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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 MyMiggo camera strap large review images (7 of 9)ISO 4001-1000 sec at f - 2.8

If you had to ask yourself who you are as a photographer, could you answer that question? What would you say about yourself if all you had to do was talk about your creative progression?

Many artists and people go through this world trying to find who they are. As we travel down the road of life, we discover more about ourselves and develop our identity. Every photographer has a photographic identity. It defines who we are as shooters and the type of work that we try to put out. Our photographic identities can only come about by continuing to shoot and internalizing the work of other photographers. My mentor in college taught me that if you’re a photojournalist then you’ll have the skills to be able to shoot whatever you want afterwards. The reason for that is because of the fact that photojournalism has skills that apply to any genre of photography: landscapes, portraits, events, weddings, long exposures–you name it and it’s there. Years later, I’ve realized more than ever that he was completely right.

But every single photographer that continues to self-identify and work to develop their craft won’t necessarily work in photojournalism. Many will shoot food and stick to it while others will shoot portraits and continue to get better or give up altogether.

No photographer in the world should ever say, “I can shoot anything.” Sure, you probably can–but how much of it is really worth displaying on your portfolio? If you showed images from your most recent session, would you put the entire thing up? You probably won’t–and so photographers need to specialize to begin with. It’s important that you market yourself as a portrait photographer or a sports and outdoor shooter, or that you have a label of some sort. It helps you sell yourself to clients later on.

The argument that everyone is a photographer these days is true. But are they really a creative? How many of you have a creative vision to sell? Do you have an entire body of work showing off what your creative vision is capable of doing? If you do, you should be pushing that more than anything.

Inspiring and fostering creativity is the only way that we will survive and keep creating–but we need to know who we are ad specialize to succeed.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer CES 2014 MeFOTO phone adapter (7 of 10)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 3.2

Dear iPhoneographers,

You create compelling work. I know you may hear this all the time, and I know that you’ve got all the art buyers in the Upper East Side, Chelsea and Bushwick around your fingers. So I want to tell you something: congratulations. You’ve seriously done a terrific job of showing the world that art is what comes first. It absolutely does come before gear, and a creative vision will always win out over someone toting around a 5D without a creative vision. As a creative, I want to thank you for making the world realize that don’t need the best gear in the world to create compelling imagery.

But at the same time, I want you to be well aware of your placement in the art world. Your prints in the galleries are beautiful, and I don’t think that I can say that enough. I want you to know, however, about what I’m actually capable of doing with a dedicated camera. I’m a creative with a creative vision and I will express my creativity in nowhere near as fast a pace as yours. What you’ll get from me, however, is work that took time, in which I debated whether I should crop in just a bit more, flip the image, or edit it a completely different way.

Beyond that, I want you to know that if I ever get back into shooting weddings, engagements, events or into fully shooting fashion campaigns again that I will never show up to a shoot with my Nexus 5 or the latest victim of Bendgate. I will do everything I can to work with a client to create my own lighting, deliver the vision and product that they want, and in the end, I will push my art over the fact that I’m using the latest camera from Sony.

I think that as much as you’ve become entranced with not needing a dedicated camera to create excellent images, you’ve instead become so enthralled by the other type of technology: your phone. If we switch equipment for a month, can you deliver the same work that you did? Does that make you truly an artist or some person that shoots an image, applies a filter, and wins over the hearts of curators everywhere.

In closing, what I’m saying is that you’re a creative and that I’m a creative, but that creativity should be the main priority. In the same way you can wow art buyers with your efficient and affordable way to capture an image, I can give a bride and groom photos that they’ll cry over years from now.

Maybe we can talk about it one day over coffee–which we will both then attempt to photograph beautifully.


A photographer

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If you haven’t heard of Ryan Brenizer, then you’re missing out on the work of one of the greatest wedding photographers of our time. Ryan is a former photojournalist that has been award winning wedding photographer for a number of years here in NYC. He also is known for what’s called the Brenizer Effect–which is the process of taking lots of photos in a panoramic fashion to mimic the look of a large format image.

And his words and images are more than enough to speak for themselves and inspire many others.

Having shot over 300 weddings and publishing his work in the industry’s top magazines including Rangefinder and American Photo, Ryan is one of the young stars in the industry. Before his speech at creativeLIVE Photo Week, we sat down with Ryan to find out how he captures those special moments that define his style.

Check it out after the jump.

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Lots of us love Pinterest! Though it has been stated many a time that it is a social network for women, I really do that men that love the finer things in life (such as bacon, alcohol, the latest in our fashion, portrait inspiration, bacon, more bacon, and more geeky stuff) can also find a soft spot in their heart of the social network. Recently a company named Curalate has been doing some hardcore research into the platform and discovered something shocking in regards to what people love to pin and repin.

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According to Lighting Rumors, there is a brand new flash incoming that may totally change the way that location shooting is done. Many photographers value their monolights–myself included. But speedlites are just so small and simple to use. When someone typically wanted more power in a smaller package, they went with a Quantum light. However, CheetahStand (known as another name internationally) has been around for a couple of years now and have been selling the CL-180 to wedding and portrait photographers. It’s a significantly more affordable option to anything made by Quantum, and they are also based right here in the USA.

Now here’s the kicker–according to Photography on the Net, they’re going to be coming out with a CL-360. Judging from the naming convention, we can expect it to have around 360 watt seconds of power. That’s around the power of an Impact LiteTrek monolight but in a significantly smaller package. Granted, studio strobes work in a different way than speedlites.

It’s predecessor, the Cheetah Light 180 features a 153 watt second output–which is essentially a little under twice the power of your typical speedlite from Canon, Nikon or Sony. Plus it comes with a battery pack and radio transmitter packaged if you want. Check out a video of the system in action. But for lighting geeks, this is probably one of the most exciting announcements in a long time.

Via Lighting Rumors

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