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.
In Monday’s post, I discussed the tendency of photographers to create websites that have lots of bells and whistles, but that don’t necessarily put the priorities and interests of their audience first. Here are five tips for designing a website with your customer in mind:
There are some excellent photographer websites out there, but the vast majority of them fall short in demonstrating their owner’s best work.
My biggest complaint is the use of Flash. Although Flash is great for showing motion and other effects on the web, it is not a good medium for showing photographs.
Setting up a test session can be as easy as taking a friend to a park — if it’s the right friend and the right park.
A test session is for the purpose of trying out a new technique or piece of equipment, or to shoot something that you hope will end up in your portfolio.
In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I share some advice on highlighting your achievements in a high-impact biography for your website.
Fourth in a series.
In the first part of this series, we introduced you to an Ottawa photographer who, when asked about getting paid, joked that “baseball bats work wonders.” In this last installment, we’ll discuss how to swing the legal lumber: namely courts and collection agencies.
Third in a series.
When it comes to getting paid for her photography, New Yorker Giovanna Grueiro has a system. You should too.
In this installment of our series, we’ll explore how having a plan to get paid for each job will keep your businesses — and your client relationships — healthier.
Second in a series.
Having a hard time getting paid for your freelance work? You’ve got company.
Some 44 percent of “independent workers” had difficulty getting paid for their work last year, according to the Freelancers Union, the industry group that counts more than 150,000 members nationwide. It says three out of four freelancers are paid late or not at all at least once in their careers.
(Editor’s note: In today’s uncertain economy, freelance photographers are waiting longer than ever to receive payment from their clients. Following is the first in a series of articles by Brandon Cotter, founder of ZenCash, offering tips to accelerate your cash flow.)
In this edition of Ask the Photo Business Coach, I share some tips and tricks for photographers looking to maximize social media in their marketing efforts.
Last year I wrote a blog post called “21 Signs You’re a Real Photographer Now.” Commenters said the post was elitist, “sexist crap,” “truly pointless,” “self-congratulatory nonsense,” and a “waste of time.”
Summer is usually a slow period for me. You might say that I am “creatively inactive.”
I tend to stay close to home in Vermont during the summer. And when I try to shoot here, I generally don’t produce much that I like.
As a wedding photographer, I know my job is important. I could argue that I’m the most important vendor at the event, in fact.
After all, I’m the one who will be documenting the day for posterity.
Editor’s note: Carl Costas is a Sacramento-based photographer specializing in photojournalism. He is a former staff photographer for the Sacramento Bee. In his first video on visual storytelling for Black Star Rising, Carl discusses the importance of building rapport with your subject.
In May, Peter Phun published an article on Black Star Rising entitled “It’s Time for Pro Photographers and Hobbyists to Call a Truce.” The article has received a lot of comments. I would like to weigh in with my thoughts on the difference between professionals and non-professionals.