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March Featured Member: Mike Olliver

March Featured Member Mike Olliver

Interview and photos by Amie Chou

 

How many years have you been in photography?

I’ve been making my living from photography for almost 15 years.

How did you get started in this field?

Purely by chance. I was working at a post production facility, and my company asked me to take some stills during a video shoot — of the late Steve Irwin, “Crocodile Hunter.” There was another photographer, Steve Barrett, who had been hired by the client to do a portrait of Mr. Irwin. He and I started talking, and next thing I knew, I was taking longer lunch breaks to assist him on local shoots! I became increasingly smitten with the variety of assignments and flexible schedules, and within a year, Steve introduced me to Mike Langford, of Capital Color (a well-respected Q-lab specializing in E-6), and I began working there part-time. I was able to meet a lot of prospective clients (photographers) and began assisting a stable of photographers on a regular basis. This allowed me to jump full-time into assisting, and eventually, I was able to “cut the cord” and make the jump to full-time shooter.

Who are your photographic or artistic influences?

I couldn’t name anyone for you. My inspirational sources are constantly evolving. If we’re speaking of the formative years, it would be a very strange juxtaposition of National Geographic and Playboy Magazine. (Sorry, Mom!).

How long have you been in the area and what brought you here?

I originally came to DC in 1990, just after I graduated from college. A friend lived down here, and since I played guitar, he invited me to live in his basement, and join his band. I never intended to stay in the DC area, but ended up staying here until 2004, when my wife Linda and I moved to Baltimore.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing photographers in the metropolitan DC area?

I think it’s the same as it would be everywhere – a lower barrier to entry for the aspiring photographer, which creates a larger pool of photographers competing for a dwindling amount of decent jobs. We have the added problem of not being regarded as a production based area, so for bigger jobs, especially involving outside agencies, clients tend to look at our shooters last, even though the job may be in our back yard.

Can you define a specific “turning point” in your career? Read more

APA|DC’s Magic Hour|Happy Hour, Feb. 20th in Silver Spring

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We’re making the trip a wee bit easier for our northern neighbors (Ahem, Maryland) by having this week’s Magic Hour|Happy Hour at Jackie’s Sidebar in Silver Spring on February 20 from 6 to whenever pm.

Parking is easy and cheap/free. It’s a hop, skip and maybe a couple of jumps away from the Silver Spring Metro on the red line.

Celebrate the holiest of lighting conditions, the “magic hour“, by joining us for a drink or two inside the confines of a dimly lit bar.

The Where:

Jackie’s Sidebar

8081 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD
 

The When:

6pm – 8-ish pm

The Cost:

Free, of course!

Nov. 15 Silent Auction Items to Benefit APA|DC Programming

Many thanks to our amazing sponsors for putting together such a fantastic line-up of items for our Silent Auction. The proceeds from this event will be used to promote, educate and inspire photographers in the metropolitan Washington, DC area.

Many of these items will go for 30-50% off their regular retail price. But, the only way to bid is to go to the Chris Crisman event on November 15th. Click here to read more.

 

In no particular order, the items up for bid:

 

Red River Paper (Value $TBD)

A selection of inkjet paper from Red River Paper.

 

LowePro Photo Hatchback 16L AW  (Value  $ 99.99)

Sleek and modern outdoor daypack design offers a casual, yet high-performance carrying solution. Multi-functional compartments provide versatile organization of camera gear, tablet and creature comforts. Removable, padded camera box with storm-flap closure and grab handles offer customizable storage for a complete camera kit; remove it to convert bag into a fully functional daypack.  Body-side, hatchback opening – Padded, front stash pocket – Tall, stretch-mesh side pockets – Roomy upper compartment-  Built-in memory card pocket .

 

 

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended (Value $999.00)

Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 Extended software delivers even more imaging magic, plus the Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine for blazingly fast performance. Retouch with greater precision, and intuitively create 3D graphics, 2D designs, and movies using new and reimagined tools and workflows.

 

 

BlinkBid Software   (Value  $229.99)

Estimating, production and invoicing software for creative professionals.  Shockingly easy to use, yet incredibly powerful, Blinkbid will help you manage the business side of your creative life. Prepare bids, produce jobs, and invoice for the delivery of the your creative effort, easily.

 

RimeLite 47 inch Grand Softbox #GSB-47 with Dynalite Speed ring #SDL-16 (Value $415.00)
The GSB-47 is a 47? Grand Series 16 Sided Softbox which is designed to offer the ultimate in soft light with consistent edge-to-edge coverage. The GSB-47 comes with a front diffuser to provide professional balanced soft light.

 

 

 NIK Software / Complete Collection Ultimate Edition (Value $499.00)

The Complete Collection includes all of Nik Software?s latest award-winning plug-in software titles for Photoshop®, Lightroom® and Aperture? including: Dfine® 2.0, Viveza® 2, HDR Efex Pro? 2, Color Efex Pro? 4 Complete Editon, Silver Efex Pro? 2, and Sharpener Pro? 3.0.

 

 FANTASTIC BOOKS FROM O’REILLY MEDIA (Valued at over $300.00)

Titles Include: Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers, The Art of Photographic Lighting, Marketing Fine Art Photography ,
Photoshop CS6 Unlocked, HDR Photography Photo Workshop, Macro Photography Photo Workshop , Nik Software Captured, Sixty Tips for Creative iPhone Photography,  and more.

 

ThinkTank Photo CityWalker 20 (Value $139.75)

THIS HASN’T EVEN BEEN RELEASED YET! These lightweight, soft and refined messenger bags have a hip hugging form and room for a tablet. The fully removable insert allows you to convert from a camera to messenger bag.

 

LowePro DSLR Video Fastpack 250 AW (Value $149.00)

Fast access and flexible organization are key elements of this protective, yet lightweight design. Pack your gear in the dedicated camera compartment. When it’s time to shoot, grab your gear from the fast-access, side-entry pocket. A purpose-built audio compartment includes a convenient headphone strap and a removable Custom Audio Utility Pouch for accessories like cables, cords and a receiver/transmitter set. A separate laptop pocket keeps your workstation within reach.

 

1 YEAR PHOTOSHELTER STANDARD ACCOUNT (Value $ 329.00)

Includes 60 GB Storage 10 Customizable website templates- Use your own domain name – E-commerce for selling prints or downloads as stock photography Enhanced SEO – Photographer Directory Listing- Dozens of ways to get high res files to clients.

 

Lensbaby Gift Certificate (Value $300.00)

Gift certificate that’s good for a Composer Pro with Double Glass Optic. The Composer Pro offers smooth focus and tilt/swivel ability. The Double Glass Optic allows you to highlight one area of your image with a tack-sharp Sweet Spot of focus,  while the rest fades away to beautiful blur. Tilting the Composer Pro lens body lets you move that sweet spot anywhere in your image. The gift certificate makes the lens available for SLR mounts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, and Olympus E1 cameras and mirrorless mounts for Samsung NX, Panasonic Lumix, Olympus Pen, and Sony NEX systems.

 

ThinkTank Photo Airport Ultralight V2.5 (Value  $169.00)

The Airport series of backpacks have an ultra efficient design that maximize space for your gear and still meet airline carry-on requirements. When you?re getting on a plane you want to be sure that your bag will fly with you, that?s why we design and test our bags for the traveling photographer.

 

LowePro Flipside Sport 10L AW  (Value  $124.00)

Lightweight photo daypack with a sleek and low-profile shape provides a minimalist and technical carrying option for outdoor and action sports photographers. Body-side access and removable, adjustable camera compartment with storm-flap closure offers water-resistant protection. Ultra-secure tripod attachment -Hydration-ready pocket offers easy-access to a 1 liter hydration reservoir.

 

ThinkTank Photo  Retrospective 7 (Value  $154.75)

Inconspicuous, soft-sided shoulder bag with a simple exterior that blends into the environment while carrying photo gear. We?ve included a rear pocket which will hold your iPad or an 11? Mac-Book Air.

 

 

MORE ITEMS ARE BEING ADDED ALL THE TIME SO CHECK BACK!

Check Your Ego at the Door – An Estimating Workshop with Wonderful Machine.

The ugly truth behind the glamorous world of  professional photography

is that most of us spend our days just trying to get work. 

 

And once you get that request for an estimate, what next? How do you turn all of your hard earned marketing efforts into paying work? “Check Your Ego at the Door” is a natural follow-up to our recent “What’s Working Now” marketing panel. this roll-up your sleeves workshop, aimed squarely at working photographers, will help you to land that job.

Wonderful Machine will give you the tips and tricks you need to pull together a polished estimate for any client or project. After a brief pricing and negotiating primer, we’ll dive in to a practical workshop building estimates from real case studies. This workshop offers attendees the rare opportunity to build and hone your estimating skills in a low pressure environment and ask all of the questions you may otherwise be reluctant to ask in a working scenario. The open, collaborative nature of the workshop will give you insight into the production approach and pricing paradigms of the DC photographer community. Attendees will leave this workshop with a much better understanding of pricing and negotiating in general and the DC market specifically. Attendees will be building estimates in real time and submitting for open review. Please be prepared to share & collaborate, bring your laptop and check your ego at the door.

Craig Oppenheimer, a producer at Wonderful Machine, has worked on dozens of estimates of all sizes and types for Wonderful Machine photographers throughout the country. His write-ups have been featured on the popular professional photography resource blog, www.aphotoeditor.com

 

This workshop is hands on and will be limited to the first 20 people to sign-up. 

When: Thursday, November 15th, 2 pm – 5 pm.

Where: Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

Cost: $95 (APA/Wonderful Machine members) ; $120 non-members

 

Ticketing for APA/Wonderful Machine Photographers is Under Way! General Public Ticketing begins Nov. 10!

Register Here!

 

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