How to Avoid Burning out on Photography

how-to-avoid-burning-out-on-photography

This is what the last 30 days have looked like for me. The collage above is representative of:

• 4 weddings • 5 engagement sessions • 2 bridal fashion shows • 1 fashion/catalogue shoot • 6 museum exhibits photographed • 4 days photographing the Frieze New York Art Fair • Approximately 120 hours taking pictures • Approximately 8975 photos (after editing)

Sure, it’s good to be busy. I’m not complaining about that. However, it’s a heavy workload, which made me think: it’s time to address the subject of ‘burnout.’

Being ‘burnt out’ can take many forms – feeling tired (physically and emotionally), lacking enthusiasm about your work, experiencing apathy, irritability, and frustration. None of those things are good for your pictures, your business, or your life! And you don’t have to work a ridiculous number of hours in a short period of time to feel this way; it could be a prolonged process of constantly grinding away at your work and feeling like it never …

Read more →

How to Use Keywords to Attract New Leads

Flickr User SuperBoreen http://www.flickr.com/photos/superboreen/

Photo by Flickr User SuperBoreen

In the online marketing world, everyone seems to be talking about keywords.

But they’re missing something.

Everyone is talking about search engines and the importance of SEO. And while it’s no secret that good SEO can go a long way in helping people find you, it’s not just about the search engines.

It’s about the people who are searching.

That’s where long tail keywords come in. Long tail keywords are very targeted search phrases that are usually easier to rank for and specifically focused on your niche audience.  For example:

“inbound marketing” = generic keyword “generate leads using inbound marketing” = long tail keyword

If you can focus on long tail keywords that YOUR target audience is likely to be searching for, you can avoid the slow months or years that it can take to see any meaningful growth in targeting a highly competitive keyword. Although you may not see the same …

Read more →

The Sandwich Method

the-sandwich-method

Want to hear about one of my favorite recipes of light? It looks like a million bucks, yet doesn’t cost much. And it’s yummy.

It’s called “The Sandwich Method.”

When I stumble on this kind of glamour lighting setup, especially in an abandoned railroad car, you might hear white- fronted capuchin monkey sounds like, “Ooo ooo ooo!” I admit, my clients don’t quite understand my ecstatic enthusiasm…until I show them their photograph in said lighting conditions! See? A picture really is worth a thousand words!

I discovered this natural-lighting scenario when shooting my clients’ (Scott & Alyssa) portrait session. What an awesome discovery! I couldn’t have set my Alien Bees up to make this look any better; that’s the beauty of natural light.

What amazed me most was the sheer quality of light, which was on par with a studio lighting setup, in an unsuspecting location. This is a great reminder to keep your …

Read more →

Why Every Pro Photographer Should be a Pro People Watcher

why-every-pro-photographer-should-be-a-pro-observer

I once had a client ask, “How do you get those amazing shots of emotional moments at weddings? How do you know when they’re going to happen? What’s the secret?”

Do you want to know “the secret?” Come closer…a little closer…it’s called observation.

That seems pretty obvious; a photographer translates what they observe through their camera to produce an image. But are you actively observing, or are you just clicking the shutter? The problem for many photographers is that they aren’t actually ‘seeing’ what is going on.

The Art of People Watching

“People Watching” is a time honored tradition where you sit and just watch the people passing by. It can be extremely entertaining, but it’s also informative. The next time you are out ‘people watching’ take time to see how people interact with one another. Watch how couples behave together.

If you do an engagement photo session with your wedding clients, be sure to …

Read more →

On Location Lighting with Speedlites, Part 2 – Weddings

© Casey Fatchett - www.fatchett.com

Some photographers have an aversion to using a flash. A photographer who once assisted me on weddings told me that he “never needed to use a flash.” Instead, he preferred to open the aperture as wide as it would go, and crank up the ISO! The problem is that you’ll end up with lots of noise in your photos and your depth of field is so small that if your subject moves slightly, you risk them being out of focus. Your flash is a tool – whether you use it all the time or sparingly, you should know when and how to use it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll shoot with available light as long as it’s ACTUALLY available and produces a great image. Unfortunately, though, that’s not always the case. The simple solution is to bounce the flash off the ceiling or a wall to soften and diffuse it. I …

Read more →

On Location Lighting With Speedlites Part 1 – Portraits

© Casey Fatchett Photography - www.fatchett.com

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 …

Read more →

4 Tips for Creating Blog Content that Generates Qualified Traffic

4 Tips for Creating Blog Content that Generates Qualified Traffic

If you want to generate qualified leads, you’ve got to start driving qualified traffic to your website. After all, leads don’t just appear out of nowhere! (Although, that’d be nice.)

How do you generate qualified website traffic? You guessed it…by consistently publishing content on your blog!

To truly find success generating qualified traffic through blogging, it’s important to tailor content to your target market. This way, your blog articles are relevant, compelling AND come up in search engines when your target audience is searching.

1. Identify Specific Buyer Personas

The first step to creating content that generates qualified traffic is understanding what qualified means to you. What is the “right” traffic? Create buyer personas to help you identify the traits that the right visitors have that you want to attract.

As a photography business offering services to consumers, you must identify the specific person you want to sell to, as well as the people who are the decision-makers.

For example, …

Read more →

Six Simple Tips for Creating Dynamic Ring Shots

schueler_rings_005

One of my favorite parts of shooting weddings is capturing details. Couples customize their wedding to reflect their personalities, so it’s important to capture these intricacies that say so much about them. Combining those personal details with the couples’ wedding rings is crucial to creating dynamic ring shots.

What you’ll need: a macro lens, rings, something from the wedding, off camera flash (with a modifier and light stand) or a video light. The number one mistake photographers make with ring shots is NOT using a macro lens. If you don’t have one, rent it!

Here are six simple tips for creating dynamic ring shots:

1.  Wait until all the “major stuff” is over – the first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. It might take time to get the shot you’re looking for, and you don’t want to sprint across the venue to get back to something important (cake cutting, for example), only to …

Read more →

How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures

Tips for Great Getting Ready Wedding Photography Images

When I started photographing weddings, I wondered how those famous photographers got gorgeous pictures of their clients getting ready on their wedding day. The shots seemed so “in the moment,” but also beautifully lit. When I walked into a hotel room, church basement or (gasp!) grandma’s living room, I wasn’t achieving the same results. Was it the location? Or the subjects? Sometimes.

However, there were often a few little steps I could take to get similar results.

Here’s How to Get the Most out of Getting Ready pictures:

1. Show up early. Standard start time for us is about one hour before the bride is in her dress/groom is in his suit. “Start time” is when we tell clients we’ll arrive. We actually show up 30 minutes prior to start time to park and do a bit of scouting before we walk into the room. Then with any extra minutes, we get …

Read more →

Photography for the Professionals {10 Truisms}

book

I’m a fan of age-old photography wisdom that’s still relevant today.

When I stumbled upon the book “Photography for the Professionals,” written by Robin Perry in 1976, I thumbed through the dusty pages. What I found surprised me, no different than this 1937 gem.

If age-old wisdom stands the test of time today, imagine future value? That’s something a new book won’t buy!

Despite being published over 37 years ago, the abundance of ‘golden nugget’ information relevant to today’s professional photographers inspired me to write this post for The Photo Life. Here are Ten Truisms from the book “Photography for the Professionals” that are applicable to today’s professional photographers.

Ten Truisms, 37 Years Later:

10. The key to success in photography (or anything else for that matter) is education.

As Mark Twain said, “Never let school interfere with your education.” Going into debt for photography school isn’t a sound investment. At all. However, self-improvement …

Read more →
Page 2 of 2812345...1020...Last »