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Photographers Hoodie from Teespring front

It’s official: even Teespring agrees that photographers make up a superior race of human beings. Or at least that’s what they’re hinting at with this new hoodie on their site. It’s called “A few become photographers” and it seems to be the deal of the day going for $39.99. And it comes in a variety of colors too.

To be honest though, we’re not sure what’s with the skull in the middle of the front/lens. It’s almost like the illuminati or some sort of secret sect within the United States is trying to target photographers.

Nah, we’re just kidding. We really are superior ;)

Phoblographer (5)

All images by Jacob Loafman. Used with permission.

The first year is always the toughest both as a business owner and as a photographer. It’s all about understanding yourself as a shooter, making sure that your business is profitable, and adjusting to the landscape. We found photographer Jacob Loafman and upon hearing that he has been shooting for just under a year, we were quite shocked to see the incredible quality of his work and his success–which is seemingly rare amongst many budding professionals.

Jacob attributes his success partially to his tagline: “Let’s create together.” He admits that the business side was incredibly tough, and that his beginnings were still very humble.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials for th Strobist Street Photographer (2 of 9)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 3.5

“I want to be a pro.”

Don’t pretend like that thought hasn’t come across your mind at all. Many of us as photographers have always wanted to go pro. It’s in gear marketing, it’s part of the aspirations of many in the photo community, and it’s ingrained in so many tutorials that are all across the web. So what does being a pro mean? Being a professional photographer means that the large majority of your income is from photography. This means that you shoot for a living and if you’re not shooting then you probably can’t pay rent, put food on the table, etc. Is this you? Probably not.

But then let’s start to break that down a bit more: you could aspire to be a semi-professional photographer. This means that anywhere from around 40-50% of your income is from photography. The rest of the money may come from your full time job. Being the semi-professional photographer is a much more attainable ideal to strive for than relying entirely on photography for all of your income. No matter how good you are, you need to consider a couple of very big factors at play here.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC image samples (22 of 36)ISO 2001-100 sec at f - 2.8

There are many, many photographers that wish they were simply an observer and that no one would pay them any attention. And as many often try to be those photographers, unfortunately they get noticed. The main reason for this: combine the fact that the photographer is super nervous, the subject being photographed doesn’t know the photographer, and that the photographer is trying so hard to just get a photo and get out.

If you put all of these together, the photographer instead is more like the mosquito that you’re trying to swat because you don’t want the West Nile virus.

Instead, being this type of mythical photographer requires patience and mastery of your body language.

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Peter Hurley on Taking 10 Pounds off of a Headshot Subject - The Phoblographer

Peter Hurley is without a doubt an incredible photographer–and the magic is all in his technique. He recently did a class with creativeLive on shooting better headshots, and of course he brought with him his signature techniques. Hurley says that if you want to talk 10 pounds off of a subject in their headshot, you need to work with their jawline. It has to do with imagining that there is a hook in your head, straightening up, and putting more distance between your earlobes and shoulders. Then you need to bring your neck forward and out. This thins the jawline.

But after that, you need to find a sense of connection with the person and get an emotion out of them to capture and to create a beautiful photograph.

Hurley’s video tutorial is after the jump.

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Cloud meringue tree

All images by Howard Shooter. Used with permission.

When it comes to food, everyone wants to think that just because they have a phone and filters that they can create amazing images. But photographer Howard Shooter will tell you that it’s all about having a creative vision. Howard has shot for BBC Good Food, KFC, Mars, Twinings, and Weight Watchers amongst many others in his decorated career as a successful food photographer. More importantly though, Howard knew what he wanted at a young age. At 12 years old, Howard made the decision to become a professional photographer–and it drove his education for years to come. But more importantly, Howard believes that good food photography should make you feel hungry. [click to continue…]