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    »Photography Through the Ages«

  • TorontoSEO 12:05 AM on April 27, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: , Color, Color photography, , , expansion, Photography Through the Ages, science, , , , ,   

    Photography Through the Ages

    When you see videos of the early developers of photography, it’s pretty funny especially in light of photography today. In those old movies, to get a picture, the camera was as big as a computer is today. The photographer had to put his head under a sheet and hold up a huge tripod which exploded with smoke and fumes to make the flash.

    Today photography could not be more different. In the movies, we used to be astonished when spies had cameras in their watches or the soles of their shoes. But now it is common for almost everyone to have a camera in their phone and to be able to pull it out and snap a photo virtually anywhere.

    Let’s fill in a few gaps. We can go back to the origins of the language to find that the word “photography” began in the Greek times and it literally means “drawing with light. But the actual science of photography did not really take off until the 1800’s in this country when a fellow by the name of John Hershel applied the words “photography”, “positives” and “negatives” to the task of producing pictures. We had “negatives” of our photos from then until the dawn of digital photography in the last few years.

    For most of us, though, the company Eastman Kodak is probably the one we associate most with the early developments of photography. And it was the early pioneer of photography, George Eastman that made the first advancements on the primitive methods being used until his work in 1839. A little trivia? Eastman made the name “Kodak” up because he wanted his company name to begin with a “K”.

    The developments began to come along pretty routinely as photography began to mature and become more sophisticated. Color photography was developed in 1861 by a scientist named James Clark Maxwell. Up until then all photographs were black and white or monochrome. Color photography was a huge leap forward but it really did not start to move into the public arena until two brothers named Lumière in 1907 invented the color plate.

    Over the decades to follow, photography moved forward steadily and moved out of the world of science and then journalism and into each of our homes. But the revolution that has turned photography into what we know it to be today occurred in 1981 when Sony invented the first camera that worked without film. The digital age was upon us.

    It was Kodak that again got the lead on the marketplace by getting the first digital camera out on the market in 1990 when they developed the Kodak DCS 100. As with all technology, early digital cameras were large (by today’s standards) and much more expensive than we are used to now.

    Innovation in the field of photography has continued to march almost as fast as people could keep up. When digital cameras were offered that gave us a port to be able to download them to our computers, the internet explosion of imagery was fueled.

    Further development coming virtually every year since 1990 included the rapid and phenomenal expansion of memory in digital cameras along with the concept of swappable storage drives. This changed the way people took pictures because now the number of pictures someone could take was virtually limitless. The expansion of memory also gave developers the ability to add video capture to the same devices as were used for photography so that virtually anyone could become a cameraman with that tiny camera that could by this time fit in their shirt pocket. Much of the fun of internet sites like YouTube can be attributed to the ability of the average citizen to take video anywhere, anytime and at no cost to them.

    The photography and video industry has had to do a lot of adjusting to learn how to service this market that was changing at speeds unimaginable by George Eastman a century before. The affordable availability of quality color printers that enabled people to print their photographs at home was a boon to the amateur camera buff but a blow to the photography industry.

    But to their credit, the industry has kept up. But we can be sure that the developments are just getting underway. Who knows what new technical wizardry is ahead for the photography world. It is sure to be a fun ride, no matter what the future holds.

     

  • »Will Camera Phones Destroy Photography?«

  • TorontoSEO 12:14 AM on April 26, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: , camera phone, Camera Phones, concert, , , , , , , , Will Camera Phones Destroy Photography   

    Will Camera Phones Destroy Photography?

    In any “photo op” moment any more, it is impossible to miss the invasion of the camera phone. Where it used to be easy to tell when a camera was around and if people had them handy, now anyone with a phone could be a clandestine photographer. Even at occasions that used to be ruled by the professional photographer such as weddings and the like, we now see those dozens of hands going up snapping photos with camera phones that seem to dominate the scene.

    Conventional photography is a highly developed art form and profession. The precision of the equipment and the ability of photographers to deliver a high quality product to their customers is well known and the result of decades of evolution of the craft. But today it is possible for anyone to become an amateur photographer using that tiny cell phone in their pocket or purse.

    The question needs serious consideration for three audiences. For the professional photographer, is this the end of your profession? Will digital phones wipe out your customer base and make you obsolete? For the aspiring photographer, what about your future? Should you even invest in learning to use the sophisticated equipment that makes professional photography so superior? Why bother if camera phones are going to make it all obsolete? And for you the consumer, can you get the same quality of photographs with using camera phones as you can by hiring a photographer?

    These are valid questions. It is very common when a new technology begins to make inroads into a profession for the old guard of that profession to feel threatened. It happened when television came along and the media called it the death of radio. It happened when talkies and then color was introduced to movies and television and at each technological improvement in the music world. And with each dire prediction of the demise of an industry, the opposite took place and that industry adjusted, evolved, got better and prospered all the more.

    So there are good reasons not to worry that camera phones is going to destroy photography as we know it including…

    • Camera phones cannot achieve the same levels of quality. There is a good reason that the professional photographer has invested in the highly sophisticated equipment that he has in his studio and that he or she takes to a shoot. The many years and decades of research have surfaced the problems with quality that primitive equipment could not deal with. Modern photography equipment has precise instrumentation to handle lighting issues to properly frame each photograph and to produce a professional quality outcome that people want from a wedding, a portrait or any kind of professional photography. You can bet that forensic photography, fashion photography and photography for publication will ever be willing to accept the low standards of quality that are the outcome of camera phone pictures.
    • It’s an amateur game. When you see kids holding up their camera phones at a concert to steal a picture, you know that device is not going to result in a professional quality shot. This is especially true in a live setting like a concert where there are myriads of issues such as lighting, visual noise and other problems that have to be overcome with sophisticated instrumentation just not available on a camera phone. Camera phones are an amateur photography device. And they will always occupy that niche.
    • Standards of the final product would be compromised. And high standards of quality are what make professional photography a value to it’s customers.

    This is not to cast camera phones in a negative light. They have their place and they are great fun. But we in the professional photography world have nothing to fear from the growth of this technology.

     

  • »More Than Pictures Memories«

  • TorontoSEO 12:05 AM on April 26, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: ceremony, , , More Than Pictures Memories, , , , , , , ,   

    More Than Pictures Memories

    When you are hired to be the photographer for someone’s wedding, it is quite an honor. For a professional photographer, we can sometimes just see it as another “gig”. But it pays to look at the event through the eyes of the wedding party, the parents, the siblings, the groom and above all the bride. For the bride especially, there is nothing routine about this day. Everything is personal and getting the best possible photos of this important day could not be more personal and important to her and her family and her groom as well.

    So if you are expanding into or setting out on building your photography business to include wedding photography, you should plan to approach this task much differently than any other form of photography. You are doing a lot more than taking a few snapshots of an event. You are as much an integral part of the ceremony and the significance of that day for this bride and this groom as the minister or perhaps even many of the wedding guests.

    So what can you do to make sure the wedding albums you create capture not only the events of this day but the emotions and the spiritual importance of it as well? The key is to know the hearts and minds of the people who are involved in the event. That means, get involved early and be involved often.

    For most weddings, the planning begins as early as a year before the ceremony. If you get hired to be the wedding photographer, it is not too early to meet the wedding party and family that early also. To be a skilled wedding photographer, you should also have a bit of the investigative journalist, the amateur psychologist and the psychic in you as well.

    Your photographs will capture not only the images of the event but also the spirit of the people who attend. So get to know each of the key players individually. This certainly includes the bride and groom but a similar level of familiarity is appropriate for the wedding party, the parents of the bride and groom and their best friends too.

    There are some subtle ways you can learn the hearts of these people so you can plan to get photographs that will be ones the each person will say, “I am saving that one forever.” Here are some suggestions…

    . Get to know the colors of the wedding. But more than that, find out how the bride and significant decisions makers view colors. Watch how they dress and show them examples of wedding photographs and listen to their reactions. You can plan the how to stage your pictures accordingly.

    . Every bride has that perfect romantic setting in their heart. If you can discover that hidden treasure, you may be able to frame a special wedding photo just to fit that dream. Perhaps she there is a public gardens in the city that has a fountain that she has loved since she was a child. If so you can make arrangements to have the wedding party meet out there when the lighting is just right in full dress and get some wedding photos that will be in her heart forever.

    . Don’t forget the groom. Maybe he would love to have a fun photo showing him and the bride on his Harley. Or if he is a big sports fan, getting a photo dressed out in team regalia at some other time than the wedding can be a fun addition to the portfolio. And it will mean a lot to him too.

    Knowing the people, their personalities and what makes them tick makes you a better photographer. Don’t miss a chance to be with the wedding party at every stage of planning. The key players will not only not resent your presence but they will see that you have the same commitment to making this day as special as it can be. And they will love the outcome and you will remain as much a part of this big day as the flowers and the chapel itself.

     

  • »Wildlife Photography Catching The Animals By Surprise«

  • TorontoSEO 12:14 AM on April 24, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: Catching The Animals By Surprise, , reward, , , , , , , , Wildlife Photography   

    Wildlife Photography Catching The Animals By Surprise

    Photography has been around for more than a century and our topics will never cease. There is portrait, landscape, wedding, and wildlife photography just to name a few. One of the most rewarding styles of photography centers on wildlife. It may take you several hours before finding the perfect picture and capturing it, but the reward is more than worth the wait.

    Wildlife photography is perhaps the most difficult in the profession. You have to have the time, inclination, and of course the camera. Most wildlife shots are captured using a telephoto lens because the animal will not walk near you. Every once in a while you will be able to capture the fox, elk, bear or other animal as it comes through the woods in your path, however most of the time they are yards away and elusive.

    Wildlife photography doesn’t wait for you to happen a long and snap a photo. You need to immerse yourself in the site you choose your camera at the ready, and set for the light of the day. Most automatic cameras work great on the preset for those who are just learning to take wildlife photographs. Photography has always been about the moment and the best photographers can catch the moment with a speed and agility of the animal they are capturing.

    Start with small subjects when you begin your foray into wildlife photography. Practice on your pet. Let them roam naturally and see if you can capture the wild and crazy moments on film without the photograph ending up blurry. All great photographers have studied and practiced. They also use more than one shot. Making sure your camera has a quick shutter speed will help you take more than one shot as your move with the animal. When you have the subject in your site you need to follow it while focusing and then quickly snap as many pictures as you can before they move out of site. This technique is known as panning. Rather than the subject coming to you, you follow the subject.

    When you have mastered your pets you can begin to explore the outdoor world of wildlife photography. Some of your subjects will be standing still and this is another practice technique. Be aware of the lighting and placement while trying not to disturb the animal. It is most easy to get a squirrel when they are intent on eating or foraging for food. If you stay silent and walk carefully you can often get pretty close.

    If you are choosing a larger subject such as a deer or bear you will want to stay far enough away to get the shot, and not draw attention to yourself. Bears are dangerous creatures, but they can be photographed if you use common sense and don’t tread upon their territory. Wildlife photography and thus the photographers have a code of ethics when attaining the perfect shots. You will want to follow these ethics for your safety and the animals.

    Wildlife photography is a waiting game for the perfect picture to sprint across your viewfinder. It takes patience and a lot of practice, but the reward of having a family member or friend go, “ where did you get that photograph? I have got to have one,” will sweeten the deal.

     

  • »Where to Go to Learn From the Photography Masters«

  • TorontoSEO 12:14 AM on April 23, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: , artistic photography, , elite, , Masters, , , , , , , , Where to Go to Learn From the Photography Masters   

    Where to Go to Learn From the Photography Masters

    Whether you are looking for the right path for your budding student photographer in your family or looking on how to jump-start your own photography career, the right school can make all the difference. There is no question that photography is an outstanding career path with many different directions that someone skilled with a camera might go.

    The diversity of careers in photography is truly amazing. From the base talent in photography and a solid understanding of new and emerging technologies, the sky is the limit for a talented photographer with a solid education under his or her belt. That is because photography is both an art form and a solid technical skill. So the same school might produce an award-winning artist, a successful wedding photographer, a fashion photographer, a police investigator taking pictures of crime scenes, or a crack newspaper photographer.

    So the question emerges as to what kind of photography school to pick for yourself or the student in your family that wants the best education possible. How you pick any school is very much influenced by both how you approach education in general and what your objectives are.

    Some would advocate that you look to get into the finest artistic photography schools in the country. If you wish to go down that path, then for sure the Brooks Institute of photography or one of the elite east coast schools of artistic photography is a noble ambition. But there are three drawbacks to trying to attend such schools. First is, of course, the potential cost. Any elite school is going to charge elite prices. And if you are like most of us, you want to get the most education for your money. So doing some caparison shopping for a school is in order.

    The second drawback is getting admitted. Most of the top-flight schools have waiting lists and tough entry requirements that may make that ambition more demanding than is necessary. But the most meaningful drawback is that these schools may not be the right choice for the career you or the photography student in your life may wish to pursue. So a good general set of guidelines on how to evaluate a wide variety of photography schools is in order. The guidelines might include…

    . What kind of photography is right for the student? A program geared toward artistic photography that will result in pieces hanging in a modern art museum will have a very different approach than a program to train forensic photographers. Your student may not know right away what field they want to go into. If so, getting started at a generic school such as a photography emphasis at the local junior college may be the right choice until the career path becomes clearer.

    . Is it a legitimate school? You want to avoid schools that are run from the internet or that you read about on the back of a matchbook. A legitimate school will produce a recognized degree that will be well respected in the industry and will help the student get jobs.

    . What is available locally? Why go out of town or out of state if you have good local schools? Many state universities, junior colleges and local tech schools have find programs.

    . How diverse and up to date is the program? Will your student get exposed to the newest of technology in the field of photography? Will they get trained in how to service many different types of photography assignments?

    . How does the program’s job placement rating look? What percentage of graduates from this program get jobs? How well respected is this school by businesses who employ photographers?

    These are solid evaluation criteria. And if you apply these standards to a couple dozen of the finest schools both locally and nationally, before long a short list of good schools will emerge. From there, some site visits and interviews with teachers and graduates will narrow things down. And you will be glad you “did your homework” to find the kind of photography school that will take you or the student in your life to the next level of success in their love of photography.

     

  • »Lighting Tips For Photography«

  • TorontoSEO 12:03 AM on April 23, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , Lighting Tips For Photography, , , , , , , ,   

    Lighting Tips For Photography

    Photography requires a few skills to make your prints look professional. One part of making a print professional is lighting. Lighting in photography takes a little planning and understanding of a few techniques. You best subject or object might not turn out that way if the proper light does not help to laminate the area. Below are a few tips on using light for photography.

    First you must decide if you will use artificial or sunlight. If you are using sunlight you will rely on the Kelvin scale to determine the temperature of light and therefore the color of light. The color of light is important to maintaining the colors you see around you. For instance the warmer the light the redder the light will be, thus you may need to pick the time you will go out and shoot photographs. Outdoor lighting offers so many different times to take pictures depending on your need.

    Next a photographer needs to understand the sun’s color scale. Pictures tend to lead the viewer towards certain feelings; often softer colors evoke more emotion. So understanding the suns impact on the colors will help you find the correct time of day. The sun evokes blue hues in the morning hours, while closer to noon you will find more neutral colors. The neutral colors can take away some of the definition you want in your print. Knowing how you want to shot the picture will also help you determine when you wish to take the shot.

    When using natural light you will need to work with the angle and direction of the sunlight. If the sunlight is broad and diffused you will have softer shadows while the more narrow the light is focused the more shadow you can create. Often at noon when the sun is in mid arc you lose definition of the subject. The subject could look grainy. This is why shadow is used; the shadows can give you more quality to the print if used correctly. This adds to the beauty of your pictures.

    You can also modify sunlight through certain techniques. Modifying sunlight when taking portraits outdoors requires the use of a background. You may wish for a breath taking landscape that will provide more composition to the photo. You may need to block the sun if it interferes with you or your subject’s sight. You might also bring in a white surface to fill the shadows. Landscape photography requires less work than usually natural light for portraits. In fact using natural sunlight for landscape photography without modifications can yield you a better photograph.

    Landscape photography uses nature to provide the light and shadows. This is why you need to understand the light scale and temperature. Time is the most important aspect of using sunlight. To understand natural lighting you need to understand the affects the sun will have at certain times of the day. For instance if you are in a thickly vegetative forest the sunlight will have difficulty streaming in unless it is over head. You will have natural shadows in the forest and remember you can move around your subject to find the best angle with the sun.

    Photography is an art that requires techniques and practice. Lighting is a major part of photography, especially when you are using natural light. Sunlight can bring plenty of shadows or take them away depending on the time of day. Knowing the best time to take a photograph depends on the sun’s angle. Photography is an interesting hobby and profession when practiced properly will give you plenty of prints for your home and others.

    Whether you are a professional or a novice photographer, you want to produce some exquisite pictures with the proper lighting. With this in mind, choose your lighting according to your needs and the needs of your subject or object. Your pictures will be delightful with brightness when you use the best lighting situation.

     

  • »What Do You Know About Stock Photography«

  • TorontoSEO 12:14 AM on April 22, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , What Do You Know About Stock Photography   

    What Do You Know About Stock Photography

    Stock photography, groups of photographs that people take, grouped and licensed for selling purposes. Instead of taking new pictures every time they need pictures, many people use the stock photography method. People that work for magazines, as graphic artists, and advertising agencies sometimes use public pictures instead of hiring photographers for individual projects.

    Alternate names for stock photography is picture libraries, photo archives or image banks. Typically, in order to use these pictures, although publicly available, there is a small fee or a purchasing of usage rights that comes with a fee in order to use the pictures. Sometimes a membership purchase allows you to have access to a particular group of stock photography.

    Saving time and money, stock photography is a great way to enhance newsletters, blogs, advertisements, company brochures and more. It is obviously less expensive than putting a full time photographer on staff and takes less time if you need images of something specific. Many times, it is as easy as using a search engine or checking an email.

    Sometimes full rights and usage is available for purchase. Other times, full rights are limited. In those cases, photographers might be requiring that they receive a certain percentage of sales and or royalties of usage. Agencies usually hold the images on files and negotiate fees. With the technology and easy access that the internet provides, negotiations are quicker and easier.

    The cost of using stock photos depends on how long the pictures will be used, what location the images will be used, if the original photographer wants royalties and how many people the photo will be distributed to or seen by. Prices for stock photography can be anywhere from one dollar to two hundred dollars.

    There are several different pricing arrangements. Royalty free stock photography allows the buyer to use photographs multiple times in multiple ways. When you buy royalty free pictures, there is only a one-time charge for unlimited usage. When the images you purchase have a royalty free section, the agency is able to resell the image to others. If an image is rights managed, there is a negotiated price for each time that it is used.

    Sometimes a buyer of stock photography might desire to have exclusive rights to the images. In that case, no one else will be able to use the pictures once exclusive rights have been purchased. It may cost thousands of dollars to purchase exclusive rights because agencies who handle the sales have to make sure that they are making a profitable sale. If a photograph would make more money staying in circulation, they would lose out selling exclusive rights.

    Stock photographers sometimes work with agencies producing images for them alone. Different subjects and categories might need multiple varieties of images. Sometimes contributors work for multiple agencies selling their photographs for a fee. They work out arrangements for royalties or they sell their shots for full rights. This has proved to be a big business for photographers around the world.

    Stock photography started in the early 1920s. It especially grew as its own specialty by the 1980s. Galleries hold hundreds, thousands and even millions of pictures available for purchase. Stock houses sprung up in many different places. By 2000, online stock photography became microstock photography, which we call photo archives online. Companies like istock photo and bigstock photo offer you the opportunity to purchase so many pictures and when you use them up you can add more credits for another fee. Photos that are distributed online are typically less expensive than those that are sold hard copy.

    Websites like http://www.shutterpoint.com and http://www.fotolibra.com allow stock photographers to upload and sell their images. It is a great way to market pictures and earn money with photography. You can also purchase images at those websites as well. With all the stock photography sites available, one may find pictures you never even heard of before.

     

  • »Lighting Tips For Photography Artificial Light«

  • TorontoSEO 12:01 AM on April 22, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: Artificial lighting, , , Lighting Tips For Photography Artificial Light, museum, , , , , ,   

    Lighting Tips For Photography Artificial Light

    Photography is art. Individuals will spend hours in museums and galleries analyzing a person’s photographs for the meaning. Like painting photographs have a message, sometimes it will evoke sadness, happiness, a carefree attitude, and thought. There are many techniques a budding photographer will learn to evoke the emotions they desire. One such technique is using artificial lighting. Artificial lighting is not always as fun and easy as sunlight, but you can use it to create some wonderful photographs once you know how.

    Indoor lighting is often fluorescent and tungsten bulbs. Tungsten bulbs are used by professional photographers, as “hot lights” because of the high temperature they produce. In photography it is important to understand the temperature scale in relation to the colors they will produce. A hot light will produce more red and reduce the blue. Firelight and candle light though not artificial can be used in doors to create shadows and depth.

    When using indoor lights, specifically artificial light you will need to understand exposure. When you have less light it will take longer to expose the film to capture a photograph. Part of exposure is the angle. Lets talk about taking pictures in a museum. For instance I was in a museum with minerals behind glass and a woman made the statement if she took the picture nothing would come from it. This is not true. First in a darker room where you have direct light on the object you will not want to use the flash. The flash will bounce the light back at the picture. The next step is to get as close to the glass as possible. The third consideration is the angle. Taking the picture head on of the object will bounce the light and shadows about. You will need to angle the camera to the side or up from the ground to attain the photograph. If you do not have glass in the way the angle will still be important, especially when taking portraits. Shooting any subject head on is likely to create shadows and take away from the print. The best angle for shooting portraits is often up into the face.

    When shooting faces or other objects you usually want a three dimensional contrast. You will need to search for the planes and contours of the subject, especially in portrait photography. The planes and contours will help you determine the angle you will shoot the subject from. The shadows will often provide the three dimensional contrast if you find the correct planes and angle to shoot from. This helps with pictures that you want to stand-alone.

    Artificial lighting needs to be moveable. Just turning on your home lights will not give you the desired affect. Instead it can wash out the subject, place the light at the wrong angle, or create too much shadow in one area. You need to have lights set up on tripods to change the angle to suit your needs. Rooms are small which is one reason over head lights can either be too powerful or not direct enough. Following lighting tips will increase your photography skills. Most amateur photographers find taking a class on lighting and having a few books on the subject will help them learn proper lighting techniques. The reason for classes is to provide feedback. You may be happy with the shot, but suggestions can help you make the shot perfect in the future.

    Artificial lighting has advantages over outdoor or natural lighting, but sometimes the picture turns out better with natural light. It might be a matter of preference or the desire of a client or subject for that matter. You never have artificial lighting outside for the most part; you usually rely on your camera flash to help with the picture quality. When you choose your lighting, look for the best lighting situation to enhance your subject and make your picture as natural as possible.

     

  • »Wedding Pictures with Style«

  • TorontoSEO 12:14 AM on April 21, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Wedding Pictures with Style   

    Wedding Pictures with Style

    Your wedding album will be one of the most precious memories of this big day that you will have. But have you ever noticed how so many of those “professional” pictures are all the same from wedding album to wedding album? In fact, one thing that jumps out about the wedding photographer is that for a little while on the wedding day, everything halts and it’s all about him.

    You know the drill. The ceremony is exciting and fun and full of joy, some tears and plenty of meaning as the bride and groom kiss and become one family. Then it’s all over and everybody files out to go to the reception to dance, have cake and celebrate this union. But wait, the whole proceeding has to grind to a halt while the photographer stages the wedding party for as long as an hour or more to “recreate” the ceremony and make those perfect wedding photos. Meanwhile the reception may be getting underway and many of the guests that the bride or the groom or others in the family want to hug and share the joy with may have to go because they just can’t wait out a fussy photographer.

    Somehow this complete disruption to the day has become accepted as just part of what the wedding day is all about. And the worst part about it is that the photographs, while nice and well staged, look like a bunch of mannequins being arranged for a store window. The joy and fun of the ceremony is over. For decades to come everybody will say they are beautiful and meaningful but if you look closely the wedding party looks nervous, uncomfortable, bored and like they wish they were somewhere else.

    Well maybe its time to throw that tradition out and put some creativity into how the wedding photos and the wedding photographer works in your wedding. By finding a photographer who will put together some wedding pictures that have some style, some creativity and some sense of inventiveness, you will have that wedding album that really is full of memories worth remembering.

    To get that kind of photographer, you are going to have to start early. You have to find that maverick photographer that “gets it” that the wedding is about the people, not the gowns and the hall and that his photographs must shout out “this was a wonderful day and we celebrated this union.”

    You may have to look outside of the conventional “wedding photographers” listing in the phone book. An artistic photographer may be more appropriate. But be patient and find one that is just as professional as any photographer in that yellow pages but can bring some creativity and investment of getting to know this wedding party to the job of taking your important wedding pictures.

    That wedding photographer should become as much a part of the wedding party as the groomsmen. After all, if he is going to capture the personality of this couple, he will have to get to know you. Spend some informal time with him and share those fun memories of when you met, those special times while you dated and certainly those very special places where important moments in your relationship took place.

    Armed with that kind of creative individual in charge of your wedding photographs, you will look forward with great anticipation to what he comes up with. Many of the best shots will be created before the wedding, at some of those special places and he can Photoshop them to blend them with wedding day moments.

    Above all that wedding photographer will understand that he is there to serve this wedding and capture those special moments as they occur. Sure, you may “pose” for a picture from time to time but this whole business of bringing the wedding day to a grinding halt to take stilted pictures of bored wedding party members will go out with the trash. The outcome will be wedding pictures with style, with life and a lot of love in them to reflect the love that was exchanged in those vows and the love of family and friends as they enjoyed this magical day with you.

     

  • »Keeping it Legal«

  • TorontoSEO 11:40 PM on April 20, 2006 Permalink |
    Tags: Keeping it Legal, , professional photography, , , ,   

    Keeping it Legal

    Have you ever been watching a video or a show that includes public shots and some of the faces seem to be blurred out? No, that is not poor production values on the part of the video team. That is because the producers who eventually sold that video to be used commercially did not secure releases from those individuals. And if they used their images, they are laying themselves open for lots of legal problems.

    So how do you know if the work you are doing in your photography business requires such releases? After all, you would rather be safe than sorry and get releases from everybody you use as a subject than face a problem down the road. But there is a downside to securing them if you are not sure. That is the impression you create in the mind of your customer.

    If you primarily do portraits, weddings or other events where the intent of your work is to sell the photographs to the people being photographed, there is certainly no need for releases. So long as you have no intention of ever using any of those photographs in a sale that will profit your business other than the original way, then you should be fine.

    It is when you step over into that realm of photography in which you may be working with models to provide photographs for advertising, magazines, newspapers or any other purpose in which you are selling the images you have photographed for a profit, that is when a release is needed. This area of professional photography is tremendously profitable because you are working at a higher tier of professionalism than photographing the public to provide them with portrait level pictures. And because it is such a lucrative arena of professional photography, the competition to make those sales is stiff to be sure.

    When you are working with professional models, securing their releases is pretty much part of the program and never a problem. They are working for you and they know the photographs are for sale so their agents and lawyers do all the legwork so the releases are routine and understood. But from your perspective, don’t let this detail go unattended to. Your customers, those magazines or ad agencies who look to you for professional photography work, are assuming you have this covered and that they can count on you to deliver not only quality work but work that has been legally released to be used for promotion.

    The complications come if you do your shoots in a public place such as a park, a mall or anywhere that there may be traffic that becomes part of the shot. If you complete the shoot and discover that the perfect shot that fits your customers needs just right happens to have miscellaneous members of the public in the background, you have to have releases from them or you cannot sell that photograph.

    You could think ahead and try to secure those releases on the spot. But if the people you are trying to convince to sign such releases know you are going to use their images for profit, and you pretty much have to tell them, you get into another whole level of negotiation. But you sure don’t want to have to blur their faces out on the shot. You could Photoshop them out but that may lose the spontaneity of the shot.

    It’s best to stage the shot from start to finish. If you want traffic to be occurring around your model, bring in models who can do the job for you. Any good modeling agency to provide you with “average looking” models to use for this purpose. You will have to pay them but at least you know that the shot is clean. Plus when you sell the shot, you are going to get questions about whether those models were paid and if you have releases on them too.

    You can find a standard release form on the web or your lawyer can help you develop one that covers the legalities you need handled but also reflects how you want to handle this issue. But don’t let this issue slide through the cracks. By protecting yourself, you can do good business and profitable business but above all, legal business in perusing your professional photography career.

     
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