Are you thinking of buying yet another lens? Can't wait for a new body? (In my case, reincarnation is the only option). This article covers the main reason why my Synology DS1821+ is the best purchase I made in 2020 for my photography business.
Recent Commercial Articles
We Review the V-Flat Karl Taylor Light Cone
When V-Flat released the new Karl Taylor Light Cone, the comments ranged from dismissive jokes about "the cone of shame" to excitement for a product designed by esteemed commercial photographer Karl Taylor. I decided to take the cones into my product studio and see for myself if this simple tool really delivered the effortless results it boasted.
The Canon 5D Mark II: The Relic Still Flying the Flag in a Mirrorless World
DSLR fashion has plummeted in recent years. The perks of mirrorless tech continue to exceed expectations, pushing boundaries and leaving their clunky, slower siblings in their shiny, space-age wake. But does any of that really matter in the commercial photographic world? Well, no, not really. In 2023, £250 will still have your images contending with ones from bodies 10 times the price.
Should Famous Artists Be Working for Exposure?
Over the years, the fine art and commercial art communities have slowly wised up, learning how to run their businesses as businesses and saying no to free work. So, why are these famous artists working for free when it comes to the Super Bowl? The NFL surely isn't struggling for money, so shouldn't they get paid? Should any artist, famous or unknown, work for exposure?
This Is Why Photographers Don't Succeed
A couple of weeks ago, I published a piece on the Jack of All Trades Photographer, which covered the plight of the gigging photographer just starting out, doing what he or she can to build portfolio content and generally begin to make a living from it. Imagine my surprise when just a few days later, the topic was covered by straight-talking, commercial super talent and formerly of this parish, Scott Choucino!
Why Photographers Can Never Rely on Cloud-based Storage Alone
If you’re relying solely on cloud-based storage alone such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc., stop! This is a disaster if you’re a professional or a semi-pro photographer. Allow me to explain why.
Combining CGI With Photography For Creative Backgrounds
CGI is usually associated with movies, but it has its place in photography too. In fact, you create elaborate and creative backgrounds for your shoots using CGI software.
10 Fundamental Facts You Need to Know Before You Turn Pro
Thinking about turning your hobby into a jobby? What are the essential points you will need to consider when taking your hard-earned savings and convincing your better half that this will be the new, next chapter in your life? With over 15 years as a professional photographer and more than 25 years being self-employed, here’s what you need to know to make your dream a reality.
The Biggest Myth About Commercial Photography
There is a common myth about commercial photography: it is a genre just like landscape, macro, and product. However, this could not be further from the truth. As someone who thought so, I spent too much time creating “commercial” work. What I should’ve done instead is this.
The Jack of All Trades Photographer: What’s the Problem?
They say variety is the spice of life and in the world of the freelance photographer, a broad and knowledgable skill set goes a long way. So, why does knowing your way around a multitude of photographic genres breed so much disrespect in the professional world?
How to Find Your Voice as an Artist, Photographer, and Filmmaker
To improve as a photographer, sometimes, it pays to stop worrying about what others are doing, and, instead, focus on what you do best.
The Photographer And Story Behind The 1990 TMNT Movie Poster
Have you ever wondered about the photographers and process behind iconic movie posters? Some of Azriel Knight's most vivid nostalgic memories are over the striking movie poster for the blockbuster film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Does Midjourney AI Have a Place in Your Photography?
The role of AI is being discussed more than ever in creative fields, even where we previously thought it had no application. Among the various thoughts and emotions that arise when discussing AI in the creative arena, there is one that sees it as a tool — one of many that an artist may call on. Today, we're looking at a video that approaches a graphical AI tool, Midjourney, with that mindset.
Photography on a Budget
While photography definitely isn’t the cheapest business you could get into, you can definitely get started on a budget. Here are my tips for being prudent with your money as you start out.
Studiobinder's Ultimate Guide to Film Composition and Framing
Instead of getting overwhelmed by the various ways to go about positioning your camera, frame composition, and then deciding what you're trying to say with your shot selection, this video breaks down the various elements that directors and directors of photography use to convey their intent.
How to Run a Remote Photoshoot
Since the pandemic, running remote photoshoots where the client is not physically on set has become more commonplace. In this article, I'll share my best tips on how to run a successful and efficient remote photography service.
How to Photograph and Style Ice Cream
Needless to say, there's a fair few logistical complexities when photographing ice cream. After shooting for a vegan ice cream brand for a couple of years now, here are my best tips for running a smooth shoot when you’re capturing ice cream.
Your Images are Making Me Fall Asleep
It's time to be honest with yourself. It's time to ask some hard questions about your work and answer them straightforwardly, even if you hurt your own feelings. Grab a pen and paper, drop your ego, and tackle these questions.
5 Questions To Ask on a Discovery Call
You’ve received an enquiry from a potential new client and you’re looking forward to booking them in. Here are five questions to ask on your discovery call to make sure you understand what the client needs and that you can quote for the job accurately.
Savage Sports Photography
How do you get “the shot”? The saliva spewing out, as a fighter gets the decisive knockout blow. The sprinters desperately leaning forward in to gain the winning inch as they cross the finish line. The water tracing the swimmer's face as they come up gasping for air. Sporting events happen so fast, and even if you make the most of your camera's impressive burst rate, it takes a lot more to nail your sports photos. These are three pillars I always lean on to create savage sports imagery.
Should Product Photographers Learn 3D Modeling?
Most of the time, when it comes to photography or video of cars, beauty products, cosmetics, and even shoes, it’s made on a computer and not by a photographer. There are several reasons for this, but in this video, Karl Taylor, a renowned product photographer and educator, discusses photography versus 3D CGI and the advantages of each.
How To Liven Up an Office Interview Shoot
At some point, we will all end up shooting in a boring conference room. It’s not always easy to get a good shot when the space isn’t made for it. So, these tips from Epic Light Media might just be the trick.
Rankin and 40 Graduating Photographers at Visual Noise
"Use your platform for good. Don't worry about your platform, be concerned with your impact." Very few people find success without a helping hand or barrels of luck. As one of photography's stars, Rankin is using his influence to help out young and emerging photographers through the Visual Noise art fair at Maryland Studios and online catalog through Public Offerings Ltd.
Hard Light Versus Soft Light Explained
It seems hard light is trending these days. From elaborate food spreads in Bon Appetit to fashion shoots for Burberry, hard light is in. If you've ever wondered how to create this look, this quick and simple tutorial will lay it out for you. I'll share a few concepts, and you can watch the video for a demonstration.
Who's Who on a Commercial Photography Set
Let’s have a look at the many people behind the scenes that help us to create our singular vision.
It’s Not About the Camera, It’s About Who’s Pressing the Shutter
I can think of so many times throughout my career where I have drooled over that latest camera release or that most recent lens that my brain convinces me that I simply have to have. Realistically, though, what photographer out there hasn't done that at least once in their career?
One-Stop Solution to Marketing? Fstoppers Reviews Agency Access
Much of commercial photography is about marketing. Agency Access is a service that is aimed at helping commercial photographers market their work efficiently. But how good is it? Here is my review of Agency Access.
Star of Nirvana Cover Sues Band Over Alleged Child Sexual Exploitation
At just four months old, Spencer Elden is the star of possibly the most iconic baby photograph of all time, as he floats on the cover of Nirvana's album Nevermind, but now in his 30s, Elden is suing the band over child sexual exploitation.
Give Yourself Room to Grow as a Photographer
Sometimes, to grow as a photographer, you have to take two steps back to go three steps forward.
5 Things You Should Do to Sign With a Photo Agent
For many of us photographers in the commercial world, the key to getting good jobs for exciting campaigns is having the right agent by your side. However, finding the right agent and with space on their books for you can be incredibly hard to do.
Get a Job! Here's Why Full-Time Photography Employment Is Underrated
Have you been told to stop messing around shooting models and get a job? Do your loved ones wish you'd do something more stable instead of wondering when the next job will drop into your email? Well, I believe they're on to something.
Can You Make Passive Income Selling Your Existing Photographs Online?
Passive income, the Holy Grail of personal finances. Who wouldn’t want to make money from all those old photos without having to lift a finger? With that in mind, I’m going to share with you my own experiences as a casual photographer selling my existing back catalog of digital photos online. It’s been an interesting experience to say the least and I even made a little money.
Choose Colors Deliberately for Extraordinary Photos
There are a bunch of different ways to make your photos stand out: great light, gorgeous model, amazing locations, idealized retouching, but one that is often overlooked in favor of these less subtle approaches is color. We photographers tend to schedule a shoot, show up, capture what's there, and pat ourselves on the back for our genius, but what goes into the shoot before we schedule it can be just as important to the end result as what we do with our lights or our camera. Let's look at an example from my work for Lifetime. No lights. No reflectors. Just color.
A Simple Trick To Improve Your Final Image
There is a wealth of information for every step of the photographic process, but one area that drastically improved my work some years ago is also one of the areas discussed the least.
Judge Rules National Park Filming Rule Unconstitutional
Filmmakers, YouTubers, and other content creators received a big win recently when a D.C. Federal Judge ruled that the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming are unconstitutional. Still photography rules remain unchanged, although they weren't as restrictive as the filming rules.
Why Your Photography Prints Aren't Selling
Selling your photographs as prints for someone's wall is both a gratifying experience and a useful revenue stream, but it's not easy to do. So, why is it so difficult to sell prints?
How and What To Charge Your Clients
Often being successful in any creative field is equal parts talent and knowing how to run your business. Yet for a lot of us, we spend the least amount of time educating ourselves on good business practices. The beginning of the new year is a great time to remedy this.
The Charm of Using Vintage Lenses for Video
Have you tried using old film lenses for video creation? There's quite a charm to it.
Are There Any Benefits to a Parabolic Softbox, or Are They a Marketing Gimmick?
There are many light modifiers available and the selection can become confusing at times. Some areas, in fact, are confusing even when you understand them. The primary suspect is the parabolic softbox.
How to Become a Commercial Photographer in a Small Town
The commercial photography world is tough to get into, but it is made even tougher if you don't live in certain cities like Paris, London, or New York. Here is how we can get around this.
How This Six Second Monster Energy Drink Commercial Was Made
This fantastic looking Monster energy drink commercial was made in a fairly easy to replicate way. Here is a behind the scenes look at what went into creating the shot.
Being a Pro Photographer and a YouTuber
I had been a photographer long before I wrote for Fstoppers. After a few years writing here I decided to give YouTube a crack. What was very interesting was the response from photographers and agents to seeing me on the platform.
Built for Architecture: Fstoppers Reviews the Laowa 15mm f/4.5 Zero-D Shift Lens
Architectural photographers face many technical challenges when shooting massive structures, especially when space to shoot from is limited. This is one of those cases in which the gear absolutely enables the photographer to take better images.
Videographer Builds a 'Spinning Rig of Death' Out of Robots So He Can Get This Crazy Shot
We've posted some of his behind the scenes videos on here before, because this director's innovative use of technology to film some of the most visually appealing commercial videos to ever hit our screens is unparalleled. Here he is, explaining how he used his robots to make a mind-bending shot of a slice of lime falling into a glass.
Can the Fuji GF 45-100mm f/4 Speed up Workflow and Keep up With a Fast-Paced Professional Shoot?
As all medium format shooters know, moving fast with larger sensor cameras can be a challenge compared to their full frame counterparts. So, I recently tried out the Fuji GFX GF 45mm-100mm f/4 R LM OIS WR to see if it would speed my workflow and unlock additional potential in my Fuji GFX system.
Making It as a Commercial Photographer: Fstoppers Interviews Jabari Jacobs
To look at Jabari Jacob's life as a successful commercial photographer who flies from coast to coast working with brands like Nike and Sony, you would never guess he slept on an air mattress on the floor during the beginning of his career.
Ecommerce Photography: Fstoppers Interviews Ella Grace Bell
Ella Grace Bell is a commercial photographer based out of Vancouver British Columbia who has worked with brands like Bootlegger Jeans, Poppy Finch, and Mobiado Watches, but freelancing isn't her main gig. She has a nine to five photography job that pays her bills, which seems to be a vanishing commodity outside photography studios.
Three Lies You Will Tell Yourself on the Way to Becoming a Professional Photographer
A brief look back at just some of the many ways my own mind has played tricks on me along my journey from hobbyist to working professional.
The Difference Between Editorial and Commercial Photography
Their are loads of terms that get banded about in photography, and I am sure you have all heard the terms "editorial" and "commercial photography" mentioned. But do you really know what they mean?
Are You New to the Filmmaking World? Here Are 20 Things You Should Know Before Walking on Set for the First Time
Are you fresh into the film and production industry and want to learn the most amount of information in the quickest amount of time? Get on a film set. But, before doing so, be sure to familiarize yourself with the top 20 things you'll be sure to hear on set.