To shoot for free or not to shoot for free, that is the question.
There is a longstanding debate among photographers about whether or not it’s ever appropriate to do photoshoots for free.
Many photographers argue that doing any sort of free photo session devalues your work and the profession. Others say that shooting for free is necessary for building up a portfolio and getting pictures for your website.
In my opinion, you should shoot for free, but the reason why it may not be what you think.
Sure, I will agree that at the beginning of your photography career it’s beneficial to build up a portfolio by offering a few free photo sessions to friends and family. I often used my kids as models, and I still do to this day. I’ve also asked my neighbors for permission to photograph their children for composites and provided free photos in exchange. However, this is not the only reason you should offer gratis photography services.
Often, as we grow as a...
Pumpkins, leaves, cool breezes, and cozy fires...autumn is my absolute favorite time of year! So it goes without saying that Halloween is my most-loved holiday. I am that crazy chick that starts digging out the decorations mid-September (or earlier ), and the one you see stalking all of the local stores after Halloween for the awesome sales on costumes and decorations to add to my already insane collection for next year’s photo ideas and home décor.
Fall is also my preferred time of year for outdoor photoshoots. You just can’t beat the beautiful colors, all of the leaves covering the ground lending more depth to your images, and not to mention the weather where you and your clients are neither sweating nor freezing your booties off (at least, that's how it is in the little area of the world where I live).
There is also no other time of year that I get more inspired to create composite images than Halloween with all of the costumes and props floating around and...
When I first started photography, I struggled a lot with lighting. In the beginning, we are often told to shoot our subjects in open shade. If you don't know how to do this properly, then the results can be disastrous: faces with dark shadows, eyes with no depth, overexposed backgrounds, etc.
To be able to create composites using your photos, you must first know how to take a properly-lit image. If the lighting in your foundation photo is off, your composite will not look right, even with heavy editing. The following are four basic lighting principles I wish I knew at the beginning of my photography career and that I've personally had a lot of success with:
Lighting Principle #1: The subject is the brightest object in the photo. Unless you are shooting a silhouette, the subject of your photo should always be either the brightest object or equal in brightness to the other objects in the photo.
Lighting Principle #2: The photo should be free of overexposed highlights....
Attending a photography workshop can benefit your skills greatly. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro with the camera, it’s always great to grow and learn. We’ve put together a list of five reasons why attending a photography workshop is important for your photography business.
You will learn new skills and techniques. You also can learn from others’ mistakes. Taking a workshop will help you pick up on skills you didn't know. We have taken several workshops that have drastically improved our skillset.
From changing the way we shoot natural light to helping us right the many wrongs we had when it came to using flash and other artificial light sources. If you can pick up at least one thing that makes your photography better, then the workshop is worth the price of admission. Many of the photography workshops today also include business advice and who doesn't want to learn how to run their business...
Bringing the real and the fictional together was not as challenging as expected!
I created this sea monster composite to show how easy it was to edit this with the techniques applied. This is one of the easiest composites available in the membership because the stock graphics already have such an illustrative feel, eliminating much of the work like editing lighting, shadows, color tones or things like that. The final image looked much more like an illustration or a painting.
In the video tutorial, I include exactly where I was able to get the stock images and filters used. Sign up for the premium membership to find out where.
Different techniques like adjusting shadows and tones, adding warmth, warping some images and using contrast and exposure were applied. Using the soft brush tool, I was able to take out any harshness in the composite. In most of my tutorials, you’ll see that the subject is the center of attention but for this one, since the boy is so tiny,...
Using social media is crucial for the budding photographer to get their work noticed and recognized. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat offer great ways for photographers to share their work with the rest of the world, but they can be tricky to leverage when they aren't used correctly. In fact, there are times that it is better (and worse) to post your photography to achieve the most interaction and engagement. Here's a look at the best times for photographers to post to social media:
With over one billion users, Facebook dominates the social media market. More people are on Facebook than any other social media platform, and it allows photographers to connect with people in their local markets, as well as around the globe. Even though there are thousands of people using Facebook at any given moment, however, there are some "prime times" that photographers should post their work to...
As a photographer, one of the most difficult parts of conducting business is the need to do sales. You like taking pictures. Sales, on the other hand, isn't your strong suit.
You're not alone!
There are many photographers who struggle with in-person sales (IPS). Those sales efforts, however, are the key to connecting with your customers and ensuring that you're generating the business you need.
In-person sales are the first step in running a profitable business--and it's a step you can't afford to skip. Typically, clients make purchase decisions out of emotion.
Ideally, you want them to see their images for the first time in person, with you.
In-person sales have a variety of benefits that will allow you to increase your overall income as you appeal to customers' senses and emotions to encourage them to make purchase decisions.
When clients view their images for the first time, they'll have an emotional reaction to those images.
One of the questions I get asked the most when it comes to photography and composites is: How can I extend my image background?
Often, you'll pick the perfect photo you want to use for a composite, only to realize your stock image won't fit.
Of course, if you already know that you want to add a stock image to a photo for a composite, then the easiest thing to do is leave enough room in the image to place your stock.
But if you didn't plan to accommodate the stock, then you're going to have to work a little magic, and I'm here to help you with that part.
I'm going to use my "Baby, It's Cold Outside" image as an example.
To start off, I suggest shooting with your lowest F-stop so you can get all the compression in the background. This will not only make it easier to extend the background, but it'll also help you out if you plan to cut your subject out of the background.
Before you begin, you can roughly measure how much you need to extend your...
As a photographer, generating new leads can be quite difficult. Even the most skilled photographers can sometimes have a hard time closing potential clients. This can be discouraging, but there are various marketing tactics that you can use to turn potential photography clients into real customers.
With that said, here are 3 ways to capture the attention of potential photography clients so they can’t resist booking with you.
1. Remarketing using Google and Facebook
Marketing isn't a one-time effort, rather, it's something that needs to be done continuously to truly master and take effect. Google and Facebook are both great platforms that will help you to effectively reach potential clients.
Google is the world's most popular search engine, which is why it is one of the best options when it comes to marketing. This is because people are constantly searching for photo services on Google. Therefore, this naturally presents an ideal platform for you to run ads for your...
Although I have a busy schedule between shooting client sessions, conducting workshops, and mentoring photographers from around the world, I will always have at least 3 personal projects in the works at any given time.
For me, personal projects are one of the most beneficial things an artist and professional can have, not only for themselves but for their business as well.
Here are a few examples of my personal projects in my portfolio:
Why are personal projects so important and beneficial?
As artists, we always have ideas floating around in our heads, and if you are anything like me, it will drive you nuts until you see it come to fruition. Whether your final product exactly matches your vision or not, it feels amazing to get it all out and be proactive with your visions.
Personal projects allow you freedom….freedom to fail, freedom to succeed, freedom to learn something new and freedom to experiment. The last thing we want as professionals, is to...