More Reader Q and A’s

I have always said this site was created for you, our awesome readers. I want to share as much of my love and passion I have for photography with you all and help us all be better photographers. As questions come in from Twitter or Facebook I collect them and after I have a few will do a little Q and A post. Here are some great questions that recently came in, thanks everyone and keep them coming!

has anyone seen a good online guide to HDR photography? (from @full_view_media)
If you are into HDR photography there is one website that has some pretty amazing work and tutorials. Check out http://www.stuckincustoms.com/
It’s a website by Trey Ratcliff who is one of the leaders in HDR photography and has some really good articles and info about HDR photography. He also has a book out that you can find on Amazon that is a pretty comprehensive HDR guide (click on the book cover below to check it out)

effective marketing concepts when business is slow (from @PatrickBeard)
This is a great question. With the state of the economy right now I know a lot of photographers who are hurting. With the increase in competition, their business is down and their budgets are tight so they might not have the budget to market like they used to. There are a few things that in a tight economic situation that I would suggest:

.1) Make sure everyone you know understands what you stand for in one line. What I mean by this is all of your family/friends/past clients people in your immediate circle need to know more than just that you are a photographer. They need to know what your work stands for and be passionate about that. I think a good precursor to marketing is having a solid message and brand. So first take a step back and write down a few things that really separates your work from others. Then communicate that to everyone you know and get them to really believe it. Get together a Army of people that love the work you produce and can start to spread the word. Like I said this is really a precursor to marketing (any why I labeled this step .1, that wasn’t a typo :)

1) Contact all of your old clients. Sometimes a quick phone call can be the best way to get new business. Go through your entire client list one week and call every past client. See how they are doing, if they need another photoshoot and if they have any friends that need your services.

2) Build relationships. Photography is so much about relationships and relationships with many different types of client. You have your clients who you shoot for but you also have Vendor clients. I mainly shoot weddings so my clients are not only my brides but also the sales directors at the venues I work at. Invest time in those relationships. This week pop by one venue you have worked at before and bring them a coffee, take a few minutes to get to know them better and see what you can provide to them to make their venue look better. And if you don’t know what their coffee drink is, make it a point to find out and write that down in your address book. Spend true and honest time getting to know them just like you would with a friendship.

3) I’ll save 3 and on for later. With marketing I think its important to focus on a few things at a time. Trying to do too much at once dilutes your efforts so keep your efforts focused.

That’s all we have room for today, I still have some great questions that I will answer soon and if you have one remember to tweet it to me or leave a comment below.

Actually adding one more Question.

How do I take a grainy-film-like photograph like this?(from @TrekkieInHeels)

I have to agree with you this is a beautiful shot. It really has an amazing feel to it which I am sure comes from a few different things. First off I think the feeling of the image comes from the subject, you get a very dreamy feel from this shot because of the setting. Shooting underwater with the flow of the fabric in the water and the bubbles all really add to the feel of the image. The soft light that you have being underwater helps it out as well. The grainy-film-like feel that you are asking about is in part due to all of those things. Another thing to pay attention to is the color and saturation of the image. There is an underlaying greenish tint to the image as well as a lighter saturation compared to a normal shot. Here is a quick way that you can change the overall tone of the image:

1- Create a duplicate layer.
2- Go into Hue/Saturation adjustments and click colorize.
3- Slide the hue button over to get your desired tone and then slide your saturation level down a bit.
4- This will tone the entire image and you probably want some color to come through so then just adjust the
opacity of this new layer to be around 50% (this will vary on the look you are trying to get)
5- Add some noise in photoshop and your done!

And another way to get a dreamy and beautiful film like shot is…. Grab some film and have fun! I always recommend getting a Holga to have fun with and shooting some 120 film. The plastic lens of the holga creates images that are so nice and soft on the edges but still pretty sharp in the center. This is always a great way to get out of your comfort zone and have fun with a really inexpensive camera that can product some incredible shots.

This post is sponsored by Collages.net

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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