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How to master the art of Wedding Photography in India

Photography is an art which requires the artist to master it with adequate precision, technique and equipment. Here’s providing quick tips for wedding photographers to avoid common mistakes.

A. Before the wedding

  • Check the equipment Get your gear out and go over the following – which lenses will you be using in case of bright or dull light; whether the camera batteries are fully charged and does the memory card have enough space to store hundreds of photos. Do not forget to carry two cameras, in-fact two of all equipment. Also carry the necessary tools around for out of control contingencies like bad weather.
  • Scout the location If you want to be a good wedding photographer then take disciplined care to do a slight recce of the marriage location in order to understand the kind of lighting to be expected and if you should be carrying portable lights or not. Scouting also helps in determining which areas will be good to have some position shots and how the light will come into play.
  • Meet the family members to understand their expectations better – In order to understand the wedding process better, it will be wise to meet up with some of the family members after you’re done with scouting the location. It would be also be fruitful if you can get a chance to meet the couple in order to take in any requests or set expectations. (You can find a general breakdown of the wedding rituals here too.)
  • Try getting a second photographer – This is a prudent measure because it allows you to concentrate solely on the couple and the main wedding proceedings whereas the second photographer could take the venue and family shots. If you’re strapped for cash then a smart way to get a second photographer is to either reach out for amateur or budding photographers in your family/friends or ask the community to extend a helping hand in lieu of a small cash stipend.
  • ‘Candid’ v/s ‘Formal’ shots – Remember to go through a mental list in your head designating the time and place for candid and formal shots. In an Indian wedding formal shots usually happen during the main ceremony and are scripted and candid ones are taken around the formal ones, totally unscripted.

B. During the wedding

  • Stay on your feet – Make sure you are wearing some comfortable shoes because you will be moving around quickly to cover all the events, rituals and moods.
  • Get the background right –Make sure the relatives are smiling during a group photo and while you are concentrating on details, don’t forget to check that the couple aren’t squinting in the bright flashlights. Also the background should be soothing to the eyes and not glaring.
  • Do not delete any shot – Lot of us like to review our clicks but try to steer clear of this mistake. Reasons for not deleting shots – it will preoccupy your mind and because only the family has the right to judge which photographs to process or delete.
  • Don’t be afraid to ‘try something different’ – Outside of the accepted standards in photography; do try to get a bit creative by trying new angles or running your own discrete experiments. Who knows, a masterpiece of memory might be captured by you in an entirely new and delightful manner.
  • Stay calm and breath – Now i know this point might seem like stating the obvious but here’s the truth – most photographers who are trying to break out start doing too many things in a misguided attempt. Or they over-analyze their shots or fret over moments missed, effectively dooming themselves. So stay calm and just do your job.

C. After the wedding

  • Don’t rush into providing the pictures – Why? So that you can weed out the really bad ones. I know I mentioned earlier that you shouldn’t decide which pics to delete but in this case we are talking about pictures that were just plain bad. Take your time (not more than 24 to 36 hours) and send the photos to the family. If they request for the digital copies first then provide a teaser and the rest of the photographs with the hardback album.
  • Keep some for your website Portfolio – You are running a  business, so a smart decision would be too save some photos to be used while pitching your service to someone else.

Further reading 

Want to Be a Professional Wedding Photographer? Here Are 10 Things You Should Know

If you have any other helpful pointers, then let’s discuss them in the comments below.

Important Tips to Capture a Better Digital Photograph

It’s important to note that how you are clicking the photographs and also how to avoid those difficulties which often happen with automatic digital cameras. So, here are ten tips which would help you to enhance your digital photographs and of course help you to increase your portfolio.

1. Pay attention to your subject
Most of the times, we can see that the picture is lacking impact as our subject seems to be far. So, it’s important to avoid the unwanted aspects which are distracting and should only concentrate on the main subject by moving closer or using zoom option.

2. Change the format of the pictures
It’s equally important to change the format of the pictures. The camera should be turned according to the subject as camera makes picture that are rectangular, not square.

3. Shoot for the perfect picture.
Shoot till the time you get the perfect picture. Later, you could easily delete the pictures which you don’t like at all.

4. Avoid blurred pictures.
It’s not very difficult to avoid blurred images, one just need to hold the camera properly, so make sure that you hold your camera with two hands. Also it is important to arch the shooting finger and after that pressing slowly or squeezing the shutter button.

5. Use the flash option
Images which are taken outside are far better by using the flash of the camera. Its mainly because flash helps to fills in the shadows and provide consistent lighting and a more delightful portrait.

6. Remember the range of your flash
For avoiding the underexposures with the flash, it’s important to remember its operating range. So it’s important to check the manual of your camera as flash range occurs to change when you adjust camera zoom lens.

7. Reread your camera manual
Study the instruction booklet properly of your camera, keep on reading it till the time you are not familiar with camera buttons, symbols and if by any chance you lose out the manual, you can very easily log on to the website and download the copy of the manual.

8. Don’t let the date and time to ruin your images.
Be sure that the camera is not set accordingly which would automatically print the time and date of your clicks in the front of your pictures; it will ruin their appearance. With the help of image-editing software, time and date can be embedded.

9. Compose Pictures with Your Viewfinder.
If you have the option available use your camera’s viewfinder rather than using LCD screen as it is easier and faster to compose pictures.

10. Put a Higher ISO for, Non-blurred Images, Sharper and better Flash Range
Always remember that adjusting your camera’s ISO stands for “International Standards Organization” and is a measure of light sensitivity for film, to a higher number, automatically sets smaller lens openings for sharply focused pictures. It helps to broaden the distance range of in build flash unit. Check out by clicking some images at different ISO to compare the results.

7 Tips To Build Client Relationship for a Successful Photography Business

In the good old days, when businesses flourished, customers were put on a pedestal and seen as the greatest source of learning. If there is one field where customers are still viewed in a somewhat similar manner, it’d be in the photography industry. For one, without them, photography as a profession would hold little meaning.

Running a photography business, here’s what you can do more on your part to build a relationship that is not only professional, but professional with something worth remembering and valuing. Make this professional journey one where you not only make friends but also come across as a warm person.

1. Be Passionate Enough Yourself. First.
Work IS Worship. If you don’t love your work, and are a photographer for reasons other than the mere love for the medium, you should seriously give it another thought. The love for the camera and your subjects, and the ability to build happiness around your work is primary. A dispassionate photographer cannot bring life to his/her photographs. It’s important for your clients to know that you are a passionate professional.

2. Get Organized. Prioritize.
As a growing photography business, or a photographer aiming to truly connect with audiences, you’d want to be organized yourself first. Begin with creating a database of clients that are invaluable to you, besides having a general client list. Separate those with whom you had an unpleasant experience – and if errors can be rectified. An angry client is the last thing you’d want to give yourself.

3. Click Over Coffee. Go Beyond the Lens.

Cup of coffee

Coffee is known to be a great conversation-starter! Informally meeting client and bonding with them is a great way to get to know more about them. It can be a great opportunity to ask open-ended questions, particularly if it’s your first meeting with them. The answers to these can help you build beautiful, personalized stories around the individuals, or other subjects. It’s wise to keep these meetings shot, crisp and spaced out yet as and when you feel you feel the need to personally meet and touch base.

4. Use Client Relationship-building Tools.
Newsletters are tools of e-business that help photographers stay in touch with clients, besides updating them about latest offers, information on new/added services, reviews etc. Pick a weekly theme, choose the periodicity, and share things you know your clients will love to hear! Allow anyone visiting your website to subscribe to the newsletter. This will also help build a potential customer database. Sites like Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor can help you make beautiful newsletters in a few easy clicks.
Another tool are personalized mailers that work wonders on almost all clients. Celebratory, their tone can be formal or informal. Offer freebies, run offers, contests and promotions. These can help build a loyal community that loves to hear from you. See if you can offer special perks to premium clients. This will go a long way in showing you care.
Testimonials too, have the potential to make clients feel privileged and that they contributed to your success. For example, you’ve shot some stunning frames for a real estate developer. They’ve loved your work, and given you due credits. Seize this opportunity to ask them for how the experience was like! Tell them how special they are and what it means to have them put a few good words on record on you.

5. Efficient Communication
Responsive, two-way and honest communication is the basis for any working relationship. So if you’re unable to deliver to the client their shots within the prescribed time-frame, letting them know about the delay with a sincere apology is the right way.
In an opposite scenario, well done is better than well said. Now that you have proved your worth, and the client’s happy, its always a good idea to remain in touch. Occasions like birthdays and anniversaries can be good times to send in a personalized mail, wishing your clients. This is sure to help you garner more clients via references as well, and add to the ‘word-of-mouth’ phenomenon.

6. Join the Conversation
Be a part of communities and events – JOIN in the where the conversations are about you. Have a website that is interactive and information giving. Ensure you reply and respond as soon as you can to mails, query and requests or comments on your site, particularly if they are from your clients. Respond humbly to appreciation and constructively to criticism. Make the extra effort to truly serve the customer – we guarantee, the ‘promptness’ aspect will get noticed.

7. Get Growing on Social Media
How can anyone ever negate this aspect of the web! For photographers, this can be a daunting task, however scheduling updates and limiting your presence to a handful of sites such as Facebook and Twitter is ideal. You can follow your clients, they can communicate over the web more often with you and provide great support on these platforms.

Connecting with your clients, doesn’t always mean business. Take a genuine interest in people – not just for the business you do with them, but also for who they are. Only then your heart-warming services and the way you present your products will make so much more sense and produce more fruition than just any other photography service.

In the Spotlight: Outdoor and Landscape Photographer Oldemiro Lima

Oldemiro Lima is an outdoor and landscape photographer based in Porto, Portugal. Oldemiro draws his inspiration from his artistic family. He had a creative eye since very young and an inclination towards drawing before turning into a photographer. Coupled with simplicity of concept and exquisite colors, his photographs are indeed a treat to the eyes.

Oldemiro speaks to us about his journey as a  photographer, his lens and equipments and his experience with Pixpa.

Visit his portfolio at oldemirolima.com

1. A very little is known about your personal life on your website. Tell us more about yourself and your interests. Where do you call home?

Since childhood, my life has been a continuous escape from the old city that a lived (Porto, in Portugal) to nature. Now, in my forties, I still live in this town and work outdoors. Photographing, Hiking, climbing, running, fishing and sometimes travel, hiking and camping with my wife Isabel and my son Daniel, have been the most important parts of my life. Like all other families we live the urban routine and appreciate many attractions (such a cinema or take a coffee out).

I enjoy the contrast between the frenetic beat of life and the silence from the great wild spaces. Perhaps, some day the call of the wild will be stronger and we would move from the city.

For me, photography is only connected with outdoor life. I can’t make an image in  pure urban environment; but I work many times in some natural niches very near from city. My ultimate personal challenge is to shoot photographs in urban spots where you can feel the presence of the natural element.

In way or other, my photographic expressions are influenced by the wide range of my other personal interests like art, science, philosophy, human condition, literature, wine, cooking, ski, spearfishing, sea, beach and natural world. All this makes my life totally complete. Sometimes, I feel that one life is not enough!

Oldemiro Lima Photography

Oldemiro Lima Photography

2. When did you decide to become a photographer? Did you attain any formal education in photography?

I am a self-taught photographer. But, before I started photography, I used to draw. My visual education comes from drawing. I always needed to express myself aesthetically. I think that is a genetic predisposition, something that comes from my family. My father also drew and was silver sculptor, my brother is a painter and drawing teacher in university. Photography became a part of my life because the act of drawing gradually became an uncomfortable one for me. It was difficult for me as I tend to stay many hours stuck on same place.

Since childhood I also felt a great attraction to go out into the wild and express myself physically. Since I was fourteen years old I started hiking and camping and when I was seventeen I start climbing. So, photography becomes the perfect marriage between these two personnel needs. Being a photographer was not a predefined chosen, but was a natural step.


3. Your photographs have been published across the world. What is the one thing you maintain in your photography that makes it so unconventional?

The moment, the simplicity, the subtlety and the framing are my highest obsession. More and more, I search for simplicity and subtlety, for images that contain some strong concept, some message, some emotion, other than great colors or the beauty. I like straight photography, without effects, exaggerated retouching or processing. This is the path I’m following. Maybe this is a little unconventional in the kind of photography I do.

Oldemiro Lima Photography

Oldemiro Lima Photography

4. You seemed to have worked on both individual and group projects. What are your thoughts on working on single images versus projects?

Normally, projects are a connecting wire between images. Together, the photos must be representative elements from a broad idea. When I think about a project, I see it as a story to show that connection as a collection. Single images can appear from a particular idea or vision, or may be purely documentary.


5. What equipments (camera/light/editing tools) do you think are mandatory for a perfect photograph?

Actually, all big brands of photographic equipment and software have the finest solutions for the finest visions. The offers are many and they’re high quality too. I have my own preferences, though not obsessed with anyone in particular.

I work with the minimum equipments, because I like to work very close to my subject. In most cases I use two lens, 17/35mm f 4 and 50mm f 1.4 (sometimes, I use an 80/200m f2.8) in one 35 mm camera body system. Occasionally one small flash gives me the complementary light that I need.

I think what is really mandatory is to only have a simplest gear to capture, save, process and show your ideas. Because, the perfect photo comes first from our mind.

Oldemiro Lima Photography

Oldemiro Lima Photography

6. How were you introduced to Pixpa? How has been your experience so far?

I found Pixpa in a web search, trying to find a site to show my work. From all offers Pixpa was the finest deal for me: the best package with best quality and best price. The many features available at an affordable price made me vouch for Pixpa immediately.

It’s been an easy and enjoyable journey with systems provided by Pixpa. I appreciate their care by producing changes and continuous development.

Drone Photography – Tips on getting started

Photography, and especially aerial photography has an exciting new aspect – Drone Photography. Capturing images through a unique viewpoint that high-flying drones with cameras fitted to them is something that is not just more accessible now, it’s also a lot of fun. With the costs of getting equipment for drone photography dropping fast, professionals and hobbyists, both are increasingly using drones for aerial photography.

With lightweight cameras and drones (also known as quadcopters) becoming lighter, faster and technologically more advanced by the day, expect to see lots of amazing images shot from the sky as photographers experiment more-and-more with techniques.

Check out www.dronestagr.am for some of the best images shot by drones. Featured in this blog post are the winning images from the Dronstagr.am 2016 competition. See the winners.

 

Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Umbria, Italy By Francesco Cattuto

Winning Photograph(Travel Category) by Francesco Cattuto – IDPC 2016

 

Cable Beach by Todd Kennedy

2nd Prize Winning Photograph(Travel Category) by Todd Kennedy – IDPC 2016

So, Lets get started with a few tips you would need to master the art of drone photography .

Finding the right equipment:

There are a vast range of drones and quadcopters available now on the market. Consider these two factors when choosing the right equipment for drone photography:

  1. The quality of camera on-board,
  2. And the flying characteristics of the drone itself.

Like all other things in life, it essentially boils down to how much you are willing to invest. Low-cost models that can take very basic images are good for starters, but the pros have choices available that will make the big-boy DSLRs look like cheap toys.

GoPro Hero4 series are a popular camera choice for drone photography. It’s in selecting the drone, that you need to do a lot more research. The Phantom range of drones by DJI are the first choice for many, and the Phantom 3 series models are the most popular drone in the world, for good reason.

Planning your first aerial-photography adventure:

Most drones these days are reasonably easy to operate and can pretty much “Fly Straight Out of the Box”. Just charge batteries, get the app running and start flying.

 Piton de la fournaise, Volcano by Jonathan Payet

3rd Prize Winning Photograph (Nature Wildlife Category) by Jonathan Payet – IDPC 2016

While the drones themselves are easy to fly, it does get some getting used to start getting good shots. Start out slow in a wide open space – a park or even the countryside. Set limitations in the smartphone app in terms of how high or far the drone can fly and always keep the drone in the line of your sight. Making sense of and getting your bearings on what your camera is seeing through the smartphone app can get a little getting used to. Experiment with angles and zooms and click away. You would have to review your results and keep experimenting to develop a command over the exact shots that you want.

Study and follow the rules and regulations of your country / area:

Most countries have rules to follow, so make sure that you study the rules and check up with local authorities before you start out. Usually the rules are along these lines:

  • Always fly the drone to be in your Line of Sight (LOS) – you should always be able to see it.
  • Typically the maximum permissible height is around 400 feet.
  • Respect privacy of other people
  • Do not flying in no-fly zones like near airports and other such areas as specified in your location.

Getting better at Aerial Photography

Moab Rock Climbing by Max Seigal

Winning Photograph (Sports Adventure Category) by Max Seigal – IDPC 2016

 

Summer camp of Gran Canaria by Karolis Janulis

3rd Prize Winning Photograph(Travel Category) by Karolis Janulis – IDPC 2016

 

Mastering drone photography is a unique aspect that you can add your photography. Shooting from 400 feet up in the sky creates stunning and intriguing images that show our world from a completely different perspective.
As you start exploring aerial photography, you will find that it follows the same principals of other forms of photography – getting the light right, finding that unique frame and creating visuals that are expressive and tell a story.

Don’t forget to showcase your drone photography images with a Portfolio Website by Pixpa

 

Drone Photography  – Commercial Applications:

While creating stunning images of earth from the sky is its own high and can be pursued purely as a creative art, here are some of the other interesting applications of drone photography:

1. Studio lighting for photo shoots!

Lighting up a photo shoot involves an array of tasks such as setting up reflector discs, flashlights, convertible photo umbrellas, and a lot of power cables. This can not only be cumbersome, but also limiting because of the fixed position of the lights. The researchers at MIT recently discovered the portable and automated alternative in drones. A drone equipped with light, could be used by the photographers and shifted according to light needs, merely with a remote. This has proven to be a boon to the photographer fraternity and ensured unbounded creativity.

2. Aquatic photography

How does the sea bed look like? How could one capture the moments spent underwater with family? Many such questions have been answered by Ziphius, the aquatic drone. Ziphius is the the first smartphone controlled aquatic drone which comes with multiferous utility. And guess what? It not only enables you to click pictures and videos but also plays with you!

3. Sports / Motion Photography

It won’t be long before drones would be used full-fledgedly in sports photography after already making a great show at the Sochi Olympics. Drones in sports photography not only mean accessible pictures of aerial sports like ski and snowboarding, but also distant and clear view of all sports. Now, there isn’t a need to fix multiple cameras on different location during a racing/sports event. A remote operated drone can capture the moves of the sportsman at different periods. A great example would be Airdog. It has created the auto-follow action sports quadcopter for this very purpose.

Complejo Acuático Norte de Santande by Losmanesdeldrone

2nd Prize Winning Photography ( Sports Adventure Category) by losmanesdeldrone – IDPC 2016

4. Filmmaking

Given the relatively low cost of drones (much cheaper than the costs of hiring a helicopter or aeroplane), drones are likely to change the face of cinematography as well in the years to come. The idea of drones is opening avenues to cheaply create crane/helicopter shots. Many filmmakers are excited for the round the corner technology which would enable better cinematography.

Swarm of sheep by Szabolcs Ignacz

2nd Prize Winning Photograph (Nature Wildlife Category) by Szabolcs Ignacz – IDPC 2016

5. Real Estate Photography

Using drones in your professional photography can definitely make you stand out from the crowd. Be it a wedding photographer, a landscape photographer or any other commercial photographer, drones add more value to your services and can increase your pay manifold. Real estate photography, in particular has also been able to flourish because of drones. The aerial panorama of the property site imparts a more lucid understanding of the property and its neighborhood.

A patch of pines in the middle of the forest : Kalbyris forest, Denmark by Mbernholdt

1st Prize Winning Photograph (Nature Wildlife Category) by Mbernholdt – IDPC 2016

Chugach Mountain Range, Alaska by High Angle Shot

3rd Prize Winning Photograph (Sports Adventure Category) by High Angle Shot – IDPC 2016

 

Drones are revolutionising the very face of photography in every way. Though issues of legality and privacy plague the advent of drones, it’ll be interesting to discover what new use-cases of the drones the future lays bare.

Do share your experiences with drone photography in the comments. Don’t forget to add links to the images that you have shot from the sky!

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