Professional Exposure for Photographers

Photographic Marketing, Techniques, Advice & Conversation

How to Make Your Blog Exciting for Your Readers

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Do you want to make your blog exciting? When you make your blog interesting to the readers, you’ll get a good benefit from it. The most obvious benefit of having an interesting blog is that you’ll have no problem attracting lots of traffic to your blog. Also, your blog will quickly establish good popularity and reputation, which is good for you. Here are 5 tips to make your blog exciting for your readers: Read the rest of this entry »

Local Networking for Photographers

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Who and Where Are You?

Who and Where Are You?

Providing photographic services of any kind requires one primary and indisputable action… letting people know who you are, where you are, and what you do. Therefore, if you want to increase your business, then you simply need to increase the number of people who know about you.

Many people expect that having a website will do all the selling for them, and they spend considerable time and money trying to get their website listed on page one of search engines. This is an admirable achievement if you can do it, but the results are still dependant on people searching for those carefully crafted keywords and phrases. However, not everyone who may be interested in your services, will be looking for you on-line.

Relying on a website and search engines is a big mistake, especially when search engines can change their algorithm at any time which can instantly move your website off the top spot. Read the rest of this entry »

Winner: Bonfire Night Photo Competition 2010

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The winner of our very first photo competition is James Payne for this amazing photo of a firework display at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. You can see the other photos he took at that event by clicking the photo.

Fireworks at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire

Fireworks at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire by James Payne

From James Payne…

“I only joined twitter a day or so ago and that was one of my first posts back to a flickr account I rarely update. Thrilled to have won something and half price hosting is great! ” Read the rest of this entry »

Let There be One Light

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High key window light portrait

High key window light portrait

Artists and photographers share a similar passion for light. It is the most essential ingredient in any photograph and painting, and yet it is often the most difficult of skills to manage. I have seen many studios blast their subjects with light from all angles, not really understanding why, but in the sure hope that if enough light is pointed at their subject the photo will be devoid of those problematic and pesky shadows.

Light may be an essential part of a photo, but so is the opposite… darkness. Let’s not forget that shadows are just as essential to a picture as light. Even with high key photographs where backgrounds and skin tones are washed out, shadows are still needed to create depth.

The early photographers used old masters such as Rembrandt to guide their lighting technique. They followed the sound rule that since there is only one true source of light, the sun, then a picture must not display extra light on the subject unless it is clear in the picture that another light source exists, such as a candle or lamp. Read the rest of this entry »

Pamper your Portfolio

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Classic little black dress - a photograph of a friend

A photograph of a friend

The photographer’s portfolio is worth more than any qualification, degree or association of letters. It is the summation of their talent, the culmination of their career to this day.

What a shame that so many photographers treat their ‘book’ with disdain, almost as if it is too much trouble to update. This is nothing short of commercial suicide. Imagine how any high street chain would suffer if they ignored their shop window display. The portfolio IS your shop window, whether it is a folder of prints or a website gallery. You need to dress it to impress.

Building a portfolio is the first step in any photographer’s career, and it is often the hardest. Getting good quality photographs to show potential clients is the sure fire key to success. Qualifications don’t matter a hoot when all the client is interested in is how good is your work. If you have not completed many assignments, this can be a catch 22 situation.

When I started out I was only interested in fashion photography. My idols at the time were Bailey, Donovan and Newton, so I needed a hell of a lot of practice which required lots of models and no money to hire them. I did, however, know a few friends who were photogenic and happy to be photographed in return for a few prints (and loads of encouragement). Read the rest of this entry »

Social Skills for Photographers

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Don't let your subject get stressed during a photo session

Don't let your subject get stressed

We live in a world where people communicate remotely, over social networks and digital communication, emails and text. There are some businesses, like internet services, that never meet their clients face-to-face. Photography is very different, especially the kind that photographs people. That makes you a very special kind of social networker with a very special responsibility.

Most people don’t like having their photograph taken; it makes them uncomfortable and often shy. To overcome this natural aversion requires special skills from the photographer. It is a skill that is difficult to teach, because it is related to personality and confidence, which are nurtured.

We can easily detect when someone we meet appears nervouse or unsure about themselves. Their body language shows it, and they avoid direct eye contact. These have to be addressed before you can start taking pictures of them. You need to understand how to make them feel comfortable, and to trust you, long before you pick up the camera and point it at them. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lost Art of Black and White Photography

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Original Colour Photo

Original Colour Photo

There has been resurgence of interest in black & white photography over the past few years. Most wedding photographers now provide ‘reportage’ photography as an option, and some portrait photographers produce black & white shots as part of the package. It is a trend that I hope will continue, but are photographers really taking full advantage?

The reality is that most black and white photographs we see today are not true black & white at all. They are simply desaturated colour shots taken on a digital camera. The true art of black and white photography has largely been lost along with the film camera. Why? Because digital cameras shoot in colour and you have to convert them to black & white with an image editor. This is fine, but if all you do is hit the ‘desaturate’ option, then you are missing out on the true art of black & white.

Colour photo desaturated in PhotoShop

Simple Desaturation - flat result

When photographs were taken using black & white film we used colour filters over the lens to control the contrast and density of greys for selected colours in the scene. Red filters, for example, made a blue sky appear a darker grey than normal, and green filters were often used for portraits to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes by filtering out red in the colour spectrum.

These fine adjustments continued in the darkroom with the use of different contrast grades of paper, or multi-grade filters over the enlarger lens. Many top photographers used specialist darkroom technicians to produce their fine-art prints. Such was the skill needed to produce high quality black & white. Read the rest of this entry »

The truth about web photo galleries

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Photographer presenting his portfolio

Photographer and client with portfolio

This is your on-line portfolio, your presentation and sales tool, your public exhibition. It is without doubt the most important asset that any photographer can have. Before you can hope to get a commission from anyone you will have to present your photographs to potential clients for them to see if they like your work.

In the ‘old’ days you would drive to every potential client and take your portfolio with you, and there were no guarantees that you would even get the assignment, so this was an expensive but essential part of the photographer’s unpaid work (unless you were very lucky and successful enough to have an agent). Read the rest of this entry »