10 Inspirational Photography Quotes To Hang On Your Wall

The idea of an image being worth a thousand words has been around for some time. It was actually coined by a newspaper editor who wanted to place an image on the front page of the paper. He said that while it may take up text space, a single image is worth a thousand words.

Now, there’s naturally no set value for one picture over another, or one picture over words. However, an image tells a story with one snap of the lens, and there are plenty of photography quotes that go to prove how important and inspirational images are.

THE SCIENCE OF QUOTES AND IMAGES

a man holding a camera to capture photos that can be used for photography quotes

Photography is so much more than just pulling out a smartphone and snapping a picture. Photography is about capturing a moment in time that will never again happen. It’s stored, either on film or in digital media, forever. It’s the visual evolution of the mind. Where once only the eyes and the mind could store a visual memory, now in the physical world an image can be captured, reproduced, and put on display.

Some pictures tell stories a person might not want to hear and look at. Others are images that someone can’t turn away from. Photography quotes go right along with that.

Because photography is an art form where photographers talk about their art, their quotes often become poetic at the same time. It’s not that a photographer is looking for a grand meaning to their images and want to elaborate on the visuals. It’s simply how it comes out. When discussing art, it’s impossible to not sound like a poet. A poet spends their time writing to connect with your emotions and to paint pictures in your head. A photographer works in reverse.S

THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF QUOTES AND IMAGES

camera ideal for photography quotes

If you’re looking to become a photographer, if you enjoy photography, or if you simply like the art form, there is a mental connection with photography quotes and yourself. You can understand every single phrase, line, and quote someone gives. Whether it’s a professional photographer you’ve heard of or someone you haven’t, their quote psychologically connects with you.

Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself of what photography is all about, especially if you’re a practicing photographer. A simple quote reminding you that a picture should tell a story, or that the less an image shows the more the viewer knows, can stir up emotions and even help you think about how you’ll take pictures in the future.

Due to this, hanging photography quotes up around your house, the office, or even as backdrops on your phone, can help inspire you the next time you’re ready to take pictures. While there are hundreds of photography quotes you can use, here are 10 especially inspirational photography quotes to hang on your wall:

10 INSPIRATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY QUOTES TO HANG ON YOUR WALL

woman holding a printed copy of a mountain similar to the one on the backdrop
1. WHEN WORDS BECOME UNCLEAR, I SHALL FOCUS WITH PHOTOGRAPHS. WHEN IMAGES BECOME INADEQUATE, I SHALL BE CONTENT WITH SILENCE. – ANSEL ADAMS

Ansel Adams suggests that there is almost always a time and a place for taking photographs. But if a photograph cannot fully capture the scene or the spectacle, it’s more important to just take it in and let yourself be engulfed by it.

2. PHOTOGRAPHY IS A WAY OF FEELING, OF TOUCHING, OF LOVING. WHAT YOU HAVE CAUGHT ON FILM IS CAPTURED FOREVER… IT REMEMBERS LITTLE THINGS, LONG AFTER YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING. – AARON SISKIND

You will forget much more than you remember. It’s just the way of life. But a photograph can remind you of a feeling, or an emotion, that has long since past. It’s a little thing, but it gives you back memories; which, in a way, makes it one of the most powerful tools out there.

3. PHOTOGRAPHY FOR ME IS NOT LOOKING, IT’S FEELING. IF YOU CAN’T FEEL WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT, THEN YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET OTHERS TO FEEL ANYTHING WHEN THEY LOOK AT YOUR PICTURES. – DON MCCULLIN
several printed photographs

As Don puts it, a photographer shouldn’t be just looking for some great angle or trying to find the next killer shot. It’s all about feeling. It’s about feeling inspired and having a connection with what you’re taking a picture of. After all, as an artist, if you’re not feeling connected, the audience will never feel connected.

4. TO ME, PHOTOGRAPHY IS AN ART OF OBSERVATION. IT’S ABOUT FINDING SOMETHING INTERESTING IN AN ORDINARY PLACE… I’VE FOUND IT HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE THINGS YOU SEE AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE WAY YOU SEE THEM. – ELLIOTT ERWITT

Elliott adds to what Don said in the previous photography quote. You’ll feel a connection and you’ll find a little bit of magic in a world that’s ordinary. Perhaps it’s a small animal in a wide, still landscape that is dancing in the shadows; or it’s a single woman wearing purple as she walks in a group of mourners all wearing black. There’s something interesting there; and yet it also tells a story and forces both you, and the viewer, to ask a question.

5. WHEN I SAY I WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH SOMEONE, WHAT IT REALLY MEANS IS THAT I’D LIKE TO KNOW THEM. ANYONE I KNOW I PHOTOGRAPH. – ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
two photographers and a model

If you’re a model photographer, it’s not just putting them in front of a backdrop and firing off a few hundred pictures. There’s no connection there, and at that point you’re just going through the motions. Don’t. You need to get to know someone through the art. Do you think Leonardo da Vinci went about painting his portraits without knowing his models and without interjecting some of this into the painting? This will help you with your art.

6. MOST THINGS IN LIFE ARE MOMENTS OF PLEASURE AND A LIFETIME OF EMBARRASSMENT; PHOTOGRAPHY IS A MOMENT OF EMBARRASSMENT AND A LIFETIME OF PLEASURE. – TONY BENN

As Tony Benn puts it, a single image is a memory of an important moment, or an embarrassing moment, in your life. While that moment happens in an instant, the photograph is for the rest of a lifetime.

7. PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE STORY I FAIL TO PUT INTO WORDS. – DESTIN SPARKS

This goes right along the old saying of a picture being worth a thousand words. You can’t just explain a photograph in a few words. With the best photographs, you can’t even describe what it does. You can tell someone what it is, but it doesn’t explain what’s going on or the emotion captured in it. The best photographs will visually tell a story you’re unable to tell yourself.

8. IT’S ONE THING TO MAKE A PICTURE OF WHAT A PERSON LOOKS LIKE, IT’S ANOTHER THING TO MAKE A PORTRAIT OF WHO THEY ARE. – PAUL CAPONIGRO
taking a portrait of a woman using a mobile phone

When you take a portrait, is it the same picture of one person after another? Do you use the same setups and the same lighting? If so, you’re not telling a story. You’re not letting someone look through a window onto the person. Every model is different. The portrait needs to open up and show a person: not what they look like, because anyone can do that. It takes talent to show viewers what the person was really like.

9. A TEAR CONTAINS AN OCEAN. A PHOTOGRAPHER IS AWARE OF THE TINY MOMENTS IN A PERSON’S LIFE THAT REVEAL GREATER TRUTHS. – ANONYMOUS

As a photographer, you need to understand the power you have and that a single picture can reveal deep truths about your subject, whatever it is.

10. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHS IS THAT THEY CAPTURE A MOMENT THAT’S GONE FOREVER, IMPOSSIBLE TO REPRODUCE. – KARL LAGEFELD

This cuts down to the beautify of photography. You’re taking a picture of a moment in time that really happened, and it’s a moment in time that will never happen again. No matter how hard someone might try, it’s not possible to reproduce the moment; which is what makes this such an incredible experience.

CONCLUSION

lens of a camera

There is no limit to what photography can do. It is an art form where you get out what you put into it. A single image can tell a story and connect with a viewer emotionally. You can probably picture several powerful images right now in your mind that have inspired you over the time. Some might be of beautiful scenes; others might be of journalistic nightmares you’d rather not see again.

But with both, there’s a story being told and there’s something going on that has pushed you in the direction of taking pictures just like that. These are just a handful of photography quotes you can hang on your wall and use for inspiration as you move forward and practice your craft.

5 Things to Consider When Buying Zoom Lens

zoom lens
In the world of photography there are a handful of specifics you always need to keep in mind. Your photographs are usually only as good as the sensor in your camera and the lenses you used to capture the images. There’s a reason a solid lens costs just as much, if not more than your physical camera. In different circumstances you’ll need different camera lenses. When you want to move in closer to a subject or you want greater control over the depth of field, you will want a zoom lens. There are different zoom lens options out there, so if you are on the market for such a camera accessory you need to keep a few different specifics in mind. This will help you find the right lens for your budget and your personal (or professional) needs. It doesn’t matter if this is the first additional lens you’re buying or if you’ve purchased several lenses for your camera and this is just the latest, here are five things to consider when buying a zoom lens.

What Is a Zoom Lens?

There are several lens options available for you and your camera (especially if you have a DSLR camera). The zoom lens is popular because it helps move you close to your subject. A zoom lens uses glass within the lens to magnify the object, which pulls you closer for a better view. Having a zoom lens allows you to have a greater control over the depth of field. This way, you can focus on the subject and either have a clear foreground and background, or you can use the increased focal length to distort the background and foreground.It all depends on the visual characteristics you’re going for with your photography.

You can even use the zoom lens up close to a subject, zooming in on them to further distort the background. Photography is all about increasing the number of options you have and bending light to your will. Photography is the capture of light, so the more tools at your disposal the easier it is to craft a photograph to meet your personal needs. There are several zoom lens options out there for you to choose from, so there are different specifics you eventually must consider before making your final purchase. By keeping each point in mind, you’ll improve your ability to find the right lens for your need in a price point you can afford.

WHAT ARE THEY USED FOR?

Typically, a zoom lens is used to make a subject look closer to you. For example, you may see an animal on the other side of a large valley. You want to take a picture of it, but the regular lens you have attached to your camera will not put you close enough. If you try to move closer to the subject you either won’t make it in time or you will scare the animal away. With a zoom lens, you can zoom into the subject and make it look as if you’re right there, when in fact you may be hundreds of feet away. This helps ensure the quality of the photograph, as the subject will not be disturbed.

When working with shifting glass and lenses you can shift the focal length, which will help in everyday photograph. Some cameras have digital focal point change features which allow you to blur out the background, but this fails to give you specific control. Plus, this feature only really blurs out the background. It doesn’t have the same look of a distorted background which occurs only through focal length.

With the digitizing, for example, lights in the background will blur. However, when you use a zoom lens and push into the subject, the lights in the background will grow. You may have seen a movie where someone is sitting in a car at night and the camera is up close on their face. Behind them there are giant, blurry circles of light passing behind the car, seemingly the size of green and red suns. This happens when a camera uses a zoom lens and positions itself away from the subject and then zooms in.This increased control of focal length adds a distortion to the background that you can’t fake. You want as much control over your subject and the surrounding light as possible. With a zoom lens that’s exactly what you’re getting.

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A ZOOM LENS

holding zoom lens

Image stokpic by Pixabay

Before you head out and purchase any kind of zoom lens, keep in mind these five points. This will help keep you on track and prevent you from shopping around and buying a camera lens that just doesn’t work for your particular needs.

1. Price

Know how much you can spend ahead of time. Camera lense costs can quickly push into the thousands of dollars. A zoom lens has more glass and is larger than any other lens you’ll purchase (unless you’re considering a telephoto lens). Such a lens can quickly push out of your budget, yet you may go with something that costs less, depending on what your personal needs are. So establish a budget before you shop around.

2. Full DSLR or APS-C

camera with zoom lens

Image tookapic by Pixabay

What kind of camera do you have? A zoom lense is generally designed either for a full-frame DSLR camera or a mirrorless camera, which is smaller and has a smaller lens mount. The major benefits to the smaller camera are that the lens isn’t as large, nor is it as expensive. However, if you ever upgrade to a different camera that isn’t an APS-C you must purchase brand new lenses all over again.

With a full DSLR camera you can purchase a full-size lens which will work on your camera. Now, you can use a full-size lens on your APS-C if you purchase an adapter mount to go with it. Adapter mounts are fine and allow you to use other lenses on your smaller camera, but some features are not seamless. If you go this route, it’s better to invest in a quality adapter and to purchase a less expensive lens. Many of the features on the more expensive lens will not work on the smaller camera, so there’s no need to spend the extra month on it.

3. What Are You Photographing?

As you shop around, you’ll find some lenses are better designed for still photography or for movement photography (such as sports photography). With still photography you’ll be able to easily move in and out, away from the subject, so you may not need as much of a focal length as you might with photography based movement. So as you shop around keep this in mind. You may go with something that is slightly smaller yet costs substantially less.

4. Size and Weight

Zoom Lens

Image Mac Kenzie by Pixabay

Where do you plan on taking your camera equipment? Are you a local sports photographer, so you can have your full camera bag with you at all times? Maybe you’re a travel photographer and you can only fit certain equipment into your travel bag. This is important to consider. You don’t want to purchase a lens that is too big and too heavy for your travel needs. The worst thing to happen would buying a lens and then realizing you need to buy another one that fits with your travel gear.

Consider the weight on your tripod. Your tripod is rated to hold a certain amount of weight. Check with what this weight max is and then look at the zoom. These lenses can add a considerable amount of weight and may force you to invest in a new tripod.

5. Build Quality

The quality of the construction is very important. Even if the same glass is used ,you don’t want a cheap plastic lens that might crack when any pressure applies to it. You also don’t want something that can’t hold up to some rain or run into focus problems because the temperature drops. If you will be working in the elements, you need a lens that features solid build quality and also, if possible, features weather proofing. Autofocus is a nice feature to consider, although this may mean you need to purchase a lens by your camera manufacturer.

CONCLUSION

If you’re just getting into the world of photography, you may not have a zoom lens on hand. Investing in one is a great step in increasing you control over light and bending it to your will. However, with so many zoom options out there you need to make sure you purchase the right lens for your personal needs. Going into photography is expensive, so always go with what you can afford.

Make sure you’re buying a lens that works with your camera and gives you the kind of features you’re interested in. You will grow your lens collection one lens at a time. With the zoom lens, you’ll instantly give yourself a powerful tool you’ll likely use far more frequently than others.

Featured Image: Image Monoar Rahman Rony by Pixabay

How To Copyright Photos: A Simple Guide

Copyrights logo

Image via pixabay

When you create anything, whether it is a book, a t-shirt design, a song lyric, or a photograph, you want to protect it. This is your creation. It came from your mind and you envisioned it. The best way to protect an artistic creation, such as a photograph, is with a copyright. When a photograph represents your copyright, you need to prove you are the creator of the photograph and the holder of the copyright. This is why you need to know how to copyright photos.

In this article, we will elaborate on what it means to copyright your work and give you some reasons to consider doing so. If, after gaining a little copyright knowledge, you decide it is something you would like to pursue, we’ve got you covered. The last section in this article will tell you how to copyright photos in a few simple steps. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COPYRIGHT?

As soon as you create any kind of artistic material, you are the copyright holder. If you take a picture, you are the creator of the photograph and you hold the copyright. However, if you upload a photo to the Internet and someone else uses it, you may want to protect the photograph from a certain usage.

Once a photo is out on the Internet, it becomes difficult to track down who owns the copyright. If someone else were to use the photograph to make money (or for some other usage you do not approve of) you would have the burden of proof in showing you were the original creator of the photograph. Without legal documentation stating you hold the copyright, this becomes a challenge.

When you have a copyright, you are submitting information to the United States government that shows you are the creator of the work. After you are issued the copyright, nobody else can use the visual without your permission and, if you choose, you’re able to take legal action against the user. Holding the physical copyright of your photograph prevents outside parties from using it—legally, anyway.

WHY COPYRIGHT MY PHOTOS?

There are several reasons to copyright your photographs, but ultimately it all comes down to protection. Protection of yourself and protection of your intellectual property.

EARNING MONEY

For many people, photography is a main or supplemental income. Whether you upload the visuals to a stock image website or you are a professional photographer, if someone else is using your image, it is money out of your pocket. When your photos are your livelihood, you can’t afford not to protect them. If you don’t copyright your photos, it would still be easier for you to prove yourself as the creator of the photo than a person who is falsely claiming it is their work. However, it would be much less of a hassle if your photo were formally copyrighted.

AVOIDING MISUSE

Perhaps you don’t care about making money from a photograph, but you are concerned about the image being misused. In these instances, you’ll want to protect your photograph. This is another situation where knowing how to copyright photos comes in handy.

During the 2008 United States Presidential Campaign, a famous illustration of eventual President Obama using red, white and blue coloring came out with posters and other visuals. However, the graphic designer did not pay the creator of the photograph for the rights to use the photo and ended up in massive legal trouble. It took a long time to identify the creator of the photograph because the photographer did not file for a copyright. They had time stamp proof of when they captured the photograph versus when the graphic came out. They could have saved time (and money) by filing for a copyright.

On the Internet these days, an uncopyrighted photo could be used for a million different reasons, and many of those reasons could be things you strongly disagree with. Nobody wants their creative property being used to promote issues or concepts they disagree with. By having a copyright and knowing how to copyright photos, you can protect yourself in these scenarios.

A COPYRIGHT ISN’T ALWAYS NECESSARY

A person holding pictures

Image via pexels

Copyrighting all of your photographs is time-consuming, expensive, and unnecessary. If you have photos with people in them and a third party tries to use those photos for any reason, you’ll have an easier time shutting down the third party’s use of those photos, even without a copyright in place. A photo containing the likeness of another person cannot be used without that person’s consent. So, unless the people in your photographs gave consent to the third party, you will have the law on your side when trying to stop the spread of those photos, with or without a copyright.

You should also know if you ever have your photograph published, the publication can serve as documented proof that the photo belongs to you. This scenario also establishes a timeline for the creation of the photo.

HOW TO COPYRIGHT PHOTOS

The moment you create a photograph, you are the copyright holder. If you cannot prove you are the one who took the photograph, protecting yourself becomes more difficult. By knowing how to copyright photos, you can quickly confirm that you are the creator and the copyright holder of the photograph in question.

FILLING OUT THE COPYRIGHT FORM

To begin, you must download the correct copyright form from the United States government. Note that this copyright protects you in the United States. You may have protection when in another country, but it becomes more of a challenge to protect your photograph outside of the United States. Chances are you don’t want to go through the trouble of filing for a copyright in every single country, so you’ll be better off sticking with the U.S. copyright form.

Head over to the https://www.copyright.gov/ website and choose the Visual Form VA download. Print off the form and fill out all the information. The first several pages of the form are instructions for the rest of the document. The document itself is relatively straightforward. It will tell you the mailing address of the copyright office you need your form to go to.

MAIL AND PROVIDE FEE

woman sending email using her laptop

Image via pexels

One reason most artists do not file for a copyright of their photograph, outside the instant creation of a copyright when they snap the picture, is the cost. It costs $130 to file a copyright. At that price, it would be impossible for most photographers to copyright all of their work. You may snap dozens, if not hundreds, of photographs over the course of a month. Copyrighting that many photos could amount to a small fortune. If the fee doesn’t scare you off, send your documentation and payment in the form of a check or money order to the appropriate copyright office.

RECEIVE COPYRIGHT DOCUMENTATION BACK IN THE MAIL

letters peeking through the mailbox

Image via pexels

After the copyright has been processed you will receive proof of the copyright via USPS. So, if you’re planning on moving in the coming weeks (or months), provide the new address. Copyrighting can be a lengthy process. The time to complete the processing of your copyright claim will vary depending on the influx of copyright requests the agency receives.

Once your photograph has been granted the copyright, you will receive confirmation in the mail. Store this in a safe place and make a digital copy for good measure. It provides you with some specific information you’ll need for proving you are the copyright holder. Having this information on hand will make it easier to defend your photograph, should anyone ever try to use it.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND DON’T PUBLISH PHOTOGRAPH

You automatically have a copyright when you take a photograph. You can also file for copyright protection. However, one of the best ways to protect yourself is by abstaining from publishing the photograph on certain websites that are easily accessible. Don’t publish the photograph on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or other similar sites. These kinds of sites put your photograph at high risk of being used.

Even though you maintain the copyright with the website, these social platforms can take the photograph and use it. As soon as you upload your images to these sites, you are granting permission for your photos to be used. So, if you want to ensure fewer organizations and individuals have access to your photographs, don’t publish the photograph to any file sharing or social platform.

CONCLUSION

Sometimes you need to copyright your photographs while other times it may not be necessary or worth the cost. However, knowing how to copyright photos at least gives you a choice in the matter. By keeping in mind the simple steps discussed in this article, you can easily copyright any of your photographs. Perhaps it is for peace of mind, or perhaps you want to make sure your photo is lining your pockets rather than somebody else’s. Whatever the case may be, copyright laws exist to protect you and your work, and now that you know how to copyright photos, you can do just that!

How To Become A Freelance Photographer?

You want to become a freelance photographer, but you do not know what steps to take. You’ve come to the right place! Photography is an art that you can turn into a hobby or a career.

While freelance photography is a career field that can give you freedom, happiness and flexibility, you need to treat it like a business. It takes know-how behind the camera, confidence, consistency, training and business skills.

What Is a Freelance Photographer?

A camera man

Image via pexels

A freelance photographer provides photography services on a contract basis. Unlike employer-hired photographers, freelance photographers are responsible for reporting and paying their taxes, managing their contracts, marketing their business to new clients and booking their own shoots. You must plan for your freelance work just as you would plan before opening a business.

Advantages of Being a Freelance Photographer

A female using a camera

Image via pexels

Freelance photography comes with many benefits. You can pick your niche and do something you love. If you are working for someone, you have less input on what type of work you do and when you do it, therefore you may not enjoy it as much. In addition to being your own boss, being a freelance photographer is also rewarding when it comes time to watch a client’s face light up when they look at the end-product. Photographers allow even the most self-critical client to see their beauty.

As a freelance photographer, you get to pick your hours. You can schedule your clients around your personal life. This is especially helpful if you have a family. You can plan work around your children’s school activities, soccer practice, family vacations and even around your spouse’s work outings. It allows you to lead a healthier life, by giving you the flexibility to exercise regularly during your days since you can block off certain times for that.

Another benefit of freelance work is that you can choose your clients. If you work for someone, you may have to put up with any client (even abusive ones). As an independent contractor, if you run into a client who makes life miserable for you, then you don’t have to accept the responsibility of working with them.

Additionally, you receive the maximum benefit from your work, rather than having others take the lion’s share of what you have brought in through your services. Not only will you enjoy the satisfaction from what you do, but you will also enjoy keeping all the profits. You will then can grow your business the way you see fit. As your client base increases, you can decide whether you want to expand your business, work more hours, hire on assistants or maintain your current client base.

DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

A woman using a camera

Image via pexels

Just with any occupation or business, things are all rosy. There are things you have to consider before going into the freelance world. You may not have steady work. You may go through dry spells when you have little work and other times you may have a steady flow. Also, if you do not work, you do not get paid. You must have the discipline to counteract such challenges by budgeting and forecasting so you can be prepared for unreliable “lean” periods.

As a freelance photographer, the lines between personal time and work time is easily blurred. You may find yourself working to accommodate clients or to make the most out of busy seasons. Consider setting business operation hours.

Remember that your friends and family are essential. Schedule regular outings and make time for not only your loved ones but yourself, as well. Consider collaborating with other local photographers so you can accommodate your clients’ needs and still make time for your family. Otherwise, it’s easy to fall into an imbalanced work/life situation.

Being a freelance photographer also means you — and only you — are responsible for everything. You have to keep up with your accounting, marketing, sales and advertising, in addition to actually fulfilling the photography portion of your business. Plan and prepare before launching your business. Having a business plan will help you anticipate your needs. You’ll be proactive rather than reactive.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of all is not having employer benefits. You will not have compensated vacation time, sick time and, worst of all, you won’t have health benefits. Have your spouse add you (or keep you) on his/her health coverage policy.

You will need business insurance. If you don’t have spousal coverage, incorporate your health benefits along with your business coverage into your pricing. Health insurance is expensive; not having it is even more costly.

Gear And Equipment

 camera and equipments

Image via pexels

Your equipment will be your biggest expense as a freelance photographer. You will need a great camera, camera lens, background, diffusers, reflector and other tools, depending on your specialty. More equipment means you can handle a wider array of photo requests.

CAMERA AND LENS

The two most important pieces of equipment you need for your business is your “eye” and skill.  If you have a pretty decent camera body already, focus on investing in camera lenses instead of another body. Do not get yourself in unnecessary debt.

If you are a freelance portrait photographer, purchase either a 35mm or 50mm prime lens. You can find a quality prime lens for an affordable price. Consider getting a utility lens with a focal range between 14mm and 70mm

Budget for your camera body and lens. That should give you more than enough to get the professional equipment you need.

OTHER EQUIPMENT

Camera equipment

Image via pexels

Plan to spend on the rest of your accessories (assuming you are on a tight budget or you are being a shrewd business person and wanting the business to pay for future upgrades.) You will need a sturdy tripod and camera strap. The straps that usually come with your computer aren’t typically sturdy enough for heavy usage.

Have a backup drive on hand and one in the clouds. Invest in editing software such as Lightroom. Trust us, because it’ll pay for itself in no time. It cuts your editing time down, so you can have a faster turnaround time for your clients. They will value this and so will you. You’ll also need a few basic reflectors and some filters to protect your camera lens.

If you are a studio photographer, invest in or make your own gray card. It will help you get the white balance right every time. Consider painting your studio a neutral color to save on background materials.

Photography is an art that allows you to explore your creativity. Put on your creative hat as you decide what equipment you need. Not only will you save money, but you will also attract clients with your unique offerings.

HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

Photography is fun! You get to capture elements that would go unnoticed if it were not for a camera and someone with a good eye. Remember to treat your freelance photography like the business it is. It requires professionalism, technical skills and business skills.

PROFESSIONALISM

A photographer in a sunflower garden

Image via pexels

Your success depends on repeat customers and new customers. New customers will ask for recommendations. Professionalism is one of the critical elements of a successful freelance photography business.  To keep clients coming back and doing you a favor by spreading news about your talent through word-of-mouth, follow these tips on professionalism:

  • Keep your word
  • Show up on time
  • Handle issues right away.
  • Manage your client’s expectations
  • Treat all clients with respect
  • Don’t take things personally
  • Practice honesty, integrity and transparency

?TECHNICAL SKILLS

A freelance photographer

Image via pexels

If you are new to photography, make sure you gain photography skills before you try to run a freelance business. While a smartphone or an automatic push-button camera may have you feeling like a pro, you should realize that is a mere drop in the bucket of the knowledge you will need to know. You have work to do.

Photography is a science (and some math) as much as it is an art. You have to consider your equipment, the light source, the angle the light hits your subject, how far you are from the subject and how to set the right mood for a photo shoot. As if that weren’t enough, you also have to get your subject comfortable with the camera and consider any features your client wants to hide or highlight.

There are other skills to consider. You must have basic computer and internet skills. Photography software like Lightroom eases editing struggles; but, there may be an initial learning curve. It can take months, even years, to become truly proficient in these editing software programs. Don’t forget you will need to have basic business skills to run your freelance company successfully.

Here are a few tips to help you stay ahead of the curb and on top of your game:

  • Stay up-to-date with your industry
  • Take ongoing photography classes
  • Allow time for exploring your camera

BUSINESS SKILLS

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Business acuity is your ability to see your business vision and work toward that vision. Know your industry and always conduct a shoot with your vision in mind. What problem are you solving for your client? How do you want them to feel after the shoot? Every shoot you do must consider the end goal.

Business acumen deals with your insight and ability to make judgment calls with that insight. Your intuition, training and industry knowledge is key to your ability to react quickly to changes in the industry, environment or trends.

If you want to be a successful freelance photographer, then you also have to make time for the following activities:

  • Fresh website with access to your portfolio
  • Daily social media posts
  • Timely responses to emails and phone calls
  • Keep up with local events and your marketing strategy for them
  • Regular blog entries

Conclusion

After reading this, are you nervous or reconsidering your decision? If you are, that is not a bad thing. Still, do not let it stop you from following your dreams. Photography can be emotionally and financially rewarding. Don’t lose the fun from photography — just take the business aspect seriously.

Photography Business Plan: Simple Guide

camera, laptop and a pen and notebook

image source: pixabay.com

If you aspire to become a professional photographer, the first step in your career strategy is developing a photography business plan. By developing a solid business plan before you open for business, you can set goals and define milestones for the future of your photography business. Your business plan will not only give you a cohesive vision for your future success, it will also serve as your business resume for potential investors, partners or employees.

In this article, we will discuss what a business plan is, the best way to get started in the photography industry, and how to create your photography business plan.


What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is an essential road map which will lead you to success as a business owner. It’s a document that details everything about your business. In its simplest form, it details what your business aim is and how you plan to make it succeed. Key elements of a basic business plan should include projected milestones and a financial outlook, besides listing who your target audience is. It should also include an outline of your budget, to reflect cash flow and expenses.


   

Seven Business Plan Elements

two man planing some business

image source: pixabay.com

Business plans can come in a variety of styles and formats, but there are some standard guidelines for constructing one that works. We have listed the seven elements of a business plan below.
 

Executive Summary

An executive summary in a business plan is the pitch and tagline. Think about how you’d describe your business to a client; this description is the executive summary. Present the executive summary in the most streamlined and concise way possible.

Often the executive summary is written after all the details of the business have been researched and explored. Waiting to write the executive summary until the end will make sure you approach it with all the most important information in hand.


Business Description

The business description outlines all the details of your business, including your business story. The business description is how you will connect with your target audience and build a client base. This section requires creativity, insight and research. Some elements that are included in a business description are:

  • Service or product detail
  • Describe business operations
  • Mission statement
  • Business model
  • Geographic location

Market Analysis

This section will describe findings related to your target audience and illustrate why your business will make money. It will also include information about the service you offer and who your competitors are. The market analysis section should highlight your target audience and describe why they will choose you over the competitor.


Organization Management

The organization management section provides detailed information about who is involved in your business. It’s okay if you are the only person in this section. Provide any information that confirms your qualifications for the role you are in. This is the section you sell yourself as a business owner.


Sales Strategies

The sales strategies segment of a business plan lists the pricing schema. It defines how your business will make money. If you will be using any marketing or promotional strategies in your business, be sure to detail what you plan to do in this section. Remember that SEO and social media qualify as marketing strategies. Place any plans to reach your audience via these methods in this section.


Funding Requirements

If you are seeking investors, this is where you will ask for the money needed to begin business operations. If you are not seeking outside investors, this is a good section to gain clarity on how much everything involved with your business will cost. Be specific and list everything that will cost money.

This will help you determine the amount of capital that will be needed to begin your business. It will also help you establish revenue goals.


Financial Forecast

The financial forecast section is a fact-based estimate analysis on the expected growth of a company. You can find this information by researching current market trends and your target audience. With this information in place, you can also list your sales strategies. This section provides a good guideline for when you will earn money.


Getting Started

A person taking pictures

image source: pixabay.com


As a professional photographer, learn to market yourself and your photography business. By developing a photography business plan, you can move steadily toward your career goals.

Before you jump into creating your photography business plan, there are ways you can prepare yourself. Here’s how to plant the seeds as an aspiring professional photographer.


Plan

Every day you put off developing your photography business plan is a day you are neglecting your business and hindering its success. Set a date for the completion of your finished business plan and stick to it.


Research

A photography business plan requires a lot of research. Gather information on your competitors and your target audience. Compile a wealth of information about these groups, to better understand the market you are working in. Consider contacting your city or county agencies and gather demographic information specific to your area. Find out what other photographers in your area are charging for their services. Research opportunities online and in your community to better sell your services.


Reach Out

If you already have clients, elicit their opinions and testimonials about your products and services. Find out from real people how you can make your business more appealing to clients. If clients have good things to say, ask if you can feature their comments on your website.


How to Create a Photography Business Plan

photography studio

image source: pexels.com

Now you know the basics and you are ready to get started on your photography business plan. Let’s discuss what information to put into it. Your photography business plan will follow the outline of a standard business plan and include the following information:
 

Your Professional Persona

Your photography business contains who you are, where you are located, and any other relevant information about yourself and your business.


Branding Strategy

Your branding strategy will highlight how you will brand your photography business.


Genre of Photography

Your photography business plan will contain information about the photographs you take. It also contains the settings and/or events you specialize in.


Ideal Client Description

Describe who you envision yourself selling your work to. What is this client like? What type of person are they? Why are they your client?


Target Demographic Description

Target demographic statistics take information about your ideal client and place it in business terms. Once you identify who your ideal client is, research their buying behavior and what the demand is for your photography services from this demographic. Include this information in your photography business plan.


Competitors Description

In the competitors description, include the pricing of your competitors and how you will beat those prices. It might include your marketing strategies and why your marketing strategies are superior to the competition. This section should also provide information about a competitor’s sales, to show the demand for photography services in your niche. Include any research you’ve compiled about your competitors and list it in this section of your business plan.


What Makes Your Business Desirable

Write about the best elements of your business and why it will be successful.


Hours Devoted to Photography Per Week

Include your business schedule within your photography business plan. List the hours you intend to devote to your business in this section, to help you set and stick to goals.


What Your Daily Routine Looks Like

Plan what you daily operations will look like. If you are already open for business, just list what your routine looks like. If you are in the humble beginning phases of business, add structure to your days by identifying what you’ll do every day.


Your Rates

List your prices. Get as specific as you can with pricing. Research your competitors’ pricing, to get a better idea of the trending market rates.


Projected Revenue

Use your research and analysis to determine how much you predict your business will make per month. Extend this prediction into the future, for three to five years.


Operation Costs Per Month

Calculate how much money it will cost you to run your photography business. It’s good to nickel and dime in this case; every penny counts. Make sure your budget will cover the expenses so you will have enough money to keep your business running smoothly.


Marketing Strategy

Provide information about how you plan to reach your clients and outline what methods will be used to gain support and interest in your business.


Description of Your Advisors

When you start your own business, it’s important to consider the basic components of an advisory team. If you have an accountant and/or a legal team, mention them in your photography business plan.


Conclusion

A person holding pictures

image source: pexels.com

Starting your own business takes a lot of work and determination. It can take a long time before results take place. Developing your business plan will help you streamline your thoughts, focus on your goals and stay determined to accomplish them. By having a solid plan in place, you will have a guideline to track your progress and stay inspired. It is also useful for tracking unsuccessful strategies and brainstorming new ideas. Sometimes, developing a business plan can be a beneficial way to determine if having your own business is even realistic.

Keep in mind, as your business develops, your business plan will change. By taking the time to write your photography business plan, you are efficiently organizing your business strategy and outlining the future success of your business.

Photography Business Goals: Our Guide

Starting and growing your very own photography business is about more than snapping pictures and developing film. You must have a business plan, and in this plan, there must be business goals. Also, setting these goals is not something you save for the New Year. The great news about goals is that you can set them anytime you like, and you can make them as big or small as you want. Business goals are ever-changing, which means you must be willing to rework them, rewrite them and add to them throughout the year. Success does not happen by accident. It happens by continuing to set goals, exceeding them and working hard to grow your photography business.

Man throwing his camera on air

Image Source: Unsplash


Even if your business goals are working for your photography business, it never hurts to adjust them and add to them. If your goals aren’t working how you thought they might, it could be time for you to sit down and evaluate why they aren’t working and what you can do to make sure they don’t fail again. Goals make it possible for you to grow your business. If you’re struggling to grow as a photographer, it could have everything to do with your goals. Perhaps they aren’t specific enough. They might not be big enough. They might be too broad. Whatever the problem is, learning how to set specific and achievable business goals can change your business for the better.

What are Achievable Business Goals?

Person holding a camera lens

Image Source: Pexels

Setting business goals is not enough to guarantee success. If your goals aren’t achievable, you’re not helping yourself or your business grow. An achievable business goal is one you set that you can realistically reach. For example, setting a business goal of earning $1 million as a photographer this year when you’ve never even had a professional job might not be realistic. Setting a goal of shooting five sessions per month is a more achievable goal.


Once you have your achievable goal written down, you work on that. Once you meet that goal, then you start working on bigger goals. Eventually, you can work on earning that $1 million per year, but you must make sure that goal is achievable before you set it. A good business goal is compromised of five important elements, and it’s called a SMART goal.

  • S for specific
  • M for measurable
  • A for attainable
  • R for relevant
  • T for time-based


When setting goals, ask yourself if they meet each of those requirements. Is your goal specific? For example, you can write down that you’d like to photograph five sessions per month getting started—as a specific goal. If you say you’re going to have clients every month, that’s not a specific goal. Also, your goal must meet the rest of the expectations. If it doesn’t, adjust the goal so you can meet those requirements. Now it’s an attainable goal, and you have a better chance of successfully reaching it.

The Benefits of Setting Goals

Photo of a black dlsr camera

Image Source: Pexels

The point of business goals is to outline what you want to achieve as a photography business owner. Your goal is your mission, and it might not be the same mission for you as it is for someone else. You might make your goals to earn enough money every year, quit your day job and focus solely on your photography. Someone else might make it their goal to use their business as a creative outlet to add to their income to save for a home. There’s a lot you can do to make business goals work for you, if only you know what you’re working toward.

Here are some of the benefits of setting business goals:

Business Goals Motivate You

When you have a goal, you have a purpose. When you know you have to make something happen, you are more willing to work for it. When you have no goal, you may not always feel motivated. The simple act of having something to work for pushes you each day to work harder and more effectively. If you want to make more money, for example, you’ll get up each morning knowing you need to work so you can make that happen. The point of a goal is to motivate you.

Goals Give You An Advantage

If you know what you’re working for, you have the advantage over others in the same industry. You are working toward something that drives you to do better, learn more and make positive changes. Businesses without goals are often less- organized and efficient, which only serves to make your photography business more professional.

Goals Can Be Broken Down

The biggest benefit of setting business goals is your ability to break them down and make them smaller. This helps you achieve them more efficiently. For example, if you’re starting small by setting a goal of booking five clients each month as a brand-new photographer, you can further break that down into a series of smaller goals that allow you to meet your bigger goal.

Here’s an example:

To book five clients per month, you need to book a session every six days. This means you need to work on finding clients by going to events, setting up a business website, making cards and finding ways to market yourself to bring in the clients you want in every six days. Eventually, you’ll have your five clients every month—and then some. You’ll be booked months in advance, and that will make your business grow tremendously.


Goals Make You More Competitive

When you have something to work for, you are more competitive. You want to be better and more talented than the other photographers in your area. You’ll want to learn how to get better so that people want to call you rather than the photographer they would work with otherwise. Your job is to become more competitive so you can grow into the kind of photographer you want to become.

Goals Help You Grow

If you have nothing to work for, you have nothing to do. Goals inspire you to grow by constantly giving you something to work for. You can make sure you’re business is growing by setting new goals that challenge you regularly.

How to Create Achievable Business Goals

Man looking at his camera

Image Source:  Unsplash 

Setting achievable business goals is where you take the SMART rule and apply it. Your goals must meet each requirement to be effective goals. This allows you to learn, to grow and to make sure your goals are doable. These tips can help you set more attainable goals, too:

Make Your Goals Motivational

If your goals don’t make you wake up in the morning ready to get started on your business plan, they’re not big enough. You need to make your goals things that are important to you. If they’re not important to you, you aren’t going to work hard on them, which makes them not-very-good goals.

Break Them Down

Now that you have a big goal, break it down into a series of smaller goals that are more attainable. You must make sure that you can cross off smaller goals as you go to keep you motivated. It’s easier to meet your big goals when you are able to cross off smaller ones along the way. This helps renew your motivation and purpose.

Only Set Goals That Are Important To You

One of the biggest mistakes photography business owners make is setting goals they feel are good for the business but not good for themselves. If your goals are tied to the way someone else feels or the way you think you should feel or work, they won’t be effective. Ignore what everyone else thinks and how they feel, and make sure your goals are for you and your business. Don’t try to compete with other photographers. Compete with yourself to make sure your business is stronger and better.

Write Down Your Goals

The single most important thing you can do for yourself when setting business goals is to write them down. If you do not write down your goals, they just don’t feel real. Your job as a photography business owner is to write down your goals, break them down into smaller goals and cross them off as you meet them. This motivates you, makes you work harder and makes you more successful in meeting your goals. No one wants to see something in writing go undone. There is power in the very simple act of crossing things off your to-do list each day.

Conclusion

Two person filing a woman near a window

Image Source: Unsplash 

Goals are personal. If you want to create attainable business goals for your photography business, you must learn to make them goals you want to see manifest. You must believe you can meet these goals and then exceed them. You must be willing to adjust them when they aren’t working for you, and you must be willing to think bigger and better when you realize your goals. You can do anything you want, but you must be motivated to make that happen in a successful manner. Start by creating goals that are personal to you, write them down and then figure out what you need to do to make those goals a reality in your life.

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.