Opinion

Planning Versus Improvisation: Are You a Planner or Just Winging It on Your Photoshoots?

Planning Versus Improvisation: Are You a Planner or Just Winging It on Your Photoshoots?

Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail," but then again Franklin wasn't a photographer. Photoshoots with humans, animals, or even some objects are dynamic and even active situations that are at the same time part inspiration and part performance. Finding the right balance between planning and improvisation can help take your photography to the next level.

Is Yelp Bad For Photographers?

Is Yelp Bad For Photographers?

Recently as I was looking into some backlink research on Google, I realized that one of the first links that comes up when searching for my business is my Yelp business page. This isn't surprising. Yelp is an established business and has an established website with high domain authority, of course it's going to rank well within search engines. What was surprising, however, was how the title of the link read, "The Amberlight Collective - CLOSED."

Your Backup Plan Isn't Enough - What Do You Do When Everything Goes Wrong?

Your Backup Plan Isn't Enough - What Do You Do When Everything Goes Wrong?

Most of the successful photographers and videographers that I know are effective at constructing a plan and making it a reality. And for the most part, this works, and when it doesn’t they usually have a backup plan. This is the base expectation for most people that have actually put time into developing their career. If you've worked long enough, you know that the odds are pretty great that things won’t go exactly as planned, so you prepare for that. But what I find is overlooked so often is not necessarily the forethought to make a Plan B but the forethought to consider how you will handle yourself when things inevitably go wrong.

Should You Be Watermarking Your Images?

Should You Be Watermarking Your Images?

There seems to be a surprising amount of contention relating to whether or not you should watermark your images. Some people are adamant that yes, you absolutely need to put your stamp, so to speak, on images that you're putting out there online. Other people feel that a watermark is tacky, or that somehow it's presence cheapens the quality of the image that it has been applied to. As I have found with most things in life, context is king when it comes to watermarks.

Your Voice is Something You Build, Not Something You Find

Your Voice is Something You Build, Not Something You Find

When people talk about finding their “voice,” you might get the impression they looked down one day and there it was — lying on the ground, fully formed and functional, just waiting to be used. In my experience, though, finding your voice is more about hard work. And time. Lots of time. Our voices are built, not found. It seemingly takes forever. A decade or more. And here’s the frustrating thing: you can’t rush it. There are no shortcuts to finding your voice. You have to go the long way — slowly accumulating influences, trying on different styles, finding a voice that feels natural — and then refine it slowly, project after project, year after year. The good news is that while there isn’t a shortcut, there is a path.

Just Say No: A Photographer's Tale

Just Say No: A Photographer's Tale

Getting to “yes.” It is the story of our lives. Whether pitching a client a new idea or nervously asking the woman you met at the corner store for a date, that sweet little three letter word can be pure music to our ears. But as we progress in life and the choices become more complicated, we realize that the questions themselves aren’t always so black and white. And, sometimes, our three letter friend isn’t always the right answer.

Regain Creative Motivation with 'Too Far Gone'

Regain Creative Motivation with 'Too Far Gone'

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.

Phase One 100MP vs. Canon 5DSR and Sony a7R II for Architectural Photography

Phase One 100MP vs. Canon 5DSR and Sony a7R II for Architectural Photography

Medium format systems are widely known as being the best, producing the most detailed and technically superior images. The lenses are supposedly the best available too, such as the 40mm from Rodenstock which is praised for its amazing performance. If you want the best in image quality, the widest dynamic range, and the deepest depth of field with the least amount of diffraction, then medium format is the answer... or is it? Is this simply perception? If you repeat something enough does it become fact? How many people who believe this to be true have actually tried and compared the best from medium format to the best available from full frame?

It's About The Work, Not the Fame

It's About The Work, Not the Fame

Shourya Pratap Singh Chauhan used Photoshop to simulate himself living a life as a billionaire, which was all for show. His following started growing from 200 to over 20,000 and it's mainly due to this portrayal that people started following and sending him direct messages. This matters in a big way. Firstly, have we become so gullible to believe it, and secondly, what can we as photographers and video makers learn from this for our own businesses?

Three Simple Daily Routines That Transformed Me From a Wandering Beginner to a Relentless Pro

Three Simple Daily Routines That Transformed Me From a Wandering Beginner to a Relentless Pro

There are endless instructions and formulas out there you can choose to follow when working towards becoming a photographer. To say that it's overwhelming is an understatement. I know all too well how easy it is to let the discouraging cloud of options cause you so much anxiety that you fail to accomplish anything in a day. Our time, money, and attention spans are limited, but you do not have to let this stop you from following your dreams. I know, there's a lot of tutorials to watch and gear to purchase, but it's what you do every single day that will take you farther than anything. So, here's what I do, and I do it obsessively.