How Professional Photographer Mark Weinberg Gets On Top of the Game

All images by Mark Weinberg. Used with permission. Intro written by Cassie Boorne.

Mark Weinberg is an award-winning freelance photographer based in New York City. He specializes in commercial and advertising photography and has worked with an impressive roster of clients including Target, West Elm, One Kings Lane, Food52, Kenneth Cole, Aveda,  and Whole Foods Market. We interviewed Mark about how he built his freelance photography business in celebration of his upcoming online workshop, Building a Photography Business.

We have a special discount for Phoblographer readers at the end of this post.

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Sebastião Salgado’s Advice For Young Photographers Today

Last weekend at Photo London I had the chance to attend a lecture with Sebastião Salgado. Leo Johnson interviewed the 71-year old photographer about his life and work. In the Q&A that followed a young student, probably around 21 years old, asked what he would recommend a young photographer to start his career today. And Salgado answered:

“If you’re young and have the time, go and study. Study anthropology, sociology, economy, geopolitics. Study so that you’re actually able to understand what you’re photographing. What you can photograph and what you should photograph.”

I found this answer very interesting. Many photographers have an answer to that question, and I myself have asked it many times. The most common answer I got was “Just go out there and shoot” or “Study the masters of photography” or “Practice, practice, practice”. But none of these photographers talked about going to university and study economics. So what does Salgado mean by that?

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We’ve Updated our Guide to Fujifilm Lenses!

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm XT10 first impressions (15 of 15)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.0

If you’re looking for an all-in-one essential guide to Fujifilm lenses, then look no further than our personal guide. We’ve rounded up our reviews of all lenses in one spot with a brief preview of each. If you’re interested in knowing more, simply click on the review listed in the guide to learn more about how it performed during our real world testing situations.

At the moment, we’re missing the 90mm f2 because we’re working on putting the finishing touches on that review. But once that is finished, it will be added to the group as well. Though in the meantime, you can check out our first impressions of the lens.

And if you’re looking for great tips on getting more from your photography and Fujifilm camera, you should check out our Xpert Advice series where we team up with Fujifilm to deliver tips and tricks in a bite sized package.

The 7 Secrets To Success I Learned From Meeting Steve McCurry

Urban Lights Marius Vieth

Recently I had the unique chance to meet world-famous photographer Steve McCurry. You probably know him from his most-known photo “Afghan Girl” with the green-eyed girl covered in a red veil. Thanks to one of my awesome followers on Facebook (thanks again Amanda), they put me on the photographer’s guest list for this rather exclusive event in Amsterdam. Since there were only a few people there, I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions and talk to him for a while. These are the seven golden rules to success I learned from him.

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Don’t Explode When Somebody Says Photography is Easy

julius motal the phoblography don't explode photography easy

“Photography’s easy.” It’s a line that can inspire any number of things – a passionate defense of the craft, a blank stare, a glare, a shrug or anything else. I’ve heard it, and you’ve probably heard it, too. I’ll admit that on the occasions I’ve heard it, I’ve gotten a bit hot under the collar. How could someone so easily dismiss everything that goes into the making of a photograph? There’s the spatial awareness, the anticipation, the angle of view, the camera’s essential elements working in tandem to produce a properly exposed image, and once everything comes together, click. Of course, the click is all they ever see.

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Advice for When People Approach You on the Street: Be Calm

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Street photography isn’t the easiest discipline. If you’re a practitioner of the form, some of your friends might ask you if you ever talk to the people you photograph. I’ve asked that of many street photographers, and I’ve had it asked of me. The answer is, almost always, that the street photographer does not talk to the people in the frame. Definitely not before the shot, and not after. Yet, there are occasions when talking is unavoidable, when the person in your frame is more aware of you than you anticipated. While street photography is, in large part, the art of stealth in a public space, you have to be ready for the occasions when the person in your photograph talks to you.

Talking to your subject takes a good deal of confidence, both in yourself as a photographer and in your photography. We can leave the deeper questions to Humans of New York. For now, all you need to think about is explaining who you are, what you’re about, and inevitably, why you’re photographing them.

This isn’t necessarily the time for artistic statements, especially if you’re in a city where people are short on both time and attention. Perhaps you’re working on a project in which the person you photographed fit the bill for the next shot in your series. Give a quick synopsis of what the project’s about, and let them know they’re good for it. Or perhaps you’re just shooting on the street. There’s something about them that made you take their photograph. Tell them what that something is. People often respond well to flattery.

Of course, you may be caught offguard by someone who doesn’t want to be photographed, someone who takes a hostile approach to anyone who aims a lens their way. Be calm in all aspects of your practice, and be particularly calm if someone storms over to you after realizing you’ve photographed them. Keep it brief, and don’t stumble over your words. Simplicity and directness will, more often that not, be enough to defuse any hostilities.

Anything can happen on the street. If you’ve got quick feet and an unassuming manner, you can move from one shot to the next with ease. Just be prepared for when you have to talk.

Advice For The Local Street Photographer

There is a simple truth: not everyone gets to travel as photographers. We have to make do with where we live and there is nothing wrong with that. With summer here you may find yourself asking, “How do I not get bored on my home turf?” You are either taking a staycation and doing things around home or you’re the type of person who keeps a camera with you everyday. It’s not about the amount of gear you have, it’s about how you use it. Your backyard can hold a lot to photograph.

Supercharge Your Photography Website

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Knowing Natural Light: Photographing Weddings

Bride and Veil
Bride and Veil

Bride and Veil

Natural light photographers have become wildly popular in the past several years. Many photographers actually market themselves purely as natural light photographers. There’s a good reason for this: natural light can create some of the most beautiful images that you’ve ever seen. Using natural light whenever possible is a no-brainer to give your images that beautiful, natural, dreamy quality that is synonymous with Weddings. However, there is more to it than just not using lights. People who have mastered natural light photography did more than just not use lights while shooting. You must really learn and understand how light behaves, reacts, and interacts with your subjects.

Click on through to view some tips to start you off down the right path for shooting weddings using natural light.

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What To Do When Your Feeling Under The Weather

So you’re sick. You’ve cancelled your meetings and appointments. You’ve stayed home from the office to rest and watch The Price Is Right. You feel terrible and knowing that you’re wasting the day away by just lying in bed isn’t helping. There are some things that photographers can do while feeling under the weather.

Let me reiterate that the absolute best thing for you is to follow your doctor’s orders. If they tell you to stay in bed and rest, then stay in bed and rest. If you feel well enough to turn on your brain a little, here are some suggestions you can easily accomplish. Oh and just so you know, I came up with this post idea and am currently writing it while sick.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog posting by Travis Lawtonthe Lawtographer

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