December 2018 Inspirations: Best of 2018

December 2018 Inspirations: Best of 2018 Inspiration can come when you least expect it. As photographers, we are visual artists. We express ourselves through our camera and the images we create. Inspirations represents a sampling of our industry and the vision of professional photographers from around the world. Congratulations to…

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Digital Tools for Success with Sal Cincotta

There is no escaping it: We live in a digital world but we operate in some old-school ways. From photography to our tax returns, we must all learn to operate efficiently and effectively in this new world. Here are some of the tools I use to run my business smoothly and make maximum use of my time. This isn’t just about saving time. It’s about giving your customers a unique experience.

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How to Film Your Own Promo Video

Back in 2012, we produced our first promo video after attending a conference and seeing that other “rock star” studios had created them. The immediate results after we released that video on our website and Facebook were astounding. We went from getting inquiries that wanted to know if we had ever shot in a dark reception to inquiries saying they knew we were the wedding photographers for them—and what could they do to book us right away? There are two main components to producing an effective promo video for your photography business. You’ll want to think about story and technique. Both are extremely important on their own, but together they become much more powerful.

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Your Dream Studio: Digital Product Pricing Strategies

For the past two months in The Business Corner, we’ve been building your price list from the ground up by first determining a retail value for each product you sell. Last month, we looked at alternatives to the cost-based pricing model, examining products and situations for which cost-based pricing doesn’t work (November 2018, “Your Dream Studio: Strategies Beyond Cost-Based Pricing”). One product we briefly discussed last month that breaks the cost-based mold is digital files. For this month’s theme of digital strategies, let’s further explore how to price and sell digital files.

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Beautify Your Brides Using Brushes in Lightroom Classic

There are lots of opinions on what’s beautiful and natural, and how to make brides look their best. In this article, we are going to dive into touching up skin in Lightroom Classic. No, we aren’t going into Photoshop and won’t have frequency separation or the ability to recreate pores after we soften. Let’s focus on Lightroom and what’s already at our disposal. Trust Lightroom—it makes editing simple. 

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Movie Magic: How First-Time Filmmakers Reached the Silver Screen

In 2011, my wife and I took a big risk. We emptied our savings to fund the film project. We’d just experienced a loss in our lives, and we needed to step back from taking pretty wedding pictures for a while. Instead, we turned our cameras toward kids fighting to survive in one of the world’s most violent slums. The result was our low-budget documentary Lost Boys of Paradise, which raised money for the nonprofit Engadi Ministries, with which we still work. So the risk paid off, right? But not how you might think. Things change. Today, after five years writing for Shutter (now a premier photo industry publication), our tiny 2011 video project has led to something bigger than I could have imagined. Our professional life has come full circle—almost miraculously so. Because now you are part of this story, too.

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7 Ways to Stretch Your Creative Muscle

That feeling of world-weariness, or ennui, that I discussed in a previous article can get to all of us from time to time. It can feel as if you are no longer making progress or your work is no longer exciting. That might mean it is time to feed the artistic side of your brain and take a break from your typical work. It’s time to stretch your creativity to keep yourself fresh and excited about what you do.

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Studio Portraits With Flare: Creating Lens Flare with Studio Strobes

Flare is perfect for adding drama and sizzle when creating images of actors, musicians and other entertainers. Think Dreamgirls, Beyoncé and countless other subjects where one or more lights behind the model creates a dramatic entertainment-oriented background effect. With a little know-how and a few lighting modifiers, flare in the studio can be harnessed as a worthy addition to your lighting repertoire. In this article, I look at creating flare using studio strobe.

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