Monthly Archives: July 2016

Wait for Golden Hour

We all know that Golden Hour light is just about the best light you can use for portrait photography. The problem, of course, is that it’s not always possible to get up at the crack of dawn or hang around until just before sunset to take the portraits you need.

But, as Mark Wallace of AdoramaTV explains in the video below, you don’t have to wait for Golden Hour because you can just fake it! All you really need are a few essentials: a flash, orange gel, and a variable neutral density filter, and you’ll be able to replicate the warm, soft glow of golden hour light each and every time. Have a look at the video and see just how easy it is!

It used to be that stock photography sites were really only for professional photographers. For the everyday amateur, the professional-level gear and training needed to take top-notch stock photos was simply out of reach. But that simply isn’t the case anymore. There is an insatiable need for stock images in today’s image-heavy world, so stock photography websites have opened their doors to all levels of photographers with all sorts of cameras, from iPhones on up.

Obviously, you first have to take high-quality photos. Otherwise, they won’t be accepted by stock sites. What’s more, there is stiff competition for buyers, so even if an image is accepted, it still needs to stand out from the crowd to catch a buyer’s eye.

Leave at Home as hotographers

Let’s face it – photographers have tons of gear. Even if you’re just headed out for the afternoon to take a few casual photos, you’ve still got a laundry list of items that you will definitely need. In addition to that, there’s an even longer list of items that you may or may not need for that particular shoot.

It’s a lot to keep track of, so to be sure you’re as prepared as can be for your next photo shoot, consider this list of 12 essentials you simply can’t leave at home.

Small Tripod

There are times when you need a full-sized tripod to get the job done. But there are plenty of other times when a small tripod is more than sufficient. Though there are tons of miniature tripods out there, one of our favorites is HandlePod.

The beauty of HandlePod is that you can use it in a variety of ways. Shoot hands-free by attaching it to a fencepost or another stationary object using the built-in elastic cord. Hold HandlePod in your hand and use it as a stabilizing grip for low-light photos or even for shooting video. Of course, you can also use HandlePod as a stabilizer by pressing the handle up against a flat object for a fast and easy way to keep your camera from shaking while you shoot. You can even use it to stabilize your smartphone. It’s simply that versatile! Learn more about HandlePod by visiting their website.

Collapsible Reflector

If you take portraits, a collapsible reflector will be one of your top tools. Many reflectors come in a 5-in-1 kit with various colors that give you different types and intensities of light, including gold and silver. Even better, you can use a black reflector to add shadowing or a white reflector to diffuse light, all of which fold up into a tidy package that’s easy to carry.

Blower

No matter where you go, no matter what you’re photographing, your lens and camera will get dusty. All that dust needs to be removed somehow, and a blower is the best way to do that. Just a few puffs from a blower can get a good portion of the dust off your lens glass and camera sensor. And the more dust you can get rid of, the less likely it is to show up in your images (or negatively impact the functioning of your gear). As a result, a blower is a must-have accessory for any photography outing!

Cleaning Cloth

As important as it is to get rid of dust, it’s equally important to ensure your lens glass is absolutely clean. Fingerprints and smudges can render otherwise gorgeous photos useless, so having a lens cloth or two with you will help you do some housekeeping with your lenses as you’re out shooting. Don’t forget the lens cleaning solution either!

Planning Stages in Photography

Getting a photography business up and going is a daunting task. There are likely many questions to be had, from how to write a contract to how to market yourself to the most fundamental step, how to write a basic business plan. Diving into business for yourself is certainly a long process, but with a good measure of patience and the right tools at your disposal, you can make a successful career for yourself.

To get you started off on the right foot, we’ve put together this list of four crucial business-building steps that will help you put together a plan for success.

Your first task when building your photography business is to develop a clear pathway for getting your business started and then maintaining that business in both the short and the long term. A business plan allows you to do that.

Essentially, a business plan is a written document in which you outline every aspect of your business. In it, you list the products and services you intend to offer, including the type of photography you’ll be doing (i.e. portraiture, landscapes, fine art, etc.). Also included in the business plan is a discussion of where you’ll do business – will you be based out of your home or have a dedicated office space?

Additionally, by creating a business plan, you give yourself a chance to think about how many employees you need and what their job descriptions will be. You outline details about projected costs, including overhead like employee wages, insurance, rent, and utilities. A specific list of revenue streams is another crucial part of the business plan, as is an assessment of your current finances, like assets you can use to fund your growing business or liabilities that might make it more difficult to pay the bills.

The chances are that you’ve already thought about these and other aspects of starting a business. The business plan allows you to put all those random thoughts and ideas into a coherent, organized document that will help you (and any investors you might have) identify strengths, weaknesses, and obstacles that could stand in your way.