How to Prepare for WPPI – Q&A

So, who better to give advice to Erin and other photographers who are wanting to know how to get the most out of the best show in the industry?

The interview below is the product of Erin’s questions and Skip’s answers and advice. This is the first of a series between Skip’s blog and ours featuring Skip and Erin as they go through the WPPI process together.

Don’t forget to comment below with any questions or advice. Enjoy! We look forward to seeing you at WPPI.

Erin Saldana: What sort of atmosphere, characteristics (and really anything else) can I expect from an experience at WPPI this year?

Skip Cohen: Year after year WPPI is about energy and that’s probably what will hit you first. It sounds almost hokey, but it’s like the biggest family reunion you’ve ever been to…on steroids.  Even last year, in one of the worst economies in history, people were simply …

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Photoshop Tutorial – Part 1 – Levels

Hey Pictagers!  My name is Tim Edwards and I’m the Pre QA Supervisor here at Pictage which is just a fancy name for Retouching Supervisor.  As part of our new revamped blog, I’ll be taking you through some lessons on the basics of Photoshop.

For many of you with Photoshop experience, some of these lessons will be nothing new.  But for those of you who aren’t Photoshop wizards yet, I’ll be guiding you through some tips and tricks to help you get the most from your photography.

This week let’s talk about LEVELS.

Levels adjustment is the foundation of all image enhancements.  It can’t make your bad images great (ie: blown out or badly underexposed shots)  but it can definitely make your good images better.  Let’s start with this shot I took on my last trip to Chicago.  It’s not the most scenic shot in the world, but it is a good example …

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Pictage Podcast with Tasra Dawson

This weeks podcast features Tasra Dawson as she talks about how her life has changed in the last year with the start of her new company, Teen Identity and the development of 

Tasra also talks about how she has been challenged and inspired to create a movement, tasra365.  Tasra and Sara also discuss how to prepare for WPPI and what can help make it successful and manageable.  Get all of this great insight as well as hear about all the inspiration that is spreading though the industry on this weeks podcast.


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Check out Tasra in the Pictage Community here.

WPPI: Women’s Panel

Inspire.Pictage.Com: Transform Your Vision and Outlook

Pictage Blog: Don’t Stop Believing

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Running Your Photography Business & Having a Day Job

Running my own photography business is a dream job.  But it’s not the only one I have.  I have a regular, 40+ hour/week job in a completely unrelated field.  Sound familiar?  At some point, many photographers find themselves working 2 jobs – either they are building up their photography business (and bank account) for the day when they can leave the day job behind or they’ve chosen to do both simultaneously for a variety of reasons.  The trick is not being able to do both – the trick is being able to do both, stay sane, get a normal amount of sleep each night, and enjoy yourself (that includes having a personal life!).

I started out like a lot of photographers – working my day job while building my photography business on evenings and weekends.  For me, when my photography business grew to the point where financially I could leave my …

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5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Photographer (Tip #4)

4. Consistency is Key

Make sure you are striving to deliver a complete high quality body of work for each and every one of your clients; not just shooting for one or two “money shots.” Think about it from the bride’s perspective; chances are that your clients have looked through featured galleries on your website of your favorite work; maybe they’ve met you in person and have seen a couple of albums that are the best ones you’ve put together. This is how they view you and your work and this is what they hired you for. They probably aren’t thinking about the 99% of your work they haven’t seen, and how that might not measure up to what you’ve featured.

What happens when you share the images with your clients from their wedding day, and there are one or two shots that match the quality of what you presented before they …

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How to Set Up for Corporate Headshots (Video)

Corporate portrait photography isn’t the most glamorous aspect of photography.  The backgrounds are typical, the posing is reserved, and the lighting techniques are far from creative.  However, it can be a very nice income stream for a professional photographer and for a wedding photographer like me, it’s typically a week day shoot so rarely does it conflict with my main income stream.

All it takes is a little bit of gear, a little knowledge of lighting, and a professional attitude.  In my very first video podcast, I’ll be demonstrating my portable corporate head shot set up.  If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them.  Just post them in the comments section below.

Oh, and please excuse my tennis ball obsessed Border Collie, Murphy, who makes several guest appearances during the making of this video.

My Corporate Headshot Setup from Thomas Lester on Vimeo.

Here’s the list of gear used in …

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Guess that ISO – A Lesson in Film and Digital Grain Structures

So I have a little game I first played with Elizabeth Pratt from Canon. The game is called “Guess that ISO”. We are going to play it here today. For those of you who are not professional photographers, ISO is the sensitivity rating of the film or chip in the camera. Lower ISOs are best in bright lighting conditions and higher ISOs allow for proper exposure in low light situations.

Here is the image we are going to work with. It was shot with a Canon 1D Mark IV. This is the final image with various adjustments and increased noise reduction etc. I just wanted you to get a feel for the image we are working with.

The Fine Print:

The zoomed in detail images below have only one adjustment applied. I have to be upfront here, I am not going to show you the original image with no noise reduction because that …

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5 Tips to Becoming A Successful Photographer (Tip #3)

3. Networking with Other Vendors

The truth is that ads no longer work like they used to. We’re inundated with them. For real success, you need to be building relationships. And the best part is, the more you help other people, the more they will help you.

I realize that everyone is saying “network” right now, and I feel like the word “networking” has gotten somewhat of a bad feeling attached to it. I think that one of the reasons for this is people are just going through the motions because someone told them to. Often times they don’t really care about making real connections or really helping someone, it’s just about passing out as many business cards as you possibly can. Have you been to a corporate sponsored “networking event” where someone rushes up to you and says “Hi, my name is John, here’s my card, will you refer me?Thanks!” and …

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Photography 101

When I joined Pictage last year, I had little knowledge of photography.  Sure, I have had point-and-shoot cameras and played around with Photoshop, but never truly understood the fundamental elements that make good – if not – great images.  Since joining, I have been indoctrinating into the world of photography, spent time with many of our customers, and have developed a strong interest in photography.  So, at PartnerCon in New Orleans – DSLR in hand – I got my first real opportunity to wander the French Quarter and attempt to capture the environment and moments with a greater appreciation for the craft.  While a few of my pictures turned out OK (if I may say so myself), it was solely due to the sheer number of pictures I took.  Sure, I got pointers here and there from extraordinarily-talented photographers, but I realized quickly that I had a ton to learn.

Last …

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Be the Photographer You Want To Be

Our friends and family love us, they want us to succeed, and they are the first to tell a little white lie to make us feel good about our passion. This may be hard to hear, it’s even difficult to type, because it’s a lesson I had to learn in the beginning and wish I’d had someone to tell me otherwise. The truth is, we all do certain types of photography well in the beginning, but not everything we do is brilliant. If I were you, the first thing I’d do is get away from your family and get new friends…just kidding…

When I first started shooting professionally, my friends had given me a little too much positive feedback that, in a way, worked against me. The problem was that I was only showing my work to friends, and not to seasoned professionals from whom I could learn. I was not …

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