8 Photography Goals to Work Towards in 2021 (And how to Achieve them)

Setting photographs goals is a great way of ensuring growth.

There are several benefits to setting yourself new photography goals at the start of a new year. Most obviously, it allows you to improve your skillset and get better at your craft. But it also encourages emotional growth, as you work towards targets and take satisfaction when you reach them. Having photography goals can also help you if you find yourself stagnated. And they’re useful for those struggling with their mental health, looking for a focus to help them get out of any darkness they may find themselves in. No matter the motive, goals are essential, and in this piece, we share some ideas for things you can work on throughout 2021.

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We Tested The Best 35mm Lenses for Natural Light Portraits Under $1000

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The 35mm lens has a certain unique look to it. For many of us, it renders what we see in real life. Combine that with the simplicity that natural light offers, and you’ve got a concoction for fun! Lots of photographers adore the natural light portraiture process. And we’ve used tons of 35mm lenses for just that. In this roundup, we’re taking a look at the best ones we’ve found. For sure, these are the best 35mm lenses for natural light portraits. Even better, we’re keeping them under a budget of $1,000!

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Chinelle Ro’s Self-Portraits Are Some of the Best We’ve Ever Seen

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“I find self portrait work to be both healing and inspiring,” says Chinelle Ro. She continues, “it helps to channel thoughts and feelings, positive and negative, into creating reflective art.” We’ve been around a while here at The Phoblographer. Throughout the time we’ve featured many self-portrait photographers, and Ro’s are some of the best we’ve ever seen. A self taught photographer, business owner, mother, and wife, Ro has plenty going in her life. In love with her work, and curious about her story, we caught up with her to find out more.

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Media Kit

Interested in knowing more? Email us at advertising@thephoblographer.com to set up a meeting or to ask a question. The staff here at The Phoblographer will get back to you as soon as they come back from a photo walk!

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Who is The Phoblographer?

Founded in 2009, the Phoblographer is a story of a few driven individuals working to change the way we think about cameras. It started with taking the cameras and lenses out of the lab and into the field. We’re all passionate photographers. And we love to shoot our daily lives with the photo gear we purchase. So it just makes sense for us to incorporate it into our lives. That’s what our staff does.

The website has bridged the gap between the art world and the tech world for over a decade. We do this holistically in all our content as much as possible. It starts with our reviews. By applying it in our gear tests, we work to remind photographers that there’s still a passionate, creative person behind the camera. So you have to work to get the shot. This is further translated through in our various interviews and series’ like Creating the Photograph. What’s more, we’ve worked with partners over the years to uplift the voices of women, POCs, disabled photographers, and others. Our Editor in Chief and Founder Chris Gampat is legally blind. And through Phoblographer, we’ve worked to motivate and inspire passionate photographers everywhere. Nothing should hold you back from getting the shot!

Chris has been involved in every aspect of the company’s growth and development over the years. He cares, and it shows holistically through the content. Part of the site’s strength is our incredibly strong Search Engine Optimization. We’ve applied strict ethics to our stories and earn the trust of Google and our readers. Everything from our word choices, stories we tackle, and our image selection is meticulously chosen.

What Does The Phoblographer Do?

The Phoblographer publishes on our website daily. Our content varies from thought pieces, opinions, reviews, tutorials, roundups, deals, and more. We strive to not deliver the same content and have different conversations from everyone else. Our posts are transmitted out to our Facebook page, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Flipboard. They also go out into The Daily Phoblographer: our newsletter sent every evening. Most of our stories are translated and read by an AI algorithm. You can listen to it on our website. We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! Lastly, you can tune in once a week to our Live Show called Pro Camera Reviews. We talk about big subjects in the Photo World on this show. It’s simulcast to Facebook. And later on in the week, you can catch it on YouTube and Flipboard TV.

Achievements and Accolades for The Phoblographer

We’ve been quoted and referenced all around the web in the LATimes, NYTimes, CTV, Glamour, CreativeLive, 1 Hour Photo, Pop Photo, Look4Ward, Creative Boom, Neatorama, the Tony and Chelsea Show, and much more.

The Phoblographer has earned participation in the coveted Amazon OnSite program. What’s more, we’ve also got our own Amazon Camera Shop.

Our staff is located all over the world too!

Let’s Talk Numbers

As of November 2020, here are some of our average yearly stats:

Traffic

  • Average of 2 million pageviews a month
  • Average of 551,000 unique visitors a month
  • Average of 1,115,000 sessions a month
  • Average of 1:17 minutes a session

Affiliates

  • $622,453 in shipped in hardware-based affiliate revenue
  • $35K in software-based affiliate revenue
  • Approximately 2 Million come to us to find a good deal!

Channels

Demographics

  • 76% Male, 24% Female
  • 1.7 million folks consider themselves techies
  • 1.5 million folks consider themselves shutterbugs
  • 1.4 million folks love the great outdoors
  • 1.4 million folks love shooting photos when they travel
  • 1.5 million folks interested in buying a new camera
  • 600,000 interested in buying a new phone
  • 552,000 interested in a new lens
  • 404,000 interested in a new laptop
  • 400,000 interested in prints and home decor
  • 354,000 interested in a new computer
  • 27% between the ages of 24-34
  • 19% between the ages of 35-44
  • 17% between the ages of 45-54
  • 15% between the ages of 55-64
  • 10% are 65+
  • 10% between the ages of 18-24
  • 82% of the audience primarily speak English
  • 47% based in the US
  • 10% based in the UK
  • 5% based in Canada
  • 4% based in Australia
  • 3% in India

Traffic Sources

  • 57% of our audience reads us on mobile devices
  • 43% of traffic comes from organic search
  • 31% of traffic comes to us directly
  • 21% of traffic comes to us from referrals
  • 4% of traffic comes to us from social media channels

Email advertising@thephoblographer.com for rates!

Advertising Options With The Phoblographer

Testimonials

“The Phoblographer’s prolific product round-ups have proven sales through its affiliate programs that make working with The Phoblographer that much more important in days where every ad dollar spent must be effective in broadening brand recognition and producing sales.”

Stacie Errera, Vice President Marketing & Communications, Tamron USA

“As a PR rep I’ve worked with Phoblographer several times over the past couple of years. Chris and the team are always a pleasure to work with – they are well-informed, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. They are always imaginative and diligent in their approach to think of an angle which would interest their readers and make for a more engaging story rather than just replicating a press release.”

Eleanor Macnair, Freelance Publications for the Photo Industry

“It has been a pleasure to be involved with articles on the Phoblographer and I look forward to seeing what new pieces they publish every day.”

Tony Gale: American Photographic Artists President, Photographer

“The Phoblographer is a dichotomy that works well for advertising. It pairs a forward-thinking platform and understanding of modern distribution channels with a more old-fashioned business interaction approach. The upshot as a client reaches on all channels the audience is found, and a team that is flexible and personal.”

Kishore Sawh, Pixel Shift

“The Phoblographer is a collaborative partner, rather than just an advertising channel. I have worked with The Phoblographer in several capacities over the past several years. I’ve had the pleasure to partner with The Phoblographer on events, press coverage, sponsored content, and advertising. Chris and the team offer creative opportunities that other sites do not and unique channels to reach audiences. They have exceeded expectations across all projects and are truly a joy to work with.”

Danielle Lawler, Senior Producer, Blue Pixel Creates

In the 1970s, the C.I.A.’s Bird Camera Program Spied on the Soviets

Declassified is an original Phoblographer series that digs deep into historical documents to examine how the government used photography.

The C.I.A. is no stranger to working with animals. And for a time, the common pigeon was a clandestine photographer in the name of Uncle Sam. In the mid-1970s, the C.I.A. describes what’s called the Bird Camera Program. Tests were done all around the United States to send our feathered friends into the Soviet Union. There, the undercover pigeons would fly from point A to point B. Along the way, a camera would photograph whatever was below on the ground. A modified Minox camera was developed to do that. Minox was a company that was well known for their spy cameras and using the 110 film format to get essential photos. 110 film is around the size of a modern Four Thirds sensor. Many years before Olympus and Panasonic developed its spiritual successor, the C.I.A. was putting it to use for spying.

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Many Camera Manufacturers Have Lost the Art of Craftsmanship

The craftsmanship, tactile feeling, and experience that certain cameras bring are becoming rarer.

Years ago, Nikon made an attempt to buy into the whole vintage appeal and aesthetic with the Nikon Df. Olympus did it with the Pen F. Fujifilm’s entire line of X series cameras does this. And pretty much every Leica that I’ve ever held did it too. But these cameras didn’t buy into a hype model; they demonstrated true craftsmanship. This can be found in pretty much every film camera that you hold which doesn’t have electronics in it. There are even cameras with electronics where you can truly feel the craftsmanship. But in recent years, I feel like camera manufacturers have lost their way. In favor of a newer type of photographer who understands and feels computers more than anything else, the art of a craftsman’s tool has been all but lost to us.

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In New Jersey, Wedding Photographer Mike Zawadzki Creates Magic

All images by Mike Zawadzki. Used with permission. Please follow him on Instagram.

“Vulnerability comes into play big time with clients,” explains photographer Mike Zawadzki. “I mean who is used to being in front of the camera all of the time, unless you’re a TV/movie star?” A part of Mike’s secret is something that I think is inherently a part of growing up in the Northeast. He says that he strives to build strong relationships with his couples. Traditionally not something that you do, but it surely does work when you consider that we’re all human. Mike has a fascinating story and I’ve personally adored watching him change over the years. Mike is one of the many people who I saw quit alcohol in pursuit of improving their own life. I did it for a year and it really changed me. And to see Mike in a spot where he’s a shining star brings me joy. Most of all, I hope that this interview with Mike puts a smile on your face.

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If Not for Third-Party Lenses, Photography Would Have Died Long Ago

rokinon lenses

Thanks to third party lenses, photography is still within reach for those of us who don’t have the deepest pockets.

Come, look at our new super-fantastic lens! It’s the widest, fastest, fattest lens in the universe. You need it to be a pro, and it will only cost you a few thousand dollars! Sound familiar? It’s not uncommon for first party lenses from the likes of Canon, Sony, Nikon, and others to cost close to $3,000 these days, and because of this, many photographers are being priced out of certain systems. The photography market is in decline for sure, but if it wasn’t for third party lenses, photography would have died altogether a long time ago.

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Put a Ring on It: A Quick Intro to Ring Flash Photography

Although they have a pretty bad rap amongst purists, ring flashes can be very versatile light sources for photography when used properly.

When it comes to photographic lighting, ring light flashes rank pretty high on the list of contentious topics between photographers. The mere mention of them can be enough to trigger some strobists to the point that they end up breaking into tirades. Years ago, ring lights were en vogue amongst beauty, fashion, and editorial photographers, but fell out of favor as more directional lighting became de rigueur. Thanks to widespread use by beauty bloggers, YouTubers, and reality television confessionals (many are lit using ring lights), ring lights are having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. They’ve become so ubiquitous that even most non-photographers will recognize the telltale halo-like catchlights they produce. Regardless of your opinion on ring lights, it’s important to remember that all light behaves identically because they obey the same laws of physics. As long as you’re utilizing them properly, ring lights can actually be very useful for a variety of different genres of photography. Let’s dive deeper.

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Report: What It’s Like to Test Cameras During the COVID 19 Crisis

I’m sharing my most candid thoughts on what it’s like to test cameras during the COVID-19 crisis if you’re curious.

By all means, I’ll be the first to tell you that what we do here at The Phoblographer is purely for people to escape the world and, in some ways, be opened up to more parts of it. I can tell that, by our readership, many of you come here every day to escape the news and to enjoy more of your own hobby. But at the same time, I think it’s vital to tell lots of stories as much as you feel it is to share your opinions. So today, I’m sharing how we’re testing cameras amidst COVID 19 and lots of the logistical issues involved here. Our aim is to give you a peek, so you understand just how tough a job this is, how long we spend, how almost everything is a team effort, and how things are changing. And most importantly, I’m writing this as a bit of a piece of personal therapy.

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Old and New: These Are My 7 Favorite Camera Designs

There have been some innovative camera designs throughout the years: here are my favorites.

I’m inclined to say that most cameras look very similar. That’s not a criticism; there’s only so much you can do when putting the ergonomics together. But, although the look of the camera isn’t the most important factor, it is appreciated when manufacturers go a step further than the traditional design. Our community often gets lost in spec sheets, obsessing over megapixels and autofocus points — I want to us to step away from that for a moment. Let’s instead focus purely on design, and see which cameras, old and new, have been the most eye-catching over the years.

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Less Than $65 and Great! The BAGSMART Camera Backpack Review

With the BAGSMART Camera Backpack, photographers are getting lots of high value at a super affordable price.

Quite honestly, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack should be at least double the price it goes for. But at under $65, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack is a significant value that gives photographers features and build quality that makes our jaws drop. In my opinion, this bag is a no-brainer. It’s so affordable yet so good that every photographer should pick one up even as a backup camera bag. We tested it out while trekking on hikes, commuting around the city, and with a variety of gear inside. Over the past few months, I’ve personally seen it outdo the quality of more expensive camera bags. Most importantly, this one bag is making me reconsider the entire thought process behind the pricing of camera bags.

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5 Weird Vintage Cameras: One of These Gave Photographers Headaches

Everyone lusts after a few specific vintage cameras, but it’s the weird vintage cameras that have really cool tales.

Amongst the oddest cameras you’ve seen and owned, ask yourself, “What did they think when they designed this?” It’s true today that no camera maker makes an odd or bad camera, but there are surely questionable decisions that were made over the years. Early cameras were odd. Russian fakes of various cameras were even odder. And some were just so weird to work with that they were bound to give a photographer a headache. Today, we’re looking at a few bizarre vintage cameras that some folks adore, and some are happy to have gotten rid of.

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The Cameras Used by the 2020 World Press Photo Award Winners

The 2020 World Press Photo Award Winners have been announced, and we’ve learned what cameras they’ve used.

We’re going to be honest; more than anything else, the 2020 World Press Photo Award Winners are demonstrating that their talents are far surpassing the gear they’re using. However, for curiosity’s sake, it’s always cool to just know what’s being used! With today’s announcement of the winning images, we got to take a look at the photos before the announcement and analyzed what was used. Some interesting tidbits about everything are below.

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Beautiful and Affordable: 7 Vintage Soviet Lenses to Adapt to Your Camera

If you want to get the authentic vintage look for your digital snaps, these beautiful and budget-friendly vintage Soviet lenses are your best bet.

The dreamy look of retro photography continues to be a popular aesthetic even for digital photography, and nothing is better than achieving it using the real deal. Vintage Soviet lenses make great options for adapting to your digital cameras because there’s still a fair number of them available for cheap. To help you make the best choices, we’ve done a bit of looking around for some vintage Soviet lenses to score today.

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See How Film Photography is Getting People Back in The Real World

photography gear

Today people seem to live for the photo rather than the experience. This one man is using film photography to try and change that.

In an article recently published on CNN Travel, Jonny Bealby, owner of tour operator Wild Frontiers, spoke about his exciting new tour concept. Customers will visit beautiful destinations such as Oman and Mongolia, but with one catch – they have to disconnect from their digital devices completely. That means no smartphones to snap all that they see. Instead, they will be given analog cameras, allowing them to capture the most important moments. It’s a move I welcome and one that I find incredibly exciting.

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Review: Panasonic S1 (The Camera That Gives L Mount Hope)

The Panasonic S1 is a great camera that almost got everything right.

When the Panasonic S1 was announced, I’ll admit that I took far less interest in it than I did the S1R. I personally need more color depth, and the lower megapixel sensors just don’t do it for me. But after using it, the Panasonic S1 surprised me. Not only is it a capable camera, but it’s gotten better with firmware updates. The firmware updates are enough to make me hope it’s going to dramatically improve. And by all means, this is a great camera. But there’s an elephant in the room in the form of its chunky body.

Editor’s Note: We’re updating this review as of November 2020.

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Replace Your Canon Kit Lenses with These Great, Yet Affordable Lenses

Kit lenses are okay for a while, but you’ll be amazed at how much your images will improve with these affordable lenses.

If you got your hands on a Canon camera over the holidays, there’s a good chance it came packaged with a kit lens or two. These kit lenses are great for a little while, but you will soon find they can hold you and your creative side back rather quickly. We have put together a shortlist of affordable lenses (first and third party options) for Canon cameras that won’t put a hole in your wallet and will seriously impress you. Check them out after the break.

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The Best Micro Four Thirds Lenses For the New Photographer

There were some great deals on M4/3 cameras over the holidays. If you got one, check out these affordable Micro Four Thirds Lenses.

Micro Four Thirds cameras don’t get a lot of love these days thanks to the arrival of incredibly affordable and feature-packed Full Frame and APS-cameras, but the platform still shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some terrific cameras from both Olympus and Panasonic that can be used by hobbyists, travelers, and professionals alike (I use one along with an APS-C camera as do many other pro photogs). There are also some tremendous Micro Four Thirds lenses out there that don’t cost a fortune. If you’re looking to expand your library of Micro Four Thirds lenses, but aren’t sure where to start and don’t want to spend over four figures on lenses, this roundup is for you.

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If You Just Got Your First Sony Camera, Check Out These E Mount Lenses

e mount lenses

If you got your hands on a Sony camera over the holidays and you aren’t sure which E Mount lenses to reach for first, this roundup is for you.

If you are new to the world of Sony cameras, you should know that there are some genuinely fantastic E Mount lenses available on the market. But, it can be hard to tell if you should stick with first-party lenses, or branch out and try third-party offerings as well. We’re here to tell you that’s it’s hard to go wrong with either. Sony and companies like Rokinon, Sigma, and Tamron have been producing absolute gems for Sony cameras. While there aren’t as many quality options under $1,000 when compared to Fujifilm, Canon, and Nikon lens markets, the lenses available make up for the low numbers with their outstanding quality. After the break, we share with you eight lenses that Sony shooters should take a closer look at.

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Gallery Visit: Collecting New York’s Stories: Stuyvesant to Sid Vicious at Museum of the City of NY

What happens when two native NYers tour the new Collecting New York’s Stories: Stuyvesant to Sid Vicious at Museum of the City of NY exhibit?

“You know it kind of makes sense that it mostly focuses on Manhattan, because everything happening there through those years,” my good friend Tyson Ho tells me as we make our way down 5th Ave. The exhibit on the Museum of the City of NY’s 3rd-floor spotlights works from Janette Beckman, Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Ruddy Roye, Richard Sandler, Gail Thacker, James Van Der Zee, Harvey Wang, and others. Those names are enough to make most folks smitten with the romanticism of old New York book their tickets. Quite honestly, the curators did a pretty darned good job. They not only tried to condense the diversity within NYC but also tried to show its unification during a time when we all feel so divided.

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