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Archive for February 2017

5 Reasons To Order a Canvas Instead of A Print

5 Reasons To Order a Canvas Instead of A Print

Photos should exist in more than megapixels — but which is the better option, a print or a canvas? Prints are undoubtably the most popular because of their affordability, but when it comes to making a statement on your walls, canvas is often overlooked. Here’s why you should consider a canvas before you order your next photos.

Look Ma! No Glass!

With a canvas, there’s no glass in between the image and the viewer. Canvas is durable enough that it doesn’t need that protective layer. When you get rid of the glass, you also get rid of the glare. That means canvas can be viewed at any angle and hung anywhere without getting a hotspot from any nearby lights. Of course, without glass, there’s also no fingerprint smudges to wipe off either.

The sides are already wrapped.

Without a frame, there’s also no interruption between the photograph and the wall. The sides of the image wrap around the edges, offering a bit of depth without the separation of a frame. There’s no frame colors to try to match to the decor either, it’s just pure photograph.

Texture offers a sense of depth.

Canvas is much different from the smooth surface of a matte or glossy print. Canvas has a sort of texture to it, creating a small hint of depth that a print simply doesn’t have. The weave of a canvas can help bring out the colors, textures and details in an image in a way that other mediums do not simply because there’s a bit of texture to a canvas. Think about it — photos in galleries are printed on canvas because they have a certain atheistic that says more art and less snapshot.

Canvases are timeless.

Styles are constantly changing — including frame styles. Canvases are always in style, while if you order a gold-colored frame, gold may be out in a few years. The style, whether that’s the color or the design of the frame, may not be just as eye catching as the first time you hang it a few years down the road. With canvas, that’s not the case.

Canvas is not as expensive as you think.

One of the biggest reasons most choose prints over canvas is affordability — but canvas often isn’t as expensive as most people think. When you factor in the cost of buying both a frame and the print, the price of canvas has a much narrower difference, since there’s no frame needed. While those images you plan to update every year are more affordable by swapping prints out of a frame, for the timeless favorites that will grace your home for years, canvas is often only slightly more expensive when you remove the cost of buying picture frames from the equation.

Prints are more affordable, easier to hand out to friends and come in a variety of sizes — but canvas often offers a better viewing experience, creating a timeless memory for your home with no glass or frame and beautiful texture.

4 Tech Trends Pro Photographers Should Consider

4 Tech Trends Pro Photographers Should Consider

From Instagram marketing to Lightroom, technology has long influenced the world of professional photography. Staying on top of the latest trends is often necessary to maintain a creative edge, improve your workflow or find new ways to grow your business. So what are the latest tech trends that could make an impact on the photography world? Here’s just four of them.

Drones

Professional photographers are often chosen for the way they see the world, that “eye” that allows them to find moving, creative compositions in the chaos. Drones are a new way to take that perspective up a notch. With a view from the sky, details that can’t be seen from the ground emerge, objects become shapes and the size of the scene is easy to see.

Drones are one of the tech trends that photographers should be most cautious about, however. Most areas have several rules and regulations that require commercial drone pilots to be certified. Drones are also expensive, yet they carry significantly more risk than a camera, since a malfunction means dropping out of the sky. Still, for photographers that already have that skill set, areas that have a big need for aerial photography or large scale businesses that could add a pilot to the team, drone photography could be a pretty big opportunity.

360 Photography

Along the opposite line, 360 photography eliminates much of the composition control because everything is included. No, wedding photographers won’t be leaving their DSLRs at home in favor of a 360 camera, but it could be a lucrative add-on.

360 photography is a popular option for real estate photographers — and has been for some time. Now that 360 is entering the mainstream and anyone can view it, the medium could be breaking into new markets, from event photography to videography.

Portable Printing

On-site photographers take note — printers are becoming more and more portable. While small printers don’t offer the same quality level as a large format printer, that immediacy could be a big perk for some photographers. Just imagine a wedding photographer that can hand out instants at the reception, while still delivering the high quality prints to the couple later on.

Bluetooth

The smartphone isn’t taking over the professional DSLR — but it is proving to be a pretty handy tool. Pro photographers can now instantly share almost just as easily as photos shot from a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection. Unlike cameras with a wi-fi connection, Bluetooth doesn’t require as much power, so it’s possible to maintain a constant connection.

That constant connection is just coming out with some new possibilities — Nikon, for example, will do automatic backups with Bluetooth-enabled cameras and SnapBridge. The auto back-ups aren’t full size (or RAW), but with the technology in it’s infancy, more Bluetooth features could be coming in the next few years and to more brands.

Photography is an art, but it’s a medium that is heavily influenced by technology. Understanding the latest trends can help photographers identify where to go next or even how to reach their target audience.

From wood to metal, 4 non-traditional printing surfaces (and why they're so cool)

From wood to metal, 4 non-traditional printing surfaces (and why they’re so cool)

Printing a photograph is no longer a question of a frame over a canvas — as printing technology improves, the possibilities for what you print your photos on expands from wood to metal and even burlap. Just like choosing between glossy or matte, each medium has it’s own unique quirks and styles that are important to understand before you invest getting that favorite shot enlarged. So besides canvas gallery wraps and prints, what non-traditional printing surfaces can give your prints the perfect presentation? Here are four non-traditional prints to consider.

Wood

Wood has long been a home decor staple and now it has ventured into displaying favorite photos. The natural grain and imperfections inside the wood help create a unique piece. Often, when printing on wood, anything white in the original photo shows the color and texture of the wood.

Of course, printing on wood opens up even more options — what kind  of wood? Maple’s light color creates a more modern than rustic look. Bamboo, on the other hand, adds lots of texture to the edges.

Besides being a beautiful way to display a photograph, wood also has the added benefit of being a renewable resource.

Glass

Putting a photo on something transparent like glass or acrylic has a unique effect — as the light passes through the photo, the color appear more vibrant and the image can almost sometimes appear to be three dimensional. Unlike printing on wood, glass prints offer modern, clean lines that go with those bright colors.

The downside? Glass and acrylic prints tend to be more fragile, though many are reinforced for more durability. Like most non-traditional prints, they also tend to be more expensive than a simple gallery wrap.

Burlap

Burlap is standard in any rustic decor, and now it’s making its way into printing. While burlap was originally a popular DIY project for transferring graphics to, now it’s even suitable for printing photos from print companies. Burlap is often wrapped around a frame, much like a canvas gallery wrap.

Unlike traditional canvas, however, burlap adds more texture. Since burlap isn’t pure white, the images have more muted, almost vintage colors to them.

Metal

Metal signs aren’t just for advertising your favorite car or drink brand anymore. Prints on metal have the clean lines and thin edges of glass. Prints on metal tend to have a softer look to the images, despite the sharpness of the medium, though colors are still vibrant.

While metal prints are a beautiful medium, they tend to have a shorter lifespan — they’re best to hang in areas without direct sunlight. Metal prints can also chip and scratch, so they’re best left hanging, not handled.

Printing an image is no longer about choosing whether you want paper or canvas — printing on wood, glass, burlap and metal offer their own unique characteristics that can give that photo a unique edge. Paper and canvas wraps aren’t going anywhere, but getting creative with print mediums is now easier than ever.

Rebranding 101: How to Ensure Your Brand Reflects Your Photography

Rebranding 101: How to Ensure Your Brand Reflects Your Photography

Working as a professional photographer requires more than just the knowledge of how to take great pictures — the “professional” in professional photography means some basic business skills are a must. A common mistake many photographers make when starting out is failing to create a consistent brand image — or not even realizing there’s such a thing as a brand image. A business’ brand communicates that company’s style, standards and qualities, all often subconsciously. So what do photographers need to know about branding?

Start with your photography style.

The images in your portfolio are obviously different from other photographers — so what is it that makes your work stand out? Successful branding starts by looking at your own photography style and discovering ways to make the characteristics of your images become part of your logo, website and more.

If your images are light and airy, your logo should be too. If your shots are dramatic, your website should be too. Before you start dreaming up a logo design, figure out what makes your work stand out. Maybe it’s a photojournalistic style or maybe creative props and backdrops. Maybe it’s the hard light you favor or the way you tell jokes to get subjects to smile. Identify what it is that sets your photos apart, then your branding process goes from a bazillion possibilities to a more refined list of potential brand images that will help win those first impressions.

Target your ideal client.

One you have a good idea what it is that sets your photography apart, pinpoint what sets your client apart. Who’s the most likely type of person to book your sessions? A mom, a model, a bride, a magazine or an e-commerce business? The type of photographs you take usually offers a good clue — birth, baby and maternity photographers, for example, are marketing mostly to mothers.

Go a bit beyond a single word when identifying your ideal client though. If you take documentary style newborn photos, you’ll want to target a non-traditional, easy-going mom that would rather get images that tell it like it is over the traditional studio photos. If your newborn photos are characterized by whimsical props and a unique style, you’ll want to brand your images a bit differently to speak the most to moms that love that whimsical style.

Make it consistent.

Got an idea what your brand image will be based on your style and ideal client? Good — now make it consistent. Everything from your actual images to your logo, your website and printed marketing materials should reflect the same brand image. Don’t develop a fun, whimsical logo and a modern, minimalist website. With your style and ideal client in mind, generate a list of ways that your brand image may look in different places.

Research the market — and the competition.

One more thing before you make that brand image final — what does the competition look like? If your biggest wedding photography competitor uses a heart in their logo, don’t use one in yours, even if their’s may be a whimsical heart while your’s is minimalist.

Every photographer has a unique style — representing that style in something like a logo or a website can be tough to pull off, but when you do, you’ll create a lasting first impression that speaks most to your ideal clients.

9 First Day at School Photo Ideas To Watch Kids Grow

9 First Day at School Photo Ideas To Watch Kids Grow

From snapshots on old disposable film cameras to instant Instagram posts, snapping a photo is just as much a part of the back to school tradition as a new backpack. That means back to school photos are a great tradition to use to dig out down the road and watch them grow, from preschool to high school. But pictures can cater to a child’s personal style just like those brand new school sneakers — here are nine back to school photo ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Just Add Text

Kids grow fast — but their interests change faster. Adding text to the photo, either in the photo itself with a custom sign or afterwards with a photo editor — is a great way to remember that little Susie wanted to be a veterinarian in first grade and a firefighter in the next. Include what grade their in as well as a few details, like what they like, what their least favorite subject is or who their teacher is.

With school-inspired props

Taking photos of kids right before they get on the bus may leave you rushed for time — so why not shoot a few days ahead of time when you can put some time into the shoot? Using school-inspired props is a great way to celebrate back to school with a few photos. From books and apples to globes and even school buses, the possibilities stretch much farther with a planned shoot before the actual first day of school.

With chalk or dry erase

Chalkboards and dry erase boards are not only actual back to school items, but they make cute ways to incorporate a bit of text into back to school photos. Keep it simple with just the grade, or go all out and design an elaborate chalkboard with all their personality quirks that year. Don’t just stop at chalkboards either — chalk is great for writing on objects, like wooden letters . Or, use sidewalk chalk instead.

With a custom frame

Who says frames are for only after the photo is printed? Adding the child’s name to a large, glass-free photo frame is an easy way to get unique back to school photos. Once you make the frame, simply dig it out every year for back to school photos.

With a growth chart

While watching facial features mature over the years is easy with a series of photos, height may be tougher to gauge from pictures. Adding a growth chart in the photo is an easy way to incorporate more details into the photo — and you can use it to decorate you home throughout the year.

Getting on the bus

Prefer the photo journalistic style over cheesy posed grins? Take a photo of your little one climbing on the bus. Beware though, over the years that bus may turn into photos of them climbing into their own car while you wonder whatever happened to your crayon-toting kindergartner.

In the same shirt

Imagining a senior while sending a child off to kindergarten is tough to do — but it happens (and quickly). Watch them grow into their own Class of 20__ t-shirt by ordering a shirt in an adult size and taking their photo wearing it every year — they’ll grow into it eventually! If you’re not a fan of the oversized t-shirt look, you can find a custom t-shirt with your child’s grade from a local crafter or on Etsy — or design one yourself.

With a bit of humor

Some parents cry when they send their kids off to school — others laugh. If you sound more like the latter, don’t be afraid to add a little humor or maybe even get in the photo yourself looking a bit too happy to see that school bus rolling around the bend.

First and Last Day Photos

Take the first day of school photos up a notch by adding a last day of school photo to the mix too. Sure, changes from the start of the school year to the end may be more subtle than the shifts from year to year, but it’s a fun way to document your child’s grow through the school year.

Shooting a photo on the first day of school is a great way to watch little ones grow into young adults — what’s your favorite back to school photo idea?