Should Photographers Use a PC or a Mac?

A photographer’s computer is an important part of his or her gear. It’s what allows a good photo to be edited and manipulated into an excellent photo. Computers allow photographers to enhance colors, crop out unwanted scenery, or create a 3D virtual walkthrough.

The requirements for a powerful computer, both in terms of functions and raw processing, lead many photographers to ask — should I use a PC or a Mac?

It’s an age-old question posed by creatives across industries and disciplines. For many, Macs have always encapsulated the “artsy” crowd. PCs were seen as more a general computing device.

With developments in technology and operating systems, the differences between PC and Mac are few. But the question remains: should photographers use a PC or Mac?

Use What You Have First

Buying a new computer requires a significant investment of your hard-earned dollars. If you have a functioning and powerful(-enough) PC or Mac, continuing to use it might be your best bet for now.

Why? As a photographer, your first priority should be maintaining and building your photography equipment. The best computer in the world isn’t going to take a gorgeous photo of Mt. Rainier for you. You still need the right camera, lenses, and gear to make that happen.

If your computer — whether it’s a PC or a Mac — can still handle photo editing and other tasks without unreasonable rendering times or crashes, save your money. You’ll know when it’s time to upgrade once your computer starts to show its age.

Are You More Familiar With a PC or Mac?

Let’s face it — do you really want to learn a completely new operating system just to use the same software you’re accustomed to? That time is probably better spent actually shooting photos, right?

While it was once believed software like Photoshop ran better on Mac, that’s no longer the case.

Because Mac has no clear-cut performance advantage over PC (and vice-versa), you’re free to use the one you’re most familiar with. Are you already using a slew of Apple products in your day-to-day workflow? If so, you might want to take advantage of Apple’s convenient compatibility between products.

On the other hand, if you’re more comfortable using a PC then, by all means, continue to do so. As the old saying goes…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Mac is (Usually) More Expensive Than PC

A new Mac is almost always more expensive than a comparable PC. This is, in part, due to Apple’s proprietary hardware. In comparison, PCs are made by a plethora of manufacturers or can be custom-built to your specifications by yourself.

Because Macs are built with proprietary hardware, you’re locked into the Apple ecosystem. That means relying on Apple for repairs, customer service, and replacement components. It also means buying most of your computing equipment from a single vendor without much room for competition (and, with that, competitive prices).

Macs are also less easily-upgraded. As technology progresses and your Mac starts to show its age, your only recourse (short of a few options, like upgrading the RAM) is to buy a new Mac. With a PC, you can swap components out as they age, keeping your computer as close to cutting-edge as possible (even if it gradually starts to resemble Frankenstein’s monster).

Macs Are Generally More Stable Than PCs

Each Mac is built with components designed to work together. Apple engineers design motherboards to function perfectly with the other intended hardware. The computer’s drivers and firmware are then custom-tailored and optimized to sync with the Mac’s configuration.

PCs are different. How many times have you had to update drivers or firmware through Windows Update or the manufacturer itself? Driver conflicts can cause blue screens of death and instability.

On the flip side, Apple delivers its updates together and from one source. And because the computers in a specific Mac configuration vary so slightly, if at all, driver and firmware updates introduce far less instability — if there even is any.

Apple also has significantly less market share than PC manufacturers in the computer market. While that sounds like a negative at first, it means that Macs are less likely to be targeted with viruses and malware.

Should Photographers Use a Desktop or Laptop?

In general, desktops are more powerful and cost-effective than laptops. The added internal space means beefier, power-hungry components can be installed.

A PC desktop also affords you a more customized experience. Because it’s stationary, you can buy a beautiful 27-inch monitor and not worry about having to lug it around with you everywhere. There are more ports and connections for peripheral devices and plenty of room to upgrade.

But desktops — both PC and Mac — lack the versatility of laptops. A laptop can come with you to a shoot so you can edit on the fly or during downtime. You can more easily show your clients samples of your work or examples of what you’re discussing.

If you’re a student, a laptop can come with you to class or the dorms while doubling as your photo editing device.

The best solution, if your funds allow it, is to buy both a desktop and laptop. The desktop can serve as your office computer, handling any heavy-duty editing or post-processing. Your laptop can come with you so you can still get work done when you’re not at the office.

If you can’t afford both options, think about how often you’ll be able to work on the go. Does your schedule allow for you to edit while mobile? Have you ever wished you could do some spot editing in front of a client?

On the flip side, how much power do you expect from a computer? If you’re commonly performing intensive post-processing work, you might be better off with a desktop.

Should a Photographer Buy a PC or a Mac?

Gone is the belief that Macs reign supreme for photographers. The performance similarities between PCs and Macs mean you’re fine with using either, but that doesn’t help you make a purchasing decision.

Instead, the decision of whether a photographer should buy a PC or Mac is entirely preferential. Macs still carry the perception of being ideal for those who work in the visual arts, so if maintaining an image is important to you, Mac is a solid choice.

Macs also take the lead in the realms of ergonomics and simplicity. Apple makes beautiful machines that prioritize users’ comfort and convenience. “They just work,” more or less.

PCs offer the most choice and customization, as well as a lower price point. While you may have to deal with the occasional crash or inconvenience, there’s a reason why PCs still dominate the market.

The best computer for a photographer is one that meets their needs and preferences, whether it’s a PC or a Mac.

By |2019-05-17T10:09:05+00:00May 17th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Where Are The Best Restrooms?

As a photographer, you should plan out your day and your route when traveling from client to client. Putting a plan into place helps you get to your clients on time and keeps you from getting lost or appearing otherwise unprofessional.

Your plan should allow for some downtime between shoots, whether that downtime is to accommodate travel time or…nature’s calling.

That’s right. Part of a photographer’s schedule requires time for life’s necessities. You need to allow yourself time to eat, rest, and, yes, use the restroom. Learning how to find a restroom can prevent you from being uncomfortable during a shoot. But where are the best restrooms?

Public Buildings

The obvious answer for where to find a restroom is a building open to the public. These locations may not have the grandest or freshest restrooms, but they’re better than nothing and, more importantly, available to the public.

Look for places that don’t require admission tickets or appointments to enter. Places like libraries, public transport stations, hospitals, and colleges are all likely to offer unimpeded access to their restrooms.

Retail and Grocery Stores

Retail and grocery stores also offer free access to their restrooms. Most importantly, a store’s restrooms are often located close to the entrance and exit, which is a lifesaver when you really have to go.

Stopping at a store to use its restroom also allows you the opportunity to buy a quick snack or make sure you’re staying hydrated. Store restrooms are generally close to the checkout lanes, so snag a cold drink or some trail mix to keep yourself hydrated and energized throughout the rest of your day.

Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Cafes

Your success using the restroom at a restaurant, coffee shop, or cafe is hit-or-miss. Since these are private establishments, they may require you to purchase something prior to giving you access to the restroom. In other cases, you may be granted access to the restroom, though it’s still frowned upon to not buy anything before or after you go.

This, of course, isn’t true for all restaurants and coffee shops. Starbucks has recently changed its policy to allow all members of the public to use its locations’ restrooms without requiring the purchase of a coffee or food item.

Still, photographers lead busy lives, so it’s not too difficult to talk yourself into buying a coffee to use the restroom.

Download a Restroom-Finding App

Photographers aren’t the only professionals who need to find restrooms while on-the-go. The need to find clean and accessible restrooms has spawned a plethora of helpful apps.

Using a restroom-finding app is as simple as ordering an Uber or shopping online. They display the:

  • Available restrooms in a given area
  • Type of location the restroom is located in
  • User ratings about the state and condition of the restroom

If you’re traveling to clients in an unfamiliar location, download a restroom-finding app. If nature calls between shoots, you’ll at least have some idea of where you can find a clean restroom.

Prepare for the Worst

Photographers should always be prepared for the unexpected. While that often means coming prepared with the right gear and equipment, you should also pack a few toiletries alongside your gear.

After all, have you ever rushed to the restroom only to discover there’s no toilet paper? What about a lack of soap or something to dry your hands with?

Stuff a roll or two of toilet paper and some travel-sized soap in your bags. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Find the Best Restrooms While Traveling

Photographers travel a lot. It’s part of the job, after all. By equipping yourself with the knowledge of where the best restrooms can be found, you’ll avoid having to shoot while uncomfortable — or worse. Use these tips to find the best restrooms when nature comes calling.

By |2019-05-03T07:24:14+00:00May 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How To Take Photos in Rough Neighborhoods

Photographers visit a wide gamut of locations in their day-to-day life. From tall mountains that pierce the clouds to dry and dusty basins, photographers know few limits in the places they travel to in search of the perfect shot.

But not all locations are safe. Some locations and neighborhoods may not be especially suited for visitors. Some areas may be prone to petty crime — or even a high rate of violent crimes.

Photographers often visit these unsafe locations to shoot photos on behalf of a client. After all, real estate in rough neighborhoods still needs to be bought and sold. Other photographers might want to shoot in bad neighborhoods to bring attention to them in hopes of making a positive change on the lives of those who live there.

Still, photographers should exercise caution and focus on safety when taking photos in rough neighborhoods. Here’s how to take photos in rough neighborhoods.

1. Follow the Law

Many potential problems can be nipped in the bud before they even arise by simply following the law and knowing your rights. In general, public places are the best spots to take a photo. People are rightfully protective of private property, but legally have little-to-no expectation of privacy in a public space.

Public locations have few restrictions on who or what you can photograph. If something does go down, too, there’s a higher likelihood of someone being around to serve as a witness.

However, be mindful of local ordinances and regulations when shooting in public. You may be prohibited from using certain types of equipment, like tripods, in specific areas.

Follow the local laws of the location you’re photographing to eliminate many issues before they even have a chance to crop up.

2. Be Open About Your Work

If a stranger with a camera is lurking about your neighborhood, you’d likely be curious to find out why. People are, after all, defensive and protective about their homes and communities.

If someone approaches you to ask you why you’re taking photos of their neighborhood, politely share your reasoning. Perhaps you’re a fan of the local architecture or working on a student project. Maybe you’re shooting a client’s home prior to it being listed for sale. Or perhaps you’re working to break negative stereotypes about “bad” neighborhoods.

Whatever your reasons, be honest and open about your work. Share your passion and enthusiasm for photography, and locals may even recommend landmarks you should shoot or share their unique stories with you.

What it breaks down to is respect. Show your respect for another’s home and they, in turn, will probably respect your visit.

3. Stay Aware

Though it goes without saying, it’s often easy — too easy — for photographers to get lost in their own work. Finding the best shot is a struggle, and it sometimes takes a bit of time looking through our viewfinder before snapping a photo.

In that time, any number of ne’er-do-wells have the opportunity to sneak up on you and pick your pockets — or worse.

When shooting photos in rough neighborhoods, it pays to stay aware of your surroundings. Take note of the people around you and pay attention to anyone or anything that makes you feel ill at ease.

Be mindful of people you’re photographing, too. Those dealing drugs or selling counterfeit merchandise might not be too happy to have their faces captured by your camera, even if they’re not the subject of your shot.

4. Come Prepared

As with every shoot, it pays to prepare yourself before taking photos in an unfamiliar neighborhood. What areas are known for their high crime rates? Is the area a tourist trap and more prone to pickpocketing or scams?

Before departing for a new neighborhood, share your plans with a friend or colleague. If you’re not heard from in a while, they’ll be able to alert your family and authorities to your last known location.

You may want to have a friend tag along with you on some shoots, too. There’s safety in numbers, and an extra pair of eyes can help identify any potential threats you’ve overlooked — or protect your gear while you snap the perfect photo.

5. Protect Your Gear

Speaking of gear, plenty of photographers invest hundreds and thousands of dollars into their equipment — and it can all be lost or stolen in a heartbeat. Other than staying aware of your surroundings, protect your equipment by:

  • Using non-branded camera bags
  • Putting electrical or duct tape over branding on your cameras and lenses
  • Storing your gear in the trunk of your car
  • Placing a blanket over any visible gear not in use
  • Making your bags and gear look dirty and old
  • Using a camera strap on your neck, wrist, or arm

The less your gear stands out, the better. Keep it stored away in as secure a location as possible and do what you can to reduce its attractiveness to thieves.

Take Photos in Rough Neighborhoods…But Stay Safe

Dangerous and rough neighborhoods are not without their worth, both in terms of plenty of good people who live within them and excellent photography opportunities. Keep yourself and your gear safe and protected by carrying yourself professionally, preparing yourself beforehand, and maintaining situational awareness.

By |2019-04-12T14:43:47+00:00April 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

When Should Photographers Go From Side Hustle to Full-Time?

Professional photographers often launch their careers as a side hustle while working a day job. The goal for many, however, is to eventually transition into a full-time photographer — someone who can support themselves entirely through their photography.

But how long should you expect to shoot before you’re ready — skill-wise and financially — to go full-time?

What Is Your Photography Workload?

If you’re frequently turning down new clients or are fully booked for the foreseeable future, you might be ready to take the plunge and turning your photography side hustle into your only hustle.

A hefty workload is one of the strongest indicators that you’re ready and able to shoot full-time.

Be careful, though. The amount of photography work you have should be enough to sustain you and your lifestyle. You don’t want to quit your stable full-time job only for your photography work to dry up and leave you penniless.

If you’re booking enough shoots and have a consistent demand for your work though, chances are good that you’re ready to start shooting full-time.

Set Financial Goals

While it plays hand-in-hand with your workload, it’s important to know how much money you need to earn over a given period of time.

Without a consistent 40-hour-a-week job, each shoot you schedule should make a significant contribution to your earnings.

Calculate how much money you require to sustain your lifestyle and grow your business, then use that information to properly price your services. How many shoots will you need to schedule per week? Will you need to book more weddings or sell more portrait slots?

If you earn enough from your photography to pay the bills and sustain your lifestyle, you’re likely ready to start shooting full-time.

Ensure Your Skills Are On-Point

Photography has a low barrier to entry. After all, anyone with a smartphone possesses the ability to start shooting photos.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s skilled enough to launch a career in photography.

If photography has long been a passion of yours, chances are you’ve continued to hone your skills. Still, you need to offer potential clients a certain quality in the work you do. If you do good work, you’re more likely to get referrals and repeat business. Cha-ching.

But how can you tell your skill is at a high enough level to transition into full-time photography? Audit your portfolio to determine what level you’re at and continue to develop your techniques.

If you and your clients are happy with your work and portfolio, it may be the right time to turn that side hustle into a full-time job.

You’ve Built Up an Emergency Fund

Self-employment, especially in the arts, sometimes leads to a feast or famine situation. No matter how good a photographer you are, it’s wise to establish an emergency fund before quitting your current job.

Save the equivalent of three to six months of expenses (at least) before quitting your job. This money will serve as your backup plan if business dries up or it takes a little more time than you expected to ramp up your professional photography.

Keeping a personal safety net in place will give you some breathing room to fully establish your business and transition your photography from side hustle to full-time job.

You Understand Yourself

This sounds a little abstract, but it’s solid advice. Before relying entirely on photography for your income, you need to understand yourself as a photographer.

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What’s your niche or speciality? Do you know the ins and outs of your equipment?

Most importantly, you need to be able to run a business by being yourself. Before you can capitalize on your strengths and overcome your weaknesses, you need to understand what they are and their impact on you.

Transitioning From A Side Hustle to Full-Time Photographer

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how long you should shoot before going full-time. The only right answer depends entirely on your comfort level and how you’ve set yourself up. Spend time preparing for the transition by building your skills, putting resources and a foundation in place, and preparing for the change.

Ultimately, you’ll know when you’re ready to transition your photography from a side hustle to full-time.

By |2019-03-15T18:28:49+00:00March 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to Price Your Photography Services

When it comes to setting the price of your photography services, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule. The amount you charge for a shoot depends on a myriad of factors, including:

  • Where you live and work
  • What specific services you offer
  • Your experience and training
  • And the equipment you own and use

Pricing your photography services can be fairly hit-or-miss, especially if you’re just starting out. Thankfully, guidelines exist to help you determine how to price your photography services at every stage of your career and business.

Calculate Your Cost of Doing Business

As a professional photographer, you’re running a business first and foremost. You need to consider the cost of doing business when figuring out how to price your photography services.

The cost of doing business can also be called your overhead. It’s the combined cost of all your expenses, including:

  • Studio or office rent
  • Equipment costs and maintenance
  • Service costs (web hosting, software fees)
  • Licensing fees
  • Continuing education costs
  • Subscriptions and dues
  • Travel
  • Mileage
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Outsourcing
  • And more

For example, consider the cost of mailing a client a CD or flash drive full of wedding photos. You’ll need to spend money on not only the CD or flash drive, but packaging and shipping as well — not to mention the time spent editing and selecting which photos to transfer to the CD or flash drive.

Including the cost of doing business in your pricing ensures you’ll continue to stay financially solvent — in business. If you’re not pricing your services at a high-enough rate, you could very well end up losing money simply by running your business.

CODB calculators can be incredibly helpful for figuring out your cost of doing business. Plug in your annual expenses and desired income, then let the calculator work its magic. The result will give you a solid idea for how to price your services and what mark-up you need to set to meet your expenses and desired income.

Determine How Much Money Your Time is Worth

The phrase “time is money” may be cliché, but it’s still true. As a professional photographer, you’ve invested hundreds of hours into learning your craft, whether or not you’re self-trained or college-educated. Your pricing needs to reflect the effort you’ve put into developing and honing your skill.

Each time you’re hired for a shoot, you’re not just spending time taking photos. You’re also setting up equipment, finding the right angles, and, later on, spending time in post-production. During the shoot itself, you’re relying on years of training and expertise to take the best photos you can.

After all, anyone can grab a camera and take a photo. What you bring to the table is knowledge and skill. Keep that in mind when you’re setting the price of your services.

Research the Market and Your Competitors

Staying informed about the market rate and the prices your competitors charge helps you stay competitive. If prices for photography services fluctuate within a given range in your area, you’ll have an idea as to the average acceptable price local clients are willing to pay.

In the same vein, you’ll know how far under or over your competitors’ rates you can charge.

Bear in mind that, to many, the cost of services is indicative of a professional’s quality. If your prices are too low, clients might assume your skill level isn’t high enough to command a better rate.

You may also choose to have higher prices than all or most of your competitors. In this regard, it’d be a branding decision. Perhaps you want to position yourself as an exclusive or boutique photographer.

Study the market and your competitors and apply psychology to influence how you set the cost of your services.

Don’t Forget Taxes

As a self-employed photographer and small business owner, you’re wholly responsible for paying taxes — there’s no employer withholding taxes on your behalf.

That means you need to keep your tax obligations in mind when pricing your photography services. If not, you’re likely going to need to dip into your profits to pay your taxes when the time comes.

Adjust Your Prices as Necessary

Once you’ve set the price of your photography services, do some experimentation to figure out if they work for you. Are you covering all your expenses and making a decent profit? Or are you spending too much time on a shoot for too little pay?

If you’re not happy with your prices, go through the guidelines again to adjust what you charge. Eventually, you’ll settle on pricing that’s not only fair to your customers and clients, but respectful of your expertise, knowledge, and professionalism, too.

By |2019-03-09T02:06:14+00:00March 9th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Home Staging: Is Virtual or Traditional Right for You?

As virtual reality and 3D imaging tech continue to encroach upon the real estate industry, many agents and consumers are asking the same question: what is virtual staging and how can I use it to my advantage?

We already know that traditional staging enables buyers to better visualize themselves actually living in the home they are touring. 77% of buyers’ agents agree that it gives a buyer the opportunity to see the home for what it could be and to see its potential as a unique living space. Virtual staging aims to supplant the traditional staging process for homes where real furniture and decor may not be viable.

In order to know which choice is best for you, you have to understand the key differences between traditional and virtual staging.

What is Virtual Staging?

Similar to traditional staging, virtual staging involves decorating a property to showcase its best features and qualities. Ideally, this attracts and motivates buyers by allowing them to visualize what the home might look like should they choose to move in.

“I have always explained to my sellers that buyers will imprint on the first photos they see of a home and will develop their first positive feelings and attraction to a property at that time” describes Jen Williams, Redfin Market Manager in California.

But as the name implies, virtual staging is done with a computer. There’s exactly zero real furniture, area rugs, potted plants or other décor involved. Professional virtual stagers digitally insert decorative elements in high- resolution photos to show the full potential of an unfinished or empty room.

Is Virtual Staging for Me?

It is important to note that virtual staging won’t work for all homes. There are many cases in which traditional staging is the superior choice. However, virtual staging can be a lifesaver if used in the right situation. These include:

● Vacant homes
● Homes with outdated furniture
● Properties with tenants in them, or similar incidences where the homeowner possesses little control over space’s appearance

If you still occupy your home and you can stage it to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers, whole-house virtual staging isn’t for you. (You can still virtually stage some rooms if you and your agent think it’s appropriate, though.)

What Are the Key Differences?

Virtual staging is usually a lot cheaper than traditional staging is. Here’s a quick glimpse at what you’re looking at:

● Virtual staging costs somewhere between $39 and $199 per room, depending on the contractor you use, your location and the amount of space you need staged.

● Traditional staging can cost several hundred dollars per month, depending on the stager you use, how much furniture you need to rent, your location and the number of rooms you need staged.

Price isn’t the only sticking point, though. Each method has its own pros and cons that you’ll have to consider, particularly if you’re trying to sell an empty house.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Virtual Staging

As you can see, virtual staging can help sell a home faster and for more money – but only if it’s done right. In order to make sure you reap all of the benefits virtual staging has to offer, you’ll need to hire a professional photographer with experience in virtual staging, or a reputable company with a proven track record and a top-notch portfolio of completed work.

To ensure you make the decision that’s right for you, here’s a quick rundown of virtual staging’s pros and cons:

Pros of Virtual Staging

● Can help you showcase an empty home’s best features
● Is cost-effective when compared to traditional staging
● Attracts prospective buyers’ attention online
● Offers you the opportunity to stage any number of rooms
● Allows you to stage flex rooms in multiple ways Cons of Virtual Staging
● Becomes more expensive when you need to remove furniture or items from photos
● Can be difficult to use when the house is occupied, unless you have previous listing photos

● Furniture and décor only exist in the virtual space – buyers will never see it in person

Pros and Cons of Traditional Staging

The tried and true practice of traditional staging has been used by agents for decades and doesn’t always require a professional stager. However, it does require an eye for detail and the ability to create a space that appeals to the widest possible range of buyers.

To determine whether or not it’s the best way to sell your house, here’s a brief list of traditional staging’s pros and cons:

Pros of Traditional Staging

● Gives buyers real-life perspective when they tour the home
● Prevents buyers from having to tour a completely empty, vacant home
● Appeals to buyers’ sense of imagination
● Makes spaces appear larger and enables prospective buyers to gauge size
● Helps your home stand out in buyers’ memories after they leave

Cons of Traditional Staging

● Can be expensive, and you’ll keep incurring costs until the home sells
● Requires stagers to bring in furnishings, décor and other items
● May be unnecessary, depending on how quickly homes are selling in your market

Common Virtual Staging Missteps

The biggest mistake a seller can make is hiring a virtual staging company that’s not good enough. Virtually staged photos should be exceptionally realistic – so real, in fact, that buyers won’t know they’re computer-generated unless someone tells them. As you can see in the image below, the lighting and shadows don’t appear to be quite right and the chairs on the right side seem to be floating.

Other mistakes many people make with virtual staging is:

• Only providing the picture of the room after it has been furnished. Because buyers may be expecting the same pictures as the listing, be sure to provide both the staged image and unstaged image.
• Overdoing furniture and decorative elements. Just because virtual staging provides limitless opportunities doesn’t mean the room should be packed to
the brim with every chair, plant, and couch that was available. It’s important to use pictures that actually make the room look better than it did.
• Using virtual staging when it’s unnecessary. Replacing furnishings and decorative elements in photos when they’re perfectly fine to begin with can be
a significant waste of time (and money).

Will Virtual Staging Help Sell My Home?

Virtual staging can be a tremendous asset when you’re selling a vacant home
or one that has wild-card tenants or outdated décor. It allows prospective
buyers to view the right vision of the home – not an empty, cavernous space,
but one that’s comfortable and easy to live in.

Have you used virtual staging to sell a home? We’d love to hear your story
and how it worked out for you, so please share your thoughts in the comments
below.

By |2019-02-21T11:14:32+00:00February 21st, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Footwear Should Photographers Wear?

Footwear is an oft-overlooked aspect of preparing for a shoot. Every situation calls for variation in what’s on your feet. In some cases, it can even be dangerous for a photographer to wear the wrong shoes.

Practicality, venues, and dress codes require photographers to wear different types of footwear. Your shoes need to be:

  • Comfortable
  • Protective
  • And suited to the environment you’re shooting

Let’s talk about how to decide what shoes photographers should wear.

Shoes to Shoot a Wedding

Weddings are long affairs. As a photographer, you’re on your feet for the better part of a wedding. You need to constantly move and shuffle to capture the perfect shots on a couple’s perfect day. And even though you’re attending a wedding, you’re not a wedding guest.

When shooting a wedding, you need to look professional as much as you need to be comfortable. You also need to blend into the background, so choose a shoe that’s dark — black, if possible.

Shoes worn to a wedding should be comfortable and durable. You may have to climb on an outcropping of rocks or step in a puddle to take the perfect outdoor wedding shot. When indoors, you want a pair of shoes with a solid grip so you don’t slip and cause a fiasco on the dance floor.

Footwear for Real Estate Photography

Shooting real estate isn’t as formal as a wedding, but you’ll still be on your feet for much of the shoot. You’re also likely to walk on a variety of surfaces, from tile floors and carpet to grass and dirt outdoors.

A comfortable pair of sneakers works wonders for helping you stay on your feet over the course of a real estate shoot. Sneakers that are light, flexible, and thin are versatile enough for the different surfaces you’ll be walking and standing on, without taking a toll on your feet and legs.

Again, darker shoes are your best bet for shooting real estate. Dark sneakers are less likely to cast reflections on your shots, saving you from a reshoot or extra time spent in post-processing.

Boots for Landscape Photography

Trekking through the wilderness to shoot Mother Nature at her finest makes for some stunning photos. It can also involve a dangerous hike, especially without proper footwear.

Landscape and wildlife photographers should invest in a pair of durable, comfortable boots. If possible, try to find a pair that is also waterproof or water-resistant for hikes in inclement weather or over challenging terrain.

Some photographers may even consider carrying an extra pair of rubber or mucking boots. These boots are often made of a material that allows you to walk through mud and water without getting wet and dirty.

Shoe Covers for Photographers

Shoe covers are another helpful addition to a photographer’s gear. Not only do they help prevent tracking dirt or mud into a clean location (like an open house), but they can keep your feet dry, too.

The versatility of shoe covers means photographers should always keep a few stashed in the car trunk or gear bag.

Stay Comfortable With Proper Footwear

Photographers are on their feet for the better part of a day, so it’s important to stay comfortable. Wearing proper footwear can keep you safe when you’re angling for the perfect shot. The right shoes help prevent you from growing fatigued over a long shoot and help stave off the effects of Mother Nature.

At the least, photographers should invest in a pair of dark or black sneakers and, if shooting outdoors, a pair of boots. When combined with a pack of shoe covers, you’ll be ready to shoot in nearly any condition.

By |2019-02-01T16:07:37+00:00February 1st, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Shooting in Bad Weather

Every photographer is familiar with bad weather. In this line of work, contending with a thunderstorm or some snow is simply a fact of life.

But bad weather makes for a bad excuse when it comes to a shoot, though. To those with a keen eye, poor weather conditions have plenty of opportunity — if you’re prepared for them.

Bad Weather Leads to Stunning Shots

Before I talk about how to shoot photos in bad weather, let’s talk about why you’d even bother.

Ask yourself: What happens before a beautiful rainbow is revealed across a lush valley?

That’s right — a storm.

Braving Mother Nature presents the opportunity for photographers to take stunning, emotional, and atmospheric photos.

Ominous and dark storm clouds cast a sense of mystery over a landscape. Drops of rain hanging from a leaf can create interesting and thought-provoking reflections. Snow can evoke feelings of coziness or add a layer of texture or mystique to a shot.

More, photos taken in and after bad weather can be added to a library of shots to be used in editing projects or more artistic works.

Protect Yourself and Your Equipment

It’s important to protect both yourself and your gear when shooting in bad weather. While camera equipment is expensive, it’s ultimately replaceable. You, yourself, are not.

Preparation starts long before you even venture out into nature. Start by making sure your camera and lens are weather-resistant. Once you’re sure your gear is weather-resistant, be mindful still to protect it from moisture.

Stow away some napkins and microfiber cloth to wipe down your camera when needed. Try not to put your camera too near your body, as the warmth can cause issues with any collected moisture.

Before heading to a shoot, check the forecast for what to expect. A light thunderstorm or snowstorm isn’t anything to scoff at, but it’s cause for concern when inclement weather becomes severe weather.

Check in with a family, friend, or peer before heading to a more remote or dangerous shoot. If you’re going hiking or delving into the wilderness, let someone else know your plans. In a worst-case scenario, rescuers will have some idea where to start searching for you.

Don’t rely on a single device for plotting your route. If the batteries die or the device is broken or lost, you need to have a backup. While you’re at it, plan multiple routes to and from your shoot. If weather conditions make one route impassable, having a second already plotted can get you out of a hairy situation quickly.

Most importantly, don’t forget to pack warm clothes, a change of clothes, an emergency blanket, snacks, and any other equipment or tools you’ll need to combat bad weather.

How to Shoot in Bad Weather

Once you’re onsite and marveling at the wonders of nature, it’s time to get shooting.

Certain weather conditions enhance a given shoot, like the backdrop of a cloudy sky vs. an impressive waterfall surrounded by lush green. Likewise, light can complement or frame the colors of a shot.

Sometimes, however, the toughest part of shooting in bad weather is the wait. Some of the best opportunities come shortly after clouds part or immediately following a storm when the landscape is shown in a completely new (and renewed) way.

Consider what time of day you’re shooting, too. Weather makes for a different effect on a shot taken at morning, noon, or night. What impact would an early morning rain have on a shot you’re planning to take? What about a light snowfall at dusk?

While you’re likely using a lens hood, don’t be afraid to take advantage of water droplets on the lens. Allow yourself to be creative, even when it comes to your equipment. Change the aperture or rig an umbrella to your tripod (when weather permits). As you experiment, you’ll make the bad weather work for you.

Explore the Effects of Bad Weather on a Shoot

It’s not always comfortable or fun to be under the effects of bad weather. But by properly preparing for inclement conditions, you can capture some of the most interesting and beautiful shots of your career.

By |2019-01-17T14:41:32+00:00January 17th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Giving Back to the Community with Educurious

I strongly believe in the power of volunteering and giving back to one’s local community. To that end, I recently joined my friend and Brent Loe Photography admin, Rachel Barnett, as a volunteer for Educurious.

 

Educurious is a platform to connect students and young adults to business professionals. Its mission is “to empower and motivate young people to achieve academic, career and personal success through transformative learning experiences.”

 

Students who participate in Educurious are given the opportunity to practice real-world interactions with business professionals. They’re given the chance to ask questions of business mentors to learn how to apply their skills to the world that comes post-schooling.

 

As part of Educurious, Rachel and I recently visited a high school as part of a group of 15 other business professionals. We conducted mock interviews with high school students to give them a sense of what to expect as they transition from high school to the professional world.

 

I look forward to continuing to volunteer with great organizations such as Educurious! Giving back to the community is an incredibly rewarding experience and is just one way to help make our home that much better.

By |2018-10-03T10:48:39+00:00June 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dedicated

Homelessness will always be apart of our society until we can move past the competitive arena. That said, it doesn’t have to be as severe and constraining as the current circumstance in Seattle / New York.

Homelessness can be attributed to two categories:

  • Individualistic Problems
    • Mental Health, Addiction, Domestic Violence, etc.
  • Managment Problems
    • Money, Zoning, Inaction, etc.

To alleviate these problems we need to work on long-term solutions and not continue to put out the fire.

Actions:

Open safe space clinics in something similar to storage facilities for addicts and individuals – making people feel they’re apart of a new community and that they have a place to be productive when they’re ready. Force is not the answer.

Funding – where do we get it? Look at the region and see what outpaces the balance. Real Estate and tech are the two big ones in the Seattle area. Tax or incentivize the Real Estate industry. “Cash-for-cars” the single-family homes and devise an initiative to streamline the rezoning effort.  Tax homes over $750k. Incentivize tech and businesses to showcase their support for the homelessness initiatives – work with review website (google, yelp, zillow, likewise, etc.) to display a banner for the businesses that donate or show dedicated support.

Create an institution with the authority to reprimand inaction by government officials. Consider the loopholes and indecision.

Effort, experience, generational-empathy, and community-willingness will prove most valuable.

 

By |2018-06-15T12:52:08+00:00June 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments