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Sunday, May 23, 2010

MG3Media: Sustainable Bay Area & Beyond-2

Clean transportation, green building, sustainable food, clean tech & more.

This week, Susan Burgess, Whidbey Island, WA sustainable gardener and artist shares photographs of her beautiful organic bounty. Special thanks to SF Bay Area artist CarlaTurturici for helping us make the connection. More to come from Susan's edible efforts. Photo's courtesy of Susan Burgess. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MG3Media: Sustainable Bay Area & Beyond

Clean transportation, green building, sustainable food, clean tech & more.

This week, SF Bay Area photographer Peter Maiden shares a wonderful array of fresh sustainable produce from the Farmer's Market (Oakland, CA).  Photo's courtesy of  All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

MG3Media: Sustainable Bay Area

Clean transportation, green building, sustainable food, clean tech and more . . .

May is National Bike Month and tomorrow marks the 16th Annual Bike To Work Day, a focused effort and public campaign to bring awareness to clean transportation options.

It's encouraging to know that millions have already taken up the gauntlet to decrease CO2 emissions, while lessening the burdens on our nation's roadways.  The reward: cleaner air, less stress and increased fitness. Today also kicks off MG3Media's 6 week series on the topic of sustainability in the Bay Area.  I caught up recently with my friend and sustainable living evangelist, Avra Goldman, to get her thoughts and share the efforts she is personally involved in.  Avra is a San Francisco resident and apart from living a sustainable lifestyle, works for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Why are sustainable cycling programs important to our community; what measurable impact do they have? 
They reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) which directly reduces harmful emissions; biking increases health, provides exercise and makes for a higher opportunity for chance encounters with strangers or friends, it promotes community building.

What are some basic steps you recommend to get people involved in sustainable transportation?
The first step could be to figure out what might help you drive less (i.e. a buddy to bike with, a transit map, carpool), visit for trip planning to reduce miles traveled, use Google maps bike option, take a bike training . . .

What is the role of the organization where you work (Bay Area Air Quality Management District)?
Our aim is to protect public health; we contribute to cleaning the air; we aim to achieve permanent emissions reductions and promote environmentally sustainable transportation alternatives - such as bicycling.

What kinds of projects does the organization typically fund?
We fund bicycle facility projects, engine upgrades, new cleaner vehicle purchase, advanced demonstration technology projects, smart growth, shuttle projects, signal timing projects, and GHG reduction projects.

Do you fund projects locally, regionally or nationally?
Our district is composed of the 9 counties of the Bay Area including: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Napa, South Solano and South Sonoma.

Do you have a website, blog or other resource we can direct readers to for more specific information?
Sure, readers can visit:

For those already well versed in sustainable efforts for the environment and our collective health, it seems obvious that 'everyday' should be a conscious transportation day. People will often roll their eyes at efforts to highlight a specific day set aside for a special cause.  I personally think it's important to have these days as a reminder and/or sign to those not currently involved.  It's a way so say, 'check this out' . . . there are options. You never know who you might reach, or a life you might change in the process.  

So Happy 'Bike To Work Day!' And, thank you Avra for taking a moment to connect with MG3Media readers on this important topic.  I'm headed over to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District link to learn more about how we can continue to improve the air quality in our community. 

A Few Resources:

Need a bike? 
Post a link to your favorite bike shop in the Comment Section to help others get started on their clean transportation efforts. =)

I'm in the Los Altos/Mountain View area.  Here are three shops within walking distance from my home. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

MG3Media: Arts to Entrepreneurs - Pt. 3

Photographers sharing their business approach to the Arts - Three Part Series

As a photographer, how would you further describe yourself as an entrepreneur? 

In a profession that changes its business model as fast as its technology evolves, the key is adaptability.  The change to a digital process forced us to create new business models and on it goes.  With the flood of new providers you have to work hard to separate yourself from the crowd.  In the end, the task is the same for the photographer as for any creative professional, your business depends on the quality of your work, the reputation you build and your marketing. 

How would you describe your style of photography? 
I try to understand what the client wants and what they need to express with the shots.  I like to work close in, and use light and lenses to build vision and romance the product.   Generally, I want the shots to define things in a way that enhances the project vision.  I'm a fool for color but can also go very sparse and clean.

Do you have a few images you can share with us? 
Here are three new pictures to share.  I have ridden motorcycles since I was a kid, and have recently begun to photograph them.  My vision is for clean, honest looks at the bikes, as well as the folks who create and own them.  I want to shoot all kinds of bikes, anything interesting on two wheels and especially by Bay Area owners and builders.  
"My goal is to have the photography express the passion that 'intention of design' conveys in textures and shapes of what I see as rolling art."
Here are three examples.

*Photographs Courtesy of Richard Tauber. All Rights Reserved. 
 Did you go to school to learn photography, or are you self-taught?
 I am a self taught shooter, worked my way up through retail camera sales and pro-photo labs, then finally went out on my own shooting jobs.  I basically was amazed by the light in San Francisco and wanted to figure out how to capture its moods.  That led me to street photography, grabbing the fleeting moment, then into the studio where what you learned from available light could be emulated and augmented to suit the mood. 

As an artist, do you think it is important to have "good business sense", and what specific steps have you taken to insure your business success?
There are two aspects of my business, the commercial side and the art side.  On the commercial side you have to continuously recreate yourself to stay alive in this fast changing environment.  On the art side I do it by whim, shooting and printing new looks with things that inspire me, putting them out there and seeing if the art public likes them.  I have been lucky that clients have been very loyal and send me referrals, but nothing lasts forever -- so you need to prospect all the time.  My wife and I have run the business as a team.  She has done a great job booking and billing clients which has freed me up to concentrate on the technical and aesthetic side of my craft.
How do you balance the artistic and business requirements of your work?
I find that when I go into a new creative area to explore new ways to use light and lenses, that seems to directly impact my commercial work.  New inspiration influences your thinking and you find ways to use that for all your clients.  That in turn creates a natural balance, and is the most exciting part of the game for me.

Here is a very rare British BSA which was the "Birmingham Small Arms" company.  This flat tracker  was repurposed into a "bobber."

"Its so cute and tiny, and spindly that I had to use a really long lens to compress the form into a comprehensible rendering.   Feels like I'm hitting some kind of groove here.  The builder made it for his wife a charming business professional who rides it like she was escaping from a bank robbery!"

 Photographs Courtesy of Richard Tauber.  All Rights Reserved.

Did  you or do you currently have a mentor that guides your business growth? 
Because I am an older shooter 'from way back in the dinosaur film days,' who has evolved into high-end digital, I look to young folks to help lead me into the future.  I am working to understand and adopt new ways of doing things as they emerge, to see how they might be incorporated into my work paths.  I also pick up hints of styles of communication and presentation and then just try them out to see if they work.  I first realized the power of photography from a book titled "The Family Of Man."  It taught me that the photo was so much more than a mere record, that captured moments run deep.  For commercial work, you can look to and learn from every published work around the world.

What inspires your work most? 
Inspiration comes from everywhere; it can be music, flowers, light, literature, the visual arts, anything.  When you feel something inside, you find a way to express that.  I communicate my feeling by doing compositions with light and lenses. If I'm doing a product shot I'm going for a feeling.  It can be that the product is simple and easy to use, or that it is sleek and sophisticated, or expensive and nearly unattainable.  Even if you are taking a shot of a screwdriver, you can find a new truth to the way it is rendered in the photo, a way that speaks with an authenticity that cannot be mistaken. 

I had the opportunity to photograph a very interesting Harley, a 1949 Panhead Chopper by a guy called Art Reale who besides building this wonderful piece of functional art, is also a furniture maker.  So naturally, he added a couple of tasty wood touches.

*Photographs Courtesy of Richard Tauber.  All Rights Reserved.

  ". . . there is something compelling in the way these machines speak emotionally to us through their sculptural forms and using day light seems to be the best way I have found to express that essence."

You can check out the gallery at:

Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your work? 

This shows my commercial work and some of my artwork:
This shows primarily my art work:
Is there anything you'd like to add?
I am happy to share my passion for pictures, and want to thank people for taking the time to take a look.  And of course, if there are folks who have interesting cycles, I would love to hear from them and see them over at the studio for photography. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with MG3Media Business Insights readers.

Key Take Aways
* Entrepreneurs must learn to adapt: business models change and technology will continue to evolve.
*Entrepreneurs understand balance: attend to the required administrative functions, but maintain a spirit of curiosity and continual learning to remain informed and viable.
*Entrepreneurs learn and create dynamically: evaluate not only your own vision, but the work of those that have come before you.  You can gain a great deal by studying that which is all around you.

Entrepreneurs Sharing Tips & Insights!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jigar Shah, CEO Carbon War Room - on Earth Day 2010

Jigar describes the role of the entrepreneur within the environmental movement. 

Rights: CC Earth Day TV

Friday, April 16, 2010

MG3Media: Arts to Entrepreneurs - Pt. 2

Photographers sharing their business approach to the Arts - Three Part Series

As a photographer, how would you further describe yourself as an entrepreneur?
Most photographers, except staff photographers, are entrepreneurs simply by the nature of the industry.  We're all self-starters.  We create our own schedules and run the full spectrum for our businesses from booking to marketing, accounting to creating albums.  These businesses are run, if not alone, in partnerships or small groups.  Actually taking the photographs has proven to be a rather surprisingly small part of my job as a photographer. But, it continues to be the most exciting part and that's what keeps me in this business.

I run two small businesses, both photography based, but very different from development stages to end results for clients.  One is focused entirely on wedding photography, 'So Many Moments', and the other is the catch-all for the other jobs that find me.

How would you describe your style of photography?
Since I run two companies,  I have two distinct answers.
For weddings, my style is all about the moments, hence the name 'So Many Moments'.  My goal is to unobtrusively document the big day with style!  I want to capture what ACTUALLY happens as beautifully as possible.  When choosing a wedding photographer, I think it's really important the couple find an artist who really reflects their personal style.  Some photographers set up a lot of shots during a wedding.  For instance, some may go so far as to fake an exchange of the rings after the ceremony, to get that tight shot of the hands. To me, that's cheating the couple out of their day.  Either throw on a long lens, and snap that shot while it's actually happening or find something better to shoot at that moment.  But at least be real!  Because when the couple sees that hand photo, they'll remember the photographer faking the shot after the ceremony; I want my clients to remember the actual moment they exchanged the rings instead. That's the difference to me.  I want my couple's to enjoy their wedding days with their guests, not to spend the day posing for shots.

For freelance portraiture work, I prefer the polar opposite.  Like my earliest idol David LaChapelle, I prefer to bend reality in my portraits rather then tell the truth. "People say photographs don't lie, mine do."  I like to think I build moments or scenes for just long enough to take a photograph of them to prove they existed, even if only for a little while.. I have some big budget fantasy shoots living in my dreams and sketchbooks waiting for the right client to come along, but in the meantime I make the best of what's around.  A recent portrait I took of my friend Kalle, for instance, is her wearing a red throw blanket from her bed, balancing on her grandfather's old milking stool in her side yard.  That's a zero$ budget photo; we made something we can be proud of from nothing.  Maybe that's creativity at it's core, and entrepreneurial, too. 

Do you have a few images you can share with us?
I would love to!!!  The following is a sampling of both my portraiture work and some recent wedding photography from So Many Moments.

*Photographs Courtesy of Samantha Yeakle.  All Rights Reserved. 

Did you go to school to learn photography, or are you self-taught?
I took my first photography class in high school, and while it changed my life, it did not inspire me to focus on photography as a profession.  I had always heard that to work in photography was ridiculously competitive. During another photo class in college, a neighbor asked me to take her portrait and she paid me $40.  Her friend liked the photos and hired me.  I charged $60.  It just sort of grew from there.  Within a year, I was seeing my photos published on album covers and in magazines so I quit working behind bars to work behind my camera full time.  As it turned out, the people who told me photography was competitive were correct, it's an insane business.  But the constant challenge keeps me excited and on my toes.  I can't imagine doing anything else.

As an artist, how important do you think it is to have "good business sense", and what specific steps have you taken to insure your business success?
My business is a success because I've made people happy and enjoyed the journey in doing so. Success, for me, is about doing something that means something.  If I'm given the opportunity to document an important day in someone's life, or create a portrait of them, I feel that's a great honor.  I hope my photos will live longer then I will and the custom albums I create will become family heirlooms. I find pride in that.

How do you balance the artistic and business requirements of your work? 
I'm in the business of making art, not business. There isn't so much balance as there is unity. The art comes first, that's what I'm creating for people, the business falls in line behind it. I've enjoyed learning about marketing, advertising, accounting, web design, and how to conduct meetings.  My background in graphic design has helped me develop my own business cards, price menus, logo and brochures but, it's all a process.  It's always evolving. I'm always moving forward, sometimes more slowly then others, but a forward motion none the less.  And if I ever stop moving forward, if somehow one day I don't care anymore, then I'll quit.  I can't stand to meet jaded vendors, especially in the wedding industry.  If you don't love what you're doing, it's time to find something else to do.

Did  you or do you currently have a mentor that guides your business growth?
I wish I did have a mentor when I was starting out. I spent the first couple years learning a lot by good old fashioned trial and error. More recently I've found people who are happy to help me.  I've written and received replies from photographers I admire, and have found support simply in having friends who also use cameras either often or professionally.  The friends who are happy to have techy conversations late into the night discussing the pros and cons of different lenses and other gear have certainly been a fantastic influence. Most notably, my talented boyfriend

What inspires your work most?
When I first saw "LaChapelle Land" in high-school it changed my world.  It was innovative, sexy, exciting, humorous, and shockingly beautiful.  It spoke to me as nothing else ever had. It was my definition of art, and his collection of books still live front and center on my coffee table today.  He was so bold!  Now there's a flock of us mimicking his reckless love of saturated color and the unusual sense of reality.  Now I find myself inspired by all sorts of artists. Mostly unknown, or struggling, but all so beautiful in their own expressions.

Since moving to Portland, I've been very inspired by my environment.  I want to pay homage to the city with a photo series which I'll shoot this spring/summer.  It will be my first complete body of work suitable for showing. It will also be, by far, the largest scale project I've ever tackled and most demanding, as far as technicality and gear is concerned.  To say I'm really excited to see it all come to life is an understatement.  I can't wait!

Thank you Samantha for taking the time to meet-up with MG3Media to share your thoughts on entrepreneurship with our new business community!

For our readers, if you'd like to learn more about Samantha and her work, please visit her website:

Have an Entrepreneurial Insight or Story To Share?