- 5 Tips to Help Photographers Survive in a Down Economy
- How and Why You Should Shoot RAW (Video)
- Interesting Photo of the Day: Perfectly-Timed Dolphin Races a Surfer
- Sit Back and Enjoy This Meditative Timelapse of a Road Trip Across America (Video)
- Terrifying GoPro Footage of Illegal One World Trade Center BASE Jump (Video)
Posted: 25 Mar 2014 11:14 PM PDT
Many photographers are experiencing difficult times in certain countries. Here are some of the questions I am hearing:
And of course there is that question that is on everyone’s lips, but no one wants to ask: “Is assignment photography a dying industry?”
NO. Please hear this loudly and clearly. Assignment photography is not dead. Not by a long shot. But your business might be if you are not marketing proactively.
It is critical that you continue to work on your portfolios, create websites, and send out direct mail that brands your business and creates visibility. In fact, the biggest mistake you can make during tough times is to drastically cut back on your selling and marketing.
You need to work, and clients are still hiring. While some companies have changed their buying patterns, others have seen less change. Magazines are still publishing, and many art buyers report that their buying habits haven’t changed, although some projects have been put on hold.
Assignments may be on hold, but your selling should not! The art of selling and marketing your work is cumulative. You can’t afford to randomly start and stop your process.
Since many other photographers choose to cut back on their selling and advertising during difficult times, your chance for greater visibility is improved. If you choose to be proactive, there is more opportunity for you to connect with buyers, because there are fewer people selling.
Many clients who are not producing work have more time to see you. Art directors who are not producing ads, and graphic designers who are waiting for approval on assignments, may be more accessible than ever before. Call contacts on your list and see if they are available for portfolio visits. Use any quiet time wisely. Reconnect with clients who you have not worked with in awhile. Check in and find out how they are and use this time to build on existing relationships.
Here are 5 specific steps that you can take now to help your business remain active, regardless of your finances:
1. Develop your visual value.
Have a specific tangible product to offer clients. Use any quiet time to create images, test, and edit visuals for a new or existing book. Review your current portfolio and play client. What message do you get from your book? What type of assignment would you hire yourself for? Conversely, what’s lacking in your book? Content, presentation, credibility? This is a great time to create a portfolio that you can market.
2. Develop a qualified list of contacts.
Buying a list is always helpful. Creative Access, is a good resource. If finances are a problem, learn how to create your own list of potential clients. For corporate leads, use the Standard Directory of Advertisers (found in the reference section of the library). For advertising leads, the Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies will be helpful, or go on the web to http://agencycompile.com. Graphic design studios and editorial publications can be accessed through their websites, which are a terrific source of visual, as well as specific, information for all potential clients. Once you have highlighted companies, publications and firms, call and ask who the photo buyer or buyers are. Ask agencies and graphic design firms to email or fax you a current creative list.
3. Create a well-rounded sales and marketing program.
There should be two components to your new business development efforts: sales and marketing. All too often, photographers develop marketing efforts but forget that sales efforts are key. What’s the difference between a sales effort and a marketing effort? Portfolio visits in person (yes they still happen!) and portfolios sent to buyers that you are interested in working with are sales efforts. Direct mail, source book ads, and websites are all marketing tools. They support the visual in the actual product, your portfolio.
4. Combine a portfolio with 2-3 other marketing efforts.
Buyers need repetition. They need to see your imagery over and over–preferably in different formats. Providing potential buyers the opportunity to see your images in a direct mail piece, a visual email, and in a portfolio presentation is critical. Buyers buy at different times, and they will find you through different avenues. You need to cover your bases and create visibility.
5. Brand all of your sales and marketing tools.
One of the key ingredients in any successful program is branding. Using your vision to set the tone, create a palette of colors, materials and design elements that will be present on your website, as well as in your portfolio and direct mail. When possible, work with a graphic designer or art director to set the look of your program. Branding also helps to create visibility and, in reality, when you develop a thoughtful, intelligent visual solution that speaks your message, you are building credibility with your audience, as you will be living the language and purpose of advertising and graphic design. A well-designed program builds trust as it speaks professionalism, knowledge, and confidence.
Yes, these are tough times, but the tides will turn. They always do. Nothing stays the same. Now is the time to begin what you never started or to go deeper into efforts you began awhile back. All hard work put into effect now will reap rewards later, when buyers start to buy, and the market turns around. When clients are ready to once again buy in full force, it’s the creative who continued to market and sell that will have a visibility factor amongst buyers. They are the photographers who will be very busy. Make sure that you are one of them.
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Go to full article: 5 Tips to Help Photographers Survive in a Down Economy
Posted: 25 Mar 2014 06:23 PM PDT
If you’re just starting out in photography, you might have heard of something called RAW. RAW files are really big photo files that professionals use, but many amateurs stay away from–mainly because RAW files are enormous and beginners wouldn’t know what to do with them. This video aims to solve that by offering a really excellent, easy-to-follow approach to RAW imaging:
Why Shoot RAW?
There are a few reasons why professionals choose RAW over smaller file types:
There are other reasons, too, but these are some of the main advantages.
How Do You Shoot RAW?
If you have a DSLR, it’s easy. The above image is of a Canon 5D, but any camera should clearly state the option if you click Menu -> Quality. One of the options should be “RAW”.
Many cameras also offer the option to take a photo in both RAW and JPEG formats. It’s a good option for beginners who want to see the difference.
How Do You Turn a RAW File Into a JPEG?
Posted: 25 Mar 2014 05:28 PM PDT
It’s a beautiful confluence of chance: a good wave, a strong surfer, gorgeous sunlight–and, to top it all off, a dolphin pops into the frame, just as the photographer presses down on the shutter. As much a testament to luck as to skill, this image tells a lovely story of nature gracing man with a perfect moment:
The image was captured by Matt Hutton, an Australian landscape photographer who was testing out some new lenses on Kalbarri Beach near Perth. The surfer, Trent Sherborne, had never met Hutton before and was just as surprised when two dolphins began jumping up alongside him.
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Perfectly-Timed Dolphin Races a Surfer
Posted: 25 Mar 2014 04:24 PM PDT
On a road trip from Montreal to Nevada in July 2013, Eric Paré and Marie-Line Migneault were aiming for Burning Man but got distracted by the natural beauty of the American West. They began regularly stopping, hopping out of their car, and shooting stop-motion and timelapse videos of the wild west, including celestial sunsets and sweeping panoramas:
Paré’s talent as a photographer can’t be denied, even if Migneault’s contrived meditative stoicism comes off a bit goofy sometimes. The video, entitled WindScale, certainly does make you want to grab a tent and head off on a good old American road trip.
Last year we shared another cross-country timelapse with a distinctly busier take on the all-American road trip. But here, Paré and Migneault have managed to show us the calm, natural side of the US.
Go to full article: Sit Back and Enjoy This Meditative Timelapse of a Road Trip Across America (Video)
Posted: 25 Mar 2014 02:42 PM PDT
We know that BASE jumpers are the world’s daredevils, leaping from cliffs even in high heels and suits. And we know that One World Trade Center, touted as “the number-one terrorist target in the world,” is incredibly easy to break into, even if you’re a 16-year-old boy. So it feels somehow inevitable that these two worlds would collide.
Four men, including James Brady, a 32-year-old ironworker whose reputation throughout New York City earned him the right to physically construct One World Trade Center, have been charged in connection with jumping off it in a bafflingly brave stunt. Oh, the irony:
The story is as fascinating as the video the men recorded is terrifying. Brady was one of the ironworkers who placed the 104th beam, signed by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama—but he was also a private daredevil, already once arrested in December 2012 for trying to leap off a 33-story building in the Bronx.
This latest feat puts that one to shame. Much of the above video is spent tensely waiting for his understandably nervous friend to jump first. “All right, man, you got this,” Brady repeats.
With a GoPro camcorder strapped to his head, Brady leaps off himself shortly after, shooting straight down the side of the skyscraper before releasing his parachute and gliding down an empty main street.
As soon as he lands, maybe in disbelief, he mutters, “Oh f@#$” and scrambles to gather his parachute and get out of the street before a car can hit him.
But the story doesn’t end there, because this video was taken on September 30, 2013. What happened between then and yesterday, when the video was uploaded to YouTube, garnering a million views in 24 hours?
That night, a security guard witnessed one of the guys quickly pack up his gear and run away. This led to an initial police investigation, which led them to find video evidence of Brady’s car circling the new American monument, which led to a subpoena of his phone records and emails–which, after months of investigation, led to Brady and his cohorts surrendering themselves this past Monday.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that Brady and his friends had no intention of sharing this video with the world or ever letting another soul know about it. This was their little secret. A secret between an ironworker and the iron on which he worked. No one had to know that they snuck in until the police brought it to the public.
We’ll say it again: that’s irony.
Go to full article: Terrifying GoPro Footage of Illegal One World Trade Center BASE Jump (Video)
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