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.
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.
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.
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.
Recently, I wrote an article about photographing strangers in the street and the perils and risks that befall all of us who do such “horrid things.” Though this is the method I usually prefer, there often are times when I will ask permission of the people I photograph. It all depends on the situation.
In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I discuss how to look at the numbers for your photography business. By starting with your financial goals and knowing your conversion rate, you’ll know how heavily you’ll need to market.
Every businessperson wants to know how to make his or her business more profitable. And yet when it comes to actually doing it, we often shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot. Especially photographers.
(Editor’s note: Want to set yourself apart? Consider adding new skills for in-demand services. In this post, Tatianne Lugo from ICE Portal describes the techniques behind high-quality 360-degree virtual tours.)
There is no shortage of interest in Pinterest, and photographers seem especially keen to take advantage of this most visual of social media. But, as with most everything shiny and new, there are concerns, and bloggers haven’t been shy about voicing them. Let’s take a look, and stick some pins on both sides of the board.
In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I break down what you need to do (and how long it takes) to make it in the photography industry. Take a look at the steps I lay out in this video.
Looking at photographs is a very personal experience. Everyone has their opinions about what is good art and what is not. When it comes to photographs, some like landscapes, others go for street photography, and others prefer conceptual photography or portraits. It’s all a matter of personal taste. Of course, I have my own preferences, but it is not a particular style of photography that I prefer over another. What interests me are the way a photograph is made and the impact it has on me as a viewer.
In working to license rights to your photography, you need to recognize that there is a tremendous oversupply of images. So while your images are certainly much better on a quality and artistic level than most of the images out there, unfortunately that isn’t all it takes to make sales. As I said in my most recent post, getting the images seen by potential customers is the big problem.
I’m regularly contacted by photographers wanting to know how they can license rights to their images in today’s market. Recently I was contacted by a nature and wildlife photographer whose work was excellent. This photographer regularly conducts photo workshops where he teaches others how to take great scenic and wildlife pictures. Here’s what I told him.
Blogging is a great, free way to promote your photography business. Its benefits include targeted local traffic and networking opportunities with other vendors and venues. There’s the free promotion when your clients share your posts using social media, not to mention the happy client testimonials collecting in the comments.
My Dec. 15 posting here – “Fearmongers are Giving Photographers a Bad Name” — invited some interesting comments. Although many readers sympathize with the perils of street photography, there are a number who consider it rude and offensive to photograph a subject when they are unaware and without permission.
My wedding work outside London and in Indonesia has provided me with plenty of experience posing subjects and trying to capture for them one of life’s real milestone moments. And while there are lots of ways to make great portraits, it seems to me essential to follow three simple rules.
These three photographs have something in common: They are all about fear.
They are a reminder that every day, photographers are mistaken for perverts, terrorists, thieves, and other weirdos just because of the cameras around their necks. People seem to assume that we are “up to something.”
We are so used to getting things for free – online newspapers, magazines, even books — we expect everything to be free.
Some people think photography should be free, and there are those in the marketplace who have done substantial damage to the value of images and assignments. It’s becoming all too common for images to be free, or next to free.
In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I take the mystery out of a call to action. It’s a frequently misunderstood term, and it’s crucial to your success. Learn how to maximize your marketing with an appropriate call to action.
Most freelance photographers spend much of their time looking for new business, which can come as a surprise to new graduates entering the marketplace.
“Basic courses in photography cover equipment, processes, and techniques,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. “Learning good business and marketing skills is important and some bachelor’s degree programs offer courses focusing on them.”
Not long ago I was sitting in my car by a seawall, watching fishermen surf casting. As daylight faded, a nearly full moon began to rise behind them and light up the water in a beautiful silver and blue pattern.
Blur is the new norm. Just look at a newspaper ad or a model’s portfolio and see how all too often a retoucher has taken shortcuts and smoothed out skin at the cost of the little imperfections that make each of us unique. In extreme cases, we see people who look computer generated.
In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I share some advice on how to find paying jobs in places where you least expect them.
I have a very thin skin. I don’t take criticism well, personally or professionally. Over the years though, as a photographer, I have learned to deal with it.
When you live in a world where you are constantly being judged by your work, you cannot expect that everyone will like what you do. Sometimes criticism can be beneficial, helping you understand yourself and your work from another’s point-of-view.
Better and cheaper digital cameras. More amateur photographers. Web-based agencies willing to sell an image for under a dollar. It’s no wonder there is so much stock photography available these days.