There is no greater necessity than change. This year has brought about a lot of change for the photography industry. What was said to be a record year for many photography studios was completely upended by a worldwide pandemic that nobody could have ever predicted. If you read my article in last month’s Shutter Magazine, you will know how important it is to take action to mitigate disruption in your business.
There is a misconception in the photography community that great cinematic images require large budgets, big crews and epic locations. When I show people my work, there is always the inevitable comment “if I had an unlimited budget, I could do that too!” The fact is, the vast majority of my photography was created on a bare-bones budget and with a tiny crew—and a large amount of it was actually created in my own home.
There are a lot more advanced techniques that will produce greater results, but everything I’ve explained here will get you off to a great start. I’ve seen photographers with the most expensive equipment take Milky Way images that were “meh” and others with starter cameras create mind-blowing images. The key takeaway here is that your imagination and planning will produce better images than advanced techniques and expensive gear. Keep it simple. Stick to the basics and plan your shots.
Wordpress is a platform with the power to build almost anything you want, but all that freedom makes it really tricky to navigate. Until I found the right tools through a lot of trial and error and crashed sites, I found it frustrating as well (in fact, as I write this, we’re dealing with the headache of switching the ShutterFest site to a new server). In this series, I want to save you all those headaches and show you the entire process of building a Wordpress site for your photography business, from beginning to end.
High key lighting is a highly sought after and easy to create technique when you know how to do it. In this month's feature, I’ll show you how to create beautiful high key lighting on a low budget. I’ll take a reductionist approach, walking you step by step from the most complex, pro level, gear-intensive method, to a great 50% midway point, and then to our final 1-light method, the subject of this month’s tutorial.
In this day and age of iPhones and uber-camera-equipped Android devices, do we really need to consider anything else to film our children? It’s a valid question. Phone cameras are getting better with every iteration. Some can even rival DSLR and mirrorless image quality in outdoor, daylight conditions. I would say, however, that if filming your kids is a project that you really want to inject with your full arsenal of photography and videography skills, a phone will be limiting.
Photographing newborns is one thing, but photographing children requires a whole lot of knowledge about child development, bribery, and cognitive behavior. I have been photographing children since I became an aunt 26 years ago. I remember when I first started observing my nieces and nephews, I was in love with their every move. I could quietly photograph them and it seemed so easy. I wasn’t their “parent” or their “paid photographer”—just Aunt Ana with a camera.
Whether you specialize in baby photography or you just book the occasional newborn client, you’ve probably experienced one of the most frustrating parts of the job: newborns who don’t want to sleep. It probably doesn’t sound like an issue at first. So what? Just pose them awake! Except that awake newborns don’t always equal content newborns, and it’s a lot harder than it seems to pose a wiggly, arm-flailing, cross-eyed, screaming baby. We’ve had our share of super-alert newborns. We’re going to share how we approach those sessions without getting frustrated and still get the variety needed to fill a gallery in 3 hours or less.
When it comes to using multiple camera models and manufacturers, images photographed in the same place and time look different. As photographers, we focus on controlling this variance of brightness and color of light in a multitude of ways. Whether that’s using Auto, Priority Modes, or Manual settings in-camera, we constantly worry how this will look on the computer screen as well as images side by side. Regarding exposure specifically, we have standardized ways to keep this in check in-camera using blown highlight preview mode or showing the histogram on the display screen while shooting. Color consistency between multiple cameras is a whole other monster.
Understanding color output is an essential part of professional photography. However, there are limits to what you can control. You can't determine how images look on people's devices. However, you can ensure that you're giving them the best chance to view your work in the way you intended. More importantly, having consistent color across your workflow creates the very best print products for your clients who love sharing your beautiful work digitally and with prints.