12 tips to help you start and grow your photography business


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You might have the creative part down, but in order to launch and maintain a successful career as a professional photographer, it’s just as important to focus on the business side of your workflow. It might not be as fun or glamorous as the actual shooting, but it’s what will keep you going in the long-term.

A common misconception about photographers is that they spend most of their time behind a camera. But depending on their field, many devote a considerable chunk of their time to business and administration tasks like bookkeeping, invoicing, advertising, and social media marketing. In fact,

MG (@thirdworldhippy) by Sanjeev Kugan on 500px.com
In a Heartbeat by Anna Devís and Daniel Rueda on 500px.com
Red Coton by Jim Martin on 500px.com
outsider by Juergen Kramer on 500px.com
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Take My Hand by Austin Scherbarth on 500px.com

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How to Make Cyanotype Prints of Your Digital Photos at Home


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Photographer Mathieu Stern has put together a simple step-by-step that will teach you how to turn your digital photographs into beautiful cyanotype prints. If you’ve never made physical prints at home, consider this your gateway drug.

The cyanotype is a photographic printing process that was invented in 1842 by astronomer Sir John Herschel. The process involves using two chemicals—ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide—and sunlight (or UV light) to create a cyan-blue print on watercolor paper, using a photographic negative as your base image.

The basic, step-by-step process involves:

  1. Turn your digital photos into negatives in Photoshop, and print them

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Nikon is Letting You Stream All ‘Nikon School’ Online Classes for Free this Month


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In an attempt to help its customers stay “inspired, engaged, and growing” during the worldwide coronavirus lockdowns currently in place, Nikon USA has made its entire Nikon School Online curriculum free for the month of April.

“Nikon’s mission has always been to empower creators. In these uncertain times, we can do that by helping creators stay inspired, engaged and growing,” reads the streaming page, where you’ll find a total of ten free online courses. “That’s why we’re providing all of our courses free for the entire month of April. Let’s come out of this even better.”

The ten classes—which

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How Wicker Chairs Became a Portrait Photography Staple for Decades


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If you look at album covers from the 1970s, one of the things you’ll repeatedly see is a particular type of wicker chair commonly referred to as a peacock chair. Here’s an interesting 7.5-minute video by Vox that looks into the history of this photography trope, which was 100 years in the making.

At the beginning of the 1900s, wicker furniture became all the rage as people replaced their traditional wood furniture with wicker furniture in order to bring outdoor living indoors and cool down all the living spaces in their homes.

The wicker chair soon became an essential

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How to Use the ‘Divide’ Blend Mode to Instantly Remove Any Color Cast


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Unmesh Dinda of PIXimperfect has put together a brilliant educational video on the oft-confusing Divide blend mode in Photoshop. In this tutorial he’ll show you how to use it to remove any color cast, before diving into the fascinating mathematics behind this useful tool.

The video breaks down into two parts, both of which are extremely useful. First, Dinda shows you how to quickly and easily remove any color cast from an image using the ‘Divide’ blend mode and a solid color adjustment layer. Then, he dives into the math behind the blend mode, so you can understand how and

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How to Manage Self-Isolation: Tips for Freelance Photographers


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Given the recent guidelines on social distancing from various health organizations, the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes (COVID-19) means that most of us will be self-isolating for some time. As a freelancer, how can you manage this enforced downtime positively?

Over the past five weeks, I was already dealing with an enforced “lay-off” from work. An accident whilst taking photographs for a forthcoming book left me with a broken ankle and six weeks of being unable to work. With the growth of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many freelancers are now facing a similar period of being unable to

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This is How the ‘Extended Low’ ISO Setting On Your Camera Works


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Photographer Chris Lee of pal2tech has created a much-requested follow-up to his technical breakdown of how ISO works when you take a picture. The followup uses Fuji cameras as an example to explain how the Extended Low, or “L”, ISO setting on your camera functions.

This is a source of a lot of confusion among beginners, but it’s really quite simple. As Lee explains in the video, the Extended Low ISO setting works by simply shooting an image at Base ISO, and then post-processing the image in-camera to decrease exposure by one third, two thirds, or one full stop, depending

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In-Depth Breakdown Shows How to Properly Weather-Seal a Camera


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Dave Etchells over at Imaging Resource has released a fantastic breakdown the dives deep on exactly how camera makers—Olympus specifically—go about properly weather-sealing their cameras. In keeping with Etchells’ reputation, this video is the most comprehensive overview of the topic that we’ve ever seen.

The video was created in collaboration with Olympus, whose weather sealing is, at least according to Etchells’ scientific testing, the best of the best.

“The first company that came to mind when I thought of [creating this video] was Olympus, because their weather sealing is hands-down the best in the industry,” says Etchells, making enemies of

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Understanding Front vs Rear Curtain Sync, and How to Use Both for Portraits


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Photographer Ashley Boring has teamed up with lighting company Westcott to create a helpful educational video that explains the difference between rear- and front-curtain flash sync, and shows you how to use this knowledge to create some interesting portraits.

The traditional focal plane shutter uses two “curtains” to control your exposure when you take a picture: a leading or “front” curtain, and a trailing or “rear” curtain. As Boring explains right at the top of the video, the difference between rear- and front-curtain sync is all about the timing of your flash.

How to Disinfect Your Camera Gear During the Coronavirus Pandemic


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As the world takes drastic measures to slow the spread of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, having good hand hygiene is regarded as one of the key ways to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you’re a photographer, you should consider regularly disinfecting the equipment you use throughout a day.

“Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials,” the CDC warns on its website. “Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.”

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Take Your Next Travel Photo


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It’s the fifth in a string of beautiful days, in a place a world away from our daily life back home. The sky is wide and blue. The air is thick with scents of food we’ve yet to try, and a language we don’t understand. But friendly smiles allow us to navigate our way through this country that is settling into our hearts.

We can’t help wanting to capture every moment—every friendly smile, every sweet child skipping down a dirt road. And so we lift our camera or phone and we…

Wait!

Every time we have an interaction with someone,

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How the Coronavirus Will Affect the Photo Workshops Business


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I think it’s fair to say there’s growing anxiety that is accompanying the current coronavirus outbreak, and with seemingly more bad news on the hour, we really don’t know when this thing might bottom out. So if your business is in the photography workshop space like my company PhotoEducate is, you take notice.

One of the biggest economic casualties from the novel coronavirus happens to be one of the world’s largest industries. Tourism is responsible for roughly one in ten jobs on the planet; that’s more than 300 million jobs and almost $6 trillion in revenue.

And the tourism sector

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Satellite Boom to ‘Wreak Havoc’ on Astrophotography, NASA Says


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As more and more satellites are being launched into space, reflected light from these objects is causing increased sky pollution and issues for astronomers. Now NASA is asking the public for help in monitoring this growing issue, and all you need to do is shoot smartphone photos of the light streaks in the night sky.

Satellite sky pollution exploded into public consciousness in the middle of 2019 after SpaceX began launching the first of 12,000 satellites it plans to put into Earth’s orbit by the middle of this year. People around the world soon noticed the train of dots traveling

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ISO Has Nothing to Do with Exposure: An Explanation for Beginners


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Photographer Chris Lee of the YouTube channel pal2tech recently released one of the most straightforward (and accurate) explanations of ISO that we’ve seen. In this 12 minute video, he explains what ISO is and, just as importantly, takes on a couple of common misconceptions by explaining what ISO is not.

ISO is probably one of the (if not THE) most misunderstood technologies in digital photography. Stemming in part from people equating it with film speed (i.e. ASA), and in part from some useful-but-misleading simplifications that are shared quite frequently, people often believe and share two bits of misinformation:

  1. ISO

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Three Ways to Use RGB Lights in Your Portrait Work


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RGB LEDs are a relatively new piece of technology, and a wonderful addition that photographers should be taking advantage of. Before this technology existed, we were forced to resort to adding gels to our strobes in order to add a pop of color into our images. This worked well (and still does) but having the ability to change the hue and saturation of your lights with the flip of a switch or turn of a dial is incredibly useful.

Below, I’ve outlined three different ways photographers can use these lights in their portrait work.

Background Color Changes

Building up stock

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Zack Arias Explains Why You Aren’t Winning Photography Contests


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After an extended absence from the online space, veteran photographer Zack Arias is back, and he’s offering some advice to photographers who are frustrated that they aren’t winning any of the photo contests that they’ve entered into.

In a new video titled Why You Aren’t Winning Photography Contests, Arias brings his 20 years of experience to bear, sharing insights from two decades working with both online contests and print competitions. He explains how these contests are judged behind the scenes, so that you can understand exactly why your images might not be doing so well.

The full video is 25

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A Complete Guide to Using Off Camera Flash for Wedding Photography


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Wedding photographer Reggie Ballesteros gets a lot of questions from aspiring wedding photographers, and one of the most common is: how do you use off-camera flash? So he’s created a comprehensive guide that covers his entire process—from the gear he uses, to his thought process during setup, through execution.

“In this video, I break it all down: the gear that I use, how I set it up, my exposure/flash power settings, and my thought process and approach,” explained Ballesteros when he sent PetaPixel the guide. “From there, I take the viewer behind the scenes so they can see the implementation

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The Evolution of Fujifilm X Series Shutter Sounds


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Want to hear how the shutter sounds of Fujifilm’s X Series mirrorless cameras have changed over the years? Fuji employee nycphotog2006 made this short 5-minute video that compares the sounds of the X-T1, X-T2, X-T3, X-T4, and X-H1.

It’s a “thoroughly unscientific sound experience with the cameras and their shutter burst modes,” nycphotog2006 says.

Just for kicks, the video also includes the new X100V fixed-lens camera to show what “true quiet” is — the camera contains a leaf shutter that generates an almost-imperceptible fluttering sound when you’re holding down the shutter for continuous shooting.


P.S. nycphotog2006 also

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Everything Wrong with the FAA’s Remote ID Proposal, and How to Help Change It


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Drone photographers have one more weekend to submit their comments to the FAA regarding the agency’s highly controversial Remote ID proposal. If you’re still not sure what it is, or how to help change it before it’s too late, this guide from Pilot Institute will explain everything you need to know.

The idea of requiring drones to have an onboard “Remote ID”—sort of like a digital license plate—first appeared in 2017, but the FAA officially released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for Remote ID the day after Christmas 2019. Since then, it’s been a mad scramble by

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How to Spot Fake Photos of Fake People Online


This post is by Mike Solomon from PetaPixel


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My name is Mike Solomon, and I learned a thing or two about AI-generated faces when I built the web app “Judge Fake People” last year. Here’s a little guide on how to spot fake photos of fake people online.

All the people shown below are fake.

Weird backgrounds are a dead giveaway. Some are easier to spot than others.

Look out for a “uni-tooth”. It’s like a unibrow but as a front tooth. Some people have them in real life — Tom Cruise used to before he got braces — but they’re rare.

Mismatched, weird earrings are

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