Is it the camera or the photographer?

9 07 2008

What makes a great photographer? Is it the camera and lenses they use? Or is it the photographer?

That was the question of the hour yesterday as Andrew and I poured over a selection of images we had recently taken.

The next time you’re out with friends that aren’t photographers, watch how they look at things around them. Do they notice the flowers surrounding the cafe patio? Do they notice the bird soaring in the sky? Do they notice the signs along camera lensthe way?

As a photographer – especially coming from a photojournalistic style of  photography – we see things in storyline fashion. We’re constantly looking for ways to tell the story with our photographs – and we pick up on ways to show that with each picture.

We focus on macro results, so the eye naturally picks up on what we focus on.

We show things in detail and put several images together to show the whole picture.

We use perspective to make a photograph better.

That comes from the education of being a professional photographer. It doesn’t come with the camera. I can get a great image from a point-and-shoot simply because I understand perspective and what to look for.

Of course the better the lens, the more I can get.  But ultimately comes down to the photographer.

What do you think?

Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Why Can Photographers Command Such High Fees? Number 9

13 06 2008

[I recently posted an article entitled, 10 Reasons Professional Photographers Charge What They Do. As I was writing this article, I realized my 10 could be expanded and have even more detail. So this is the start of 10 Reasons Why Photographers Can Command Such High Fees.]

9. An amateur will take a few great images with their point and shoot, and think they should go into business. They don’t think about the thousands of other images that we’re gust “so so”. A professional can’t have thousands of “so so” images. They have to hit perfection 80 to 90  percent of the time Sure some will be better than others. But as a professional, you have to rely on the majority of the images you take to make you money. 50237

So instead of relying on a few consumer grade cameras, a professional photographer invests in a ton of professional equipment.  They spend thousands upon thousands of dollars getting multiple camera bodies, the finest lenses, flash equipment for every situation, tripods, light stands, backdrops, props, carrying and storage cases.

And it doesn’t stop there. As a photographer, you’re always on the run. What if something happens to a camera body or lens? You have to   get backups for everything to make sure you never miss an image.

Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Why Can Photographers Command Such High Fees? Number 10

12 06 2008

I recently posted an article entitled, 10 Reasons Professional Photographers Charge What They Do. As I was writing this article, I realized my 10 could be expanded and have even more detail. So this is the start of 10 Reasons Why Photographers Can Command Such High Fees.

10. If you are a professional photographer, and you’ve decided to camera lensmake it your career, the only way to stay in business is to make money. You have to build your studio as a business, and make enough money to pay you for your lifestyle, and still have enough left over to run the business.

Other business owners have no trouble commanding high fees. A consultant can easily charge a company 5 and 6 figure fees because of their knowledge base. Why can’t a professional photographer?

If you’ve made the choice to be a full time photographer (even if you now are part time) you have to build up the business to be profitable. 

Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.





Photography – The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals

29 05 2008

It seems as if everyone with a camera is setting up shop and marketing themselves as a true professional. But can everyone with a camera be a professional? Can you command professional prices just because you love taking photographs?

The answer is a definite no.

Lots of people love photographing nature, but there’s only one Ansel Adams.

Lots of people taking portraits, but there’s only one Annie Leibovitz.

So what is the difference between an amateur and a professional? How do you know when you’ve reached professional status?

1.You think like a professional. Amateurs want a photography business to give them a reason to buy more camera equipment. Amateurs want a photography business to keep them busy when they want to be busy – not on a full time basis. A professional loves capturing images, and sharing them with as many people as possible. They love to beextras1 busy doing what they love – and making a good living at it as well.

2. You think of yourself as an entrepreneur. Yes, there’s more to a photography business than photographing. There’s production. And marketing. And paper work. And emails. And promotion. And sales. An entrepreneur loves growing a business, with photography as your passion, product and service – not the other way around.

3. You make it a goal to improve. You take your camera everywhere. You’re the one at the party behind the lens of the camera. You also attend your local photography meetings; buy videos and training materials to improve both your photography and business skills; and hire coaches to make you better at building your photography studio.

4. You spend time studying other photographers work, and try and improve your own photography by following examples. An amateur loves what they do, and thinks there is no room for improvement. But a professional knows the education will never stop. There’s always room for improvement. 

5. You create your own style. Everyone starts out imitating a mentor photographer. I remember taking posing guides from some of our favorite photographers (David Ziser, Clay Blackmore, Heidi Mauracher) and imitating poses and images produced by greats like Denis Reggie. But once we moved into professional status, we created our own style. The posing comes naturally. The fun is always there. It’s always effortless, and it shows in the images.

6. You know your stuff. There’s no more thinking about each image. You automatically know when you’ve captured the perfect image. It’s all about having fun with the client, pulling together a professional image for the client to see, and knowing everything will fall into place perfectly.

7. You’d do this even without the money. Photography is something that is inside of you, no matter what. You love doing it, and find any excuse to photograph. But you also know that as a true professional, you can command a high fee. It comes with being a professional. 

Helping your photography business, how to start a digital wedding photography business and wedding photography business visit virtualphotographystudio.com and keep up-to-date with all of the photography happenings via our free newsletter.