In May we published an article covering three of the most critical things your website should do well. The original post included several critical suggestions that could help improve your website but was, by no means, a definitive list. In this article we will expand on the first by adding three more items to the list.
Fstoppers Original Articles
It comes up when I'm driving someone around and they ask where my car charger is (I don't have one). Or when I'm having a party at my house and my guests asks to go into my office to plug their iPhone into my computer. You don't have to live like this anymore. There is another way.
When people first get into wedding photography, one of the main pieces of advice they will hear over and over is, “You can’t reshoot a wedding." This instantly leads to photographers asking, “How do I protect my images?" Image backup and cataloging is sort of like baking a cake. Every photographer is going to have a different recipe to how they do things. Over the years my process has evolved into what it is today. This process came about in part from learning by fire, and another part came from learning from others. If you don't want to use my entire process, I at least hope part of it can become a helpful addition to your workflow.
This has been discussed several times before and, by the way, spoiler alert: The answer is no. However, there are many of us in our field who eventually figure out that traveling (out of town, out of state, out of country, even) is often the key to their success. Or at the very least, more success.
In any creative field, there seems to always be a tipping point — one that when you reach it, you suddenly yearn to help others learn your craft. Photography is no different. What's interesting is that at one point in time, photography was more like any other skilled labor, such as being a carpenter, electrician, or blacksmith, where you had to first pay your dues as a apprentice for years before ever being able to perform said craft on your own.
Submissions for a new episode of "Critique the Community" are now open! Between now and the end of the day on September 23rd, you have a chance to submit PRODUCT images to be critiqued by the Fstoppers team. For this episode, we will be giving feedback to 20 pictures. To qualify you must follow the submission rules below.
Aerial photography has always been something that I have found interesting. Seeing so many of our writers like David Geffin, Mike Kelley, and Noam Galai capture exciting photos and video from the sky has inspired me to finally attempt my first doors-off helicopter excursion. In just one short one-hour ride, I've learned a lot of do's and don'ts as well as a bunch of things to experiment with again. I even attempted shooting with a $7,000 lens that everyone told me would be a disaster — and it nearly was!
Understanding your fundamentals is, well, fundamental to photography just like it is in anything else. In a previous article, I discussed the basics of aperture and exposure. Now, moving forward I want to address one of the key elements of aperture which is depth of field. All variables in photography have a give and take, and with your aperture as we gain light we also lose depth of field. But aperture is not the only variable the affects depth of field, and in this article we will take a look at those other variables.
Wedding photographers would like to hold their clients — or would-be clients, for that matter — to certain standards. As a collective, we’d love to see them shop for the best vendors, spend good money on photography, and have unplugged weddings with nary an Uncle Bob in sight. The list goes on. It would stand to reason that most of us in “the business” would probably find the idea of a bride acting as her own photographer to be pretty abhorrent. We’d chalk it up to selfie culture run amuck or DIY gone wrong, wouldn’t we? Would you? I probably would have, if I’m being honest. However, we might be wrong.
Since 2012, many have considered the Canon 5D Mark III to be the proverbial workhorse of the photography industry. It's a great all-around camera. It's not perfect, though. It's also three-and-a-half years old. In the meantime, manufacturers like Sony and Fujifilm have vaulted ahead in the innovation game. This is Canon's chance to take back the spotlight.
The more work I do as a photographer, the more I realize the importance of personal projects. While I do everything I can to book jobs shooting subjects that I enjoy, the reality is, photography is not just a hobby, it is a job and not every job is enjoyable all the time. Sometimes, staying inspired can be difficult, especially when you are taking a job for the money or experience alone; this is exactly why personal projects are so important. Last week, I had the chance to talk to Brent Foster, a filmmaker who has recently been working on a personal project. He gave me an inside look at what goes into one. From equipment to execution, he gave me a behind the scenes look at his project "While I'm Here | The Legacy Project."
Dodging and burning for cleaning skin is very common amongst high-end retouchers and for a reason: when mastered, it gives you natural, yet almost perfect results. The downside of the technique is that it can eat up a lot of time. When I say a lot of time, I mean up to a couple of hours for a single image, depending on the problems that need corrections. While spending this much time on big projects or perhaps on personal projects is conceivable, for someone that shoots portraits every day and has to retouch quickly, this is simply not viable. A couple of tricks exist to help you go faster, while retaining a high quality and natural-looking image. I have listed four of them here with the hope that they will save you as much time as they do for me.
I have always been a firm believer that the best camera is the one that is with you. Images are about story and feeling, not megapixels and dynamic range. When a moment happens, you want to be ready. Buttons, menus, confusing UI and accessories just delay a photographer from capturing those moments right at their peak. The less switches, buttons and taps your camera takes to get ready to take the shot, the better off you are to be ready to take the shot.
Yesterday, we posted Part 1 from our latest episode of "Critique the Community" on un-posed wedding photos. For this episode we promised to give feedback for every single image that was properly submitted. If you missed the last video, we went through a little over half the images and gave our thoughts. Today, we'll be giving feedback to the rest. Check them out below.
It can be too easy to focus on giant light modifiers and expensive strobes as being where you should spend your money when optimizing your studio, but it can also be handy to consider some of the cheaper, less obvious, options that will help make your shoots go smoothly. In this article we take a look at five less common and cheap pieces of gear that can improve your next shoot.
Last week, we asked the community to submit their un-posed wedding images to be critiqued here at Fstoppers. Unlike past episodes, we promised to give feedback to EVERY image that was correctly submitted. Thank you everyone for all for posting your pictures! We had a total of 49 images that we covered in two separate videos. If you don't see your image in today's video, stay tuned for tomorrow's post.
Stop hating your work, right now! We all do it; we look at our own work and scoff, we feel like we do crap work a lot of the time but, in fact that’s not the case at all. The first version of anything, is anything but polished.
Over the last two months we have been releasing one episode a week of our Behind the Scenes series of our world tour with Elia Locardi. In this first season (Season 2 is currently being edited), we visit both Iceland and New Zealand to film our latest tutorial on all things landscape photography.
I came across a web app for scheduling appointments that was a complete game changer for my business! It's by far my favorite productivity tool. Every wedding photographer needs to check this out. It could be the missing link you need in your business to book more wedding photography clients. In my first week I was able to arrange seven meetings and book two clients. Wow! This changes everything.
Photography as an art form is all about creating something unique and original. Photographers will travel around the world and trek mile after mile to capture that secluded hidden waterfall or that secret cliff that overlooks a valley. Then they post their amazing image to the internet and now every other photographer wants to shoot that location. One by one, photographers seek out these locations in an effort to put their own artistic spin on the area. Eventually thousands of images are captured of a single location, some of them good and some of them bad, but at what point is the location no longer worth shooting?
This week we get to look at yet another style of retouch, a sports styled image. Each genre, weather it be fashion, beauty, landscape, or sports is going to have different parameters to follow and slightly different goals to achieve. With a female athlete it can be particularly tricky, because it can be challenging to find the line between doing to much or not enough especially as it come to skin retouching. In this post we will look at some of the steps and tricks used in this particular image that can be applied to your own sport retouch. We will also take a look at what else can be done to this image.
Up until a few years ago, if you purchased a quality lens you could be sure that with proper care it would continue to perform well even as you upgraded your body in the future. After all, bodies decay and glass lasts. However, with the sudden influx of high-resolution cameras and the seeming resurgence of the megapixel war, some are asking: “Can lenses keep up?”
As we have come to expect, Apple's latest announcement of the iPad Pro has caused quite a bit of controversy. Apple fans love the update and the additional accessories, while critics claim that they simply ripped off other products that are already available. Let's take a closer look.
Hitting your goal on Kickstarter is one thing, but to absolutely kill the competition by making something that truly stands out and brings a follower base stronger than any other brand brings real value. Langly has humble beginnings, as they started their first campaign on Kickstarter a few years ago, hoping to bring their simple goal to life. Now, they have over 170,000 followers on Instagram and plenty of social backing to keep them building for years to come, while also launching one new accessory after another.
As a society, we have a rather odd predilection against the act of doing something wrong by accident. As photographers, we often feel like even the smallest mistake is reason for self-condemnation. Not only are mistakes inevitable, they are also one of the most powerful tools that you have at your disposal.
I often see instructional videos and one-on-one tutorials with amazing photographers on various websites and while many of them are amazing and full of valuable information, they usually cost several hundred dollars. There are a lot of photographers that I would love to have a one-on-one tutorial with, but often it is just not in my budget. While I like to stay as busy as possible with my own photography business, in my free time I'll sometimes come across good opportunities. When I started assisting in my spare time, I quickly found that I could learn as much, if not more, than if I was watching a tutorial or having a one-on-one conversation with an experienced photographer — and I get paid to do it.
When I started out in portrait and beauty photography, I tried to have a makeup artist for most of my photo shoots. Why? Because I had always been told it would help my retouching. This is true in most cases. As long as you work with talented makeup artists, you will shorten the time spent in front of your computer. However, this is not the only advantage. Since I learned to do the makeup myself, I have discovered how having makeup done can help your photography reach another level. Noticing these benefits, I do everything to upsell my clients to get makeup done at the studio rather than having them doing it themselves. Here is why.
Night photography is something that every budding photographer will play around with at some point in their learning process. It’s a great way to get star-filled nighttime landscapes or to capture the light-painting shots in which you write in the air with sparklers. Most people don’t associate night photography with wedding photography, though, which is a shame, because it can be a good way to capture some non-traditional wedding images. These nonyraditional wedding images can help you stand out in the sea of wedding photographers and can help you book more weddings.