If you’re a professional, employable photographer then you obviously understand the reasons for having a business related blog. I’m not talking about just having a Tumblr or something like that. Lots of photographers tend to use Instagram and say that’s their blog, but blogging has a whole lot more value than that. If you have one, you realize that value already and can probably skip over some of the content here. But if you don’t have one, you’re probably a photographer with no serious intentions with their images. And that’s fine; but for the rest of us…
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably not really an amateur photographer–you’re probably actually a hobbyist. If you’re a professional photographer, than most of your taxable income comes from photography. If you’re a semi-pro photographer, then you make taxable income from your photography. But if you’re an amateur, the proper definition is simply doing something for pure pleasure and not in the pursuit of money. And that’s absolutely correct, but the connotation of it has more to do with your skill level. Many of you reading this have most likely been shooting for years and the majority of you probably make some sort of taxable income off of your photography. So you’ve learned step 1 about this industry: that sometimes it doesn’t have a single thing to do with your skill level.
Let’s get something absolutely out of the way here: your Instagram page isn’t necessarily your portfolio. A photographic portfolio is a body of work that helps let others know what kind of photographer you are. It’s a product you’re capable of delivering. For example, Toyota’s portfolio includes the Camry and their other cars. Peter Hurley’s portfolio includes headshots. Annie Leibovitz’s portfolio has portraits and editorial work. These are the products that we know they’re capable of producing. And in the same way, a photographer needs to tightly curate that portfolio, specialize (despite what some may tell you not to do, and they’re dead wrong), and put forward images and services that really make them standout from the rest.
But before you even go about doing this, you’ll need to figure out your photographic identity.
Photographers who tend to shoot and use flashes while on locations typically also try to pack light. In most situations when you’re trying to shoot guerilla style and without getting permits, you need to be versatile yet also need to get your specific creative vision across. This can surely be made simple with just you, your camera, and a radio flash. But you can get even more out of your scene with a few extra compact items that are bound to not take up a lot of space in your bag.
Check these out!
All images in this post are used with permission. Lead photo by C. Stephen Hurst.
Portrait photography is a fine balance between communication, creative vision, mise-en-scene and knowledge on how to produce particular effects in a photo. And over the years, the Phoblographer has interviewed a ton of great portrait photographers. We went back in our archives to showcase their work in his awesome roundup just for you.
The VENQUE Transformer A-Modular isn’t totally a camera bag, but it surely has some ways of appealing to photographers. The bag, which is currently being funded via Kickstarter, has a number of fantastic features for both backpack lovers and messenger bag users. For example, one of the nicest features is the built in USB charging port that lets you charge your phone while you’re on the go. Another one is protection against card skimmers in one of the pockets.
Irving Penn paved the way for modern photography by seamlessly crossing borders between high fashion and fine art. During the course of his career, Penn produced images that would grace the covers of Vogue while simultaneously appearing on the walls of galleries. As one of the most influential photographers of his time, he earned respect among the elite and established members of both the fashion and art worlds.
Manfrotto just introduced a brand new lineup of camera bags called the Manfrotto Manhattan Collection. As the lifestyle imagery implies along with the name, the Manhattan collection targets the NYC based photographer who commutes using the subway system, bikes, etc. But that doesn’t mean those are the only photographers who may be attracted to it. In fact, photographers in Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, and other cities like Berlin may be widening their eyes.
There are three bags in the lineup: The Manfrotto Manhattan Mover 50 backpack, Manfrotto Manhattan Speedy 10 Messenger Bag and the Manhattan Changer 20 Shoulder bag.