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.
Whether you’re like me and try to stay within a niche or you’re a photographer who dabbles across the world, staying true to your brand can be difficult when you cross genres. Whether you’re shooting portraits, weddings, headshots, products or seniors, here are some ways to keep consistency throughout your photos.
Although it’s been common in Facebook photography groups to bash the video team at a wedding, we can learn quite a bit from their craft and apply it to our own. My husband, Rich, is a cinematographer, and through working with him, I have learned ideas and techniques that have improved the way I photograph a wedding and the way I deliver wedding albums as well. When we are photographing a wedding, we want to begin with the end in mind: a beautifully designed album. We want that album to have symmetry and balance, proper proportions and beautiful leading lines. This is how we use cinematic rules for our photography.
Because digital cameras are complicated creatures, manufacturers have added a little gizmo so you can see if you are indeed gathering all the data and using the memory efficiently. But most photographers blow off this handy little meter as esoteric and unnecessary. That magical meter is called the histogram, and today we are going to master that bad boy to get cleaner, less noisy images.
So you think you want to become a wedding photographer? Be careful what you wish for. Yes, it’s true what they say: A career in wedding photography can be quite lucrative. For my wife Eileen and I (The Blumes), our decade-long career has allowed us to create a life of travel and comfort we never imagined. On the other hand, the vast majority of photographers who approach weddings as a golden goose get bitten, and there’s good reason for the burnout and high failure rates. This job isn’t for the faint of heart.
Let’s coin the term commodity photographer. Think generic can of peas or a jar of salsa with a white label that simply says “SALSA.” These products may have different manufacturers, but they are so similar that we often can’t tell the difference. In the world of photography, this same idea rings true. You might be just another can of peas and not even know it. Let’s explore some of the pitfalls and potential solutions to prevent you from being an easily replaceable commodity. Here are a few ways to tell if you fall into the category of a commodity photographer.
I don't want to just be a portrait photographer who happens to be at a wedding. I want to be a storyteller who captures the essence of people to tell the story of who they are in this time of their lives in an emotionally impactful way. Only recently have I evolved my approach from just finding the perfect light and artistic, beautiful compositions; now I find or create environments where authentic moments can take place. Through research and practice, I have developed a handful of methods to achieve emotional impact in my work.
Wedding photography has been a passion of mine since I first got behind the camera seven years ago. I was initially attracted to the art of storytelling in wedding photography because it allowed us to capture fleeting heartfelt moments. I appreciated the challenge and the feeling of satisfaction that would ultimately come when I was able to capture an authentic, emotional moment.
Traveling the world doing photography is one of my favorite parts of the job. Many of us are wary of all the hassles and unexpected challenges of travel photography. It’s not always glamorous, and it takes time to learn how to manage the chaos. Here are my own hard-won Top 5 travel tips for photographers anxious to hop on a plane and cross an ocean with a bunch of gear in the overhead.
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.