Archive for June, 2011

June 2011

Posted: 06/29/2011 in Webpost

Assignment/Behind The Scenes – The weather in Denver has been unseasonably hot and the day I photographed Caleb Folan, Tyrone Marshall and Drew Moor – was no exception. 100+ degrees, but it is a “dry hot,” right? Images will be published in future issues of Mile High Sports Magazine. A special thank you to the players for putting up with the intense heat while trying to look cool and comfortable. Special Note: It’s one thing to “create” a sweaty-look (beads of sweat), it’s another look altogether – when the athlete is “covered” in sweat! Towel, please!

Caleb – Tyrone – Drew – Outtakes

ASMPCO Update – The Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers has updated their website, their weblog and their new social media websites.  Are you Following, do you Like? A special thank you to Neil Corman, Michael Calanan and Chapter President, Rich Douglas, I’m sure I’m leaving other names aside, but a special thank you to these three Board Members for making such a huge difference in the ASMP Colorado’s event attendance and member cooperation. And for not having me thrown off the Board of Directors – yet!

Assignment – Created candid portraits and photojournalistic-style images at a corporate dinner for Siemens Industry, Incorporated (client), Starkey Productions (vendor) and MyCreativeDept (sub-contractor). The event was held at Mile High Station, which is a pretty cool venue and a great place for large parties and corporate events. A special thank you to Aubrey of Starkey Productions, Susan of Siemens, the Gypsy Mandolin and Jolly Demis – The Complete Entertainer.

Bronze – Roy Rogers-style – Cowboy

Assignment – Photographed and created a small amount of video of my very first Quinceanera. A Quinceanera is a lot like a wedding, but a whole lot more fun. I’ve always liked the Hispanic culture and have spent a good portion of my life either visiting Mexico or living in a Hispanic neighborhood (in Denver). I won’t bore you with a bunch of images of people that you do not know – but I threw together a few of my favorites to give my readers a small glimpse into a modern Quinceanera! By far – the best food I’ve ever eaten at “an event.” I kept going back for more green chili. Yummmmmm.

I’ve never attended a Hispanic event where there wasn’t a clown present – and this gentleman was a guest! There are always a group of men watching the most popular sport in  the world – Soccer. Many times when I attempt to photograph an Hispanic adult – they hide behind a loved one. The most creative “guest book” I’ve ever seen. Real cake – none of that Cake Boss crap! The Most Interesting Man in the Room – No seriously.

Video Assignment – Help create a 3:15 minute video for the 3rd Annual Colorado Companies To Watch Gala & Awards held at the Denver Marriott City Center. I can honestly say that – I learned a lot about the video production business on this assignment – the do’s and the don’ts. Hey, I preach  – experience, experience, experience. What an experience! Many thanks to the folks at profitstreams for all their support (especially Melodie Reagan), everyone with the State of Colorado and the Governors Office (Steffanie Steffans & Gov. Hickenlooper), all the actors, all the locations, the traffic jams, called in favors from friends, Josh Gold, the Producer and Casey “Vash” Medack, the “Dude, if I get one more email from you, I’m going to quit…” Video Editor. Rule #1 – do not wait until the last minute to call the Editor(s). Duh!!

Just For Fun – In honor of – Go Skateboarding Today day – I thought I’d post a few skateboard images from – back-in-the-day. Actually, one of these images was created within the last five years. All of the ramps featured in the images below are now – no longer, but that’s alright – now we have concrete skateparks !!

Scott Stanton, Jeff Dalton, Robbie Schilder (FL), Jeremy ? (CO), Danny Webster (LA)

The Cold Hard Facts – All right – enough is enough. You asked for it and now you’re going to get it – the cold hard facts. 90 percent of all “artists” – fail. Yes, fail. And they don’t fail all nice and pretty like – they fail miserably with divorces, bankruptcies, alcoholism and a long list of health problems and stress related illnesses. That’s a fact. Look it up. Do you still want to be a “freelance photographer?” 90% of all freelancers do not make a profit for the first 15 years of their career, yes, fifteen long and torturous years of scraping by and wondering – “have I made the right choice?” Why didn’t they tell you this in Art School? Why would they? They’re an Art School not a Business School.

If you want my advice: live at home as long as you can and save up lots of money (lots of money), drive the shittiest, but most dependable car you can afford, do not attend photo education classes (they are a waste of time, remember this is a business not a hobby), find a very, very, very understanding spouse that will support you when things are “slow,” (as they often are) and finally, work your ass off 12 to 18 hours a day – live, breath and eat photography. I apologize if I am busting someone’s bubble, but you cannot be successful at something you put 50% of your time and efforts toward. It just won’t happen. My two cents and twenty plus (long) years of experience.

Update: just an added side note. Even if you “make it” one day, the average photographer is “popular” for about 5 years and only 1% of those photographers go on to become “masters” in their elder years. I hate to use names here but (since everything is online now). Does anyone remember Chip Simons, a popular NYC photographer of the 1990s? You should visit his weblog and read about his “last 10 years” as a commercial photographer. Wow!

Assignment/Behind The Scenes – The Gothic Theatre is one cool place to create music videos. The venue is small and the balcony supplies a number of shooting angles and out-of-the-way locations. Below are some “screen grabs” from Glidecam footage that I created for a local band called Anesthesia Blvd.

Video Stills

Assignment/Behind The Scenes – Created cover images of Allison Kickel and Amanda Glazer, PhD of Global Education Group for the July/August issue of Medical Meetings Magazine. *Final layout will be posted after publication.

Advertising & Promotion – Appears my DON CUDNEY PHOTO ad is running again in issue #2 of Frenzy Magazine. Buy or View online at

YouTube Channel – Check out a “snippet” of the Glidecam work I created for a talented young man named Zack Karl at The Gothic Theatre on April, 1st of 2011.

Behind The Scenes – I’ve been capturing a lot of video footage lately – like a lot of other commercial photographers these days. “We want to take your still (photography) jobs away from you, just like you want to take our video jobs away from us with your HD SLRs.” – Anonymous Videographer in response to the new RED Scarlet video camera that captures 96 frames of (RAW) 14MP stills per second, yes, per second. Capturing the Decisive Moment will/has changed forever. Flash Back to 1995. – “one day photographers will be able to ‘grab’ a still image from video footage….”

Recent Video Productions

Assignment/Behind The Scenes – Traveled out to Hugo, Colorado to videotape a gentleman by the name of Darrell. Darrell is a REAL cowboy, no Denver – Urban Cowboy, Darryl is the real deal. I only wish I’d had more time to photograph the unlimited amount of photo opportunities that were presented to me that morning. I’ll be back!

Hugo. Colorado.

Assignment/Behind The Scenes – I had way to much fun photographing this years PIKE Dream Girl Calendar. I love when my friends and colleagues say “dude, you have the best job in the world.” Now I have to admit, my job doesn’t suck, but photographing 12 beautiful young ladies (non-professional models) after they have “had a few” is a lot like herding cats. A special thank you to Marc Bensik, Ricardo Vazquez along with the 2011/2012 PIKE Dreamgirls : Katelyn, Alisha, Tiffany, Erin, Shelby, Darcy, Auey, Kaylee, Melissa, Ali, Shelby and Brittany. Thank you Ladies.
*Final calendar layout and BTS video will be posted after public release.

The Cast & Crew 2011

iPhone Capture

DONCUDNEYPHOTO Online Store – A wise man once said – “if ya gonna have a website – ya better sale somethin’.” Heck, I’m just hoping to sale my artwork and my services, but these days that don’t seem to be enough. Check out my Online T-Shirt store for your one of a kind – Unlimited License In Perpetuity t-shirt. If you are an ASMP Member, I highly suggest you purchase a “I’m With Don” t-shirt and wear it to your next ASMP event. *A $5 cash reimbursement to any ASMP member that sends me an image of them wearing the t-shirt at the event (limited to the first 20 participants).

Stock Photography? – Is stock photography dead? As far as (I’m) concerned – selling or leasing my images through a stock agency is history, kaput, done with, dead – but selling and leasing imagery directly to client will never go away.  Why and how could it? I can’t emphasis enough – no one has a gun to our heads – we control the market – we control the market; I can’t say this enough, we control the market. IF we demand – we shall receive. Back Story – During the mid-1990s I worked for a stock agency called Stock Imagery, a really, really nice guy owned the company and “honestly” believed photographers deserved a way to generate income through the sale or resale of their imagery (50/50). Then came along a bad man (a corporate man) and a bad company called Index Stock. Long story short, the bad man embezzled lots of money, the stock agency was then able to buy out the “nice guy” and then the agency was eventually sold to another stock agency called Photolibrary. Fast forward to June 1, 2011 and Photolibrary has been “acquired” by Getty Images. So here I sit – a Getty Images photographer – whether I like it or not ? – NOT.
I’ll keep you updated.

“I’m waiting for the Royalty Free Contract to arrive so I can burn it!”

Accolade? – Ninety-nine percent of the time when I write something in an email or on my weblog, I receive little if any attention. At Industry Board Meetings, when I say something controversal or even beneficial I might receive a few nods and a few “yep, yep’s,” but overall little debate, little discussion. I’ve even received emails from fellow photographers asking me to “bring it down a notch.” By the way, I WILL NOT BRING IT DOWN A NOTCH …. Sorry. With all that said – I was surprised when Blake Discher contacted me and asked to reprint a letter/email I had send through the ASMP’s leadership thread. *I’m just glad it wasn’t one of my emails that have managed to piss off 90% of the ASMP Board Members, but that’s alright, in my business, the business of commercial photography, I only have to please 10%.

Visit – to read more.

Portfolio Review – One thing (and there are many) that I like about my photo representative, Wonderful Machine, is that they have a kick ass weblog and update the content almost daily. I often use their weblog as an example of “how photo weblogs should be” Quick, Easy and Updated Often. (in my opinion).

ASMP CO – Attended the ASMP Colorado’s Pints & Pixels event held at Working With Artists located in the Bel Mar area of Denver, Colorado. A thank you to all the ASMP members that attended, showed their work and help drink some delicious Breckenridge Brew. A special thank you to Working With Artists for the space and to Carolyn, Amy and Steve of Pentax Cameras for bringing out some new Pentax equipment and allowing us to play.

iPhone Capture

Don Cudney testing out the Pentax 645D ($10,000+) – Notice I’m using the camera strap. ©Michael Calanan

Just For Fun – People often ask me why I am sooooo passionate about photographers rights and making sure people realize – “commercial photography cost money. It ain’t free.” Why? Because I love my job. Yes, that’s right. I LOVE MY JOB and I don’t enjoy watching or allowing my love (my career) to be taken advantage of. Yes, we (photographers) are being taken advantage of.  Most of all, I’m tired of photographers acting like they have no control and no “part” in all this. News flash – whether you’re “involved” or not – you are or will be affected. The next time a client calls and say “but the last guy did it for less (than operating cost);” you’ll understand. I used to think it was Denver – now I realize this is a global issue. On a lighter note: enjoy the 95 degree weather in Denver. It’s a “dry” hot, right?

Update: I am also told I offer problems, but no solutions. LOL. I thought the solution was starring everyone straight in the face. It’s Common Sense. DO NOT ACCEPT WORK for less than operating cost (unless you completely want to go out of business) and DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CLIENTS to take advantage (even unknowingly) of your ownership of Intellectual Property (i.e. Usage Rights Granted). A Simple Solution that only YOU, ME and every photographer (artist) on this Earth can accomplish; get up – stand up. Let’s at least try.

P.S. Remember Cindy Sherman and her $3.9 million sale of 1 print, yes, one print, not a digital file – no usage in perpetuity, one print. Remember Cindy.

Hot & Sunny

Video Assignment/Behind The Scenes – Drove up to Breckenridge, Colorado to create video footage for an ongoing Colorado Companies To Watch video production. A special thank you to the friendly citizens of Breckenridge, the Breckenridge Police Department, Kristen and Steven Brooks and Paul (the guy that owns the Ice Cream shop).
Interesting Fact: one of our locations was a store front filmed in Dumb & Dumber.

Eisenhower Tunnel – DP/AC/DIR – The Rig

Assignment/Behind The Scenes – Created advertising images for Brand Iron (agency) and Client’s Name Withheld Until After Product Release for new product packaging. A special thank you to our models Noah, Summer, Logan and Bailey (the golden retriever). *Final packaging layout will be posted after client approval and public distribution.

Josh Gold – 1st Assistant & BTS Cameraman

Child Models, check. Dog Trainer, check. Bailey giving me some love, check.

Tearsheet – A portrait I created of Darren Nakos, CCIM for Resort Realty Capital is currently featured in an Resort Realty Capital email newsletter and on the RRC website. The “turbulant airplane” image is probably a Royalty Free image from Getty Images. i.e. I got paid – the other artist (the one that GAVE away their rights) – did not.

Video On Location – Spent the good portion of a day creating video clips of a toaster “popping,” an alarm clock “buzzing,” a coffee pot “brewing,” and a shower head “spraying” for a current Colorado Companies To Watch video production on location at The Curtis hotel in downtown Denver, Colorado.

Video Still

Bathroom NickNack

My Influences – I remember the days (oh no) when I would ride my bicycle to the TG&Y (today’s Dollar Store) to purchase, listen and most of all – view the cover art on a 12 inch vinyl record. I freaked out when I realized the band Boston sported afros and David Bowie dressed like a girl. Most bands back before MTV would never have survived the “music video age” of today. Today – you only have to look good for the million dollar video, not necessarily have talent. AND instead of 12×12 inch high resolution artwork – we’re offered low resolution versions of the original CD artwork from iTunes. *NO ONE (alright very few people) will be framing and/or collecting CD covers 20 years from now!!

Spent about 30 minutes flipping through albums at my local ARC store the other day. – Bette looks hot!!

Video Assignment/Behind The Scenes – Spent 15 minutes filming and directing Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper at the Colorado State Capital as part of an on-going video project for Colorado Companies To Watch.
*Final video will be posted after post production and client distribution.

Video Still

iPhone Capture of the Colorado State Capital

Assignment/Behind The Scenes – Traveled out to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado to photograph Conor Casey of the Colorado Rapids Soccer Team. Highlight of the shoot is when the water sprinklers kicked on and ALMOST soaked $25,000 worth of photo equipment. LOL. – well not really. “Dude, you know the sprinklers are on right?” *Final layout will be posted after publication.

©Don Cudney – DO NOT REPRODUCE (that means download) WITHOUT MY PERMISSION

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

iPhone Capture

Tearsheet&Outtakes – Visited the corporate offices of CH2MHill in Englewood, Colorado to photograph CFO Michael Lucki for the June 2011 issue of CFO Magazine.

Michael Lucki Outtakes

Tearsheet&Outtakes Photographed Brian Mullan of the Colorado Rapids Soccer Team and his 2 boys at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the June 2011 issue of Mile High Sports Magazine.

Brian Mullan Outtakes

Archive/Tearsheet – So long ago (heavy equipment and 2.25 film) – I barely remember the location. Ft. Collins, Colorado – I think? Client: Animal Health Options.

Wow – 1997.