Fstoppers Originals

Photography Marketing 101: Sell Yourself (The Jimmy Buffett Theory)

Last summer, my friend Andy and I, and his six year-old son, were out location scouting. As we drove around, the three of us were playing a very intense game of word association. One of us would say a word, and the others would quickly say the first word that came to mind. As we neared a potential location, Andy called out, “Key West” to which I mindlessly responded, “Jimmy Buffett…” In that instant, I realized that everything I thought I knew about marketing myself as a photographer was completely and utterly wrong.

Creativity To Clients – 5 Steps To Grow Your Clientele

Some may say it’s quite the phenomenon. I only shoot commercial and editorial fashion and I seem to make a living out of it without shooting weddings, families, babies or seniors. I don’t live in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles and I don’t travel like George Clooney in the film “Up In The Air.” The number one question I’m asked on a daily basis: “Clay, how do I get more paying clients?”

Build Relationships, Not Clients

Some years ago, I got started in photography and started looking to find clients that would pay me for my work. I showed up to client meetings, polite, cordial, and generic - hoping that my portfolio would "wow" them. I was sure that keeping a personal life and business life separate was the way to go, boy was I wrong.

Behind The Scenes Of An Epic Backcountry Ice Climbing Photo Shoot

There are a few behind the scenes videos out there that show photographers working with ice climbers, but often the climbs are right next to the road, making it convenient to bring tons of gear, power, and spend all day getting coverage. So what does it take to create those images when you're miles deep into the woods, and can only take what you can carry on your back? In this behind the scenes video, I'll show you the challenges of such a shoot.

The Art of the Improv and the Importance of Looking Back At Your Work

Some of my most favorite photos are those which I had little or nothing do to with. I love my work, but when I look at a photo that I took, it's often difficult to get past the fact that I know too much about it. I know the edits, I know the tones, I know that it could have been better had I just moved a foot to the left or the right, and I know how many times I ditched the file and started over from scratch. In short, as an artist, sometimes knowing what’s behind the curtain makes it difficult to enjoy the overall work.

What Does This Video Mean For The Future of Photojournalism?

Over the last two days, Kiev, Ukraine has seen its worst violence since the Soviet era, with the death toll now at 75. Fighting between police and protesters escalated when protesters used Molotov cocktails and lit several fires in the city square. This video - shot on a drone - shows the epic devastation from above, and I believe this may mark a very significant turning point in photojournalism. Has the public's desire for the theatrical become too large a part of journalism?

Some of the Best Photos of the Night Sky, and How to Make Your Own

The night sky is an astounding phenomenon that fascinates almost every individual. Stars have been around for thousands of years and yet, humankind is still mesmerized by their beauty. Despite the distance, we have such a strong connection and love for these great unknown entities. Capturing the magnificence of the night sky is highly rewarding and can be an exciting process as well.

Find Your Frame - Using Lines To Sell A Story

Day in and day out I see images that raise the question; what is the photographer truly trying to convey in the photograph? In fashion photography, editorial story-telling is commonplace, but you must have a strong foundation for that to manifest properly in your image. Forget the lighting, focus or pose, first you need to question the frame.