“Your Best Shot of the Summer” – Image Contest Recap

Last month, many of you participated in our contest called “Your Best Shot of the Summer.” The theme encouraged you to share your most compelling, inspiring and fun shots from your summer season. Wow, we were amazed by the incredible images that you shared!

Tennessee-based photographer Robyn McIsaac won the contest with her heartfelt image entitled “Little Miss America.” For her creativity and efforts, Robyn won some sweet ShootQ prizes! But more important, she won the hearts of many viewers who saw her winning image.

Since ALL of your images inspired us – and your friends and families – we wanted to encourage even more discussion and sharing. So, we’ve created this blog post for you!

The winning image by Robyn McIsaac of Pix by Robyn

The runner up! Photo by Joshua Frith of Joshua Dwain Photography

Photo by Love and Life Photography

Photo by Stephanie Hunter-Drago of Stephanie …

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Image Contest: Submit and Get a Chance to Win a Free Year of ShootQ

Photo: Joe Buissink

Submit Your “Best Shot of the Summer,” and Get a Chance to Win $1,958 in Prizes.

 

It’s easy to enter. Just send your “best shot of the summer” to contests@shootq.com between Sept. 15 and Sept. 21, 2013 (web-res jpg format). Please include your address (city and state) with your submission. Once the submission period closes, we will upload all eligible submissions to an album on the ShootQ Facebook page and promote the voting period, from Sept. 22 through Sept. 28, 2013. Share with friends, family and colleagues to garner “likes” for your submission. The image with the most “likes” by the end of the voting period wins!

Make sure you include a logo or watermark in the lower right-hand corner of your image to get more exposure for your studio. We also encourage you to share the call for entries Facebook post and tag ONE photographer friend who inspires or …

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Why Every Photographer Should Lose “Weight” by Michael Maganis

If you do wedding photography year after year, the physical labor takes a toll on your body. Photographers often carry multiple camera bodies, along with multiple lenses, flashes/studio lights, tripod/monopods and other accessories. Wedding after wedding, we’re carrying fifity to sixty pounds of equipment – plus we’re on our feet all day long!

I remember carrying all my gear and hiking half a mile to a mountain-top ceremony in Muir Beach. It was exhausting, and I knew I couldn’t carry on like this for years. So, for the past few years, I’ve focused on shedding equipment weight and improving efficiency, while delivering the same quality (or better) results.

Here’s what my toolbox looked like in 2010:

Bodies: Nikon D3, 2 Nikon D700, D300, D90

Lenses: 24-70, 70-200, 17-35, 35, 50, 85, 105 Macro, 18-55, 19-35

Flashes: 3 SB-900, SB-800 and SB-600

Accessories: Tripods, monopods and other accessories

As you can see, I had overlapping lenses and camera …

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On Location Lighting With Speedlites Part 1 – Portraits by Casey Fatchett

I like to travel light. Maybe it’s because I spent many years working without an assistant. Also, as I grow older, I don’t really like carrying a lot of equipment. You know what I mean, right? Aches and pains aren’t fun. So, instead of hauling hundreds of pounds of studio lighting equipment I decided that I would create a system for using my speedlites whenever I had to go on location – whether it’s for weddings, portraits, headshots, or fashion shoots.

Here’s what I use on my shoots:

• Speedlite (or two, depending on the size of the group or if you want a rim light) • Wireless Trigger (I use a Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5) • Light Modifier (beauty dish, softbox, umbrella, etc.) • Light Stand (or even just a monopod). I have even held the flash away from the camera with one hand in a pinch. The most important thing …

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A Wedding Photographer Reviews the Leica Monochrom by Chris Williams

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach

I love this quote and I think it fits perfectly with photography.

I started out with Rangefinders in wedding photography. Partly because those are the tools I had but also because I loved the intimacy I could achieve with a Leica due to it’s small size.

I’ll probably get some flack for this from film lovers (hey, I’m one too) but with their new Monochrom  - black and white 18mp digital Rangefinder, Leica has put the “Tri-X” back into digital photography. Perhaps they’ve even put the tried-and-true love of black-and-white back into wedding photography.

I think there’s a different thought process with black-and-white photography versus color photography. With the Monochrom, I don’t have the mindset, “I’ll just convert to black-and-white during post processing,” which can sometimes be lazy. I find myself taking time to think about the image before creating it, just …

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How to Make One Kid’s Year by Just Taking a Picture by Jeff Inglis

Jane Goodrich has a simple question: “Can I actually make one kid’s year just by taking a picture?”

Turns out she can – and you can help too, by supporting her work and sick children who need us.

Jane loves photographing children so much, she’s made a career of it. She specializes in portraiture of newborns and children. And as an identical twin herself, she particularly enjoys making images of twins. (Turns out parents of twins are often reluctant to have a photo session, fearing it’ll be twice as crazy as regular studio appointments; Jane makes house calls to help simplify things for families.)

Lately, though, she’s engaged in a project that has become almost as dear to her heart as her DNA-matching sister.

Jane had known for years that her grandmother (and namesake) died of lymphoma in the 1950s. (It’s a type of blood cancer.) In the late 1990s, the daughter of a …

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The Canon 1DX: Geek-Out Product Review by Chris Humphreys

Rather than beat around the bush with a long, meandering introduction and make you meticulously read all the way to the conclusion, I’ll just come right out and say it.

The Canon 1DX is the best camera I’ve ever used. Hands down. By far.

Ok, now that that is out of the way, I’ll get down to a few of the specifics — the things I love the most about it and a few of the things I wish Canon would fix/change. While I’ve been very impressed by the 1Dx, I firmly believe there is no such thing as the perfect camera and the 1DX is no exception.

Canon 1Dx, 1/640th, f2, ISO 1,000, 50mm

 

A few words about the nature of this review. First, this review won’t get into pixel peeping. There have been plenty of those out there, and a quick google search will net you plenty of 100% crop comparisons examining …

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A Real Life Review of Pocketwizards by Doug Levy

This started as a real life review of Pocketwizards.

Basically it said, “Pocketwizards are bulletproof and if you know the tricks, they work over 95% of the time.” And then last weekend happened. Over the course of two weddings, three of my eight wizards broke.

One of them – a Mini TT1 model – broke during the rainiest and most humid wedding of the year. I accidentally overtightened the plastic shoe and by the time I realized it, the humidity and overcranking combined to cause the Pocketwizard‘s plastic shoe to jump off its track. Over the next day and a half, I managed to drop a Flex TT5 model, snapping the plastic off of its shoe, and then the battery door on another Flex TT5 snapped off completely. I’m still not sure how that happened.

Thankfully, I had backup gear, and aside from some minor frustrations, the shoots continued without a hitch. I shipped the …

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How to Select the Right Light and Cameras for Every Shoot by Jim Jordan

All photo shoots were not created equal. To select the best camera equipment for every shoot, consider a few important details. Here’s my gear selection process:

Determine the shoot location Identify the lighting scenario Research the subject thoroughly Storyboard the desired mood and select the lighting that will best convey that feeling. Carefully consider which camera body and lenses are necessary to capture different angles desired for each shot.

Controlled Light in Studio or On Location

If I am shooting in studio or I simply want more controlled light on a location shoot, I have a variety of lights that I pack. Much depends on the mood I am trying to achieve. I use Broncolor and Profoto heads and packs as my main light sources and use a variety of softboxes, umbrellas and diffusers to mold and shape the light to my liking. I sometimes use strip lights because they produce a very narrow output of light …

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What Every Photographer Should Know about Pinterest by The Photo Life

Here at The Photo Life, we don’t believe in secret formulas or overnight success stories. We believe the only right way of doing business is the one that serves your unique clients and grows your business the old-fashioned way. Hard work and happy clients are your foundation for success. Different systems work for different studios, so the key is finding one that suits your clients and your business! That’s why we’re eager to bring you timely topics that spark debate. Voice your opinion by commenting below!

It’s the best thing since whiteboards in college dorms! It’s a breeding ground for copyright infringers!

Those strong statements sum up the debate currently raging like a wildfire among creative professionals. Two things are certain: neither Pinterest nor the debate about its value are going away. Just the opposite is true.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Pinterest’s seemingly stratospheric social power. Nearly 1.5 million unique …

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