In case you somehow missed it, Chase Jarvis has created an interesting idea. It’s called CreativeLive and involves live photography-related teaching that is free to view when it’s live, and available later for a fee. The live show is recorded and people can pay $79 after the course is completed if they want to own […]

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In keeping with the year end, the Photofocus staff got together to write a series of posts recognizing the best of the industry. For Photographer of the Year, one name kept coming up, particularly from my younger staff – Chase Jarvis. Chase is nothing short of an amazing young man. While the word AMAZING gets […]

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Photofocus Episode 19

Host: Scott Bourne ( or

Show notes by Bruce Clarke ( or

Welcome to Episode Number 19 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest host Chase Jarvis – photographer and author of the “The Best Camera”. The show devoted to your photography questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. You can also send your questions via Twitter to Scott. Use the hashtag #photoqa to make sure that we can find them. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we are starting off with a question about credentials required to be a photographer:

Question One – Credentials to be a Photographer

Bob Mayhan from New York writes: Does one have to attend a college or other post secondary school to become a professional photographer? Does one need a license?

Chase: Absolutely not. In my case I’m all self-taught although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that as an approach that will work for everyone.

Scott: For the second part of Bob’s question, most communities have some sort of business licensing procedure that you may have to consider regardless of the type of business that you want to run but very few if any require a special photography permit.

Chase: I’ll add that for our International listeners you may have different requirements in your country so be sure to check into that if you are planning on starting up a photography business.

Question Two – Horizontal vs. Vertical Shots

Linda Wilson from Ft. Myers Florida writes: How do you know if a photo would look best as a horizontal or a vertical shot?

Scott: One of my old teachers used to say that the best time to take a vertical photo is right after you take a horizontal one.

Chase: I agree and one of the dirtiest secrets is that the key to good photography is taking a lot of photographs. I wouldn’t take just one picture – I’d take several and include both a horizontal and a vertical and maybe even at a 45 if it looks interesting. Technically, composition is a learn able skill and the more you practice that better you will get at it.

Scott: There are certain subjects that lend themselves to a vertical such as a tall tree or a tall building.

Question Three – Autofocus, Aperture and Shutter Speed with Video

elonbezner on Twitter writes: Looking to buy a VSLR to replace my D300. Wondering how autofocus, aperture and shutter speed controls work while shooting video?

Chase:I was lucky enough to play with one of the first DSLRs to shoot video and that was the Nikon D90. That camera doesn’t have autofocus. The D300s does have autofocus.

Scott: On the Canon side, the new 7D has autofocus, aperture, and shutter speed control. They really dialed that one in for video whereas with the 5D Mark II there are some software workarounds from a company called Magic Lantern for some of those things.

Chase: For me I actually prefer the manual focus when I’m working with video.

Scott: You should try to experiment with follow-focus and when I got my Red Rock Micro rig for my 7D I looked more like I knew what I was doing. Continue reading