The question of whether or not to do free work is always pressing. The debate becomes a grey area of ambiguity with many people firmly on one side or the other, and the rest of us stuck somewhere in between questioning our self worth as artists. There are strong arguments on both sides of the arena. Over the course of my career I have wandered back and forth across the defining line only to lately land in the anti-free work position, and here is why.
Everyone’s life journey is different and often the road of the bravest leads to the most unexpected discoveries and inspiring experiences. It is never someone else’s decision of which path we take in our way and what we become. Henri Matisse, one of the giants of modern art, once said that creativity takes courage and I can’t agree more. We, as humans, have an obligation to grow as a person, as a professional,and as an artist, and inspiration plays a major role in this process.
Awakening your creative mind can be a challenge, but from my previous article "Fstoppers Creative Photography Challenge (Part One)" I hope that these challenges are helping you overcome your creative rut. Sometimes it's hard to spot simple things and sometimes you just don't have that drive to take that photo. There are tons of options to sharpen you creative skills, but I find these challenges relaxing. Here are some more added challenges for you to continue.
Video is something I have begun to play with over the last few weeks in the form of a vlog on YouTube, but as you might know it's difficult to gain that organic reach you're used to on social platforms. That doesn't mean its impossible, but by using various other channels to advertise and push them to that new content is key in today's world. That is where vertical video comes in on Instagram! Yes, it might be annoying as hell to see yet another vertical video, but hold tight as I walk you through why this is a brilliant place to use it and also how you can do it yourself.
This is an article I've been on the cusp of writing for some time. I was first jolted into this area of discussion when I heard someone refer to the photography of poorer cultures and communities as "white middle-class photography." I say jolted because — perhaps naively — I had drawn no parallels between types of photographer and types of subject before that day. Unlike most criticisms about photography, this comment didn't glide past me; instead, I found myself plunged into an internal debate. Are the loose motivations of "raising awareness for" and "the documentation of" these communities disingenuous and moreover, are they doing more harm than good?
It’s almost a daily occurrence: you open Facebook or Fstoppers, and someone is telling you that it’s not okay to shoot for free. If you’re not getting paid for your work, you’re devaluing the entire industry. But chances are we’ve all done it at some point, we’ll probably all do it again, and If you don’t, you’re only hurting yourself.
Some of us photographer types are rather notorious gear junkies. I'm as guilty of it as the next guy. We like our toys and love to collect as many gadgets and doohickeys as we can get our hands on. Few things grab our attention more than the spec sheet of the newest cutting edge camera. Our budgets, however, aren't as infinite as our eagerness to spend them, which often leads to the need to prioritize purchases. Despite what your eagerness is telling you, the most valuable update might actually be upgrading your computer rather than that shiny new camera body.
It might be tricky to be your own stylist, costumer, or scene creator on your own set, especially when you have never been into it. I have some good news! Imagination, some research, and dedication can solve this issue and bring bright results. Here are five handy materials and tips to use on your upcoming shoots to add a special touch when you need something more than a regular shot. The process is challenging, fun, and brain-training. You will have good practice for upcoming shoots and better coordination with different materials on set.
If you've ever been told by a professional photographer to create series or personal projects, then this is the perfect reminder to do just that. Countless times have I started a series of images for a paid gig and wished I had more time, or less restriction to make it my own. Finn Beales is a commercial and travel photographer based in Wales creating the perfect side project to his commercial work called "72 Hours In...," showing a few days in each exotic location he shoots.
Adobe Lightroom was a game changer for me when it was introduced. I used to spend hours in Photoshop tweaking this and that, creating actions to batch a set of images I had shot, and output different resolutions from the giant PSD files I was working in. Lightroom gave me 90 percent of the control I use in PS anyway, and allowed me to do it quickly, easily, and without an ever-growing collection of PSD files. I was in love.
Shooting in a photography studio can seem a bit daunting. A lot of photographers choose to shoot outdoors due to budget constraints and the fear of stepping into a studio. There are, however, some real benefits to shooting in a studio and they apply to both new and experienced photographers. If you have not had a chance to try shooting in a studio I highly recommend the experience.
Whether you're a photographer, videographer, or a retoucher, you've probably been asked for free work once in your life. Recently, I've noticed an enormous increase of job postings from companies or individuals who are seeking free photography or videography work, or in their own words, "volunteer work." In the past, free work ads were a relatively rare occurrence, but recently they have become quite commonplace. It is possibly related to the increase of photographers in the market as well as the increase in the number of photographers or videographers who want to dive into the market. It's not difficult to offer an explanation for the growing trend of free digital imaging work, and it is even easier to find a solution that might overcome the problems caused by it: Never ever work for free in any circumstances.
Chase Jarvis is always putting out content that aims to push the boundaries of your thought process. Whether he is showing you how to creatively tackle projects with inspirational behind-the-scenes footage, or he is interviewing top creative minds to gain their insight on a variety of matters, Jarvis wants to make sure we have access to the information you don't even know you need. In this new video entry he explores a topic that struck a chord with me: the idea of drawing inspiration from outside sources.
Let me get to the point: Adobe Spark could be the company’s biggest release yet. For veteran Adobe users, it might not seem as exciting as a new Creative Cloud update; but the combination of its ease of use, ingenious functionality, and truly professional results give it the potential to aid far more people than Photoshop ever will — no, really. This is helped immensely by the fact that Spark’s launch is amongst the most impressive I’ve ever seen, as Adobe Spark launches today with the maturity of a decade-old product. And it’s completely free.