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Every single wedding photographer catches the gear bug at some point in time. It’s almost like the common cold, it comes and goes once in a while (and you build some resistance to it but suddenly BAM – it hits you).

For wedding photographers who are heavily invested in their existing system (e.g., Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm), switching camps is a costly exercise. I would know because I’ve made the very same brand switch not just once, but a few times.

Therefore, if you’re a wedding photographer who is feeling the seductive pull of moving to Sony mirrorless, then this article will be of assistance.

Sony Prime Lenses

Every wedding photographer has their favorite focal length for certain situations. For example, most wedding photographers prefer prime lenses and 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm focal lengths tend to the lenses that remain attached to camera bodies for most of a wedding.

One of the reasons that stopped me from switching to Sony (from Nikon) was the perception that Sony didn’t have a profession lens line-up. This was quite possibly quite true many years ago but at the time of writing, Sony has a significant arsenal of fast zoom lenses and fast primes.

24 mm

The Canon EF 24 f/1.4L II USM is a popular lens for many wedding photographers. It is great for contextual shots and if you’re a wedding photographer who loves to get up and personal with your subjects – the 24mm focal length is perfect. Luckily for you, Sony has the FE 24mm f/1.4 GM  .

50 mm

For many Canon 50L lovers, the move away from Canon will be the hardest due to this lens. Whilst nothing will ever replace the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM truly, the Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA is a remarkable lens. Even the budget Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA is a lens worth investing.

85 mm

Personally one of my favorite focal lengths, I cannot photograph a wedding without the 85mm focal length. Fujifilm, Nikon, and Canon all have their flagship 85mm (or equivalent in the case of Fujifilm) lenses. For those of you sitting on the fence, you will be pleased to know that there are a few options for you to choose from.

First off is the crème de la crème – the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM. With its wide aperture, it offers incredible subject separation.

Then there is the ZEISS Batis 85mm f/1.8  that has many fans and also the budget-conscious Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 that doesn’t pull any punches. You may also wish to consider the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG GSN Art for Sony.

135 mm

Canon wedding photographers love their 135L (for good reasons). If you’re in this camp, you will be pleased to know that Sony has an FE 135mm f/1.8 GM to fill the gap.

Sigma also offers a native Sony E mount 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art.

Sony Zoom Lenses

The 24-70mm and 70-200mm focal ranges have been a staple for many wedding photographers, especially when paired with a fast f/2.8 constant aperture. The main advantage of using these pro zoom lenses is the versatility in reach without having to change lenses or move.

In many real-world weddings, it is not possible to get to the ideal spot and wedding photographers often resort to cropping in post or using a zoom lens.

16-35 mm

It’s not a focal range that dominates the wedding day but for certain situations, this versatile ultra-wide perspective comes in handy. After all, when in cramped quarters, there is only so much that one can step back before running out of space.

Like Canon and Nikon, Sony offers two variants of the 16-35mm: the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM B075MKTLSP  and Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS.

24-70 mm

Every wedding photography-worthy camera brand has its respective 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens. Canon has the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II and an EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM.

In 2015, Nikon released the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR, replacing the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED. Even the newly released Nikon Z-series (Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7) has its very own Z-mount NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens.

On the Fujifilm APS-C platform, the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR is the full-frame equivalent of the 24-70mm focal length.

For those of you who cannot shoot a wedding without the trusty all-rounder 24-70mm, Sony has the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM  and T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS.

You will also be pleased to know that Tamron offers a popular economical 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD in native Sony E mount.

70-200 mm

Perfect for portraits and snapping candids of unaware guests, the 70-200mm focal length is another popular wedding photographer staple. Similar to its 24-70mm lens, Sony also offers two variants for your consideration:  FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS  and the slower constant aperture FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS.

For existing Canon wedding photographers who may own an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM, there is good news for you. With a third-party adapter such as the Metabones V or Sigma MC-11, you can mount your Canon 70-200mm onto your Sony mirrorless camera with full eye AF functionality.

If the FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS price tag makes your eyes water, you may consider adapting the Canon EF-mount Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports lens.

Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels

Sony Camera Bodies

You’re probably considering switching across to Sony because of a certain Sony mirrorless camera.

Most wedding photographers wanting to make the transition will be doing so from a DSLR. One of the biggest advantages of a mirrorless camera compared to a traditional DSLR is not so much the size and weight, but rather, having an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Where DSLR camera bodies had optical viewfinders, the benefit of an EVF is that it makes getting the exposure of each frame so much easier. For a wedding photographer, this feature is a welcome addition as it allows them to turn their attention on their subjects.

But in all honesty, you’re probably tempted to ditch your current Nikon/Canon/Fujifilm setup because of one amazing feature: eye AF. As someone who has been using eye AF at weddings for almost a year now, eye AF meets the hype (although it requires a bit of practice).

For Nikon D800, Nikon D810, Canon 5DS and Canon 5DS R wedding photographers who want to retain a large megapixel sensor, the Sony a7R III will be the best replacement with its 42 MP CMOS sensor. However, the more popular Sony cameras among wedding photographers tend to be split between the Sony a9 or Sony a7 III.

The Sony a7 III is probably the perfect replacement for Nikon D750 and Canon 5D MK III owners who want an all-rounder budget-friendly camera. For Canon EOS 5D MK IV, EOS 1D X Mark II, Nikon D850, and Nikon D5 owners, who may want a more high-end camera, the Sony a9 may be for you.

The Sony a9 offers more images per buffer, 20fps burst raw, better LCD and EVF resolution, and 3 stops faster readout speed compared to the cheaper Sony a7 III.

If you’re a wedding photographer who does a little bit of video on the side, the Sony a7 III may be a better choice since it has a full set of customizable picture profiles that the Sony a9 does not. Both Sony mirrorless cameras offer 4K internal video recording up to 25fps in PAL and 30fps in NTSC mode.

Before the Sony a9 and Sony a7III (which won 2018 EISA Photography Awards), the Sony a7S II was a popular choice for wedding videographers because it offered very high ISO performance.

If you’re tempted to make the switch to Sony, you’re in good company as we have picked three Sony mirrorless cameras out of our list of six best mirrorless cameras of 2019.

On-Camera Flashes For Bouncing Or Slow Shutter Flash

As much as wedding photographers prefer working with natural light, having external lighting is a must for situations where the ambient light is inadequate.

The HVL-F60RM is Sony’s flagship flash. It is similar to the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT and the Nikon SB-5000 in functionality (e.g., wireless radio communication, multi-flash control, high-speed sync).

Compared to the earlier model  Sony HVL-F45RM, the newer HVL-F60RM has a higher output and improved overheating protection.

Unlike the Sony HVL-F45RM that has a zoom range of 24-105mm, the Sony HVL-F60RM has a zoom range of 20-200mm. For wedding photographers who do a lot of slow shutter dance floor photos, the extra zoom range of the HVL-F60RM comes in very handy.

One critical piece of information that most articles omit is the fact that all mirrorless cameras cannot detect IR focus beams. For wedding photographers who rely on IR focus beams, this will be the biggest learning curve to overcome when switching across to Sony mirrorless.

Thankfully, the Sony HVL-F60RM has an LED array that acts as a modeling lamp so that in dark situations, our Sony mirrorless camera can achieve focus.

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We know how much time and effort you put into establishing your photography business, and how hard it can sometimes be to handle a new client. You can put hours of work into your portfolio and mastering your photography skills, but then break it with one unplanned photo session.

So here we have put together seven proven tips which will help you make a lasting impression on your clients on a photoshoot. You can use these tips as a step-by-step guide to outline your next photo session.

1. Develop a photoshoot concept

The very first and the most important step in a photo shoot is to develop a theme. Don’t think only about cute props or nice location. Think beyond all that – what emotions you are going to cause with these photos?

– How old is your client?

– What is her/his personality?

– What is he or she wearing?

– What story do these images tell?

– What is he or she holding in the hands?

– Should these shots be dark or light?

– What weather conditions are there in your images?

You can ask your client to share photo ideas from the web or even your portfolio. Consider having a clear idea of the client’s needs. It’ll not be superfluous to find photo ideas on Pinterest and prepare poses for the shoot. Create a mood board on Pinterest which you will share for photo ideas, poses, and more.

You can create a checklist of images you want to take. Take a moment to visualize the scene and everything you put into a frame. A client will notice your attention to details and will enjoy working with you.

Make sure you work on improving your photography skills all the time to show the best results every time, here are eight things you can do today to become a better photographer.

2. Find the perfect location

Scouting for the perfect location can be a difficult and time-consuming job. Yet it is worth the effort. Even in a small town or village, no matter where you live, there are lots of beautiful locations. Learn to see them.

Collect the best photogenic locations in your city: it could be a park, forest, place near a pond, garden, rooftop, or cafe. It depends on the type of photo session you are going to realize.

You can acquire perfect locations from local photographers or find them yourself when you go for a walk. In fact, even a simple place with nothing special at first glance may look amazing in a photo.

Turn on the imagination and play with the location and props. If you are going to shoot indoors, you need to have a list of studios with different readymade scenes.

3. Come earlier

Another great way to leave a lasting impression on a photo shoot is to come to the location earlier. Arrive 20 minutes before clients to make sure that everything looks exactly how you expect, prepare pros and accessories, and set up your gear.

You won’t waste clients’ time when they get there. Show them that you respect their time and won’t bill them for the time spent on preparation. A client may not remember that you came earlier, but they will remember if you are late. And this is definitely not the first impression you want to make.

Remember that things will not always go as planned, and if you are to shoot a picnic in a sunny park and it starts to rain, the best option is to reschedule the shoot.

4. Select the props

From color smoke bombs through balloons and ribbons to bubbles, there are many props you can choose. The market is full of unique handcrafted things. You can search for photoshoot accessories on Amazon and Etsy.

However, keep in mind that photo sessions are not about accessories, but about people. So make these props to help you enhance your vision, but don’t overuse them.

Also, think about the colors in your future frames. Think whether the accessories are suitable for a certain concept. Obviously, if you are shooting a couple in the rain, balloons will not be the best props. In this case, an umbrella will be the best fit.

5. Remember styling

The styling of a photo shoot is an essential step that gets skipped on some occasions. Talk to your client about their expectations and what images they want to get.

When you have a concept, props, and location, offer your client suggestions about what to wear and what makeup and hairstyle will be suitable.

Photographers often work with makeup artists and hairstylists. If you have not, give it a try! I have shared the seven must-have contacts of any photographer that will help you create quality photo sessions and impress your clients.

You can easily call a local makeup artist and ask if they are available for selected dates. Offer your images for their services, tell them that they can use your images in their advertising or on Instagram. You can contact wardrobe stylists, hair stylists, and other professionals in a similar way.

6. Deliver your work earlier than expected

There are numerous ways to deliver your selected and edited photos to a client. Photo delivery is a part of your brand and communication with clients. Impress them at this stage too.

One of the best ways to surprise your clients is to deliver photos at least a few days before the agreed term. You can always give them an estimated delivery date with a margin of several days.

In order to deliver your photos earlier, you can use Photoshop actions or Lightroom presets which reflect your unique style and suit the photo session mood. They allow you to edit every photo in one click with a little adjustment, but they are real time savers.

When it comes to the method of delivery, it depends on what is convenient for you. Some photographers deliver images on branded flash drives along with a few printed photos and a thank you card in a nice box.

If you deliver photos digitally, you can upload them on your website and share a link with clients. It is a very suitable option if you shoot groups or events, such as weddings.

After people download all the images you can remove them from your server. But give clients at least 14 days to get the shots. Make the delivery as smooth and quick as possible to make the perfect last impression on your client.

7. Ask for feedback

Of course, it can be difficult to ask for feedback, especially if a person points out shortcomings. But every critic will help you improve interaction with clients and grow as a photographer and business owner.

There are numerous ways to ask for feedback. You can ask for clients’ opinions right after the shoot, and again when you deliver their images. You can ask for feedback in a messenger or in person.

The best way to get truly honest feedback about your work is to use anonymous forms on your website. When a client knows that you would not know it is him or her, it’s way easier to share negative points. And it’s important to hear your clients and try to make your communication better.

Over to you

Let me know if you finished reading the article in the comment field below. What methods to make a lasting impression on a photo shoot do you use? If I missed something, be confident to share it with us.

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If you are a wedding, portrait, pet or generalist photographer and have been wanting to make a change with your business, and/or add an additional lucrative revenue stream, you may have considered offering your photography services to companies and small businesses (e.g. ‘commercial photography’).

You may have even been approached by some of these businesses to do work for them.

It’s exciting to think about, because the pay is often many multiples more than what you can charge private clients for the same time investment, but it can also feel overwhelming just getting started due to the lack of information available.

The good news is in this article I go over some simple steps that will help you get started offering commercial photography to clients on a scale that’s unintimidating, manageable and scalable.

Ready to get started? Let’s do it.

SIT DOWN AND BRAINSTORM YOUR NICHE AND IDEAL CLIENT(S)

This is a step that sadly many photographers overlook, but it’s also the most important one.

  • Who do you want to shoot for?
  • What do you want to be shooting?
  • What kinds of people do you want to be working with?

YOU get to make those decisions.

How to find your ‘people’:
  1. Pick up a stack of magazines and tear out the pages of the ads that really speak to you.
  2. Make a list of the businesses that are local to you that have a style similar to what you love in those ads.

Maybe it’s the soft light and pastels in a women’s fragrance ad that really resonates with you, and there is a flower shop in your town that has the same aesthetics.

Or you dig the grittiness and masculinity in a liquor ad, and there’s a bar down the street from you that has the same vibe.

Or your heart sings at the bright colors and joy in a children’s clothing ad. And there’s a kid’s activity center in your city that has a similar feel.

When you are excited about working for companies whose brand you really love, you will produce your best work, which will make them fall in love with your work too. When clients really connect with your work, they hire you again, and also refer you to other companies they know.

Loving what you do is a win-win for everyone involved. This is why it’s important to decide ahead of time what kind of work you are passionate about creating, and who you want to create it for.

When creating your target client list, make a list of:
  1. Brand vibe.
  2. Type of customer that kind of company attracts. (Parents, pet owners, athletes, etc.)
  3. Businesses in your area that fit within those styles & customers.

The reason why defining the brand vibe is important is because you will inevitably come upon (or get referred to!) other companies in the same brand vibe, and you’ll want to be open to shooting for them.

Plan to spend at least a few days on brainstorming your target customer, as this work will create the framework for your marketing plan.  

DRAFT A MARKETING GAMEPLAN

Treat your commercial photography as a whole separate business. Ideally you want a separate marketing plan to go along with it.

List all of the strategies you intend to employ to acquire your first corporate/business clients, the costs of each strategy, timelines and any deadlines you have.

Include the list of businesses you came up with above, and spell out how you will contact each one.

This will be easier to do after you finish reading this article.

ACQUIRE PRICING & BIDDING SOFTWARE

It’s very hard to provide accurate pricing for image licenses (the rights-managed ‘leasing fee’ you charge to clients for use of your images), without using any kind of pricing database/program. Many new commercial photographers resort to asking others what they charge, and then pull a number out of the air, which is never a good strategy.

So having software that you can use as a tool when calculating licensing fees can be extremely helpful.

Similarly, it can be challenging to bid on an agency job without bidding software. You really need both in order to provide fair pricing and appear to be the professional photographer that you are.

The two types of software that the majority of commercial photographers use are BlinkBid, and FotoQuote/FotoBiz X by Cradoc Software.

You can also use Getty Images’ pricing calculator for comparison but those suggested numbers cover every conceivable scenario/client size and are often significantly more than most commercial clients would ever pay.

CREATE A PORTFOLIO

Ideally you’ll have a separate website with only your photography that you’ll use to target and appeal to commercial clients.

Keep the branding simple, and include only your logo and galleries of your very best work. Your five star shots. Think: cream-of-the-crop. Plan to retouch every photo to perfection before placing it in a gallery.

Don’t be afraid to feature your best photos as full-screen photos. (If you don’t know what your best photos are, place a handful in a post in a photography group and ask other people which one is best!)

And if you don’t feel a photo is a high enough quality to display full-screen, then it shouldn’t be in your commercial photography portfolio. The key is to really impress a potential client with the quality of your work.

After you have some jobs under your belt, you will also place your ‘client list’ (a list of companies you have shot for), on that portfolio website. I go over the client list later in this article.  

PM YOUR CONTACTS AND ASK FOR REFERRALS

Think of which friends and family you could reach out to to help you pitch your commercial photography services to the companies they work for.

Maybe you decide to do a corporate headshot day, and you ask your friend or family for an ‘in’ with their marketing team.

Or you mention that you are doing product photography, and ask them if they know someone at their company you can contact to send you product you can photograph for your portfolio.

Take time to go through your friend’s list and see if any of them work at/for companies you’d love to work with.

Look at the relationships they have with other businesses in your community. Maybe they are friends with the owner of a local children’s boutique or pet store, and can send over a glowing referral.

A direct connection and ‘in’ is worth its weight in gold, and this can be valuable even if it’s not your ideal type of client (see #1 above), since the experience you are gaining is valuable all on it’s own.

Don’t be afraid to leverage the connections you already have when getting started in commercial photography.

In fact, it’s really the best thing you can do. If you build a career as a commercial photographer, that career will truly be built on connections.

DESIGN AND PRINT A MULTI-PAGE PROMO

If you want to work with bigger and more established local companies, you’ll probably need more than just a simple email sent to their marketing department.

That’s where a fancy printed promo comes into place.

Hire a designer to make a nice single or multiple page letter-sized high-quality printed promo filled with a handful of your very best photos, introducing yourself as a commercial photographer who admires their brand and would love to work with them.

Include all of your contact information and a link to where they can see more of your work.

Type a personalized letter to the company, explaining why you want to work with them (remembering how their brand resonates with you- see above), commenting on other campaigns they’ve done, and include your contact information. Keep the letter brief, friendly and direct.

You can decide to either include ‘rates start at’ or not, it’s up to you. There are risks in doing this and not doing this. Not including a simple starting rate may leave them assuming that they can’t afford you, when in reality they actually can.

Including rates may have them assume that you are too cheap or too expensive, when they aren’t getting the full picture of pricing for their own unique needs.

If you do decide to include ‘rates start at’ I recommend keeping it really simple, like ‘rates start at $850 for a full day shoot’, but don’t list inclusions or exclusions or mention licensing. And mention that rates are flexible and based on the the work involved in each project.

The goal when reaching out to potential commercial clients is really to get the conversation started, which is the hardest part. Once you are already talking to the company you can get into the details of rates.

Once you have the promo piece and letter, place them in a nice envelope and address it to the marketing department and mail it. (Even better is if you can find the marketing director’s name on LinkedIn.)

Sometimes you won’t hear back at all, and sometimes you won’t hear back for a long time, but this is par for the course. Do your best to follow up within ten days of mailing your letter, and don’t feel discouraged if you don’t hear back from them right away. I

I’ve had art buyers at ad agencies hold onto my contact info for years before reaching out, and I received a referral recently for a huge ad job from a client I shot for in 2008 and hadn’t spoken to since then, so you never know.  

Although sending a printed promo piece + letter is a small act, you never know what great opportunities can come from this small (and doable) effort.

PITCH TO LOCAL BUSINESSES YOU ALREADY KNOW

Think of the businesses you already patronize. Are you a regular at any of the stores, bars, restaurants, shops, etc in your area?

Do you have an established relationship with employees, servers, managers, etc?

If you answered yes, then pitch them!

Front line workers can be some of your biggest advocates, so don’t be afraid to sell yourself to them.

It could be something as simple as casually throwing in a “hey, do you guys ever work with photographers?” to your conversation, and gauging their reaction.

Be sure to have a polished portfolio on your phone and/or iPad with you that you can use to show them a few examples of your work. (Note- a few, not a hundred. Be respectful of the fact that these people are working.)

Since you are already familiar with the business, you can reference things in their marketing, like “I noticed the spring signage you put up in your windows. It looks great! I have a similar/even better/amazing idea I’d love to run by you if you are interested in hearing it.”

Pitching a local business in person can feel intimidating, but if they already know you and like you, you’ve won over half the battle right there.

REACH OUT TO LOCAL ASSISTANTS, PRODUCERS, DIGITECHS AND OTHER CREW

When you start doing the bigger jobs, you’ll need a team of people to help you pull them off.

You need a producer to tackle all of the little details and bring everything together.

You need a digitech to ingest the images to a laptop so your art/creative director client can preview them on set.

You need awesome assistants who can predict your needs, adjust lighting settings, hand you lenses and be your extra arms you wish you had on every shoot.

Be sure to locate and contact these people before your first big job, so you have established relationships already in place when that big job comes down the pike.  

You may also need one or more of these crew members for some of your smaller jobs as well.

Although your team may not necessarily help bring you new clients, having any kind of connection in the commercial photography world is valuable, as you never know who you’ll meet through knowing them.

ADD CLIENT NAMES TO YOUR CLIENT LIST

Add the name of each business you have shot for to your client list.

This goes a long way when it comes to building trust with new companies that you have never worked for before, especially if you are asking them to pay you a fair market value daily photography fee + licensing fees.

You don’t need to get fancy and include logos of your clients, the majority of commercial photographers usually just include a bulleted list of client names on their about page.

And don’t feel bad if most of the brands on your initial client list are unknowns. The key is just to show potential new clients that other companies trusted you enough to work with you. And that’s huge.

PITCH BIGGER COMPANIES

After you have solid experience shooting for small and local companies under your belt, and feel confident in:

  1. Your photography abilities in a variety of different (and potentially challenging) circumstances, with different talent in different locations.
  2. Your pricing.
  3. Your processes.
  4. Your contracts.
  5. Your team.

You are ready to start pitching bigger clients for better and higher-paying jobs.

All of the work you’ve done up until this point is to that end- to make more money and do more fulfilling work.

And what photographer doesn’t want more of both?

Hope you found this article helpful for getting started in commercial work, and adding an additional revenue stream to your business!

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Every year I like to honor the top digital products photographers can use to grow their businesses. Below are 13 go-to items for this year ranging from software to presets to training. See winners from 201620152014, and 2013. This post includes affiliate links.

Best Photo Editor Luminar 3

Luminar 3 is a program that you can tailor to multiple photographic styles. Available for both Windows and Mac, the software supports cleaner gradients and automatic lens distortion corrections.

It comes with new camera profiles like vivid, Adobe standard, landscape, portrait, and more. The most recent update of Luminar promises improvements in speed across both Windows and Mac.

Learn More about Luminar

Best Lightroom Presets Contrastly

The Contrastly complete preset bundle comes with over 1,000 presets with 26 different themes like Long Exposure, Portrait Retouch, Infrared Sims, and many more. From recovering shadows and highlights to adjusting exposure, this set of presets will help you create the final product you envision.

Most photographers realize that taking the photos is only the beginning and that editing is an art form in itself.

With this Contrastly Lightroom preset bundle, you can bleach your images a bit, adjust the foreground exposure, and enhance group photos.

Learn More about the Lightroom Preset Bundle

Contrastly also offers Lightroom Training.  Learn more about the Lightroom Mastery Video Course.

Best Contracts The Law Tog

Ultimate Portrait Photography Contract Bundle by TheLawTog

The Ultimate Portrait Photography Contract Bundle helps you protect your business with lawyer/photographer-created contracts. This includes legal forms you’ll need to cover expectations for clients and safeguard your business.

The Ultimate Bundle has a Print Release form, Limited Model Release, General Model Release, General Portrait Contract, Permission to Sell to a Third Party and a Payment Plan Bundle. TheLawTog also offers the Basic Contract and the Essentials Bundle for people who need a little less.

Start Protecting Your Business

Best Album Software

Fundy Designer

Fundy Designer was created by Andrew Funderburg and runs on both Mac OS and Windows. To use it, just go to fundydesigner.com, download the trial and install it. If you get stuck at any point, there are multiple online tutorials to help you get the process started.

As soon as you’re ready to go, buy a license that fits your needs, such as Studio Suite Pro, Suite Pro, or Suite Lite. This software is well-designed and allows you to begin designing in one out of four modules: Gallery, Album, Image Brander, or Collage. In order to use photos in your project, just drag them from your computer’s images bar. This program is super intuitive and easy to use.

Start Using Fundy Designer

Best Logo Design 99 Designs

Launch a logo design contest with 99Designs

While there are a lot of free options on the web for graphic design, you’ll want something a bit more specialized for logo design. This can mean the difference between being lost in the sea of competitors online and truly standing out. 99Designs is a creative platform that allows you to hire talented designers to make your logo.

You can also start a design contest to get your graphic designs needs met, including custom WordPress themes or even book covers. You get to set your budget, receive ideas for a couple of days, and then make your selection.

Hire Someone to Create Your Logo at 99Designs

Best Training Creative Live

Fundamentals of Photography

To be truly successful with photography, you’ll need a full understanding of the equipment needed and the technical aspects of your camera. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will even show you how to make your creative vision a reality. Taught by John Greengo, a seasoned photographer, this training course emphasizes high-quality visuals and learning through experience.

The course will show you how to choose gear, how to properly utilize natural light, and how to make the most of composition, aperture, and shutter speed. With the Fundamentals of Digital Photography, you’ll learn to consider your ultimate goals and motivations with photography.

Learn more about this course.

Other Courses Offered at CreativeLive

CreativeLive offers classes on photo and video, money and life, art and design, and more. Here are a couple of other courses available:

Workflow, Time Management, and Productivity for Creatives

There’s a stereotype that says creative types are inherently disorganized, which can hold you back from getting into a good workflow. With the Workflow, Time Management, and Productivity for Creatives course, you can tackle your to-do lists, learn how to block out time, and beat your distractions.

Conquering Crappy Light

Working with subpar lighting can be frustrating. Since you can’t always control the light where you are, it’s helpful to learn how to work with it. In the Conquering Crappy Light course, you’ll learn how to capture beautiful photos regardless of the lighting conditions.

Free Courses at CreativeLive

CreativeLive also offers free courses like this Make Great Images with the Gear You’ve Got course.

Check out more free courses from CreativeLive

Best Deal Site PhotoWhoa

If you want to become a better photographer, the products offered by PhotoWhoa can help. This online curation site gives you access to courses, books, and more, whether you’re a fashion blogger, food photographer, or a complete newbie.

A few examples of what they offer are 2665 Light Leak Overlays, a Photoshop Compositing Bundle, and software for easy image refocusing.

PhotoWhoa offers discounted photography products, with some eBooks or video courses marked down as much as 50 percent. Whatever your photography goals are, you’re sure to find something that will help on this site.

Start Using PhotoWhoa Today

Best Image Enhancement Photolemur

Photolemur is a completely automatic enhancer for your photos and uses Artificial Intelligence to fix your pictures on its own.

Just import the image and the enhancer does the rest.

You can then define how your photos will look when they’re done and control the applied enhancement opacity using the smart slider feature in the program.

Photolemur 3 has a Facial Retouch tool that can improve the look of faces and six unique styles for perfecting your photos. While there is a free version of Photolemur available, it doesn’t offer batch processing and adds a Photolemur watermark to processed photos.

Check out Photolemur

Best Used Gear KEH Camera

While you’re collecting your photography gear, don’t forget that you can buy used gear and also trade your used equipment.

Sources like KEH Camera, the largest used camera dealer in the world, are invaluable to creative professionals.

They have lenses and cameras from 60 years ago and have been serving photographers for over three decades.

They also have a full-line equipment repair department.

Check Out the Selection at KEH Camera

Best Podcast

ProPhotographerJourney Podcast

Chamira Young is a photographer who is obsessed with creativity and productivity. She uses podcasting and online teaching to help others learn how to reach their goals effectively. The ProPhotographerJourney Podcast lets you learn the craft from professionals as they explain what worked for them and what didn’t. Through this platform, you get access to tricks and tips from award-winning and successful photographers.

You can also check out the Portrait Party Success Kit offered by ProPhotographerJourney.com. Through this kit, you’ll learn how to gain clients, income, credibility, and testimonials for your business.

Check out our article about hosting your own portrait party.

Learn more about the Portrait Party Success Kit at prophotographerjourney.com.

Best Planner and Workflow

Although we often start out with the most productive of intentions, it’s easy to lose track of time. If you need help with time management, workflow, and planning, consider one of these tools.

Design Aglow Organization Help

The Big Picture Planner

The Big Picture Essential Planner will help you reach your larger creative goals by prioritizing your daily and weekly goals. This planner comes with more than 40 printable PDF pages, a 16-page guide for achieving your goals, cover options, planning worksheets, and much more. You’ll also get social and blog trackers, section cover pages, and planner sections for finances, inspiration, marketing, and more.

Essential Workflow & Organization Bundle

Every photographer has to deal with paperwork and scheduling, even though they really want to be out there snapping photos. You can automate these administrative processes using the Essential Workflow & Organization Bundle by Design Aglow. This comes with a Studio Workflow Assistant for systematizing your routine. It also has the Studio Email Assistant for communications and a process to simplify your invoicing process, the Studio Order Form.

Best Photography Business Book Photography Business Secrets Photography Business Secrets: The Savvy Photographer's Guide to Sales, Marketing, and More

Photography is undoubtedly a competitive field with over 150,000 professionals already in business in America. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned photographer, staying relevant in a sea of competitors is worth thinking about.

In Photography Business Secrets, Lara White has gathered some of the best advice from Photomint.com, her popular photography site. The book will help you with defining policies, establishing your name, marketing, networking, setting prices, and more.

Learn more about Photography Business Secrets

Best Photography Website Hosting Imagely

If you’re looking for a turnkey solution, Imagely offers a fully managed system that’s easy to change and manage. You can set up a new website in mere minutes with a free initial account that includes pre-configured and pre-loaded themes and plugins.

Note that there is limited storage space on free accounts but that you may upgrade to get access to extra storage and a custom domain.

Check Out Imagely

As you can see, there’s no shortage of resources to make good photographers better and transform great photographers into seasoned professionals.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for photographers are coming for 2018. This year products range from business ebooks, to actions and templates, to hardware and gifts. Buy some of this stuff for your own holiday wishlist!

Coming Soon!

Bookmark this page and check back often.
Better yet, sign up below for email updates.

Featured Photography Black Friday Deals of 2018
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As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Whenever you set your eyes on an image, you can almost tell the very emotion the photographer experienced at the time of capturing the image. But get this right; while just about anyone can take a camera or any smart device and come up with beautiful images, it doesn’t necessarily make them great photographers.

To perfect in this art, you’ll need to learn concepts such as negative space, lighting and focus, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO Settings, Color, Light, and Design Techniques and many more. In this post, we highlight 9 of our favorite free photography eBooks to reignite your interest in photography and get you started taking more amazing photos today.

With these free photography eBooks, you can learn how to take the best photos and turn them into beautiful works of art.

Improve your Photography with the 9 Free eBooks

1. The Portrait Photography  Collective

If you’ve always wanted to do portraiture, this ebook is definitely something worth reading. You’ll learn the art history of some of the most accomplished portrait photographers in the photography scene and how to shoot amazing portrait photos effortlessly. You’ll also learn 10 different portraiture approaches and from there you’ll find the inspiration you need to make your portrait photos masterpieces.

2. The Landscape Photography  Collective

Here’s the blatant truth: Landscape photography is a challenge to many photographers. Heck, even the best photographers have a rough time illuminating what’s out there. In this ebook, you’ll learn the secrets and insights that’ll help you create gorgeous photos in pretty much any scenery. From secrets of mountain photography to photographing in some of the loneliest places on earth among others. In addition, there are also interviews with famous photographers like Iain Sarjeant, Eirik Johnson, and Carla Fernandez among others talking about how it’s done.

3. The Fine Art Photography Collective

There’s more to creating great pieces of art than simply whipping out a professional camera. I mean just about anyone can take a well-lit photo with a good camera. But how do you get to that creative space where everything you snap turns out to be a masterpiece? If you want to learn the fine art of photography, then this ebook is for you. It contains several interviews to help you understand the process and work that goes into photography and from it you’ll understand your own work and learn valuable insights on how to perfect your craft.

4. Beauty Collective

Beauty collective volume 1 is a comprehensive ebook that gives you some great glamour photography tips from some of the best photographers in the field. You’ll learn:

  • How to build your portfolio.
  • How to retouch magazine covers.
  • Hot to pose your models.
  • How to get creative with the photo shoot.

5. The Street Photography Collective

The Street Photographer’s collective volume 1 is just what you need if you’re more into documenting real life. It’s an energetic and gritty ebook containing interviews with 10 different photographers. It’ll teach you how to communicate through ordinary moments. You’ll also learn how to turn your street portraits into works of art and how to work with natural light.

6. Portrait Guide to Posing Women’s Hands

Ever done a photo shoot and thought, “wow! These are sure to turn out amazing.” But after the shoot, you look at the photos, and while everything looks great, you realize the model’s hands are ruining everything. Sure it had nothing to do with her but missing that small detail ruined everything you’d loved about the photo. This 14-page portrait guide to posing women’s hands will teach you valuable insights on how to handle women’s hands during a portrait photography session.

7. DSLR Guide by Ryan Koo

Making a jump from auto mode to manual mode can be quite a struggle. And while there are plenty of amazing free photography ebooks out there all about the jump, most of them don’t exactly capture the technical steps of the jump. If you are struggling to master DSLR photography, then this is definitely an ebook that you’ll love. And the best part: it’s written in plain English that’s easy to understand.

8. Alister Benn’s Introduction to Night Photography Ideas

Taking photos in the light of day is only one half of the equation. Mastering how to take exquisite photos at night is a totally different dimension. To take stunning photos you need to learn how to unravel the mysteries of the night. With the Alister Benn’s ebook, you’ll learn the must-have equipment you need and practical ideas to help you cook up a great photo.

9. PhotoNaturalist’s eBook on Wildflowers Photography

There’s nothing quite like photographing nature in all its beauty. It’s challenging yes but also refreshing and exhilarating at the same time. With this ebook, you’ll learn practical outdoor tips to help you create amazing photos and also get off the field and on the computer ideas to fix your images.

The bottom line, you’ll agree that getting your photography to the next level doesn’t have to be complicated at all.  All you need are a few basic principles from the above mentioned free photography eBooks. Then you can build upon these basics.

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Having a creative job is fun and inspiring, but every once in a while, you’ll run into a difficult client in your photography profession. So, what’s the best course of action when you’re being threatened with a lawsuit, slander, or simply a client who is demanding far too much of you?

This article will walk you through some steps you can take to both avoid these problems and deal with them if they arise.

Preventing Potential Issues with Photography Clients

The best way to avoid issues is planning ahead for any potential complications and working to prevent them. Here are a few ways to get ahead of the game and save yourself and the client a lot of hassle:

1. Use a Contract

It’s extremely important for you and your client to be on the same page as far as what they expect of you and what you offer.

Contracts are essential. Click image to read our guide to photography contracts.

The simplest way to ensure that this is the case is a contract that both of you will sign.

You can create your own contract or hire a lawyer to make one for you, but either way, make sure the final document has been approved by a legal professional. 

Learn more about photography contracts.

  2. Price Appropriately

Another way to avoid potential headaches or misunderstandings with your clients is to price your services appropriately. You’ll want to consider your experience as a photographer, how much your competitors charge for their services, and the quality plus the costs of equipment you’ll be using.

If you’re still having a hard time coming up with a specific amount, here’s a helpful guide to help get you started.  Also, check out how much your competitors are charging to get a ballpark number.  

3. Communicate

A lot of problems can be avoided by clearly communicating with your client before you work with them. 

You can do this by asking them directly what they’re looking for and clarifying any questions you might have ahead of time.

Try to meet with them in person or on the phone, so you can get a feel for them and their preferences.  Open communication from the start is a great way to build trust with the client and helps set the proper expectations for both parties.

4. Keep Records

If you communicate with your customer over email, keep the records of your conversations on hand in case any issues pop up later where you need to prove what was said. You should also keep a copy of the contract you both signed, in case you need to refer back to it later.

5. Get Insurance 

You might encounter some client-related mishaps or accidents that will be much easier to handle if you have photographer’s insurance. This can cover anything from damaged property to client injuries, to court costs from a lawsuit.

Handling Client Expectations

Many photographers make the mistake of assuming that something about their policy was obvious or implied, then end up regretting it later. Save yourself some time and don’t make assumptions about what your client knows or expects.

Here are some topics to cover, in addition to pricing, before you begin working with them:

Deadlines: It’s best to let the person you’re working with know how long you expect different aspects of your agreement to take. This includes how soon they can see the photos, along with how long the editing process will take, and other time-related issues.

Mode of Contact: Outline for your client the best way to contact you, so you can avoid any misunderstandings related to that. Your business phone may be more appropriate than your personal Facebook profile for reaching you, for example.

Availability: Tell your client when the best times are to reach you and be clear about setting up appointments and meetings. Be as professional as you can with this to show that you respect their busy schedule.

Photography Concentrate has published a helpful guide on managing client expectations.

  How to Handle Pricing Complaints

This is an issue you might run into no matter how long you’ve been in the photography game and how much you’ve mastered your craft. There will always be people who love to complain about the price, even if you haven’t officially decided to work together yet.

Depending on how the client words their complaint, it can be shocking or disappointing to receive this kind of criticism. So, what’s the best way to handle pricing complaints as a photographer? When someone gets upset over price, it’s usually because they aren’t aware of the specifics of what goes into your work.

You can start by addressing their complaint in a professional manner and explaining how much time and effort goes into each step of your job. Oftentimes, this is enough to clear up the misunderstanding and prevent the issue from escalating.

Avoiding Client Complaints

You will probably always receive complaints, to some degree, for as long as you decide to have a job that involves working with the public. But thankfully, there are some steps you can take to help this problem. Here are some tips for avoiding excess client complaints in the future:

1. Aim for Repeat Customers

If you’ve already worked with a specific client and everything went smoothly, you’ll likely have an easier time working with them in the future than someone unknown. You can send your clients from the past a friendly email every so often to remind them that you’re there should they need a photographer.

2. Explain the Process Ahead of Time

Another option for preventing an excess of customer complaints is outlining the basics of all that goes into your photography process before the client complains to you. This can be covered in your first meeting, or even put on your website. This can include mentions of the editing process or the quality of equipment used.

3. Show Testimonials

Testimonials from past happy clients is a quick way to ease your potential customer’s mind. You can include these on your Facebook page or website.

4. Make Yourself Available

Many customers get frustrated and make assumptions because they haven’t yet learned more about your services and how they relate to your pricing. You can make your contact information available on your website to show potential clients that you’re available to answer their questions.

  How to Handle Bad Reviews

One of the dreaded possibilities with an unhappy customer is online slander over social media or review platforms. To stay on top of this issue, check out your online reviews every so often and reply to complaints in a respectful, courteous tone, offering to address their concerns. You can give them a way to contact you or suggest a method for fixing what they’re upset about.

Here’s a great resource with tips for responding to negative reviews online:

Tips for Responding to a Negative Review Online - YouTube

Be Solution-Oriented

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do to deal with difficult photography clients is to show that you’re willing to hear them out, act respectfully, and come up with a solution together. Dealing with conflict isn’t exactly fun, but if you approach it with a level head, it will go much smoother.

Again, the most favorable way to handle any problem is preventing it from coming up in the first place, but that’s not always in the cards. Some clients just might be incompatible with your business model, which is totally fine. With others, you might be able to fix whatever the problem is with a conversation or, in some cases, even a refund.

Conclusion

Your best bet is remaining open to doing whatever you can to keep your reputation and dignity intact as a professional. While it can be hard to keep your cool when you’re dealing with someone particularly challenging, you’ll be glad you did after the fact.

Follow the tips given to you above and you should be able to coast through any client complaint with ease and prevent a lot of future headaches.

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As a newborn photographer, you’re responsible for capturing some of the earliest moments of your subject’s life. Not only are you being trusted with your client’s baby, but it’s up to you to ensure that his or her earliest photos turn out beautifully. Although natural light is ideal for many styles of photography, we can’t control the weather or even always decide our working hours. This is where a softbox will come in handy.

A softbox is a must-have for newborn photography, and one surefire way to take care of all of the concerns listed above. This extra implement will make your lights easier to use, give your images more clarity, and not to mention keep your newborn subject safe from the flash. Softboxes are easy to use and fun to experiment with.

Softboxes vs. Umbrellas

What’s the difference between a softbox and an umbrella? Should you use one, the other, or both? Umbrellas are more portable, less expensive, and typically faster to set up, but softboxes give you more control over light direction. If you’re very new to photography, you could start with an umbrella and work your way up to a softbox.

While umbrellas are helpful, they spill light more and won’t give you as much contrast as a softbox. What you end up using primarily is more a matter of personal preference, but a good photographer should eventually have both a softbox and an umbrella on hand to use for varying needs. This gives you more versatility.

Best Softbox for Newborn Photography

Today, we will cover five of the best softboxes on the market for photographing newborns. The goal here is a soft light that will be safe (instead of too bright or startling) for your subject and look great, along with a good amount of contrast. With a quality softbox, you shouldn’t need to do as much editing as you might normally do without one.

  1. The ESDDI 20X28 Softbox Photography Lighting Kit 
  2. Flash Diffuser Light Softbox 6x5  by Altura Photo
  3. The StudioFX H9004SB2 2400 Watt Large Photography Softbox
  4. EMART Softbox Photography Video Studio Equipment Lighting Kit 
  5. CRAPHY Upgraded 20x28 Photography Lighting Kit Auto Pop-Up Softbox
The ESDDI 20″X28″ Softbox Photography Lighting Kit

This lighting kit is easy to get set up and just as easy to pack away when you’re done. If you need to travel to do a shoot last minute, or just tend to do on-location shoots, this is a great quality.

The ESDDI Softbox Lighting Kit has a wide height range and a minimum setting, which can be hard to find in other lighting kits. This ESDDI kit comes with professional, long-lasting trichromatic lamps, meant to look like the sun’s natural light. You can get beautiful shots even on a cloudy day or during the dark season. It also has an adjustable lamp holder.

This softbox lighting kit is full-featured, durable, and works for both scene shooting and work in the studio. It comes with all you’ll need for video production, as well. The ESDDI Softbox kit comes with four solid, well-made light stands and will improve your equipment repertoire overall.

Check the price of the ESDDI Softbox Lighting Kit on Amazon.

Flash Diffuser Light Softbox 6×5” by Altura Photo

This softbox works with Shoe Mount Flash Units and produces even lighting with softer shadows and reduced harshness. The Altura Photo 2 Flash Softbox is collapsible, fits Nikon, Yongnuo, and Canon Speedlights (plus others) and comes with a storage pouch. It comes with a Velcro strap that easily secures around your flash head and also has an additional internal diffuser.

Even when you use it on the lowest power output, this softbox creates soft, beautiful light. This makes it great for not only newborn photography but also wedding reception photos and other needs. The Velcro helps it attach snuggly to your flash head.

Check the price of the Altura Photo 2 Flash Softbox on Amazon.

The StudioFX H9004SB2 2400 Watt Large Photography Softbox

If you need a continuous photo lighting kit, the StudioFX H9004SB2 Softbox could give you what you need. This three-piece system has an overhead hair light boom softbox and two softboxes and includes all the bulbs needed. Each softbox fits four bulbs and the system is good for video, product shots, and of course, newborn portraits. You can use this system on its own without any extra implements necessary.

Check the price of the StudioFX H9004SB2 Softbox on Amazon.

This lighting kit is quick to set up and easy to use, and the lights included work well with DSLR cameras and all types of photography. It comes with background support stands and can be used both in your studio and on-location away from the studio. But keep in mind that it may not be as portable as some other softbox systems since there are four bulbs on each unit.

Use this affordable system with any camera as it’s compatible with Olympus, Sony, Canon, and more. It comes with a case for easier transport and a useful boom stand.

EMART Softbox Photography Video Studio Equipment Lighting Kit

This lighting kit is perfect for newborn photography lighting, still photography, video studio, portraits, and more. The EMART Softbox Photography Kit is easy to set up and put together. Although it has an affordable price, the materials are good quality. The light stands are durable and made with nuts and bolts, so you can expect them to hold up for quite some time.

The diffusers in the EMART Softbox kit are both easy to put on and remove from the softboxes and soften the lighting well. In this kit, you’ll get a carry bag, two studio light bulbs, two light stands, and two softbox reflectors that measure 24 by 24 inches. The light stands have a range of 33 to 86 inches and give steady support to the softboxes.

Check the price of the EMART Softbox Photography Kit on Amazon.

CRAPHY Upgraded 20×28 Photography Lighting Kit

Including another suitable softbox, this kit has been upgraded from the previous version. While the older version required you to take the light bulbs out to close it, this one allows you to fold it up without doing so.

If being able to pack up quickly after a photo session is a high priority in your work, this could be a good option. The CRAPHY Upgraded Lighting Kit system doesn’t need tools or anything extra to work as it’s already complete.

Included in this kit are fluorescent floodlights, for white, cool lighting. They work with any holder that has an E27 socket and are 5500k. The kit also comes with a softbox bulb holder to remove shadows, soften the light, and produce the perfect image.

The bulb holder will also help to reduce hot spots and overexposure. The included light stands are compatible with most photography equipment like backgrounds, softboxes, reflector umbrellas, and more.

This kit is also very portable, which is handy if you have to travel for work. You may place all of the included items in the bag, easily set them up, and then pack them again when you’re done. The CRAPHY Photography lighting kit has an auto pop-up softbox that allows you to use a small handle for putting up or folding it.

The softbox itself removes shadow and creates an ultimate, soft stream of light that won’t be too harsh for newborns’ eyes. It has a silver internal face that maximizes the spread of light and minimizes light loss, creating a beautiful end result.

Check the price of the CRAPHY Lighting Kit on Amazon.

Conclusion

Overall, a softbox will define your tiny, newborn subject and provide a softer, safer light for the baby’s eyes. This will help you create a much better end product for your clients. 

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Starting a photography business could be your main focus or a way to supplement your existing income. As with any other creative business idea, this will take talent, quality gear, and some marketing knowledge. There will also be related costs, such as website fees, to think about.

Every photographer should start out with a business plan, first and foremost. Getting your thoughts, ideas, and goals down on paper will help you stay on track. A detailed business plan will outline what your business will be and how you’ll earn money with it. This will cover cash flow, ownership, expenses, and competition. Having this mapped out will highly improve your chances of success.

Although it’s a competitive market, you could become one of the people who enjoy success with a popular photography business if you’re fully equipped with the information you need. This article will help you know what to plan for and expect.

Keep in mind that the costs listed in this article are just rough estimates based on averages. What you end up paying will depend on your own unique needs.

Photography Gear 

Purchasing photography equipment can be intimidating. Compared to other creative endeavors, it can be quite expensive. But while choosing the most costly gear out there isn’t necessarily a bad idea if you can afford it, it’s not a must, and won’t be a viable substitute for experience or skill. This section will focus on high-quality products that won’t put you into debt.

Let’s start with the most obvious piece of gear a professional photographer will need; a camera. 

Cameras- $1,000+

For this crucial item, you can expect to spend between $1,000 to $3,000 as a minimum for a decent product. Of course, you can always choose to spend more, but you can get a great camera body within this price range. Here are some quality picks to think about: 

The Nikon D750

The Nikon D610

The Canon 6D

Do you need to carry one or two camera bodies? To be on the safe side, it’s wise to always have a backup. When you’re shooting an event like a wedding, which only occurs once, you can’t take any chances when it comes to being prepared. Do yourself a favor and get two cameras to bring with you to these events.

 

Camera Lenses- $950+

When it comes to taking beautiful pictures, quality lenses are one of the most important pieces of gear. Some even say that the lens matters more than the camera body.

For a decent lens, you can expect to spend at least $950. The focal length you’ll choose depends on the camera sensor you’re working with. First, identify the category of lens you need, then see what’s available for your camera body. Here are a few good choices:

For weddings:

The Sigma 50mm f1.4

 

For portraits

The Nikon 24-70mm f2.8

 You’ll also want to think about how your lens fits with the environment you typically shoot in. If you’ll be working mostly indoors, a wider option will be best, like this one:

Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras - Fixed

 

Other Gear and Accessories

Next, you’ll need to think about additional photography gear and accessories. If you’re shooting weddings, you will definitely need flash. Not every ceremony will be outdoors and as the one responsible for capturing this special event, you must be ready no matter what lighting conditions are present. You might end up shooting a nighttime event or being asked to take photos of the couple sharing a dance on a dimly lit floor.

Lighting- $200+

It’s an exciting time to be alive for photographers. Not only is there an abundance of modern gear to choose from, but the Internet makes it easier to choose the best within your price range. Lighting isn’t something you want to skimp on, so choose well.

Flash Units

Flash units are now portable, lightweight, and speed light-capable. There are even remote-controlled units. Whichever type you choose, just make sure that it’s compatible with your camera. Here’s a model to consider:

Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash (Black)

Reflectors

You’ll also want to think about using a reflector in your photography, especially if you work with outdoor portraits. This can help with diffusion, bouncing light, as a wind shield, and more.

Westcott 301 Photo Basics 40-Inch 5-in-1 Reflector

 

Other Useful Accessories

You will also want to get a bag to carry your camera in. A lot of photographers just use the bag their camera came in without any issues, so you could do that or just repurpose an old messenger bag for your gear. You should also consider getting an extra battery, lens cloths, and some cleaning spray.

Business Setup/Operation- $1,000+ per Year

You may think that starting a photography business is as simple as getting people to pay you for taking pictures, but this mindset could get you in trouble down the road. Starting a business is something you want to be thoughtful and careful about from the start.

First, figure out whether you want your business to be an LLC. Then make sure you are following the laws in your state to avoid unnecessary tax consequences or other complications down the road.

  Photography Insurance

Having insurance as a photographer is important for a number of reasons, and there are policies out there specifically targeted at your line of work. Photographers tend to carry around a lot of gear, any of which may be damaged, stolen, or simply lost at any time. And when you’re working with clients, you have to worry about potential injuries, damage to property, and more.

There are many reasons a customer might choose to file a lawsuit, founded or not. Insurance can help protect you against all of these unpredictable possibilities, so you don’t have to worry.

Your Professional Website

For most photographers, a website is absolutely necessary for success in the field. Businesses that don’t get on top of this are at risk of getting left behind in this day and age. You can expect to spend about $60 per year for your website. A website will help you show off your work, make you accessible for people with questions, and allow people to get a feel for your company. You’ll want to think about website content, your theme, and more.

But making your website is only step one. You’ll also need to make it easy to find for your clients. In a sea of information, even the greatest website can get lost. Learning some basic SEO is one way to help search engines bring people searching for your skills to your company website.

Accounting/Book Keeping

So you’ve thought about your website, some marketing strategies, and you have your gear ready. But you also need to think about managing your company’s finances. Using an online accounting system, such as Freshbooks, can be a huge help with this.

The cost will depend on how many clients you have and other considerations, but you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per year for a decent-size photography business.

A system like this will enable you to check on an important detail or even work anywhere with an Internet connection. You’ll also get the peace of mind of knowing your data is safely stored in case something goes wrong with your computer or at the office.

Marketing/Advertising

Being good at what you do should be enough to bring business to your door, but in our modern world, that’s not how it works. The amount of attention and business you get is directly impacted by your marketing strategy. Let’s look at a couple of techniques you can use in your marketing approach:

Using Facebook Ads

Social media probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Social Media advertising is a great way for photographers to get the kind of leads that fuel their business and drive revenue, and right now Facebook is one of the cheapest and most powerful platforms currently available. 

You’ll want to take advantage of this and also make sure you avoid common pitfalls to Facebook marketing along the way.

Portrait Parties

portrait party is a unique way to market your photography business.

When you’re new on the photography scene, it can be hard to get people to trust you enough to try out your services. A portrait party can be a solution to this.

This is an event where you invite people to come and have their portrait taken for a nominal fee. You build your list of potential clients and gain valuable word of mouth advertising.  Do this the right way, and it could completely kick off your business.

Legal Fees

There are a number of reasons to have professional contracts drafted for your clients. People who aren’t lawyers shouldn’t be doing this since they don’t have the experience or legal training needed to ensure the contract will cover everything necessary. A professional legal contract will:

  1. Define your client’s expectations
  2. Hold your client accountable
  3. Outline responsibilities
  4. Protects your clients and you
  5. Ensure that you get paid

The cost for contract-drafting services and other legal needs will depend entirely on how much business you’re getting and the nature of your photography.

Computer Equipment- $2,000+

To become a successful photographer, you’ll also need to think about your digital equipment. A laptop, a system for color calibration, and methods for backing up your photos are just a few examples.

Photography Computer

Your computer is another crucial piece of equipment in your business. While your camera and creative talent do contribute, your computer is what you’ll use to maintain your online presence, contact clients, and process the images. Getting a high-quality machine will be something you thank yourself for later. In this section, we’ll be focusing on laptops.

“Apple

A reliable, powerful laptop like the MacBook Pro is great because it handles photo editing software well and has a large, top-notch quality screen. This pixel-perfect display not only shows stunning colors but also wide contrast to accurately display shadow detail and highlights. These are also great machines for a photographer’s needs:

“The

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Although success in the photography field does depend on creativity, the business choices you make matter just as much. You already have a lot on your mind when it comes to organizing shoots, meeting your clients, and snapping photos. And it’s no secret to you that performing your work comes with a lot of unpredictable factors.

Photographer’s Insurance is a reliable way to not only protect yourself and your property but to ease your mind. In fact, in your line of work, it’s a must! 

Let’s look at 5 important types of insurance every photographer should have.

Keep in mind that the following is for informational purposes only. For answers to specific questions, or to find the best option for you, consult with an insurance agent and attorney.

  #1 Professional Liability – Errors and Omissions

Professional Liability insurance, also known as indemnity or Errors and Omissions insurance, protects your company if you’re sued because a client is dissatisfied. It also protects your business in the event of a client making a claim that you failed to deliver agreed-upon services. This applies whether the error is real or perceived.

This coverage could benefit your business if you regularly provide services or give clients advice. In some cases, a client might even request that you have this coverage to fulfill a contract.

What does Professional Liability Insurance Cover?

A client can claim that you failed to complete services for any number of reasons, from forgetting a detail they specified before the shoot, to a fire destroying wedding film before you can develop it. Unforeseen events can be costly when a lawsuit is involved. And it’s not always possible to predict how a client will respond to your work, whether you made a legitimate mistake or not. Professional Liability coverage can protect you in a situation like this, even helping you recover some of the income you lost in court fees.

#2 General Liability Insurance

In many cases, it’s not enough for a photographer to have only Professional Liability insurance. General Liability insurance coverage can protect your company if another business or individual claims physical injury, resulting in medical costs, or property damages. Here are some example situations that this type of coverage would help in:

Physical Injuries:

The photography profession involves setting up equipment quite often. This can increase the risk of trips and falls, and the odds that they might make a claim against you for that.  General liability coverage could protect you against third party claims of injuries and medical costs for these types of situations.

Defamation, Slander, or Libel:

Being a photographer can sometimes mean working with high-profile clients. If you have employees who will also be around said high-profile clients, gossip can occur, which can lead to lawsuits from the celebrity against your business. General Liability insurance may help you with a settlement and defense costs in case of this type of scenario.

Client Property Damage Costs:

Setting up equipment and working with employees can mean that accidents happen. If you’re at a client’s house to do a portrait shoot and something of theirs is damaged, General Liability coverage may help with covering the associated costs.

#3 Business Property Insurance

Many business owners think that general liability coverage is enough to cover both their own losses and their customers’ losses. But in most cases, general liability insurance policies don’t protect you in terms of your own property. A Business Owner’s Policy is one way to make sure your own property is protected.

Business Owner’s Policy

This is a combination of business property insurance and general liability insurance. It’s a great choice for professional photographers who are concerned with protecting both themselves and their businesses. A Business Owner’s Policy can be used to cover small businesses that also need business equipment protection.

Photography equipment, in particular, requires special care and protection because, as you and all other photographers know well, it’s not cheap. Here are a couple scenarios that a Business Owner’s Policy could help cover the costs of:

Data Recovery

Photography equipment can get damaged. If you were to accidentally drop your equipment bag, damaging your portable hard drive in the process, you would be unable to get your photos from it. In such an event, your Business Owner’s Policy could help you cover the expenses of recovering this last data. It could also help you pay to repair any other damages you may have sustained from dropping the bag.

Business Equipment Damage

Videos and pictures require proper cameras and other professional items. You wouldn’t photograph a wedding without top-notch equipment, right? With Business Owner’s coverage, you will get general liability and photography equipment protection. Let’s say you’re in the studio and one of your lights is knocked over and broken. A Business Owner’s Policy could help you cover the costs of this damage.

#4 Electronic Data Loss Insurance

In our modern age, your electronic data is crucial for the success of your business. Electric Data Loss protection coverage helps protect your business in case your important company information is lost. This covers damaged or lost electronic information and data, E-commerce coverage, and computer operation interruptions.

It’s impossible to know when your important data could be lost because computers and related devices can be unpredictable. There are also unfortunate events such as fires or floods that can cause electrical damage and data loss. This is why protection is absolutely necessary for any professional business owner. For example, while the Hiscox standard Business Owner’s Policy described above does cover up to $10,000 for some restoration or replacement costs, it might not be enough.

Upgrading to Electronic Data Loss protection increases your loss limit to $25,000. However, this upgrade doesn’t cover employee actions, your personal mistakes, or your liability from data loss.

#5 Commercial Automobile Insurance

If you own a small business and frequently use vehicles in your work, you need Commercial Automobile Insurance. This protects your company from everyday driving-related risks. Even if you’re one of the many photographers who rely on your personal vehicle for work, your personal insurance coverage will only apply to your drive to and from work.

Many business owners mistakenly assume that commercial coverage isn’t necessary and that only people with company vans need it. But if you have employees who are driving to take care of business matters with their own cards, on company time, commercial insurance is necessary. If any of your employees are driving other workers or materials to a job site, a commercial insurance policy is necessary.

Without protection specifically designed for business vehicle usage, your company is at risk each day. Don’t leave this to chance; give yourself the peace of mind of a Commercial Automobile Insurance policy from Hiscox.

Hired/Non-owned Automobile Liability

Hiscox offers hired/non-owned automobile liability insurance. This optional upgrade will protect your company in the event that it’s liable for damages an employee caused with a rented or personal vehicle. To apply, the damages must have occurred when the employee used the vehicle for a business-related task. Note that this is protection for your business, not necessarily those who work for or with you.

This upgrade covers:

-Liability claims
-Employee Actions
-Defense costs.

It doesn’t cover:

-Property transportation
-Physical damages

Learn more about photography business insurance from Hiscox.

Where can I get coverage?

Hiscox offers insurance policies tailored to the needs of small businesses, such as your photography business.  

With the scenarios mentioned above, and the benefits offered by Hiscox, it’s clear why they are a top choice for professional photographers. The policies are easy to set up, leaving you extra time to focus on your creative work. Below are some common benefits to choosing Hiscox for your business insurance coverage:

You can buy direct

You can get immediately insurance coverage with Hiscox. Simply go online and buy it and you’re covered.

Competitive, affordable rates

In some states, business insurance with Hiscox can cost under $25 per month.

Read more about photography business insurance from Hiscox.

Conclusion

Not only does photography insurance protect you, but it can also protect your clients and help you pay for unexpected legal expenses or attorney fees. Items got lost or damaged all the time, and working with people can be very unpredictable. You’ve worked hard to build your business, so don’t let these unexpected events put you at financial risk.

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