Who Cares if You’re a Skilled Professional Photographer?

by Mark Stall                                                                                         12 November 2013

The state of portrait photography today is a free-for-all. The traditional highly experienced photographer has relied on a known variety of techniques in lighting and posing to achieve successful portraits. The newer photographer can design their portraits based on the newest trends or something they saw by someone else, but only if they have the skills or patience to learn it. Every photographer must use a combination of personal style and well thought out lighting to design a portrait the customer will like.
Customers select a portrait photographer based on a referral, an ad, social media or they’ve always used the same photographer. Photographers need to know what particular style the customer is looking for and what is the reason for the portrait. We all agree the goal of the photographer is to please their customer and do what they’re looking for without sacrificing something.
Years ago I attended a few lectures by the master photographer Joyce Tenneson. Ms. Tenneson will take a limited amount of portraits based on getting to know her subject intimately before proceeding. Upon completion of the session, she will select and present her client with her final choice. Period. Few of us have the luxury of selecting the final portrait without the customers say, but Ms. Tenneson has the ability to create and interpret a portrait through her understanding and commitment to the craft.

There’s more to being a portrait photographer than just taking a picture. And it should be more than just placing your subject or subjects in front of backdrop and shooting. For you to succeed and prosper you must study today’s trends and understand past photographers to become a skilled practitioner. Every successful photographer before 2005 made some major effort to study photography. Starting out, they attended as many workshops as they could and practiced with whatever equipment they could afford to accomplish the job. Passion isn’t enough today to please your customers. We must give this field of photogrqaphy everything we got to remain a respected profession and only the most skilled will succeed.

  • Article by Mark Stall, http://www.prostudiousa.com/blog/
  • http://www.prostudiousa.com/  For your Best in Professional Photography Supplies!

“Rockstar” – Most of the time it’s just a word! Skip Cohen

Here’s the type of “rockstar” nobody will argue about taken for Sekonic by SCU Faculty member and one of the industry’s very best lighting educators, Bobbi Lane.  Please Read on…Picture

by Skip Cohen

In the DWF Newsletter a couple of years ago there was a link to a discussion about the word “rockstar”.  It went on for over a year and just recently it came up again in one of the forums I follow. How long this silly discussion will go on is irrelevant.  What is important is the topic itself.  What I just don’t get it is why so many people get hung up on a word.  I especially don’t understand the cyber space venom that gets people’s blood boiling in the discussions.

Are there people who misuse the word?  Of course there are, but we’ve always had that challenge. How many times have you ordered something in a restaurant because somebody told you it was amazing, only to be disappointed? Or, how about a movie the critics loved, but you were underwhelmed? It concerns me more there are people calling themselves “professional” photographers who are anything but professional.  Why doesn’t that provoke the same kind of response?

With the energy those people who want to argue over the misuse of the word “rockstar”, they could accomplish so much more promoting education in technique and marketing to elevate the word “professional” instead.

For me personally, “rockstar” is a word of respect and I use it all the time.  Joe McNally is a “rockstar” and the reference is related to a great photographer, who’s got something to say, concepts we can learn from, is entertaining when he presents and like a “rockstar” he packs the house!

But the use of the word “rockstar” is a cultural thing, not exclusive to photography.  In every profession there arerockstars.  My wife, Sheila, worked at Akron Children’s Hospital and there were a number of people who wererockstars, because they were the best in their specialty and the word is used in admiration.

In photography we’ve lost a lot of “rockstars” over the last decade…Dean Collins, Don Blair, Monte Zucker, Henry Froelich, Richard Avedon, Eddie Adams, Arnold Newman and Herb Ritts,  just to name a few.  All of them wererockstars in their own right, we just didn’t use the word then.  They left behind a legacy of concepts and standards we all aspire to achieve, which in a way makes many of you “aspiring rockstars”.

For me, it’s just a word used appropriately sometimes and at other times it’s not. Regardless that doesn’t change my opinion that arguing about the word itself is as relevant as the old battle between wedding photojournalists and traditional wedding photographers. Better yet, how relevant is the ongoing battle between Canon and Nikon owners, when you’ve got products like Panasonic’s LUMIX GH3 and GX7?

And if you honestly want to argue with me, check out the expansion of the gear landscape over the last year with  new products from Panasonic, Fujifilm, Sony and Samsung. We’ve all got a front row seat to a paradigm shift!

See more of Skip Cohen’s Blog here: http://www.skipcohenuniversity.com/

You’ll be glad you did!  John Phoenix

Digital camera battery use knowledge

When using a digital camera saves the battery power used as far as possible. First is avoids using the nonessential focal variation operation as far as possible, if wants the focal variation really, suggested that moves camera’s position to obtain the same focal variation effect. is avoids using the flashing light frequently, the flashing light consumes the electricity, if not has no recourse should better not use. Furthermore when adjusts the image should better use the viewfinder, but do not use the LCD display monitor. The LCD display monitor’s energy consumption is astonishing, therefore best little uses, because the ordinary photography work may complete through the viewfinder. Certainly cannot to save the electric quantity to force out it, for instance when short distance photography the LCD display monitor is the indispensable important part. Finally is remembered, when not in use digital cameras to turn it off.

When use the digital camera battery for a long time, the ACER aspire 3050 battery needed to be clean. Many people may focus only on digital camera lens and body clean, but never thought the battery should be cleaned. To avoid power loss problems, be sure to maintain the battery contact point of both sides and the battery cover’s interior is clean. If necessary, use a soft, clean cloth and gently wipe dry. Can not use chemical or other cleaning of the cleaning agents have solubility.

pay attention to use the correct method in the process of charging Digital camera batteries. Best to use the original digital camera battery charger, which will help extend battery life. The charging time depends on the charger and the battery used, and the use of voltage stability and so on factors. If this is the first use of the COMPAQ Presario r3000 Battery (or batteries for months not used), to remember, lithium battery charging time must be more than 6 hours, Ni-MH battery must be more than 14 hours, otherwise, will be shorter battery life.

If digital camera battery has residual power, try not to repeat the charge to ensure battery life. If you charge Ni-Cd battery for a while only to stop charging power and then recharge it, doing so is the battery can not be filled. This is what they call the “memory effect”, this effect would reduce the battery’s total capacity and the use of time. Over time, less and less stored charge, the battery will also use more and more quickly.

If planned does not use the digital camera for a the long time , Should take out the digital camera battery from the digital camera perhaps the Dell inspiron 1501 Battery charger, and discharges it completely.For a long time stored in the digital camera battery charger, or within, may leak and damage.Deposits the battery in the dry and cool environment, moreover do not deposits the battery and the general metal goods together.

Thanks Article alley: http://www.articlealley.com/index.php

Thank you,

John Phoenix & Lisa Catera
Entrepreneurs in business to make life better for everyone.
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“You will get all you want in life if you will help enough other people get what they want! – Zig Ziglar”

The Art of Digital Photography

Digital photography: The art of digital photography

Many of the techniques used in traditional photography also apply to digital photography. The composition of the picture, use of light, line, shape, pattern, etc. also apply to digital photography. Three elements that are different in digital photography are white balance, picture resolution, and digital effects.

White Balance

In a traditional camera, film records and determines the colors of the scene captured in the photograph. As digital cameras have no film to interpret color, they use white balance settings for this purpose. These settings (called Kelvin temperature ratings) are represented by symbols for sun, indoor light, clouds and shade on most digital displays and can be manually selected. The Auto function, however, enables the camera to adjust the settings automatically. For most non-professional needs, this is quite satisfactory.

Some digital cameras contain a histogram function that will also help you adjust your light exposure.


Digital cameras record images in pixels. If you expand a picture on your computer with graphic software by zooming in on the picture, you will eventually see the picture rendered as a series of colored dots. The more dots per inch in a picture, the higher the resolution. High-resolution photos have better image quality and bigger file sizes as well.

Many digital cameras on the market allow the user to select the low or high-resolution settings. Since resolution affects file size, more of the photos taken in low resolution can be stored in your camera at a time. High-resolution images may saved in BMP, TIFF, or RAW image formats. These are large file type images. High resolution settings vary with each camera. A low resolution setting on one camera is a high resolution setting on another. It all depends on the camera’s megapixel resolution that could be anywhere in the range of .1 megapixels to 9.1 megapixels.

Resolution is an important consideration when buying your digital camera. If you are only going to be using your images on the web, very high-resolution images will not be as mandatory for you (although high resolution graphics allow more manipulation of the graphic in graphics software programs). Web images are typically lower resolution images since file size is a consideration for the web. If you are going to be printing your images, however, high resolution is necessary for a quality print. To be able to expand an image for an 8×10 print is going to require a high-resolution graphic for a good quality photo.

Digital Effects

Many digital cameras also have built-in effects that can be used to change the presentation of your photos. Fisheye is an example of one such feature that will reshape an image giving it a totally different effect. Soft-focus, Portrait, Scene, Landscape, and Wide-angle are some of the focusing effect capabilities that your digital cameral may have. These are nice features to have fun with. If you have a graphics software program, your images can be further manipulated once you have downloaded your images to your computer.

By: Vicki Zolenski

Kirk Voclain speaks out about Online Proofing

“I Love Everything About

Mark Baltzley sits down with Kirk Voclain to talk about online proofing and SeeYourPhotos.net

By Mark Baltzley

Recently, I had a great opportunity to sit down with a well known and highly respected photographer, Kirk Voclain who is also the owner of the Pro4uM. I wanted to talk about online proofing and SeeYourPhotos.net – todays internet abilities and useshere is what we discussed:

Mark-You recently were invited to try out SeeYourPhotos.net, a Gold Sponser with the Pro4Um, by the owners, John Phoenix and Lisa Catera. They have been working on this site for a long time and asked me to get your impression on their online proofing site. Kirk, I want to thank you for taking the time today to talk about SeeYourPhotos.net.

First of all, how long have you been in photography?

Kirk- Long I think over thirty years. I did my first wedding when I was 15 and I’ve been photographing I guess you could say professionally ever since then. I got my first camera when I was eight years old; just forever you know.

Mark- How long have you had your own studio?

Kirk- Let’s see, I’ve been married for 22 years so, since then.

Mark- Good, can you tell us about how many senior sittings you do a year?

Kirk- I usually do about 150 seniors a year, I do very limited weddings, I do some families, I do some babies, you know that kind of stuff, but I mostly make money from high school senior portraits. The weddings and the babies and all the other good stuff is fine- it makes money I’m not against that stuff. It’s just that I kind of run everything so to speak based on senior portraits and the thing is I’m getting close to a 2000 dollar average for senior portraits these days. If the dynamic of that should ever shift I would shift with it. But, for right now I’m going to ride that wave.
Mark- So for your weddings, what do you do for those events?

Kirk- With weddings, I have found that the bride of course, they just want to see them online. So, my thing with weddings are I actually design everything the book, the parent book, I design everything and it is put together before the bride sees picture one. At which point, they want to know if they can put it online and I’m like “sure we can put it online. I’d love to!” and we put it online and we give them a thumbnail book, one of those H & H thumbnail books. We tell them if you need to place an order at a later date the pictures are online, you can still place an order online at the discounted price.

Mark- That sounds great! I do a lot of corporate work and shoot for a lot of major corporations around the United States where we do events. What’s nice about that is the people who come to those events can go back home to any state in the country where they live. Then they go online and order extra photos for themselves. For us, for the way that I use it, it’s been a blessing.

Kirk- Yes, I can see where photographers in a large city need this kind of online service.

The other day, we drove through Dallas, for example, and I can see where a photographer in Dallas, man if you don’t have some sort of online ordering in my humble opinion you’re in trouble. Because to get from one end of that town to another end of that town is like a whole other country, you know, compared to Louisiana. My mom and dad all the time complain because I don’t go visit them enough. Well, dog gone, you guys live 20 minutes away. Now, compare that to some town like Dallas and that’s around the block. So, I can appreciate how that can also be the situation with me. I’m right in the middle of Houma, LA, so I’m right in the middle of everything. So, for someone to come to me to physically walk in is not that difficult. Parking that’s another thing, — I’ve got my own little parking area. People drive in and park in and it’s just wonderful.

Mark- Now when you first saw SeeYourPhotos.net what was your impression of the site, since you have actually looked at some other sites?

Kirk- Well I thought everything worked pretty fast number one, and that’s always a big deal with me. When it comes to anything online it’s like to me it’s gotta work, it’s gotta happen quick. I just don’t know too many people that like looking at their computer waiting on stuff to load!. Everything loaded fast. Everything was right there in front of me and it was easy to navigate. Once I understood the thinking of the whole thing, it seemed to navigate very easily and operated very quickly. Which for me was a big positive. One thing I have found in the other proofing sites was they have so many problems–I haven’t seen that with SeeYourPhotos.net.

Mark- Now, are you currently using SeeYourPhotos.net and what is your relationship with them?

Kirk – I do use them and I love the service. I’m not a big heavy hitter yet you know, I don’t use it with every customer. I intend on using it and we are going to use it more because we just kind of got on-board there at the end of this past senior year. So I think if you check my name out I think there is like two or three listed because that was at the end of the season.

But, next year it will be a whole different deal. Everything we do will get uploaded that way. SeeYourPhotos.net–I love it, I love everything about it. I love the way the interface works, it’s fast and simple to use…with internet stuff, if it is not easy – I won’t use it. Plus, my events page on my website looks the way I want it to look–which I like by the way. They do like to hear from everyone about how to improve the site, they may or may not do it, but at least they want to hear it from us and that is very important.Mark- Well, as you may have seen,
SeeYourPhotos.net is an established business started by two photographers who own the site – then, added enhancements and upgrades by the comments and needs of all the members. Even though, they are not the biggest in the industry, they work very hard to
make sure the site is user friendly on all levels, not just for the photographer, but for their clients viewing the events as well. So, how do you think they fit into the industry so far?

Kirk- I think that its just one of those things that there are so many proofing companies out there that they need to keep doing what they are doing to keep being, you know, keep providing a great service at a great price, and continue to be customer service oriented and it will happen.

Mark- You’re right Kirk, they really are customer service oriented. I’ve talked to many photographers at trade shows and so many people have been burned by other online proofing companies especially, by some of the early onset of proofing sites that were out there almost ten years ago. I think SeeYourPhotos.net is a great site.

Kirk- I know exactly what you’re saying.

Mark- I really appreciate your time Kirk, and what we talked about today. Like I said before, my first impression of you was you have a great passion for what you do in photography. I look forward to getting to see you at the WPPI show next year–and thanks again for your time today!

My overall observation with talking to Kirk Voclain today is that online proofing has it’s place in our industry, and although it may be different for every photographer, Kirk really likes what he has seen so far using SeeYourPhotos.net—or hear him say it—”I Love everything about it”.

Kirk Voclain is the owner and webmaster of a great professional photographer’s forum The Pro4uM. He has spent many years making great photography information available thru the forum for thousands of photographers.

Please take an opportunity to check out Kirk’s website for professional photographers,

The Pro4uM @ http://www.pro4um.com

Kirk’s Photography studio is located in Houma, near New Orleans, Louisiana.

Visit Kirk’s photography website to view some of the most amazing Portrait and Senior photography at http://www.kvphoto.com! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

You can go online to see for yourself how SeeYourPhotos.net can improve your photography business @ www.seeyourphotos.net. You can also give them a call to ask any questions you may have about their online proofing service at 1-866-523-6463.

Mark Baltzley

The Rise Of Digital Photography And Photo Editor Software by Andrew Winthorp

With the growth of digital cameras, digital photo editing is being embraced by home enthusiasts who have been gripped by the digital bug. In the past, photo restoration services have attempted to restore ripped and torn images to their former pristine glory. Thanks to the advancements in digital technology, modern manipulation and storage capability no longer requires third party intervention. Software has now taken over as the photo editing tool of choice.

Gone are the days where sophisticated software was the domain of professional photographers and the graphic designer. With the growth of the internet, online tutorials, educational services and streaming media presentations provide the ability for anyone with the desire to learn to acquire the skills in a minimum amount of time.
Whether you want to repurpose existing photos, remove blemishes, reduce redness, compile a slideshow or export the finished production to a range of media friendly formats, photo editing software can help you to achieve your goals. With such a diverse range of options, securing software doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, you can get free software by downloading it from the internet. In most cases, the help files are self explanatory and you can bring yourself up to speed in no time.
Online photo editors also provide versatility to edit images on the move. You can upload images to the net, repurpose and distribute via email. For enthusiasts who want to share with family and friends, online photo galleries provide the means to do so. Print Your Photos Online @ Printyourphotosonline.com, Google picasa and photobucket are popular websites that provide a range of digital editing and sharing solutions.
The advancements in photo editing software also provide the ability to create professional grade DVD presentations for personal or commercial use. Burning images to DVD for storage purposes or displaying them as a DVD or slideshow is a quick and convenient way to store and display images. With advancements in printer capability, printing out your own images , either straight from the digital camera or after software repurposing is now a practical reality.
The trend in digital camera use is set to continue and digital photo editing is set to grow in importance as more people discover how easy photo manipulation has become.

Photography 101: Creating Mood With Color by Domen Lombergar

Just as music builds mood, colors can also help create mood. A lot has been written on what each color denotes, what emotions it evokes. Colors also have an impact on one’s health. Did you ever think that the colors in a photograph can actually make someone look at it over and over again or probably turn-off the viewer. In fact the colors in photographs can set the pace and mood of your surroundings and impact you deeply.

Let’s understand the core of a photo or a painting for that matter. Human subconsciousness readily sees things in symmetry. Therefore, a symmetrical figurine or view would register faster. Asymmetrical view (in this case a photograph) would also catch attention but with some portions drawing more attention than others.
Next comes the color and texture. Colors in your photograph can have an impact in two ways. One, through the contrast created by using colors of �cooler hues’ along with colors of �warmer hues’. Second, through the use of a color-type in dominance you could create vibrance, tranquility or royal elegance. Red, Orange and Yellow of the spectrum are warm colors. Blue, Purple and Green on the other hand are cool colors
If a photograph is created with a contrast, the warmer tones need to be occupying less space as these colors draw away attention. They have an effect of warmth & excitement, which when used in excess can also be agitating.
Red is the best choice for creating warmth & passion in your photo. Why on earth did you think that Valentine’s Day is all about red flowers, red balloons and a long flowing red dress? Red with a background in white adds drastic contrast but has an element of grace to it.
Orange is a mixture of yellow and red. It therefore, brings in enthusiasm and warmth. Nature’s best hues are when the sun goes down and colors the sky in a confused array of pink, orange and yellow.
Yellow reflects most of the light and thus draws lots of attention; too bright a shade will leave you irritated. Prolonged exposure can also have a tiring effect. It is best used in down-tones; as background for white articles/figures.
Green is the color of tranquility and vibrance. It’s nature’s color and often gets used in pro photography for food advertising. It seems perfect when paired up with yellow. They have opposite impacts on your mood. Though it may sound like a garish combination, when used in equal proportions it has lasting impact on your photographs.
Blue produces a sense of calmness, which edges more towards sadness. Someone once said-�I am felling blue’. Blue is also a very responsible color, very corporate and powerful, when paired with black.
Black has varied meanings in different cultures across the globe. Universally, it’s the color of choice for most formal occasions equally for men and women. It magically makes your outline look much slimmer. It takes in all the color and should be used sparingly in photos. Most welcome to be used with warm colors or when the sentiment is serious..
Use white and pink to create a softer look. White creates a sense of space and is ideal to give a deeper look to your photograph. And if you got a flared pink dress , just sit on the green rug across a white background to get clicked�.you will appreciate and cherish that photo hanging on your wall for years and years to come.
Now that you are aware of what colors can do to the photographs! Now go enliven yourself with those snazzy snaps in the living room or retire in that lounge area with cool blues. Ah! and not to forget the right kind of shades.