Fstoppers Original Articles

Ten Rules of Proper Networking and Business Etiquette

Photography is a business largely built on referrals, word of mouth and reputation. How you present yourself to others and take advantage of chance opportunities can make or break your career. Are you presenting the best possible version of yourself to clients and fellow photographers?

6 Wacky Ways To Supercharge Your Creativity To Become A Better Photographer

Creativity is the core building block of every great photographer. Those who know how to foster and stimulate the power of their creativity often can enjoy a tremendous boost in their work. Some methods such as listening to music or getting hammered are pretty common knowledge but there are also an endless collection of somewhat less orthodox methods that are also worth giving a whirl!

Use These Weird Lighting Tricks to Add Motion Blur to Your Photos

Holy butts. Sometimes the fact that I'm an artist and I'm allowed to get weird slips my mind. I don't have a boss, I'm allowed to create what I want, I'm allowed to try new things for the sake of playing, and I'm even allowed to start a blog post by saying "Holy butts." That rocks.

How to Build a Huge Following on Instagram in 3 Comprehensive Steps

The number one questions I receive when talking about Instagram is "How do I build a huge following like you?" and I usually laugh and reply "I honestly have no idea." Though this is true in some sense, there must something attracting these people to follow me by the masses. Whether that be by liking, commenting or even reaching out to collaborate it's still a bit of a mystery to me. Beginning today I am going to break down the various ways to use Instagram for business but first I want to give you all 3 comprehensive steps to building a huge following.

Stop Spoiling Amazing Photos with Downer Copyright Statements

Photographers often get worked up into a frenzy when they feel their business has been abused or taken advantage of. This isn’t more true than when it comes to discussing the improper use of images that are proofed online or shared via social media.

A Photographer's Journey to #FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives [Interview]

Recently, Richmond Virginia-based wedding and portrait photographer Meagan Abell made a stunning find in a thrift-store box of old images. Among the half-century-old family snapshots she uncovered a set of jarringly beautiful transparencies (slide film) and a desire to find the women on them. The #FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives campaign has, overnight, caught fire, garnering worldwide attention and press. Ms. Abell was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her schedule of NatGeo and BBC calls to chat with me for an exclusive interview.

What You Should Be Spending Your Money On If You're a Photographer

Gear, of course! Camera bodies and lenses galore! Nothing makes you a better photographer than dumping thousands of dollars on the latest technology! Right? No? Ok, I digress, I guess blowing all your hard earned (or borrowed) cash on the latest and seemingly greatest in camera equipment is probably about the least effective thing you can do to improve the quality of your work. So what SHOULD you be spending your money on then?

Day 2 With Windows 10, One Strange Glitch After Another

I've made 2 posts on Windows in the last couple of weeks and people seem to think that I'm a Windows hater. I'm not. All of my computers are Windows machines. Every computer in the Fstoppers office is a Windows machine. But I'm not some fan boy who is going to lie about my experience either and Windows 10 so far has not been a good experience.

How To Upgrade To Windows 10 Right Now UPDATE: This Sucks

Update: "Something happened". The day has finally come, Windows 10 is available to the public and if you currently have a computer with Windows 7 or 8 on it, you can get Windows 10 totally for free. Let me give you a few tips about upgrading your operating system and a few warnings.

How I Became a Location Independent Travel Photographer

Naomi and I just celebrated our 40th month of being on the road full-time and living a 100% location independent lifestyle. Looking back, it seems like a lifetime ago when we made that crazy decision to sell nearly everything we owned and adopt a life filled with travel photography. In a way, it really was a lifetime ago because we were completely different people back then living very different lives; two people with a dream of what could be, teeming with optimism, but with no real idea of how it would all work out in the end.

Backpack Basics: Gear for a Day Outdoors

With July coming to an end, summer in the North East is in full swing and what better time to get out and shoot than the present. Whether you are shooting portraits or landscapes, in the daylight or under the stars, sometimes the best way to stay motivated and make sure you are having fun with your photography is to keep things simple. While I don’t go bare-bones with one camera and a lens, if I am out adventuring, chasing a sunset, or on a day trip hiking through the forest, I like to keep my gear minimal. While each piece of equipment has various uses, here is a look into my camera bag and different ways you can use each piece of equipment.

The Debate Over Watermarks in Photography

Controlling your image is a valid quest for any photographer, as we all want to protect our brand. Seeing one’s work altered without permission can be frustrating, as can discovering your work on blogs that are void of any credit. The first response for most photographers is to watermark their images, ensuring that their logo or website graces every image that hits the internet. In today’s landscape, is watermarking your photographs the best way to protect them? Let's review both sides of this debate, and explore the current state of the watermark in photography.

How Your Web Browser Affects the Way Colors Are Rendered

Color management is constantly an issue for photographers, digital artists, and videographers. We spend money on great monitors, only to know that we have to calibrate them and our input devices and our output devices as well. Some of us even opt for a wide gamut monitor designed specifically for those who work in the digital arts, allowing us to adjust brightness, color, and contrast like we would an image. This introduces one more, slightly more insidious potential problem: color management within our web browsers.

Save Money by Checking Out Nikon's Best Older Gear

Nikon has a long history of venerated products, many of which are still just as useful today as they were in generations past. Here's a list of some of the best products of yesteryear.

The Quick and Not Too Dirty Way to Clean Skin in Photoshop

Dodge and burn, frequency separation, and other techniques used by high-end retouchers are great but time-consuming. Shooting and retouching weddings, as well as fashion and beauty, I sometimes find myself spending way too much time on wedding retouching. Being used to cleaning skin with dodge and burn for beauty, I tend to do the same with weddings. Which, as you can guess, is not very profitable. The same thing goes for proofing portrait sessions. I like to give lightly retouched proof images instead of pure raw files. So for weddings and portraits proofs I had to come up with a quick way to clean skin without making my images look too bad. Here is how I do it.

Why Using Your Gear Should Always Be the Easiest Part of Every Shoot

I’m often amazed by how many photographers don’t really know all that much about the technical aspects of operating their gear. While I’m not expecting everyone to go out and study how the mechanics of a lens works, I think it is utterly paramount when you are on a shoot that the actual act of operating your equipment to achieve a professional-quality image should be trivially easy so that you can focus on the more important aspects.

Invaluable Insight into the Business and Art of Product Photography

Whether you’re just starting out in product photography and are trying to figure out where is the right direction to head, or have been in the business for a long time and want to hear another professional’s perspective, this interview with Tony Roslund is going be well worth watching. From starting up and getting his first clients, to maintaining relationships with those clients and running a business, to establishing a style and making an impression on potential clients, Roslund’s stories and experiences that he shares are a perfect mix of interesting and informational.

3 Tips to Consider Before You Hit The Surf
Depending on where you are from, what you photograph will vary. For some, it’s beautiful towering mountain tops and crystal clear streams. For others, it’s glimmering cityscapes and the urban flow of a city. No matter what you love to shoot, we each have our own unique take on our favorite subjects. While the New England Surf scene isn’t quite the same as Hawaii or California, I owe my roots in photography to it. For me, the Atlantic served as a introduction to the joys of photography. While this may not be relevant if you are land locked, you never know where you may end up in your travels.

Watch This Free Headshot Tutorial From Peter Hurley's Illuminating the Face

When it comes to all things headshots and manipulating human expression, the best guy to seek council from is Peter Hurley. Peter's career has spanned about 15 years now, and over those years he has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. Last year with the help from our friends at Profoto, Lee and I were able to film a supplemental free chapter to Peter's Illuminating the Face Tutorial. In this video Peter takes us outside to show some of the techniques he uses out on location.

Ranking The Top 5 Fashion Photography Websites

For those of us who admire and look to gain a foothold into the fashion photography industry, finding reliable quality resources can be invaluable. Being a great fashion photographer goes beyond lighting and encompasses understanding the genre, trends, and the ever evolving industry as a whole. In this article we rank the top online resources for fashion photographers. All of these sites can serve as inspiration and show insight for both new and established members of the fashion photography industry.

Celebrating Your Achievements in Photography

We are our own worst enemies. As photographers and artists, we can be unfairly hard on ourselves and on our work. While it is healthy to be critical of one’s creations, it can be very difficult to stay motivated if you do not receive the right kind of encouragement from others, as well as from yourself. Slumps and dry spells of inspiration are par for the course in art, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. By initiating a few simple practices, you can give back to yourself, and recognize the many accomplishments you've made in your journey as a photographer.

Using the Liquify Tool in a Non-Destructive Way

One of the benefits of using layers in Photoshop is to edit pictures in a non-destructive way. However, there are a couple of techniques and filters that will require you to flatten a file or create a merged layer. The liquify tool is one of them. To use it, you must create a merged layer of the area you want to edit. Sometimes it means a merged layer of the whole image. In this article, I will show how to avoid this problem using a simple, yet very powerful tool Photoshop offers. We are going to see how to use the liquify tool in a more efficient way than on a merged layer. This way you will be able to go back into your retouching process without losing anything and even edit your liquify.

Why the Sony a7RII Could Be the Most Important Camera in Years

I'm not one to get caught up in hype. The camera world is constantly inundated with new, interesting products and technologies, many of which scream of excitement before their release, but arrive with nary a whimper. The Sony a7RII is a rare product that has caught my attention before its release.