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Igor Pavlenko
Flower Mound, TX

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Starting a Photography Business as an Introvert

I didn’t realize I was an introvert until I was well into my 20s. I’m not shy, and I don’t mind speaking up in a crowd if I’m asked a question, so I always assumed I was an extrovert. You can imagine my surprise, then, when taking the Myers Briggs personality test in college yielded the result that I was an introvert. It all started to make sense. I would constantly find myself shying away from social events, although I considered myself social and had many friends, and I never liked any job that included a high volume of social interaction within a day, it exhausted me. When starting my business, one of my biggest struggles became working with my introversion.

Yes, You Should Still Be Studying the Work of Ansel Adams

There is a good reason that Ansel Adams' name has stood the test of time through the years. As one of the photographers in history who gets studied the most, Adams' work continues to be used as an example to photography classes and studies around the world. One of the reasons why he is still revered around the world is because of how carefully his images were crafted and how difficult they are to recreate. Digital and printed recreations of his images just don't quite have quite the depth and quality that his original prints do.

Setting Out to Shoot Boudoir as a Male Photographer

There are countless photographers out in the world who are producing truly exceptional work in the field of boudoir. Local to me in Utah, the field is one where most of the boudoir photographers are women. The ratio of boudoir photographers from female to male is really irrelevant, so I didn't even bother trying to figure it out. Starting to offer boudoir services as a male photographer was a fairly daunting idea to me, particularly because the community in which I live is fairly conservative and the boudoir genre itself is not as widely accepted as it might be in other communities around the globe. If you find yourself in a similar situation then here are a few ideas to hopefully help you get up and running.

Stop Giving Free Photography Services to Friends and Family

Photography is a commodity; It's not a secret, and we all know it. When I meet a new group of people, it seems that every time the conversation of “jobs” or “careers” is brought up, inevitably, someone is always a “photographer” by trade. Commodification is a process that happens to every industry, and we couldn’t prevent it even if we tried. So since becoming a commodity is unavoidable in any market, we, as small business owners, have to learn to overcome being branded a “commodity.”

What Does Painterly Photography Mean to You?

If I asked you what comes to mind when I say painterly photography, what would your answer be? Do you think of technical art school concepts that define the two mediums like abstract versus figurative? Or maybe you think of stylistic photography choices, whether in shooting or post-processing, that give the finished image a timeless quality. Whatever your reaction to the concept is, here's a cool mini-series to check out that is delving much deeper into the topic.

Learn Six Soft Light Setups for Portraiture and Beauty

Artificial lighting is one of the best tools a photographer can learn to implement in his work. It’s not something we have to use and rely on all the time, but knowing it’s there and not being afraid of it is always best. When working in a studio for portrait and beauty photography, it can become a necessity depending on the natural light you have and the looks you shoot. In this short behind the scenes, Rossella Vanon shows how she created six different lighting setups that keep a consistent feeling. Take this opportunity to learn new lighting setups and understand her thought process when building a set.

Bad Clients and How to Spot Them

I remember the excitement of wanting to start and have a thriving wedding photography business. I remember how my heart would skip a beat whenever I’d get a new photography inquiry regarding my services, and I remember how desperate I was for any type of wedding photography gig. I also remember not knowing how to price myself, being scared that if I charged too much, clients wouldn’t want to book me. Or if I told a client no to a request, they’d find another photographer. I look back on the first few years of my business very fondly, but I also remember a few times that being a wedding photographer made me want to crawl into a hole and hide from the world forever.

Why You Should Move Beyond Snapshots and Make Art With Everyday Life

When I chose to move beyond candid snapshots of my friends and family and actually asked them to sit down for formal portraits, my approach to everyday photography changed. Candid moments are wonderful, but practicing your craft with the people around you both helps hone your skills as a photographer and leads to precious moments with the people you love.

Going for Consistent Style and Color in Your Social Media Photos? This Video Explains How It's Done

Have you ever looked through someone's Instagram account and noticed that all of their images seemed to have a consistent color palette or style about them? If you've ever wondered how that is possible, give this video a watch. Sean Tucker dives into the details of how and why some creatives choose to present a consistent style, and then he goes on to process a small set of photos to show how it can be done.

Looking for a Unique Catchlight? Check Out This DIY Triangle Ring LED Video

Ring lights used to just be a fun type of portrait lighting style, but now are becoming more and more popular for YouTubers and vloggers who need a soft, even light on their face for a camera that sits close to them. Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter is a self-proclaimed do-it-yourself enthusiast, and made this tutorial on how to make a light that is similar to a ring light, but creates a triangle shape instead of a circle.

Three Steps to Make $500 an Hour in Your Photography Studio

Primarily, I'm a NYC Wedding Photographer. However, I also photograph business headshots in my NJ Studio as well. I love doing this as a side-gig that brings me extra money for practically no work at all. To be honest, I wasn't really all about it when D.C. Headshot Photographer Moshe Zusman told me I should start implementing it into my business. Seemed a bit boring and I didn't get how it would make me more money than the $10,000+ High-End Weddings that I photograph now. I was wrong.

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