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Pete Coco
Garden City, NY

Articles written by Pete Coco

What Makes a Professional Photographer In 2023?

A few months ago, I reluctantly took the plunge into Instagram reels, like many other still photographers. My most popular reel by a wide margin was a joke comparing “amateurs” to “professionals.” And, although my point was not so much to make a distinction between two classes of photographers, but rather to comment on photographers’ common obsession with gear, sometimes at the expense of fundamentals, I touched a nerve with some people who took exception to what they saw as an insult to amateur photographers.

The Truth About Photography YouTubers

I started my YouTube photography channel a little more than a year ago ,and it's been quite an interesting journey. At first, I just wanted to post some videos as a tool to help me improve my own videography skills, but I quickly realized that I enjoyed creating content and watching the channel grow. Having now created videos including tutorials, gear reviews, and even tongue-in-cheek commentaries for a year, I wanted to give you a glimpse into what it's like and dispel some common misconceptions about what it really means to be a small photography "YouTuber."

Fujifilm X-T5 Versus Canon EOS R5: Battle of the High Res Sensors

In this video, I test the new Fujifilm X-T5 against the Canon EOS R5, which is my go-to studio camera. Originally, I intended only to compare the image quality of Fuji's new 40-megapixel cropped sensor against Canon's 45-megapixel full-frame sensor, but after using the X-T5 for a number of sessions in my studio I decided to make a friendly general comparison of the two cameras.

We Review the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens

As part of Sigma’s Contemporary lens line, the 56mm f/1.4 DC DN is designed to offer exceptional image quality and performance all in a small, convenient package. With a 35mm equivalent of 84mm, this lens is great for portraiture, street photography, pet photography, travel work, and any low-light shooting situations.

Minolta Maxxum 9 Retrospective: A Great Camera That Arrived Too Late

When I was working in the photo industry in the late 90s and early 00s, Nikon was king. Canon was already a close second or even considered the leading brand, depending on which photographer one spoke with. Both companies offered a robust selection of lenses, advanced camera bodies, and excellent autofocus systems. And then there were the outlier brands, like Minolta, Olympus, and Pentax, all who made some wonderful cameras, but were not nearly as popular as tools for professionals. Minolta was, perhaps, one of the most adventurous camera makers.

We Review the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens

The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary lens is a small, light, and fast zoom lens suitable for a wide range of subjects. I spent a week testing the 18-50mm, and I was very impressed with this tiny powerhouse of a lens, which is now available for Fujifilm X Mount cameras.

See How I Recreated This Dan Winters Portrait

I often get together with some of my photographer friends to experiment with lighting techniques and try out new gear. Recently, my friend, John, stopped by the studio, and we decided to have a go at recreating a Dan Winters portrait. In this video, I detail my process, including the lighting I used as well as my editing process.

Is Twitter Poised to Become the Go-to App for Photographers?

Twitter has been at the top of the news cycle since Elon Musk completed his purchase of the company for $44 billion. And although the mere mention of his name stirs a variety of emotions, political opinions, and other reactions, for the sake of this piece, I want to focus not on the political ramifications of his acquisition of Twitter, but rather on how it will impact us as photographers. I am greatly interested, in fact, in some of his proposed changes to the platform and how they may affect photographers and content creators, especially if the change is positive.

The 5 Worst Portrait Posing Techniques

When it comes to portrait posing, there are some great poses, some not great poses, and then, there are those poses that are so egregious that they should be avoided at all costs.

Here’s Why Your Website and Socials Are Getting You Zero Photography Clients

One of the challenges for photographers who post online is learning to cultivate what we decide to post. When I was just getting started as a headshot photographer, I only had an occasional client, and the fact that I created a headshot at all was a huge accomplishment. Because of this, I would immediately post images from the session on my Instagram feed and website. As my clientele grew and I developed my own style, however, I realized that I needed to be much more selective in deciding why and when I post an image.

Here's Why You Should Never Use the LCD Screen to Compose Headshots and Portraits

Using the LCD screen to compose images has become very common in the age of mirrorless cameras. Holding the camera away from your face is convenient when photographing a subject from difficult to reach angles. In some ways, I consider this an excellent advantage that mirrorless cameras have over DSLRs, but in my latest video, I give three reasons why I never use the LCD screen to compose headshots and portraits.

What's the Best Aperture for Headshots and Portraits?

Although depth of field is often discussed in portrait photography, the conversation tends to center around background bokeh. In this article and the accompanying video, however, I would like to address depth of field as it relates to the face itself and attempt to answer the question as to which aperture is best for photographing faces.

Easily Create Dramatic Portraits on a Budget

We photographers love gear. If you're like me, you probably have a corner (or a basement) filled with modifiers, filters, lenses, lights, and more. The truth is that we don't need a ton of expensive gear to create dramatic results, and in my latest video, I will show you how to create a Rembrant-style portraits using one off-brand flash in a small modifier.

6 Tips for Dealing With Unhappy Clients

If you are a photographer, I can guarantee you that somewhere along the line, you will have a client who is unhappy with your work. In fact, I’m sorry to say that there will be more than one, especially if you have a thriving business. When the dreaded “I’m not happy with my photos” email arrives, it can easily suck the joy out of your entire day. But not all is lost, and in this article and accompanying video, I present six tips for dealing with unhappy clients.

From Headshots to Headlines: An Interview With Peter Hurley

Headshot photography has been making major headlines recently. A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal interviewed headshot guru Peter Hurley about the importance of a professional headshot in a quickly changing business landscape (The Perfect Professional Headshot Is Worth $1,000, and Maybe Even a Job).

We Review the HEX Ranger Sling XL

The new HEX Ranger Sling XL bridges the gap between a large backpack and a traditional sling, combining elements of both for photographers who want to travel light without leaving almost everything at home.