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. 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 is a photographer and a published writer. He is a regular contributor to Photoshop User Magazine as well as a new member of the Photofocus team. He's spoken at the … [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?
Today, everyone has an opinion and moreover, many think their opinion trumps all. Its part of the Internet culture and frankly, its brought about plenty of criticism but little of it constructive. There are good reasons to seek out constructive criticism. And there can be great value to it. When criticism is delivered by talented, educated, gifted photographers who have earned the respect of their peers, it can be VERY valuable. The first thing to do is open your mind and distinguish between a constructive critique and an opinion. Remember … [Read more...] about Photographers: How To Get The Most Out Of Constructive Criticism
I am a very lucky guy. I grew up in a household with parents who immigrated from Russia with absolutely nothing to their names and who worked so hard chasing the classic American Dream. They taught themselves English, found themselves jobs, and leaned heavily on their strong work ethic to earn for their family and provide me and my sister with everything we needed, giving us everything they never had as children. In other words, I was a spoiled Brooklyn kid. However, whatever misgivings I may have had as a spoiled child seems to pale in … [Read more...] about The Era of The Entitled Photographer
When I was a kid, I watched my uncle Pat fix our kitchen sink. He laid a thick padded blanket over the ledge of the small cabinet opening under the sink. He positioned his tools within arms reach and hung a small light inside the dark hole. He looked at me and said, always get comfortable when working on a long task. Of course I didn't understand what he meant, but years later his words of wisdom resonate when Im faced with a long task. Get comfortable is what I tell myself. Fast Forward to the present. While I was teaching a street … [Read more...] about Are you Comfortable when Shooting?
This is a complex subject. Megapixels are a measure of quantity, not quality. An 8 megapixel camera phone isn't the same as an 8 megapixel DSLR camera. In short, not all pixels are compared equally. Simple formula to determine megapixels Multiply the width (in pixels) by the height (in pixels) then divide the result by 1 million For the sake of simplicity, we are going to assume you have a DSLR camera. I currently shoot with a Nikon D700 12.1MP camera for sports and a Nikon D810 36.3MP camera for portraits. To determine how many megapixels your … [Read more...] about How Many Megapixels Do I Need for Printing?
I've starting taking on more assignments for inside Lacrosse magazine and for the Florida Launch Lacrosse team. After shooting two games with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, I wanted to see if a new lens would make a difference. The go to lens for sports photographers is a fixed 400mm f/2.8 lens. The cost...a commitment of $12,000.00. Pretty steep. Before I decide between the lens or a full year of college for my son, I called our good friend Chase from Lens Rentals. As luck would have it, one was available on our two day short notice. The cost, … [Read more...] about Try before you buy saved me $12,000.00
Note: If you want your own Photoshop World Experiences, you can. Save $100 with the early-bird discount by registering before June 24th. I went to Photoshop World for the first time just over 2 years ago. I was still a college student, and was awarded a scholarship to attend in Orlando. Photoshop World was the largest conference I had ever been to, with multiple classes going on at once and an expo floor filled with the latest photography tools and software. What Can you Learn You can definitely learn about Photoshop and Lightroom, but thats … [Read more...] about My Photoshop World Experience
As a small business owner, I have found that networking with other photographers to be extremely helpful to my personal and professional growth. I enjoy getting together with photographers who do work that I admire and run businesses with reputations that I admire and "talking shop." As relationships grow it can turn into a safe space to talk about roadblocks that we all experience. I sometimes look around at photographers I know in awe, thinking things like "how will I ever be that good?" or "how does she find the time to be such a … [Read more...] about Defining Your Own Success
My favorite cousin Mary Ann took a long photography trip to India. She wasn't sure how many photos she was going to take. To play it safe, she decided to err on the side of caution and doubled the amount of memory cards she thought she needed. Sounds like a solid plan, but keeping track of so many cards in the field can be challenging especially when they start getting full. Simple Solution Getting a good memory card case is the first step. Think Tank, Vidpro SD1, and Pelican all make great holders. But this next step is the most important. … [Read more...] about A Quick tip to avoid formatting the wrong memory card
This is an opinion piece that's directed to all ages. Stop looking at your driver's license or a calendar. Rather start looking to each other to learn and grow. Age is Just a Number I have seen myself go from being an upstart kid to a balding professional. But I have learned this... age is just a number. I have worked with wonderfully talented kids throughout my career. I have also chosen to surround myself with those who are more experienced than me. Both parties have added to my understanding of this medium and its creative … [Read more...] about Age Doesn’t Matter
We'd like to know how you shoot. Is Raw your thing? Do you stick with JPEG? Or maybe you sit on the fence and shoot both. Let us know you're workflow and leave a comment below as to why. … [Read more...] about Question of the Week
Did you miss our last Google Hangout on business? It was filled with great advice for all photographers (especially wedding and portrait). Lisa was so helpful and honest with practical advice. On this hangout were focused on practical dos and don'ts to attract new customers to your photography business. Well also shared strategies to develop new business from existing customers through referrals and additional projects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YVtvwj_Kew … [Read more...] about Practical Advice for Wedding and Portrait Photographers
Do you ban guests from bringing cameras to a wedding? In the last few years Ive noticed more and more photographers that I've worked with are asking couples to not allow guests to bring cameras or other devices. Seriously, holding a regular sized iPad to take pictures or video just looks silly. Recently at my daughter's play, a mom was in the front row holding her iPad up and blocking the view of those sitting behind her. She was so happy and proud seeing her child on stage, it was cute yet the people behind her had to adjust so they could … [Read more...] about Should Guests Be Banned from Using Cameras at Weddings?
Online piracy is hurting the photo and video industry. The problem is that the people who should care the most are often the worst offenders. Why Do I Care? I've often been told that piracy helps sales. I can tell you from first hand experience this isn't true. I've had numerous books, online classes, and digital products that have underperformed or been canceled because they "flopped." Meanwhile illegal downloads and bit torrent have been through the roof. I also encounter clients who all the time push us to use copyrighted music. I've … [Read more...] about Piracy Hurts Everyone