Tag Archive for 'business'

Pro Photo Podcast #90 – Orange Fondue Pots

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Today’s Panel... Gavin SeimBarry HowellBryan CaporicciJoseph Linaschke

Bringing in 2013, the panel talks about whats new and whats coming this year as they share ideas on raising the bar in 2013.

This show brought to you by the Seim Effects. And the new Color Fantasies 2 Presets for Lightroom.



PPS #90 Forum Discussion HERE. Share Your Opinions.

Main Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions.
  • 03:00 News and latest
  • 13:00 Compact Cameras and Fads
  • 40:10 Adobe CS2 Adventure
  • 43:30 Ideas for 2013
  • 1:06:25 Copyright – Lighting
  • 1:25:50 Composition – Lighting
  • 1:39:20 Picks of the Month
  • 1:58:58 After Show

 

LINKS…

Follow Gavin’s 3 month American road trip.

Brother QL570 label printer.

Ifrogs BOOST

Powershot N

 

Olympus OMD

Sony NEX Series

 

Adobe CS2 Download Archives.

Wall Portrait Workshop 2013

Film is Coming Back.

Gavin’s LIGHT LETTER

PICKS:
Bryon
Herman Miller Aeron Chair

Barry:
Hassleblad 500CM

Joseph:
Eye-Fi SD Card

Pro Photo Podcast #85 – Photos Are Not Free

No not even this photo is free – King of the Valley – Valley of the gods Utah

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Today’s Panel... Gavin SeimBarry HowellNina BeheimScott & Adina Hayne

This month the panel looks at a few news bits, understands that photos have value, reviews Photoshop CS6, our favorite lenses and more.

PPS #85 Forum Discussions Here. Share Your Opinions.

Main Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions.
  • 04:50 News and Chat.
  • 10:10 Free Photos for Alter Bridge?
  • 27:45 Photoshop CS6 Group Review.
  • 49:00 A larger format future.
  • 1:09:55 Lenses Lightning Round.
  • 1:32:55 Picks of the show.
  • 2:04:08 The After Show. Business and beyond.

Links…

LIghtroom 4.

Creative Suite CS6.

5DMK III is good. So is the Nikon D800. You decide. And check out the value of the D3200.

A pack of free LR develop presets for video.

Glif iPhone tripod mount.

The Brenizer Method. An stitched approach to the large format look (thanks to Vincent P for the link)

Bands don’t need to pay for your photos?

PICKS…

 

 

12 Tips for New & Aspiring Photographers.

By Gavin Seim

A few people think of me as a cranky old photographer who picks on newbies. This is probably because I’m pretty blunt, and I’ve written articles like A Style & Why Most Photographers Don’t have One and Stop Camera Abuse.

They have just not gotten to know me. Truth is, I’m just a guy in my late twenties, and it was not that long ago that I was starting out. I know what it’s like. I study a lot, know a lot of the hassles that can be avoided, and I see what’s happening in photography today. So I won’t simply play the part of a feel-good guy who says everything is great no matter what. We all deserve honesty.

Encouragement is a valuable thing, but there’s a lot of patting on the back going on because people don’t have the guts to be honest with their peers. In the end, the truth often comes out in the fact that they can’t make it in business. I say going bankrupt is terrible way to realize how hard photography is. Best to get to the hard truths right off, so you can make a business plan that works.

So that said, here are some thoughts–some observed, some learned the hard way–for newer and aspiring photographers. I’m going to be a little blunt, so don’t take it personally. It’s OK to be starting out. But you deserve honesty, and that’s exactly what you’ll get today.

It’s not like it was. Let’s face it. The standard of excellence is higher than ever. Everyone is doing photography. Yes, you can learn to take “good” photos pretty quickly. But so can everyone else. And with so many people doing just that, nearly as many trying to go into business, and a lot of those working for next to nothing, the market is totally saturated, and the value of photography has been driven to an all time low. But don’t lose heart. There is a market, but you need a brand and something with unique value to offer. You’ll need quality, personalty, and business skill to boot, or you’ll just be working for peanuts producing the same stuff everyone else is.

1. Take the Time.
You won’t be Ansel overnight. Don’t stress about it. Becoming a really experienced photographer takes training–a lot of it. It will not happen overnight. It probably won’t even happen in two or three years. Not that you won’t be taking good photos in that time, but don’t expect them to be the most amazing things every time. If you want to rise above just keep getting better. Keep training. Because you can, and you’ll feel great about that progress.

2. Don’t Rush Into It.
Make a clean, simple site where you can show your work and get feedback. Then keep at it, but take it easy. Don’t feel like you have to rush out and book gigs. It’s OK to be a photographer for the sheer joy of it, just learning, sharing, and having fun. As soon as you start hiring out, you’ll have to spend more time managing a business than making great photos. A lot more. In many ways, it’s actually less enjoyable when it becomes a job, even if you still love it. Continue reading ’12 Tips for New & Aspiring Photographers.’

Pro Photo Podcast #80. LIVE Chaos

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Today’s Panel... Gavin Seim (G Pixel)Barry Howel (B Groover) – Dennis Zerwas (ZPower) – Matt Shumate (Schumster)

On this weeks 2nd live roundtable, we get over some technical issues with the live feed and then jump into the latest news and thoughts about what’s happening in photography. A few little debates and some ideas on how we can all get better. And check out the after show for a bit of unscripted fun and a few tips for Facebook.

Podcast #80 forum discussions:

Main Time Indexes:

  • 00:00. News & Errata
  • 33:20. LRnd. Is the photo biz dying?
  • 57:50. LRnd. Is there an art photo market?
  • 1:15:20. Lrnd. Ideas for learning.
  • 1:37:18. Picks of the show.
  • 1:54:38. The after show.

Links to things we mentioned.

The 20MP Samsung NX 200 looks interesting.

Also we neglected to chat about the new Sony A77.
Also check out the Sony NEX7.

Comm photographer gets a 10MP 8×10 digital back for half a million.

July. Photojojo makes an iPhone 4 SLR lens mount.

NEW Pro Photo forums. Come join the conversation.

HDR Magic Video Workshop.

Learning stuff… Continue reading ‘Pro Photo Podcast #80. LIVE Chaos’

Finding a Style – And Why Most Photographers Don’t Have One.

By Gavin Seim, Updated 10/11

Something one often hears tossed around in this industry is the word ‘style.’ “It’s my style” or “love your style.” Sometime it can get pretty funny: “My style is, uh, everything.” Now, this is not a bash session. We’re all at different levels, and that’s OK. This is just another post to get us thinking, something to get us all to raise the bar. I think the idea of style bears consideration and refinement. So let’s start where I often start, with the word, itself.

Webster’s Dictionary – Style.
1. a distinctive manner of expression (as in writing or speech)
2. a distinctive manner or custom of behaving or conducting oneself
3. a particular manner or technique by which something is done, created, or performed.

Hunters Bridge - 2009, HDR Portrait.

SO perhaps a photography style is just what you thought it was. But look carefully. “Distinctive, distinctive, particular.” I see photographers (especially new ones) frantically trying to define their style. But they don’t. It may change from week to week and month to month. If you go to their site right now, that high contrast, over saturated look is their style. But really, it’s probably because they know nothing else or saw someone else doing it. Your style is a big part of your brand. But developing it is not quick or easy. It’s a process.

NEXT let’s get one thing out of the way. Just because you do something does not make it your style. The most common “style” I see is “high contrast” or “edgy” or “bold” or “fun”. Now all those things can be a style, but they’re generally non-distinctive and used by people who don’t really know their style. Sometimes these vague styles are used by photographers who are inexperienced and use “art” or “style” as an excuse for their work. (I.e. “The high contrast look is my style” or “The flat light is my style” or “The blown out highlights are part of my style”)

NO. Those are not your style. You just don’t know what you’re doing. The first step in developing your style is to STOP trying to be something you’re not. It takes years and years to become a good craftsman. If you’re a new photographer, stop trying to fake a style that you don’t really have or convince people that that thing you do (because you don’t know any better) is your style. Don’t do it. Using style as an excuse just slows your career because it allows you to make excuses and avoid learning to things properly.

BUT can’t high contrast, blown out, journalistic, be a style? Sure. But often it’s not, because people who are comfortable, experienced, and have really found a style generally know better than to take the cliches and call them a style, because the result tends to appear like a generic copy of everyone else.

SO WHAT makes a style? Sure, it can be somewhat subjective, but let’s go back to the dictionary for the facts. A style is “distinctive.” It’s “particular.” That means it has the ability to stand out on its own. So based on that, if your style looks like 80% of the rest of the world’s photographers, it’s not much of a style. That is, not unless you call your style generic, which does not sound too appealing.

Now, I’m not saying a style can’t be inspired by the work of another photographer. In fact, it’s almost impossible to do something completely new. But there’s inspiration, and there’s outright copying. Most photographers don’t have a style because they have not yet taken enough time to refine their craft and develop that style. This can apply to a newbie as easily as to a 25 year veteran.

A STYLE is not simply taking photos. It takes something more. It requires thought, planning, and skill. But even further, a style is your brand. It can be combined with your personalty, the products you make from your photos, and the way you present them on your website. It does not mean being in a rut or always being the same or applying a particular technique to everything. It’s a process.

WHAT is my style? I’ve been making photos for over 14 years now, and in just the past few, I’ve started feeling I understand my style. It took me that long. I know what I do, and I know how to make it come out nearly every time. I feel I have a style, but I’m still improving on it.

If you were to go to my portrait or wedding site, you might see me describe my work as “A natural cinematic style inspired by the masters and tempered with modern flair.” But the text is merely the beginning. I have an visual in my mind of the kind of image I make, and while every one is different, I have a focus. Also, the way I display my final prints as carefully crafted wall portraits is a very relevant part of my style. It’s taken me about 13 years to pin myself down this much. And I’m still discovering and refining my style.

WHAT does all this this mean? Well, my goal here today is not to say you can’t have a look, or that you can’t describe your work. It’s not to make this style thing abstract and confusing. Maybe you’ve truly found your style, maybe not. But my intent is to get us all thinking. To raise the bar on our style, study, and practice, and become such proficient craftsman that we truly understand our medium and our style. Maybe you’ll be faster than I was, maybe not. But either way, it’s a process. A valuable one.

SO, STYLE is important. But it’s not something you can simply make up. Before you can really define your style, you have to know your craft well enough to understand what you’re doing with it. You have to have worked enough to find that distinctive consistency in your images. Imagine a singer. A singer does not have a style until they learn to sing and perform. It takes time. They have to work it out. Photography is no different.

WHY do most NOT have a style? Because they’ve not refined their craft . It does not mean they’re all bad photographers. But in truth a lot of photography today lacks distinction. Admittedly, it’s hard. Finding your style take more than just doing a wedding every weekend. It takes more than copying the latest trend you see your friends using.

I often see photographers who are really busy with jobs, but it’s all they can do just to keep up and get the jobs out. They’re generic. If you’re paying the bills that way then fair enough. If volume is your business approach, it may work for you. But it’s not usually distinctive. Rushing offers too little time to experiment and define your work. You probably want something more. To define a unique style, you have to take your extra time to study and refine what you’re doing until you draw out something unique about it. Until there’s a pattern. Until it becomes a style, not just the latest fad.

How to Find Your Style. A style is images, personalty, presentation, branding, and more. Really finding it takes enough experience to know what you do and how you make it unique. I think the way to find your style is to stop looking so hard. Stop trying to rush to having it all figured out, and spend more time figuring. Study your craft and be content with the fact that you’re making good images and improving. Forget about your style for a while and learn how to style better. In time, you’ll find your own unique approach. You’ll find your STYLE naturally.

WHAT AM I GETTING AT? Stop having confidence? Stop charging for quality? Heavens, no! I’m not even saying at what point you have a style. I’m just saying slow down and think about it. Take the time to make images just for the joy of it. Explore ideas and techniques, read books, go to workshops. Do that, and your style will blossom, as will the quality of your work. Photography is not a quick journey. It’s a long one. It’s OK to be starting out. Just be honest with yourself. Keep working on your craft and always raise the bar.

Keep styling,

Gav

Midnight Seattle - 2009. 2010 PPA Loan Collection. 2011 PPA Magazine Feature.

 

A bit of Gavin’s work below. You can see more on his website, seimstudios.com

Continue reading ‘Finding a Style – And Why Most Photographers Don’t Have One.’

Pro Photo Podcast #73 – Christmas 2010

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Today’s Panel... Gavin SeimDenns ZerwasBarry HowellScott & Adina HayneKevin Swan

This year on the Christmas episode we talk A LOT about the industry business and pricing ideas, what we see for 2011 and even some great tools and gadgets to pick up for Christmas. Note that this is a long show. If it’s a bit much break halfway using the time index below and listen to it as two episodes.

Podcast #73 forum discussion:

Notable Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions and news.
  • 18:50 2010 Christmas Contest.
  • 21:10 Business Talking about the industry.
  • 31:00 Facebook and other musings.
  • 45:00 Pricing thoughts and more business.
  • 1:23:10  2010 in review and looking to 2011.
  • 1:37:22 The 2010 gadget and gift guide.
  • 2:09:30 The After Show.

Links to things we mentioned.

The 2010 Christmas Contest

Continue reading ‘Pro Photo Podcast #73 – Christmas 2010’