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To my daughters, Kelly and AvaAcknowledgements:This book, although short, took a year and a half to write. I have not beenworking on it solidly during that period of time, but it has always been on mymind. I would poke at it for a few weeks and put it down for a few months. Finally,I decided I wouldn’t let myself write another book before this concept wascomplete.Thank you to my wife, Shirley, for her continuing support, my parents, my friends,the Synectics Media team, April Pochmara, and my podcast partners GregEvans, Dean LaDouceur and Geoff McMahen. I would have never written thisbook without the inspiration from my social media community.Thank you to all of my friends and acquaintances online and off who haveknowingly or unknowingly sparked ideas that I have shared in this book. JackHollingsworth, Lindsay Adler, Jeff White, Trevor Current, Joseph Christina, LanBui, Jim Goldstein, Richard Kelly, Blake Discher, Selina Maitreya, Scott Bourne,Penelope Ashmore, Seth Godin and Mitch Joel.About the author:Rosh Sillars is a photographer based in Detroit, Michigan. He also serves as amarketing consultant for the Digital Marketing ﬁrm, Synectics Media.He earned his BFA in photography from the College of Creative Studies. Roshteaches digital photography and photojournalism at two universities. He podcastsand blogs about photography, digital marketing and social media atwww.roshsillars.com. He also travels the world speaking and sharing ideasfound in this e-book.
One-Hour Photographer! ! ! ! Table of ContentsIntroductionChapter One: Your VisionChapter Two: The BasicsChapter Three: CompositionChapter Four: Photographing PeopleChapter Five: EquipmentChapter Six: LightingChapter Seven: Post-ProductionChapter Eight: BusinessChapter Nine: MarketingChapter Ten: Social MediaChapter Eleven: Search Engine OptimizationChapter Twelve: The Combination CodeChapter Thirteen: PresentationChapter Fourteen: The FutureAssignments
IntroductionHow would you like to have all the basic information you need to become aprofessional photographer and own a successful photography business?There are few things better than doing what you love to do for a living. Enjoyingthe creative craft of photography as a career is certainly one of them.The One-Hour Photographer book supplies you with a solid foundation ofinformation and the resources you need to develop a successful photographycareer.Why is this book called One-Hour Photographer?The book is designed to offer the basic foundation of information you need for asuccessful photography business in one hour of reading time. You will have thetools you need to step forward conﬁdently and begin developing your dreamphotography career.Will you learn everything there is to know about photography in an hour? No.Photography is a continually changing and evolving craft. Mastery takes alifetime of continual education.No matter what your skill level is as a photographer, the information in this bookwill be life and career changing. Technology has made the craft of photographymuch easier to enter. Unfortunately, this makes the industry one in which it ismuch harder to ﬁnd success, and to develop and maintain a career.This book is your answer.One-Hour Photographer explores how to ﬁnd vision, the basics, equipment,creating images, lighting, the overall industry, presentation, best practices,business, marketing and much more.You will notice one thing missing from this book—photographs, charts andillustrations. I sincerely plan to offer a more comprehensive version of One-HourPhotographer. I wish to offer this basic text-only version for free or at a low costvia PDF, Kindle and iBook editions.I ask only one thing of you. Share this e-book. Post the information and link(below) in forums, in social media and on your Web site. If enoughphotographers download the book and ﬁnd the information useful, I hope tocreate an illustrated, expanded print and/or electronic versions.More information may be found at www.onehourphotographer.com
Chapter One: Your VisionOnly you can create your photographs. No one else will ever take a photographexactly the way you do. This doesn’t mean everything you do is pleasing to otherpeople, it just means your vision is your own.The fact is, the day you stop developing your vision and style and learning newtechniques is the day your photography career begins to decline.Our world is saturated with photographs. However, I’m in awe at how many newphotography concepts and ideas are created every year. I’m also amazed howpeople, including myself, still appreciate good, high-quality photographs, nomatter the style. I’m convinced that there are not enough photographers in theworld to photograph all the images that need to be created.Your vision involves many elements. Composition plays a big role. How youapproach lighting is important. Every decision you make until the instant yourheart or instinct tells you to click the shutter is a part of developing your vision forthat image. Some opportunities give you a lot of time to create a photograph,while other moments are missed in a fraction of second. Every choice you makeaffects your ﬁnal image.There are many types of images. Some photographs are made to capture themoment, while other photos are developed over a longer period of time designedto create a moment.It is your vision; there is no wrong answer.Breaking the rules is one way to develop your vision. This book contains a lot ofphotographic rules and suggestions. Once you understand what the rules are, gobreak them.Try new angles or points of view and look for opportunities that otherphotographers do not see. Use the lens differently than other photographers do.Test new lighting angles and sources.Capturing the momentEvent photography, photojournalism, nature, editorial, sports and documentaryphotography all require the ability to capture the moment. They tend to use wideand long lenses exclusively, leaving everything else for everyone else. Timingand understanding when to press the shutter button take practice. Knowing yoursubject and environment is key.
If you want to practice your timing, sports photography is a good place to begin.Local high schools or parks with pickup games are good training grounds. Makesure you get permission or as a courtesy ask the subjects if they mind if youphotograph them.Your goal is to develop patience, improve your skills to think quickly and to learnwhen to click the shutter and capture the decisive moment.The decisive moment is the peak moment of a situation, the moment when mostof the action or emotion is being displayed. It is the high point that tells the beststory. This skill takes time to develop; for many photographers it takes years.Being prepared and observant will offer rewards no matter what type ofphotography you pursue. Always have your cameras ready.Creating the sceneIf you are not capturing exact moments with your camera, you are most likelycreating the scenes. Photographers tend to be better at one type of photographythan the other; few excel at both. Capturing and creating scenes require differentskills. Creating the scene is common in commercial, advertising, product andfashion photography.Commercial photography often requires a studio, lighting, set materials andequipment to create the desired scene. Some commercial assignments are builton location. Nonetheless, it’s the photographer’s job to create the visions,whether her own personal vision or that of a client.You do not need to make your ﬁnal decision about where you want to take yourphotography now. Develop your vision and it will lead to the right place.Developing your vision is a life-long process. However, you should start with agoal in mind and make adjustments along the way.Chapter Two: The BasicsThis chapter is the most technical part of the book. It is important to understandthe basics of photography before you can proclaim yourself a photographer forhire.Photography is a French word meaning drawing with light. That is what you aredoing every time you photograph something.The basic foundation of photography has very little to do with all the high-techelectronics we use today and everything to do with light. The room you are sitting
in can be turned into a camera. The concept is basic and examples are allaround us.I have a friend who fell asleep as he lay in the summer sun. His hand was on hischest, unmoved through his entire nap. That enjoyable summer nap became anexcellent illustration of photography.What happened?He received a sunburn over the front of his body and a nice photogram of hishand displayed on his chest. We spent the entire summer chuckling about hisartistic misfortune.Photography, traditionally, is a chemical reaction to light. If you place your keyson a newspaper and leave it in the sun for a few days, what will happen? Thenewspaper will turn yellow except where your keys laid unmoved. Photography!Back to the room, car, bus or any enclosed space in which you ﬁnd yourselfsitting. If you paint the interior black, block out the windows, place a white sheetof paper on the opposite side of a small round hole leading to the outside world,you have a camera.Light travels in a straight line. Because of this, you would see the outside worlddisplayed on the paper on the opposite side of the hole in your camera (upsidedown and reversed). This concept has been known for hundreds of years.The technical challenge through the centuries has been to ﬁnd a way topermanently ﬁx the images. Waiting for paper to yellow is certainly not fastenough to create a portrait. In the 1800s, inventors began to improve thesolutions used to capture images. Except they had a problem: Once the imagewas exposed to light a second time, it would fade.In 1826 a French inventor named Nicéphore Niépce solved this issue byinventing the ﬁrst permanent image process. Thus, modern photography wasborn.Your light-proof box with a small hole (aperture) will allow reﬂected light in to thecamera. The photons expose the light-sensitive material. To stop the materialexposure, the light source needs to be stopped. To turn off the light source, ashutter is needed to cover the round opening in your camera. The strength of thelight source, the size of the opening, the sensitivity of the light-sensitive material,and how long the shutter is open all play a role in creating a proper exposure.It was much harder to ﬁnd the right exposure in the 1800s. With practice,photographers developed their own photographic solutions. Many photographersbuilt their own cameras, a startling concept to us today. Others invented new
light-capturing formulas and techniques. Cameras and optics improved over time.Today, we don’t have to focus as much on how to properly expose our images,although a proper exposure is still mandatory. The digital camera takes care ofmuch of the work.Before the digital revolution, much of the photographer’s time was spent on thepre-production needed to create the ﬁnal image. Today, the photographer’s timeis focused on post-production. Either way, the basics of photography are still thesame.If the concept is so basic, why do we have all these electronics? The bottom lineis that they are designed to improve upon and make it easier for you to use thebasic principle functions of your camera.The aperture is the size of the opening that allows light into the camera.Photographers soon discovered they were better served with different-sizedopenings, depending on the lighting conditions. The standard full f-numbers are1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 and 32. The lower the aperture number, the morelight is let into the camera. Each step up to the next number halves the amount oflight let into the camera. A move down to the next-lowest aperture doubles theamount of light let into the camera.The size of the opening relates to more than just light. Smaller openings offer aclearer image. Larger openings start to blur the foreground and backgroundaround the subject. We call this depth of ﬁeld.Depth of ﬁeld is the area of focus around the subject. A large depth of ﬁeld willhave a higher aperture number, such as 22. A landscape is a good example of animage with a large depth of ﬁeld. Many of history’s top landscape photographersused an aperture of 32 and 64. Everything is in focus.Portrait photographers tend to use a shallow depth of ﬁeld to blur thebackground. An aperture setting of 2.8 will turn the background into patterns,forms and shapes. This technique will keep the focus on the subject byseparating them from the background.Depth of ﬁeld can be calculated. Unfortunately, it is different for every lens. A longlens, such as 200mm, compresses the ﬁeld of view, making an aperture settingof 5.6 much shallower than a 24mm lens would create. This is because widelenses spread everything away from the lens.Many photographers take advantage of the compression capabilities of a longerlens. Fashion, sports and portrait photographers often use a long lens to helpbring objects in the distance closer so they appear to be directly behind thesubject.
Shutter speed is important for stopping action or showing motion. Standardshutter speeds range from thirty seconds to 1/4000 of a second and faster. Twodifferent shutter speeds can have a dramatic effect on the same subject. Forexample, if you photograph a waterfall at a fast shutter speed, the water willfreeze the droplets and splashes of water in the scene. A slow shutter speed willpresent a silky ﬂow of water.Sports photographers use a fast shutter speed, often over 1/500th of a second,to stop the fast-paced action in front of their lens. A night-time landscapephotographer will use the B setting to leave the shutter open for an extend periodof time to show a trail of stars moving across the sky.Film speed and digital sensitivityBefore the turn of the 21st Century, ﬁlm speed played a much larger role in theaverage photographer’s life than it does today. Photographers were required topay more attention to ﬁlm sensitivity represented by ISO (or old-school ASA). ISOstands for the International Standards Organization (ofﬁcially called InternationalOrganization of Standards http://www.iso.org) and ASA stands for the AmericanStandards Association.The lower the ﬁlm ISO or digital sensitivity, the higher the quality of the image..Lower ISOs need more light to create a proper exposure. Higher-quality imagesenlarge more clearly with less grain or noise. The downside is that lower ISOsrequire more light to create a proper exposure.Grain refers to the amount light-sensitive material that can be seen within theenlarged ﬁlm-based image. Noise is the digital version of grain.Higher-speed ﬁlm requires less light, but the quality of the image is lower. Highersensitivity ranges produce more grain in ﬁlm and noise for digital captures. Thisresult is generally less desirable.Both grain and noise can be used by photographers as an artistic effect. Somephotographers produce a grainy image in the camera by using high ISOs whileother photographers use lower ISOs and add grain and texture in Photoshop.Currently, there is a race among manufacturers to build cameras with muchimproved pixel quality and sensitivity. These cameras create images with ISOratings many times that of traditional ﬁlm. Film generally ranges from speeds of50 to 1600. Some of the new cameras built by major manufacturers areproducing results with 100,000 and 200,000 ISO.The images created at the top digital range of the ISO spectrum do producemore noise, but also offer, some would say, better images than traditional 1600ISO ﬁlm at 6400 ISO.
The new, higher, camera-sensitivity ranges produce new opportunities forphotographers who work in low light. Photojournalists who prefer not to useoutside light sources have more ﬂexibility. Natural light portrait and naturephotographers can shoot a little later into the evening. Wedding photographerscan be less intrusive at wedding receptions located in dark halls.What is a properly exposed photograph?I’m often asked what is properly exposed photograph. As someone who had tostudy an inch-and-a-half-thick book on Sensitometry (the study of light-sensitivematerials) in photography school, I really want to keep this topic simple.The best and quickest test is to look at the highlight and shadow detail of yourimage. Everything in your photograph should have detail (unless otherwiseplanned). A white shirt should still have detail. A dark shadow should still revealtexture. If both your whites and blacks show details with good image contrast youcan be conﬁdent your image is exposed well.Some photographers enjoy using High Dynamic Range (HDR) to create wellexposed as well as dramatic high contrast fantasy like images.These photographs are created by combining multiple exposures of lighter anddarker versions of the same image in the computer. The photos are processed tocreate a single, unique image.Although some HDR results may represent a natural-looking photograph, mostHDR images have surreal look to them. HDR images can be created inPhotoshop as well as with stand-alone applications, such as Photomatix.Trey Ratcliff has excellent information and tutorials on the topic at http://www.stuckincustoms.com/If you are interested in more advanced concepts, go to your library or GoogleAnsel Adams’ zone system or Sensitometry to begin your path toward becomingan exposure master.Chapter Three: CompositionComposition is as easy as tic-tac-toe.Composition is how a photographer frames the subject or scene within theviewﬁnder.Creating a great composition is more than positioning the subject away from thecenter of the frame, although this is a good start.
Improving your composition begins with the rule of thirds. Mentally divide yourcamera viewﬁnder into thirds. This can be done both horizontally or vertically. Inmost cases, it is practical to combine both horizontal and vertical thirds into amental tic-tac-toe board—nine squares. Some cameras will do this for you.When composing the scene in front of you, there is one square of the nine youdon’t use—the one in the middle. Of course, when you read your camera manualit will tell you to use the rectangle placed in the middle of your frame forcomposition and focus. This can be overcome by using features found in manycameras that allow you to freeze the focus. This allows the photographer tocenter the viewﬁnder on the subject, partially depress the shutter button, andhold it while he moves his camera to the desired composition. Most SLRcameras today have multi-point focusing systems. This makes it easier to focusoutside the middle of the frame.Another way to use the tic-tac-toe board is to place the subject at one of the fourintersecting lines around the middle square as your point of focus.Many photographers visualize a diagonal line in the viewﬁnder (edge corner tocorner) and use that as a guide, photographing the subject only above or belowthe diagonal line. An easy way to always satisfy the rule of thirds is to ﬁll theframe with your subject.There are many other ways to approach composition. The key is to be mentallyaware of where you place the subject in relation to the frame, the scene andobjects in the foreground and background. Every photograph needs a point offocus. In other words, ask yourself where the viewer’s eye should go ﬁrst.Decide if you are you looking for balance in your image or think the best option isasymmetrical (off balance). Look for patterns and shapes in your images to addinterest.Consider the Golden Ratio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio) as part ofyour compositional bag of tricks. It, along with the triangle, is among the mostpowerful forms and patterns in visual art.Not all photographs should be taken at eye level. Explore new angles.Photograph from above and below the subject. Remember, you can take bothhorizontal and vertical photographs. Photograph through objects, such as ﬂowersor trees, in the foreground, and look for natural frames. Frame your subject withrelated or supporting items that help to tell the story.Create composition assignments for yourself to practice creating different typesof looks and styles. One practice assignment to consider is to create a two-dimensional image where everything is on the same plane. Then create a three
dimensional image displaying a sense of depth. Photograph subjects at variouspoints within the viewﬁnder. Analyze the differences.When it comes to composition, my best tip is to keep it simple.Chapter Four: Photographing peopleI’ve had the opportunity to photograph many famous, prominent and interestingpeople through my career. I’ve photographed presidents, movie stars and peoplewho made a difference in their communities.One of my favorite stories occurred when I photographed Sarah Ferguson, theDuchess of York, a few years after the death of Princess Diana. It was a last-minute assignment and I had to race to the location. I met the reporter and wewere led into a small ofﬁce, where the Duchess was sitting against a wall withtwo chairs in front of her. To the right of us was a public relations person takingnotes.I pulled my equipment out and listened to the conversation started by thereporter. The room was dark so I pulled my ﬂash out of my bag. I politelyinterrupted the interview. I gestured with my camera that I was about to take herphotograph and asked if she would mind if I used a ﬂash.There was long awkward silence.The Duchess looked at me and said, “You know something?”More silence. Then she said:“You are the only photographer to ever ask me to take my photograph.”Considering there was a time she was one of the most photographed people inthe world, that was a statement.After that moment, the atmosphere transformed and her demeanor changed fromformal to casual. She nodded to the public relations person and he excusedhimself.We had an excellent interview. She opened up and began sharing stories abouther life and the Royal Family. After the reporter’s questions were answered, wesaid our good-byes. She walked us to the door expressing her pleasure with theinterview and the conversation.
That interview was an excellent lesson for me. All people want to be appreciatedand respected, and not treated as an object. No matter your subject’s status orattitude, you should always be considerate and professional.Photographing people is challenging and rewarding. People are interestingsubjects. A person in the photograph engages the viewer more easily than aninanimate object does.The subject of photographing people is worthy of a lifetime of study.The standard studio portrait requires that the photographer create and light theenvironment for the subject. A good model is worth her weight in gold. Shecollaborates with the photographer to create new poses.It is worth keeping a few examples of possible poses on your phone, tablet,laptop or in print form in your camera bag to give models suggestions. This isespecially helpful if you are photographing clients or inexperienced models.Generally, when taking portraits, it is better to use a longer lens. A longer lenssquares up the image and compresses the background, making it easier tocreate a shallow depth of ﬁeld, which softens the background. The typical portraitlens is between 70 and 135mm.The environmental portrait is a picture of a person posing in his environment.Often a wide-angle lens, which has a larger depth of ﬁeld, is used, particularly inphotojournalism. Images with a wide-angle lens show more of the scene andhelp tell the subject’s story. In a environmental portrait, the person is generallylooking into or posing for the camera as they might in a traditional studio portrait.Environmental portraits are often confused with candids. Candids share many ofthe same elements; both depict someone in their environments. The difference isthat in candid photography, the subject doesn’t know of, care about oracknowledge the camera. Street photography is a good example of candidphotography. The key is to know when to click the shutter at the decisive (peak)moment.There are many types of “people photography,” such as fashion, sports,weddings, children and corporate portraiture. Each requires a different skill set.Here are few tips to get you started in the right direction:Don’t photograph people against a wall. The only reason a wall should be behindthem is if it enhances the photograph. Often it does not.
Play the subject off the shapes in your foreground and background and makesure that the background elements don’t distract from your subject. In mostcases, simple background forms and shapes are best.When photographing portraits, interact with the subjects. Let them getcomfortable with you and the situation. For street and candid photography, do theopposite—shoot ﬁrst and ask questions later, especially if you see a greatmoment.Make sure your subject’s eyes are in focus. Notice the little things that canenhance your photograph. Using props is an excellent way to add interest andhelp tell the subject’s story.If you are photographing children, get down on their level. Look at the worldthrough their eyes and let them be themselves, not what you think they shouldbe.Using a ﬂash outside will help even the lighting and make your subject pop outfrom the background. Try to avoid using the ﬂash on the camera when possible.Straight-on ﬂash tends to ﬂatten the subject, making the image less interesting.One of my best tips for photographing people (and most photography subjects) isto follow the masters and try to do what they do. Look in books and magazinesand attempt the techniques that inspire you. Chances are, you will develop yourown style in the process.When it comes to photographing people, you can’t get away from the fact thatinteresting people support interesting photography.Lindsay Adlers book, Fashion Flair, is a good resource for photographers whowant a fashion look for their wedding and portrait photography.Chapter Five: EquipmentPhotography is not about the equipment, but good equipment supports qualityphotography. The big question is always, how much equipment do you need?Before you do anything, borrow camera equipment from your friends (ask ﬁrst),rent cameras and lenses from rental houses or take your own disk to the camerastore and test the equipment.A lot of expensive equipment is not needed to create a photograph. A cameracan be made out of a shoebox. (Remember the pinhole camera.) Everything elseis about control, image improvement and convenience.
When deciding on equipment, think about the types of photos you are going tocreate. Ask other photographers what they use for speciﬁc assignments.CameraWhat type of camera should you buy? For many budding photographers at thebeginning of their careers, budget will be the biggest factor. If you are seriousabout photography you must consider a digital single lens reﬂex (DSLR) camera.These cameras give you creative control over exposure and offer numerousfunctions that make photography easier. Just as important is the ability to changeand upgrade your camera lenses.Don’t be lured by the shiny objects. Your camera should match the needs of thetype of photographs you wish to make. One of the ﬁrst questions people ask ishow many megapixels a camera should have. I’ve created beautiful billboardswith ﬁles as small as six megapixels. Generally, ﬁles over eight megapixels willsatisfy most any output need.Camera bodies continue to improve each year. The new cameras available thesedays will satisfy your megapixel requirements. Future generations of cameras willcontinue to improve the quality of the pixel. This means each pixel will contributeto higher-quality resolution of the image. They will have greater ability to capturean image in less light and offer better color representation.Photographing in low light can be a challenge. If the type of photography youplan on creating involves low light, consider a camera focused on creating qualityimages at higher ISO or sensitivity.If you are photographing fast-moving subjects, consider cameras with fast frameadvancement or high fps (frames per second). Cameras with extremely fastshutter speeds are also helpful for action photographers.Will your assignments require a durable camera? Will you need video? Isautomatic or manual control over your camera important?The camera manufacturers add many features you don’t even know you mightwant. Before you purchase your ﬁrst camera, write down all of the features youthink you need. Remember the shoebox.LensesJust as important as your camera body—some would say more important—areyour lenses. If you are going to spend a lot of money, spend it on quality lenses.Without a good lens, your camera will have a harder time capturing crisp andclear photographs. Higher-quality lenses create sharp photographs across theentire frame.
When you have the urge to upgrade your equipment to improve the look of yourphotographs, consider skipping your current camera body upgrade and invest inbetter lenses.Poor lenses will not offer the same sharpness as more reﬁned and oftenexpensive lenses. Pay special attention to the corners and edges of yourphotographs. Lower-quality lenses tend blur at the edges.Generally, lenses with larger glass (optical elements) offering a 2.8 aperture orlower are considered the premium lenses. Different manufacturers excel atbuilding different types of lenses. There are a lot of general rules when it comesto lenses, but testing is the only way to know for sure.Fixed or telephoto? Traditionally, ﬁxed or prime lenses such as a 50mm areconsidered sharper than a zoom or telephoto lens. Technology has improvedgreatly through the years and this has become less of an issue. With that said,the fact that a zoom lens depends on more elements increases the chances ofmore complications or failure.Prime lenses are generally less expensive and offer lower apertures, which ishelpful in low light. Telephoto lenses offer the practical availability of alwayshaving the right focal length. If you decide to go the zoom lens route, consider awide- to mid-range lens, such as a lens with a range of 17 to 55mm, and one withmid-range to telephoto capabilities. A good telephoto zoom lens would be a70mm or 200mm lens. With these two lenses, you can cover a wide range ofphotography needs.Another consideration is the size of your camera’s sensors. Many camera bodiesdo not have a large-enough sensor for full-frame capture. This is called a cropfactor and affects lens valuations. Most cameras that don’t offer a large-enoughsensor have a crop factor of approximately 1.5. The result will turn a 50mm lensinto a 75mm lens.This issue has increased the popularity of ultra-wide lenses. Although it mightseem convenient that your 200mm lens now equals a 300mm, your 20mm beingconverted to a 30mm is not practical. An ultra-wide 14mm lens solves this issue,offering the equivalent of a 21mm lens.Test lenses before you buy. A photographer may order lenses online or visit acamera with her own camera back and laptop to test each lens.I know photographers who test two or three of the same lenses from the samemanufacturer before they make their selection. Yes, there can be a differencefrom lens to lens even if it is made in the same factory.
Off-brand lenses are worthy of consideration. Some of my best lenses are third-party or off-brand. Don’t forget fun lenses like a Lensbaby, specialty lenses like atilt-shift (great for architecture), ﬁsheye, or a macro lens for close-up work. If yousee value for your photography, try the lens out.My favorite lens is a 135 2.8. It is a great portrait lens, it’s lightweight, and I use itas a longer stealth lens to capture great candid photographs at events.Your lenses are an investment. Make sure you protect them in a case and use amicroﬁber cloth to clean the glass.Other possibilitiesYour supporting equipment should be purchased based on the same rules asyour camera. Do you really need it?Your ﬂash should be TTL (through the lens), designed by the manufacturer ofyour camera so they work together efﬁciently. How large a ﬂash you need will bedetermined by how far away your typical subject will be from your camera. Also,the size of the space you will be photographing will play a role in to how muchpower you need. We will talk more about lighting equipment in the lightingsection of this book.One thing I recommend that you do not do is to depend on the pop-up ﬂash foryour professional work. Straight-on lighting is the worst type of lighting available.It ﬂattens out the image and doesn’t provide as much depth and character to theimage.Purchasing equipment to protect your investment is always a good idea. Hardcases can be expensive, but if you travel it might be a good idea to invest in one.Quality camera bags and lens cases are always worth your consideration.The most important thing to remember about equipment is to have it with you.Many of the best photographic opportunities were never captured because thephotographer didn’t have his equipment with him.One afternoon on the way to the newspaper where I worked, I decided to leavemy personal camera at home. I knew I would soon have my newspaper-issuedcameras when I got to the newsroom. What could happen during the short two-mile trip?On the way, I decided to take a quick detour and stop by the local hardware storefor some needed items. After I completed my shopping and pulled out of theparking lot I noticed a big box truck racing down a street near the highway exitramp. I could feel in the pit of my stomach that something bad was about tohappen.
The truck lost control and tipped over on its side three cars ahead of me. Ijumped out of my car to see if anyone needed help. When I got to the truck, Istood there in awe for a long moment. Then I saw one of the most powerful spotnews photography opportunities I have ever witnessed.As the truck laid on its side with the roof in front of me, glass and truck pieceseverywhere, a bloody hand began to reach out of the driver’s side windowstraight up toward the sky. It was an amazing image, one that will only live in mymemory.Don’t leave your equipment at home.For more speciﬁc information about cameras and equipment, consider visitinghttp://www.dpreview.com.Chapter Six: LightingWhen lighting a subject, how many lights should you begin with?The answer is easy. It is based on the answer to the following question: Howmany suns do we have?The answer is one. (I hope your answer was correct.)Lighting is as complex as the photographer makes it. Many photographers havemade a great career using only one light.The one light source could be our sun, which offers a powerful option and is anexcellent source, providing endless varieties of light, angles, colors and moods.Or it could be a ﬂash attached to the camera on the hot shoe (this holds the ﬂashon top of your camera) or with an external cord. A hot-light, a continuous light, isstandard equipment for professionals photographing stationary objects.As a general rule, when using ﬂash, the shutter controls the ambient light. Fastershutter speeds make the background darker, and slower shutter speeds willlighten the background. The aperture controls the external strobe exposure.When using an external light, different combinations of speed and apertures willoffer different looks and results.You can use any light source. Even a standard home tungsten bulb is suitable tolight numerous subjects. Many of the new light sources, such as ﬂuorescent, HMIor LED, are ﬁne choices. Generally, these light sources have lower power andmoving objects will be harder to photograph..
Shadows Are GoodOne of the most important elements of lighting is shadows. The goal of shadowmanagement is not to remove all the shadows. Many photographers use toomuch light and therefore remove every sense of character from the subject orscene.To learn how to use light, begin with just one light. Then add more lights andreﬂectors to support the main light. Once you are able to do this effectively with afeeling of competence and control, you will be on your way to developing yourown lighting style. I highly recommend following Zack Arias on his blog, http://zackarias.com/blog and David Hobby on his blog, http://strobist.blogspot.com.They both offer great advice.After you have developed a high comfort level with one mono light, purchase anadditional light. Learn how to adjust the ratios with each additional light. Do thisevery six months to a year as you master the use of additional lights. Continueuntil you have enough lights for most projects. In many cases, you will go back tojust using one light.Always remember to make one light the dominant light. All other lights shouldhave lower power and be used support the main light.If you are photographing large areas or non-moving subjects, a tripod allows youto take multiple exposures with a single light in different positions. The ﬁnal resultwill be a creation built in Photoshop using the best elements, in multiple layers,from each photograph.Note: It is better to learn how to light a subject properly then to depend onPhotoshop to ﬁx your images.Practice using light coming from different directions with various subjects. You willlearn that different lighting techniques work best in different scenarios. Forexample, food often looks better if you light it from behind.Standard lighting for photographing people is with the light a little high and to theside at a 45-degree angle. The lighting here all depends on your goal. Usingbeauty light on a model (crossing out shadows) helps to hide ﬂaws. Side lightingmay add additional interest to a face full of character. It all depends on the lookyou are trying to establish.Early morning or evening lighting works well for outdoor photography, when thelight is warmer and more dramatic. Three of the many wonderful photographers Iwould recommend for more information on wildlife and nature photography areJim Goldstein (http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/), Gary Crabbe (http://www.enlightphoto.com/views/), and Juan Pons (http://juanpons.org/).
Play with different light sources. You will be amazed at the discoveries you willmake. Many experiments will develop into standard tools and help develop yourvision and style of photography. Exploring and experimenting with light is one ofthe most important activities you can do in photography.Some pointers:Direct light creates hard shadows. If you wish to create a dramatic or high-contrast image, direct light will do the trick.Another option is to bounce light off walls, reﬂective surfaces or through fabric tocreate softer light.If you bounce light off a wall, remember the color of the wall will reﬂect back intoyour subject. If the wall is green, green will reﬂect back. This can create unhappyresults or you can use it to your advantage.Umbrellas are a common solution for softening harsh strobe light. Differentfabrics inside the umbrella change the quality of the light reﬂected on the subject.Soft, white material offers a different reﬂective quality than metallic silver. Softboxes also are popular for the clean, window-like light they provide.Although the baseline for light is white, white can be boring.Compare a shot lit with a standard tungsten light bulb with one of the newer lightbulbs, such as HMI or LED, or even ﬂuorescent. Remember, these light sourcesare generally lower power and moving objects will be more difﬁcult tophotograph.Strobe lights cast white light, tungsten casts yellow light, and ﬂuorescent green.Traditionally, external ﬁlters are needed to correct the non-white tints.Fortunately, many cameras now have ﬁlters built into the camera for easy colorcorrection.Try "painting" in the dark with an open camera shutter on the B or bulb settingand using a ﬂashlight as a moving light source. Experiment with silhouettes.Check out Don Giannatti, http://www.dongiannatti.com, as a resource for lightingtips. He also has a helpful book, named Lighting Essentials.Chapter Seven: Post ProductionNow that you have created your photographs, it’s time to consider post-production to enhance them. Before you open your photos in Photoshop or any
photo-editing software, make sure you back up all your images ﬁrst using the3-2-1 rule.I was introduced to the 3-2-1 rule as a best practice many years ago by PeterKrogh, author of The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers,a book worthy of your library.The 3-2-1 rule is important because you have spent your time, talent and energycreating beautiful images and you do not want to lose the ﬁles. It is highlyrecommended that you follow the 3-2-1 rule to protect your images.To work the system, place your digital ﬁles in three locations, on two differenttypes of media and make sure one of these is located off-site.For example, you can save your digital ﬁles on a hard drive and two copies onDVDs. You will take one of the DVDs home. This has been a common method foryears.Optical storage devices have become less popular. Using multiple hard drives,RAID systems and cloud storage is gaining momentum. Cloud storage (storingdata on an outside company’s server) is an excellent option, but it can be ratherexpensive for large-scale storage.I recommend you be selective and store your most important and valuableimages with cloud storage services. Remember, if these services are notfoolproof and data can be lost. Some companies may even go out of business,so choose carefully.More information may be found at http://dpbestﬂow.org/. This Web site is anexcellent resource for best practices and workﬂow ideas for the photographer.Post-production is an important part of a photographer’s workﬂow. It is nowexpected that every photographer knows how to process her own images to thehighest level.In the past, once the image was created on ﬁlm, a lab processed thephotographs. If the photos needed retouching, an expensive specialist wouldmake the ﬂaws disappear.Due to the high cost of retouching, it was important that the photographer get itright the ﬁrst time. Today, many photographers have Photoshop and ﬁgure theycan ﬁx everything later.Do not use Photoshop as a crutch. Not everything can be ﬁxed in Photoshop. AsI like to remind everyone, Its hard to capture the decisive moment in Photoshop.
Additionally, before you start sending photographs to your clients, it is goodpractice to make sure your monitor is calibrated. Every monitor changes colorover time and each displays images differently. If you don’t calibrate, you are notmaking correct adjustments.If you share an image from a poorly or unadjusted monitor and the client has amonitor that has veered off in the opposite color direction, you will have anunhappy client.If a client complains about off colors and you calibrate your monitor regularly, youcan stand by your work with conﬁdence. You can ask if your client’s monitor hasbeen calibrated properly. If it has not, you can recommend they try a differentcomputer or follow up with an in-person review. You may then display yourbeautiful images on your own equipment. Two calibration equipment companies Iwould recommend are Data Color (Spyder) or X-Rite.The best way to improve your Photoshop skills is with practice, a lot of it. Takeworkshops and discover new techniques from online tutorials. Be patient.Photoshop and post-production skills take time to master.If you don’t feel your skills are at the level they need to be or you are short ontime, hire an expert. There are many professionals waiting to support yourphotography business. Test a few and work with the one that seems most reliableand makes your work look incredible.Don’t overuse Photoshop. As with most things in the visual world, less is more.The ability to use opacity and master blending techniques takes time. If theviewer’s ﬁrst reaction to your images is that it was Photoshopped, you failed.Instead, you want the viewer to appreciate your vision.Some Photoshop tips:Don’t allow unplanned patterns to develop in your image. This is especiallycommon if you use the stamp tool. If you see the same small element in multipleplaces, they need to be changed.Look at your image from multiple views. You will ﬁnd errors at both the 100percent view and at extreme close-up pixel-by-pixel views. Make sure you don’tleave any hard lines or unnatural shapes within your image.Take advantage of the Photoshop actions other professionals create. These aremini-programs that create custom effects with the push of a button. There arenew concepts being developed all the time. You don’t have re-invent thestandards.
Unfortunately, photographers often forget to include or they undercharge for themany hours it takes to ﬁx an image or develop a high-end, post-production look.The fact is, making quick adjustments while photographing, such as moving acord out of the frame, is often less expensive on set than ﬁxing everything later.The photographer’s time is valuable. It is important to understand business.Scott Kelby offers some great classes and products to support you withPhotoshop.Chapter Eight: BusinessYou can be one of the best photographers in the industry. Unfortunately, if youdon’t understand the business of photography, you will most likely fail.Business at the basic level is as simple as having more income thanexpenditures. Most photographers have little idea how much they are making.Even more have less of an idea how much they are spending.The ideal is to have more money coming in than going out. I know photographerswho charge less than many and make more money at the end of the year for thesame amount of work. They don’t make more because they charge less, theymake more because they understand their business. They know how much itcosts to produce an assignment. They understand how much to charge to covertheir basic expenses plus a proﬁt. They run their business based on ﬁnancialfacts.It is more common for photographers to raise their rates substantially once theydo an analysis of what it really takes to run a photography business proﬁtably.A quick way to do this is to add up all of your expenses. Everything.That includes camera equipment, studio, insurance, car, gas, pre-and post-production time and your salary or how much you feel you should make as aphotographer over the next year. Then divide that total by the total number ofassignments you had last year or a realistic number of hours, days orassignments you plan to expect to work over the next year.Chances are you will be surprised at the true cost of running your business.Protect yourself. Make sure you have equipment and liability insurance. It is alsoimportant to invest in back-up equipment. Hire a good accountant and otherprofessionals who will support your company.
Many business owners have found out the hard way that not having aprofessional team behind them can be costly. They often mistakenly think theyare saving money by doing it themselves.Unfortunately, they don’t realize that the valuable time they are spending onbusiness activities that they should be outsourcing is costing them money.If you don’t have expertise in a business activity, you are most likely doing itpoorly or ineffectively. This will cost you more money down the road. The poorquality of the work, plus the time taken away from photographing, creatingsamples, serving clients and developing your business, is expensive.The case for per-image pricingCheap photography and lower barriers to entering the photography business aretwo realities of the digital and Internet age. My belief is that per-image pricing isthe key to survival for the modern photographer. Allow me to offer my favorite illustration: A client requests photography for awebsite. The company needs 10 images shot on location. No models or specialprops are needed. They ﬁgure it will take a day to shoot; you agree. As aphotographer, you have three common options for estimating the project: Youcan offer a day rate, a per-image rate, or a per-project rate. Let’s say, withoutconsideration for usage of the images, we estimate the job at $2,000 ($1,500 forthe day and $500 for expenses).If you offer a day rate, the ﬁrst thing a client will wonder, especially if they havenot worked with many photographers, is if the photographer or anyone is reallyworth $1,500 a day.Today’s photographers tend to work much faster and are much more efﬁcientthan in the days of ﬁlm. In the era of ﬁlm photography, day rates may have madesense.If a photographer is hired for a day shoot and completes the assignment at 2p.m., what might a client request? Often, it’s a discount, because the value of theassignment is based on the photographer’s time. The photographer is penalizedfor his productivity. If the photographer reminds the client that the $2,000 rate isstill in effect because the entire day is reserved for the job, the client may thenfeel cheated.What if the photographer spends the entire day on location, works hard andcreates 15 wonderful images? Is the client happy? Absolutely; the client receiveda bonus. What beneﬁt did the photographer receive for his great work andefﬁciency? Nothing.
You can argue that a happy client is worth the effort. This is true. But, if you feelyou are being taken advantage of on a regular basis, attitudes tend to change.This erodes good relationships over time.If the photographer offers a per-image price of $200 for each of the 10photographs, it is much easier for the client to see the value of each photo.If the photographer is efﬁcient and completes the project at 2 p.m., does theclient look for a discount? No, the photographer is a hero because everyone cango home early.If the photographer spends the entire day on location and creates 15 wonderfulimages, what might the result be? Often the client will purchase the additionalimages if she has the money for it. The photographer is rewarded for doing agood job. The client is often happy to purchase the additional images. She is notupset about the purchase because she understands the value of each image andhas no obligation to purchase.Depending on the production costs of the assignment, it is generally better not torequire a minimum purchase, although a minimum purchase requirement maybe necessary if production expenses are high. But, if clients are expected topurchase additional images they like, should they have to pay for images theydon’t like?I present myself as a high-value, low-risk photographer. I’m not cheap. I’m agood photographer. But, I don’t want clients feeling bad because they have topurchase images they don’t like. I have learned that having a client pay forunwanted images is a greater cost than the rate charged for the images. Whenclients know they have choices, they will be more ﬂexible. Often they will call ifthey have another photo job.When shoots involve more production, a project rate may be in order. Projectsthat take multiple days or require a speciﬁc amount of time may also require suchrates. There are times when hourly rates are appropriate. Events are a goodexample because the photographer can’t leave early because she is highlyefﬁcient.Pricing options are endless. Sometimes, when presenting a per-image system,the ﬁrst image could be charged at a higher rate than the additional images. Forexample, the rate for the ﬁrst image could be $500. Each additional image couldbe purchased for $375. Models, props and location fees can be separate, line-item charges. Usage and licensing fees also may be added on a separate line.Whether the usage is listed separately or not, the license always should be listedin the quote and contract.The need for custom photography is greater than ever. As high-end Web sitesare becoming standard for businesses, the quality of a company’s Internet
presence is more important then ever before. Poor photography delivers poorresults. Average photography offers average results. Generic stock images donot reﬂect a company’s unique professional image.The print world is ﬁnite. The world of the Web is practically inﬁnite. When a clientneeds images for a brochure, the amount of room available for additionalphotography is limited. However, clients may beneﬁt from every image they wantfor the company’s Web site.As digital photography has evolved, photographers have attempted to charge forthe additional costs and production time associated with digital imagery. Using aper-image pricing model allows the photographer to incorporate such expensesinto the cost.Sometimes photographers (myself included) do not price their projects correctly.Under-priced projects lend themselves to additional poorly priced opportunities. Ifa photographer offers to take three individual portraits in one hour for $75, inmost cases she has underbid the job. Let’s say she completes the project in 45minutes and two additional people show up. Of course, the project would takelonger, in this case 70 minutes total, and the photographer may not charge forthe extra ten minutes. The client receives ﬁve images for $75.If the photographer charges $25 per image, although a very low rate, thephotographer will still make $125 for the ﬁve images. Most likely, the client won’tblink.With per-image pricing, the advantages to both the photographer and client aregreat. The client’s time and budget are respected. Often the client becomeseager to use the entire budget available. Being respectful of the client’s time isnot to the beneﬁt of a day-rate photographer.The assignmentI have been photographing for more than twenty years and I still get nervousbefore an assignment. Why? Because I know how many things could go wrong.The best thing you can do is plan and prepare. Make sure you understand whatthe client is looking for. It doesn’t matter if it is a senior portrait, a wedding or acorporate advertising campaign. Make sure you set expectations and are clearon the goals of the assignment.Every client is different. Some want the photographer to be a technician andothers are depending on you to be a visionary.Family or retail photography requires patience and good social skills. Theseprofessionals photograph weddings, family events and special occasions. Theskills needed depend on your vision. Some family photographers are
photojournalistic in style, while others are more formal, using commercial orfashion techniques.Commercial photography is about creating the client’s vision. Thesephotographers are often hired for their style. The trick is to apply your style to theclient’s vision. Commercial assignments tend to involve more production andrequire planning.Stock photography is all about ﬁnding and creating a portfolio of desirableimages. Good stock photographers generally have at least one specialty. Theyare always on the hunt for new ideas and concepts to shoot. Stockphotographers need to be self-starters. If they are not, they will not meet therequired number of quality submissions needed for a regular income.Stock photography has become more of a supplement to many modernphotographers income over the last ﬁve years. Micro stock and subscriptionbased stock photography Web sites have dropped the standard stockphotography rates from a few hundred dollars to one dollar. The photographeronly receives cents for each image used.The goal is to create photographs that a lot of people will want to buy.There are many photographic specialties to consider, such as aerial, forensic,health care, underwater, paparazzi, food, portrait, family and glamor, to name afew. No matter what the assignment is, there are standard issues a photographerneeds to consider.Make sure you have contact information and cell phone numbers for all of thepeople involved, maps or addresses for your GPS.Twenty years ago, we didn’t have many of the conveniences we have today.Because of this, I missed one of the best landscape photographs Mother Naturehas ever presented to me.It was my ﬁrst day of a two-month assignment photographing horses in Vermont,back when I was just a ﬂedgling photographer. The ﬁrst morning, I had to followthe lead photographer to our ﬁrst location in a separate car. I had a cell phone atthe time, but he did not, and GPS was not an option.Five minutes into the early morning drive, I noticed a large stand of trees. Theywere as bare as a forest in midwinter. The morning sun was coming up behindthem, and as I passed by, I noticed something incredible.Covering all the trees were perfectly shaped spider webs between every branch.Each of the thousands of webs had beautiful morning dew reﬂecting the orangeearly morning sun. I had never seen a natural scene so amazing.
I debated whether I should stop. I had no way to communicate with thephotographer I was following. I didn’t stop. I hoped the scene would be there thenext day. The following morning I was prepared. Unfortunately, all that was therewas a the stand of bare trees.I always recommend that everyone have a back-up for everything, especiallycameras, batteries and lighting. If you can’t afford your own back-up camera,make sure you can borrow or rent one when necessary. Some photographersback each other up with equipment.Raw ﬁles or Jpg? This is the question on many photographers’ minds. A Raw ﬁleis one that is uncompressed and untouched by the camera’s software. The resultis a high-quality ﬁle that can be readjusted without denigration of the originalimage ﬁle. If you need the highest-quality images, Raw ﬁles are the answer. Thegeneral rule is to always use the best-quality ﬁle available from your camera.Many photographers use smaller Jpgs for high-volume photography, such asevents.Consider the little things that you might need on location, such as a lunch plan orcash for random fees. The bottom line is that when it comes to a photographyassignment, something can go wrong. Having a plan will limit the downside.Copyright and the lawJust like writers, musicians and moviemakers, photographers earn income fromtheir copyright and licensing their work. The images photographers create areconsidered intellectual property and therefore are copyrighted. As soon as youclick the shutter, you are the owner of a copyrighted image.Where and what can you photograph? Anywhere and anything that is in thepublic view (in the United States). This includes people, buildings, signs oranimals. If it is out in public, it’s fair game. There are exceptions, such asgovernment, military and locations that are protected because of national securityconcerns. It is up to you, the photographer, to understand the laws and rules ofthe country, state or location you ﬁnd yourself photographing.Although you can take photographs in public for the press, for books or for artisticpurposes without permission, it is important to always ask for written consent foryour ﬁles. You cannot sell images of others’ copyrighted or trademark property forcommercial use without written permission. This includes the likenesses of yoursubjects and models. Make sure you have and use model releases at all times.It is important to understand that the value of your photograph is not the same toevery person or client. A family or mom-and-pop store using your photograph fora ﬂyer or on their Web site will not apply the same value as would an advertisingagency using an image for a world-wide magazine and billboard campaign.
Your copyright is important. Please remember, if your copyright was notimportant, companies wouldn’t be working so hard to gain it. Don’t let theopportunity for additional income slip through your ﬁgures.Understand that work made for hire (look for these speciﬁc words) means thatthe company hires you brieﬂy with no beneﬁts, ﬁres you and takes all the rights toyour images for the fee agreed upon. Technically, you can’t even use the imagesfor your portfolio.If you are employed by a company that pays for the equipment you use, yousalary and your beneﬁts, the company owns the image copyright. In this case,you are a representative of the company.You can ﬁnd more information on licensing at ASMP.org and the United StatesCopyright ofﬁce.http://asmp.org/tutorials/licensing-guide.htmlhttp://www.copyright.govBrandingYour brand is not your logo. Your brand represents your company. It’s yourreputation. Everything you do represents what you do for a living. Today, withsocial media, your negative actions carry more weight and travel farther faster.Branding is the look and story you share with the world. Make sure it isconsistent.Be sure all your envelopes, invoices and receipts are branded with your logo andkeep to the theme of your photography company.Make sure you have a basic contract for your assignments. If you are ambitious,develop multiple contracts for different types of clients and projects. A contracttells your client that you are professional. It can also be quite handy if a clientchanges the scope of a project or makes incorrect assumptions. Good contractsprotect both parties.Hire a good accountant. Make sure you have a system in place to createprofessional invoices and keep track of all income and expenses. Keep yourbusiness money separate from your personal accounts. This is especially true ifyou have incorporated your business.!Set goalsGoals help you to keep your focus. You are not a failure if you don’t meet all yourgoals, but you will most likely fail if you don’t use goals as life guides.
At the beginning of each year, I set three goals. You can set three goals for yourlife or you can break them down between personal and business. Personally, Ilike to focus on only three. One is usually personal.My goals are not easy to achieve. Some are accomplished within a year’s time,but I often don’t complete all of them within a year. I’m often amazed that I stillend up achieving seemingly impossible goals after my year due date. The reasonis because I set myself up with a good foundation to make even my greatest andlong-shot desires a reality over time. You can do the same.When I started the New Media Photographer podcast, I laid out three goals Ihoped to achieve as a result of my social media activity. First, I wanted to gainconsulting and business opportunities. Next, I wanted to publish a book. Third, Iwished to travel across the United States speaking, with the ultimate travel goalto visit Australia to share my message. In October 2011, I landed in Adelaide,Australia, to give three presentations on social media. All of my goals werecomplete, although it took a little over three years to do these things. All threewere achieved through networking and using social media. Both my book and thetrip to Australia came about as a result of relationships made through Twitter.I’m not suggesting that Twitter is the answer for you, but you do need to have amarketing plan and be prepared for opportunities.Chapter Nine: MarketingPhotographers love their craft. It is common for a photographer who lands a fewopportunities to conclude that photography is an easy path to income. Whatmany budding photographers don’t understand is that they will have troublemaking a living if a marketing plan is not in place.It is important to ﬁrst deﬁne your market. What is your best prospect looking forand who would be interested in the type of work you create? Is it a just-engagedwoman in her 20s? If so, you must plan your marketing around that demographic.If you try to be everything to everyone you will ﬁnd less success.The best advice I can offer is to test your ideas. Your opinion can cost youmoney. Your favorite color, tag line or marketing tool is not always the best tomarket your services. Testing is the only way to really know.Fortunately, there are low-cost methods to test your ideas. One way is to useInternet advertising, such as Google Adwords and social media polls to gatherdata.
Google AdWords are connected to your Google account. Although a fullAdWords campaign takes some knowledge and skill, setting up a few ads to testheadlines or ideas is rather easy. Social media sites such as Twitter andFacebook have applications that allow you to create polls that will offer insightfulanswers to your questions.Next, you need to develop a budget and a plan. The traditional marketing budgetfor a business is 10 percent of your company’s gross income. Even if you onlyallocate 3 percent or a ﬁxed amount, it is important set a budget before you beginplanning.I like to use what I call the solar-system method for planning my marketingstrategy. For many photographers, their portfolio and Web site are one in thesame and the center point of their marketing.In the solar-system strategy, we consider your Web site the Sun. This is whereyou sell. Around the Sun are various planets representing different types ofmarketing vehicles. The closest-revolving planet to the Sun is the blog. Itrepresents your personality. Blogging offers the opportunity share a deeper sideof the photographer.The next group is the inner planets, such as YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo. Theseare multimedia sites used to display your content. You can develop relationshipsthere, but in most cases it is a multi-media tool.Last are the outer planets. These are social media sites such as Twitter,Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus. This is where you engage with prospectsand develop a community of fans and followers.The goal is to gradually drive fans and referrals to the center of your solarsystem.You can use this basic framework to include additional digital and traditionalmarketing tools.E-mail marketing is still very powerful. I like to consider it as an asteroid becauseit sends people directly to your Web site for the sale. You can also use GoogleAdWords or Facebook ads as asteroids to drive relevant trafﬁc. Direct mail wouldﬁt the asteroid category too.Networking at local events may be aligned with your outer planets as part ofprospecting and relationship-building. Trade-magazine advertising would be oneof your inner planets, because it would display your work.There are many ways to conﬁgure your marketing solar system.
It’s about peopleMarketing is about connecting with people. It’s about delivering the rightmessage to the right person. Often, you can partner with other businesseslooking for the same market.For example, a wedding photographer can partner with a bridal salon. This doesnot mean you drop some ﬂiers or business cards in a common area and neverreturn. You need to learn about the company. Visit the owner and develop astrategy.The owner may not be open the ﬁrst time you connect, but take the time to visitthe establishment (without being a pest). Refer business to her and build arelationship over time; you will both beneﬁt.Go to networking events, follow up when you say you will, and make sureeveryone knows that you appreciate them. People make your business grow,and the more you can do to connect and be prepared to share your story, themore success you will ﬁnd.Take the time to listen. You will be amazed how much information people willshare if you keep your mouth closed, and your ears open.Leave them wanting more. Don’t let the conversation ﬂow into an awkwardsilence. When you notice a conversation slowing, mention how nice it was tomeet them and excuse yourself. If you ﬁnd a common connection, request afollow-up meeting at your studio or at a local coffee shop.I always carry custom portfolio cards with me. We design our cards in Photoshopand print them in short runs at the local lab. I carry a multi-purpose card and onefor people, food and interior photography prospects.Make sure that you exchange cards, and ask if you can follow up via socialmedia.Chapter Ten: Social MediaWho needs social media?The social media conversation about your business, industry and market willcontinue with or without you.Before the 20th Century, people communicated by word of mouth. They trustedfriends and people in their community for advice, news and recommendations.
During the 20th Century, the mass media developed. It changed the way wecommunicate. The idea was, the bigger the audience, the better. An era of one-way communication was established. The average person lost his voice. Oneopinion didn’t count or have much inﬂuence beyond her family, friends andassociates.Newspapers, radio and television dominated the communication channels untilthe turn of the 21st Century, when the Internet was established as a commoncommunication tool. Eventually, improved social communication platforms beganto develop. This gave average people who wished to share their expertise theopportunity to be heard once again. However, one thing was different: This time,an individual’s voice can extend well beyond a local town. Now, it extends acrossthe globe.Let’s explore how the photographer can use the social media platforms.BlogsBlogs are great way for you to take advantage of a search-engine optimization(SEO) strategy. I will address SEO speciﬁcally in a later chapter, but the idea isthat Google cannot read the thousand words your wonderful photographsrepresent. But it can read your blog about your photos. A blog helps you presentmore information about who you are at a deeper level as a photographer. Andeveryone can read it.Many photographers share information in their blogs that their target market canuse. In some cases the information is used by clients to prepare for photographyassignments.One popular way photographers use a blog is to share behind-the-scenesinformation about interesting assignments. Video is often used for this purposewith great success.FacebookFacebook is an excellent tool for photographers. The ability to tag individuals in aphotograph so they may share your images works as a form of advertising.Facebook has helped many photographers establish themselves in uniquecommunities and in speciﬁc niches.Friends and family are an important part of any business. You don’t want tooversell your services, but keeping people you know well up-to-date on youractivities can lead to great opportunities.Twitter
Twitter is a media stream. I like to consider it “the people’s” AP wire. On Twitter,share information that you think your target audience will ﬁnd interesting. You“follow” people who offer information that you can use to develop your career,hobby or personal interests.Everyone’s Twitter stream is different and customized to one’s taste. It is best notto advertise or push your services on Twitter. It is ﬁne to share your talents andmaterials you’ve created online. With that said, there is a rule called signal tonoise. This means you should share at least ﬁve things not created by you beforeyou share something of your own creation.One of the best activities on Twitter, as well as most social media sites, is tolisten. You can learn a lot.Don’t expect many direct assignments from Twitter. However, the information youcan apply and the relationships that you can develop on Twitter will support yourphotography career.I can attribute the fulﬁllment of several major goals directly to relationshipsdeveloped on Twitter.LinkedInLinkedIn is more than your online resume. It is all about business. People recruitand look for new talent through this social network every day. Join a group anddevelop relationships with people who will support your career and hire you.Use Linkedin’s powerful search tool to ﬁnd people in companies that you know.The system will share with you names of people you know who can refer you toyour target clients.LinkedIn is a wealth of data and information. Don’t set it up and forget about it.Google PlusGoogle Plus is another excellent social media stream popular with photographersthat will help you establish yourself as an expert.One of the beneﬁts of Google Plus is creating circles. The site gives you theopportunity to send the best message to the right group of people, the peoplewho care about the type of photography or information you are offering.Google Plus also offers hangouts, which give the photographer a platform onwhich to collaborate with prospects, team members or clients. A hangout is freevideo conferencing. The system allows you to have face-to-face discussions with
up to ten people. Photographers may also share their computer desktop, Googledocs, and Youtube videos in the hangout space.YouTubeMany photographers have made their careers sharing videos of their portfolios,how-to demonstrations and the behind-the-scenes action that takes placesduring their assignments.Video has become more than an option; it is mandatory in social media andmarketing.PinterestThis is a visual bookmarking site. If your photographs are shared on Pinterest,interested parties will be able to click on your photograph. The link will lead toyour Web site, increasing trafﬁc from people interested in your photography.QuoraBecome the expert. Quora is a question-and-answer site, where you canestablish your reputation as a knowledgeable photographer. It is not right foreveryone, but for photographers who like to teach, Quora is a good option.FlickrMany photographers develop followings on Flickr and other photo-sharing Websites. These sites lead to real opportunities. At the minimum, you can developrelationships with other photographers and discover new techniques that improveyour photography.One trick is to share b-roll or out-takes on your Flickr account for bloggers to usein the Creative Commons (CC). Creative Commons gives people the right to useyour photographs at no charge under guidelines you establish. You can ﬁnd moreinformation at http://creativecommons.org/I use CC to give bloggers the right to use my photographs as a visual element intheir posts. The catch is that they must attribute the photograph to me and link tomy Web sites. This is a valuable tool for search engine optimization (SEO).Note: It is important to read the terms of service for all social media Web sites.Many sites have terms that are not favorable to a photographer’s intellectualproperty. A photographer needs to weigh the risks and rewards.
Chapter Eleven: Search Engine OptimizationOne of the best methods to drive trafﬁc to your Web site is through search engineoptimization (SEO). Optimize your Web site so the search engines can easilyunderstand the content on your webpages. To optimize a Web site, describe whatyou do through words on the page as well as through HTML (a Web siteprogramming language) tags.Search engine optimization enables people who don’t know who you are to ﬁndyou.Now, please don’t confuse Google. Each Web page is an opportunity to befound. Make sure each of your Web pages is focused. Don’t place all yourspecialties on a single page. If you have three photographic specialties, placeone on each of three separate Web pages. This improves your chances of beingfound.Your title tag should describe what you do and your location. For example:“Wedding photographer Orlando Florida” or “Food photographer New York.”Every headline, word, tag and photograph should support your Web page title.Once your page is optimized, it is all about links, content creation and sharing.Web page optimization lets Google know what you do, but the search engines letthe rest of the Internet community tell them where to rank you. The number oflinks to your Web site plays a major role.Additional optimized content or webpages on your Web site increases theopportunity to be found by people searching for what you do. This is why blogsare so powerful.Finally, share your information in the social media. Search engines track howsites are shared. Plus, using social media increases the opportunity for people tolink to your Web site.There are many things you can do to improve your SEO trafﬁc. If you continuallydevelop new Web pages and create and attract links to your Web site, you will dowell. Make sure to create a balance of different types of links from variouslocations, such as forums, blogs, directories and social media.SEOmoz.com is one of the top Web sites for learning about SEO. It also containshelpful tools to check links to your Web site and review the competition.I also share a lot of information about SEO for photographers on my podcast,www.roshsillars.com
Chapter Twelve: The Combination Code: What is your and?Technology has lowered the barrier of entry into the world of photography. Thishas made it easy for almost anyone with an interest in photo image creation todevelop good skill relatively easily. A lower bar is nice for the masses, but forthose who wish to build a professional career in photography it is a different story.If everyone can be a photographer, how can the professional compete?There are many professionals who are making a living purely by photography. Itis still possible. Unfortunately, the ability to create a standard of living equal towhat photographers enjoyed in the past is much harder to achieve.Many creative professionals, as well as photographers, have discovered the and.Photography may be the core of what they do, but they have added anotherelement to their careers to help separate themselves from the competition.Some professionals have limited the competition by becoming a photographerand a educator, designer or retoucher. The combinations are endless.Now and in the future, most photographers will be * a photographer and a writer * a photographer and a designer * a photographer and a teacher * a photographer and a videographer specializing in a particular nicheMany great companies have been built on existing technologies. The ability touse creative innovation to combine what already exists has made companiessuch as Apple, which has combined cutting-edge technology (which, in manycases, they did not invent) with design to create some of the best products in theworld, successfully.The creative professional has two choices. One is to focus on becoming one ofthe top 10 percent in their crowded ﬁeld. The other is to make the competitionvirtually irrelevant by blazing your own trail by employing and.The and is often silent.When photographers promote themselves it is important to keep a focus and notpromote multiple talents at once or as separate skills. Some photographers havemultiple photographic specialties. The fact remains that a potential client who isan architect does not want to see a food portfolio mixed in with a presentation.
A marketing director many not care that you can write well, although a magazineor web editor may ﬁnd your writing skills a plus. Photographers still need to bepurists when it is appropriate and promote and target their combined skills to theright audiences.The businesses that are surviving this economic transition are the best in theworld at what they do. Photographers are no different. The purists in any industryare the top 10 percent of their ﬁeld. The rest of us need to add the and to our jobtitle to make a living. The and will help you create a niche that you can dominate.If done correctly, the and will make competition irrelevant.There may be only a small community of people who need or desire yourspecialized service. Ten years ago, this would have been a problem. It would betoo expensive to research, solicit, and cater to such a small group around theworld. Today, the Internet and social media have removed this barrier.Warning: Combining price or service as your and is the quickest path to failure.Being the cheapest option doesn’t work. It’s a race to the bottom for going out ofbusiness. It is ﬁne to include service in your business plan, but if you need to telleveryone you have great service, you probably do not have great service.Everyone must start with a core talent. This is your strongest skill. Never stoplearning and challenging yourself to improve your core skill. Once you have greatskill, start to develop your and. Look for patterns of need. Sometimes you willﬁnd your and by accident. For many, it will take some research to ﬁnd a niche.Some people have multiple ands, but I recommend you start with one and buildon that.Your new career is not the job you had before the digital revolution and economiccrisis. If you discover your and, and make a living doing what you love, you havesolved the Combination Code.Chapter Thirteen: PresentationA presentation is how you show your work to your prospective clients. Today,presentations are made online and ofﬂine. Presentation is important because itis often the ﬁrst impression prospects have of your work.The PortfolioIn the past, a printed portfolio was mandatory. In the modern digital age, it’soptional, although some excellent photography consultants would argue thispoint. The reason I feel it’s optional is because we now have so many otheroptions.
If you are a family or retail photographer and sell photography-related productssuch as photo albums, custom prints and frames, it’s more important to keepphysical presentation materials.A traditional portfolio is still requested by some design, marketing and advertisingagencies, mostly the larger ones. As important as your photographs are to yourpresentation, the physical case plays an important role.Some photographers build their own cases or portfolios out of wood, leather and/or steel. A plain black portfolio is acceptable, but the extra effort is oftenappreciated by art buyers.The Web siteWhen you are ready to take the next step in the presentation of yourphotography, be creative. Make sure they remember you.If a photographer doesn’t have a Web site, she is not in business.Even if a photography buyer requests a physical portfolio, chances are he willuse the Web to scout your talents. It is estimated that eighty percent of peoplelooking for a product or service use a search box such as Google to researchand ﬁnd more information. I suggest it is closer to 95 percent for photography.When people search for photographs, they generally look for photographers witha specialty in a speciﬁc location. That location may be your state, city or apopular hall where prestigious weddings are held.Your Web site must be easy to use. Don’t hide your images. Make sure yourphotographs are easy to ﬁnd. Your Web site should represent your brand and thespirit of your photography.Don’t confuse people. Make sure your Web site is focused. Brides don’t want tosee your food photography and architects don’t want to see your senior portraits.If creating multiple Web sites or sub-domains for each of your specialties is notpractical, make sure you keep your Web site categories focused.The world is going mobile. Make sure you have a mobile-compatible Web site sopeople may view your online portfolio from their smart phone. Another option isto develop a reactive-design Web site, so the Web page scales properly, basedon the device the viewer is using.
Chapter Fourteen: The FutureThe future of photography is exciting. It is true that many photographers feel theindustry is hurt by new technology and the digital age. For many photographers,it was devastating.Now that everyone can be a photographer, photographers know where theystand. Anyone with a camera or cellphone is the competition. It can’t get muchmore competitive than that.New technology has also opened up opportunities. Photography buyers are notconﬁned to the physical world. They need more photographs than ever. Websites, social media, applications, online media, and e-books all require morephotography.The demand for photography will continue to grow. The question is, how will youset yourself apart and get noticed? Do you have the vision and business skills tobuild a career? If you work hard and apply the ideas shared in this book, theanswer will be yes.Thank youThank you for taking an hour of your time to read this e-book. I hope you foundvaluable information to support your photography business.Did I miss something? Yes.Obviously, you are not going to learn everything you need to know aboutphotography and building a photography business in a single hour. But this e-book should have provided you with a foundation of knowledge to get youstarted.Follow up with the additional resources shared in this book, especially in theareas you ﬁnd most interesting or where your skills could be sharpened.AssignmentsHere is a list of 20 assignments to help you continue your photographiceducation:Photography Assignments1. Create a beautiful landscape on a cloudy day with a shallow depth of ﬁeld.2. Photograph a pattern.3. Photograph a stop-action scene.
4. Find a new point of view.5. Create a silhouette.6. Find the decisive moment.7. Depict motion.8. Take a great blurry photograph.9. Try a new lighting style.10. Photograph in a new town or city.Business Assignments:1. Create an and.2. Add up all your expenses and subtract the total from your projected income.3. Create a price list.4. Take a successful photographer to lunch.5. Review your insurance.6. Make sure your Web site loads quickly and is easy to use.7. Optimize your Web site for the search engines.8. Develop an email list.9. Start a blog.10. Update your portfolio.