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The founders of Kompactfaen

Finding Your Foothold In A Saturated Industry Is A Problem Us Photographers And Videographers Face

Wedding photography and videography can be a little tricky – it’s easy to produce repeated works or get too caught up in following trends that currently work. Sometimes we wonder if we’re able to break through the cycle and create something new that has never been seen in the wedding photography and videography industry. At times, the industry is seemingly stagnant. At times, everyone struggles to find their foothold in this saturated industry. It is a problem we all face and constantly talk about.

Over the last year, Kompactfaen has been more than a business to us. It is a garden where ideas have grown and flourished. We’re blessed to have reached out to people from all over the world, from home in Singapore, to the USA. From being awarded with New York Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Star in 2018, to giving our two cents worth on a panel during the WPPI Conference this year, it made us stop in our tracks a little and start figuring out what it was that made Kompactfaen stand out.

We started thinking about our processes, our mindsets, and how works from Kompactfaen were created and showcased. How our brand of “Delving Deeper” was created. Through that, we found some keys to staying creative in this industry. We found some answers to the questions of, “How do I differentiate myself,” and, “How do I find my style?” It was eye opening for us, so we hope that these steps provide some direction to our fellow friends.

Relationships in a wedding matter a lot to us, and little moments like this touch us the most.

Understand What Matters To You

Every business needs an objective, it needs an aim.

Wedding photography and videography involve documenting an extremely intimate part of life, of humanity. It may be something many of us overlook as we naturally focus on things like composition and lighting. However, being involved in such a personal part of a marriage requires some form of concern and love for the people you’re photographing and filming. Figuring out what aspect of this moment means the most to you and focus on it as a start.

The idea of mixing up pop colours and wedding potraits appealed to us, so we decided to try it out.

New Is Never Popular

Karl Lagerfield once said, “Trendy is the last stage of being tacky.” It’s easy for trends to die. Even though trends are a good indicator of quality and it garners attention, it is never stable and you should never garner business directions based on trends.

On the contrary, things that are new will never be popular. People tend to reject things that are foreign, things that they are not used to. It’s always hard work challenging habits and norms. Drawing references from the diffusion of innovation, we see that the rate of adoption for new ideas and technology always follows a curve – the peak is never during the early stages. Meaning, setting a new trend or introducing a new style can never garner the most likes or become most sought after immediately. With this understanding, coming up with new ideas/concepts/imageries is no longer about garnering the approval for most people but to solidifying your concepts and work instead. When people seem to disapprove what you’ve created, there are lesser ill feelings but more objectivity. This helps greatly in evaluating your own works in the most balanced way possible.

We often bring gowns overseas, place ourselves in front of the camera and just shoot.

Do Impractical Stuff And Unnecessary Creations

Creativity is like muscle. It weakens with lesser usage and strengthens with consistent exercise. With every paid shoot comes expectations and criterions of others to be met. However, shoots of your own are your safe spaces to experiment and to create. Sometimes, too many restrictions and expectations cause us to recreate, whether intentional or not. When a shoot has no particular purpose tagged to it, that’s when you become daring and you are able to inject your ideas into a piece of work. It’s okay even if it doesn’t turn out to look good. We all start from and get to somewhere. This requires lot of time and effort that doesn’t seem to reap anything in the short run, but trust us that you’ll see results of this practice in the long run.

Connections are a priority in all that we do.

Pleasing Clients Is Important, But Know When To Take A Step Back To Your “Self”

To round the article up, our very last point speaks about respect for yourself, your peers, and the clients you serve. With hard work and sincerity, you have a solid foundation to stand on. In face of unreasonable requests, unfavorable comments and undesirable situations, you’ll be able to take pride in your work as you’re subconsciously certain of the amount of time and effort you’ve spent. You respect your own hard work, and that’s what you respect, both compliments and complaints. And you learn to deal with bad situations or comments respectfully and with stride.

Even though service is important, caring about your clients is also important. You stop focusing solely on pleasing people when you’re creating, but learn to create collaborative work – something that your clients love and something that you love – through deliberate communication and cooperation.

The soul of a good piece of work cannot lie.

Ultimately, the soul of a good piece of work cannot lie. 

Your style will be the core of your business – how you execute, how you care, how you communicate, and how you look. It is not something that is obvious at first glance, but it takes time for clients to explore and understand. That’s when you start speaking to people and are able to form your own identity to differentiate yourself.

You can see more of Kompactfaen’s work at Kompactfaen.com, and keep up with them on Instagram, Vimeo, and Facebook.

In case you hadn’t already figured it out from the blog title, that’s me, Dave Clayton, on the right, and the book I just wrote, How Do I Do That In InDesign?, on the left!

Celebrating 10 years with KelbyOne!!

As a graphic designer of 20+ years, and a user of InDesign for the same length of time, that is a question I get asked a lot when I talk to other designers who haven’t braved the wonders of the little “Id” icon in their tool bar. InDesign is used to create printed items such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books, and also digital items such as interactive PDFs and ebooks.

You can pre-order How Do I Do That In InDesign?

Just to give an overview of what InDesign is to the lovely readers of this blog, it’s an application that is part of the Creative Cloud. It actually celebrates its 20th birthday this year!

Back in the day, us ‘desktop publishers’ used a piece of software called Quark Xpress. This was launched around 1987 and became the industry standard. Adobe originally had a program called Pagemaker, which it purchased from Aldus, and this was the competition to Quark. From this, InDesign was created as a strong competitor and was released in 1999. It was the first native Mac OS desktop publishing application and was very quickly adopted by the design industry, especially when in Creative Suite 3, it was bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat.

So, that’s your history lesson! Why am I talking about this?

My working history with KelbyOne (formerly NAPP) celebrates 10 years this year. I started out as an official NAPP Evangelist way back in 2009 when I became a member of NAPP and offered to help get NAPP more recognised in the UK. This proved to be a successful relationship. I visited my first Photoshop World in Las Vegas to meet Scott and the Photoshop Guys. I have guested on Scott’s blog before detailing that part of my history so I won’t repeat it here.

If you want to know more about my story, I did a lovely interview with Kalebra for KelbyOne.

Here are the links to get my background:

(more…)

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and our offices are closed as we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

This post is dedicated each year to the memory of David Leimbach, (shown above; the brother of our dear friend and colleague Jeff Leimbach), who died 11 years ago in combat in Afghanistan.

Just a humble word of thanks to the dedicated men and women of our armed services and to all those who came before them who laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.

Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy Memorial Day.

All my best,

-Scott

I’m happy to announce that we are now accepting entries to have your own solo gallery showing at The Gallery at KelbyOne, in Tampa, Florida.

Our past winners have included an engineer on the long island Railroad, an Anesthesiologist, one worked for the police department. Our next winner could be you. If you’re thinking there’s no way you could win, that’s exactly what the previous winners said. The only way you don’t have a chance is if you don’t enter.

Here’s a quick one-minute video with some details:

Here’s how to enter: 

  1. Here’s where you submit a link to your portfolio, or Facebook album, or Flickr page, or online gallery – (we’re looking for a body of work – around 20 images) Note: this competition is only open to KelbyOne Pro members.
  2. From the submissions, we will choose a single winner. It could be you. If it is, we’ll fly you and a guest (from anywhere in the world) to the gallery in Tampa, Florida for a solo gallery showcasing your work, where we’ll feature approximately 18 of your images, beautifully printed and displayed by Bay Photo Lab using their amazing Xpozer system.
  3. The evening of the opening, you will welcome the crowd to a wine and cheese reception held in your honor that evening in the gallery where they can see your work, and get a chance to chat with you in person.
  4. Following the reception, we’ll move to our theater for an interview with you about your work, your life, your inspirations, and well…you. It will be streamed live around the world (along with behind-the-scenes images of the opening, and photos of your work).
  5. When it’s all over, you will receive all the prints from the exhibition (courtesy of Bay Photo Lab), and one of your images will be added our permanent collection, so future visitors can get see one of your winning gallery images.
  6. The deadline for submissions is: May 29, 2019, at 11:59 PM EDT.

Have questions?
Here’s the link to an earlier post with a detailed Q&A on how this all works.

One more thing…
We’ll wrap up with some photos from earlier gallery contest winner’s gallery openings:

Hope we’ll be welcoming you to your own gallery show very soon. Good luck everybody!

Have a great weekend!

-Scott

P.S. Next Thursday the East Coast Photoshop World conference kicks off in Orlando. Want to go? It’s not too late. photoshopworld.com

Lightpainting: Macro, Models, & Outdoor Location Portraits with Dave Black

Break out your flashlight and join Dave Black for some lightpainting fun with flowers, models, and more. You may know Dave Black as a sports photographer, but he has taken the art of lightpainting to new levels from years of practice, experimenting, and getting creative.

Dave begins the class with a daytime walk scouting for small world subjects to photograph, and then takes you step-by-step through his process for lightpainting small world scenes in daylight. From there, Dave heads into the studio for a stunning series of lightpainting portraits with a talented ballerina. Dave wraps up the class with a large scale lightpainting scene during twilight with a model on a very cool outdoor set. From daytime to night, indoors and out, Dave teaches you new ways to see the world and photograph it using creative lightpainting techniques.



In Case You Missed It – Under the Milky Way with Dave Black: Lightpainting and Photographing Stars

Join Dave Black as he lightpaints under the stars in Mono Lake and Bodie Ghost Town. Dave starts off with a walk through of all the gear needed for lightpainting before taking us through the importance of a site survey. Over the course of six different shoots in a variety of locations Dave shares all of the steps and settings needed to create stunning lightpainted starscapes. Each lesson is packed with tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Dave’s decades of experience. Dave is a master teacher, and his love for creating these photographs is truly infectious.

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