A few weeks ago, I came across a post on social media from the Jônt about a shoot out contest inside a staged multi-million dollar estate which piqued my interest. Reading more about the shootout, it would be geared toward several different genres of photographers, as they would have vendors on site providing food, drinks, cars, and models at our disposal for the shoot out. First, you had to submit your info along with your portfolio to be one of the selected photographers to join the contest, I figured I would go ahead and throw my name into the hat and see what would happen.
We are photographers. We are not a bunch known for a lack of opinions. By and large, we know (or think we know) what’s good and bad and aren’t shy about telling others just how qualified our own personal greatness makes us to pass judgment on other far inferior work. Yes, I’m generalizing to make a larger point. There are as many different types of photographers as there are different types of people. And, if ego sits on one shoulder, its distant cousin humility stands firmly on the other, grasping tightly to the other end of the rope in an endless game of tug of war. But knowing when to pull, and when to offer slack, from one side or the other can be the secret to both successful shoots and successful creative relationships.
Primarily, I'm a NYC Wedding Photographer. However, I also photograph business headshots in my NJ Studio as well. I love doing this as a side-gig that brings me extra money for practically no work at all. To be honest, I wasn't really all about it when D.C. Headshot Photographer Moshe Zusman told me I should start implementing it into my business. Seemed a bit boring and I didn't get how it would make me more money than the $10,000+ High-End Weddings that I photograph now. I was wrong.
Singapore Airlines' latest safety video mixes the regular safety video you'll see just before take-off with the dream of exploring Singapore. It's beautifully executed and shows how they'll push barriers to give you the travel experience you desire. Why is this important? Because it shows that the travel industry is really getting creative with their approach, and they are pushing the boundaries of just what's needed to evoke that curiosity and excitement of travel.
There are many paths in professional photography. I have gone down the route of commercial photography, and whilst I am nowhere near where I want to be in professionally, I thought I’d share a few points that can go a long way to making it as a professional commercial photographer.
Life… is funny. I don’t need to tell you that. Anyone afforded the great privilege of living long enough will be finely attuned to the vast absurdities that occur on a daily basis. The anomalies. The coincidences. The luck. The misfortune. And as I was gratefully subject of such a peculiar day of coincidences last week, I couldn’t help but to share a brief tale and try to explain what it all means to me.
Organizing a photoshoot, professional or otherwise, can be a daunting task. From a small portrait sitting with a local band to a worldwide ad campaign, there are some key steps that will reduce stress, ensure everyone feels understood, and ultimately help everyone work towards the same goals. As a bit of a disclaimer, I work in the U.K. as a commercial photographer, but most of these steps can be dialed up or reduced for any project, wherever they happen to take place and whether paid or not.
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.
I first discovered the work of Cannabis Photographer Kristen Angelo when the Seattle Times did a profile of her for their series highlighting "cool jobs" in the region. Her work stood out as something fresh, new, and real. Unlike the high-contrast, psychedelic images I was used to seeing, Angelo's images showed different side of the culture of cannabis: sun-drenched, cultivated by passionate farmers in the rural Pacific Northwest. I caught up with Angelo to ask her about how she got into the field of cannabis photography, and how she developed her business as a freelance photographer.
If you have ever been assigned a full-day catalog shoot for a big retail brand, you probably know about the hectic process, especially if you are not working with a producer who deals with everything. Besides, a catalog shoot consists of innumerous steps from creating the concept to delivering the final images, and if you don’t have a producer ready for you, there are some steps that you need to consider before start shooting.
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.
Composition may be one of the most widely discussed artistic aspects in photography. In theory, the idea is simple. Putting it to work, particularly in motion arts, is easier said than done. Composition is one of the most important creative aspects of any filmmaking. Simply put, it is the act of defining the position, arrangement, and view of objects within the frame. The composition is, in effect, representing the point of view of your viewer and it will have a direct impact on how that viewer feels when they see it.
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.