Getting Started in Real Estate Photography with Thomas Grubba
Get started in real estate photography with Thomas Grubba, a San Fransisco based real estate photographer. From assessing the property to the basic gear, Thomas starts you off at the very beginning of how to approach a real estate photography shoot. Working through each room, as well as the exterior, Thomas takes you step-by-step through his process for getting the best story-telling compositions, as well as his thoughts on how to light each room. Once the shooting is done, join Thomas back in the studio for a look at his post processing workflow. Thomas wraps up the class with a primer on how to start a real estate photography business, the basics of his business model, and the importance of using contracts to protect your copyright. The goal of this class is to show you how to develop an efficient workflow that will deliver consistent results, and by the end of the class you’ll be ready to go!

In Case You Missed It
Create amazing food and beverage photos in natural light! Join Steve Hansen, a commercial food and beverage photographer, on location as he takes you through a variety of food and beverage setups in a natural light studio. Styling food is a huge component of food photography, and Steve shares invaluable tips on how to handle and style everything from fried eggs to cold glasses, and from real flames to coffee. For each shoot Steve builds the set from scratch sharing his thought process and various tricks and techniques he’s learned and developed over his career. Beyond the sets and the food styling you’ll learn how to control, tame, and manipulate natural light even if you’re just using one of your own windows.

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The Value Of Your Image Has Nothing To Do With These Three Things
Karen said she needed to call me with some exciting news, but what she told me broke my heart.

She had an exciting opportunity — a request from a national news publication to use her photo — and she planned to give her image away. Karen decided that her photo wasn’t worth any money because of her lack of experience and because she shot it with an entry-level camera.

I know the feeling because I have thought that myself. This photo can’t be worth much because I didn’t really work that hard to get it. I don’t deserve payment. Fill in your own reasons.

If you have ever nursed one of these seeming innocent untruths, I have three messages for you.

1) The value of your image has nothing to do with the length of time you have been a photographer.

Have you ever walked into a gallery and saw a great photo? There’s usually a card under it with relevant information. You will find the photographer’s name, the title of the piece, and the price.

There is nothing about how long you have been a photographer. Why? It’s not relevant to the buyer.

I don’t know of anyone who has proudly described art hanging on her walls by bragging that the photographer has been shooting for 20 years.

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2) The value of your image has nothing to do with your skill level as a photographer.

Magazines and news organization charge their clients advertising based on an established rate. Nothing on that rate sheet identifies the skill level of the photographer. You pay for how many people see, read, or click.

When an editor decides to take up a page of valuable real estate in the magazine with your photo, the editor has already assigned it value. By selecting and placing it in the layout, she has decided that it has value in illustrating the story.

If your image leads more people into the article, that is the value. Nothing in the equation factors your experience level.

3) The value of your image has nothing to do with the camera you use.

When Time Magazine wanted to cover the destruction of Hurricane Sandy in New York City and New Jersey, they outfitted their reporters with iPhones.

Did that hamper them? Not at all. In fact, one photo was good enough to make the cover of the magazine. The value of the images was in educating 3 million readers not that it was shot on an iPhone.

How do you determine the value of your image? There are two ways I might measure its worth — one is intrinsic value and the other is market value.

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Intrinsic value – Because you created the image, you can assign your own value – to you.

Take the late Prince as an example. One of Prince’s legacies is, even after his death, you couldn’t play his music without paying for it. You couldn’t rock out to Prince on YouTube or Spotify. You couldn’t satisfy your nostalgia without paying his price.

In an environment that says you have to give away your music to be heard, Prince placed an intrinsic value on his music that wouldn’t allow him to do that.

Hip Hop artist Sir Mix-a-Lot shared some insight on why it might be harder to place intrinsic value on your art.

“You have a generation of fans who have grown up never paying for music, and you have a generation of artists who have never been paid for their work,” he said. “Everybody has been subconsciously taught music has no value.”

You can say the same thing for photography. Pictures have become so plentiful, we are being conditioned to believe that they have no value.

It’s up to us to assert that our images have value, if only because we created them.

Market Value – Just because you think your photos have value doesn’t mean you can extract any sum of money for them.

The market will tell you the monetary value based on a variety of factors.

Exclusivity – Let’s say you are at a wedding and notice the bride and her mother in a tight embrace. You see a single tear trickling down the bride’s face.

You are the only photographer who rushes over and captures that photo. When the bride and mom see that photo, will they demand to know what kind of camera you used before they purchase? Not likely. The value to them is in the moment you captured.

Supply And Demand – If you are at a news event and capture the one-millionth view of an evolving story, most editors will not care. If you have the only photograph of the news story of the day, you can begin negotiating.

Technical Expertise – If you have perfected a technique that looks interesting and few people can duplicate it, you can charge for that.

Marketing – Don’t underestimate your marketing’s impact on the value of your images. Your ability to tell your story in a way that is compelling can also create the perception of value.

If you want to know what your photo is worth, ask what is valuable to the recipient? How is your photo being used? What impact will your image have for the purchaser? Those are your key metrics.

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Money isn’t the only way to measure the worth of your image, but it doesn’t mean you have to devalue your photography.

Have you ever have someone ask for your image and offer you exposure in lieu of money?

Sometimes it might be worth it, but remember exposure can be quantified. How many people will see your image? Are the people seeing it the ones who you care about? Will they see your byline? Will you get a link? Is there an equivalent ad rate?

Relationships have a value that can be leveraged appropriately.

My mom asked me to photograph her event. Naturally, I’ll do it for free. The guy I just met at a networking function gets an invoice. My old college buddy? It depends.

Here’s an easy test. Would you lend them something you value? If you aren’t close enough to lend them something you value, why would you give them your images, something else you value?

Generally, friends who value your talent won’t feel entitled to your work.

Are you volunteering for a cause you feel strongly about? Give them the gift of your images and send an invoice showing the value of your donation. They’ll appreciate your gift and understand what it is worth.

There are so many ways to decide how to value your images, but none of them have anything to do with how long you have been a photographer, your skill level, or the type of camera you use. Don’t let anyone else use those reasons to devalue your work.

Lynford Morton is a photography coach and founder of the Shutterbug Life podcast community. He teaches beginner and enthusiast photographers how to create great photos, build an audience, and make an impact with their images. Follow him at ShutterbugLife.com, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

It’s going to be a great Tuesday, let’s kick it off with some football and remote stuff:

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I had such a fantastic time shooting with the Miami Dolphins photo crew for the Dolphins big win against the Jets (shoutout to Surf, Jon, Brandon, and Jeff – these guys are doing some really progressive stuff photography wise and social media wise).

I was psyched to see one of my images on the Dolphin’s Social Media during the game. That’s one of my shots above, taken with a remote camera rig (see below), so I thought I’d break that down here on the blog.

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Above: Here’s the remote camera rig (I took this shot at the game). This is actually a surprisingly simple set-up.

(1) You need two PocketWizard Plus IIIs — that’s what wirelessly fires the camera. One goes on top of your remote camera (as seen here); the other goes on top of the camera you’re holding in your hand. You could just fire the remote by pressing the Test button on the other PocketWizard, but I prefer that it fires the remote automatically when I fire the camera I’m holding in my hands. All you have to do to make that happen, is put the second PocketWizard Plus III on the hotshoe mount of the camera you’re shooting. Boom. Done.

(2) You will need a little connector cable (sold by PocketWizard) that connects the PocketWizard to the port on the side of your camera where you’d normally plug in a cable release. Make sure you buy the cable that fits your camera’s brand, make and model.

(3) I use a Platypod Pro Max as my base. It’s very thin, sturdy as anything (made of aircraft grade aluminum), and I could do a whole blog post just about it and how you can use it. Believe it not, this will easily mount to a goal post. It’s the best ever!

(4) You will need some type of ballhead, so you can aim your camera. I used an inexpensive Oben BE-117 (around $79 from B&H Photo). Actually, a darn good ballhead for the price, and holds up to 17+ pounds.

Of course, you will need a body and a lens. I used a Canon 1Dx with a 14mm ultra wide angle lens to get a little more depth (since I had to position it kind of blindly).

Camera Settings
I set my f-stop at f/5.6, and my Shutter Speed was 1/1000 of a second, at 160 ISO (that ISO is courtesy of Auto ISO, which I always have turned on at the game, with the minimum shutter speed set at 1/1000).

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Above: Here’s the placement. The timing is so tight that you don’t get a lot of time to precisely position it. Since the players and the smoke aren’t firing at full bore, the whole thing is a bit of crap-shoot, which is why having an Ultrawide 14mm lens is a good choice. It’s going to get everything — it’s all going to be in focus, and you can just crop it in later. dolremote2

Above: Here’s a better look. This was taken with a 70-200mm I’m holding in my hands to shoot the player intros. Again, when I fire my handheld camera, it automatically fires that remote camera at the same time. Well, pretty close anyway.

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Above: Here’s the shot taken with my handheld 70-200mm, shooting down on my knees (oy!). Not nearly as epic looking or dynamic as the remote shot down super low, and plus you see the other photographers in the tunnel (special thanks to our buddy Jon Willey for wearing that bright green vest and positioning himself right in the frame). ;-)  The video guy behind him didn’t follow every player out — just the last one, so you wouldn’t normally see him. But Jon? Yes, of course, always. In every frame. Like a beacon in the night. Or in the smoke. Whatever…he was there. I took the last chicken wing in the photo workroom just to get even with him. ;-)

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Above: Sometimes you get lucky and for just a few moments Jon gets hidden behind one of the smoke plumes. Ahhh, but you just can’t count on that smoke.

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Above: This is the un-cropped 14mm lens shot so you can see how wide it really is. Now that is WIDE!!!!

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Above: I had to shoot a couple of stadium shots with the 14mm, before they opened the doors to the public.

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Above: The 14mm from the 50-yard-line up high.

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Above: Of course, I had to try a 15mm fisheye shot, while I was there. There’s always room for one or two fish shots.

I hope you found at least some of that helpful. The remote camera thing is easier than you’d think, and it’s not just for sports — the last wedding I shot, I set up a remote camera behind the alter to get the expressions of the Bride and Groom.

The Dolphins Photo Crew Rocks!
A big thanks to Jon, Surf and the crew for the opportunity to shoot with you guys. What a first-class operation — everybody we met was so incredibly gracious and really made me (and my buddy Winston who was shooting with us), feel right at home. I was so impressed with how they’re running their photo operations (with 8 on-field photographers at home games) and their integration and support of social media. These guys are leading the way, and it was fascinating to see what they’re doing now, and what they have planned in the future. Also, my personal thanks to Dolphins photographer, the awesome, Rob Foldy, for bringing us all together in the first place. Feel the love, baby!

One for the road…
It’s a pano of the stadium taken with my iPhone 7.

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Have a great Tuesday everybody, and I hope I’ll see you tomorrow at 4pm ET for “The Grid” — we’re talking about Lighting and other fun stuff!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Hey Las Vegas photographers – My seminar is coming there in 8-days. Come out and spend the day with me. 

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This may win the award for “latest posting of photos from a trip” but I finally got them up there over at exposure.co (the photo storytelling site I’ve been using for a few years now). It’s perfect for when you want to tell the story with pictures and words, and that’s what I’ve done here.

Here’s the link.

Thanks for letting me share some of my photos from the trip with you.

Here’s wishing you your best Monday of the year (so far). :)

Best,

-Scott

Sorry for the late post, gang. I shot the Thursday night game last night and got home after 1:30 am and I was beat! Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post some pics from some of the games I’ve been shooting, but I’ve been shooting so sporadically (the Bucs have been on the road so much), but I’ve finally got a chance to share some of the my favorites.

After that long drought, now I’ve got three games in one week (Last Sunday’s Bucs vs. Raiders, last night’s Bucs vs. Falcons and this Sunday’s Dolphins vs. Jets down in Miami).

Today I’m sharing some from the Bucs vs. Falcons (last night); Vols vs. Alabama College game, plus Bucs vs. Raiders. I’ll post my gear and settings at the end.

Bucs vs. Falcons
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa (Bucs are in their red “Color Rush” uniforms for Thursday night)

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Bucs vs. Raiders
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

NFL 2016 - Buccaneers vs. Raiders

 

 

Tennessee Vols vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Shot in Tennessee with the awesome Vols crew, led by Donald Page (you’ll see him in the gallery with the sunglasses).

 

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Camera Gear
> Main Body: Canon EOS 1Dx with a Canon 400mm f/2.8 lens on a Gitzo monopod
> 2nd Body: Canon EOS 1Dx with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens
> Black Rapid Strap for 2nd body.
> Accessories as shown below.

Note: For the Vols game, I also used a 14mm super wide angle lens mounted on the end of the Monopod and triggered using a PocketWizard Plus III

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Camera Settings
Aperture: f/2.8 (never changes)
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 of a second minimum (I use Auto ISO with the minimum shutter speed set to 1/1000)
ISO: Varies but it’s chosen automatically because I use Auto ISO

Hope you found that helpful.

OK, I’m off to shoot the Dolphins. Hoping to be able to set up a remote camera for the player intros, and I’ll be taking some shots of the stadium up with with it empty before they open the stadium to the public.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Photographers in Las Vegas — I’m there with my Shoot Like a Pro: Reloaded seminar in just a couple of weeks. Come on out and spend the day with me. 🙂

Finding Your Artistic Voice with Karen Hutton
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see! Join Karen Hutton for an exploration of how to find your voice, and share it with the world. Finding your voice takes a lifetime, but you don’t need to wait to start using it. In this class Karen shares a simple process, using many visual examples, for how you can look at your own life and connect who you are to what you do with your photography. Your voice is who you are, and the world needs you to weave things that matter into what you want to say with your art. From having a vision to practical examples and exercises, Karen shares what has helped her find her voice and bring it to bear in her work. This class was filmed in front of a live audience, so be sure to stick around for the Q&A session at the end.

In Case You Missed It
Deanne Fitzmaurice began her career as a staff photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle, and her incredible images have appeared in an array of top publications ranging from National Geographic to Sports Illustrated. Deanne’s dedication, compassion, and courage to completing emotionally and photographically challenging assignments that have taken her to dangerous regions across the globe is an inspiration to all aspiring photojournalists. In this segment of our Trailblazers series Mia McCormick sits down with Deanne to discuss topics ranging from how she got started in photography to how she deals with the obstacles that arise when trying to tell compelling human interest stories, and from how she handles the emotional and physical challenges that can accompany the act of storytelling to the importance of covering the lows as well as the high moments in the arc of a story.

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