Open Letter To Client re: “Job Killer” Quoted Rate

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Hello Potential Client,

Regarding your last email in which you said:

“… if they (your client) saw the $700/ $1400 a day fee for the photographer they would dismiss the project immediately … (most of my client’s people make between $25 and $45 an hour)… Showing $100/hr was also a job-killer as you can imagine”.

Well sure thing. I see where you’re coming from… Let’s rewrite the quote to show the actual number of hours I will work on this job, instead of only those spent with my face in a camera. Maybe that will help.

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Consider Using Long Lenses For Landscape Photography

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Do you use long lenses for landscape photography?

When most people think about landscape photography, they often think Wide. Using wide angle lenses is very common with landscape photography and for a good reason. Wide lenses have some great advantages for landscape photography. They capture a wide view of the scene; they provide great depth of field; and they create a deep perspective which emphasize the foreground and minimize the background. But in many cases they’re not the best choice, and you shouldn’t fixate on shooting wide every time you see a great landscape.

Using long (or tele) lenses allows you to capture amazing scenes you wouldn’t be able to shoot with a wide angle lens for several reasons:

  1. The immediate foreground (which is closer to you) is not always interesting, and it doesn’t have to be included in the frame in every shot. Sometimes you only want a more distant part of the scene.
  2. Landscape is not always about huge and wide scenes, it can also be more intimate and include a small part of a scene like part of a water stream or mountain edge.
  3. A long focal lens does exactly the opposite of a wide lens in terms of perspective – long lenses compress foreground and background so you can capture and balance them both.

Here are some examples:

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Wedding Photography Prices: ON or OFF Your Website?

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It’s the age-old question, should a wedding photographer put his/her prices on the website, or leave them off? I’ve asked myself this, and seen many photographers ask the same thing. Lots of opinions, some of them very strong opinions, but no one seems to back it up with actual data.

An argument I’ve heard for putting prices online is that the potential client wants to know if you’re within her price range. If you make it too difficult to find that information, she won’t bother to contact you because there are plenty of other photographers to look at. Would you go look at a new car if they wouldn’t tell you the price until you got to the dealership?

The counter-argument is that wedding photography can be expensive, clients don’t always have an understanding of how much they should expect to spend, and placing too much emphasis on price means that the client misses out on less-tangible benefits that the photographer has to offer. If you make the client ask for pricing, you can then strike up a dialog with the client and build a relationship before getting icky with numbers.

Both arguments seem reasonable. And those photographers who can’t make up their minds usually wimp out and put a “starting at $xxxxx” on their site! (That’s what I do currently. :) )

But I’ve got some Actual Data!

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The Case for Field Monitors

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I’m a convert.

Not to any particular religion, but instead to the idea that a field monitor is the most important piece of equipment you can have on a video shoot after the camera, a lens and some kind of support.

This represents a sea change in my worldview. As a still photographer for decades, until recently I thought the bane of my video production existence was audio. But a Zoom H4n, a shotgun, a couple of lavs and a wireless system later, I’ve changed my mind.

And that’s because while I took for granted my ability to obtain tack-sharp focus every time, I’ve learned the hard way once again that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups.

Turns out it was easier to focus in the good old days of film, manual lenses, split image rangefinders, and coarse microprisms on ground glass than it is today through on-board electronic viewfinders (EVFs) and LCDs.

There’s a reason why third party EVF’s and monitors are so popular.

I recently had the opportunity to review a 7.7” diagonal field monitor, and it was a revelation (no religious undercurrent intended).

Why?

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How to Confidently Choose the Right Mat and Frame for Your Photographs

If there’s a downside in the shift to digital photography, it’s the mindless hours we now spend uploading, liking and clicking through endless online galleries. The instant gratification from the immediate applause leaves us with our best photographs buried in online albums, rather than appreciated and cherished up on our walls. It’s all too easy to ‘post’ a photo that you might have framed a decade ago, and then forget all about it.

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Worse yet, if you aren’t social media savvy, these photos may sit on your memory cards, hard drive or permanent to-do list, collecting dust until you find the time to upload and share with the world.

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How I Built A Huge Mega Giga-Panoramic Robot

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Today I want to share how I created a few huge, Gigapixel photos, using a DIYed panoramic head. Actually, it is not a panoramic head because it not only goes right and left, but also up and down.

I’ve been a big fan of panoramic photography and of landscape in general for a long time. But four years ago I was climbing a mountain and the view from the top simply took my breath away. I felt an urgent need to share the image with people don’t climb and therefore will never get access to such views.

Here is the thing though, standard photos do not have enough details. Our eyes have far more resolution that your standard digital camera, so a new project began: I wanted to build the best Gigapan Robot – an automated panoramic head for DSLR.

[editor’s note: things get highly nerdy techy from this point on]

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10 Posing Tips For Brides-To-Be

Having worked on many bridal shoots as a model and involved in several real weddings before, I’ve picked up some things that I hope might help a few others. If you’re part of the wedding industry then please feel free to share this tongue in cheek guide with your clients, whilst understanding that although it’s a bit brazen, it might actually be what they need to know!

Dear Bride-to-be,

Posing for the camera: There are certain posing tips that apply to all women whether they are wearing a bridal gown or not. However, your wedding day is the time when you’ll really want to put theory into practice and believe me it makes all the difference. Here are my top ten bridal posing tips;

1. Where to hold your flowers - Aim for just below belly button level. Not too high and not too low. This pushes your arms out with a slight bend at your elbow, avoiding crushed skin and bingo wings. It also acts as bonus stomach coverage. #Winning

image by Bentham Imaging.

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Building A Photo Booth Using A Gopro Camera, Some Led Lights And A Doorbell

I offered our good friends to build a photo booth for their wedding to be held here in Berlin Germany. They had already been asking around and searching the web for a solution without any luck.

I immediately knew that I wanted to make a fun automated contraption that mimicked something from an amusement park, rather than just setting up a DSLR with an umbrella etc. as it needed to be something different that people would relax in front of and not feel intimidated by equipment.

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I also knew I wanted to use a camera with an extreme wide angle lens as it creates dynamic and fun images, plus it needed to be a rugged but highly portable solution that I could throw in a cab when going to and from the party. So the choice for integrating an action camera like the GoPro was given.

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