I don't know if there's a term for the photographer's equivalent for writer's block, but l had it for the majority of last year. I remember that I couldn't feel the vibe, I couldn't find the energy to shoot and I couldn't find the motivation. I took a double dose of it all when I started feeling self conscious about my work. Now, if you were to pile on some of the issues that could exist in life-- relationship issues (or perhaps a lack thereof), financial burdens, moving, school and a slew of other things-- it can be more than enough for many … [Read more...] about Dealing with that Creative Rut
Great you finally have your website up and going. You have set up stat counter and google analytics. A few weeks later you check your stats and you don't have any visitors. You start internet searching and everything is overwhelming. A Quick Explanation on How Search Engines Work As you can imagine there are billions of websites and web pages out there. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo need to first locate and find all the websites. This is called "crawling". They are crawling the internet looking for new sites, old sites that no … [Read more...] about Stop Obsessing over Stats and SEO!
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is like Taylor Swifts music; a lot of people claim to hate it, but truth be told everyone likes it. Some people, like Trey Ratcliff, fully embrace the dreamy glow and punched-up shadows of HDR while others openly bash the technique but dabble in it secretly. Theres no question that the process of creating HDR images has been abused, weve all seen the Velvet Elvis images. Hyper-saturated colors, noisy shadows and smudgy haloes have festooned many shots, but beyond the horrors of over-cooked HDR lie masterful … [Read more...] about Aurora HDR Professional Review. Trey and Friends Bring the Fun.
What kind of story are you telling as a photographer? Please watch the above video and share your thoughts below in the comments. This experiment was recently posted and I wanted to create some dialogue and discuss how we can grow and learn. The pictures we create have the opportunity to share with the world amazing stories. This video had several photographers shoot one subject. Each photographer was given 10 minutes and a story about who their subject was. Their goal was to create a portrait of the man they were taking a picture of. What … [Read more...] about The Power You Have As A Photographer
Welcome to the third of six posts focused on topics found in my newest book, The Visual Palette. Each of these posts will include a free sample download from my book for you to download and enjoy. You can also check out Part 2 in case you missed it. You can learn more about my first published book by clicking on the button at the bottom of this post! The word "Distortion" is usually synonymous with being an aberrationsomething you correct for and go to great lengths to avoid. And sure, depending on the nature of your photography, that very … [Read more...] about The Visual Palette – A Friend in Distortion
Welcome to the second of six posts focused on topics found in my newest book, The Visual Palette. Each of these posts will include a free sample download from my book for you to download and enjoy. You can also check out Part 1 in case you missed it. You can learn more about my first published book by clicking on the button at the bottom of this post! Often times, the term, Depth of Field (DoF), is mentioned as it relates to the quality of fast lenses. We associate fast lenses are large apertures with creating a shallow DoF, and that is very … [Read more...] about The Visual Palette – Depth of Field
You know that neck strap that came with your camera? Yes, the one that has the big Nikon/Canon/Sony/Fuji/Panasonic/Olympus logo on it. That thing should stay tightly locked in the box your camera came in. Neck straps, especially the stock ones, are much more trouble than they are worth. Lose the strap and not only will your photography look better, you will look better doing it! Do You Even Need a Strap? If you spend most of your photo time shooting from a tripod, you definitely don't need a neck strap. In fact, during long exposures, that … [Read more...] about Save Your Neck and Lose That Strap
This article was inspired by the recent feud between Photographer Carly Fuller and DJ Ken Rochon of Absolute Entertainment and the outcry from Photographers. If you haven't heard about the controversy, you can read it on Forbes. In a nutshell, The DJ took photos at the wedding and created a gallery for the wedding party. The photographer argued she had an exclusive clause in her contract. Bottomline, in my opinion, legally she was right but could have handled it differently. Someone used my Photo without my Consent shares my viewpoint on how … [Read more...] about If I Had a Camera Like Yours I Could Take Great Photos Like You
Welcome to the first of six posts focused on topics found in my newest book, The Visual Palette. Each of these posts will include a free sample download from my book for you to download and enjoy. You can learn more about my first published book by clicking on the button at the bottom of this post! When I first set out to write The Visual Palette, my hope was that it would serve as a guide for all of the photographers out there who strive to identify what their unique visual style looks like. One of the most important steps in this journey is … [Read more...] about The Visual Palette – Allies in Perspective and Distortion
Thinking back to when I started my wedding photography business in 2006, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. I thought there would be some communication before the day, show up for a long day of photographing, then kick back on the couch for a bit while I edit, and voila! All done! I couldn't have been more wrong on the depth of what my workflow would entail. Today, I want to share my workflow (it has gone through many evolutions over the years) with you and shed a little light on what you may be getting in to as you start your … [Read more...] about My Wedding Workflow: Start to Finish
Newborn photography has become very popular in recent years, and in that genre, there have been many trends. Styles range from simple and minimalistic, to highly stylized with props and backdrops. Most recently, I have noticed a trend with flags being used to wrap up or hold newborns. This is very popular with families in the Armed Forces and those wanting to show pride in their country. As photographers, it is our responsibility to provide our clients with the images they desire while being responsible in the process. This not only means … [Read more...] about Using Flag Scarves for Newborn Portraits
In the beginning of the year I wrote, "Have You Created Your 2015 Metadata Copyright Preset?" reminding us to update our copyright information for the New Year. This quick tip made sure we added our copyright information to every photo we imported into Lightroom. Our next step to protect our images is to register them with the Library of Congress. Lightroom makes this final process just as fast and easy. I thought my images were already protected? The moment you capture an image, you automatically own the copyright of the image. If someone … [Read more...] about Third Quarter is Over: Have You Registered your Photos?
NOTE: Recently at Adobe MAX, all attendees (including me) were given a Fuji X T10 mirrorless camera with an 18-55mm lens. At retail this set up goes for about $1,100 when not on sale. Right now Im in the market for a new camera. Im borrowing a Lumix GX7 from a friend and Ive played with various Sony cameras. To finally have my own mirrorless to play with is pretty awesome. Im carrying this camera with me everywhere. The Key Specs: Lets get the specs out of the way. Shoots 16.3 megapixels Uses SD cards Shoots both JPEG and RAW ISO: 6400 and … [Read more...] about A Look at the Fuji X T10: It’s Making Photography Fun Again
My friends at Mindshift Gear sent over one of their newest bag: the Backlight 26L for me to review. This bag is perfect for anyone looking to fit a bunch of gear for a basic day shoot or even a 2-3 day shoot. Lots of space and superb build quality. Check out the video review for more details! You can order your own Backlight 26L from Amazon using the links below: Backlight 26L (Greenfield) Backlight 26L (Charcoal) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr0PQHFWK98&feature=youtu.be Questions about this column? Just leave them in the Comments … [Read more...] about A Closer Look: Mindshift Gear Backlight 26L Camera Bag
Once we imported our photos to our catalog, we need to quickly review each image and select our favorites. The trick is NOT to make this a time consuming task. One option is to use the Flagging system to temporarily select your favorite images. Its important not to get hung up on an image. If you have to ask, should I flag this?, you took too long. Flag the image and move on to the next. This doesn't mean you are going to process every selected image or delete the non selected images. It simply allows you to quickly scan your photos and select … [Read more...] about Making Selects by using Flags in Lightroom
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?