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A quick note on “Photo Finds” and “Notable Storytellers.”

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Late last week, we debuted the first of our “Notable Storytellers” pieces, featuring director and VFX artist Stu Maschwitz. This piece replaces the “Photo Finds” column, and I thought that the switch in name and focus warranted an explanation.

For some time now, we’ve brought to your attention a host of notable photographers as part of our “Photo Finds” column. Recently, we started adding videographers like Philip Bloom to the mix, and, as of last week, we added VFX (Visual Effects) artists to that list of visual artists we think you should be aware of.

This, needless to say, rendered the title “Photo Finds” grotesquely inadequate to describe all these amazing artists. In determining, among other things, what this column should be renamed to, the one thing that we found was that our customers don’t exactly fit any one kind of professional profile.

We have amongs our customers, for example, writers, VFX artists, journalists, audio engineers, lighting designers, set designers, grip technicians, and video editors. We rent equipment to all of them whether it’s computers or iPads, audio recording gear, LED and tungsten lights, massive RED camera packages, or light stands and other grip gear. That’s a lot of diversity, and we’d like to be able to include the works of artists that are relevant to them as well.

The one thing that all of our wonderful customers have in common, we realized, is that they are all storytellers. Whether you’re a videographer or an amateur photographer, your objective is to tell stories. The dad who rents a 400mm f/5.6 lens from us to shoot his son’s soccer match over the weekend is trying to tell the story of his kid’s time on the field, as is the filmmaker with a Sony F3 shooting a documentary in Alaska. No matter what your objective is when you rent from us, you’re trying to tell a story.

You are, in some way, a storyteller.

This column then, is for you. Going forward, we will use it to introduce the work of Notable Storytellers to you. Whether those storytellers work in still imagery, video, audio, whatever, if their work contributes to the art of storytelling, we’ll try and talk about them here.

Additionally, we’ll go back and attach this category to all previous “Photo Finds” columns, so you can find all those pieces under this new category.

As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

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Sohail Mamdani is a writer and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. You can find his portfolio on his website at sohail.me as well as on 500px and Flickr.

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