Commercial

The Secret to Bidding Commercial Gigs: It Never Gets Easier

The Secret to Bidding Commercial Gigs: It Never Gets Easier

I have learned a lot over the years regarding pricing and bidding commercial photography. I still have a lot to learn. I've made mistakes (lots of them) and had some victories (fortunately). Sometimes as photographers we feel isolated on this psychological roller coaster of wins and losses. The reality is, no matter where you are in your photography career, no matter how big (or small) your clients are, we're all struggling with the same issues when it comes to bidding a gig.

How to Build Your Fashion Portfolio on a Budget

How to Build Your Fashion Portfolio on a Budget

Building a quality portfolio can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you don't budget and carefully consider your costs. Putting together professional quality shoots on a budget can be challenging. After experiencing some of the wide variations in cost for things like models, makeup artists, and the other essential pieces of a shoot, I wanted share my experiences and lessons learned the hard way.

5 Tips for Successfully Marketing Yourself at an Industry Trade Show

5 Tips for Successfully Marketing Yourself at an Industry Trade Show

A big portion of my work comes from clients in the tactical and law enforcement industry. This past week I attended a trade show for my industry. I knew this was going to be an amazing opportunity to network, make connections, and, fingers crossed, make some new clients. I realized I needed to come up with a strategy that would set me up for success and assure that I got the most out of my experience. A made a list of ideas to try out. I took the ones that worked the best and developed this simple five step plan that will make your next trade show visit a beneficial one.

Preparing and Packing A Portable Studio Efficiently

Preparing and Packing A Portable Studio Efficiently

When people walk through my living room studio, they are puzzled that I do not own or rent a permanent studio space. What many do not know is that when I’m contracted for a commercial assignment, about 80% of the time I must travel to a location or shot at the client’s home base. And, in many cases that requires transporting several 9 foot seamless backdrops and a whole lot of equipment. I don’t have a giant bus to haul all of my studio gear, so it’s been a trying experience to find the right tools to efficiently pack and tote my mobile studio.

Red Bloods: Photographer Jason Swarr Releases Amazing Composite Comic Book

Red Bloods: Photographer Jason Swarr Releases Amazing Composite Comic Book

When it comes to tactical photography, Jason Swarr is one of the best. His business is called Straight 8 Custom Photography, and his images grace the cover of magazines such as Recoil Magazine, Survivers Edge, Personal Home & Defense Magazine, and many more. Being that both Jason and I are composite photographers in the tactical world, it's only natural that I keep up with his work. When I saw this amazing project today, I had to share it. You have got to check this out!

Rolling Old School: Original Star Wars Toy Photography

Rolling Old School: Original Star Wars Toy Photography

I don't know how I ran into this here on the eve of 2015, but I am glad I did. Product photography has never been particularly easy to do well, and I love being reminded of the fact that it used to all be done without extensive use of Adobe Photoshop CC14. These images, shot by Kim David McNeill Simmons for toymaker Kenner between 1977 and 1985, showcase basically my childhood: Star Wars toys.

How 12 Images Changed My Life Forever

How 12 Images Changed My Life Forever

We all have those pivotal moments in our lives where a single decision changes everything. When I picked up a camera about five years ago I quickly became obsessed with composites. In the beginning, I honestly had no idea where to even begin learning how to create these marvelous hybrids of photography and digital art. I had to learn how to create composite images! I knew if I could get to a point where I could create what I saw in my head, I could change the path of my career. Little did I know composite photography would change my life forever.

“Don’t Be Afraid” – Emily Soto On What It Takes To Succeed As A Photographer Today

“Don’t Be Afraid” – Emily Soto On What It Takes To Succeed As A Photographer Today

Everything starts from nothing. Thousands dream of being full time photographers, but knowing how to start a business - and how to grow it - are really tricky parts of a complex equation. Emily Soto today celebrates 4 years of full time professional photography. In this exclusive interview, she shares insights on how she has grown her business, as well as the struggles, hardships and rewards she's encountered along the way. If you're curious about what it takes to make it as a successful photographer today, this might just provide the answers you've been looking for.

Erik Almas Offering Workshop to Raise $25,000 for Building a School

Erik Almas Offering Workshop to Raise $25,000 for Building a School

San Francisco-based commercial photographer, Erik Almas, is known for his flawless composite work as well as shooting campaigns for many major companies such as American Airlines, Toyota, Microsoft, and Nike, just to name a few. In January he is offering a workshop where he will take you through his entire workflow, from shooting the background plate and model, to editing. What makes this workshop even better is the fact that 100 percent of your money will be used to help build a school through Pencils of Promise!

Golden Hour, Any Hour: A Photographer's Guide to Faking It

Golden Hour, Any Hour: A Photographer's Guide to Faking It

It has happened to all of us. We spend countless hours planning, scheduling, and coordinating for a beautiful golden hour photo shoot only to have our parade rained on by weather or other mishaps out of our control. Perhaps you didn't plan for those mountains in the background that's cutting your shoot 30 minutes shorter than anticipated. Maybe the conditions are perfect when you leave for the shoot, but by the time you get there, clouds are hovering above. Or it could be that your client just can't shoot at the ideal time. No matter what the obstacle, this article is going to show you a super simple trick that will allow you to get that golden hour capture at any hour!

Confessions Of A Print Skeptic, and Why I Now Offer Them

Confessions Of A Print Skeptic, and Why I Now Offer Them

Let's face it, it is about to be 2015. As in, 15 years after the change to the new millennium. We are firmly in what we used to call "the future" when I was a kid, and technology is overwhelming us with brutal amazingness every couple of weeks. The youth of today have no idea what life is like sans smartphones (read: access to almost every piece of information in the world at any time in your pocket) or social media platforms. To them, life is one big pile of over shared, overseen and overly celebrated schlock mixed in with useful bits of knowledge, and it is all taken for granted. The digital world isn't coming, it is here, and has been. So who in the right mind gives a crap about a printed photograph anymore?

A Guide to Retouching Hotel Rooms

A Guide to Retouching Hotel Rooms

Almost four years ago I began a new journey in my photography career. At the time I was still bartending part-time and concentrating on building the headshot side of my business, when hospitality photography came and slapped me upside the head. As it goes with most other good things, it all started over a few drinks with a friend, and has spiraled into a full second stream of income from photography.

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