Friday, December 13, 2013

Received my Master of Photography packet today

When the mail came today, I received my Master of Photography Ceremony packet. It gave me all the info I need to participate in the annual Degree Ceremony held by PPA this January in sunny Phoenix. I am required to wear a tuxedo!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Local Photographer Named Gold Medalist at International Photographic Competition


Press Release:
Holladay, Utah - Kent Shelton of Shelton Photography in Holladay and Instructor at LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, was named a Gold Medalist during Professional Photographers of America's 2013 International Photographic Competition. He will be honored at PPA's annual convention, Imaging USA, January 12-14, 2014 in Phoenix, Ariz.
PPA members receive these medalist designations by earning a merit-a mark of quality and honor-for each of the four images included in their entry to the International Photographic Competition. This is the most prestigious competition of its kind, where images are judged based on a standard of artistic excellence, not against each other.
The level of the award is determined by how many of those four images receive the highest possible honor: acceptance into the PPA Loan Collection, which is displayed at photographic exhibitions, conventions and other photography events. Shelton was named a Gold Medalist, meaning that two of his four merited images entered the PPA Loan Collection. In 2013, he was one of only 59 Gold Medalists from around the globe.
"These photographers have reached a prestigious achievement," states Randy McNeilly, PPA's Photographic Exhibition Committee Chairman. "It takes dedication to achieve the consistent quality and creativity necessary to earn the title of Gold Medalist in one of the world's most celebrated photography competitions. While Shelton will be receiving this award at PPA's International Convention to be held January 2014 in Phoenix, the real winners will be his clients who have commissioned the work!"
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA has roots back to 1869. It has never stopped growing and looking for new ways to assist its now 26,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success in the industry.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A poetic truth

Time is a thief who quietly steals the memories of childhood, youth, and past generations.
Portraits seal up what is today, preserving memories for the future, opening a window into what once was.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

International Print Competition

This year I had my best showing at IPC ever. Two of my images were accepted into the prestigious Loan Collection and the other two were accepted into the General Collection. I will be awarded a "Gold Medal Photographer of the Year" this January at our annual conference in Phoenix. Even more exciting to me, I will finally receive my Master of Photography degree in January. Many years of print competition ecstasy and agony have finally paid off.

This image is titled "Unlucky Strike" and was accepted into the Loan Collection

This image is titled "Daydream Before the Dance". It was accepted into the General Collection and it was also added to the General Showcase book.

This image is titled "Fortuna, Goddess of Luck" It was accepted into the General Collection. It was also the image I thought was my strongest entry and all of the others did better than it. I won't complain!

This image is called "Open Invitation" it was accepted into the Loan Collection. My favorite part about this image is that it was a last minute image I shot on the competition due date just to finish out my 4th and final image. I was surprised to see it do so well.

Jessica's Bridal Portrait

A week ago I did a bridal portrait for Jessica. We got some amazing images at the Utah State Capitol building. Jessica had an amazing smile and was so much fun to work with

Sunday, January 6, 2013

LDS Business College

In December I was hired as a photography instructor at LDS Business College. I look forward to teaching at the college. I have heard so many good things about the atmosphere and the students there. Tomorrow morning is my first class. I will be teaching Intro to Photography and Intro to Photoshop.
Just in case you are wondering if I will continue my work at Shelton Photography, the answer is an emphatic YES! I will only be teaching at the college two days a week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Gift of Digital Files from Shelton Photography

So I have been musing about an idea for a years now, and I would like to talk about it with you. Ever since I started learning the trade of portrait photography, my mentors taught me that a true professional will never give away his negatives (negatives at that time, now digital files). The industry of professional image making has changed more since I became a professional than perhaps at any other time the profession has existed. Many people wonder why we don't like giving out the digital files. To be blunt, it is because we can't make a living if we do. The session fee we charge would not cover the cost of the hours involved in a portrait session. There are also artistic reasons, for instance, our prints look much better than prints you would make at Wal Mart from the same digital file. No artist wants their work portrayed in a way that would bring harm to their reputation.

These reasons put me in a difficult spot because I see people choose other photographers whose work (in my opinion) is not as good as mine, just because that photographer provides digital files. These photographers are not getting rich, but they are getting work. Many of them do not depend on photography to make a living either. This also makes it easier for them to give away their digital files. While I don't like this, it is reality. So, I either need to leave the industry, or figure out a way to deal with it. Because I love my work, and I know I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love, I want to continue making images professionally.

I have wondered if there was some way to make a compromise. I could charge several hundred dollars for a session and give out the digital files (this is what I do for commercial clients), but that would still only provide my client with half of a product. Without my expertise in making beautiful prints, my client still does not have what I consider to be a worthy product to hang on their wall.

When meeting with my customers, one thing I have a good feel for is what portrait(s) a customer should have in their home and how much they would have to spend to have what I recommend. It is never cheap for them to get what I say, but when they do, they love it. So, for these customers, why not give them the digital files? I have been able to make a sale that preserves my income and my reputation of making professional prints. At this point, I have only minor barriers to giving away the digital files. The possibility of future sales is one of those minor barriers. I have found that once customers place their order, they rarely come back to order more. They already have what they need. I get more requests for obituary portraits from a past session than reorders from a past session. Another minor barrier would be that my customer will take the digital files and make non-professional prints with them. When they do this, they will at least have the original professional prints to compare it to, and they will likely either put it in a scrap book or come to me to have a professional print made. 

It's official then. As of August 2012, I am offering digital files for FREE with a qualifying portrait purchase. Please see studio for details.