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.
As you can imagine I spend a lot of time in Photoshop. And when you spend as much time in Photoshop as I do, you want to work as fast and efficiently as you can. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of keyboard shortcuts. Knowing keyboard shortcuts is crucial in creating a faster more efficient post-production workflow.
Finding the perfect soundtrack for a video project or short film can be a laborious and painful process for budget filmmakers, yet it’s a task that requires plenty of care and attention. Music Vine claims to have filled this gap in between by providing affordable, high quality, curated music licensing. We sat down with Co-founder Lewis Foster to speak all things music licensing for video projects.
I met a new contact on a job recently that encouraged me to delve deeper into the world of lifestyle imagery when thinking about my next shoot. She explained that over the years in between paid gigs, she would self-produce and fund her own micro shoots to use as portfolio material, but more importantly, as stock imagery to be sold. Over time, she has amassed an impressive collection of stock imagery that continually pays her royalties and is an excellent source of continuous revenue when work is slow.
A casual conversation leads to an interesting question. There I was again. Spouting endless drivel at the beginning of a date. Trying desperately to impress her with my chatter. Listening to her and responding with what I hoped were deep and probing questions that both relayed my interest in her personally and required a significantly lengthy response which would provide me the necessary time to catch my breath and subdue my nerve-induced racing heartbeat.
I recently teamed up with the crew at Fstoppers to create a video tutorial that focuses on the foundations of creating a standalone product hero shot for advertising. What’s a standalone product hero shot you ask? It’s a standalone image of a product that’s generally well lit, super crisp, super clean, and essentially aids in selling a company's product.