Category Archives Photography

Today we’re announcing the official winners from our KelbyOne/Lexar Architectural Photography Contest. From the hundreds of entries on Instagram, here’s our Winner, Runner Up, and our three Honorable Mentions (who all win prizes, courtesy of our contest partner Lexar Memory )

Winner: Rolf Hartbrich
https://www.instagram.com/rhartbrich/
> Rolf wins a 128GB Lexar Professional 2000x SD Memory Card and a Lexar USB 3 Card Reader

 

Runner up: Cory Lerr
https://www.instagram.com/cory_kerr_photography
> Cory wins a 64GB Lexar Professional 2000x SD Memory Card and a Lexar USB 3 Card Reader

Honorable Mentions: 

David Queenan  | @davidqueenan
David wins a Lexar Professional 2000x SD Memory Card and a Lexar USB 3 Card Reader

James Hannick@jameshannick.photography
James wins a Lexar Professional 2000x SD Memory Card and a Lexar USB 3 Card Reader

Lori Novak@laurinovakphoto
Lori wins a Lexar Professional 2000x SD Memory Card and a Lexar USB 3 Card Reader

Congratulations to all of our featured artists above, and high-five to those who didn’t win for entering the competition. It takes moxie to put your images out there like that in competition, and I have great respect and applause for all the photographers who took submitted images. There were a lot of great images submitted, which made my job that much harder, but I can’t complain — I got to enjoy all these wonderful entries during the judging process.

Special thanks to Joey Lopez and the crew at Lexar Memory for being our partners and sponsors on this contest. Make sure you all follow @lexarmemory on Instagram and Twitter. 

Have a great weekend everybody!

-Scott

P.S. Shout out to the awesome folks in San Antonio who came out to my seminar there yesterday. Really fun crowd, in a really great town. Next stop: Houston on Monday! 

Hey hey! Thanks for dropping by Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider today. I’m Dave Williams and this week I’m going to talk to you about the importance of personal projects.

First off, it’s important to note that personal projects are important! What projects do you have on the go or in the pipeline? During this post, some images will pop up. The disclaimer is this: – I’ve pulled these images from my archive and some are very old. As such, they should not be used to judge me. ;)

As a travel photographer, it’s fair to say that what that actually means is that I shoot a very broad range of subjects—landscapes, cityscapes, people, food, still life, long exposures. It really is a lot of different stuff. Every little personal project can, therefore, be a little extra experience, a little extra practice, a little extra notch in the belt, and a step towards perfection (not that I’ll ever get to that point) when it comes to my everyday shooting and my built-in “autopilot.” Here’s an example: –

 

 

Both of these personal projects helped me to understand light. On the one hand, it was about creating and controlling directional light, leaving nothing to fall on the background and creating the “invisible black background” (Glyn Dewis, 2010), and on the other, it was all about an even bathe of light, minimal highlights and shadows, across a flat-lay inspired by World War One. These helped when I translated them across a number of photographic “arenas,” including weddings and promotional Instagram posts to name just two.

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s the care and attention, the discovery of techniques and the understanding of different dynamics in the world of photography, which were picked up whilst working on projects, that have helped me to become more efficient and competent in my everyday photography.

It’s not just projects that relate to your particular field of photography that help, however. For example, I spent a lot of time working on a macro project. (And, I’m aware that there’s a very, very strong chance that Scott will disapprove of me posting this, but for what can be gleaned from this I’m taking that risk for you all. ;) Scott, close your browser now!)

 

I wanted to understand the mechanisms of lenses and depth of field. What better way to explore this than with macro photography? Understanding depth of field through the use of true macro 1:1 lenses, and through more extreme macro using reversing rings, helped me to also better understand light, the quantity and quality of light required, the effects of movement of lens glass—literally so much came from this project it’s unreal. That leads me to how it goes a step further from the camera and into retouching.

 

 

Once you’ve taken the shot in-camera, learning the ins and outs of Photoshop through these projects is also extremely beneficial. It can be an exploration of different tools and features and this, again, can translate to a faster workflow and a deeper understanding, which brings huge benefits to your everyday photography.

Most of us are stuck in habits with both our photography and our retouching, and bringing personal projects into your flow can bring you out of that “rut” and broaden your photographic horizons—sometimes to no end! Stepping out of your comfort zone, removing that safety net for the sake of development, and allowing yourself to be open to new ideas brings with it new skills and, potentially, new customers, too!

The other benefit is opening yourself up to a whole new community. Getting stuck and trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong can lead to engagement in online forums and groups from which you can learn and share. Win-win, right?

Think about it—we never stop learning, and if you can catalyse your learning and develop new skills through personal projects, you’ll keep yourself at the top of your game!

If you need inspiration for your personal project, just take a look at the massive range of photographers work up on the @kelbyonepics Instagram page, find something you don’t know how to do or that you’d like to improve on, and get on with it!
I hope this rapidly paced post has been helpful!

Much love

Dave

The Deadline to Enter The Lexar/KelbyOne Architectural Photo Competition is This Thursday
Just a heads up – you have until February 15, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter.

After that, I’ll will select a winner, a runner up, and three honorable mentions. For more details and the official rules, here’s the link.

OK, pretty short and sweet (and there’s no reason not to enter — the contest is open to everybody!) Also, make sure you follow @lexarmemory on Twitter even if you don’t enter the contest – they share lots of cool images on their account.

Good luck everybody (and here’s to a great week!). :)

-Scott

P.S. One week from today I’m in San Antonio for my Full-day Lightroom seminar, and then onto Houston on Wednesday. Come out and spend the day with me – here’s the link. 


Go Back Up Your Photos. Right Now!
On a regular basis I get an email or Facebook message with another heartbreaking story from a photographer who didn’t have a back-up of their photos, and they lost every photo they had taken in the last few years, including photos of their family — everything — gone forever.

Stop whatever you’re doing and right this very minute, and take a few minutes to protect the visual history of your life, and back up your images. Just drag them onto another hard drive. If you don’t have one: here’s a link to one of the portable drives I use —  it’s a WD 4-terabyte portable USB 3.0 drive for just $109 at B&H Photo. It works like a champ. It takes so much less effort than you’d think.

My Backup and Organization Strategy
If you’re a KelbyOne Pro member, I have an entire course on backing up and organizing your images on your back-up drive and then in Lightroom. It’s called my “Simplified Lightroom Image Management System” (or SLIM System for short) and folks have told me so many times how helpful it has been to them and you might find it helpful, too — here’s the link.

Anyway, this is just your friendly reminder that this is, officially, “Back Up Your Photos Friday.” :)

Hope yours is a productive one.

Best,

Scott

P.S. Just a little over a week until I’m in San Antonio and Houston with my Lightroom seminar. Come out and spend the day with me. I start the day by teaching my go backup and organization strategy. Here’s the link for tickets. 

Happy Friday, everybody, but here on the blog it’s also “Drone Love Day.”

I have the dji Mavic Air drone already on order, but sadly mine has not come in yet, but ya know whose drone not only came in, but he already made an awesome Unboxing and First Flight video? That’s right — the Duke of Drones, Mr. Terry White. Check it out below (and get all droney with T.):

At the end, he controls his dji Mavic Air using only his mind and some simple Vulcan hand gestures he saw on TV a few years back.

More Drone Love!
My buddy Dave Gales is an FAA-licensed Drone Dude (and ace photographer), and he wants to help other folks who are getting into using Drones, and so he created a new Drone info site called Drone FAQ, and he’s got comparison charts and reviews, and other helpful stuff. He’s just getting started, and he could use your support, so if you’d be awesome and stop by, say howdy, look around, we’d both be very grateful.

Here’s one of Dave’s shots he took to give you an idea of how small the dji Mavic Air is with it’s props folded:

Above: That’s some small drone, considering it can shoot 4K video, and make 32-megapixel panos, and pour 12 oz. of refreshment!

Above: By the expression on Dave’s face it appears that the underside of the dji Mavic reveals something naughty, so I wouldn’t look under there if I were you. 

Here’s the link to Dave’s new Drone FAQ site. 

When I do get my Mavic Air…
Unfortunately, I won’t be doing an unboxing videos (it’s been done) or looking at its naughty place (ditto), or putting it beside a can of Diet Coke (probably a bottle of Jack). Just wanted to see if you were paying attention with that last one.

Dave and Terry were on The Grid talking drones
Folks had lots of questions about Dave’s FAA license, and Terry fielded lots of questions, too and I was there strictly as eye candy, as usual. Check it out below:

Hey, do you guys at KelbyOne have classes on Drones?
You know it! We have classes on the dji Mavik Pro, the Phantom series and even the dji Inspire, but we’re already working on one for the Air, and a new cinematic drone course, which focuses more on creativity and techniques for creating beautiful stills and video (and not so much on how to fly). So, lots more to come. In the meantime, Terry and I did a course on shooting photos and video (and how to fly) the dji Mavik Pro. Check out the trailer below:

Here’s a link to the course.

Have a great “flying around in an unmanned aerial vehicle” type of weekend!

Best,

-Scott

Thanks for coming by. It’s #HybridDaveTuesdays here at ScottKelby.com once again, and this week to keep in theme with the money-related posts from the past few weeks, I’m going to cap it off with one more – the value of you! My intention is to give you a gentle reminder of just how much you’re worth as a photographer, or other creative, and why.

So, here’s what happens: That gripe we all have surfaces – we moan endlessly as photographers about being approached by people and asked to shoot something for nothing. The phrase, “you can use it for your portfolio” seems to be the favourite. On social forums, we share our experiences and offer advice, usually in the form of a rant, and rage about how a plumber doesn’t work for free so why should people expect us to? Well, here’s something that also happens: we’re approached by a prospective client, who maybe is a friend of a friend, and rather than pitching a price we’ll say, “yeah, I’ll shoot that for you for nothing.” It’s true, I’m afraid. We’re our own worst enemies! The reason we get the “will you do it for free?” question is because we will. We will do it for free, for a friend, for our portfolio, for the recognition, or for the foot in the door. It’s a two-way street and a causal factor to the questioning pitched is our willingness to impress and say yes.

It’s a big world out there, and there’s a lot of competition. It’s true that when it comes to hiring a photographer you get what you pay for. Take it to another market – airlines. If I fly from London to Canada on WestJet I’m getting a bargain price, but I’m not getting fed, not getting a baggage allowance, not getting a high-quality entertainment console, and likely not getting much legroom. If I splash some more cash, I can tap up British Airways and get a meal or two, a suitcase, a range of movies, and my knees are probably not going to be up by my ears. Lenses – Do I want the one I found on eBay for fifty bucks, with innards made of warped plastic and sealing so bad it turns into a flask when it rains? Or should I spend that little bit more for the Canon lens made of real glass, weather sealed to the max, and accompanied with a guarantee to boot? I know the answer, you know the answer, so why do we undervalue ourselves? Why do we cause the very problem, as an industry, that we complain about?

It’s important that we value ourselves. Give the value of you, and give yourself value. Here’s an example:  If you shoot weddings, you can command £10,000 for what is, tangibly, almost the same thing as you’d be giving someone for £1,000. It’s the same hours, the same venue, the same “models,” and most likely, not a dissimilar album or online gallery received at the end of it. Sure there can be some differences, but essentially it’s not far from being the same thing. So, how do you arrive at charging £10,000? Well, it’s in the value of you!

The intention of this blog post is not to deliver a class in how to price yourself as a photographer or creative, it’s to point you in the right direction to setting the highest price you can achieve. Whether you set your price per hour, per image, or per job, it makes no difference to setting a true value for yourself and your ability. The difference it does make, however, is between being able to pay your bills or not!

I quickly learned when starting out in photography that the repeat customer is crucial to stability. I wanted to make sure that if I had a client book me for a corporate shoot that they wanted me again for the next one. I wanted to make sure that if I shot a wedding I was noticed by the guests to shoot their upcoming weddings and their families and friends, too. And I did just that, all because I valued myself and, even after occasionally knocking off 10% to seal the deal, I set my price as a true reflection of what I was able to deliver and the quality of my images.

That relates now, too. With agencies contacting me and asking for quotes, I must ensure I set the figure correctly. One example is this:-

I got a brief from Mars UK at the beginning of December to shoot a situational product shot – a box of their chocolates and a Christmas tree. The brief was a couple of pages, but that’s essentially what they were asking. I went and got the product, took the shot, composed my offer price and submitted the lot. They got what they wanted, and they loved the shot. My entry price was £120 – it reflected the expenses I had incurred, the time I had used, the engagement the photo was likely to receive, and ultimately it reflected my value. The thing is, alongside saying that they loved the shot, the client also asked me to reduce my fee to £50. £50! They said they had a limited budget and wanted to get as many influencers on board as possible. The industry guidance for the reach I get, and the audience due to see my photos in this arena, says that I should be charging £100-180 per photo. I landed at the lower end of this figure with the mindset at the time that it’s Christmas, I need Christmas photos anyway, and although it was work, it wasn’t exactly hard work. To then get a slap-in-the-face £50 offer, totally devaluing me, it’s probably obvious how this story ends, but I’ll tell you anyway: suffice to say, I never posted that shot. You may be wondering why I turned down £50. Here’s why:-

When you give something to a client for cheap or free because they have a small budget, what happens on their next job when they have a large budget? Let’s say you are the one who says yes and accepts the small budget fee, and they also ask me but I say no. I tell them that’s not enough; I’m worth more than that. Just as soon as their large budget job arrives, and they’re looking for photographers to fulfill the job, is it you who they remember for shooting cheap? No, it’s me they remember – I’m the one that commands the right price and has the tenacity to turn down the wrong price. So, in their eyes, I’m the one that’s worth spending the bigger bucks on. I’m the expensive guy. I must be better, right? Finally, flip it around and think of it from a client’s point of view: if you pay me well, I’ll want to do a great job, and keep coming back to do more great jobs in the future.

If you want to take a look in detail at how to conduct yourself business-wise in the world of photography, I’d totally recommend watching Tim Wallace’s class on KelbyOne.com. But, for now, I hope I’ve provoked your thoughts just a little, and that you’ll take a look at whether you really are reflecting the value of you when you set your price!

Much love

Dave

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