So many of you are excited and proud to be in business. That pride overshadows how you’ve ignored focusing on the education of your target audience. Whether you offer new services or new products, your success is about making sure each client understands why you’re worth the money they’re about to spend on you.
For this series of hip-hop-inspired black-and-white portraits, I wanted a dramatic, moody, high contrast look. In the studio, nothing says drama like a black background. My concept was all about black on black—black skin, black wardrobe, on a black background. Lit properly, this monochromatic palette would isolate, elevate and highlight the subject in a punchy, dramatic way.
Working with video can seem like traveling to another dimension. Introducing novel techniques works wonders in improving our cognitive abilities. So you’re not only making art, you’re building gray matter. Now get out there and have fun.
We train our team in four technical elements: lighting, composition, posing and storytelling. Light is the first thing our photographers must become proficient in before moving on to the next subject. Lighting is essential because without it, we don’t have a picture. The word photography literally means “the study of light,” so to understand lighting, the first thing you need to understand is how to recognize it.
The first time I tried after-sales, it felt silly. The most I could bring myself to do was send an email after their wedding telling them that the free thank-you cards that came with their wedding package could be upgraded in size and style. I also threw in the idea that they could add pages to their albums. I still remember cringing as I hit send. I felt like such a sleaze.
I love to travel. I love learning about different cultures, tasting new food and seeing new things. It seems we all have a bit of the travel bug, which is awesome. I don’t know a single photographer who wouldn’t love to make money while traveling. But how? You need a business plan outlining how you will pay for your travel. This month, I tell you how I got started and how I run the traveling portion of my business.
The longer I’ve made portraits, 40-plus years, the more steadfast I am in the belief that it all starts with lighting. Whether soft, hard or anything in between, each quality of light and shadow imparts emotion and drama to help tell a unique story. Lighting’s job is to support the story you’re trying to tell rather than distract from it.
So, you are ready to take things up a notch. Travel the world. Get those high-impact shots. Set yourself apart. I’m excited for you! Nothing feeds the creative soul like new locations and exciting concepts. But not all destinations are the same. The best places to shoot are difficult to access, loaded with tourists or bring unexpected curve balls. Planning is the only way to make sure your photographic travel adventure is a success. Here are some things you need to do no matter your destination.
If an image needs heavy composite work to swap a sky or clip out a subject, of course it’s Photoshop to the rescue. But what about the creative editing of tones, color grades, dodge and burn, HDR, sharpening, etc.? Can we really work in Photoshop to prep and go back into Lightroom and get good results?
Locations can make or break an entire shoot. There are a lot of factors that go into finding the perfect location, whether you’re shooting locally or traveling. Here are my top tips for finding locations and managing the process, and some of the variables involved.