Hiring a Photographer – What to Look for

Looking for a photographer for an event? There are many professionals out there, many of whom could do a really good job for your event, wedding or party. So how do you go about choosing the right one for you? Here are some of our top tips:

  • Look at a photographer’s portfolio and see if you like their work. Look at the types of angles they use and whether photos look natural or staged.
  • Find someone with experience in the specific area you are looking for. If you need a wedding photographer, find someone with lots of experience. If you are having a corporate photo shoot, find someone with experience in this.
  • Ask about prices. If prices aren’t listed on a photographer’s site, ask them upfront about costs. They may be out of your price range, in which case you will need to think again. Ask if they can recommend anyone.

How to Set up a Photography Business

If photography is your passion, you may decide to turn it into a career. In order to make it as a photographer, you need to have quite a unique skill set – technical knowledge, creativity, a passion for working with people… here are some of the things you should think about ahead of going into business:

  • Qualifications. People might be more likely to use you if you have a certification or qualification. It is certainly something you can use in your advertising and marketing campaigns. Choose a course that suits you and your current skill level.
  • Cost. Find out what costs are involved in setting up a small business and if there is any help available to you.
  • Clients. Make sure you have a good photography portfolio and can market your services. This will help you to find clients. Think about giving away vouchers for a photo shoot to get your name known.

Why you Need to Look After your Lens Cap

Your lens cap will protect your camera’s lens and prevent it from getting scratched, dirty and damaged. It’s therefore essential you look after it and use it to fully protect your camera and its lens. Lenses can cost a lot of money, so it’s important you look after it and protect your investment. A lens cap that isn’t looked after can do more damage than not using one at all.

Make sure there is nothing on your lens cap, like dust and dirt. If you drop it, see whether you can clean it off and if not, purchase a new one. This is especially the case if you drop it into dust, sand or gravel. Squeeze it to see whether any of the debris has got inside and if it has, don’t put the cap onto your camera. Buy a new one as soon as you can, or you will end up transferring the dirt onto your lens.

Taking Photos at a Christening

A christening is a wonderful event that any budding photographer will want to capture on film. If you are looking for some opportunities to practice your photography skills, taking some photos at a christening is a great way to broaden your horizons.

It’s a great way to practice capturing portraits as you can photograph the baby being christened and its family. Gowns are usually white so be careful with this – you need to make sure you don’t over-expose the image. You can also take some photographs of guests and of the venue itself. If the photographs are good, you may even want to think about getting some professional photography work in future and taking photos at other christenings and events. You can get some of the best photos printed and have them framed as a beautiful and personal gift for the baby’s family – they will really appreciate such a thoughtful present.

Selecting the Right Case for your Camera

Camera cases are very personal things. Everyone will have different preferences and different things will be important to them when transporting and carrying their camera. There are lots of things to take into account and it might even be the case that you will want more than one camera case, depending on how you use all of your photography equipment.

First of all, think about how much equipment you have and how much of it you would want with you at any one time. You can get cases that will accommodate various different pieces of equipment, such as additional lenses and filters. However, if you have lots of lenses, you may want to buy individual cases for them.

If you travel with your camera, protection will be the most important consideration for you. Make sure your case is well padded and will offer you lots of protection for your camera.

Taking your Camera Abroad

Taking photos whilst away from the UK can be a wonderful experience. However, it isn’t always that easy to transport your camera or even to take it out safely in public. It will all depend on where you are going in the world and how you are going to be travelling.

If you are flying, you should always keep your camera with you in your hand luggage. This will help to prevent it from breaking during transit. If you have a lot of equipment and it won’t all fit into your usual hand luggage allowance, you may be able to pay to increase it. If not, go somewhere that you can drive to instead.

You should be very aware of your safety when you take your camera out in busy places on holiday. Be very aware of what is going on around you. If you are able, change the strap and case to non-branded ones so you don’t attract attention to your branded camera.

Taking Pictures of Moving Cars

Modern DSLRs and CSCs have a number of focus zones to call upon, but most of them aren’t needed when taking motor sports images.

By limiting the focus areas to only the central zone the camera won’t be interested in the background or foreground, only the subject. By keeping the subject in the centre of the frame not only will your framing be much improved, but you’ll have enough room around the subject to track it.

Try to move as much as possible also. We understand that this may not be convenient in many cases, when photographin car racing but try not to get stuck in one position. Although you can vary the angle you shoot from to some degree, there’ll still be an amount of similarity between shots.

You’ll also give another photographer the chance to take a few images from the same location.

This will help to get a wider variety of shots, especially as different techniques will be needed at each position. 
Try to look out for obstructions when scouting a new location, as the likes of tall grass might not be immediately obvious when viewing from further away.

Shopping Tips For This Christmas

Have a list – List the people who you are going to buy a Christmas gift for. This is a good place to start as the exercise will help you see the ‘magnitude’ of the shopping you need to do. Here are some of the people who you will probably include in this list:

  • Family.
  • Close friends.
  • Colleagues.
  • Gift exchanges for Christmas parties.

Think of a gift – For each person in the list, think of a suitable gift that you will like to buy for him/her. If you are not very sure at this point, have a few potential items listed so that you at least have something in mind when you are in the mall.

Start a budget – For each gift, estimate how much you would spend on that gift. Total the prices for all the gifts you have listed and that’ll be your budget. If you have a few possible items listed for one person, use the price of the most expensive item to calculating the budget. You want to make sure you are prepared for the worst case scenario. Take a look at the total. Is this budget affordable? If not, you may have to review step 2 and 3 until you have a final budget that you are comfortable with.

Do online research – A good way to check if your budget is realistic is to do some online research before you actually head down to the mall. Not only is this a good way to gather gift ideas and market rates, it also saves you time and energy you would waste going to the crowded mall simply for research purpose.

 

Printing Good Quality Photos At Home

Are you looking to print out some high quality photos from your home printer? It would be worthwhile printing from a good quality photo printer that uses the Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow cartridges, as opposed to the standard black and colour cartridge set up in older non-photo printers.

You can capture the perfect shots, but without the right printer to print them out on at home the end result won’t always be what you expect. But if you get the right printer and the right photo quality paper, you can play around with the different photo paper finishes until you find the one you like best, and then choose the style you want them to be printed in.

The are a number of styles you can use, like Sepia, Monochrome, colour popped, etc… The styles available are dependant on the photo software you have on your computer, camera or super-phone.

Smartphone Photography

Cameras on our smartphones are more than adequate to take good quality photos, even if the person taking them is ametuer. Though it depends on the phone being used and the megapixels on the camera, as well as the quality of the lens built into the phone; a good MP to go buy is usually 12MP to 16MP for a fairly good quality photo.

Some of the latest superphones have the ability to connect directly to a photo printer for instant printing of photos, though it depends on the software they came with; the basic software might not have much with it, in terms of style and effects. You can always look for a different photo app if the one installed is inadequate, and you can choose between free or paid apps; the free apps usually had an added risk and will often contain spam advertisements that may be annoying, so might be worth paying a small fee for a paid photo studio type app.