Day 13: Showcasing your work

What’s the best way to showcase your work? Portfolios can be used to show many diffrent types of work such as essay pr stories, photos, finances, etc. This is a reference as to how photographers show their work and experience to recruit clients. Moreover I put my digital portfolio together which will include mostly nature shots (my biggest interest), some portraits, and product shots. Before I started, I read a few articles online, and found a few tips to help me create my portfolio. Tip #1 is to choose my best photos of course, first putting the ones that I like into a folder, and then narrowing down my options and cleaning up the folder. Tip #2 consists of making sure that every photo you add to your portfolio folder is edited and meets your standards before putting them in the folder. Tip #3: separate photos into categories or themes such as portraits, products, scenery, etc. You can also group together photos that have a similar color or vibrancy to them. Finally, tip #4 is to find your two best photos, one for the beginning of the portfolio, and one for the end. Of course I had to search for websites that allowed me to create this electronic portfolio without a lot of restrictions, but once I did, it was smooth sailing from there.


Day 10: Marketing, Research, and creating a plan

It’s new week which means a new area to study. However, this is the last full week before the end of the intensive. So, the new topic is the idea of marketing and budgeting. This week will probably be more research based as I will be watching many pro marketing videos, and attempting to do some myself. With all the rain coming towards the end of the week, I probably won’t be able to get out and do much, so research is the best option for those days, and activities/prep for intensive fair on others. Also, I realized that I won’t be able to print out my calendar as I had hoped, because to print it out In such good quality, it would take up to a week to be processed and returned to me. Anyhow, I began my day by making a list of the all the things I needed done by the end of the week. First I need the digital calendar and portfolio finished, then I’ll need to make sure that I have all of my equipment ready for any demonstrations, and I will need to do a lot of research this week. Also, I began creating a google presentation for the fair to show what I learned. That’s when the research comes in. Finally, If I find good statistics and charts, I’ll print them out and have them handy.

Day 9: Recap

As I usually do, I want to recap what I was able to accomplish within this week’s topic. So, I was able to use my tripod, my flash, and the light reflector both indoors and outdoors.
The flash was the hardest to learn and get use to, still not sure how to use it outdoors. I know when it would come in handy outdoors, just not how to actually use it in that situation. For example, If you’re photographing let’s say a guy with no hair, and the sun is reflecting on his head only on one side, You’d want to use the flash and even out the distribution of light on his face. Furthermore, the tripod was definitely easier to use, and surprisingly very handy. There are many different positions that it does in order to achieve certain looks. The hardest thing to get use to was setting it up every time I wanted to use it, and not being able to use a handle to pan or tilt. Most professional photographers have what they call a ball head tripod which is why I went with the one I have. I was nervous about not liking it since there’s no handle and you have to use the edge of the camera to operate it, but it’s actually much more predictable. For example, You can tilt it in any position, sideways, up, straight, diagonal, etc. On a regular pan handle tripod, You cannot point the camera straight up at the sky, Only to a certain degree, and you can’t have the camera sideways while it still being on the tripod. Also, I used both pieces of equipment in a real situation (at the retirement party). Lastly, towards the end of the week, some activities were done in order test my skills, knowledge, and ability to think on my toes.

Day 8: Learning activity

To keep the rest of the week interesting, I did an activity related to the creative side of being a professional photographer. I’m going to do another one tomorrow, but today’s goal was to go to any location of my choice, stand in one spot, and take 15-20 different creative possibly abstract photos without moving from that same spot. The idea behind this is that photographers have so little time and not a lot of posing options when it comes to taking pictures in certain locations. You have to think of different posses, different lighting, some times a change in scenery all from the same area. So, I did this a couple of times until I found it easier to do, because when you get to your first 10 photos or so, You start running out of ideas. Once I got home and looked through the photos, I put each different locations photos into different folders so that I could see if there was any progress between my attempt, second, and last attempt at this activity.

Day 7: Creating my own calendar

Today I decided to work on my calendar, while using some of my new equipment. So, I went out to a few different places to get some photos that I thought would be suitable for the different months. With my tripod, I was able to get some macro shots of different plants. The hardest part is deciding whether to make the pictures actually resemble what that month is all about, or to have some pictures that are completely unrelated considering that I can’t take any pictures of snow because it’s not winter yet or fall for that matter! I just took as many pictures as possible just to have a large selection. I might have to take some more, but so far I’m pretty satisfied. The next thing that I did was some research on different calendar layouts, and different websites that let you make your own custom calendar. After that I had a doctor’s appointment which took up some of my time, so what I did for the rest of the day was edit, create the layout of my calendar, and figure out how long it was going to take and how I could print it in time for intensive fair.


Day 6: My first big event

This is probably the furthest I’ve been outside of my comfort zone since this intensive began. When you think of big parties like graduations and weddings you think of the fun surrounding those two things, what you don’t usually think about are the people capturing those cherished moments. Now, I din’t do a graduation or wedding, but today I attended and helped with a retirement party. The celebration started at about 6pm, and ended around 9, and it was a 30 minute drive on the highway there and back from my house. There were maybe a little less than 100 people ranging from older people to middle aged people, younger people, and even babies. Usually I’d be taking pictures, but this time, I was asked to do some videography of the atmosphere, people, decorations, food, etc. This reminded me how most photographers do other things like videography. A lot of things happened while I was going back and fourth between the two rooms that the party took place in. For example, in the first room, there were the main dishes that were set up later on, and next to it was where the kids were getting their faces painted by a clown which was pretty neat to see. In the other room were a dozen tables, desserts, drinks, a dj at the back of the room, and a cake set up near the dance floor. Probably the easiest and funnest thing to film were the kids’ reactions to their face paint, and just them playing together with the balloons and everything. Towards the end, the cake was cut while everyone watched and took pictures, then the dancing began. Groups gathered onto the dance floor, and that was probably the best part of this whole experience. I was able to move through everyone with the camera making to sure to catch facial expressions, and their interactions with one another while dancing and having fun. Jeff was taking pictures, along with another photographer that they hired. So, not only was there one photographer there the whole time, but there were two! There were times when I had to use the flash, because the lights were off, and times when I used the tripod to get a far steady shot of the filled room. Moreover, I had a lot of fun, and definitely enjoyed doing something new for a change (videography).

Day 5: A new focus

As I mentioned in the first blog, this week’s focus is going to be mostly on equipment,  prices, and the location of photoshoots. However, I do want to start off with a short story from last Thursday. So, during the engagement shoot, since we had to keep caring our equipment to different areas of the park, a story came to mind. Not sure when this happened, but Jeff said that he has in fact lost thousands of dollars worth of equipment while exploring a Metropark. He sat his bag down for a couple of minutes, and when he turned back around, it was gone. That was probably a huge eye opener for him to not only keep his equipment by his side, but to also not take what he has for granted which leads me into my next point. Equipment and gadgets in the world of photography can get very expensive very quickly. Essentially, if you want something that’s great quality, and easier to use, you’re going to have to consider adding more money into your budget. Considering that I only just recently got a new tripod and flash, I decided to go out and test those out today. I took some indoor shots with the external flash, figuring out how to bounce light from the ceiling to the subject. It took a while to get use to, but I started getting the hang of it, and realized that the pointing the flash straight is a huge mistake. In almost all cases, your flash should be pointed either up at a 45, 75, 60, or 90 degree angle. Of course the flash can be pointed towards you (backwards), or to the side. The only time when you would do that is when you want to have dramatic, spotlight shots like the one below. I did experiment with that a bit, but not in black and white which would’ve been a better idea! I still haven’t perfected the use of the external flash, but I’m getting there. Furthermore, while at the Botanical garden, I tested out every feature of the tripod which included sideways shots using the ball head, panning, macro shots, etc. Of course there’s other equipment that exists, but the whole idea of creating your own business is finding what’s right for you at that moment in time!

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