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Friday, June 22, 2012

So I know I've touched on this before. You can make beautiful pictures with older cameras, say a D80 or a Canon Rebel. With that said I can honestly say it's a hell of a lot easier making beautiful pictures with a full frame your friends can't afford it type camera.

I just got the 5d MKII. Yes i know it's old considering that the MK III is out, but i'm smitten.
I don't have many lenses for it yet but they will be coming. I'm mostly shooting with a 28-135 and a 50mm  1.8. I'm getting by and making some great images.

Can't wait to start sharing more on this blog.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Focus, huh?

So it's the new year already and i'm still playing catch up with weddings, events and portraits that I've taken in the past month or so. It's kind of a bummer to have to backtrack through a lightroom catalog that i'm not unfamiliar with.

In the next week or weeks my goal is to catch up and get back to what i love doing, photography. More day trips and more planned portraits to get me back in the mood. It's very easy to get weighed down with projects and jobs while doing photography. Think about it like this, you're a writer and you have this beautiful thought in your head and you know exactly what you want to do with it. Instead of being able to write that, lets say Tommy wants you to write a few chapters for him and a newspaper wants you to write an article about frogs relating to buildings. The next thing you know you're doing alot of stuff that is conflicting with the fun part of what you love to do.

So hopefully this is one of the last posts you see before some beautiful new work in the next month or so.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Photos, don't suck bady at them.

I just spoke at Worcester Free School hosted at Worcester Photo Studio.
One of the topics that i talked about was photo composition which lead
to Christmas photos and how not to make them suck.

Make sure you get rid of anything that's distracting and non Christmas or
Festivus related if you're doing group pictures. Make sure you're subjects
aren't wearing concert shirts or tank tops or anything that doesn't scream
Christmas or classy.  Sweaters and slacks and a nice pair of shoes for the
gentlemen and something much nicer for the lady. I would tell a lady how
to dress, but i'm a guy and not equipped to do so. So that covers
environment for the most part and attire.  

So what to do about posing.  Make sure clothing is not twisted, stains
showing or otherwise wrinkled and ruined. Look at hands, what are they
doing. The last thing you want is to have these beautiful pictures while someone
is clenching a fist or doing jazz hands.  If hands are in pockets then make sure
that the thumb is out, this will convey a sense of relaxation. You don't want
the people in the picture to look pensive or shy. Point those feet in for group shots,
the last thing you want is to have everyone's feet going every which direction.
Make sure everyone's bodies are somewhat complimenting their opposites.
Slight turns for body angle always is a given, you don't want to have a police line

Okay, so i'll say this again. For god's sake no direct flash!
I could rant on and complain and tell you exactly why, just reread my previous
blogs about this.

When you take your photos you should know some  basic composition rules
such as the rule of thirds. Google it, i'm not going to ramble on about it. You
also want to make sure you're not including too much overhead, too much space
above your subject or too much space to the side or bottoms of the pictures.
Do not under any circumstances cut anyone off at any joints of their body.
Do not cut peoples arms or heads off in pictures, many a good picture has been
ruined by the bad composition of a poor photographer.

So now that you have taken all these great photos and you're ready to post to facebook,
wait! Go and look back through the pictures and get rid of the bad ones. Make sure you're composition
is spot on. No blurry photos, no photos that are just simply document the event.
Now if you're somewhat hesitant about throwing away those pictures just remember
that these same people will be around next year for you to get it right.

Happy Festivus and please do not say Happy Holidays. It's just lame.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photographers should date other photographers.

It just seems like a good idea.  My new girlfriend is a photographer
and i love being able to compare my work to hers and vice versa.
A million other little things could accompany this post but i'll keep
it short and sweet.

Photographers should date other photographers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Going for it, starting your own photography business

You have a camera and now you should have the needs to fund your new obsession, if it's not an obsession i hope it quickly becomes one.

First you should decide how you want to make money, what i mean to say is what do you want to shoot to bring in revenue. You could go commercial and shoot for a company or shoot products such as jewelery or clothing or even buildings. Another is through the art of it, you can take beautiful pictures and sell them at shows or online. You can shoot portraits that range from models to babys and pets and anything in between.  My favorite though is wedding photography. One wedding can land you anywhere from $1000 to $5000 and the workload isn't as bad as you think it is.

So you should figure out your pricing before someone actually proposes buying your art. Don't ever feel guilty about  your price. If someone is willing to pay $200 for an hour shoot then go for it, if someone isn't willing to pay that then politely apologize and walk away from the situation. It's one thing to negotiate but don't just drop your price because they can't afford you. If someone says i really want you to take my picture but i don't think i need a full hour, then you can drop the price a wee bit. As far as selling your prints, don't negotiate; this is your art and you shouldn't compromise.

See my post about shooting weddings, it's worth the trouble if you can call it that. One wedding can buy you a 70-200 lens and a MacBook Pro, think about that.

So starting a business one of the basic things that you want to do is go to City Hall or your Town Hall and apply for a business license which will cost you anywhere from $15 to $50 max.  With this business license in hand you can go down to a local bank and open an account in your businesses name. This is essential so that you can track your finances better with your business.

So now you need some swag for your business, your letterheads, business cards, shirts and invoices and contracts. You can either brand yourself or not brand yourself when it comes to this. Basically do you want to stick with one theme or not care at all, that's for you to decide, i'll be posting more about that later on in another post.

So i know there's a million other little things that go along with having your own business,  i'm not going to get into those million little things. The point of this post was to get you excited and to get you to take those first step.  Some of what i said may apply to you and some may not, but take those first steps and figure it out for yourself; there lies a life of possibilities. 

So you bought a camea from Best Buy with the lenses n stuff.

Going to keep this one short and sweet. Yesterday at Start On The Street in Worcester MA i saw alot of people with DSLR's. I wanted to go and correct every one of them in some manner or other.

So here's some basic things you should know. Don't change your lens with your body facing out into the air, treat it like an open wound while inbetween lenses.  Change your lenses as quickly as possible to minimize dust and debris floating in. Dust on your sensor will show up in every single picture you take.

Don't put the camera around your neck, loop it under your arm. Having it under your arm and at your side allows you to protect it a bit better.  No longer will your camera swing into random things everytime you turn your body. Black Rapid makes an excellent camera strap called the R Strap and it allows you to leave your camera hanging down at your side at all times.

Pop up flash, don't do it! Shooting someone with flash straight on ruins the picture, think about a deer in headlights; no ones happy. Pop up flash is okay for crime scene photos or documenting a grizzly murder but when it comes to your photos you don't want anything to do with it. Consider hopping on amazon or ebay and finding a flash gun for your dslr. Basically a flash that slides into your hot shot on your camera and allows you to bounce the flash off a ceiling or wall or other to create something far more pleasing. There are also many adapters for your flash gun such as reflectors or Gary Fond light sphere or a mini softbox. You can also use a cord or pocket wizard to bring the flash away from the camera long enough to get the right shot.

Take off the lens cap. You can scrap the front element all you want and it won't effect your pictures, just don't mess with the rear element. If you make one little scratch in your real element, kiss good pictures goodbye. Lens caps should only be used for storage. Don't be lame.