You don’t need me to tell you the importance of social media. Many of you under a certain age likely can’t picture your life without it. Judging by the number of selfie sticks and Facebook screens annoyingly lighting up dark movie theaters, social media had apparently become as important as breathing. Even those who came of age before the dawn of the smartphone are not immune to its charms. And in an increasingly connected world, our devices are not only a social diversion, but can also become a business necessity. This week, I had an experience that drove home just how necessary it can be.
Usually for me it starts after the peak of fall foliage. After a busy year of spring portraits, wedding season, fall shoots, and some photographic trips sprinkled in, by the end of fall I find that it's easy to get a little bored with photography. Typically the inspiration needle on my gauge is in the red. While taking a break is never a bad idea, sometimes all you really need to do is challenge yourself. Presenting yourself with new opportunities to create photos and videos that may not normally be in your wheelhouse. Giving yourself some time to experiment can help you get back to why you started shooting in the first place.
Anyone who pursues photography professionally knows all too well how absolutely time consuming the business side of the industry truly is. Between managing clients, keeping your inbox at zero, and still trying to find time to pursue personal projects or just have a life outside of photography, you can sometimes lose yourself to the rat race. That’s why when I saw Evan5ps' newest video it really struck a chord in me.
All you photographers out there! Does your camera strap look dull, worn out with the leather sweating the time and comfort out of your skin? Yes, they may be durable, but can they be more? Well, KIKI camera straps answer these questions fashionably. Made for every professional photographer, these cool, fashionable, and functional cloth camera straps might make you think of bidding bye to the conventional ones.
At this point, we should all know that almost all jobs and opportunities to find success in photography are built off networking. Now there are tons of ways to network and the path you pick will depend solely on the niche you associate with. Either way, the main goal is to meet people with the same professional interests as yourself to feed off each other creatively and to broaden your reach in the community. We tend to forget about the community aspect as we get caught up in chasing money or companies but what we sometimes need to go to that next level is support system built off our love for photography.
Lately, I have been attending more events to cover as a photographer, especially anime and comic conventions. My approach to most of my convention coverage is walking around the event and trying to take as many photos as possible of the cosplayers there, kind of a run and gun approach. Sometimes the cosplayers are on a tight time frame so I don’t want to take too much of their time, or there is just a lot of things going on and I want to try to capture as much as possible. Some of the cosplayers outfits are just amazing, so it's best to slow it down and take the time to give the cosplay and their outfit justice with the photo. So where do you start?
Sometimes as creatives, we lose sight of what originally attracted us to the creative process of photography and videography in the first place. We get lost in the noise while we are busy juggling social media, websites, managing shoots, pitching to clients, and constantly reinventing our work. Every now and then we need an image or a video to really put in perspective why we feel the way we do when we raise our cameras to our eye. The wonderfully directed short film "Too Far Gone" does just that.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has long warned tourists of “arrest and long-term detention.” Despite the threat, around 100,000 people visit the hermit kingdom annually. In 2016, Photographer Raphael Olivier was one of those people. Here we showcase some of his most surreal photos from the trip.
This video is a double-whammy. It's trying to uncover where ideas come from, and the conceptual and artistic execution of the video is so well done and it provides a kind of answer for the rhetorical question of where ideas come from. I've had creative block. You want to put the next portfolio piece together, but you don't know what to do exactly. You first need to come up with an idea, and then you have to nurture it to be something new but something that still contains your style and way of shooting.
A couple of years ago, I broke an important rule I made for myself: never take my camera on family outings. We were going to visit the zoo with extended family, and my grandmother said, "You should bring your camera! I bet you could get some great photos of the animals." The whole thing was very innocuous and she was well intentioned, but the results were exactly what I had decided I wanted to avoid, and a good reminder of why I made that rule for myself in the first place. If you find yourself doing the same thing I do, then perhaps this is a good rule for you to adopt.
After years of working in typical areas of photography, Eneil Simpson, has found his calling in a very surprising place: the operating room. As a former flight instructor, Simpson stumbled into very unique and rarely seen world of ophthalmic and surgical photography, after asking his eye doctor if he could sit in on and take an environmental portrait of him. This intended “one off”, resulted in further opportunities, as surgeons began to recommend him to their colleagues.
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.
Unlike most people in Photography, I didn’t pick up a camera for the love of making art. I never thought of myself as an artistic person but I wanted something better than my phone to document my hikes in the Appalachian Mountains. Quickly after getting my first Sony a6000 just like with all my hobbies I had to know everything about it and so I ran down the photography rabbit hole (and haven’t come back). Even though I do more with my camera nowadays than just documenting the trail, it has taught me a few things that have helped me immensely in my work.