For info on the roadshow dates, details of the assignments, PDF's of useful stuff, technical gubbins, and critiques of submitted work, subscribe here.

Useful PDF's

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This page provides a link to a few PDF's we've managed to put together. They're full of useful info on business and suchlike. Feel free to download them as required, and share them amongst your friends, they're bound to increase your popularity. Honest.

Invoice. For use on the Assignment. Print it out, do a bit of research, then hand the completed thing in with your shots on the day.

Basic Business Studies for Photographers. It's the collected version of these posts on Photosmudger. Lots of very fundamental business stuff, from invoicing to tax and many points in between.

How to Make the Best Use of Your Time at College. How I concluded my talks on the 2008-9 Roadshow, a few suggestions of how you can improve your chances of getting a job once you leave college.

Basic Break Even Spreadsheet. As mentioned in my talk last year, and in the Basic Business Studies above. Download and add your own figures. It's pretty simple stuff, but gives you a good starting point. To gather your own figures simply get your bank and credit card statements, bills and receipts together and put all the monthly figures into the boxes. The amazing spreadsheet will do the rest, and show you how much money you need to make every month just to stay alive! It should open in Microsoft Office and Open Office - although I'd recommend the latter as it's much lighter and works on any system!

Model Release form. For general use, and something you should get in the habit of using on people shoots to make sure you're covered. It's pretty much the same as the one I use, but with my details taken off.

There should be more to follow, as soon as I get round to writing them!
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What to Expect from the Nikon/Calumet Roadshow

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Right, for those completely in the dark about all this, here's what you can expect on an average day when we come to call at your college:

  • Professional support from Nikon and Calumet all day long - excluding lunch and periods when caffeine is being taken. Are you puzzled by the menus on your D700? Do you want to know what sort of lighting stands you ought to buy for your new flashes? The wise and venerable people from Nikon and Calumet will be on hand all day to answer any such technical queries. Nikon will also have a decent range of kit for you to get your grubby hands on and play around with, though not take away.
  • All the info you need to sign up for the Nikon/Calumet student discount. It's a no-brainer - sign up when you can.
  • A goodie bag, filled with, erm, goodies! Of course, your definition of goodies may differ slightly from those of Nikon and Calumet, but that can't be helped! Don't expect any sweets, as they're bad for your teeth.
  • An in depth talk about the realities of life as a Professional Photographer, given by me, Mr Tom Miles. I've not written the full script yet, and it'll be different to last years so as not to bore any repeat visitors. I'll be covering aspects of business, creativity, getting and finding work, technical problems, financial issues and how you can set yourself up for a professional career. Wherever possible I'll be relating this to jobs I've shot, so there's something to attach the abstract concepts to, and some pretty pictures to look at! I'm obviously open to any questions as well, plus bribery when it comes to judging the entries for the afternoon's brief.
  • At about midday, a select group of students will get the chance to take part in our assignment. We ran this last year with great success, and will be following a similar format this time round. You'll get some information in advance relating to roughly what sort of brief you might be getting, along with the requirements for the work to be handed in. We will not give out the final details of the briefs until mid-day, and then you'll have a limited time (usually about 3 hours) to come up with ideas, shoot them, edit them, and hand them in to us. Myself and the folk from Nikon and Calumet will be "around" during this 3 hour period, and are quite happy to help, as long as we don't end up actually pressing the shutter. And we'd rather not appear in front of the camera if at all possible!
  • Once all the images have been handed in we'll lock ourselves in with them for about 20 minutes, then let you all back in and hold a group critique session. The idea is to mimic real world feedback as if you'd handed the work in to a newspaper or magazine, although we tend to steer clear of shouting at people and throwing hissy fits.
  • At some point we'll try and have some lunch, though this doesn't always work out.
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Welcome to Photosmudger on the Road 2009

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Hello, good evening, and welcome to Photosmudger on the road 2009, in association with Nikon and Calumet. This blog is intended to be a central point for all information regarding the roadshow, but along with obvious stuff like dates and locations I'd like to provide lots of useful info too. So you'll find breakdowns of last year's assignments, as well as advice on common mistakes that were made, some info about studying photography, general technical and creative advice, and critiques of entries into last year's assignment, as well as advice on how to handle this year's briefs.

Once the roadshow is up and running, and you've entered the assignment yourself, we'll be creating dedicated Flickr Groups for each college
, that way loads of people can get to see your efforts, and other people besides me can offer a critique of them! There are also PDF versions of business studies stuff from the 2008-9 roadshow, and links to the Student Discount sign up page.

So help yourself, and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions where appropriate, but please keep 'em clean!

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