5 simple ways to grow your photography business over social media

Still think Facebook is just for your teenage daughter? If so, you could be missing out on the best free marketing tool in history.

From its beginnings as a glorified pick-up site for US college kids, Facebook has morphed into a massive FREE online marketing phenomenon which is perfect for visual-based businesses like photography.

In their latest guest blog post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventure explain why Twitter, Pinterest and other services can help grow your photography business.

DON’T MISS: Discover how Canon’s free Project1709 platform can simplify your photo management

5 ways to grow your photographic business on social media

1. Do the business on Facebook

Photography has become a tough business, and even formerly profitable niches such as weddings and portraits are suffering from falling rates and a glut of competitors/wannabes with cameras and gear just as good as yours.

By setting up a Facebook business page or Twitter feed you can start to advertise your unique selling points more effectively and start to engage more with current and potential customers.

SEE MORE: The 10 worst mistakes every photographer makes on social media (and how to avoid them)

It’s better to set up a Facebook business page in the settings as it’s easier to get a bespoke address, such as facebook.com/joesmithweddings.

Keep your personal and business Facebook sites separate, too — unless you want customers to see you getting wrecked on holiday, that is…

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[syndicated from Digital Camera World]

13 tips to ensure your photo project is unique

In our ongoing Shoot Like A Pro series we teamed up with our sister title, the Nikon magazine N-Photo, to explore the many different ways you can sell photos online, in print, and elsewhere in ways you might not have considered before.

This week we continue by introducing you to a photographer, Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz, who’s innovative project to throw milk over nude models and photograph them with high-speed flash became a viral sensation on the internet. Below, Jaroslav shares 13 of his best tips for creating a unique photography project, culled from his own experience.

13 tips to ensure your photo project is unique

How to make sure your photo project is unique

01 Be unique
Liquid photography has been around for years, but I decided to give it my own twist by combining freeze flash techniques with the classic pinup style of Gil Elvgren.

02 Find a hero
When I was starting out I would obsess over the work of great photographers like Paulo Vainer, Christophe Gilbert or Bill Cahill, and I’d contact them asking if I could assist on shoots.

03 Work nights
I still work as an architect too so my time is precious. I’ll often sit down at 10pm and edit shots till 4am. If you’re passionate enough about photography, you’ll make the time.

04 Don’t over-share?
I don’t actually like social media that much, mainly because some photographers abuse it and bombard the world with tons of terrible images. I only share my best shots, and not too often.

SEE MORE: Social media for photographers – the 10 worst mistakes everyone makes

05 Put your time into shooting, instead?
I prefer to focus on taking amazing and unusual pictures, and they take a huge amount of time. For example, I spent 15 months shooting my set of 12 milky pinup images.

13 tips to ensure your photo project is unique

06 Get into video?
If you can shoot great pictures with your Nikon D-SLR then you can shoot great video too. It’s a great extra skill to offer clients, and you can create behind-the-scenes peeks at your shoots which drive traffic to your site.

07 Get Photoshop savvy
Post-production on a single image can take me anything from a few hours to a few days. Photoshop is the 21st century’s darkroom; using it is an essential skill.

SEE MORE: 101 Photoshop tips you really need to know

08 Be strict with admin?
There’s no point trying to sell your shots if you aren’t going to keep up with admin. Recently it took me a whole month just to agree the brief and fee with a client – there’s a lot of phone calling and emailing to do every day.

09 Storyboard your shoots
As you can see on my blog (blog.aurumlight.com) I always plan and design how a set of images is going to look. A shoot is a lot easier if everyone can see a sketch of what you want to achieve.

10 Make your own props
People are always surprised to hear that I make and source almost all the props in my pictures, but it saves a lot of money and means I get exactly the look I want.

11 Tour your workshops
I don’t just recreate my shots in workshops, I actually shoot new images and have photography students come along to watch and help. I head round the world shooting and teaching my techniques in England, America ?and Australia.

12 Hire, don’t buy
Until the end of 2012 I had just one camera, a Nikon D300, and two lenses. If I needed more kit for a big photography job I’d hire it from websites such as www.lensesforhire.co.uk.

13 Plug the work of others
I always big up the great models, makeup artists and designers I’ve worked with on my shoots through my blog posts, making sure I link to their own websites. It’s polite, it shows off the diverse people I work with and they’ll often link back to me.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERHow to make a unique photography project

Name: Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz
Location: ?London, UK

? What is your specialist subject?

Liquid photography, plus commercial and advertising shoots.

? Best paid shoot?

One assignment for a client was worth $50,000. That’s small potatoes compared to some of my commissions as an architect, so I wasn’t as nervous as I might have been!

? Biggest photo disaster?

No huge ones so far! I often come up with new ideas and they fail the first time I try them out, but that’s not a bad thing.

? First time you knew you’d made it?

When journalists and TV stations picked up on my milk images.

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[syndicated from Digital Camera World]

Abstract images: how to make striking contemporary art with your camera

In this quick tutorial we’ll show you how to use your camera to make striking abstract images that bring out your inner Rothko…

Abstract images: how to make striking contemporary art with your camera

All images and text by Ben Brain

Apart from anything else, making abstract images is the perfect photography project that can easily be done in the comfort of your home.

More importantly, it can be a wonderful way to create striking and unusual images that may even challenge what you think a photograph should be.

It’s hard to imagine when you look at the abstract images above, but they are more or less straight out of the camera, with very little post-processing.

Abstract images: how to make striking contemporary art with your camera

Using nothing more than some basic in-camera skills such as a multiple exposure and deliberate blur, we’ve been able to strip our image of anything recognisable and instead concentrate on contrast, form, colour, tone and texture contained within.

Working in a purely abstract way takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve liberated yourself from a conventional way of thinking and seeing, you’ll soon find it addictive.

SEE MORE: In-camera multiple exposure – a quick and easy guide

Abstract images: how to make striking contemporary art with your camera

There are plenty of great abstracts to be found when you’re out and about too, so there’s no need to limit yourself to coloured card and Perspex…

How to make simple abstract images

How to make simple abstract images: step 1

01 Compose your shot
Source coloured card, paper, plastics or coloured sheets of Perspex. If you’re using Perspex, place the sheets on a light-box. Try complementary or drastically contrasting colours for added impact. Arrange them randomly at first, and just get started.

SEE MORE: Color Theory – the best color combinations for photography (and how to take it further)

How to make simple abstract images: step 2

02 Take exposures
Set your camera to shoot multiple-exposure, and take several shots on top of one another. If your camera doesn’t have this feature, it’s easy to merge them together in Photoshop. Experiment with focus: there’s no reason why the images need to be sharp.

 

How to make simple abstract images: step 3

03 Add vibrancy
Shoot raw files for maximum quality and use Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom to boost the intensity of the colours, contrast and tones. Despite the vibrant colours in these images, there’s little post-production beyond a few tweaks.

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[syndicated from Digital Camera World]

How to Get Super Sharp Landscape Photography Images

The most common question I get asked by my workshop students is ‘how do you get such sharp images?’. It’s actually really simple. Basically, avoid movement of any kind while the shutter is open, focus well and choose the right aperture for your creative vision. Mostly it’s just plain old common sense with a couple of technical elements thrown in, so if you want to learn how to get super sharp landscape photography images, here’s my list of top tips.

Top tips for sharper landscape photography

How to take sharp landscape images - Gavin Hardcastle

1 – Use a good tripod with a sturdy ball head and make sure everything is TIGHT

Seems obvious, but time and time again I see students using decent tripods and they often don’t have everything clamped down tightly. For example, the attachment that is screwed to the underside of your camera should be as tight as you can get it, eventually it’ll work its way loose. Make sure that ball head is completely locked down once you’ve composed your shot.

Panning Photography: How to Blur the Background without Blurring the Subject

The best motion photographs pulse with energy. Action photographers accomplish this using many different techniques. One technique employs lightning fast shutter speeds to freeze motion so that every feather of a bird’s wings is perfectly sharp as the bird twists in flight, or so that every droplet of water sprayed by a swimmer is crisp and visible to the viewer. Sometimes, however, it’s better for photographers to “pan” with subjects to communicate movement and speed by creating intentional background blurriness, as with images of cyclists.

In the following video, Maggie Hudson of Photography Hacker breaks down the technicalities of the panning technique, demonstrating both proper and improper form and giving insight into other related factors such as shutter speed:

When panning, it’s important not only to use a relatively slow shutter speed, but also to employ the proper movement technique so as to control where blurring happens. To show readers how not to pan, Hudson first uses the wrong method in her video—that is, she physically moves her body—camera and all—to track with the subject. Here’s how her photograph turns out:

How to create custom shadows in Photoshop

How to create custom shadows in Photoshop

Step 1

How to create custom shadows in Photoshop

Download ‘Creative Shadows.jpg‘. This is going to form the shadow of the effect. Notice how the bottom of the sword’s handle is missing. We can bring this back in later. Select the Quick Selection tool, or if this isn’t part of your Photoshop inventory, use the Magic Wand instead.

 

 

 

How To Create a Realistic Money Effect in Photoshop

The classic illustration style used on money is something I’ve always wanted to figure out how to replicate in Photoshop. There’s plenty of Photoshop tutorials that show how to create a basic halftone line effect, but they never quite capture that authentic engraved look with plenty of shading and tone. After lots of trial and error I finally managed to figure it out, so here’s an in depth tutorial on how to create a realistic money illustration effect in Photoshop (with some help from Illustrator!).

 

Photoshop money illustration effect

The effect we’ll be creating in today’s tutorial is this vintage engraved or etched illustration style that builds up the tonal areas of an image with lots of tiny lines. Unlike the basic halftone line effect used in other tutorials, this method actually uses curved and wavy lines that vary in weight to produce an accurate replica of this classic illustration technique.