In Search of Beauty: Discovering My Place in Art as a Photographer

I’ve been taking pictures since I was 10 or 11 years old. A friend of the family noticed the bored expression on my face at the wedding of an extended family member. He was the photographer and he walked over to me, placed a large camera in my hands with a full roll of film, and asked me to help him out. I didn’t know the first thing about cameras, let alone this one. About as much as I could say for it was that it was “nice.” After the wedding, he gingerly opened up the back of the
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Magazine Covers Shot with Phones Ain’t No Thang

Scoring a national magazine cover shoot to prove the greatness of a phone’s camera has become part of the standard PR playbook for manufacturers. TIME featured photos taken by Luisa Dörr using an iPhone for a September 2017 cover story entitled “Firsts” about women changing the world.
One of seventeen TIME covers photographed on iPhone by Luisa Dörr.
And GQ’s November 2018 cover features an image of First Man’s Ryan Gosling shot by Giampaolo Sgura on a Google Pixel 3.
Photo by Giampaolo Sgura shot with a Google Pixel 3.
On the one hand, the quality
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Dear Kodak: Please Let Smaller Shops Help Film Come Back

If you’re a film enthusiast, you probably love watching Kodak make a comeback. When Kodak filed for bankruptcy back in 2012, it seemed like the end of an era. Luckily it wasn’t so. Kodak’s recent announcement that Ektachrome is coming back into production is as sure an indicator as any that film isn’t going away any time soon. That’s good news for any serious photographer. By now it should be obvious that it’s no longer a question about digital or film, but how photographers can use either format to expand their creative potential. And while I would be more
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Hey, Photographers: When You Give It Away, You Diminish All of Our Work

I don’t think I’m a particularly brilliant photographer. Sure, I’ve carved out a little niche here in a small part of the world and my landscape photography is relatively well known among the local community, but I’m no big-shot Instagram influencer, I haven’t got a nationally or internationally recognizable name, and I sure as s**t do not earn a living from photography. I only started selling my photographs because there was a demand for them. Some local businesses contacted me and wanted to use my images and then my Facebook page grew popular and there was some demand for prints.
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You Don’t Need a New Camera

Recently I worked on an image of the sand dunes of the Namib. I had woke while it was still dark and made my way to the desert, each foot sinking into the sand as I battled the dunes. Morning had just broken by the time I got my camera out and the sun was so low that it really gave body and form to the landscape. There was a pink on the horizon that bled into a baby blue sky and made the scene ethereal. Not more than ten minutes after I took this photo the sun would already
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Dear Wedding Vendors: Photographers Don’t Owe You Images

In a recent episode of the podcast we host, The Secret Life of Weddings, we chatted about a major hot topic among wedding photographers these days. We got a little heated and felt it was important enough to write out our thoughts as well. There is something happening that’s making wedding photographers very angry. Most photographers are afraid to say anything because we never want to be seen as difficult or egotistical, but it has become such an issue that private Facebook groups of photographers are exploding with frustrations. We’ve all had enough. It’s with tired hearts and 10
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The Essence of Photography: What You See Reflects Your Inner World

Here’s my favorite quote from Jay Maisel, one of the legends in the world of photography: “If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” As photographers, we often get bored in the place we live and we want to travel as much as possible to get different and more interesting pictures. We think that it is all about pictures. But I’ve found that for me, it’s exactly as Jay Maisel said: the more I know about life, about people, about art, the better and more interesting my pictures become to me. If I’m in
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Fujifilm Officially Wins Medium Format

I recently discussed how Fujifilm’s decision to go into the medium format industry might have been a mistake. But considering some of the recent announcements, have my points been completely negated? In short no; this is because the full frame market is still significantly larger. Imagine the kind of market share they could have gained in full frame based on the kind of developments and investments they are making in the medium format industry. In any case, Fuji has made its decision to not develop any full frame camera and its commitments to medium format is very clearly visible.
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Dear Panasonic: A Plea from a Photojournalist

It’s not often camera news puts dread in my heart, but Panasonic’s full frame announcement felt like watching CNN at its most doom-laden. The future, suddenly, does not seem so bright for us Micro Four Thirds (M43) shooters.
Young locals shoot a selfie in front of a line of riot policeman during the 2018 Armenian Revolution. Lumix GX8 with 12-35mm lens: 1/200th at F2.8. 640 ISO.
I’ve worked with Micro Four Thirds since the system’s first camera (the Panasonic Lumix G1) was released 10 years ago. Sure it has its downsides… Let me rephrase that, it has a
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Very Nice… How Much?! On Day Rates in Commercial Photography

It’s standard practice for commercial photography clients to ask photographers for their ‘day rate’. Most estimates that photographers provide start with a day rate before going on to production costs and expenses. Now I used to think I could simply take it for granted that anyone involved in the industry would be able to appreciate this isn’t exactly what a photographer — or any independent creative professional, for that matter — working on a short-term project earns for every single day of the year. I’ve realized that the world of photography is in so much flux that this isn’t a
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Was the Fujifilm GFX a Mistake? Should Fuji Have Gone Full-Frame Instead?

Of all the current camera manufacturers, if you were to call me a fanboy of any of them, Fujifilm would be the most accurate. There’s good reason too: it produces some of the best cameras on the market and its commitment to offering meaningful updates, after the fact, is uniquely wonderful. Its latest addition, the Fujifilm X-T3 is a fantastic update, offering incredible video features and image quality rivaling that of full frame. The issue is that although the company’s APS-C cameras rival full-frame cameras in some respects, there is an upper limit both in regards to resolution and
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Photography Saved My Life

I’m going to start from the beginning. I didn’t have a bad upbringing. My parents worked hard for our family and always provided for me and my sister. They taught us right from wrong, how to be kind, loving and caring. We weren’t rich, but we never ever went without. You know the kind of people who never study for tests, always messing around, but ace their exams? That was me… School was easy for me educationally, but difficult for me socially. I was bullied for my hair color, and I I wasn’t popular by any means. It used to
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What if All Photographers Had the Same Gear?

What if you had the same camera, lighting and subject matter as everyone else. A groundhog day for a photographer so to speak. If we all have the same gear what would make you different?
Imagine you had no way of visually showing someone any of your work, and they ask you to describe what you’re about, not your genre, but what is the essence of what you’re trying to achieve? —Katy Niker
This quote is something we should all think about and consider when pressing the shutter button. What is it that you’re trying to achieve beyond visuals?
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My Experience With Apple as a Photographer and Creative Pro: In Short, Not Good

My name is Pye Jirsa, and I’m a wedding photographer and the co-founder of SLR Lounge. Before I get started, let me say that I feel like the most unlucky person when it comes to electronics and major purchases. But, even with my bad luck, perhaps you will find this experience odd and worth sharing. What you are about to read is not doctored or manipulated to get more views — it’s simply my experience this past year with Apple products. In the past, I respected and held Apple in high regard. However, I am by no means a “fanboy”
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Do You Know Your Top 5 Photographs?

I was interviewed by street photographer Eric Kim back in 2016, and it was a huge deal for me! I remember when I first started shooting street, his blog was one of the first that I came by. It was filled with so much information, but what was more interesting to me were the interviews he did with other street photographers. These interviews helped me discover so many photographers, Brian Day, Damian Vignol, Josh White. I could name so many. I just remember thinking, my work is going to be next to theirs — again, it was
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Women in Photojournalism

In the last couple of years (has it really been that long?) we’ve been hearing revelations of the trials of female photojournalists. Nothing, unfortunately, too unexpected. Every time around someone writes another version of the standard essay on this topic covering much the same appalling ground every time. See, for instance, this recent iteration. Women in the field of photojournalism are routinely harassed, hit on, and groped by their senior male colleagues. The managers who assign journalists to assignments are loathe to assign women to this story or that, for reasons that are at best vague and at worst
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Why Dedicated Cameras Will Always Be (Optically) Better than Smartphones

It’s September, which means another generation of Apple iPhones. This year, the iPhone XS (pronounced “ten ess”) adds a slightly larger sensor plus significantly more computing power via the A12 Bionic Chip to enhance the phone’s image signal processing. But despite the ability to perform 5 trillion operations a second, the iPhone still can’t do something your dedicated ILP camera can, namely, collect as much light. And when it comes to photography, true exposure (i.e. the total number of photons captured) is directly related to image quality. Of course, that much computing power does give some powerful workarounds.

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Early Photos vs. Now: Seeing Progress as a Photographer

Whelp! The Internet reminded me a few days back that I’ve officially been shooting photography for over 10 years now. I’ll be honest, I thought my progress would have been further. I assume the end of my life will be something like what I am currently experiencing, which is “Wow, that went fast.” It seems I’m just barely starting to grasp the wise words of my elders when they told me “Time goes quicker than you think.”
Recent artwork from my 2018 RGG EDU tutorial. Both tutorials I’ve released with them are some of my favorite accomplishments.
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3 Reasons You Don’t Need To Be A Pro To Make Great Photos

The label of being a “professional” at something, whether you’re a professional football player or a professional figure skater, typically means you’re the best of the best in your respective field. But when it comes to a professional photographer, the same assumption can’t be made. I hear from people on a regular basis that discount their personal photographic abilities because they say they aren’t a “pro”, rather just an amateur or a hobbyist. This thought track is what initially got me thinking about what really constitutes a professional photographer.

What Does “Pro” Really Mean?

Depending on who you ask, a
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I Am NOT a ‘Self-Taught’ Photographer

“Meet my friend Saurabh. He’s an amazing photographer from India and his work has been published in various reputed newspapers and journals worldwide like Nat Geo, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, etc. Astonishingly, he’s a self-taught photographer and very passionate about his work.” Recently, I was touring Europe to meet some friends and this was the kind of introduction I got in their social circle. Even in my home country of India, this is a common way friends and family introduce me to someone. Hasn’t the use of ‘self-taught’ become cliche in creative fields? It has become more like a
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