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Does Having Better Gear Make You a Better Photographer?

By on Apr 18, 2017 in Getting the Shot, Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

*** Update #1: This article is not really for the pro or advanced “semi-pro” photographer but rather the new photographer who has the mindset that a brand new and more advanced camera will somehow make them a famous photographer. If you are a working professional or even a hobbyist that has years of experience,  you probably know more about your style and what you need than I do. That being said, this article is not really targeted at you. It is more for those considering purchasing the latest 1D X mk ii when the 6D or even 70D would do just fine.  At some point in our journey through photography we find ourselves lusting after the latest and greatest gear. We suddenly want to go “full frame” or “mirrorless” without fully understanding the camera that we currently own. We fall for celebrity photographer ads talking about the latest camera or gear...

Is Becoming a Photographer Really Worth It?

By on Apr 5, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 6 comments

Recently, I saw a friend post about whether “it” is really worth it. This passion that we all have, this “thing” that we pour our hearts and souls into that may or may not yield something in return. My response was more or less like the typical “it’s the journey, not the destination” type answer. However there is a little more to it than that. This is what I want to explore today because it is something that I think so many of us creatives deal with. We struggle with finding the meaning in our work, expressing ourselves and not to mention trying to find a way to make a living from it. Going Nowhere is Still Going Somewhere One of the points that was brought up was the fact that you’ve invested so much time into learning and honing your craft and for what? It goes nowhere. One of the points that I countered with is that simply by learning...

Are Your Pictures REALLY worth 1000 Words?

By on Apr 1, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

Recently, I overheard a conversation where a photographer stated that many photos are “never worth a 1000 words” or something to that effect. At first, I believed he was right and then my coffee kicked in and I started to think straight. I realized that if your photos are not worth a 1000 words then you are doing it wrong!  Tell a F*cking Story! The whole point of this is to get you to realize that your photos should tell a story. Be it a fantastic journey or a horrible event, they should speak to your audience. Even eye-bleeding HDR photos may tell a fantasy or sci-fi story, if done correctly. Same thing with thing with instagram photographers. Their photos reflect or tell a story that resonates with with their fans. So why does it seem so hard? Well, sometimes we are just taking the easy way out and hoping to simply record a scene and put the pieces together in post...

Getting Good Photography Advice is Hard. Accepting it is Even Harder!

By on Mar 23, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

Years ago I wrote and subsequently had to delete a great post about online critiques. For some reason the post attracted a lot of spam and I think that later compromised my site. However, it was a great post and you can read it here. At any rate, the point of that article was to explore the idea that the people who are giving critiques or “advice” are sometimes not offering much in a practical sense. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I got exactly what I was looking for from none other than the legendary Jared Polin. The thing is that there are people out there that just want to rip you a new one. Even if you want a solid critique they will pick apart your image until you wish that you had never taken it. When I reread that old article, I realized that nothing much has changed in the 4 years since I wrote it. Except for the fact that I am seeking advice. The trouble is...

When to Work for Free and When to NOT

By on Mar 19, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 0 comments

The debate about whether to work for free or not as been going on for some time and I don’t think that it will ever go away. The reason being is that there are always people wanting top quality work for nothing and (oddly enough) there are people who are willing to work for nothing. Recently, I saw Gary Vaynerchuk talk about how people were getting too fancy and wanting to charge money for services when they should be giving it away. I scratched my head and thought “Easy enough to say when you run a multi-million dollar company” but there is some truth to what he says. It’s obvious he knows what he is talking but for photographers working for free can sometimes also mean being taken advantage of.   When to Work for Free When it comes to clients and projects, I want a win-win situation. A win for the clients side is getting the images or the work that they...

Persistence: Playing the Long Game

By on Mar 10, 2017 in Photography, Theory Thursday | 3 comments

We live in an age where people want instant results. Gone are the darkroom days where you had to wait until your film was properly exposed. Now, we have more gigabytes of data on our memory cards than some people do on their computers. However, that does not always mean that we will all be great photographers overnight simply because we have the ability to create a consistent stream of content. What it means is that we have the ability to consistently improve, if we so choose. That is the catch. We must want to learn and must play the long game in order to get the rewards. Last week we talked about “Fauxtographers” and what we can learn from them. This week we look into how you as a photographer need to play the long game rather than look for cheap ways to get more followers. While getting a lot of followers may look great, having a strong following that is supportive is...

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