Get Out There And Be Awesome

Are you a photographer struggling to attract more clients? If the answer is yes, Look no further. These tips below will help you grow your business.
1. Dont just sit there, Get up and look for the clients.If you are not willing to network and sell your service to people, you will loose potential income. To become a successful photographer you will need to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
You dont have to be a professional sales person. All you need is passion and drive for what you do. Love your work and people will do the same.
When you meet new people, tell them about the experience they would get from working with you. Paint a picture in their minds on how it will make them feel. Talk about what makes your product or service unique. Explain the benefits of your product or service.
In the same way, explain to them the process of working with you.

2. Explore different ways you can promote yourself. Dont be scared to explore different platforms. Make use of both traditional and digital marketing strategies.
Everyday make it a priority to write down different ideas on ways you can promote yourself. Make sure to use this list everyday and cross out ideas that are not actionable.

3. Traffic is keyA beautiful website does not guarantee any traffic. The problem is most photographers put in a lot of effort into creating a beautiful website when they should be trying to drive more traffic to their site. The more visitors you have to your site, the higher the chances of maximizing your sales.
Learn the different SEO techniques or you can hire an SEO expert to help you. The time and money you invest determines the result you will get.
Also, it is important that your website is mobile friendly or else google will down rank it.

4. Work with other business owners in your areaCollaborate and network with different business owners in your area. Dont be greedy when networking, support others in your network and they would be willing to do the same for you.
think of places where you can find potential clients like coffee shops, spas, hairdresser and so on. Meet with the owners and ask if you can promote your product or service.
In the same way, you can design a beautiful postcard or flyer and hand it out to people you meet. You can include discount offers or other promotional techniques you feel is appropriate.

If you dont have a newsletter you should get one. In the meantime, you can collaborate with other business owners that have newsletters. Offer to do a portrait session for them or you send them some beautiful pictures and then have the owner of the business recommend you in their newsletter. In like manner, you can decorate a local shop, restaurant, café with your photographs and then give them your business card so they can distribute to their customers who need your service.
Alternatively, you can organize a get together with other business owners. You can organize events that give you the opportunity to promote your services. For example, if you photograph new born babies, create an event for mothers to come and hear you talk about infant photography. This is a fun way to promote your product or services to people while educating them at the same time.

5. Get a mentor. A good mentoring relationship can give you a competitive advantage. It is important that you have a mentor that can help you succeed, especially at the early stages of your carreer.

 

www.andrewfoordphotography.com

How To Light a Bottle – On Location

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When I was hired to photograph 125 different wine and liquor bottles (at a wine shop) in a 4-hour period, I knew I had to keep my lighting setup simple and unobtrusive. I’m going to explain my lighting setup as well as camera settings on how I was able to achieve this look quickly and easily

Lighting a wine bottle, or any glass object for that matter, can be a bit tricky due to the fact that the bottle will reflect everything that is in front and adjacent to it, at about 180 degrees. The most noticeable reflection will be your light source, so how do you make your lights visually appealing? Use a large light source! Unfortunately I was confined to a small, high traffic area and using large light modifiers was out of the question. I needed a device that is capable of not only making a small light source BIG, but also softens the light too. That’s when I reached for my 1- stop diffusion panel. Using a diffusion panel as a gobo (go between), would achieve the effect I required.

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As you can see in the photo above, a speed light was mounted on a light stand, and placed to the left of the bottle. I then positioned the diffusion panel between the flash and wine bottle, making sure to keep the diffusion panel as close to the bottle as possible in order to create a larger and softer light source. Rounding out my setup, I placed a strobe/softbox combo behind the bottle, to create a completely white background. In addition to providing a white background, the light also illuminated the bottles beautifully. White seamless paper was used beneath the bottle to complete the set.

Before shooting, a spike mark was drawn on the paper, so I would know where to place every bottle. Using spike marks sped up my workflow dramatically. Without the marks I would have had to position and reposition every bottle in order to match shots.

Camera settings are as follows:

Shutter Speed – 1/60th

Aperture – F/7.1

ISO: 200

Gear Used:

Yonguno 560-III Flash

Impact Collapsible Oval Reflector Disc

Elinchrom D-Lite 400W/s

Impact Softbox

Nikon D810

Sigma 70-200 2.8

TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Micro-B Cable

The TetherBoost™ USB 3.0 Core Controller

JerkStopper Tethering Kit

Capture One

www.andrewfoordphotography.com

Uber Cool Film Look in Capture One

The ”Film Look” is all the rage right now in digital photography, and one of my favorite looks comes as a built in preset inside Capture One. “Color Effects – Creative 2.” Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Despite its rather tame name, it’s quite powerful and simple to apply to any photo.

On my recent trip to LA, I found myself on the beaches of Santa Monica, and couldn’t resist taking a photo of this lifeguard station. I loved how the light blue color of the tower contrasted with the yellow sand.

Upon opening the photo in Capture One I knew I wanted to give this photo a film look. In order to do this select the “Local Adjustment” brush, create a new layer by hitting the “+ button.” Next, scroll down to “Styles and Presets” select “Color Effects” and “Creative 2.” Instantly your photo changes to the selected preset.

That’s all! Done! An amazing looking photo with literally 4 clicks of the mouse.

http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com

How Watching Soap Operas Made Me A Better Stylist!

We can all agree that styling a model can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you’re fashionably disabled like me. Hiring a wardrobe stylist is always an option, but sometimes that’s not feasible. One trick that has helped me to “keep up with the times,” has been watching soap opera’s.

 

When I first started watching soap opera’s I was immediately drawn to the lighting and styling, not to mention the awesome dialogue. Actors on the show are always dressed to the nine’s, from perfectly quaffed hair down to triangular shape tipped shoes (which I just learned are “in”). I also noticed that soap opera’s seem to be ahead of the current fashion trend and in many cases set the trend.

 

When watching the show be sure to write down what you see, like the main actress is wearing a tribal sweater or that the male lead has on a bowtie. Also take note of hairstyles and make up that you like, then apply to your next photo shoot.

 

Obtaining the wardrobe needed for your shoot can be costly, but here are a few tips that I use to significantly cut costs. First, check out consignment and thrift stores, often these establishments have what you are looking for at a 50% discount.

 

Second, ask to borrow clothes from large department stores. Certain department stores will lend a photographer clothing for a shoot for a small fee. You will also have to leave a credit card number incase the garment gets damaged. You will need to do a little research and call ahead, but that’s a way I’ve obtained clothing for a shoot in the past.

 

My third tip is to rent clothing from websites like www.renttherunway.com/ or www.etsy.com. At times sellers on Etsy will allow photographers to use clothing and jewelry as long as you provide them with final images that they can then use.

Once your photo shoot is complete and your ready to share your photo’s, be sure to tag the designer of the clothes you used. Social media is HUGE and that designer might just see your photo and want to hire you for a future shoot.

 

http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are NO lighting tests in my studio

You heard right, there are NO lighting tests when I shoot. The second my subject steps in front of my camera I immediately start shooting, no light testing necessary. I will however meter the light using my Sekonic L-758DR, but as far as telling my model to “relax i’m just testing the light and checking exposure” just doesn’t happen anymore. I’ve taken many AWESOME photos right out of the gate that its far better to have your subject pose rather than have them just stand or sit there, you might catch something awesome! It’s far easier to check that your lights are positioned correctly and re-adjust than it is for the model to make that once in a lifetime face and pose.

My advice… Set-up your lights, take a meter reading, position your model and start shooting… if something looks a little off, don’t let your model know! Just take a few more shots and say something like “good” or “beautiful” after each shutter press. After you take maybe 5-6 photos, tell your model they’re doing great, but you want to try to add a bit more “spice” (use your own words here) and then re-adjust your lights if needed.

In the photo below I asked my model to stand on his mark and adjust his glasses. While he was doing so I released the shutter. Initially I thought the rim lights were too blown out, but the pose was AWESOME. I was able to pull down the highlights in Lightroom and recover details. I then retouched the image in Photoshop and toned it using Alien Skin Exposure. Out of all the photo I took, this was by far the most interesting! Had I asked the model to stand there while I adjusted lights, then kept asking him to adjust his glasses, I would have lost this genuine look.

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http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com

Nikon D810 Review – Concert Photography

If you follow me on social media then you are aware of my switch to Nikon. My experience with the Nikon D810 has been nothing but amazing. I have yet to fully test in my studio, but here are my thoughts about using the D810 at a concert.

Gear: Nikon D810, Sigma 70-200 F/2.8, Sigma 24-105 F/4 Art Lens, Battery Grip

  • If you shoot concerts then you know it can be difficult to meter properly. I cheated and used a Sekonic DR-758 on spot meter mode gave me a reading of 1/250th, 2.8 at ISO: 800. The D810 in spot metering mode gave me a reading of 1/125th, 2.8 at ISO:1250, obviously different from the Sekonic’s reading, but I will give a little leeway because the lighting was changing drastically.
  • I used Nikon’s new Active D-Lighting mode which essentially changes your EV. In my case Active D-Lighting was set to -07 EV. This mode is AWESOME to use for concerts or theater.
  • I shot in Small RAW and Full JPEG mode. I had my setting set to STANDARD and the files from the JPEG looked awesome! As expected the RAW files looked flat, but that’s exactly what you want when shooting RAW.
  • I shot in Auto White Balance and the D810 handled the lighting conditions perfectly.
  • I also shot on CONTINUOUS focus mode. I come from a Canon background and I’m still getting used to moving the focus point around, but focus is quick and followed action wonderfully.
  • The Nikon D810 has the option to switch from FX mode to DX mode (1.5 crop) I did not use that feature, but it is a nice feature to have if you shoot sports and need some more throw on your lens.

Final Thoughts: Extremely impressed! The D810 is fast, feels great in the hands and a very sexy machine.

All photos below are jpegs shot directly in camera… no retouching has been done to them, they are straight from the camera.

http://www.andrewfoordphotography.com