Posts Tagged ‘stevegiralt’

18 Facts of Life for Photography Students

Every year, I go to my alma mater and give a lecture for 3rd-year advertising-photography students on the business of photography. At this two-hour lectures, I cover all sorts of points about the ups and downs of being a busy commercial photographer in NYC, and also try to tell them straight facts of what the “real world” is like. Here is a summary of some of the most important words of wisdom I try to pass on to young photographers.
Read more…

The 7 Levels of Awareness in Becoming a Professional Photographer

I have been taking pictures for almost twenty years now and so much has changed over those years. Back in the beginning gas used to cost $1.00, Bill Clinton was president, and I was picking up a camera for the first time. I started out in high school playing with my father’s Nikon FM2 and taking pictures for the school newspaper. Today, I work with a medium format digital back shooting national ad campaigns, magazine articles, and catalogs. Some aspects of how I photograph have stayed unchanged, but a great deal has changed considerably.
Read more…

Why I Hate My Camera

Unlike most photographers, I hate my camera. I have read hundreds of stories on the Internet in which photographers argue about which cameras are the best and why. There are stories trying to prove that Canon is better than Nikon, or that 4×5 film is better than medium format digital. Camera review websites show scientific-style photographs displaying how much detail they have captured in a dollar bill, or pictures of color checkers and skin tones. They will also show “real-world” and studio tests illustrating how camera A is better than camera B and write long narratives about why.
Read more…

What Else Can I Do For My Clients?

In a world where everybody wants more for less, it’s hard to justify spending money on things which may or may not make your clients happier. I have always been a believer in the idea that you need to spend money to make money, yet I find other photographers are very split on this subject. I know photographers who are proud that they use the same camera and laptop they bought 5 years ago citing that their clients aren’t complaining so it must be working just fine.
Read more…

Photo Talk Is Cheap: Setting Goals and Putting Plans Into Action

There are so many things to do and never enough time to do them. You talk about starting that new personal photography project, about updating your website, or wanting to call those prospective new clients. You know that these things need to be done if you are to succeed and you really want to do them. Yet, more often than not, you decide they can wait until tomorrow.
Read more…

It’s Not About The F-Stop!

Last year I did a lecture about how to get commercial assignments by photographing and promoting personal photography projects at the Event Space at B&H Photo in NYC. It was a wonderful lecture discussing how to come up with tests shoots that are artistic, enjoyable to shoot, and could be marketable to potential clients. Most of the images I was showing that day were from a portrait project I had shot a couple years earlier which ended up getting me some great advertising jobs. The portraits I was showing were very much about personality and were by no means a great technical feat being that they were shot in the studio on a black background.
Read more…

Photography Jobs Grow on Trees

Every year I meet with lots of students, assistants, young photographers, and photography educators and discuss the business of photography. Over the years I have complied a list of the biggest mistakes that most young photographers make when trying to become full-time money-making commercial photographers. I want to share those with you in the hope that people stop making the same mistakes.
Read more…

So You Are Interested in Becoming a Photographer

I try to stay involved as much as I can with students studying photography at different institutions in the area. Every year I go back to RIT and do a lecture on the business of photography and I feel it’s important that I do so.

Recently I got an email from a young photographer asking me about the career of being a still life/food photographer.
Read more…