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Monthly Archives: March 2018

  • 4 Marketing Mistakes – How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    You can market your photography business in hundreds of different ways — some incredible effective, and some a total waste of your time. Here are four marketing mistakes or wrong ways to promote your photography business and what you should be doing instead.

    How To Market Your Photography Business1

    Mistake #1 – You’re Too “Professional”

    By no means does this mean you should act or present yourself unprofessionally in your photography business — but often we hide behind a front of professionalism. If being a professional means a headshot on your website holding your camera (or no headshot at all) and a story about how you love love, and love photographing weddings, it’s unremarkable. Every other photographer does and believes those things.

    Through trying to be perceived as a professional, you’ve becoming boring! Yes, you need to conduct your business professionally – but add some zest to your brand. What makes you unique as a human, and therefore, a photographer?

    What 5-10 things could you talk about all day? Which things make you excited? What 5-10 things do you dislike? What are 5-10 ways you could describe your personality and your images?

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    Brainstorm the list of you! Get clear on your interests, personality, photography style, brand, and voice and consistently communicate this uniqueness to your clients.

    It’s simple to do a brand audit of your website, blog, and social media accounts. Within 30 seconds, would a new client know what makes you different? What facts will they remember? This is the key to non-boring, but still professional marketing.

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    Mistake #2 – You’re Advertising Without Intention

    In the name of honesty, I have never paid to advertise my photography business. But I’m not against advertising in magazines, wedding shows, or placing Facebook ads. However, advertising without intention is a big marketing mistake many photographers make.

    Before you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for an ad, ask yourself this question, “Is my ideal client hanging out here?”

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    If you’re not clear on who your ideal client is, that will be the first step! Think back to some of your favorite clients and scribble a list of describing words about their personalities, wedding day, and photos. After you’ve reviewed at least 10 of your past couples, circle any common themes that occur.

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    Testimonials are a gold mine for sketching out your ideal client. If you don’t have one already, start a document with feedback from your clients and look for themes. What are clients most excited about after working with you? A few more details to include in your client profile include their age, location, career, income bracket, and hobbies.

    Once you get clear on who your ideal client is, then you can filter every advertising opportunity through your client profile. Would your ideal client be looking for a wedding photographer in that magazine, at the bridal show, through Facebook ads? If so, wonderful but if not, perhaps your marketing efforts and dollars are best spent elsewhere.

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    Mistake #3 – You’re EVERYWHERE on Social Media

    You have a limited amount of time to market your photography business, and you have to make your moments count. Before you get involved on Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. – pause.

    Is your ideal client finding their wedding photographer on that platform? If you’re not sure — a good place to start would be surveying your past clients and asking “Where did you find me?”

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    Chances are that a few social media platforms (2-3 maximum) are bringing in most of your inquiries. The other platforms are a waste of your time. For photographers, I have found Instagram and Facebook to be front-runners, perhaps with Pinterest as a third. But you’ll have to investigate the stats for your business.

    Once you’ve narrowed down the platforms you want to pursue, let go of the ones that aren’t working! On your chosen platforms, engage consistently with a mix of personal and business posts – sharing your face regularly, sharing work you love and calling prospective clients to action.

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    Mistake #4 – You’re Sending Cold Emails

    One of the best ways to market your photography business is building a strong network within your own industry. By this, I mean connecting with other photographers as well as wedding vendors and venues. However, sending cold impersonal emails is the wrong way to market your business.

    If you want to send emails that not only get read but receive a reply back, make sure you do your research. Before you send an email, follow their accounts on social media, leave comments on their blog — so do that at least a week in advance of emailing. When you email, keep it short and to the point. Genuinely compliment their work. Share who you are, what you want and how you can help that person achieve their business goals.

    4 Marketing Mistakes - How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business

    Practically, this may mean helping a vendor by providing free headshots of their staff, photos of their storefront, or offering to help them improve their website or blog one afternoon. Most industry leaders want to help, they were new once as well – but not at a disadvantage to their own time.

    If you want to connect with a fellow photographer, asking them for coffee for “tips” is a terrible way to get an email response. Instead, focus on relationship building, helping them in their business, sending a gift in the mail and asking to take them out to their favorite lunch spot. I guarantee your “cold emailing” success rate will increase if you follow these tips

    Conclusion

    What other mistakes have you make marketing your photography business, or seen others make? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

    All the best to you as you work to market your photography business!

    The post 4 Marketing Mistakes – How NOT to Promote Your Photography Business appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • Five Common Portrait Retouching Mistakes to Avoid

    When it comes to retouching portraits there are a number of mistakes that I see photographers make over and over. Part of the problem is that there are too many poorly made skin smoothing plugins. Another is that Photoshop gives you too many options for portrait retouching. There is a simple solution for this which I’ll mention at the end of the article.

    In the meantime, let’s look at the most common portrait retouching mistakes photographers make so you can avoid them. Don’t feel too bad if you are making any of these errors. Consider it part of the learning process. You’ll learn to avoid these mistakes as your retouching skills improve.

    Portrait retouching mistakes

    1. Applying too much skin smoothing

    This is a problem you see in commercial photography as well as in the work of hobbyist photographers. If you look closely at a typical cinema photo or a perfume advertisement you’ll see that the models and actors are often retouched to the point they are nearly unrecognizable. They certainly don’t look real or authentic. When this happens in the commercial world it’s little wonder that other photographers imitate what they see and make the same mistakes.

    My advice is to consider whether skin smoothing is required in the first place and if it is to apply it with the lightest possible touch. Most photos of men don’t require skin smoothing. It’s conventional to apply some skin smoothing with most portraits of women, but it’s also important to retain skin texture to avoid the plastic skin look.

    Portrait retouching mistakes

    Two versions of the same portrait. The one on the left has had too much skin smoothing applied. The one on the right has less skin smoothing. You can still see skin texture and the result looks more natural.

    The best way to apply skin smoothing that I know of is to use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom with the Soften Skin preset (this preset comes with Lightroom and affects the Clarity and Sharpness sliders).

    Portrait retouching mistakes

    When you first apply the preset you’ll see that it’s very strong and as a result the effect is overdone. But you can get around that easily by clicking the black triangle above the Adjustment Brush sliders (below).

    Portrait retouching mistakes

    When you do so the sliders disappear and are replaced by a single Amount slider. You can set it anywhere from 100 (full effect) to zero (no effect). This lets you apply the skin smoothing effect with a light touch that retains skin texture.

    Portrait retouching mistakes

    2. Making the model’s eyes bigger

    Amongst some photographers, it has become trendy to use Photoshop’s Liquify tool to make the model’s eyes bigger. The idea behind it is simple – large eyes are considered appealing, and enlarging a model’s eyes makes her more attractive.

    Where this theory falls down is that most people are smart enough to recognize when this has been done, especially if they know the model personally. It results in an unnatural looking portrait that has lost any authenticity.

    Portrait retouching mistakes

    3. Making the model’s eyes too bright or too sharp

    One of biggest advantages that software like Lightroom and Photoshop has given photographers is the ability to make highly accurate local adjustments. But it’s so easy to make the model’s eyes whiter, brighter or sharper that many photographers do so without thinking about whether or not it looks natural.

    A better approach is to apply the effect subtly and zoom into 100% to check that it looks realistic. Go too far and you end up with a portrait where the model’s eyes attract attention for the wrong reason – they are over-processed rather than being the windows into the person’s soul.

    portait retouching mistakes

    4. Applying too much Clarity

    Even professional photographers make this mistake. Recently I saw a friend’s wedding photos and my first thought was that the photographer had applied way too much Clarity, making her look older than she really is. Of course, I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to spoil her enjoyment of her big day or the wedding photos. But if the photographer had photographed my wedding I would have been very disappointed with the results.

    Adding Clarity emphasizes skin texture, blemishes, and wrinkles. For this reason, it’s usually a bad idea to apply it to portraits of women. Normally you do the opposite and apply skin smoothing (which is a negative Clarity adjustment in Lightroom).

    With men it’s different. You may want to apply Clarity in order to emphasize skin texture and make the model’s face appear more rugged. You have to judge it on a case by case basis as every portrait is different.

    The key, once again, is to apply it subtly rather than with a heavy hand. Your processing technique shouldn’t draw attention to itself.

    5. Over-sharpening

    This is another big mistake that I see photographers make. Over sharpening can come from several sources. For example, if you use the JPEG format rather than Raw then remember that your camera sharpens the photo for you. Any sharpening you apply in post-processing is applied on top of an already sharpened photo.

    If you use Raw there is very little need to set Sharpening to anything other than the default settings in your Raw converter. It’s rare that any additional sharpening is required on top of that. Remember that the effect of Sharpening is heightened if used in conjunction with applying Clarity.

    The best approach to Sharpening is to use your software’s default settings and to never apply any additional Sharpening on top of that. If you do apply extra Sharpening, you need to zoom into your portrait to check the effect on the eyes and eyelashes, as this is where artifacts caused by over-sharpening are most likely to appear.

    Note: Remember to use the mask feature of the sharpening tools in LR and ACR. That will help keep the sharpening to only edges and not smooth areas like skin or sky. 

    Conclusion

    Another aspect we haven’t discussed yet is to think about exactly what you want to achieve with your portrait processing. For example, you have probably guessed by now that I favor a natural, authentic approach to portraiture. That means using natural light, prime lenses, wide apertures and minimal processing. These techniques help me achieve the look I’m after.

    Other photographers may be more commercially minded. If this is you, then a slightly more heavy-handed approach may be required. Even so, it’s wise to apply skin smoothing and other portrait retouching techniques subtly, rather than over-process your portraits.

    At the beginning of the article, I mentioned a simple solution to the problem of over-processing portraits. The solution is this – use Lightroom. Don’t use Photoshop and don’t use a portrait retouching plugin.

    There is no Liquify tool in Lightroom so you won’t be tempted to change the shape of a model’s eyes or face. There’s only one skin smoothing preset, so you should be able to avoid the temptation to over smooth the model’s skin. There is no high pass filter or other fancy sharpening techniques, so this should prevent you from over sharpening your portraits (be careful with the Clarity slider though!).

    What are the most common portrait retouching mistakes you’ve seen or made yourself? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


    Mastering Lightroom ebooks

    Want to get a head start with Lightroom? Take a look at my popular Mastering Lightroom ebooks, written to help photographers learn how to use all of Lightroom’s powerful features. Use the code DPS20 to get 20% off your first order.

    The post Five Common Portrait Retouching Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

  • Stock up on Fuji Acros 100 film, reports indicates they will discontinue

    We’ve seen quite a bit of film being discontinued in the last years. Some Velvia and Provia, Agfa Vista, and many others. We reported that some Fuji Acros was going to go away back on October 07, and completely forgot about it. But it seems that the time has come, and the Casual Photophile reports that communication was sent […]

    The post Stock up on Fuji Acros 100 film, reports indicates they will discontinue appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • Aputure launches Amaran MX and F7: compact, lightweight, powerful and affordable lights

    Aputure is launching two new lights that put a whole lot of power in a small and lightweight package. One is Amaran MX, and Aputure showed off its prototype back in September 2017. The other is the Amaran F7, a long-awaited upgrade to one of their oldest products, the Amaran 198. Amaran MX The Amaran […]

    The post Aputure launches Amaran MX and F7: compact, lightweight, powerful and affordable lights appeared first on DIY Photography.


    Source: Diyphotographynet

  • Weekly Photography Challenge – Dogs and Puppies

    Last week we photographed our feathered friends, how about some furry ones this week?

    Weekly Photography Challenge – Dogs and Puppies

    Need some help? Try these articles:

    Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

    Share in the dPS Facebook Group

    You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

    The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Dogs and Puppies appeared first on Digital Photography School.


    Source: DP School

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