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.
Articles written by Tony Roslund
So you didn't get the new Sony a7 Camera you wanted for the holidays? Well there's still time to take advantage of Sony's trade-in incentives toward a new a7 camera and/or select lenses. In addition to the trade value of your working SLR or mirrorless camera, B&H is also offering 15% credit toward your purchase. I don't want to sound like an advertisement, but I had an opportunity to use the Sony a7 system recently for a product shoot and I'm definitely buying one. I just need to figure out whether to go with the a7, a7II, a7R, or a7S before this promotion expires on December 31st.
A great portion of my business is spent on architectural photography. My technique involves using a mixture of ambient light, flash, and tungsten hot lights blended and masked together in post to create well lit images that are time consuming to shoot and often frustrating to edit. I'm always looking for other techniques and resources to incorporate that will allow me to work more efficiently and/or improve my images. This week I found such a technique right under my nose.
My studio receives client inquires anywhere from once per week to several times a day. Obviously not all of these inquiries turn into paid work, some are a downright waste of time. Dealing with client inquiries is not my favorite pastime, but if everything goes to plan, at least a few of them get me behind the camera and end up paying the bills. Here's a few things to keep in mind when making initial contact and responding to client inquiries.
When alpine photographer Kamil Tamiola was tapped to become the key photographer for a campaign announcing Phase One's Capture One Pro 8 software release at Photokina 2014, he had his work cut out for him. Nine weeks of planning went into this powerful concept of imagery that would be used as the subject for processing in the soon to be introduced software. In this video Tamiola takes us on a behind-the-scenes alpine exploration to Glacier Geant just above the town of Courmayeur in Aosta Valley.
When he's not sitting in southern California traffic, San Diego editorial photographer, Rob Andrew, spends his days freelancing from one gig to another with all his gear in tow. In order to stay nimble, Rob has developed a style of shooting creative food photography with a surprisingly minimal amount of gear. He recently published what he calls a "Bag Check" on his blog, outlining the tools he uses to get the job done.
At the end of any speaking engagement I'm involved in, I usually offer a bit of advice which includes "Don't go into debt over this". If you're just starting out, trying to make a go at a career in photography, you need to focus on learning the craft, mastering your equipment, and trying to build your business to a point where you have a steady and somewhat consistent income. The business of photography is a constant ebb & flow, and if you don't have the intestinal fortitude to endure lean times, then it's probably not the right profession for you.
This week I wanted to share a few of the tools we commercial photographers use to create our tabletop images. Particularly the items used in photographing beverages. There's a lot of trial and error when it comes to this sort of photography, often times we find ourselves using things in ways far from their originally intended purpose. Having said that, there's a lot of things that have become kind-of standard practice in food/beverage photography, some of those items I'll share with you today.
Earlier today, Fstoppers writer Adam Ottke published an article introducing Adobe's latest plugin to help Apple iPhoto and Aperture users mirgrate to Adobe Lightroom. Unfortunately, many of the folks who've tried to use it have run into complications. Adobe seems to be watching closely, as they quickly updated the plugin page with detailed...
Ever since I briefly introduced it in my Photographer's Grip Kit video, people have been emailing and messaging me regarding the utility cart I use to haul gear around a job site. As a result, I figured a video was in order to talk about the cart in more detail, along with the modifications we've made to better adapt it to our workflow.
I'm often asked about the best way to get started with off-camera flash. The problem is, there's no single answer for everyone. There's a lot of different ways to accomplish the same end goal of getting that flash off the camera. In this video I'll break down the three main choices when choosing your method of strobe lighting.
In a world filled with videos and tutorials featuring every yahoo with a camera telling us how-to setup, pose, light, and edit, it's hard to know what's just noise and what's worthy of our time. Fortunately, there's experienced instructors like Karl Taylor and Urs Recher who have teamed up to share their techniques in the latest How-To series from Broncolor.
Most photographers looking to advance their commercial photography careers come to the realization that in order to score the big jobs, they need to work with creative agencies. The question is, how does a photographer get those agency gigs? I sat down with Associate Creative Director Scott Wallace of Magner Sanborn to discuss the creative agency/photographer relationship and what we can do as photographers to get noticed and ultimately get hired.
Growing up in the family's studios and labs, I learned a thing or two about mounting and framing prints, and I also ruined a lot of them in the process. In this video, I'll demonstrate a version of my process so you can skip the lab and mount your own prints, fresh from your home or studio printer.
I don’t do a lot of gear reviews, in fact, this is my first for Fstoppers (bear with me). But Lumu is a product I’ve been following since it’s launch on Kickstarter back in 2013. I didn’t invest back then, I’ll tell you why later, but it's a great concept that has become a reality so I’m here to give you my honest thoughts and a short video we hacked together using the meter in the field.
As a commercial photographer, I specialize in product, food, and architecture. One of the products we've been shooting a lot of lately is jewelry, specifically jewelry for catalog use. In my opinion, jewelry is one of the hardest things to photograph, and many photographers don't know where to start. Whenever we're tasked with photographing shiny, reflective, spherical objects, our studio sounds like a group of sailors on leave with all the profanity flying around (often times strung together to make complete sentences).
One of the most overlooked, yet most used items in a photographer's arsenal, is the grip kit. A grip kit isn't something most photographers set out to buy, build, or assemble, it's generally born from necessity. Over the years we find ourselves on jobs needing certain things that we don't have readily available and we end up improvising to get the job done. Usually we make a mental note of how we can be more prepared in the future, which often times leads to adding small "grip" items to our pack list. When we collect enough of these items, they typically make their way into some sort of crate, bag, or box also known as a grip kit.
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.
The challenge: 30 images in 5 days for an international tool company. New York based advertising, fashion, and fine art photographer, João Carlos was the man chosen by Lisbon agency Ivity Brand Corp. to accomplish the mission. A Hasselblad Masters winner with clients like Nike, MTV, Avon and Sandisk, it was clear Carlos had the vision and expertise to turn the agency’s mood boards into an incredible campaign for their client.