Through the years Ive taught a lot of photographers. Ive witnessed their struggles to stay relevant and competitive. Ive also seen a lot of bad things happen to creative professionals. Making a living has never been harder. But getting angry isn't the answer. Photography is about capturing the moments of life. We have a great responsibility to those we love and those we serve. It is our job to preserve memories and to be impassioned observers of life. If all you see is anger, you'll miss out on the emotion and creativity needed to create … [Read more...] about Don’t Let Anger Ruin Your Photography
If you're one of the more wide-eyed people who updated to Adobe Lightroom 6.2 right after it was launched a few days ago, you have likely come to rue that decision. Between the "Fisher Price"-ification of the Import flow to the ridiculous crashes caused due to bugs in the software, this update left much to be desired. Fortunately, Adobe has made good and released a critical maintenance update that supposedly fixes some of the issues. I still take umbrage with their decision to regress the Import workflow functionality by removing key features … [Read more...] about Adobe releases Lightroom 6.2.1 Maintenance Patch + An Author’s Rant
As a professional photographer in the digital age, protecting your data is one of the most important things you can do for your business (or hobby). Having come from a very heavy Computer and programming background, when I started shooting professionally, my backup routine was top priority! The first thing we'll cover is how to store and organize your files which covers the first of the Three C's. Copy First and foremost you have to copy your files from your camera to your computer. There are dozens of ways to do this i'm sure you're all … [Read more...] about The Three C’s of File Management – Copy, Clone, and Cloud!
I suspect a lot of photographers can relate to the scenario of arriving on location with your camera but without much certainty about what to do with it. This happens to me a lot. Its not like we always have the luxury of having every frame mapped out before we even arrive. Sometimes, there is a foggy vagueness that you need to contend with before things begin falling into place. When this happens, it helps to have something to pull out of your bag o trickssome go-to thing that you can do to at least engage the creative portion of your brain. … [Read more...] about Quick Photo Tip: Have doubts? Just pan!
Uncle Bobs are unavoidable at weddings. I case you don't know what I'm referring to, an "Uncle Bob" is a person (usually a family member) at a wedding that fancies themselves as good as a professional photographer. They often have decent equipment and you can see them buzzing about with their camera and lens going all sorts of places you'd rather they not. A lot of times they'll pick a moment to come cozy up to you, chat you up about what lenses you're using, how they had a friend hire them for a wedding once upon a time. Usually this moment … [Read more...] about Managing “Uncle Bob” at Weddings
On Friday, September 25th, Apple released the next addition to their industry-shaking smartphone, the iPhone. Customers who were fast enough to preorder either the iPhone 6s and/or the iPhone 6s Plus either queued up in front of their local Apple Store or had a courier deliver their unit(s) to their doors. For the past year, I've used an unlocked 128Gb Silver iPhone 6 Plus and have been exceptionally pleased with it. So, when preorders for this next generation of smartphones went live, I stuck with what I knew and ordered an unlocked 128Gb … [Read more...] about A First Look: The Apple iPhone 6s Plus
With the popularity of film finding its way into photographer's hands, headlines are still reading, Why Film is Better than Digital and Comparing Film vs Digital. Isnt the Debate Over? At the starting point of digital photography, people once thought that film was going to be a dying art. A movie quote instantly comes to mind: -- spoken from a man whom is brought out to be piled onto a wagon carrying dead bodies to be disposed of in the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Film is far from dead and isn't exactly going to go away it seems... … [Read more...] about It Isn’t Film vs Digital Any Longer
As creative professionals, we often build a network that spans outside of our area. Sometimes that leads to a job that might require travel. The big question is whether to charge for that travel time and any fees associated with getting to the gig? To Charge or Not to Charge? This is a true story of an event that caused me to question if I should charge a fee when shooting outside of my geographical area.This fee would be assessed for shoots when traveling a certain number of miles outside of my town. The money would be used to offset any … [Read more...] about Should you Charge an Out of Area Fee for Jobs on the Road?
In case you haven't realized it yet, wedding days are really long days. The effects of being "on" 100% of the time and carrying gear while traipsing all about can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. For years my feet would be screaming by hour 6. I tried lots of things for my cute dress shoes. Changing them to cute, flat, dress shoes, adding arch supports, adding heel gels, adding inserts plus heel gels, picking up a pair of the semi custom orthotic inserts. They all only somewhat helped. I was dejected wondering how I saw some women … [Read more...] about Hooray for Ugly Shoes (and other wardrobe tips) on Wedding Day
Apple took the lid off their long-anticipated large-format iPad this week and as people line up for and against the new tablet I sat down with Jeff Carlson to discuss what the new technology means to photographers. Carlson is the author of the book, The iPad for Photographers, which is currently in its third edition with Peachpit Press. Key Features of the iPad Pro The iPad Pro is due to arrive in November, but at Wednesdays event, Apple gave us a long look at the new member of the incredibly popular iPad line. With its 12.9-inch screen … [Read more...] about Apple’s New iPad Pro – Laptop Killer or Just a Bigger iPad?
Lightroom's new web interface has made collaborating with clients very easy. Imagine, after a photo session, you import your images into Lightroom, make a collection of images to show your client, then have Lightroom create a private gallery for your client to select and make comments on their favorite images for you to edit.Their input is automatically synced with your Lightroom catalog. Not only is this cool, but it comes free with your Lightroom subscription! You're probably wondering why I'm excited. In the past, I would create a gallery … [Read more...] about Lightroom’s Secret Website for your Clients
When digital cameras first came on the scene, I was hesitant to switch to this new format. Not for fear of technology, but for fear of making the wrong investment. I was lost, I had no idea where to turn. I tried to research online, but I didn't know what questions to ask. I visited our local camera store but they were overpriced. Best Buy just opened in our town but their sales people had less knowledge than I had. In desperation, I made the mistake of going to a local computer store. Based on the owners recommendation, I purchased a camera he … [Read more...] about Are Camera Stores a thing of the past?
Recently, a portrait photographer I know shared in an online group that he had been approached by an acquaintance who wanted him to shoot their upcoming wedding. After giving it careful thought, he eventually came to the firm decision to turn the potential client down because, not only was it was outside of his target genre, but he had no interest whatsoever in breaking into the wedding photography. He thoughtfully shared online that he would not be seen as a good portrait photographer, but a bad wedding photographer. Simply put, it would have … [Read more...] about For The Sake Of Your Sanity, Say NO
Everyone has a story about how they came to love photography. It seems some were practically born with a camera in their hands, some discovered their passion in their teen years as a way to express themselves, while others did not discover photography until later in life. I am one of those that fall into the latter category. When I was 26, I made the decision to go back to college and get a degree in Sociology. While signing up for electives, I thought it would be brilliant to take a beginners photography class, and what excited me most was … [Read more...] about Finding Your Niche
Should I have a single Lightroom catalog or should I have many? That was the the first question I asked back in July 2006 when I received a beta version of Lightroom. Like many, I was sailing in uncharted waters. At first, someone started a rumor and said Lightroom can handle a maximum of 15 thousand images before performance was affected. Everyone started to repeat that rumor. This caused many, including myself, to split my images into several Lightroom catalogs. Before we begin, let me take a step back for a moment and explain what a … [Read more...] about Should I have One or Many Lightroom Catalogs?
Nicole recently wrote a nice post explaining the megapixel madness were experiencing right now, and why in some cases it makes sense. I want to add to her article by sharing my perspective. I understand the argument for more megapixels when you want to print big. Its a valid argument. I know a lot and I mean a lot of photographers. I don't know very many at all who print big. In fact the majority of the photographers I know don't print much at all. So its unlikely they would need more megapixels for that purpose. But for those who do want … [Read more...] about One Argument Against The Quest For More Megapixels
Like many of us, I am on a budget. I want to save money and buy things that I perceive to be a good deal. As you are aware, there are third-party options for just about everything in dealing with our cameras. Some are absolutely worth it and some just don't make the cut. Here are a few products that I have found worth saving on and a few I have found that ended up wasting more money in the long run. Intervalometers. I have been shooting Canon most my career. Truthfully the Canon brand intervalometer used for timelapse and remote shooting is … [Read more...] about Are Generic Camera Products Worth it?
Back in 2009, when I made my living photographing stock imagery, the size of the images we could license made a difference in our potential for sales. Photos were sold based on how big the file was (in megapixels), so photographers with large-megapixel cameras had a more competitive edge over those of us who did not. At the time, I was using a Nikon D200, a 12-megapixel camera, and felt pressured to upgrade. When it was obvious that Nikon (at the time) was not going to come out with anything with more than 12-megapixels, I decided to make the … [Read more...] about Megapixels: Does Size Matter?
I just wrapped up teaching several workshops at Photoshop World. I led a night sky timelapse workshop. Shooting raw was absolutely essential to getting great results. The range of detail needed to capture the Milky Way just couldn't be captured with a single JPEG exposure. I continued to be amazed at how many people still don't shoot using a raw file format. Sure, I understand that certain types of shooters insist they need the faster buffer speeds they get when shooting JPEG (though the speeds of most modern cameras make this argument … [Read more...] about Why Shooting Raw Matters
It seems like it was just yesterday that I was signing papers and filing forms with our attorneys to get our company registered and official. It was an exciting and nerve wracking time having finally made the decision to "sink or swim" by doing photography full time. In reality, that was over 9 years ago! As I look back and reflect on my progress as a photographer and businesswoman I can definitely say that I've grown in so many ways but perhaps the most growth has happened in the area of delegation. I am Type A to the core. I was that kid … [Read more...] about Let People Do Their Job (so you can do yours)!
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from photographer and cinematographer, Anders Lnnfeldt. This was the second time I worked with the Finnish artist Jannike. I made her first music video in 2013 which we shot partly in Greece and partly in Helsinki. This time the plan was to find even more fantastic locations and make the video both bigger and better. Jannike's manager contacted me in the beginning of 2014 and told me about their plans about shooting a music video in Los Angeles and he asked me to come along. This was a deal I didn't want … [Read more...] about The Process of Shooting a Music Video with a Canon…and Just One Lens
This is a guest post by Brooke Shaden. She is well known for her portraits that show fantastic realities. She combines painterly techniques as well as the square format. She also takes traditional photographic properties are replaces things with otherworldly elements. If you're self-employed, or you have a creative passion, it is very likely that you have had a conversation with yourself about running your own business. It is also very likely that you have had the same concerns pop into your head that I have, those being: Am I motivated … [Read more...] about Why You Should Fire Yourself Once a Year
If we can't occasionally laugh at ourselves (or at least some of the fauxtographers we meet) then life is too short. This one is occasionally groan worthy, but has a few good quips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnxtdT_wQsI&index … [Read more...] about A Little Photo Humor
If you are in business, odds are that you aren't the only person trying to make money in your field of work. Whether you are a wedding photographer or provide professional photo editing services, odds are that your job is not "cookie cutter". You create something special for your clients, and that "something" cannot be replicated by other businesses. People copy ideas. It's human nature, and some even say it's the highest form of flattery. I'm not talking about plagiarism or copyright infringement here. What I am referring to are ideas for … [Read more...] about Embrace Your Competition
We have all lived this moment in our lives. When the dust starts to settle on your camera, or you haven't even unpacked your gear from that photo-shoot you did one month ago. And don't think the "pros" are immune to these feelings of inadequacy. Being a professional photographer does not mean photographing every day of our lives. Many of us have other obligations, other jobs, and other ways we earn a living. But after a certain period of time passes without lifting our cameras (and we all have timeframes we hold ourselves to), the feelings of … [Read more...] about The Guilty Photographer
A wedding photographer colleague of mine came to me the other day bummed out. She had gotten a less than stellar review on one of the bridal industry's most used websites for brides to find vendors. She was frustrated and I was surprised. I know her work well and she's exceptional. She's cultivated a style that is uniquely hers and I can recognize her images in an instant. She tells me that this client claimed to dislike her photos because they weren't the style she was expecting and she wanted more "candids". I asked my friend to show me her … [Read more...] about How Client Meetings Change Everything
This week's podcast is in our classic Question and Answer format. We gathered up your questions from blog posts and social media and got some straight answers. Photofocus editor sits down with columnist and Sony Artisan Brian Matiash. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216311126" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="175" iframe="true" /] Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Your Questions Get Answers with Brian Matiash Brian … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast July 25, 2015 — Q&A with Brian Matiash
Like many, I installed Photoshop CC 2015. The installation went fine except none of my additional editing software Nik, onOne, Topaz, Tiffen, etc linked to CC 2015. On a deadline, I tried to fall back to Photoshop CC 2014 only to fine it was removed. I paused for a second and thought there is no way Adobe would leave me out to dry. Simple Solution I went to my Adobe directory and found my Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 folder. Inside it was the plugins subfolder. I copied the the Plugins folder plus a few extra files in the main folder. Said a … [Read more...] about Solution: Photoshop CC 2015 Missing Plugins
Stories from the set takes you behind the scenes with top photographers as they talk about the challenges it takes to get the shot. [youtube:http://youtu.be/bdBheOv8Vm4] Robert Vanelli sits down with pro photographer Vincent Versace to discuss his approach to lighting. Learn how ICE Lights were uses on a recent shoot. Vincent Versace is an internationally recognized pioneer in the art and science of digital photography. His passion for natural light photography is manifest not only in his work but also through his role as a creative … [Read more...] about Westcott Ice Lights Saved my Shoot – Vincent Versace | Stories from the Set
Photographers love to create beautiful, interesting, and unique photographs. We carry several pounds of gear on our backs through forests and mountains to find beautiful and sought-after scenes. When we finally find something amazing and photograph it, it's a wonderful feeling knowing that we're are not repeating the same clich photograph that hundreds or thousands of other photographers have already created. And so it's no wonder that some photographers prefer to keep these locations a secret. I get it, I totally do. Portrait and wedding … [Read more...] about Should Photographers Keep Locations Secret?