About Me

My photo
Monroe, Ohio, United States
Began my photography career as most people do...the highschool yearbook. Upon graduation I attended the US Naval Photography School in Pensacola Fla. After getting a qualification in basic photography and then later attending their Portrait School,was assigned to a military operation. Experiences included USO photography for Bob Hope, Brooke Shields, Kathy Lee Crosby and Wayne Newton.Have also had the opportunity for travel assignments to places such as Beruit, Israel, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain and England. Upon exiting the Navy in 1984,opened up a Tanning Salon and Health Club in Oxford,Ohio and began photographing weddings, all as a vehicle to fund my way through college. I enjoy travel, sports photography, special event and Cincinnati Reds photography. I am frequently contracted as a sports photographer by parents, sports teams, and organizations,throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio areas, to provide the highest quality sports photography, both on an individual and team basis.

October 29, 2009

A New Plan and Marketing Vision for Major League Baseball

I was watching the opening game of the 2009 World Series last night and watching the mist and the cold of the night at Yankee Stadium, while simultaneously the NBA opening night game was on another channel and some college football game on another.

I have always wondered why baseball has to extend into November to finish the season. I love baseball and at least this year there seems to be a marquee match up, but it's not always like that. Here is a plan that I've had in my own mind for fixing Major League Baseball, or should I say, enhancing MLB to cater to the fans and benefit the game it's self. Bud Selig, if you read my blog, feel free to call me and discuss. I have more ideas than just this, but lets start with re aligning the divisions and creating a Regional plan that works.

I will also state that I am fully aware that the rating for THIS post season have been very good. But lets not forget that there is the benefit of a marquee match up and any time the Yankees are in the post season there is going to be a huge ratings boost. I will guarantee that if the series was being played right now, between the Rockies and the Twins, you would have a hard time giving advertising away and there more empty seats than a Vanilla Ice reunion tour.

I know baseball went through re-alignment a few years ago, but that means it can be done again, for the better of the game, by being better for the fans.

I also know that this is not the first time the idea has been approached by columnists, bloggers and various sources. But while google searching the realignment arguments, I have yet to find a posting during the first three pages that either 1) Makes Sense or 2) Presents a valid reason behind their plan.

And while there are those who scream that my ideas mess with tradition, I state back that the definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing over and over, simply because you've always done it like that, even if it doesn't work.

Here's a thought; Lets not change anything and re-address the issue in ten years when there are less fans and less revenue and we start caring about the health and the future game and less about upsetting the ghosts of the past. There isn't really a corn field in Iowa where Shoeless Joe will walk out of the tall stalks to pass with you if you make him happy. It was a movie.

Baseball needs to make a radical shift in the way it does business and markets its self if it wants to continue to grow and develop a generation of fans from the ranks of the youth. Today's kids have more alternatives than ever baseball has more competition than ever before.

Look no matter how much the old "traditionalists" with hair growing from their ears want to believe that the spirits of Jolting Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, The Babe and Ted Williams are going to re-appear and curse the game if Major League Baseball breaks from tradition, the fact is that interest in the game, fueled by a weakening economy and and alternatives to going to the park such as High Def TV and 300 cable channels with several games on per night.

The Vincent Rush / Cincinnati Sports Photography Plan for Fixing Major League Baseball

Lets create 3 Divisions of 10 teams each in a way that makes sense regionally;

Eastern Division:
Boston Redsox
NY Yankees
NY Mets
Toronto Blue Jays
Philadelphia Phillies
Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays
Florida Marlins

Central Division:
Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Indians
Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals

Western Division:
Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants
Oakland A's
LA Angles
LA Dodgers
SD Padres
Arizona D Backs
Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros
Texas Rangers

At the end of the season, top 8 teams in baseball advance to a seeded bracketed playoff system based on record. The winners of each division are in. If the winner of a division has the 9th best record, then a 1 game playoff or shall we say a "Play In" game would exist between number 8 and number 9, but only if that was the unlikely case.

First round best 3/5 next two rounds best of seven. This, although it does not guarantee, it does create a better probability of the two best teams meeting at the end.

Start the regular season on the 15th of April and end on the 15th of September.

Either reduce the regular season schedule by the 25 games lost or make up a portion of them in more double headers throughout the season as a way of enticing fans to come to the park knowing that they can get a full day of baseball for the money. Double headers were and are still great for families on a Saturday or Sunday. It does not matter if the players like them or not. The fans are the ones who buy the tickets.

Baseball will make it up on the increased revenue from concessions, better weather and the laws of supply and demand. If there is any doubt as to this theory, ask yourself how many teams sold out the season in the current schedule?

Regional divisions will help foster closer rivalries, and encourage more fans to attend more away games because of the closeness. There will be less time difference conflicts that lose TV viewers.

Baseball as a whole and teams in general will save money on travel throughout the course of the season and can promote it as a environmentally conscious step to help reduce carbon emissions through decreased fuel consumption. Do you realize for example that the Yankees made 10 road trips to Chicago or further. The average team made about 10 long distance road trips. What if all the coastal teams could eliminate the cross country treks?. If MLB wanted to maintain some form of inter league play, they could work coordinate cross country match ups. The savings on travel would be into the millions for baseball and the teams.

As a result of the new start and finish dates of the season, there will be less chance of snow games, rain outs, temperatures in the 30's and re-schedules. Baseball will also not be starting the World Series and competing with the beginning of the NBA season. The Series will end in October with only the NFL to compete with.

One conflict will be how to determine who plays in an All Star Game, or if it will be necessary to continue.

Or what if a team moves, folds or MLB wants to expand? What if Florida moves to Indianapolis? Then simply tweak the division by moving a team or two. The key is to be progressive and decisive and not wait 10 years to make up your mind.

Another obstacle, as I've said before, is the always strong opposition of so the called "Baseball Purists". What is purity in the game any more? If these "Pure-ists" were committed to their mantra, all players would be wearing baggy flannels and using the old mitts of yester-year, there would be no designated hitter and there would only be two teams that played it out at the end of the season. And lets do away with all domes and field turf, and the middle relief pitchers.

I think it would also, at this stage of the game become a big part of the Bud Selig legacy. The game is in better shape than when he found it, That doesn't mean that he can't set it up to be even better 20 years after he leaves.

Chances of this becoming anything more than a pipe dream????? About the same as my dream of seeing the All Star Home Run Hitting Contest done with Aluminum and Composite bats.

As an adult, I would actually sit through a HR contest if I thought there was a chance of seeing a 600 foot shot or a light busted out of the tower. As a kid, I would run out to Dicks and buy whatever bat A-Rod or Josh Hamilton just hit one out of Yankee Stadium with.

Think of the advertising dollars baseball would draw or endorsement money players would pull down from the likes of Easton, TPX, DeMarini, Rawlings or Miken! And don't cry about tradition again. Since when does a batter stand at the plate and hit off of a batting practice pitcher during a traditional game? The Home Run hitting contest should be the same type of freak show the NBA Slam Dunk contest is.

A 7-15 year kid knows nothing about tradition! Baseball has to quit marketing to the "wing tips" and start marketing to the flip fops, to continue to grow it's fan base.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 28, 2009

Sometimes, the Gold is on the Sidelines!

I was recently shooting sports photography and covering the sixth grade Monroe Wee Hornet Football team in Monroe which is close to Dayton Ohio.

Most aspiring sports photographers or GWC's,(Guy With Camera)only focus on the field. (Now I am not talking about Cheerleader Mom. She will obviously be shooting her girls on the side lines)

I like to think of myself as more of a well rounded photographer first and a sports photographer second. I can do very attractive family portraits, senior portraits and event photography throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton Ohio arena.

With that being said, you can only get so many captures of the running back or QB handing the ball off, before you run out of things to shoot. And if you're regularly shooting in one particular community, eventually Mom and Dad are going to have enough action shots of the family superstar to hold them till next year.

So I always look around for the collateral shot that when posted up on the community message board, highlights the fact that you probably are not a bad portrait photographer or could do a pretty nice family photo as well.

This little Monroe Hornet Cheerleader was on the sidelines with her big sis and was the cutest thing going on that afternoon. After all, what cheerleader squad doesn't have the cute little mascot that loves to dress up and be on the sidelines with the crew.

I took about 12 frames of this little kindergarten cheerleader and then took the time to do the color / B&W combo job on it to create a family keepsake, and then posted it on The Voice( http://www.mainstreetmonroe.com/Voice/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16778 ) a local community message board that caters to Monroe, Ohio.

That particular photo generated more hits and publicity than some of my better sports pictures. I got a call from the Mother of this little girl that night wondering how she could get a copy.

In this particular case, I gave it to her in a digital file and let her know that she had an option to buy from my site if she wanted, but either way, she could have the file.

I also knew that this little girl was the hit of the day on the web site, and it would be more to my benefit to have Mom spreading some good publicity about Vincent Rush and Cincinnati Sports Photography.

And as a result, less than 3 days later, I've received 4 questions about Senior Portraits and Family Pictures.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 27, 2009

Do Your Pictures Tell A Story

I recently had a great conversation with a Sports Illustrated photographer out of Orlando, Florida about sports photography.

I asked him his opinion on my work and any area that I needed to improve upon. He paid me a very high compliment when he simply said "connections". He went on to clarify that he felt that my particular style was every bit as good as the Sports Illustrated work of today. All I needed was the connections to get in the door.

That was fine and very flattering but I really wanted to know why he felt that my work was that good because obviously that's either very flattering or he just wanted to be nice.

"Your good at telling a story with your pictures. I look at a Vincent Rush or a Cincinnati Sports Photography shot and I don't have to wonder about what was going on. There is always a focus on the action and the subject in the middle of it. All good sports photographs tell a story."

I thought about that over the weekend and then took those comments and looked at some other Dayton, Cincinnati and Monroe, Ohio sports photography websites and saw a whole new perspective on what other "Sports Photographers" are shooting.

I think that there are those that think that simply a good stop action shot is enough. However if there is no central point of focus or you look at the picture and your first instinct is...awkward, because the player is suspended in the air, head in one direction feet in opposite and no ball in the frame, you're like..."What the ????" or the players are suspended in mid air. Is this a Chris Angel act or what is actually going on?

If I'm a Dad or Mom that is going to shell out good money for an 8 x 10 of my son or daughter in football, baseball or soccer, I want a shot that makes my kid look like Carson Palmer, Jay Bruce or Beckham, not Forrest Gump.

Now granted, my little personal athlete, more often than not, looks like Gump in the shots I take, but I only post and brand myself with the sports photographs that make him look like a straight up "baller".

I don't want a shot of my kid looking like a confused scarecrow on the field. If I have a daughter playing Volley Ball, I don't want to buy and especially see shots of her butt cheeks as she is jumping off balance to block a spike, posted on the Internet.

I recently saw a series of soccer pictures that were the oddest looking collection of images that I've seen a sports photographer post. It looked more like an interpretive dance class than an actual soccer game. There was one shot of a long haired kid that as a result of jumping in the air, looked more like a kid in a fright wig than a kid who just hit a "header", which is what he did, but the ball was no where in the frame, just a weird looking picture of a of a kid levitating with a bad case of static electricity or "balloon hair".

The picture I posted today was shot during a 2007 match up with Anderson High school vs. Turpin. My subject, a private client was the kid in the air in this shot that headed the ball into the net. Now this wasn't even the best shot, but I couldn't find it for this post. But even this picture tells a clear story and the series is currently framed on the family wall. The coolest thing about this picture, is that his Mom shed a few tears when she saw it.

Every picture needs to tell a story. That, according to my friend from Sports Illustrated, is a key to being an effective sports photographer.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 14, 2009

Making the Player Look Good

One of the most important factors in selling sports photography, is to always make sure that the pictures you're posting to your websites are flattering to the athlete.
In Cincinnati or Dayton Ohio, where I live and operate, I browse a lot of sports photographers websites and there seems to be a thought process that says, If it's stop action, it has to go in my gallery.
Many of the sports photographs that sell from my site are ones such as this. In fact this picture is the latest one bought on my site, just today.
I shot this sports photograph back in late July. I was photographing a men's softball tournament in Cincinnati at Rumpke Park.
I snapped about 10-12 shots in a series on this guys at bat and deleted all but two.
I think this player hit a routine fly ball in the shot, but the picture is presented in a way that makes him look like Superman. A welcomed addition to his wall or social networking site.
I chose to post this picture on my web site at http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com because it was very flattering to the player himself.
I see a lot of sports photographers that feel that they have to post every single frame that they shoot, cropped and un-cropped onto their sites. Many of those pictures have the athlete in an awkward pose, faces turned away from the camera or being used by the opposing team.
Not every shot will sell, but those that sell well, tend to show the player at his best.
Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 9, 2009

Selective Coloring

I don't like to use it very often, but on occasion it makes sense and creates a nice photograph.
On this occasion I was asked by a private client to shoot a couple of creative pictures of her daughters after Lifetouch Studios had did their usual mass production snap shot session at Monroe High School.
I had just a few minutes to grab a couple of shots of her daughters who happen to be cheerleaders for the Hornets.
I was faced with a very harsh cross light from the October sun and a bunch of clutter in the background that I didn't want to spend 12 hours trying to clean up.
So in this picture I used selective color to draw all attention to the girls and the big blue M that dots the Monroe football field 50 yard line.
After looking at it a few times, I realized that I messed up the girl on the rights hair, but the over all effect was just what the Mom was looking for.
In my sports photography, I will often consider the selective color option in just such conditions.
Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 7, 2009

Mens Softball = Big Profits!

As my name and reputation as a Sports Photographer in Cincinnati grows and I am faced with choices on where to spend my time, I always ask myself, what am I trying to accomplish?
On some days, I just want to go grab some good portfolio pictures and put more meat in my portfolio.
Some days I am looking to shoot a new sport for the experience of doing it.
But on other days, I am simply looking to make some profit.
One of my favorite places to go fishing is men's softball. Softball players love to compete and love to see themselves captured in Sports Illustrated style action shots.
Softball players also love to purchase glossy 8 x 10's of those moments in time.
Over the past couple of years, a single 4-5 hour period at a big softball tournament will net somewhere in the neighborhood of $400-500, once I have edited and posted up the pictures on my website.
I shot softball 2 days this year and sold more than 50 8x10's from my site over the next few weeks. And then there were also other sizes and digital files that were purchased.
I would always post on http://cincysoftball.com/ once I had the pictures up and posted and then I could literally watch Google Analytics rack up the page views by the hundreds.
I would say that http://www.cincysoftball.com/ run by Andy Larkins of http://www.profitability.net/ has been my best single source of traffic of the past couple of years.
I also got a big boost as a sports photographer from http://www.fatguysports.com/
Softball is one of those events that always has proved to be a money maker when you want to go out and earn some cash, however, knowing how to let the people know the pictures are available is a big part of making that a successful day.
You can shoot the best sports photographs in the world, but if no one even knows your pictures are available, you won't make a dime.
As a Dayton Photographer, Monroe Photographer, Cincinnati Photographer, Portraits, Family, Senior Portraits, or even a Cincinnati Reds Photographer the question of what you are out to accomplish must always first be answered before you can clearly define your goals.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 5, 2009

Article from Baseball Prospectus on Cincinnati Reds

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

Faces in the Crowd

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 2, 2009

The Silent Power of Micro Sites


In the final months of his father’s life, photographer Phillip Toledano began taking pictures that culminated in a project called “Days With My Father.” It is a bittersweet reflection, told in portraits, still-life images, and short narrative text. “I didn’t think anyone would have interest. It felt like such an incredibly personal thing. It was this thing within me that I had to get out,” Toledano says.

He created a Web site for the project, www.dayswithmyfather.com, and mentioned it to a couple of friends. Before he knew it the site was getting 15,000 hits per day, and people from all over the world were e-mailing him with stories about their own fathers and grandfathers. To date, the site has attracted more than a million visitors. Toledano is now turning the project into a book, and his publisher has asked him to start work on another book about becoming a father (his first child, a daughter, was born in July).

“Days With My Father” is just one of several projects sites Toledano has created. It’s also one of many Web sites photographers in general have created to showcase a specific project, apart from their commercial portfolio sites. The projects often reflect creative ambitions, and the sites emphasize the work while barely mentioning the photographer. Self-promotion, in other words, is not the primary intent but executed well, project sites can lead photographers to new assignment opportunities, print sales, and offers for exhibitions and book projects.

All of Toledano’s projects, he explains, get a dedicated site because they are “radically different,” and he wants each one to have a site with a design that reflects the idea of the project. (They include projects about video gamers, phone sex workers and other subjects, and can all be accessed from www.mrtoledano.com).

Toledano says he also tries to use a different designer for each one of the sites. “I want the Web designer to bring something to the party,” he says. Part of the appeal of “Days with My Father” was undoubtedly its elegant and quiet design, created by the Web design firm Fashion Buddah.

“It’s hard to design something that’s beautiful and invisible at the same time,” he observes. “I didn’t want something flashy for “Days with My Father.” [The design] felt really organic, which is what I wanted.” (Fashion Buddah ended up winning a variety of design awards for the site).

Toledano says he negotiated a deal for the design, and added that photographers shouldn’t underestimate their bargaining power. “If you’ve got really great work, a Web designer is going to want to do a site for you,” he says, at a reduced rate, on a trade, or even for no more than their own self-promotion.

Photographer Finn O’Hara traded prints for Web design services for his successful project site, “A Moment Before.” The project was inspired by his curiosity about the life-altering decisions that turned people into subjects of news stories. “I asked myself, ‘Why not try to recreate those decisions?’” he says. At the time, he’d been shooting a lot of editorial portrait work, and wanted to experiment with conceptual narrative. The result was a series of images unlike any of O’Hara’s other work. So rather than upload it to his commercial portfolio site, he created a separate site, and watched traffic spike after some influential bloggers took notice.

It took O’Hara in new creative directions, demonstrating production capabilities and ideas that his regular clients didn’t associate with his work. “It definitely opened the door for new jobs,” he says. He landed a commercial shoot for Nike on the basis of “A Moment Before,” and several new editorial clients inspired by the project have also hired him.

O’Hara is now working on another project site, inspired by the multimedia narratives he’s seen on FLYP magazine and some multimedia work he’s done with fellow Canadian (and Magnum photographer) Larry Towell.

The new project is a collection of images he’s shooting on Kodachrome, along with stories of the people who are donating old Kodachrome film stockpiled in their refrigerators. The donors stepped forward after seeing an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail about O’Hara and his father and their love of Kodachrome. O’Hara’s father is a former Kodak employee, and the paper ran the story after a reporter read a post on O’Hara’s blog about the demise of Kodachrome film.

“I don’t think just pasting photos up tells the entire story,” says O’Hara, explaining why he’s collecting stories from the Kodachrome donors. “There’s a way to round out the story with a good essay, maybe a few interviews, that doesn’t have to be massive project, but offers information about a process and really puts hooks into readers.”

Another photographer who recently launched a project site is Brooks Reynolds, who says he was inspired by Toledano’s “Days With My Father” project. Reynolds’s site is called “We are Sleeping Giants.” It began when he heard a song called “Night of the Creeps” while traveling with a musician friend, and imagined it as a soundtrack for a series of photographs that capture the mixed emotions—desire, isolation, anticipation, mystery—that 20-somethings might feel late on a warm summer night.

“It was something I connected with on a visceral level,” says Reynolds, who shot the images during the summer of 2008, when he was 22. Though he had been shooting personal work all along, “We Are Sleeping Giants” was his first big project with a cohesive theme. And it was something of a creative and technical stretch for him.

“I was experimenting [to] try something new,” he says. The images are more conceptual, with more elaborate production, than he’s used to shooting. He scouted locations, cast models (from Facebook photos), and set up lights, generators, fog machines, and other gear he needed to execute his vision. “It wasn’t Gregory Crewdson, but still…” Reynolds says, referring to Crewdson’s elaborately constructed suburban scenes.

Reynolds didn’t set out to use the project as a self-promotion, but now that he’s completed it, clients “can see what I do, and take ideas from it. It could be a style I apply [to assignments] in addition to what’s in my portfolio,” he says. “I thought of it almost like a viral portfolio. It was saying, ‘Hey, here’s a personal project I did.’ It’s without a doubt a portfolio, but it has a Trojan Horse way of getting to the audience.”

Other photographers have launched project sites with specific goals and audiences in mind. Jim Garner, a commercial and wedding photographer, recently created a site for a personal project about the storied past of his partner’s doting grandfather, who was a career criminal. Garner and his partner went through newspaper and justice system archives to dig up his story, photographing his files, his cell at Alcatraz, and scenes of his escapes from various prisons (he “escaped” Alcatraz by feigning psychosis).

Garner created a dedicated Web site to get feedback from friends and colleagues prior to turning the project into a self-published book. “The idea is to try something new and completely ‘out there’ and see what colleagues think about it,” Garner says. “That’s where new ideas come from. It’s all about personal growth, and ultimately that benefits our clients.” (He has since taken the site down.)

In July 2007, photographer Andy Freeberg set up a Web site for his project called Sentry, a series of images of art gallery desks in New York, andyfreebergphotoart.com. Freeberg’s intent was to establish himself as a fine art photographer, so he launched the site just before calling on galleries.

“I wanted to separate it from my commercial and editorial work,” he explains. “You don’t want to confuse them [gallerists]. It was a way to make clear that [the project] was something I was serious about” and not simply a temporary diversion from his commercial work.

The strategy paid off: several galleries expressed interest; someone mentioned it to Jorg Colberg, who posted a link on his influential art photography blog, Conscientious; and Gallery owner James Danziger, who saw the link on Conscientious, called Freeberg for prints the next day and mounted an exhibition of the Sentry project just two months after Freeberg put up his site.

Last year, just prior to entering Photolucida’s Critical Mass competition, Freeberg posted a new project to the Sentry site called Guardians. That project is a series of quirky portraits of guards in Russian art museums. Blogs including Boing Boing and Iheartphotography took note, posted links, and drove in the traffic. Freeberg was named one of the Critical Mass Top 50 photographers for 2008. It’s hard to prove that his Web site and the bloggers who noticed it were a deciding factor, but they certainly didn’t hurt.

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295

October 1, 2009

Going Verticle

Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295