Newborn Photography: Pricing Guide

mom holding her newborn baby

Image via Pixabay

There is nothing more special than bringing a new baby home from the hospital and into the lives of a loving family. These are special moments we hope to hold on to and look back on one day. Thanks to modern technology, it is easier than ever to capture these special moments in a baby’s life. Newborn photography is considered by some to be one of the purest forms of photography, capturing these precious moments.

As a photographer, you may be asked to take photographs of newborns regularly. How do you determine what to charge? Let’s take a closer look at this type of photography and its pricing.

WHAT IS NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY?

During the first year of a baby’s life, the most astonishing developmental changes occur. Within the first few days out of the womb, there is a dramatic change of appearance. With the whirlwind of excitement that comes with bringing a new bundle of joy home, it is easy to lose track of how much a baby is growing and changing.

A special way to capture the first months of a baby’s life is newborn photography. The job of a newborn photographer is to capture these moments by creating images for moms and dads to celebrate their newest addition to their family. This special photo shoot creates timeless portraits for everyone in the family to enjoy.

WHAT FACTORS PLAY A PART IN NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION PRICING?

newborn photography

Image by pixabay

When it comes to pricing a newborn photography session, there are many factors that come into play. Newborn photography varies in price, but overall, the full package can be rather expensive. Before scheduling a photo shoot, it is a good idea for the photographer to have a consultation with their client. This meeting will focus on ironing out the details of styling, colors, poses, and special effects that may be used in the photos. A free consultation is usually included in a photo shoot package.

NUMBER OF PHOTOS

Another important factor that plays a part in newborn photography session pricing is the number of photos the client would like to receive from their session. Some newborn photographers charge their clients by the number of photos they provide. For example, some photographers may include ten prints in their basic quote and charge an additional fee for any print beyond that.

FLAT RATE OR HOURLY

newborn baby photograph

Image by pixabay

A newborn photographer can charge either a flat rate fee or by the hour. It is common for photographers to offer a flat rate for their newborn photo shoots. These flat rates usually comprise packages that are priced based on the number of photos included, alternative themes, backdrops, prints, digital downloads, editing, and touchups.

A photographer may offer various packages designed to meet the budget and needs of their client. Since every photo shoot is different, it is not always easy to determine the pricing of your flat rate packages. If extended travel is required, then the photographer may charge an additional fee for the hours spent traveling.

STUDIO

smiling newborn baby shoot

Image by pixabay

Depending on where the newborn photography session takes place, the client may be charged a fee for studio time. It is common for photographers to create elaborate studio setups with professional lighting and unique props to accompany their photo shoots. Some studios may have multiple setups with multiple themes for their newborn photography.

Unless the photographer is fortunate enough to have a studio in their living space, they are likely to have to pay rent for their studio space. They may incorporate this into the overall pricing. If the client has their newborn photography done at a specific location, this may raise the price of their photo shoot since the photographer then has to adapt to a new location. Traveling and setting up their equipment will be factored into the cost. For example, a photographer may charge $199 for a shoot at their studio but $275 for a location shoot.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

sleeping newborn baby

Image by pixabay

Some newborn photo shoots incorporate more than one setting. The cost of these sessions will be higher in price than that of a single-location session. If the client is looking to do an outdoor scene as well as an indoor scene, they will have to pay the multiple location cost. Some photographers even charge a travel fee to get to the client’s location.

RETOUCHING PHOTOS

newborn photoshoot

Image by pixabay

After the photo shoot session is complete, it is time to edit the pictures. The photographer selects the photos to edit from all of the ones taken. This part can take about an hour to complete, especially if the photographer took several hundred pictures.

After the photos have been selected, the fun part begins. For editing newborn photography, there are two types of editing. The photographer can either soft-proof the images or fully retouch the images. Soft-proofing means making basic corrections. This may take about an hour, though it could take longer if the photographer is editing a large number of images. If the photographer fully retouches all the images, this can take closer to five hours to complete. The retouching of each image will most likely cost extra. This could be a per-photo rate or an hourly rate.

DEPOSIT

baby looking at the camera

Image by pixabay

Upon booking a session with a newborn photographer, the client will most likely have to put down a deposit to hold their appointment. It is important to keep in mind that for most photographers, this is their full-time job and their main source of income. They rely heavily on these sessions to support themselves.

If a client schedules a photo shoot, the photographer will manage the rest of their schedule around their appointment. If the client cancels at the last minute, the photographer may not be able to find another client to take that slot. This means they will lose money. The deposit amount is deducted from the total cost of the package.

Print

Depending on the package the photographer offers, they may include a certain amount of prints with each session. They may charge for additional prints. If the photographer does not offer prints, or if the pricing per print is too high, clients may send the digital files that the photographer sends them to a printing service instead.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL AS A PHOTOGRAPHER IS ALSO IMPORTANT

As with many industries, your experience as a photographer is important.The more experienced a photographer is in the field, they more credible they are and the more they will be able to charge.

AMATEURS AND HOBBYIST

STUDENT LEVEL

ENTRY LEVEL

PROFESSIONAL WITH EXPERIENCE

TOP LEVEL

CONCLUSION

There are many factors that come into play when figuring out pricing for newborn photography. Much of the decision is dependent on what skill set level the client is looking for as well as their budget. Newborn photography is very popular since many parents want to capture these memories, so there will always be a demand for photographers.

Photography Contests You Can Enter To Earn Some Extra Money

Some people take pictures because they enjoy it. They may find the hobby peaceful or soothing. Others, of course, take pictures for a career, such as those who shoot images for schools, of weddings, stock photos for sale, for print publications and so on. If you don’t work as a full-time photographer but are looking to supplement your income, then photography contests could be a good option for you.

WHAT IS A PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST?

man preparing to take a good photo

Photography contests are where people enter a photo or photos they’ve taken using the guidelines of each specific contest and compete with others for a prize. This can be done both locally in-person or submitted online. Prizes come in a variety of forms, but money is common in addition to having the winning photo or photos displayed publicly in some form.

TIPS FOR WINNING

fixing his camera options to take good pictures

You might be motivated by your love of photography, a prize, a promise of having your own photo displayed somewhere or a combination of all!

Even if you are a trained professional, technology and the world is constantly evolving and there’s always room for growth and learning new tips and tricks. We want to help give you an advantage and help you reach your goals as you enter, and possibly win, photography contests. Here are useful techniques to ensure you perform your best:

READ THE RULES AND REPEAT

For your best chance of winning, you need to make sure you know exactly what is expected. All photography contests have different specifications. You can submit the best photo in the entire competition only to have it rejected automatically if you haven’t followed the rules down to every detail.

Submitting a picture that gets disqualified is a waste of time and you’ll be in the same place as if you never took the time to enter the contest in the first place.

USE FASCINATING COMPOSITION

Fascinating composition will help you stand out. Placing your focal point in the center of your picture can be boring and predictable, which is not a way to get noticed.

One of the simplest?? ways to make your picture mesmerizing is to use the rule of thirds. To do this, place your photo’s focal point one-third away from the edge of your frame in either direction. Because other photographers might think to follow this same rule, continue by experimenting and finding more ways of getting your photo to look unexpected. For example, try different angles or points of focus.

BE OBVIOUS

You’ll find that contests usually revolve around an idea or theme. Make sure you find or take a photo that will exactly fit it. Even if you have an amazing photo that could pass for fitting a theme but isn’t right on target, you should think twice and choose something that will fit in without a doubt. If you aren’t 100% sure, ask someone if they can guess the theme or idea by showing them the photograph with no other information added.

EXACT SHARPNESS

This is a crucial step to winning a contest because judges will often quickly eliminate soft photos in the initial elimination process. If you’re unsure on how to get perfectly sharp focus, learn before entering any contests.

SACRIFICE

Do unconventional things to get some extraordinary pictures. This may mean going out in the middle of the night while others are sleeping, getting dirty or muddy to get a good angle, or entering an uncomfortable bug-filled area to capture something cool. Consider awkward positioning and things like climbing up or down stairs or crawling through bushes to find spectacular photo opportunities. Essentially, do things or go places you think others may not venture to do. Or, try to end up with something as unique as possible so your image is definitely eye-catching and stands out.

TELL A STORY

The best photographs tell a story, conjure an emotion or convey an idea. As a society, people have been using pictures to relay messages for centuries. There’s something intriguing about a picture when you can get an idea of what’s been going on or what’s about to take place just by looking at the current circumstances. A way to accomplish this when taking a picture is to look for stories playing out before your eyes like people or animals interacting, or finding repeating patterns, shapes and colors. You can also achieve this effect after the photo is taken by editing a piece or pieces out to create a sense of mystery.

GET INSPIRED

If you go on a mission to capture photos but don’t have ideas or aren’t thrilled especially about the process, then take a break and seek inspiration. You can look at pieces from some of your favorite photographers, excellent pictures online or winning photos from other contests.

OPINIONS

You don’t have to go to a professional to look over your work. Instead, you can simply ask friends, peers, coworkers, family members, etc. You might even ask a stranger what they think of your photo you plan to submit into the contest. Getting the thoughts of someone who’s not a professional may give you a good insight you hadn’t thought about or noticed.

NEVER GIVE UP

It’s not feasible to believe you will win every contest. If you do win, then that’s awesome! But, even the best photographers can’t win every time. If you lose, then look at the winning images to help inspire and encourage you to try again by seeking out even more photography contests. You can also brush up on tips and tricks before the next contest.Here are 10 photography contests you can choose to enter.

TOP 10 PHOTOGRAPHY CONTESTS

man taking good pictures of the sea

BLUR MAGAZINE

Who should enter: Talented amateurs and prominent professionals

Timing: Various

Type of photography: Creative

Possible prizes: Promotion and exposure around the world. If it wins, your photograph will be published in BLUR Magazine with a free automatic download of that issue and free access to the three subsequent issues. You will also win a chance to be BLUR’s photo of the month, a chance to win a title awarded by People’s Voice and Editor’s Choice, promotional space on BLUR’s website, be featured in Facebook announcements and get a chance that your photograph will appear in both digital and printed special editions

PROIFY INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

Who should enter: Professional, non-professional and student photographers

Timing of contests: Annually

Type of photography: 12 categories- landscape, street, portrait, after dark, wedding, panoramic, retro, HDR, travel, wildlife, drone and macro.

Possible prizes: Exposure, recognition around the globe, all-expenses-paid luxury photo tour in New Zealand and the chance to meet and join renowned Australian Photographer Destin Sparks on a trip to explore the South Island of New Zealand.

COINAPHOTO

Who should enter: Aspiring and professional photographers

Timing of contests: Various

Type of photography: Real life

Possible prizes: Various prizes of different cash values

GURUSHOTS

Who should enter: Budding hobbyists or seasoned professionals

Timing of contests: Various

Type of photography: Real-time/live photo challenges using an online gaming platform

Possible Prizes: Unlisted

CALL FOR ENTRY

Who should enter: All types of artists

Timing of contests: Monthly

Type of photography: Very creative (Works with national network of arts organizations, museums, galleries, art associations, public art program, and many others. Once someone creates an account, they will have a platform that keeps their photography and other art forms in one spot.

Possible Prizes: Typically, a photo cart and free websites

DIGITAL PHOTO PRO

Who should enter: Some Digital Photo Pro contests require photographers to be United States citizens, however some of its contests exist for non-resident photographers

Timing of contests: Various

Type of photography: Online print and magazine

Possible prizes: Prestige, gear prints, exposure and a variety of other prizes

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Who should enter: Photographers from most countries may enter

Timing of contests: Annually

Type of photography: Picturesque photographs, emotional pictures, and photographs that can tell a story

Possible prizes: Money and trip prizes

POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Who should enter: All photographers

Timing of contests: Monthly

Type of photography: Magazine photographs and online pictures

Possible prizes: $100 cash and photograph featured in Popular Photography magazine

THE SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

Who should enter: Professional, open, youth and student photographers

Timing of contests: Variety

Type of photography: Diverse  

Possible prizes: Gear and money

SHOOT THE FRAME

Who should enter: Portrait, landscape or wildlife photographers

Timing of contests: Monthly

Type of photography: 3 areas- portrait (Shoot the Face), landscape (Shoot the Land) and wildlife (Shoot the Wild)

Possible prizes: Presets, photo books, free websites and other prizes

CONCLUSION

professional photographer taking pictures of the nature

Whether you’re a professional photographer or photography is a passionate hobby, there are many photography contests you can find both locally and online to suit all kinds of images.Photography contests are a good way to win some extra cash, build on your reputation or further a career. You can even win tools to help improve your work. Many of these contests include social networks where you can communicate with other artists, learn new information and get advice and opinions. You can focus on one contest at a time or enter multiple photography contests, depending on your schedule. If you already have a portfolio, a big bonus is that you may already have a winner!

Famous Photographers And How They Made Their Business A Success

Are you considering creating a photography business but aren’t sure where to start? One of the best ways to begin is to learn from famous photographers and pay close attention to what they did and how they were able to stand out. Even if your goal isn’t to be famous with it, knowing these unique skills will help you stand out and make more money in your business.

Starting a photography business may feel nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we will go over exactly how to start a photography business, what equipment you need, 10 of the most famous photographers, and how they made their business a success.

HOW TO START A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

how to START A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS

What sets most people back when starting a photography (or any) business is not starting sooner. While learning all there is to learn about photography may seem like a daunting task, take small steps to get the process started. Look up terms you are unfamiliar with, look at pictures that inspire you, and practice taking shots.

TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES

This may seem like an obvious step, but it is worth mentioning. If you want to be a professional photographer, then you will need to take lots and lots of pictures. Take as many pictures as you can and learn from your mistakes along the way. The more pictures you take, the more you are able to learn through the process.

CHOOSE A CAMERA AND GET COMFORTABLE WITH IT

Some may think that a camera is what makes such a good photo, but it really is you, the photographer, behind the camera that brings a picture to life. In order to do so, you will need to know everything about the camera you are working with. Dig into all of the features of your camera until you know what every single button does, and why it does it.

THE FUNDAMENTALS

Auto mode isn’t going to create terrible photos, but still, it is important to learn the fundamentals – shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. These settings will affect how light/dark your image is, the focus, and the sharpness. You do not need to be an expert immediately as it may take you some time to get familiar with these. Just know that you will need to know them down the line to take your photos from good to great.

LEARN THE TOP TECHNIQUES

As you study new techniques, make sure that you keep taking pictures so that you are continually getting the hang of what you are learning. One thing to pay close attention to is lighting – possibly the most important factor in taking great pictures. Lighting can create completely different effects, and it is important to know how to do them all. How do you create a silhouette? How do you use the sunlight to your advantage? Get familiar with light, and you will be well on your way to taking incredible pictures.

FOCUS ON ONE TOPIC

As you take more and more pictures, you will begin to see which pictures you enjoy taking the most. Maybe you take some pictures at a wedding and decide you want to be a wedding photographer. Or perhaps, you take some soccer pictures for your nephew and find yourself really enjoying it. Having a specific focus will help you to enhance those specific skills and making you an expert in that area down the line.

ADJUSTING YOUR PHOTOS

Once you have a handle on taking great photos, it is time to dig into the editing. Photoshop is an art, and it is important to familiarize yourself will all the aspects of it. Begin learning the basics, and then slowly start diving into the trickier parts of it.

GET FEEDBACK

After you feel confident in your ability to not only take good pictures but to edit them well, finding someone to give you honest feedback will help you go to the next level. Don’t get discouraged if you get constructive criticism but instead, use it as a way to learn and enhance your skills.

START YOUR PORTFOLIO

If you’re wanting to get your foot in the door but are having a hard time landing a gig, you may want to offer a free or discounted shoot to friends or family members to get your portfolio started. It will be difficult landing a job without a portfolio, so if your only way to build it is to do free work at the beginning, it will pay off eventually.

HAVE A STRATEGY

In order to succeed in any business, you will need to have a solid strategy. Determine what your main focus will be, how you will price your work, and how much work you need to make the money you want. Then, determine how you will market yourself. Social media is a great way to get your name out there.

THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT

necessary equipment for your photography

CAMERA

Okay, this one may seem obvious. Of course, you will need a camera in order to have a successful photography business. A DSLR is going to be your best bet for taking high-quality photos. If you are in the beginning stages, you may be able to start with a smartphone to enhance your aesthetic eye.

LAPTOP OR COMPUTER

Once you start editing your pictures, you will need some sort of computer with editing software to adjust your photos.

LIGHT

You may start out by using flash and natural lighting, but having a professional ring light will allow you to take pictures in well-lit areas no matter what time of day it is.

10 FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND HOW THEY MADE THEIR BUSINESS A SUCCESS

learn from the famous photographers

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ

One of the most famous photographers in the world, Annie Leibovitz, started her photography career working for Rolling Stone magazine. Her ability to take intimate pictures of celebrities allowed her career to skyrocket. Her advice is to get to know the model on an intimate level to take pictures intimately the way she does.

ANSEL ADAMS

Even those who may not be aspiring photographers probably know Ansel Adams as he is arguably one of the most famous photographers who shoot landscapes. His beautifully contrasted, black and white landscape photos are easily recognizable. He suggests that anyone pursuing photography should do their best to stay in shape so they can do what they love for longer.

MARIO TESTINO

Mario Testino is known for shooting the late Princess of Wales, Diana, for Vanity Fair. She has a unique ability to take pictures of models that make people desire to purchase the clothes in her photos. Her photography is highly desired by designers everywhere. Learn to not only capture an image, but highlight pieces of it to create interest the way Mario does.

BRIAN DUFFY

Brian Duffy was a photographer who mainly shot fashion in the 1960s and 1970s. Later in life, he lost his desire to do photography and burned over half of his portfolio. Some of the photos were luckily salvaged and are still on exhibit today. To learn from Duffy’s mistakes, make sure not to make rash decisions just because you are in a rut. You may come to regret it later in life.

DOROTHEA LANGE

You may recognize Dorothea’s name from her famous picture, as “Migrant Mother” is one of the most well-known photos in history. She is famous for taking photos documenting the Great Depression. Learn from her ability to stick to one subject before moving onto the next. Find something you love and stick to it.

YOUSUF KARSH

Yousuf Karsh is a master when it comes to portrait photography. He even had separate lighting for the hands than for the face, saying that it is a vital part of the piece. If you want to create quality portraits like Yousef, make sure that you never take a picture that doesn’t speak volumes of the person your photographing.

GARRY WINOGRAND

This street photographer is known for taking photos without even looking through the camera. He also used a wide-angle lens up close in his subjects’ face. To learn from Garry, always be open to experimentation. There’s not one right way to do photography; it’s an art.

BRASSAI

Brassai is known for his work in the streets of Paris. Unlike some of the others on this list, Brassai didn’t take photos of celebrities or events in history but is one of the most famous photographers, nonetheless. Brassai never traveled around the world or shot celebrities, and you don’t need to either to be successful.

ROBERT CAPA

Known for his war photography, Robert Capa was able to cover 5 different wars. He was known for getting down in the trenches when shooting his subjects. He says, “If your picture isn’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

JAY MAISEL

Jay Maisel doesn’t use the fancy and complex equipment. Instead, he looks for interesting shapes and colors when shooting his photos. To take beautiful photos the way Jay Maisel does, pay attention to the different colors and shapes to objects throughout the day for that interestingly different shot.

CONCLUSION

capturing the right photo for your photography business

If you have been considering starting a photography business, just get started. You will learn along the way by not only taking photos but by also getting feedback. All you need to get started is a camera, a laptop or computer with editing software, and eventually, good lighting. One great way to get started the right way is to learn from famous photographers to enhance your skills even if you don’t desire to be a famous photography yourself. The famous photographers listed above are great examples of photographers with unique skills you can learn a lot from.

How To Create Framed Photos For Clients

Gifting clients framed photos is a great way to show you care. With most images going directly to the Internet now, fewer individuals have physical photographs on hand. Due to this, a framed photograph makes a great gift. However, if you’re looking to offer a framed photograph to your clients, you don’t want to just print the picture off and slap it into a frame. There are other ways to class it up, including the addition of a mat board.

The added mat board will help with the presentation while offering a professional look to the photograph. Whether you decide to cut the mat yourself or pay a professional to do it for you is your call, but whatever you decide to do, presenting clients with framed photos is a great way to secure a lasting memory of an important moment.

What Are Framed Photos?

elegant framed photo of nature

Framed photos are exactly what the name says. It is a photograph printed off in physical form. It is then inserted into a picture frame for safe keeping. This makes it possible to display the photograph or to put it up somewhere and share the memory with others who see the photograph.

As fewer photographs are now printed, having a physical image on hand is desirable and shows you go the extra mile as anyone can tag a client on Facebook or send a link to the digital file. Whatever you decide to do, though, just know your client will appreciate the framed photo. They can then do what they want with the photograph and place it anywhere for display.

Importance of Framed Photos

framed photos of important memories

The importance of a framed photograph is the significance of the memory attached to it. A photograph is a window in time and instantly takes a person back to that moment in time. More pictures are being taken now than ever before. There are smartphones now with five cameras built into the device to provide the best-looking image possible. Yet, despite all of this, fewer images are being put on display in a physical form.

Often times, an image is taken and uploaded to a social media account without being viewed ever again (until the social media account reminds you of the photograph a year later). With a framed photograph, you’ll always have the memory right in front of you. So, whether it’s celebrating a marriage, a birth, or even the purchase of a new vehicle, if an image is framed and put on display, there’s usually an important moment behind it.

Tips and Tricks for Framed Photos

framed photos displayed in a showroom

If you want the best looking photograph possible and the highest quality display, there are a few tips and suggestions you need to follow. Framing your photographs is easy and doesn’t take much time of effort. However, this simple gesture shows your clients how much you appreciate them. You just need to decide how elaborate you want the framed photo to be.

Printing the Photo

what you need to create framed photos

First, never print it on a traditional computer printer or on computer paper. The paper isn’t designed for that kind of quality, and the ink from your printer is not designed for that either. If you have invested in a photo printer or even a computer printer designed for a photograph, you can use this. You will need to purchase photo paper though. When selecting the photo paper, there are different grades to consider (five stars being the highest, but also the most expensive). You also must decide if you want a matte finish to the paper or if you want glossy. This shouldn’t have too much of an impact on the price of the paper.

A traditional photograph is going to be 5×7 or 4×6 although there are different sized papers to choose from when buying photo paper. It comes down to the size you’re interested in. Do note, the larger the photograph the more expensive the entire framing project will cost.

If you don’t have such a printer, you need to save the full resolution image onto a flash drive and take it to a local print shop. Your local Walmart will print the photograph. Most corner drug stores, such as Walgreens or CVS, can help you out with this. If you expect to do framed photos, regularly it will become more cost effective to invest in a quality photo printer.

Mat or No Mat

mat and no mat framed photos

Now that you have the printed paper, you need to decide if you want a mat or no mat. A mat will provide the photograph with a professional appearance and help draw interest to the photo. This is something you can cut on your own or you can take it in to have a professional cut the mat.

You will need to invest in some additional equipment, and cutting the mat may take some practice, but it’s worth it if you want to present the image in a more professional appearance. If you don’t want a mat, you can skip to the “Framing” step.

Cutting The Mat

things you need to cut the mat yourself

If you’ve decided on a mat, you have three options. The first it to pay a professional for the mat. The second is to purchase a pre-cut mat, and the third is to cut the mat yourself. If you are using a standard 4×6 or 5×7 photograph, you’ll find loads of pre-cut mat options that work just fine and will save you money over paying a professional to cut the same mat. If you’re using a different size photo or you want to alter the size of your mat, then cut the mat yourself.

Cutting the mat yourself will take a bit of math, but it isn’t that tricky. First, select the mat board you’re interested in. There will be a color side and then the back, white side. You will want to pick up a mat board that fits into the desired frame size. Let’s say, for example, you bought a frame that is 7×9 and you want to place your 5×7 photo in it. Not a problem at all. First, purchase your 7×9 mat board (or cut it down to this size).

On a clean, flat surface, place the mat color side down. You now need to measure out the window. With a 5×7 you’ll have an inch border on each side (an inch board on top, an inch border on the bottom, and left and right). However, when you’re measuring out the border, you need to give some overlap. If you make the window exactly 5×7, the photograph will flop out. Instead, you want a quarter inch overhang on all sides (you can make the overhang smaller, but a quarter of an inch is easier to work with without covering up much of the photograph).

So, measure 1.25 inches on the back of the mat and, using a ruler and a pencil, draw out the border. With the 1.25 inch border all the way around, you’re ready to cut it out. You can purchase a small mat board cutter from your local arts and craft store. With this cutter, you’ll notice the razor blade is angled inward.

Also, if you look at a professional cut mat board, you’ll see there is a white angled space between the colored mat and the photograph. It slopes up from the photo to the colored portion. This is because of the angle of the blade. So, take your measured mat board and keep the color facing down. Slide the border portion into the mat cutter and line the line up with the mat cutter’s ruler. The blade will have a small line right where the blade starts.

Position this on the perpendicular pencil line, then cut down until you reach the opposite perpendicular pencil line. Repeat this process for all the cuts until you’ve cut the window out.

Frame the Photograph

ways to frame the photograph

If you cut out a mat, go over the colored side of the mat and use a white eraser to remove any dirt or pencil marks. You may also have some hanging threads on the mat. You can use a knife or sandpaper to smooth this out. Place the photograph behind the cut-out window and tape it down with masking tape. Now, insert it into the frame and close the frame. You now have a professionally framed picture that you can give to your clients.

Conclusion

how to create the display of your framed photos

Whether you’re interested in framing the photograph on your own or you want some professional help to create the display, a framed photograph can instantly connect you with your clients. This single photograph shows how important they are to you and will constantly remind them of the framed memory. So, no matter what the event is for, if it’s worth framing, it’s worth saving and sharing. It doesn’t cost much to go with a professional for a small photograph, and it costs even less to frame and display the image yourself. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll always be able to draw in that important connection to your clients with framed photos.

10 Ways To Make Your Portfolio Website Standout

portfolio website shown on a laptop

If you are considering a career as a photographer, you need to be prepared to not only produce high-quality work but to market yourself as well. Many novice photographers think their work alone will provide them with a successful career, however, marketing your work is just as crucial.

Even if you’re already a photographer, knowing more about how to advertise your work and earn more clientele is always useful. This article discusses the importance of a portfolio website and tips to constructing a successful one.

What Is a Photographer’s Portfolio?

potfolio website builder software

Photo credited by: colorlib.com

A photography portfolio is a display of a photographer’s work, more recently done online these days. Before the web, photographers would keep physical folders of their work and distribute them, but today with the benefit of the internet, online portfolios are what a photographer’s work is judged by.

Portfolios comprise the best works produced by the photographer and display how well a photographer captures moments. Photography portfolios should be displayed on a web page that’s easy to navigate, captures attention, and provides up-to-date contact information. A portfolio website is a considerable advantage to a photographer’s career.

The Importance of a Portfolio Website

building a PORTFOLIO WEBSITE

Photo credited by: programmerfriendly.com

Any budding photographer needs to know how to build a portfolio website to showcase their work. Portfolios are necessary for people pursuing a career in photography. Potential clients and companies are constantly seeking photographers for a variety of reasons, but the very thing that can make or break a photographer’s career is their portfolio.

Having a portfolio is essential to a successful career for professional photographers. Showcasing your work and talent has huge benefits for landing more jobs. People can see that you have experience, knowledge, and skill by having a portfolio website and this is a sure way to increase public awareness about your photography business.

However, just merely having an online portfolio doesn’t mean that a photographer will obtain clients. It’s imperative to have a strong and persuasive portfolio.

Within thirty seconds a client will decide whether to choose a photographer for work and if the portfolio doesn’t stand out amongst the many photography portfolios on the web, a photographer can miss out on opportunities. To avoid this, it’s beneficial for a photographer to stay up to date on how to attract clientele.

Portfolio websites offer an increased appearance of professionalism and prove that the photographer takes their work seriously.

People want to hire photographers that care about capturing aesthetic moments and value how they edit and craft their work. A portfolio website can benefit photographers by giving clients certainty in their choice to work with a photographer.  

10 Ways to Make Your Portfolio Website Standout

man creating a portfolio website

Photo credited by: aquent.com.au

1. SHOWCASE YOUR BEST WORK FIRST

Only showcase your best work. By putting your best work on the main page of the site, this gives clients the opportunity to see what you’re capable of. People make decisions quickly, and it only takes moments for a prospective client to reach out or make a pass on your work. Highlighting the best photographs will give you a step up.

2. BE PICKY AND ONLY USE RELEVANT WORK

Sometimes it’s hard to be picky of your own work, however, being critical of the work you share is a valuable skill and beneficial to your career. Be honest with yourself when choosing your work. Consider using work that might correlate with future projects.

For instance, if you want your primary focus to be showcasing condos and property for real estate agents, you wouldn’t choose portrait photos of people to display this ability. Choose work that captures what you want to be photographing and projects that interest you.

3. USE OPTIMUM PORTFOLIO WEBSITE BUILDERS AND ANALYTICS

By using the best website tools, your work will stand out. There are website builder tools online that make it easy to build your best website. Consider looking at other portfolios of photographers you admire and find out how they built their websites.

There are even websites that offer analytic tools that show and track who’s viewing your portfolio website and how they found your page. This insight will help you see what advertising techniques work. This gives you the ability to adjust how you advertise yourself.

4. MAKE YOUR SITE EASY TO NAVIGATE AND CLEAN

Make sure your website is organized and designed well. Have your work cleanly displayed and make it easy for the user to navigate. Too often online portfolios that have great work are passed up on job opportunities because the site was unattractive and wasn’t easy to use.

By having a strong platform to display your work, you’re giving the user a stronger urge to use your skills.

5. PROVIDE CONTEXT

Having short blurbs or a few sentences explaining the purpose and target goal of a project you worked on helps the client understand why you were capturing a certain moment.

Consider writing about why you felt inspired to do that shoot and how the outcome emerged. Avoid writing long paragraphs and wordy sentences; however, brief commentary is appropriate for an online portfolio.

6. USE HIGH DEFINITION PHOTOGRAPHS

Using high definition photographs makes your work stand out and look neat. Clients can see detail and quality better in high definition than in other formats. It’s highly recommended that you use high definition pictures. The best portfolios only use high definition work.

7. USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Using social media buttons allows people to share and access your work more easily and makes it more accessible to the public. It’s a great way to advertise your work. Consider linking your website to your social media pages such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Having an Instagram or Facebook page for your work in conjunction with a portfolio also increases the volume of traffic to your portfolio website.

Having social media attached to your portfolio website also gives people the ability to share your work, which not only provides advertising but also increases trust with potential clients. If clients see you have a large following on social media, this shows that you’re likable and marketable.

8. UPDATE REGULARLY

Update your portfolio regularly. By doing this, you’re constantly showcasing the most up-to-date photographs and your strongest work. The more practice you have, the better quality your work becomes.

Consistently using new works will help others not only see your best, but it will also provide an opportunity to showcase the clients you have already obtained. This gives your portfolio credibility and assurance to the potential client that you’re a solid photographer and have credible clientele.

9. HAVE A BLOGGING SECTION

Having a blog connected to your portfolio allows you to share what’s going on professionally in your life. Update your blog with your experiences, the outcome of your photo shoots, and things you have learned from your experiences being a photographer.

This adds depth to your work and makes you relatable to the client. It also allows people insight into who you are as a person which helps expand your influence.

10. PURCHASE A DOMAIN NAME

Buying a domain name can make your portfolio stand out. Choose a domain name that’s catchy and easy to type. This makes your work strongly accessible on the internet and allows it to stand out compared to other portfolios. Using your own name can also be helpful.

Make sure you stay on top of keeping your domain name by staying current with renewal fees as you can lose your domain name if you accidentally forget to pay renewals. This could result in someone else taking your domain name, which would make it difficult to recapture traffic.

Conclusion

portfolio website shown on a mac desktop

If you’re going to pursue a career in photography, you will need a strong portfolio website. Presenting your best self to the market gives you a leg up over other photographers and will increase the likelihood of getting future work. If you want to earn money in this industry, you need to actively and effectively promote yourself.

Portfolios should be regularly updated with your best work and needs to be constructed so that clients can find and like your photographs with ease. Your job is to make sure clients feel satisfied with your work, skill, and talent. Your portfolio should be a platform that encourages people to hire you.

Having a portfolio website also gives credibility to your business and makes you look professional. This will not only increase clientele traffic but also your hourly rate as a photographer. Appearing more professional also makes clients feel at ease with purchasing your time.

Being relatable with potential clients by blogging and captioning photos will boost your influence in the market.

People want to work with photographers that can give them quality photographs they can connect to. By giving people insights into your career and inspirations, this offers considerably more outreach and draw to your work. Using social media can significantly increase website traffic on your portfolio website.

Without a strong portfolio website, it may be difficult finding work and obtaining new clients. Portfolio websites keep photographers employed with consistent clients and continuous work. They are necessary and important and will surely benefit your photography career.

How To Sell Stock Photos Online: It Is Easier Than You Think!

Professional photographers make their living off of great imagery. Whether taking pictures of models or of travel, these individuals can take just a handful of exceptional photographs throughout the course of a year and make enough to live comfortably. How do they do this? They sell stock photos.

Many top photographers make seven-figure salaries and often bring in additional commissions whenever their images are used in magazines and other print publications. Most of these photographers have not only been trained in college, but also have worked under other big-time professionals in order to learn their craft.

Now, you can always go back to school to learn more about photography and gain the additional skills required to become a professional. However, if you’re looking to simply make a few dollars off of photography you don’t need to work with major models or pay thousands of dollars for modeling agencies to send individuals to you for shoots.

Instead, you can make good money. All you have to do is sell stock photos. In fact, there are plenty of professionals out there whose livelihoods come strictly off stock photos. If you’re interested in either making a few dollars or potentially turning it into a full-time career, then you should know it is entirely possible to make the money you need if you sell stock photos.

WHAT ARE STOCK PHOTOS?

collection of photographs

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Stock photography consists of photographs that can be used for several reasons and by several companies. The photograph isn’t ad-specific or made for a specific company. It is a general picture companies can use for their advertising or other campaigns.

For example, a stock photo may be of two people talking over coffee, or someone thinking as they write notes on paper. It can be two people shaking hands or someone running a race. Stock photos don’t necessarily have to be of people either. The photographs can be of a dog looking at the camera or of fall leaves on the ground. Basically, the images can be just about anything and everything.

Stock photographs are stored in a catalog and someone (often a company) looks over the stock photographs to select images they might want for their websites or marketing approaches. They select the photographs they want, pay a usage fee and then have the ability to use the photos. The images can be used for websites or printed literature. They may even end up on a billboard or some other place.

When you sell stock photos, a company rarely buys the complete photograph. Instead, the company buys the rights to use the photograph. This way, you can continue to make money off of the same image as often as you find people interested in using it.

Stock photographs often have usage options. This depends on the stock service you sign up for and submit photographs to. The usage rights may limit the use of an image specifically online, in print or the like. There may be different fees based on the size of the photograph or other aspects of the image. You will need to read through the stock photo website specifics for this information as each differs. Whatever you do though, you can sell stock photos and make money off of your photographs.

THE NECESSARY GEAR

 NECESSARY GEAR for taking photographs

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Some professional photographers may look down at stock photography because it may not be as artistic as some work seen in major magazines. However, some stock photographers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars when they sell stock photos.

Now, to make this kind of money off of stock photos, you must anticipate what companies will want to use and create great-quality images that will serve their needs. This means you must produce a high-quality image with quality lighting and editing. You can’t just take pictures with your cell phone and expect to make money off of them.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your cell phone, but you’ll be better off using some specific gear. That said, you don’t need to go all out with the gear, especially as you first start out. But, if you’re serious about making money with stock photography, you do need to invest in some hardware.

CAMERA

You need a good camera. Ideally, you’ll invest in a DSLR. There are some mirrorless cameras that are smaller, such as the Sony a700 lineup of cameras. These are exceptional cameras although often these cameras cost even more than a DSLR.

You can get a base DSLR camera for less than $500, which is more than enough for taking stock photographs. What you’re looking for is a camera that records in both JPEG and RAW formats. You want a RAW file because it is not compressed at all and there are stock photography services that will want full resolution, non-compressed files.

TRIPOD

You don’t need to get artistic with your photography. Investing in a lot of camera equipment isn’t necessary with stock photography. Instead, you need to focus on clean, crisp images that can be used in several ways (you’re creating an image for a general audience as the more companies that can use the image the better.) For that, you could use a tripod. Make sure it can handle the weight of your camera. If you plan on taking travel photography and want telephoto lenses, make sure you pick up a tripod that can support the weight. As long as it can, most tripods will work.

LIGHTING

Lighting is critical. If you’re taking outdoor photos, it can be tricky on what kind of lighting you need to shoot in. If you want warm tones, then you’ll find the lighting is best right before sunset or right after a sunrise. For other types of photos, you’ll want to look for a cloudy day that diffuses light, so there are no harsh shadows falling across people’s faces. Even watch photos under trees, because if it is summer, and the sun is high, you’ll be in danger of getting dappled shadows that come out like splotches on people’s faces.

For indoor pictures, you’ll want to invest in a lighting kit. You can purchase excellent LED lighting kits now from camera stores and through Amazon for just a few hundred dollars. Studio lighting would cost 10 times this (if not more), and LED lighting doesn’t run hot, so you can use the bulbs longer. Make sure you study up on how to use your lighting sources, though, as this can make or break your photography.

PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE

You’ll need to edit your pictures to clean everything up a little, such as that piece of dust you didn’t see on your lens or a hair flying out of place. Or, it could be as simple as bumping up the contrast in an image. Your best bet is to look over what is selling on stock photo websites. This will help with the kinds of images you need to capture and the way the images need to look. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are the two best programs out there for this, but there is a steep learning curve and it could take some time to get proficient in them. There are other basic options out there to consider that don’t cost as much.

HOW TO SELL STOCK PHOTOS ONLINE

HOW TO SELL STOCK PHOTOS ONLINE page

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If you are serious and want to sell stock photos online, then there are several ways you can go about it. By following these tips and suggestions you’ll increase your potential for making money and improving your photography along the way.

SIGN UP FOR ONLINE SERVICES

There are dozens of online services where you can list and sell stock photos. Each website will have different specifics to consider. If the website requires you to pay money to list photos, do not use it. It should be free for you to join.

That said, many of these websites will require you to submit images to be reviewed. The review process may take several weeks if not longer. Make sure you only upload your best photographs. Some websites will give you more money if you only upload your images to their site.

When first starting off, it’s best to upload the images to all the stock photo services, then monitor your success and adjust accordingly. If you find most of your traffic comes from one site, you can eventually take the images down from the other sites so you make more per download with the individual online site.

HAVE MODEL RELEASES SIGNED

When working with models, you can’t just take pictures of people and toss the images up online. That’s a good way for the stock company and you to end up being sued. Instead, you need to have a model release form signed by the people with whom you work.

If there isn’t a model release form, then most websites will not allow you to upload pictures of people. You can find general boilerplate release forms ready to go online. You need to take advantage of these release forms and make any necessary adjustments so it is specific to you and your model(s). Be sure it gets signed. Once you have the completed and signed form in hand, some websites will require you to upload it so the company has it on file.

KEEP TAKING PICTURES

It takes a while before you make money on stock photography. While you can make a good living when you sell stock photos online, you will need to have hundreds if not thousands of photos available for download. So never stop taking pictures.

CONCLUSION

CONCLUSION logo

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It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to make some additional income or you want to turn it into your full-time career, you can make money when you sell stock photos online. To do this though you need to take it seriously and put in your best effort. Look over what is selling and then create your own photographs off of this. Eventually, if you stick with it, you can make some solid money.

Photography Marketing Guide For Beginners: Know The Basics


Social media and blogging have made photography marketing fun. There is nothing more impressive than a stunning photo on Instagram or your blog. Combine it with great marketing, and you will gain (and sustain) customers.

You first need to start with knowing your customers, having consistent branding, identifying your goals, formulating your message, finding your platform, and letting your customers know how you can solve their problems. Your website is an integral piece of your marketing. Design it so it is SEO-friendly, user-friendly, and optimized for mobile.

FINDING YOUR MARKET IN PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING

FINDING YOUR MARKET IN PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING

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The most critical parts of photography marketing are the basics steps: knowing your market, crafting the message, and deciding what medium you will use to communicate the message. First, conduct industry and market research to determine your market demographics and market size. Determine how much of the market you want to capture.

When you research your market, you must get to know their pain points, your competitors, and your competitive advantage. One mistake new business owners make is marketing to a general demographic, for example, people from 24 to 54 with some college and an average household income or $75,000 per year.

Demographics, like averages, are not concrete. It is a general description. Create personas (also called avatars) to represent one of your customer types. A persona is a fictional character that embodies specific characteristics of a customer type.

HOW TO DEVELOP A PERSONA FOR PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING

The best place to build a persona is from your current clientele. You have the information needed to market to them and the benefit of surveys and their comments. If you do not have customers yet, use secondary data that you can find on the Internet or get insight from another photographer. Here are some data elements you need to build a persona correctly.

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Job description
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Salary
  • Location
  • Education
  • Family description
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Values
  • Fears

Develop a persona for each marketing segment. Each marketing segment should have its own persona, and each message should apply to one persona.

BENEFITS OF CREATING PERSONAS IN PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING

BENEFITS OF CREATING PERSONAS IN PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING

Why create personas? You will develop a level of intimacy that does not exist when looking at the generalized population. You will:

  • Have a better understanding of your customer’s needs
  • Understand what’s important to your customer
  • Allow you to get better leads
  •  Build a better product solution that fits your customer needs
  •  Gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work

DISCOVERING YOUR MESSAGE IN PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING

Once you have fully developed your marketing persona, you know their needs, pain points, and what problem you can solve for them. The next step is crafting a solution to their problem. Some may wonder if this is an overkill. “All I want to do is take pictures,” you may think.

Photography marketing is about gaining customers for your photography business, and not your love for photography. It is essential, but not for turning your passion into a business. It’s all about your customers.

Craft a message that resonates with your target customer. Create it from your customer point of view using a tone and language they understand. Use the following checklist to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of your message:

  • It clearly states a solution
  • It is written in a tone and language the customer understands
  • It feels natural
  • It is original
  • It makes the customer happy
  • It needs no further explanation

WHAT’S THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING CHANNEL FOR YOU?

Whether you are blogging or posting a social media post, you are only targeting one persona per message. You want to educate, engage, and empower your audience.

Educate them with tips and facts they can use on a shoot and in their everyday life. You can write a blog about capturing the best picture with their smartphone, or you can tell them how to avoid common photography pitfalls like the “raccoon eyes” effect.

Next, you want to engage them—not only through entertainment but also relating to their struggles. You can feature a story where a mom came in flustered because she was late and had a fussy baby, but then she and the baby left with smiles. Capturing a cute shot of your silly pet will engage your audience as well.

Find ways to empower your market. Clients will trust you more if you share some “trade secrets.” Informational blogs about what to wear, the best poses to hide imperfection, or how to look taller (or shorter) would help gain trust. Why? These are useful even if they do not use your service. It shows your passion for what you do and that you care.

YOUR BLOG IS YOUR CORE PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETING CHANNEL

Make your website an interactive brochure for your business. It should engage customers, help guide them through your site, and invite them to interact more with your site.

Showcase work on a blog you regularly update. Educate, engage, and empower your audience with information. Of course, each blog targets ONE persona.  It ensures that everything you are doing goes toward your overarching goal to gain (and keep) clients.

WEBSITE SEO

WEBSITE SEO

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Did you know that internet users prefer to click on an organic link that is a paid link? Search engine optimization in photography marketing is improving your website chances of ranking high in organic page results by following best practices.

OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITE

OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITE

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Think SEO from your website’s conception to its implementation. Find a website platform that is SEO friendly, like WordPress. Here are a few reasons Google loves WordPress:

  • It’s a content hub, and Google loves content
  • WordPress content is usually optimized
  • WordPress is optimized for mobile

USE KEYWORDS

USE KEYWORDS

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Use unique keywords on each webpage and each blog post. Not only do you need to pay attention to your keyword, but you also need to use keyword phrases. Google is now interested in more in the content than just the keyword. Put your focus on a particular topic.

WRITE CONTENT WITH OVER 1000 WORDS

WRITE CONTENT WITH OVER 1000 WORDS

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Your content length matters. As a photographer, you rely on your pictures to tell the story. Google loves 2000 word blogs. It loves it because people like to read long blogs. Don’t fill it with fluff. If users seem to like your content and spend more time on your site, Google will reward that. Ultimately, Google’s goal is to answer the user’s query.

GIVE ALL WEB PAGES TITLE NAMES

GIVE ALL WEB PAGES TITLE NAMES

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Verify your blog posts title name is unique, descriptive, and an easy-to-understand page title. Create a page title 70 characters or fewer. The Google police will not penalize you if you have over 70 characters; however, you risk the title truncating in the search results.

OPTIMIZE YOUR IMAGES

OPTIMIZE YOUR IMAGES

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Add alt tags to your photos. Search engine spiders like them, and they enhance your website accessibility. Anyone that is visually impaired can have the pictures description read to them.

Luckily, images added to your posts enhances it for the search engine. Include the keyword in your alt tag. Here are a few more tips about optimizing your image:

  • Your image should align with your post content
  • Verify your image file name aligns with the image and post
  • Add OpenGraph and Twitter Cards for your shared images

PAGE LOAD

PAGE LOAD

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Your page load speed is a factor with Google. As you know, images can be quite large. Compress the images on your site. You can also reduce the load time for images by pre-sizing them to their display dimensions. If you don’t, the system has to resize them before they load on your website.

OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE

OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE

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Google prefers sites that are optimized for mobile. When you design your site, use a fluid layout. Fluid layouts adapt to the device used to view your website. You also want to make navigation seamless. If your buttons or menu items are close together, the user may hit the wrong key. It is very annoying not to have enough room to select a menu option.

Think functionality when designing for mobile devices. Think of the actions you want your users to take. One example of a functional design is displaying a photo with navigation controls, the ability to contact someone by phone and book an appointment from a smartphone.

Do not skimp on your mobile site. Your mobile site should be just as content-rich as the desktop. Take the time to layout your content so that your mobile users enjoy the same benefits as your desktop users.

MAKE YOUR WEBSITE SKIMMABLE

MAKE YOUR WEBSITE SKIMMABLE

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Most users skim instead of reading a site. Structure your content so that it is “skim-friendly.” Create titles and headlines that overview the story. If appropriate, add captions to your images. While this may not directly affect your search engine optimization, the time your audience spends on your site does. If readers cannot quickly overview your content, they go to the next website.

CONCLUSION

Photographers have a natural marketing edge because they are creative and love to tell stories. Use that to your advantage. Don’t forget you are running a business, and you need to know your market. Marketing your business appropriately will give your business the best chance for success.

Wedding Photography: Pricing Guide For Beginners

Working as a wedding photographer is an exciting way to exercise your creative photo skills while also capturing one of the most special days in people’s lives. There are plenty of opportunities within this niche to tailor your business. If you make best use of your unique specialties and interests, then you will undoubtedly build a wide customer base.

If you are a new photographer, setting your prices is one of the initial challenges you may face to gain business and grow your portfolio. It can be difficult to assess your skills in relation to other providers in the current market.

For those entering the field of wedding photography and want to know how to determine their fees, we have put together this comprehensive pricing guide just for you.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

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JOB DESCRIPTION

Wedding photography is a job that comes with hefty responsibility, but also long-term rewards. If you get into this business, then you’ll bear the responsibility of capturing many couples’ special days, but your ability to snap their beautiful moments will result in extraordinary photos they’ll cherish for years to come.

Specializing in wedding photography means you will take photographs of the stages before, during and following the actual marriage ceremony. Wedding photographers use creative and innovative ideas to capture unique snapshots that cater to their clients’ expectations. Photographers also will process the and produce the final images to provide to the client.

It is vital for wedding photographers to discuss and carefully examine a client’s wishes for their special day, understanding what shots, angles and backgrounds need to be included in the final wedding album. Wedding days can be chaotic, so anyone working in wedding photography needs to create succinct, beautiful shots around even the most challenging conditions.

Aside from the duties performed on location, anyone who is self-employed in wedding photography must attend to the daily operation of their business. This includes creating contracts for client signatures, marketing their services, attracting new clients and staying on top of market expectations to cater to client demands. A wedding photographer must not only be able to capture excellent, unique shots that please their clients, but they additionally must edit, develop and convey the final product to the customer in a timely manner.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

There is no specific educational background required to work in wedding photography, but it is helpful to gain all the knowledge and professional insight you can. Many photographers go through post-secondary photography educational programs to enhance their skills and their offerings to clients. Some clients will prefer to work with a photographer who has education in the field.

With that being said, in the world of wedding photography, creativity and technological prowess often outweigh educational credentials. Still, it is always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the business, so you can offer the most comprehensive services possible. Completing an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in photography will prove invaluable in helping you grow your business. Even taking courses in photography styles and techniques will give you a competitive edge.

BUSINESS ACUMEN

Besides the creative and technical knowledge required to be a success in wedding photography, you will need to have a certain amount of business acumen to run a thriving venture in this field. You need to possess solid knowledge regarding the financial, marketing, pricing, legal and contractual aspects of your business. Copyrighting your photography is essential to protecting your work product.

To run a successful wedding photography business, you must be able to have positive interactions with people. You need to be professional, warm, and understanding, working with families during a very exciting, but often stressful period of wedding preparation.

NECESSARY EQUIPMENT

PHOTOGRAPHY ESSENTIALS

PHOTOGRAPHY ESSENTIALS

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No wedding photography business is complete without the proper equipment. Having quality cameras, lenses, lighting equipment and mounts is essential. The more education you possess in the field, the better equipped you will be to navigate the various pieces of equipment needed to serve your purposes.

WEB AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

WEB AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

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You need to learn how to create a website and market yourself online to grow your business. Using professional website services to enhance your marketing outreach is a great way to do that. Having a proper website where clients can login and access their photo samples is key.

As far as software goes, you cannot run your business effectively without using top-of-the-line editing software and technology to fine tune and enhance your photos. Getting the Adobe Suite or Photoshop can pose quite an investment, but it is worth it several times over for the capability it will give you to develop your photos and produce amazing images. It’ll even help you salvage a photo that might have been less than great straight out of the camera.

PRICING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

EXAMINE YOUR COMPETITORS

EXAMINE YOUR COMPETITORS

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The first thing you need to do when figuring out how to set prices for your wedding photography is to examine your competitors in your specific geographic location. Look at the competition and see what those businesses charge for their services.

Make an Excel spreadsheet to record your findings as you conduct opposition research and average out your pricing accordingly. Depending on your knowledge, education and experience, you can compare your services to those of your competitors and determine whether you should charge at a high level, middle set or low range on the pricing spectrum.

IDENTIFY YOUR CLIENTELE

IDENTIFY YOUR CLIENTELE

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Part of creating a booming wedding photography business is deciding which clients you want to serve. Your prices will correlate directly with the clients you are able to attract. If you want to shoot elaborate weddings for top-tier clients, your prices should be higher. If you are more interested in catering to regular families, then charge a more inexpensive rate. You also may serve a mixture of both and set your price points right in the middle.

There is no right or wrong answer when identifying what clientele you wish to serve. It depends on your preferences and how those fit in with your business goals.

DO SOME CALCULATIONS

DO SOME CALCULATIONS

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As you get started with your wedding photography business, you may find that you need to alter the original prices you set so you can achieve an optimal profit. This is part of the process of trial and error, and it is perfectly normal for beginners.

Take the time to calculate your net gains after spending money on equipment, travel time, client meetings and other pertinent expenses. You need to set a price that allows for these expenses, while still providing you with a solid profit.

STICK TO AN HOURLY RATE

STICK TO AN HOURLY RATE

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As a general rule, especially for beginners in wedding photography, stick to an hourly rate rather than an overall project rate. If your photo sessions take longer than expected, there is more work to complete or more expenses than you originally assessed, charging by the hour will enable you to receive a profit — no matter what curveballs are thrown your way.

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO OFFER PROMOTIONS

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO OFFER PROMOTIONS

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Promotions are a great incentive to grow your wedding photography business and attract new clients, especially when you are a beginner. Plan promotions and deals around the holidays. However, be careful not to offer your services for too little. The best way to do this is offer additional photos or session time rather than cutting your actual project fees.

EXAMINE YOUR OBJECTIVE

EXAMINE YOUR OBJECTIVE

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As a beginner, you need to examine your objective for your business when setting your prices. When you are brand new to the field, your main aim will probably be to bring on as many new clients as you can. Set your prices accordingly, and as your portfolio and experience grows over time, you can adjust your fees to reflect your enhanced expertise.

CREATE PRICING PACKAGES

A great way to cater to multiple clients without under-cutting your wedding photography business is to create pricing packages that meet a variety of budgetary constraints. If you are just starting out and want to work with a diverse client base, you will probably have customers who can afford to pay more than others.

So as not to reject any new business that comes your way while still turning a substantial profit, create different packages to cater to an assortment of client needs. For example, your fees for 4 hours of services would be less than your fees for a full package offering 6 to 8 hours of photography for an entire ceremony.

BE REALISTIC

When you are just starting out in wedding photography, without experience, you will need to start at a lower price range and work your way up. If you do well and gain more clients, you can close this gap quickly. Start with a marginal number at which you can still draw a profit and work your way up from there as you build your portfolio.

You do not want to set your prices so low that potential clients do not value your time, nor do you want to set them so high that potential clients balk and run. It’s best to start at a solid rate based on your expertise and education and increase it as you grow a satisfied client base.

CONCLUSION

Entering the world of wedding photography is an innovative and inspiring venture. You will have the chance to meet a variety of clients on their special days as you capture their special moments and preserve them for a lifetime. Assess your knowledge and background, examine your competition, identify your goals and hone in on your pricing objectives that best meet the needs of your business and clients alike.

The 8 Best Stock Photography Sites To Sell Your Pics On

While there are so many hobbies to explore, photography is the only hobby that has practical and mental benefits. You can explore your creativity and create beautiful memories in the process.

However, many people do not know that they can make money with photography. Like any business, photography comes with extra costs like cameras, accessories, and lenses.

Making money with photography will be an excellent way to cater to these costs. Here’s a detailed guide on what you need to know about stock photography and the best sites to sell your photos.

THE 8 BEST STOCK PHOTOGRAPHYSITES

Here are the top stock photography sites to sell your photos.

GETTY IMAGES

GETTY IMAGES

Photo credit by: nathanielsonblog.com

Getty is known for its quality photos and unmatched standards. Being one of the top sites gives you an advantage of selling your work at a higher price, unlike other places. The site has a moment collection contract where you earn 20 percent of the listed price.

Getty is renowned for quality imagery, and it’s an ideal place to build your portfolio. Another great feature is the editorial classification of images. Architectural or travel photographers will find this a plus as you don’t have to remove stuff from the photo. You can classify it as editorial only and sell it.

Getty appreciates creative freedom and does not reject work because the subject is not in focus. The agency recognizes the artistic value in work and overlooks the technical aspects. However, Getty has a disadvantage in that the contract is exclusive. You cannot resell the images anywhere else.

ISTOCK

ISTOCK

Photo credit by: abc.eznettools.net

iStock also known as iStockphoto is part of Getty Images, which increases its reach and brand recognition. The best part with iStock is that you can sell your work to other agencies as the contract is not exclusive.

You get to earn a higher percentage with this site as you can sell exclusively through iStock. With this, you get the right balance between access to a broader market and reasonable earning options.

Nonetheless, with iStock being a microstock site, you get to earn a minimal amount for each sale. This means you could get a mere $1.60 for an image that sells for $12.

Another disadvantage is that iStock uses the same submission platform like Getty. You’ll have to deal with poor customer service and extended content review times.

SHUTTERSTOCK

SHUTTERSTOCK

Photo credit by: shutterstock.com

Shutterstock is one of the popular stock photo sites online. The fact that it’s usable, yet versatile makes the website a useful place for businesses with varying photography needs.

You’ll need to complete the application and verify your identity using a government-issued ID.

As a contributor, you need to upload ten images, seven of which need to be approved. If your submission does not meet the criteria, you’ll need to wait for a month to submit again. The best part is that you can access the critique form to talk With other photographers on what works and what doesn’t.

Shutterstock has a three-part series which allows you to use the right keywords to make your images searchable.

500PX MARKETPLACE

500PX MARKETPLACE

Photo credit by: youtube.com

The 500px marketplace is a photography community-based platform.Also, a stock photo site allows you to list your photos. With this platform, you can create your portfolio and showcase it.

Experienced editors are responsible for all the photo submissions. They are responsible for reviewing and approving photos for licensing. The 500px marketplace is free to join, and you can earn more than 50 percent of the sales of images submitted to the market.

ADOBE STOCK

ADOBE STOCK

Photo credit by: theblog.adobe.com

Adobe stock is a new entrant in stock photography. One of the aspects that make it stand out is the seamless photo upload option. All you need is to drop the photos in the publishing area, and the software does the rest of the work.

You can then add titles and keywords. The integration of Adobe CC and Adobe Stock makes things easier.

Unlike other submission platforms, Adobe Stock has a modern content dashboard and submission platform. You can get access to an easy to navigate interface, individual stats on each photo, and real-time sales. What’s more, you can make any edits afterpublication.

Their quick and consistent review times makes Adobe a winner. You can have your submissions reviewed in two days. While their earnings are not as ideal, you’ll stick get a few dimes for sales made.

You might find Adobe Stock a bit strict as you need to meet the technical execution and quality. The site pays attention to images out of focus. They are also stringent on what you may term as intellectual property.

Also, you may find your creativity limited with Adobe Stock as they are only looking for content that has a wide-market and general interest.

Adobe Stock doesn’t have an editorial only submission. Your submission won’t get approval if you don’t have a release for something.

ALAMY

ALAMY

Photo credit by: alamy.com

Alamy doesn’t have a lot of rules like most stock sites. The site doesn’t have as many buyers, but it’s a competitive stock photo agency. Also, Alamy pays 50 percent on each sale, which is a significant advantage.

The site doesn’t offer exclusivity which means that you can sell the images to other places to maximize your profits.

Furthermore, the site deals with customers across different countries and industries, which allows you to upload any type of content that you deem fit.

DREAMSTIME

DREAMSTIME

Photo credit by: louisem.com

Dreamstime is a favorite stock photo site. Major brands like Samsung, Google, Walmart and more use it for their images. The site has strict quality control criteria for all its pictures. You’ll need to submit high-resolution photos.

All you need is to set up an account and submit your photos as samples. Exclusive images attract up to 60 percent of the net sales. You can opt to be as an elite contributor or work as a non-exclusive contributor.

Once approved, the photos will be available for sale.Dreamstime has one of the highest payoffs as you can get up to 50 percent royalty off each sale.

123RF

123RF

Photo credit by: smashinghub.com

123rf has over 68 million photos and is one of the best places to sell your photos online. The site has a revenue sharing model that allows you to earn more by uploading more photos. Moreover, 123rf has a contributor level which depends on the number of downloads you’ve had in a year.

STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE

Stock photography involves the sales of images that are subject to usage license. They are for commercial purposes and are available on stock photo websites. Clients then access these images and buy them to use in a magazine article, a blog post, a book cover, or for other uses.

As a photographer, you can set your desired price point for each image you upload. However, this depends on the medium it will be on, its use, commercial purpose, and other factors that defer from one site to another.

Photographers Mdo not sell the images, but they have a license for specific uses. Also, they retain the copyrights. These licenses can be expensive depending on the photographer, and some sites are willing to spend thousands of dollars on quality photographs.

USEFUL TIPS TO SELL STOCKPHOTOS

While some will argue that stock photography is not as profitable like it was some years back, few people are making a profit from this. Getting a license for your photos as a beginner photographer can be daunting. Here are some helpful tips on how to sell stock photos.

GET TO KNOW THE VARIOUS KINDS OF LICENSING

Stock photos are intellectual property. Customers’ obtain a license to use them for a specific use. The photographers keep the copyrights, which means that they can reuse the stock images and make sales of the same photos.

It’s essential to understand that you can charge more money based on the terms of your license. You’ll need to read the fine print before signing on any contract. Ask questions if you’re unsure about what each license offers.

There are mainly two categories of licenses, rights-managed, and royalty-free. These categories have their exceptions and limitations, which you need to understand.

DETERMINE THE TYPE OF STOCK PHOTOS YOU NEED TO SHOOT

Some people get into photography as a hobby, where they create art for themselves. However, a few photographers produce images for paying clients while maintaining theirartistic integrity.

If you fall in the latter category, it’s crucial to understand the demand for the different genres of stock photography and create photos that clients will purchase for commercial use.

Do your research on the kind of photos that are popular on blog posts, magazines, and social media posts. You’ll need to create these images to sell online.

INVEST IN A QUALITY CAMERA AND LENS

Any photo doesn’t count in stock photography. You need to invest in a quality DSLR camera and lens that gives you sharp images. High-resolution images will get you paid more than ordinary pictures.

Remember that clients want full-color images that are bright and clean. These photos should appeal to the mass. Forget about post-processing techniques like Photoshop, over-saturation, or cropping photos. Keep your photos neutral for clients who want natural images with a sharp focus.

USE KEYWORDS

Getting more sales doesn’t come easy, there are different tactics you need to use to make this happen. Apart from creating high-quality photos, you need to zero in on a particular niche based on the subject matter.

Also, you need to describe the photos using keywords, tags, and titles to get these images in front of potential buyers. Find out some popular search terms and use this on your photos. Nonetheless, avoid using too many keywords as you may get a penalty when uploading these photos.

CHOOSE THE STOCK SITE WISELY

With multiple agencies to choose from, it’s critical to work with the right one. Some photo sites are microstock agencies which tend to offer a lower price for photos uploaded on their websites.

Big agencies like Alamy and Getty will offer higher rates and are open to negotiating the amount depending on the use.

However, you should note that some agencies have an editor who will only choose the photos their clients would like. Some agencies are unmanaged and can accept all your photos as long as they meet the set technical guidelines.

EXPECT REJECTION

You’re likely to get multiple rejections before any agency accepts you, do not give up. Although this will feel like a disappointment, it will make you a better photographer once you apply the suggestions and feedback offered.

Remember the first batch of photos is the hardest, but it gets easier after being accepted.

BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STOCK AGENCY

Stock agencies work to promote your work as a photographer. If the agency accepts your first submission, strive to build a relationship with them. Find out if they have current picture needs or if they’re looking for location-specific photos.

STAY UPDATED

Things change in an instant thanks to technology. It’s essential to stay up to date with the Latest trends and news in your photography genre.

For example, if you’re a travel photographer, check to see if there’s a new direct flight to a famous destination. As a lifestyle photographer, look at the trends that brands are using.

HAVE A PORTFOLIO

In photography, you’ll have failures and successes. Some photos will be more profitable than others will. Learn from the failures and build a portfolio based on the shoots that sell more. After a while, you’ll have a sense of the type of shots you should focus on and those you should forego.

The stock market is competitive and crowded, which might make it difficult to make a living as a stock photographer. However, there is an opportunity to create a steady source of additional income by publishing photos you shot without a purpose.

Moreover, you can upload photos shot for client assignments. Use the above guide to learn how to make sales in stock photography and the best sites to consider as a photographer.

Playing With Your Monitor Color Calibration Tool: User Guide

MONITORS HAVE TAKEN QUITE A FEW STEPS FORWARD

IN RECENT YEARS. 4K DISPLAY, CURVED MONITORS, AND OTHER INNOVATIONS ALLOW PEOPLE TO SEE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IMAGES ON THEIR COMPUTER SCREEN AND TELEVISION.

If you haven’t calibrated your monitor, though,you might not be getting the most out of it. There are ways to tweak the colorsettings to allow for an even brighter, crisper image that will take yourgaming, watching, and photography to the next level.

Ahead, we’ll cover some of these tools and tellyou a bit about how to use them.

GETTING STARTED

monitor for calibration before jumping right into using your monitor colorcalibration tool. Prepping this way will give you a chance at the best and mostconsistent results.

  • Turn your monitor on and let itsit for about a half hour before you start calibrating. This will allow themonitor to settle into a comfortable state and will display the colors how theyalmost always look to you.
  • Make sure the lighting isn’toverly harsh in the room where you’re calibrating. Some light is fine, but youdon’t want any glare messing with your results.
  • Locate the display settings onyour monitor, and cycle through them to understand what they do. These settingsare often on the monitor’s control panel, but you might have to open externalsettings yourself.
  • Restore your monitor to itsdefault resolution. Don’t mess around with “Theater” or “Reading” mode justyet.

Calibration Tools for Windows and Mac

Those who are serious about using a monitor color calibration tool will probably look for an external device, but that doesn’t represent the majority of computer users. The built-in tools from MacOS and Windows will work just fine if you just want to make your monitor look as good as possible with limited work and cost.

Even those who might want a professional touch should start here, and make sure they’re fully optimizing the monitor’sresolution before turning to an external monitor color calibration tool.

Of course, the number of display choices you’ll have will depend on the type of monitor you bought and how much customization it allows.

You might see a lot of terms that are foreign to your throughout this process. Thankfully, these operating systems will beable to help with some brief explanations. Don’t get intimidated by the options at first glance – you don’t have to be a tech wizard to calibrate the color on your monitor properly.

MacOS Calibration Tool

MACOS CALIBRATION TOOL

Photo credit by: howtogeek.com

You will find the MacOS monitor color calibration tool displayed as the Display Calibrator Assistant under “Display.” Do a quick search in Spotlight if you can’t find it right away. The term “calibrate”should bring it up.

The Mac monitor display settings are a bit more intuitive than the Windows ones. They will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to create the display settings you want. You can fiddle with gamma, white target point, brightness, contrast, etc.

Once you’re done, just hit continue and make sure to save the changes you’ve made. Vuala! You’ve optimized your monitor’scolor settings in only a few minutes.

Windows 10 Calibration Tool

WINDOWS 10 CALIBRATION TOOL

Photo credit by: iristech.co

If you’re using Windows 10, search “Display Color” in the search bar and click the result that pops up. You can find the same calibration tool under the “Appearance and Personalization” tab on olderversions of Windows.

Windows has a step-by-step guide as well, but it isn’t quite as easy to navigate as the Mac one, in our opinion. You’ll see the same options here: gamma, color balance, brightness, etc. After you lock-in, your settings Windows will give you a sample image to use to make sureeverything is to your liking.

Your calibration settings will save as a .ics file on your computer. You can revert the changes you made at any time, and cycle through different calibrations you’ve saved over time.

Type “color management” into the search bar if you want a full view of the options you’ve saved. Choose the monitor attached to the computer, and you’re all set!

Online Calibration Tools

ONLINE CALIBRATION TOOLS

Photo credit by: lagom.com

Several websites allow you to customize your monitor’s color settings even further than the operating system tools can. These are a bit of a step up, but still, don’t have the same possibilities ofthe hardware we included below.

Here are some of the more popular and useful websites you can visit to get more customization over what you see when you look at your computer screen.

The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages

THE LAGOM LCD MONITOR TEST PAGES

Photo credit by: mixinglight.com

The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages is particularly useful because of its ability to save settings for test purposes.

These can be useful when you’re on the market for a new monitor, as you may be able to test the image quality in the store before you buy. Just save the images to a USB drive and take them with you onyour monitor search.

The site uses patterns to begin testing your monitor’s response time, contrast, and other settings. You can cycle through these tests in any order, but it’s probably best to stick with what the websiteprovides.

The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages are comprehensive and detailed, which can be intimidating at first. Once you get over the website setup, though, it should be easy to understand and complete.

Photo Friday

Photo Friday

PHOTO FRIDAY

Photo credit by: lifehacker.com

Photo Friday  isn’t as detailed as The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages, but some people  prefer simplicity. As you can probably guess, this website is geared towards photographers and allows you to adjust the contrast and brightness of your screen on a single page.

Once you’re finished, you’ll notice the most difference in black and white tones. These will be a lot crisper than they were before you made the changes using Photo Friday.

Online Monitor Test

ONLINE MONITOR TEST

Photo credit by: raymond.cc

The Online Monitor Test is very similar to the Photo Friday site, but with a few different styles and display options. You’ll be mostly dealing with brightness and contrast here, which are the most common settings these online monitor tools provide.

Online Monitor Test is specifically useful because it can alert you to damaged pixels and other problems with your monitor. You can also utilize this tool across a dual-monitor setup.

W4ZT

W4ZT

Photo credit by: windowsreport.com

The W4ZT tool isn’t anything special when you compare it to the likes of Photo Friday and The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages, but it offers a lot of the same features. We included it here because it’s extremely intuitive and easy to use. You might want to try this tool out if you’re having problems with some of the other websites we’ve suggested.

THE MONITOR CALIBRATION AND GAMMAASSESSMENT PAGE

The Monitor Calibration and Gamma Assessment Page

Photo credit by: makeuseof.com

The Monitor Calibration and Gamma Assessment Page specifically focuses on gamma, which is a massive benefit to this tool. In fact, you might want to use this one in addition to something like W4ZT or Photo Friday to make sure you’re getting the best of both worlds.

This site is easy to understand as well, so you shouldn’t have much of a problem navigating the options. There are some test patterns here that will give you the best gamma settings your monitor can hope for (without using external hardware, that is).

Calibration Hardware

CALIBRATION HARDWARE

Photo credit by: fstopppers.com

Calibration hardware is a bit more of a hardcore option than the free websites and operating system tools we included above. You’ll probably only need these devices if you’re a photographer or serious about the way your monitor looks.

On the other hand, these devices will take limit the amount of “user error” involved with calibrating your monitor. Our eyes aren’t perfect, and we tend to see colors differently than other people do. This means that the display settings you think are best might not look asrich and vibrant to someone else.

Color calibration hardware takes this subjectivity out of the equation. They will truly get the most out of your monitor’s capabilities and will present you with the best color calibration across the board.

Of course, you’ll be paying for these tools rather than getting them for free. They can be quite expensive as well, though there are a couple of cheaper options for those who want to get the most out of their monitor on a tight budget.

The company Datacolor makes some of the more popular color display tools on the market. They come in varying levels of priceand effectiveness. The most expensive one will cost you more than $$, while the cheaper models are closer to $.

As you can expect, the more you spend on a monitor calibration tool, the more you’ll be able to get out of your monitor.

These tools work with accompanying software that makes the process relatively straightforward. After you install their software, you will hook the device up to your screen and connect it to the computer through a USB. From there, the software will walk you through the process and accurately calibrate your monitor.

There are some discount devices out there as well for around $, but these don’t do as good of a job as items such as the

Datacolor Spyder series. We suggest spending a bit more if you’re going to go this route since you’re clearly looking to reach your monitor’s full potential.