Tag Archives: pro photographer

Becoming a Full-Time Photographer

smallBecoming a full time photographer is a big step to make, you aren’t just becoming a professional photographer but you are also running your own business, meaning your aim is to be profitable and make money.

Here are a few tips to keep your business moving:

Budgeting – This is so key, as if you don’t do this properly, your business won’t succeed. You need to know how much you have to make to meet your current living costs and set aside a little money every month to cover taxes, and also incase any of your equipment breaks and you need to replace.

Prioritizing your time – You are a lot more productive if you have even a rough schedule of what you want to have done each day.

Setting your rates – It can be hard trying to think of what you think you are worth, but it is important not to under sell yourself and you need to earn enough to live off of, also don’t calculate what to charge by assuming you will be fully booked. Base it on what you need, what you think you are worth and in comparison to other local photographers.

Setting aside time to keep your business finance side of things in order – This is the least interesting part of your business, but it is essential that it is not forgotten about. A few hours per week is better than nothing.

Keep building up your client base – you may be busy now but you still need to bring in more clients to make sure you are always busy.

Marketing/Networking – You need people to remember you, as well as bringing in new clients. Sending emails every now and then is helpful, every month or so it makes sure your past clients and people who were interested don’t just forget about you. Too many emails will annoy people and have the opposite effect.

Keep/ get an organiser – This is a great way to keep all the business side of things together in one place.

Appointments book – so you don’t double book, you might think that this is an easy one and it won’t happen to you but it’s easy to forget and write down on scraps of paper that are lying around.

Keep all your receipts for equipment you buy, as these are business expenses so will be taken off money made for the amount of tax you need to pay, try to keep them in date order, but just having them all in one place is enough. If you lose a receipt you can’t claim it.

Insurance – Make sure to insurance your equipment.

Post processing – editing your images to make them look their best is very important, but it can take an age, but with our software (PortraitPro, PortraitPro Body, LandscapePro and Smart Photo Editor) is it really cuts the time you spend editing your photographs.

Good Luck!

 

Posing Tips for Portraits

shutterstock_156313724

Posing for portraits isn’t something I would call relaxing and as a photographer you want your clients to feel relaxed to get the best photos, so here are a few tips to help:

  • Try to build rapport with your clients, by asking them questions, keeping it light helps get that natural smile rather than a forced smile.
  • The background is important, if you are having a screen background, think about what color.
  • Instructing your clients where to put their hands really helps, as they always feel awkward when taking photographs, having a set place there to put them, helps the client relax.
  • Movement can be interesting in portrait photos, especially the hair can make a great image.
  • A 2/3rd turn is a very flattering position.
  • Don’t overdo the lighting as it can quickly go from being flattering to blinding, and your clients won’t feel relaxed with so much lighting pointed at them. Natural lighting is best, if possible.
  • People have a habit in photos to have their chin up too much, to get a good definition of the chin, your client should be looking at you, not down at the ground.
  • Guide your clients as to how to pose don’t say act natural with no directions, they aren’t models.
  • Clear communication is the most important thing to remember, you don’t want to confuse your client or getting them overthinking their poses.
  • Be happy and smile, you being in a good mood puts your client in a good mood.

I hope you found these useful, and don’t forget to try out PortraitPro, to give your portraits that extra wow factor.

Photo by Chuck Gloman

Interview with a Pro – Chuck Gloman

With the beginning of the new school year, we were inspired to chat to someone who teaches college classes in photography and film.  Chuck Gloman has been a long time user of PortraitPro.  He is Chair of the TV/Film Department, and Associate Professor of Professional Practice, at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.  We were thrilled to talk to him about his film and photo editing work.  

PortraitPro: How did you get into the film and photography industry?

Chuck Gloman: I entered the film industry right out of graduate school. I have been fortunate to have shot over 950 TV commercials and 200 short films. My still images have appeared on seven magazine covers; I have seven published textbooks and over 400 published articles.

PortraitPro: Are there any films or commercials you’ve been involved with that PortraitPro blog readers might know?

Chuck Gloman: I just completed a short film called “Lester’s Collection” that spans over 500 years. All of the female characters through the five centuries owe their “period look” to ProtraitPro. Costumes were part of the process, but creating a 1600’s look, Jane Austin look, 1920’s, 1940’s Technicolor, 1950’s Vistavision, 1960’s graininess, and 21st Century 4K images were all done in the editing process through software.

PortraitPro: Does the equipment you take on a shoot vary depending on the job?

Chuck Gloman: I used to be a Nikon guy, but for the last five years I used the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Mark III always shooting in Raw and JPEG.

PortraitPro: What’s in your typical bag / cases?

Chuck Gloman: Canon 5D Mark II body, Canon 24 – 70mm F2.8, 70 – 200mm F2.8, and 300mm F4 lens. Although I’m old school and grew up shooting film and using filters, now all of that is accomplished in Photoshop.

PortraitPro: What equipment do you have in your personal work kit?

Chuck Gloman: Video cameras – Canon EOS C100 and C300 and the Mark III. In post besides PortraitPro, I use Abobe Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC for video editing.

PortraitPro: Do you enjoy using any kind of camera, for instance a smartphone camera for more casual shots, or does it have to be the camera you mentioned above?

Chuck Gloman: Again, because I grew up with film, I never use my smartphone for images. I prefer to use the cameras I’ve mentioned above.

PortraitPro: What advice would you give students wanting to study film or photography at university level?

Chuck Gloman: As a professor, I tell my students that it’s not the equipment. Anyone can make an image look good. It’s the lighting, composition, framing, and story that make the film. Going to film school provides the experience and access to new technologies. The concepts are also stressed too. Our students at DeSales University start shooting their first week and have thirty to fifty films completed upon graduation. That means a great reel, resume, and a variety of crew experience.

PortraitPro: What sort of jobs and careers can students studying film and photography hope to get into?

Chuck Gloman: When I recruit students, I tell them that there isn’t a business or industry on the planet that does not do some type of filmmaking/photography. Whether it’s entertainment, public relations, communications, marketing, corporate, or anything else – someone needs to be trained/educated by watching a video on the process. Someone has to make this – a filmmaker.

PortraitPro: Can you tell us a bit about the classes you teach and the photography department at your University?

Chuck Gloman: I teach a variety of classes from Cinematography; Producing; Editing, Sound and Lighting; Basic Studio Productions; and Funding to Distribution (getting financing through Crowdfunding sources). Our photography classes are basic Digital Photography, Digital Storyboarding, Photoshop, and Advance Photography. In one session with our advanced class, we invited our dance department to do strobe images where their movement was frozen in time. The class members learned new skills and the dancers had images given to them shot at 1/250th of a second.

PortraitPro: Do you teach PortraitPro in your photography classes?

Chuck Gloman: In our basic classes, yes. Personally, I don’t believe I’ve shot a portrait in the last five years that I have not used PortraitPro.

PortraitPro: We can’t all come and study with you, can PortraitPro blog readers learn more from you? (Books, public talks, websites etc?)

Chuck Gloman: You never stop learning and learning something everyday from my students and just capturing images. Most of my books are somewhat dated and have been written before I became a full-time faculty member. The best way to see my work is through TV Technology, Digital Video, Government Video, and Shutterbug Magazine.

before after with PortraitPro by Chuck Gloman

Photo by Chuck Gloman

PortraitPro: Anything else you might want to add?

Chuck Gloman: Never let anyone tell you that you’re not doing it correctly. The more you shoot the better you become. If you stop growing and learning as an artist, you stagnate. I wake up everyday (hopefully) loving what I am about to do. If that ever stops becoming fun – I’ll stop. Hopefully that won’t happen for another 80 years.

Thanks for sharing your professional knowledge and for helping to inspire the next generation of photographers with your work. 

Check out the Film and TV department at De Sales University, Pennsylvania.

Try out PortraitPro and PortraitPro Body today.

PortraitPro Body on laptop

Anthropics Technology announces PortraitPro Body

Anthropics Technology has this week announced the launch of their latest offering, PortraitPro Body.

This brand new software from the makers of PortraitPro is the answer many PortraitPro users have been looking for to help their full body portrait editing. PortraitPro Body has features that will help professional portrait photographers in their everyday workflow.

Bride PortraitPro Body

 

PortraitPro Body works in a completely different way to ordinary airbrushing and warping software. “Due to the innate knowledge of human beauty that is built into PortraitPro Body, the highest quality full body portrait touch-up can be achieved by anyone in just a few minutes. It has a unique intuitive slider interface which gives users as much manual control as they like,” says Andrew Berend, CEO, Anthropics Technology. “PortraitPro Body was created in response to photographers’ need for a dedicated, easy-to-use body editing tool. Anthropics are delighted to continue introducing user-friendly, powerful software to improve photographers’ workflow and to expand their creativity.”

Features of PortraitPro Body:

  • Professional full-length photo editing in minutes
  • Body reshaping/contouring
  • Adjust build and height – intelligent controls with extensive sliders for fine tuning
  • Correct posture – natural fixes for camera distortions and unflattering posing
  • Smooth skin and remove blemishes – using ClearSkin™ technology
  • Face editing controls – adjust expression, smooth skin and re-light the face
  • Picture control tools
  • Dedicated shape tools
  • Easy slider interface

PortraitPro Body Male See the video for PortraitPro Body here.

Download your free trial of PortraitPro Body today.

 

How to survive making a living with Travel Photography.

Travel photography is not always going to make you a lot of money, but the freedom of the lifestyle can be particularly attractive.  Living life on your own terms and being your own boss can be a great motivator.  You have the flexibility to take on any project you want, and reject the ones you don’t.

working on the beach

You don’t have to take the plunge immediately; you can start by doing things in your vacation time, and spending weekends photographing in your own town.  Wherever you live, it’s exotic to someone else.

Here’s what else to do before you go:

  • Get all the education you possibly can while you can. Acquiring skills in writing, in technical photography knowledge, in geography, human interest and art is all going to be useful when you have only your skills and ideas to live by.
  • Build up a portfolio and put in the images that you want to be paid to shoot. Don’t use things that you don’t enjoy doing or you’ll end up doing more of them, because people will think you like them.
  • Set up a photography website to host and license your images. Choose one that links through to purchasing prints. This can save you time and makes it easier for the client to purchase your products.  It can be automated throughout the site, and the customer will have very little interaction with you. It’s very time effective for you.
  • If you have no obligations, mortgage contracts, loans, or people to take care of, then you can reduce your expenditure considerably. If you give up paying rent, you also don’t need to pay the gas and electricity bills either.  You can choose where to live, in hostels, hotels, camping, in any country you like.  ( Within visa restrictions etc.)
  • It may be helpful if you’re located somewhere that the exchange rate is favorable to your salary currency. This effectively makes your hotel bill cheaper, and you can afford a higher standard than you would elsewhere.
  • Be prepared to take any assignments. Be flexible and open minded on what jobs you take.
  • Set up accounts with micro stock sites. It may not make you a lot of money, but it should become a steady income. Think about the unusual images you could take for these sites, because the usual angle has already been done so many times.
  • Set up your laptop with all of your photo editing software. Have everything you could need ready, PortraitPro and LandscapePro will save you time on editing in Photoshop, and they can both be used as plugins to Photoshop.
  • Be prepared for anything you might find. Have an app for model releases; you don’t want to not be able to use the image because you missed getting the stranger to sign a release.
  • Look for apps that will save carrying extra things.  In fact, anything you can carry in an app effectively weighs nothing.  Maps, editing tools, ebooks, you can carry all kinds in an app and you’d have your smartphone with you anyway.
  • Keep your kit lightweight. Remember not to take everything you could possibly need. It weighs a lot and you’ll regret carrying that spare lens when you are so tired you can’t make it up the next staircase or mountain peak or down the next road to get the shot. The best camera is the one that you have with you, and having to make do with the reasonable camera you have with you can make you more creative to get the shot you want.

Girl with laptop and camera

When you do leave on your travels, there are some things you need to remember while you’re away to help you stay organized and productive:

  • Keep regular hours when you can. Do what you should to avoid jet lag; don’t work through the night because you’ve just left somewhere where you’d normally be awake at that time. Sometimes that means staying up a little longer, sometimes it means going to bed before you’re ready.
  • Stay focused every day. You need to stay focused on the 2 or 3 things that you need to achieve each day to continue making a living. Set achievable goals, and make sure you do them. Don’t get overloaded by trying to do too much in one day, just take each day at a time and make each day productive.
  • Make room for down-time. Every day that you take a break, is a day that you don’t make any income. This is tough when you’re your own boss. You still need to have the discipline to put in a day’s work, and also to give yourself a day’s break.  There’s no one to throw you out of the office if you’re still working at midnight.
  • Don’t underestimate the people you meet. You never know who you might meet when you’re traveling.  Travel is a great opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise have bumped into.  Step out of your comfort zone and go somewhere you wouldn’t usually think about going. You might be surprised, and you might find your next project.
  • Do your photo editing as you go. If you’re taking lots of images every day, then will need to back up your photos and should do your editing regularly. Discard the images that won’t make the cut often too, so you’re not storing images that you’ll really delete when you get home.
  • Doing your basic photo editing in PortraitPro or LandscapePro. Doing it while the original is still fresh in your mind, and while you still remember what you wanted to portray in your image is useful.

 

Photographer looking at the Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

Making an income from photography – Selling your photography from your own website

When you’re making a living as a professional photographer, there might be many ways in which you can use your photography to make an income.

We’ve talked previously about selling your photography to micro stock sites, keeping a travel blog, and selling your street photography, but it’s also important to maintain your own website.  Whether you sell through another site or not, it’s good to be found on your own page, and to have a direct way of contacting you and verifying who you are and what you do.

Your own website might be one of the main ways that your clients of any type will find you.  Perhaps you’re not a studio photographer in the traditional sense; perhaps you work entirely on location projects like weddings, or even travel photography.  If your clients are international, it will certainly be the best way to find you.

If you’re shooting landscape photography, travel photography, or street photography, one of the ways you might want to make money out of this is by selling your images online.  Photo editing software can greatly improve your images. It’s not always the case that you’re going to find the lighting and the landscape exactly how you want it, or that it will turn out in exactly the way you saw it.

There are several micro stock photo websites out there that you can use to sell your images, but the downside to this is that you lose a percentage of the sales to the website you use.

It may work out better for you to sell your own images through your own website. There are a number of ways to do this.  If you use a WordPress blog, there are plugins for the website that you can add to help you sell your images.

Another way to sell your own images is that you can set up a website that is already integrated to allow customers to order your photo print products from a print service.  There are a number of sites that will host your images and they each integrate with a different range of print labs. So it’s up to you to decide who works for you best, depending on the location of your customers, and your print lab preferences.

Whichever way you do it, you need to consider the costs involved. There’s the cost of setting up a WordPress page, and deciding whether you want your own domain name, and if you do, who is going to host it for you, and there’s a cost involved for that too. If you want something more bespoke, then you need to pay someone to do it for you, and you need a way of being able to update it yourself.

Photographer at Grand Canyon

If you’re keeping a lot of images on your site for customers to browse, then it’s going to need a lot of storage space to hold them all. Don’t forget to watermark your images if that’s your preference for dealing with image theft.

You can use your favorite photo editing software to enhance your images. Anthropics’ photo editing software PortraitPro, Smart Photo Editor and our recently launched, LandscapePro can all help you enhance your images in a professional way.

Download the free trials of each today.

Interview with a Pro – Manfred Baumann

We recently had a great chance to interview another one of our PortraitPro users.

Manfred Baumann has been using PortraitPro in his portraits for many years and recently got in touch with us.  We asked him what it’s like to work with some of the biggest stars in the world.

Angelina and Brat Pitt 2012 ManfredBaumann.com

photo by ManfredBaumann.com – Angelina and Brat Pitt 2012

PortraitPro: How did you get into photography, and what lead you to photograph Hollywood actors?

Manfred Baumann:  Sir Roger Moore discovered one of my pictures at an exhibition in Hamburg and bought it for his house in Switzerland. He is a big fan of photography, which is how we got into contact. He was my first Hollywood star, and that got the ball rolling.

PortraitPro: When was your big break in the industry?

I think that it is a bunch of little pieces of the puzzle that combine into the big picture. From the first photo shoot with Sir Roger Moore to the last official shoot with Tony Curtis shortly before he passed away. But also my collaboration with National Geographic and lots of other things

PortraitPro: What advice would you give aspiring photojournalists?

Manfred Baumann:  It is important to continue growing and make sure that viewers can recognize your signature in your photographs. 

PortraitPro: Can you tell us the story behind some of your favorite images?

Manfred Baumann: I think that my picture of Tony Curtis is one of my favorites because he passed away shortly after and because I could see in his eyes during the session that he was very grateful and that he had had a wonderful life.

PortraitPro: Do you do your own photo editing or do you have an assistant for retouching?

Manfred Baumann: I do everything myself all the way to the final image.

PortraitPro: Can you share with us some images where PortraitPro has been used?

Manfred Baumann: Many of my portraits are developed with your software, and it’s a tool that I definitely would not want to do without.

David and Hayley Hasselhoff 2015 photo by ManfredBaumann.com

photo by ManfredBaumann.com – David and Hayley Hasselhoff 2015

PortraitPro: You’ve photographed so many huge Hollywood stars, how does it feel to capture images of such well known and often photographed people?

Manfred Baumann:   When you have worked with as many stars as I have, you get used to it and no longer put them on a pedestal. They are people just like you and I, some of them are complicated and others less so.

PortraitPro:  What equipment do you use when shooting in your studio?  Do you enjoy using any kind of camera, for instance a smartphone camera for more casual shots?

Manfred Baumann:  I work with Leica, Nikon, and Hensel light.  Sometimes I also like taking pictures with the Microsoft Lumia smartphone, it has a lens from Zeiss and 20 million pixels.

PortraitPro:  Your work includes a lot of candid, street photography. What advice can you offer on taking street photography?

Manfred Baumann:  The new Leica SL is my favorite for this; I really love street photography and capturing moments in time that way. The older such pictures become, the better they are.

John Malkovich and Jack Black photo by ManfredBaumann.com

photos by ManfredBaumann.com

PortraitPro: Many of your portraits are black and white. What influences your decision on whether an image should be black and white, or color?

Manfred Baumann: I love black and white photography because it is very reduced and reveals the essence of a picture.

PortraitPro: You’re offering classes on photography; are you speaking at any events, or can PortraitPro blog readers join one of your classes?

Manfred Baumann:  You can find the workshops that I hold on my web site. I also hold workshops at public events like the Photokina 2016, the Skoda Festival in Prague, and a meet and greet in the middle of the year where my latest photo book will be presented at the Leica gallery in Vienna

PortraitPro:  Do you have any exhibitions currently running or coming up?

Manfred Baumann:  “Special” is a project that is very important to me and in which I took portraits of intellectually disabled people. It will be shown for the first time in autumn. My latest best-of photo book will be released at the end of May, and there are of course my current exhibitions Alive, L.A. Stories, and many more.

PortraitPro: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers about your work and your career?

Manfred Baumann: A technically perfect photograph can be far from a good picture, that is one of my philosophies of photography that I would like to share with your readers.

We’ve had a wonderful insight into the world of a professional photographer, who spends his life photographing some of the world’s most famous celebrities.

Check out more of Manfred’s work on his own page. 

You too can use PortraitPro and create professional, magazine-quality images. Download the free trial today.

Woman in red dress

People who buy often buy more

When booking a studio session with you, your standard deal will include the client receiving some images, but it’s a good idea to start with just a basic package, and allow for additional purchases.

It’s easier to get people to make more purchases, once they’ve decided to make one. People have a need to justify their original decision. Making more purchases makes it better, makes it more valuable, and it validates the original decision. If it is wise to buy more, then it is wise to buy in the first place.

So if they book a studio portrait, you may want to offer them one standard image from the session, and then a series of upgrades they can add on after:

  • The services of a makeup artist and stylist during the shoot, so they look their very best.
  • The portrait retouching with PortraitPro you do with their images after the shoot. You can now adjust the makeup in PortraitPro too, meaning they can get even more looks with just one session.
  • The digital copies of their edited images. – You don’t want to put out anything less than your best work, so only give them the edited images.
  • A range of different prints offers, a variety of sizes for different purposes, but it helps to define (for yourself) what purpose they would serve for the customer. (A wedding package, a senior’s package, graduation package, large families, small families, etc.)

You can start the process of turning people in to repeat customers by thanking them with a small gift, or extra.

A small handwritten thank you note after the customer has made their purchase will help to keep their purchase valuable, reminding them of what a great person you were to work with, and that their time with you was well spent.

You can offer special extra items to your service for repeat customers, or those you’d like to become repeat customers.

model  photo shoot

For instance, the portrait retouching could be the thing that you decide to “throw in for free”, because although it’s valuable to them to have retouched portraits, and you’d never want to give your clients a completely unretouched image,  your portrait editing can now be so easy and fast, that you can afford to offer it as a “free” extra.

PortraitPro will pay for itself in just a few sessions. Try it out today, and see how easy your portrait editing can be. 

Young engaged couple on beach

Valentine’s day and engagement shoots.

Valentine’s Day: quite possibly the start of your busiest season. It could be the start of your engagement photoshoot season. There’s still time for a few winter weddings, possibly with snow, before the weather warms up, and wedding season gets underway, but in February, engagement shoots are the event on every pro photographers’ mind.

Posing engagement portraits can be tricky; there are lots of things to consider.

  • Think about your location: If you know your town well, there should be plenty of different locations and backdrops, so that each of your couples gets something unique to them.
  • If you’re travelling with a couple on a destination photoshoot, and you don’t know much about the town you’re going to, do your research. Ask them what they’d like; they’re probably familiar with the place if they picked it. Read the guide book, or just do a search for other engagement shoots in that place.
  • Before the shoot, advise your couple on what to wear. Choose complementary rather than clashing colors, unless it’s absolutely their personality to wear clashing outfits.
  • Choose classic pieces rather than current fashions, so that the images will stand the test of time. It’s better to have something that will still be pleasant in 30 years’ time, than something that was so much of its time.
  • Choose poses that suit the couple. Just as the locations should suit their style, the poses shouldn’t be too far from their natural ways. The key element for an engagement pose is closeness, and smiles! It’s a joyous occasion, so make sure you get images that capture that emotion.
  • Be prepared. If the couple want to use one or more of your images for their save the date cards, then take along a few props that could help you add the date element to your photo.
  • Have a collection of small items in your kit. Letter tiles, number tiles, marker pens and balloons, even some card to write a message. The couple’s personalities should help you decide what fits for them.

Young couple in the snow

It’s mostly about having lots of creative ideas, and allowing the couple the space to choose what works for them and their personalities. It’s about capturing a few memorable moments that the couple will want to share with their friends to celebrate now, and will want to keep for a lifetime.

PortraitPro saves you time in photo editing, so you can send them their precious memories as soon as possible. Check it out here. 

 

Crocheted Camera

Gifts you can make for a photographer you love this Valentine’s Day.

(Don’t worry if you’re a little last minute!)

If you’re looking for something personal and special to give the photographer in your life this Valentine’s Day, then we have some great ideas to inspire you.

If you think you haven’t got time to make one of these bigger projects, then a smaller project such as a crocheted case for a compact camera or phone, or tablet can take just a couple of hours.

  • Choose a nice chunky yarn to give plenty of protection.
  • Start by crocheting (or knitting) in a strong stitch like half double crochet – Make chains the width of the item, and if it’s something very thin, like a phone, then don’t make it too much longer.
  • Continue stitching in the same stitch until the piece is exactly double the length of the item, and then join up the sides and you will have a lovely, plain, but well protected phone case, camera case, or tablet case. You can even do a matching set, which looks great!

Knitted square

Making something personal, and by hand is a great way to show you care. Any photographer will be thrilled to receive something that beautifully protects their equipment.

We’re also in love with the many different knitted, crocheted, and stitched accessories that you can make, (or buy) for baby photography, and we’ve collected some of our favorites over on Pinterest.

Got any great ideas?  Share them with us on Facebook.

Don’t have any time at all to make a gift?  Give them the gift of time, with time saving, portrait editing software, PortraitPro.