This week’s spotlighted video comes from photographer Gina Byas of i Kandi Photography. We instantly fell in love with this adorable Mommy and Me video she produced for one of her portrait clients. The short video clips interspersed between photos bring so much life and joy to this video! Read Gina’s story below and visit her Facebook page and website for more inspiration.
“i Kandi Photography has been in operation for 8 years. We are a Husband/Wife team which makes this job even more enjoyable than it already is! I have the best co-worker a person could ask for! We have always specialized in all aspects of photography such as family , weddings, children..you name it.
I’m always looking for new ways to differentiate ourselves from other photographers. We ran into the concept of video last month while browsing online and I immediately fell in love. I’m the type of person that if I get an idea in my head, I have to do it IMMEDIATELY! I learned how to use video on our 5D Mark III in a few hours with my husband’s help and realized that I had to find an editing software to get me through the process. I’m always so hesitant when purchasing new software because I’m always afraid I’ll never figure it out.
I came across Photodex and read about Proshow Producer. I did a quick trial and it was so easy to figure out! I owe Photodex a huge thank you for getting me through this whole process so easily and quickly and also for their amazing customer service! I haven’t experienced anything like it in a very long time!
I love that we are now incorporating video into our packages and I think our customers will love it as well! This video is my very first shot at video AND editing and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful family! Excited to do more…..and more!”
Gina Byas – i Kandi Photography
Just a couple of weeks ago one of my best buddies, Michele Celentano, published this on her blog. Then, two days ago as she wrapped up SCU's Summer Session as she read this post out loud. I wish we had it recorded, because it carries even more weight when you hear the words coming directly from her heart.
We live in a challenging market. Consumer trends are pushing for instant fulfillment. More and more photographers think they need to sacrifice quality for speed. We email and text rather than call or write a thank you note long hand. All along the way we're chasing the technology train trying to make sure we don't miss anything and always have the latest and greatest!
Well, Michele, in what you're about to read, reminds us all that so many of the greatest memories in people's lives deserve the best presentation, the highest quality and everything we can do to preserve them for future generations. I've said it before, as photographers you're magicians, capable of capturing intangible moments out of time and making them tangible to last for a life time...only Michele says it a whole lot better! Skip Cohen
I believe in photography - but more than that I believe in photographs. Printed photographs are tangible. We can hold on to them, pass them around, frame them and hang them on a wall. We can make albums to be treasured and looked through by children for years to come.
We can’t touch a file and the truth is we don’t know the longevity of a file or if we will even be able to find it someday. A digital file is a bit of a mystery - if it’s lost, where did it go. If a drive is damaged what happens to the files? How many people truly back up all their images?
What happened to disc cameras, eight track tapes, Walkman's and other technology we thought would last forever? What will our children be looking at in 20 or 30 years? Photographs are special - files are not!
I believe in printing my work professionally. I believe my work is more than a screen saver. Years of studying and perfecting my craft comes down to more than sending files via the internet.
The photographs I create for my clients are not only precious to my clients but they are precious to me. It is my work, a lifetime of work that deserves to be printed.
Photographs are passed on to children and grandchildren. Can you imagine a floppy disk, a DVD or a flash drive sitting in a frame representing your family portraits?
Like many photographers I have struggled with bending to the needs or wants of a clientele that is looking for files. But this is what I discovered over the last year - It makes me uncomfortable in the center of my gut to hand over digital files no matter the price. Clients have told me that the DVD is still sitting on a desk and they should have had me make the prints in the first place because they never have time to get to it.
I wonder about those files that were sold.... How were they printed? Did the client crop it too tight? Is the color correct? Did they attempt to alter the image? It troubles me because I put so much of myself into my work. And, I have to wonder... am I really acting as a professional and serving my client the best way I know how to by simply selling intangible files that may never be printed?
For some, it’s easy.... take some photos, edit them, burn them on a disk or flash-drive and make a few bucks. I don’t and can’t operate that way - I care too much about my work, my clients and future generations that might have no photographs because I wanted to make fast and easy money selling files.
I’m taking a stand! I am a photographer! I am without a doubt passionate about creating photographs - real pictures - printed on professional papers - and made into beautiful albums. I want your children, their children, my children and future grandchildren looking at and holding onto photographs not the latest greatest gadget.
It has taken deep soul searching, a lot of thought and time to define the value of my work. I am taking a stand against selling files and taking a strong stand for printing my photographs.
If being a business owner and photographer today means the current market will force me to sell files not photographs and to compromise my work and my values - well then, I’m out.
But, that won’t happen! I know it won’t because I know there are people and clients who value my work, understand and respect the value I have placed on my work and actually want photographs.
I am Michele Celentano , a professional photographer - I believe in and value photography and the images we leave for our children. My work and your portraits will be professionally printed to my standards, they will be available to frame and look at in albums...
The portraits I create for you will not become a part of your screen saver slide show. I have worked too hard and taken too much pride in my work for that to happen. I will not take the risk that in 20 years we will be a generation of lost photographs.
There I stand!
For years I've said the best thing about this industry has absolutely nothing to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's mutual love for the craft. This guest post is part of a trifecta with an incredible portrait artist and relatively new friend, Brian Smith. In the podcast Brian talks about one of the secrets of great images - it's all about expression and it comes out of building a relationship with your subject. You'll also find a wonderful short video with Brian, thanks to X-Rite and Coloratti.
I love trifectas, because they give you a chance to get to know an artist from three different perspectives and Brian is definitely somebody who should be on your radar. He's sure on mine! Follow Brian on his blog and you'll find him on Facebook and Twitter, always with great images and info! Skip Cohen
Nothing is more important to portrait photography than connecting with the person you’re photographing—it’s the foundation of an extraordinary portrait.
Establishing your subject’s trust always takes some time. Anything you can do to speed up that process will make you a better photographer. A good portrait photographer is a 15-second psychoanalyst. That’s generally how long you have to size up your subjects and decide how to best approach them.
When I collaborated with The Creative Coalition and Sony to photograph a cross-section of artists for the book Art & Soul: Stars Unite to Celebrate the Arts I generally had 10-15 minutes to photograph each artist. Not much time to make a meaningful connection.
Celebrities get asked the same questions over and over again, so I try to do a bit of research looking for something other than their filmography. If you want to really break the ice, ask them something they haven’t been asked a million times already.
When I photographed Dulé Hill, I’d gotten plenty of perfectly acceptable images - all with exactly the same expression you see in every one of his headshots. I’d read in his bio that he loves tap dance. So to loosen him up a bit, I asked him about it. He told me that Gregory Hines was his hero while growing up, and his greatest honor was being asked to tap dance at Hines’ funeral. Without further ado, he began tap dancing…on carpet…in his sneakers....
After that, he really started to open up, pretending to shout into the camera. I never would have thought to ask him to do it. He was simply “in the moment” enjoying the shoot. Getting your subjects to think about anything besides the shoot almost always leads to the best portraits.
Becoming comfortable photographing strangers and learning how to putting them at ease, pays off time and again. Whether the person you’re photographing is a Hollywood star or someone you meet in your travels, give everyone you shoot the star treatment.
Looking to get to know Brian even more? Check out Secrets of Great Portrait Photography. Then wander over to his galleries to see more of his work.
Suzette Allen is one of those photographers who's constantly paying attention to technology and looking for ways to raise the bar. In this guest post she hits hard on the reality of change. It's all around us and in the 150+ years of photography there have never been more creative tools for you to maximize your creativity. Survival is no longer about the most fit, but the most creative! Skip Cohen
We love our comfort zones, but if we don't change we miss out!
This applies to everything in life, actually, not just cameras! But this week I’m preparing to go on a road trip to explore a new camera. That means I have to give up my fav camera the LUMIX GH3, [my comfort zone] and learn a new one… new features, new button locations, new feel… Isn’t it silly how we want to stick with our comfort zones? We are just wired that way! Change is hard– Even POSITIVE change! (btw I still get to use the GH3, but gotta learn the GX7 too) yay….
So I decided to do a little digging and find out all about this new camera before I get my paws on it. I will have it in hand one week from today! Only 8 models exist in America–and the 8 of us Lumix Luminaries have the honor to give ‘em a whirl on an amazing cross-country road trip! How cool is that? [so why do I not want to change???]
Well, after reading up on all its features and stealth technology, I’m feeling a whole lot better about the whole deal! Like, I’m really excited to get to play with some new stuff– like NFC (near field communication) where you just TOUCH the camera to your android phone and it transfers!! OMG, is THAT cool! AND it will have the Panorama feature, Clear Retouch (in camera, no less!) and Stop Motion Animation! (btw: For transfer to iOS iPhones, it uses wifi & the Lumix link app!)
Well, I don’t want this to be a blatant rave session about the camera, (although I AM excited about it!) **the point I want to make is that education and knowledge are great tools to help us manage change**.
Learning about the camera made me WANT to change; not resist so much. Learning about a college may take the fear out of moving away and being on your own. Reading up about a city/area may help you adjust to relocation easier. Reading a bit of the bible may make you desire spiritual things more. Studying photography techniques will probably inspire you to break out of your usual box and try something new. Reading about what is possible in Photoshop makes the learning less overwhelming and a lot more appealing and worth the time to master. Reading about the stats and analytics of social media makes me want to change and spend more of my marketing efforts in that area…. we all need to change in many areas.
So, be easy on yourself and take the time to do a little research and learning and the transition (whatever it may be) will be a lot more fun! (and take less time too!)
So lets just read up, get geared up and tackle our journey with fresh inspiration! I feel better already!
For those that know me, it should come as no surprise that I’m using a Beatle reference in the title. I sort of like those guys and always have. In fact, I started collecting Beatle “stuff” in 1964 and still avidly collect. But as I thought about this article, it really does seem to be about the road we are all on. As Arthur Rainville has said numerous times, "It was never about the destination, but always about the journey." It is often long and winding and even lonely for some.
Photographers are weird. There, I’ve said it. We are looked upon as artists, terrible business people, and we would rather go out and take pictures than just about anything else, when given the option. This is what separates us from attorneys. engineers, teachers, chefs, steel workers, and accountants. When we get off work, we still go work at our craft. It’s what we do and who we are. Most other people do not do this.
I’ve often said we are not only the purveyors of our craft but we are also consumers of our craft. Our best friends are usually photographers, we get our inspiration from photographers, and we are exhilarated by new technology for photographers. Sure, there will be some who long for the good old days of a simple camera and a roll of film. But we are not there any longer. We have moved on. And I am delighted about that.
History tells us there have been about three major paradigm shifts or changes in the world of photography since its inception. Certainly, many more than that have come along with subtle changes. But the big stuff that has had the most impact has been when Eastman Kodak manufactured “safety film” in rolls for the consumer, the advent of color film and papers, and finally the explosion of digital photography.
The thing about a long and winding road is that no matter what is going on in the world, it is always here. The road is here, the scenery will change, equipment, technique, ideas. Next week or next year there will be something new again. The newest camera model from Canon, the new favorite lens from Tamron. And there will always be more new versions of our editing software. But those are all tools of our craft and not our craft. We are the ones empowered to work this craft, work it well and professionally, to create memories, magic and mayhem and everything in between. It’s up to us. All of us.
Here is where you come in. Are you ready? This is your challenge. Change. That’s right, change. You have to change. You have to keep up. You have to do everything you can to stay on top of your game because last calendar year, more than 300 billion photos were taken that were never printed (an estimate from a PMA meeting).
My intent is not to frighten you but to alert you. As long as you are on top of your game, you’ll always find work. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be possible. It won’t do a lot of good to complain about all of the consumers with cameras so we might as well all just quit complaining about it. Let's just change and move to another level. So with this in mind let’s all take the following pledge:
“I, _________________________ (state your name), do hereby promise to stretch, push myself, learn my craft well, and produce the highest quality work for my clients. That I will do my best to fulfill my clients’ wishes and represent our industry with pride and professionalism.”
I love our craft and maybe more importantly, I respect it and I hope you will join me in keeping up with those that came before us who took it to another level because they were also willing to change.
All images taken with Tamron's 90mm VC lens and as Tony wrote, "They were all taken at a Renaissance Faire. Crazy sharp and detailed...and quality all the way." Images copyright Corbell Productions. All rights reserved.