10 Ways to Save Money as a Travel Photographer

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This post was syndicated from Format, prepared by Anthony Thurston. Originally done by Matt Moreland, featured image by Matt Moreland.

As a freelance photographer who’s constantly hustling to find new clients and make connections, the only logical place for me to live is in a big city. Big cities are where all the ad agencies and brand headquarters are, so this is where most creative networking needs to take place. The only issue is, as someone whose work and style heavily involve outdoor lifestyle, nature photography and picturesque locations, I need to constantly travel outside of the city to actually create my work.

These two aspects of my work tend to conflict as the high costs of living in a city and the numerous costs of travel don’t exactly lend well to a freelance income. Luckily, over the past few years, I’ve figured out a few tips and tricks to lowering my travel costs, getting things for free, and finding secondary sources of income.

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Photojournalism, Permission Rights and The Social Web: A Combination That Works Least for the Photographer

While there are loads of award winning photographers in the best agencies, newspapers, and wires the future of photojournalism seems to be changing more and more to where quite honestly, the photographer has the least amount of importance in most of history. Just recently, a photo of a woman in a dress being arrested by well armed police men made the rounds like wildfire online. Part of getting this shot involved access that working with those big companies can get you. It also comes with publication after publication using the image without permission or licensing for their own reasons. It’s theft–and part of this has to do with how the social web works.

But is this the future of photojournalism as we know it? This has been asked before, but is it really, truly the future of the format?

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Cheap Photo: Sigma Savings For The Budget Oriented Photographer

It may be starting to show its age compared to the competition. But Sigma’s 24-70mm F/2.8 isn’t a bad choice for a photographer looking to grab that popular zoom range on a budget. This is from Sigma’s pre-Global Vision line of lenses, so again, its old. But its more than capable of producing beautiful images, and again – its affordable.

  1. Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX (Save $150) – Deal

Top Brand Deal Quick Links: CanonNikonSonyFujifilmTamronSigma 

Check them out after the jump…

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Three Web Communities for the Creative Photographer

While there are loads of photo communities to begin with for many of us photographers, some are different from the others in that they’re slightly more geared towards those of us who create rather than capture. For many years, Flickr was the king of this. Go there and you’ll find surreal project after surreal project and with lots of them being very solid. But for the most part, this has changed. New communities like Instagram have popped up; but they’re not always so well aimed at those of us who strive to create vs capture.

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Review: The Photographer’s Cookbook

The Photographer’s Cookbook is exactly what the doctor ordered for any photographer curious about some of the favorite dishes made by the greats. For many of you, your passion and hobby is photography. While my passion is photography, it’s also my job. Instead, one of my hobbies is cooking–and this book hits the perfect spot between appealing to the geeky photographer and the mad scientist in the kitchen. Think Ansel Adams meets Alton Brown–then pour in the according servings of each to your own liking and finally whisk until it has a light, fluffy feel to it.

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5 Tips to Take Better Restaurant Food Pictures

This is a syndicated blog post from Xavier D. Buendia. It and the images here are being used with permission.

Hello, as you might know by now, I spend a good part of my time taking pictures in restaurants. I shoot interiors and exteriors, I do action shots and portraits but one of the things that I enjoy the most is shooting food and plated dishes.

Shooting food at restaurants is the most challenging part of the job and it is also what I get asked the most about by bloggers, reviewers and foodies; they tend to create incredible images when shooting in their kitchens and living rooms; but often struggle when they take it to a restaurant. There are so many things to think of and look at when shooting a dish so here are five basic tips that will help you improve your restaurant photography.

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These Photos of Space Are Created Using Food and a Photo Scanner

All images by Navid Baraty. Used with permission.

Photographer Navid Baratay was previously on this site for his Intersection piece, but he’s also the creator of a really amazing series involving food and a photo scanner. Navid arranges all the pieces very carefully to make them look like a scene from outer space. In fact, it would probably be otherwise very tough to tell the difference.

To do this, Navid tells us that it involves lots and lots of trial and error.

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Creating a Mood and Feeling in Food Photography

All images by Shant Kiraz. Used with permission.

Photographer Shant Kiraz is portrait and editorial photographer based in Los Angeles. He got into photography professionally after being approached by Zagat. Yes, he was approached by Zagat. For a while, he was the lead photographer for Zagat Restaurant Guides until 2014. Since then he’s shot for Eater.com, Micro Matic, Zagat Restaurant Guides, Amazon Inc., LA Canvas, Porter & Sail, San Diego Magazine, Darling Magazine, 24 Hour Fitness, Pasadena Magazine, The Irish Times etc.

To Shant, his ability to create a mood in a photo is what separates him from the average Joe on Instagram.

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Collaborating with Dancers in the Studio as a Photographer

All images by Deborah Ory and Ken Browar. Used with permission. Lead image: Tiler Peck, Principal, New York City Ballet

Photographers Deborah Ory and Ken Browar are a husband and wife duo. Their subjects: dancers. Based here in NYC, Deborah and Ken has been shooting for the past few years from companies including American Ballet Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey, New York City Ballet and others. Later this year, a book of theirs called “The Art of Movement” will be published for all to call their own personal coffee table book.

But what’s most interesting about these two is how they work with dancers, their insistence on working in the studio, their use of colors, and how they go about creating the images that they do. And according to Deborah “We collaborate closely with the dancer, but also direct the shoot.”

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Creative Photographers: We Want to Feature Your Work

Continuing with the Phoblographer’s aim to share the psychology behind why we create, we’re specifically calling on those that do Creative Photography. What does that mean? Consider the idea behind Creating vs Capturing. When you capture a scene, you generally don’t have direct involvement in how it looks, to someone. But if you’re actively working to mess around and change the scene to suit a specific creative vision that you have, then you’re creative.

PS: This doesn’t mean that you need to Photoshop!

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An Argument for Photographers to Specialize

Despite what a few folks may say on the web whilst contracting themselves, the absolute smartest thing that a Photographer can do is specialize. Just because many photographers don’t want to, doesn’t mean that it’s not the best thing to do and that they necessarily have to. But if Photographers really care about the way that they’re perceived online and potentially want to make income from their work, then there are extremely valid reasons why.

Part of this, has to specifically do with the nomenclature used in this article.

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Life as a Colorblind Photographer

All images by Francesco Nacchia. Used with permission.

“It’s not easy to explain,” says Photographer Francesco Nacchia; a colorblind shooter who has been interviewed here before. “I will make an example, when you look at a yellow flower, you know that flower is yellow because your mind recognizes that color and binds it to the flower, for me that instead is color-blind, when I look at a yellow flower I am never convinced that it really is, it could be green or orange, the same thing for all the other colors, I see the colors but I’m not sure that they are really the same.”

Francesco is living proof that color doesn’t need to be one of the biggest and best parts of a photo simply because he doesn’t see it. In fact, he’s more about working with shades and tones in a photo.

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Why Instagram is So Difficult for Most Photographers

Sad fact: most of the biggest and most popular accounts on Instagram aren’t actually those of photographers who truly care about Photography. Instead they’re very characteristic of the truth involving what most people think about Photography. I want you to take a close look at what I did in those sentences–there is Photography with a big “P” and photography with a small “p”. What’s the difference? Throughout this article, it would be advantageous to your comprehension of my statements if you were to kindly keep this nomenclature in the back of your head while reading. If this is done, the statements will be significantly more effective.

The difference is with another very sad fact: it genuinely has nothing to do with you.

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StudioBinder Creates Call Sheets for Photographers to Stay Organized

As any very professional photographer will tell you, being organized is what makes life so much simpler when it comes to actually shooting. To help along with the process is StudioBinder, a company that helps photographers and creatives stay organized. They’ve recently released Call Sheets for photographers to stay on top of work as it comes in. Their samples show how photographers and agencies can stay on top of the work that they’re doing and translate ideas from contracts and details from the shoot into one spot.

You’ve got things like areas for the concept for the shoot, separated talent and crew grid, specific call times, department notes, file attachments, and more like mood boards (which lots of photographers use Pinterest for these days.)

But these aren’t all just any call sheets…

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The Essential Elements of Better Food Photography

Food–it’s the thing to tugs at the hearts of everything that lives and breathes; especially when it’s presented in a beautiful way. Food photography is mostly done these days in a lifestyle format and with a normal human perspective to appeal to our senses. It’s all about the familiar; and for that reason a 50mm lens can do just the job that you need. Combine this with the colors and contrast that a Zeiss lens can give you right out of the camera, and you’ve got yourself an image making combination that is bound to make someone very hungry.

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The Most Important Aspects of a Photo for the Serious Photographer

While the technical side of the photography world will sit there thinking about and citing 100% sharpness, dynamic range, high ISO results, etc. you have to remember that all of this simply gets in the way of you actually creating a good photograph. The honest truth is that it is simultaneously 100% possible to create a God-awful image with high megapixels and a sharp lens or a jaw droppingly gorgeous photo with a crappy plastic lens and a tiny sensor. In fact, it’s done everyday–there are loads of people out there with super expensive gear that believe it will help them take good photos and that they can be the next Ansel Adams.

In some ways, the best thing to do is to forget about the technical side or master it so well that you don’t even necessarily think about it.

Here’s what gives an image impact.

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Anders Beier: Beauty in Food Photography

All images by Anders Beier. Used with permission.

Photographer Anders Beier is an absolutely fantastic and inspirational food photographer that has been shooting for many years now. He’s started something called the sustainable food photo competition and has worked with various companies to make it larger and grow the contest out.

Anders is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and started shooting around the time that things were moving from film to digital. He was trained on large format and shoots with Nikon and Hasselblad products right now. In fact, he’s been using Photoshop since version 1.0.

We talked to him about his love of food photography and his thought process when creating images.


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Review: Martin Parr Real Food (Photography Book)

Browse through most photo communities and what you’ll find are gorgeous images of food. Indeed, much of the trends around modern food photography involve lots of set design. What that’s resulted in is the sad truth that your big Mac from McDonalds will never look like the one in the ads you see (and that you’re eating McDonalds at all…)

That’s what Magnum photographer Martin Parr wanted to show: the fact that most of us we don’t all dine in picturesque settings and gorgeous window light–or even with the cleanest dishes!  Martin’s “Real Food” is a slap in the face to the prim and proper food photos that appeal to your inner fat kid and instead uses flash in a way to make things look very real. But this technique is used in a much less Terry Richardson manner and more akin with the same thought processes as Amy Lombard–though neither are in the same field as Martin Parr.

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Six Photo Communities For the Serious Photographer

Not every photographer can make it on Instagram; and with the new algorithm added to the news feed it’s going to be even tougher at times. One of the best ways to hack that is to find a way to reach out to the curators; which I’ll be talking about in an upcoming workshop being taught by yours truly about online marketing for photographers. You can save $30 on registration with discount code “thephoblographer”.

If you’re looking for something a bit more organic, then there are still a number of other communities that may appeal to you.

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Pei Lin Ng: Food Photography with a Beginner’s DSLR

All images by Pei Lin Ng. Used with permission.

Pei Lin Ng is a Chinese girl from Malacca City, Malaysia. At 19 years-old, she’s quite the food photographer. “I started taking photos 6 years ago, when I was 13. It’s all because my desk mate and also my best friend got a DSLR camera from her dad as her 13th birthday present.” says Pei. “She introduced Instagram to me before the time Instagram became so popular.” Surrounded by very good friends who gave her positive reinforcement, she found the motivation to always keep shooting.

Part of the reason why Pei got into food photography is because she loves baking. “My passion for baking and my love for food literally got me into food photography!” she states. Many of her images are of the yummy stuff she makes.

“To me, photography is the only way to keep the memory or to make something last long.That’s why I take photos of my food before I eat them all hahaha. I was also be inspired by some of the photographers on Instagram.”

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Report: UK Couples Favor Uncle Bob to Wedding Photographers

*sigh* it seems like Uncle Bob could be winning the wedding photography wars…

In the UK, couples are ditching wedding photographers in favor of amateurs and GoPros; at least that’s what a report from Amateur Photographer is stating. So rather than paying an experienced professional, they’re going for friends, friends of friends, relatives, and essentially crowd sourcing their wedding using hashtags on Instagram.

It’s a sign of the times; but honestly, we should have seen this coming.

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