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funky finger productions

tonight marks the completion of the second of the first two steps toward marketing my photography business. tonight, i ended my 14-day free trial with my blog provider, and became a paying member. sure, i'm on their dirt-cheap plan, but it signifies my second capital investment in my business. in the virtual real estate world, i am a homeowner (maybe more of an apartment rental until i pony up for a personal domain name). 

the first step marketing my business was making business cards. i've mentioned before that in the scramble to prepare for the smug meet-up last week, i was trying to throw some cheap cards together. though i didn't utilize them, i did come armed. i hooked up again with a model i discovered recently to showcase them here ... 

it was a pleasure to work with this model again. he is such a pro.

gratuitous headless shot

in the words of howard tibbs III: BAM!!! 


furloughs, teabags, and old cameras

a lot of us are in a rough spot, economically. it has me worried because i wonder if we've entered a new age where the US isn't the super-power it used to be. there used to be a time where all the good stuff was made and sold in the US. other countries had to come to us to get their fix of the good life. however, with the maturing of a global economy, perhaps there won't be such a disparity between the countries that can be considered haves and have-nots. think about it on a micro level. if you want item x and find it sold cheapest from an internet company based overseas, do you really care that you're patronizing a foreign entity? no ... bottom line, you can't afford not to buy that item at it's cheapest legitimate price. this wasn't a problem 20 years ago, but products are now distributed worldwide, price points are established from the global trade of product, and people across the world are competing directly with each other to sell this stuff. no longer are we reliant on the neighborhood "pusher" to get us our fix. no longer are we limited to the sears-roebuck catalog to browse what's available for purchase. now, i'm no economics major, but don't these facts seem to favor the economies of other countries, and not so much the super-powers? so from a very naive piecing together of the facts, i worry if the US economy is not just hitting a speed bump, but falling back to the pack, as this new world economy levels out.

why am i pondering such things? well, i'm sitting at home like a bum on a monday afternoon because my day job just evoked a furlough policy for its employees. i'm taking a "voluntary" unpaid day off today. two more work week's worth are coming before the end of the year. it's a scary time for me because i'm probably in my earning potential prime, but the economy has taken a huge dump, and i'm not confident this downturn will be followed by some sort of giant boon later (like WW2 after the great depression, or the internet sensation after the recession of the first george bush).

on the bright side, i got to sleep in! i tidied up a bit around the house while listening to slum village (r.i.p. baatin). i found a halo action figure the wife gave me at our wedding. i unboxed it and posed it to show just how bored i am ...

tea anyone?

in other news, as promised, i joined the aforementioned socal photog shootout group on facebook. as it happens, they are in the early stages of planning an upcoming "shootout" somewhere in irvine on saturday, august 29. i am so there! hopefully my friends lew and tien can come too. i've begun following group leader hanssie trainor on twitter to stay connected with the group's plans. i also checked out her blog. pretty impressive stuff. i also notice she went on a shoot with becker in venice, ca. it looks like she's part of becker's social networking for photographers: thebschool. interesting how it all intertwines. 

speaking of twitter, i started my own account. i've enjoyed following people for a few months now, but i thought i'd toe the waters of actually making updates. my gut has always told me such things were a bit too narcissistic for my taste, but that's contradicted by my incessant following of jessica claire, jasmine star, becker, shaq, questlove, talib kweli, and major nelson. we'll see how this goes. upon expressing my desire to be part of the upcoming shootout, hanssie is following me! another oc photog named greg bumatay is too. i'm not sure who greg is, how he found me, or why he's following me, but he's got some impressive stuff on his blog, so hey! ... welcome aboard! 

finally, i'll leave you with this interesting image the wife took over the weekend. she visited the family in san jose for her grandmother's 90th birthday (i stayed behind to play baseball; i'm that dedicated). while there, they enjoyed a family slideshow of old photos. i guess they also unearthed these old guys. wow!

where are the lcd's on these things??

whoops! the cubs are on playing the reds on espn. gotta go!


friday ramblings

without a specific "big" event to look forward to, my mind seems to wander from minor blog subject to minor blog subject. none seem meaty enough on their own to blow a full post on, so i thought i might do a little stream of consciouness. knowing me, i'll get hung up on one specific thing and blow it out. let's just see where the mind wanders ...

first there's my name and ethnicity. some might notice yutaka is a japanese name but i'm not exactly mistaken on the streets for mr. miyagi (r.i.p. pat morita!).

nick-san, karate here. [taps head] karate here. [taps heart] karate never here. [points to belt]

i'm half japanese, part italian, and part german. "hapa" as the hawaiians say. yutaka is actually my middle name. i thought i might adopt my middle name for my business both to help my name pop ("schultz" is "smith" for germans) and as a nod to my japanese heritage. yutaka was also my grandpa's name. a little touch i added to the banner of this blog is the sub-sign in the lower-right. street signs in san francisco's chinatown have similar sub-signs with chinese characters. i added one to my banner with the kanji for yutaka:

yutaka translates to rich or abundant. game recognize game.

another random tidbit (and something of an easter egg) is i've placed at least one hip-hop reference in every blog post so far. i've quoted jay-z directly, made analogies to eminem's 8 mile, and even quoted a tribe called quest's phife dawg; a quote that only someone on my exact wavelength musically would have caught on to (100 bonus points to anyone who can tell me what the quote was!). my buddy steve, whom i often trade deep rap references with, would appreciate my renaming the "about me" section to "who dis is?", a line from master p's "make 'em say uhh". didn't it seem back in the day that hip-hop was a juvenile genre of music that we were supposed to mature from? maybe i'm crazy, but i'm 30 and still haven't outgrown it. in fact, i've become a bit of a fuddy-duddy and can't stand the "new hip hop". this flo-rida character and soulja boy clown just don't do it for me. you damn punk hippie kids!! death to autotune!


this clown has a grammy? seriously??

there is one possible project on the horizon. my lovely wife is trying to arrange a practice shoot with a couple we're friends with. depending on the timing, i may have as many as three of my fellow shooter-friends get in on the action. details (hopefully) to come.

which brings me to what will be my final thought: blogging. man, it's crazy. forget trying to be interesting, charming, and relevant all at the same time. i keep thinking about people i know actually reading my ramblings! a majority of my acquaintances have no idea this blog exists, or that i have aspirations of becoming a paid photographer. i'm too petrified i'd be thought of as a fool pursuing some hair-brained get-rich-quick scheme (like boner from growing pains, or cockroach from the cosby show). it's a strange thing to think about. to each group of my friends, i play a different role. to a lot of them, i don't aspire to do anything other than play sports, play video games, or goof around. i also question my own self-confidence when i choose not to broadcast my aspirations to these people. am i setting myself up for failure by not wanting my friends and family to watch the possible trainwreck? i guess it's all part of having a blog, but i'm definitely not used to exposing myself so publicly. but honesty is the key here. let the world know who i am and what i'm all about, and hopefully some of it will resonate.

ok ... enough soul searching. now is the time on shprockets ven vee dahnce!