The Leap from Photographer to Publisher: Not As Long As You Might Think

I never thought I’d be a publisher. But my new online magazine is developing a following, and I think that’s due in large part to the skills and resources I developed as a photographer: an appreciation for quality content, an ability to motivate freelancers, a social media following and a clear understanding of editing. I now look at life and the people in it in terms of the beautiful stories that are out there and ready to be shared — through words as well as images.

For Marketers: What To Expect From A Professional Photographer

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I tell marketers what to expect from a professional photographer. When you’re hiring a photographer, the experience should be professional from end to end.

The Top Three Vintage Leica Cameras

Despite the digital revolution, Leica cameras are still worth their salt. First produced in the 1920s and ’30s, they’re now an investment for many. First valued by street photographers and photojournalists during World War II, these wonders were the first cameras to use standard 35mm film.

Software Hasn’t Hurt Photography; It’s Made It Better

My previous article was a very opinionated piece regarding the state of camera/lens design. Some readers may have seen it as Nikon vs. Leica vs. Canon, but who cares? It really is a very personal matter. I had stated that camera and lens design had not changed much over the years, but I neglected to mention that they really did not have to, because the major advances in the past 10 years have been primarily in software.

Reality Check: Professional Photography Is Going Away

Okay, folks, it’s reality check time. Empty your minds of whatever you think photography has been in the past. It’s time to consider what the future will bring.

Email Marketing? How CRM Helps You Maximize Your Email Lists

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I discuss how you can use CRM to make the most of your email lists and marketing. Are you tailoring your emails based on your recipients’ past actions?

A Photographer Praises Instagram

With a user population nearing 100 million — including our President — Instagram is growing at speeds that have already surpassed that of LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and even Facebook. (And, of course, Facebook took note of that and purchased the app, so let’s hope it doesn’t change too much).

Are Today’s Cameras Really Better?

Do you earn your living or feed your hobby by spending your time looking through a modern DSLR? You must certainly have noticed that progress in photo technology seems to be increasing at an astonishing pace. Every day, manufacturers are adding new models with ever-increasing features, better sensors and growing automation. It seems to be endless. I have to ask though, is this a good thing?

3 Wedding Day Challenges and How to Overcome Them

It is an unfortunate truth that whenever a large group of people is required to come together for a whole day — some of whom are, as author Terry Pratchett would put it, not talking to each other because of what-they-said-about-our-Nancy — hiccups are bound to follow. Months of preparation and obsessing have culminated in a single day on which the bride has envisioned everything going, if not perfectly, then at least without a single disaster.

Is Social Media a Waste of Time?

One of the biggest questions we get from wedding photographers is, “Is social media a waste of time for my business?” And the way many photographers do it, the answer would be yes.

Does Social Media Activity Work for Photography Professionals?

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I discuss whether social media activity is worthwhile for professional photographers. Ask yourself, where are your buyers spending time, and how do they absorb information?

Four Gems of Yellowstone

Second of two parts

There is no place like Yellowstone. I noted this in my earlier post about the joys of wildlife photography in Yellowstone National Park. But with 2.2 million acres within its boundaries, Yellowstone can be intimidating. Here are four of my favorite places in the park, with some thoughts about what you can expect to see at each.

The Art of Shooting Yellowstone

First of two parts

There is a long list of superlatives when it comes to describing Yellowstone National Park and the photographic opportunities there, but one word stands out more than any other – and that word is magnificent.  Just the word Yellowstone conjures up images of fighting bull bison, gray wolves chasing elk, grizzlies, and of course, geysers like Old Faithful. When I first began shooting in Yellowstone in 1985, I couldn’t sleep for a week before the trip began. I dreamed of the park and the possible adventures that awaited me. Even today, after more than 600 shooting days in the park over the past 27 years, my heartbeat quickens and my senses seem to sharpen as an entrance gate approaches. There is no place like Yellowstone.

Are There Positive Indications of Growth for the Stock Photo Market?

After reading about Shutterstock’s IPO plans on APhotoEditor, a comment in the ASMPstock Yahoo group caught my attention. Member Stephen Walker posted:

Creating a Catalog of Photo Shoot Locations

Blogger David Hobby recently shared an insightful post on how to make a location catalog — a great practice for on-location photographers since having a database can free up a lot of time and energy when planning a shoot.

Is Pinterest a Yes or a No for Photography Professionals?

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I discuss Pinterest and other social networking sites. Are you giving your life away by posting photos there?

Netbarf and Other Ills Have Me Logging Off Social Networks

As a photographer, artist, and mature adult, I am slowly tiring of social networking sites. There are just too many of them; they consume too much of my time; and they do little for me as a promotional tool. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, on and on; it’s endless. There may be something of value in them for some people. But for me, there are just too many problems.

For Great Portraits, Shoot the Eyes

(First of two parts)

I was leading a safari to California’s Morongo Valley to photograph a gold mine of songbirds and raptors, and this article was on my mind. As we worked the different birds I found myself commenting about the difficulty of getting the eye in tack-sharp focus, and keeping it in focus. Some of the birds were in shade where the eye wasn’t lit up by a reflection of the sun and thus more difficult to key on. While there are always exceptions (silhouettes, profiles, artistic blur, etc.) we normally shoot the eyes of our subjects if they appear in the image.

Broken Promises and Stock Photography

The stock photography industry has to face the challenge of becoming relevant in an economy that has no patience for inadequate business models.

Today the vast majority of photographs are used without any contact with the traditional photo industry, which has completely lost control of production and distribution. But the industry continues stubbornly to apply old rules to this new landscape. It does not see, or purposely wants to ignore, that their model does not fit current needs and thus is chasing customers away.

Reviewers: Too Often Your Photos Suck

It’s a simple question. When I read camera reviews on blogs, why are many of the sample photographs that some reviewers use so bloody awful?

You know what I’m talking about. Whenever a new camera review is posted on a blog or website someplace, it usually includes a series of sample photographs taken with that camera. For the most part, they all suck. I know some of these reviewers are simply writers, but many of them claim to be working photographers. Why don’t they use images that show off their talent?

Has the Photography Business Bottomed Out?

In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I discuss how content is becoming a commodity and how you can react to that reality.

Where Do You Rank with Photography Snobs?

Editorial photographers used to jump from one story to another. News was news — whether sports, conflict, celebrity or natural disaster. A photojournalist would shoot a head of state one hour and a celebrity the next. And he or she would do so with the same talent, the same intense dedication to quality.

Two-Way Radios Can Help Keep Photographers Focused

When it comes to equipment, photographers always have to find a balance; no one wants to carry around something that’s not useful. Two-way radios (or commercial-grade “walkie-talkies,” as many users call them) are affordable, lightweight and provide photographers important advantages, several of which can significantly improve the images they capture.

For Great Photographs, You Have to Push

It was 20 below zero that morning as Casey Bell and I drove toward Yellowstone National Park on a winter photo safari. We had headed out in the dark from Gardiner, Mont., passing through Mammoth Hot Springs and heading east into the park. A passing storm had dropped about six inches of new snow, and we seemed to be the only vehicle on the road.

How to Save Time and Make More Money in Photography

I’ve been thinking about my photographer friends. They are absolutely passionate about what they do; they capture memories that last forever; they make people look so much cooler than they are in real life; and most of them are absolutely, totally exhausted.