Crunch Time

For the last month or so the photography studio I’m working in faced a severe shortage in shooters doing on location. This comes when grad photo requests just reach to its climax and orders started to come in like madness so any shortage in hand would put a burden on all of us. It certainly does.

The studio which I’m currently working is specialize in grad photos, which is one of few photography business that can actually make money in Vancouver. It divides its shooter into two teams during the grad photo season which is studio and on location. I’ve been hired for shooting studio for quite some time now and was never thought about shooting on location. But in the last few weeks most of shooters responsible for on location resigned en masse due to miscommunication in pay rate between management and photographers. Desperate to get the job done management started to pull shooters from studio team out for on location which put us in stretch as far as number of available shooters we can put in studio (just to give you an example for the last week studio was one shooter short because I was on location and supervisor had to cover the job of missing shooter while oversee the work flow). Then yesterday a supervisor was seriously ill while one shooter was pulled out for on location. The result? Me along with the rest of shooters in the morning sacrifice our lunch break and pushed it through till evening shift shooters came by and relief us.

So what do I think of this? I think there need to be a clean up in the management because for the last year or so I have never seen a clear direction from them. But the worse of all the way management trying to squeeze its employees and talented people is just terrifying. For instance while studio in similar business in town offer competitive base rate for shooters this one still resisting on raise the base rate even to a dollar. Not to mention short while ago when we started to feel the stretch the management still think they can squeeze it though the rest of the season.

Now you wonder why very few shooters stayed more than 3 years.

PDN Artiicle on Group M35

The long awaited article on the short lived Photographic Agency Group M35 is finally out on This month’s issue of PDN(Photo district News). It is also a relief because for months I’ve hoped to have this account go public because for what Charles Clark, the man who started all, had done to my friend (and colleague at the time) Joeseph Symanski as well as other fellow photographers. And thanks to him my career path on photography is currently on a detour……

Many thanks to Daryl Lang of PDN for putting his time and effort for this.

Link to the PDN article:

P.S. By the way, I think the photo published on the article captured my face(blury one on the left)…….

Reasons I Don’t(Or Still Not) Sign Up For Facebook

Not quite saying I won’t. But at this point I’m not in the mood of signing up for Facebook even though I received gazillion verbal recommandations and constant email invitation. Not to mention we’ve all seen this whole trend before with Myspace……so sooner or later people will move on to other social networking site.

I remember back in the days when i first sign up for Friendster I thought this is a great way to connect old friends. But then Friendsters quickly fell apart when people discovered Myspace….which to my personal opinion is a great layout disaster. As much joke as it is Myspace was a huge success and was really popular among teens. Then facebook came along……started by a university student who had very simple intention – connecting friends. The rest is hisory.

So will I sign up in the end? Possible. But I probably not going to put down anything other than my name and weblink for this site so I can redirect friends here since this is THE place where I’m active.

Although part of me still want to stay away from social networking site so I can stay invisible to some of old friends.

Obituary: Photojournalist Alexandra Boulat, 45

Lately there’s a quiet a few well known photographer or people who had significant role played in the history of photography passed away. But on the symbolic level it represents an end of the era, whether you like it or not. However this one hits me particularly hard since she passed away at prime.

An statement passed out on Oct. 05 to the public about photojournalist Alexandra Boulat from VII passed away in the hospital in France. She had suffered from brain aneurysm back in June while photographing in Gaza and never recovered after surgery.

My condolences goes to Alexandra, her the family and her friends at VII Photos.

The Routy Genereation

Like many people who chose photography as their career once in a while he/she take a detour just to make the ends meet or just out of curiosity. I for one took this job for both reason – photographing high school students who are about to graduate in months time. It’s a seasonal job that pays OK but at the same time very demanding since in six hours time you have to shoot about 80-120 students…..meaning 5 minutes per student.

Stressful job aside, observing these young customers coming for their photographs that representing a crucial part of their lives are entirely different matter. As expected when these teens coming for being photographed for their grduation purpose they would dress formally. But then some of the dress these teens wearing are just down right irritating(specially girls – big pink dress and tiara – princess wanna be). Then there’s a whole phenomenon of just being teenagers – loud, routy, never take direction well, trashy talks, always left the mess behind and endless complaining – All signs of hermon still running high. These all take customer service as far as photographer’s end to another level which is more or less between service and prenting.

The most interesting with all thesse teenagers, however, is that they are reflecting a generation who grew up with the kind of pop culture in favour of glamour and self-destructive-like self expression(e.g. Hilton and Spears) which make all the ugly side of growing up as teenager much more visible. Adding to the problem most of the kids grew up here are from fairly well off family so in certain extend they are a bit spoiled.

Watching these kids running around the studio chaotically I wonder: what’s teens gonna be like generation to come?