Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

The post Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.


The success of any shoot relies on the timing and organization of the various elements to your workflow. There are so many things to remember when shooting. In food photography, forgetting one detail can make the difference between a great picture and one that is so-so. Here are my tips on what to consider during every stage of your food shoot and styling food photography.


Choose the right lens

Like with any genre of photography, choosing the right lens for what you’re trying to achieve is essential. In food photography, you can get a lot of mileage out of a couple of key lenses.

One of these is a 100mm/110mm macro lens if you’re shooting with a camera with a full-frame sensor. The macro capabilities will allow you to take the tight shots of ingredients or dishes, but you can also step back to take beautiful “food portraits.” This can make it a really versatile lens.

Another important lens is a 50mm. This will allow you to take overhead shots, and it’s a good lens to have for food portraits as well. Just keep in mind that on a full-frame, a 50mm is actually a wide-angle lens for food photography. You might need to use large backgrounds, and you can also end up getting distortion when shooting at a 3/4 angle — another good reason to have 100mm macro in your kit.

A 35mm lens is best suited to overhead shots and capturing large spreads of food and some lifestyle type of shots.

If you have the budget for it, I recommend a 24-70mm, as it’s an excellent all-around food photography lens.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Check your camera settings and exposure

If you want to shoot food, it’s best to set your camera to take RAW images. JPEG images are processed, which is handy, but they have a very limited color range as opposed to a RAW file. They also degrade in quality each time you retouch them, whereas you can edit RAW images as much as required without losing important information.

Do what you can to obtain the best exposure in-camera. Getting things right in-camera saves you a lot of time. It’s much harder and more time-consuming to try to fix things in post-production, and you still can’t always get as good of a result as you would if you just took the time to get things right in-camera.

When shooting in natural light, put your white balance on Auto and correct it in post-production if you need to. If you’re shooting with flash, be sure to set it to Daylight white balance.

If you’re using artificial light, set your ISO to 100. Your shutter speed should not exceed the sync speed of your camera. If you don’t know that, you’ll have to look it up. It’s generally around 200.

When shooting in natural light, use a tripod and lower your shutter speed to account for lower light conditions rather than cranking up your ISO, which will give your images unwanted noise.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Harness the light

Before you put the “hero” food down on the table, do a lighting test with a stand-in that is a similar shape and size of the dish you are shooting. Food dies very quickly, so you don’t want it sitting around while you’re tinkering with your lights.

Soft light is usually best for food photography, so use a diffuser, scrim, or translucent fabric to diffuse the light. In most cases, directional light (coming from one direction) will look best. Use black cardboard to create shadows, white cardboard or reflectors to kick in light or fill shadows.

The light should come from the side, the back, or somewhere in between to be most flattering to food. Never use front light – it looks great in portraits, but is too flat for food and will cause unwanted shadows on your set.


Choose the right surfaces and backdrops

Styling food photography also includes your surfaces. Your surface is what you place your food on. The backdrop is what goes behind your scene.

Slightly textured backgrounds and surfaces add more dimension and interest. But you can have too much of a good thing; a lot of texture will detract from the food, so tread lightly.

Avoid backgrounds or wood surfaces that are orange in tone, which looks unattractive with food. Most food is warm-toned, so a cool or neutral backdrop will make it pop. A warm backdrop with warm food can end up looking dated.

When choosing custom backdrops, avoid those that are shiny or reflective in any way. Metallic paint, black marble and such will be difficult to work with. A lot of matte varnishes also end up having a bit of glare, so do a patch test first.

Get creative with your surfaces and backdrops. Tablecloths, tissue paper, craft paper, canvas, linen, cheesecloth are all inexpensive DIY backdrops you can use.

 Choose the right props and shooting them correctly

There is a reason that “prop stylist” is a whole occupation on its own. Don’t underestimate how powerful the right props can be.

The key is to not over-prop your scene. One or two props are often all you need unless you’re telling a wider food story like a tablescape. Too many props distract from your food.

It’s also vital that you use dishes and flatware that are on the smaller size. Props can often appear to the camera much larger than they really are, and dominate the image.

Go for matte dishes as much as possible. You can manage reflections in glass and cutlery by spraying them with “Dulling Spray” by Krylon.

You can also use a polarizing filter to cut down on reflections, although you’ll lose 1-2 stops in doing so.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Food styling tips

Use garnishes, herbs, seasonings, crumbs etc to create interest and texture on your set. Use them sparingly though, to avoid a messy look.

Keep herbs fresh by storing them between sheets of wet paper towels. You can also put them in a Mason jar filled with water to make them last longer.

When dressings salads, do so at the last minute, and always have extra dressings and sauces ready to brush on your food subjects.

One great tip used by pro food stylists is to use citric acid, a product like “Fruit Fresh,”  to keep produce fresh-looking. Simply dissolve it in water and soak fruits and vegetables in the solution for 1/2 an hour. To keep a misted look on produce without having the water droplets evaporate quickly, use glycerine mixed with water and spray it on the items.

A food photographer should always have a food styling kit with items like brushes, cotton swabs, water spritzers, and squeeze bottles to bring to shoots. Other important items for your kit are drinking straws, tweezers, paper towel, and clean cloths.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Be aware of composition

Composition is a big subject and it can have a lot of impact on your food photography. Without it, the eye loses interest in what’s in the frame.

When shooting, check that you don’t have too much empty/passive space; crop tighter or rearrange your composition. On the other hand, you can shoot a bit wider to give yourself more leeway for cropping your compositions in post-production.

Remember that odd numbers of elements create balance and harmony, while even numbers compete with one another and weaken the impact of the image. There are many other principles of composition, like the Golden Mean, as well as leading lines, patterns, repetition, and texture.

Color is also a part of composition, so think carefully about how the colors of your props and backdrops complement your food.

Colors that are opposite the color wheel are called “complementary colors” and are especially pleasing to the eye.

Shooting your image

It’s best to shoot with a tripod and tether to your computer or laptop so you can see a larger and more accurate rendition of your image on the screen.

If you’re working with clients, they will expect you to shoot tethered. You’ll need to be able to show them every image and get their approval before moving on to the next shot to avoid them coming back to you, saying they didn’t like the image.

Shoot at a minimum of f/5.6 if you’re shooting overhead images

As for your aperture in general, f/5.6 or f/8 is a good default for food shots. You can have some nice bokeh with more of the food in focus.

While you’re shooting, don’t forget to take an image with a grey card or Color Checker to properly white balance in post-processing.


Focus and angle

To get the correct focus and angle, think about which would best complement the food and show it to the best advantage.

Overhead shots are the most graphic and work for many types of flat foods, such as pizza. They’re also a great way of getting more elements into the shot because the depth becomes flattened.

Use lower angles or straight-on angles for tall foods, such as burgers and stacks of pancakes. Keep in mind that lower angles create more surface shine

In general, you usually want to focus on the front of the food.



Everyone has their own personalized workflow, but here are some tips for editing and retouching that you might find helpful.

If you use Lightroom, work on virtual copies of your files and keep the original untouched. Organize your images in Collections and input metadata that will help you find certain images according to keywords and other attributes.

If you’re more of a Photoshop person, save working copies as you retouch to avoid losing your work. Make sure you are using the correct color space for your purposes.

Always back up your RAW files and your work in at least three places, including a cloud backup system.

Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography

Your workflow for styling food photography: conclusion

There are a lot of details to remember while shooting and styling food photography. Hopefully, these workflow points can function as a kind of checklist for you of all things to keep in mind so you can take your images to the next level.

Do you have any other tips on styling food photography that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments!

The post Your Workflow for Styling Food Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

What You Need to Know to do Successful Restaurant Photography

The post What You Need to Know to do Successful Restaurant Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.


If you want to be a food photographer, you’ll likely start your career shooting restaurant photography. This is how most food photographers get their start. Restaurants have smaller budgets, so they’re open to working with new photographers.

However, photographing for restaurants isn’t that easy. Not only do you have to be skilled at shooting food, but you also need to be able to shoot interiors and portraits of the chef and other staff.

Restaurant photography can be a lot of work, and there are a lot of ins-and-outs you should know to make sure you don’t end up getting burned by this very specific type of shoot.

What You Need to Know to do Successful Restaurant Photography

Ask for a shot list

Before you can give a potential client an estimate, you need to know what you’ll be photographing in order to estimate how long the shoot will take you. For example, beverages can take longer to photograph than a plate of food, as managing reflections in glass can take time and be challenging.

You should base your estimates on the project scope. If you can’t estimate how long the shoot will take you, you can’t price your services accordingly. Get a breakdown of how many food images will be required, how many drinks etc.

Some restaurants want you to bring in your own surfaces, dishes, linens etc. for a more magazine editorial feel. In this case, note that it will take longer to shoot this type of scene than it will shooting their own dishes on the restaurant tables.

Scout for the location and light

Check out the location beforehand so you know what you’ll be up against in terms of lighting. You’ll also need to figure out where to set up your equipment and workspace. This should be done with agreement from the manager or proprietor.

It’s important that if the restaurant is open when you shoot, that you’re as unobtrusive to the patrons as possible. See if the client can close off a section of the restaurant where you can work without bothering anyone, and vice versa. 


Discuss styling the food

When shooting for restaurants, you should make clear on the outset that you’re not a food stylist and therefore are not responsible for how the food looks.

Food styling is a different occupation. It requires a separate skill set from photography. Your job is the lighting and image capture, not the plating of the food.

Of course, you should always be aware of garnishes and stray crumbs, and generally, make sure the food looks its best for the camera. I’ve been known to send back a sloppy looking burger or two.

The point is that clients need to make sure their chef is up to the task. Otherwise, they should hire a food stylist to guide them. A food stylist can be pricey and not feasible for an already tight budget. In the case that a client refuses to hire one, they should know that the look of the food on the plate ultimately falls on them.

Make sure you state this in your contract. You have a contract, right?

What You Need to Know to do Successful Restaurant Photography

Bring a food styling kit and some basic props

While you won’t be plating and styling the food, you should still bring along a basic food styling kit that includes items such as tweezers, cotton swabs, and small brushes to tame errant garnishes or clean unwanted crumbs and drips from the plate. You want to do the best job you can with what you’re given.

It’s a good idea to come prepared with some props as back up. Bring a stack of linens in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and maybe some cutlery. Sometimes clients want their own tables, flatware, and dishes shot as they are experienced by the patrons, but many have a branding direction in mind that requires a specific look or ambiance. 

For example, when clients wanted me to create dark and moody images for them, I bring in small, dark dishes and vintage cutlery – the opposite of the large, white dishes you see in most restaurants. 


Use a tripod

If you shoot only in natural light, be aware that most restaurants are too dark for food photography.

You’ll need to shoot by a window and use a tripod so you can decrease your shutter speed and make a longer exposure. This won’t work for photographing people, however, as they will be blurry with a slow shutter speed.

If the images will only appear on the web or in social media, you can crank up the ISO and fix the noise in your images later in post-production.

When I scout the location, I try to take a few test shots and see how they look in Lightroom before making my lighting decisions.


Shoot horizontally

Have a conversation with the client about how they would like the images shot. Most restaurants only need images for their website. Interactive web design often requires that images be shot in landscape orientation.

If the client will be printing some of the images on a menu, this may require a vertical format (and a higher resolution). Make sure to discuss the best picture orientation with the client. Make note that if they want both, it can take you up to twice as long to shoot the images, as not only will you have to adjust the camera, but you’ll have to recompose each image.

Shoot tethered 

I always hook up my camera to a laptop so the client can view the images captured by my camera. Shooting tethered allows you to see a larger, more accurate rendition of your shot than you can get from the screen on the back of your camera. You can use Lightroom or Capture One Pro for tethering. Make sure you have a high-quality tethering cord. 

What You Need to Know to do Successful Restaurant Photography

Work with the client

Ultimately, you want to produce good work that makes the client happy. For this, the client needs to be involved in the process. They must be present at the shoot to provide creative direction and approve the images that are captured. That way, they can’t come back and tell you they don’t like them, or that they don’t align with the branding or aesthetic they had in mind.

I have a clause in my contract stating that I will not begin a shoot without someone representing the restaurant present. Also that the client will forfeit the deposit if I need to pack up my things and leave. Believe me, you don’t want to get into this situation. 

Collaborate with the chef

Involve the chef in the process as much as possible. When you make an appointment to scout the location, ask if you could meet the chef.

Making the chef feel like an important part of the process can make a big difference in the outcome of your shoot. The shoots that end up being the most easy and fun are the ones where the chef is enthusiastic about working with you and making the food look its best for its moment in the spotlight.

What You Need to Know to do Successful Restaurant Photography

In conclusion

One more thing. Before you set foot in the restaurant with your camera, make sure you have liability insurance. Many restaurants won’t always think about this, but bigger clients will often ask for proof of liability insurance. If someone trips over an extension or tethering cord and decides to sue the restaurant, you can be included in that lawsuit. 

Shop around for the best insurance for you, and read the fine print carefully. You need insurance that is specific to the photography industry so you can make sure you’re covered in the types of situations you will be faced with.

You should also insure your equipment against theft, loss, and damage, including that from fire or flood.

Restaurant photography can be a great way to start building up your professional portfolio. Just make sure to do it right to avoid any headaches along the way, and to get your clients to hire you as their preferred photographer whenever they update their menu.

Do you have any other tips or experiences you’d like to share with us about Restaurant Photography? Do so in the comments!

The post What You Need to Know to do Successful Restaurant Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should

The post How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.



In today’s digital world, it has become crucial to register copyright for your images. Theft online is rampant, so you need to protect yourself and your work. Read on to find out why you should and how to copyright your photography.


What is Copyright?

Copyright protects the legal rights of the owner of intellectual property or work of art. In simple terms, copyright is the right to copy. As photographers, this means that only we as the original creators of our images, and anyone we give authorization to, are the only ones with the exclusive right to publish or otherwise reproduce our images.

The moment you click the shutter on your camera, you own the copyright to your images. No matter your level of skill, or whether you’re an amateur or a pro, your images are protected by law.

Keep in mind that copyright laws do vary from country to country, therefore the information in this article is general. It’s also meant for educational purposes since I’m not a lawyer and not qualified to give legal advice.

The lack of knowledge or education about copyright has caused a lot of problems in the photographic industry. Many new or emerging photographers are not educating their clients on copyright and usage, so clients assume they own their images and can do with them whatever they wish. To compound this problem, lawyers often advise their clients to always obtain copyright from the photographer, but in most cases, this is completely unnecessary, unless the client wants to sell the images and make a profit from them.

All of the big companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s never ask for copyright. They don’t need it. They license images for a specific use and time frame.

Any discussion about buying out copyright should include very large numbers.


What is published versus unpublished work?

There are two types of work that fall under Copyright: published and unpublished.

Digital media falls under copyright protection, but it has not been updated to be clear. Published works, in this case, are different from a patent, which covers inventions or discoveries, or trademarks, which covers designs, symbols, logos, and words.

To qualify as published, the work must be distributed to the public in some form, whether digital or print. There has to be some form of copies or multiples. A website or blog doesn’t qualify as published because your photos are not getting distributed. Social media is also considered unpublished. It is not distributed to the public in copies the way stock photos are, for example.

How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should

Why you should register your copyright

It’s an unfortunate by-product of living in today’s world that your images will get stolen. If you post any of your photography online, chances are that some will get stolen at one time or another. Some of this theft is due to the ignorance of the public, while others knowingly take your images without your permission, without paying for usage licensing.

Unfortunately, a lot of large companies do this, and there have been numerous high profile lawsuits where photographers have won hundreds of thousands of dollars for copyright infringement.

Filing copyright on your photos will protect you in the case you need to go to court to sue for statutory damages and lawyers fees. In a copyright infringement suit, a judge or jury can award you statutory damages as defined by the Copyright Act – thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, if you can prove that your image was stolen with willful intent.

Photography is becoming more commoditized, but there is still immense value in it because it allows companies to make a profit by advertising their products. If someone is trying to gain financially by selling a product with stolen images, that is a big problem. Think of it this way: it’s not just the images that are stolen; it’s also the profit of the photographer.

When you don’t charge for usage, or go after those who are using your images unlawfully, that’s money out of your pocket. And what’s worse, you may actually be struggling to pay your overhead and make a profit in the first place.


How to file for Copyright

Filing for copyright can be a bit tedious, but it can be done online fairly simply. For example, as I’m based in Canada, I Googled “Canadian Copyright Office” and easily found the website for the intellectual property office. I have registered photographs and even a photography eBook I sell on my blog online very easily.

Some countries have agreements with the U.S. to enforce U.S. copyright laws. It’s often useful to register your copyright in the U.S. even if you’re not a U.S. citizen, to obtain the statutory benefits of registration in the United States.

Ideally, you should copyright any images before they are published, but you can copyright them at any time. You can even copyright them after you’ve discovered an unlawful use of one of your images. It will just be a bit more complicated from a documentation standpoint.

The cost of registering copyright varies from country to country. In Canada, it’s $50, and in the U.S., it’s currently $55 for a group of images. You can copyright your images as a group, to a maximum of 750.

For more information about registering photographs with the U.S. Copyright Office, go here.

The portal is fairly simple to use, but this resource will give you more information. You have to upload a .jpeg for each image you’re copyrighting, and submit a title list in an Excel spreadsheet. The preference is that these items be submitted in a .zip file.

Research the copyright laws in your country. Although in many countries like Canada and the U.S. copyright is immediate upon creation of a work, you still have to register copyright before you can sue.

Conversely, in Australia, there is no formal copyright registration system. The law ensures that certain forms of expression are automatically covered under the Copyright Act.


To sum up

Copyright is something that a lot of people don’t understand – even clients. It’s important to educate yourself and those you work with on the ins-and-outs of copyright. As I mentioned, laws vary from country to country, but you can find a lot of this information online. It’s crucial to protect yourself and your work.

Do you have any other tips on how to copyright your photography? Have you had your images stolen? If so, share with us in the comments below.

The post How to Copyright Your Photography and Why You Really Should appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

DIY Photography Backdrops for Still Life and Product Photography

The post DIY Photography Backdrops for Still Life and Product Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Your choice of backdrop can have a big impact on the final look of your photos.

You may have purchased expensive professional photography backdrops because you know this. 

But whether you’re a hobbyist or pro, you probably already spend enough on your photography that you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for your props. Luckily, with a bit of creativity, you don’t have to.

Here are some of the best ways to create beautiful DIY photography backdrops for still life and product photography.


Painted canvas backdrop

For a magazine-quality look, my top pick for a still life photography backdrop is painted canvas.

Professional canvas backdrops are expensive, but you can make your own for a fraction of the retail price.

Go to your local hardware store and buy a canvas painter’s drop cloth.  These are pieces of canvas you use to protect the floor when painting interiors.

Canvas drop cloths are usually large, so you can cut them into four pieces to get four backgrounds out of one stretch of fabric. Make that eight if you go double-sided. 

While you’re at the hardware store, purchase two or three paint samples in a similar tone for each backdrop. Note that the canvas soaks up a lot of the paint, so you may need to purchase primer as well, or use more paint than you thought. 

Layer the paint onto the canvas with a small, good-quality roller, moving the roller in different directions.

To add more texture, scrunch up a rag or use a large sea sponge and dip it into the paints. Randomly press the rag onto the canvas.

Your backdrops will have a natural texture that enhances but doesn’t compete with your subject. The canvas also has a great subtle texture, too. 


Ceramic flooring tile

Another beautiful yet simple background is porcelain or ceramic tiles. You can get them from your local home improvement store. These are inexpensive and look great. They’re easily wipeable, which is a bonus if you’re dealing with food or liquid products.

Just make sure that any tiles you pick aren’t shiny, so you don’t get glare.  Good colors to choose are grey, black, white, or cool brown tones like taupe. These neutrals will enhance and complement a wide variety of products or still life subjects. They are better for smaller subjects because they tend to not be very large.


Painted wooden backdrops

These days, there are a lot of suppliers selling painted custom backdrops for still life photography, but painting some yourself can be a lot less costly, and you don’t need any special skills. 

To make your own, buy thin plywood sheets at the home improvement store. Pieces that are at least 2×3 feet should accommodate most of your set-ups. The bigger stores like Home Depot can also cut larger pieces into smaller ones for you, so you can get more mileage out them.

You can purchase paint samples from the hardware store as well, or use craft paints. Just make sure that any paints or varnishes you use are matte. Even some of the satin types can cause unwanted shine in your images. 

Choose three or four colors in a similar color family and pour them together in the middle of the board. Take a large sea sponge and dab the paint all over the board to create a blended and subtle, mottled effect.

Finish with a thin coat of matte, water-resistant sealer. 

DIY Photography Backdrops for Still Life and Product Photography


Having a variety of linens on hand will make your life a lot easier as a still life photographer

Depending on what you shoot, these can run the gamut from natural fabric like linen to lightly patterned damask tablecloths.

You can use the fabric as the entire backdrop, as shown in the image below, or just to cover a portion of another backdrop.

When covering your entire surface with a piece of linen or tablecloth, place another layer of fabric underneath. This will plump it up and make it look more attractive.

Again, when choosing your colors, stick to neutrals. Shades of blue also look good, especially in dark and moody images. You can choose a pastel or brighter color depending on what you’re shooting and your desired result.

The key is that you don’t want your photography backgrounds competing with and drawing the eye away from your main subjects.

DIY Photography Backdrops for Still Life and Product Photography

Vintage Tray

Don’t get rid of any old or vintage trays you may have kicking around. They also make great photography backgrounds for still life. 

Depending on the metal, they will often have a lovely patina that will add something special to your shots. They look great close up or at a distance, or can be used as an element in telling your story.

You can often find vintage trays for an affordable price at secondhand or antique stores.

As with any backdrop, it should not be reflective. 

Note that in the images below, the tray doesn’t look overly shiny, even though I backlit my subjects. It has a nice and subtle texture. 



Colored papers

Colored or textured craft or construction paper can make pretty and inexpensive photography backdrops that are light and easy to store.

Source large pieces of craft paper or construction paper at your local craft supply store, or check out sites like Amazon for packages of paper offering a variety of colors.

In the image below, I used a large piece of yellow construction paper as my background. To recreate this look, distance your paper a fair bit away from your set. This will help you get a blurred out horizon line and so your subject doesn’t look “stuck” to your background.


Wooden cutting boards

Depending on the size, a wooden cutting board can function as a nice backdrop or be used as a layering piece in some types of still life shoots, like food photography.

Be careful about purchasing boards with a warm, orange, or yellowish tinge. Since most food is quite warm in tone, an image that is warm throughout can end up looking dated.

Also, the camera tends to exaggerate this orange tone. I find that I have to decrease the orange saturation in all of my images to start with.

Look for light boards like pine, or boards in deep espresso for darker shots. You can also paint these in whatever color you want. In the image below, I painted mine white and distressed it with fine sandpaper.

Be sure to keep painted boards for photography purposes only, because they won’t be food safe.

DIY Photography Backdrops for Still Life and Product Photography

To sum up

There are so many different ways to create stunning still life and product photography backdrops without the expense of buying and shipping wooden backdrops from specialist suppliers.

These are just a few ideas, but also look at contact paper, wallpaper, burlap, and old pieces of wood.

Experiment with the items you already own before spending a lot of money on costly photography backdrops. 

Do you have other tips for DIY photography backdrops? Share with us in the comments section!




The post DIY Photography Backdrops for Still Life and Product Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business Successfully

The post 5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business Successfully appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Marketing is something that often falls by the wayside for photographers. We push it aside when we’re busy, only to find the clients aren’t there when things slow down.

The best marketing efforts are those that are organic and purposeful. There is no quick fix. Promoting your work is not as simple as “build a website and they will come.” It takes consistency and effort to keep your name out there, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

Here are my five top tips for marketing your photography business the right

1. Curate your online portfolio

As a professional photographer, you need an attractive, well-curated website to highlight your work.

Your website will brand you as either a professional or an amateur. It will serve as the first impression of you and your work. You need to pay attention to every detail, from the template you choose, to how your images flow together to create a cohesive narrative of who you are as an artist.

Put only your best work in your online portfolio, but try to approach your images as a potential photo buyer might. It’s easy to get emotionally attached to certain photographs, but sometimes your favorites are not the ones that are going to resonate with your target market. Create galleries that organize your photos into a grouping that make sense. Pay attention to the colors, shapes, and lighting that flow well together. Create an experience for the viewer as they move through your body of work.

If you feel you can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes curating your work, hire a photo consultant who can give you an unbiased and expert opinion.

Starting an online portfolio from scratch? You might want to choose a web builder made for photographers, such as Photoshelter or Format, as they also offer various tools to help sell and distribute images.

Squarespace is popular with a lot of photographers because of their beautiful, minimalist and modern templates. Wix is also another site that has improved in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. It is highly customizable and unlike some of the other options, offers tons of different templates to choose from.

5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business Successfully

2. Print your work

The demand for digital imagery is huge, however, print is not dead.

If you’re a commercial photographer, having a print portfolio is essential for meeting with clients. Showing up at an agency meeting with an iPad to show your work will make you look like an amateur.

In the commercial and advertising world, agencies want to see how your images hold up in print because any flaws become much more obvious. It’s important for them to see how your work translates into print before they hire you.

Creating a top-notch portfolio can be very expensive, but there are several sites like Artifact Uprising and Blurb where you can have good quality photo books printed at a reasonable price.


If you’re looking for commercial work and want to work with ad agencies, design firms, or magazines, you’ll also need to send out printed promos to your target market three or four times a year.

It’s said that it takes an average of seven contacts with someone before they buy from you, so this tactic may not pay off immediately.  However, never underestimate the silent watchers.

If you work on the retail level, such as in wedding photography or portraiture, it’s still useful to have printed work to show prospective clients. People love to see something tangible, something they can hold in their hands that will help them experience your work in a more direct way. The photographers who make a lot of money in these niches print out their photographs to show to clients in-person, which drives sales exponentially.

5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business Successfully

3. Create a quarterly email campaign

Do you have a ‘subscribe to email list’ on your website? If not, you should. Nothing converts like email. An engaged list is far more important than any form of social media. The changing algorithms and whims of companies like Instagram and Facebook can leave your business incredibly vulnerable if you depend on them.

By sending out a regular newsletter or a PDF mailer to your past clients and other relevant business contacts, you appear busy and relevant. Fresh content helps you connect to your audience.

Research whom you want to work with, and regularly make contact with them. Keep track of these contacts via a spreadsheet or CRM (customer relationship management), so you know who has received your previous mailing.

Hire a designer that can create a template for you. This will allow you to swap out pictures every time you do a new campaign with new work. Include your logo on the front and a short bio inside, along with your contact information. Alternately you can create a promo “newspaper” or magazine through a company like Blurb or Newspaper Club. 

Your email promo should look as professional as possible. The email campaigns should go out to your target clients every quarter to keep you top of mind when they’re looking for a photographer.

Even if you send out printed promotions, you should also send out email campaigns.

Printed promotions are expensive, which means you can only send them out to a select group of people – your most ideal clients. But with email, you can send out a promotion such as a PDF mailer to hundreds or prospective clients.

5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business Successfully

4. Use social media strategically

Everyone is complaining about their love/hate relationship with social media, but if you’re using it for business, it’s non-negotiable. The keys to success are your perspective and using social media the right way.

It’s best to pick one or two social media channels and concentrate on bringing up your visibility there. Start by asking yourself what you want to achieve?

Do you want to:

  • Drive traffic to your site?
  • Connect with agencies and brands?
  • Connect with potential brides or portrait clients?

Put aside time every day to post and engage with your target market by leaving thoughtful comments. 

Know that the path from a “like” to any “purchase” is a really big leap. Social media should be part of a wider strategy of creating visibility and engaging with a community. It’s great to follow other photographers and support one another, but most of them won’t be your potential clients. Avoid the big time suck of social media and focus on the people that are likely to hire you.


5. Write a WordPress blog

I’m always going on about writing a blog. I think most photographers should have a blog.

One reason is that if you have a WordPress blog connected to your site, you can get a massive boost to your SEO. Updating the blog regularly will get you a higher ranking in search results.

Writing a blog will also help you connect with your audience and build trust. Your clients will feel like they have come to know you.

If writing is not your strong suit, you don’t need to write a lot. In fact, your posts should have lots of images instead. You can share about a family or personal branding session. You can share shots and a short narrative about the latest wedding you shot or write about how you recommend clients dress for their personal branding session.

However you decide to approach it, make sure that your content adds value for the people reading it.

5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business Successfully


To sum up

Marketing gets a bad rap. As an artist, you may feel like a used car salesman when you’re trying to sell your services. However, think of marketing as a way of putting yourself in front of people and letting them know you’re there.

The most successful photographers are those that demonstrate that they can add value and solve a specific problem.

By taking a more curated, thoughtful approach to promoting yourself, you’ll be able to build a business that stays strong in the face of trends and stands out amongst your competitors.

Do you have any other Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business? Share with us in the comments!



The post 5 Top Tips for Marketing Your Photography Business Successfully appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Photo Business (Step-By-Step Guide)

The post How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Photo Business (Step-By-Step Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Do you use Pinterest to market your photography services?

You should.

Because here’s the thing: Millions of potential clients use Pinterest. In fact, 250 million people around the world use Pinterest every month, and this number continues to grow. 

Most people think of Pinterest as a social media platform, but it’s actually a search engine that’s driven by search and discovery. Statistics show that nearly half of online users search in Pinterest before turning to Google. It has an incredible power to drive traffic to your site and grow brand awareness. Visitors from Pinterest convert into leads or sales faster than those from social media networks.


One reason is that Pinterest has a much longer shelf life than social media. Once an image is uploaded to an Instagram or Facebook feed, it gets buried quickly. With Pinterest, your pins will have staying power and benefit you more the longer they’re around. 

Now that you know why Pinterest is so great…

…let me tell you how you can gain traction on Pinterest, fast.

pinterest photography business profile page

Step 1: Get a business account 

In order to use Pinterest effectively for your photography business, you’ll need to sign up for a free Business account. A Business account will allow you to monitor your analytics from within Pinterest. This will give you important information about the boards and pins that are most popular with your audience.

These insights can help you increase your engagement and pin more effectively.

pinterest statistics

Step 2: Create a succinct Pinterest profile

Your Pinterest profile needs to be short and to the point. It needs to let people know what you do. Are you a wedding shooter? Do you specialize in personal branding portraits? Include it in your profile.

For example, my main income comes from commercial and still-life photography, but I’m also a photography mentor. This third aspect of my business is the focus of my Pinterest account. Therefore, it’s the focus of my profile biography.

Step 3: Organize your board for your viewers

If you want to promote yourself as a photographer, you must always keep your target audience in mind. Your boards are not for you; they’re for your viewers, and so you need to speak to what they might be looking for when they log onto Pinterest.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have boards on crafting and cooking. It just means that you need to hide these non-business boards from public view.

Just remember, all of your visible boards must be relevant to potential clients.

Since I’m a food photographer, most of my boards feature beautiful images of food, organized into topical boards such as Salads, Desserts, Main Dishes, etc., as well as themes such as food photography lighting and styling.

And since I mentor food bloggers and emerging photographers, I also have boards such as Learn Food Photography as well as Blogging Tips. Use basic names for your boards that will be searchable and easy to find. 

Your boards should be organized from most relevant to least relevant, not by alphabetical order. Have your first board feature your own photography only; you want to show potential clients what you can do. Clean up your own boards and create new ones.

You’ll quickly see a big difference in your Pinterest traffic.

pinterest business boards

Step 4: Use keywords in your descriptions

Pinterest works similarly to Google – users search for specific content they’re interested in by using keywords.

In fact, keywords are the number-one tool for content discovery.

That’s why each of your boards should have a description using keywords or using hashtags created from keywords. Also, use as many keywords as possible in your pin descriptions. General keywords make your content easier to discover.

You can also use keywords to attract potential clients in your region. If you live in Portland and want to attract brides in your area, use keywords like “Portland Bride” or “Portland Weddings.” Add them to all of your descriptions and alt tags. Local keywords are underused and undervalued, especially in small markets, so they can make a big difference.

pinterest keywording
Step 5: Brand your pins

When creating pins, you may want to add text (depending on your niche and your reason for pinning posts).

If you’re just trying to share your stunning images, then this may not be relevant. But if you can think of a way to add text that will advertise your services, it’ll work in your favor. Surprisingly, pins with text get more attention than those without text.

For example, the purpose of my Pinterest account is to attract people to my photography coaching services and products. I do this by driving traffic from Pinterest to my blog.


I create pins for each blog post I write. The pins are simply designed, but they’re consistent. I use the same font and style for each pin, which creates a “brand” for my pin that is consistent and that viewers will easily recognize.

Consider creating some pins with text in Photoshop or using an easy app like Canva. Canva offers a variety of free templates already sized for use on Pinterest. Test a few different styles and fonts and see how they perform. You may see that one style of pin gets repinned more than another. If so, then stick with that style.

branded pins

Examples of branded pins created on Canva.

The bottom line is that you should try to keep a strong brand identity, one that highlights specific services and remains visually consistent. It might be a bit of extra work at first, but it’ll pay off in the end.

Step 6: Join group boards selectively

Group boards are like regular boards, except that the board owner can invite collaborators to add pins of their own.

Group boards used to be a great way to generate traffic. Until Pinterest introduced the “Smart Feed,” which prioritizes and ranks pins based on their quality and engagement.

This led to a big decline in the value of group boards. You see, group board collaborators often rarely look at the board, and therefore rarely repin other members’ content. Because no one interacts with the boards, Pinterest assumes the pins are not popular. So they don’t show up in the Smart Feed.

How do you avoid this problem and use group boards to your advantage?

Choose active, niche boards that focus on one topic and have less than 100 contributors. Too many contributors can mean low-quality content.

The important thing to remember is that quality is much more important than quantity.

A board that encourages mutual sharing is also crucial. For example, a policy stating that you need to repin two pins for every post you make can make a big difference.

If you choose to join group boards, then keep these points in mind.

Step 7: Use boards to collaborate with clients

Visuals are a part of the communication that should take place between you and your clients before you start a job, especially if you’re in the commercial world. Pinterest can help you share images that serve as inspiration or a guideline for an upcoming shoot. If you work with commercial or editorial clients, you can collaborate on a mood board using Pinterest. This ensures that everyone involved in the shoot understands what the final results should be.

If you work in a retail niche like weddings or portraiture, you can use Pinterest to get a sense of the mood and color your client is drawn to. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Light green might mean one thing to you and another to your customer, so images that demonstrate the feel and color treatment that is sought can go a long way in helping you get the right look.

You can also use Pinterest boards to educate clients. If you do glamour or boudoir portraits, you can send your client a What to Wear board. This will provide inspiration and examples for choosing outfits for their shoot.

chef portraits board

Step 8: Schedule pins with the Tailwind app

Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool. It’s a fantastic app to help you grow your audience like crazy.

You see, pinning consistently is important growth strategy, but most people don’t have time to be pinning throughout the day. With Tailwind, you can sit down once a week to schedule your pins. They’ll automatically upload throughout the week at optimal times. Or, if you prefer, you can customize your pin schedule.

Tailwind also offers powerful tools that analyze your pins and boards, as well as your Pinterest profile. You can see which pins are getting the most engagement and reschedule them right from the interface.

Tailwind analytics


Pinterest is a great tool for generating visitors and leads.

And if you follow the steps I’ve given above, your Pinterest account will start expanding, fast.

So go set up your Pinterest account and start pinning!

Do you have any other tips for using Pinterest? Share with us in the comments section!



The post How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Photo Business (Step-By-Step Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

SEO For Photographers – How to Bring More Business to Your Site

The post SEO For Photographers – How to Bring More Business to Your Site appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

In today’s digital world, there is so much to learn on the technology side. As a photographer, Search Engine Optimization may be far down on your list of what you give your time to.

However, good SEO is vital to your success, as it can help your website rank higher in searches on major search engines such as Google.

It may come as no surprise that studies show up to 80% of click traffic goes to the top three search results. People are more likely to refine a search than go on to the second page if they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for.

Strong SEO translates into ranking high in organic searches, which means more potential clients for your photography business.

Here are some best practices of SEO for photographers to get you started.

Image: A screenshot of a Google Analytics Dashboard. Analytics is great for monitoring visitor traff...

A screenshot of a Google Analytics Dashboard. Analytics is great for monitoring visitor traffic and how different pages on your site are performing.

How search engines work

Search engines contain a huge database of all the content that they have discovered on the Internet called an “Index”. An estimated 35 trillion web pages across the Internet worldwide are indexed by Google alone. Google is the preferred search engine for about 90% of users.

Search engines scour the Internet for content, looking over the code and content for each URL found. It then stores and organizes the content found during this crawling process.

Once a page is in the index, it is available for display as a result. Finally, it “ranks” the pieces of content that will best answer a searcher’s query, and orders them from most relevant to least relevant. Different search engines use different algorithms, such as showing results in a different order. 

Search engines also pay attention to a lot of other “signals,” such as how often a domain is updated. There are more than 200 signals that can influence where your webpage shows up in any given search. No particular signal is likely to significantly affect your SEO on its own. There are “on-page” factors to SEO like URL structure, and “off-page” factors, such as social media presence.

While you can improve on-page factors right away, off-page factors are less tangible and take time to build. This is why marketing needs to be a big part of your overall SEO strategy.

SEO For Photographers - How to Bring More Business to Your Site

How to improve your photography site’s SEO

Make sure your website is mobile-optimized

The first thing you need to do to improve your SEO is to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. Not only are a far greater number of searches now taking place on mobile devices, but Google also gives preferential results toward websites optimized for mobile viewing. This means that your site must be responsive – that your webpage design is based on the device used to view the content.

Your site may rank number one for a search term from a desktop computer, but it won’t necessarily be number one in the same search on a phone or iPad.

SEO For Photographers - How to Bring More Business to Your Site

Use relevant Keywords

Like hashtags used in social media, keywords are an important way to boost your SEO and ensure that your website comes up in search results. However, also like hashtags, you can’t use them willy-nilly and expect great results. Keywords must be relevant to your audience and your content. In other words, they must be researched and chosen with care. 

In order to do this, you have to have an understanding of who your clients are and what they’re looking for. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, is your potential client looking for a destination wedding? Where are they located? Are they looking for someone locally or internationally?

Ask yourself what terms and questions your potential client might be entering in their preferred search engine. How is your audience searching for the service you provide?

To help you, try using a keyword research tool like Moz or Wordstream. These applications can help you discover and export keywords and performance data for improved searches.

Image: Have an understanding of what your potential client may search for when trying to find a phot...

Have an understanding of what your potential client may search for when trying to find a photographer.

Update your content frequently

It’s very common for photographers to spend a lot of time developing their initial portfolio for their site and then neglect to update it. I’ve seen photography websites where even the copyright notation hasn’t been updated since 2015.

As a photographer, you want to appear working and busy. You may in fact be incredibly busy, but if you’re not updating your content you won’t seem to be. From an SEO perspective, you should know that Google will often factor in new content when ranking search results.

This is one more reason to make sure to regularly add content to your website to make sure you stay relevant in search results. 

Use Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is incredibly relevant to photographers, or anyone with an online presence. As mentioned earlier, social media is one of those on-page factors that act as a signal to drive SEO. Search engines look at social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as a sign of what is influential on the Internet.

Social media is an important marketing tool and engaging in is will positively affect how you rank in search engine results.

Photography is a service-driven business. Relationships are the foundation. Customers are more likely to buy from you if they feel a rapport with you and feel like they can trust you. Social media is very helpful in putting your face to your business.

Image: A social media presence is important to ranking well in search engines like Google.

A social media presence is important to ranking well in search engines like Google.

Write a blog

Most photographers I know are very visual people and don’t consider themselves good at writing. However, you don’t need to be the next Ernest Hemingway to write a photography blog. In fact, using simple language and short posts of around 300 words or so (though longer can be better too) can really help you in your SEO-boosting efforts.

You can post a series of images on your blog from a portrait shoot, or post some behind-the-scenes snaps of a commercial product shoot you executed with a team of people.

A bit of a description or your thoughts on the shoot or the process will suffice. Give readers an idea of what it will be like to work with you.

This is great from a marketing perspective, but having a blog linked to your photography website allows you to build good textual content and backlinks. On the other hand, having links to only your homepage will have limited effect.

In particular, having a WordPress site attached to your portfolio site can be incredible in helping you rank higher in search results. 

Just be aware that when you do blog, be sure you post high-quality content. Search engines can penalize your domain for duplicate content or broken external links too.

Get others to link to you

Having other sites or blogs to link to you is a great way to boost your SEO. When your work is featured on a popular site, it creates a cascade of links from other sites. Links from other websites to yours are called backlinks and they’re important for good SEO. 

Apply to have your work featured on relevant industry websites or published in magazines. Also, consider writing guest posts on other blogs where you’re not a direct competitor of the blog owner. 

Getting featured in popular feeds on Instagram can lead to new followers on your own feed and potential, interested visitors to your site.

Create a free Google Business Listing

Creating a free Google Business listing will help increase your chances to be found in search results. It allows your company information to be output with high visibility in a variety of ways by Google.

A large percentage of searches are geography-specific, like “Vancouver food photographer.”

When Google returns results that have a geographic component, Google Maps pack prioritizes them over standard results. This is a set of results plotted on a clickable map as per the example below.

Image: When Google returns results that have a geographic component, Google Maps pack prioritizes th...

When Google returns results that have a geographic component, Google Maps pack prioritizes them over standard results and they are plotted on a clickable map.

When you set up your business listing, you’ll also have access to Google My Business Insights. This provides you with detailed information on how and where consumers are searching for your business. Along with your website’s Google Analytics data, it creates an overview of how people find your website and business listing and the actions they take. 

Note that to create a Google Business Listing, you need to be comfortable providing a physical address to your business, which may be your home address, if you don’t have a studio.

To sum up

As you may have gathered, success with SEO for photographers is a long-game. There are a variety of factors that are important in building good SEO for photographers, and they require consistency and analysis.

Be sure to sign up with Google Analytics to track your results. Information is power, and knowing how visitors are using your site will help you tweak your approach and get noticed in search results.

Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with us? Please do so in the comments section below.



The post SEO For Photographers – How to Bring More Business to Your Site appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

How to Backup Your Photos While Shooting Tethered so You Never Lose Them

The post How to Backup Your Photos While Shooting Tethered so You Never Lose Them appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

Whether you’re working with clients or shoot as a lone ranger, you need to back up your work. As the saying goes, when it comes to hard drives, it’s not a matter of if they will fail, but when they will fail.

Working with image files requires a lot of power and is very taxing for your computer. This increases the chance of hard drive failure. You need to have a system of backing up your images that works for you. This is also important to backup your photos while shooting tethered.


Backup your photos while shooting tethered

There are various programs that allow you to connect your camera to a laptop or desktop computer via a USB cable. This allows you to view a larger and more accurate version of your image on the computer screen. Tethering is crucial in genres like food and still life photography, but also very useful in other niches, like studio portrait photography.

When shooting tethered while on location, an efficient workflow around the backup process will make your life a lot easier and ensure that you have several copies of your image files should an unforeseen incident occur.

If you’re like me and shoot tethered to a laptop but edit on a desktop, you already have the bonus of an extra copy of your images, since you’re using two computers.

If you transfer the images from the laptop to desktop via a detachable external hard drive, there is your third copy. However, if you use a card reader or transfer your images from your camera via a USB cable, you should have at least one more hard copy of your images. Also, what if something happens to your laptop while you’re on a shoot? Remember, it’s a question of when.

Do you use Lightroom as your tethering program of choice? You then have the option of saving your images to your SD cards as you take them. However, Capture One Pro doesn’t offer this option. This makes image capture instant, but it doesn’t give you an extra sense of security by providing additional copies of the images you’ve shot.

You cannot just set up Lightroom or COP to save to two places. You need file synchronization software to make sure that your work is being backed up while you’re shooting tethered. 

Types of backups

There are two types of backup: specific project backup and overall data backup. You need to concern yourself with both.

While you’re shooting, you need to back up every single file. You also need to do a backup of your whole computer. You should create backups on external hard drives and also in a cloud-based system. Don’t simply rely on cloud solutions for your backups.

Storing photos in the cloud basically outsources the storage of your photos. The data in the cloud is not necessarily safe or under your control. Risks with cloud storage are having your data hacked and deleted, being locked out of your account, or having it be closed if you make late payments. Also, these types of online services can suddenly shut down or otherwise cease to exist. 

A word about digital data

The problem with digital data is that storage formats change over time. You might keep your photos “safe,” but they’ll be useless to you if you can’t read or open them. 

Operating systems, software and file formats keep changing, so just because you can see a file on your computer doesn’t mean you can actually load it.

One example is the attempts to replace the standard .jpg file format with JPEG 2000, PNG (Portable Network Graphics) and several others. JPG is fine for now, but you can never say never because this sort of thing actually happens all the time as technology changes.

A word about disk drives

Hard drives are great for storing images because they are relatively inexpensive, they provide fast access to data, and it’s very easy to copy one hard drive to another. 

However, backup drives are not an all-in-one perfect solution. Your data is at risk of being stolen or destroyed by fire, flood or some other disaster.

Also, the data is vulnerable to malicious software and human error.

You can accidentally delete a folder, or make mistakes when copying files. If your PC is infected by malware, it will usually encrypt files on external hard drives as well.

I personally have had several hard drives fail. One time I had a hard drive and a laptop fail at the same time! Some hard drives fail after several years of use, while others fail after only a few months. There is no way of knowing when the case may be.

Therefore, you can’t store your photos on a single drive. A minimum of two is recommended. I have backups on a couple of 1TB external, portable hard drives, as well as on two 4TB hard drives that are plugged into my desktop computer. 

You should keep one of your backups off-site, like at a relative’s home or even in a bank safety deposit box. 


How to back up while shooting tethered

Chronosync is one backup software that I recommend you use while shooting tethered if you use a Mac. If you’re a PC user, check out Bvckup.

Goodsync can be used with either system.

This type of software allows you to look at a given folder and copy everything to another folder on a separate hard drive. For example, you might want to shoot images on your laptop and have them sync to an external portable hard drive. Or you may want to use two separate portable hard drives. Basically what you’re doing is telling it what folder to look at and make an exact duplicate of it to another drive.

You can set it on a schedule or have it running in the background. Setting it on a schedule is great if you always have a hard drive plugged into your laptop.

Here is an example of how to do it with Chronosync.

1. Open up the application and choose, Create a New Synchronizer Document

How to Backup Your Photos While Shooting Tethered so You Never Lose Them

2. Decide what drives you want to synchronize by selecting >Choose from the Source Target and Destination Target menus accordingly. It will give you several choices of how you might want to back up from the dropdown menu under >Operation.
My recommendation is that you choose >Backup Synchronize Bidirectional. This will ensure that everything that is on one drive will also appear on the other.

How to Backup Your Photos While Shooting Tethered so You Never Lose Them

3. Click on >Synchronize in the top left-hand corner. It may take a few minutes for the synchronization to take place. Once it’s complete you’ll see the message below.

How to Backup Your Photos While Shooting Tethered so You Never Lose Them

It’s as simple as that. With synchronization software like Chronosync, you’ll ensure that all your files and folders are backed up for a very low price.

Other backup software

Many large companies offer photo storage services including Amazon, Google, Microsoft (OneDrive), and Apple (iCloud). However, this can be expensive if you need a lot of storage. With some, downloading large files is cumbersome and data such as file names and EXIF Data may not be preserved. Some services don’t preserve your photos as you uploaded them, and others just don’t work very well (Time Machine, I’m looking at you).

Here are some other paid-for options that are worth a look:

FoldersSynchronizer – a popular program for Mac OS which synchronizes backup files, folders, and disks.

Super Duper – great for disk backups on a Mac. It allows you to create a bootable clone of your disk which you can easily copy from one hard disk to another. This makes moving from one computer to another during an upgrade virtually painless.

Smug Mug – an all-in-one solution that allows photographers to display and sell their images, with unlimited uploads.

Backblaze – a cloud-based backup system that will continually back up your data while your computer is on. Use to restore data after a drive failure.

How to Backup Your Photos While Shooting Tethered so You Never Lose Them

To sum up

To ensure that you have all your bases covered when backing up your files, you should backup specific shoots as well as regularly do backups of your whole computer(s).

Have a couple of backups on hard drives, as well as a cloud-based backup.

When shooting tethered, I recommend backing up your images manually as you’re shooting, one at a time, to ensure that each image exists in at least two places at that time. Once you’re finished shooting, back up your portable hard drive to another one, preferably a larger, more robust hard drive where you store a copy of all your image folders.



The post How to Backup Your Photos While Shooting Tethered so You Never Lose Them appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

How to Get Started With Your Photography Promotions

The post How to Get Started With Your Photography Promotions appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

When it comes to the world of commercial photography, print is not dead. Although the Internet and your website are great tools to promote your photography, to really get noticed by agencies and other buyers of photography, you need to make printed promotional pieces, known in the industry as “promos.”

You can get really creative with promos, like sending them out with branded gifts, but this article will focus on printed promos.

Here are some tips on creating your photography promotions and sending them out into the world.

photography promotions 2

Create a marketing plan

Before you can send out promos, you need to know whom you’re sending them to.

This necessitates doing your research and coming up a list of targeted clients that you wish to work with.

If you haven’t already done this, know that this should be an ongoing process in your efforts to attract work. You must narrow down whom you want to work with and pursue those clients to get them to notice you. Printed promos are one way of doing this.

Find out the names and contact information for the people you want to send a promo to. Keep track of them in a spreadsheet or a client management tool aimed at creatives, like Nutshell or Dubsado.

This will help you stay organized and remind you of when you last contacted them and what the outcome was.

Decide on how many promos you want to send out. Fifty is a good number to start with. You may choose more or less, depending on your niche and target market and the realities of your budget.

Come up with a concept

Before you can design your promo, you’ll need to decide what form your promo will take. Will it be a magazine? A newspaper? A poster or postcard?

I generally don’t recommend postcard promotions because they often get thrown away. However, they can be used to augment your promotions, or you can send them to smaller clients that you would be open to working with.

Printing a promo can be a costly undertaking, so you don’t want to send them to leads that are not likely to pay off.

For example, as a food photographer, I might send a promo to high-end restaurants or restaurant chains that have a marketing person or PR agency because this signals that they have the budget to hire a good photographer. I can reserve the postcards to send to smaller restaurants, such as family-run businesses who might want to hire a photographer and are more likely to keep a postcard than an art director at an advertising agency.

Browse a few websites that print promos for photographers to see what the options are and how they might best represent your photography.

You can choose someone local in the city you live. Alternatively, search nationally or even internationally, depending on what you’re looking and the value provided.

For example, as a Canadian, I have some good choices in the city where I live. However, I also regularly seek out US Sites that can give me good results for a similar price, despite postage and exchange rates. Some good options are Paperchase Press, Next Day Flyers, and Newspaper Club.

photography promotions 3

What the promo should include

A promo is a visual calling card. It should include a bio or artist’s statement, your logo and contact information.

Depending on the niche, some photographers give their images titles or captions. If you’re an assignment photographer who is submitting collected images from a trip or assignment, you might want to preface the promo with a bit of a backstory.

A food photographer may include a short recipe with one of the images.

If you choose to include text, keep it brief. The point of the promo is to focus on your photography.

Get a great printer

Don’t make the mistake of taking the time and effort to design a great promo and then hire the wrong printer in order to save money. Your efforts will be wasted.

A promo is meant to showcase your work in the best possible light. A poorly printed piece degrades the quality of your photography.

If you’re in the commercial photography world, then promos should be an important part of your marketing strategy and require investment. There is no getting around investing in marketing to grow your business and appear as a professional.

Successful and established photographers with a regular client list still send out promos.

Research printers and their offerings as you would a potential client. You may want to seek out recommendations in forums or from other photographers you know and trust before you make your decision.

In Conclusion

Promos pay off, but sometimes it can take a bit of time. We live in a world saturated with information, so it can take a few attempts on your part to get the right people to notice you.

Be sure to send out a new promo 3-4 times a year to your contacts, and don’t overlook your current clientele. They should also know what you’ve been up to. Regular promos will keep you looking fresh and relevant and busy with other clients, which always reflects well on you and your photography business.

To see samples of a variety of promos, check out @photoeditor on Instagram by Rob Haggert, a former Director of Photography for Men’s Journal whose feed is dedicated to showcasing the various promos sent to him from photographers around the world.

Do you do promotions? Share any ideas with us in the comments below.


how to get started with your photography promotions

The post How to Get Started With Your Photography Promotions appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

How To Use Lightroom Classic With Two Monitors

The post How To Use Lightroom Classic With Two Monitors appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

how to use lightroom classic with two monitors

One of the best ways to enhance your workflow in Lightroom is to use two monitors.

Utilizing two monitors in Lightroom helps you work faster. You can also sort through your images more quickly. You can work with your thumbnails on one screen, and the full-sized image on another.

If you’re a high-volume shooter, such as a wedding photographer, you should seriously consider working with two monitors. You’ll find that it can make your workflow a lot more streamlined and productive.

Your second monitor doesn’t have to be as big or as high quality as your primary one. In fact, you can even connect a laptop to your monitor.

A two monitor set-up is great to have if you shoot tethered or travel with a laptop.

Alternatively, you can have two stand-alone monitors, depending on what kind of operating system you have, or a computer with a built in monitor, like an iMac.

For example, in my own workflow, I use a 27-inch iMac and a separate monitor in a similar size.

How to set up two monitors in Lightroom

To set up a two-monitor display, you first need to connect your second monitor and then get Lightroom to recognize the secondary display.

To do this, go to Window -> Secondary Display -> Show.

Then go to the monitor icons on the left side of the Filmstrip -> click the monitor icon labeled “2” to activate the secondary display.

The default for the secondary display is Loupe View, but you can change it.

The other options are Grid View, Compare View, Survey View, or People View. Click and hold the monitor icon marked “1” to see these options.

People is where Lightroom identifies faces in images, including new ones you add to your library. That way, you don’t have to assign keywords to tag people in your photos manually.

If you click and hold the icon labeled “1,” you’ll see a similar list of options for your primary monitor.

You can zoom and filter photos in Loupe View.

Loupe View on the second monitor allows you to zoom into the photo by clicking on the image. You can also right-click your mouse and change the color of your workspace background.

Note that Loupe View has three different modes: Normal, Live, and Locked.

  • In Normal, if you click on a thumbnail in Grid View on monitor 1, you’ll see a large version displayed in Loupe View on monitor 2.
  • In Live, the photo displayed in Loupe View changes as you move the cursor over the thumbnails in Grid View.
  • With Locked, the last photo viewed in Loupe View stays on the screen until you select one of the other modes.

To access Normal View, click on a thumbnail in Grid View on monitor 1 to see a large version displayed in Loupe View on monitor 2.

While in Live View, the photo displayed in Loupe View changes as you move the cursor over the thumbnails in Grid View.

In Locked View, the last photo viewed in Loupe View stays on the screen until you select one of the other modes.

Compare View in the secondary window offers the same functionality as the Compare View in the primary window.

Survey in the secondary display offers the same functionality as the Survey view in the primary window.

Options for display with two monitors

You can customize your workspace on two monitors in the following ways:

  • Use the Develop module on your first monitor and enable Loupe View on the second monitor. This will allow you to zoom in on the second monitor to check finer details such as noise, focus, or for chromatic aberration.
  • Set Grid View on the first monitor and Loupe View on the second monitor. You can look at one photo on one screen and thumbnails on the other.
  • Use Grid View on the first monitor and Survey or Compare View on the second monitor. This is recommended when you want to quickly cull images.
  • Alternately, you can have Grid View on your second monitor and Loupe View on the first monitor.

To hide the top or bottom panels in the secondary display, click the grey arrows, the same way you hide panels in Lightroom’s main window. Click them again to unhide them.

The “Full Screen” option in Lightroom is enabled by default. When you click on it, the window on your second monitor is taken out of full-screen mode, giving you a re-sizeable window that can be moved around the screen.

You can swap the displays around in Normal Screen Mode. In this mode, you can drag and drop the window over to the second display, automatically changing their positions.

You can also display the second window as a floating window by clicking the Second Monitor button in the main window and deselecting Full Screen.

To close the second window, –> click the Second Window button, or click it and deselect Show.

To sum up

One last note: be sure that at least the main monitor where you view your final images is calibrated. You want to make sure that the color in your images is technically correct, especially if your images will be printed.

If you have been doing your Lightroom post-processing on one monitor, you’ll find that getting a second monitor will change your editing life.

Do you use two monitors? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comments below.

how to use lightroom classic with two monitors



The post How To Use Lightroom Classic With Two Monitors appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

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