How do you achieve long term success? Whether you want to grow a huge photography or video business, or just improve your skills, it would pay to look at the dramatic failures of others rather than just the “success stories”. Why? Because long term success is the result of resilience and determination in the face of constant failure and almost insurmountable odds, and if we understand - and embrace - this philosophy, we can overcome almost anything.
With a saturated market for photographers, there are so many pitfalls a photographer can plunge into that can prevent them from being successful. Taking a step back to analyzing yourself and your business can be the first step to improve and guarantee chances of success for the future. Here are a number of things to look out for, these things can be what is preventing you from reaching your potential.
Turning the work you do on a personal project into something that makes you money isn't a new idea (just ask stock shooters.) However, the forethought required to concept a personally fulfilling shoot or production that will also have the chance to generate some income can be tricky to figure out. This past weekend I had three shoots, and they were all because of one personal project I created a month ago. And I actually planned for this to happen.
Quitting gets a bad rap. There is a certain stigma attached to the quitter as if they have somehow failed. We offer them compassion instead of congratulations. We imagine they are haunted by countless "what if's" and regrets. We muse that perhaps there were circumstances beyond their control. What if I told you that quitting can be the ultimate form of regaining direction and control in your life?
It's that time! We have the third session in the Fstoppers series over at the TogTools Podcast ready for you all to enjoy - and it's a great one! This week's guest is Staff Writer Adam Ottke. Adam shoots fine art and travel photography, but he also serves as the Art Director for a small creative agency he started called Curate the World. In this week's podcast, Adam discusses his love for gear, how he got started in photography and as a writer for Fstoppers, how to hustle in this industry and why collaboration is important for creating strong artistic ideas.
With a community of over 200 million users, Instagram has become a powerhouse of social media. It didn't take long before the realization that monetization of that user base was the key to continuing to grow. Instagram began the slow rollout of ads on feeds almost a year ago which has proven successful and as a result, they are adding analytics tools for businesses to get a better grasp of what their ads are generating.
IMGembed has been around for a while now, giving creatives a way to allow their images to be shared while governing what content users pay to use those images. One of my personal favorite companies as it applies the "Fair Trade" ethic to image use online, IMGembed is looking to grow as it asks for $100,000 over the next 28 days through a Kickstarter campaign.
When it comes to diffusion panels, several companies have prefab "blades" intended for holding diffusion materials that fit nicely into grip heads and knuckles, but at nearly $100 a pop, buying several of them may not fit into everyone's budget. Earlier this week, fellow Fstopper Clay Cook put together an awesome post about building your own V-Flats. His post got me thinking about some of my own DIY projects.
Sure, you could go grab incredible live shots of an artist and post them all over the internet. Guess what? If those images aren’t in their manager’s hands when it is time to make the new round of posters or t-shirts, you’re no further along in terms of advancing your photography business than you were before you hit the shutter button.
What happens when you take a technology from the early 90's and use it in your photography business in 2014? Just ask Jeffrey Bennett, a professional wedding photographer based in Detroit who in 2011 decided to start producing GIF animations for each one of his engagement sessions and wedding nights, which resulted in many happy clients, a lot of interest from potential clients and of course beautiful results he can then share online.
In this day and age of social media we hear people rant about terrible customer service they receive all the time. Fortunately there are some good stories still out there, and after hearing about this one I just had to share. The wedding photography team of Easton and Laura Reynolds of LuRey Photography had their camera attached to a popular BlackRapid Strap used by many in the industry. Unfortunately the strap came loose causing Laura's camera to hit the concrete and damage their Nikon 24-70 lens. What happened next deserves to be heard.
What's the best way to optimize photos so that I can deliver quality to my clients while reducing the file size for faster uploads into the cloud? This has been a question I’ve been thinking about for sometime. I have tinkered with settings in Lightroom to try and find the right export recipe but it wasn’t till another photographer told me about JpegMini that I finally felt I had the solution. Using image optimization technology they developed, JpegMini was able to deliver maximum quality at minimum file size. I ran it through some tests and here are my results.
If you’re a professional photographer, being pulled in a million directions probably feels like a daily occurrence. There seems to be a never ending stream of tasks that we should be completing, some of which are paid, some of which aren’t. Our trade-off often involves balancing paid work - be it desirable or not - with unpaid tasks that we hope will provide business in the future. The question is, how do we know what’s going to be helpful and what’s going to turn out to be a waste of time?
Aerial videos that have been shot by drones have been flooding YouTube for the last few years, especially as the cost and expertise needed to get into it has come down. A birds-eye point of view can add a lot of production value to a video project, but where does one start when looking to get into aerial video? I spoke with Brent Foster who told me about the doors that shooting aerial video can open, as well as the challenges they present.