Photography is a commodity; It's not a secret, and we all know it. When I meet a new group of people, it seems that every time the conversation of “jobs” or “careers” is brought up, inevitably, someone is always a “photographer” by trade. Commodification is a process that happens to every industry, and we couldn’t prevent it even if we tried. So since becoming a commodity is unavoidable in any market, we, as small business owners, have to learn to overcome being branded a “commodity.”
If you work with people, whether it be kids, families, seniors, adults, or professional models, male or female, then you have almost certainly shot a TFP (trade for print) shoot before. While the definition of TFP is flexible these days, as most commonly we mean "trade time for digital images" rather than physical prints, these kinds of shoots have and will continue to be an industry staple. The most important aspect of these shoots is the one thing that often gets forgotten: getting a return on your investment of time.
Children look to superheros as inspiration for strength and courage. They dress up as their favorite characters and act out scenes to empower their imaginations all over the world. One photographer set out to take his incredible talent to a special set of children to show them and the world they are stronger than the superheros they love.
After a four-hour trip to London and only being able to catch whatever sleep I could during the uncomfortable journey down, I met with Peter Hurley and immediately felt welcome. For those of you who don't know, Peter Hurley is a headshot photographer based in New York City. Hurley once had a career as a model and was also part of the U.S. Olympic sailing team. He is known for his clean, white background headshots and for coining the phrase "squinch," which has now become relatively mainstream thanks to news channels and shows like Orange is the New Black. To many, Peter is known as the best in the business and this may be true, but, what is Peter actually like to work with?
Whether you’ve thought about it or not, psychology plays a huge role in successful photography. Even when considering technical aspects of photography like composition, exposure, depth of field, etc., psychology is part of the “why” behind proper camera settings. It's no surprise then that color plays a big role in emotionally provocative photography, and Michael Carroll recently published his book, “Retrographic” to document a project in which already emotionally-charged photographs from history are colorized to evoke even more emotion.
Whether you live in a football-crazed nation like America, or are beholden to the whim as another sport, nothing is more exciting than the start of a new season. As the kickoffs are underway, I think today I’ll take it from the gridiron to the studio with a few lessons I learned in the huddle.
I’ve been a Profoto user for quite a while now, loving my B1s and B2s for wedding photography, and my D1s for studio photography. I’m a huge fan of off-camera flash, especially when it can be easily manipulated into looking like natural light when I need it to. After all, that’s what 99 percent of my wedding clients want: natural light and a golden-hour glow regardless if it’s raining or we’re shooting in noon-day sun. What I’ve been missing, however, is the portability of a small flash, and being able to use it on camera.
It's been the nuisance of the modern, technological era: shaky video. Shaky video not only is annoying, but the fix is usually expensive, bulky, and not too practical — until recently. DJI, one of the most innovate companies going right now has the answer to that problem, at a consumer price. It’s called the DJI OSMO.
Photography is all relative to the creator and the viewers, so the decision of whether to underexpose, overexpose, or to expose your portraits evenly is obviously subject to personal preference. There is merit to any of the methodologies that you could apply to your own photography and it really just comes down to figuring out what works best for you and your gear.
Sigma has been killing it lately with their Art series of lenses, and this entry doesn't stray far from the pack. With a great build, low distortion, and a very competitive price, it’s a contender for the best ultrawide lens available in its class. I had one for a few weeks and got to see if it lived up to the hype and high bar set by its fellow Sigma Art lenses.
An annual pilgrimage for those among us who relish in new gear and the latest in our industry, PhotoPlus Expo 2017 is right around the corner. Taking place a few weeks after New York Comic Con, from October 25 to October 28, the Javits Center transforms into a digital wonderland loaded with the latest cameras, lenses, software, lighting, training, and seminars. It's been almost a decade since I attended PhotoPlus for the first time, and it’s a highlight I’ve only missed it a couple of times since. Here are my personal take on why you should get yourself there and how to get the most out of this great photo and video event.
It's quite common to shoot photo sessions in unimpressive locations; it goes with the territory when shooting on-the-go and outside of a studio. Fortunately, we have options to help us transform boring locations into beautiful backdrops, and it’s easier than you think. Making simple light modifications and quick edits in post can mean the difference between creating average imagery versus creating imagery that impresses your clients.