Professional Photography For Business

I wrote this as a post a year ago on an internet business forum I’m a member of. I got a question about it today and thought it would make a good post for this blog. Interestingly a photography post NOT suitable for my photography blog.

Written Aug 20, 2008

Was trying to cram Book Yourself Solid into my head last night until it exploded. But one thing he talks related to credibility was having a professional photograph.

Given I’ve done a lot of people photography I thought I’d give a few tips and thoughts.

There are different kinds of photographers. Unfortunately most are what I refer to as PPA photographers. They are stuck a couple of decades back on the curve of photography. If you are looking for a headshot and they put you in front of a mottled blue background, you are in the wrong place.

TIP 1: The best people to have do your head shot are photographers who specialize in actors headshots.

Your images should reflect a feel or emotion. Just like copy isn’t just about what you are selling, your image isn’t just about what you look like. It should make the viewer feel something.

Your expression is going to have a lot to do with the feeling. So think about the feeling you want and then what expression causes that feeling.

TIP 2: Just like I tell my models, practice in front of a mirror. Try different expressions and poses.

Feeling will also be influenced by lighting and depth of field. This is why you need to get the right photographer. There is technically right lighting and there is artistically right lighting. You want artistically right lighting. I’m not even going to try and explain that right now, but you’ll know it when you see it.

TIP 3: Pick a photographer based almost solely on their portfolio.

The biggest problem when trying to commission any kind of art is knowing what you are going to get in the end for something that hasn’t been created yet. Fact is you won’t know 100%. The best indicator you can get is the images they have already taken. This tells you something about their “style”. A style is made up of the things an artist is comfortable creating and the elements they use over and over.

TIP 4: Use a modeling site to find a photographer.

The yellow pages or local newspaper rarely will help you find the kind of photographer you are looking for. You need to go where you can look at a photographers work when they are most expressing their style. Since you want them in your area, a modeling site lets you search by zip code.

Here are a couple:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/
http://www.onemodelplace.com/
http://www.deviantart.com/ < - not really modeling, but artistic photography You also may find what I call a professional amateur on these sites. They are photographers who love it as a hobby and have gotten really, really good, but they don't do it for the money. They will if it comes along, but aren't really marketing for it. Offer these guys some money and you'll get a quality product for good price. I'd consider myself one of these guys. TIP 5: Not every photographer is good at everything, but style does come through.

There are two areas of photography where you see the high quality artistic photographers excelling. Wedding and High School Senior photography. These also happen to be the biggest money makers. So if you are looking for a good portrait, look at who the best of these guys are in your area.

Lastly I’d just like to say photography matters. It tells people if you are serious or not. It’s like good webdesign.

Valerie Whitaker & My AR-15

I bought a day after Barak Obama was elected president from Talon Arms and named it after Barak. I mentioned this in the past, but hadn’t posted any pictures. Well now I will.

I was scheduled the Sunday after I bought it shoot with nude model Valerie Whitaker, so I asked if I could bring the rifle. She said she’s shoot with anything I brought.

The problem with posting the images her is she’s naked. That is a problem right? I’ve avoided posting nude images on Reactuate because not everyone who reads it wants to see naked women. But here are two that have all the naughty bits covered.

Valerie Whitaker & AR-15 Valerie Whitaker & AR-15

If you don’t mind tasteful, artistic nudity and want to see the whole rifle – oh and all of Valerie – you can got to my other blog/website GlamourApprentice.com

New Photography Site

I’m not sure who reads my blog or why. I think it is an eclectic crowd. I think some of them are here for the photography, so I’ll let them know about something new I’m doing.

It is called Glamour Apprentice and I need to know what people want to know. So if you are interested in learning about photographing models, please fill out my one question survey.

Fitness shoot with Ashley H

I’ve been trying to expand my fitness portfolio so a few weeks ago I got together with a dancer model my partners had recommended highly for a fitness shoot. I think it came out well.

Ashely H Fitness

Eye-Fi Review

eyefi-logo

I have a dream.

In the dream I’m at a photoshoot in my studio. I’ll take a picture of a lovely model and in a moment the image will show up on my laptop across the studio.

No wires, just wireless tether.

Nikon teased me with this capability for the D200, but that wasn’t my camera. Now they have it on their D300 and D3, but you have to wear small pack on your belt and have a cable running to the camera. Remember no wires.

Well the Eye-Fi looked like the answer. Alas it is not so.

Obviously not aimed at the professional. If it was it would be a CF card and not a SD card. Seems a CF card would have been easier, because it was bigger. Also it is geared toward uploading to web photo sharing sites like Flickr, but few pros use these sites.

But I believed, and I bought an Eye-Fi and a CF card adapter. I scheduled a photoshoot with a 5′ 10″ strawberry blonde. Decked her out in lingerie, set up my lights, and put the eye-fi in my Fuji S3.

And it worked. Click the shutter, and eventually the image showed up on Flickr. And later it showed up on my computer.

“Eventually” and “later” are the problem. It took easily over five minutes per 3.5 MB file for upload. I shot over 3 hours and at the end only had 10 pictures out of 200+ images on Flickr. When I needed to review some images to make sure over powering the sun looked right, I had to take the card out and insert it into the card reader. It downloaded all 200+ images into Lightroom in less time that it took to upload 1 image via wifi.

So I’m disappointed. My dream is still just that, a dream.

Models: Preparing for the Shoot

Great article for models on what they should do to prepare for a shoot. I always wanted to write such an article for my Photographers Guide to Models series. Now I’ll just like to this article.

How To Shoot In a Doorway

Here’s a little video I made for the studio’s newsletter. I shot it in high def but that gets seriously downsized here.


Shooting In A Doorway from Ron Davis on Vimeo.

Tabitha: Another with the sword

Tabitha with sword

As a recap, here are all the images I retouched from the Tabitha shoot.