Author: Jose Soriano

Jose Soriano
8 Tips to Make Your Client Comfortable in a Portrait Session

Getting people to be comfortable in their photo sessions and getting the best out of it can be pretty difficult and tiring at times. You need to have this knowledge and how to practically implement it if you want to be a Professional. Portrait photography is already a very difficult subject to master given the technical details you need to pay heed to. On top of this, you have to effectively deal with clients to make them at home. Only then will you be able to produce the desired results. Let’s take a look at the ways you can make your client comfortable.


Assess the personality

Portrait photography is actually capturing the personality of the subject. Even before you start the photo session you need to assess and determine what type of personality your client has and how your treatment should change based on this information. No two people can exactly be the same. Some will be extroverts taking in conversations and instructions as easily as anything while others will be staunch introverts shying away from any directions you give them. The key to a successful photoshoot lies in your intuition and professional approach to deal with people. Make up your mind and then treat them accordingly for fine results.


Have a chat

Establishing a friendly relation with your clients is not something unheard of and should be practiced as often as possible in every field and moment. Chat with your clients before you shoot and make them comfortable. Ask them about their work routines and personal habits. Anything that brings them inside their comfort zone and they start feeling at ease and home with you. Relaxing them and taking out the rigidity if it exists should be your goal. Reaching that point will have a significant impact on your outcome.

 

Guide them through every pose and angle

While many people are reluctant and shy by nature, a majority of them are simply nervous about what to do and how to respond to instructions they might not understand in the due course. Take away this hesitation and nervousness by guiding them through every step. You can hold a small briefing session in the beginning as well as take every moment and opportunity to sail them through the moments of posing and smile and correct orientation. Make them as comfortable and easy as you can.

 

Compliment them as often as possible

What you really want to capture onscreen is not a rigid and nervous face but a confident one looking with eagerness into the lens. This might seem far-fetched at first thought but is actually very possible. Compliment your client as often as possible and on every little detail, you find fascinating. It’s strongly advised that you should refrain from showing pictures to your clients during the photo session, you can assure them that they are doing a fantastic job and pictures look marvelous. This will put a confident and pleasant smile on their faces as well as an upright stature marking a happy person. This glow will also be captured on your screen giving the picture a new aura.

 

Lighten the air

Remember to have some jokes and topics ready to narrate when things get a bit stuffed in the studio. Lightning the mood and getting all the people comfortable will be extremely beneficial in the long run. Your clients will trust you more as throwing a few jokes and narrations will help build their trust in your which will lead to accurate carrying out of instructions and exact posing. This will save a lot of effort in terms of time and stress on part of the client and staff along with yourself.

 

Don’t rush

It doesn’t matter how much time you have left, don’t rush your session as it will be extremely detrimental to your overall results. Trying to wrap up things in a very short span of time will not only affect the duration of the shoot but will also invariably result in decreased quality and production. Reschedule your sessions if you have to, instead of rushing to complete them. Do not trade your skill and quality for something as little as a simple lack of time.

 

Project confidence

Most of the clients make up a perception in their minds and then follow your instructions according to the impression they have about you. Extend a confident appeal to anyone approaching you for business and photos and you will realize its reflection from the second party. Deal with everything in a calm and composed manner that shows your experience and talent and everything will fall in place for you.

 

Maintain professionalism

In all of the above points do not forget to maintain a professional attitude. Talking and showing your friendly nature does not relax the requirements of your profession and keeping them apace is the only thing that’ll guarantee your success.

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Jose Soriano
How Good Product Photography Can Boost Your Business Sales

Having an e-commerce store to sell your product is one of the best strategies to boost your sales. However, the boom in eCommerce today has brought stiff completion among online stores. This means that for any eCommerce that wants to sell online, it is no longer enough to put a description of a product with a mediocre image.

It is necessary to make the presentation of the product as attractive as possible. Indeed, one of the main techniques to make sales in web environments is to use professional product photography that arouses interest and attracts attention.

In this post, we tell you how good product photography can boost your business sales.

 

1. The first impression is what counts

It is believed that a well-taken photograph accounts for at least 80% of sales success. Undoubtedly, a good photo makes the buyer pay attention to the product. It is the main and most visual description of the product. This is the first thing a customer sees when they are about to make a purchase.

According to statistics, 8 out of 10 potential buyers will not consider a product item without a photo.

Therefore, you must ensure that the photo of the product offered is attractive to capture the attention of your customer.

 

2. Helps in decision making

A simple question, would you buy a dress based solely on its description? As a customer, you will most likely need some kind of visual reference to feel confident about your purchase decision. It is true that the written text is necessary when indicating the material, size, weight, etc. However, the quality of images offered on the product is decisive to achieve the conversion of the user to an e-commerce portal.

If you offer a poor quality image, the user will mistrust the product and e-commerce. This will make him look for another store to get the same product.

 

3. Increases time on page

It’s no secret that good product photos, in some way as a work of art, attract attention not so much by the objects depicted on them, but by their quality and execution.

A well-photographed image gives the client the opportunity to study it. Small details in the photo can capture a person’s attention for a long time. If the person is attracted to the picture, he will be ready to spend more time studying it. As a result, it increases the likelihood of a purchase.

 

4. Increases the interest of a customer in the product

Nothing can attract a buyer like a well-taken product photograph. When buying on the Internet, a person most often cannot evaluate a product in life: he is not able to examine, touch, or try it. A good product photograph can convey all this information.

Unlike the text description prepared by the seller, the description of the photo is made by the buyer himself. By examining a product on a phone or laptop screen, a person is completely free in judgments and formulations. He sees the most significant details in it and evaluates it according to his own criteria unknown to the seller.

A beautiful picture awakens the buyer’s desire to become the owner of the product. And on the contrary, in the absence of a well-taken photograph, there is a high possibility that the page with the product will not even be opened.

 

5. Build trust and increase the number of buyers.

A good product photo reflects the quality of the sold product as accurately as possible and shows its main properties and characteristics. If the photo does not attract a person, the product page often does not even open. Conversely, good photographs increase the number of visitors, and as a result, increase the number of buyers. In addition, this increases customer loyalty and the likelihood that he will make a purchase in this store again in the future.

The problem with low-quality photos is that they often distort the product (its color, shape, structure) or do not show the existing flaws at all. As a result, the customer buys a product that does not meet his expectations. This leads to disappointment, and the buyer is forced to return the purchase or leave an angry review on the seller’s page. This affects future customers who may want to purchase the same product from you.

 

Conclusion

It is quite clear that good product photography is a key element when it comes to creating trust in your online store. Potential customers will feel much more secure when buying, and therefore, will buy more if you offer them quality graphic information. So, by taking care of your eCommerce photography, you will transmit trust and security to your consumers.

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Jose Soriano
Why is Editorial Photography the Door to get into Commercial Photography?

Photography is an art that is getting popular with every passing day. One thing that is for sure is that it comes from a place of passion. Earning from something you love doing is amazing right? That is why transitioning into commercial photography is the dream of every photographer, whether established or aspiring.

Let’s pause here for a bit and bring editorial photography into the picture. Did you know that editorial photography is the pathway into commercial photography? Knowing the difference between the two types of photography is important. That being said, if you have been a photographer for a while now, chances are high that you have done a couple of jobs for editorial purposes. And if you are an aspiring photographer, this is, indeed, a great platform for you to begin before you start doing commercial jobs. Either way, shooting for editorial publications gives you the impetus to eye for a place in the profit-making arena with great enthusiasm.

Let’s dive in to learn why editorial photography is the door you need to stir up your commercial potential.

 


Building a Strong Portfolio

 

Shape yourself first so that you can start walking tall.

How do you do this?
It’s very simple. Build a portfolio. As you do this, you will be putting up a foundation to shape you as you look forward to starting making money from your camera. Your future clients need to know where you are coming from and how far you are willing to go. Essentially, as you keep up with your editorial gigs, you will build a strong portfolio since you will bring together a wide range of your finest works. For every work you do, you receive credit for it and it gives you a voice in the commercial world.

As you engage more in taking images for editorial clients, you will know what you are able to capture well. In other words, this is where you are at your best. Finding your voice is finding your perfect skill set and using it to transit to better-paying opportunities, working for high-end clients.

An important tip in building a strong portfolio is making sure that you are consistent. This means that you have to maintain the way you tell your stories with your camera. Don’t lose any element, and you will be opening your way into lucrative business deals.

 

Brightening and Sharpening the Capacity to Tell Stories at a Deeper Level

Images tell stories that words can’t. Is your ability to tell beautiful stories sharp enough for you to work with big advertising agencies? As you anticipate switching to commercial photography, you should be adept at telling stories with your lens. Remember, this is a skill that comes with time, and the best place to develop it is in editorial photography. At this level, you are capturing images to educate a particular audience.

For you to tell a story that people can relate to you have to be good at what you do, right? The reason why editorial publications use a photographer’s images is because of his or her skill at capturing the imagination of an audience and making them gravitate their thinking towards a particular direction. Will this not be the perfect training ground for you as you aspire to get better and higher-paying deals? In commercial environments, you have to bring your A-game. You will be capturing images according to the standards and needs of your clients. The good news is that your editorial works will brighten and sharpen your capacity to tell stories at a deeper level. You will rise to become meticulous, creative, and perfect when working in a business setting.

 

Marketing Your Work

Have you seen photographers rise to become highly sought-after experts? What is their secret really? The answer is marketing. Could be you are asking how the marketing process works. It’s very simple.

Your editorial works will do the talking for you. They will position you strategically in the commercial landscape. This is where your portfolio will come in handy. As you build a strong portfolio, you will be marketing your skills and abilities further in your craft. In other words, editorial photography is a marketing building block that you should never underestimate at all. The fact that you are being paid lesser than a commercial photographer doesn’t mean that you are wasting your passion. On the contrary, if you do a great job and you get noticed by big advertising agencies, you will find it easier for you to fit into the commercial space. Be bold enough to open a commercial gallery where your work can be seen by potential clients.

There are online platforms where you can market yourself at. Flickr, 500px, Viewbug, and many more. These are good examples. Since advertising companies are familiar with these sites and they visit them quite often, you will be increasing your prospects of being spotted. Isn’t this a great way of marketing yourself into a rewarding commercial world?

 

Building the Much-Needed Experience

You will need the confidence to succeed in this competitive industry. Your achievements as a commercial photographer will depend on how you are able to express confidence in what you do. Undoubtedly, the quality of your work is a reflection of the level of belief you have in what you do.

The genesis of your confidence as a photographer is experience. The amount of time, energy, resources, and passion that you invest in as an editorial photographer is not in vain. It accumulates to give you great rewards when you transit to work with renowned brands. Truth be told, you can never compare a photographer who gets directly into the photography business world with the one who gains experience as an editorial photographer first. There is so much to learn about this art before you get into the money-making sphere. Don’t ignore the capacity of taking photos for educational publications to prepare you for higher-paying advertising opportunities. There is so much competition in the market right now. You can’t walk into it when you are not yet ripe. This is the door you need in order to get into lucrative photography deals in the future.

Certainly, the future of photography is bright. There is so much market potential out there for you to put your passion into action. Just like in any other craft or business, there is always a place to begin, and a place to build your skills further. Editorial photography is such a place if you want to go commercial with a bang! Hence, consider investing more in it as it will push you to see the larger picture of the business world.

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Jose Soriano
All You Need to Know About Product Photography

A photograph is worth a thousand words, and a great product shot can say a lot about what your product has to offer. It is a massive mistake to assume that one shot is just as good as another shot when it comes to showcasing your product. Skimping on the details of your product can be a significant detractor to potential clients.

 

What is Product Photography?

Product Photography is a commercial genre that takes a product and displays it in an attractive way to appeal to an audience. The art of taking a product and building a scene around it with careful consideration of the complementary elements helps a product pop off the screen.

Photographs are displayed through a company’s website, mailer, brochure, or social media. All this is to draw the customer’s interest in your product through a visual interpretation of what it offers the consumer.

 

Why is it Important?

With more people shopping online, they are buying products without any interaction with them. Great product photos are essential in your ability to compete in the marketplace. A great product photo can be the difference in converting a potential sale into one.

The presentation of your product also helps you build a brand that fits into someone’s lifestyle.

 

Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle product photography

A Lifestyle photograph takes a product and puts it to work within a well-built scene. These scenes are meticulously crafted to convey a lifestyle to the desired audience.

Introducing products into the scene creates a campaign that will allow the consumer to decide on whether they should or shouldn’t buy your product. It is all about seeing yourself using the product, and lifestyle shots do that.

We see a lot of lifestyle shots when we think of car advertisements. Cars are often shown in the background to a significant moment in the scene. It’s not about what the car did but what type of people are driving that car and the lifestyle they lead.

 

Catalog and Ecommerce Photography

ecommerce photography

One of the most important places to have excellent product photography is catalogs and eCommerce platforms. When we are surfing the web for a product or flipping through a catalog, we will stop on the images that stand out.

A great photo can change your view of the product, but most importantly, it allows you to stand out from the other products similar to you. There are split seconds to change the consumer’s mind, and an eye-catching photo can do that.

A great photo also allows the consumer to see why your product is the one that they should be purchasing. Product photos are an alternative to holding the product and should be taken seriously.

 

Hero Shots Make the Difference

With such a short time to tell the consumer what makes your product great, a hero shot does just that. We have talked about creating emotion in potential consumers, but hero shots drive the point home.

When selling a product, you are also selling an opportunity for the consumer to want the product in their life. A successful hero shot puts all of it together by creating an environment where the product stands out to make a consumer’s life easier.

Why You Need a Professional Photographer

A professional can take your mundane images and make them something spectacular. A great product photographer will incorporate specific elements that can help sell your brand to the consumer.

Here are some ways a professional photographer can help:

  • Solve problems with your product
  • Bringing the product into a consumer’s home
  • Showing the quality of the product

All these things can be depicted in a photo. Yet a great photograph can also get you in front of the right audience. If the photo and product are well made, you might even find yourself in a popular industry publication.

 

Final Thoughts

It only makes sense to get out there and make products look as great as they are. It doesn’t matter what is being sold, but it matters how you present it to a potential customer.

It is never enough just to throw an image up, so you have a visual representation of your product. Take the time to make your product a hero that establishes the value that your product has for your audience.

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Jose Soriano
10 Tips to Capture Great Indoor Event Photos

When it comes to any type of photography, the goal is to progress, advance your skills and become better in what you do. Event photography requires the same amount of effort and knowledge to get better, boost your portfolio’s value and make more money.

In this article, you will find the best 10 tips to capture great indoor event photos. Whether if you’re a beginner or a pro, these tips will help you become more creative and increase your awareness to get where you want. The goal is to capture better images after each event.

 

Understand the Camera Settings for Indoor Event Photography

The camera settings differ in each situation. There is no such thing as setting up your camera and using the same settings on every event. That won’t work because each place is different. It has different lighting, space, and people.

Before any type of event, you must know what your camera is capable of. If you’re not sure how to set up your camera, read the manual, visit your camera’s official website or follow instructions from top photographers who use your camera on YouTube or on online photography websites (or contact me for more info?).

 

Have the right Indoor Photography Equipment

A photographer needs to have the right camera gear with them. If you’re a beginner, you can start by using your camera, an external flash, and at least two lenses. As your skills and experience grow, you will have to put money on the side to buy professional photography equipment. That will include:

  • A second camera body (preferably full frame)
  • A zoom lens with a wide f/2.8 aperture (24-70mm f/2.8 for full-frame or 16-50mm f/2.8 for APS-C cameras)
  • A prime lens with f/1.8 or f/1.4 aperture.
  • Professional lightweight tripod.
  • High-Speed Sync Flash with Wireless Trigger.
  • Strobes or LED Lights.
  • High-Speed Memory Cards of at least 64GB of storage (preferably 128GB).
  • Extra batteries.
  •  

Use the Best Settings for Indoor Photography with Flash

In the beginning, flash scares everyone. Some of you may have heard “never use flash” or “try to shoot in natural light”. Those people don’t know how to use flash. If you know how to use it and master it, you can come up with the best photos ever taken.

In the beginning, you can start using TTL mode and gradually learn how to use manual settings. TTL mode gives you a lot of flexibility too. Keep your ISO in higher values (between 800-3200), use White Balance, and the right metering mode.

Use “center metering mode” when your subject is in the middle between the foreground and the background. Alternately, use “spot metering mode” when the subject is closer to the background. Also, make sure you use a diffuser to create more ambient light.

 

 

Shoot in Low Light

On some occasions, shooting in low light creates dramatic awesome results. That said, point your camera to capture a moment where only the faces of people lighten up. You can try to take these kinds of photos and then use proper filters in the post-process to enhance the details and brightness of the whole image. Don’t be afraid to try taking photos in low light. You can create a different style and your photography will instantly get more exposure.

 

 

Use both Prime and Zoom Lenses

 

Most photographers use two camera bodies. They choose to mount a prime lens on their primary camera and a zoom lens on their secondary body (or the opposite – it doesn’t mind). This way they quickly choose a lens to take a photo without having to switch lenses and miss the moment.

Prime lenses will give you a wider aperture and better lighting indoors, whether zoom lenses will give you more depth of field. Both are very useful in event photography.

 

Become More Creative

Each time you book an event to shoot, you gain a lot of experience. In the field, try to remember not to take photos as an ordinary guest but observe the space you’re in and try to find areas you could place your camera to take more interesting photos.

Take candid shots of the attendees while they’re interacting with each other. Capture a nice smile and reveal the story behind their conversation. Use black and white during the time of the event or in post-process. Shoot behind flowers, find mirrors that give you reflections, or create depth in your shots. Don’t forget to get wide-angle shots of the whole event too.

 

Take Group Shots

If you book a corporate event, you have to choose a nice background to get group photos. This happens in coordination with the host. You can either use any of their displays (if they have any from their company) or hire someone to prepare a special backdrop that fits the occasion or the space of the event.

Place several people in front of the backdrop and start taking photos. Adjust your camera settings and flash and make people feel comfortable by talking to them and guiding them on how to pose better for the perfect shot!

 

Edit Your Photos

Professional photo editing should be included in your work. Nowadays, it is essential to edit your photos and create your style. Remember to edit your photos the same way for every event and create consistency.

If you are not sure how to do it, ask the advice of another professional or attend a workshop or online course where you can find more information on how to edit your photos in Photoshop / Lightroom or using other professional photo editing software.

 

Network Network Network

Each event will allow you to connect with so many people. Some of them might be interested in booking you for their next event. Make sure you have a business card with you and know exactly what to say. Be short and schedule a phone call or a meeting in the next few days.

 

Study Your Work

Don’t let previous work stay on your computer. Take an hour each week and view some of the photos you have taken previously. Check the exposure, the aperture or other settings you have used. How much time did it take you to edit your photos? Could you save more time by improving your camera settings during the photoshoot?

Is there anything else you need to change/improve? Do you see more noise in your photos or notice any chromatic aberration that needed to be corrected in post-process? Is your composition good? Do you need to try different angles? All these questions will help you improve your skills and give you better results in future work.

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

Photo by Ramiz Dedaković on Unsplash

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Jose Soriano
The Anatomy of the Perfect Photography Headshot

A photography headshot is now an essential item all freelancers and business professionals must-have. This article will cover all the tips you need to create the perfect one for your client. This will cover everything from styling, makeup, wardrobe advice, and more. Let’s dive right into this style of photography.

 

Choosing your backdrop

The type of backdrop you have will all depend on what type of shot this is. Corporate or professional headshots will tend to have a solid backdrop. So will headshots for actors. Black or white is a solid choice, but companies can venture into different colors to match their brand. The goal is to have the background a safe, neutral color so the focus can be on the employee’s face. Solid walls are another item than can become the backdrop of your professional headshot.

If these are for a person in a more creative field, the sky becomes the limit. You can take your subject into nature to add some original elements to the shot. If you want to stick with walls as backdrops, find some that are highly colorful and add that feature in. Or look for creative angles and spaces on walls and use those for contrast. Another suggestion is to look for paintings, murals, and things of that regard to bring into your shot. It can give your headshot a really fresh flavor if you have a shot of your subject with a really meaningful object of some kind in the background.

 

Picking your equipment

Once you have ascertained the nature of the shot, and where you are conducting the session, the next step is to pull together your equipment. Outside of a camera, what you need will differ based on indoor and outdoor sessions. For indoor sessions, lighting is going to be critical for a successful shoot. Don’t leave home without your strobes, speedlights, and reflectors. We can talk about more technical details about lighting setups in a different article.

Also, make sure you bring your light modifiers to soften the flashes since it’s always more appealing than hard light. The other big thing for an indoor shoot will be your lens. You need one the will help you get the best shot of the person’s face. A longer lens seems to capture more flattering face shots, so make sure to bring that along with you. Ideally, the stellar lens for headshots is the prime 85mm, but you can get good results with a standard focal lens, like the popular and cheap 50mm. Last but not least, your tripod, this is optional but I highly recommend it since it gives you the freedom to focus on your client instead of having to frame every single shot without one.

Pulling together your equipment for an outdoor session won’t be too much different. I recommend you bring the same equipment you would use for an indoor shoot and add some sandbags to keep your lights in place. Sometimes you can get away with one reflector and no strobes but it’s very risky since outdoor is not a controlled environment and the light will change constantly.

 

Styling for a professional headshot

styling for a headshot

Since the focus of a headshot is solely on the person in the photo, one would think there need to be copious amounts of hair, makeup, and styling that goes into one of these shoots. This is one-time conventional wisdom could not be more wrong. These are professional photos. Even those who are having these done for the personal brand and not a corporate website need to consider the message they are sending. There is such a thing as too much in a session for a headshot. It will be your job to convey that to your clients.

Selecting an outfit is the first step in preparing for the session. Encourage your client to either select something neutral or something that compliments their skin tone. Some stylists would recommend that you avoid flesh colors, as those could blend into their skin. Those have the potential to wash you out when you are photographed with a flash. The reason prints and bold colors are lobbied against is that those run the risk of dating the photos. Certain prints and colors are indicative of specific times in fashion, which means a potential customer will be able to tell how old your photos are. Tell your client to take that under advisement if they want to wear them in their headshot. Another point of advice for your client is that footwear doesn’t really matter since that area is not being photographed. The same thing would apply to dresses for clients. It doesn’t matter since nothing from the shoulders down is being photographed.

Hair and makeup would be the next set of considerations for a headshot session. Since these are professional photographs, it is strongly suggested that hairstyles and makeup be subtle. This is not the time to try out a new hair color or hairstyle, especially one that may be avant-garde. The same applies to makeup. Makeup should be applied in a way that plays up their best features and can stand up to the bright lights of the camera. Heavy theatrical or nighttime makeup is not the best for a headshot session. Subtle neutrals are the best choice. If your client does not already have a hair and makeup artist that they use, suggest one and partner with that person ahead of time to relay what this shoot is about.

Any accessories your client wears shouldn’t take away from them during this session. That can be a hard choice to make since established fashion advice always preaches playing up accessories. However, that has a time and place. A headshot is not one of them. As much as large earrings or a statement necklace seems like a good choice, get your client to save them for later. If the jewelry in their photos is extremely large or eye-catching, it will take the attention away from them and their faces in their headshots. Stick to simple earrings like a pearl or diamond stud and a simple chain necklace. If your client shows up with oversized accessories, remind them of these pitfalls.

The styling for this shoot speaks volumes, probably more than your client realizes. These photos will represent their brand. Anytime someone is scrolling the internet looking for a professional in that field, the way they look in these photos will convey their brand image to that person. That is what you both should have in mind when selecting outfits, hairstyles, and accessories. If a client feels strongly about a fashion detail of their shoot, you may not be able to dissuade them. But if you have coached them on these best practices, then you have done your job. In the end, their decision is the final one.

 

Coaching your subject through the session

This is another significant point to focus on. Your subject may not get in front of a camera often. They may also feel incredibly awkward and uncomfortable. Make sure to give them words of encouragement to keep them smiling and feeling good during your shoot. For those who do not enjoy photography sessions, getting them to laugh could get you your best shots.

On top of delivering coaching to your client, make sure you keep giving them instructions for poses. For lots of people, a photoshoot is entirely foreign to them. They have no idea how they should tilt their head or which way they should look. To get the most out of this session with your client, feedback on their poses are a must.

If the sessions permit it, think outside-of-the-box when it comes to poses. Nothing says every picture has to be the subject looking directly at your camera. Working with them on head tilts, looking into the distance, side profile shots. If the session doesn’t have to be so formal, have fun, and exercise creativity with your shots.

Check my article about the psychology of the headshot, where I explain how important this coaching is.

 

Editing your pictures

Once you have completed the session, then the fun begins! You get to edit the fruits of your labor. Now you get to weed out any shots that may not meet your expectations, discard them, and focus on the best of the best. You can use your software and improve any lighting or shape issues you see. As a best practice, always use your eyes before you move to your editing software. Your eyes will always be your best tool in photography. Take this time to pull together your favorites and compile that for your client. I usually do several runs, I get rid of the bad frames first, then I do a broad selection and the last run I go one by one to make sure is a winning shot.

Throw in some black-and-white shots just as a bonus. That will jazz up your offering, so it goes beyond only the classic photos one would think of in a headshot compilation. I know many photographer will argue about giving away some extra photos but my philosophy is, under promise, over deliver. This is a great way to build your clients. Remember that is easier to keep a client than getting a new one.

 

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this piece has been helpful to you. Photography headshots have risen in popularity over the last few years. They are now a tool that every photographer needs to have in their arsenal. These photos are not just for corporate offices and actors anymore. Almost everyone needs a headshot, including your local hairdresser, a freelance writer, and any business professional with a personal brand and website. Take these tips and expand your business with this style of photography.

Photo credit:

Chase Wilson on Unsplash

Mídia from Pexels

Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

Chris J Mitchell from Pexels

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Jose Soriano
Blogs You Should Follow As A Videographer

Videography is an industry that has no ceiling in today’s market. Video dominates everything we do. When you read up on statistics involving video, all you see is growth. Youtube has almost one billion monthly users, and daily visitors to the site consume more than 500 million hours of video. All the major social networks are making video content a priority in their algorithms, and therefore, a priority in your personal feeds. Anyone in the industry must be ready to learn more and grow their skills in the blink of an eye. Here are fifteen blogs for you to follow to learn more about the industry and develop your skills. As this medium continues its upward trajectory, you won’t regret learning more from industry leaders to improve your skills and make you more marketable.

 

Hurlbut Visuals Blog

This blog is a must-follow for anyone in the video field, regardless of where they are in their career. The founder of this site, Shane Hurlbut, created the quintessential blog for anyone in the video industry. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned pro; his site has the information you can use. He breaks the content down in a manner that most everyone can understand. The blog also comes with a forum that you can pay to join. These forums offer you even more access to information as well as other users. Head over to Hurlbut Academy and get started.

 

Phillip Bloom

video blogs to follow

Phillip is a world-renown filmmaker who specializes in creating film-style images from low-budget video. The amount of information he has on his site is awe-inspiring. He has created videos on so many topics in the industry, you should be able to find one on any issue you could encounter. Check out his tips at Philip Bloom.

 

Video Copilot

This is the best site for you to check out if you enjoy shooting video with motion design and special effects. Even if you don’t know anything about this field, this site can teach you everything. Founded by Andrew Kramer, he makes learning easy for everyone. To participate in his lessons, all you need is your computer and Adobe After Effects. All of his teaching videos are free, so if this is a field you are passionate about or you simply want to learn more, go to Video Copilot and learn more about how to get started.

 

Noamkroll

video blogs to follow

If you got into video editing because you want to tell stories, this is a site you will love. As a matter of fact, that is the mission of this website. Noam knows storytelling goes beyond more than just one thing and strives to give your tips and feedback on how to weave many ideas together to create a total video story package for your viewers. He knows film has the potential to be quite impactful, and he is here to help with that. Visit his site and learn more tips at Noamkroll.

 

FilmmakerIQ

video blogs to follow

This blogsite started with a group of filmmaker friends who got together and just wanted to share everything they loved about their jobs and how to help other people. While you are here, you will get tips about how to execute an excellent film copy. But this group also knows that without one key thing, it doesn’t matter how high quality your film is. They know you must have a great story. This site focuses on how to intertwine film and your story to produce something people can’t get enough of. Visit FilmmakerIQ to learn more or take one of their courses.

 

Preston Kanak

filmmaker blogs to follow

Preston covers quite a bit of content related to filmmaking. But he also touches on another topic that other sites overlook-the freelancers in this industry. There are tons of freelance filmmakers and videographers in the world. Not to mention all the photographers who are adding video to their business. This site offers advice and content geared towards people like that. Visit Preston Kanak to learn more.

 

Fstoppers

This site covers just about everything. And that’s how they like it. They know film is a genre with many facets. And their posts are reflective of that. There are even posts on how to film with a GoPro. They truly understand that film isn’t just limited to a camera or fancy equipment anymore. When finding video blogs to follow, checking out Fstoppers is a must. Head over to Fstoppers and see their latest posts.

 

Raindance

filmmaker blogs to follow

This is another site that covers a wide range of topics. Their posts are known for being clear and to the point. In addition to posting content that so many different kinds of users can enjoy, they host and support film festivals for independent filmmakers. Show your support and check out their content by heading over to Raindance. There are also course offerings and other educational materials on the site.

 

Filmlifestyle

This blog deals with the business aspect of a film/videography business. While it is more fun to focus on the art aspect of film, the time does come where it is a business, and those types of things must be handled. Most of the blog posts on this site deal with all things business, how to run a film company, and build it from the ground up. It may not sound as enthralling as other blogs, but it is just as important. Head over to Filmlifestyle to get business and film tips.

 

Dave Dugdale

For people who want to know more about the technical side of things, Dave’s vlog is the place to be. He addresses things like software, gear, cameras, needed equipment, and anything else pertaining to these you can think of. His friendly demeanor comes through in his videos, which makes it easier to listen to him and learn from him. What sets Dave apart from others? He hosts all his information on YouTube. Head over to his channel and subscribe to learn more Dave Dugdale or visit his blog with great content.

 

Rocket Jump Film School

This is another vlog that is hosted exclusively on YouTube. Their focus is on quality content that comes with a great story. They truly believe that great stories are what bring people to film. They encourage their viewers to create the film, and tv shows that they would want to watch. Join them on their channel for some great content that combines storytelling and great film RJ Film School.

There are so many more terrific blogs out there that did not get a mention here. This could very easily be extended out to the best 50 blogs for video makers. Many blogs cover specifics, some cover more broad topics, but in the end, they all have the goal of helping people tell better stories through video. As you learn more about the craft and art of videography, add these sites and vlogs to your list.

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Jose Soriano
What's a Headshot and Who Needs One? A Basic Overview of this Style of Photography

A headshot is a form of digital photography that focuses solely on a person’s face. The shot may include the person’s shoulders, as well. Unlike other types of photography, this shot typically only involves one person, and they are the main focus of the picture. These do vary from portrait shots, as those can include the body. If the shot goes below the shoulders, it can no longer be referred to as a headshot.

Headshots have been on the rise over the last several years. Once reserved just for those in acting and modeling, headshots are now almost a requirement for corporate workplaces. In our digital age, companies want to showcase their employees on their websites or online directories. Headshots have become the way to do that. Also, as online professional networking opportunities arise, professionals with profiles on networks such as LinkedIn find themselves in need of a professional headshot. Another good candidate for headshots is professionals and business owners with their own websites. They can show off a good headshot in the About Us section of their site to create a human connection.

Some companies may want their headshots conducted against a traditional type of backdrop. That is completely fine. A business has a specific ethos they want to convey. And if posing their employees against that backdrop is how they get that ethos, that is ok. But those backdrops aren’t the only places you can shoot these sessions. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to shoot them inside at all. As these shots have expanded from their more austere origins, so have the places these sessions can happen. The outdoors opens up a whole new world of backdrops for headshots. Just because the focus is on the person, doesn’t mean they can’t have some gorgeous foliage behind them.

outdoor corporate headshot on a bridgeindoor corporate headshot

One of the keys to a terrific headshot is to play with the angles, poses, and expressions. Corporate headshots may not permit you this creativity, but take it wherever you can find it! For other types of headshots, especially any outdoors, playing with angles is a way to break that rigidity.

Another way to get a fantastic headshot is just to engage with your client, keep talking while everything is set up, and keep shooting, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve got a money shot by keep shooting and capturing that candid and natural headshot. People love it because you get the authentic side of them.

Lighting is another excellent way to improve the quality of your session with your client. Lighting is one of the best ways to jazz up those headshot sessions where you don’t get as much creative freedom. You need to bring out their eyes, first and foremost. Get your lighting to pull out that feature. See if you can get it to bounce off their hair. Play with these elements to bring a new level of dimension to your shot.

As mentioned earlier, the biggest thing you can do for your headshot session is to talk to your client before you get started to see what their goals are. Find out why they are getting headshots done in the first place. Knowing why they need the photoshoot done gives you more room to play and create what types of shots you want for the session. If someone is a fashion designer, you will conceptualize their shoot differently than you would a writer or an accountant.

When conducting your shoot in addition to focusing on the lighting and the angles, the biggest thing you will need to do is keep your client calm. Not everyone feels comfortable in front of the camera. Throughout your shoot, give words of encouragement to your subject. For someone who feels very awkward posing for photos, your words of encouragement could mean the world and help you have a much more productive shoot. In addition to supporting, don’t forget to give your client any additional instructions they need for a pose, as well. If they need to tilt their chin, change their gaze, etc., make sure to call those things out to them. This will help you get the variety of shots you need. You can check my blog post about the psychology of headshot photography

headshot photography setup

I hope this overview is helpful so that you understand what a headshot is and how to get the best shots of your clients. These are an essential part of our digital world. They can be more than the classic shots you have seen on LinkedIn. If a photographer goes outside of the box, there can be a great deal of magic that can happen in these photoshoots.

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Jose Soriano
Blogs You Should Follow As A Photographer

Like any other type of artist, a photographer will have their own sense of direction. Even with our own vision and direction, we still need to look to other photographers for some inspiration. Reading the blogs and sites of other industry professionals will help you learn more about the hottest trends in the business. It’s also a chance to learn new tips and tricks from other photographers. And honestly, it is just lovely to see the work of someone else and get some fresh ideas for your own shoots. Take a look at these 15 blogs that you should be following if you are a photographer. They will leave you with fresh ideas and ready to take on your next photo shoot or project.

 

Humans of New York

This blog is so touching and motivational. The photographer behind this blog, Brenden Stanton, started this project a few years back. He started just walking around the streets of New York City, asking people their stories, and then photographing them. Every story is 100% real. There are no actors. The stories can be so touching and raw. Check him out at Humans of New York.

 

The Sartorialist

This blog was started by Scott Schuman. The main focus is on fashion. Scott likes to photograph everyday people and see their relationship with fashion. Big players in the fashion industry love to check out this blog, so they can see how ordinary people are wearing and styling their clothes. This site has been featured in countless magazines and won numerous awards. Follow along on his adventures at The Sartorialist.

 

Into The Night Photography

Royce Bair is the photographer behind this website and blog. He reviews for his followers tips and techniques for catching nighttime shots, and the results are mind-blowing. His photos of the Milky Way will make your jaw drop. Check him out at Into the Night Photography.

 

Skip Cohen University

Photographer Skip Cohen brings his lengthy time in the business and his plethora of connections and puts them all together in blog form. His blog is full of tips on how to shoot amazing photos and advice on how to run your business. It is a must-read for anyone in the industry. He shows how he earned the nickname “The Godfather of Photography.” Check it out at Skip Cohen University.

 

Sprouting Photographer

This site is the brainchild of Bryan Caporici and Rob Nowell. They bring together some of the biggest names in the world of photography to speak about topics on their website. This site is renown for talking about the business side of photography and having volumes of educational information to help anyone from a seasoned pro to a budding novice. This site is a must-visit! Check them out at Get Sprout Studio.

 

David duChemin

David is a traveling photoblogger who produces such high-quality work. He is also the best selling author. David also includes tips about equipment and the business in general. He started a podcast that helps him expand on his thoughts on photography. The link is conveniently on his site as well. Head to his website David Duchemin and check out his fantastic work and insight.

 

Feature Shoot

This site serves a two-fold purpose. It can give photographers a place to find some inspiration for their next creative shoot. Or it is a great place to get your own work seen. Work from established professional to up-and-comers has been featured on this site. The styles and content also cover a wide variety of everything, from fine art to photos that would be NSFW. It has also won awards from Life.com for its photoblog. You must add Feature Shoot to your list of sites to follow.

 

Shutterstock blog

If you do anything with photos, you have heard of Shutterstock. This site is a great place to find and purchase inexpensive stock photos to use for a wide range of purposes. On top of stock photos, they run a blog full of tips on everything photo-related you could ever think of. If you have a question, Shutterstock probably has the answer. Head on over and check out all the information at Shutterstock

Phoblographer

As anyone in this business knows, proper gear can make or break a shoot. The team at Phoblographer knows that and has devoted the information on their site to photography gear along with information about photography related news and events. The team made the blog easy to navigate so you can find anything you need. Go check out the site at The phoblographer.

 

Strobist

This blog handles the topic that is the perennial thorn in the side of many photographers-lighting. World-famous photographer David Hobby runs this site and shares tons of tips and tricks on how to improve the lighting for your shoots and suggestions for the gear you should use. This blog has been recognized with awards for the information it provides. You can visit the Strobist at strobist and start improving the light quality on your shoots.

 

Chase Jarvis

Chase is an award-winning photographer, and his site is an excellent chance for him to show off his work. He shows off the pictures he has so meticulously shot as well as video he has shot and edited as well. As a bonus, he hosts live chats on occasion with anyone who tunes in to share tips and tricks on his craft. This is a can’t miss site, so head over here Chasejarvis.

 

Richard Bernabe

Richard’s blog is impressive as he shows photos from his journeys around the world. He also tells the story behind each photo, including what equipment he used to shoot it, and any other details about the subject. It is genuinely just a fascinating read and a great place to learn from. His personal story is just as inspiring. He left a corporate job to pursue his passion because he wanted to have a career that meant something. That is something we should all get behind. Check out his work at Richard Bernabe.

 

Ignant

Want pictures with minimal descriptions? This is the site for you. Ignant was created to have a feel similar to Instagram, and it uses that feel to show off the photo collections of multiple artists. It’s a great way to show off the work of photographers from a variety of backgrounds, but it also serves as a terrific source of inspiration. Head over to Ignant and see what inspirational collection they are featuring today.

 

Creative Bloom

This site offers everything you could ever think of photography-related under one roof. Are you looking for career advice? Do you have questions about gear? Would you like to read interviews with other photographers? Look no further than Creative Bloom. They have all that and more on one site. Go to Creative Boom and start clicking around. Prepare to be amazed!

 

Two Loves Studio

This site brings together the love of photography with the love of food. The site’s creator (who only goes by her first name of Rachel) was inspired by her photographer husband. So she quit her job to do what she loved, showcase food. She does everything from post blogs with tips to teach online classes, all with the goal of teaching people how to take better pictures of food. You must add Two Love Studio to your reading list.

 

These amazing blogs only begin to scratch the surface of the plethora of blogs that exist in the world of photography. This post could be written countless times over by swapping out these fifteen for another fifteen that are equally just as amazing. But for now, let’s start with these blogs that are stars in their field. Please follow these photographers and celebrate the high-quality work they are producing.

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Jose Soriano
Why You Should Learn Videography Skills As A Photographer

Video is the new “it” medium for storytelling. And it isn’t going away any time soon. People are consuming more video each year. YouTube is growing with more content daily, and more video is shared and consumed on social media. While photography will never go away, video has become a significant complement to it. To better position your business for future success, add video services to what you offer your clients. Here are a few reasons why you should consider learning video skills.

 

Video is the current trend

As mentioned above, video is what people are consuming right now. If you are not offering people what they want, they may overlook you and your services. Also, if you share content from your business online, it most likely is not reaching as many people as you would like. Since video is the trend, social media sites reward users who share videos more favorable in the algorithms. Content that is strictly text or photo is not as ranked as high by these services. To make sure your followers see all your content, you must incorporate video.

 

It helps you improve your skills and learn new ones

Learning a new skill shows your customers you are willing to evolve and stay relevant. Learning how to shoot and edit video will also challenge you as a creative. Looking at your subjects through the lens of a video camera will help you see things in a new way and challenge you to think about new techniques to captures moments and emotions. Video diverges from photography in several ways. Learning a new skill like video can actually help make you a better photographer.

 

Expand your business opportunities

videography skills as a photographer

People booking for events hire photographers and videographers. If you can provide both services, that is an incredible boost to your business. You save your customers the stress of having to hire another person for their event. There are, of course, logistics in how you would be able to take photos and shoot video at the same time. But you can always hire an assistant to help you shoot the event. Learning this new skill helps you book more gigs, as some individuals are not utilizing photographers at all and have moved exclusively to video as their preferred medium.

 

Use it to showcase your business on social media and your website

You can practice your video skills while you showcase your business. For those who visit your website, you can create exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of how you set up for a photoshoot or what your editing thought process is, etc. You can then take this footage and share it on your social media. What an amazing way to showcase yourself and learn new skills at the same time.

You can even apply this to another situation and start a YouTube channel. You can shoot video of yourself teaching relevant skills to your profession and upload them to your channel. This gives you a chance to share video content and practice shooting and editing video. There are also opportunities to monetize your YouTube content. What a win-win situation all around!

Take these tips to heart, learn a new skill, and watch your business boom! Who doesn’t want a chance to learn a new skill that can increase their business?

 

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

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