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Mexico!

After coming back from a whirlwind of trips, I still had the travel bug. When you get in that mindset, it’s contagious.

When I was 18, I took my first international trip to Baja Mexico with my mom to go kayaking down a stretch of the peninsula, ending with some amazing sights of grey whales. Each year, the whales migrate south to give birth in several bays along the coast – this helps keep the baby whales safe from predators in the ocean when they are first born.

In any case, it was perfect timing to head down there this year, and reports had said that there were more whales than they had ever seen before – so naturally it clicked in my mind that I had to go, one way or another.

I posted the idea to a local travel group I belong to on Facebook – the only time I had available was the next day. Within a few hours, we had our group set up. Naturally, as with anything one tries to plan…things come up.

Dan flaked.

Jason attempted to flake out of fear of the weather. (It was predicted that the entire day would be covered in rain.)

Tim persisted and made things happen. Jason ended up being pretty stoked (you’ll find out why later.)

So Jason, Andrew, and I headed out of San Diego come around 5:30 AM. We had about 10 hours of driving time to get down to the location that was best for whale watching, so the majority of the trip was actually spent here:

 

 

And most of what we saw consisted of this:

 

 

The Xterra handled it like a champ, and we even talked our way out of a speeding ticket after Jason nailed some speed bumps going about 90 mph

 

 

We came across this crazy field filled with these little red succulents

 

 

There was this random cactus in the middle of the field, so naturally I posed for my next album cover

 

 

Right behind it there was a ditch that randomly had a beehive living in it.  Here’s Jason wondering how this all came to be.

 

 

Jason Kirby starring in, “Barbed Wire”

 

 

While in search of a lighthouse, we came across this abandoned building.  Inside there was all sorts of trash and graffiti, and also there just so happened to be a noose!  Naturally, Jason pretended to hang himself and together we made noosing.com (check it out to see the photo)

 

 

Crashed out in the car.  Andrew woke us up about 5 times with his snoring AKA yelling during the night.  Woke up to a killer sunrise.

 

 

Majestic as f*ck.

 

 

Thought about burning one of these down the night before.  Would have made a good fire.

 

 

We left for the boat station and waited for about 2 hours to go out in a panga (panga is like a small motor/rowboat).  It was pouring rain and none of the guides wanted to go out in the storm.  Jason gave me the evil eye.

After about 10 more minutes, one of the guides was brave enough to venture out with us.  Luck would have it now, we had our own private boat.

 

 

Sure enough, saw some whales.

 

 

The mother whale is so stoked to get rid of such a large amount of weight that she’ll jump out of the water (spy-hopping) and the baby is so pumped on life they want to come right up and say hello.

(mother & baby on left – stoked mother spy-hopping on right)

 

After Jason’s incident in Iceland, we all joked about the idea of jumping on a whale and riding it.  After feeling one of the mother whales gently “lift” our boat while underneath it, we decided it probably wasn’t the best idea.

Jason actually managed to pet a baby whale from its nose all the way to the tip of its tail while it swam by him.  After doing this, he gave me a look that said, “okay dude, this was worth it – you were right.  thanks for kicking me in the ass when I tried to flake”

 

 

Our stoic boat guide, Felix.

 

Andrew pumped that he snagged some killer video with his GoPro and McGuyver rigged light stand.

 

 

As you may remember me saying earlier – it was raining pretty hard earlier in the morning.  To protect our gear, we put on some trash bags in hopes of the material shielding our gear while we were out on the boat.  While I think an average photographer might be afraid of taking their camera out in the rain, I think we all knew these were the kind of moments our cameras were made for.

 

 

Land-ho!  Spent about an hour and a half out in the water – at some points there were whales circling all around us.  Was an awesome experience seeing these huge animals in their natural habitat, and having the ability to get up close and personal with them.

 

 

Excelsior!!

 

Mission accomplished.  Time to head back to San Diego for work the next day.

 

 

On our way out, we came across this crazy red lagoon that we thought might be fun to take photos of.

 

 

As we walked further and further, the sight got cooler and cooler.  We didn’t put this together, but the area was home to one of the largest salt-flats in the world.  If you’ve heard about the one in Bolivia, you know these make for some awesome photos.

 

 

The salt looks like snow, but it’s actually pretty hard – it hurt your feet to walk on it.

 

 

Jason bitched out and decided not to venture out with us past this little river above because he thought he was going to slice his foot open.

 

 

Back on the road.  Saw this on the way back.  BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??

 

 

Sweet views driving into the night.

 

 

And a sky so crystal clear it was as if you could see every single star.

 

 

Now THAT was a road trip!

 

 

Would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Date 1 of 30 – Whale Watching Adventure with Xplore Offshore - [...] be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect from this date…I’ve been whale watching down in Mexico twice prior, and didn’t really think that San Diego had much of a marine [...]June 2, 2013 – 5:30 pm

30 Dates in 30 Days with Details Matter App » Tim King Blog | Tim King Photographer - [...] and all the people I’ve met – the most memorable experiences I’ve had have been the road less traveled, the rare and most surreal sights, and the people who march to the beat of their own [...]March 12, 2013 – 4:59 pm

Amazon Adventure | Tim King Blog | Tim King Photographer - [...] Mexico! [...]January 14, 2013 – 6:00 am

noelle - hi! i loved your post. ive been wanting to see the whales there for a few years now and i think this winter might be when it can happen! do you have a recommendation for what time of year youve had the best luck seeing whales? im thinking about going down there for a few weeks and going from cabo up baja.

your photos are amazing. youve captured what i wish to see so beautfully. it made me even more excited to get down there!September 13, 2012 – 1:20 pm

Lauren Moaze - looks like a day VERY well spent :) awesome photos.September 11, 2012 – 6:43 pm

Cathy - I’ve been feeling the travel bug for a while now and your images are making it worse! ;) Guess I’ll have to get serious on planning our trip out west this winter. Loved the post!August 16, 2012 – 8:05 am

Katie Botkin - I love the handstand shot… and the end shot.June 26, 2012 – 6:58 pm

Jared - These pictures were great and a HUGE thank you to the STOIC Felix WWHHHooooopp!!!June 19, 2012 – 5:23 pm

Jimmy Rooney - The photos from the trip are awesome! I love the one at the end. Could be a useful photo for Nissan :)June 6, 2012 – 8:30 am

Lisa Jensen - Way fun! love the adventure, and all the commentary. And of course, the whales. So glad you post about this stuff.May 15, 2012 – 8:33 pm

else jensen - Tim, I love your Baja road trip to the whales. As your aunt it brings back memories of our wonderful kayak trip to Magdalena Bay with your mom and my own previous road trips to Baja. As always I love your photos which are very evocative and I love your Blog text/comments. Thank you so much for sharing your enthusiasm for traveling. You are inspiring! Looking forward to going to New Guinea together and snorkeling together!
ElseMay 13, 2012 – 8:00 pm

Karen - Hand stand photo on the salt flat is EPIC! Are salt flats naturally reflective like that? You’re right, it does make for some amazing shots! I found your site through Instagram. I appreciate the “likes” on a couple of my photos! I look forward to your entries as I just recently moved here from the East Coast and am always looking for new places to go :)May 7, 2012 – 10:36 pm

Adam Broderick - I dig your blog as well as your m.o., Tim. I recently relocated to San Diego and am looking for other photogs to shoot with. I also am usually the motivator/planner. If you ever can’t find others to rally, I could be pretty quick to motivate/pack my bags. Check out my site – you’ll find we have similar interests.May 3, 2012 – 11:15 am

Faith Bowyer - This looks amazing. I have no words, except that this entire adventure looked Majestic as F*ck.April 19, 2012 – 9:23 pm

Justin Douglas - Man this trip looks epic!!!!April 18, 2012 – 4:34 pm

ami - hahaha “Majestic as f*ck”. I love these traveling posts that you do. Really, really awesome. Can’t wait to see where you go next.April 18, 2012 – 4:24 pm

Getting your “vlogging” gear set up!

The most creative gear review you will ever watch from tim king on Vimeo.

I figured it would make a good resource to be able to have a side-by-side comparison of the different options for video blogging, as well as some recommendations for some specialty-type effects that can add value and distinguish your blog as a professional presentation vs an average computer/PC user.

To start off, we’ll introduce the most cost-effective & ease-of-use options:

1. On-board computer camera/web camera.



Advantages:
The video is already loaded on your computer when done, no additional expenditure on equipment. If you’re on a budget and don’t have much time to spend loading/editing video – this is a cost efficient & quick option.

Disadvantages: Lacking quality & versatility. Your videos will have a level of quality anyone can achieve – no distinguishable difference than the average person. Also isn’t convenient to travel, pack, or use in an outdoor or rugged environment.

Cost: No additional purchase required

2. iPhone. (I’d include android phones, but I’d suggest using a webcam/computer video over an android device – my experience with those phones have proved to be some of the worst quality videos I’ve seen)



Advantages:
Extremely portable, no additional cost if you already own, and easy to email/upload. Take it on the go, record video while walking or in between appointments. Immediately upload to your YouTube or Vimeo account straight from your phone with no processing – quickest amount of time from record -> vlog post.

Disadvantages: Same as above, with additional limitation of difficulty to set up to do a self-recording session. You’ll often have to hold at arm’s length and might not be able to get the frame you want without additional help from others.

Cost: No additional purchase required

3. Flip


Advantages:
Extremely portable, easy to use. Fits in your pocket, upload straight from the device.

Disadvantages: Quality isn’t the best or the worst, many average consumers own one for personal use. Additional cost & investment, reported issues with inconsistency in recharging.

Cost: $89

4. GoPro


Advantages:
Very portable & small, obtains a fish-eye perspective which includes more of the settings/background in the video. Has the ability to capture extreme clips, such as underwater, attached to helmet/car/cycle etc. Simply designed camera with less than a handful of buttons.

Disadvantages: No viewing of screen capture without an additional extension purchase. Quality isn’t amazing, sound quality can be extremely sensitive to wind. Better for catching action shots than someone talking straight to the camera. The HD Hero 2 is much better quality than the original.

Cost: $299

5. Canon 60D [RECOMMENDED FOR PROFESSIONAL ON SOMEWHAT OF A BUDGET]


Advantages:
Pro-sumer SLR quality video. With a great lens, you can have a professional appearance that stands out above the average consumer/technology user. Rotating viewing monitor so you can see yourself while you are filming, ability to film at lower light than cameras listed above. Sound quality isn’t the best, but much improved from options above. Ideal for the individual business owner looking to make their own high quality video blogs. (Also great to have for personal vacations) Significantly lower cost than professional SLR. Would recommend pairing with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 – which would give a similar look & feel to the 50mm 1.4 shown in the video above.

Disadvantages: Cropped sensor, which means you only get a portion of the frame that you would get from a full frame camera such as the 5D. To read more about what this means, check out this article. Will not fit in your pocket. Adventure/outdoor rigs are considerably more expensive than the GoPro.

Cost: $900 new, $800 used on ebay

6. Canon 5D mk ii


Advantages:
Professional level SLR. Many commercial videographers use this for high quality production, quality is outstanding paired with top-level editing software (final cut, premier) Sharp imagery, several options of focal length and aperture, excellent in low-light. Full utility of lenses compared to the crop sensor of the 60D

Disadvantages: High cost, will not fit in your pocket. Adventure/outdoor rigs are considerably more expensive than the GoPro. No flip monitor to see yourself while filming.

Cost: $2200

SLR Lenses

Sigma 30mm 1.4: Great to pair with the 60D to achieve the shallow depth of field, low-light availability, and accurate portrayal of appearance with no distortion.

Cost: $490 new.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II : Awesome landscape lens. Captures the most amount of your atmosphere/environment around you in your frame. Significant distortion towards the sides of the frame at 16mm. Has the ability to zoom to 35mm. Easy to use in a tight space.

Cost: $1589

Canon EF 24mm 1.4: Great at capturing a wide frame/environment & setting of the background. Ability to have a shallow depth of field and concentrate on the subject. Easy to use in a tight space.

Cost: $1629

Sigma 50mm 1.4: Great lens for a great price. Works great with the 5D mk ii (shown in video above), great shallow depth of field, low light capabilities. Will be a bit tight of a frame on a 60D camera, would need more space between camera & subject. I actually prefer this lens over the canon version – much sharper & great value for the cost.

Cost: $499

As for the other lenses I demonstrated in the video, I wouldn’t recommend them for video blogging as they would only really be used for very specific needs which aren’t exactly the most practical for vlogging. If you have any questions about them, feel free to email me at tim@timkingblog.com. To give you the technical info so you can research them, they were the Canon 85mm 1.8 and Canon 100mm 2.8 macro.

AUDIO EQUIPMENT

1. Audio Technica Wireless Lavalier System: What Jason was using in the video with the waterfall. I prefer the quality, super targeted and clear even in harsh conditions. Limited a bit in terms of interviews as the mic is set up for one person initially – needs to clip on to belt and has a lavalier attached on the collar, appears in video if not covert. Good value for the price.

Cost: $129

2. Sennheiser Shotgun Microphone: Minimal set-up on camera, no lavalier appearing in the frame. Directed towards the individual, can be useful for interviews as opposed to a single lavalier. Picks up ambient noise more than the lavalier. Ideal for interviews.

Cost: $199

So that’s everything I have for you guys as far as my experience with vlogging gear. If it came down to it – what I would strongly suggest for the best investment for your video blogs – get the 60D camera used on ebay or craigslist (if you get it from Craigslist, have a photographer check it out with you to make sure it’s legit). Use the Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens to pair with it – versatile lens that will get you great quality and allow you to take some awesome personal/travel photos if you’re considering that as an additional incentive. Add on one of the audio set-ups mentioned above (depending if you’re planning on doing interviews or vlogging from loud environments) and you’ll be all set with a top-notch vlog system that will cost you around a grand.

I’d love to hear any of your favorite set-ups or additional tips from you guys in the comments – I always welcome alternative perspectives and different preferences :)

PS – stay tuned for a lightroom 4 video editing tutorial come Tuesday. I’m planning on video taping a April fool’s prank for tomorrow’s vlog. Let’s hope it all goes according to plan :)

mohamed - any update about this piont :
(I’d include android phones, but I’d suggest using a webcam/computer video over an android device – my experience with those phones have proved to be some of the worst quality videos I’ve seen

its 2014 now and this was written 2 years agoFebruary 28, 2014 – 5:07 am

mattyv - dude….this had me crackin up! by far the best tutorial on vlogging ever.January 12, 2013 – 9:36 pm

Daryl Auclair - Exceptional post Tim. The video was very creative and helpful. My company has many clients who are looking for cost effective ways to setup their video blogging rig. I will have to send them to this post for a quick glance at all their options.

Thanks!May 29, 2012 – 1:06 pm

Tim - @Ryan – The 10-20 is great, but it’s tricky with low light on its own without a flash. Works really well for traveling stuff though – I had that lens for about a year when I first started.April 4, 2012 – 8:23 pm

Ryan Lum - Props to the article Tim. Great breakdown. Definitely am looking into the Sigma 30mm 1.4. What about the Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6? Needing something to offset the crop.April 4, 2012 – 5:59 pm

The 30 Day Vlog Challenge

As many of you may remember, back in December and January of this year I put on a 30 day blog challenge in which several of you & my colleagues participated in.  After the challenge, I received emails and comments about how people were bummed that I wasn’t blogging as much anymore.  I knew I couldn’t do the challenge over because it wouldn’t make sense – but it wasn’t until Josh Alden met up with me on his short stay in San Diego one night and suggested I do a 30 day VLOG challenge.

At first we laughed, and I told him he was out of his mind.  As the laughter quieted down, it set in that we knew it had to be done.

Video blogs are a beast and I’ll be straight forward with you – I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it through all 30 days.

But you know what?  I don’t doubt for one second that the lessons I learn from this experience will be worth their weight in gold.

Hell, I’ve already learned a ton just putting together this INITIAL video!

If you’ve been wanting to start making videos, I invite you to join me on this little conquest.  It will be your fast-ironed approach towards getting good on camera and help you reach your audience more effectively than in the past.

Not to mention, the perks of promotion…

Head on over to 30DayVlogChallenge.com to see more details.

If you have any questions or would like some tips on getting started, please don’t hesitate to email me at tim@timkingblog.com

30 Day Blog Challenge - photographybyjonceemay.com » photographybyjonceemay.com - [...] I stumbled across a person doing a 30 day VLOG (video blog) challenge.  I like the idea, and know I need to spice things up a little, but dot know if I am ready for [...]April 24, 2012 – 8:39 am

Videos: How to Attract Targeted Traffic to Your Blog | | Blogging FearlesslyBlogging Fearlessly - [...] me out all weekend, it might be news to you that I’ve joined the 30 Day Vlog Challenge with Tim King and a bunch of other bloggers. It’s a really cool challenge and is forcing me to explore [...]April 2, 2012 – 1:43 pm

Lady - Tim, this is a FANTASTIC idea. I hope it goes viral. Goodluck with the challenge :-)March 30, 2012 – 9:25 pm

Marissa Rodriguez - Hi Tim! Ashley told me about this….sounds crazy. And I like it. :) I think I’m in!!!! I wanted to participate in the 30blog one you did in December but I got lazy HA! Thanks for doing this!March 29, 2012 – 10:47 am

Emilia Jane - I have a feeling this is about to be epic!March 29, 2012 – 6:40 am

The FIX

So this entry is a bit more on the symbolic side of things – this past week I had the chance to re-connect with one of my mentors, Jasmine Star and my peers – the J* Jets, who happened to join me in Seattle for her workshop last April.

The reason why this trip was so symbolic to me was that I’m at a point in my business where I’m re-evaluating my approach towards growth and delving into what REALLY needs attention as far as quality is concerned.  What really needs a “FIX” in my own system.

I’m a fan of being transparent and completely open & honest, so I’m going to share with you these exact issues that I’m dedicated towards working on this upcoming year:

-Faster client service: Responding to emails as fast as possible.  The more accessible you are, the more trust you earn as a result of being consistent and reliable.  The faster you are, the more the client can depend on you & are willing to refer you.  I’ve come to believe it’s crucial to have as much trust as possible in order to get the very best out of a clients wedding/event, so this has become a very important issue for me to focus on lately.

-Quality of work: I feel that every photographer is their own worst critic when it comes to evaluating our work – we are never satisfied – however I have some clear and defined goals I’d like to work on in terms of my lighting, composition, and artistic abilities.  These goals are within reach, and I’m dedicated on improving upon them.

-Focusing on the right network & demographic:  Work has been steady for me and I’ve been fortunate with consistent clientele the past 4 years.  However, now it’s time to concentrate on the clients that are aligned with my ultimate direction of photography and are going to contribute towards helping me achieve my goals.  It’s going to be really weird transitioning, but I kind of look at it like I’m graduating in a sense.  In the next month I’ll be saying goodbye to 2 of my nightlife clients – which amount to about $15,000 of my revenue each year – in order to really focus on my goals.  It’s going to be tough, but it’s something I have known that I’d eventually be doing when the time was right.  Life’s to short to be moving “up” the “down escalator” – and I’ve got to focus on the bigger picture.

-Updating my content:  For both my peers in photography and my clients – I’d like to allow you all to engage with me on more of a personal level – and with that, comes the issue of updating my content both on a personal level & work level.  I’d like you all to be familiar with what I’ve been shooting, where I’ve been traveling, and what is currently going on in my life.  I want this mainly so that when I see people, conversations can become relevant and when I talk about my portfolio, I wont have to explain, “Oh, visit such and such a post on my blog – it’s more recent than the stuff on my site.”  I want this thing to be locked & loaded.  Let’s do this.

-Surrounding myself with ambitious individuals & those that are closely related to my niche: I like having variety in all facets of life, and I think it’s best when you can surround yourself with people that have the same habits & lifestyles as yourself, or that which you’d ascribe to.  Your standard of living is similar, you can enjoy the same kind of experiences without worry of financial obligations like others, and you can identify with situations others are facing that may be relevant with your own.  In regards to those in my niche, it’s like this except on an extremely targeted level of discussion/experience.  A quote I refer to often goes, “Birds of a feather flock together – don’t hang out with chickens because they don’t fly.”

While these topics above may be common knowledge, they’re important ideas I feel need an emphasis at this point in my business.  I’m excited for the things to come, and I’m stoked for you guys to be along with me throughout this journey.

I’d like to end this post with a request for you to either 1.comment below letting me know what you’re working on in your personal/business life or 2. if you’d like to be more private, email me at the link above and let me know what you thought of this post.  I’m not usually this candid, and hearing back from you guys definitely reinforces the idea of writing more posts like these.

Jasmine Star The Fix San Francisco

Jeff King - “He that is not busy being born is busy dying.”-Bob DylanJuly 6, 2012 – 9:31 pm

Moses de los Santos - Quote:

“You were born an original, don’t die a copy!”

- John MasonMay 7, 2012 – 2:39 pm

Moses de los Santos - Tim,

About year ago I met you thru craigs’ list and after our transaction I began to follow your work and it has soooo effected me on many levels! I changed my website because of you, I learned tons about being open and sharing photographic knowledge (something that I want to model more in my life). I feel as if I live vicariously thru your adventures, if I didn’t have the life that I have chosen I would of been on the road with you as well! I still think deep inside that I will be traveling and taking photographs!

Meanwhile on the subject of “the fix” I am an amateur photographer that is moving more and more into doing wedding photography, my day job is that of software/technology entrepreneurship and trying to launch a couple of businesses from ground zero. I too, like one of the comments on this thread, feel guilty from time to time about the money and time that I have placed on this photography calling/yearning. I sometimes feel as if I am living a duplicitous life, the one with photography in it and the other one (lol).

I do not feel that guilty, though, because photography has become a wonderful way thru which I am now slowing down to stop and look around me. As a type A personality I was always moving so quickly, that I missed what was right in front of my nose!! NOT ANYMORE!!! If it has accomplished anything its’ that it has allowed me to enjoy living in the moment.

Back to the Fix, I plan to put out an online magazine this summer of my adventures and I plan to work seriously on and a marketing plan that will target the kind of work that I want to shoot and the type of photographer that I wish to become. If I have to take a class from a particular institution or individual or get a nearby mentor (any ideas Tim?…lol) I will do so as well.

Thanks Tim, because of your example, I too want to open up more and be “real” about being alive and being on this photographic journey! As you have said to me “..its a process man!”

I leave you all with one of my favorite quotes:

“You were born a original, don’t die a copy.” — John MasonMay 7, 2012 – 2:37 pm

Life with Kaishon - My goals are to have weddings edited and albums ordered within 4 weeks. It is so hard working full time and working on weddings but I really must speed things up! : )

Your goals are fantastic. I wish you all the very best.March 29, 2012 – 8:35 pm

ashley barnett - I’m working on removing a gigantic build-up of guilt I have. Guilt for following my dream. Guilt for feeling like I’m holding Jeremy back from his in the process. Guilt for spending money, guilt for feeling like I “should” be a million other things than I am and doing a million other things than what I am. So yea, that’s my “fix”. :)March 29, 2012 – 4:56 pm

Hannah Sons - Loved this post. I have been holding my “fix list” hostage, not sure if I am ready to let it out yet. But, just like you I have similar goals. Thanks for sharing.March 29, 2012 – 10:44 am

Masha - Great post as always! I’m also in the process of making some positive changes in my business!March 25, 2012 – 2:59 am

Erin Oveis Brant - Really excited to see this post! I have most of these things on my “FIX list” along with simplifying what I ultimately deliver to my clients (product offering) and clarifying my brand purpose and experience (so that I can ultimately focus on the right network and demographic). I feel pretty confident that if you stick to your plan that $15,000/yr will reappear in all the right, adventurous places. It was so great to be back with the pack for the weekend!!March 23, 2012 – 6:40 pm

Tracey - Goal 1: Define my direction. I have been so busy with my day job that I haven’t been able to really put as much focus into photography – my creative passion in life. I’m a photographer who also happens to enjoy my day job, but at the same time,I would also like to work on developing a client base that will allow me to feed my creative passion. I enjoy shooting weddings. But I don’t need to book weddings to survive financially.

Goal 2: New a new website & blog.

“I’d like to allow you all to engage with me on more of a personal level – and with that, comes the issue of updating my content both on a personal level & work level. I’d like you all to be familiar with what I’ve been shooting, where I’ve been traveling, and what is currently going on in my life.”

Get on it! Let’s do this fo reals! :)March 23, 2012 – 3:44 pm

Bethany Ann - I attended The Fix in Nashville and, WOW did it make me think about what I wanted to change and fix. I loved meeting Jasmine. She’s so kind and sincere. :)

Anyway, I liked this blog post. Like you, I am trying to “fix” some aspects of my business. First and foremost: Saying NO when I want to say no. It’s hard, and I need to do it for my sanity. Second, I am going to start focusing more on my overall client experience. For example, today I sent out a gift to my brides.

I look forward to seeing your business grow and change for the better. Have a great weekend! :)March 23, 2012 – 1:40 pm

Dan - I currently work a “9 to 5″ (more like a 7 to 4 really). Through my working career, I’ve always had things like health insurance. So my biggest hurdle (fear?) is trying to figure out what my options are in a very unknown area for me.

Thanks Tim for your blog. Your travels, adventures and self/business reflection are always inspiring, much like your photography.

**note** It’s not JUST health insurance, but also equipment insurance, and to a lesser extent….retirement.March 23, 2012 – 12:58 pm

Matthew Eeles - In my short time in photography, I have learned just how much I love doing it, even if unpaid. That being said my time is extremely valuable in my two sales roles, one being a company I am now fully invested in with direct equity.

As an entrepreneurship major with parents who operated a large company in the UK, I am always proactively searching for opportunities, business as well as lifestyle. Photography as opened my eyes to business opportunities that I wouldn’t have thought of before diving into it.

Mr King I definitely look to you as a photography mentor, however, I use my CEO as my business mentor. If he has taught me anything about business and growth, it’s that you value the customers most who you know will pay on time and spread the word about your work in a positive light.

As Gerald mentioned, offering services for free or at a low cost is all very well, but as your reputation grows so should the structure of you client. Unless they can provide you with an intangible benefit or a stepping stone to greater opportunities stay strong on price, believe in the value of your work and believe in your long term goals.March 23, 2012 – 12:46 pm

Josh Mitchell - My business life and personal life aren’t all that far apart. My main goal for 2012 is to get my name out in the San Diego market, and start establishing my business as a solid contender. I want to continue to make connections, have fun, and do awesome stuff. And by awesome stuff I mean I want to be there to photograph life changing events.March 23, 2012 – 11:59 am

Cody - Great post.
I am currently leaving a top studio (which equates to about 30k/year in revenue for me) to pursue my own interests and clients and transition into shooting film. It’s a new awakening for me and photography will never be the same now that Ive opened my eyes to this world. I like what Seth Godin said: “The problem is that their is a lack of guts. Guts is the willingness to lose. To be proven wrong, or to fail. It’s easy to be confident when you have everything aligned, when the moment is perfect. It’s also not particularly useful.” Best wishes Tim.March 23, 2012 – 11:34 am

Gerald - Always inspirational Tim.
For me, I’m working on getting my pricing strategy up. I started turning clients down that have been low-balling. It’s my fault though since I started offering services at basically free, just to get started. I know I’m not exactly in the same caliber as the high-end companies, but I keep attracting the $500 brides.March 23, 2012 – 10:14 am

Photowalk: Troense, Denmark

While I was in Denmark, I had the opportunity to connect with extended relatives and live a few average days of the Danish lifestyle.  I had an amazing time, and it was really cool to reconnect with my family and get to know them on a more personal level.  One of the coolest experiences I had while I was in Denmark was discovering personality characteristics that were common between myself and the people I had met throughout my travels in the country.  It genuinely felt like I was getting to know my roots.

One of the places I stayed during my visit was a small town by the name of Troense.  I’d try to help you pronounce it, but I’m pretty sure I still even butcher it.

Troense is a small area filled with traditional (ultra-traditional) style housing with thatched roofs.  This means that instead of shingles or wood or whatever else you usually find on roofs – they would have densely-packed hey serving as the insulation directly above.  Surprisingly, it keeps pretty warm and it creates a pretty cool look to the house!

While I was staying in Troense, I got to know the local area one day by simply taking a walk one morning and cruising around the meadows, streets, and harbor unique to the town.

I should mention – this neighborhood was actually voted as “best back-country neighborhood” in all of Denmark.  And you’ll see why it has such prestige in the photos below:

 

 

The award-winning street

 

This was the house where I actually stayed.  Surprisingly, the thatched roof kept it warm!  (With a little help from a fireplace inside)

 

 

Some workers installing a new roof next door.

 

 

One of my most vivid memories from my first trip out to Denmark was riding bikes down this road pictured in the next photo.  This image brings back memories and has a hint of nostalgia from riding bikes down the long stretch of tree-lined patterned avenues.

 

 

Decided to go wander a little in the back-country.

 

 

Love the light hitting these trees in this next one!

 

Anonymous - Wow, you are a very talented photographer. Your pictures are amazing. The one with the trees is especially awe inspiring.December 14, 2012 – 2:18 am

Paige Overturf - love the wide angle shots!March 8, 2012 – 5:15 am

Klaus T. - Troense is pretty far away from the busier part of the country, but somehow I have a feeling that the people in Troense like it that way, cause it seems like a very calm city, not caring much about all those big-city people who’s in a rush all the time :)

I’m sure you would have made some great shots in summer as well, but the snow really adds something to photos of these houses.March 7, 2012 – 4:55 pm

MrThallid - I enjoy your walk-abouts. How often are you working with a tripod?March 7, 2012 – 2:12 pm