I was talking with a young photographer who I admire the other day, and I advised her to be bold - to move forward - and to do it now. Don’t wait for permission from someone else to take the next step in your career because permission is rarely given. If you wait on permission you’ll likely be waiting forever. I decided that I should write about this thinking there may be many of you who can use similar encouragement. It’s a universal truth: photographers who are passionate about their craft simply want to make images that matter. And if you … [Read more...] about Photographers – Don’t Wait For Permission
If you are anything like me, you want to move on to the next shoot once a previous once is finished. The pressure to keep a steady flow of work is undeniably strong; especially when you have bills that need to be paid. However, the follow up process after is a shoot is absolutely crucial. In fact, it can turn a one-time client into a lifetime client. Let’s go over some benefits of mastering the art of the follow up. The Benefits of Following Up Turn Past Clients Into Lifetime Customers Long term follow up after a shoot allows … [Read more...] about The Art of Following Up
Almost twenty years ago Atlanta was frenetically preparing for the Centennial Olympic Games. Immediately after every Olympics, the Paralympic Games are held. These disabled athletes have lots of determination and heart. I set up a studio in one of the buildings where the athletes live in the Paralympic Village. Today it's part of Georgia Tech. The organizer's concept was to photograph Paralympic Athletes with their medals. Frankly, I made photographs of whoever wanted to pose. The Swimmer The first day of the scheduled three day shoot was … [Read more...] about The Power of a Photograph
This week we catch up with two amazing artists making an impact on the industry. First we hear from Corey Barker who dives into advice for those getting started and shares insight with his upcoming projects. Next Levi sits down with Matthew Jordan Smith who inspires everyone around him. Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Corey Barker Corey was an education and curriculum developer for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), an award-winning designer and illustrator, the … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast February 21st, 2016 Corey Barker & Matthew Jordan Smith
On the new #Inspiration Show of the Photofocus podcast Scott and Marco will discuss the art, history and motivation in photography that often gets lost in today's media rich world. Slow down, look closer and put more intent into photography to increase you creativity and final results. And simply spread the pure love of photography. On this #Inspiration episode of the Photofocus podcast Scott and Marco discuss these topics: Get to know a great photographer. This month we introduce you to the work of one of the most influential American … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast February 14, 2016 — Inspiration with Scott Bourne & Marco Larousse
I'm now hosting a new segment on the Photofocus Podcast called the Photofocus Infocus Interview Series. This segment will publish on the 21st of each month. I'm always on the look out for great and inspiring Photographers to come on the show. I'd love some input and advice on who you think I should reach out to and invite them for an interview. In the past, some of my favorites have been Renee Robyn, Vonwong, among many others. I have a few new and emerging photographers I'm excited to introduce this year. However, please comment below on … [Read more...] about Photographers That Inspire You
Photofocus Podcast February 7th, 2016 Questions & Answers with Rich Harrington & Scott Bourne Thanks for all the great questions youve been sending in to the Photofocus podcast. This week Rich Harrington and Scott Bourne tackle some great topics to help photographers. Remember, you can post those questions by sending us a note here at Photofocus. Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. The Question and Answer Podcast New podcast updates and changes What is responsible for autofocus speed? … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast February 7th, 2016— Questions & Answers with Rich Harrington & Scott Bourne
Succeeding with your goals this year It's February, how are your goals coming? Let's revist how you are setting your goals and some tips to keep them going. It's easy to set goals. We all can do it? How many of us have set goals and never reached them? We all have. We may do it all the time. You have to ask yourself why you do not fulfill the goals you set? Are they out of reach? Are you following through? There can be a number of reasons why we fail at goals we set. Ultimately the common denominator is you. You are the reason you fail or … [Read more...] about Succeeding with your goals this year
The Impostor Syndrome is defined as: the fear or worry that your peers or the public at large will find out that you are a fake or phony. It is the self-doubt that makes you feel like you don't measure up to other professionals. Its the sense that youre not good enough, despite evidence to the contrary. Yikes. Heavy stuff, right? More frequently than I care to admit, this syndrome is nipping at my heels, especially when I am surrounded by more seasoned photographers. Irrationally, I worry that they will somehow sense that Im a fraud behind … [Read more...] about Do You Have The “Impostor Syndrome?”
(This is what the match needle metering system looked like in the old Nikkormat cameras.) As we all get a chance to turn the page and start fresh, I am reminded of the first lesson my first photography teacher (a man named Jack Russell) taught me. He was a photojournalist who worked for a big newspaper and spent more than 30 years of his life at the same job. He never wrote any books or made any appearances on the teaching circuit. He never had a big social media following and never attended the big photo trade shows. (Most of the … [Read more...] about Photographers: Start 2016 With A Resolution To Pay Attention
I tell anyone who listens that printing your photos is so incredibly important. Anything from snapshots of a sleeping child, to wedding photos and portraits need to be turned into tangible copies. Why? Because of the unknown. You never know what will happen and when those prints will become an invaluable keepsake for your loved ones. Recently, I spent an afternoon photographing an incredible woman named Becky. She is so full of life, love, and is as positive as a person can be. We spent the entire session laughing and enjoying each other's … [Read more...] about The Importance of Portraits
Its exciting getting your very first digital camera. Whether you have a DSLR, Mirrorless or even a point and shoot, learning it can be overwhelming. At times, its okay to put it in auto mode. As long as you are taking pictures, you are going to keep getting better. In fact, as I was learning my camera, I would set it to auto mode and see what settings the camera picked. Then I would switch to manual and set those exact settings and eventually learned to adjust what I felt was better. Heres a few tips on how you can learn more about taking … [Read more...] about New Camera? Now What?
A great way to challenge yourself and enhance your skills is to shoot some personal projects. Here is an opportunity to stretch your imagination. Building sets, buying props, coordinating wardrobe, scouting locations and casting talent are all part of the process of shooting your personal projects. When you apply all these things, your ideas will come to life. I'll get an idea visually, and then I need to make it happen. Like this 30's Hollywood glamour shot:Once I cast the beautiful actress, Sarah Deakins, I needed to get hair and make-up. … [Read more...] about Shooting Personal Projects
In part 1 of this post, I discussed growing your weak areas and developing a dream client communication plan. Here in part 2, were going to take a look at additional ways you can set goals in order to foster growth for your photography and your business. Lets start with the scary subject first: numbers. Creating Measurable Goals: The Step-By-Step Process Continued Understanding Your Numbers As a photographer, have you thought about how much money you want to make in a given year? Have you thought about how much you need to make in order to … [Read more...] about How To Create Measurable Photography Goals: Part 2
Setting Measurable Goals To Foster Growth: Part 1 Have you ever felt your passion for photography grow stagnant? I certainly have, and let me tell you, its not a pleasant feeling. You wonder what the purpose is of snapping photos; youre not completely satisfied with your interactions with your clients ; you sense a lack of growth with the quality of your photos, and your income begins to suffer. I have had to pick myself up from face-planting into this wall more often than I would like to admit. So much, in fact, that writing about it will … [Read more...] about How To Create Measurable Photography Goals: Part 1
A lot of us are just coming out of the fog of Christmas photography rush orders and holiday shipping deadlines for photo products. We finally have time to breathe, and browse, and shop! I've put together a list of gifts that I'd personally recommend that hopefully, a little bit different than other lists you've seen. Of course, some are super fun repeats, but I'd be delighted to hear if one of these items tickles you. Let me know in the comments. Lets start with some fun Because we all need fun! Fun PolaRoll This retro camera toilet paper … [Read more...] about 2015 Holiday Gift Guide
It's that time of the year when photographers should look back on the year that was and look forward on the year that can be. Here are a few practical and inspirational tips to grow photographically. 1. Spend more time working with the gear that you have rather than thinking about the gear that you want to have next. Seriously, today's cameras and lenses are so powerful and capable that they will most likely be able to do the job 99% of the time. And the more you concentrate on what you have, the better you'll get at finding ways to make it … [Read more...] about 8 New Year’s resolutions to improve your photography!
The other day, I was watching a family take photos in front of a Christmas tree. They were standing directly in front of it. I realized that with a bit of practice, and knowledge, we can really use the lights in the tree to our advantage, and set the stage for a fantastic background for our holiday portraits. Set Up Ive started with a Christmas tree, of course. I placed a seat about 4 feet in front of the tree, and placed a cushion and blanket on top of it. It provided a great place to put the baby where the lights would be behind her. Using … [Read more...] about Christmas Bokeh and Compression
This upcoming podcast, Richard and I will sit down to go over several reader's questions. Anything regarding gear, business questions, recent photography news, lighting and more. If there's something you want explained, post your question in the comments below. We will take a handful of questions and mention your name in the podcast. … [Read more...] about Q and A Podcast: What questions do you want answered?
In a recent Skype chat with photographer Joey Jones, we were casually discussing how he runs his successful portrait photography business. At one point, he casually stated, The camera is just a tool. Its what you do with it that counts. Needless to say, Joey was spot on. It was something I myself had only realized in recent years. Where were those wise words when I was going through my lengthy "equipment insecurity phase? For many of us trying to make money off of our photography talent, there can be constant pressure to collect expensive, … [Read more...] about Your Camera Is Just A Tool: YOU Are The Secret Sauce
One of the most common posts I see in photography forums and groups are those upset about the prices other photographers are charging. While this may be a bit of a controversial post, I'd like to offer another way to view this oft argued subject. It never fails, after a year or two of charging for your services, you start running into the novice shoot-and-burn photogs. They sprout up out of nowhere and seem to multiply like rabbits. You see post after post of sessions for $50-$100 with a CD full of images. Immediately, your hackles rise and … [Read more...] about Every Photographer Has a Place
As photographers, we often pride ourselves in our ability to see the inspiration and creative potential in any scene. This is a skill that comes through practice and the development of your artistic eye over time. This may seem to come naturally, especially for seasoned photographers, but there is never a bad time to refresh your skills. I find this is best accomplished in the form of a good challenge. For this article, that is precisely what I sought: an exercise in inspiration. I invite you to follow along. The Challenge: Taking a Scene from … [Read more...] about An Exercise In Inspiration
I am sitting here this morning, after waking up at 4:15 am to help a friend with a photography project on the beach, thinking about our friendship. We met a few years ago when our kids were starting swim team together. We started talking about things beyond family and kids, and got into what we really do. What, at the heart of it, is our life, or skills, and our passion. She's one of the top graphic and textile designers in the world. Her talent and her skills are top notch. Not a humble brag, this friend has the pedigree and resume to back it … [Read more...] about Finding A Mentor
Recently, I stumbled upon a simple flower photo I took years ago on vacation. It was snapped just for fun as I was walking along a path at a Michigan ski resort in the summer. At the time, I was happy with it - in fact, I thought Id done a great job. Since that time, my retouching skills and editing curiosity have grown significantly, so I thought Id take another crack at it. Actually, I decided to take several cracks at it to see how different styles worked across the same photo. Re-Working a Past Photo The way that a photographer styles a … [Read more...] about How Many Ways Can You Style a Photo?
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
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
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
Renee Robyn is a pretty freakin awesome and inspiring person that is out to show how beautiful the world can be-- I'm pretty sure that's what you just learned in the video, that is if you weren't distracted by SmugMug's gorgeous cinematic display of her and her work. But besides being awesome at what she does, which is compositing multiple images to make an awesome image, she's a really cool person. First off, she's got a blue streak of hair. Secondly, she rides a motorcycle. Thirdly, she's pretty freakin deep and down to earth. But seriously, … [Read more...] about Renee Robyn – A dose of creative inspiration