Essentials

A Reverse Guide to Instagram

Photo by Gareth Pon.

Photo by Gareth Pon.

All photographers are copyrighted and used with permission from the photographers.

Instagram is the place to be for many photographers. Many tens of millions of photographs are uploaded there everyday. The potential is huge, but not everyone gets to bask in the social accolades that come with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, millions in some cases. Big breaks aren’t a standard thing on Instagram, and unless you count on third party websites, there is no way to gauge metrics. All you really have are the little orange notifications. You might occasionally encounter social spikes, but it takes time to build an audience. So, how do you get that big following? We spoke to several powerhouses on Instagram to get their insights on what you should definitely not do.

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Essentials: The Creative Timelapser

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials the Creative Timelapser (1 of 6)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.5

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

When it comes to creating timelapse videos, you only really need a few things. For starters, a big hard drive will help greatly–but what will also help are some of the right tools. As we’ve always said in our Essentials series, you can use whatever you want. But to give you some sort of guidance, we’ve created a kit for that type of stuff. Sure, time lapse videos are getting overdone, but if you find that you get a bit too tired of them, this kit will help you to transition into other things like studio work, landscapes and much more.

Overall, we’re emphasizing versatility for the creative timelapser.

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Essentials: The Lightweight Macro Shooter

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essenials the Walkabout Macro Shooter (1 of 7)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 4.0

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

When it comes to shooting Macro images, you often want to get close. But when you get close, you’ll also want to take other measures to ensure that you’re getting the sharpest images that you can possibly obtain.Whether you’re shooting the intricacies of a watch’s interior or a beautiful flower, you’ll also need good lighting and a reliable camera that can help you get the job done.

Luckily, this is now available and you can also keep the package down to something very portable and small.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essenials the Walkabout Macro Shooter (1 of 7)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 4.0

Essentials: The High End Architecture Shooter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

If you’re going for the high end Real Estate shooting gigs or photographing architecture, you’ll always need the right gear. Now, we know that using high megapixel DSLR can always do a great job, but to get the most performance from your files and the most versatility overall in post-production–and lots of post-production is needed to get the very best photos of buildings.

Here’s what we recommend for photographing buildings in the high end world.

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Pro Tip: When shooting without a tilt-shift lens, try to give yourself some extra room for cropping and correction of distortion.  Also always meter for the shadows and pull the highlights if necessary.

Essentials: The Beginning Street Photographer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer The Beginning Street Photogrpaher (1 of 7)ISO 1001-250 sec at f - 5.6

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

Documenting daily life as it happens can become incredibly addicting. The mere act of capturing an expression or a scene then looking back on it and never seeing that person again is one that can keep you shooting over and over until you capture a moment that you feel is perfect. Now, you can use a ton of different gear to do that, but when you’re really trying to get into street photography there are some selections that are better than others. And if you’re also trying to do this at a more affordable price, we’ve got a couple of suggestions for you.

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Essentials: The Street Fashion Blogger

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials the Street Fashion Blogger (1 of 8)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 3.5

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

They appear all over the web: street fashion blogs and images are the thing of Tumblr and Instagram amongst many of the images that you see on Pinterest. The street fashion world is one of finding cool locations out in the busy streets of a city and capture a moment that looks candid. And to do that, you don’t need the most sophisticated of gear. However, the details and a vision can surely help.

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Essentials: The Hipster Party Animal

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials hipster photographer (1 of 5)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 7.1

Essentials is a brand new series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

This kit was cool before photography was cool. In fact, it’s probably not going to be cool any more since everyone now knows about it. What are we talking about? Well, it’s something that has to do with making a statement. Capturing a real life photo of someone instantly and making a print means that no one else in the world will ever have that photo. It can’t be duplicated, and even though you can surely scan it, it still won’t be the same as the original.

But beyond that, you’ve got to get your name out there somehow. Here’s a kit that’ll make you the coolest party snapper around. PBRs for all!

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials The Mobile Headshot photographer (1 of 6)ISO 2001-250 sec at f - 4.0

Essentials is a brand new series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

After taking a short break, we’ve decided to head right back into the Essentials for what we think an environmental headshot photographer would use. So what exactly do we mean by this? Well, here in NYC, lots of photographers like using a combination of natural/ambient light and blending it with flash. And due to the fact that they’re on location and sometimes without assistants, they tend to try to pack as lightly as possible.

While we often recommend using monolights, they aren’t as portable as a couple of hot shoe flashes placed in the absolute right positions to give the right amount of kick.

And for that, we recommend the following.


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Essentials: The Urban Explorer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials The Urban Explorer (1 of 11)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 5.6

Essentials is a brand new series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

There are a couple of major things that you need to keep in mind when you’re exploring abandoned places. First off, you’ll need to pack light–especially if you’re going to take pictures. What I’ve discovered once when exploring an abandoned tug boat graveyard is that some of those floors aren’t so sturdy–and they can give way at any time. Second, you’re going to need to go in a group or a two person team. Plus, you need to do your research.

And whatever you do, don’t be seen.

Not that we condone breaking into abandoned places, but photographers are bound to do that. And if it’s going to happen, we recommend sticking to just a couple of core essentials.

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Essentials: The Compact Comic Con Photo Kit

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials The Compact Comic Con Kit (5 of 5)ISO 2001-160 sec

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

If you’re on the West Coast, Comic Con has happened already this year. But if you’re on the East Coast, you’re probably ready to lick a nerd to get your weekend pass. One trend that we saw for years and years was that folks tended to bring better and better cameras. And last year was when lots of folks started coming out and bringing the heavy artillery–we did too!. If you don’t feel like you’re up to having huge light setups, then consider our setup two years ago that earned us these photos.

Our setup was mobile, effective when used by someone that has become one with their gear, and can earn you quite a bit of photos worthy of your portfolio.

And with some time to go still until NYCC, you can probably save up to get all of this relatively soon.

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