10 Perfect Gift Ideas for the Photographer in Your Life

10 Perfect Gift Ideas for the Photographer in Your Life What’s on your wish list this holiday season? Whether you’re writing your annual letter to Santa or treating yourself, this list has all my favorite products for photographers! 1. Camera strap The strap your camera came with is often a good place to start, but a great camera strap will make carrying your camera a breeze. Hold Fast makes beautiful L straps which combine form and function – and ultra soft bison leather in 5 colors. Checkout the Hold Fast Maven Strap. 2. Gear bag A great bag will be your best friend, keeping all your gear organized and in one place. For the fashionable photographer in your life, Kelly Moore has a bag for every outfit, that most people won’t even be able to tell is a camera bag. If you’re trekking out to photograph landscapes, a backpack from LowePro will ensure everything you need is right at your fingerprints. 3. Lens accessories These are the perfect size for a stocking stuffer – from lens hoods to filters and covers and caps, you’re guaranteed to find something that meets any budget. 4. Cleaning kit Keeping your camera clean is easy with a great kit, like this one from B&H, which comes with everything you’ll need to keep your lenses dust and fingerprint free. 5. Light reflectors Reflectors are an important tool in any photographer’s arsenal, and many are collapsible and easy to carry. This set of five has everything you’ll need to get started. 6. Flashes Photographers are constantly chasing light, but you could wrap it up and put it under the tree. From basic flashes to elaborate... Read More

Something is missing in your portraits and you know it! (NEW COURSE COMING SOON!)

Something is missing in your portraits and you know it! (NEW COURSE  COMING SOON!) Something is missing in your portraits and you know it! In this video I explain the difference between PRO quality Portraits and Amateur snapshots. I just put the finishing touches on my brand new course Shoot STUNNING Natural Light Portraits! BONUS: To one person who shares the video on Facebook I’ll give away a free membership to the new course. Enjoy!   In this course I teach the 3 Secret formulas for creating professional quality portraits using only natural light. Once I learned these formulas I was able to start charging money for my portraits and people started flying me around the world to photograph them. It could be the same for you! The course will be launching in December to the public AND I’m so excited about it that I’ve decided to do something crazy! I’m going to give away 3 actual lessons from the course for FREE before it comes out! CLICK HERE to sign up to get the first 3 lessons as soon as they are available. CLICK HERE to claim your access to the 3 free lessons. (I’ll email the link to the videos as soon as they go live on Dec... Read More

Which Camera and Lens Should I Buy?

Which Camera and Lens Should I Buy? “Which camera and lens should I buy?” I get asked this question ALL THE TIME… I usually tell them it’s not about the camera or lens. It’s about understanding how to use the equipment, taking manual control, and capturing the images as you intended. It’s not the camera that makes a great photo. It’s the mind of the photographer. I guarantee you that a seasoned photographer could be given any consumer-level DSLR camera that was made in the last 5 years, and we would take photos that could easily be featured on the cover of a magazine or on a billboard ad. Regardless of which camera was in our hands. The reality is, any camera these days is simply amazing. Especially if it’s made by one of the leading brands like Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji and many others. The entry level DSLR and mirrorless cameras that are coming out nowadays put my first professional cameras to shame. Long story short, you have it good with the amazing quality in today’s digital cameras. That being said, I do have some recommendations for which cameras and lenses to buy when you are starting out. WORD TO THE WISE: Don’t get bogged down in the camera tech details. I promise you it is more about the photographer than it is the camera. Start where you’re at and learn to master your craft first. The perfect gear can follow later. Don’t go into a ton of debt to purchase gear. Get the equipment you can afford. I’ve always bought my gear slowly, with cash and only when I could afford to upgrade or add to the quiver. My first professional gigs... Read More

Back Button Focus: The Secret to Crisp Photos Every Time

Back Button Focus: The Secret to Crisp Photos Every Time One of the most important buttons on your camera is often one that many people new to using a DSLR have never heard of, but it’s your secret to crisp, beautiful photos, every time. What Is Back Button Focus? On most cameras, the shutter button is how you auto focus – you push the button down halfway, it focuses on your subject, and then you push down all the way to take your photo. You’ve probably noticed that this works well enough in situations where you have enough light, where your subject isn’t moving, or where there isn’t any risk anyone (or anything) else will move into your frame. But you have to repeat the process for each photo you take – pushing down the shutter button, waiting for the light and beep that tells you the image is in focus, and then taking your photo. And as you’ve probably experienced, if your finger slips, you either lose focus, or you take the photo before you’re ready. Back button focus moves focusing to a separate button, leaving taking the photo the only job your shutter button has to do. Why Does That Matter? Back button focusing means you have greater control over the focus, allowing you to set your focus and then lock it in. Once locked, you can move around your subject (as long as you remain the same distance away), or you can take photos of one particular person in a group of people, without worrying that the focus will wind up resetting itself to a different face (or someone’s shoulder, or hand, or chin!) You’ll get... Read More

How to Make A Brand Guide For Your Website

How to Make A Brand Guide For Your Website Hey! I’m Melissa Love from The Design Space and I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for my good friend, David Molnar. We’re working on some fun website projects together, so we thought it would be a good time to share some easy but professional design techniques with you that you can use for your next creative project. Are you starting to think about building a website? Itching to dive in and get started? Wait right there a minute. I want to make sure you’ve got a beautiful brand guide to help you make the right design decisions when it comes to building a website. You might be planning to hire a graphic designer to create your logo or maybe you’re going to do it yourself. Whichever way you choose, a brand guide is your road map to making sure you create a consistent look and feel both on and offline. I’ve put together a short video, walking you through the basics as well as a layered Photoshop file that you can download and use to create your own brand guide. You can see what it looks like right below the video (which also contains a step-by-step demonstration of how to use it). If you have any questions about brand guides, make sure you leave a comment. I’d love to help! Melissa     DOWLOAD THE BRAND GUIDE FILE... Read More

Should You Put Your Pricing on Your Website?

Should You Put Your Pricing on Your Website? The question of whether or not to display your pricing on your photography site is a scandalous debate… Showing your pricing on your site can do a few things – it can qualify your leads, so you know they can afford you and it can also also prevent potential clients from contacting you because of sticker shock.   Some clients may still contact you, but if your pricing is $4,000 to shoot a wedding and it’s not in their budget, they’ll be too scared to contact you at all. On the other hand, if you charge $1,000 to shoot a wedding potential clients might be suspicious of that low of a price, especially if the average rate is much higher in your area. They won’t be sure if they can trust you. They may not be confident in how professional or experienced you really are. If your pricing is on the low end of your local market, and you’re okay with being cheaper, then it can also benefit you to post your pricing on your site. You’ll attract more inquiries, and probably book more work. It’s not a good long term strategy, but if you’re a new photographer, this can help you get through the initial period of building your portfolio and your business. And if you’re selling prints, posting those prices online is important. Prints are a commodity, a hard cost. Show those prices. So the burning question… Do I or did I display my pricing? NO. I don’t display my pricing on my site. There was a time when I had  “packages starting at…”  on my website, back when we... Read More