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It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always, this week from Glencoe in Scotland.

You may remember when Scott (and Team Epic) visited Scotland a few months back and we stopped in Glencoe for a few shots. I posted it all on my Instagram story at the time. One of the magical locations saw us shooting straight up a valley with a cascading waterfall. Well yesterday I decided to follow the waterfall and explore into the Hidden Valley.

This rabbit hole shot shows what i found at the top. What I actually want to talk about is how I got this shot.

I’m sure you’re aware of 360° camera tech, but did you know that at a consumer level it’s come on leaps and bounds from where it was just a few years ago? For this shot I was using the Insta360 X3 and it was edited entirely in Insta360 Studio. the amount of tech packed into the Insta360 cameras is insane. The images can be automatically levelled, reframed, and the HDR and PureShot capabilities always impress me.

Heres how this entire 360° shot looks: –

With Black Friday approaching, it’s only right that I point out the offers from Insta360. I’ve made a list of my favourite Black Friday deals over on my blog.

360° camera technology is in our future. Our near future. If you’re on the fence about it, I assure you it’s great fun and these cameras are an action camera alternative that will blow your mind!

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always to bring you something from the photography world. This week I want to broach a subject that pops up constantly and one that we all see in photography business groups on social media and it’s ‘exposure’.

We often find ourselves being approached by friends and family in particular, but also by companies, asking us to work for free. The question won’t be phrased in such a way but more often than not it includes the term ‘exposure’ or eludes to the fact that the customer will share our social account to their audience, implying that they’re helping us. It’s a tricky ground to be on and I’ll start with this thought.

Maybe it will benefit us.

There’s a chance that it’s in our interest to do a job for free but the decision needs to come from us, not for the customer. If we’re approached to work for ‘exposure’ it’s important that we consider whether that exposure true has any value. Value can be referral to other methods of income and other clients, or it can be something to add to our resumé or blog. A prestigious client can be valuable to add to our resumé every now and then, but ‘exposure’ certainly doesn’t pay the bills by itself. So, what do we do if we really don’t want to take on the unpaid job being proposed to us? We have a few options: –

Firstly, we can say yes but add on the payment. Our response will look something like this:

“Thanks for considering me for this opportunity. I’m more than happy to show some samples from my portfolio to ensure we’re correctly matched. I cannot take on any extra work without payment right now, but I’m happy to work together.”

Or, if we want to step it up a gear, perhaps our response will look like this:

“Thank you for considering me for this project. Unfortunately, I’m unable to take on unpaid projects at the moment. If that changes in the future, I will get in touch with you.”

If we want to send out a hard ‘no’ in a polite and professional way, we can go with something like this:

“Thanks for thinking of me for this project, but I have too much on my plate right now”.

There are situations where you feel like a client is expecting you to work for free but they haven’t actually said that, in which case this may be a good response:

“That sounds like a great project! I’d love to discuss your specific needs in detail so I can send you a quote for it.”

Sometimes a client may have already paid for a particular service but they ask for more, and we can deal with it like this:

“Yes, I can help you with that. However, it is out of our original contract’s scope. I can do that for you within ‘X’ consulting hours at the same hourly rate as our original contract. Let me know if that works for you so I can put together the contract addendum.”

It’s always possible to politely and professionally respond to any request, no matter how outrageous, and it’s very important that we think carefully about any unpaid work we take on. As I mentioned, it can benefit us, but if it doesn’t benefit us it will merely burn us out and stand in the way of paid gigs. Ultimately, it’s ok to say “no”, and we have to consider everything when someone asks us to work for free. I hope that’s been a little useful to you!

Much love
Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here! This week I’m writing from Skye, Scotland, where I’m in the company of Scott, Erik, Fernando Santos, Paul Kober and Jeff Kelby. Because of other commitents there are some absent Team Epic members but the trip is Epic, nonetheless.

This trip has, as you will know, incorporated Scott’s Edinburgh walk for his Worldwide Photowalk and we all had a great time meeting everybody and talking shop. The walk, as well as this entire trip, has reaffirmed the belief I have that photography should be a social experience and we aren’t in competition with other photographers. It’s a unique industry and we all need to back each other, sharing knowledge and having a great time along the way.

One such example of how simple it can be to help other photographers comes from our sunset shoot at Neist Point Lighthouse where shutter speeds and ND filters were being shared, along with shooting spots for the optimum view. Here’s a shot of Chicky Nando right before the fog rolled in and gave us an awesome atmosphere for the lighthouse shoot, enveloping the mountainous sea cliffs in a shroud of fog bathed gently by the light of the setting sun.

It’s not always about the serious, calculated shots. Sometimes the social side of photography can be incorporated with the fun of just getting in amongst a herd of Hairy Heelan’ Coos (which is Scottish for hairy highland cows) and firing off some shots for the sake of memories.

We photographers should share more and stick together, meeting new, like-minded friends and forming epic teams of our own. And with that I hope you have a great Tuesday.

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am back again to share something for the photography world with you, and today I want to tell you about a little side hustle ahead of the KelbyOne ‘Making Money With Your Photography’ Conference.

I want to tell you about stock photography. I want you to have a look through your photo library and see what you have in there that has value. All of us end up with photos that don’t quite make the cut for our portfolio or end up being shown to friends, but often these photos are technically ‘correct’ and there’s probably someone out there looking for a photo just like that.

Image libraries, such as Adobe Stock, are founded on the basis that people want to be able to find a photo of just about anything that they need for a project. The obvious users are graphics designers, editors and marketing professionals who need something to fill a gap in a piece of work or tell a story in an article, but the bottom line is that they want to find the subject they’re searching for.

Our excess images often fill the gap for these people. A photo of a table in a restaurant or a green field on a sunny day that didn’t make the cut for us can be used to switch on our side hustle in stock photography. Signing up is straight-forward and so long as we’re only submitting images that are ‘technically correct’, those being images that are in focus, correctly exposed, composed properly etc, we can make an income with something we already have in our image library.

Go take a look into joining Adobe Stock as a contributor and see if you can make enough cash in a side hustle to pay for your photography hobby!

Much love
Dave

Its #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here! I’m still in Texas where I’m on the verge of melting, and that was the ironic side of a curve-ball presentation I did this week for local photographers at Precision Camera here in Austin. For their Spring Expo I was invited to come and do a 90 minute class all about my arctic photography and the northern lights while it was 95° outside. It was a curve-ball that worked and I had a great time talking about something so juxtaposed for the environment I was in.

Anyway, have you seen DALL$#x2022;E 2? This incredible display of the power of artificial intelligence (AI) blew me away. Here’s what it does: –

As a user, we go to the app or website and we write a description of an image. The AI has studied and learned about photos and images, and it converts our writing into art. We have a range of options to choose from and download the unique art. It’s basically 2022 magic!

My thoughts on this are that it’s the culmination of years of learning, just like what Google and Instagram and other such companies have been doing with the images we’ve posted online. These computers have learned about what the content of our photos is based on our descriptions and keywords/hashtags, and we’ve now managed to turn that all upside down and go from the text to the image rather than the other way around.

Is this going to change the future for photographers? I’ll leave you to decide, but my personal belief is that we’ll start to see some big changes in in the next few months. Judge for yourself right here.

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here to share. This week I write from Austin, Texas, and with the Photography Gear Conference coming up, I want to first take your mind elsewhere and talk about how we can broaden our photographic minds by taking influence from other creatives.

We’ve all heard countless times about how graphic designers and photographers should work with similar things in mind. Copy space is the go-to example that I always use to highlight the importance of keeping graphic design in mind when we take photos. In that example, I point out that we should be thinking about copy (words) and leave room for titles, graphics, and everything else we see in magazines and on posters. These photos tend to perform the best on photo stock libraries like Adobe Stock and Getty Images because of their versatility when it comes to their final use. I learned a lot more than that recently at an Adobe event – Russell Brown’s Rock & Roll Reunion.

The two most important take-away points I feel were offered at the conference are the two I want to focus on today:

1 – Work happy, not harder

Mark Heaps created this tagline to best explain that we use far more time than we should in parts of the process that could be automated or simplified, leaving us with a lot of wasted time that could better be spent on something creative and therefore make us happier. Mark speaks about this concept regularly and has absolutely nailed the process. We should be looking for ways to work smarter, automating elements of our workflow and giving ourselves the time to focus on our photography and retouching. The application of this concept translates from graphic design into photography and it’s a great point that we should focus some energy on if it allows us to be more creative in the future.

2 – Create a story, and an ecosystem

When graphic design projects are undertaken they tell the story of the brand or the campaign. We should always be looking to do this in our photography. Telling the story of the scene in a single image, or across the series for multiple images, is a way to connect with our viewer that is often overlooked. We can focus on the subject, the composition, the light, or any other factors of our image, and use them to try to tell the story of what is happening in our shot to draw our viewer that little bit closer. This can help us to keep someone’s attention for longer on social media and drive our engagement, or it can be the difference we need to convert that engagement into a revenue stream. Telling stories through photography is something that Ansel Adams himself did, and something that seems to be lost here and there. The importance cannot be stressed enough and just as designers are trying to tell stories with typefaces and shapes, we should be doing just that with our photos.

Much love
Dave

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