Less is more and old is new right? Well this is what Nikon have decided in designing the latest DSLR in their full frame lineup. As you can see in one of my favorite Nikon Df Reviews, the company has rethought the way a DSLR is supposed to work – and this is a good thing.
The Nikon Df has been designed to use buttons and dials on the actual camera that can be assigned to perform specific functions for the photographer. No more digging through settings just to change the white balance or the ISO – everything is right there under your fingers. This has been one of the fundamental problems with digital camera design – cameras are sold by feature sets. Canon and Nikon have crammed so much into their cameras that they are actually cumbersome for photographers to use. The Nikon Df is the first design to challenge this notion and provide a tool that is useful for photography.
The look of the camera has completely changed as well! The Nikon Df is now retro – a throw back to the golden age of 35mm in professional photography. This allows the photographer to be slightly more stealth – this is particularly useful in sensitive shooting situations.
And the best part of all – image quality has not been scarified. The Nikon Df features the same image sensor that’s found in the top of the line D4. This means incredible image quality in low light conditions.
Check it out for yourself!
This is an interesting question. Is it possible, in the year 2014 to actually make a living as a photographer?
Even the Wikipedia definition is extremely out dated. Check it out and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Well I think a lot has changed over the years. Being a professional is certainly a different definition today than it was back in the 80’s or even the 90’s. There are two reasons for this. First off – the economy has crashed more since the late 90’s. Sure people still have money, but in our corporate society this means that the big companies have had to cut costs. Over and over. When companies cut costs, this means they have to decide between “wants” and “needs”. Art, design, photography – anything aesthetic – these are all luxuries to most accountants and they are usually the first to go. Of course every photographer I know would argue against this but it is the truth. And once budgets are cut, chances are they’re not going to come back – even when the money is there.
Second is the rise of stock photography. As professional photographers, we’re honestly getting killed by companies like Getty and iStock photo. Clients can go to these places and buy their images at a much lower price than it would be for a photographer to go out and shoot new stuff. And they get it instantly.
Having said all of that – hope is not lost. Its a matter of finding clients who do know the importance of photography and image and targeting them. You have to find people who are willing to pay for what it is you do. There are many photographers still making a living, but its getting harder and harder. You have to go about things with a good attitude and you have to find who needs you!
Think about this as 2014 rolls around. You can do will – you just have to be savvy and motivated.
Photography is competitive. There are more people calling themselves photographers than ever before. Well the US Department of Labor projects 169,500 by 2018 in the United States alone. This number represents the number of people actually making their living as photographers. Combine this with the weekend warriors and the people who just do photography gigs here and there and you’re talking probably millions worldwide. Then there’s social media – just about everyone’s a photographer thanks to Facebook and Instagram. So with all of this bombardment with images – how do you get your work to stand out?
The first thing to do is build your own website. This is actually much easier than you might think. There is a great photography website tutorial over at The Art of Photography if you need the fastest place to start. This tutorial shows how you can literally have your portfolio website built in 5 minutes. Hosting, domain name and everything.
Once you get your own site together – start posting there. Make sure you have links in your bios on Flickr, Facebook and Instagram so people can find you easily. Make sure you keep your best work there. Make sure the design is clean. Let your work speak.
You’ll also want to make sure your domain name is in all your email signatures, business cards, letterheads and anything else you do business with. You need to brand it.
Stick with it and eventually you’ll start getting some traction and traffic. Make sure you actually write descriptions and maybe even some behind the scenes information as well so you can get search engines to pick up on your site (images alone make that difficult).
Eventually you’ll start getting some traction and if your work is good, you’ll start attracting clients. You’ll need to hustle quite a bit as well, but this is an excellent start and will get you way ahead of your competition.
There is no question that photography is becoming a very difficult vocation to make your living in. Every year millions of people buy DSLR’s and decide they can make a living making photographs. Also every year schools around the world turn out graduates all hoping to make their mark with a successful career in photography. The competition is fierce and the difficulty level is high. But check out the following 5 tips. If you can master these, you might have a better shot at your career as a professional photographer.
1) Be Frugal
We all know that buying toys is one of the fun parts of photography. But what most people don’t consider is how many non-gear related experiences there are. There’s taxes, transportation, supplies, software, your website and a host of other expenses that you don’t have a choice but to pay. Then there’s yourself – you have to eat and pay rent/mortgage. If you go blow money on things you don’t need, you’ll be done before you start. Do you really need a $6000 camera body or can you get by with a mid-level that still performs just fine? Can you rent lenses and lights? The answer is yes. Learn how to spend in the budget of the money your making on jobs.
2) Show Up
Client relationships are difficult to find and also difficult to maintain. What impresses people more than making beautiful photographs is your ability to be responsible. Call when you say you’re going to call and follow up when you say you’re going to follow up. Be on time and be early if you can. People like this in a business relationship.
3) Invest wisely
This goes back to number 1, but its worth looking at in a different context. Spend money on business related things that will pay off down the road – not equipment. Need a better website? Need a nicer printed portfolio? Maybe consider hiring contract photographers to help you with things like post production. These are worthy investments that will get you further than the latest, most expensive Nikon or Canon DSLR will.
4) Keep a Budget
If you are freelancing you know that its feast or famine. As freelancers we tend to get lots of work at one time, then we have to spend months waiting for new projects to come in. When you have money, get in the habit of saving as much as you can for these lean times.
5) Pay your taxes quarterly and have a good accountant
A good CPA or tax professional will cost money, but its been my experience that they save you more than they cost so its really obvious that you should just hire someone. Also pay your taxes early and consider giving the government a little more than you think you need to. Its a hell of a lot nicer to get money back at the end of the year than it is to have to scramble to come up with the difference. Taxes and tax problems will kill your business faster than you think. Be smart. And again – hire that accountant.
For further reading, check out: http://digital-photography-school.com/30-things-you-should-know-to-help-you-start-a-photography-business