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.
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.
Citing a contractual agreement with a band multiple bands at a free concert series, Los Angeles recently banned photography at any of the upcoming concerts scheduled to be held at a public park. The order violates the Constitution, which protects any United States citizen's freedom of expression in the First Amendment.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
Life… is funny. I don’t need to tell you that. Anyone afforded the great privilege of living long enough will be finely attuned to the vast absurdities that occur on a daily basis. The anomalies. The coincidences. The luck. The misfortune. And as I was gratefully subject of such a peculiar day of coincidences last week, I couldn’t help but to share a brief tale and try to explain what it all means to me.
There are quite a few different photography communities here online where you can display your work, create a portfolio, and even enter photography contests. Is it really necessary to join all of them? Managing portfolio accounts across multiple platforms can be quite a chore, especially if you want to keep them all current.
Every time I’m on a set or grabbing coffee with another local filmmaker, we always end up talking gear for a bit, and inevitably the question comes up of “What camera would you buy if you had to buy right now, and why?” I decided to research things a bit and put together an article that explains what I’d buy if I absolutely had to right now, and the answer might surprise you.
About a week ago I was in New York City visiting for pleasure and decided there was no way I could leave without visiting my favorite store in the city: the B&H superstore. This was something I had been looking forward to since it would be the first time I could get my hand on the new Sony a9 and see what all the fuss was about. During my visit, I was absolutely floored by the performance of the a9 and how the Sony kiosk had way more attention than anywhere else in the store. This along with the recent announcement of Canon’s 6D Mark II and Nikon’s company woes made me realize how much the industry needs a company like Sony.