on the status of the fashion industry. What we found was a man whom epitomizes truth and integrity.
John unequivocally expressed the validity of what so many of us have suspected; the fashion industry has become corrupted and polluted by the establishment and its attempt to capitalize on the growing trend of being sociopolitically conscious. But John appeared to be fully aware of an ulterior motive; the existence of manipulative marketing ploys and trend exploitation. He emphatically stated that, “I am not about trends … trends make me sick." Instead, he was far more interested in "purposeful industrial techniques … in building things.”
John impressed upon us the fact that he sits “in a unique position as a creative where [he is] much more aware of what is happening sociopolitically” and the importance of creating genuine relationships within communities; where consumers are educated and businesses produce quality products that are ethically created and manufactured at fair wages.
Upon our departure, we found ourselves refreshed, educated and grateful. We made a new friend today; an innovator immersed with unselfishness and candor. And it quickly became obvious that he naturally applies these very values into every aspect of his work.
If only all designers could offer such inherent and selfless contributions.
Fashion legend, Marylou Luther attending Organic by John Patrick at New York Fall 2014 Fashion Week.
Photos by Jodi Jones using the brand new Hasselblad HV.
Here I photographed fashion designer John Patrick of Organic by John Patrick after his show with my 1968 Hasselblad 500.
ORGANIC by John Patrick – Ethical and organic clothing made in New York.
Why market your work? I mean, you are such an amazing talent, people should just "discover" you! Ahhhhh, if that were only true now-a-days!!
Artists/Creatives need to run their BUSINESS and make it PROFITABLE!
As we artists all know, there is ALOT of talent out there, and a ton of new photographers entering the field every day. But don't look at it as a bad thing! Focus more on what YOU have to offer. The best thing you can do is: FIRST - get a SOLID technicalunderstanding of your craft, SECOND - find/create your own UNIQUE individual STYLE, VISION OF WORK & BRAND, THIRD - MARKET the hell out of it!
Dont attempt to do the third step until you have completed the first two steps!! EVEN THOUGH THE THIRD STEP MAY JUST BE THE MOST IMPORTANT, although I personally wouldn't want to not have a strong knowledge of expertise of what I do or a strong vision.... but we all know, it's not always the most talented that gets the job, IT'S THE PERSON WHO MARKETS THEMSELVES!!
Now that you are technically savvy and have your strong creative vision, don't sit back and wait for your future clients to come to you! Go out there and dominate your field by reaching out to the people you want to work with and show them that you exist! One of my favorite quotes I heard recently "The 3 things that keep people from meeting their goals: OBSCURITY, UNCERTAINTY and LACK OF PERSISTENCE!" ~Grant Cardone.
Some MARKETING TIPS:
1. CREATE A BRAND IDENTITY AND LOGO. Have an identity that you use just as any other company would have, and have it be consistent on your WEBSITE, PROMO CARDS, BUSINESS CARDS, EMAIL PROMOS, PORTFOLIO, etc. You are creating your own brand so give the creatives you are marketing to a brand identity that they see over and over from you.I haven't always done this myself! It is something that is fairly new to me even after being in the industry for quite a while, but after meeting with a professional consultant, I was advised that I really need to do this before my next round of marketing! So.....
Here is the logo that I am now using. It is simple and modern, nothing too complex.
I have also had two VERY talented artists create logo proposals for me as well that I am also considering! Thank you Mike Poulsen and Joseph Jammal!!
2. CREATE A PROMO CARD & SEND IT TO YOUR TARGETED LIST OF CLIENTS THAT YOU WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH.
Think of all the brands that suit your style of photography (and the ad agencies that create the advertisements for your favorite brands) and send them a promo to introduce yourself and your work. If it is more fashion editorial work you are interested in, then target your favorite fashion magazines and send your new promo to them. Make sure your work is relevant to the type of work they do!
I designed this promo at 5x7 inches and had it printed from overnightprints.com. The print quality is great and I was able to get 1000 cards mailed to me for only $165! Next I purchased clear envelopes and stamps and had my excel spreadsheet of contacts made into avery mailing labels and had the local print lab make transparent labels for me.
Here's the back of my promo card with my name, title "Fashion & Advertising Photographer", my website and my phone number.
3. ALWAYS FOLLOW UP WITH A PHONE CALL TO TRY AND GET A MEETING!
4. FOLLOW UP AGAIN WITH AN EMAIL.
Most of the time it takes SEVERAL rounds of doing this marketing before you land that face-to-face meeting. It is all about PERSISTENCE & PERSEVERANCE!!
REPEAT EVERY 3-4 MONTHS.
I guess this should go without saying but PLEASE, have your WEBSITE looking good before you start your marketing program!! And your BRANDING needs to match!!
Every February there is a sort of buzz that goes on through New York City's fashion industry - Spring Fashion Week.
I've been shooting Fashion Week for over 10 years now, so I guess you could considered me one the true veterans of the pit.
The tv show "women on top" features an episode on me showing the struggles and rewards of creating a career in fashion and being invited by the fashion elite to photographer their collections every season.
Shooting the big runway shows in new york city is exciting. It can be incredible when you have great access, know the inside scoop on the psychology of the photographer's pit, and have mastered your craft. Without this knowledge, you most likely will be involved in a lot of fighting with other photographers, getting a bad position, and total chaos.
PRE-FASHION WEEK PREP DAY- Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I arrived at lincoln center to pick up my credential… there was a long line and it was very cold outside. Luckily, the amazing Michael who works for IMG, saw me in line, and went to retrieve my badge so i wouldn’t have to wait. After picking up my credential at lincoln center I headed over to fotocare’s rental department to pick out the equipment needed for the week. Fred, manager of Foto Care’s rental department had everything all ready for me. Fred is awesome! This fashion week I was expected to shoot both stills and video so I decided upon getting the Canon 5D Mark 11. I was really hoping to shoot backstage only this season and use the Hasseblad H4D with the 120 macro lens for amazing beauty shots, but a magazine last minute hired me to shoot 71 runway shows…. (that’s insane, by the way)… so it looks like the hasselblad backstage will have to wait until next season.
The gear I chose to shoot the shows: Canon 5d Mark 11, a 70-200mm IS 2.8 lens for shooting runway, and a 16-35mm 2.8 for shooting wide angle scene shots and for the presentation shows.
DAY 1 - Thursday, February 10, 2011
Woke up about 6am… and I’m not a morning person at all. So for me it is quite hard to be truly alive before 10am, but luckily this season I had italian photographer Stefano Ortega, aka, greeting me in the morning with “Buongiorno!” and a coffee. Such a nice way to start the day. We arrived for the first day of the shows at about 8am, at the tents. SR Hayes, my shooting partner, had arrived the night before to mark my spot. Life Saver!! Photographers “mark their spot” by putting tape down in the riser and writing their affiliation on the tape. We mark about a 12×12 inch spot. This season I was shooting for AP, ZUMA Press and Vivrant Magazine.
My first show of the day was BCBG. Here is a shot from the BCBG show.
Jodi is a photographer and film director based out of New York City. The television show “Women on Top” did a full episode on her as a top female runway and fashion photographer in a male dominated field. Her photography has been published worldwide in magazines such as American Vogue, Time, Vanity Fair, Newsweek and People. She shoots both video and still photography – developing imagery and concepts for advertising campaigns, look-books and catalogs. Her clients include fashion houses, fashion retailers, cosmetic companies and ad agencies. Jodi also contributes fashion images and editorials to magazines and is a contracted photographer for AP (Associated Press).