UPDATE: how to photograph how-tos


The first photo of the six.

The first photo of the six.

Hi, readers! Thank you for stopping by and feel free to navigate around this blog!

I have just completed a project for a client. Well, it’s a trial project. I had to shoot images for a wikihow-type article (or maybe the author will actually be doing an article for wikihow). This is not exactly Gordon Parks or Ansel Adams caliber work, but it is a photo project, so it is an opportunity. The how-to subject: how to make sugar goo. Sugar goo is edible stuff you can also play and craft with. It’s made with corn syrup, sugar and water. Sounds like a good way to get dizzy if you eat it. A good way to become a diabetic! Also a good way to get sticky stuff ALL over the place if kids play with it…good luck cleaning that up! But anyway, the project seemed easy enough; I got the ingredients together, took my first shot of all the ingredients together. Then…I had to cook the mixture. I was thinking it would instantly thicken after stirring for a while (taking the necessary photos as I stirred for demonstration sake). NOPE. It became more liquid with the heat. So then I figured it would thicken as it cooled, but since I needed to get a move on to edit and email the images, I put the small pot in the freezer. When I took it out a few minutes later, it was goo alright…MEGA thick! Good! I took a shot of the goo pouring from the spoon. A good goo-pouring-from-spoon-and-into-the-pot-shot.  Then I loaded the images and edited them properly.  Then I emailed them to the client, today. Six images in all.

When one shoots how-tos, as I am learning, it is very direct: shoot only parts of the process that are necessary to shoot, make sure to include images that would clearly illustrate each of the important parts  of the how-to (and only the important, stand-out parts so that you won’t have a slew of photos to edit…too many photos to select the best from would waste time). Make sure the photos are clear and that all objects are visible and easily visually decipherable so that viewers know what they are looking at. When one is finished with taking the photos, they should be cropped (don’t want too much space around the objects) and color-corrected. Wa-la!

This project reminded me of how much I am not a fan of crafts. As a fine artist, I adore everything about the wonder of fine arts. It is a very purposeful thing. I can also say that crafts is also useful in its own way. But the difference between fine arts and crafts is this: fine art is based on individual expression and even though fine arts utilizes the foundations of elements and principles, one can still use those foundations toward a unique self-expressive goal and the end result can vary as there is no real rule; crafts is based on point-by-point steps and self-expression is less pronounced, the end result is often certain and many times does not end how it is planned to end. Case in point: the art of photographing the sugar goo allowed me to photograph in no particular way so long as it helped to illustrate the how-to, but the craft of creating the sugar goo had a certain end that I had to force, by the way, with freezing it. So although crafts has its value, too, I am not a craftsperson by far. It drives me nuts!

I hope the client likes the photos! I am really enjoying this freelance thing…so many projects!

If you are interested in freelance work, check out sites like oDesk, Guru and Freelancer (these sites incl. arts/design, writing, IT and office-type jobs to name a few)! Make sure to read their terms because while some do not, other sites require a fee for upgraded accounts. And here is a freelance site that is strictly focused on vector-based graphic, web & logo projects: Mycroburst.com. I am looking into that one, too. It doesn’t hurt to have a few freelance accounts. Happy freelancing!

This is how it ended up. This is the last image out of six.

This is how it ended up. This is the last image out of six. Not as sharp an image as I was going for, but hope it will pass…

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UPDATE: working is the new blogging


The iMac's that we use at work. Awesome device and I haven't used a Mac since college, but I've adapted! iMac's are on their own computer planet of operations...it takes some getting used to!

The Apple iMac that we use at work. There are 3 listers and we all have our own station and iMac. Awesome device and I haven’t used a Mac since college, but I’ve adapted! iMac’s are on their own computer planet of operations…it takes some getting used to! It seems as though if you are an artist, a designer of some sort or work in media, if you do not ever touch a Mac you are an alien… I, of course, utilize it so much at work (as it is the center of productivity besides the digital cameras) that I am very well maintaining LED Screen-itis.

Hi, all! I hope all my readers and those passing through and deciding to stop and read my blog are well!

I haven’t posted anything in quite some time because I am so busy working as an e-commerce lister (I photograph and list merchandise for a company’s online store). I started Jan. 7th. It is a very cool job, but I have to say the friendliness and neat vibe I thought my boss had (That I was shown during my 1st 2-3 times around her) was just a facade. Apparently everyone else in my dept. is knowledgeable of this fact, too, and we all seem to bond in this knowledge and look out for each other. She has deeply negative and nit-picky issues about her character and how she manages/treats employees. But one should never let outside forces deter them. I am going to keep working as I’ve been hired to do. I am improving a lot and I still love my job and what it all involves, but I don’t have to stay there for an eternity! Life is a journey and noone can mess that journey up for you unless you let them.

I hope to be posting, again, soon and until then, please keep visiting my blog (even re-reading past posts). Thank you!!

I've had headaches for the past 2 or 3 days, thanks to high level work and NO friggin breakfast. I started skipping breakfast somewhat often in college, but it looks to be a habit I need to stop before my head EXPLODES!

I’ve had headaches for the past 2 or 3 days, thanks to high level work and NO friggin breakfast. I started skipping breakfast somewhat often in college, but it looks to be a habit I need to stop before my head EXPLODES! I had to take Advil today. Not as many as in the photo…I am trying to cure it, not DIE!!

This weekend, I want to go to see a movie, but I also want to make my occassional trip to the bar, too. That'll erase a headache before it even starts!

Ending the Work Week: This weekend, I want to go to see a movie, but I also want to make my occasional trip to the bar, too. Where I live, there’s bars all over the place! That’ll erase a headache before it even starts! Hey, as an artist, I should know how to PAINT the town red!! Harhar…bad joke, I know…………………

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THE LORD LEADETH ME TO A COOL NEW JOB: and it’s in my field of study!!


GE x500; a gift from a friend a couple years back. I've two digital camera, but this is my my main one and it's almost for me what that blanket is for Linus. I HEART it!

GE x500; a gift from a friend a couple years back.
I’ve two digital camera, but this is my my main one and it’s almost for me what that blanket is for Linus. I HEART it!

A new year can often mean new beginnings that you didn’t see coming, but had hope for; my hope was fulfilled Jan. 3rd….

…I GOT A NEW JOB!

Thank God most definitely! After months of searching (yes, in this economy, weeks become months), I have been sent what I need (a job) and what I want (a job doing something in my field of study-in this case digital photography)! I know this will be awesome on my resume. My title is an e-commerce lister. That’ll look and sound good on a resume, too. I explain more about my position below; keep readin’! I mean, I am so happy to have gotten this opportunity after sooooooo long, I wish I could put star stickers around this job on my resume, but I would NEVER be taken seriously by any future employer, so I guess that is not realistically possible.  : (

Here is a run-down of what happened toward being hired: One day, I went to a job center that I’m registered with, as I built an occassional habit of doing, to write down a slew of jobs off their helpful board. I also went there to get advice on re-doing my resume. One of the receptionists there, Laurie, gave me great instructions on re-doing the resume and she also told me about some positions that their company was hiring in (they are a job center connected with that company). She felt my experience with computers, administrative assistance and my Adobe Creative Suite knowledge would work well with a few of the jobs. So, I went home feeling more confident & renewed (if you have ever spent a LOT of time job-hunting, it can have darkly depressing moments). I redid my resume and I also applied for the e-commerce lister and e-commerce scanner jobs the receptionist told me about. I didn’t know how many people might apply, so I wasn’t going to wait even a day later. (By the way, e-commerce, as you may know, is electronic commerce: it is the buying and selling of product or service over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks). Maybe about two or three days later, I received a phone call from the company about an interview. I was psyched just by that! It was as if “interview” really means “you got the job”!

So, the next day (Jan. 3rd), I prayed, also asking God to go with me and to help me to say the right things (if you pray and if you are connected to God, you know about prayer; I often pray about things & about doors opening for me career-wise) & went to the interview. At the interview with the e-commerce dept. head, Amy, I was just myself and natural. Everything she asked me concerning my skills I answered with belief in myself. And I also kept constant eye contact (a mark of sincerity). She noted many things I related on my resume with pen and seemed enthused with me and about their fairly new e-commerce department. She also perked up more when I talked to her about my enthusiasm for digital photography, saying it would work well in this field as products are shot and posted online in their online store. After the interview, she said she’d follow up with me on Monday via phone and that she still had two more interviews, but that she really felt I fit the position. I smiled beams of sunshine inside myself when she said that! She showed me around the facility and introduced me to some of the staff in the e-commerce department, telling the dept. supervisor that I was “friendly” and other positive things… *sunshine!*

When I got home, I still felt confident and just resigned my spirit to wait until Monday. I made any jitters hit the bricks (being nervous doesn’t help). I was positive. Instead of waiting until Monday, a few hours later I got a call from Amy. After the greetings, she said something along the lines of: “Would you like the job?” I said: “Hell friggin YEAH I want the job! I want to cartwheel into your office right NOW!!” LIE. I didn’t say that, but I felt that way. What I REALLY said was: “Yes, I do!” And then a slew of ‘thank yous’ spilled forth like suns, smiles and hearts exploding out of my mouth like a manga character or something. My roommate smiled because now I can help MUCH MUCH better, lol). I smiled so widely at my roommate, I think I may have verged on this:

The good news matches this awesomeness...

The good news matches this awesomeness…

Amy even said, “I just wanted to make sure noone else gets you.” Now, I am one of the most humble persons one can meet, but that there made me feel pretty dang good…

I am the 2nd spot. One more person will be hired to work with me and one other person in that position (3 people). I will be starting Monday as an e-commerce lister. I explained e-commerce above (though most people know what it means, anyway). I will be one of the person’s behind the listings and descriptions of merchandise on my company’s online store and I will also be photographing the merchandise…right down my alley, yeah!! I won’t be using my GE x500 camera (shown in the 1st image above), but I will be using their Nikon, also a fine camera. I will also be using the fabled Mac computer (I haven’t used a Mac since college). If you are an artist and you are found out to not have a Mac as an artist, people look at you like you just morphed into a villainous purple and green monster before their very eyes! “You don’t use a Mac??!! Get thee back with your error!! Gaaaasp!!” Yes, Macs are like computer gold in the media world. Amy even said that with my art degree, I can add an artistic bent to the photographs. Even when I was being shown around the photographing/staging area, my brain generated images of the cool perspectives I can give a skirt on a mannequin or an electronic device or a pair of shoes. If you love photographing things and have a creative slant on it, you know how exciting that would be! A photographer can find artistic value in a beat up garbage can on a lone, grimy, bare street by using the right angles and filter…and it will become the classiest, most sophisticated garbage can on a grimy street that you EVER laid your eyes on! But I digress. I remember telling my new boss how excited I was. Goofy, yeah, but TOTALLY sincere…

Speaking of sincere, I sincerely thank God. VERY MUCH. Like THIS WIDE___________________________________________________________________________________________. Well MUCH more than that, I just do not have enough space for all that line. It would go on forever. Just imagine an infinite length…that is how grateful I am! With all of the challenges, red tape, closed doors and hard-heartedness in this world, it’s easy to be refused and; therefore easy to get discouraged. I got discouraged plenty of times. Many times, discouraged enough to wanna smack up every HR department that is in existance. I’m a believer, but I’m also human. But though I was discouraged, I managed to pick myself back up with the strength, endurance and the resolve God enables us with and managed to pick myself up with the prayers and advice of others (incl. good ole Mom!). I kept going.

A journey worth taking in any situation.

A journey worth taking in any situation.

I kept going in large part because I know God knew I needed a job, so of course it would come. I also have long realized what the image below states:

Logic and wisdom.

Logic and wisdom.

God doesn’t do things when WE want Him to, but when HE knows we are ready for it. That is how caring and careful He is…He isn’t going to let us have something at the wrong time, He isn’t going to be so quick to bless us if we do not even believe He can. He also is not going to give us something He KNOWS we cannot handle so that we can hurt ourselves or fail (for ex: like sending someone a car when they are a bad driver; He won’t send that car because He knows you’ll KILL your crazy self…you’ll get it after you’ve improved), He isn’t going to give us something if we didn’t do anything or enough to earn it. He also isn’t going to give us something if we do not pray properly (go into prayer w/ respect, go into it believing, ask for forgiveness of sins-go into it pure of mind/heart, praise Him-He deserves it, be honest, ask that it please be done in His will-it’s not up to us if it happens, end with the prayer ”through Jesus’ name”-Jesus is the messenger). IF IT’S FOR YOU, YOU WILL RECEIVE! IT’S REALLY HARD AT TIMES, BUT BE PATIENT!

I thanked God even when I got the call for the interview; I was soooo psyched!! He is always present; we can’t do it alone! So, thank you God , Jesus, Holy Spirit & Heavenly family and thank you my encouragers!

I went to the job center and told Laurie that I got the job she told me about, I thanked her a mazillion times! I know mazillion is not a word, but it is now! Hahaha!! #obnoxious

Well, I’m out with this post. Into work Monday. Looking forward! Now, when I whip out a camera & take tons of photos around people, the people won’t look at me and roll their eyes with infinite, annoyed agony…it’ll be my JOB to be a photo freak, now!

(PS…My blog was featured on a blog awards list, for a second time, last month. I will do a short post on that, soon!)

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THE BIG CHANCE & SMALL JITTERS: my job interview


Yes, as the title says, I have an interview…TODAY! In just a few hours…

It’s not just ANY old interview for a job, it’s an interview within marketing. An interview that will require me to show some of my graphic design and art works in a portfolio. I have waited a loooooooooooong time to get a chance like this. To work in a job that is actually my field instead of “other” in order to have money in my pockets. Not to mention positions like this make more Mr. Green!

The closest I’ve ever come to utilizing my degree (a Bachelor’s in Studio Art, cum laude) was a job directing activities (which included crafts) for seniors, tutoring art at a library I worked at and, of course, creating and selling art in the side for patrons since second year of high school. My art on the side business has helped me stay connected to art so that I don’t lose touch AND so I don’t lose my friggin mind living in an ultra small, barely gettin by town where people are more interested in paying their bills, food (both understandable), buying clothes, detailing their cars and nails AND hair than in buying art (these 3 more trivial)…unless they can get it for near free. Which does not help ME a whole lot. I’m thankful for the business I have gotten over time and other connections with out-of-towners, but I know I have to move on and have a real CAREER.

So, I had some enlightenment, recently. I won’t go into detail, but the emotional and mental epiphany told me I needed to step up my job search! Or live a life, in one area (career), being miserable and regretful. So out of a huge cavalcade of jobs I applied to online using TWO methods (jobsearch sites like Careerbuilder & Simplyhired, for ex. & a more direct, phone-calling approach which seemed to get more responses than the jobsearch sites), I got two postive responses. One was a design agency that pays you through the clients you acquire and design stuff for (the agency prints the work, you get paid…I can still do that one, too) and the other was this opportunity.

So, now, with a portfolio at the ready, I am ready to see how this turns out. I don’t know what’ll happen. Maybe I will get the job, maybe I won’t, but I can thank God and be proud I got this close & not give up. If I GET the job, it will be a fresh and prayerfuly happier start!

HOPE (not “luck” because that is only chance) me the best! Thanks!!

(psssst…If you are in the design business or you have a company you need design work for, a logo for ex., contact me: calonie.ct@gmail.com!)

My artwork: http://paintingsilove.com/artist/caloniejohnson

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