Tag Archives: Photography

Two ‘fer

A couple of things to spice up your lives today.
Coming from the poor side of existence, I am often very reluctant to pay for anything. Life has a habit of screwing me over, the minute things get caught up. With that in mind, I had to weigh it against the importance of my business situation and common sense eventually won the day.

I will be spending the next few weeks or months, building a portfolio site for my photos and art. While this website will not be a means to sell anything, it is still needed as a digital business card. To keep striving without any real plan of advancement is just folly. Although I am fully aware of just how good most of my photos are and it is clear many people do agree with that assessment, I need to find an venue that displays my photography(and art) in the best possible light.

The next order of business is also about photography. Up until now, I have haphazardly put together this career choice. I will admit that was not a wise thing to do. Sometimes we get so caught up in things that we forget to do some of the most basic things. In regards to photography, I doubly did this. Not only did I fail to create a portfolio site, I failed to create even a blog. I was under the mindset that the images should speak for themselves. That was a wrong frame of mind.

With the Fine Art America website, it completely lacks any real means of telling a photo or piece of artwork’s tale. It also severely lacks in presentation. Don’t even let me get started in the pricing model of the site, I already wrote about that. Thusly, I shall be creating a blog devoted to the subject of photography in the coming months. This blog will be used in conjunction with YouTube videos, that will teach how I create, what I create. So if you have ever been interested in learning more about photography, it will be the place to be.

Lastly, in regards to the pricing of Fine Art America, I have actually raised the prices on prints. Not because I am an ass. But because I believe that I was underpaid for the photo prints I have sold through there. I realize the pricing there is a bit high for some people. But quality is what you are paying for and the site has one of the highest quality ratings for their prints. The old adage, you get what you pay for, is true for most things. If you really want one of my prints from there, buy the print and go bargain shopping for the frame.

However, I have been looking into considering digital downloads. This can greatly decrease the initial cost of a print. No materials are sold to the customer. They merely buy, download, and print it out themselves.

 

While I would have to go back through my finished photos and make some changes and custom sizes, it is not undoable! It would change the price of a print from $23 for a 8 x 8 to something like $8 for 4 different sized digital print sizes. Of course, these digital items would still only be good for personal use, I.E. home wall art, but that was all that regular prints are good for too. However, before I go digging through 550+ photos for ones to create special digital versions of, I believe asking if anyone would be interested in buying them would be prudent. So, if you are interested, comment with a “Yes” or “I am” or even just liking this post, reposting, retweeting, etc. would be a way of letting me know.

Most photographers I’ve read or spoken with, always say that digital sales is the way to go. I just would like to see some solid proof of that. I was taught don’t believe everything you read, so show me! Geez! I sound like I am from Missouri(the show me state). I can assure you I am not!

Thank you for reading this! If you made it this far, then you made it further than 90% of the people who might read something like this. Congrats! Either you are a true friend, or you find my writing amazing, or you are just bored out of your mind. What ever the case may be…thank you, thank you, thank you! Lastly, if you wish to be notified about the portfolio and photography websites, please do subscribe to my blog. That is the only way I can guarantee that you will get notice. Have an incredible day!😎

 

JB

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As for Instagram

I thought since I spoke briefly about 500 px, it would only be fair to include another popular social photo sharing website…Instagram.

I find it remarkable and completely idiotic that people use this site. Any TRUE professional would never use this app or site. Did you know the second you upload a picture to Instagram, they own all rights to it? Yes, they can use your photos and make money off of your photos, without giving you single penny. So why would any serious photographer use this site/app? Seriously! I don’t know about you but my equipment costs far too much to just be giving away my final product, and that is not even considering all the time spent on processing the pictures.

To be honest, I’m slightly miffed at the app/site because I got my account temporarily suspended. Why? I have no clue! They never told me why and they suspended me without investigating. Seems like shady business practices going on there. Yes, I could go back and post more photos, but I most certainly will not. I do not trust any site that suspends people for no reason without investigating and then unsuspends an account with explanation. That is far out of my comfort zone. It should be noted that I did nothing wrong and I have never been suspended from ANY website…EVER!

Instagram also has the same kind of people who do nothing, but follow and unfollow. I think all of these “social” websites need to re-think showing how many followers people have. It seems to force the ignorant into doing stupid things like I mentioned above. If the site is supposed to be social, tell me exactly why the fuck it matters how many people follow each other? That is not social, that is a completely competitive atmosphere!

At any rate, I have spoken enough about this subject to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Time to go rinse! Take care!

Axe

 

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It wasn’t pretty but it was good

Yesterday I did my first portfolio photoshoot with an aspiring model. While I have shot regular people(who hasn’t?), they normally were not looking for photos for a portfolio. They just wanted a great pictures to share with others.

The aspiring model I worked with yesterday was more of an actor, than a model. But he needed some portfolio photos and I needed some models photos for my portfolio also. He was not the most “pretty” of guys but I believe I managed to him justice with the photos taken. So let me show you the best out of the camera photo and you can judge for yourself if we did a good job.

img_0300-1

I did very little post processing to this. Just few small bumps in the background colors and small heals on the face due to no makeup. I think I reflected him in the best possible light.

What do you think?

I still have a few more slots for models to do Time for Print work. If are a model in the Houston area and would like a few portfolio shots like this, just use the contact page.

For the techies- The above photo was captured with a Canon SL1 DSLR camera using a 55-250mm lens at full focal range.

Enjoy!

Axe

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Before and After matters…

While it may be argued that having the best equipment with you at all times is required in a photoshoot, it can be argued that it certainly is not. Why would two completely options be valid? They just are. Let me explain…

Times have changed for many things these days and photography certainly is not immune to the digital age. Every day people become less patient and less picky. They want their photos and they want them now. Do they want to wait for you to drag your tripod around at an outside photoshoot? Nope! It seems silly but some people still do this. What is the point when nearly every shot can be handheld these days with the image stabilization systems built into nearly every camera of pro level?

The old school mindset of getting the best picture possible while on the shoot, is fading. Slowly to be sure. Photographers like to show their toys and to try to get perfect results from their camera. However, a perfect shot is not always possible, with even the best equipment.

This where new school thought really comes in handy. What is the new school of thought? It is really simple. Save time on the shoot in favor of making the client feel like they were given great service. Spend the extra time in post processing to give the the very best results. Fact is, you should know how to really use programs like Photoshop and Lightroom. Knowledge of knowing how to work both of these can easily allow you to give clients better photos. Unconvinced? Let me show you the before and after photos of one of my models.

before-retouch

The above photo is my model without any make up. The picture was taken in a dimly lit room. This is a photo that an old school photographer would throw out. However, I am not an old school photographer and thus kept this photo for post processing. Let me explain why I did so.

Her face has nice lighting. The reason for the low-light picture was for the natural glow coming into the room from outside. Also her smile, was one of the best ones of the bunch, I shot. The only real drawbacks to this photo are red-eyes and no make up. But all of this can and was fixed in just Lightroom. Let me show you!

155-2

As you can see, not only was I able to fix the red-eye, but I was also able to make it look like she is wearing make up. The after picture is as good as any straight from the camera picture that can be had. Sure, I spent some time in post-processing, however, I did not have to waste my models time trying to get just the right picture. I did not make her have to put make up on. Because of this, she was very satisfied with high-end after picture, without all the usual fuss and consumption of time.

What am I really trying to get at here? Before you spend all your money and have to spend hours getting the right picture out of the camera, consider how much time and effort you want to spend. You may find you might prefer a shorter photo session with near equal results.

Fyi- For those wanting the technical data. The above picture was taken with a Nikon P510. It is not a professional camera by any means and not what I currently use. Photo was used for example purposes only.

I hope this article you found helpful in your search for a photographer. Have a great day!

Axe

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All Things Considered…

When I began this new road in my life, I thought I had considered all the options available to me. Upon expanded research, I discovered some things that I had not known. Things which make a huge difference in how I walk this road. I thought I would take a moment to share them with you. Maybe you might find some value for your own path.

Let’s get started with Twitter since that was the last thing I spoke of. As mentioned in my previous post, Twitter seems to be in a freefall. Not just due to the limitations of the platform, but also due to the limited understanding of most of its users. They do not seem to get how useful and important retweeting is. Thus Twitter usuage is going down daily.

If Twitter could figure out a way of making it evident what people like, then they would have a built-in sharing mechanism. I have learned, that not only are people reluctant to share tweets made at Twitter, they are less likely to even read anything from outside of the site, such as this post. Just how bad it really is, can be seen with one simple example.

I posted the exact same picture to my author blog, to Twitter and Facebook, via my blog. The blog post received over 20 likes here at WordPress, where as on Twitter it received NONE. Granted one person came from Twitter that day, however, they were not one of the people who liked the picture post.

Now most people would find this counter-intuitive. Shouldn’t a short form platform be better for posting pictures? Apparently not! In fact, the same picture got no response on Facebook either. Speaking of Facebook, lets move on.

Facebook business pages are supposed to help out your business. However, they do not! The current algorithm used by Facebook, hides your business posts from people who have actually “Liked” the page. WTF? So a business brings in people, only to not be able to market to them? That is just the dumbest thing I have ever seen. Had I know they had switched to this new algorithm, I would not have bothered setting up the page. I can see that I will be dumping the business page in favor of using my personal page. It simply makes no sense, to share pictures with people who most likely will never see them.

This leads me to what appears to have the most potential for a photographer…Instagram. I have just started this account and have only 6 pictures up. Seems like I have my work cut-out for me. BTW, if you want to follow me on Instagram, I go by j.b.thomas(No caps and no spaces). Please don’t follow me if you don’t plan on sharing photos you like. 🙂 Having an Instagram up and running, still has its drawbacks. Business profiles are frowned upon and you must still post your pictures at Facebook and Twitter, because both sites tend to ignore outside posts.

Despite all these little drawbacks to success, it seems like things are beginning to take shape. The ad I placed on Craig’s List (http://houston.craigslist.org/crg/5900979589.html) has already gotten responses and it appears I should have a few models, both male and female, to round out my portfolio. This is obviously a step in the right direction. I am slowly but steadily, getting my photos up from 5 years of photography and 16 yrs. of graphics, onto my web store. Eventually, I will build a website that has a blog devoted strictly to photography.

All things considered though, there have been some setbacks, but I believe I am moving in the right direction. Just might take a little longer to get there…

I hope you found some value in this post and if you live in the Houston,Tx. area, keep me in mind for your photography needs. Take care and have an amazing weekend!

Axe

 

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