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With moonlights, this an area where investing in a good kit saves money in the long run. Aside from reliability you need to be aware that bargain lights produce shitty whites. Plus, there’s the additional modifiers and such that you’ll want to add. Buy a line of lights that supports additional modifiers.
Alien Bees get a lot of fanfare and can support a lot of additional modifiers. It’s a choice for many new photographers. I shoot Elinchrom pack and head system. I need consistency every time without worrying about misfires and a system that can withstand 8 hours of shooting everyday.
If you really need to stay on a shoestring budget, the Flashpoints will get you started but consider saving for a system that will last many years.
After explaining the exposure triangle one of the first things I teach new photographers is the importance of depth of field. I have them download a depth of field app on their phone to help them. Why? Because new photographers almost always buy the 50mm 1.8 because they want pictures with a blurry and dreamy background (their words, not mine). Too many new photographers do not realize you just can’t set your f-stop to 1.8 and expect magic.
In short- learn depth of field. Put distance between your subject and the background, don’t be afraid to stop down and most importantly, look what’s behind your subject before taking the picture.December 7, 2013 at 11:42 am in reply to: 18 year-old photographer looking for any and all feedback! #15596
The good news is you are on a nice path. two things that stick out:
1. You need a calibrated monitor. Your exposures are off. Too dark. There’s a difference between going for a low key look and underexposed. A lot of your images are underexposed.
2. Are you paying your taxes? Do you have a business license? You’re 18. The assumption is you’re not. Until you are, you shouldn’t be charging a dime. Do it the right way (either you’re a hobbyist or a pro). You can’t be a hobbyist charging money without doing it the legal way.
Does your editor require paragraph breaks? Good grief.
You’re posting in the “Am I A Fauxtog” forum. Since you’re doing this purely for self-enjoyment, this isn’t the right place. Join a real photography forum for advice.
I tend to be blunt so take that for what it’s worth while reading. Also, remove any emotional attachment from your images before reading:
1. White balance- you shouldn’t be charging a cent before achieving perfect white balance every time. A piece of white paper ain’t gonna cut it. Using grass as a sub for a gray card? Huh? One of the biggest giveaways of a new photographer is the green color cast on skin on outdoor images.
2. Get better glass. One look at your images told me you were using a hobbyist Canon Rebel. All is not lost. You can make up image quality with good glass. Your images lack “pop” that good glass gives. I can also see you are using a lot of post processing to make up for out of focus images.
3. Learn how to focus. 8 focus points isn’t an excuse for anything.
4. Learn how to properly sharpen your images for output, how to resize images for web viewing, and knowing how to sharpen for both print and web viewing.
5. Do a cost of business analysis before pricing your sessions. $25 for 25 minutes is not a true assessment. I guarantee you actuate your shutter for more than 25 minutes. Unless you set a stop watch….which is really amateur. Plus, you need to factor in post processing time. $25 may an acceptable session fee (i.e., just for showing up) but you’re going to spend more time processing.
6. Don’t price for weddings until you’ve second shot for one or have actually done one. Weddings are a big deal. A T3i is not gonna cut it. This is where the camera body does make a difference. Oh…for weddings, you need 2 of everything.
7. Invest in good processing software.
8. Your contracts- this is a whole other separate thread. It’s plain as day you culled these contracts from the internet or pieced them together. You have so many loopholes it’s like looking through swiss cheese. Do yourself a huge favor. When you go legit this year, spend the $150 and meet with a small business attorney to draft up lawyer reviewed contracts. The contract will be your best defense.
9. Join the PPA and get the indemnification insurance. You’re gonna get sued. It happens. Refer to item #8.
10. Step back, take a breath, and practice. Just because your friends on Facebook think your photos are “kewl”, does not make one a professional. You need to master perfect shots every time, be very comfortable with using flash and lights (half your images could’ve benefitted from fill flash), and set up an infrastructure before hanging out a shingle.
I’m not gonna call you a “faux” but you are exhibiting every sign of one. Sometimes ya gotta crawl before you run.
Simple. They are stay at home moms. The husband is the primary income provider and they have time to tinker with their new Canon Rebel/ Nikon D3200. This is why they charge $25 for a “session” which generally include 100’s of poorly edited images. If they were an actual business and did a coast of doing business analysis, they would realize they are not good enough to sustain a thriving business on $25 a session once a week. This is a hobby for them. Charging money makes them feel like they are important.
Ethical issues aside, Terry Richardson is actually a talented photographer. The harsh flash faux look is a tiny piece of his portfolio. He’s very experienced with multiple flash work and studio photography. He struck gold using on camera flash and contrasty processing. But make no mistake, he canshoot. So in terms of him being “faux”…no, he is definitely not faux.
Being a a sleaze and abusing his position of power is a different story.
You’re on the wrong board to be asking such questions. Try Fred Miranda.
I wouldn’t say you’re a fauxtographer but rather someone who is putting the cart before the horse. You need more practice. That’s all.
You have some nice work. But really, you need to be on a forum with better critique by professionals such as Fred Miranda or even PhotoCamel (there’s a professional critique sub forum where the only critique comes from actual working professionals). You’ll get a better assessment there.
I’m going to be blunt. Real blunt so skip my post if you’re easily offended. Or read it if you want a reality check.
2013 is NOT your year to hang up a shingle and start a business. You have a good 2 years to go before going pro…and that’s if you work really hard. You know what your Facebook photography page screams? It’s screams that you bought an entry level camera and thought it would be “kewl” to take pictures. Enough of your friends (who have an emotional investment in you) said they looked great so you figured you’d give it the old go at this photography thing. I mean, how hard can it be? If you’ve been practicing for 3 years then you’re not really practicing.
Your posing is non-existent. You have severe white balance issues. You have blown out skin in some pics and underexposed skin in other issues. You have out of focus images displayed! Only post your very best even if it’s only 6 images. Lose the vignettes and cheesy actions. Get your flash off camera. All this takes time. Go to the AdoramaTV YouTube page and start with the first beginners tutorial. Why is everyone in such a rush to start a business when they can’t even capture a properly exposed image?
I know my critique is harsh but it’s pretty apparent you haven’t been given a real portfolio critique in the 3 years you’ve been doing this. Go back to the basics. Start with static objects to practice on, watch the videos, and your skill will rise tenfold in 6 months.
One last thing. Just because a client was “happy” with an image doesn’t mean it is good. Clients have emotional attachments. That’s why you see mom’s gushing all over an image of their grey alien looking baby. They’re not seeing the picture in a whole, they’re seeing their newborn, whom, despite how ugly they are, is still the most precious thing on the earth. “The client loved these” is the biggest excuse newbies give when they receive a bad critique.
To summarize your post title “Am I Wasting My Time?” Yes. You are. But only because you’re wasting it by not learning photography properly. Lose the cheesy actions. It’s cliche and it’s only masking your inability to take a proper photograph.
P.S. tell your ex-wife to read my post. The same applies to her only 10 times more.February 26, 2013 at 6:43 pm in reply to: I would like some opinions on my website &/or photos #7314
$900 for full wedding coverage? That’s Craigslist prices. You can add $500 more onto that. Don’t sell yourself short. After taxes, and all the legal stuff you’ll be lucky to have a pot to piss in.
You’re on your way so that’s good. I’ve said this a million times on this forum but I’ll say it again. The biggest complaint I have is you’re not properly resizing and sharpening your images for web display. They should be no longer than 1000 pixels on the long side. Otherwise, FB resizes them and you get a compressed picture that looks out of focus. Your headshots are pretty good for a beginner but you need to watch for blown out skin. You need to shoot for black and white. When you get that pre-visualization down, you can expose better. Or read your histogram.
@ KPanz- be mindful of getting the exposure correct in camera before adding vintage effects. You have quite a few blown out whites and blown skin on your images. If your camera is capable of showing “blinkies” in the preview, I’d recommend that. Basically, once you take an image and preview it, all the portions that are overexposed or underexposed will blink. You have an instant on the spot indicator that you need to make adjustments. There are caveats, of course. If you’re photographing something with a pure white background outside, that will blink. What you should be looking for is blinking on white clothing and skin. Even white shirts and dresses should show detail and not be washed out.
@browneyedgirl 2000 on the long end is way too big. Nothing more than 1000 on the long for FB. I’ll see if I can dig up the article that addresses proper image sizing for FB that came from the FB folks themselves. Remember, you have to size for the majority of computer users. Your pro friend probably has a huge monitor and 2000 on the long looks good to him.