Who is Randy Plett?
I'm glad you asked. I've been an artist for a while now. As of August 2009, I'm 30 years old and have been self-employed since graduating from design school back in 2003. I absolutely adore the idea of stock photography because it pays the bills and allows me the freedom to travel during the winter months. In the summer, I usually hang around the Pacific Northwest to concentrate on shooting lifestyle photographs.
I think lifestyle photography comes quite easily to me. I usually work with naturally happy people with great smiles. The secret is to capture them in their everyday environment, naturally posed and with perfect timing. About 98% of the time, I'll be asking models to smile. So if you're an aspiring lifestyle model, it may help to give your cheeks an extra workout or two. Essentially, laugh a little more.
Travel photography is obviously deeper and more passionate than just a hobby to me. Getting a unique and powerful image often involves packing loads of (seemingly unnecessary) gear, hiring guides, and being able to go well outside of our comfort zone. It helps to inspire those around you to be part of the process, which involves trust and patience, and of course lots of cash. As a photographer, you are telling a story through images, and you can't do it alone.
It can be a struggle to ask people to sign a model release form, especially if it needs to be translated. When commercial usage gets involved, people are afraid of being taken advantage of. We pay them what we think is fair, and try to make it clear that if we break even on a trip then we are happy. There is not a huge market for travel stock photos, but the images are a reward on their own. Requesting a model release form is not easy, and most travel photographers have never considered it. But the process develops trust with the people we're working with, and gives them an opportunity to earn income. Through the distribution of low-cost, high-value stock imagery, we have the ability to help make a positive contribution to their community as well.
My goal was to travel to every continent before the age of the 30... give or take about six months. I would like to travel to Antarctica later this year, so anyone willing to donate can do so via Paypal (thanks in advance). Other destinations include Istanbul for some editorial photography workshops, and East Africa for community-based stock photoshoots as well as editorial photography.
The highlight of our most recent travels was going RVing through Utah and Nevada, on a Safari in Serengeti National Park and Ngorogoro Crater, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and relaxing on the beach in Zanzibar afterwards. I've got fond memories of photoshoots on the beach, listening to reggae music, burning in the sun, and avoiding Malaria.
Ideally I’d like to completely relocate during the dark and rainy Vancouver winter months however I do have obligations to my nine year old daughter, Chloe, and she brings me down to Earth. Christmas and her birthday are both in December and so I usually want to stay home with her. Christmas is such a great time for children, and I can't imagine being without her then. Chloe likes things like video games, macaroni and cheese, sword fights with foam tubes, you know, kid stuff. She has an incredible personality and makes people laugh all the time. I like to entertain her with the silliest of things.
For those of you who are interested, I'm shooting with a Canon 5D II, a 50mm 1.4 or a 85mm 1.2, and occasionally 16-35mm 2.8. I swear by the 50mm focal length for lifestyle photos. I use a four strobe Alien Bee lighting kit and take two Canon Speedlights with wireless triggers and two reflectors when traveling. The files are processed on an 8-Core Mac Pro with 16 Gb of RAM and a two Tb striped RAID setup, plus two Tb of mirrored RAID for storage. I back up the files offsite as well. I've got 11 HD's with 3 more on the way which will total more then 12 Tb's.
That is all for now. Once my blog is up and running I will be updating you on the latest. Maybe I’ll take your picture one day.
|© 2009 Randy Plett | copyright notice|