Thomas C. Corley, author of Rich Habits, wrote that the the most successful business owners create multiple sources of income. Seasoned photographers have experienced the ebb and flow of the portrait business over the years and know that the best way to stay afloat is to be consistently adaptable. Maintaining multiple baskets for income to be generated is key to surviving a slow season.
You may have purchased your first DSLR camera, you may have already fallen in love with the art of photography, you may be thinking about taking your work to the professional level, but what would my best piece of advice be to an aspiring professional photographer? My advice may surprise you.
A number of websites offer multimedia content to content creators for their projects through an easy-to-access online portal. But as well as those sites serve the many that use them, they all have one thing in common: they set the price for all content. Letting photographers, videographers, and musicians set the price for their own work, Pond5 is an exception in a set of businesses between which it is increasingly hard to differentiate.
Full-time photography is a dream many of us have considered fulfilling. What could be better than to get paid for what you want do? A pursuit of passion is often a difficult start, but there’s one critical aspect that I think you should consider immediately: specializing.
To preface, most professional photographers are of course only doing their best to help others when they speak from past personal experiences and while giving advice. However, even the most well-intentioned words from somebody may create negative consequences for the listener. Sometimes it’s not even in the words, but the examples they tell through their actions. When it comes down to it though, you must always remember: Don’t let anyone — even the professionals — ever give the final say in how you do your photography or run your business.
When somebody asks how much they should be charging for their service, this is the single best piece of advice I’ve been able to give. It’s hardly unique, but it puts things into a much better perspective. I always suggest justifying your prices, and prevent reduced hours. Here is the problem with charging by the hour, and how I fix it.
F-Stop Gear has been a respectable camera bag company for many years and they’ve created some highly-trusted packs for the adventure photographer. Several of them have been reviewed with praise on Fstoppers. However, recently their name has become more and more synonymous with frustration rather than respect as customers become more vocal about feeling cheated after a botched Kickstarter project and bag orders that never seem to ship.
Sam Zeller is giving it all away. It began with releasing 184 photos for creative commons use on stock photo site Unsplash. From there the Swiss photographer and FujiFilm ambassador has decided to unload an entire archive of his images taken across Europe for free use to anyone with the aptitude to find them.
Last year I reported on Pixsy a start-up which was aiming to tackle copyright infringement for photographers. It looked promising but after giving it a test run I was left a bit under whelmed. Copyright issues plague our industry and many folks are desperately seeking a solution. A new and totally free service, Blockai, might just be the closest thing we have right now.
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.