Useful Photography Tip #7: Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s

Don't wind up behind bars
Don't wind up behind bars

Don't wind up behind bars

In light of the most absurd photography lawsuit I’ve ever heard of, I thought this might be a good time to remind you to make sure you always have your paperwork in order. It won’t protect you in every case, but a signed contract, liability release form, model release forms, copyright licensing terms and whatever else is needed for your specific business model. I say business, but even if you’re shooting for fun or as a favor you should still get your documents signed to be safe.  I recommended 3 books in the Business and Legal section of The Phoblographer’s Library. The free software PhotoByte can help you generate custom forms and many photography stores carry generic ones.

Although forms and signatures will help with these things, none of them replace the benefit of having liability insurance like that offered by Hill & Usher (866-977-4725 x134).

Finally, you should always be smart and work to avoid the problems of liability in the first place. Take a look at The Phoblographer’s Checklist on How to Not Kill Yourself in a Photo Studio if you do studio work, but just like each discipline has its’ own set of legal documents, the same applies for how to be safe in your type of photography.

The resources I have provided in this quick tip should help you figure out the particular risks of your business and hopefully keep you out of court and protected if you do end up there.

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We love to bring you guys the latest and greatest news and gear related stuff. However, we can’t keep doing that unless we have your continued support. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned, please do so by clicking our links first and then purchasing the items as we then get a small portion of the sale to help run the website.

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Useful Photography Tip #6: Making Your Subjects Look Better

Shoot from a low angle
Help your subjects look their best

Help your subjects look their best

The most common question I get at the beginning of a shoot from non-professional models, especially females is “Can you make me look skinnier/prettier/younger?” They’re generally saying it in jest and are thus surprised when I answer in all seriousness “Yes, I can. It will still be you, just the best you.” How do I do that without changing what the person actually looks like? Well here are a few tricks to do just that.

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Useful Photography Tip #3: Finding Inspiration For a Music Shoot

Inspiration has many sources. Sometimes it comes easily, leading or even creating the photo shoot. Other times it’s like pulling teeth. Fortunately when doing a music shoot someone’s already done some of the work for you – the musician. Whenever I get a call to do an album cover the first thought is to ask what the band name and album title are and to send me the music.

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Useful Photography Tip #2: How to Save a Mixed Lighting Shot in Post-Production

Mixed lighting fixed
Mixed lighting photo unedited

Mixed lighting photo unedited

As a follow-up to my post on coping with mixed lighting while shooting, here is a way you can save an image where you didn’t get it right in-camera. There are many different ways of doing this that take varying amounts of time, this is just one way to do it and a pretty quick one.We’ll use this image as our test:

You can see that the majority of the image is quite yellow from the incandescent lighting at the event, but there are blue reflections in the platter from the flash as well. There are other issues but for the tutorial let’s just focus on those two obvious problems.

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Useful Photography Tip #1: Lose Unwanted Glare With a Polarizing Filter

With polarizing filter
Glare on table without polarizing filter

Glare on table without polarizing filter

Glare is caused by diffused reflection (as opposed to direct reflection). While there are techniques for eliminating this with proper lighting, sometimes that’s not possible. Other times the glare is on a secondary object such as a table when the primary object is already lit exactly as you want. An inexpensive addition to your kit which can solve this problem in seconds is a circular polarazing filter. A 52mm filter runs about $20 and larger ones aren’t much more. Just place one on the front of your lens and rotate it till the glare disappears, and in seconds you have a better photo.  Here are two photos, one without and one with a polarizing filter attached.

With polarizing filter

With polarizing filter

Other Uses for a Polarizing Filter

This is not the only time a polarizing filter can help your photos. It will also add color to washed out skies, reduce haze and other uses. When working in a studio keep in mind you will lose approximately one stop with this filter attached so adjust your metering accordingly. If you’re metering through the lens your camera will make that adjustment automatically.

To find out which thread your lens requires, look on it for an ø followed by a number – that’s the size filter you need. My Nikon 50mm f/1 says ø52 and my Tamron 28-75mm says ø67. Then get the right size circular polarizing filter for your lens.

Please Support The Phoblographer

We love to bring you guys the latest and greatest news and gear related stuff. However, we can’t keep doing that unless we have your continued support. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned, please do so by clicking our links first and then purchasing the items as we then get a small portion of the sale to help run the website.

Also, please follow us on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.