About Amanda Jones

Professional photographer and freelance writer, Amanda is specialized in wedding and travel photography. Every day she enjoys taking long walks around the city, from where she takes inspiration for her day-to-day work. She always hunts magical locations to astonish her subjects.

7 Best Light Meters for Photography to Use in 2018

Every photographer knows that lighting can dramatically change the feel of an image. But controlling for that effect can be extremely difficult. Thankfully, light meters make it a far more manageable task. But a perfect picture requires the perfect light meter.

We’ll rank the best light meter for photography by effectiveness, ease of use, price and more. And we’ll close each item with the meter’s most notable features. Doing so can help photographers find the perfect match for their artistic vision.

7. Sekonic L-398A Light Meter Studio Deluxe III

The Studio Deluxe III ranks lower simply due to trends. It’s not just a little different than the other options. It’s so different that it’s the sole analog option within this list. One shouldn’t take that to mean it’s low tech though.

It functions through a high tech amorphous silicon photocell. In practical terms this simply means that it doesn’t use artificial electrical charges. It simply reacts to the world’s light and transforms that into objective measurements.

This means one never needs to worry about charges or batteries. However, it does have a learning curve. But there’s something to be said for a meter that offers unlimited use.

  • Battery:N/A
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: Analog
  • Light Metering Method: Reflective (lumigrid)

6. Dr.Meter DM-LX1330B

Sometimes value isn’t just about numbers. Dr.Meter isn’t the best of the best in most categories. But it begins to define itself better when one looks at the entirety of the options.

It’s good to average in most respects. This meter isn’t the smallest. But at 4 x 1 x 8 inches it’s still quite portable. The corded sensor might not provide the best range. But it’s still quite serviceable in that respect.

But most of all, one can’t beat the price. It’s often sold for around $30. One really can’t match that level of value when considering the best light meter for photography. One can even fine tune it in order to maximize battery life.

It has one significant drawback which puts it rather low on this list. It uses direct lux measurements as a primary metric. It’s certainly usable in photography. But one can compare it to getting used to celcius after a lifetime with fahrenheit. But if that’s not too daunting than it’s a fantastic bargain.

  • Battery: 9-volt
  • Corded Sensor: Yes
  • Display: B/W 3.5 digit LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Direct Lux measurement

5. Sekonic Corporation 401-701 C-700R Spectromaster

Cost is the first thing one should note about the C-700R. The unit’s comparatively low ranking comes down to the fact that it sells for over $3,000. In comparison, the least expensive consideration comes in at only $30.

But if budget isn’t a concern than the C-700R is top tier. It handles almost any conceivable light measurement. This includes advanced color spectrum analysis and graphing. It easily compensates for both natural and artificial lighting irregularities.

And the sensor itself reachers into 380 to 780 nanometers. And this is in singular 1 nanometer increments. The unit even boasts a variety of wireless control options.

  • Battery: 2xAA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: Color touchscreen
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/Reflected

4. Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter

The KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter might not impress on first sight. The meter’s claim to best light meter for photography comes from resource optimization. For example, the fact that it handles both incident and reflected light can be useful. And many other options for best light meter for photography boast that ability as well.

But the Digi Meter optimizes that resource to offer an analyze option. It can compare and contrast those values to better determine exposure ratios. It’s a solid design which perfects many features seen in flashier meters.

  • Battery: 1xAA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: B/W LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/Reflected

3. Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter

The L-308X-U is a close contender for best of the best. The most easily recognized benefit comes from form factor. It fits snugly within the palm of one’s hand. It’s both one off the smallest and most sensitive light meters.

One can even tie it into computer systems. This opens up a number of possibilities for complex shots which could integrate with advanced programming. However, it sits somewhat lower in large part due to overall complexity. It’s a powerful tool. But one needs to really work at mastering it.

  • Battery: AA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: Backlit LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/Reflected

2. Gossen Digipro F2

There’s something to be said for simplicity. Some people want as much information as possible. Others prefer their data in a carefully cultivated state. The number one and two ranking depends on one’s view of the subject.

Whether the Gossen Digipro F2 ranks as best light meter for photography or second place depends on personal preference. Those who love elegant simplicity have a lot to love in the F2. It has every important reading in clear view on a stark LCD screen.

The smaller amount of data means that it fits a comfortable 0.8 x 2.6 x 4.7” form factor. It even covers both incident and reflected light metering. This all makes it a one size fits all solution for people who celebrate elegant simplicity.

  • Battery: 1x AA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: B/W LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/reflected

1. Sekonic L-478D LiteMaster Pro

The LiteMaster Pro wins top ranking by a good margin. One simply needs to see it to understand why. It features a full color touchscreen which displays a wealth of information. This creates a sharp contrast with meters which only output a few lines of data.

The modern touches continue into its general configuration. One can set personal profile settings as one might expect in smartphone apps. It can even interface with other photography equipment through PocketWizard protocols. But unlike other complex meters, it’s also quite intuitive.

Experienced photographers can get hold of its basics simply by jumping around within menus. And finally, it’s able to offer all that power on 2 AAA batteries. The low power consumption ensures one can always have it ready to use.

  • Battery: 2x AAA
  • Corded Sensor: No, but features rotating measurement sensor
  • Display: Color touchscreen
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/reflected

Summing Up

It’s clear that measuring light offers more challenges than one might expect. Light and art are timeless. But 2018 offers some interesting variations on light meters. We’ve looked at the best of the best. But there’s still room for discussion.

All of the light meters are top tier. But each offers unique benefits. As such, one might well consider what new opportunities these light meters offer. One should consider not only present need, but future artistic growth.

7 Best Photography Lighting Kits in 2018

Photography has changed quite a bit over the years. One need only look at older pictures to see ample evidence of that fact. And many of these improvements have come from improved lighting.

But improvements come fast enough to make purchases difficult. As such, in the following list we’ll narrow down choices to the best lighting kits. We’ll judge kits based on price, performance and usability. And we’ll assume one needs lighting for both photographs and video.

7. Bolt VB-11

The Bolt VB-11 might not look like much at first glance. It’s among the smaller lighting kits on the list. And it’s ranked low simply due to the necessities of a smaller form factor. When size isn’t an issue the Bolt VB-11 might not be the best choice.

However, if one needs studio level lighting while on the road than it’s among the best of the best. And portability guides almost every design choice. The flash only takes a second to hit full power when it’s connected to a compatible battery. Its coverage comes in at a respectable 28mm with the Reflector.

And one can even swap out batteries on the fly. Finally, the Bolt VB-11’s weight comes in at only 1.2 lbs. This makes it among the best photography lighting kits for travelers.

  • Highlight: Portability.
  • Price: $295.
  • Wattage: 180 w.
  • Weight: 1.2 lb.

6. StudioFX 2400-Watt

People often think of the StudioFX 2400-Watt as an introductory level kit. But one shouldn’t mistake simplicity for lack of power. It features three full softboxes. Each of which can use up to five bulbs. And it also uses three light stands and corresponding light heads.

It also gives users a surprising amount of control. For example, each of the softboxes has independent power control. So one won’t need to worry about chaining softbox output.

Newcomers in particular should note that it’s designed to work in tandem with DLSR cameras. This obviously isn’t an absolute necessity. But it makes an already user friendly experience even easier. The only real downside is weight, at a full 29 lbs. It’s among the best photography lighting kits for beginners due to overall simplicity.

  • Highlight: Simple but powerful design.
  • Price: $159.99.
  • Wattage: 2400 W bulbs.
  • Weight: 29 lb.

5. Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Location Kit

The Profoto B1 500 AirTTL ranks a little lower on the list. But one shouldn’t think that it’s in any way due to lack of quality. In fact, the lower ranking is in large part due to the fact that it’s among the best of the best. Top of the line products often come with top of the line prices. And its price of $3,999 lowers it a bit in the ranking.

However, if it’s in one’s budget than the B1 has a lot to offer. Some other items seek to enhance overall portability. Every photographer has wished he could have a full studio everywhere he goes. But the Profoto B1 can make that a reality. It has a portable battery which can even fully charge from a car in 60 minutes.

Additionally it has a remote AirTTL receiver. The TTL doesn’t just enhance portability either. It changes how one can take pictures from remote locations. This is especially enticing for people trying to get a perfect forest shot.

The Profoto B1 does almost everything perfectly. It easily ranks among the best photography lighting kits for people who aren’t on a limited budget.

  • Highlight: Full portability without any compromises.
  • Price: $3,999.
  • Wattage: 2x 500 W.
  • Weight: 22.6 lb.

4. LimoStudio 700 Watt

The LimoStudio 700 Watt isn’t quite as portable as some other items. But at only 10.4 lbs it’s still fairly easy to use on the go. And people usually find setup to be over and done with fairly quickly. But it delivers some surprising features in that small package.

In particular, it boasts two adjustable 86 inch tripods. They’re flexible enough to quickly pack up in a compact bag. And they’re equally flexible when positioning for difficult shots.

Finally, the overall cost is quite low when one considers its featureset. And it’s durable enough to stand up to rougher conditions. All of this makes it an ideal option for travelers .

  • Highlight: Portable durability at a reasonable price.
  • Price: $63.99.
  • Wattage: 700 W.
  • Weight: 10.4 lb.

3. Fovitech StudioPRO 3000 Watt

The Fovitech StudioPRO 3000 is best defined by versatility. Most of the other options try to do one or two things better than the competition. Or, they aim for perfection in everything and drive up the price. But the StudioPro 3000 instead aims for solid competence in almost any task.

For example, it’s not the most portable option on the list. But it’s still light enough to pack when an occasion demands. The lights and softboxes aren’t powerhouses by any means. But they reach a level which should prove suitable for most tasks. And even the price point is within a medium range.

However, that goal does involve an occasional compromise. More advanced shots, especially with video, are made rather difficult. But it’s among the best photography lighting kits for people who want to do a little of everything.

  • Highlight: Versatility.
  • Price: $272.66.
  • Wattage: 3000 W.
  • Weight: 26.1 LB.

2. Julius Studio Umbrella

The Julius Studio Umbrella kit is a little underpowered compared to other items. But one can’t always go by raw numbers. It uses a reflector diffusion system to get the most out of what it has. This can create results that far surpass what one would expect when looking at the numbers.

However, the high placement is largely due to cost. At $45 it’s a remarkably inexpensive option. Even more so when considering overall quality. Long time professionals might want to give it a pass. But people with modest needs or who are just starting out might find a perfect match.

The cost also makes it a great backup solution for professionals. It’s inexpensive enough to store in multiple locations. That way one can simply grab it for a quick shoot rather than worry about transportation.

  • Highlight: Very cost effective for the overall performance.
  • Price: $48.99.
  • Wattage: 3x 45 W (200 W Equivalent).
  • Weight: 10 lb.

1. Neewer Background Lighting Kit

The Neewer Background Lighting Kit earns top place due to overall excellence. One can think of it as a way of aiming high while still keeping costs low. The Neewer doesn’t sit too high above most other options in terms of any singular metric.

Its main distinction comes from a total lack of sacrifice. This makes it among best photography lighting kits for almost everyone. The Neewer can match and surpass expectation on most tasks. It features four full 7 foot light stands. These correspond to four 45 W CFL bulbs.

Additionally it comes with a selection of backdrops. These make it fairly easy to do quick touch ups. And finally, it makes use of 33” umbrellas for reflector diffusion. The end effect should match or surpass almost any need.

  • Highlight: Overall excellence at a mid-tier price.
  • Price: $159.99.
  • Wattage: 800 W.
  • Weight: 32 lb.

Summing Up

Each of these kits has something to offer. Like any artistic tool, the best photography lighting kits come with some subjectivity. It’s often quite difficult to know which is the best match for one’s style before using it. Thankfully with this list one can start out with the best of the best.

But one can improve the experience even more by sharing experiences. People who’ve tried these kits can improve their own and others experiences by sharing the results.

10 Leading Lines Photography Tips to Get the Perfect Shot

When you’re looking for a way to capture a strong image highlighting your subject in a natural way, using leading lines will do just the trick. Leading lines are a composition trick photographers use while shooting to frame their subject, using their surroundings. Photos using this form of composition can be achieved by using many different techniques, but here are just a few leading lines photography tips to get you started on the road to incorporating leading lines into your images.

1. Establish Your Subject

To compose a strong image using these leading lines photography tips, you must first assign your image a definite subject. You will be using your leading lines to help draw attention this subject, and capture a sense of direction. You want your lines to lead up to your subject, giving your viewer a visual payoff.

Your subject could vary depending on your location but you may look for things that will interest your viewers such as a human, building, flower, or animal. Images that have strong leading lines with no subject at the end won’t have a visual payoff and as result, the image won’t be as strong or visually interesting.

2. Get into Position

Photo: Pexels

Once you find your subject, you may not be able to find any leading lines following directly to your subject from where you are standing. If you can’t find any lines, walk around the perimeter of your location looking for natural lines such as logs, rivers, stones, and so forth. If you can move your subject, take them with you to a new location that will provide you with these natural lines.

3. Play with Shadows and Light

Photo: 500px ISO.

If you are having trouble finding physical lines that will lead to your subject, look for any shadows that may fall into the picture. Leading lines do not always have to be a physical object, as shadows can provide an interesting way to direct your image.

On the flip side, you can also bring streaks of light into your image as leading lines. For example, taillights on a car captured at a slow shutter speed will create streaks of light, which is a great way to make use of light as a form of leading lines.

4. Look in Nature

If you’re shooting a subject you can move around such as a model or product and need some location inspiration, nature will be your best friend. The outdoors has many leading lines for photographers who take the opportunity to look for them.

Some common forms of leading lines that you can find in nature are patterns found on the ground such as dirt, sand, and grass. Dense groups of trees can be used as strong vertical lines and can be used to separate your subject from the image in a unique way.

5. Urban Inspiration

For those who may be looking for some leading lines photography tips inspired by a more urban look, do not worry as the city has many man-made lines to offer. Using roads, buildings, and rows of streetlights can work together to create just as powerful of an image as one created in nature. The city can be used in lots of ways to pull your viewer right into the city that you are shooting.

6. Trust Your Instincts

Sometimes it may be hard to find lines that may lead up to the perfect subject. When this happens, put your camera down, relax your eyes, and look back up at your subject. As you look to your subject, take a mental note of the trail your eyes followed before reaching your endpoint. Using this trick will help you find lines you may have overlooked otherwise.

7. Look through Your Camera

Photo: O Palsson

Another way to find lines you may have missed during your usual location scouting is to survey your location directly through your camera. You can learn more about how your camera views the location differently by looking through your viewfinder or by using the live view feature on your camera. Using this technique may allow you to find leading lines you overlooked.

8. Create Your Own Lines

Photo: iStock.

If all else fails and you can not find any lines to lead viewers to your subject, feel free to create lines of your own. This is something you can get creative with depending on your location, however, there are a quick few ways to bring lines into your picture. For example, you can make some leading lines by drawing in the sand, lining up rocks, or placing flowers in a way to lead to your subject.

9. Change Perspective

leading lines photography

Photo: Paško Tomi?.

Once you’ve lined up your shot and got everything planned, take a few photos and access them. If the lines aren’t as impactful as you would like, you may need to change your camera’s perspective by kneeling or climbing higher. Bringing your lens closer to where your leading lines start will pull your viewers into the image.

10. Rely on Post-processing

When you’ve finished your photoshoot and gotten the perfect image, you may want to dump it on your computer back home for some final touch-ups. You can enhance the strength of your leading lines in post-processing by using tools to heighten the contrast between your location and your lines.

You may want to bring the lightness of your lines up a bit to make them pop, and bring the rest of the location into shadows to avoid distractions. Do this by using a simple S-curve, or by dodging and burning areas for a more custom look.

Summing Up

With a bit of practice and determination, using these leading lines photography tips will become a useful tool in your photography to create powerful images. Getting this technique down will help bring your images to life by allowing your audience to feel as though they are inside of the picture. It may take a bit of trial and error, but once you have mastered these leading lines photography tips, your images will truly come to life!

11 Food Photography Tricks for Mouth-Watering Pictures

The Federal Trade Commission Act’s ban on deceptive advertisement does not mean that photographers should not get creative. The Act only requires that the subject of the ad should be real and allows food stylists to include props and ‘ingredients’ for a perfect shot.

As a photographer, it is your job to ensure that meals look as delicious as possible in photos so as to promote sales. However, there is a very thin line between deception and marketing, so you should be careful not to cross it. Below are eleven acceptable food photography tricks that will set your photos apart from the rest.

1. ‘Wholesome’ Milk

glue for milk, one of the most common food photography tricks

Cereal looks soggy when mixed with milk. Therefore, you have to use food photography tricks and ingredients such as hair products to make them stay and appear crisp for longer. Some stylists use white hair cream such as Wildroot while others prefer white glue, a more old-school method. Alternatively, you can fill the bowl with vegetable shortening then cover it with a small quantity of milk. The result is the whole bowl looking like it is filled with cereal.

2. Raw ‘Crispy’ Birds

Whole roasted chicken with vegetables, on wooden table, on brown background Whole roasted chicken with vegetables, on wooden table

Birds look better in photographs when they appear to be crispy. However, it is almost impossible to produce a bird that is crispy on the outside but still moist inside. That is where food photography tricks come in handy. Since the focus is on aesthetics, do not need to fully cook the birds.

Instead, roast a few birds for a short while then settle on the one that looks plump, moist, and juicy. Thereafter, stuff your bird with wet paper towels to prevent extra crispiness and pin down their skins so as not to tear. Lastly, brush the birds with a mix of Kitchen Bouquet, water, and dish soap to achieve a brown, glistening look.

3. ‘Juicy’ Burgers

Burgers take a few minutes to get to get to the plate but hours to prepare for a photography session. Not because they are cooked better but because it is a painstakingly long process to make them look good enough for the camera.

For starters, you should sculpt cheese to make it look wonderfully melted instead of crusty. Also, use syringes to apply ketchup on burgers to achieve the mouth-watering perfect drizzle. Lastly, use tweezers to meticulously place sesame seeds on the burgers. That is why burger outlets use the same bun as those on photos but real burgers never look as good.

4. ‘Fresh’ Berries

fresh berries

You cannot achieve your aesthetic goals if you use frozen fruits. Therefore, rinse the berries in cold water then add lemon juice or a substance known as “Fruit Fresh” to brighten up the berries when they are not in season. Also, use aerosol deodorant to spray seasonal fruit to give them a frosty condensation appearance.

Alternative food photography tricks include using glycerin to make larger droplets. Lipstick also helps to make the berries appear fresher than they do in real life.

5. ‘Refreshing’ Ice Cubes

artificial acrylic ice cubes

Real ice works just fine if the photographer can produce an excellent shot in less than five minutes. But, real ice melts before most can get the right angle. To spare yourself from the rush, use glossy plastic cubes to convince consumers that all they need is a chilled drink on a hot and humid day.

6. ‘Charming’ Drink Splashes

splashes in a glass

Have you ever wondered why soda splashes in commercials look like hypnotizing liquid shows? Well, sometimes photographers use plastic-constructed splashes. Simply put, you can fashion out plastic to look like a drink splash and then photograph it. If you want to use the real products then ensure that you have access to ultra-fast cameras and natural lighting.

7. ‘Bulky’ Enchiladas

two enchiladas

South-Western cuisine is not very photogenic and enchiladas are the worst of them all. Nobody wants to order soggy enchiladas that look like the sauce is bleeding into the beans so stylists modify their appearances for the camera. You need to stuff the enchiladas with mashed potatoes to give them the appearance of bulkiness then use a heat gun to melt the cheese perfectly on top.

8. ‘Not-So-Messy’ Tacos

Despite being a delicious mess, everyone loves tacos. But, no one would buy them if they are presented in their real form. That forces stylists to employ several food photography tricks to make them more presentable. You need to glue two-tortillas together then ‘bulk them up’ using cosmetic sponges hidden behind the meat. Kitchen Bouquet is used to paint the meat pieces for a dark, juicy look. Additionally, use WD-40 spray to make tacos glisten and red peppers instead of tomatoes for a vibrant coloration. Corn syrup poured on beans make them look fresher and moister than the real deal.

9. ‘Smooth-Looking’ Coffee

Coffee is very difficult to work with. That is because the foam quickly evaporates in cappuccino and latte and black coffee’s oily sheen makes it possible to produce high-quality shots. Gelatin, Kitchen Bouquet, and water give coffee a smoother look while drops of soapy water and an eyedropper simulate fresh brew. Additionally, you can use watered-down soy sauce in place of coffee altogether, and piped soap foam to achieve the top foam.

10. ‘Frosty’ Glass

soda and ice

Stylists do not stop at using substances such as food coloring and water to create ‘booze’ or ‘soda’. Actually, the most important part of drink advertisements are the visual cues. Bubbles, froth, and fizz give the ‘drinks’ a more refreshing look. You can use a mixture of glycerin and Scotchguard to give sodas an icy-cold look complete with beads of condensation. Spray-on deodorant comes in handy when you require frost on beer mugs.

11. ‘Steamy’ Meals and Pasta

steaming Italian spaghetti

Most often, food cools before the photographer does his/her thing. Stylists would then use burning incense sticks placed behind the subject. In pasta, you can remove the unconcealed parts of the lit incense sticks using Photoshop. But the most effective method for pasta is placing steam chips wrapped in tin foil inside the pasta the adding water to create vapor. You can sometimes use cigarette smoke if the situation allows, but the most surprising is water-soaked tampons (or cotton wools) heated in a microwave.

Summing Up

It takes lots of food photography tricks for food photos to make it to TV screens or magazine covers. As a food stylist or photographer, you should try as much as possible to emphasize an ingredient’s beauty, the same way make-up artists make models dazzle. It takes hours, even a full day, to create those amazing photographs that make mouths water and lure customers into restaurants. Therefore, you need to be very patient. Importantly, in order to be successful in the business, you need to be meticulous and very attentive to detail.

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 7, 8, 9

7 Tips on How to Create a Facebook Page for Photography Business

Almost every professional needs a web presence of some sort. It’s become a business card, store sign and personal portfolio all in one. But some professions have unique relationships with the online world.

In the following article we’ll detail how to create a Facebook page for photography. We’ll put particular care into ensuring that tips focus on the most important elements for photographers. Tips won’t just tell photographers what to do. Each item will also explain why it’s so important.

7. Keep to a Business Casual Tone

Facebook is so ubiquitous that people often take it for granted. Provide someone with a sidewalk and they’ll usually have a casual stride. Present someone with a Facebook page and they’ll slide right into their standard posting style.

A moment’s consideration shows why that’s a mistake. Photographers know how important framing and narrative can be. The framing of a shot can change how people react to it. And the text in one’s page can change how people react to the overall presentation.

One shouldn’t go to the other extreme though. People associate photography with emotion. They want a caring artist to work with them.

The easiest way to put this into effect is to consider two people. Before posting, consider how one’s favorite elderly person and closest friend would react to it. One should ensure that posted content won’t prove offensive to either example. And in doing so one will usually ensure that it’s a perfect fit for everyone.

6. Stick to Your Domain

Much like the previous item, here we see an important separation between spheres. On a personal Facebook page the photographer might want to project a worldly image. It’s easy to assume this is a good match for one’s professional persona as well.

But in fact, it’s the exact opposite. When a photographer creates his professional page he should focus on a specific geographical area. Basically, the images need to showcase areas he’s able to easily work within. Geography is vitally important when considering how to create a Facebook page for photography.

An easy way to accomplish this effect is to include a prominent shot of local landmarks. This isn’t just a good way to showcase one’s range of service either. It also helps establish emotional resonance in locals.

5. Post Frequently but within Reason

When considering how to create a Facebook page for photography one should keep the medium in mind. Facebook has some significant benefits and differences when compared to traditional advertising. One that people often focus on a bit too much is the price.

A single TV spot can cost a small fortune. Statista reports that a prime time spot costs around 62.4 thousand dollars. Meanwhile one can post again and again on Facebook all day. However, photographers need to keep in mind that there’s a fine line to walk when posting.

Post too little and one’s page can fade into the background. Write too much and someone might feel it’s dominated their online experience. This is further compounded by Facebook frequently changing sorting algorithms.

In general the safest bet is to average one to two posts per day. Spacing it out also helps to compensate for people working nights or evenings. The latest data from a study by Hamermesh & Stancanelli provides solid numbers. It states that over 1/4th of Americans might be working on any given night. This is a huge and often neglected demographic.

4. Length Is as Important as Frequency

When photographers hear that they shouldn’t post too often they might compensate in different ways. One should make sure that these impulses help rather than hinder business. And the first thing to look out for is length of one’s posts.

One might not even realize that he’s essentially stuffing multiple pages worth of content into a single post. But it’s certain that his readers will be quite aware of it. An occasional long post is fine.

But it should be the exception rather than the rule. Otherwise, one’s audience will get into the habit of simply skimming rather than reading.

Thankfully photographers have a technique unique to their profession. A picture really can be worth a thousand words. If one has a complex idea to express, it might be better to use images. A photographer isn’t only keeping things pithy and readable. He’s also demonstrating how skillfully he works with the medium.

3. Make the most of Facebook Messenger

Facebook messenger can make some people feel as if they’re on call every moment of the day. But messenger can be a powerful tool when properly used. The most important thing to remember is that most people look at it as a fairly casual experience.

If someone were on hold for hours over the phone they’d be understandably annoyed. But that same expectation isn’t there with messenger. People don’t want friends and family to assume they’re always available through messenger. And they tend to give that same flexibility to companies with an online presence.

In fact, they’re often more lenient to messenger than with dedicated chat widgets. The simple fact that it’s a tool they use themselves frames it differently. They’re more likely to reach out through it. And they’re less likely to experience any annoyance if there’s a delay in reply.

2. Be the Life of every Holiday Party

Most people see holidays as a chance to relax and have fun. But the holiday decorations don’t magically appear. There’s a huge business surrounding any given holiday. And photographers are in a great position to tap into the holiday market.

One should consider theming posts around any upcoming holiday that has wide public appeal. Tying one’s image into holiday spirit can also tie into emotions surrounding the event. One can even take a hint from advent calendars and have themed countdowns to the big day. These types of countdowns might even have prizes or contests to draw readers in.

1. Showcase Industry Contacts

Working on one’s Facebook page can feel oddly isolated. It’s easy to start seeing things in a perspective a bit too colored by competition. But business is just as much about forming positive relationships.

It’s true that one probably won’t be too friendly with direct competition. But that’s a distinct minority of the overall photography centered world.

Photography involves hardware design and sales, event planning, food services and everyone who loves art. There’s a wide range of people who can help one gain exposure. And they’re often just as eager to make contact with other skilled professionals.

The best part is that it combines business and entertainment. Even the most serious photographers often find themselves having fun while networking on Facebook. But done with business in mind it can produce solid results. A few people in close contact can provide each other with very effective cross promotion.

Summing Up

There’s a common theme in most of the tips. When considering how to create a Facebook page for photography one is also considering the audience. One isn’t simply selling a service. Photographers are selling an experience. Learning how to create a Facebook page for photography isn’t just about the page itself. Working on a page also helps focus one’s own business. It helps define what services one should offer. And it also guides one in deciding what’s most profitable.

We hope that these tips have given you the necessary insight to creating your own Facebook page to attract the right audience for your business.

7 Tips on How to Advertise Wedding Photography Business

Advertising is one of the most important parts of a business. A high quality product isn’t worth much if nobody knows it exists. Thankfully, advertising comes easier for some professions than others. Photographers often find themselves surprised by how many options they have for low cost advertising.

In the following article we’ll consider how to advertise wedding photography business. We’ll rank the options by general importance. Additionally, we’ll consider the overall difficulty and cost.

1. Try Blogging

wedding photographer's blog

Discussions of online presence tends to center around social media. But it’s important to remember that there’s other ways to establish one’s presence. Photographers in particular should look into blogging.

Blogging is similar to some forms of social networking. The main difference is that there’s no limitation on space. One can have a post just as long or short as one needs it to be. Additionally the posts can stay in view for an indefinite amount of time. Finally, blogging makes it easier to group posts by specific topic.

Wedding photographers in particular have a lot to gain from blogging. The format makes it easy for one to create a full narrative with images. Blogs make it easy to showcase one’s work. But it also makes it easy to categorize that work into a captivating story.

One should consider how a reader will feel the emotion of a wedding shoot as it moves forward. This careful organization can help draw people in and invest them in the mood of a wedding. And in turn this showcases how strong the photography captures those feelings.

There’s quite a few good options for a new blogger. But at the moment Blogger offers the most options for free accounts.

2. Use Social Media

There’s quite a few different types of social networking options out there. Wondering how to advertise wedding photography business samples often has an easy resolution. It’s often as simple as using the tools people already have on their computers.

The ubiquity of social networking makes it effective to use for advertising. And in the same way it ensures that everyone’s ready to do so without much preparation. The best way to go about this is to use one’s personal accounts as a foundation.

For example, a photographer might have a Twitter account. One would use that account to first show an occasional sample. This could then move into mentioning a new professional Twitter account. Photographers can continue to occasionally mention the professional account from the personal one. This keeps two main forms of awareness open.

It won’t push people who aren’t interested from following the main account. Instead they’ll simply remain aware of one’s professional services. The awareness, in turn, serves to ensure they’ll mention it to friends in search of a wedding photographer. One can use the same overall strategy on Facebook or similar services.

3. Use Automated Social Media Tools

different types of social media

Social media is a vital part of any successful business. But one should consider how to advertise wedding photography business options in a slightly different way. Wedding photography works in slightly different ways to most businesses.

Wedding photography centers around capturing specific moments in time. But social media is a fast paced system. This can seemingly create some conflict between medium and message. But automated posting tools offer a way to perfectly integrate the two.

Automated posting tools such as Buffer can schedule posts for any point in time. By doing so it’s considerably easier to create an always on presence. When potential clients look online it’s far more likely that they’ll see evidence of one’s work.

This also helps one avoid over saturating networks with one’s work. One can build up a larger amount of potential posts. But rather than send it all at once they can instead organically move into a network.

4. Write General Guides for Wedding Advice

Photography and writing might seem at odds with each other at first. However, a wedding photographer quickly learns quite a bit about weddings. And this can lend an interesting perspective to the subject.

A unique view of such an important subject can be a huge help to people. One can consider how to advertise wedding photography business in another way. It’s about attracting interested parties through any general method involving increased awareness.

Writing an ebook or larger blog about weddings can serve as a method of advertising. The actual pitch doesn’t have to be very strong within the written material. Instead one simply needs to stress the importance of wedding photography in general. The photographer should frame the writing in a way that sets his services as the hub of a wedding.

By framing it this way one can create an implicit idea that wedding photography is vital to a good experperience. The only downside of this tip comes from how much time it might require. Writing even a short wedding guide might require a significant time investment. But that fact also means that one’s competitors are less likely to try.

5. Give Referral Bonuses

Benefits of Referral Bonuses

When people talk about business they’re usually quick to bring up online social networks. But this tip’s high ranking showcases the fact that face to face contacts still matter. A referral bonus helps leverage friends, family and acquaintances as a marketing advantage.

Learning how to advertise wedding photography business often involves recognizing one’s resources. And there’s few resources as powerful as people who really believe in one’s talent. A referral bonus can refer to a wide variety of different things. One usually offers prints or even an overall discount on future service.

But whatever the actual item is it’s a valuable commodity that convinces people to plug one’s services. Spending time or money might seem counterintuitive at first. But one needs to consider it as an advertising expense.

The referral bonus provides motivation to people so that they can plug one’s services. That one individual can often give a far more passionate sell than any standard advertisement could.

6. Free Work Doesn’t Mean Working for Free

The previous tip suggests enlisting others to help by providing goods or services. This tip involves seemingly giving them something for nothing. One should always consider offering a free photo shoot.

Offering one’s services for free might not seem like good use of resources. But in doing so one will actually gain a few important things. Considering how to advertise wedding photography business services means assessing resources.

Sometimes that assessment shows that one doesn’t have a sufficient portfolio. Other times one might not have as much experience as he or she would like. And of course one can always use more contacts within the various other wedding adjacent businesses.

All of these points are addressable by doing a few free photo shoots. It will of course take up some of one’s times. And there still might be a charge for supplies. But in general one can offer a deal that’s hard for the couple to refuse. And in doing so one can gain some quite significant resources for later advertising efforts.

7. Know the Business Landscape

Wedding photographer in action

A wedding photographer needs to know the industry as a whole. Almost every one of the previous points relates to this one. When one works a wedding he’ll have a chance to see a wide variety of professional services.

But the important part of these events comes from a lack of competition. Everyone working a wedding covers a different business interest. And they all benefit from having more weddings. This provides them with a good incentive to plug services to prospective couples.

One should always have business cards and contact information handy when working weddings. These aren’t just for for guests who might want to use one’s services in the future. It’s actually more important to concentrate on marketing to the various other professionals working there. One should be ready to receive information and give it to others.

Once again it showcases how important the human element is. Networking face to face with people can influence them to bring up your services to others.

Summing Up

In conclusion, one can see that photographers have quite a few options. This shouldn’t seem intimidating. Instead it means that photographers can match their strengths to the different choices. For example, someone who enjoys writing can utilize that talent. Those with good people skills can take another route.

The choices highlight how important resources are. One should remain aware not just of one’s skills, but available resources as a whole. Friends, family and other industry professionals can empower marketing efforts.

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4

How to Create a Successful Photography Business Plan

Most photographers dream of starting their own business. But the majority never take the steps needed to turn that dream into reality. It’s understandable why that’s the case. Starting a small business can be intimidating.

But creating and sticking to a solid photography business plan can help anyone succeed. In the following article we’ll examine the steps needed to create a photography business plan from scratch.

1. There’s Never a Perfect Time to Start

camera, calculator, list of things to do

The single biggest cause of failure comes from never really starting in the first place. Almost everyone considers starting their own business. Many, or even most, people intend to launch their own business later on in life.

People usually decide to wait until things are perfectly settled down before starting. But the vast majority of these people never get around to it. Life itself is seldom perfectly calm or stable. Wait for things to be perfect and the time will never come.

That’s why the first step in creating a photography business plan is to begin immediately. One should think of this planning stage as the first step to independence. This doesn’t mean making huge life changes yet. But it does mean documenting one’s ideas and starting to make it a reality.

2. Start on a Full Portfolio

One should have resources prepared and ready to show to clients at any moment. The best way to prepare is by creating an online portfolio. This is especially important as one can work on it while still employed elsewhere.

There are several free resources which one can use for a portfolio. But most people find WordPress is the best choice when starting a new portfolio. The main reason one should consider WordPress is that it can grow organically with one’s business.

One can begin for free on a smaller scale. But as one’s needs grow it’s easy to migrate WordPress content into a more professional space. One can easily start out by using a portfolio theme. The Easy Photography Profile is one of the more popular options. And from there it’s easy to add in additional features.

3. Consider Content for the Portfolio

Adding content to one’s portfolio might seem simple at first. But it’s often complicated by a number of different factors. One of the most important involves ownership. People often forget that their professional contracts might transfer ownership of a photograph.

Because of this one can’t treat an online portfolio like a personal photo album. People need to be absolutely certain that they have full legal ownership of a photograph before using it professionally. Many people find it best to err on the side of caution and start from scratch.

This isn’t just helpful for legal reasons. Setting out to create original work ensures that photographers are cataloging their needs. It’s often a good way to decide what equipment and services are actually necessary.

4. Start Networking

photographer meeting with clients

This step goes hand in hand with creating a portfolio. Any new business will need a solid customer base. This isn’t’ an easy proposition at the very start. But one can simplify it by building up some solid contacts before an official launch.

One should pay attention to the needs of friends and family. Most important occasions call for professional photographers. And it often happens when people are low on funds. Volunteering to do it for free isn’t just a nice favor.

It fits into a photography business plan by building up professional contacts. When people see a photographer at work they’ll often want to inquire about availability and pricing. This can serve to leverage a free engagement into paid work. And at the very least it’s useful for building up the content of one’s portfolio.

5. Categorize the Full Range of Online Tools

An online portfolio is a good start when creating a web presence. But there’s a vast array of useful tools for photographers. In fact, there’s so many tools that one can quickly become lost in all the options.

This is why it’s important to consider one’s online presence before officially launching. When writing a photography business plan one should formally state intent to use various online tools.

Formally stating intent to use a particular tool is important for multiple reasons. It helps to keep one focused on a few options rather than spreading effort too thin. And it also makes it easier to plan ahead for service integration.

Some online tools work well together. For example, Instagram and Facebook have native integration between their services. Other sites require one to learn how to use third party addons or plugins. One should study and document all of it before launching the photography business.

6. Create a Realistic Budget

investing in photo equipment

Creating a budget isn’t a fun prospect. But it’s an essential part of one’s photography business plan. High end photography equipment is notoriously expensive. But one should consider just how high end that equipment needs to be.

One shouldn’t aim too high or too low. Instead, it’s best to consider how one can maximize available resources. One’s current hobbyist equipment might well be enough to start out with. A photographer needs to realistically consider whether new hardware will help during the first year of business.

This period is the most difficult for new companies. And any money saved on equipment is important. Hardware spending needs to stay within essentials during that period. But after deciding on what equipment one needs it can turn into an actual budget.

The photographer needs to begin by categorizing all of the items. From there one can consider how to shop for them. If an item can be found used at a good price than that should come under consideration as well. Budgeting one’s needs and comparing it to current income provides a solid timeframe.

But one should also consider living expenses on top of it. This will also help the photographer decide whether he’ll devote himself entirely to the business or start out part-time.

7. Make It a Group Effort

Starting a new business is incredibly stressful. Most people rank it among the most stressful and the most rewarding parts of their life. But people shouldn’t assume they’ll need to carry that stress alone.

People usually feel nervous about asking friends and family for help. But the earlier step in building contacts shows just how important networking can be. They often find that their social circle is the most important resource for success.

There’s no single thing that one should look for there. But when putting together a business plan it’s important to consider what others can offer. Friends might be able to help prepare taxes, offer up business contacts or any number of things.

The most important part of networking is to just make need and intent clear. New business owners often find themselves surprised by offers of help. But help is only offered when people are aware of the need.

Summing Up

Starting a photography business isn’t easy. But putting it into the context of a solid plan makes it far less intimidating. To return to the first point, the journey begins by actively deciding to start.

One might go through the steps at a slow or fast pace. But the important part is making the decision to do so in the first place.

Image Source: 1, 2, 3

7 Tips on How to Use Instagram for Photography Business

The Internet has been a boon to small businesses. It offers up ways to reach people while keeping advertising costs low. But photographers have opportunities unique to their profession. The Internet offers some great opportunities for people who can demonstrate value with a single image. Instagram is one of the most effective tools for doing so. And in this article we’ll examine how to use Instagram for photography business promotion. We’ll rank the tips by overall importance to a business.

7. Balance Posting Frequency

Overposting might well rank as one of the biggest mistakes people make on Instagram. It’s an easy mistake to make. Traditional advertising imposes a fee for every spot. But with Instagram one can send out an unlimited amount of posts. However, one needs to remember that the Internet is significantly different than TV or radio.

Traditional advertising is passive. One needs to approach internet based advertising with a more active mindset. When considering how to use Instagram for photography business purposes one should consider active discussions.

Friends will usually love seeing a few pictures. But the mood changes if a handful of pictures turns into dozens. Even more so if one dominates the conversation while doing so.

Posting too often on Instagram is essentially the same thing. One should always remember the old saying and leave them wanting more. Quality is far more important than quantity.

Instagram for photographers

Using Instagram to promote your photography business (Photo: Colby Brown Photography)

6. Leverage other Networks

One of the great things about Instagram is how easily it can integrate with other social networking sites. But the most powerful combination is also the easiest. Facebook is the largest social networking site. While Intagram is the largest network for image sharing.

Combining these two platforms is quite simple these days. On the Instagram mobile app one simply needs to go to settings. From here one can choose to link with a variety of different accounts.

After linking accounts one can easily share content between platforms. This creates an easy way to subtly showcase one’s work. Often times it’s inappropriate to outright state one’s services or availability. But a linked account is in many ways the modern version of a business card.

Facebook Instagram love

5. Get the Most out of Automated Services

Many of the tips emphasise the interactive nature of the Internet. There’s good reason that it’s brought up so often. One will find that success is often dependent on understanding the difference between passive and active advertising.

Online resources are available every single minute of the day. This means that opportunities to reach new clients can happen around the clock. One obviously has to eat, sleep and get work completed. But one can use automated tools to assist in one’s Instagram management routine.

There’s a wide variety of tools available to help one work with Instagram. But Later is one of the more powerful options. The app is usable from one’s phone. And it can schedule posts for any time of the day. One can even check analytic data to determine how well it’s working. Photographers will find that this is particularly helpful when marketing to other time zones.

Later app screenshots

4. Bring in the Locals

The Internet is worldwide. But that doesn’t mean people have given up on local business. Photographers in particular should put a heavy emphasis on building up local clientele. One important tip on how to use Instagram for photography business advertising comes from geolocation.

Instagram used to have more options to broadcast by location. But at the moment the best way to link location to picture is through hashtags. Hashtags have become something of a cultural joke in recent years. But joking about them shows just how ubiquitous they’ve become in most people’s lives.

Adding relevant and focused hashtags that relate to a particular local spot can build up interest over time. One should also remember that competing for local business drastically reduces competition. An Instagram post might easily be the only result when someone searches for local images.

?yi pazarlar ? . #bavaria #germany

A post shared by ?lhan Ero?lu (@ilhan1077) on

3. Weave a Narrative

It’s hardly a secret that people can become invested in the lives of strangers. Reality TV’s success demonstrates that people want to see the world through other people’s eyes. One should remember this principle when considering how to use Instagram for photography business promotion.

Photography offers a window into people’s lives. People see a still image and instantly weave narratives around it. One can even see evidence of this principle in ancient masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa. That wry smile invites interpretation and curiosity.

Likewise, featuring particular people’s lives can create emotional investment in followers. People find themselves expanding their horizons as they see the pictures. And at the same time this brings more interest in the photography business itself. Photographers should consider having some subjects who will make frequent appearances.

2. Professionalism Needs to Fit into Different Contexts

In Mexico celebrating my favorite little Mexican

A post shared by Jonpaul Douglass (@jonpauldouglass) on


This tip once again brings up an important difference between online and offline advertising principles. Professionalism is almost always a good thing when running a business. Clients expect formality when they walk into an office environment.

But people often forget that the Internet leans rather heavily toward informality. People are likely to browse Instagram feeds when at work or on the train. They’re in a relaxed state where friendly interaction goes a lot further than office politics.

When considering how to use Instagram for photography business promotion one should always keep tone in mind. One should have an online portfolio. But Instagram is a more informal version of that idea.

Obviously one shouldn’t post inferior work on Instagram. But at the same time every picture doesn’t have to aim for perfection. While one is using it for business the process should still be light and fun. In the end that fun mood needs to transfer over to the people viewing it.

Surf and Protect ?? Winter Solstice with my loves. Photo: @noateepee

A post shared by Ha’a Keaulana (@haakeaulana) on

1. Tie Everything Together

The last and most important tip for how to use Instagram for photography business promotion might seem obvious at first. But it’s one of the most common mistakes people make. It’s easy to forget to tie together one’s online presence.

Connecting an Instagram and Facebook page is a good first step. But every example of one’s online presence should act as cross promotion for the business. On Instagram, the bio should link to one’s main page. This, in turn, should link back to Instagram. And one can also tie in an online portfolio.

One shouldn’t forget the offline information either. A Google Map widget is a great way to lead people to one’s studio. WordPress and similar web platforms usually provide easy ways to add location functionality to one’s site. One shouldn’t forget to ensure that a phone number is also provided to potential clients.

Sony camera and laptop

Summing Up

One thread continues throughout most of the tips. Above all, it’s important to remember that online advertising isn’t passive. With traditional advertising one creates content and hands it off to a 3rd party.

Active advertising needs to be a part of one’s daily business decisions. It’s not just about pushing a service. One’s also discovering the interests of potential clients. Online advertising with Instagram is more than just promotion. It’s also a way to grow one’s business to meet demand.

Top 7 Online Marketing Tools for Photographers

Marketings is a necessity within any profession. But some professions have a harder time of it than others. Photographers face some unique marketing challenges. One of the most significant issues is the visual nature of photography. High quality visual marketing wasn’t very feasible until quite recently.

But the Internet now provides some exciting opportunities for photographers. In the following article we’ll examine the top seven marketing tools for photographers. These options will demonstrate how photographers can reach their target audience.

1. Instagram

Instagram for photographers

Instagram is almost a given when talking about photography. One of the most important reasons that it’s an marketing tools for photographers comes down to the audience. Most marketing efforts will try to reach as broad a base as possible. The average skill level of anyone in that group can vary wildly on a case by case basis.

Instagram tends to skew to an audience with more discerning taste. People on instagram are more likely to notice higher quality work. The average person often has trouble seeing what separates acceptable and superb photography. Posting to instagram ensures that people who really care about quality will be a larger percentage of the overall audience.

The niche appeal of instagram also means that it works best in combination with other options. Thankfully, the popularity of Instagram has led to support within a number of different platforms. This makes it easy to leverage Instagram within other marketing efforts.

2. Twitter

 

Twitter is in many ways a twin to Instagram. Both are social media platforms which push content out to the world. Instagram is heavily tied into photography. Where it’s simply one aspect out of many for Twitter.

The broad appeal of Twitter isn’t a bad thing though. It just means that one needs to handle Twitter differently. Like Instagram, it’s best used in tandem with other marketing campaigns. But it’s also a fantastic way to add personality to one’s brand. In fact, people often find themselves drawn in by personality first and content second.

Twitter becomes one of the top marketing tools for photographers when used with precision. 140 characters and an image might not seem like much. But many companies have seen huge influxes in customer interest thanks to clever use of Twitter.

3. Facebook

Screenshot of Photographer's Facebook Page

Facebook is a necessity for anyone marketing themselves. Estimates place Facebook’s active user base at around one billion people. Even when narrowing things down by language barriers and the like it’s a pretty impressive number.

People often think of Facebook as just a way to stay in touch with people. And one of the best ways to leverage Facebook is through that social aspect. Facebook makes it easy for users to share content with each other. This sharing also makes it one of the best marketing tools for photographers.

Instagram and Twitter make it easy to share content. But neither boast a user size even close to that of Facebook. Facebook makes it easy to network between friends, family and business contacts. They in turn will do the same with any photographs which catch their eye. This can quickly create instant, powerful and free marketing.

4. WordPress

Wordpress, one of the best marketing tools for photographers

Blogging sites tend to look somewhat similar to websites. Speed and ease of updates are among the biggest benefits blogs have over websites. The best blogging platforms empower authors with the ability to write pages as easily as they might a Word document.

Blogging can be quite similar to Twitter. It also has some elements of a Facebook post. But it allows photographers more space to narrate than Twitter. And blogging platforms are more easily seen and indexed by search engines than Facebook posts. For example, one might consider a photographer who’s been on an amazing hike. With a blog he’d have the benefit of fully narrating the journey while also showcasing his photographs.

WordPress is usually considered the best of the various blogging platforms. Users are able to start for free. And they can even move it to private servers or utilize full domain names. Ease of use and easy expandability usually make it the best choice out of all blogging options.

5. Squarespace

Squarespace for photographers

Blogging is a solid way to establish a presence on the web. But the next step beyond that is a website with full ecommerce solutions. Website creation is a huge subject, and many of the details are incredibly complex.

Thankfully there’s ways to bypass that complexity. Squarespace is both a company and a platform. They’re able to provide website creation which mostly comes down to selecting pre-made components. Squarespace is a solution which gives photographers the power of a custom site while keeping it easy to manage.

It ranks among the best marketing tools for photographers in large part due to ease of use. An afternoon is usually all it takes to set up a website and a shop to sell anything one desires. This also offers a way to direct people to blogs and social networking outlets. The reverse holds true as well. A solid website will often direct fans to the owner’s social media presence.

6. Pixieset

Pixieset for photographers

Pixieset completes the tools needed for a proper presence on the Web. One might choose to have a blog, website or both depending on need. But the best marketing tools for photographers will always be their own photographs. Squarespace and WordPress are rather lacking when it comes to gallery support though.

The best way to set up a professional online gallery is through pre-made solutions. Pixieset works in a somewhat similar way to Squarespace. Pixieset offers gallery options that will meet the needs of most photographers. One can quickly set up a gallery by using it. It’s easy to link to the gallery once it’s been completed.

The Pixieset gallery can serve as a subdomain for a blog or website. Photographers can also choose to use a full domain name specifically for Pixieset. No matter how it’s used though, the end result is a beautiful online gallery which can instantly showcase one’s best work.

7. IFTTT

IFTTT free web-based service to create chains of simple conditional statements

In many ways IFTTT is the glue which binds the other marketing tools for photographers together. So far most of the tools work best when combined together. Most are also quite easy to set up for the first time. But managing all of them can take more of an investment than the initial construction.

IFTTT acts as a compatibility layer between most of these services. The main function for photographers comes from automated posting. One can configure IFTTT to notice blog posts, for example. And when a post is made it’ll automatically send out a tweet linking to it. Similar functionality exists for an impressive number of other services.

Summing Up

In conclusion, one will notice how compatible the tools are. Many professions find that the options exist as an exclusive decision. Photographers have the luxury of continually adding more tools and platforms to expand their reach. The only limit on which tools one uses is time. But solutions such as IFTTT can even act as a huge time saver. When used properly the tools should end up promoting one’s brand while decreasing the total time spent marketing.

7 Tips on How to Use a Softbox for Portraits

Quite a few elements come into play when creating a great portrait. But an argument can be made that lighting is the most important. Shadow and lack of it can transform the entire feel of a picture.

A softbox is among the more popular options when one needs to carefully control lighting. In the following article we’ll examine how to how to use a softbox for portraits. These seven tips will give photographers a perfect skillset to build upon.

1. Intensity and Scaling

how to use a softbox for portraits

When people learn how to use a softbox for portraits they’ll typically face some sizing issues. A softbox functions through a continual rebound effect. The softbox’s enclosed area creates a light source which operates somewhat differently than normal. As such, one should relearn some basic techniques to get the most out of a softbox.

One important tip to keep in mind is that size and proximity work inversely to normal expectations. If one wants to create softer light than the softbox needs to scale up rather than down. A larger softbox can create softer light. Likewise, a softbox produces softer emphasis on a subject as they move together.

2. Create Movie Poster Lighting

middle aged man photographed using monster lighting

Movie posters often utilize a particular lighting trick. It’s used so often in movie posters that people often refer to it as movie poster lighting. It’s a fantastic way of pushing light upward to capture the nuance of a beautiful face.

Movie poster lighting is easy to create with a softbox. Positioning comes up fairly often when learning how to use a softbox for portraits. The other main point which tends to come up quite often is communication. A photographer needs to communicate positioning details to the models. Learning how to use a softbox for portraits usually involves learning how to give directions as well.

In this case one needs to position the lightbox underneath a model. The photographer will then need to have the model move around to test lighting conditions. The most important part of this is her head position. The softbox will bring different facial features into prominence as the model moves her head. A subtle shift in posture will often bring out some amazing effects when paired with a softbox.

3. Using Light Itself as the Background

fashion photography

Backgrounds are a vital part of a great portrait shot. Learning how to use a softbox for portraits should maintain this significance. Use of a softbox presents some exciting new background options. The softlight itself can create the portrait’s background. The main tip relates to changing the normal softbox position.

The photographer should place a softbox behind the subject. This is counterintuitive given that softboxes are usually meant to remove shadows. Instead, this will create shadow. But it’s more in the sense of a silhouette.

From here the photographer can position the model. It’s often best to test a variety of different poses to get the best effect. The silhouette can perfectly highlight areas of particular note. It simply takes a little experimentation to find the best position.

4. The Bay Window Effect

Neewer 6x1.5m Nylon Silk

Bay windows are a popular decorating choice for good reason. Bay windows can present beautiful lighting for both rooms and the people within them. However, simulating a bay window effect with softboxes can produce superior results.

The technique involves draping translucent silk over the softbox. It’s important to position the silk some distance from the actual softbox though. There shouldn’t be direct contact between softbox and silk. A distance of around five or six feet will usually work best.

The end effect is a brighter and crisper shot. The extent of this can be further controlled by moving the subject and box further apart.

5. Create a Beautiful Glow

shooting with softboxes in small spaces

When learning how to use a softbox for portraits, people often need to unlearn some habits. One very important tip to keep in mind involves space. A portrait done with softbox lighting can be shot in very different environments. Those environments can also produce unique effects.

Photographers can use this principle to create a subtle glow in their subjects. The easiest way to do so is by using smaller enclosed areas. The photographer will move a softbox into very close proximity to his subject.

He should position himself within that sphere of light as well. The photographer can judge the distance by this feeling of envelopment. When one feels enveloped by the light, the shot should produce the needed glow.

6. Secondary Reflections

secondary reflection

A softbox functions by bouncing light around within an enclosed environment. When learning how to use a softbox for portraits, one can build upon that principle. The light will first bounce around inside the softbox. The reflected light inside a softbox is a primary source.

When framing the portrait layout one should consider additional reflective elements. Obviously nothing should take too much emphasis off of the primary subject. But highlighting elements near a portion which deserves more attention is a fantastic way to draw an eye.

White surfaces will usually provide some extra reflective ability. One can combine these white surfaces with items that have a more refractive ability. Glass objects or gemstones are the perfect example. They’ll pick up some beautiful traits when used with secondary light from softboxes.

7. Group Compositing with a Softbox

business people photographed in the office

Shooting a group of people poses some unique challenges. A group shot can easily make connections with different demographics. For example, a picture with people of different ages should connect with a similar audience.

Every person in the shot is an important connection to the audience. Placing extra emphasis on one over another will decrease the technique’s effectiveness. But traditional lighting is almost certain to do so thanks to shadows and diffusion. A softbox is usually the answer when photographers find problematic shadows.

Shadows on groups of people can be harder to handle though. Even a softbox will sometimes end up overwhelmed by group pictures. Photographers can get around this problem through less conventional use of softboxes.

The softbox is first set up to shine in a horizontal orientation. One will then orient the light to perfectly highlight a specific person. Finally, the photographer can take the softbox lit shot. The trick is to do this individually for every person in the group in quick succession.

The photographer can then composite the pictures into a singular whole. This trick gives perfect softbox lighting to everyone in the group. In doing so it maintains emphasis on every individual who’s a part of the shot.

Summing Up

These tips show just how much a softbox can do. It’s a fairly simple tool when compared to most photography equipment. But the simplicity hides some amazing versatility.

Just changing the position of a softbox can create dramatically different results. The tips showcase just how much one can gain through experimentation. It’s easy to build upon these tips to create innovative new techniques.

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7