No matter how young and beautiful your models are for business stock photos, buyers often feel that the images come across as stuffy and old-fashioned. That’s not just a guess, it comes from many years of experience in the industry. Here are a few things you need to pay attention to when working with models for a business photo-shoot that will help make your business stock photos more attractive to buyers.
Wedding photography is not what it used to be. I don't mean this in a good way or a bad way, it just seems like with any advancement in technology comes a new challenge. Many couples today want both still photos and video of their wedding. This makes sense since it is often the biggest day of their life. Does that mean we now have videographers to deal with in our shots? No, it's a two-way street. We, as professionals, both have to work together to deliver the best possible product to the lucky couple. Saying someone got in the way means you didn't try hard enough.
Contrary to delusional beliefs, not everyone is hooked up to a high-speed connection capable of streaming 8k video at magnificent buttery smoothness. Extremely fast connectivity is an amazing thing that is still out of reach for the vast majority of users. You can't assume that the viewers of your website are going to be piloting a computer hard-lined into the latest fiber optic goodness. Instead, we have to optimize for the most common user in order to give them the best experience possible without sacrificing image quality.
I am a doer. I pride myself on getting things accomplished. Doing things rather than talking about them. I even keep a strict log to make sure that I make the absolute most out of every 24 hour period. Productivity is my spirit animal. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that a bit excessive? The answer is more than likely yes. And I don’t open that way as a means of boasting. Like many, my greatest strength is often my greatest weakness. My obsessiveness over getting things done has driven me to compile a diverse list of accomplishments (and failures). But, in a profession where the best course of action can require patience, obsessing over productivity can often drive you plum crazy.
Free? Working for free? When I started out, being asked to work for free made my blood boil; Didn’t people know I had bills to pay, rent to make, black T-shirts to buy, rounds of beer to shout, girls to woo? These things cost money, and it still makes my blood boil when I’m asked to work for free. And yet I often work for free. Confused? Here’s how working for free is a good thing and how to ensure your blood doesn’t boil in the process.
I’ve learned a lot over the past 15 years as a professional artist. I’ve learned a lot about fear, failure, and success. I’ve been fortunate enough to mentor and educate thousands of photographers all over the world. Even as a young four-year photographer who many would still consider “green,” I’ve taught photographers from all walks of life, all levels of advancement, and even some who had reached a level of comfortable success.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” What an inspiring, hopeful idea. Unfortunately, it’s not always true. According to this article on USA Today, only about 20 percent of businesses last past their first year, and even less survive past the five-year mark. So, what happens when someone falls in love with photography and thinks to themselves, I should start a business? The answer is: a lot of stuff that is not related to photography and, sometimes, the death of a passion.
We all have or will want to buy gear that is out of our price range or that we think doesn't have enough value compared to another competitor's products, and we'll choose what we can afford today over what might be a better piece of equipment bought later. I'm certainly one of those photographers that learned what I value after committing to several manufacturer's products over others that I tried and had to abandon due to their workmanship, cost, or my actual need. Maybe you are going through this internal debate now with a lauded piece of equipment that will be a benefit to you and your work, but the price exceeds its perceived value to you. Do you really need that equipment or is there a cheaper alternative?
Last year Team Stuart was faced with a big storage problem. Our 9-plus terabytes of photos were a few weddings away from out growing their 10 terabytes of storage. This meant we needed to shell out a bunch of money for more hard drives to even think about storing more photos. Money that I didn't have, especially considering we'd need a whole new NAS setup. That is when I made the bold decision to forgo on-site storage and move to the cloud. In retrospect, it may have been a big waste of time.
These days, there are endless ways to get your images in front of clients, and it is more important than ever to put your best foot forward at all times. A tight and well curated portfolio is absolutely essential; trimming the fat and staying true to your brand. But keeping a consistent brand and level of presentation isn’t the same as duplicating your presentation, and to best reach your intended audience requires consideration of the end-user experience.
Many of us have been there. You upload your work to a social media platform only to find out months later that your photos have gained the attention of the masses. Immediately you start getting bombarded with emails, phone calls, and publications start reaching out. You quickly realize the moment you have always been waiting for is happening right now, but a new reality also sinks in: you have no clue what in the world you are supposed to do with all of this attention. In this video I sit down with Mike Kelley to discuss some of the steps you should take to capitalize on your viral photo series.
Today Picr is joining ranks in the photography community with a bold statement: Picr does it all. The U.S.-only Picr Beta will aim to be your one-stop shop for everything you need to run the business end of your photography. From lead generation, client management, and financial earnings reports, to hosting your website, delivering your completed photo projects via client galleries, and re-generating follow-up repeat client work.
After Google, Youtube is the second largest search engine, and thus having a video-portfolio of one's photography can be a great addition in so far as getting one's work seen. Any time we get to offer our work in a different format, it allows us to both see and showcase different angles which otherwise may remain hidden or less apparent. Give a client the option to watch your video or scroll through your portfolio, and they might well take you up on the video, which, in being rarer, can also be more memorable.
In a time where it so easy for anyone to get ahold of a camera, where short films are literally being shot on cell phones, it can be tricky to figure out where to start when you want to create your own short film. Short films can be a great way to get noticed, they can be the perfect way to get your foot in the door at film festivals, and they can be a whole lot of fun to put together! However, since there are thousands of people out there wanting the same attention for their film that you want for yours, it's important to think about what will really make your short stand out against all the others.