Blogging for Success

Every one of the best opportunities I have had over the last three years, including my book, have come as a result of conversations that were initiated on, or because of, my blog. Without exception. I have booked lectures, workshops, and writing assignments solely from this blog.

David duChemin
A world & humanitarian assignment photographer,
best-selling author and accidental founder of Craft & Vision

Why a blog?

Writing is important. Blogging is a great way to build a personal connection with people. A photo blog is your personal hello to showcase your work; it’s a critical cornerstone to marketing and customer service. It gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself, tell people why you are a photographer.

A photo blog helps your web persistence, gives your prospective clients a look into your motivations – information that will be important to their final decision. It lets them see your latest work and be familiar with your current shooting style, which also has a tendency to evolve. Blogging is a way to show your creativity and get your thoughts out into the world for free.

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Keep Your Files Safe

Back It Up All

As photographers, we have to store a large amount of data for a long period of time. Our data is everything to us, but it is also our Achilles’ heel. PCs die. Hard drives and memory cards can fail. Our gear can be lost or stolen. To safeguard our workflow and sleep easily, it is critically important to establish a reliable backup system and back up regularly. It is our responsibility to provide a reliable storage of the photographs we take.

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Register your Copyright in USA

Copyright registration is optional. Once you’ve made a shoot, you own the photograph. The copyright is instantly yours for a minimum of 25 years*. Someone can use your photographs as long as they credit you. If in fact someone were to abuse your photograph or artwork, you should prove somehow that it is yours. The legal copyright registration provides you an additional in-depth protection on all levels.

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Book review: “The Photographer’s Guide to Content Marketing”

This guide is composed by Pat DePuy, a photographer and a content marketing expert working for Prime Social Marketing organization that offers content marketing and social mediamarketing services to different businesses, in particular to entrepreneurial photographer (by the way, they have a section on content marketing). DePuy writes a lot of articles for their blog and publishes great high-quality content concerning a wide range of topics. Pat also manages Prime’s social media channels.

Know the rules of success!Image© Ivelin Radkov, photolia

Know the rules of success!
Image© Ivelin Radkov, photolia

Let it be your guide

His 37-page e-book will told you how to create your own content marketing strategy by means of analogies to the camera – a familiar tool for all professional photographers. You’ll discover how to:

  • Employ content marketing as the most cost-effective method to promote your business site in the web.
  • Create content that helps maintain contact with your potential clients, from blog posts and white books to videos and infographics.
  • Find the best places to share your content and ways to establish the contact with your customers on social media networks.
  • Avoid common mistakes while dealing with content marketing.
  • Track and analyze the return on investment from a content marketing campaign.

Taking a closer look

Pat’s work consists of seven chapters, conclusion and introduction.

The introduction provides the definition of what content marketing is (“the process of creating and sharing useful content for the purpose of attracting consumers and achieving financial gain”) and why it is vital for photographers as well. The key message is that a lot of things have changed and market specialists should cope with it for people are not as gullible anymore. The content marketing approach will help raise your popularity among visitors and search engines ranking.

It’s challenging to get your business noticed. This book can help you to deal with it.

Further, the basics of this strategy are presented in relation to the photographer’s tools.

  1. The first chapter is called Shooting Format which in relation to our topic means types of resource for content marketing. Just like in photography, you need to define the type before you start shooting. As a marketer, you can choose between blog posts, photos, videos, e-books, infographics, press releases and other media.
  2. Shutter Speed, as we know, vary greatly. It is about frequency of engagement with your clients – your actions in social media. The more often you publish content, the more visitors will become your clients. It helps to gain their trust and credibility.
  3. ISO is a photo setting showing light sensitivity. This setting is what creates final image’s quality, just like the time and effort invested in a blog post, infographic, or other piece of virtual content. This chapter is about importance of content quality for this is what your marketing success depends on. There also some tips on how to make your content engrossing (techniques of making analogies and random affinities) and how to choose headline, preview image and teaser for your articles.
  4. Aperture measures the amount of light coming through a lens which is associated with your span of engagement in the world of content marketing. The rule here is simple: share content with a wide audience! This chapter will teach you how to find applicable social media for your goal: different networks are likely to promote different types of content. As we know, Twitter is concentrated mostly on text messages, Pinterest – on photos, Youtube – on videos and so on. It is vital to take into account not only where to share the content, but also when.
  5. Manual Focus. This chapter discusses the significance of target audience and how to find out their characteristics. Unfortunately, you can’t auto-focus this parameter, so you should do it manually. There are several demographic features which help to define your target audience and thus increase conversion.
  6. Lens Hood protects photographers from technical issues. That means you need a media supervisor and proper protection to get rid of marketing problems.
  7. USB Cable is the last chapter which is focused on ROI (return on investment). USB cable helps us transfer photos to the computer for post-production and reviewing; we should track our results quite the same way. ROI can be reflected in many ways like inbound links, leads, likes, followers, etc. Gather data by means of tools like Google.Analytics and questionnaires.
This e-book in PDF is absolutely free to download!Image© vector_master, photolia

This e-book in PDF is absolutely free to download!
Image© vector_master, photolia

This book was designed by Michael Biondo and can be downloaded free of charge here.

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Taking pictures in the dark

Have you ever dreamt about a unique ability to fix all the pictures that you see in the way they really are? Of course, camera is a great tool to capture life moments and safe them in the forms of computer files or glossy printed photos. But what about those tremendously sad situations when objects of your photoshooting sink in the deep darkness? Are there any ways out or flotation rings to rescue your model from the dark? Yes, they exist, be sure of this. And we’ll tell you even more – they are rather numerous. Let’s just find them out.

What’s in our tool bar?

Honestly speaking we will need nothing special. A standard digital SLR with a fast lens (2.8 or more) and the ability to capture images with a high light sensitivity. If you use a P&S camera then you may have troubles getting good pictures in dark spaces, because its disadvantages will be more remarkable under such conditions.

Truth of the whole photography art lies somewhere between the following words: “No matter what device you have, the result of your work mostly depends on its parameters intelligently set and your skills”. Believe that you can have wonderful pictures even if you camera costs 100 dollars.

Portraits made in the dark look so impressiveImage© maselkoo99

Portraits made in the dark look so impressive
Image© maselkoo99

Fundamental camera characteristics

  • The exposure. You’ll need to choose a very high light sensitivity (from 800 to 1600, although some cameras allow the usage of 3200 or even more), low speed of shutter and set the F-stop to the extent from 2.8 to 4.0. Those who use P&S devices can set the “night mode” with standard performances for shooting in the dark. Take into account: automatic mode settings won’t consider the particular details of your photoshooting. An inevitable disadvantage concerns the production of too much noise due to the high ISO settings.
  • The shutter. You have to set the preferred shutter speed according to your event. As a rule, sports competitions are held in well-lit rooms, so it is desirable to choose the speed of 1/200 or higher. Dancing halls have worse lightening and the shutter speed should be reduced to 1/60 or 1/100. If you photograph such events like speechification then the optimal speed is below 1/60, when taking pictures in museums, you can reduce the speed even more. But never forget that the lowest shutter speeds require a lot of stability.
  • White Balance. Understanding of this point save lots of your time for failed experiences. Most of SLR cameras have the ability to automatically change the color balance, depending on whether you’re photographing white or gray objects. If you can not do it manually, try default settings of your camera and look at the samples to see the best option settings.

Additional lightening is exactly needed!

The total absence of light or a big short of it provokes the strong necessity of additional light sources. The main thing here is to choose not only the appropriate device, but also place it correctly. Put an artificial light source in any corner opposite to the one where your model is sitting. If you wish to create the effect of sunny daylight – use a reflector.

  • Try different modes. This short and simple tip is useful practically always. But when you are shooting in the dark or with bad light conditions it is valuable more than ever.
  • The camera should be as immovable as possible. Even a too slow jerk of hands or breath will lead to the appearance of blurred effects in your pictures. If there is no tripod available, then firmly lean against wall or other heavy object and hold your breath for a second. One more crucial detail concerning this matter – use the timer or (if it not possible) press the shutter button very accurately and gently. Anyway, never hold your camera without any support.
  • Avoid noisy pictures. Most cameras and lenses have the option of image stabilization that makes camera shakes unnoticed on pictures.
Pictures of burning candles are the most popular onesImage© Gretta

Pictures of burning candles are the most popular ones
Image© Gretta

Post-processing of pictures is also the way to add more light to your works. Computer software makes it possible to reduce level of noise, but weigh all pros and contras before doing it because detalization of your images may suffer.

As you’ve already understood, the situation requires pretty high skills of working with the manual mode. Take into account that an omni-purpose method hasn’t been invented yet. Why? As easy as a pie! No universal set of photography tools and technics could be ever applied. Only individual practice and professional intuition helps achieve all planned goals.

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