Fstoppers Originals

Here's What It Takes to Become a Professional Travel Photographer

Here's What It Takes to Become a Professional Travel Photographer

When I was just eight years old I would flip through the pages of National Geographic and imagine being a photographer in Africa. I was captivated by the faces and places that seemed worlds apart from my typical Middle American hometown. Fast forward years later, and I'm living the dream as a travel photographer working throughout Africa and Europe. If you've ever wanted to travel the world with your camera, here's my advice to help you get started and thrive in professional travel photography.

First Test of the New High Tech Phase One XF

First Test of the New High Tech Phase One XF

The other week, I wrote that I was excited about Phase One's newest gear announcements for a multitude of reasons. Well, thanks to my friends at Digital Transitions and Phase One , I was lucky enough to do a photoshoot with the BRAND NEW Phase One XF body, the updated IQ350 50 megapixel CMOS medium format back, and their newest 35mm leaf shutter lens. As an owner of their previous generation 645DF+ body and IQ140 back, I was incredibly impressed by the notable technology advancements in their newest gear. Read below to see why.

Set Etiquette for Photography Assistants

Set Etiquette for Photography Assistants

Assisting for a photographer or videographer can be a rewarding experience filled with knowledge and new perspectives. An assistant often receives an insider's view into how a photographer runs a production, and gains networking opportunities that may not have been accessible before. However, being an effective assistant requires more than holding light stands or reflectors. Great attention to detail and a humble can-do attitude can ensure your return to set, and solidify your reputation as a reliable assistant. While every photographer varies, we will review some of my tips for proper etiquette for assistants, from a photographer's perspective.

How to Make Photography Music to Your Ears

How to Make Photography Music to Your Ears
Where do you get your inspiration from? The outdoors? The city? Or maybe human beauty? Wherever it comes from, it drives us as creatives. As visual artists, we translate this inspiration into images or videos but the process of getting there isn't always easy. Long hours, little sleep, and the added stress of paying the bills can leave us losing focus. Maybe your original passion isn’t as strong as it use to be or all the family photo sessions you have taken on leave you feeling like all the fun is gone? So what do you do when you feeling like you're loosing your creative edge? Crank up the tunes and start jammin' out because here are three ways music can transform your photography.

How to Use a Negative of an Image to Improve Your Retouching

How to Use a Negative of an Image to Improve Your Retouching

Great retouching is all about small details. They often make the difference between a well-retouched image and a world-class retouched image. However, seeing some of the details can be tricky. Especially when you are on the go and retouching on a laptop screen that doesn't offer the precision of a well-calibrated screen with a large color gamut. A couple of months ago I showed you a trick to see more details than what your eyes might see on an image by using a solar curve . In today's article, I am going to show you another technique that I often use to clean up small details. It is so easy you might end up wondering why you did not think of it before.

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be a Wedding Photographer

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be a Wedding Photographer

You read that right: shouldn't . Wedding photography is a field that many photographers work within at least once or twice in their budding careers. Is it for you, though? Do you have what it takes? Even some of the most seasoned professional wedding photographers have thrown in the towel and moved on to other forms of work. Why is this, you inquire? I asked several of my colleagues – wedding photographers and other professional shutterbugs alike – their thoughts on why they think shooting weddings for a living sucks. These are the top five responses I received.

5 Ways to Market Your Photography for Under $50

5 Ways to Market Your Photography for Under $50

Like many of you, I have a very small marketing budget. I personally cannot justify spending a ton of money to run long campaigns on Facebook or Google Ad Sense in order to promote my work. Facebook also regularly changes their algorithm for organic posts, so it’s just not always wise to throw money at them and hope for qualified leads. In this video, I’m going to share five ways that I’m marketing my photography business for under $50.

How and Why I Shoot With Two Cameras

How and Why I Shoot With Two Cameras

Shooting with two cameras seems to be a growing trend in the wedding industry. When I first started shooting, I saw people doing this and I just didn’t see the point. I figured I could always change lenses, and then I would be good to go. Once I gave it try I completely fell in love. Here is my “how and why” I shoot with two cameras.

Why Self-Imposed Restrictions Might Be Undermining the Quality of Your Photos

Why Self-Imposed Restrictions Might Be Undermining the Quality of Your Photos

Recently I was sent a YouTube video of an artist who spent a huge amount of time creating drawings using MS Paint. The end product was decent enough, even impressive if you consider the tool he was using, but if you were to eliminate knowledge of his method it would merely be a mediocre, unimpressive digital painting. How amazing could this guy’s work be if he didn’t arbitrarily limit himself? This is clearly an extremely talented artist that is limiting the quality of his work by stubbornly insisting on using an inefficient tool. Which, of course, got me to thinking about how as photographers, we have a tendency to do the exact same thing.

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 5: High Contrast Black & White Conversion

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 5: High Contrast Black & White Conversion

In the final part of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will look at how I do my Black and White conversion. This image is a dramatic image so it calls for a punchy and high-contrast black and white conversion. In this tutorial, I will show you how I stack blending modes and adjustment layers to get my image exactly where I want it. You can follow these steps in your own images or use the techniques and customize them for your own use. In the video you will also see how to use layer masks to create targeted adjustments for your high-contrast black and white portraits.

7 Tips for Casting the Right Model for Your Next Shoot

7 Tips for Casting the Right Model for Your Next Shoot

Working with models can be an exciting part of photography, as each model can lend a different look and unique perspective to your vision. Casting a model appropriately for each project is an important part of a photographer’s job, as it speaks to their ability to manage their ideas and make them a reality. Just as a casting director will carefully select the best actors for appropriate roles, the same is true for casting the right model for the right photoshoot. Below we will review some guidelines for making the most out of working with models, in order to produce the best photographs...

Are You Ready To Upgrade Your Camera Body?

Are You Ready To Upgrade Your Camera Body?
There comes a time in every growing photographer's career when he or she decides that it is time to upgrade their equipment. If you are like me, then you put it off for as long as possible. In recent posts, I’ve mentioned that I firmly believe that you can create some great images using a very basic DSLR. While this is true under most circumstances, there are often times as a working photographer that you will need the options of a professional grade DSLR.

See How Much Improvement You Have Made in a Year

See How Much Improvement You Have Made in a Year

Recently I felt a bit let down when looking at my work. It seemed to me like I had not improved much during the last year and that I had hit a plateau. Then when asking friends, fellow photographers, and other people from the industry, everyone told me it was just in my head. Creating new things day in and day out is quite difficult, but creating new things that are better each time you shoot is even harder! Sounds familiar? I know for a fact that most photographers have felt like that at some point in their career. We all have periods in our lives where we feel disappointed with our work. That same time when we also start looking at others work and wonder why we are not better. But all we really should be doing is looking at our work to see how far we have come and how we could get even better.

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