The Ins and Outs of Image Competition

As a new photographer, how do you get started with image competition? What competitions do you enter? How do you shoot for competition? How do you learn and grow from your experience in image competition? I am here to answer all of those questions for you today. The first step in your process is to understand which image competitions to enter. There are competitions popping up every day, and you don’t want to waste time entering ones that don’t have quality judges or provide a method of getting feedback on your imagery. That defeats the purpose. Here’s a breakdown of the current image competitions I recommend. If you are based outside of the United States, there are other competitions in your country that may be a good fit for you.

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Traveling Smart as a Destination Photographer

I am a destination photographer. I photograph weddings, portraits and commercial gigs, and the one thing that is consistent across all genres is that I travel quite a long distance to most of my shoots. As a destination photographer, I’m constantly trying to simplify and protect my gear as I travel—it’s my goal to arrive at my destination (and back home again!) with all of my gear undamaged and my images intact.

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How to Market in the Second-Busiest Time of Year

It’s spring—time for you to start claiming a few customers of your own. Unless you get busy grabbing new business, all of it’s going to be going on around you rather than walking through your door. As Tina Fey once quipped, “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” With the second-quarter seasonality come some amazing opportunities for great content, direct mail and partnerships. There’s a lot to think about, and although you’re coming down to the wire since it all starts ramping up in the next few weeks, you’ve still got time to do a lot. I want to help you thrive in 2018, not just survive.

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Tips for Photographing in Empty & Abandoned Buildings

Many photographers dream of working on location in incredible places where one might encounter the occasional giraffe or dolphin. A few years ago I was exposed to the dark side of destination shoots when I was invited by my good friend Brett to shoot inside a vast abandoned insane asylum in West Virginia erected before the Civil War. Since then, I’ve had the urge to visit destinations where I am more likely to get tetanus than to see a family of elk.

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Unleash Your Creativity With Skylum Luminar 2018

Of all the editing tools at our disposal, not all of them make sense for every task. Lightroom is not the end-all/be-all program—even though I use it for almost everything. It’s important to try out other programs, especially when you want to push the envelope and unleash your creativity. To bring out structure and details in an image, I have always relied on plugins like Macphun Intensify (recently renamed Skylum Intensify). With the release of Skylum’s Luminar, I can now edit with all the tools I need in one place. Once I have finished selecting my best shot of the shoot, I am ready to launch Luminar and get working. Let’s get set up and familiar with Luminar to get a better feel for how we can attack this image.

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Getting Started in Destination Wedding Photography

Do you like to travel? Do you like adventures? Do you love different cultures and cuisines? Do you want to see the world? Then maybe you, like me, will love destination wedding photography. Sure, you have to work and you are not going to spend your time tanning, but if you are going to work, why not have the world as your backdrop? That’s pretty much been my philosophy for the last seven years. Seeing the world is one of the single most enjoyable things I do in my life. I just love it—the culture, the food, the people. Knowing that I have made new friends all around the world is such an incredible feeling.

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Hit the Road: Working With Models on Destination Shoots

It’s one thing to be a portrait artist who uses modeling talent in your work regularly, but it’s very different when you take that show on the road. Shooting locally is complicated enough, but things become exponentially more complicated when you do the same thing out of state, and especially out of the country. Each new project in each new town presents new problems. But all model photography requires a lot of the same concerns and methods. In this article, I approach these from the artist side of things, which is how I’ve been approaching travel for about half a year now exclusively. I am going to focus on planning and executing amazing projects on the road, but not how to get paid model photography work on the road (something I don’t do anymore, but that’s another article).

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Family Photos Fast

When you shoot weddings, it’s a family affair. In this article, I show you my methods of pulling off family photos like you’re pulling off a Band-Aid—the fast way. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate photographing families. But when you’re gathering a group of potentially rowdy people who haven’t seen each other in a while, it can be difficult to get them to do the opposite of what they’d like to be doing. The next time you’ve got a priest breathing down your neck telling you to hurry up with family photos, breathe easy. Here are my magic ways of getting through it with flying colors.

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Travel-Sized Equipment That Won’t Break the Bank – or Your Back

If we are living in the Golden Age of mobile photography, 2018 has shaped up to be its best year yet, by far. New technology is turning photographers’ dreams into reality with gear that’s more advanced and less expensive than ever. Many of these items were just announced last month, and I can’t wait to share them with you. We’re talking pro quality that’s accessible to virtually anyone—and that fits in your backpack.

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Unlimited Background Colors With Gels

You can never have enough background colors to choose from in the studio. The background color that performs perfectly for one outfit, complexion, hair color, makeup style or concept will likely fall flat for another. You can invest in an endless assortment of colored rolls of seamless paper, but at anywhere from $50 to $100 each, this rainbow requires a pot of gold. This month, I show you how to create virtually any color you want without the cost or clutter of seamless paper.

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