Archive for 'For Photographers'
I’m slowly phasing out DVD’s, and in fact, from now on DVD’s will not be an option with lifestyle shoots. So… this meant that I needed to get proper branded boxes for my USB/memory sticks that I deliver the photoshoots on.
My last few batches of memory sticks were delivered with black boxes that were branded by the company that supplied the USB’s… and I didn’t think they were nice enough. So to cut a long story short, I LOVE my new boxes and matching memory sticks so much that I had to show them off! I think they are gorgeous
I’ve had small white linen-look boxes branded with my logo, and filled them with either purple straw or white strips of paper… and then the package is tied with ribbon. Because I couldn’t decide on one colour, I’ve got a few options for delivery, and I’ll decide based on the shoot which colour to deliver.
What do you think?
I often get asked about things that are in my photography kit, and tonight, I’m going to share 3 things that make my life easier, but are not lens or body related
Things that save me time or make my life less stressful are well worth every penny as far as I’m concerned… especially because I don’t have that much time on my hands with a full-time other job and my photography business and my family.
1. Kelly Moore Classic bag
I’m sure I’ve blogged about this one before. As you know, I take photos every day (they’re on my other blog and on Google+), I don’t only do photography for other people, I’m a blogger at heart . So, I need a camera handbag (I’m not big on black masculine boring camera bags) that can fit a body and a lens or two, and my wallet and a few CF cards and batteries etc and whatever else my kids need to carry… enter my Kelly Moore bag.
I’m now on my second Kelly Moore bag… I now have a fuchsia Classic bag. The first one was the B-Hobo, and although I use my Classic pink bag every single day, I must admit I did prefer that design. This one I struggle with a bit because it doesn’t have a zip, it has magnetic clips which make the top gape, and the only combination that works properly is the body with a 50mm lens, or else I have to move all the compartments and lie the camera sideways to get it in.
But, saying that, I use it all the time… the only time I don’t use it at shoots is for weddings. For lifestyle shoots, I can fit the 5D mkii, a 50mm f1.4, 24-70mm f2.8 and a 70-200mm f2.8 lens in it, and still have space for my wallet, mobile and CF cards etc. I don’t generally use flash for a lifestyle shoot so there’s no need for me to take one. It does get jolly heavy though
How this makes my life less stressful? Well, I don’t look like I’m carrying a fortune’s worth of equipment when I’m in a shopping centre.
This is my newest toy and this is my first wedding season that I’ve used it, and I must tell you… it’s the bees knees! Now you may think that it’s a strange thing for me to have on my list, but been an ideal thing for me. I don’t work alone at weddings, generally, and it’s always been a pain to get the photos from the second photographer… it takes time, and usually involves me driving somewhere… and I don’t have time anymore.
So… enter this little gadget. It’s actually quite small too, it fits into a slot in my big camera bag that I use for weddings, and it’s light.
It has a 80GB storage capacity and allows me to download directly from CF or SD cards. It keeps a backup of the photos for me, and allows me to see the photos too in a viewing screen with zoom capability (I can see RAW and JPG). It also has a tethering feature, but I’ve never needed to use it.
As soon as we get to the reception and we’re eating (and therefore not taking photos), I start backing up any full memory cards that the second photographer may have. It’s a little slow to back up, so I find it necessary to start this early. Then at the end of the evening, I just backup the last of the memory cards… and hey presto… I go home knowing I have all the images ready to start editing, without having to organise a meeting with the other tog!!
I LOVE this gadget to pieces! Although, this is actually a discontinued model, and there is a newer and bigger one on the market.
Oh my Drobo… how my life has changed since my Drobo… no longer do I have to hunt for old photos on various external hard drives and worry about capacity… I know that this little beast can store months worth of images.
Not only that, but I feel a lot “safer” having my images stored on this device as it has built in protection from hard drive failure, as long as I have more than one hard drive in it.
I also connect it to my MBP using Firewire, so I’m not using any of the sparse USB connections. Admittedly, I did buy the smallest one in the range because it’s not exactly cheap!! But it works
As far as my next investment… I really want a Wacom Intuos5 Touch tablet now… I’m thinking that will save my hands and wrists a little.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, and I wasn’t asked to blog about the items and my views are my own.
We’ve just got back from the iPhoneographySA exhibition at the iStore in Sandton, and the kids are now asleep… and I can blog about it
What an awesome evening!! Marc Forrest and the iStore crew did an amazing job, and the photos looks incredible this year with all the printing done by Printwild (they do all my printing too). The quality of the images were just amazing, and made me think that I could do much better with my iPhoneography!
…and I spotted an image by my Bloem friend, Desi McCarthy, and had to take a photo for her so she could see how it was displayed…
My image with the power lines was placed just behind the sax player
And if you’re wondering about the 3 of mine that were on display:
I just love seeing my images printed and up on display… it’s such an ego trip, and I could see today, that there were many thrilled people hunting their images down
It was also awesome seeing so many people I knew … it was a MASSIVE instameet actually!
So, if you’re in Cape Town at the end of the month, don’t forget to pop in at the Cape Town exhibition… it won’t have the same images though but I’m sure they’ll be just as incredible!
It’s time for the iPhoneography SA exhibition again… have you entered your phone images yet?
If you’re like me, and you love your phone images, and you love sharing your images via Instagram (or maybe not), and you live in South Africa, then you should consider entering 5 of your favourite images in this year’s iPhoneography SA exhibition.
It’s going to be taking place at the iStore in Sandton on 11 October, and this year it’ll also be exhibited in Cape Town on the 23rd of October!
Entries close on 26 Sept for the Joburg exhibition, and 8 October for the Cape Town exhibition, and you can submit your entries online on the iPhoneographySA blog. You really don’t have to be a pro to enter your images, and it’s SO MUCH FUN seeing your images printed and displayed on a wall… I cannot begin to describe how I felt last year when my images were on display. I wrote about it here. I’m also super stoked that Marc used my train tracks image in the website header
Well, what are you waiting for? Get out your phone, edit a few awesome iPhone images with some awesome iPhone apps, and enter them!! You’ve got nothing to lose!
This year, I’ve submitted 5 images (and then promptly felt like replacing the one AS I pressed the submit button)… the max allowed. In case you’re wondering, I used the following apps to edit them: Noir, VSCO and Snapseed.
This is the image I wish I’d submitted (this one was edited using CrossProcess)…
And if you want to know more about it, here’s an interview with Marc about the exhibition
I get asked at least once a week why I don’t stop my day job. The truth is, I can’t. I’ve worked it out, and I really don’t think I’m able to at the moment. And not only for monetary reasons either… I’m good at what I do, and I enjoy it too. I’m not ONLY passionate about photography. In fact, if that were the case, I think I’d make my photography work. I also don’t think that I’ll gain much in the way of time, if I gave up my day career… I’d spend just as many nights working late and getting very little sleep.
Now this is not something that I readily share on this blog, but I think that what I have to say and to explain will help other photographers in the same position as me, so it’s a worthwhile exercise to write about it.
What this all means, is that I have a serious balancing act on my hands… between my day career (it’s more than a job) and my photography and my family.
It’s been a dilemma of mine for some time, and I’ve been wondering whether I’ve structured my business properly.
So, when I got an email from Photoshelter a few weeks ago, about a webinar with Chip Litherland (of Eleven Weddings), I signed right up. He’s a freelance photojournalist and a wedding photographer, and the webinar was about how he structures his business to allow him to successfully have both careers.
And I was astounded, and very pleased, after watching it last week (at 11pm one night), when I discovered that my business and workflow is so similar to his. I loved that!! It means that what I’m doing is right, even though I work so very differently to other local wedding and lifestyle photographers. But there is method in my madness after all!
Let me explain what I’ve done to make it work for me:
1. I only take one photoshoot appointment a day on weekends - so that I have time with my family and so that I can manage the editing. I have been known to do weekday shoots too, but then I’ll take leave. I only book shoots in the late afternoon or early morning because of light, and also because my husband works every second weekend and someone has to look after the kids
2. If I book a wedding, that’s the only thing I book for the weekend. I only book 2-3 weddings a month. For the same reason… if I break that rule, I end up working through the night to get the editing done
3. I blog about a lifestyle shoot the evening on the shoot, and evening events and weddings get blogged within 24 hours of the function. I do this for a few reasons… I started as a photo-a-day blogger so it’s virtually built into my DNA to find and blog images quickly. I’m also going to lose the details of the shoot if I leave the blogging, so doing it this way means that the blog write-up will be meaningful because it’s fresh in my mind. But most importantly, it gives my clients peace of mind… they know that I captured the magic moments… they then trust that the rest of my editing will be OK, and they’ll actually get what they’ve paid for.
4. I deliver the edited images on DVD or memory stick within 3 weeks of the photoshoot… also weddings. I could probably do it sooner, but this gives me a bit of down time too.
5. I deliver full resolution edited images to my clients. This is probably the most contentious point in my workflow. A lot of local photographers are moving away from this, because they earn a lot of their income from repeat printing orders. It doesn’t work for me. I work full-time, and I’m not in the printing business. I don’t have the time to fill random print orders for small jumbo prints… it’s more a function of the cost of my time, than the cost of the actual print and delivery. I LOVE doing print orders, I LOVE it when clients order framed prints or canvases or archival quality prints, then I’d gladly do it (which is why that’s my focus in my packages)
6. I do as much as I can online… I deliver small corporate and portrait shoots via Dropbox. I book my courier via their online portal. I order prints and canvases via an online portal at Printwild. I get clients to choose their photos for their photobooks via an online gallery that’s housed on my own domain. My clients order their prints via the online gallery. My booking forms are all moving online using a WordPress plugin called Gravity Forms for now (although I am investigating a studio workflow solution). I only use Social Media to market my business.
7. I pay taxes … yes … even though it’s part time, I’m running it like a proper business and I have an accountant who does my taxes for me
8. I have my photography email and calendar synced between my Mac and phone (and my calendar is also synced with my work calendar so that I can manage it in one place). This means I can always book a shoot wherever I am.
It’s all about managing my time. I try and make time for my family… I only edit and blog when they sleep (so after 9pm) or when they’re watching TV. On weekends I make a point of doing things with the kids when I’m not at shoots. And yes, I take family and home photos all the time too… because again I’m a blogger at heart. And because I use them to learn new techniques.
I can’t think of anything else you may want to know… let me know in the comments and I’ll gladly answer