Saturday, August 30, 2008

Free photography and marketing tools for you.

Before you get too far, you should consider subscribing to this very blog. I just don’t want any of you to miss one single trick or idea!

Well, with the last entry I explained that you all could follow along with me as I market myself for as little to no cost as possible.

I handed the images that I took of the two models (in my last entry) to their respective families, as a step into the right direction passed before my eyes.

One of the models' parents has a very busy business in the local area. The business is one that has a brick and mortar building of which customers travel into and from. I was elated to hear that a large print of the model (that I am the photographer of) will hang proudly in their buildings lobby. I will be able to attach some of my business cards near the photographs area on the wall as well. This is some great, and absolutely free marketing.

I must admit that I paid twenty dollars for a box of simple yet effective business cards some time ago. These are extremely cost effective, as they travel, or have traveled, all over the state and hopefully the country. I have had a change of personal information, though, so some new cards are in order. I plan on spending yet another twenty dollars in the near future.

For one hour of shooting time, an hour or two of editing time, and twenty dollars for a box of business cards, I will soon have a sample of my work placed in a highly visible location, selling my abilities for me. This is not the only thing that I plan on doing, but instead, it is only one of the many, many things that I now can plan on having gaining some attention for me.

How very nice it is to have such a heart-filled family to allow my work to hang in such a visible location. Many warm "Thank you's" go out to you all. You know who you are!

My newest tool in attracting new models to photograph for my portfolio is the website Model Mayhem. This is "a must" in order to take the powerful images of fashion and themes that will make up my portfolio. Free is my price, and Model Mayhem might just be the place. Model mayhem is thee place where photographers and models can showcase their work. Both, looking for each other, can be found here. Amateurs and pro's alike advertise here too!

All that Model Mayhem asks of you, is to submit a few pieces of your work. From there they decide if you should be able to have a free account or not. Then, after a short wait of a day or two, you can log on and start meeting pros in your area. Oh yea, I forgot to explain that you can find people in any state or country, with a very detailed search. If hair color or even eye color is what you must have for certain, than simply enter it in and then whammo, a link list with pictures pops up right before your eyes. What an incredible and valuable resource this powerful site will be.

As always your comments are welcome as I like to get to know you all better.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gorilla marketing portraits.

Hello fellow photographers, and a great marketing day to you.

I have been rather busy shooting models, trying to get a decent portfolio together. My goal is to start getting some "new work", and to spread my availability, skill, and studio space availability around to some "new folks". I am in great hopes of advertising in several different ways.

I am thinking about putting a local mailing together, a local Craigslist venture, an all out attack on the blogsphere, making my rounds to the graduating classes of 2009 and 2010, and find the local pet chains and groomers to place some well done propaganda in their businesses. In other words, I am "gorilla marketing".

I am going to use this blog, from time to time, to help save others some time. When I hit a wall, or achieve some success with my venture for new clients, I will post it. I will share my techniques, as well as my mistakes, and any funny stories that come from my attempts.

Hopefully some folks will be able to use my portfolio marketing web log entries as a sort of guide on what to expect along the way. Certainly you will learn what works and what does not work.
The only money that I am willing to spend in this new creation is the mailing. This is the last idea on my list of things to do in order to promote myself, for the reason of cost. I like to get the most cash from the least amount of cash, whenever possible. Gorilla marketing, to me, is all about getting the most coverage in an area of ones' niche' for the least amount of cash. In other words, it is all about being creative and breaking the mold.

Some other ideas that I am tossing around in my head are interviews. I have not solved my angle of interest completely, but this very topic might be of interest to the local radio, web, I-tune blogs, ect. I might have to make it more interesting but you can see how a story like this could get ones name out there. Feeding the gorilla, that's all.

With those ideas planted, here is a taste of what I have been up to since the last blog entry. This is Meghan and Amanda. Two different shoots. Meghan was photographed at the Saco River Photography studio, of which I co-own, and Amanda was photographed on the beach, at Biddeford Pool, Maine.

These two young ladies will both be in my portfolio. They agreed to be photographed for a CD of the finished images only. This was a win/win situation I thought. I get a model, they get images. This is my strategy, getting the most for the least!

Making things attractive is the key. I need to make putting an image onto a businesses' wall a good deal for "them". I am toying with a few incentives, like percentages of sales, an art piece to look at, and several other ideas that will come later.

Feel free to see what I have been up to, as I keep this place up and current! Feel free to comment and subscribe. You all count to me, and very much so!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dean Collins "One Light"

Light....... What is light, and how is it used in photography? Good questions. I will not write that I am the best at this, or any other photography aspect, but I do follow the rules of lighting as best I can.

This entry was done to help promote, and to help show, how easy and incredibly intelligent the The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting by Dean Collins techniques are to use, and the results they can give.

What can we do to alter our light source for the sake of better images? How can we use the different types of "altered light" to better show an objects texture, an objects depth, or even to convey an emotion? Well, I feel that this is great stuff, here, that I am asking, so lets see if I can "shed some light" on these great questions.

Our light source, in this blog entry anyway, will be coming from just one source. The source will be the Sun. The light from the sun hits our eyes (or lens) after it bounces off of objects that we wish to photograph. The "quality" of this light can change in many ways. Sun light can be "hard or soft". I will be altering this light source for sake of this entry, but first lets see what "hard or soft" sunlight, or "altered light", the Sun supplies us with.

At high noon the shadows that the direct Sun casts seem to be bold, dark, and with a crisp line between the lit areas and the dark areas, which they termed little "fall off". At sun-rise and at sun-set the light appears softer and it seems to "wrap around" the objects that we wish to photograph. Their is now a gradual "falling off" between the light and shadow areas. This "falling off" of light between the light and dark areas is caused by a diffusion of the light source. The use of diffusion is going to be one of the main tools for the showing of texture, shape, and emotion. Light placement is also an important tool when it comes to texture, shape, and emotion, but lets focus on the falling off of light.

The golf ball in this image was photographed in the harsh sunlight, at close to high noon. Notice the hard shadow quality. Their is little fall off between the light areas and the shadow areas. This shows the texture of the golf balls' "divots" very well, but the ratio between the lit and the dark, overall, is too high for my taste. The ball is very bright, and also very dark. If I was after a shot that intended to show a contrast-like texture of an older, scratched and pitted golf ball, this method for lighting would be desirable. Let's alter the light by slipping in a single diffuser.

Same time of day, but notice the softness of the texture of the golf ball. This is due to the single light source (the sun) being diffused. The light now seems to wrap itself around the ball, giving it depth. The fall off between the lit areas and the dark areas is more gradual. The light/dark ratio has been lowered too. This gives the image a more soft-like feel. This is a great lighting to show a nice new golf ball.

Next, just to show for some more texture and depth, I placed a small bounce card reflector in the diffused light, Just like I learned in Best of Dean Collins on Lighting by Dean Collins, in front and underneath the golf ball. This was done to light the underside of the ball, but just a little bit. I felt that it had way too much shadow for the image.

So, I think that I have altered light to show for depth, detail, and emotion. The emotion part is that you now want to purchase this ball. It is desirable because of its' soft texture and gloss finish, and it seems to be three dimensional in a two dimensional image. You can almost feel the ball, and know how it will improve your game. Well, that is the idea anyway.

I hope that this will be helpful, and inspire you to check out the Best of Dean Collins on Lighting by Dean Collins! Subscribe to "All Things About Photography" today!
See ya next time!!!

S. "Kern" R.