We respect your email privacy

»  Fro Knows Photo Blog

Live by Your Slogan or Don’t Have One: Rapid Fire Photography Website Critique

Jared Polin February 13, 2014 Comments Off

What do I mean by Live by Your Slogan or Don’t Have One.

In the latest Rapid Fire Website Critique I took at a look at Jonathan Tate Photography. On his page he has a slogan “the world is black and white through my eyes”. The only problem with that slogan is he had color images on his website.

This is where he has to make a decision, does he live by his slogan or does he get rid of it. In my opinion if you’re going to have a slogan like that you better live by it. Every image on your site should be black and white and that is what you should be marketing.

If people want color that is something you would give them but not post on your page, on your page you live by the slogan.

On the other hand I think the page is laid out pretty well with some minor tweaks needed.

One thing I pointed out was the domain name. You can simply purchase a domain on your own for around $12.99 a year and at that point you can drop the squarespace from your address. Squarespace has some very simple tutorials on how to do this.

If you would like to have your photography website critiqued please use the submit photo section above.

If you would like a FREE 14 day trial of Squarespace please CLICK HERE. If you decide that it is for your, use code “FROTUBE” to save 10% off your first order.

Click here to read the video transcript

Jared Polin: Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, and yes my voice is slightly a little raspy after three days of shooting the froknowsphoto video guide the next guide that’s coming out. And today is the snow day so I would figure I’d catch up on making a Squarespace Rapid Fire Critique. And this time we’ve got Jonathan Tate photography and this is what his website says. It says the world is black and white through my eyes… so we will see if that is the case. So first things first his Squarespace page I believe the template that he’s using is called Wells. That is similar to the one that I use on mine, so that’s something that I definitely, definitely like. So one thing I first noticed up here, oh I want to turn off desktop icons for the time being.

One thing that I saw up here is its Jonathantatephotography.squarespace.com. Now that’s very difficult to send somebody to Squarespace I believe when you signup for a year gives you a free domain name. Now you don’t have to use them for the domain name. I use a company called Aplus.net. I believe it’s 12.99 a year or 10.99. I think it went upto 12.99 a year for a domain. I would purchase my own domain name separately so that you know in case you leave Squarespace one day you still have your domain. I don’t know how they do it, whether you get to keep it or you can transfer it, maybe they do. I’m sure they make it easy, but in this case, I like to purchase it on my own so I control it so I would like to see that you do that. Get Jonathan Tate photo probably opposed to photography that way it’s not so long. You got to look at how long domain names are. You got to try to make it easy for people to find your site and to spell it out, especially on mobile devices.

You would end up losing the Squarespace. Squarespace makes it really easy for you to map your domain name to wherever you have it. It’s just really simple. That’s what I did so that you can go to Jonathantatephotography.com. If you own that and get right to your website even if it’s stored on Squarespace’s server. So first things first, we’ve got or maybe second things second, I don’t know. We got Sacramento’s streets. We can pump through here boom. . I like how we rotate. I like how the images are huge. Remember that you can always drag look you see how drags in the screen resizes that is one of the major things I love about Squarespace that it does because no matter what size screen you have, you have a captive design here. It’s always going to change, and it makes it work.

You may not do it small like this, but hey, we’ve got it like this. One thing that I didn’t like about this you can arrow left, you can arrow right, and I just did it backwards, but you can’t arrow up and on my site let me show you what I like about arrowing up. You see how you have left, you have right, but you also have up that shows all the thumbnails. I love being able to see all of the images on the screen because that way I can be like, oh I want to see this picture and boom. Now again my website isn’t perfect. It’s not the best. It’s just an idea, that I love having the ability to see the thumbnails. And I think a lot of people do as well so as we go down here we’ve got. What does one say? It says Sean this guy Sean, you go through you got two, three pictures. Couple actually not bad, so not a bad set. Up, up, what is this, why is there a color picture on your site? See, this is one thing you either going to have to do or not do.

If you say that the world is black and white through your eyes, then every single image on your page you got to live by that. That needs to be your thing. If that’s your style and what you’re going for then everything on your website Jonathan should be black and white especially with a tagline like that. I don’t think that’s too much to say especially if you’re going to say it then, then own it. Then be that guy that sees the world through black and white, so I like this scene. I like what’s going on here. What I would consider doing on the site here is maybe making these more bold so that you can see them and not just when you highlight them. I like it bold so it stands out and I can see it from a distance. Also maybe have a section called photo stories or portrait stories where you put this guy, and then this Relic 45 which is a band I believe. Same thing have that under photo stories or portrait stories or something along those lines, but I know that I went through here as well, and started to see color pictures and that throws me off, especially with the tagline, so that’s something that I would consider doing.

Automotive, let’s click on automotive and see what we have. We’ve got one picture alright so it’s not a portfolio with one picture. It’s just a picture maybe you should have a miscellaneous section for certain images if you’re not ready to put up more about automotive because it kind of is like if somebody is coming to your site to hire you and they’re looking at everything else so they want your portrait so they come up to automotive and they see one shot. It’s like why? Why do I only have one shot here? So either hold off on putting this up yeah I wouldn’t even put it up at all until you have more automotive shots, or have a miscellaneous section of my personal choices, my fun shots where you just have a miscellaneous area where the images go. So we’ve got the Homeless Project, which I went through earlier. I think its some very nice images on here.

Again I would like to see the thumbnail. This is great. Very nice in black and white. I’d move this up higher, maybe under Sacramento stories. This is or personal stories or personal projects. This is really – it’s very powerful and there’s not that many images here. I’d like to see at least 15 to 20 pictures in a portfolio that you put up here. I rather see less sections, but more solid images. These are solid images, but I want to see just a little bit more of them before you put other things up so we click on animals. And again, we just have one picture. It shouldn’t be here like this, you need to get that into the miscellaneous or have a set of animals. I could say 10 pictures alright. I wouldn’t say go less than 10 pictures, when you’re putting up a section.

Through the looking glass blog, I like that you have a blog on here as long as you update it more often, and you just keep people coming back for more. Blog posts are very important on a photo website. People come back, what do you think I started? When I started Jaredpolin.com it was with a Squarespace at the time and I had it in a blog style, and I put up my portfolio, and I put up my images, but I also had a blog and people started to follow it for whatever reason. I don’t know why I wasn’t very good back then, with making videos, but people just they came back because there was a place to see content and so updating stuff like this about your personal stories or hey look, I went photograph the homeless guys and I did an interview or here’s my story, and here’s what I feel. People start to get a personal appreciation for that and they feel attached to what you’re doing and then they’re going to come back for more, so then we’ve got shop.

And shop when we click on it is empty. There’s nothing here so because there’s nothing here, you got to turn it off on your end. You don’t want the public facing side to show a blank page, especially like this, where it says shop or you – if you’re going to sell something, put it in there. If not nicks it, get rid of it. Then we click on contact and you have your contact form. I like contact forms like this. I also don’t mind sometimes leaving the e-mail address in there. Maybe it’s not linkable or clickable, but it gives people the ability to see it and send an e-mail if they would like, but this is very simple to use very easy to put together, maybe have more of a bio. I don’t see an About Me page. It’s always nice to know more about you instead of my name is Jonathan Tate, a local photographer from Sacramento.

Well, let me ask you something what makes you a – yes you’re local there, but you’re not local to me because I’m in Philadelphia. Own it, drop the local, you’re a photographer from Sacramento, California willing to travel the world to go take the photos that you want to see in black and white. I don’t know I just came up with that off the top of my head, but if you see the world through black and white you know my name is Jonathan Tate, a photographer from Sacramento, California, capturing images of the world in black and white. If you need me to travel around, if you need me to travel anywhere I am fully capable and ready to go, so contact me here or leave your e-mail address and things like that. So those that’s marketing, that’s a little bit of salesmanship right there.

You’re selling yourself. Don’t sell yourself short as just a local photographer that comes across as saying well I guess you’re not global, you’re not able to go anywhere else and I’m not saying you’re not. I’m just pointing that out as something that I would work on. I would come up with a saying, you know you have your slogan about the black and white, but be you know be more open to – you’re a Photographer and capitalize Photographer by the way. Capitalize the P in photographer. You are a Photographer. You are from Sacramento California, but I am traveling, I will – I do travel the world and I’m ready to go when you want me to capture your black and white images so I think I spend enough time on that, but I hope that helps you guys out there. You’ve got your link to your Facebook and Twitter. I love seeing that. You probably should have an Instagram as a photographer these days, so that people can follow you there. The more places people can follow and engage in what you’re doing, the more they’re going to want to come back for more. That’s how you start building the brand and the brand awareness and people are going to start seeing your work and talk about it, and share it out there.

So the photos are very nice and black and white. I like what’s going on. This is a very clean theme. There’s not much that I would change as of right now. I’d like to see drop-down menus of sorts if you have got multiple photo stories. I would see a little bit less here because once you get rid of automotive, once you get rid of animal, and once you get rid of shop it kind of condenses down and is much better than where it’s at now because those just clog it up, and they don’t really show you anything. Your photo stories are pretty cool. I like them, but let’s work on this left hand side and maybe have some drop-down menus where you put miscellaneous projects, animals and just put the photos in there, so not bad at all guys. This is a Squarespace Rapid Fire Critique. If you haven’t checked out squarespace.com yet go to squarespace.com/fro and if you well, you could signup for a 14 day free trial. And after that, if you decide that you want to signup for a subscription use the code fro tube at checkout, and that’s going to give you 10% off your first order so that means if you signup for one month you’re going to get 10% off for that one month or if you signup for a year you’re going to get 10% off that entire year which is I think something like $84 for the year that is not bad, and that includes the hosting and all of the customer support 24 hours a day. I like it. Check it out for yourself, for those 14 days free trial.

If you want to submit your rapid fire critiques you can do so, leaving them here underneath this YouTube video as a comment. I will see those links, and there’s only so many of these I can make, but I will keep trying to make them and leave some comments with what you want to see me do with some of these critiques. So there you guys have it. Go to Squarespace.com/fro use code fro tube to save 10% off and that is about it. Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, see ya.

Gregory Heisler 50 Portraits: From My Bookshelf

Jared Polin February 12, 2014 Comments Off

As I continue with the From My Bookshelf series I picked up the Gregory Heisler 50 Portraits Book.

WOW, he has captured 50 unbelievable portraits and much much more. Many photo books just show you the pictures but this one gives you everything you need to know to know how the image was made.

You have the personal behind the scenes stories right from the photographer that draw you into the images. Beyond that you find out how the photo was made, as a photographer knowing this information is invaluable.

If there is someone to look up to in portrait photography it is defilingly Gregory Heisler. CLick Here to check out this book on amazon.
(more…)

The Importance of Quality DSLR Audio: RODE VideoMic GO Review

Jared Polin February 9, 2014 Comments Off

When RODE announced their latest consumer oriented microphone the VideoMic GO I was pretty amazed that it was priced at only $99. As more and more photographers venture into shooting video they quickly realize the importance of quality audio.

Now with the VideoMic Go quality audio does not have to be overly expensive. I recently took this microphone out for a spin to a friends concert.

Brian Marsella is a world famous pianist who creates unbelievable sounding music. His show was the perfect opportunity for me to give this microphone a spin.

The setup is very simple. Place the microphone in the hot shoe, run the single cable to the camera and boom, you are almost ready to record. There are no settings to switch or futz with on the microphone itself, it is simply one cable. On top of no buttons there is no need for separate batteries as the mic gets all it’s power from the camera.

The next step is one of the most important when it comes to capturing solid audio at concerts or in any situation for that matter. You have to set your levels properly. Sure you could leave the audio levels on auto and let the camera do the work. But the results you get tend to leave a little to be desired.
(more…)

POSTMAN FRO Said Let There Be Light: F&V Lighting

Jared Polin February 8, 2014 Comments Off

Since coming back from Vegas and doing our first mobile RAWtalk I have been on the search for portable lighting. I want something that is powerful, easy to travel with and affordable. I think I may have found the solution I have been looking for.

I got turned on to F&V Lighting by Todd Wolfe who has been directing music videos, feature films and my FroKnowsPhoto Guides. F&V has a panel system that is light, portable and powerful.

Postman FRO brought a bunch of new toys from them to my door for me to play with. Over the next few months I will be testing out the gear to see first if it is quality and second if it is simple and easy to use.

My hopes are that these lights become my solution for making RAWtalks on the road as well as videos at Allens Camera. These light panels can run off of AC power as well as generic sony rechargeable batteries. I was told that I should get around 8 hours of power out of two batteries running each panel. To have such portable lasting power with bright ass lights is exactly what I am looking for.

I did a lot of research into F&V lighting and found out that for the past couple years they have been an OEM. For those who don’t know what that it is means they have manufactured lighting for other companies to put their name on it. My feeling has always been, if another company is willing to put their name on your OEM product than it must be quality and worth it.

For clarification they are not a sponsor and as of now the units they sent me are for me to test and then send back. If this changes and they let me keep the gear or they become a sponsor I will let you know.

Give them a check out at FVlighting.com

Screen Shot 2014 02 08 at 11.38.56 AM POSTMAN FRO Said Let There Be Light: F&V Lighting

Click here to read the video transcript

Jared Polin: Its postman fro with a package for you. Bing Bong. It’s your generic package. Hello. Anybody in there? I’ve got your package. Its postman fro with the generic package. Yeah. Oh my god it’s my generic package. What could it be? Yeah. It’s so amazing. Okay postman fro thank you alright. Oh I got so much stuff that I needed to help her today. Thank you postman fro for showing up today at my door with this big case. It’s almost a hard case.

Oh yeah smells like footlocker. Footlocker smell not like dirty foot. Anyway what is in this case is what we want to talk about. This is from F&V Lighting. That’s fvlighting.com. If you guys recall back to the froknowsphoto RAWtalk from Las Vegas we had no extra lighting that we traveled with, and I wanted to find a solution to travel with that would give us the lighting solution that I’ve already said three times. That would give us the solution that we were looking for to travel and have a lightning kit that would allow us to bring in our own light, and that’s exactly what F&V Lighting has supplied us with right here. I did my research. I found them as a company that makes LED panels, and they’re not terribly too expensive. This is part of the three LED panel set. This is a one by one, so it’s 12 inches by 12 inches. I believe it has 450 or so LEDs in here individual lights on the back here it has Anton Bauer plate which I didn’t even know what was. But I can attach an AC power adapter here or a battery plate because it uses a generic Sony battery that most video cameras use it. F&V sells for 19 bucks a pop so I put the plate on here, I’ll get anywhere from five to eight hours of life out of that which is pretty insane.

There’s a dimmer up here. You’ve got your power switch. So I want to travel with something like this. Three of these lights are going to put out enough light for us that it’s going to be just worth it for us to travel with. There’s also the diffusion panels right here. So we’ll figure out how to attach to those to the front, looks like there’s some screwy mic screwersin [Phonetic] [0:02:28] and really you also have fold up small light stands not very big, not very heavy. And the idea here is I’m not sure that we can travel with this case itself, but it is possible that I can get a pelican case that this whole thing fits in, or I can get a pelican case that we can take everything out of it and put it in so we can travel and check it underneath the airplane because that’s what we would love to do.

But I’m really looking forward to use these. These are the daylight version. They also make a tungsten version. I’m really looking forward to it because we want a solution and I think this could come in handy especially when I go to Allen’s Camera to make my video so that’s one thing they sent me. They also sent me this panel right here. This goes on top of your camera. So if you’re running and gunning and you need to get some extra light you could also have some an assistant hold it wherever they want. It takes I believe its six double As or you would get one of the rechargeable batteries, which I highly recommend doing. And then the last thing that they sent to try out is a ring light of LEDs with multiple – there it is. There’s all the LEDs. We have multiple diffusion panels on the front. It also is dimmable here on the back and takes a rechargeable battery. This one doesn’t take double As but I’m really thinking that this would be great for stills. You put your lens through here like this hold on, on the lens through here. This would be like ooh. And what it does to put is – puts the ring light around people’s eyes, which is pretty darn good.

So really, that’s a quick look at some of the F&V Lighting that postman fro brought. I highly suggest you check out F&V Lighting. They are not a sponsor, but maybe one day they will be if I decide that I like it, and they have some marketing dollars and we like it, but oh my God you could be like an airplane person or you could be like ooh, ooh, ooh you know like this one, but anyway, these are pretty cool. I’m like, and I think you guys would like to check out their stuff. Just take a look at the site fvlighting.com. Thank you postman fro Jared Polin froknowsphoto.com, see ya.

Here, have one of my Matisyahu RAW Files to Edit.

Jared Polin February 6, 2014 Comments Off

CLICK HERE to download this RAW File.

A few months back I was asked to join Matisyahu in the studio to capture some candid images. I have not been able to share any of the images until they have been officially released.

Now that Matisyahu is using this image as the featured image and profile picture on his fan page I can share it with you.

Instead of just posting the final image with a watermark as a low res I decided to do something different. I am giving you all the RAW File to tweak edit and print any way you would like. Please keep in mind that I own this image and I am giving you permission to use for personal use only. Do not try to sell or put your name on the image.

Now that that is out of the way you are free to print and share this image as long as you give me credit and link back to my facebook or website.

How would you edit this file? What would you do that I didn’t do? Would you keep it Color or go Black and White?

CLICK HERE to download this RAW File.

Click Here to post the image in the Fro Forum.

12356096225 f843b535da Here, have one of my Matisyahu RAW Files to Edit.