Don’t Be a Commodity Photographer

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.

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Capturing Emotion on a Wedding Day

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.

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The Art of Storytelling in Wedding Photography

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.

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8 Tips for the Traveling Photographer

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.

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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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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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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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Capturing the Perfect Shot

What draws you to a certain photograph? What elevates a photo to outstanding? I strive for my photos to draw in the attention of my viewers, to engage them and inspire them. Once I conquered the technical aspects of my camera, I began to look for ways to improve my photography. As an amateur photographer, I always need to be on my feet because you never know when the perfect shot is going to come. I have discovered different tips and tricks to capture the perfect photo. Here are a few of them.

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Turning Stressful Weddings into Glamorous Experiences

Having photographed hundreds of weddings over almost a decade-long career, I can say that weddings are not glamorous. They’re supposed to be, right? But they just aren’t. In fact, weddings are more often marked by behind-schedule makeup artists, self-important “church ladies,” overbearing mothers, insensitive toast-makers, impatient guests, inconsiderate Uncle Bobs and clumsy electrical technicians. Here are three steps you can take before, during and after every wedding this year to give your couples a more glamorous experience.

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