Providing photography equipment and expertise to amateur and professional photographers alike

Is the Image OK to Use?

You’ve found the perfect image through Google images and for your presentation or post. Before you copy and paste, make sure you can use this photo. You don’t want to discover down the road that the image is owned by someone else who can threaten you with copyright infringement.

Forewarned is forearmed

Thanks to some creative and insightful individuals, it’s snow possible to find the image source and use information with the help of reverse search engines!

These sites work by submitting a chosen image to the site. They then compile a list of sites where that image appears, usually in different sizes. Using this tool saves you from having to deal with the minefield that is the Internet and fair use by getting as close to the source as possible. Save yourself the hassle of a cease and desist order and check out these links! -A popular and widely used engine. Limits at 1 MB. -Uses Google to work, but you’re able to submit multiple images and many other features. -This image works exclusively with Reddit, great for preventing re-posts by digging through all popular Subreddits. -Obviously the most popular search engine on the planet, Google hosts the largest image database in the world. Nuff said.

 Found a cool image that you want to use? Find its source!

Wedding Photography – 5 things that have changed the look and feel.

       Brides are looking for spunk, new and fresh ideas for their wedding photography. A few things add to this. We explored these ideas because as a photographer you must stay on top of the trends.

      1. Viral Photos have caused a popularity contest. If a photo goes viral it must be good right? Or at least a new look. Take a look at these pre wedding photos that went viral in Tibet. They will end up being ageless.

      2. The Story that accompanies the photo is just as important now. In this story, it was a funny story that was taken badly publicly. The couple responded with kindness and love. That love and kindness resulted in even more photos being taken professionally.

      3. Selfies everyone loves the selfie look. Selfies have made their way into being a ‘’moment’’ for professionals to photograph. In fact, it might even be hard to not get at least one professional picture of selfies being made, as seen here.

      4. Social Media means instant sharing. Can you, as the photographer, provide a process for that? If you did, you might be a step ahead on sales points. Consider a simple cell phone being passed around a wedding to have all those pictures in one spot.

      5. Personalities are original and unique. People in general want to let their colors shine. Those same people want that personality to show through in their wedding photos.

All five of these items require is to adapt to the ever-changing bride. The days of truly classic posing is gone or drastically reduced. Recently and accidentally a picture became a sensation. It was tilted and one that many would have deleted. It cuts off part of the arms of the wedding party. The Happy Couple loved it. This could very well be the next trend. Either way, what we, as photographers, consider right or correct photos is not always what the bride and groom want.


Filters and the Four Surprising Affects They Have

Did you know that filters are being studied? Instagram has changed how we view pictures, part of that is because of filters. Arizona State University has been studying filters for over a year now. Filters dramatically change how people react to pictures. Some of us remember the days of screw on filters to add star bursts or warming effects, not to mention the multitudes of other filters available.

Here’s what we found in the studies. Serious photographers use filters to correct a problem.  Casual users use the filters to make pictures appear more artificial. My own experience is that there is a group of “serious” photographers who use filters to enhance photos in a creative way while not going too far. Things get interesting when you look at how viewers react. Pictures with filters used tend to get more interaction and reaction.

      Four things happen.

     1. There is a positive reaction to the warmth factor.

     2. Viewers seem to feel these photos have fewer flaws.

     3. Surprisingly, the “new” look of these photos is well received.

     4. People feel like the photo has a more professional look.

Here at Pro Studio Supply, we carry one of the most unique software with unlimited filter options, Tiffen’s FX Digital Filter Suite. It starts with 94 different filters and a host of other applications that can revolutionize your photography. Think about having digital gels, multiple layers of multiple filters or even making your client a cartoon for something fun. We know that filters are not new. The “new” idea behind filters is that they are better understood. Moreover, people like the look.

The idea that filters are being studied might be amusing to the seasoned photographer. One thing can be said as a professional photographer you can use filters to stand out from the crowd that has not yet embraced the digital filter.


How Photographers Can Avoid Upsetting the Bride

We scoured the internet looking at what brides dislike most about their wedding photography experience. Surprisingly it came down two issues, neither being the actual photographs. These are communications and presentation.

     Here is what a bride and groom expect from you.

    1. Deliver on time. Brides do not want to keep hearing you are busy, another week is needed, or any of those types of delays. Give the bride a date and stick to it.

    2. Direct the couple during the photography. You are the expert and should have the ideas. Offering direction begins in the pre-wedding discussions.

    3. Recognize the customer is always right. You should listen to the type of pictures the bride wants and stick to the shot list. The shot list should be agreed to in the pre-wedding discussions.

    4. Shoot in the style the bride wants. If you can’t or won’t shoot in the style she wants, be upfront with her at the get-go. Suggest other photographers who may please her more. You may not gain a client, but your colleagues will appreciate the referral and your reputation will stay intact.

    5. Make the presentation special. Photo presentation is as much as part of the event as the ceremony itself. Keep her feeling special by going the extra mile to present her wedding as a gift to her.

    6. No cheap CDs or jump drives. Cheap presentation makes your photography look less desirable. Photography is a big investment. Use a suitable-sized, well-constructed and elegant portfolio box that presents your work with pride. You can add branding these boxes for additional exposure. If you’re going to use a CD or jump drive, then use a CD/DVD presentation album or consider this style of the jump drive.

    7. Don’t half present your product. If you only have final photos but the prints and books aren’t ready, then wait for the books and prints.

Our advice is to go out of your way and make the photography experience as special as the rest of the wedding. You are providing the memories the couple will cherish.

Who Prints Your Personal Pictures?

­­­Who is printing your client’s pictures? The quality of your final prints can be a factor in how that photo will be handled. If you’re a professional photographer using Walgreen’s, Costco or even Sam’s club you are undermining your value! If you have pictures that are simple snapshots it might be ok. But quality photography deserves quality printing.

If you do not follow that practice it will be difficult to sell that concept to your clients. A print made from a pro lab will be better than those from a consumer retailer! They’re usually protected by a portfolio cover or stored more carefully in a portfolio box. If a lower cost print is damaged, they may be easier to replace, but a higher-quality print will be treated much better and cherished longer.

A higher quality print offers better credibility. People are more willing to invest more in them. Your eyes, your technical skills and your personal attention to details all add to your professionalism. People are more willing to pay more for quality.

As a professional, you can explain the importance of you’re using quality photo labs do result in better prints. If you are going to invest in a photo shoot, also invest in quality prints to honor the session. Your clients are worth the extra cost of high quality prints.

When they order prints, remember the importance of presenting them in a quality manner. A simple envelope may not cut it. Provide them with a personalized logo imprinted on a quality photo folder in a personalized photo box and they will generate referrals and more business. Professionals understand the importance of delivering their work in quality packaging. Pro Studio features a variety of photo packaging to choose from.

Color calibration doesn’t end before the print process. A good understanding of paper profiles used to match a printer model does produce higher color quality. Better quality papers inherently produce higher archival properties. Better papers are heavier and can stand up to more handling with out sudden bends and folds unlike cheaper papers. Finally, once mounted and framed, can and should last hundreds of years without deterioration.

A combination photo shoot.

A few weeks ago I covered a local event called the BrewTown Rumble. It was part portrait session for the Pin-up models of a pageant and part location candids. These lovely ladies wanted great professional portraits which required a studio set-up and my Nikon DSLR. For the location candids, I tend to use my iPhone6. If you know your equipment and lighting this combination works incredibly well.

In regards to the portrait session, it’s important to be in control of your lighting.  I use Wescxott TD5 Florescent lighting with softboxes. I prefer the constant light rather than strobes due to my not doing portrait work full time. The constant lighting allows me to see where my shadows fall and how the light effects my models faces before taking the picture. Strobe lighting is a skill all photographers should know how to use especially full-time photographers.

My florescent lamps are ‘’daylight’’ rated and I can mix the natural sunlight into my studio session. Depending on the specific situation, it can add to the portrait. It’s another benefit of using daylight florescent lamps.

Once I started covering the days event, I like using my iPhone. It becomes my simple ‘’point-n-shoot’’ camera so I can concentrate strictly on composition. I own and use a Moment telephoto lens plus the standard iPhone lens. I quickly and easily switch between the two as needed. Using the iPhone allows me to be less intrusive. Photos are also easier to take as people are less intimidated now by cell phones. Cell phones allow you to be far more reactive at events. The lower you can get to the ground with your iPhone the more impact your photos will have.

Have more questions about iPhone photography? Send me an email and lets talk about it and checkout my iPhone site at

Instagram and the Best Practices for Photographers

Instagram has become a dominate social media outlet for artists and photographers. 21% of adults are using it with 53% between the ages of 18-29. That puts your prospects right in the age range of needing a professional photographer. That makes Instagram an important means to spread word message.

If you do a Google search on protecting your images on Instagram you’ll find 17,700,000 results. I weeded through many sites to gather some useful information to help you stop the likes of Richard Prince from using your photos for their gain. Unfortunately, It is possible to have others to profit from your hard work. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your images.

Every client must sign a release allowing the use of their photos on Instagram and other social media outlets. Many releases may not include the details of social media so a section that addresses it must be updated. This could protect you from unintentional uses of your photo.

Never upload a full resolution files. Several of the social media outlets downgrade the image quality intentionally at uploading. Many of todays DSLR’s are so sharp you may have to downsize them yourself.

You can also add a variety watermarks to every image before uploading to any site. Watermarks can go from a detailed logo to a simple name faded over an image. Some may be annoyed by this practice so you need to decide how and where you want to use it on your images. Often the lower right corner or upper left hand corner are the most common and the the way most people view images. An other simple method is to upload only a part of an image without removing any crucial part of the picture.  

There is quite a bit of info on this topic. “Stop stealing my sh*t!” covers the highly technical ways you can protect yourself on Instagram and other social media outlets. Go to this link for a worthwhile article by for some great details.


Senior Picture Season

       We spent some time on different social media outlets to see what was happening with Senior pictures in 2015. We found some varying results. We at Pro Studio Supply thought we could keep you informed of our findings. It’s very important that photographers stay current on shooting styles or info or get lost in the shuffle.

       1. Outdoor shoots are the majority of pictures on Pinterest and Instagram. We found two looks on Twitter that surprised us. The first was a variety of fancy dresses. Some appeared to come right out of a wedding magazine. The other was a highly personalized look. Props are pretty much the same and used frequently in pictures. Overall, the vast majority of pictures on Pinterest were all taken outdoors.

       2. A more traditional headshot was more prominent on Instagram. The posing of the senior was also more traditional. Overall the pictures had less quality for technicalities and composition. The pictures on Instagram were also far more casual.

You have to decide as the photographer if you will offer indoor and outdoor pictures. There is an argument to be made that both can be appropriate. If you want pictures that capture personality and the life of a senior outdoors is probably the way to go. Those same pictures, however, may not meet the requirements of the school to be included in the yearbook.

The most consistently purchased prints are still Wallets! We offer a real variety of types that all parents love to have and use. There’s a los a great variety Wallet Sized Keychains to choose from. They help remind everybody of their Sr. the way they were. Most parents we’ve encountered want some senior pictures to highlight these important milestones.

Consider Instagram as a place to post those pictures that you have a release for. It does seem that Pinterest might be a hard way to reach new clients by the looks of the pictures and the volume, but it needs to be in your mix of SEO. Instagram is not the same, entirely, and might be a great way to reach more clients. Remember, tagging the senior and your city with senior pictures will get them seen by the parents and people you need more business from on Instagram.

Client Retention and Loyalty

Do you reward your clients for returning?  If you do, bravo! If you do not, you should consider what’s the best way for you.  The most obvious is to always encourage your client to come back. Do something more like send them a free print with a thank you goes a long way towards loyalty. It also has the added benefit of encouraging prints to be made.

Thinking outside the box is important, however.  Offering free downloads is great idea. Allowing the client to share the album on social media rather than downloading the pictures allows traffic back to your website. Many of the portfolio websites do allow for the sharing of an album in such a way as to gain that traffic back to your website. You can easily offer to do that for your clients as a part of a loyalty program feature.

Discounts on prints are another way to encourage referrals and return clients. Clients like to feel valued and cared for. It is important to remember that photography is a highly personal item to people.

Being loyal to your clients is also important. I make sure to inquire on big happenings after the fact. Many clients will talk about the things going on in life during a shoot. I like to ask when delivering the finals a few questions about how those things are going. Example: A client that’s talking about a promotion should be asked how it went the next time you speak to them.  Or a client that mentions an up-coming celebration should be asked if it was a great event as they anticipated.

Why the Selfie Might Help the Photographer Out

This generation of “selfie” photographers has dynamically changed the landscape of photos. People are once again in love with photos of themselves. Moms who did not take the time before to take pictures are now.

This renewed interest in photos is a boon to photographers who choose to maximize this idea. Be creative! Figure out a way to encourage those same Moms or people in general to understand why a professional picture might be a nice luxury.

Imagine this; a side by side photo of yourself; one professional and one as a selfie, which will have more impact? Further only one of these says I love myself enough to do something special for my family. One says we are worth more and the other says we are worth a quick fix.

Yes, it is an indulgence in this day and age to have a professional portrait done of yourself or your family. Your client’s and potential clients are worth it. You just need to find a way to visually show them they are worth it. Think to your own Facebook pages. People who take the step to have a professional picture get more likes, comments and shares.

Think about how different the professional picture looks now. In the day and age of no selfies all the personal pictures looked somewhat similar. They were either a snapshot or professional. Now in this day and age your work STANDS out. Use that to your advantage.Check out this great Smartphone Selfie Stick NEW at Pro Studio!

Remember, after you do the shoot, remind your clients to PRINT there pictures and treat is as an indulgence!

Thank you Jodie at Studio J Images in MN. A very special customer of mine!