When you are working with a massive field service team, you might not be able to manage appointments and schedules manually. What you are required to do is invest in field service management software that will assist you with workflow management amongst other things. This software allows users to automate manual processes such as employee time sheets, service work orders and invoicing, customer management among other processes associated with key parts of your business.

How to Start a Successful Photography Business

If you have some creative photography chops, you might want to open your own business. You’re not alone. Photography is a popular profession and hobby right now—and that’s the problem. In the past decade, camera gear has become more affordable and consumer friendly, and as a result, everyone is a photographer.

But, that doesn’t mean you should toss your dreams of owning a photography business aside. It just means you have to work a little harder to set yourself apart from the flock of amateur shooters.

The planning stages

Before you buy a camera and create a website, you’ll want to do a little prep work.

1. Make a business plan

For starters, wedding and event photographer Peggy Farren says you need a business plan. Any serious entrepreneur will tell you that you need to organize your thoughts on paper. This detailed document serves as your roadmap, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition.

2. Access your financial startup needs

As part of your business plan, you’ll need to access startup funds. Camera equipment alone will cost at least $10,000, Farren says. You’ll also need business licenses, insurance, a website, and accounting software.

3. Secure startup funds

If you have enough money in your bank account to start your business, you may not need to borrow money, but most entrepreneurs need assistance. A recent study from the National Knowledge Commission shows that 63 percent of entrepreneurs “self-financed” their business, but that doesn’t mean every owner saved up their own money. Upon closer investigation, at least half of these entrepreneurs asked friends and family for financial support.

4. Figure out your personal finances

If you’re just starting out, realize that your business isn’t going to be profitable overnight. It took 18 months for Farren’s business, Avant-Garde Images, to make enough money to pay the bills. Like Farren, you might have to work another job to make ends meet until your business is generating enough money.

To help you learn when you’ll hit the break even point, use this calculator to crunch the numbers.

5. Get professional experience

You’ll need to show your prospective clients what you can do, and working alongside a professional photographer is a great way to get some experience and start to build a portfolio. Farren worked as a photographer’s assistant while starting her own business.

6. Buy camera gear

When it comes to camera gear, Farren says you’ll need two cameras, two high quality lenses, two flashes, and Photoshop and Lightroom to edit the images. Why two cameras? You need backup equipment. Even new equipment breaks, Farren says.

If you buy used gear, you can get everything for about $5,000, but Farren says $10,000 is more realistic. Of course, you can always upgrade gear as you go.

7. Come up with a pricing plan

How much will you charge for your services? It’s a tough question for every photographer, especially when you’re just starting out. Figure out what one hour of your time is worth. Let’s say you believe your time is worth $50/hour. For every hour you spend shooting, you’ll spend about three hours editing. You need to factor that into your pricing. So, in this equation you would charge $200 for a one-hour photo session. Of course, your pricing structure is your own, this is just a way to come up with a starting point.

8. Invest in a killer website

Once you’ve come up with a name for your photography business, you’ll need a website. There are free website templates out there, but your website is like your storefront. You want it to be impressive, so it’s best to have a website professionally created.

Your website should, of course, showcase your work. That’s what your clients will want to see. Keep your site organized by breaking your galleries up by category. Include a picture of yourself and a page that describes your background and experience. Contact information is also a must. It’s a good idea to list at least some of your prices. This helps manage customer expectations and keeps people from trying to negotiate for a lower price. Here’s what Farren uses as a pricing guide on her website.

 

Blogs

Having a definite idea of what you want your event photography service to accomplish could make your job as the owner and primary manager much easier. There will probably be difficulties you will face when attempting to meet the goals you set. Consider the following approaches when planning your wedding photography service to be successful and expand.

Reaching a milestone ought to be celebrated. However, it really doesn’t mean you should walk away from your event photography service. The most successful businesses are constantly managed and constantly trying new tips to achieve growth. The very best way to create a successful photography company is to be focused and committed. Weathering the hard times is way easier when your photography company is flexible and open to new tips and methods that can improve the way you do wedding photography service.

Businesses still need to proceed and grow even after initial goals are completed; achieving a set of aims is not really the end point. If progress slows down your event photography service will halt, therefore you have to continue to identify new goals. Staying current with industry trends and maintaining a commitment to excellence are both essential to growing your wedding photography service. Improving and expanding your engagement photography service is not hard if you identify new products and services that reflect new market trends.

Anyone who interacts with customers needs to project a positive, confident attitude at every interaction. It probably won’t come as any surprise that great images can significantly improve your website, so be sure to show off your photography skills so people can get an idea of just how good you are. The customers you encounter while doing event photography service should feel at home as well as appreciated. One major aspect of employee training is coaching them on how they should interact with the customers. Happy customers become repeat customers, and they tell their friends to frequent your wedding photography service.

Personal experience is certainly an integral asset in event photography service. Most experts say there’s no better way to learn than personal experience if you’re trying to become knowledgeable about the wedding photography service world. To operate your own successful engagement photography service, any on the job skills and awareness you gain will probably be helpfull. Reading a book about wedding photography service fails in comparison to what you will obtain through work experience.

Customers can make repeat purchase at a photography company they got the very best customer service. Ensure customer satisfaction is high on your priority list to ensure that your customers keep coming back. Long-term client loyalty and support, even in the face of event photography service updates, depends on a photography company being able to follow a set of principles that ensure great-quality service. Businesses that are likely to cause vigour competition are certainly the ones with high quality products and services.

 

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Amazing Time-Lapse Video of Chicago

Posted by macgraphoto on May 24, 2017
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Category: Blog

I started preparing for this project last year but actual pictures began in January since we did not get much snow last winter. So I would say about 8 months of shooting and collecting pictures. I wanted to cover a lot of events throughout Chicago that is why it took so long. First big event was St. Patrick’s Day river dyeing green. It was shot specifically for this project but I decided to release it on Youtube since it came out so well.

Ideas for angels and some specific point of view came to me down the road. There is so many great time lapses of Chicago and I had to take it to the next level with picture quality, interesting POV, movement and editing. Viewer expectations nowadays are so high that it had to be unique.

Editing started in July when I found the perfect licensed music for the project. I did not want to rush it and wanted to cover Air & Water Show, full moon, fireworks at Navy Pier etc. Piece by piece I was putting it together and it started to look good so I was hungry for more. I finally had what was in my plan and here it is. It has been a very long journey on the streets of Chicago but definitely it’s definitely satisfying. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Space Travels Through Norway

Posted by macgraphoto on May 24, 2017
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Category: Blog

This series came about last summer when I felt like showing off our spectacular high mountain country in Norway. Why not have an astronaut to be my explorer?

It took a while to find the right astronaut, an experienced hiker and climber. Someone willing to stand at the very edge of a rock with his back against a drop of 1000 m (30,280 ft).

The astronaut poses were inspired by the newly arrived masses of  tourists visiting our country. Tourists standing around like zombies, taking selfies at the most absurd places  and at times risking their lives.

High Speed Photography for Beginners

Posted by macgraphoto on May 24, 2017
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Category: Blog

HIGH SPEED PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BEGINNERS

The use of high-speed cameras for still image photography and cinema has become widely popular. Although modern advances have made this technology more readily accessible, the key techniques have been around since approximately the mid-1800s.

What is high-speed photography?

In still photography, high speed refers to photographs created with a one millisecond or shorter exposure time. High-speed video includes actions that are captured at 250 FPS or faster. FPS is a term to describe frame rates per second. The frame rate is how often frames are displayed. If an event is seized at 250 FPS and played back at 25 FPS, it will appear to have slowed down by a factor of 10. 

Early photographers understood that mechanical shutters had limited abilities when it came down to speed. In the mid-1800s a high-speed shutter was introduced to photograph cannonballs in motion. The exposure was 1/50 second, by current standards that is rather slow, but at its time was groundbreaking.

How have shutters evolved over the years?

Generally, to create a bright light pulse, bare electric sparks were often used to halt rapid motion. They were about a fraction of a millisecond long. Today’s modern shutter on a DSLR or digital single-lens reflex camera can manage exposures of 0.25 millisecond. However, the electronic flash units that accompany these models are small and may offer exposures that are only around 0.025 milliseconds. That amount to ten times less than what the camera offers.

When attempting to capture a fast event, a good technique breaks down into three key steps: method, moment, and duration. This just means that the quality of your results is determined by the way you look, the time you look, and the duration. All three steps, along with having a quality high speed camera such as a unit from IDT are equally important. The method is mainly how the lighting and equipment are put in place. The moment and duration are all about the right timing, which is the trickiest components to control.

Can a DSLR capture high speed events efficiently?

Low key fast events can be recorded with a DSLR, a small flash unit, and a cheap timing device. Specialized gear isn’t always necessary. The use of an electronic flash instead of shutter speed is what the high-speed still photography method is all about. To avoid blur, transient actions need extremely brief exposure times. This means lots of light during that very short span.

A DSLR with a fast shutter may still lack sufficient existing light for the best exposure. Also, since a shutter scans across the sensor at high speeds, the whole image isn’t precisely created simultaneously. This may lead to a distorted moving object in the picture.

Is it best to use a flash?

On the contrary, a flash will expose the whole image at once. However, it is hard to pre-determine how the lighting will appear, but that ability will develop with experience. A flash is also useful for getting the perfect moment. The reality is the brief delay between hitting the shutter button and opening it makes it hard to get the exact image you are trying to achieve.

The open shutter technique is much easier for grabbing the perfect moment in time. Operating in a dark room the shutter is opened on a long exposure.  If there is no light, the film won’t expose. The flash activates at just the right time in the event. Quality high-speed photography is determined by how quickly the film is exposed to light.  The shorter the burst of light the better.

The last parameter is duration. Whether you perfectly synchronize your camera and event precisely, anytime exposure is too long, a blurred image will result. Here, a handheld flash unit can save the day by reducing the output of power, you will shorten the flash duration and produce the desired 1/50,000 second exposure times.

What is special about high speed video photography?

The three-step approach of method, moment, and duration also apply to shooting high speed video. In contrast, to still photography, minimum flicker needs to be continually maintained while all sources of light remain on. The need for costly cameras and studio lighting puts this type of photography out of reach for many photographers.

However, high speed video photography is very well used in many scientific applications such as automotive and aerospace research, human sports performance and in manufacturing industries. The artistic value shines in the business of cinema and television. High-speed photography crosses the line that often separates science and art.

Rescued Animal Photography

Posted by macgraphoto on May 24, 2017
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Category: Blog

My photographs exist in that space between dreams and waking. At the age of 32, I am currently working on my art collector’s book in occasion of 10 years anniversary of my career. My passion for nature brought me the idea to make a collection of conceptual photography with wild rescued animals. I admire people who dedicate their time to rescuing stray animals, these are one of the best kind of people!
I worked 10 years as a freelance photographer and I could meet people who saved wild animals. It was always a magic moment to see their devotion to this issue. I met a rescuer who saved a young female roe deer who’s mother lost her life to hunting games. She took care of her and gave her shelter among other rescued animals.

Few years ago I visited a forester who took two wounded wild foxes into his care. I am grateful I had the opportunity to capture them for one of my photos. Another amazing experience was a case of a young deer who was rescued during summer harvest. Many of these creatures are hiding in corn fields, which is dangerous and fatal for many of them. Most stories have a happy ending and some of these animals were able to return to wild nature when they got stronger.

Solitude is often my topic for my work as well. My photography project called “I Found The Silence” is like a diary during my last 8 years. When I am alone I may fear that I will somehow live a life of loneliness or I may discover some truths about myself that can be scary or hurtful. Being alone is not bad. In fact, it is a time to meditate, discover yourself. It is time for inner peace. In this world of chaos and distractions, we have gotten into a habit of not stopping, being busy and surrounding ourselves with things that are loud, disturbing and continuous. Being alone in the silence is actually one of the healthiest moments you can have with yourself. The series “I Found The Silence” shows us in different moments of our inner peace and discovering yourself.