Hello, my name is Hans, and I have too many cameras. I didn't want to admit to myself that I had a problem, but as I stood over my camera bag, looking at those shiny bodies staring back at me, I dreaded the backache I would feel the next day from lifting that sucker to my next shoot. As I heard my not-so-young anymore bones creaking under the weight of all that alloy, I knew the truth: It was time to let some go.
You are going to fail because you cannot fight the chaos. I don’t believe that, but this article is very sensible and the real first line of this piece wasn’t catchy enough: structure, organization, and discipline are the foundations of being successful and self-employed. If my formative years were anything to go by, I was the antithesis of all three. Thankfully, determination and maturity seeped in and I became obsessed with how I could be the most productive, organized, and disciplined without a boss or a separate office building and with the constant lure of Netflix.
Being a female boudoir photographer for many years, I may take some things for granted with my clients. There is not a shoot where a client doesn't ask me to assist in attaching a garter belt to her stockings. So, I am literally kneeing on the floor, with a woman's bum close to my face. We laugh the whole time, but in all seriousness, I sat back and wondered one day if I were a man, would this be any different?
There are many tips online. Five step listicles of composition, post-processing, editing, getting the model to smile more, and to capture a story in the best way possible. You can be friendlier to clients, communicate your vision to the team, client or model, use on or off camera flash, and setup your camera in a better way to enable easier ways to capture the shot. You can learn about better workflows and how to increase your productivity in post too. All these tools are available on Fstoppers.com for you to learn and use in your everyday photography career and life.
“How did you DO this?!” I remember watching her exclaim with her jaw on the floor shortly before turning to her bridesmaid standing next to her and saying, “Can you believe this?!” She was holding her wedding pictures, in her hand, before the wedding reception had come to a close and I was her hero, even if for just that moment.
I get it. You can’t pay the bills by photographing clients for free, or in most cases for exposure. There are definitely ways of turning exposure into monetary compensation however, that most creatives gloss over. Here are three ways of turning exposure into dollars, just by asking some simple questions to your client.
Last week's article touched on a minimal approach to editing. While I am quite the control freak in my own work, sometimes, I am overwhelmed by the amount of tasks being thrown my way. I look to professional retouchers and virtual assistants to help me through the busy seasons.
Nearly every day I am hearing about some pseudo-horror story from a model or client about a shoot that went missing because of some technical problem after the photos had been created. Nothing is more frustrating than working hard to create the images that your client wanted only to be unable to deliver on time (or at all) because of some unforeseen technological problem that derails your entire process. As a professional you need to be prepared for these sorts of surprises before they happen so that you can always be ready to pivot and still deliver on your promise.
Any seasoned filmmaker or photographer will tell you that it’s not the size of your camera, sensor, or lens that matters, but how you use it (or craft your supporting elements like lighting, composition, etc.). But what I’ve come to realize is that size does matter– because impressing a client on set is just as important as impressing them with the final product.
I'm not sure how many more times I can read the repugnant merging of two disparate words without writing a furious letter to someone, but I'll do my best to soldier on through. For any sentient being, the last few days have been filled with the word "Brexit," more so if you live on this little angry island I inhabit. The reach of the impact of this momentous event is both wide and largely unknown. That said, there's a very real chance it will affect many of us camera folk.
Partnership success stories are everywhere. From business innovators like Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google or Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, to less formal partnerships like authors JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. There is a trend in the creative world to tout either big collaborative teams or solo introverted lone-wolf style work. I’m here today to tell you that the magic number is actually two, and why having a business partner is the best choice I ever made.