Archive for the ‘Photography Lessons’ Category

Sometimes the learning process can be a bit painful…or maybe painstaking is the word I need to employ. I am referring to photography in this post as it seems to be the area I am learning the most in currently. I have taken on my first “paid” job and it has taught me a lot, things that are worth sharing in my book. So I’m going to get right down to it…
1. Determine the “quickest” workflow for post processing. And I do use the term quick very loosely because although I am constantly improving in this area, it seems to be the place I devote the most time to. What is my workflow you ask? Here it is: Import photos into Lightroom 3 (where they can be tagged, deleted, rated for editing). Then I do basic edits, as well as using presets (my favs are Total Rad Presets, several of the Coffee Shop free presets, and some of Matt’s (from Matt’s Killer Lightroom Tips)). Now that my photos are narrowed down and basically ok, I put them into Photoshop Elements 7 (because I don’t own the full Photoshop version yet). THEN I run Coffee Shop’s free “Perfect Portrait” or “Baby Powderroom” Actions. Lastly I run duplicate the flattened image, run “Hard Pass” and change the blending mode to “Soft Light.” Then I save into a client folder as a .jpg. I know, really simple…or not! To read what other people use for post processing check out this DPS blog.

2. Figure your prices/where you are going to buy prints/how you are going to present that to your client. This is really hard for me, but I know I need to charge because of the time invested into #1. I totally cannot give that away for free! So what i came up with recently is trying mpix.com and zenfolio.com. I like that zenfolio lets you set your own prices, and just makes everything so easy. Right now I am using the free 14 day trial. A one year subscription is only $25 though, so that makes it affordable. They do take a cut of the sales, however, so that may be a drawback for some people. My alternative is to print a contact sheet of photos, a pricing sheet, and let the client pick…then order it myself. I might end up with that option since I don’t plan on making this a full time gig. Elizabeth Halford (photographer) has some ideas regarding this subject. I don’t feel I can put the money into the references she has quoted, but it I needed to look somewhere I would probably go with her recommendations.

3. Practice. I have several friends that have let me take photos of their little ones and it has been great exposure and practice for me. I can’t thank them enough!

4. Take a minute to compose. Sometimes it helps to think a bit before releasing that shutter button. Although I can’t say always because then you might miss something.

5. Read. There are so many great FREE references out there and some of them I have mentioned here. Figure out what google reader (or some equivalent is) and follow some sites that you feel you can learn from. Podcasts are great free references as well, although they are under the listen category.

Stay tuned…I am sure I will continue learning from my mistakes and updating things as I go. And I leave you with some shots from my most recent attempt at being a photographer….or something of that nature.


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