Friday, June 22, 2007

Making Money With Digital Photography And Live Events

By Richard Meredith

A few years ago I became interested in digital photography, mainly for web publishing and personal reasons. You know, how nice is it now to NOT have to deal with film, scanning pictures, and the costs of developing all of those "not great" photos that you didn't know were so bad until you paid to have them developed!

So, at the time I got my first digital camera a friend of mine was playing in a rock band, and needed pictures for their web pages and promotional printings and ads. When I first began to do their photography, I had NO IDEA what it all would lead to... and now I will reveal to you some of the MANY ways to make money, part-time, with your love for photography!

Now, at the clubs my friend's band played in- a lot of the time they would be in a line-up of 3 bands for the evening, of which I shot live pictures of my friend's band's performance. Then I got another idea, I'm there already, usually to finish the night with the band, so I started to take pictures of the other bands. Afterwards, as they were breaking down their equipment, I introduced myself as the other bands photographer, and explained that I liked their music and look- and also took pictures of them also.

I got the names of the band members, jotted down notes about which instruments each one played, and then got a mailing address to reach them. I told them that I was going to print up some proof sheets and send them off to them... all were very agreeable and willing (and why not, it doesn't cost them a thing).

Then I printed the proof sheet(s), and selected three of what I thought were the best- of which I made a little bigger on a separate sheet and used Photoshop to refine and enhance the images
prior to printing (all on my little ink-jet printer).

I composed a form letter that I could customize for each mailing explaining details like:

- The first proof sheet was all of the raw digital images

- The second one with the larger images was digitally self enhanced

- I would professionally print any pictures they wanted for XXX cost (considering mailing costs, printing costs at a local printing shop, labor for digital enhancement, and healthy profit margin)

- For any order I would give them a CD with ALL of the photos in digital form for them to use any way they wanted

- Add my contact information

- And finally my availability to book shootings with them in the future

Now I could personalize this form letter and send it with the proof sheets to the band, and when I would call them about a 8 days after I made the mailing to ask them if they received the proof sheets and which ones they liked (and I liked)- and I simply asked for an order.

It was amazing how well this worked, and I expanded the idea.

I would go to fund-raising events, marathons, special events hosted by radio station
personalities... always getting the contact information for reaching whoever is in charge of promotions and following the same system!

As you go along, you realize some other benefits to you new "business"- like free admissions (and no club cover charges), press passes, exciting opportunities to meet
interesting people and celebrities, discount drinks, and much more! It's amazing what people will GIVE you, if you just ask!

Then there are the home-business tax deductions that are eye-opening in themselves!

As soon as you can, upgrade to more professional equipment so you can not only "play" the part, but also "look" the part. Print up business cards, and make up your own portfolio of your "best" digitally enhanced photos of all kinds of subjects and previous shootings.

Seriously, this could turn your love for digital photography into an exciting lifestyle and an income that could surpass your present one!

But then again, I know I have only just scratched the surface with professional digital photography, and I'm sure you now have just entered a "think-tank" that will spur many more ideas for you to make digital photography more than just a love. Make it a great life!

Richard Meredith is the Author of
"The BLACK BOOK of Online Business"- An amazing FREE SOURCE ebook for the online business person!

Feel free to distribute or publish this article conditional only by including the by-line intact.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Great Wedding Photography

By Beth Campbell

Some feel that taking wedding photos is only a casual affair, just do it and get it over with as they are only doing it for a family or friend. Others view it as a serious matter as it is their professional. Wedding photos can sometimes be difficult to take as there is a flurry of activity as well as varying lighting conditions, not to mention dealing with a nervous bride that wants everything to be perfect. Here are some strategies you can use for taking great wedding photos.

If you are going to take wedding photos, preparing ahead of time is vital. Many recommend that you prepare two months ahead. To start preparation, you must get to know the bride and groom taking, careful note of their needs and wants. Ways this can be done is by asking them the following questions:

1. How many photographers will there be at the wedding.

2. Do the guests consist of mostly family or, is there going to be a mixture of family and friends?

3. Which locations will be used? Will the wedding be at a church or in a backyard? Will there be a reception?

4. What types of photos would you like? Would you like formal group portraits or do you want romantic and candid couple pictures? This is an extremely important question. Be sure that you understand what type of photos the bride and groom want. Ask them to describe some of the favorite wedding photos they have seen. This will give you an idea of what they have in mind.

It is questions such as these that will help you understand the requirements of the wedding which will, in turn, enable you to take better shots.

After you have learned of the wedding locations, it is a good idea to go and scout them out. You will want to take note of the types of lighting as well as other features of the environment. If the wedding is going to be in a church, go there and check out the decor. It will also be beneficial to figure out where you will position yourself. Some churches do not allow flash photography so, it is a good idea to get a fast lens. If there will be a reception, check out the dance floor and ask for the seating arrangement.

Organizing the gear that you’ll need for taking the photos is another critical step. It is usually a good idea to do this a month ahead of time as it will leave you enough time to check and double check to see if you are missing any equipment. Here is a list that may help you keep in check;

1. Digital camera. You should also have a camera for backup.

2. Camera lenses and filters.
3. Tripod. This is critical for taking pictures indoors under low lighting conditions.

4. Memory cards. Bring ones that have a lot of space as you’ll be taking a great number of photos and always have an extra.

5. Portable drive. This is critical to bring along just in case you should run out of space on your memory cards.

6. Make sure the battery is charged and that you have a backup battery.

7. Assistant. It would be helpful to bring one along as he or she could help you set up and position the group. The assistant can be a family, friend, or whoever you decide to bring along.

Now, the wedding day has come, and there is a great deal of excitement. To help you keep in check, here is a sequence of events that will occur;

1. If you are taking pictures at the house, be one of the earliest to arrive so you will have time to set up your equipment as well as your positions.

2. When taking pictures at the church, take note of where the priest and couple will be standing and position yourself where you can get the shots you need but will be as unobtrusive as possible.

3. When it is time for the reception, get there faster than everyone else. This will give you time to set up your equipment as well as your position. This is the time where you can take all of the fun shots!

4. When taking formal photos, have your assistant there to help you. Start out with the large groups and then go smaller removing family members so you can get a variety.

5. It is common now to upload all the photos to an online gallery so that the couple can choose which and how many photos they wish to have edited and printed. You will need to know this information so that you know how much to charge them for the number of photos they have chosen unless an agreement was reached before hand. Even if an agreement was reached before hand, once they see the photos, they may want more than was originally agreed upon and you may have to charge a per photo price for photos in addition to the number that was originally agreed upon.

6. Once the couple chooses the photos they want, cleaning up and editing the photos is important as you want them to be as perfect as possible and be pleasing to the couple.

As taking wedding photos can be a challenge, it can also be rewarding as you have played a crucial part in helping the couple capture those precious memories.

To learn more about digital photography, visit mastering digital SLR photography. Want to improve your photography techniques? See digital photography technique. Find out more about how to take great wedding photos at digital wedding photography

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Photography Tip- Stock Photography - How To Counter Image Thievery

By Eric Imboden

Most photographers who come to me raise this issue at the beginning: "How can I make sure no one will steal my photographs?". There is no way to be a 100% sure that your images won't be stolen but there are a few things you can do.

On the technical side, some photographers point out that if the right-click "Save image as..." option is disabled, their images are safe. No, there are not. First, on the Mac and on Linux, this doesn't work. Second, on Windows, if you turn off Javascript, this right-click option will work. Third, any image on displayed on your web browser (FireFox, Internet Explorer) can be saved if you look at the source of the page: it doesn't take a Computer Science degree to do that.
Also, some software vendors try to sell you plugins that should solve this problem. Usually these "solutions" are quite expensive and truth is that even those most complicated software that require server-side and client-side implementations cannot prevent a screen capture. It's as simple as that. Not matter how much money/time you spend, there is no technical solution.

If reading this statement makes you anxious, please consider this: How customer-friendly do you want to be? The more protective you are of your work, the harder for your clients it will be to see it. If they have to install a plugin to see your work, they might as well go next door. Besides, I personally dislike to be treated as a thief or a threat when I go shopping: that's bad security because it scares your customers away. In other words, don't "punish" 99% of your clients because 1% of them are thieves. If you don't trust people, don't get into any business at all.

So, what can you do? First thing, be careful to what you display and where you display it. It's never a good idea to make your high-resolution photographs available for download on photo-sharing websites like Flickr. Icelandic photographer Rebekka Guoleifsdottir had a bad experience about this: her work was supposedly taken from Flick, printed and sold by some third party. This is every photographers' nightmare. Of course, you can call your lawyer but it's going to cost a lot and, in this case, the supposedly thief was located in another country making things much more difficult.
First quick fix: if you are using these services, make sure you do not upload photos larger than 500 pixels (largest side). Even if someone would take the 500 pixel wide image, he would not be able to sell it: it's too small. Using Photoshop to make it bigger would only result in a pixelated image.
Second quick fix: apply a watermark. Don't be too aggressive with the watermark because it's visually annoying. If your image is no wider than 500 pixel, there's no point in putting it in the centre: your image is already small enough and remember, you do not want to scare your customers away. On your watermark, you should display the copyright symbol, your name, and optionally a web address where to find your work.

To sum up, there's no ultimate solution about image thievery but you can take some proactive step to fight protect yourself against this. However, scaring away your customers won't do any good. In fact, don't forget that the web works differently than the "offline" world: your competitor is just a few clicks away and if someone steals one of your low-resolution image and put it on a personal website, ask him/her to delete your work or give you credit for it: they usually comply. After all, it's not a physical good: no money was lost.

Eric Imboden is passionate about stock photography. He can be seen at where he helps photographers promote their photos and sell them commission-free. He always welcomes new ideas or comments about his website or articles. Email him at:

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Photography Tip- Let's Do The Twist

I'd like to share my model slenderizing photography tip with you, so that you can use it to help slim your subjects and trim their waists. The better your subjects look, the more they will appreciate your photos.

I was recently on a photo shoot with a couple at the lake. During the meet and greet before the shoot, the female subject said to me, "make me look thin and I'll buy a ton of photos", I told her "not-to-worry, I've got a magic lens!" Why was I so confident? I've got some tricks up my sleeve. I work on commission, so my life depends upon making her look good. I knew exactly what I was going do.

My first photographic pose was a standing shot of the couple. I used a technique I call, The Twist! To make the models appear thinner in the standing full length photograph. Here's how I did it:

I posed the subjects for a full length (head to toe) standing image, with the models standing together next to each other and facing me. Both models kept their feet together and parallel. The subjects turned their feet towards each other, not completely facing each other but definitely turned towards each other. They turned to the same degree so the couple was evenly balanced.

I had the models do The TWIST in which they rotate the upper body to the outside while keeping the lower body turned towards each other. In other words, they kept their feet planted and facing in towards each other. Then I had them twist at the waist and brought the subjects-chests around so they were pointing at me. Photography Tip: Men and women alike generally look better when the chest is facing the camera rather than a shoulder.

It was amazing at what The Twist did. It made the hips appear narrower and the tummy look tighter! It also brought attention to the chest so that the viewers eye is drawn away from the mid section. This technique also produced neat, tidy and balanced subjects.

I adjusted a few more subtle details from this basic position to change the look and feel of the pose. I had the models move their outside feet straight ahead, say two inches. Then I had the models turn the toe on the outside foot out slightly. and lastly I had the female subject place the outside foot on it's toe and turn the heel in and then bend the knee in for a zesty twist.

A couple more more last minute adjustments like straightening posture, sucking in the belly, and some silly antics to spark genuine smiles up on the couple and I had the shots I was after. From each variation of the pose, I quickly shot several vertical full length and horizontal full length portraits.

I then zoomed in for some waist-up shots and even more for chest/head close-up portraits of the couple. Photography Tip: If you have a client that is self-conscious about their bodily appearance, shoot extra head shots.

Experiment with these photography tips and add your own variations of The Twist. Implementing these and other posing techniques can eliminate potential objections on the sales floor in the studio. Take control of the portrait from the start, It's your job! Your clients will appreciate your attention to detail.

Brandon is a professional digital photographer from Lake Tahoe, California. Brandon specializes in on-mountain action and portrait photography during the winter months, photographing skiers and snowboarders on the slopes. Brandon also has a digital photography website which is full of excellent tips and techniques.

Photography tips are great, but if your really serious about having fun as a professional photographer, it begins with a photography education. Compare online and campus based photography schools for the program that best fits your field of study.

Photography Tips
Photography Tip

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Photography School- Choose The Right School

Thanks to the revolution in digital photography, the industry is growing quickly, photographers are more in demand than ever before and some very specialized fields of study are facing shortages, while other fields are extremely competitive. The key is to choose the right specialty and then a photography school to prepare you for your field of study...

By Brandon Baumgarten

Why go to school for photography can't you just freelance? Well, you could. But a degree from photography school opens up opportunities that would be out of reach without a formal education.

You have the opportunity to learn the occupational skills necessary to become a professional photographer. You'll also make contacts that help your career as a professional photographer. In fact many photography schools have placement programs to assist graduates connect with employers after they graduate. Plus, photographers attending college, can enhance their future resume by completing an internship with a major newspaper or magazine during the summer months.

There are many things to consider prior to selecting the school you will attend.

  • Choose a field of study- Thoroughly research each field of study, to get a feel for which one is best for you. By narrowing down your field of photographic study, to the job profiles you are most interested in pursuing when you graduate. You can concentrate on learning the occupational competencies for your specialty.
  • What is the demand for your field of study? In some specialized fields of photography photographers are really in demand. For example medical and scientific photographers with a chemistry degree or degree in medicine are highly sought after right now. Other fields like media photographer jobs are much more competitive.

  • School Location- The location of the photography school is an important factor. If the schools are not nearby, consider the cost of living in the area. Search CraigsList to get an idea of rent cost, job availability etc. If moving to another location is not feasible, community colleges and online classes are a popular option.
  • Tuition Cost- The cost of tuition while attending photography school can play a major role in your ultimate decision. Research scholarships and financial aid that may be available. Keep in mind that a good education isn't expensive, it's invaluable.

  • Read school reviews- When choosing the right school from your top picks, do some research for objective reviews of the institution and it's staff.
Request information from each photography school you are considering attending and maybe even a few more just for reference purposes. Most schools will send you a free no-obligation information package. Compare programs for the schools that match your goals and narrow the list down to two or three that provide the curriculum required for your field of study.

Narrow your choice of photography schools down to two or three that match your field of study. Now go check them out! There is no substitute for visiting the school in person. You can meet with the faculty, inspect the facility and get a feel for the local community.

Find out more about choosing a field of study and compare online and campus based photography schools for the program that best fits your field of study.

Brandon is a professional digital photographer from Lake Tahoe, California. Brandon specializes in on-mountain action and portrait sports photography during the winter months, photographing skiers and snowboarders on the slopes. Brandon also has a digital photography website which is full of excellent tips and techniques.

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Photography Tips

Photography School - Choose The Right Field Of Study

Here's a photography tip to help professional photographers get more out of each group they shoot! This very simple technique can help you sell more pictures and substantially increase your income.
By Brandon Baumgarten

Photographers may specialize in one field of photography or they may generalize in a combination of two or more types of photography. Prior to selecting the photography school you are going to attend. Narrow down the specific fields of photography you are most interested in. The differences between photographer specialties are in the subject matter, work conditions and in the type of equipment used and required for design and composition of the photograph.

Photographer fields of study for you to consider:

Wedding and Portrait Photographers pose their subjects and carefully set up lighting and use flash units to enhance the images.

  • Fine arts photographers sell their images as fine artwork. In addition to technical proficiency, fine arts photographers need artistic talent and creativity.
  • Commercial Photographers shoot scenic photography for advertising, stock image and print sales. They also photograph products like food and merchandise or buildings and architecture.
  • News Photographers typically work on location at news-worthy events. They take pictures that enhance stories used by the news media.
  • Industrial Photographers shoot photos of machinery, employees working, equipment, products, and company officials. The images are typically done on location and used for the analysis of engineering projects, publicity, or company records.
  • Medical Photographers specialize in more technical forms of photography, such as Ophthalmic, Surgical or Pathological photography.
  • Freelance Photographers line up their own work and projects. Then they sell their photography directly to clients. They must be highly motivated to become successful.
Which field should you pursue? Ask yourself, why do I want to be a professional photographer, for the love or the money? Most of us do it for the love of photography. If you do it for the love of photography, consider combining your passion for photography with other interests like chemistry, medicine, news, special events etc. Important things to consider when choosing a specialized area of photography:

  • Working Conditions- If you want to work indoors in an air conditioned office or outdoors in the elements and on the move.
  • Salary Range- The compensation you can expect from each field of photography varies greatly. Research pay ranges before you select your field of study.
  • Educational Requirements- In some fields of photography like portrait and fine art, talent and experience are enough for motivated individuals. However additional education in areas such as engineering, medicine, biology, or chemistry are required for other fields.
  • Advancement Opportunities- Opportunities for advancement at a small photography studio are limited. Photographers in other industries such as media, medical and scientific photography can find room for moving up.
Careers in traditional photography like the media positions are highly competitive, since salaried jobs are extremely desirable. Some of the less crowded fields in the photography profession are the aerial, industrial and scientific fields of photography. In addition to photography skills, these jobs require college degrees and specialized technical training. When you carefully consider all of the factors, I'm confident you will choose the right career path.

Find out more about choosing a field of study and compare online and campus based photography schools for the program that best fits your field of study.

Brandon is a professional digital photographer from Lake Tahoe, California. Brandon specializes in on-mountain action and portrait sports photography during the winter months, photographing skiers and snowboarders on the slopes. Brandon also has a digital photography website which is full of excellent tips and techniques.
Photography Articles

Photography Tip- Total Breakdown

Here's a photography tip to help professional photographers get more out of each group they shoot! This very simple technique can help you sell more pictures and substantially increase your income.

By Brandon Baumgarten

Recently, I had an appointment for a photography shoot with a wonderful family. We made plans to meet at the lake for their yearly family photo shoot. As usual I got there well before the family was scheduled to arrive so I could set up the equipment and be ready to go. The family of five and one pair of grandparents pulled up in a black Hummer. I introduced myself and as we were walking to the lake, Mrs Weber said to me I love pictures, my husband let's me buy whatever I want. Do you sell photo gifts? I got a little spring in my step and answered, "yes we have a variety of cool things like photo mugs and puzzles you can see our full selection when you order." Then she said she wanted a close-up portrait with Lake Tahoe behind her for her blog. I said, "just go with the flow!" Now I'm thinking to myself, it's time for a Total Breakdown!

  • I started with a photo shoot of the entire group of seven. We did a few different poses and I shot a ton of photos. Then, I broke it down!
  • I had the grandparents step out of the picture and photographed just the family of five. We had fun shooting poses for the family portrait and did some creative and traditional portrait photos. Then I broke it down again!
  • I had Mr and Mrs Weber step over with the grandparents out of the picture, who by the way were throughly enjoying the entertainment, but the best was yet to come, the kids were next! They were great fun, so I got wild and crazy shots with them. We did a ton of cool shots. What now? Break it down!
  • I shoot three or four quick shots of each kid. I'll do a standing full length pose. Some mid and close-up shots and something unique and different for each kid. Another breakdown? You bet! I'll keep going till they beg me to stop! Why do you think I sell so many pictures?

  • I had grandma and grandpa step-back into the beautiful outdoor studio overlooking the lake. I shot a wonderful photo of the lovely couple, then breaking it down again, I photographed grandma and grandpa separately.
  • Next, I had Mrs Weber join her mom and dad (grandma and grandpa) for a photo of her together with her parents.
  • Now your thinking what else can you do with this? I had grandma and grandpa exit-stage-left and photographed mom by herself, remember she wanted a head-shot with the lake in it for her blog bio photo?
  • Wow!!! We still don't have a shot of mom and dad together! So I have dad come over and join mom. The couple is easy to work with because now they are in sync with my flow. We capture some gorgeous pictures of them.
  • I wrap up the shoot with some handsome photos of dad by himself.
I could have kept going all day, but the kids are climbing trees in their nice clothes and mom... So I call it a wrap! The key to The Total Breakdown Method is transitioning from one combination of subjects to another quickly and smoothly without interruption. With an attitude of professional confidence go from one pose to the next.

The Don't ask! Do Tell Policy states that you never ask a client if they want a break down! If you display skill and confidence, clients will allow you to do your job and take control. For instance "Mom-n-Dad, please step to the side, I'm going to get some pictures of the kids". And that's what happens. If I had asked Mrs Weber "would you like to get a photo of the kids" she may have said no, after that, I'm in the situation of getting every photo approved and I don't want Mrs Weber to decide on whether or not to get an image, until we are looking at them on the monitor on the sales floor or at our online photo sharing pro gallery!

If you use this photography technique with every group, you should see an increase in image sales. If you haven't been doing any breakdowns, the increase in photography sales could be substantial. By the way, Mr Weber slipped me a very generous, "thank you" after the family photo shoot and said I did a great job! In addition they spent well over $1000 on photos.

Brandon is a professional digital photographer from Lake Tahoe, California. Brandon specializes in on-mountain action and portrait photography during the winter months, photographing skiers and snowboarders on the slopes. Brandon also has a digital photography website which is full of excellent techniques, products and services. Including tips to help you create your own impressive online gallery, with flashy photography templates that are designed for serious photographers.

Article Source: Photography Tips