That title might sound a little bit backwards to most of you, but it is not. I know many professionals feel you shouldn't do any photography for free, especially after you have worked your tail off to get to a point where people will pay you to make images. However, even as a full time professional photographer, I actually do a lot of free work. But I do it only on my owns terms, and do turn down many offers.
A little while back, I wrote an article called, “The Power of Overshooting,” where I explained how it can never hurt to take more photos than you need to. Now this article got plenty of hate from all the people who love film out there, but the article wasn’t written to bash the people who put time and effort into shooting their photos.
I haven’t seen much on this topic, but a brief conversation with another photographer recently illuminated to me the fact that photographer anxiety is not at all uncommon. One of the reasons I believe it isn’t discussed a great deal is the general image of today’s top photographers.
As the curator for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day and our Instagram feed, I happen to read a lot of comments and criticisms thrown out at images by semi-anonymous people from all over the world. One thing I can be sure of is that when I post an image that is a composite or incorporates some sort of digital art, some people get offended. This is ridiculous and needs to end for photography to continue growing.
The search for a good deal in camera equipment can be both rewarding and painful. Nobody is as much of a proponent of finding good, used equipment as I am, but I've definitely been burned before. Just this past week I had a good reminder of why it pays to be cautious in picking up used, and more particularly, discontinued, gear.
Something that happened last week really hit home for me. Everyone probably already has heard, as it has been reported by almost every single news agency in the world; Australian photographer Brett Costello was robbed of $40,000 of camera gear in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last week while in town to cover the Olympics. However, this article isn't about him specifically.
To preface, most professional photographers are of course only doing their best to help others when they speak from past personal experiences and while giving advice. However, even the most well-intentioned words from somebody may create negative consequences for the listener. Sometimes it’s not even in the words, but the examples they tell through their actions. When it comes down to it though, you must always remember: Don’t let anyone — even the professionals — ever give the final say in how you do your photography or run your business.
As a photographer who shoots primarily on location, I have a lot of stuff to haul. I shoot both film and digital and frequently I'm bringing a small lighting kit as well. I also tend to go it alone, especially when I'm shooting personal work. Up until recently, I've been doing it the hard way, taking multiple trips back and forth to my car, in order to get the shot set up at my chosen spot. And of course, the best spots are nowhere near the car. My deodorant is doing overtime before I've even squeezed off the first shot. Being a sweaty mess while shooting is no fun, especially when you're shooting people. I'd rather not be known as "Hans, you know, that one photographer with the pit stains."
Being involved with online photography forums on a regular basis, I constantly see people asking that very question. I also get asked personally from time to time. It's usually something like: ''I'm taking a trip to Italy next month. What lenses do you recommend I bring?'' Or: ''I'm going to McDonalds tomorrow for brunch, should I bring my Canon 800mm or my Canon 11-24mm lens?'' So, being I was faced with this very decision myself recently, I wanted to share with you what lens I brought with me and my thoughts.
Virtual war. That's what Instagram declared yesterday when the Facebook-owned social media giant rolled out their latest update sharing an all too familiar user experience touted by rival platform, Snapchat. What are they doing? How could this happen? Why are they doing this? After turning over a few stones, we saw this coming from a mile away. Facebook and Instagram ultimately decided that if you can't buy them, become them.
As photographers we often get our visual references from film, and our ideas can originate from a single scene in a movie that blew you away. It's the combination of sounds, the anticipation and fear, and all the emotions that the director gets to capture and convey for the viewer to experience. But, it's also worth noting that most movies and series have visual cues that originate from older, classic movies too.
You are going to fail because you cannot fight the chaos. I don’t believe that, but this article is very sensible and the real first line of this piece wasn’t catchy enough: structure, organization, and discipline are the foundations of being successful and self-employed. If my formative years were anything to go by, I was the antithesis of all three. Thankfully, determination and maturity seeped in and I became obsessed with how I could be the most productive, organized, and disciplined without a boss or a separate office building and with the constant lure of Netflix.
What makes a photograph or movie memorable? With cinema as widespread as it is, a film needs to stand out in a big way, not only to succeed at the box office, but to be remembered in any capacity. As for photographs, it's the same challenge. We remember the Tiananmen Square protest photo because it captured the issues sweeping the globe in a single frame. Films like "The Shining" and "There Will Be Blood" are relatively simple in terms of visuals, but have stories that will forever make them classics. And that's exactly what makes a film or a photograph great: story.