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27Feb/16Off

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Photo Production Company

p4One of the reasons people will consider hiring a photo production company is because they want a professional who can help them shoot photos or videos to promote themselves or their brand. These types of photo services are not only great for businesses in different industries, but they can also help individuals who are in the arts or entertainment business. This is why photo production is such a lucrative business.

Even though it is possible to get a message across through pictures you have taken yourself, you do not want your first impression to look as if it is unprofessional and haphazard. Unless you are a professional photographer or videographer, it does not make sense to ignore the benefits of a company that offers photo production in as one of their services. These companies can really help take your "brand" to the next level. And these benefits will see you make a lot more money than the minor sums you have to spend on these photo production services. And you will be reaping these benefits for a long time to come, especially if you are part of the entertainment industry.

If you are a prospective model or actor who is looking to get a leg up on the competition, you will need professional photos and/or videos in order to make yourself shine. The truth is that there are thousands of people with the same dreams and aspirations as you. If your photos look as if they were taken with a phone in your back yard, you are not going to get a call back from agents or companies. They will look at your photos and see some potential, but they will not be impressed by your lack of professionalism or effort.

A lot of people think that getting professional pictures from a company that specializes in photo production is too expensive, but are you willing to sacrifice your future over a few dollars? You might save a little bit of money right now, but you are giving up the chance to really shine in the profession of your choice. It is not a cliché to say that there is a fine line between success and failure. Some of this comes down to talent and fortune, but the effort and sacrifices you make will also make a huge difference.

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20Feb/16Off

Destination Photography Means Much More Than Taking Pictures


p31Teleporting you from your home to a tropical island in the blink of a lens!

To many people Photography is simply one person with a fancy camera pressing a button and getting paid lots of money for it. You often hear people complaining, saying things like: "It's so easy! Anyone can press a button; I don't see what all of the fuss is about." - Well, I think it's safe to say that people like that really do not have a clue what they are talking about.

Of course anybody can take a picture! But it takes a certain level of patience, dedication, skill and good taste to be able to successfully capture a moment. There are so many different factors to take into consideration when taking a photograph at a professional level. For example a wedding photographer is going to require a certain level of social and interpersonal skills if they are to truly be at the top of their game - Someone that can make people feel more at ease, bring them out of their shells and encourage them to laugh and joke around in a natural manner. If you have some quiet stranger pointing a camera at you and not saying a word it can be a little unnerving.

For those who specialise in landscapes a certain level of patience is required. This is where photography becomes much more than somebody simply pressing a button! Some of the most incredible and breath-taking photographs required a great deal of dedication. Those perfect sunrises don't capture themselves! Somebody was up before the sun, waiting patiently for the opportune moment to capture our beloved solar-riser in all of her glory.

It's no wonder that Thailand (also known as 'The Land of Smiles') is such an incredibly popular location for photographers, both professional and amateur alike. Bangkok for example is one of the most fascinating capital cities in the world! From the stunning five-star high-rises that lay astern the rundown shanty huts - to the bustling, chock-a-block traffic and the vibrant street market stalls, to the variety of Buddhist temples scattered all around town. There is so much character and beauty to be seen in the streets of Bangkok and again; it requires a certain knack and a keen eye to really capture it in all of its authenticity! Many tourists who pass through Bangkok only stay a short time and usually around the Khao Saan Road or Downtown Sukhumvit locations, but the city is vast beyond imagination and there is so much more to explore.

But it's not all about the big cities and the busy streets! In fact, one of the most exciting aspects of photography is that there is no limit to what you can achieve. A brilliant photographer goes after what they truly feel passionate about and being in the big city is not for everyone. For others they prefer to be outdoors amongst nature capturing the birds while they soar above the emerald green mountains of Phuket or the water-buffalo while they graze in the fields below a gentle, amber sunset.

There are so many stunning and exciting places to see in this world and a photographer's role is to capture them and share them with the rest of the world. Are you fascinated by travel and culture? Then perhaps you should try your hand at photography yourself and start snapping away when you next go on holiday. Capture your travels in the most profound way and build a beautiful album of perfect memories for you and your loved ones to share. That is the essence of destination photography and videography - to be able to transport people from their homes to a stunning waterfall in the heart of Phuket, or to one of its stunning limestone cliffs that rise high above you while sea-canoeing around Phang Nga bay at the mere snap of a button!

12Feb/16Off

10 Mind Blowing Photography Tips For Beginners

p21) Pick a subject matter that speaks to you!

Pay attention to the reoccurring themes in your work. Think of what draws you to these things so you can find new ways to capture and express what you like!

2) Practice!

Don't be afraid to make mistakes! Sometimes those mistakes turn out to be something unique and innovative that you can build on.

3) Work the subject!

Try shooting the same thing in as many ways you can that capture different aspects about it. After you shoot look through your shoot and critique your work. Be mindful of what worked and what didn't and why. Editing your shoot is an important part of the learning process.

4) Study the work of other photographers.

Find something that inspires you and pay attention to what you like and try to mimic it. Then try to make it your own by bringing in something new and different.

5) Composition.

If you pay attention, most great photographs will contain at least one of these guidelines:

    • Rule of Thirds: Imagine the image is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The interesting aspects of the image are placed on those lines. This rule is often used in landscapes, with the horizon being placed in the top, or bottom third of the composition. Some cameras even have a grid option that will display through your viewfinder, to help you make your composition precise.

 

    • Balancing Elements: If you are framing your main subject off center, try having a less important object in the background of the image to balance the weight of the dominant object. The secondary object will add depth to the subject and make it more interesting by filling the void of space in the image.

 

    • Leading Lines: Use the subject's lines or contours to your advantage! These lines lead the viewer's eyes across the image, so become aware of them and how to use them to your advantage. The more they lead the eye around, the longer the viewer looks at your image. Examples of the leading lines could be a winding road on a hilly landscape, or the contours of your model's body. Notice how models pose is ways that create leading lines by using their limbs in interesting ways.

 

    • Symmetry and Patterns: Often used in architecture and nature, even in artistic portraits. The subject is center balanced, unlike in the rule of thirds.

 

    • Viewpoint: The angle of which the photographer shoots in relation to the subject. Showing us a subject from an angle that we don't usually see it is a great way to make it more interesting. In working the subject, pay attention to the message the shot conveys. Try eye-level, from above, below, side behind from a distance, in close, etc...

 

    • Background: Pay attention to your background! If your background doesn't add to the subject, use a plain backdrop or use a shallow depth of field to blur the background out. Think about how it affects the tone of the subject.

 

    • Depth: Mostly in landscapes, depth helps convey a 3-dimensional subject in a photograph, which is 2-dimensional.

 

    • Framing: Objects in your environment can be used to add to your shot! Some useful examples are: archways from a building, branches from a tree, holes in some cliffs. These frames can help show off the setting.

 

  • Cropping: Cropping in tight on a subject is a great way to remove distracting elements around it. Everything in the photograph should hold value to your image. If it doesn't, try cropping it out.

The more you practice these composition guides, the more they will become instinctual. Even in your editing & selection process, pay attention to which images pop out at you, and see if they hold one of these elements.

6) Familiarize yourself with your tools.

Photography is so versatile! You can even take amazing photos with a coffee can, but you must understand the limitations of your gear.

7) Familiarize yourself with photography software!

Digital software is today's darkroom & developing an image is just as important as how you shoot it. My favorite way to digitally polish my images is through Lightroom. It's amazing what it allows you to do to an image without exposing yourself to chemicals or wasting photo paper and developer. The preset filters are a great way to intensify the tone of the image, but you must know how to fine-tune them to make the image just so. Photoshop is also an important tool.

8) Learn Lighting!

I suggest photographing a subject at different times of day and compare them. If you have access to professional lighting equipment try shooting your subject lit from different angles, diffusion vs. Hard lighting, etc... There are jobs just dedicated to lighting on high-end shoots, so there are no limits there if you have the budget. Really think about how the light conveys your message to the viewer.

9) Go with your instincts!

Make sure what you are shooting is fulfilling something for you. There is no point in shooting something you aren't enjoying. It will show in your work! The more you are passionate about it, the more creatively you can capture it! I've worked with so many photographers that have talent, but take on shoots they don't enjoy and it showed in the quality of the images. For example, I could never understand why somebody would hire a nature photographer to shoot their portraits. Somebody that isn't a people person doesn't take flattering photos of people no matter how much technical knowledge they have. On the other hand, if you see all people as beautiful and you have a natural talent for making a person feel good about him/herself, then portrait photography is a great niche!

10) Communicate with your subject!

If you are shooting any time of portrait, make sure it is prepared beforehand. Nothing worse than having your model show up with chipped blue nail polish! Learn to guide your subject with clear direction in a way that makes them feel comfortable! Even models feel vulnerable with a lens in their face, so learn to give suggestions in a flattering way. Nobody feels confident after hearing "sucks in your gut," but if that's what you want try something like "intensify your ribcage". Compliments go a long way! When you ask for a smile, it will look forced. If you compliment the person they will naturally smile.

1Feb/16Off

12 Inspiring Ways To Fast

p11. Print your images

Are your photographs destined to remain hidden on a hard drive forever, unseen by the world? Remember the buzz you once had in the pre-digital days, when you saw your photographs the first time in print?
Why not peruse your recent holiday snaps, and select your best work to be immortalised with ink on paper. Frame them; hang them in your home; give them away as gifts.

2. Update your camera gear

There comes a time when your digital camera doesn't do your skills justice. While point-and-shoot cameras are convenient and cheaper, they are restricted by their simplicity and their smaller sensor size.

Unfortunately, the old adage 'you get what you pay for' is still the truth. Even an entry-level DSLR and kit lens will produce sharper and bigger images, and allow you to play with a wider aperture range, from at least f/4 to f/22.

If you're into landscape photography, a sturdy tripod is a must, as is a polarising filter to darken blue skies. A cable release will prevent camera shake during longer exposures. A decent kit bag will protect your expensive gear, and enable more efficient access to it.

3. Subscribe to a photography magazine

The racks of most bookshops are stacked with numerous photography magazines. My favourite is Digital SLR Photography*, which boasts a higher standard of writing than found in other titles from the UK. Of course, these days you can subscribe to the digital version of magazines, and download them to your mobile device of choice.

4. Start a personal project

A popular pastime is to shoot a photo every day for 365 days. The idea is to force yourself into the habit of getting your camera out regularly, not just for holidays, or special occasions. Shoot ordinary events or items.

Dedicated 365 websites give tips and ideas.

You could photograph a 'selfie' in the mirror to record your beard growth for 12 months, and then create a time lapse.

Another worthwhile project is to choose a numeral (e.g. 8) or a colour (e.g. red). Walk around town for a day, only shooting this topic. You will be amazed at how such a focussed assignment will hone your observation skills.

5. Enter a photography competition

Success in a local, national or even international competition is not only a huge boost to your confidence, and reputation - you may collect some fantastic prizes too. Competitions range from promotional gimmicks at local events (think A&P shows or radio stations), non-profit organisations (think camera clubs) to magazines which run these on an annual basis.

This is a great way to expose your work to a wider audience, and broaden your skill set. The more prestigious competitions will charge entry fees, particularly the umbrella organisations for professionals, where winners are highly acclaimed.

6. Get your work published

If you love to photograph in a narrow niche (e.g. animals, gardens, fashion, children, or sports), and believe your images will withstand an editor's scrutiny, why not send a sample CD off to your favourite publication? Magazine editors are forever on the lookout for fresh takes on old topics. Follow up with a phone call, or better, a personal visit.

If you're a competent wordsmith, even better, as you'll get paid more for quality writing than for a handful of photos. However, be warned: editors are notorious for not replying, so you will need to be tenacious. Don't give up.

7. Learn how to post-process your pics

This is what often separates amateurish photos from professional-looking images: taking a few minutes in Photoshop, adjusting a few basic things. Stuff like colour correction, sharpness, and exposure curves are easily done. So is straightening a wonky horizon, or cropping your picture into a more pleasing frame.

Photoshop Elements or Lightroom are popular with hobbyists as they are cheaper, stripped-down versions of Adobe's flagship software. Beginners may find Faststone Image Viewer a simple yet powerful program - and best of all, it's free.

8. Push yourself

Very rarely do great images come easy. Persistence pays off, and sometimes it's just a matter of staying around longer on location, waiting for the right light. Or getting out of bed earlier for that stunning sunrise shot.

Go the extra mile this year. Don't settle for second best, even if it means embarking on solo missions when the family is sleeping or watching TV. The sacrifice will be worth it.

9. Make money from your hobby

There are numerous ways to earn a living from photography - it all depends on your skill level, personality type, and passions. While the market for more landscape calendars or greeting cards is saturated, there's still room for tasteful stock images, particularly shots of people.

On-line micro-stock libraries such as iStockphoto.com will no longer provide a decent full-time income, but you could make some pocket money. Fortunately, local stock libraries value their contributor's images more highly. If your images are accepted and sell regularly, you can expect to earn several thousand dollars every year, once you have built up a considerable body of quality work.

Of course, if you have the people skills and can think on your feet, wedding photography is where the real money is. As this competitive genre is seasonal, it can be supplemented by studio shoots, or baby portraiture.

10. Join the club

Photo albums have now been replaced with on-line galleries. Host sites include Google Photos or Yahoo's Flickr, but if you're serious, why not build your own personal website? This is no longer such a daunting task, as it was a few years ago. Cloud-based hosts include clikpic.com and wix.com where beautiful templates make DIY web design a breeze.

However, if you and computers don't mix, you can always find a like-minded community of real humans in a local camera club. These not-for-profits offer advice, training, competitions, trips, conventions and printed publications.

11. Take a photography course

Most folks will benefit from attending at least one photography course, especially when they're starting out. This needn't be a four-year university degree. Check out your local high school - many offer night classes for adults, and are great value for money.

Alternatively, many pro photographers run seasonal workshops on portraiture, wildlife or landscapes.

12. Go on tour

To really improve your photography, you need to grab your camera, and practise, practise, practise.

Perhaps the best way to fast-track your camera skills is on an intense weekend shooting on location, with an experienced guide. He or she will transport you to the best hot spots at the best time of day, to ensure you get great imag