Huge Commission Rate Increases

First and foremost, we at candidtag want to thank everyone for the huge amount of support and positive feedback we have been receiving across the entire web community.  We have recently been featured on BBC Travel, PetaPixel, and Reddit where we received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback.  All that being said, some of our users felt that our commission rates were too low, and we have responded by making very significant increases in the commission rates that we offer photographers.  The updated commission rates are as follows:

Sales Range Commission %
0.00 – 49.99 50%
50.00 – 99.99 55%
100.00 – 199.99 60%
200.00 – 299.99 65%
300.00 and up 70%

With commission rates now starting at 50%, we believe that the added incentive for photographers will result in more photographers using the site.

Candidtagging Tips – Part 2

Earlier this week, our service was featured on petapixel.com, and we have since welcomed a number of new photographers to Candidtag.  It has really been exciting to see so many new photographers join the site, and if you have not yet read our first installment of candidtagging tips, we highly recommend that you do so.  We really want to keep this series both cumulative and collaborative, so if you have any feedback or tips to feature in our next series, please feel free to leave them in the comments. Without further ado, here are some brand new Candidtagging tips:

  1. Carry an extra camera. If you happen to have two camera bodies, I would recommend setting up one camera with a prime lens at a fixed focal length, for example 85mm. Use this one when possible to get professional looking images with a shallow depth of field. Set up the other camera with a zoom lens, more often than not you will find yourself using this camera so that you can quickly get the right composition without having to move to much. People probably don’t want to wait around for you to switch between lenses either.
  2. Carry plenty of Candidtag Collection Cards. Even if you only plan on taking a few pictures, you really never know when the right Candidtagging moment will strike, for example a big crowd at a new sculpture or monument.  Having enough cards is imperative because once you run out, you are out of luck.

    Candidtag Collection Card

    Candidtag Collection Card

  3. Think outside the box.  Stretch the meaning of Candidtagging. You don’t need to be in a big city with many tourists to use Candidtag.  For example, there are many photographers that will use candidtag at little league games that they would be photographing anyway.  Take pictures during the game and hand out the cards to the parents. This gives the parents an easy way to order prints, and you can save up some cash for that new lens you deserve.

    Use candidtag at little league games.

    Use candidtag at little league games.

  4. Show off your equipment.  Since many people already carry cameras with them on a day to day basis, it can really help to differentiate what you can offer with better equipment.  We all know that most dSLR cameras take better pictures than point and shoots and cell phones. Add a battery pack to your body and use a big lens. People will realize that you have a lot to offer them, and that you can take a higher quality photo than what they are able to do.
  5. Flatter your subjects.   No need to go overboard here, but telling them that they are interesting or the subject of a good photo will increase the likelihood that they oblige and even buy the photo later.

Winter Photography Tips

While I consider myself modest when evaluating my photography skills, if there is one thing that I am truly an expert at, it is winter photography. Born and raised in Chicago, I have endured some of the toughest winters seen by the lower 48, and here are some pointers that I think will really help young photographers make excellent images during the winter time.

1. Better safe than sorry. When it comes to preparation, you are better safe than sorry.  Dress warm, put on one or two more layers than you think you need.  Bring a hat, gloves, scarf, two pairs of socks, facemask etc.  You don’t want to find yourself rushing, or even passing on more compositions or angles simply because you are too cold.

Lonely Tree by Santo Rizutto

Lonely Tree by Santo Rizutto

2. Tis the season. Take advantage of things that are only around during the winter time.  Snow, whether it is fresh on the ground or falling out of the sky, makes for fantastic images. Furthermore, Christmas lights, trees and other holiday decor will add important context to your holiday photographs.

Manzella Cascade Gloves

Manzella Cascade Gloves

3.Gear Up. Make sure that you have the right gear for the season. Photography gloves are a great addition to your gear collection, keeping your hands warm while still giving you the ability to move the controls on your camera. Try the Manzella Cascade gloves, pictured right.  Also make sure that you have a warm jacket, hat, pants, boots etc, and anything else you can find that will make you feel comfortable and not let the winter weather get the best of you.

4. Tis the Off-Season.  For most places, the winter time is the off-season for tourism. Take advantage of the empty streets, and shoot places that you normally wouldn’t dare because of the heavy influx of people.  Super Bowl Sunday and New Years are great days for photographers to capture the most touristy locations without the people. Hope you don’t like football!

A Matrix of Lights by Christopher Schoenbohm

A Matrix of Lights by Christopher Schoenbohm

Portrait Photographer Portfolios: Ed McGowan

Welcome back to another installment of Portrait Photographer Portfolios. Just about all of the photographers we have interviewed thus far make some use out of digital post processing techniques,  but today’s photographer is truly an expert, holding a full time position with a design studio! Though his pictures already speak for themselves, we can assure you that today’s guest, Ed McGowan, is not only a professional designer, but also a master of photography. Be sure to check out Ed on his blog, flickr, and twitter pages.

I am the Director of Design @ PlainJoe Studios in Southern California. Back in March ’08 I decided to pick up the studios DSLR and I’ve been hooked ever since.!

Lauren in LA

Lauren in LA

I see that you have made a career our of graphic design. How has this had an impact on your photography?
Working in design day-to-day, I think I have garnered a general sense of composition which  has given me an advantage in photography.

Labels Lie Campaign - Portrait 2

Labels Lie Campaign - Portrait 2

From a photography perspective, how much time on average do you spend post-processing, and what software do you use?
Each photo is different and I approach it as such. I can spend anywhere from 5 to 45min in front of the computer screen. I use Lightroom and Photoshop.

The Path

The Path

How did you get into photography, and have you had any formal training in photography?
I have not had any formal training in photography. The Design studio had just bought a Digital SLR. I picked it up and started shooting….several months later I started a 365 project on flickr and it kind of started from there.

Do you do any professional photography? Have you ever implemented your own photography into your design work?
I will do professional work if a cool project comes my way. Since I do not do it as my job, it’s nice to choose what to work on. I do use my photography in comps for clients and occasionally my photographs will find their way onto the final product.

P&S: The Little Mermaid

P&S: The Little Mermaid

What equipment do you use? Specifically, camera body, lenses, flashes, strobes etc.
I like buying budget gear. My main gear: Nikon d3, sigmas 14mm f2.8, nikon 35mm f2, 50mm 1.4G, 85mm 1.8. Flashes: sb-800×2, sb-28, alien bee b1600, abr800

I see that you do portraits, nature, architectural and several other types of photography. Which is your favorite?
Portraits by far is my favorite to shoot. If I could only shoot portraits I would be fine with it.

Which photographer has influenced you the most?
Jeremy Cowart

If you had only one lens to use for the rest of your photography career, which would it be?
35mm f1.4 (if i could afford it)

This is one of my favorite photographs of yours:

P&S: Summer 09

P&S: Summer 09

Can you talk a little bit about the moment you took it? Did you intend to get that great flare in the corner?
Interesting you picked that one. Because one of the main camera’s I use is a D3, I would get a lot of comments like “well you are using a d3″. So during my 365, I decided to dedicate a whole week around Point & Shoots. This was the first shot in that series. I took my nikon coolpix and went out and shot my daughter. The lens flare was a result of where I placed her in relation to the sun for a good exposure. I liked the flare so went with that shot.

[Editor's Note: Wow, this was taken with a point and shoot!]

Which photograph that you have taken is your favorite?

Eden - Senior Portrait

Eden - Senior Portrait

I think everything fell into place…I love this look. We stood around for a while waiting for the clouds to roll in. Prior to this, the sun was out.

Have you ever taken photos of strangers on the street?
Yes, but without them knowing it. I’d love to have the guts to ask people if i could take their pictures.

Do you prefer natural lighting or some form of strobes/flashes?
I like shooting both..but if i had to choose, I would prefer portraits with strobes that are well balanced with ambient light.

Summer Sunshine

Summer Sunshine

What is the best advice you would give a photographer just starting out?
Shoot as much as you can! The more you shoot = more post processing = more technique you pick up a long the way.

Portrait Photographer Portfolios: Anna Gay

In the second installment of Portrait Photographer Portfolios we are pleased to welcome an incredible portrait artist, and flickr phenom, Anna Gay (Loca Luna).  Anna is the author of The Art of Self Portraiture, an instructional photography e-book related to the journey of Self Portrait Photography.  Be sure to check out Anna’s website, flickr page, facebook page, and twitter page.

My name is Anna Gay, and I am a portrait photographer based in Athens, GA. When I am not shooting, I am a guest-blogger, photography tutor, and the author of The Art of Self Portraiture. My husband, Evan Leavitt, is also a photographer, so I enjoy being a second shooter and assistant on his shoots. I am a music lover, and since Evan photographs musicians, I get to meet a lot of really interesting and talented musicians, who never cease to inspire my work as a photographer. I also have two cats, who seem to enjoy being in my self-portraits.

three forty two

three forty two

I see that you did a Project 365.  Can you talk about how that helped you grow as a photographer?
My 365 was invaluable to me as a photographer. When I started my 365, I had no photography experience, in fact, I only had a point and shoot camera. Very soon, though, I upgraded to a DSLR, so my 365 gave me the opportunity to practice, every day, on how to use my new camera, different types of lighting, composition and post-processing techniques. It also helped me become confident in my process of creating images, which has really helped me with my portrait work, because I spend more time connecting with my clients, rather than fiddling with my camera and lighting setups.

 

What equipment do you use? Specifically, camera body, lenses, flashes, strobes etc.
My primary camera is the 5D Mark II with a 50mm lens, and a 480ex ii flash. Those are my staples that I always carry with me to a shoot. I am also shooting/developing a lot of film these days, in which case I use a Nikon FM-10, which is a 35mm film SLR. I prefer to develop my own film, so I shoot a variety of black and white films so that I can develop them at home.

 

"so i cut the ties and i jumped the track for never to return"

"so i cut the ties and i jumped the track for never to return"

I see that you do events, self-portraits, nature, architectural and several other types of photography. Which is your favorite?
Without a doubt, my favorite types of photography are events and portraits. I love shooting engagement, weddings, maternity and kids as much as possible, because they are such joyous events, and highlight the happy moments in peoples’ lives. I am fairly shy, but through photography, I have found a way to connect with other people in an area in which I am confident. I love going to a shoot, getting to know the client and hearing about their life, and then giving them images that they are happy to have – that is such a rewarding feeling.

 

Do you feel restrained at all when doing events such as weddings compared to a self-portrait at a scene of your choosing?
Yes and no, actually. My solution to that issue is that, with every event I shoot, I do my best to get to the venue the day before, or the morning of. For example, if I am shooting a wedding, I always attend the rehearsal so that I know exactly what the venue looks like in terms of lighting, seating arrangement, and where I need to stand when I shoot. So, while the venue is always out of my control, I do my research beforehand so that when the time arrives, I have a plan-of-action that will help me get the best possible shots.

 

day eighty three: jumping allowed

day eighty three: jumping allowed

As a self-portraitist, how much time do you spend going back and forth between going behind the camera and in front of it for a single shot?  Do you find yourself cropping in post a lot to get the scene just right?
When I first started with self-portraits, I spent a ridiculous amount of time going back and forth, because it takes a lot of practice to know how to place yourself in front of the camera, especially when you’re new to photography, as I was. By the same token, I used to spend a lot of time cropping, too. At this point, I pretty much know exactly where I should be in front of the camera, and have learned to look through my viewfinder and visualize exactly where I need to be in the photo. This has really helped me with my client shoots, as well, because I know where and how people should be posed, so I spend very little time directing them, and cropping in post.

 

day twenty five: orange you glad i didn't use a pineapple?

day twenty five: orange you glad i didn't use a pineapple?

How much time on average do you spend post-processing, and what software do you use?
I spend a good deal of time in post-processing. I am trying to graduate to a more natural style of processing as I learn more about photography, because if you look at my earlier work, it was processed with an extremely heavy hand. I can see that I had an idea of how I wanted my work to look, it just wasn’t working for me at the time. So, while I still have my color curves and textures that I add to the majority of my photos, I am refining my technique as much as possible, and learning how to use color and texture in a more subtle way. I use Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS 4.

 

How did you get into photography, and have you had any formal training in photography?
I graduated with a degree in theatre, so I have had no formal training in photography. I found photography in 2008 after I had knee surgery, and needed a hobby as I recuperated. I have always really enjoyed drawing, but wanted to try a new medium of visual art, so that is why I started experimenting with photography.

 

Which photographer has influenced you the most?
There are so many to name, but the two whose work I always find myself staring at for hours on end are Sally Mann and Katie Lee. Katie Lee, for her amazingly artistic self-portraits, that always seem to have a positive, uplifting feel to them – she is the person who inspired me to get in front of the lens. Sally Mann, for the depth and emotion in her portraits of her children, as well as the perfect tonality in her work with film and wet collodion.

 

If you had only one lens to use for the rest of your photography career, which would it be?
Any sort of 50mm, I don’t particularly care what brand (unless someone wants to give me a Zeiss, I wouldn’t turn it down) as long as it is fast. I have been in love with that focal length ever since I first shot with it.

 

Which photograph that you have taken is your favorite?
To this day, my favorite is a self-portrait called “Full Circle.”  [pictured below] It was one of my first self portraits, but has always remained my favorite. I enjoy it because my back is turned which, for me, opens up the possibility for interpretation. I also just love the light, and the colors of the peeling paint on the walls.
18: Full Circle

18: Full Circle

Have you ever taken photos of strangers on the street?
Two of my closest friends are talented street photographers, and they have encouraged me to get out and photograph people on the street, which is really, really difficult for me to do, because as I mentioned, I am fairly shy. It is an exercise in self-confidence for me, because I am always worried that people do not want me taking their photos, but I haven’t received any complaints yet. It is really fun to me, but I have to be in the right mood to put myself out there in that manner.

 

Do you prefer natural lighting or some form of strobes/flashes?
I much prefer natural light, but when I need an extra light source, I either use a reflector, or my flash and a reflector umbrella off-camera.

 

two sixty six: Those Who Hear Not the Music Think the Dancers Mad

two sixty six: Those Who Hear Not the Music Think the Dancers Mad

What is the biggest mistake you have ever made?
Sharing a lot of personal details about my life on Flickr was a huge, huge mistake. Because I post all of my self-portraits on Flickr, and because I went through a lot of personal turmoil in a short amount of time during my 365, I found myself talking about it in a very candid way on Flickr in my descriptions of my photos. At this point, I wish I had let the photos speak for themselves, rather than airing all of my emotions in my descriptions. If you are that open, people will often set out to attack you personally, which is what happened to me, and I wish that I could have avoided all of that.

 

What is the best advice you would give a photographer just starting out?
Practice, study the work of other photographers, practice some more. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and also know that if you want to become a professional photographer, there is a lot of serious competition out there, and it can be challenging field. If photography is really where your heart is, though, you just have to find a way to keep doing what you love, and know that you may have to wear a lot of different hats. For me, I do portraits, but to supplement my income, I also guest-blog, make Photoshop actions and textures, as well as tutor other photographers. It is a lot of work, but if it is what you love, you’ll be very rewarded by photography, so just stay open to new possibilities.

 

will travel

will travel

I see that you have a book out, can you talk about that?
Yes, I wrote an ebook for Digital Photography School called The Art of Self-Portraiture, which is basically a how-to guide with tips and tricks for taking self-portraits, and also explores how self-portraiture can help improve your skills as a photographer, as well as serve you in the area of self-awareness and personal expression. The book goes through the basics like equipment, lighting, posing, composition, post-processing, has examples from other self-portrait photographers, as well as a list of ideas and themes for self-portraits. People have really been enjoying it so far! When it was first released, I wasn’t sure how people would react to a book about self-portraiture, but so far I have heard from a lot of people who found it very useful.

 

100 Strangers

As photographers, we are constantly pushing ourselves to take more photos. This can be more difficult than it sounds, and there are a number of photography projects out there such as Project 365, 52 Walks, A-Z and several others that spark creativity.  Perhaps the most imagination-inducing photography project of all is the 100 Strangers Project.

Stranger #028 by Ben Raynal (zubrow)

Stranger #028 by Ben Raynal (zubrow)

The 100 strangers project encourages photographers to stretch their comfort zones by taking 100 portraits of subjects which they have never encountered.  The concept is designed to improve not only the photography skills of the artist, but also social skills, by forcing photographers to meet new people.

Stranger #001 by Ben Raynal (zubrow)

Stranger #001 by Ben Raynal (zubrow)

Photographers are encouraged to socialize with their subjects, and ask for permission to take a photo of them.  The final challenge for the photographer is to tell a story with the image they capture.

Stranger #032 by Ben Raynal (zubrow)

Stranger #032 by Ben Raynal (zubrow)

With Candidtag, photographers have an easy way of sharing their photos with their subjects, without the hastle of gathering email addresses.  Furthermore, in addition to improving photography and social skills, Candidtag gives 100 Strangers enthusiasts the chance to also enhance their business skills.  Photographers can now earn money from the 100 Strangers project by selling their portraits back to their subjects.  Sign up for Candidtag today to learn more!

Portrait Photographer Portfolios – Kris Kesiak

For today’s inaugural installment of Portrait Photographer Portfolios, we proudly welcome Kris Kesiak.  You can check out Kris’ website, flickr page, twitter, and facebook.  Kris is a ridiculously talented portrait photographer from the UK, let’s all give him a big candidtag welcome!

I’m 32, was born in Poland and have lived in Glasgow for almost a decade now. I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I remember there being some sort of camera around, probably since I was 10 or so. First money I ever made was by taking portraits of people when I was about 16 but I never really thought of doing it professionally until only a few years ago. I graduated from University in the meantime (English major), worked as a teacher, moved to Glasgow and, cutting a very long story short, ended up running a small graphic design & print business which I still do alongside being a freelance photographer.
Lost in Music • Upside Down (Boy You Turn Me)

Lost in Music • Upside Down (Boy You Turn Me)

What equipment do you use? Specifically, camera body, lenses, flashes, strobes etc.
My main body is Nikon D700 (LOVE this camera). I also got an ancient Zenit 11 (first SLR I ever owned) and a Nikon D40. My main lenses are Nikkor 50mm f1.4 and a Nikkor 24mm f2.8 and I’ve got a couple of Nikon SB 600s along with a lot of Lastolite portable kit (on and off camera softboxes, stands, etc).

How much time on average do you spend post-processing, and what software do you use?
I mainly use Aperture with various plug-ins and, for heavier retouching, Photoshop. It’s hard to tell how long post-processing takes as it really depends on the nature of the shoot – portraits with a lot of skin work involved are most time-consuming.
Emily

Emily

How did you get into photography, and have you had any formal training in photography?
I don’t remember any particular moment where I first thought “wow, I love photography”, it’s just something I’ve always enjoyed, it felt natural. I’ve not had any formal training apart from a couple of evening courses dealing with more technical aspects of photography.

Which photographer has influenced you the most?
I would have to say Herb Ritts. I love the fact he worked mostly with natural light and had an amazing eye for beauty and form. His work is absolutely timeless in my opinion.
The Other Side

The Other Side

If you had only one lens to use for the rest of your photography career, which would it be?
The 50mm f1.4, no doubt. It’s lovely, especially on a full frame camera – super sharp, fast, bright and with beautiful bokeh.

This is one of my absolute favorite shots of yours:
Kiera

Kiera

Can you describe the moment you took this shot?  Were you trying to get the baby to make this pose? When you took the shot, did you know right away that it was a great one?
Glad you like it. My approach to photographing children is basically letting them do what they do and keep snapping. That’s exactly what happened there, her mum was at her side and we were all chatting to the baby, laughing, etc and I guess at one point Kiera (who was 4 months old at the time) just got fed up and started blowing raspberries at us. It was very funny and I remember thinking at the time it was going to be a great shot.

Which photograph that you have taken is your favorite?
I think this shot is one of my favourites: 
I've Seen It All

I've Seen It All

 It’s my gran arranging flowers in her veranda. She’s had a really hard life and I think you can see it in her eyes here. It’s quite personal.

Do you prefer natural lighting or some form of strobes/flashes?
Strobes are great and you can get really creative with them but personally I prefer the quality of natural light and, if I can get away with it, I will shoot with a reflector only.

When did you just know that you wanted to make a career out of photography?
As mentioned before, I never really thought of it being a career. I just kept taking photographs throughout the years because I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, I built up a portfolio, had it online and all of a sudden, couple of years ago, people started getting in touch with me offering money to shoot this or that. It all happened very organically and I’m still trying to get my head around it but it feels fantastic to now be able to make money doing something that’s been a hobby all my life. 

Have you ever had an absolute disaster occur during one of your shoots ie out of batteries, camera breaks or some other form of adversity? If so, how did you deal with it?
I was doing a cover shoot for DIVA magazine a couple of months ago, we were on location in this abandoned Victorian prison in Glasgow and all of a sudden my strobes stopped working. I changed the batteries, tried everything but it seemed like the camera wasn’t communicating with the strobes anymore (I was shooting in commander mode), might’ve been some frequency disturbance or something, don’t know. I tried not to show I was in complete panic and just relocated to another part of the building to take some natural light shots while at the same time trying to figure out in my head how to fix the strobe situation. After 15 minutes or so I checked the strobes again and, weirdly enough, everything was back to normal. The funny thing was that those natural light shots were among the best ones taken that day.

Stella Bartram

Stella Bartram

Anything else you would like to mention to our readers?
If anybody has an idea about what happened to those bloody strobes in that prison, I’d be eternally grateful! :-)

Candidtagging Tips – Part 1

We are going to proactively title this post “Part 1″ since we anticipate doing many many more of these posts, since this is, after all, what this blog is all about.

The concept of taking pictures of strangers is nothing new, however, only after Candidtag came along have photographers been able to able to profit from it.  Candid street portraits are a great way for photographers to improve their skills.  Rather than taking pictures in the same places of the same people, Candidtagging forces the photographer to make new images, and experiment with new scenery and subjects.  Street portraits are a great way for photographers to gain real experience in photography.  Photographers that do this will find that they are well prepared for any lighting and scenery situation since they have dealt with so many diverse combinations before.

Here are a few tips to improve your candidtagging, and there are plenty more to come!

  1. It’s OK to pose- Just because the site has “candid” in it, doesn’t mean you can’t ask your subjects to pose.

    2011/07/24 Olga

    Posing for Candidtag

  2. Take Lots of Pictures- While we would never condone the run-and-gun approach to photography, taking lots of pictures can really help you grow as a photographer, and you will find that you are far more likely to capture that perfect moment.  By taking lots of photos you will be able to get a better sense of which shots worked and which didn’t work and why.  Gathering this information will help you put yourself in more likely to succeed positions the next time you are out.  We are fortunate to live in the digital era where taking extra pictures costs you nothing. Take advantage of this.

    Licking her Finger

    It may take more than one shot to capture that perfect moment

  3. Use a Zoom Lens – As I mentioned in my 5 Tips for Great Portrait Photography, a bokeh can really differentiate an image between what’s considered amateur and pro.  In addtion to being able to get a better bokeh, a long lens is a great way to separate the photographer from the scene.

    Some Kid and Mr. Bokeh

    Most people are happy to give the camera a big smile!

  4. Don’t Be Shy- Life is too short to be shy!  Don’t be afraid to approach someone and ask for their permission to take a photo.  Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of eye contact.

    January 9, 2010 - Joey

    If you give a big smile, you'll find that your subject will return the favor more often than not!

Thanks for checking out the first installment of candidtagging tips!  Come back soon!

5 Tips for Great Portrait Photography

If you are wondering how to create striking portrait images, you have come to the right place. In today’s post I would like to give my five most important tips to making great portraits.

  1. Bring out the Bokeh – While getting a bokeh just right takes some practice, it can really bring attention towards the part of the portrait that you would like to emphasize.  Also, point and shoot cameras are incapable of shooting at low f-stops, so using a dslr to take a picture with a very out of focus background adds not only drama, but a sense of professionalism to the photo.

    What to my wondering eyes should appear ...

    An excellent example of how a bokeh can help add drama to the photo.

  2. Capture it in the Camera- We’ve all broken this rule.  You take a picture with what you think is a minor flaw and you think to yourself, “it’s ok, I can fix that in photoshop”.  This is really bad practice that we all need to break immediately. It can lead to putting little effort into the shoot itself, and expecting to produce a quality photo from something that simply is not.  While being proficient in photoshop can be a great asset to photographers, it is important to remember that we are photographers first, and that is the skill which we should primarily seek to improve.

    The cutest boy in the world

    A great example of an excellent image with little post processing.

  3. I say it’s all about the Eyes- The eyes are the most important part of almost any portrait. Think about it, no other body part expresses as much emotion as the eyes, and it’s no surprise that when shooting a portrait you should focus on them.  Often, the eyes tell the story of the portrait, and can even lead the viewer into looking a certain direction.

    siberian

    A fantastic example of how to eyes can express so much emotion in a portrait.

  4. Capture Candidly-  Having someone pose for your picture gives you a chance to set up and gather the corect settings in attempt to capture something “perfectly”, however, we need remember that photography is an art and not a science.  More often that not, a candid image expresses more emotion, and expresses a more real experience to the viewer.

    Snowfall - No. 12

    A great candid shot.

  5. Shoot Early, Shoot Often – Back in the film days, photographers had to pay for each roll of film that they used.  Think about the advantage that we have today with manufacturers being able to cram more and more space into smaller and smaller devices. Take advantage of this!  If you find yourself questioning whether or not a scene might look interesting from a different angle or with a different pose, it can’t hurt to take it. As they say in sports, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.

How To Become a Professional Photographer

In the not so distant past, the answer to the question, “How do I become a professional photographer” was a very complicated one. You see, becoming a great photographer not only required great skill, but it also necessitated quite a large budget. Purchasing a good camera, lenses, flashes, tripods etc, required a would be professional to make a huge investment in pursuing his or her craft as trade. That is simply not the case today. The costs involved in producing professional quality photography equipment has declined drastically.  Yesterday’s photographers would likely die to have equipment half as effective as some of today’s BOTTOM SHELF consumer merchandise.

Nikon D3100

The 14 MP Nikon D3100 takes Professional quality Iiages in low light and the kit (includes lens) is listed under $650.

This leads us to the question, “What Separates Professional Photographers from Gadget Junkies?” This is a much simpler question and can be answered in a word, experience. Experience is what separates amateurs, hobbyists, and gear snobs from professional photographers. This can cause quite the dilemma for photographers trying to cross the barrier and call themselves “pros”.  How can an inexperienced camera owner gain practice if it’s the lack of practice that’s holding them back in the first place?  Let’s face it, you aren’t gonna win a wedding contract with a portfolio filled with pictures of your dog/cat/mom/etc.  Many of us have resorted to doing portrait shoots free of charge under the condition that the photos taken can be used to boost the photographers portfolio.  This is simply not fair.  You paid for your camera, you spent hours reading tutorials online about aperture, exposure, ISO, white balance, focal length etc. You spent your valuable time before the shoot researching the setting, during the shoot taking pictures, and after the shoot post processing.   This is a business model that simply won’t last.

The italics now should serve as a disclaimer that the below content is promotional and should be regarded as such.

Candidtag allows photographers to gain experience and profit from their work at the same time. Candidtag allows photographers to work at becoming professionals, while getting paid. Furthermore, Candidtag removes all risk associated with a professional contract.  If your equipment malfunctions while out on the job, no big deal. You can pick up where you left off.  Sign Up for Candidtag today, and jump on the fast track to becoming a pro!