Perhaps it's only my opinion but I believe that one of the fastest ways to fail in business is to try to do too much, for too many people. Right behind that is producing a product that nobody wants, but we'll get to that beast later. When I talk with photographers looking to go pro, the first thing I ask them is what they intend to shoot. A solid 80% of the time their response is something like "well, some weddings, family portraits, maybe kids, and seniors too."
Retouching problems start well before we sit down in front of the computer and begin pushing pixels around. I know this because as I reflect on my past work, I realize that I’m as guilty of making countless mistakes as much as anyone else. Rather than talk about techniques like dodging and burning, frequency separation, etc. let’s focus on more high level problems that might be leading you in the wrong direction.
Finding clients is a challenge all by itself so when we are fortunate enough to have some in our corner it is a natural reaction for us to go above and beyond the call of duty to keep them happy. While this is admirable from a customer service point of view it is not always feasible to say yes to every request. Here is how I have learned to overcome my fear of saying “no” to a client.
Social commentary showing up in the photography medium is hardly a new concept. But when photographer and retoucher Joel Parés set out to make a statement with his latest portrait series, he knew he wanted to showcase the images in a unique way. The shots, therefore, ended up being simple, two frame GIF animations, allowing you to absorb the initial impact first, and then its correspending follow up message for each image. And you know what? It works very well.
What sets you and your work apart? Having a clear idea of this is critical if you want to develop your work but when was the last time you actually thought about it? Shane Hurlbut is a veteran Director of Photography and today shares his thoughts on his career and success. Whether you work with stills or motion, his approach sets him apart and we can all learn from him.
“How to Market your Photography” is a wonderful resource which was written by the marketing specialists at Photoshelter.com and MadMimi.com. I found this guide to be very user-friendly, with just the right amount of information you’ll need to get going, weather you are just starting out in the industry, or a more established photographer, who is looking to update the approach you’ve been utilizing to generate business. I will quote some excerpts from Part 1 of this guide, which contains the most fundamental advice to those of us who find words like “strategy” and “marketing” as intimidating and stressful.
When it comes to the quantity of lights that one needs, opinions are often heavily polarized and a hotly contested debate often rages. There are those that are staunch supporters of one light while others claim that a handful of lights are needed before anything meaningful can be done. Ultimately neither group is right as there is no definable minimum or maximum number of lights that one should use.
Earlier this year at WPPI in Las Vegas, I stopped by the Benro/MeFoto booth to tell the team how much I loved the MeFoto tripod... but it was lacking in just a few places for a traveling videographer. Yes, the MeFoto was really compact, light weight and quick to set up, but I wanted clip locks and a smooth video pan head without sacrificing the size and weight the MeFoto offered. It seemed like an impossible request, until seven months later they delivered me the Benro Aero.
Over the past month I've been hard at work testing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema (BMPCC) camera in a variety of situations for an Fstoppers review (since they updated the firmware, it's like an entirely new camera). While that review is still in progress as of today, I did want to talk to you guys about one piece of equipment that made shooting with it a great experience: the Metabones EF to Micro Four Thirds Adapter for the BMPCC.
If you’ve been following along, you may remember that back in July, I packed up my apartment, loaded up my car, and set off on a month-long cross country tour of the southern United States with my girlfriend Holly and my dog, Olive. Along the way we met and hung out with some incredible people, had the opportunity to take great photos, ate at some great local places and most importantly, got to experience first hand the freedom of the open road.
I still remember this conversation from several years back. A fellow photographer was about as stuck as you can get. He worked perpetual fourteen (or more) hour days, never got much of a day off and was struggling hard with a record-setting case of burn out. He was making good money, but it wasn't enough to justify the time being put in...and this had been the same story for years. From the outside he was a very successful photographer, but on the inside life was a dark and frustrating place.
Though they are excellent for photographers, Pelican seemed to fall into the industry rather than build specifically for it. But with options between the ubiquitous Velcro inserts and foam, there hasn't been a lot to complain about in the design and function. They do exactly what they claim to, extremely well. However after using Lowepro's first attempt at hard cases, I can now see room for improvement. I think the perfect hard case is somewhere in between the two brands' offerings, but Lowepro is closer to the mark.
I did not expect much other than an ordinary photo backpack when I received my review unit in the mail. After all, I didn't know anything about it -- only that it was a medium-sized backpack and that I wasn't supposed to talk about it until today. As soon as I opened the package, however, I think I actually experienced some butterflies. For such an average-sized bag, there's a lot to talk about, which is already your first good sign. The ProTactic 450 AW certainly looks the part. And it doesn't disappoint.
If there is one medium that has been subject to the most censorship in society for well over a century, it's photography. Further, if there is one medium that has been responsible for the most heated debates about censorship, it's photography. For the most part, photographers decry and loathe censorship, whether it's because they capture nude figures, or create images with fictionalized depictions of violence, or perhaps - arguably the most important - they capture vital, photojournalistic visuals of the world around us which, let's face it, it's sometimes just plain scary. But consider this: Mainstream censorshop is not only necessary in photography, but it helps photography overall. No, really.
A few days ago Apple released a new promo video titled "Perspective" which aims to send the message that Apple sees things differently. In an ironic twist, band OK Go is claiming that Apple has stolen the concept from their recent music video "The Writing's On The Wall".