Archives

Well that was easy, recently noticed that many of my favorite blog posts had been archived and are unavailable. So a quick review of the help section gave me the idea to attempt to add an archives section, which I thought was going to be a major undertaking. However it turned out to be quite easy using a free widget that is provided to the business theme my site uses 🙂 So now if you would like to see posts that have been archived you can easily go to the bottom of my main site page and review them by month and year!

Swimsuit Model

Speaking of archives, while technically this isn’t a blog archive it is definitely one of my favorite mental archives 🙂 One of my first attempts at photographing models and one of my favorite images of all time! This one was of course captured back in the days of film, long before instant feedback on a digital screen and long before there was such a thing as ISO 3200 available to capture images like this in the waning light of dusk and an approaching rainstorm. I shot this one with 100 speed Fuji Reala film and an off camera flash unit with a gold reflector. I hope you like it as much as I do 🙂

Don’t forget to visit my site for recent blog posts with pictures and also my new section at the bottom of the menu pointing to my archives!

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Out of the Darkness

I don’t know how this piece turned out this way. I was going to write a long post on opening a studio. So I was going to throw it out and start over, but I thought, “This is raw stuff, maybe it will help someone going through hard times?”. So I’m not even going to edit it, just post it the way it came out…

Strange how life can sometimes grind you down to nothing, to the point where all you can think of is survival. Whether you will have a place to live, food to eat, any kind of future at all. When times get like that your dreams get buried, your ideas fade and hope for a prosperous future becomes an afterthought. Every day becomes a battle for the next day and there is no time for dreams to percolate, no time for hope, no time to remember the plans you once had.

DeiaBikiniBut through it all there is this from scripture “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future”. At times these words can seem empty, when all that is ahead looks like darkness. But the words themselves in the worst of circumstances are also a pinpoint of light, if you can hold on to them.

I once had dreams of owning a photography studio. Actually I did for a little while, but it was heavily subsidized by the computer company I was working for, which eventually ran into rough seas and layoffs were the fate of a bunch of us. Soon I did get a new job in the industry but the learning curve was steep and I decided that it was best to just concentrate on the bird in hand rather than divide my time on a venture that hadn’t really blossomed yet. Times were good and my plan was to reopen as soon as the time was right.

Unfortunately, the new company began to stumble, contracts were lost and layoffs hit again. Then 08 happened, then my wife’s cancer diagnosis in 09 and death in 15. Forgotten were the good times, when Tricia and I were a team working with budding models working on their own dreams. Forgotten was the love I had for the equipment, the fascination with lighting ratios, highlights and shadows. Forgotten was the amazing way my wife labored to make backdrops and find props for the pictures. Forgotten were the delighted smiles from our clients when they got to see what we had created together. Everything we’d worked and hoped for was in ashes, only a gravestone to remember it with.

I survived the rest of 15 and part of 16 by selling all that we had accumulated but by the beginning of summer this year, life looked pretty bleak. Until one day I walked into Walmart and saw the sign, hiring, see manager. Well it just so happens I knew the personnel manager and the next day I was sitting in the training room at my first day back on the payroll.

I know unloading trucks isn’t much to brag about and certainly no way to get rich. However, the interesting phenomenon is that any kind of job takes survival off the table. As long as you work hard and follow the rules, survival is something you don’t have to think about anymore. For quite a while though, some of my friends who saw me limping around, popping aspirin and rubbing my tired eyes said to me.. “You could be making a lot more money.”, but there was no time to think about that. I wasn’t ready to think… I said, “You know, I don’t want to think about that. Right now I just want to unload trucks.”. Survival at the time depended on just doing and concentrating on the simple job.

However, it is starting to sink in that the pain levels are becoming unmanageable and not sustainable. Fortunately I work with understanding people and there are younger men who are more than happy to take on the heavy lifting. But still, I have been racking my brain to think of ways to make more money with a smaller physical price tag.

Beach-WalkAs I was disposing of twenty years of accumulation last year, I ran across some of my studio pictures. Something told me to box them up and put them in a safe place. Something also told me earlier this year to scan them and make a Facebook page for them. So I did, and pretty much paid no attention to that page at all… until yesterday. First I discovered some new FB tools for business pages, and fiddled with them a bit. The new job and steady income has also gotten me to fiddling with the idea of buying some property and getting out of these squalid digs. Then today I had my “out of the darkness” moment, it finally sank in to my worn out mind, the memories, the dreams, my hopes for the future. I thought, just maybe… I can put it all together and pick up where I left off, a decade ago. It’s a long shot for sure, but my new plan is to have a photography studio.

It will be a long tough road since I had to sell some important equipment to buy cancer medicine, but I just call that an obstacle. When I first started, way back in 1992 I had to do all my photo sessions outdoors… Lol, which resulted in some blue lipped models, but the adventure of it all was fun for all of us. I think if I dig deep… I can start anew one more time… Hopefully there won’t be too many fake summer pictures in the snow before I have new equipment, new digs, and a new shot at the studio I left behind so long ago 🙂 Here’s to a new start, with  S. W. Krull Models as ground zero for the new enterprise!

 

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items

Best of the Best

My Alamy stock image portfolio doesn’t get a lot of attention in my pages, perhaps because it is the smallest of my image portfolios. But I’m thinking it should get more love! I have been with Alamy for nearly a decade now, and during that time I have carefully selected only the best images from each photo shoot to place there. So although I only have a few over one thousand images there, they are the cream of the crop.

And that’s not the only reason my clients might want to purchase stock imagery from the Alamy agency. As one of the oldest digital image pioneers, Alamy is also the most fair to photographers, paying the highest commissions of any of the major players. In addition, Alamy is also a major contributor to charity, helping to find a cure for cancer. Alamy was founded in 1999 James West, along with his uncle Mike Fischer, who “By this time was also involved in research: medical and education. So the agreement was that in lieu of dividends for the major shareholders, payments would be invested into Mike’s medical research charity. A charity which is investigating and, hopefully, developing vaccines against cancer.”.

My contract with another agency states that if I submit an image there and it gets rejected the image cannot be used anywhere else for any other reason. So for each photo shoot, I look through the images and look for the best and most unique and I ask myself a question, “Will I lose sleep if this one gets rejected and taken out of circulation?” If the answer is yes and the exposure is of the exceptionally high standard required by the Alamy editors, I will submit it to Alamy instead of another place where it is more likely to have a high volume of low priced sales.

So if you want to take a tour through my cream of the crop over the last decade, please have a look at my Alamy image portfolio! And if you are a stock buyer, I urge you to look with an eye cast towards your next advertising or publishing campaign!

Life’s a Beach

The nightmare week of snow is finally over with, the sun is shining and it appears spring may be trying to make a comeback. I have to say, it was not a pleasant week, the snow was wet and sticky, horrible for snowshoes or ice trekkers. The colors were too dull and gray for anything but black and white pictures and the fog and snow removed any semblance of contrast from the landscape. I did venture out a couple of times to see if I could find the wildlife and a brief encounter yesterday did yield a not too impressive image of a deer herd that looked a bit curious as to why a human would be out in that mess.

Beach-Walk-2.jpgThe time was not wasted though, I took the bad weather opportunity to scan some prints of models that I had previously produced and uploaded them as prints and Rights Managed Stock on Pixels.com. It was an enjoyable journey through better times as I looked through my portfolio for the best images to scan. Life seemed easier then, summers longer, springs much more pleasant. Each image I reviewed held a story, a moment of fun, joy and a testament to good times. Unfortunately in the chaos of our cancer battle waged over the last few years I have lost track of my model friends that I worked with to create these images. Prior to FAA it was a real struggle to market these images, which is how they wound up in a box in the first place, but I’m sure they would get a kick out of seeing them published now!

So this morning in the pre dawn chill I have uploaded a few more to my FAA and Pixels.com site, but it is warming up quickly outside now and I will need to give some thought to other activities. Don’t think the melting snow and mud will make for very good hiking, but it might be a nice day to go to the gym for an indoor workout as I prepare for a spring and summer assault on higher ground not accessible in the dead of winter! Last year after an entire year of inactivity I was not ready for the higher elevations until fall. This year I am hoping for a much more active summer 🙂

Overdue Project

Cold, cloudy and dreary this morning. Sun is out this afternoon but there is so much mud and water everywhere from the huge pile of snow recently received that I’m not even going to attempt to go out in it. I don’t even know if I can get my truck back up the hill in this mess!

Beach-WalkAnd so I am bored and my wandering thoughts have turned to two boxes of prints. Worked hard many years ago with a few models to get a variety of prints that I tried to sell… It seems I was ahead of my time though, it was before digital, before the internet was big and before all the cool websites you can join to have your work marketed. A new computer job, and a lot of life’s problems and the prints just went into a box. But in all the moving over the last few years I somehow managed to keep track of my prints and negatives and have been keeping a close eye on them this year.

So today I decided to get them out and see if can scan the pre digital prints without having to get expensive film scans. I can put the prints on my Pixels.com site and sell them as prints and as Rights Managed stock imagery. One thing is for sure though… hundreds of prints stuffed in a box are not doing me any good!

Getting kind of tired of going to all the trouble of going out to get pictures and returning empty handed so I might be looking for a way to increase my odds of getting good pictures. Wondering if I can summon the enthusiasm for old ideas with new technology and new applications. Working with models instead of hoping for good luck on a hike or at a festival gives the photographer control over the setting and the lighting which greatly increases the chance of success.

So I’m going to scan and post a few of these images that are still relevant and see what comes of it. If it works out, I may return to my original idea, which was to work with models to create compelling imagery for prints and stock. It was fun then, I’m sure it would still be fun! Well anyway, I’m off and running!