- 15 Tips for Starting and Maintaining a Successful Photography Business
- History of the Infamous Pirelli Photography Calendar
- Photography Beauty Light Comparisons
Posted: 17 Jan 2014 10:48 PM PST
The professional photography industry can be a scary place for the new photographer trying to earn a living doing what he or she loves by establishing a photography business. The competition is fierce, the bookkeeping seems mountainous, and for those introverts among us, the thought of interacting so closely with people for a living—um… promote myself?—is daunting to say the least.
But if deep passion for the craft is the driving force, one would be remiss not to try.
In this lecture, photographer Jeff Cable provides 15 tips for starting and maintaining a successful photography business, advice born in the crucible of experience as a professional photographer (for those of you reading this by email, the masterclass video can be seen here):
1. Have passion and LOVE what you do.
There’s nothing worse than hating one’s job. Professional photography requires hard work and long hours on the clock (and on one’s feet), so only the passionate photographers actually succeed at maintaining successful photography businesses without burning out—and sometimes even they fail.
Passion for the craft is what will sustain you when the going gets tough, but passion will also pay off in the everyday mundane routine, in relationships with clients, and in your photographs because it will push you to give your all.
2. Know how to shoot and practice if you don’t.
A successful professional photographer knows his or her equipment in and out and knows how to shoot in every lighting situation he or she might encounter on the job—but it’s not just about gear and lighting. The ideal pro can seamlessly select good foregrounds and backgrounds for stellar composition and can even predict situations and key moments before they happen so as to catch them with the shutter.
3. Focus on what you know.
As you build reputation and expertise as a professional photographer, make note of your strengths and weaknesses so that you can shoot according to your strengths for paying clients and practice on your own time or during free test shoots to improve your weaknesses.
4. Invest in good starter equipment.
Since price really does determine quality in photography, starting a successful photography business usually involves investing a good-sized wad of cash right from the get-go to purchase some high quality gear and backup gear—although renting backup gear is a viable option as well. Don’t forget that photography is all about the brain and eye and heart behind the camera, but do remember that, while you don’t need to buy the best quality glass or DSLR to take good photographs, it certainly helps if you can.
5. Get insurance and backup religiously.
Insuring your gear and property is obvious here, but purchasing general liability insurance, which protects you from liability if you bump into an expensive vase while shooting a wedding, or if a kid trips over your camera bag and breaks his arm, is just as important. Many venues even require proof of insurance before they will let you shoot there.
Along that same vein is a different kind of insurance: backups.
6. Differentiate yourself.
How do you stand out in a highly-competitive field like photography? You find ways to differentiate yourself from the rest by owning your unique style and by developing a Unique Selling Proposition (e.g. I work my butt off; I tell stories in ways that no one else can tell them, etc).
7. Have the right attitude.
People skills are a huge part of professional photography, so learn to treat clients with respect, of course—but more than that, learn to have fun, keep in touch, and put your clients at ease during photoshoots.
8. Have a compelling website.
Maintaining a fast, HTML-based website with a handful of solid images will work wonders for your business. In your portfolio and/or homepage slider, make sure to feature only your best 5-10 images; including one or two sub-par images just for the sake of having more can drive potential clients away.
9. Learn to tell the story.
No matter what the gig is, capture the key moments that you’re expected to capture while also keeping alert with your head on the swivel, looking for “unscripted” moments to fill in the holes in the story between those stereotypical key moments.
10. Continue to learn.
Learning goes hand in hand with practice and differentiating yourself from your competition. Push yourself to try different techniques and equipment. Shoot in unfamiliar environments to figure them out. Go on photo walks for inspiration and do everything you can to stay interested and passionate.
11. Understand people.
It may be easier said than done, but learning to understand people goes a long way in photography. Try to understand your clients, each one, and know who they are and what they like—your clients will appreciate the attention and your photographs will show your compassion.
12. Design your pricing and stick to it.
If you’re just starting out as a professional photographer, it might be a good idea to do a few shoots for free while you build a decent portfolio, but as soon as you have that, Cable says, stop giving your art away. Develop a reasonable pricing and deliverables list according to your financial needs and don’t waver or undercut yourself, even when potential clients request lower rates.
13. Know business as much as you know photography.
The sad fact is that many good and passionate photographers fail as professional photographers. Probably the number one reason for that is that having good photography sense isn’t enough; pro photographers also need to have just as much business sense—and this is where many go wrong, in Cable’s opinion. In fact, he even suggests going to school for business and learning photography on the side, instead of the other way around.
14. Always think about referrals.
Treat everyone—yes, Cable really means everyone, even the kids—as potential clients. Make friends, maintain a fun-loving and positive attitude, and work diligently at all times, even when your current paying client isn’t around. Always over-deliver.
15. Be smart about your time.
That old saying, “Time is money,” really is true. Unfortunately, the other saying that “things always take more time than you think they will” is also true. Effectively budget your time, always work towards streamlining your workflow, and make sure to factor time into your pricing.
Cable firmly believes that these 15 tips, which he attributes to his own success, will help your new or soon-to-be photography business not only to succeed, but also to thrive in the photography industry. After all, Cable began is career humbly by shooting occasional Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and making amateur mistakes like bringing only one 4GB memory card for the whole event.
Now, Cable is widely-respected as an Olympic photographer and he conducts photography lectures all over the world. If he can do it, you can too.
Go to full article: 15 Tips for Starting and Maintaining a Successful Photography Business
Posted: 17 Jan 2014 06:36 PM PST
This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Pirelli Calendar, a publication so high in status that most photographers only dream about being a part of it.
This 50th Anniversary Photographer Retrospective by the Fashion Channel shows some of the best Pirelli photographers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Annie Leibovitz and Norman Parkinson, as they shoot some of the most beautiful women in the world (warning: adult content) for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here:
Here’s a quick rundown of the History of the Pirelli Calendar:
1964 – 1974
Looking for a way to stand out from its British competition, Pirelli UK Limited, the Italian tire manufacturer’s UK subsidiary, comes up with the glamorous and artistic Pirelli Calendar in 1964.
The Group turns to Derek Forsyth to be the art director, and Robert Freeman, who’s known for the photography work he did with The Beatles.
The first decade brings in the most acclaimed photographers of the time to start making a name for the calendar as a fashion and cultural trendsetter.
1975 – 1983
The publication takes a break for nine years as a cut-back due to the world recession caused by the oil crisis.
1984 – 1994
The calendar relaunches in 1984 and progressively gains success in the photography and fashion industries over the next decade.
1994 – Present
The Pirelli Calendar continues to be a trailblazer, showcasing some of the most admired and sought after photographers and models of our time.
Go to full article: History of the Infamous Pirelli Photography Calendar
Posted: 17 Jan 2014 11:30 AM PST
Karl Taylor, a talented commercial photographer, knows his lighting gear. In this demonstration, he uses some of his favorite light modifiers to show their range of effects (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
Taylor prefers the quality of light he gets from using Broncolor’s parabolic reflectors. These deep, umbrella-like light modifiers are versatile. The light can be focused at varied distances from the reflector to achieve different effects. For example, when the light rod is fully extended only the outer edges of the modifier throw off light. When the light is moved close in to the modifier, the light is shaped like a starburst and produces a light with higher contrast. The modifers can also be used with diffusers to create specialized softboxes.
For comparison, Taylor asked a model to pose for several images. She stood next to a large piece of white polyboard, which bounced fill light back onto her right side. He then shot portraits systematically, starting with a beauty dish and moving on to parabolic reflectors of different diameters and an octabox. For each of the parabolic reflectors, he took three shots with the light extended at various positions. His test shots used the following modifiers:
Taylor’s light modifier trials show that the type and size of light has a huge impact on the look and feel of an image. When shopping for beauty lighting, keep your intended portrait style in mind. Quality of light makes a big difference.
|You are subscribed to email updates from PictureCorrect Photography Tips |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|