Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dot Com: The New Era of Family Albums

Photos are a way of capturing memories so that they can be cherished and easily recalled in the future. They can also be a means of capturing emotions or sharing art/history with future generations. 

Ever since the creation of photography people have been saving photos of their important family memories in family photo albums, however the digital age has led to certain changes in the way people approach photography. Specifically, most people no longer purchase difficult to find film and instead take high quality digital pictures. Likewise, they no longer print out copies of these pictures and instead share them on the new online versions of family photo albums such as Facebook and Instagram.

While film cameras were once the choice instrument of professional photographers, they could prove to be a pain for those not adept in their use. Digital cameras have eliminated this issue, reducing risks of damage to film due to light or X-ray exposure and allowing people to take hundreds of photos at a time without worrying about needing to run to a store to buy more film. As a result of the rise of digital photography, film is now hard to find and is very expensive, whereas digital photographs with cameras and smart phones are very durable and affordable.

Creative Director JW
Likewise, people used to keep printed copies of their cherished family photos. While this made it easy to pull out a family picture album, the advent of computers allows people to keep thousands of photos just a mouse click away, and it enables them to create infinite copies which they can share with the world. As a  result, almost no one ever prints out photos any more as there is little (if any) need to do so, because the online world can view these photos easily whether they are at home or far away.

The primary way people share their new family pictures is using Facebook photo sharing options and/or using the photography smart phone app Instagram. These applications let people easily take quick pictures and share them with ease, thus supplanting the expensive hassle that is film-based photography. As a result of all of these trends, it is no surprise that few people bother with film cameras and printed photo albums in this day and age. Instead, the internet has become the greatest tool for sharing family memories for generations to come turning Instagram and Facebook into the new family photo albums.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Family Christmas Portraits, Not From The Mall

When it’s time to have the family Christmas Portrait taken, there are several things to keep in mind. The first is where to have the portrait taken. There are several options such as hiring a professional photographer or finding a chain studio that is located in a crowded mall. 

A Professional Photographer does this for a living and has a sincere passion for photography. They are guaranteed to work with your budget, help with things like wardrobe, sizing, poses, expressions and promise you’ll avoid the hassle of loading up the kids to head to an over-packed mall where even if you do have an appointment, you get to wait, wait, wait and then wait some more. Professional Photographers provide their own professional equipment and the family is guaranteed to get a professional quality family portrait. The professional photographer will shoot the portrait in any manner desired by the family and has far more flexibility when it comes to different types of shots, timing and locations to ensure that all involved are happy.

In addition to the pros of having an independent professional take the family portrait there are several negative parts of having a mall photography chain provide a few snap shots. The first is the fact that it requires a trip to a very busy location full of people frantically trying to find the best deals on holiday gifts or frantically trying to find a gift for the one person they forgot to add to their list. Most retailers do the majority of their sales during the busy holiday season. Being part of this crowd will add unneeded stress to the photo shoot and give you a blistering headache. Another negative side is the fact that these mall studios often do not have the best in equipment or the equipment may simply be very outdated. This will result in a poor quality portrait since it is one camera setting for every customer no matter how many people in the shot. Mall photography studios fail to provide any kind of decent re-touching or Photoshop enhancements of the picture.  No one should have to remember a Christmas because of a blurry, stiff-posed Christmas Portrait. A grainy pixilated picture is not something that should be sent out in a Christmas card.

Another downside is the mall photographers themselves. They are usually High School kids who have no formal photography training. They are told to greet the customer, have the customer stand on the X and push this button on the camera (literally nothing else).  Anyone will lose the friendly smile and personable charm when having to deal with rushed holiday shoppers, crying babies, belligerent customers and frustrated parents all day. They are often subjected to long hours with low pay and often resulting in substandard performance and crappy pictures. For most mall photographers it's a part-time job so they can get a new iPhone or Android and will often treat it as such where as a professional photographer does this for a living and is very passionate about their work. 

The worst part about a family portrait at the mall studio is the up sale. Since the photographers often work on commission as well as minimum wage, they will try to get the family to purchase the largest package possible. They will relentlessly hound you to get the biggest package that has literally hundreds of photos, out dated picture frames and a jacked-up price for a CD, when all that is desired is a few quality photographs. The family is often conned into buying a larger package then desired because it is the only way to get the desired photographs of the right size due to the fact buying individual photos has an exorbitant cost attached to it. With all these things against it, the mall studio is simple not a good option. It is well worth it to spend a little time searching and a few extra dollars to pay for a beautiful family portrait, photographed with professionalism, care and a genuine concern to meet your families needs. 

Find a local, reputable, professional photographer. Start with asking friends and family. If you have no luck, try Google, AngiesList or ASMP. These are filled with reputable family and portrait photographers who specialize in making your family look their best.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Couples Ads, Twice The Marketing Power

The media today influences us in many ways. Objects, colors, and every detail of an ad we see are analyzed and edited to appeal the consumer. Most of the time there are hidden messages and meanings that affect your mind subliminally. Companies will do anything to have the advantage and make you want to buy their product. There are times when what we see actually triggers certain emotions and gives us a standard, an opinion, perception of what is normal or even change our moral values.

When someone is in a relationship and sees a billboard or magazine ad picturing a couple, they often picture themselves and their significant other. They pay attention to what that picture is trying to sell and often this picture will influence someone who is in a relationship to purchase that item. Going a little deeper into it, a person might also get the perception of what a couple is supposed to look like, or how a couple should act. They will, in a sense, picture themselves as that couple.

If someone is single and they see a picture of a couple on an ad, it might trigger negative emotions. It might make them feel lonely or It might influence them to go out and try to find someone. It really varies by person. The message being delivered has the same goal but can affect the person in various ways. Either way, by publishing these ads, companies will influence people to spend money or want to spend money. It is surprising to see how much money companies spend on advertising and studying the effects of every little detail that goes into a billboard or magazine ad including everything from gender demographics to age and longevity.

 Having two people in the same ad or picture is beneficial to companies. Humans aren’t meant to be alone, we are made to interact and form relationships. That being said, having a male and female upon a billboard is more likely to catch people of both genders attention. We are always more attentive to things we can identify with. Though it might surface negative emotions to someone that is single, humans generally all want the same thing and that is not to be alone. This plays a major part in what we pay attention to and how we feel about relationships.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Are Camera Phones Replacing Professional Photographers?

It is easy to determine the difference between a photograph taken by a skilled photographer using a high-end Nikon camera and a picture taken by an amateur using their point and shoot camera or phone. Things like image quality and the use of the skill of the trade allow even an untrained eye to spot the difference with without even knowing exactly which elements make the photographer’s work stand out. While an amateur might be able to replicate a few of these techniques slowly, a photographer trained with a Nikon SLR camera can easily apply all of these techniques quickly to capture that timeless image perfectly.   

The first major difference an onlooker might see is proper use of depth of field to help identify and isolate the subject. The subtle changes required to aperture setting are simple to make in a practiced hand using a high end camera, but nearly impossible to make in time to capture a moment with substandard equipment in an untrained hand. By placing the focus directly on bride and groom and lowering the depth of field, a skilled photographer can turn what might have otherwise been a cluttered and busy photo on the reception dance floor into a captured moment between a happy couple in love, simply by adding a slight blur to the surrounding objects.

While a camera phone might be able to use a flash to capture a moment in a dark room, it takes real skill and professional equipment to immortalize that instant into a true work of art. By using a diffused hand held flash synchronized via a hot shoe and matching the speed of the camera’s shutter, the right tools and skills easily transform what might have been made a flat white image by flash, into a stunning full color display.

Lastly and most importantly, a professional Nikon camera allows a trained hand to move away from automatic focus into the realm of manual focus photography. Quick adjustments can be made simply by moving a dial on the lens, without taking away any focus from the moment. This sort of focus can be achieved on a point and shoot or camera phone, but only after digging through a on screen menu of options and forcing the moment to become staged instead of easily capturing a true and spontaneous moment like only a professional photographer with a professional/high-end camera could obtain.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Your Smile Is Your Best Feature

It is said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that is never more true than when you are not even there to make the impression. More than ever before people get their first impressions of an individual through social media and internet presence, and the biggest portion of this impression is made by looking at the profile picture

Profile pictures are your face to the world, and are often the most prominent part of your page. If you want to make that great first impression - the most important thing that you can do is to remember to smile for the camera. Smiling in your profile picture makes a bigger and better impression in a variety of ways, and will have a positive impact on how you market yourself.
 
Whether you have a simple profile for personal use or a professional profile meant to promote your business, smiling in the profile picture is the key to establishing an immediate relationship with the viewer. 

The greater part of human communication is nonverbal, so you are speaking to the viewer without even needing to say a word. It is imperative that you make that message a positive message. Smiling is an important step in establishing a relationship. It puts the other person at ease and makes them desire to smile in return. This sense of ease and reciprocity is important because whether you are seeking a job or a personal relationship, you are selling yourself. Your smile will tell the hiring manager and the potential friend alike that you are a happy person who has a strong sense of self worth and a high degree of self confidence.

In the event that you are promoting a business or a company, it is important to emphasize pictures that include smiling faces. A prospective client or job searcher that sees a website filled with pictures of hard work and toil might be impressed with the work ethic of the company, but they will not have a sense of affiliation with it. 

Whether it is smiling workers or a smiling executive, these pictures promote that vital sense of fraternity that you desire to establish. An image of a positive, upbeat workplace will draw in both top notch employees and prospective clients, whereas pictures of stoic determination will fail to appeal to them. So remember that when it comes time to promote yourself or your business, Smiling for the camera is Smiling for yourself.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The New Market of Tattoed Modeling

Tattoos are a beautiful expression of personality, life and art. Now more and more of the population have tattoos. Big or small, men and women, of all ethnicity's are embracing the ancient art of tattoo. In the modeling business tattoos are not always what the photographer is looking for. 

As a photographer you are now asking yourself, will I have to turn away models who are otherwise perfect for my photo shoot, besides a tattoo. There are ways you can cover up tattoos making it unnecessary to dismiss models for their ink. Make up can cover up smaller and lighter tattoos. This is a quick fix that will work for both you and your model. Depending on the clothing, that can be used to discreetly cover a tattoo. Carefully draped or taped down clothing will completely cover up a tattoo. Double sided tape is one of the best to use to keep clothing in place. When it comes to tattoos on the neck, if the hair is long enough you will not even notice the tattoo. Jewelry can some-what cover up the wrist, ankles, chest and neck.
Photoshop is a great tool many photographers use as well to cover tattoos. There are many tools within the program that are made specifically for this purpose. The clone tool is one of the easier ways to accomplish this. You can copy the exact pattern and color of their skin tone, and then paste it over the tattooed area. With patience and a good eye for detail, you can easily cover up small and large tattoos with Photoshop creating a very realistic illusion. 

Today there are many web sites, magazines and publishers that want models with tattoos. Incorporation of the tattoo with the look or message you are trying to portray can be fun. More products and companies are open to this style of marketing. There are websites and companies dedicated to tattooed models. Another solution can be, if your model is able or the tattoo is on the back of an arm or leg, just having them face only certain parts of their body towards the camera will give the illusion that they have no tattoos. Despite what people may think, there is no need to worry that a tattoo will interfere with your photos. With the many resources and innovative ideas out there you can easily cover up or incorporate tattoos into or out of your photos.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Allure of Lingerie and The Modeling

Lingerie modeling on billboards, in catalogs and the Internet has had a significant effect on the way women shop for lingerie. While bras, underwear, and similar items are worn under clothing, and are thus not visible when women go out into public, there are still serious implications behind these products. The way they are advertised has made women – and men – take notice, and choosing high quality women’s underwear has thus become more of a priority.
 
Consumers might wonder how important a bra or panties can really be. Apparently, a sophisticated bra or well-made pair of underwear can be an important commodity for a woman. Lingerie billboards often insist on using attractive models that are striking seductive poses. 

These ads aren’t so much about the lingerie being modeled, but the attitude that is being portrayed. Confidence, sex appeal, sensuality, and sophistication are featured in these ads. They encourage women to get in touch with their passion and not settle for generic cotton panties and a matronly bra. The message is that a woman deserves to feel pretty,  confident,  and poised – even when she is just in her underwear.


Victoria’s Secret is a perfect example of how to project lingerie as more of a lifestyle and attitude than just a product. The infamous Million-Dollar bra that they have showcased in the past is obviously not attainable for most people – and even if it were, very few would spend that much on a such an expensive novelty/luxury – but it sent out a message that a woman’s body deserves to be adorned by the finest of jewels. And if not jewels, than state-of-the-art push-up bras will do.

High quality underwear has also been advertised as having practical qualities. While lace, satin, and silk are pretty and nice, it is important that underwear do its job of making the figure look flattered beneath a Woman’s clothing. Control-top underwear, slimming body suits, and bras that minimize of maximize one’s bust all promise to create a better body instantly. The repeated exposure to these items in catalogs and online is astounding, and it has impacted the way women look at underwear. Rather than spending a few bucks on plain panties or a sports bra, women are viewing have begun to view corsets, “Spanx”, and the like as small investments. Body-shapers have become the go-to product for those who want to slip more comfortably – and smoothly – into their favorite dress. They can be used for special occasions where one wishes to look slimmer. They can ever be worn under a pants suit to work.

Another element of high-quality underwear that is present in advertising is fantasy. Lingerie modeling has tapped into one of the most central aspects of lingerie: escapism. Lingerie can be sweet and simple, or daring and different. A woman can morph into a vixen or even a French maid with one little outfit. If these kinds of outfits are offered alongside the more traditional – but high-end – bras and panties that women have become accustomed to, then they just might be more inclined to purchase them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

LinkedIn: The New Resume

Social networking sites play a very important role in today’s lifestyle. In today’s generation, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who is not connected to at least one social networking site. LinkedIn has over 21 Million subscribers and Facebook has over 1 Billion users. It is here that a social networking site plays its hand.

With the capacity to upload photos, videos and portray yourself, these networking sites bring people much closer and add a visual before meeting them. With so many people getting access to profiles of one another, it poses a very important question. How qualitative should the profile be maintained? On hindsight, people would say what is the big deal? These are only known people who are accessing the profiles of one another. But does that hold good. The statement need not be completely true. It is also true, that anything once uploaded on internet may not be erased completely. It is henceforth very important that a proper profile is made and uploaded that might not cause an embarrassment in future.
The importance of having a professional quality picture on LinkedIn and other Social Media Marketing sites versus an amateur picture is also due to the fact that these profiles can be accessed by prospective employers. In today’s scenario, employers are relaying not only on the personal interview done and other tests but also they prefer to hunt down the profile of the candidates on the networking sites. This gives the employers are very clear cut idea of what the candidate is in real life and how fit his social image would be to the company. 

Given the importance of such a scenario and also the fact that jobs are pretty difficult to come by, it would be a foolhardy scenario to get a job offer rejected due to the amateur picture uploaded on LinkedIn or any social media networking site. Headhunters and employment agencies are also searching LinkedIn profiles prior to submitting a candidate to a positions of whom they will be represented by. An bad picture leaves a bad taste in their mouth with no other choice than to assume that this person is not as serious about representing them as they are about being represented properly and professionally.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Have You Cosidered Parts Modeling?

Ever been told you have GREAT hands? BEAUTIFUL hair? SEXY feet? Ever considered being a parts model?

Parts-modeling is a subculture of the modeling industry. Models have been stigmatized as perfect, and the average model is presented as a whole entity. For example, a regular print model might be shown in a catalog, his or her whole body in the shot, modeling an outfit. Parts-models are models who are utilized for a singular – and “perfect” – attribute, such as great hair, a dazzling smile, capturing eyes, etc. Their strength lies in an aspect that, when solely featured, makes for a great advertisement. And usually, if not always, the “perfect” part of that parts-model is used in an equally perfect conjunction to the product. There are hand models for rings, for example. A model with healthy hair might be used to sell shampoo. Someone with pretty eyes and long lashes might be a good candidate for makeup, and close-ups can be used of their eyes.

Just as the standards for the typical model are demanding, if not nearly impossible, to meet, those for parts-models are just as specific. In fact, since it is a part that is being zoomed in on (figuratively and literally) – as well as being relied on to sell a specific type of product – the demands might be even more intense, with less room for error or deviation.

A visit to a website that hires parts-models might reveal that they need hand models, and that their skin must be flawless, with well-shaped nails. Feet are required to sell shoes, so the feet of a parts-model must look pampered and healthy, with perfect skin and no veins, blemishes, or anything off-putting.

 Another aspects of parts-modeling has to do with maintenance. The average model must maintain their body at the very least slim – body, must be fit, must keep their skin youthful, etc. For a parts-model, extra care must be lavished on whatever part they are getting paid to model. Someone modeling their hands needs to be careful: a cut, chipped nail, or other imperfection can mean no work for the model. There are torso models, and they must stay in tip-top shape, as well as keep their skin tone attractive. Someone who uses their eyes in ads needs to also maintain skin, and avoid getting crow’s feet, lines, or bags. People using their teeth to model must maintain good oral hygiene, and need to keep their teeth white. The body part will be under intense scrutiny, so it must be well taken care of.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Need for Professional Product Photography

There are many positive effects and benefits of using a professional quality photograph from a professional photographer to sell your product, such as on eBay, Craigslist, Etsy, or even your own site. Conversely, there are many cons to doing it yourself. Factors such as time, money, and quality will quickly pop up, negatively affecting your business. You should consider your needs, budget, and time when considering if you should choose a professional photographer. It is a proven fact that items sell better online with quality pictures.

Although modern cameras have made undeniable leaps and bounds since their inception, even the most high-end point-and-shoot camera fails to take photos that compare to professional pictures. The quality of the camera isn't comparable to the equipment used by professional photographers. And the equipment they use is professional quality-high-end, which makes it unwise to invest to sell a few items online.

Taking pictures is also time-consuming, which means less time spent on product development, advertising, and selling the product. Thus leading to more time valuable time attempting to take the picture, as well as more time trying to make it look better once you have uploaded it. Even someone with the best editing skills needs to have a good base to work from, and an amateurish, blurry photograph will never be able to look truly professional or appealing. 
 
So, you may even be risking your own time to take your own photographs when in the end you will need to pay a photographer to retake the photo using a professional camera.

Finally, a professional photographer has spent a life time perfecting professional photography skills. You may be strong when it comes to advertising, product development, and even web design, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee that you are a great photographer. A business should be comprised of the strongest qualities of its members. Allowing a professional photographer to do their job will allow you to better do yours. Also, they are likely to be more knowledgeable about the modern photography standards and up to date on photography technology.

The positive effects and benefits of using a professional quality photograph from a professional photographer to sell your product on sites such as eBay or Craigslist obviously outweigh the cons of doing it yourself. It is simply much more streamlined if you utilize a professionalphotographer. Allow a professional photographer to take your pictures, and save yourself the trouble.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Online Dating Picture, Put Your Best Foot Forward

When signing up for an online dating site such as eHarmony or Match.com, the goal is ultimately to connect with another person who might not otherwise have been able to meet. Just as with a job interview, making the first impression can often single-handedly determine the outcome of the relationship.

When making a split second impression is so important, it is vital to do everything possible to make it the greatest impression. One quick and easy step to accomplishing this is to have a professional picture for a profile picture instead of an amateur photograph.

The difference between a professional photograph and an amateur photograph does not come down to one being a true reflection of a person and one being a doctored or edited image. It is merely the difference between looking the best possible and utilizing every advantage that a person in the professional field of photography can provide versus risking bad lighting, bad framing, or otherwise less quality.

Some of the most important aspects of a first impression are dependent upon the physical look of a person. A professional photograph will be able to communicate what hairstyle flatters the best, what lighting provides the best skin complexion, what framing provides a younger or older and mature look depending upon what is desired. All of these aspects are ones that would be very difficult or even impossible for the general person to fully take advantage of on their own. 

If there is only one split second chance to impress another person, why leave anything to chance than there already is? For the piece of mind it provides, paying to have a professional photograph taken is a very minimal cost. Additionally, once the perfect picture is captured, it can be used again and again on multiple dating and networking sites depending upon preference. This is because a professional photograph can hold up and better conceal the signs of aging than an amateur photograph can. A professional photographer will also take away some of the stress associated with finding the perfect picture. Instead of having to hunt through multiple amateur takes, a professional will quickly locate the best one and provide it.

Overall, the advantages of having a professional taken photograph greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Additionally, once a professional image is captured,  supplemental amateur photographs can be added as an afterthought. 

Take advantage of a professional photographer and allow them to provide the best reflection of an individual that they can. They are trained in all aspects of photography and are best able to use the tools and tricks of the trade to devise a perfect and real image every time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Becoming an Extra in the Movies

Working in the film and television industry can be very exciting, and every year, thousands of hopefuls will move from their hometowns to Los Angeles or New York in order to pursue their dreams. Once they arrive, they may be confused about where to start. The reality is, it isn't always like the movies where new and upcoming stars are discovered walking down the street. It can take some hard work and determination in order to land those big leading roles, and there are ways to start out on the right path that can help to open doors in the future.

One way to break into the industry is by working as an extra. How to be an extra in the television and film industry is a question that many newcomers have, but it is actually easier than one may think. It just takes a little patience and perseverance in order to get good jobs on movie and television show sets. There are various extras agencies that take new people every day. Actors can register online by submitting a photo, or they can make an appointment with an extras agent that will take their photos and advise them on what type of work they will most likely be called in for.

Once an actor is registered in the extras database, they will be notified when jobs are available. They will either have to submit their own photos, or their booking agent will submit on their behalf. Once an actor is hired for an extra job, they are given a specific call time and wardrobe instructions, and what happens next is a fun and exciting day on set. One of the best data bases for extras and  casting agents is Casting Central who was recently the focus of a news story about casting agencies on CBS Sunday Morning Show.  
There are two types of extras in the entertainment business. Non-union, and Union. Union extras receive better pay, and they also have a great chance of being bumped up to a speaking role. Non-union extras receive slightly less pay and they may be subject to working conditions that are not as comfortable as a Union extra. The problem is, is that people can't just join the Union. In order to join the Screen Actors Guild, also known as SAG through extra work a person must obtain three SAG vouchers. These vouchers are often given to Non-union extras after they work on a set for three or more consecutive days. Once an actor receives the vouchers, they are what is known as SAG-eligible, and once they have paid their SAG dues, they are allowed to work under the Union guidelines. Extra work is a great way to break into the business, make new friends, and possibly receive that big break!

However to make that first step, Central Casting and every other casting agency will agree, your need an Awesome Headshot to get your foot in the door.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is it Unhealthy to be a Fashion Model?

 We've all seen high fashion models on the television, in fashion magazines, in brochures, and in catalogues all of our lives. Fashion models are a big part of society. Society uses the way that fashion models look to say how everyone, especially women, should look. The average fashion model is much smaller than the average woman, but still society says that women need to look like these fashion models in their every day lives at home and at work.
As for women, many women feel as though they need to keep constantly dieting and not eating, as well as working out every single day for hours at a time in order to keep the figure that society says is the best way to look – the figure of a high fashion model. This is not healthy for anyone, not the regular women of society, nor is it healthy for the high fashion models in those magazines, photos, the runways, or catalogues.

Fashion models feel as though they need to starve themselves in order to get good feedback from their photographers and from designers who want to give them clothes to wear out on the town during the times when they aren't shooting photos or are on the runways. 

They feel as though if they are thin enough and look good enough, they'll get good reviews from their photographers and they'll get more work. Unfortunately, this is exactly how it works in the high fashion world of clothing and make up.

Basically, if these models keep their shapes thin and lanky, they can keep working in the fashion world. Photographers will keep working with them, designers will want them on their runways, and the regular population of people will want to look at them in their photos and magazines. The relationship between fashion models and their photographers is a very delicate one. The photographers have the upper hand in all of this because they can choose whether a specific person has the correct look that they want for the photo shoot.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why Should You Hire a Professional Photographer

 It might seem like a wise idea to choose an amateur photographer over someone who has made a name for themselves with years of experience and happy clients. The amateur might just do the perfect job if they possess the latest in digital photographic equipment and editing software. Their equipment may even rival that of a professional photographer. 

The only difference may be in the price that the amateur charges. For someone looking into organizing a big event, price can be a huge deciding factor in choosing one photographer over another regardless of the number of years they have been working. There are pros of hiring a professional photographer and cons of hiring an amateur photographer, however.

Of course, it might seem like the professional charges much more for their work than the amateur. Yet, if the job the photographer is being hired for is something like a sunset wedding on the beach, their expertise may be what makes the extra expense well worth the money spent on their services. Also, a professional photographer may have more of a repertoire of skills behind them. They may have had experience shooting for newspapers, magazines or websites. 

In this regard, the professional can be trusted to do well under any circumstance. For anyone with doubts, they simply can ask to review samples of the photographer’s work. For a professional who has experience shooting numerous weddings, the proof may be found after only a few samples have been perused. An amateur photographer may, on the other hand, be capable of doing a good job but unlike the professional he or she may not have the experience to work under any type of lighting, weather or action which could dampen the results they deliver after the event no matter how affordable they were. 

As mentioned in past posts, ASMP's Find a Photographer is where businesses and individuals go to find a professional photographer with confidence and assurance, they know they're hiring a pro.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Turning Your Dream of Becoming a Model into a Part Time Job

Modeling has a notorious reputation for being extremely demanding work that has little reward. This may be true for full time models who work in the higher rungs of the industry, but it is not true for all models. Thousands of models work in more modest surroundings.

Freelance modeling isn't just for those who are looking to become big in the industry one day. These models are typically part time models who have full time jobs in another industry. Anyone who is looking for a little extra spending cash might want to consider part time modeling. There is a growing demand for models who may not meet the expectations of the high end fashion industry.

While your body type usually matters in a casting call you will not be completely discredited because you don't meet the ideals of a traditional model. Advertisers are more motivated then ever to show " real " people in their ads to better relate with their customers. 
 Now there are modeling agencies that specialize in placing everything from ethnic models to plus sized models. While on the subject of agencies it is vital to both your worker's rights and safety to work with a reputable modeling agency. Modeling is an extremely common industry for scammers and sexual predators to target. Working alone may be possible but it is extremely dangerous. 

A respectable modeling agency screens all of their clients for the safety of their models. Use the same resources for researching a traditional company for researching your modeling agency of choice. Finding little to no information about a particular modeling agency online is a definite red flag to a possible scam. One key note to remember, "you don't pay them, they pay you", unless you're paying a professional photographer for pictures or purchasing clothes or making a small investment in comp cards and your portfolio, "you" the model gets paid.

Once you've made up your mind on your career path and chosen a modeling agency you need to prepare for your first meeting with the agency. Preparation for a modeling job begins well before you step through the door. 

Even though this is part time work you must approach it like any other job. Your looks are much more of a factor here then anything else you may offer, so look your best! Make sure that your hair, nails, and makeup are all top notch. Wear respectable clothing of a neutral color. Most importantly, you must bring a portfolio containing photos of yourself at various angles. These photos should be professionally done by a photographer that specializes in this type of photography. Do not use pictures that you or your friends have taken! Having professional photos shows the agency that you are serious about becoming a model. 

This is part two of a two part series on Turning your acting or modeling dream into a part time job.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Turning Your Acting Dream into a Part Time Job

In today's economy, who doesn't need a little more green in their wallet? Many individuals with full time, respectable jobs are finding ways to earn a little more spending money during their down time. From tutoring, to online gigs, to playing in the theater, to signing up with actor casting agencies, there are masses of people finding enjoyable ways to make some extra money. 
  
In some locations in the US, there are part time actors who have regular day jobs who act in theater, television and movies as extras and small parts who make a good living on the side. 

Many creative, artistic past drama club members find the amateur theater or casting call line ups a great place to enjoy themselves, and make some cash. Weeknight rehearsals and weekend shows make for a great social setting and a win/win situation. Theater minds enjoy each others company while others find networking opportunities in audition lines and casting calls. Rehearsals make for great social fun, while after show drinks on the weekends can allow one to still feel like they have some down time. 

Often times, one feels like their career does not feed their creative side. A side job as an actor can help the most successful professional feel like they still have a fun side to them. Acting can help one escape and enjoy the world of what if; allowing individuals to be someone else and forget about the daily pressures of work and personal life. Acting on the side can be therapeutic for your wallet and your emotional health. 

Many times, one may find that part time actors originally begin acting to earn more money or find a way into full time acting. You will notice that often acting and modeling run parallel seeing actors on commercials and print ads and models in soap operas and TV shows. After time, many actors continue working part time, not as much for the money, but for the added enjoyment of the lifestyle. 

Managing your time at work can be cut down by quick and random Internet searches. Auditions and casting can be found while surfing the web at SF Casting and Variety web sites. These offer acting, extra, stand-in, voice over and theatrical opportunities. 

Most of the acting work will be found in Los Angeles, however, local Bay Area Casting agencies such as Beau Bonneau  and Blackwell Files can offer nine to fivers an easy to manage schedule to attend open auditions and castings. As any casting agent will tell you, it all starts with an Awesome Headshot.

This is part one of a two part blog series. The second part, to be posted soon will focus on part time modeling and how to fit the dream of modeling into your day job.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Importance of a Professional Portrait

All people form opinions. This is an innate quality of human life. Oftentimes, a first opinion of another person is found on his/her physical appearance. How this other person looks is one of the easiest sources of information and because analyzing is an inescapable characteristic of mankind, this incoming information will inevitably be analyzed.

A photograph of a person conveys what he/she looks like, which provides information for someone else to judge that individual. While physical attributes of the photographed person yield facts that enable the viewer to formulate an opinion, the quality of the photo is paramount.

Unprofessional photographs indicate that the person feels casual about the impression he/she is making. To some viewers, this can imply that he/she is easygoing and relaxed. These are generally attractive traits in a person and thus can intrigue the viewer to make contact with the photographed individual. Unprofessional photographs can also make the viewer feel more comfortable with approaching him/her because this informal presentation suggests that that he/she will not be aloof or strict. An amateur photograph can be appealing to some types of people.

However, some will be more serious and expectant when viewing head shots on a social media marketing site. A poor quality photograph can symbolize sloppiness or lack of sophistication. These characteristics are usually unattractive and unwanted. Dingy surroundings can imply unsafe habits or distasteful interests. Blurry features can indicate self-consciousness, a suspicious desire for secrecy, disregard, or lack of beauty-sense. Other unrefined aspects of the photo can also provide support for the analysis that this individual has some unseemly qualities. These could range from carelessness to dangerousness to crudeness, all of which can repel others from approaching.

For those types of people, a professional quality portrait would allay many of these worries. A planned and refined photograph clearly demonstrates that the individual has spent effort on his/her image and suggests attention to detail. Professional photographs are also usually more pleasant to see, which inherently makes the viewer feel more favorable toward the individual. This positive inclination, combined with other qualities of the photograph and viewable characteristics of the person, can prompt others to make contact with the person in the photograph. Thus, a professional photograph can impel others to approach the individual.

Professional photography will probably be more expensive than amateur photography but is worth the price tag. It will probably be more time-consuming because multiple photos will have to be taken and deciding which photograph to use will also be necessary. Additionally, editing the photograph will require more time. The photo's lightning, contrast, borders, and other aspects might have to be adjusted before the finished product is produced. Furthermore, all this effort may be wasted if the viewer is not pleased with the result. Others can still feel unimpressed despite these efforts.

The effects of different quality photographs cannot be decisively predicted because the response of the viewers depends on multiple factors. Who the viewer is and how he/she is feeling are enormously important but so is his/her environment and how he/she encounters this photograph.

Both professional and amateur photographs have their benefits and setbacks, so each person should decide on his/her head-shot's quality independently. Deciding either way cannot guarantee any particular result, but knowing the possibilities makes choosing more justified than if the individual had been ignorant.

To find a reputable professional Photographer in your area, check out the ASMP Find a Photographer website. Photographers on this site have all been published in major magazines and are sponsored to join the site by other professional Photographers.