ZenBlog: Blog http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ZenBlog (ZenBlog) Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:03:00 GMT Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:03:00 GMT What’s in Your Camera Bag? http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/whats-in-your-camera-bag

As a photographer, it’s essential to sport a stylish, light and most importantly—durable—bag to stow and transport your precious cargo. Here’s what three professional photographers carry inside their trusty camera bags.

Bag(s) of choice: For photography, I store and transport my gear around in a Think Tank Airport AirStream™ Rolling Camera Bag. It’s big enough to hold everything I need, yet small enough to fit under any commercial airline seat (which comes in handy when the gate agent wants to check my precious gear!). I use the Airport International™ V2.0 Rolling Camera Bag from Think Tank for filmmaking—I often need a bigger bag for this.

What’s in her bag:

  • 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II – It is a versatile lens with very high image quality. The image stabilization helps me make crisp photos, even in lower light. I use this almost exclusively when photographing horses. The image stabilization also makes it a great lens for filmmaking.
  • 35mm 1.4L – This is my storytelling lens. It’s wide angle, without being too wide. I like to work close to my subjects and layer compositions with this lens.
  • 85mm 1.2L – This is my go-to portrait lens. It keeps facial features proportional and offers a lovely depth of field.
  • 24-105 f4L - I could make a whole film just with this lens (and I have!). It’s light, has a great zoom range, and the image stabilization lets me hand hold it without a lot of jerky camera movement.

Her workhorses:

When I first started photography, I chose Canon for my camera gear. I have slowly built up my stable of camera bodies, lenses and accessories, so changing brands never appealed to me. Now that I am entering the world of filmmaking, I am glad I stuck with Canon, as they are committed to growing the cinema side of their product line, and it’s great to be able to use the same gear for both photography and video.

My workhorses are my 5D mk III camera bodies. I have two, which allows me to have both a wide and telephoto lens immediately available to me at all times without stopping to change lenses.

Bag(s) of choice: Lowepro Pro Roller x300 AW – I can trust that my equipment will not get damaged during my travels. I also use a Lowepro Pro Messenger 200 AW as my walking-around bag. It’s very well made and provides plentiful space for pro-sized camera gear and accessories.

What’s in his bag:

  • Nikkor 28-300mm
  • Nikkor 200-400mm VR II
  •  Nikkor 14-24mm
  •  Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8
  •  Nikon SB900 flash
  •  Spare AA batteries
  •  PocketWizard Mini TT1s and MultiMAX,
  •  Spare NiCads
  • Lexar Professional CompactFlash cards
  •  Earplugs
  •  Nikon WT-4 transmitters
  • Op/Tech USA camera strap
  •  Nikon D3s, Nikon D3s, Nikon D3. Bodies are equipped with Op/Tech USA Uni Loop Connectors.

This is my basic equipment I use as the Cleveland Cavaliers team photographer that I bring to NBA games.

His workhorses:

During games I shoot with Speedotron strobes that are positioned up in the building catwalks. Strobes and remote cameras are fired with custom channeled PocketWizards. Once the game starts I have a floor position on the court, and my images are sent to the NBA photo desk as shot (no editing) and transmitted through Nikon WT-4 transmitters that are connected to Ethernet cables that are with me. Since I shoot with strobes I have to use single shot and wait about three seconds before I can take the next image. The strobes give me better image quality and enable me to shoot at 200 ISO at f5.6. While positioned on the floor I shoot with two Nikon D3s camera bodies equipped with Nikkor 28-300mm lens and a Nikkor 200-400mm VR II. I hand hold both lenses. 

Other accessories are my Op/Tech USA camera straps. Since I am sitting during games I do not use camera straps because they are not necessary and just get in the way. The Op/Tech straps have quick and easy system connectors so the strap can be easily attached or reattached as needed. I like their Uni-Loop connectors on my camera so I can connect them together and they are out of the way when I am grabbing the cameras.

Although my images go directly to the NBA I still have to provide images to the team. That is why I love the reliability and speed of my Lexar Professional 1066x CompactFlash cards. Images are quickly downloaded and burned to DVD at the half and after games.

Bag(s) of choice: Think Tank Airport Security Rolling Bag – I love this bag because it allows me to pack so much gear into it (I’m even surprised by what I can sneak into it!). It is also very convenient for travel, as well as for rolling around location to location on a wedding day.

What’s in his bag:

 Generic LED Video Light – I have used this in so many scenarios from ring shots to lighting a couple in a dramatic fashion. I love this little guy.

 Nikon 85mm 1.8G – Yes, its not the top-tier lens, but I've tried both the 1.8 and 1.4 from Nikon... Bang for the buck, its beautiful bokeh and its sharpness led me to purchase the 1.8. I love it.

 Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR – This is a staple for me during a wedding day. This lens multitasks as a portrait lens, and it allows me reach (to capture up close emotion) during a wedding day. Sharp and beautiful images. An all-around great lens.

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(ZenBlog) Pro team Zenfolio camera bag gear gear bag professional lenses professional photographer what in your camera bag http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/whats-in-your-camera-bag Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 3.27 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-27

  1. Brilliant nighttime aerial photos of New York.
  2. No special glasses are needed to view these solar eclipse photos.
  3. Santa who? This group in Mongolia domesticates reindeer.
  4. Chicago sculpture literally rejects the local weather.
  5. Are these insect macro photos beautiful or creepy? You decide.

 

 

 

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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-27 Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:01:00 GMT
The Secret to an Award-Winning Customer Service Team http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/the-secret-to-an-award-winning-customer-service-team

Zenfolio has been recognized with multiple awards as of late, most recently Best Professional Product, Best Professional Website Provider and—for the first time—Best Professional Customer Service at the 2015 Societies Photographic Convention.

In addition to providing a great service for photographers, our customer support is what sets Zenfolio apart from the rest. Many companies ask the question: what is the secret to building a successful customer support team? For us, the answer is a commitment to timely responses, boatloads of photography experience and a Zen approach.

On any given day, most emails are answered within two hours, and in a recent survey, 84 percent of users reported that the customer support team resolved their issue quickly and completely in the first response, and nine of out 10 were satisfied with email response time. Zennies frequently write us to let us know how pleased they are with our customer service. One Zen user, Greg Johnstone, says, “You have the best customer support of any company that I have ever dealt with.”

“Our team, made up entirely of talented people with a passion for photography (it’s a job requirement), has the drive and expertise to help the full range of all our customers—from hobbyists to pros,” says Director of Customer Support, Peter Hayes.  “We love providing answers to all the questions that come our way, and helping people make improvements to their sites.”

When it comes to experience, our support team has it in spades. We asked each member of the Zenfolio support team how many years they have been taking pictures, and the average number was an impressive 18 years. They have an average of three years working at Zenfolio and boast a quarter of a million resolved cases and 18,000 live chats.

And with additional languages added to Zenfolio sites this year, the team is able to help people not only in English-speaking countries but all over the world.

“We are especially excited to now be able to offer support in multiple languages (German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch), and across multiple time zones,” says Hayes. “We will continue to strive, every day, to provide the best possible support.”

Zenfolio love is meant to be shared. Read what our users have to say about us and leave your own note on our Testimonials Page

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(ZenBlog) SWPP Zenfolio Zenfolio FTW awards best online website support best professional customer service best support ever customer service customer support recognitions winner http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/the-secret-to-an-award-winning-customer-service-team Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:01:00 GMT
25% off nearly all prints and products! http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/everything-is-on-sale

Save 25% on prints, frames, photo books, mugs, mouse pads, shirts and more for three days only. Everything from Mpix, ivoke, Imagine Your Photos, One Vision Imaging, PhotoBox, Nulab and NuShots is on sale through March 25. With so many items to choose from, now is the perfect time to purchase personalized photo gifts for your loved ones.

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends March 25 at 11:59 p.m. PST, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale:

  • This sale will be effective from 23-Mar-15 at 12:01 a.m. PST until 25-Mar-15 at 11:59 p.m. PST and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to everything from MpixivokeImagine Your PhotosOne Vision ImagingPhotoBoxNulab and NuShots only.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • Please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.
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(ZenBlog) 25% off Mpix prints Mpix sale OVI Zenfolio Zenfolio print sale imagine your photos ivoke nulab nushots one vision imaging online portfolio photobox professional photographer selling photos online http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/everything-is-on-sale Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 3.20 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-20

  1. Psychedelic candy art—what’s not to love?
  2. A brilliant re-creation of famous photographs.
  3. One photographer, road trippin’ on a freight train.
  4. Outdoor photography for a cause.
  5. Rainbow clouds fill the sky. 
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-20 Fri, 20 Mar 2015 20:02:44 GMT
6 Devices to Complete Your Photography Workspace http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/6-devices-to-complete-your-photography-workspace

We know that a successful photo shoot starts with your camera… but it doesn’t end there. Several peripheral devices can help improve the quality of your images, your editing workflow, and your comfort level while at a desk. Read on to discover some devices you should consider adding to your photography workspace to maximize productivity.

1. Card readers

Some computers have card readers built right in. Mine has a SD port, but my primary camera uses CF cards, which requires me to have a card reader to transfer files to the computer. Card readers come in all shapes and sizes, but I recommend choosing one that reads multiple types of memory and has a fast file transfer rate, either through USB 3 or another fast port. I have a card reader that reads SD cards and CF cards. That way, I can transmit multiple data at once if I’m using both types of memory. Make sure the cable is long enough to be convenient for you to use.

2. Pen tablets

I use a large Wacom tablet, which connects to my computer via USB. I mostly use it with Photoshop to give me the maximum level of control and comfort when I’m performing edits or retouches to photos beyond Lightroom. The pen is very responsive to my movements and helpful for masking and blending layers with precision. It also helps reduce fatigue from using a mouse for a long period of time.

3. Color calibrator

Color calibration measures the accuracy of the colors and brightness of your image. Computer monitors and cameras can skew color temperature, affecting the way you color correct images in programs such as Lightroom or Photoshop. A properly calibrated monitor is essential to ensure that my final images look the way I want, with especially accurate skin tones, when they are printed or otherwise displayed.

4. Second monitor

If you work on a laptop, use many palettes at once, or simply want more room to work on images, a second monitor may be the best solution. For minimal cost, you can separate out your digital desktop and also have a new way to present work to clients. Just remember to use your calibrator so you have matching monitors!

5. External hard drive

Hard drives are helpful for backing up files, taking files with you, or having added storage space. Flexibility is key in this job, so having my office with me wherever I go is really helpful—and external hard drives make this possible. I’d recommend buying a case for the portable ones, though—they are fragile!

6. Printers

Photography requires printing, whether it’s a shot list or a photo from a recent event. I have multiple printers available—the main one is a standard inkjet printer/scanner that is good for labels, proposals and records. I also have several smaller photo printers for glossy prints. Printers give you flexibility when you don’t have time to develop photos in a shop and are necessary to the basic functions of the photography business.

 

FREE guide: Understand exposure for better photos fast!

Download the free beginner photography guide Understanding Exposure for Better Photos and learn the basics of manipulating depth of field and shutter speed.

Get my FREE guide >>

*     *     *

Nicholas Donner is a Washington, DC-based photographer and artist who loves expanding his knowledge of light and composition, and trying out the latest technology and software. His portfolio includes portraits of star athletes and musicians, magazine covers, destination and U.S. weddings, landscapes and architectural photos. 

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(ZenBlog) How to set up your workspace Nicholas Donner Zenfolio craftsy photography workflow photography workspace professional photographer http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/6-devices-to-complete-your-photography-workspace Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 3.13 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-13

  1. A brilliant way to call attention to our weekly waste
  2. A VERY nontraditional wedding. Sparking a new genre, perhaps?
  3. Sony’s 2015 mobile photo award winners.
  4. Don’t be confused; this isn’t the universe. It’s in your kitchen.
  5. Gorgeous gypsy portraits
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-13 Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:23:25 GMT
Introducing the app made for your clients http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/introducing-the-app-made-for-your-clients

We have always focused our efforts on serving you, the photographer, with our website functionality, storage and apps. Now, we have decided to extend that reach to your clients. Say hello to our first client-facing app: Photo Moments—Your Digital Photos Delivered, where clients can instantly gain access to their digital photos right on their phone.

How does it work?

Clients can download the free app at the App Store or Google Play Store when they are invited by the photographer via a special URL, add the gallery their photographer sent them via a special URL, and images are readily available to save, download and share with family and friends.

What are the features?

The extensive and powerful features available through Zenfolio will be carried over to the app, including:

  • Gallery password protection
  • Ability to download and save one or all photos, including different resolutions
  • Option for the photographer to disable full-resolution original photo downloads for extra protection
  • Gallery expiration dates
  • Client sign-in
  • Watermarks
  • Sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email

How can clients view their photos?

Clients can view photos in a slideshow mode or regular photo browsing. If they want to save a photo, they can download a photo and it will be automatically saved to their phone’s camera roll.

Download the free app today at the App Store or Google Play Store.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio Zenfolio app client app digital images downloading photos google app ios app mobile device mobile friendly photo moments professional photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/introducing-the-app-made-for-your-clients Wed, 11 Mar 2015 19:01:00 GMT
Showcase your Photographer Central listing http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/showcase-your-photographer-central-listing

Are you looking for an easy way to link to your Photographer Central listing from your website? Well, we’ve added this ability into your customization options to make it as easy as linking to one of your social media channels.

Adding a link to your Photographer Central listing has multiple benefits. Not only will clients be able to visit your page with a single click and read your testimonials from Yelp and Google Business, you’ll also be improving your SEO. Backlinks from a high traffic and reputable source will give your main photography website an extra boost that search engines recognize as factors for increasing your overall rank. 

Simply follow the steps below to add a custom Photographer Central icon to your contact page.

  1. Log in to your Zenfolio account and go to ‘Settings’ in your Edit View
  2. Click on ‘Social Media & Networks’ and fill in the Photographer Central field with the URL to your listing

And voila, that’s it! Once your Photographer Central listing is entered, a special icon and link will automatically appear alongside your other social media networks on your contact page. 

If you don’t already have a Photographer Central listing, you can sign up for one today to build your all-in-one reputation page and help more prospective clients find you. With a listing, you can:

  • Create an all-in-one listing for your business with high-resolution images, pricing information, contact information, client reviews, Yelp rating and review, and Google Business rating and review
  • Boost your SEO with additional online presence
  • Offer special deals to attract even more clients

For more information, visit Photographer Central.

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(ZenBlog) Find a photographer PC badge Zenfolio local photographers photographer central photographer directory professional photographer search for Photographers http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/showcase-your-photographer-central-listing Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:00:00 GMT
Your favorite 4x6 and 5x7 prints are half off http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/your-favorite-4x6-and-5x7-prints-are-half-off

It’s time to upload your latest and greatest photos because Mpix is offering huge savings on your favorite prints. Save 50% on 4x6 and 5x7 prints through March 11. These prints are the perfect size for displaying on your mantle or desk, or mailing to a loved one.

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends March 11 at 11:59 p.m. PST, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale:

  • This sale will be effective from 9-Mar-15 at 12:01 a.m. PST until 11-Mar-15 at 11:59 p.m. PST and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to 4x6 and 5x7 prints from Mpix only.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View, the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • Please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.
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(ZenBlog) Mpix prints Mpix sale Zenfolio Zenfolio print sale online portfolio professional photographer selling photos online http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/your-favorite-4x6-and-5x7-prints-are-half-off Mon, 09 Mar 2015 07:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 3.6 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-6

  1. Hungry? This 3D printer will make you something.
  2. Very unlikely friends.
  3. NYC, circa 1970-1989.
  4. Yes, these were all shot with an iPhone 6.
  5. All the fun of photo strips, blown up. 
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/friday-foto-favorites-3-6 Fri, 06 Mar 2015 17:01:00 GMT
Photographer’s Corner: Beyond the Weekend Warrior http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/photographers-corner-beyond-the-weekend-warrior

Meet Tiree Dawson. Marketing executive. Self-caterer. Mother of two. Commercial, food, portrait and wedding (72 ceremonies last year) photographer. And quite possibly, Superwoman. How does she do it? It’s a question people commonly ask. “What I find is, that rather than being exhausted doing these things, I actually get more energy from it,” says the hard-working, energetic, yet humble England patron who resides in the nestled and picturesque Lake District.

Here, she discusses her weekly schedule and why she finds joy, not stress, in doing the jobs it would typically take a pack of people to tackle. 

Tell us about all of your jobs. How does photography fit in?

I did 72 weddings last year. I do a lot of commercial work as well, so volume-wise, photography is full-time. In addition to that, I do marketing two days a week—I’ve been with that company for 11 years (Impact International). When I decided to do photography I changed my roles slightly and cut down to two days instead of five. I do that on Monday and Tuesday of each week. And then my husband and I run a self-catering business, so we’ve got a couple of apartments that we market and rent out in the Lake District (Stay Tiny and the Crosthwaite House). Time wise I spend the most on photography; out of the three it’s probably like 60/30/10.

Do you ever get a day off?

I get the odd day off, but it’s rare. But, my days off tend to be days when I get to do the nice bits of the job, if that makes sense. I’m totally happy just to edit the pictures on the computer and have a glass of wine or go on Pinterest and start planning a shoot I’m doing with some other wedding suppliers, and chatting with them. Although it’s still work, I enjoy doing it, so it doesn’t really feel like work. I read a quote somewhere the other day that said, “If you love your job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” And it’s kind of like that, because I absolutely love it. 

And you have kids, too?

Two kids: eight and six. They’re good. Luckily, my husband’s great. He does a lot with them, and he’s really supportive of everything. I couldn’t do it without him. 

How did you get started in photography?

It coincided with maternity leave. I bought a camera when I was pregnant with Milo (my first child), because I just wanted to get nice pictures of having a baby and everything. It started when I would post pictures on Facebook and people seeing them would asking if I would take some for them. I never really intended to do it professionally—it kind of organically happened. I haven’t had any training (laughs). It’s a bit of a strange thing, really, because it took me a long time to feel confident about pricing jobs because I felt like a bit of a fraud since I’d had no training at all. And then a few people spoke to me and said that it doesn’t matter what training I had; what matters is what my images are like and whether people like them or not. If you do a good job, it’s completely irrelevant. 

Would you ever be at a place where you would just do photography, and not anything else?

I don’t think so. I do think about it because the workload I have at the moment is massive, and I would like to find a way to have a better life balance, I suppose. But it’s not a massive problem. The obvious way would be to cut out my two days doing marketing. Financially, I could be in a position to do that, but I don’t want to give up doing that because I love that job and the team of people I work with. Another reason is having the balance and that variety of different things each week. What I find is, that rather than being exhausted doing three things, I actually get more energy from it. I am really lucky because both of the jobs [marketing and photography], although very different, benefit each other. As a photographer, you’re dipping in and out of people’s lives, and working with them for a short, set time and then not seeing them again. If I just did that, I would really miss being part of a team, working toward longer-term goals and the whole social side of it as well.

Another thing I’ve found from having different jobs including a self-catering business is it triples my network for business opportunities.  For example, the company that I do marketing for owns three country house hotels, and of course they all do lots of weddings. If I didn’t have that job I wouldn’t have such close connections from those hotels, which brings me loads of work for my photography business. 

What kind of photography do you do?

I don’t really specialize because I do all sorts of different things. I do lots of weddings because the Lake District is a scenic, popular place to get married, so there are a lot of weddings in this area. But then out of season, November through March, I do more commercial work. I do lots of food photography, some interior photography for hotels and apartments and things, and then I do a bit of newborn and portrait photography. Mainly weddings and commercial… but food photography is growing quite fast. I just got a few new clients so I really like doing that. I’m going to hopefully grow that a bit. And it’s nice to be able to eat anything (laughs).  

Do you use any programs that help keep your businesses organized?

Not particularly. I have three different jobs and three different email accounts. I try as hard as I can to keep those three things totally separate. Other than that, I don’t really use any apps or anything, except Zenfolio—which I use and love the folders. I literally could not run my photography business without Zenfolio. Organization wise, I have a Filofax. It’s a paper-based system, but in the ‘80s in the UK it was the thing that posh people had—I’m really dating myself now! (laughs) It’s just like a leather-bound diary. I still have paper, just in case the cloud breaks. 

And, the much anticipated question, how do you stay sane?

I don’t sleep, and I drink loads of alcohol (laughs). It’s hard to give advice to people on how to find the right balance because it’s such a difficult thing. It’s something everybody is constantly trying to achieve in life—the biggest challenge is determining how best to spend your time. Personally, I have loads of energy, and it’s very rare for me to get demotivated. I have a big capacity for doing stuff, and I think that’s only because I’ve managed to do things I absolutely love doing. I am a strong believer that if you’re really passionate about something you’re doing, then you find energy for doing it. And if you find yourself lacking energy, then it’s probably because you’re doing something you’re not really interested in. So I try to avoid things that I’m not interested in or excited about because I think they drain you of energy.

I try to be sensible and really look after myself. I eat pretty healthfully; I go running; I do exercise classes; I do a lot of weights classes because photography equipment is so heavy. I do strength exercises and then relaxing wise, I love doing that but don’t have enough time to catch up with everybody.  That’s life, isn’t it? Within the first few years of starting up a business, it’s completely normal to be consumed by it. When it’s your own business you feel a lot of responsibility for it, and it’s harder to not answer an email you get at 11 at night, or think of doing that in the morning.  You get an inquiry and it’s work that you really want, so you are always there, always replying. 

Describe your dream day off?

I would do something with my husband and kids, definitely. The area we live in is absolutely amazing and beautiful. If we travel 10-15 minutes in the car, then we’re in this huge national park with fells and rivers and lakes, and the kids absolutely love it. Packing snacks and going on a walk, jumping in rivers and having a little BBQ and then going to the pub, sitting by the fire, having a few beers… just simple. 

*     *     *

Tiree Dawson lives in the Lake District in England and has a photography business, Tiree Dawson Photography, shooting everything from weddings to newborn photography. Tiree uses Zenfolio and raves, “I honestly and absolutely love Zenfolio. I literally could not run my business without it.” She also works in marketing part-time and has a self-catering business with her husband. 

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(ZenBlog) UK Wedding Photographer UK lake district Zenfolio juggling careers lake district wedding photographer mom photographer multiple jobs part time photographer superwoman photographer http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/photographers-corner-beyond-the-weekend-warrior Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 2.27 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/friday-foto-favorites-2-27

  1. Photographer captures first year with adorable adopted boy.
  2. Shortlisted images from the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.
  3. David Liam Kyle’s basketball hoop photos are nothing but net. 
  4. This is what it takes to get images of a volcano’s insides
  5. Celebrity portraits from the 2015 Oscar party by Mark Seliger.
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/friday-foto-favorites-2-27 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:01:00 GMT
The Life of a Stock Photographer http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/the-life-of-a-stock-photographer

Imagine a life of waking up whenever you want, grabbing your camera and going out into the world to shoot anything to your heart’s desire—while making money. Yes, this exists, and it’s called stock photography. But it takes years of proving yourself in the industry and a few blow-them-out-of-the-water shots in order to make it your full-time job. We talked to three photographers who sell stock photos and asked how they got their start and for advice for photographers aiming to make it big by putting their images out for the world to license.   

How and why did you get into selling stock photography?

While I was working as a staff photographer in Alaska at the Anchorage Daily News, I was already aware of picture agencies in the lower 48 that were licensing photographs to clients and making their photographers decent money. I started bringing along an extra camera body and shooting my own film while I was out on assignment. I reached out to All Stock which specialized in Alaskan images and began submitting images and seeing some modest sales.

What do you like/dislike about the stock photo industry?

I love that there’s no editor yelling at me that my pictures suck on the satellite phone when I’m out on a shoot in Greenland or Singapore or New Zealand. Instead, I have the little voice in my head doing it.

I dislike that I don’t have a built-in audience for my work. Much of my career has been spent as an anonymous content provider. I’ve shot images that have been used in international marketing campaigns and spreads in the world’s top magazines but have a pretty low profile.

How do you sell your photos to stock companies?

I’ve always thought that the stock agencies have a pretty medieval business model. There are hundreds, even thousands, of photographers out in the world spending gobs of money on gear and travel, devoting hours and weeks and months of time shooting pictures and creating the agencies’ raw material. And then we give it to them—for free. And then we hope against hope that they’ll pick a few of them, and actually go out and sell them. Russian serfs had a better deal. But that’s the model, and it’s worked for me.

I go out and shoot the pictures that I want to shoot. I edit, process and submit to my agencies. They select what they want, license what they can, and we split the money.

Tell us about shooting wildlife and travel.

I’ve worked my way up the ladder of boat purchases since I started using an inflatable Zodiac to bomb around Southeast Alaska in the late ‘90s. I bought a 22-foot cabin cruiser to photograph migrating whales, coastal brown bears and most recently polar bears for up to six weeks at a stretch. There is no shortage of photographers shooting these subjects, but with my own boat I don’t have the enormous expense and time restrictions of hiring a tour outfitter, and I get to work alone, without a dozen other photographers and wannabes shooting over my shoulder.

What was your favorite shoot?

The first time I went up to Hudson Bay, in Arctic Canada back in 2012. I loaded up my inflatable Zodiac boat, an outboard motor, and all my camera and camping gear, put it in the back of my truck and drove 1,800 miles north to Churchill, hauled in down to the Bay’s shoreline, inflated the boat and set out to photograph beluga whales and polar bears. I spent three weeks up there, up to 14 hours a day out on the water. It was cold and lonely and terrifying at times, but I made the best picture of my 30-year-career on that trip.

What has been your biggest win in this genre?

That I still have a career that enables me to go out and make the pictures I want. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to go. I don’t have to sell an editor on the idea, beg them for money and hope that they will love the work. I figure out what I want to do and go do it. And nine times out of 10, I make money on the project.

I also had my biggest sale of my career last year. One of my Asian skylines netted me five figures in one sale.

How and why did you get into selling stock photography?

I am a big advocate for animal rescue. I enjoy donating my time and services toward efforts to end the animal overpopulation crisis. Providing rescue organizations with high-impact professional photos helps to make homeless animals stand out in adoption ads. Providing this type of exposure gives the animals a better chance of finding new homes forever.

How do you sell your photos to stock companies?

I work with numerous microstock agencies that represent my work and license images to buyers. To sign up for these types of agencies, you need to visit their websites and apply to become a contributor. Most agencies require that you send in an initial set of 10 of more images that pass through a strict review process before you can start uploading to their sites. The main agencies that I work with are ShutterstockiStock and Dreamstime. I also license images directly through my website at www.adogslifephoto.com. Hosting through Zenfolio makes it easy to sell digital images with your own licensing terms.

What do you like/dislike about the stock photo industry?

There is so much I like about shooting stock. If I had to sum it up into one word—FREEDOM. I love being able to wake up each morning at whatever time I want to create whatever I want, on my own schedule and in my own terms. I don’t need to spend time or money marketing to potential clients, negotiating deals or typing up license agreements. The stock agencies handle all of this back-end work.

However, that doesn’t mean that I can slack off. The stock industry is very competitive, and it takes a great deal of effort to be successful in it. It took more than five years of working at it part-time before I could even consider taking a full-time stab at it. I worked for more than 20 years at a mortgage company and just left there about six months ago to work on my stock photography full time. Those who are considering a future in the stock industry must keep the future in mind, because it may seem like an eternity before you feel that you are getting a good return on your effort. But if you stick with it and work hard, it could potentially provide you with a nice residual income that can help to fund an early retirement.

What advice do you have for people wanting to pursue a career in stock?

If someone wants to make a full-time living from selling stock, they need to put a full-time effort into it. Don’t believe the hype you read on the web that you can make an easy living out of selling old photos that are sitting on your hard drive. You need to constantly produce new, fresh images, keep up with current trends and continually work on growing your skills. You must work hard to produce a large volume of high-quality, marketable, eye-catching images. Images that tell a story in a single glance sell the best. For example, capturing an animal in the middle of scratching an itch will sell well to veterinarians or flea product companies. It is also helpful to find a niche market that you enjoy photographing so you can focus your efforts on mastering that type of imagery. Specializing in a certain genre tells buyers that you are an expert in that area, which instills confidence that your images are going to be top quality. There are millions of stock images available for people to search from. It is important to find a way to set your images apart from the rest and to keep buyers coming back to your portfolio directly.

What has been your biggest win in this genre?

Stock photography has provided me with the opportunity to merge my passions for photography and philanthropy into a career that I love.

How and why did you get into selling stock photography?

After a long period of overseas travel, a submission of photos to the stock library of Lonely Planet Images—now sadly sold to Getty—was my entry into the world of photography as a profession. Most photos I take have potential as a stock image. Without submitting to stock libraries, many good images of mine would otherwise sit in a hard drive without any potential to earn money.

What do you like/dislike about the stock photo industry?

I like the discipline of regular submissions as a way of directing my photographic interests and output. I dislike the way the ubiquity of photos on the Internet has devalued the worth of good images.

How do you sell your photos to stock companies?

First, I research a company to decide if the imagery they represent and what I shoot are a match, and then I’ll ask to register with them. If they think my work suits their audience then I’ll start submitting photos. Those photos become available to their clients and perhaps some will sell. I then receive a predetermined portion of the proceeds. My stock images go to three places: Tandem Stills + MotionAurora Photos and the Lonely Planet collection at Getty Images.

What has been one of your favorite recent shoots and why?

The Antarctic is my favorite travel destination, and I was onboard a National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions ship that sailed there recently. There are so many elements for creating good images—an amazing landscape, plenty of wildlife, and adventurous travelers.

Is this your primary source of income?

No, I’m a medical doctor doing locum tenens work. That job pays my bills more easily!

How do you make sure that your photos are found and licensed enough to make a living?

There is no hard and fast way to do so, but in the current climate there are three important things that will help:

1.     Choose a good stock agency that actively promotes the sort of work you shoot to clients and with staff that communicate well with their photographers.

2.     Caption your image submissions correctly and thoroughly so they can be found.

3.     If the agency requires that you keyword your images (which is a pain to do, let’s face it), then embrace the challenge and do so with as much relevance as you can.

What has been your biggest win in this genre?

With Getty, surprisingly enough, I sold a nondescript photo of a 737 airplane at a remote Canadian airport for advertising use for a large sum.

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio andrew peacock paul souders pet photography selling digital images stock photography susan schmitz travel photography http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/the-life-of-a-stock-photographer Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:01:00 GMT
Show off your photos and save 25% on Mpix prints & collages http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/show-off-your-photos-and-save-25-on-mpix-prints

You work hard to take the best photos, so why choose anything less than professional quality prints? Now through February 25, all Mpix prints and collages are 25% off!

As always, no coupon code is necessary when you order through your Zenfolio account. This sale ends February 25 at 11:59 p.m. PST, so be sure to place your orders today.

Important Details Regarding the Sale:

  • This sale will be effective from 23-Feb-15 at 12:01 a.m. PST until 25-Feb-15 at 11:59 p.m. PST and cannot be extended outside of this time frame. The discount applies to Mpix prints and collages only.
  • This discount cannot be combined with other promotions.
  • For photographers placing orders from Edit View, the promotion requires no coupon code.
  • The discount applies to base lab prices and will be reflected in the shopping cart only for orders placed from Edit View.
  • This Zenfolio promotion does not change any price lists that the photographer has created, and the discount will only be visible to photographers while logged in. Customers’ orders will not show a price discount. The discounted prices will be reflected as giving photographers a higher profit for each order.  
  • Please read our Sales FAQ and blog post on how to run a sale on your site.
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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio Zenfolio discount mpix mpix print sale online portfolio photography portfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/show-off-your-photos-and-save-25-on-mpix-prints Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:01:00 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 2.20 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/friday-foto-favorites-2-20

  1. Wires, cameras, gears, oh my! Here’s a wire-free space you can make yourself.
  2. What do school lunches around the world look like?
  3. Photographer, out in the wild.
  4. Women’s ideal body types throughout history.
  5. The photographers behind our culture’s most iconic images
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/friday-foto-favorites-2-20 Fri, 20 Feb 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Behind the Shot with Erica Peerenboom http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/behind-the-shot-with-erica-peerenboom

As portraits go, no one makes them just like portrait photographer Erica Peerenboom. There’s a certain glamour and mystique that stirs the soul when you look at her subjects. We asked the Zenfolio Pro Team member to share a few of her favorite shots. Take a look at these images and get inspired. 

“This was an old Hollywood style photo session. I loved the way this image turned out even though I was experimenting with harsher lighting. Never stop learning and trying new techniques.”

“This image was from my Fall Fairy concept shoot I did just for fun. I designed the headpiece and wings and purchased the dress with this vision in mind. We threw together the nest from limbs and twigs in the woods, and I brought the moss to throw inside it. I used off-camera flash with the ambient light. I love the way this entire shoot turned out, but this image is probably my favorite from the session.”

“I don’t normally shoot weddings anymore but did this for my cousin because she wouldn’t take no for an answer! I knew I wanted to capture a couple at sunset, so I quickly hurried them outside for a few shots between the appetizers and main course. We had about five minutes. Fortunately, we had the perfect sunset and were done and back in with plenty of time for them to eat. This was their favorite image from the day. Glad we made the time…”

“I captured this portrait of my middle daughter. We were just driving along and stumbled upon this amazing field of daisies! As luck would have it, I had my camera! We quickly stumbled out of the car, and I snapped a few shots. I loved this one from the set.”

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(ZenBlog) Behind the Shot Boudoir Photography Boudoir photographer Erica Peerenboom Senior Portrait photography Zenfolio http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/behind-the-shot-with-erica-peerenboom Mon, 16 Feb 2015 17:00:00 GMT
Vote for us and enter to win a 16GB Apple iPad Air http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/vote-for-us-and-enter-to-win-a-16gb-apple-ipad-air

In the midst of Hollywood’s award season (hello, Grammys and Oscars) we also are in the middle of award season here in the photo industry. We are proud to announce that Zenfolio is nominated for Best Website Provider in the Advanced Photographer 2014 Awards. We would love your votes and support! Plus, voting will automatically enter you to win a 16GB Apple iPad Air. To vote, follow these steps:

  1. Create a free account on the site here: http://www.absolutephoto.com/index.php/component/users/?view=registration
  2. Activate your account with the email sent to you.
  3. Go to the Member’s Area Competitions section here: http://www.absolutephoto.com/index.php/members-area/competitions
  4. Click on the Read More for Advanced Photographer awards post, taking you here: http://www.absolutephoto.com/index.php/members-area/competitions/376-advanced-photographer-awards
  5. Then, vote! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/advphoawards

Thank you for your support! 

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(ZenBlog) Best website Provider Zenfolio advanced photographer apple ipad air awards http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/vote-for-us-and-enter-to-win-a-16gb-apple-ipad-air Fri, 13 Feb 2015 19:06:29 GMT
Want to go to the WPPI Wedding & Portrait Photography three-day expo for free? http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/Want-to-go-to-the-WPPI-Wedding-and-Portrait-Photography-three-day-expo-for-free

Want to go to the WPPI Wedding & Portrait Photography three-day expo for free? 

Simply send us an email. OK, so we won’t pay for your flight, but if you would like a free pass to the 2015 WPPI Wedding & Portrait Photography three-day expo (March 2-4) in Las Vegas, all you have to do is provide your email address.

Send an email to marketing@zenfolio.com with “Free WPPI Expo Pass” in the subject line and your preferred email address by February 22 at 11:59 p.m. PST. You will then receive an email with the instructions on how to claim your free expo pass.

Experience new photographic products and solutions firsthand from the biggest and best manufacturers, solution providers and retailers serving the needs of emerging and professional photographers all over the world. Touch, test and compare the latest products and find some amazing offers too. And don’t forget to come see Zenfolio at Booths 915 & 1227.

Hurry and hit send! Limited passes available.

Cheers,

The Zenfolio Team

 

*$35 value. Valid for the 2015 WPPI Wedding & Portrait Photography three-day expo only. 

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(ZenBlog) Zenfolio free expo passes free wppi pass professional photography vegas baby wppi http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/Want-to-go-to-the-WPPI-Wedding-and-Portrait-Photography-three-day-expo-for-free Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:57:03 GMT
Friday Foto Favorites 2.13 http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/friday-foto-favorites-2-13

 

  1. These images will make you stop and think.
  2. Photos documenting this man’s first Burning Man.
  3. What those drones above you are really capturing.
  4. These images will make any perfectionist drool.
  5. Not cold enough? These ice huts just might chill you to the bone. 
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(ZenBlog) Friday Foto Favorites Friday Photo Favorites Zenfolio best photos favorites featured photos weekly round up http://blog.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/2/friday-foto-favorites-2-13 Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:01:00 GMT