New Work for Prometheus Real Estate Group

For the past two years, I’ve been flying out to sunny Silicon Valley to shoot architectural lifestyle for a truly great client: Prometheus Real Estate Group. The luxury apartment brand has a huge presence in the Bay Area as well as a growing number of properties in Portland and Seattle. I’ve shot ten properties for them so far and have lined up to do six more this year. The shoots have been primarily focused on the amazing amenities they feature at each of their locations like clubhouses, theater rooms, fitness centers, amazing pools, fire pits, and even bocce courts (my personal favorite pastime).

Each property we shoot gets the royal treatment. Working with producer Heather Smith of Smith X Union, we cast models, shop wardrobe, have hair and makeup on set, and do the prop styling as well. Each shot is meticulously planned and carried out by a crew including a digital tech, two dedicated photo assistants, and handful of PAs. It’s a lot of work, but we’re able to get so much done in a day and the end results are something I’m very proud of.

Please check out their featured gallery in my updated Work portfolio section  www.lincolnbarbour.com/work/prometheus 

Credits:

Production: Heather Smith – Smith X Union
Wardrobe & Prop Styling: Ashley Montague
Hair & Makeup: Erin Svalsted, Jen Budner

Fall Update: Odin Gets Bigger, New Website & Portfolios, And…

Odin at 7 Months

What a year it’s been! As you know, my wife and I had our first baby last December. Becoming Odin’s Dad has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  It’s been a slight period of adjustment finding a balance between work and my new family life. So, that’s why I am seriously behind on my blogging. But we’re in a good grove right now and I’ve got lots of cool things to share with you other than photos of my son (he’s pretty cute, huh?).

First Off: A Brand New Website

About a year ago, I embarked on creating a scalable version of my website, optimized for high resolution monitors. It’s taken a while because, well, it’s busy with a baby and running your own business. I also really wanted something unique to me and not just another template. I’d really like to thank WerkPress for helping me with this redesign. I asked for a lot and they delivered. I liked the previous look & feel and this new site is not too far removed from what I had before. What’s improved most are the Portfolio and Work galleries. My photography is all about the details and these super sized images really help show off the quality of the photographs I create.  Plus it makes my food work look life-sized and you just might want to eat your screen.

Voodoo Doughnuts

Secondly: New Portfolios

All of my portfolios have been refreshed: Homes /  Décor, Life (formally lifestyle), Food / Beverage, Architectural. I’ve also added two new portfolios highlighting Travel / Landscape and Workspaces. In the WORK section, I’ve broken out my tearsheets into two separate galleries: One highlighting magazine articles I’ve been published in and the other showcasing advertising assignments for print and web. I’m also highlighting work published in Dwell and Martha Stewart Living. Some  new client work includes a great shoot I did for Northwest Pipe Company creating an image library for their marketing and advertising material. It was such a blast to fly all over the country and shoot lots of sparks, steel, and massively big machines making pipes of shapes and sizes.

Pleasant Grove - Northwest Pipe Company

Finally: Shoots Galore!

It’s been a super busy summer and I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to shoot some really fantastic assignments. Here’s a quick run down and some pics.

Ad shoot for Food in Bloom. Mmmm…. pork. Styled by Kevin Ward.
Food in Bloom

Cover and Feature Story in Portland Bride & Groom (blog post coming soon)
Portland Bride & Groom

Very cool office with a killer view by Risa Boyer Architecture
Goldstar Office

Huge image library shoot of food and restaurant lifestyle for Andina. My assistant and I tried to eat at least a little bit of everything we shot. I was full for days…
Andina Food

Super fun lifestyle shoot for Columbia Credit Union used in their home loan promotions in store, direct mail, and online.
Home Loan Campaign - Columbia Credit Union

Highest of High End – Library House designed by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design and built by The Works.
Library House

Does it get any better than this? Alhambra Kitchen, also by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.
Alhambra Kitchen

Kick back a few beers and take in a Hillsboro Hops game, courtesy of SRG Partnership
Hillsboro Hops Ballpark - SRG Partnership

This might be the most amazing loft I’ve photographed to date. Designed by Emerick Architects. Blog post coming soon!
Division Loft - Emerick Architects

More work on the way! Just waiting for some things to get published. Subscribe now and stay in the loop!

WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign

Lincoln Barbour - WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign

Speaking of GRAY Magazine, I am currently running this sweet ad campaign to promote my architecture/interior photography business to the Pacific Northwest. The campaign was brilliantly written, art directed, and designed by my friend Craig Skinner. I first met Craig when he was at Owen Jones & Partners and art directed the I Am Home shoot we did for Prometheus Real Estate. We really hit it off and later that summer he joined my kickball team. We’ve been friends ever since. Craig is now over at Razorfish where he is a senior art director and has done superb work for clients like Microsoft, Bing, and New Zealand Tourism.

I love the direction Craig went with these ads. I feel it really speaks to the power of good photography in advertising and marketing. The ads are meant to show that even if your message fails (in this case deliberately), strong visuals can carry your brand and your audience will still connect to it. And also you should probably hire me to create those awesome visuals for you. I have to say, I’m lucky to have a friend like Craig.

Also, have to give a big thanks to Tim Kamerer for the updated logo and style guide we used for the ad. I’m working on a new website and brand refresh and I’ll have another post about Tim’s skills soon.

Here are the other ads that a running over 3 issues of GRAY December through May.

Lincoln Barbour - WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign 

Lincoln Barbour - WEHN WRODS FIAL Campaign

 

Portfolio Refresh & New Work Section

I don’t usually make big changes to my portfolios halfway through the year, but after some soul searching and various feedback, I realized I needed help in refining my vision. It’s easy to get personally attached to your own work and lose site of it’s marketability. After reading and listening to many photo marketing experts, I decided it was time to ask someone who really knows the business.

Enter Suzanne Sease. I’ve known about Suzanne for many years and always respected her opinions and advice. She was an Art Buyer at The Martin Agency (GEICO, Hanes, PING, etc.). She helped my mentor refine his portfolio years ago. And she’s a featured contributor to A Photo Editor. She also helped me bid on a job for Diet Dr. Pepper and which I would have been lost without her guidance.

As a photographer, I’ve always considered myself a generalist with a unique style, rather than specialist. I like shooting lots of different subjects, but I shoot them all in a way that’s my own vision. I gave Suzanne over 800 images to weed through. I included my current portfolios as well. When she edited this massive collection, she reorganized it in a way that identified one trait I had never thought of: product. Lots of my work has product in it, though it’s not a product shot per say. It’s interiors with furniture. It’s people with ice cream. It’s ingredients in food. The products in place are natural and real. Something you can identify with. When her edits of my portfolios came to me, I saw this new trait right away and was amazed that I missed it before. Now I have a focus and now I know who I should be marketing to. If you need help with your portfolio, I highly recommend Suzanne Sease.

In addition to new portfolios, Suzanne suggested I create a Work section to highlight projects I’ve shot for clients and tearsheets. Though many of these are on my blog already, this puts it front and center and easy to find. This is my new favorite addition to the site.

So, what are you waiting for?

Click Here for New Portfolios or Click Here to See Some Work!

Digital Processing Fees

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of pressure to reduce my digital processing fees and, in some cases, even hand off my RAW files and let a third party deal with the post processing. Well, let me state this once and for all:

I won’t do that.

If I’m hired to create images that are like those in my portfolio, then I have to be the one to do the digital processing. It’s part of my creative vision. I’ve spent years honing my look and style and I’m not willing to let go of control of that.

For example, here’s what one of my shots looks like before I put my touch it:

Gross, huh? But I see a RAW file with potential. Here’s what it looks like after:

Much better! Could someone else do this? Possibly. Would it look like my work? Probably not.

There are many reasons to charge for digital processing. The main reason is to recoup the costs of owning the fastest computer, the latest software, and the best camera. It’s expensive. I’d say to keep up with it, I spend an average of $5,000 to $10,000 a year on it. And that’s just me. As my business grows, I’d like to hire an employee to do the post work and so the digital processing fees will have to pay for their salary in addition to adding a second fastest computer with another copy of latest software.

The problem is there are few standards out there for digital processing. And so, many photographers don’t charge anything for it or pull numbers out of the air. We need a standard folks!

In the old film days, you would charge for film and processing usually with a significant markup. Shooting film was a profit center of the business and you needed to mark it up to cover the overhead of keeping film on hand. If you also scanned the film, you would charge for that too because of time, equipment, and labor. Either way, you were charging and getting paid for the image in its final form. Just because a digital file is ones and zeros, doesn’t mean it’s cheaper.

So, here’s my standard digital processing: Feel free to use this, tweet it, whatever. Just spread the word.

$1 per capture to shoot digital
$1 per MB of final image(s) delivered

Don’t charge by the hour. Charge by the unit.

Here’s how it works in practice hypothetically:

Say from the shoot above, I shot 108 RAW files and delivered 6 final RGB Tiff files at 60MB each. I would bill:

$108 – Capture and Processing (108 x $1)
$360 – Final Image Delivered (6 x $60)

$468 – Total Digital Processing Fees

To help you explain what all comes with digital processing, I would say it’s anything you do to create your vision plus captioning and keywording each file for you and your client.

I don’t do a lot of Photoshop, so $1 a MB covers my editing time. But if you do a lot of heavy Photoshop and compositing, then you might need to charge more. Like a $2 a MB. If you shoot a high volume of RAW files (fashion, lifestyle, kids, etc) maybe you charge $.25 a capture or just charge $1 for the selects. My point is that you should charge something and you should charge by a unit, not time.

Does that sound fair? Does that make sense? It works for me and if everyone did something like this, it would become a standard.

Fingers crossed.

Photography is just like…

…music. You hear a pop song in commercial, but that company doesn’t own the song.

…software. You buy software, but that doesn’t mean you own the code.

…blueprints. You may own the building when it’s built, but the architect owns the design.

…sculpture. You can buy art, but you can’t copy and sell it as your own.

The intellectual property is an intangible asset, that is, it is intangible as well as it cannot be defined or specified by its physical parameters. It is created by human intellectual or inspirational activity. Therefore, the intellectual property must be defined in some discernible method to be protected by the laws.

via Intellectual property valuation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

What’s your simile for photography licensing?

Attach a Digital SLR to a View Camera

So, imagine for a moment that Canon really does come out with a full frame  square sensor. Imagine it’s around 40mp. Now imagine putting that camera body digital back on a view camera and being able to use Rodenstock digital lenses (some of the sharpest and clearest lenses I’ve ever used). That would be sweet.

For architecture photography, this is not a great solution. The widest digital view camera lens is a 28mm and it’s very dark with not a lot of movement.

But, for food and product photography, this is a life saver. You can pick up a used Sinar pretty cheap and this adapter is about $1,870. It’s pretty inexpensive solution for high quality view camera system. The newer digital lenses though, are not cheap. I wonder if anyone’s done a shootout between older view camera lenses and newer ones.

Check out PDN’s Gear Guide post: New Sinar Mount Lets You Attach Digital SLR to View Camera Body.

Architecture – Design & Spirit

Earlier this year, I was invited by Newspace Center for Photography to teach an architectural photography workshop. I was very honored and humbled that they thought of me. I’ve done a few other classes/workshops, but this was a full day class and much more involved than what I’ve done before. The class consisted of a presentation on the basics of architecture photography, followed by an afternoon photo walk where I helped each student set up their shots and demonstrated how to use tilt-shift lenses. I then gave them all various assignments to shoot on their own and we met the following week for a review.

It was a really great experience and I hope everyone who took the workshop got something out of it. It was certainly great for me to go back to all the basics and refresh my memory. As they say, “The best way to learn something is to teach it.”

Here is a PDF of the presentation I gave at the start of the class. I thought it would be worth sharing

Cost of Doing (Photo) Business Calculator

For anyone wanting to be a photographer or currently a photographer, the most important thing is to know your Cost of Doing Business (CODB). Fortunately, the NPPA makes it really easy for you.

NPPA: Cost of Doing Business Calculator

Tasty Good Times at Besaw’s

I’m starting to believe that fate exists. About five and half years ago, my wife and I were visiting Portland to decide if we wanted to move here from Virginia. Both of us love eating out and breakfast is one of my favorite meals. If we were going to relocate to Portland, it better have a good place to go for eggs, waffles, and pancakes seven days a week.  Looking through a tour guide, Besaw’s had exactly what we were looking for and so we went. It was absolutely delicious and we knew then that moving to Portland was going be alright.

Around the same time that we were having our first Portland breakfast, a young woman named Cana Flug had just become the new owner of the 105 year old establishment. Already famous for its breakfast, over the next five years, she breathed new life into the restaurant and grew their dinner scene into one of the best night spots in Portland.

Then through an interweaving thread of shoots, people, and connections, I get a call from Cana looking for new photography of their food and dinner scene. I can’t tell you how excited I was. I love this place and I love their food and it was truly a joy to shoot. Hope you enjoy the photos and if you’re ever in town, go to Besaw’s. Go three times, because everything is so good there.

Hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did making them. Continue reading “Tasty Good Times at Besaw’s” »