I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Elmakias for a future RAWtalk the other day. For those of you who don’t know Adam, he is the photographer who came up with the lens bracelet and has built a huge following across social media. You will find out a lot more about him when we release our interview.
Adam was in town with the band A Day To Remember so we made sure we were able to get together to meet for the first time. After our interview I asked if I could come to the show that night and Photograph the Photographer.
I love setting out with a photographic task in my mind. In this case my goal was to capture solid images of Adam at work. I have never seen him work so I was not sure what to expect. But that’s what’s fun about photography, the attempt to quickly adapt to someones style and be able to capture them.
This was not one of the easier shoots I have attempted. First off we were shooting at the Troc which is an old venue with not a ton of quality lighting. So if the stage light is not the best to start with how do you think it will be on the photographer who is not the main focus. But again that’s what’s fun about going out and shooting, you never know what you will need to do.
I think the shoot went extremely well. My goal when I go out to shoot is to capture a handful of “keepers” that tell a story. I am not really focused on just getting “the one” shot, I want to tell a story across multiple winners. I feel I was able to accomplish that once all the images were edited.
Recently I saw a tweet about a professional wedding photographer who has taken to GoFundMe in the attempt to raise money for a new D4s. Now before you jump down the guys throat like so many people already have you have to look at the idea in whole. You have to ask yourself, is this a good idea, does this make me look desperate or should I never had done this in the first place.
Click the Video Above to hear a phone call with the photographer Stephen Yanman.
In theory there is nothing wrong with crowd sourcing. You offer something in return for donations and boom you get funded. In this case the photographer is offering something and not just looking for a handout. But the key thing to remember is “PERCEPTION”, how will people perceive what you are trying to do.
Here is the exact campaign as it is being presented to the public.
What is a lens hood, when should you use a lens hood and why should you use a lens hood, that’s the question.
This is not the first time I have visited this subject but I think a quick demonstration was in order.
I was about to make a video at the computer when I realized how much sun flair was hitting the camera. See, my computer faces a big window and in the morning the sun is directly entering the window. The video looked all washed out with a bunch of solar flair. Mind you I was using my Imac but the same general principles would apply to your cameras lens.
I thought to myself how could I cut down on this lens flair and pump up this flat looking image. I could have waited until the sun moved, I could have put something in front of the window to cut down on the flair or I could have used a lens hood.
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.
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.
And now the end is near…… We have come to the final moments of 2013. As we get ready to ring in 2014, I wanted to take the time to thank each and every one of you for your continued support.
Since launching the site in 2010 with ZERO subscribers with the idea of creating “Fun and Informative” content we have all come a long way. The sites reach has gone global with millions of people visiting since 2010.
I want you to think about the fact that I started with ZERO subscribers for a second. If you think it’s to hard to make it as a photographer because there are so many of them out there today, THINK AGAIN.
You CAN DO THIS. YOU CAN MAKE IT. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, worry about what you can do better. Focus on your photography and doing the best work you can. No one ever said it would be easy, but I am here to tell you, you can do this.
I struggled as a photographer from the time I left college (2001) to just a few years ago. Sure I had cool jobs in the time period but I was not satisfied with where I was. But month after month I started to climb out of the hole and pick up more gigs. Some gigs are better than others but sometimes a gig is a gig. One gig leads to another and the next leads to two more and the cycle continues.
Keep fighting, keep learning and keep your head up. It most likely will not happen overnight but I can tell you with hard work you can start to really make a difference.
So I will end it there with a HUGE THANK YOU and a wish for a Happy and Healthy New Year for you and your family.
Keep on shooting RAW!!!!
Jared AKA the FRORead More »
How many times have you gotten a certain photo while your editing and thought “wow, this would look great in black and white” only to find out that you love the color just as much?
See, there is no right or wrong answer to which way you should edit your image. The way I decide on Black and White or Color is based on feel. How that one image feels to me when I am editing it. If it just feels right in Black and White than thats what I go for.
In the case of the image in this video I fist felt that it was much stronger in color. Once I edited it Black and White I thought to myself that it just didn’t have that pop I was looking for. After looking at it more I started to like the Black and White more but I am still not sure.
This is one of those images where I like it in both color and black and white. They both have their positives but I am not sure one stands out more than the other.
What do you think, how do you decide when to go Black and White and or stay in Color?Read More »
Yes I said it, For the LOVE OF GOD get out of Auto. But I said please at the end so that should count for something.
A friend of mine sent me a photo she wanted me to “do my magic on”. As soon as I brought in into lightroom and saw the settings I new she shot in auto and could have done better. Now when I say could have done better I mean settings wise not capturing the moment wise.
I think she did a fantastic job capturing the moment but I knew she shot in auto.
I am sure you may be wondering how did I know she was in auto? First things first it said F8 and generally that is what cameras like to shoot in when in auto. You will see what the other things are in the video.
The point of this video was to show Debbie and everyone else how simple they can get out of auto. They do not need to be afraid of getting out of auto which I know Debbie was.
You guys can do this, just relax, think, change one setting at a time and you can make it happen. Auto is a great place to start but at some point you will want to take full control of your camera.Read More »
Click Here to join me as I teach a class LIVE for FREE on Creative LIVE, Wed September 18th at 5:45 EST.
Creative Live asked me to teach the “Exposure Triangle”. Now I know many of you have a great understanding of how the triangle works but I would really appreciate your support and view.
My goal is to hammer home the basics so that new photographers can see they too can jump out of auto and capture amazing images.
If you would like to join me please click here , I will be on one of the three channels.Read More »
Over the past few years one of the top five questions I get is how do I build a web site for my photography work? That is a great question and one that I have had to deal with since I started as a photographer. In the past I would hire someone who knew what they were doing to build me a web site. The only problem is if I needed changes made I had to contact them to make the changes and that could take a while.
I have been on the search for years for the right turnkey solution for photographers who may know next to nothing about coding but want to be in control of their web site. I finally found the answer that we all have been waiting for in a company called Squarespace. Squarespace offers an extremely easy to use interface at a beyond affordable price.
I personally just switched JaredPolin.com over to their service and signed on for a year to take advantage of the discounts they offer. I don’t want this to sound like a sales pitch because it’s not. Like I have said in the past I only promote products I either like or personally use and in this case I am all in to using their service for my personal portfolio web site.
There are a few reasons why I am recommending you check out Squarespace. One is the fact they have so many pre made templates to choose from that make starting out a cinch. I was able to build my new web site in only 30 minutes. They have an extensive knowledge base with step by step tutorials and videos that allow you to learn how to build your site quickly. If you ever need to contact their customer service they are beyond helpful.
Just those few facts right there helped me make the decision to use their service. When you have a simple and easy to use product with great customer support you can’t go wrong. Not to mention the fact that I am only paying $8 a month for a professional photography web site.