You may have heard there’s a little photography convention in Vegas every year. Over ten thousand photographers (mostly of the wedding and portrait variety) gather along with every possible associated vendor for the annual WPPI convention. Just the scale alone of the event is impressive. If you want some new inspiration or to further your understanding of the industry and it’s latest trends, WPPI is where you want to be. This was my second year attending the conference and I thought I’d share my personal take on the event. Previously held in … [Read more...] about My WPPI 2017 Experience
It's no surprise that over the past couple years, Flickr has had lots of ups and downs. Back in the day, Flickr was the social site to use to view and interact with photographs. But since its sale to Yahoo!, things have gone downhill. With its drastic relaunch in 2013, shutdown of the Flickr marketplace, it's CEO proclaiming there's no need for "pro" photographers and continuous tweaking interface and other features, lately Flickr seems to always have one step on the wrong side of death's door. With Yahoo!'s impending sale to Verizon, Flickr … [Read more...] about Good Riddance, Flickr
Weddings. Engagements. Pregnancies. Graduations. Professional portrait photographers are often invited into people’s lives at very special moments. Memorable moments. Moments of transition and transformation. As a headshot photographer, often my clients are involved in career transitions. Some are getting new headshots to mark a promotion. Others are launching a solo practice. It’s an honor to be part of these major turning points in a client’s life and career. Most of these occasions are happy. Sure, they can also be a bit stressful — … [Read more...] about A Portrait Photographer’s Highest Responsibility
It's the age old question since we've started to shoot digital. How can I make my workflow faster? More efficient? Or more importantly, how can I get more free time and peace of mind? Well, here's where I hopefully can help out a little. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the DROBO 5D with a couple of Seagate 2TB SATA HDD's to do some long term testing for my photo and video production workflow...and the short answer to the question? As much as we can get our hands on! The Nitty Gritty / Tech Details The Drobo 5D is a USB3 and Dual … [Read more...] about How Much Speed Does a Photographer Need
Some of you may have seen earlier this week the previously-censored photos taken by Dorthea Lange, who photographed the Japanese concentration camps run by the United States during World War II. This got me to thinking, so I started to look back on some of my past photographs. I usually go back and look at the photos I’ve taken at the end of every year, for evaluation purposes. I learn a lot, and it helps me plan what I need to work on for the next year. It also helps me re-live my favorite moments of the year. But seeing Lange’s photo … [Read more...] about The Power and Importance of Looking Back
Pretty much everyone reading this is all too familiar with JPEG's and the creation of large, small, printable, social media sized, etc images for clients. If you're like me and tend to shoot a fair number of weddings and events with LARGE, (sometimes obscenely so), catalogs of images, the delivery of these files to your clients can often be an absolute nightmare. Sharing online takes forever to upload and download....sometimes they want them on a Hard Drive or Thumb Drives and you just can't fit everything. Compile that with YOUR personal … [Read more...] about JPEGmini – Secret Weapon of The Photographer on the Move!
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-mind-your-own-business-podcast-photofocus-podcast-december-1-2016 Get the show here or get it on iTunes — Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. In this renewed, reinvigorated episode of The Mind Your Own Business Podcast, Scott Bourne and guest co-host Chamira Young discuss the most common myths about running a photography business. Specific topics of discussion include the following MYTHS: When you decide to go pro, all you'll be doing is taking photos. You have to be cheaper than … [Read more...] about The Mind Your Own Business Podcast | Photofocus Podcast December 1, 2016
Over and over throughout my time here at Photofocus, in various forms, and in various ways, I’ve expressed my deeply held opinion that photographers should print. Making a print is the final leg of a photographic journey that may start with nothing more than an idea or even a dream. This journey includes time spent acquiring gear and more importantly, learning how to use it. Then a subject comes to mind or a scene or a setting. Travel may be involved along with planning and strategy. The moment of capture may require multiple tries (as it did … [Read more...] about Reason Number 172,360 Why Photographers Should Make Prints
This is a guest post by wedding cinematographer Ray Roman, but it applies to all photographers. If you could make the same income, or more than youre making now, working two events a month, would you? I don't know any photographers or cinematographers who would say no to that offer. Yet across the industry, our colleagues are selling themselves short every time they fail to book high-end, big-budget events. By shifting your focus to high-end branding, you can land more exclusive clients and raise both your revenue and your … [Read more...] about Your Brand: How Do You Attract the High-End Client?
WARNING: As an old guy I will be referencing ancient technologies like microwaves and faxes - proceed at your own risk. Believe it or not I just had an epiphany. I came to realize that I love touch screens. I also love flip out screens. Why is this a big deal? Well for years I looked at cameras with flip screens and touch screens as unnecessary. I couldn’t understand the appeal of either. Then I did something radical. I purchased a camera that had not only a flip out screen, but a touch screen. I am now totally hooked on using both those … [Read more...] about How Cameras With Articulating Touch Screens Are Like Microwave Ovens & Fax Machines
I'm going to try to tone this down a little bit, as I've willingly participated in absolutely ridiculous and brainless conversations regarding the iPhone 7 with people. Everything from conspiracy theories like, planned obsolescence, to thoughts like "my life as a professional photographer is now doomed" have been made known to me. C'mon people. Really? I don't think anything has been as dramatic in politics, recent news, The Bachelor and other random TV shows lately... except for … [Read more...] about PEOPLE! Stop Fearing the New iPhone!
I am one of those photographers that has been slow to cross over to a larger, more accommodating external storage system. I did figure out long ago the value of not keeping the bulk of my work on my desktop or laptop. I started out with a simple rugged 250GB external drive that I would swap between my two stations. That quickly filled up and led to the purchase of some 500GB drives and eventually a 1TB drive. I bought as I could afford or at least I hadn’t yet decided to really invest in a better system. I started to read about drive … [Read more...] about Consolidating and Organizing with the Drobo 5D
Canon has announced the new 5D Mark IV, and it's got some terrific new features. Let's first take a look at the official launch video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z9089048wk What New Gear Was Announced Here's a list of all the new gear that was announced (it's already on sale too). Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera (Body Only) Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera with 24-105mm f/4L II Lens Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera with 24-70mm f/4L Lens Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM … [Read more...] about New Canon 5D Mark IV: Canon Announces New Features
(The impact of the iPhone on Photography) Apple most likely has recently sold its billionth iPhone. That’s quite a business accomplishment. The iPhone is easily one of the bestselling tech products of all time. To put it in perspective, Apple also makes the bestselling tablet and music player and the Mac is among the top selling computers. Yet Apple has sold more iPhones than Macs, iPads and iPods combined, dating all the way back to 1993. I was the original iPhone fanboy. I used to produce a podcast called the Apple Phone Show and … [Read more...] about Maybe I Was Wrong About The iPhone – Maybe Not
I find myself using the term ‘HDR’ less and less every day. When I started as a panoramic photographer in 2002, I was continually frustrated because almost every 360º scene would have blown-out bright highlights or ‘blocked up’ shadows. Often I would have both of those extremes in the same scene because a camera can only capture so much dynamic range. Imagine being outside of a hotel where the sun is behind the building. The shadows are dark on the building, but I still need to capture the complete scene at a pool -- of course before crowds … [Read more...] about Should I say “HDR” anymore?
Special thanks to Mrs. Pepper who encouraged me to click-and-tell, and share just a bit of humor. Soon after becoming a professional photographer, I was very lucky that Nikon agreed to my proposal of sponsorship. For many years I chose to remain committed to Nikon and have always been very happy doing so. It didn't hurt that, during those years, there were fewer fish in the sea compared to today. And even though Canon users attempted to seduce me into using Canon's also-attractive equipment, the attraction wasn't strong enough to divide … [Read more...] about Becoming Polycamerous
There seems to be a major photo conference, seminar, trade show, etc. every month these days and there are lots of opportunities to spend your photo workshop dollars on training. As a veteran of these events, as an attendee, a vendor and a speaker, I’ve pretty much seen it all. As you might expect, some of these events are better than others. Often it boils down to personal preference. Sometimes, an event stands out because it is SO good that people from very diverse backgrounds, age groups and interests universally agree that it was … [Read more...] about My Week At The Out Of Chicago Photo Conference
There are a few key elements that create a successful silhouette. I'll say it loud and proud. It is MORE than exposure. Yes, you meter for the sky, yes, that brings the blacks black, but there is so much more to it than that. I used to say, angle, separation, and exposure. But it is even more than that. You can nail the angle, shooting from down low, you can nail the exposure, and you can even get the separation, but if you aren't telling a story, or conveying an emotion, you're not getting it. There needs to be a story. There needs to … [Read more...] about More to a Silhouette than Exposure
Adobe’s flagship Photoshop received a full version update, which makes the current version, Photoshop CC 2015-5, packed with lots of great features and a performance boost. There’s a lot to be excited about—except their warning about 3rd party plug-ins. Adobe made it clear with a warning message: VERY IMPORTANT – Photoshop CC 2015.5 is a full version upgrade. As such, you will need to install your 3rd party plug-ins for them to work with CC 2015.5. Reinstalling numerous plugins is a very tedious task. Adobe did note they have been working … [Read more...] about Solution: Photoshop 2015-5 Missing Plugins
Here’s the disaster scenario: A hard drive, with your operating system, fails and needs to be replaced. You run to the store, pick up a new hard drive, return home, install it, turn your computer on and you’re greeted with “Operating System Cannot be found.” You look for your Windows or Mac installation DVD; but then you remember, who uses DVD’s anymore. In fact, what company nowadays still sends out installation disk? This is where creating a USB recovery drive of your operating system before the disaster strikes pays off. Creating a Bootable … [Read more...] about Backup Your Operating System – Create a USB Recovery Drive
Grids. Banners. Cubes. Whatever you call them. More and more companies and individuals have been jumping onto this trend since the Summer of 2015. The owners of these instagram accounts segment one photo into typically 3, 6, 9, 12+, square blocks and post them in a progressive order, typically by using some apps that make it pretty simple-- like Giant Square or Banner Pic. The result is a pretty interesting Instagram profile that can break down the feed into sections or just displays the photo in a unique way. Instagram has been changing a … [Read more...] about Instagram Grids– Hot or Not?
I'm a big (huge) advocate of working non-destructively in Photoshop. To me it just makes sense to build Photoshop documents that take advantage of all the non-destructive methods that are available. But in case you're still not sure, here are my top reasons why you shouldn't work in a non-destructive manner. 1. You never change your mind If you always get things right the first time, and having a limited number of undos isn't a problem - then you should be fine. Just remember than once you close the document, the History panel won't help … [Read more...] about 6 Reasons Not to Work Non-Destructively
While many of you have figured out how to use Instagram effectively, not everyone is quite as sharp. Enjoy a little humor in the middle of your day. The pictures you want to remember. A song you want to forget. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn-dD-QKYN4 … [Read more...] about Look at this Instagram [Humor]
It's that time of the week... we'd like to better understand how you showcase your photography. Please take our short survey about how you primarily shows your photos (the most important way to you). Survey can be taken here as well. http://polldaddy.com/poll/9418123/ … [Read more...] about Question of the Week: Do you have an online portfolio?
I found my copy of Canon's EF 20-35mm F/2.8 on eBay of all places, and while I don't typically sell on eBay, I'll buy like no other. People are worried about scams and not receiving items as described, but in my experience of buying upward towards 500 expensive items, I've only had issues with only about 5 items, all of which eBay's buyer protection had back. I've bought lenses, computers, cameras and all sorts of random things for photography (often finding that some stores like Adorama, Newegg and Best Buy, exist), as well as other household … [Read more...] about Using eBay to find deals on lenses
In life, it’s always a struggle to find your “tribe”. The folks that you can count on, the ones you can share triumphs without being seen as gloating and the ones you can share failures without being judged. For whatever reason, creatives especially seem to have trouble with the concept of being open. Consequently, it makes finding that supportive tribe even more difficult. I’d like to call an end to this silliness and shout to the world the message that we are all stronger TOGETHER! It’s not a sign of weakness to talk about your latest … [Read more...] about Always Elevate
I'm a full-time, year-round people photographer. That means that even on snowy and rainy days, I still need to make pictures for clients, which means I need a studio. I've owned three studio locations, and I loved having them. However, the downside is that even on the days I wasn't using the studio, I was still paying for it, and it's not a good idea to spend money on things you're not using. 3 Reasons to Rent Fortunately, most towns and cities have studio space available to rent. I highly recommend rental studios. Firstly, you can quickly … [Read more...] about Need a Studio? Try a Rental First
It is that time of year again. NAB is just around the corner. My inbox and social media have already been flooded with official announcements and "unofficial" leaks. What am I excited to see on the show floor? There is a lot to cover, so let's dive in. Lytro Cinema — Lytro's light field cameras caused quite a stir in the photography community a while back. And, while the consumer market was not ready for the Illium, Lytro has not been idle. I knew they had VR projects in the pipeline, but I did not see Lytro Cinema coming. … [Read more...] about What to Look For At NAB 2016
I grew up an “art kid.” I was always in love with art class. I took up drawing and painting at an early age. My parents always enrolled me in some sort of after school or summer art program. As I got older, I focused on every honors and advanced placement art class I could get. I was always fascinated with trying to capture my reality on paper. When I found photography in high school, it clicked as the best medium I had to capture what I was after. Shortly after discovering photography, I knew I wanted to be a photographer and so I sought out a … [Read more...] about Am I Making Art?
Want to know a really simple way to improve your website? Ask a stranger for a critique! I was at an event where we were asked to write our web & email addresses down on a piece of paper and then we shuffled them around the room. Whoever you got, you had to answer two questions: Where is this site the strongest? Where is this site the weakest? The big key to this is the stranger. Often times, we self edit what we’re going to say to our friends.. Also, our friends know us, know our businesses, and can therefore mentally fill in the … [Read more...] about Website Critiques