I Just Had To Say...(Written On My Lunch Yesterday)

By tangentpath in nye personal resolution thanks vision

Hey Peeps,

This year is almost finished, another one is beginning with new dreams, hopes and ambition. I don’t normally do this, but for some reason I feel the need to thank all of you. Some of you I really know personally, others I’ve only just met or chatted with online. I have worked with some, planned future projects and others I enjoy talking shop while having some yummy sushi(you know who you are;)).

The point is, is that I can guarantee that I wouldn’t be half the photographer that I am today if it weren’t for each and every one of you. Even the small things that may seem insignificant to you help shape my perspective and abilities towards my craft, business, friendships, family and all of these are integrated together to make up my life.

There is one single thing that ties you all together for me: you inspire. You inspire me in your own personal way(s). Whether it’s your work ethics, processing, lighting techniques or just how you make me think or laugh or love to eat sushi(okay, no more sushi talk). All of you are inspirations, none of you are unimportant, you make a difference in my life – more than you know, and I appreciate it immensely. I can only hope to do the same for all of you.

As I said earlier, I don’t normally do this, and I also don’t do NYR(New Year’s Resolutions), but the force is strong with this one and so I’m caving. PUSH. That’s it, push. Push everything, shoots, schedules, projects, ideas and concepts, travel and experience. No procrastination, even when it hurts to get off the couch. I haven’t really had a problem with this when it came to photography, but I did find that scheduling and planning always were put on the backburner for the most part. No more. You want to shoot? Let’s find a date. Got an idea? Let’s explore it and see where it goes. That means that if we’ve never worked together, but have talked about it in the past – you will hear from me soon. If not, msg me and we will get it done! No more BS, no more waiting to see, no more doing it later. Let’s go. PUSH.

I hope you all a wonderful New Year, a wonderful night and I hope you complete all the endeavours that are truly important to you, whether personal or professional this year(me too!).

Michael Carty

Managing Money Well is Key in any Business - Even Photography

By tangentpath in business manage money photography wisdom

Right off, I'm plugging in a wonderful read(and a must read for EVERYONE), even if you don't run your own business it has crucial information that can help anyone obtain financial security and freedom without feeling restricted.  It is called "Your Money: the missing manual" written by J.D. Roth. 

I have gone through it in under two weeks and have already eliminated some personal debt, built significant savings, projected short and long term goals.  It has helped me do this and I haven't sacrificed going without day-to-day spending money.

I've never been good with money, I think most of you can relate.  A large chunk of spending is done emotionally and/or impulsively, and that is a big mistake on our part.  If you prioritize what purchases are truly important to you, you can decrease needless spending - and therefore have more $$$ for what you REALLY want.

Let's not forget the ads as well.  Advertising is made to make us think that we NEED the things they are peddling, that's why it works.  If you do run your own business, or own a car, computer, cell phone, etc, I'm sure you can think of a commercial or an ad for a product you've purchased(or are selling). 
*hint, hint*

 So being aware of that is crucial to not spending needlessly.

The idea of paying myself is my favourite though, and why not?  Who wouldn't like to pay themselves first?  I put a percentage of all of my income into a savings account, it is separate from my checking account(otherwise called my spending account).  My checking account holds my spending money, money left over after savings and bills have been paid.  My savings account is completely forgotten.  As soon as I put some cash in there I forget it exists.  It never gets touched, ever, unless there is a crucial(and I mean CRUCIAL) purchase, emergency, etc happening.  You would be surprised how fast that grows when left alone. 

Another percentage of my income goes towards specific debts/bills, like credit cards, lines of credit, car payments, etc.  Each person is different, regards to income, bills, debts, so figure out which amounts work for you.

Now here's the trick:  When a debt gets paid off - you DON'T gain any increase in your spending money.

Let me elaborate here.  Say you have a VISA card, you pay $200/month on it until it's paid off.  The day comes that it's paid and that means you don't have to put that $200 towards it anymore.  What does that mean?  Does it mean that you have $200 more to spend on take out, movies, new tech toys?  It could, but you've been living fine without it, and if you ever NEED something soooooo bad(remember it has to be crucial) you still have your savings.  So instead of blowing that cash - you snowball it. 

If you're lucky, the VISA card is your only debt(remember regular bills ie-power, rent, phone, etc, aren't really debt, lines of credit, student loans and credit cards are debt), then you're pretty lucky.  Maybe you can splurge it on stuff.  Or maybe you could snowball it into your savings.  Say you normally put $200/month into your savings, add on this extra cash and now you're putting away $400/month, and you're not going without anymore that you have already.  You never had that extra $200 to spend in the first place so you will never miss it.  Know what that means?  It means that you can go on that trip south this year instead of the next, or that new lens is on its way before of the end of the month instead of the end of the year.  It means even more financial freedom for the things that actually matter to you. 

I'm guessing there are more people than not that have more kinds of debt than a single credit card.  Guess what?  You can snowball this too.  Snowball that extra cash into your next debt and watch it disappear faster than you originally projected.  It is truly energizing to see the weight of debt drop away. 

As I mentioned earlier, I've only started this system, and I have to say that I haven't done everything that this book suggests, but I have adopted the things that work for me.  You have to know what works for you and do that, it won't work any other way.  My wife's way of saving, paying and spending is very different from me.  She gets paid differently, she pays things differently, she saves differently.  Luckily her system is more simplified and straightforward than mine is and I have found a way to make them both work well together.

I made a judgement call the other day.  I could delve into my newly made savings and pay off a debt immediately, freeing up the cash that I would've used  over the next few weeks on its payments to put onto something else - or, I could keep my savings as they are and continue on my slower but still steadily payments.  I decided to go with the first option.  I received instant gratification from this decision.  Not only did I get rid of a personal debt in no time at all, but I saw the end projection of my next item of debt(remember, I'm snowballing this extra income into my other debt) go from 3 months away to the end of this month!

So can anyone tell me what this means?  Snowball again!!  I will eliminate 2 items of debt within a month(btw, I still have ample savings which is just icing on the cake), and this cash will soon go onto my other debt to get rid of them even faster than originally projected.  Or maybe I will split the difference, some in savings and some on debt.  That means my saving will grow faster than it is now and my debt will stilll decrease at a faster rate.  If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about this.  The main reason why is my main goal: financial independence.

I've been able to calculate how much money we need to live for a year.  Now I can use this information and the simple(very simple) tools that I've learned to obtain the savings in order to quit my day job and go full time into my passion: photography.  Going fulltime photography, I can increase my clientel, travel and create income that will slow the spending of my savings.  A great benefit is that I will be able to spend lots of time with my wife and our child(arriving next year).

Well I think I've plugged this read enough for one blog.  I just want to say that every successful business owner or photographer that I have ever met or spoken to agrees that eliminating debt and creating savings are the most important things needed to keep doing what they love to do.  Otherwise they couldn't afford it.

So check it out, enjoy, and be happy.

New pics in the next blog, I promise.


Michael Carty

Shooting in the Capital Episode 2: Two Great Shoots, Love This City, Keeping Photography Simple

By tangentpath in anna chernykh fun times model ottawa personal photography travel

Hey All,

Sorry for the delay in this blog entry, things have been getting really busy - and even though I pretty much touched base on this very topic in the last blog - determination and professionalism keeps me working at this in a positive light.

The day before I left to return home, I had set up two shoots with some models.  One was a young and talented newcomer named Anna Chernykh, Anna was a natural and a joy to shoot, she's shown below:

My second model was Sarah Foley,  Sarah was great to shoot with, she had terrific energy and new what the camera liked.  See her images below.

I totally loved Ottawa, it is truly a great city to visit and live in.  There is a wide variety of culture, knowledge and people there from all over the world and it all comes together in a unified way.

Just as a sidenote, my flight back was great, white clouds, sunshine.  That is, until we landed, there was a windstorm at home and I could literally feel the plane slide sideways in the air as we were landiing.

I'm planning a new photography clinic next month, and I am taking a very different approach to it than my past clinics.  Simplification.  That is key in teaching anything.  So NO LCD tv screen with visuals - all visuals will be hands-on tools.  Experience with equipment will cement the information in these classes. 

Below is the ad I created for the class, I hope you can attend.

That's all for today, chat you later on the busy projects coming this month!

Michael Carty

Shooting in the Capital Episode 1: Planes Falling, Great City, American Embassy

By tangentpath in embassy fun times ottawa personal photography turbulence

It was a pleasant drive in the new EDGE.  The sun was shining, the tunes were playing, I had everything I needed for this almost 1200 km trip to the capital of my beloved Canada.

After stopping to a few places along the way, buying books and having a bite to eat, we finally made our way to the airport to complete my check-in.  My mothers boyfriend Terry helped me with my bags and the nicest receptionist at the desk informed me of the precautions taken in case my luggage didn't arrive at the same destination as I.  She then assured me with the utmost seriousness that that situation would NOT happen.  Believing now that if my baggage were to get on the wrong plane, that this lady of aeronautical authority would fly them back to me safe and sound - even if it meant she would flap her own arms to do it - Terry, my mother and my wife settled down in the airport pub for a last minute bite to eat.

The tomato bisque was DELICIOUS, seriously it was.  The giant slice of cheesecake with drizzled chocolate syrup on it was even better.

Anywho, after all that good stuff, I grabbed my carry-ons, said goodbye to mom and Terry, kissed my wife(I got a little misty here) and started towards the gate.  Security was very thorough and professional, and yet they were also very friendly - which was nice.  The plane was a little cramped, but the service was excellent.  Our craft rolled speedily down the runway and took flight, reaching speeds of over 600kms/hour.  It was a great view, and I would've said that it was an excellent flight, except for the turbulence.

Now turbulence isn't anyones fault.  It happens and you have to deal.  I haven't been on a plane since i was 15 years old, and since this was my 31st birthday it had been a while.  It would've been okay if we only hit one pocket, but we hit 5 consecutive pockets of turbulence spread out evenly over the entire 1.5 hour flight.  NOT FUN.  Let me just say that there are different degrees of turbulence.  Little bumps.  Big, jarring bangs.  Sudden drops of 200ft before you slam into a high pressure system below.  Luckily - and I use this term loosely - I was somewhere between the first two.  I would describe some of it as hydroplaning a car, the back end swinging out a bit to the side and then righting yourself again.  Still:  NOT FUN.

Needless to say, I was white-knuckling my tray, sweating profusely, thinking of my wife and unborn child that I so foolishly left behind, and reflexively starting to make a deal with ANYBODY who would make the plane stop bouncing, before cutting myself short because I would realize that I would never come through with my end of the deal.  After chatting with Tom, my flight-mate in the seat next to me(he's a veteran flyer who has often seen those 200ft drops in elevation and shrugged them off), I survived the trip without snapping and sending the entire group of passengers in to hysteria(thx again Tom!).  I arrived just before 8pm(7pm Eastern), kissed terra firma like a lost lover and continued on to the baggage claim.

You know when the flight attendant thanks you for flying with them and tells you to watch your head as you disboard?  Well it's good to listen to the "watch your head" part because I almost got a concussion trying to hurry out of there.

I was tired but excited to be here, Ottawa; the Washington of Canada and the home of most of Karsh's work.  I was already impressed before I arrived.  Most of you probably don't know that it has the second highest quality of living of any city in the Americas and is the third cleanest city in the world.  I can tell you that the facts are true.  Out being the tourist today, I commented on how clean it seemed, even the air seemed extremely clear for what you would expect from a major city.  It feels safe too, safer than any city that I have been in, and after some stat checking - I found out that it IS.

The culture is incredible, the food is a explosion of flavor and the people are diverse and yet cohesive.

My uncle's picked me up and we drove to their incredibly fantastic home where my Uncle Gerry fed me gin and tonics until I went to bed(bless his heart, he makes the best gin and tonics).

As I mentioned earlier, I did the tourist thing and below you will find a few of the shots I took, of course there will be the generic shots of the hill, but I tell you they are incredible feats of architecture.  Tomorrow we are off for some more shooting, I got close to the impressive and depressing American embassy.  I have to say, it is the ugliest building that I have ever seen - it looks like a prison, seriously.  If you don't believe me I promise to get a good shot of it tomorrow.  From what I hear, the paranoia is so great that if I went to the front door to snap a shot, security would probably detain me after smashing my camera to bits.

That's all I have for now, time to go eat some lemon pie and drink some wine, later folks!!

Below: The Prime Ministers office is on the third floor

Below:  Canada Revenue - Boo!

Below: An eight-legged freak attacked the city

Below: Oh jeez, it doesn't like its picture taken!!

Your Art And Your Health

By tangentpath in fitness health personal photography vision work

Now I'm not sure if this is something that a lot of people in the business talk about, but I have noticed - from a handful of photographers at least - that exercise or at least keeping an active lifestyle can mean the world to them.

There are a few reasons for this, the obvious being that you are healthier, you have more energy, positivity and - believe it or not - creativity.  I personally try to stay as active as I can, not only is it good for me but I actually like keeping busy.  I do occasionally hit those walls, days that I just don't feel like doing anything, but the least that I can do is run.  Running is freedom, easy and challenging, requires no equipment(unless you count running shoes), can be done with others or alone, is meditative and is self-competitive.  When I say self-competitive, what I mean is that you can completely compete with yourself, with what you've ran before, for time, distance, whatever.

Now what the hell does this have to do with photography or any other type of art?  Well, let's think about this for a second.  I'm healthier and happier, which are definately big pluses when dealing with clients, models, assistants and people in general.  What about your family?  Do you have children?  Do you find that if you are happy at home you will be happier at work - and vice verca?  Say you are an action photographer, would it be easier to hike up a mountainside or through brush if you were fit instead of flab?  The answer is a big, emphatic YES.

Also, leading neurobiologists agree that the added bloodflow from cardio exercise, in addition to specific chemicals released(and others whose levels are decreased) increases brain function, which can help us be more productive, less prone to mistakes which saves time, and allows us as artists to better create images of higher quality.

Let's face it, we spend hours behind the lens of our cameras, or putting make-up and doing hair for models, or even sitting getting these things done as models.  We also spend hours reading up on the latest technologies, techniques, styles, etc etc etc.  Photographers(unless they hire photowizards) also spend hours on their computers, transferring files, backing them up, processing and posting images.  We all also spend hours updating, texting, messaging, emailing, networking, posting, blogging, tweeting and a thousand other things in front of a computer screen.  So if we spend so much time on all of these things, I would say that setting aside some time for our health is crucial not only to ourselves and our well being, but our business, its growth, and our families and our futures with them.

I want to know what you do to keep active.  Do you run?  Lift?  Greeko-Roman wrestling?  Do you do nothing and disagree with my opinion?  I WANT TO HEAR IT!!

Last week I promised images, well I do have images, but you will have to check them out on the link below:

This is my new(and favourite) website, I love it, it rocks, it is so easy to control and change.  I hope you like it and send me a message sometime to tell me what you think of it or if you would like to work together.

Later players