Tag: professionalism

Night Photography: Tips & Tricks

Photography is about light and shadow

, but which camera settings and equipment should be used for night photography when there are low light conditions? To show you how night photography works let me teach you some tips and tricks to get the most out of your shot.

Tripod

A tripod is an absolute must

if you want to shoot in the night because you will mainly shoot with a slow shutter speed and a tripod will avoid camera shake, even the slightest bit of camera movement will result in a blurred picture. So, you will receive much sharper images while using a tripod. Just choose a basic tripod, it should be solid and stable, but it shouldn’t weight too much and it should hold up your camera equipment weight.

A tripod with a spirit level would be a nice extra, but it’s not necessary because every modern camera has a built-in digital spirit level. For example the “Hama Traveller Pro” is a great basic tripod to start with, it has a spirit level and a ball head in order to be flexible. If you, for any kind of reason have no tripod with you, just place your camera on a steady surface in order to take a sharp image, but this is not recommended, so be sure to bring along your tripod when photographing a night scene.

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Remote Control

Using a camera remote control will make night photography much easier, it will minimize camera motion, despite they are actually not very expensive. While shooting a beautiful night scene, the best option would be to choose a wireless camera remote control to get the best out of your image.

Wide angle lens

I would recommend choosing a lens with a 2.8 aperture, so you can shoot at low ISO’s. Choosing a zoom lens for night photography can help getting better results because you will become more flexible, you can easily zoom in and out depending on the focal length you need. A great wide angle zoom lens for beginners would be the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8, it has a wide aperture (2.8), has an image stabilizer, a good sharpness, the 15mm focal length is very wide and overall range available in this lens is quite useful.

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Use live view

If your camera supports the live view function, you should turn it on. It will help you to get more control over focus because you can easily zoom in to test your image sharpness and to see where your focus point is. So in the live view mode, you can adjust your focus point precisely while using the manual focus ring of the lens.

 

The starburst effect

You can achieve the starburst effect by using a narrow aperture, set the aperture at f16 and all the city lights in your image will become nice shiny stars. But mind that you will lose a lot of light while using a narrow aperture, so you have to use a slow shutter speed in order to get enough light.

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Long exposures at night

Long exposures at night will bring stunning results

, for example, if you photograph a street which has a lot of traffic at night, a Ferris wheel or simply stars which can produce beautiful light trails in a combination of a slow shutter speed and the rotation of the earth. Don’t forget to bring along your tripod, as it is impossible to get a sharp image when you take an image at a slow shutter speed.

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White Balance

If you shoot RAW, which I recommend for night photography, white balance actually is not as much of an issue since you can adjust the white balance in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw. Simply use the auto white balance setting if you are unsure about which white balance mode you should choose.

Image Composition

I would recommend studying the scene you want to photograph before it starts getting dark, so you have enough time to decide on an image composition, because as we know image composition is one of the most important elements of photography.

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We hope you enjoyed this guide! Now it’s time to pack your gear and set off to take some amazing night photographs to dazzle your clients. See you next time!

All images by Phil Davson.

Professional Photography: How Much Should You Charge?

Its really hard to ask yourself how much you should charge. It seems like a really loose question without many guidelines but below are a few helpful tips.

A good thing for all professional photographers to know: once you enter the world of professionalism, part of your job will include doing things that are not exactly related to your job title such as figuring out your rates! Although boring, its a very important decision to make. Because of this, its good to have some small understanding of the duties of a professional photographer.

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Firstly, you should always expect reimbursement when performing a service. Professional photography is a service that people seek out and request. Respect yourself as an artist and professionl in knowing and acknowledging your worth. Therefore, your work, your service, and your time is worth getting paid for.

Establishing monetary compensation says that you are good enough to get paid. While we certainly do not always agree that this is the case for everyone, make sure you keep that in mind when brainstorming ideas for yourself! Stay realistic and know that everyone has to start somewhere.

However, being a good photographer means you are constantly willing to evolve and learn, so most likely the very first paid shoot you do will not resemble the 89th shoot. As your skill level goes up, so should your rates.

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But now comes the question of how high do I go? That is certainly a difficult question and varies for everyone. Personally, I want to charge enough to sustain myself but also maintain accessibility so a wide range of people can hire me. Because as your price range goes up, your clientele changes.

If you know anyone in the business, consult them! You can learn from their experience/

For example; weddings. A low budget wedding versus a higher budget wedding will be different in the areas of venue, dress,flowers, etc. and we all have our preferences of what styles we like best.

Be mindful of this as higher rates cater to those who can afford you which does impact who you work with and where.

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Get to know the other photographers in your area as their rates determine the range you should be in. With this in mind, you want to start low but enough so that you could still enter the market and create competition. Careful not to price too low as that can make you seem cheap and turn you off from clients.

Our association with low cost and inexpensive services are not very good. Often time we think of cheap services synonymous with inexperienced or not good. When it comes to photography, your rates reflect your level almost.

Now comes the waiting part. This is the part where you wait until you reach a level of consistency and satisfaction that raising your rates seems like the logical next step. This can take months or maybe a year or two. Do this by assigning a percentage that you would like to see your income rise by every year!

I say this as someone who used this techniques which is by no means the only way or even right way. Shooting primarily weddings, I decided to start rising their increasing my wedding rates by 15% each year.

If you feel like the process is becoming arduous or that you’re just not getting it, consult a business adviser. They’ll be able to answer your questions and help you come up with strategies.

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Its hard to start a business. Do not get discouraged. Remember how many people around you probably had to do the same thing and take comfort in it! There is zero shame in asking for help

Hope this helps. Happy shooting, y’all!

Wedding photography Etiquette: Dress Code

Figuring out what to wear to a wedding is a timeless question. However, in the wedding service community, there are certain degrees of professionalism which are required. We look for our service providers to be polished and put together when we seek them out and so will your client. From your first meeting with them to the day of the wedding, your presentation is key. A strict set of rules won’t work as different events call for different dress codes, but a few basic guidelines to follow when dressing yourselves will go a long way.IMG_4028

Ladies: My first rule is do not ever wear heels when you’re shooting a wedding. The amount of time you spend on your feet will surely leave you limping by the end night. Find something with sole support and aesthetic like a nice pair of Oxfords or some lovely boots- professional and comfortable.

That being said, always go with the pants. Not jeans or leggings, pants. You never know when a wedding may call you to get creative by getting low or laying in the grass, in which case a skirt or dress just won’t do. Find yourself a nice pair of pants whether they be skinny or straight, just make sure they’re fitted, durable and flexible.

Do not worry yourselves with too many accessories. A necklace will surely get caught up in your camera straps and a hat will surely get bumped or blown off. Keep it simple with some nice earrings or loose bracelets.

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Lastly, whether you’re shooting in the winter or summertime, I always recommend short or adjustable sleeves. Even in the winter, those venues can get steamy as guests pack in so I always recommend button ups. They always look classy but allow you the option of unbuttoning or rolling up your sleeves for comfort. T shirts, hoodies and zip ups are too casual and inappropriate for the occasion.


Now, why is this so important? You’re not only giving out an impression to your client, but also for their guests and other service providers in this wedding. The image of how put together, you looked during the wedding speaks volumes when your client thinks to recommend you to a friend later, or if the catering company remembers you and suggests you to one of their clients.  We have proven to be a very visual society and because of that, it is undeniably important to look the part of the professional photographer.


Men: 

I’m sure you think you have it easy. Just throw on a suit and tie, right? You’re going to regret wearing all those layers and will have surely lost your jacket by the end of the night if you do that. It will also be pretty hard to distinguish yourself between wedding guests.

Keep it simple. A nice pair of shoes like Oxfords will do the job, no need for those shiny black shoes.

I suggest a nice dark pant made out of something that doesn’t wrinkle like these.

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Fitted and stylish, you’ll definitely look the part of the photographer. However, they allow you the flexibility and freedom to move as needed without the risk of wrinkles. That being said, a casual button down pairs very nicely with this. Again, nothing heavy or made of wrinkly material. While your appearance is important so is comfort to so find clothing that breathes and moves with you!

However, every event is different. Some clients may request you to dress a certain way to fit the theme of their wedding, whether that be fancy or casual. You might even be working certain venues that request the wedding service providers to dress within a certain code. Gauge those as they come, but keep these guidelines in mind for the weddings that you won’t be asked. Most clients won’t even think about it, but showing up to work looking put together assures the client that you are taking your job seriously.

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Dressing well is also important when working as a second shooter! Make sure your customer service skills and professional demeanor match your appearance as I assure you, other photographers look.

Hope this helps and happy shooting, y’all!