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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 16 Jul 2018 (Monday) 09:39
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Long time member looking for help.

 
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urbanfreestyle
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Jul 16, 2018 09:39 |  #1

Hi all,
So as some of you know i have been here a little while and have been (im my opinion) a good contributer to the site and the photography scene. I have recently had a few oportunities come up and am looking for some help, advice and support from the community.

I have started a gofund me page to help me get my dream setup as my Fuji X-E1 can't cope with the abbuse i'm putting it through lately.
Photography and the community have always been my rock and would hate to miss out on something that could change my life for the better.

Anyways i appreciate any help or advise or support anyone can give me in making this work out for me.
Please see my gofund me campaign below:

https://www.gofundme.c​om/mv2v7t-shooting-for-the-stars (external link)


Thank you all for your time.
Geoff


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jul 17, 2018 02:57 |  #2

Before I start, you have some really powerful (and brave) images amongst your work. Have you submitted those to any serious photo magazines/websites? If not you really should.

Geoff,
If you had asked for money to go on a business course or a photography course I would have donated. But a request to buy better kit? Sorry. A better camera isn't going to make you a better photographer and it certainly isn't going to make you a successful businessman. Put simply your camera is not your problem. You have far more fundamental issues that are holding you back and until you solve those any money spent on kit would be money wasted.

1. You have a great camera. It may not have the long lens you think you need to succeed but the fact is that a good photographer/businessm​an would be able to create great images with it and make money from them. You could be shooting some great close up equine portraits (rider and horse posed nicely) and the images would be far more saleable than the work currently displayed on your FB page.
Shots like this https://www.facebook.c​om …477197161/83931​7226227079 (external link) are the sort of things people love - though you do have problems with your basic technique/composition that you need to solve.

A bigger camera/long lens won't make your images better, it will just allow you to take the same images from further away.

2. I'm not saying you are a bad photographer but you are a terrible editor. I am sure I take just as many bad/mediocre photos as you but the difference is I smother mine at birth and bury the bodies in the basement. You publish yours on your FB page.
The photo I linked to above comes from this Album https://www.facebook.c​om …&album_id=83931​6776227124 (external link) To get to that photo I have to through 10 photos of horses arses/people's backs. You also have several out of focus shots in your albums (or else they are so badly compressed by FB that they look out of focus). There is also a lot of repetition - virtually the same shot several times. These need to be edited down to just the best version. Put simply, human's don't judge your abilities based on your best work, but on your worst. If you want to make money from photography you need to move away from publishing all your photos and towards publishing only your best.

3. Compositional issues, There are lots of basic compositional mistakes in your images. Feet are cut off, you take the shot just as someone is walking past (instead of waiting for them to pass), objects/people obstructing the view, people/things behind/sticking out of the subject; and lots and lots of photos of people's backs.

If I had to make one guess about you as a photographer it would be that you are nervous and don't feel comfortable about approaching strangers and taking control of a situation, in order to get the best shot possible. Most of the shots in your dog show album appear to be taken either without posing the subjects at all or without keeping control long enough to get the shot. This is a real pity because a few well executed pet portraits would make for a great portfolio. Pet owners are worse than parents - they will spend silly money on their "babies". Same applies to the horse portraits. You appear to be grabbing the shot while the groom is working, resulting in bits of groom sticking out from behind your subject. You really need to be asking them if they would mind/like to pose with the horse, or step out of shot while holding the reigns so you can take a shot.

4. Not all doom and gloom - marketing.
On the plus side you seem to be making real efforts to market yourself in the local press (and then posting about that online). That is good and something that many people overlook.

Conclusion
Sorry that this isn't the financial support you were hoping for but I honestly believe that addressing these issues will have an actual positive effect on your ability to earn money, while a new camera will not.

Special note about backs: Backs are generally uninteresting. We don't usually learn anything about a person from their back. Newer street photographers often shoot a lot of backs because they are nervous about being confronted by their subject, if they shoot them from the front, so don't take the shot until the person has passed by/turned away.

Shots from behind can work in some specific situations but you need to understand how/when....
i. Body language.
I'm pretty sure that most people would be able to work out how this game is going just based on this guy's body language (external link).
ii. They are a prop, not the actual subject.
In this shot (external link) the golfer is an integral part of the scene but the actual subject is the sponsor's logo. This shot is designed specifically to appeal to the sponsor, rather than the player or fans.
iii. Shared viewership.
There are various techniques for guiding the viewers eyes. When you see someone looking into the scene that prompts you to look too. I took several versions of this shot (external link) but none were as strong as this one where this group stood front/right corner looking up the street. Unfortunately this is fast becoming an overused cliche thanks to Instagram's endless deluge of "my perfect life" shots of a lucky individual standing on a cliff edge staring off towards Nirvana :rolleyes:.
iv. The unseen assailant (I don't have one of these).
Someone or something is about to happen to the person. They are unaware of it but you can see it. It creates tension in the image.


Dan Marchant
Website/blog: danmarchant.com (external link)
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urbanfreestyle
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Jul 17, 2018 16:13 |  #3

Hi Dan,
Firstly I have not really contacted many magazines / websites about getting photos featured. I have had 3 photos published in a local magazine and 2 in the local press.

Secondly thank you for the critique, whilst I don't agree with all the comments I appreciate the feedback from another set of eyes, you are correct that I have a lot of self confidence issues and find it hard to have the courage to direct a scene and really own the situation however often the images I try to take are more candid and I am not a personal fan of posed images. Perhaps I could encourage some interaction with the subjects and have them continue doing their thing but just look up at me and give me a smile (For example)

I agree that a better camera does not take better images, in fact some of my favourite (and early shots) were taken with a £60 Canon 350D and £90 sigma lens. However where I do feel restricted is my ability to place myself in the correct area (due to physical barriers or animals getting weary) thus longer reach allows me to apply my skills without having to crop a 55mm image x10 or whatever.

As so far as editing, I tend to edit for what I like, I see some of the most popular images on Flickr are incredibly poorly done HDR photos and I despise these. Does that mean I am wrong? I do take on board though that if I am aiming to make a larger business I need to showcase what the public like rather than something that is perhaps technically correct.

I will certainly focus on building my confidence on the street and at events, as the worst that can happen is they ask to delete it.

Whilst a small donation would have been nice I truly appreciate the feedback and shall take this on board whilst continuing my campaign.


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OhLook
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Jul 17, 2018 17:39 |  #4

urbanfreestyle wrote in post #18664801 (external link)
I tend to edit for what I like, I see some of the most popular images on Flickr are incredibly poorly done HDR photos and I despise these. Does that mean I am wrong?

No. Images that get a lot of upvotes aren't necessarily images that sell. More people will press a button to give a thumbs-up to a colorful, exotic landscape than want one on their wall.

I do take on board though that if I am aiming to make a larger business I need to showcase what the public like rather than something that is perhaps technically correct.

Trying to aim at the whole public may not work. The public is so diverse. They don't all like the same kind of thing. It makes sense to go for something you're really good at and let the customers select themselves.

I will certainly focus on building my confidence on the street and at events, as the worst that can happen is they ask to delete it.

I worry more about having my camera grabbed and getting beaten up. :-(


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | IMAGE EDITING OK

  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jul 17, 2018 22:59 |  #5

urbanfreestyle wrote in post #18664801 (external link)
Hi Dan,
Firstly I have not really contacted many magazines / websites about getting photos featured. I have had 3 photos published in a local magazine and 2 in the local press.

I was referring to your Anxiety project. I think it is the sort of thing a serious photo magazine/site would be interested in.

As so far as editing, I tend to edit for what I like, I see some of the most popular images on Flickr are incredibly poorly done HDR photos and I despise these. Does that mean I am wrong? I do take on board though that if I am aiming to make a larger business I need to showcase what the public like rather than something that is perhaps technically correct.

Sorry I wasn't referring to Post Processing but to Editing.... as in editing a body of work. Can you explain why (10) shots of horses walking with their back to you is worth posting? Why having out of focus shots is a good idea? Why repeating the same image (instead of just the strongest one) is good?


Dan Marchant
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urbanfreestyle
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Jul 18, 2018 02:12 |  #6

Ok somewhat diverted away from my original request and now turning into a critique my work which is not what I asked for, the images posted generally show the whole story, this is often what my clients have asked for, if the photos of the backs of horses are often additional shots of our own / friends horses and one of which has died thus is a memory.

I appreciate the feedback of how to be a 'better' photographer.


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avondale87
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Jul 18, 2018 02:49 as a reply to  @ urbanfreestyle's post |  #7

Geoff I can't add to the photography part, but from business, people's interest, your 'saleability', that's a very subjective thing, and as you just mentioned if people ask for such, then if you can, successfully, meet that need then that's good.

It's really about what makes you buzz, come alive inside, and the passion and dedication to pursue this.
That will reflect in your work, your output, and is what You will be known for that is a magnet to those so in need.

As OhLook says

Trying to aim at the whole public may not work. The public is so diverse

that is so true.


Not taking anything away from what advice others have offered one iota. Put that together with what I'm intimating at and it will work.
And you will be happy and your clients will be.

Sounds easy, not suggesting it's a walk in the park. Unfortunately life's rarely that.

Just keep focused, be adaptable, not too rigid and don't give up.
All the best.

Richard.



Richard

  
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urbanfreestyle
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Jul 18, 2018 04:08 as a reply to  @ avondale87's post |  #8

Thanks for the feedback. I used to own a 1d3 ages ago and know what i can create with it, sadly i moved away from something i enjoyed due to the amount of backstabbing that was going on with that community. I then went back to my roots in street / night shooting and started doing what i wanted.

I'm just looking forward to getting back into it whole heartedly.


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-Duck-
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Jul 18, 2018 09:36 |  #9

Here is my problem with this thread. First, you are panhandling for something you should be earning. If it's as simple as begging for money on a go fund me page, heck, I have a camera I've been eyeing for about a year now. The community doesn't owe you so there is no incentive for the community to shoulder your expenses. You haven't contributed enough to warrant that kind of magnanimity.

Then there is your attitude. A seasoned professional stepped in with solid advice, from a non vested point of view and all you did was make excuses. With that action alone you present yourself as entitled. You propose to know better than every professional on this board and the lack of humility shows you are not ready to move forward. I agree with every single point Dan made in his post. Your work is amateurish and it is clear to anyone who has experience that you have a ways to go. But to make excuses for if only shows us you are unbelievable to go there. So why would we, as a community, invest in someone who's not willing to learn?

Humility is a wise teacher.

Good luck with your endeavors. To quote Shark Tank, "I'm out!"


"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
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Jul 18, 2018 09:50 |  #10

Why not sign up for credit and do payments on new equipment?

That is what I've done.

I didn't start a go fund me. I wouldn't ask other photogs who've paid their dues to fund me.
This isn't the right audience for that.
My day job (non photography) pays for me to play photographer on the weekends.
You may have to get a 'real' job and build up your equipment and portfolio so you can switch to your photography as your full time job.
This is not a bad thing.


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urbanfreestyle
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Jul 18, 2018 09:59 as a reply to  @ -Duck-'s post |  #11

I would like to correct you.
A seasoned professional stepped in with advice. as i said in the reply i appreciate the feedback and will take some of it on board. just because someone is a professional i dont have to agree with everything someone says. i did not make excuses, i offered a conversational reply.

At no point did i say that anyone owed me. i dont think people owe me and i do work my a$$ off for the things i have.

I am not looking for handouts but i am looking for support. Something there is / has been a lot of on this forum. I don't owe homeless people anything so why do i donate money to them? because i believe sometimes people need a hand an i am in a position that although i dont have much, i can.

I never claimed to be the best photographer in the world thus your point of me being 'entitiled' is not really relevant.

i am passionate and determined to make something of myself through whatever means i need to. if i need to ask for help, be it crittique, financial or otherwise i will.

Again i dont understand why i should need to justify myself. I am who i am, my work is what it is and i am asking for support. not to be told how "amateurish" my work is.


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Hogloff
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Jul 18, 2018 10:12 as a reply to  @ urbanfreestyle's post |  #12
bannedPermanent ban

My kids picked fruit, worked at fast food restaurants, cleaned motel rooms, cleaned camping sites, painted tar onto docks and many more jobs in order to earn their way through college. They are now very successful in their careers.

I suggest you look yourself in the mirror and try doing what my kids did to get ahead. Panhandling on the net just rubs me wrong. Pick yourself off your ass and take responsibility for your own future.




  
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urbanfreestyle
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Jul 18, 2018 10:17 |  #13

ksbal wrote in post #18665270 (external link)
Why not sign up for credit and do payments on new equipment?

That is what I've done.

I didn't start a go fund me. I wouldn't ask other photogs who've paid their dues to fund me.
This isn't the right audience for that.
My day job (non photography) pays for me to play photographer on the weekends.
You may have to get a 'real' job and build up your equipment and portfolio so you can switch to your photography as your full time job.
This is not a bad thing.

Thanks for the reply.
I try to stay away from credit cards - been in bad places with them before.

I do have a 'real' job working in IT however sadly i dont have any funds available at the end of each month (often short of fuel for my car etc)
I am not just funding my new kit this way. I am also selling my other camera kit, computer kit etc to put towards it.

I don't want to argue with people etc about this, if people feel they would like to contribute or share or offer advice i welcome it all, just dont agree with everything. Honest is all i can be.

Thanks :-)


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Jul 18, 2018 10:17 |  #14

This is getting personal. If you don't want to donate, move along. No need to beat the guy up.


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urbanfreestyle
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Jul 18, 2018 10:21 |  #15

Hogloff wrote in post #18665281 (external link)
My kids picked fruit, worked at fast food restaurants, cleaned motel rooms, cleaned camping sites, painted tar onto docks and many more jobs in order to earn their way through college. They are now very successful in their careers.

I suggest you look yourself in the mirror and try doing what my kids did to get ahead. Panhandling on the net just rubs me wrong. Pick yourself off your ass and take responsibility for your own future.

WOW! that is personal!

I have worked since i was 14, the longest i have been out of work for was 1 week when i came back from working overseas, i donate my time to cover charity events, i train guide dogs. I have dealt with family deaths, a wife who has severe depression, i work a full time job (7:30am - 8pm) and i keep smiling through it all despite having a few mental breakdowns (yes the cut arm in the depression and anxiety project is real and mine)

I like to think i am a good person.

Might be worth knowing someone before going there.


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