Thursday, October 1, 2009

LA Weekly Best of Issue Publishes!

Go ahead and check it out, lots of photos by me and the gang with awesome compositing and art direction by Darrick Rainey

LA Weekly Best of Issue

Saturday, September 26, 2009

LA Weekly Best of Issue

Coming October 1st, the LA Weekly Best of Issue, featuring photography by Star Foreman


featuring models

Sarah Marie Hilker
Chad Coe
Ginger Pullman
Natalie Gibson
Nickie Jean Richards
Jesse Holland
Rana McAnear
Manny Cazz

Make-up and Hair by Lucy Landweer

Wardrobe styling by Star Foreman

with locations including

Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles
The Dresden Restaurant
The Old Zoo in Griffith Park
Broadway in Downtown LA


The Art Farm in Devore, Ca- locations, wardrobe and animals for rent for photo shoots and video projects
Baby goat 'Stooge',
Nubian goat 'Scoobie' and
Quarter horse 'Silent'.

Animals courtesy of Karen Deputy of The Art Farm in Devore, Ca

Studio courtesy of Studio 1008

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is it 1970 or 1930?

today's shoot

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Etsy Mini

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

blogging along, singing a song, side by side

see me here in this great vintage blog

Where have all the jobs gone?

A continuing argument I have with older more seasoned shooters is the argument that the photo market hasn't changed, and that young photographers just need to call art directors more and show our books around if we want to be hired.

Well, I have news, the market for new photographers hasn't just changed, it has dried up and blown away.

As a photographer who graduated one year ago from the Art Center, I can say that for everyone I know that has graduated in the last year times have been more then tough.

I try and shoot a test every week, or more if I can. I shoot just to keep myself from the feeling that I am about to go under, about to not be able to make it.

I do every type of marketing that comes my way, but it still isn't getting me notcied by more then a handful of people. (Shout out to my peeps at the LA Weekly and OC Weekly! You rock my world and i love ya!)Link

Since graduation I have done many small jobs, multiple gallery shows, some work for the wonderful people at the weeklies, background acting in the movies (Iron Man II is going to be so good!), I even have been retouching images for as low as $10 an image; and still i am not making enough. That is a problem.

The photographers aren’t hiring new assistants, that is just plain true. Instead illegal internships are being offered everywhere I look. The jobs that used to go to journeymen photographers are being offered as TFP. Art directors are not calling in our books, and they aren’t answering their phones. Magazines are closing, or streamlining. Agencies want to have free tests for their new faces divisions. Clothing designers want free or $500 lookbooks with all usage rights. Brides expect to have the entire wedding shot for $500 or LESS.

From what I can see there are two places in the photography market right now, scrapping the barrel bottom and already established top. What this economy has done is it has eliminated the middle ground of photographers, and those are the ones most likely to try out new assistants, and their jobs are the ones most likely to go to new shooters.

As those jobs dry up the photographers who did the steady middle clients are dropping their prices, making it even harder for the “newbies” to find a niche.

I have had four editors look at my book this year. All hired me. But with cold calling, email promos and physical mailing I am just not getting through. It is easy to blame the new photographers for not busting their asses enough to get the jobs, but the fact is the jobs aren’t there to get.

I have one final example, a friend of mine won one of the top photography awards for students two years ago. He has teched for several top photographers, he is an incredible portrait, still life and architectural photographer. He works his ass off doing scouting and assisting, and right now he is living with his parents because the jobs aren’t there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

LA Weekly Cover

see the story here

Monday, July 27, 2009

Time magazine writes back

Skye Gurney writes:

"Hi Star,

Clara Waldron forwarded your information to me inquiring about the use of the coin jar on the cover of the April 27, 2009 cover of Time.

The image was purchased from istockphoto with an extended license. You can read the provisions of the extended license here:


Skye Gurney"

Now we just have to find out, did they buy the other licenses they needed?
Multi-Seat (for when you have it on more then one computer at a time?), Items for Resale (the posters you sell online), Electronic Items for Resale (the Kindle download is an example of electronic items for resale)

And if they did, why didn't istock pay their artist what was agreed to for the credits? He was even not paid the amount for the extended license.

TIME magazine cover now pays $31.50

Recently there has been a lot of internet buzz on how TIME magazine used an istock photo as the cover of an issue last April.

I first ran across the TIME magazine istock cover on a forum at the website modelmayhem. What I noticed right away, is that the number for the photographer payout and the licensing numbers istock charges were not adding up.

Now one of the things we are seeing is how an issue like this can go viral.

EDIT: We don't know what TIME paid for. We only have the photographer's word on what he was paid. He was paid, according to his word, $31.50, 20% of what TIME paid for licensing. Istock guarantees its contributers no less then 19¢ per credit. We know what TIME should have paid in terms of credits for the image, so we know about what number of credits TIME purchased. TIME purchased somewhere around 158 credits (if we go from the lowest payscale per credit possible), which is not the full 400 and some credits they would have needed.

Also in fair disclosure I don't think TIME deliberately bought the wrong license, didn't credit the photographer, and sold the image illegally. However I do believe that TIME does not currently hold the correct licenses, and owes the fees set force in the license they have bought to istock photo, and the photographer. I do not believe they should be allowed to retroactively buy more licensing. /end edit

Pro photographers and hobbiests arguing back and forth over what TIME should pay for a cover, how micro stock is ruining the industry; and of course, in the end, somebody had to call communism.

Well here is answer to that argument, that saying paying a working wage is communism, it isn't. It is objectivism.

So that is that, but more then that I am concerned over the apparent disregard TIME magazine is showing to the licensing agreement they made with istock photos, which is the manager for the artist's work in this particular case.

With the payment made to the photographer it looks like TIME bought 87 "credits" from That is a multi-user license (which they need if they want it on more then one computer at a time,) and the standard license.

As an objectivist I have problems with this, and I have been stating my problems all along.

1. the amount the artist was paid WAS NOT the amount he should have been paid. Not should have in a universe owes him way, but should have as in the magazine bought the wrong usage way. I have outlined this at the end of this post if you want to understand my reasoning.

TIME currently states its circulation is around 3 million. So accordingly they have broken their licensing agreement with istock and oversold by 2.5 million. Istock charges a fee of .01 for every publishing past 500,000 on the normal license. Because of the payout to the photographer we know TIME did not buy an extended license.

So far no one has come forward explaining how istock is going to fix this. So far no one has explained how TIME is going to fix this.

2. Let's talk about communism.

Let's not talk about communism, lets talk about objectivism.

"No man is a means to an end. Man is an end to himself."

What does that mean? Well it means that by hiding who buys your photos istock is currently making it difficult to track down usage misconduct. So when a magazine like TIME makes at least 3 licensing errors, the person who owns the photo doesn't know. If they don't know, how can they ask for fair payment, and for istock to uphold their rights as the agent who sold the photo.

This cover is from last APRIL. The photographer just saw it now. Istock must have known it was being used, and they must have known that the photographer was not getting the usage payment they agreed to give for this type of usage, but they have done nothing.

They have shut down the discussion in their forums, and so far have made no statements.

Everyone must take responsibility for their own lives. And that means honoring your contracts. Two contracts have been broken here,

a. the contract between the photographer and the micro stock company which has failed to take action against a broken licensing agreement

b. the contract between TIME and the microstock agency, TIME has failed to buy the license for the product they have used. How is that different then shoplifting? They were hoping nobody noticed they took what wasn't theirs.

3. Lets talk about objectivism again.

The whole man an end to a means thing, that encompasses paying a fair labor rate to your contractors, employees and other people you do business with. It means don't take everything you can grab at an unfair rate of pay, rather pay your own way and other people will pay their own way. Take care of yourself, but not by taking advantage of others.

What many of us have found to be insulting is that the OP doesn't really care that TIME owes him about $5,000+ just in unpaid licensing, according to the contract TIME signed when acquiring the photo.

He doesn't care that by excluding his name that TIME again broke the licensing agreement, and that the framed artwork sales make a THIRD time that the magazine is doing an unlawful usage.

At the rate of $150,000 per violation, and the fact that in the 90s in the USA commercial copyright violation involving more than 10 copies and value over $2500 was made a felony, TIME and istock should be jumping onto this burning barge before it becomes a real news story. Not shutting down all discussion, or not coming in and saying what they will do to rectify.

And that is where people like me, and other professional photographers have to step in and say even if he doesn't care we have to care. That by not taking action against TIME magazine we are not the people who will lose out in the end.

The next time the magazine oversteps its bounds, and istock decides to notice because this time the photographer does care, it will be too late. Having been informed of this behavior in the past, and done nothing to stop it, istock has set the precedent for how it will enforce its licensing contracts.

If they take action they can get money owed, and damages and copyright violation damages. But only if they step in, only if they say something.

And that my friend is not communism, it is objectivism. Taking care of yourself. Not using others to obtain your goals, with no thought to the consequences to the people you use.

It is a social construct, but so is everything.

some information on istock and the licensing they sell

the licensing for what TIME magazine used would be 462 "credits". The smallest amount per credit that this could pay out still totals to a $91.20. (according to istock's credit calculator)

Also they CANNOT do the unlimited sales of a poster by any available istock license.

Here is the extended license clauses, and because of the artist's payout it is obvious they DID NOT buy a full extended license.

"Items for Resale - Limited Run

Notwithstanding the restriction contained in section 4(a) of the Standard License Prohibitions prohibiting the use or display of the Content in items for resale, you shall be entitled with respect to this specific Content to produce the following items for resale, license, or other distribution:

1. up to 100,000 postcards, greeting cards or other cards, stationery, stickers, and paper products,
2. up to 10,000 posters, calendars or other similar publications, mugs or mousepads,
3. or up to 2,000 t-shirts, sweatshirts, or other apparel, games, toys, entertainment goods, framed or mounted artwork

in or on which the Content is used or displayed (the "Resale Merchandise"), provided that:

1. the right to produce the Resale Merchandise in no way grants any right to you or any recipient of the Resale Merchandise in any intellectual property or other rights to the Content;
2. you agree to indemnify the iStockphoto Parties from any cost, liability, damages or expense incurred by any of them relating to or in connection with any of the Resale Merchandise;
3. any production of Resale Merchandise in excess of the allowed run size is prohibited and requires the Content to be purchased separately;
4. all other terms and conditions of the Agreement remain in full force and effect, including all Prohibited Uses."

THEY DID NEED TO CREDIT the photographer as the artist

from the extended license
"Reproduction / Print Run Limits

Notwithstanding the restriction contained in section 4(a)(14) of the Standard License Prohibitions limiting you to 500,000 reproductions, you shall be entitled with respect to this Content to an unlimited number of reproductions, and the Agreement is deemed amended in that respect. All other terms and conditions of the Agreement remain in full force and effect, including all Prohibited Uses."

from the standard licensing contract

"may not use the Content for editorial purposes without including the following credit adjacent to the Content:[b] “©’s Member Name]; or
# either individually or in combination with others, reproduce the Content, or an element of the Content, in excess of[b] 500,000 times without obtaining an Extended License, in which event you shall be required to pay an additional royalty fee equal to US $0.01 for each reproduction which is in excess of 500,000 reproductions. This additional royalty does not apply to advertisements in magazines, newspapers or websites or to broadcast by television, web-cast or theatrical production."

in the spirit of fairness I should mention that I do contribute to some microstock agencies.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vote for me spam- please

I kinda hate doing this, but since this year surface magazine has decided on a very poorly designed popular vote

If you have the time vote for me here

and here

second spam vote

Friday, July 24, 2009

When will Facebook learn that stealing isn't nice?

"Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission. Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the log out link. Select PRIVACY. Then select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes.

(REPOST to let your friends know!)"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fast - Good - Cheap

You have to choose, and since i don't do anything other then good you get to have good and fast, so you can't have cheap-- or good and cheap, but that means it ain't gonna be fast.

There are always clients that contract with you and try to change the rules after the fact, but don't let them. You can't work every day all day at your computer retouching, and you shouldn't have to.

If your clients can't understand the mantra, they shouldn't be your clients.

Google Calendar

Monday, July 13, 2009

$700 for images, what a rip-off!

Many models contact me and are playing the "poor student" card. Which is fine, you may be a poor student, but why is a photographer supposed to care about that?

Here is a breakdown of where your $700 goes.

You understand that that $700 is not that much right? Ok, forgoing all the costs associated with being a photographer you pay me my $700 1/2 day rate for images.

From that $700- $200 goes to my MUA leaving me with $500. On the day of the call time is 8am, wrap time is 2pm.

So that is 6 hours. But we are not done, I must then go through the images getting rid of images that will make you or me look like we don't know what we are doing.

Two hours later I take those selects and place them into the editing program to make my color adjustments. Another 3-4 hours goes by. I then process the images into JPGs and send them to you via FTP.

You select your 10 images for retouching. At an average of .5 hours per retouch that is 5 hours of retouching.

So discounting the costs for computer, software, marketing, maintaining my loft, wardrobe, photo equipment, paying my own health care costs, and loan payments from my very expensive schooling we have me making $500 for 17 hours work.

That is how much an hour? $29.42 an hour, or what you make working for the phone company.

Nobody owes you anything. Nobody owes me anything. Wanting to model, is in the end an expensive occupation/hobby. But please, don't try to make it sound like photographers aren't earning every penny of what they charge.

Photographers are not trying to take you for a ride, that one day shoot is normally 3 days work.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Why agencies want exclusive contracts with models

For a few reasons

1. they are helping the model develop their potential as a model. As such they will arrange for the model to agency parties, have agency zed cards, and be put in an agency databank like modelwire. Now while the models can use the images they get from testing with the agency's people, and listening to their agent's advice, in other venues the agency is still providing the model with real world connections, training, and portfolio shoots to get the model a stronger presence and a better book.

How is it fair for the agency if they are putting in this time and effort, and a client tries to go around the agency to get a better rate by talking to the model directly? Or if a client sees the work the agency helped her prepare on model mayhem, and again circumvents the agency by contacting her directly?

2. Booking, the agency needs to know where you, the model, are and when you are available. The only way they can know they are doing that is if all booking go through them. They don't have the time to take a million calls from girls saying, oh I booked myself on Thursday. For all the model knows she has been put on hold for Thursday, or submitted to a project.

It makes the agency look bad if you are unavailable for a project after being submitted. It looks worse if they have to cancel you because you booked yourself on another gig.

3. Problems on a shoot.
Had a problem on a shoot, call your agent. The people you work for want more usage then originally contracted for, call your agent.

Your agent is there to protect you and to look after your money interests, because it is there money interest. If you have freelance booked yourself you don't have that protection, and again if you book yourself on a gig with a small local cosmetics company, and the agency wanted to put you up for a national campaign for a competing company, they couldn't.

Arguably the reason for signing with an agency is that they can get you work you can't get yourself. The trade off for that is you have to give up freelancing if you sign an exclusive contract. Several agencies in So Cal don't require exclusive contracts, like Otto. Or you may want to consider finding a regional agency, for a large market in your area, but only sign a regional contract with them.

In the end it is up to you on whether or not you feel the agency can get you better paying more high profile work then you can yourself. If you feel they can. sign with them.

If you are unsure, ask for a 30 or 90 trial period.

If you don't think they can don't sign with them.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Giving back

I am looking to get together with other photographers and craft artists to start an etsy team to benefit Inland Agency's Breast cancer free mammograms program.

You can find info on them here

Looking to start a team of people who would be willing to donate 20% of all sales, or all sales in a certain special category.

In exchange we would have our own team with a blog, a special dedicated store, and links from the Inland Agency website. The website would have a mini etsy store that we could all add to our blogs and such.

This is a great opportunity to give something back, and to help promote each other in the process.

I am only looking for people who already have an etsy account and are willing to join the team.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The End of the line

Note: it was later confirmed by the Press office of the Metro LA that the cause of the train stoppage was a power outage. They do not know what caused the outage or if it will reoccur

At the End of the Line

I like the Los Angeles subway system. In the subways you could be in any city, any place. From San Francisco to London subways are very alike.

Today at eleven forty-something the red line train to north Hollywood slowed. It stopped several time between stations before, at 12:08, coming into the Hollywood and Vine station the conductor announced. "Folks, I've just been told that this is the last stop. This train is going to be turned around and sent back to Union Station, you'll have to make your own way from here."

When i returned, at 1:40pm I was told the trains still weren't going. "There's a suicide," a young woman holding her boyfriend's hand, told me.

The same way someone might say, "There's an apple." No inflection, no thought, not an event but a thing. A suicide. I decide to go in and wait, hoping that at least the trains going away from the thing will start up soon. After 20 minutes the train going towards downtown, where i happen to live, start up again. As we pass station to station i see the trains on the other side of the platform standing inert, each one filled with people going nowhere. People who hopefully stand inside the non-moving cars, their attitude less of a vigil and more of a stoic, where else can i go?

The car is packed but quiet, nobody speaking much above a whisper, a guitar plays just softly enough in the background to be mistaken for incidental music. As though this was a very boring, very long, scene in some genius's independent film. And like any independent film star the narrator in my head begins it, well its narration.

At first, being the narcissistic being that i am, i imagine someone very much like myself. Maybe somebody like me with health or money problems (or worse money problems.) I wonder what could make me jump in front of an oncoming train, instead of taking it to Universal Studios and going on rides that only simulate catastrophes. I wonder if I ever could do that, to myself, to the passengers, to the train driver.

Then i think about the act itself, if it was a fall or a leap. if the person waited till just before, or climbed down and watched it coming. i wonder if the thing that happened was a suicide. My mind runs through the possibilities of all the people it could be. A veteran with PTSD, a failed actress writer musician, a drunk or druggie, or someone very much like me who was in a lot of pain.

I wonder which train exactly experienced the thing. I had missed the train before mine, mistaking the red line for the purple line and not getting on. Was that the train that had the problem? How close to this thing was I?

At 2:02 the train across from us starts to go forward again. I wonder about the whys of a suicide that is so public, so gruesome, and dare i say it? so annoying to commuters. For two hours this person was thought about by every person trying to get to work, or go home. Tourists with over-sized luggage thought about this person. Boss's waiting for workers thought about this thing. Children waiting for parents to pick them up from school were affected by this person. For two hours this person mattered. For two hours this person would make the world stop for them god damn it. See me, know me, pay attention to me.

I wonder if that is why they did it? Why they went into a station filled with film canisters and gilded stars and decided that for just a moment, that moment, they would matter.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Monday, June 22, 2009

Internships are not an opportunity to find an unpaid workerforce

So as we have been seeing many people are offering what used to be paid positions to "interns." Sidestepping the ethical question, we can consider the legal question of unpaid internships.

Many of the newer people in the industry want to know about how to graduate to paying assisting work. The fact is if people do not report the full time 2-3 month "internships" that are illegal then the concept of paid assistants will go away forever. Already many jobs that were paying in the past are being done by unpaid "interns."

How do you know if the internship you see being offered is illegal?

This is a great website that is a resource for these questions. You can also report illegal internships to the Department of Labor.

Unpaid internships can be illegal in the United States if they don’t meet some of the following requirements from the Fair Labour Standards Act.

1. The training, even though it includes actual operations of the facilities of the employers, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.
2. The training is for the benefit of the student.
3. The student does not displace a regular employee, but works under the close observation of a regular employee or supervisor.
4. The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student; and on occasion, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

There’s a good letter to an intern from the Department of Labor that details those criteria. Note that you can report your employer on the web or by phone at 1-866-4-USWAGE. Or you can write a testimony to inform other potential interns – go to or Even third parties can file a lawsuit against an employer that offers unfair internships.

see the letter referenced above here … rnship.htm

Pay special attention to number 3, that is where most of these internships fail. If the majority of the activities are done solo, such as downloading images, filing, making phone calls, keeping the equipment tidy, hauling heavy equipment around, driving or doing errands then what you have is not a legal unpaid internship. At that point the positions must be paid at least min. wage.

Also internships that require 11+ hours of time a week could be logically seen to displace a regular employee.

I recently saw an internship that expected 40+ hours a week from the intern. That is not an internship, that is an unpaid job.

You're just not that pretty

So this is something that i feel needs to be said, many times models will complain over and over again about not getting the right trade for print offers, the right paid gigs etc... and people respond with height to weight ratio, get a better book together, etc...

but what they are not saying, but trying to tap dance around is that you just aren't all that pretty and you aren't right for modeling

things that might be said that indicate you are not that pretty, and why saying them is wrong (please feel free to fill in your own):

Suggestion: you should consider art modeling

Why it is wrong for you: unless what you are thinking of doing is posing for an art school class (nude) art models are very expressive models with something unusual and sensuous about them. That is not you.

You like to stick your butt in the air and state that someday you will be a successful model and pose for Maxim and King magazine. You won't be doing that either.

Suggestion: why not be an alt model

Why it is wrong for you: The clothing allowance alone is going to bankrupt you. And do you know how much work alt models put into creating an identity. Alt models do not just shop at hot topic and are done with it, they custom make pieces, shop for vintage, they live the life.

You bought a corset from Lotions and lace and put some temp green hairspray in your hair, that is not the same.

Suggestion: tone up a bit and loose some weight and you can be a commercial model

Why it is wrong for you: you aren't pretty. If you look like one of the girls from Beauty and the Geek you are not pretty. You are a make-up queen. Commercial modeling is about natural beautiful faces, or character faces.

Suggestion: try some stock photography

Why it is wrong for you: same rules as commercial

Suggestion: go into glamour

Why it is wrong for you: unless what you think they mean by go into glamour is grab your breasts, spread your legs, and put a doily on the goody bit in between, you are not a glamour model.

Glamour models are seductive and outrageous and beautiful. You don't have to be all those things, but it helps. it helps to have a nice rack, a small waist, and a decent size ass with a face that says I will make your dreams come true. You should make people stop and stare when you walk out in a swimsuit, and implied nudity is just a given.

Suggestion: pay a lot of money to a bunch of photographers and build your book

Why it is wrong for you: you are a struggling student and don't want to pay for photographers to shoot you. I mean you showed half a nipple once shouldn't that be enough.

AND even if you do all that it is unlikely you will get paid work, or even great tfcd. Since you will still look like you,

If no photographers want to shoot you TFCD, and not just people as advanced as me but also just half way decent shooters, than you just aren't that pretty, or unusual, or simply you just aren't model potential.

So yes there is a market for you, but be aware that if the only offers you get are the same offers you would get working at a strip club, you probably just aren't that pretty. You aren't right for being a paid full time model. You aren't right for even being a hlaf time model, but even if you aren't all that pretty I promise you that at least one guy will pay you to show your cooter.

If that isn't what you want to do, then modeling is not right for you.

You don't have to be pretty to model, but if you aren't interesting, unusual, talented, or sexy then pretty helps. If you aren't any of the aforementioned, you just aren't model material.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Economy Sucks, and it is ok to acknowledge that

Nobody is looking for fresh talent.

I have a friend with a great photo rep, a solid commercial and editorial background, and gorgeous style who is worrying about paying his mortgage right now. His billing is 7,000 in arrears, with some clients at the 9 month mark. Jobs that were paying him $6,000 just a year ago are not asking him to bid $2,000.

So no, this is not a bright and cozy present we are living in. There are a few few people who are not feeling the pinch, for the rest of us the debt is rising and the jobs are disappearing.

There is a respected photographer on MM who constantly states that the economy isn't affecting him. I don't really know what is supposed to be accomplished by stating that the client base is still there and that it is still paying what it always paid. Maybe it is to make people feel bad that they aren't finding work?

Maybe it is to encourage people to keep looking?

But is false reassurance.

The reality for the greatest percentage of professional photographers is that life sucks. That clients are looking for trade shooters to shoot professional lookbooks, and I have been given offers for $250 for a full lookbook and 2 magazine ads.

It would be nice to believe that if you just market yourself right and work really hard that the jobs will come. That having satisfied clients will bring in more work. that the publicity from doing outstanding work for one publication will gather more work in other publications, but right now that is just pie in the sky bull crap.

I am considered the most successful photographer in my graduating class, and I am not making rent.

I remember a day, not too long ago, where I called 5 local editors. Out of those 5 editors, all were no longer working at the magazine they had been working at, and nobody was being hired to take their place.

Magazines are thinner then they ever used to be, and are dropping off like flies. Have you seen how large the print font has become in Entertainment Weekly?

So I am here to tell people it is ok if you aren't doing as well as you hoped. it is ok if you are producing salable work, but are unable to get anyone on the phone. It is ok if your book hasn't left its shelf for the last month, and you lost two jobs to people willing to do for free what you have to charge for. It is ok.

The economy will improve, the jobs will come back.

But I refuse to feel badly because I live in the real world, the world where the clients are lowering bids and raising expectations of what will be delivered wanting unlimited usage for no additional fee.

I live in the world where one of my classmates is still working at the school we graduated from 10 months ago. The world where my friend, a Rolling Stone, Spin and multiple other publications repped photographer is afraid he will lose his house from unpaid invoices.

I live in the world where photographers offer unpaid "internships" illegally in order to not pay for assistants, a place where I was counting on my skills being of marketability.

I live in the world where the LA Weekly gets 6-10 phone calls a day from photographers hoping to get work, when there is room for maybe 7 photographers total on their staff.

That is my world. And it is the world of the vast majority of young professional photographers.

I know this seems like a vehement response, but I have been seeing people over the past few months speak about how the economy isn't that bad and isn't affecting established photographers too badly.

I am here to say that that isn't true, and not just from my experience, but from the experience of every young photographer I know. So if you have been struggling of late, it isn't just you. You are not alone, and if you are producing commercially viable work, it isn't your fault. You aren't missing something, it just sucks to be a photographer in this market and this time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LA Weekly

So I have another shoot for the LA Weekly next week. Yea me! But I am getting nervous about whether or not i should go and buy a few accessories for it. Since whatever i buy I have to pay for it becomes problematic to say the least.

Will update when it prints.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fashion and entertainment

So for quite some time it has bothered me the way women are portrayed in any movie or TV show that includes fashion.

A great example is the film The Devil Wears Prada. In that film we are to believe that Andi is a horrible girlfriend and friend because of her commitment to her job. Now her boyfriend is a chef, and at least one of her friends works in a gallery. Both of these careers are time consuming. Working as a sous chef means long hours, and if the head chef becomes ill and you are given a chance to prep your own menu nothing, and I mean nothing is going to stop you.

What Prada wants you to believe is that because Andi works in fashion her job must not be as important as the jobs her friends have. The film has no problem with her leaving a career building job for a boyfriend who is moving out of the city to pursue his career. Because, you see, he is doing something important while fashion is something that just isn't.

Ugly Betty is another great example, any time Betty succeeds in her career she must pay for it in her personal life.

Shows like this aggravate me to the point of yelling at the screen. No other career for women gets treated so badly by the media as fashion. Unless you are a model, which the media gods are fine with, if you are a woman in fashion you are either a tart, see Just Shoot Me, or a bitch, see Prada, Ugly Betty, even Funny Face shows that the editor of a fashion magazine can't be a woman and have a personal life.

So if you are in fashion, don't be afraid to actually work at it. Don't look at movies and television for role models, they just don't exist.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

lets get this out of the way

Star Foreman is a professional freelance photographer in Los Angeles, CA with an emphasis on editorial and fashion photography. She holds a BA in photography from the Art Center College of Design. She is available for editorial, advertising, and commercial shoots.