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Shop Light Photography

Hi Guys,


I just did this entire session with about $20 worth of lighting. Here’s the deal – I’ve  been getting a lot of e-mail’s from newer photographers saying things like.. if I only had all the equipment you had etc… I could produce the same results. This got me thinking (which is very scary) that I should do an entire session with very basic lighting or possibly even my pocket camera to prove that it’s not just the equipment, but the the understanding of how to use the equipment and how to “see light”. Maybe I will do my next session with my iphone, or my Canon G20.


Here’s one of the images from the shoot. Let me know what you think and give me some feedback as to what you would like me to blog about next.


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Is Your Sports Envelope Killing Your Sales?

Try These Proven Tips to Improve Your Sports Photography Envelopes


Not a week goes by that I don’t have an envelope from a photographer come across my desk that is so bloated and so confusing it’s no wonder their order averages are suffering. The problems on the envelopes are all across the board, but range from poor packaging creation (low margins), poor layout and design, etc.… The one from last week which prompted this post was on a No. 10 envelope, imprinted on one side with the information for the parents to fill out. Please STOP doing this! You are killing your sales.


Rant over. Now let me give you 5 tips for creating an effective youth sports envelope.


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Lighting Black On Black

This is a shot I took a couple months ago for a training video we were shooting for PSU.  I thought shooting the black dress on the black background would have a lot of impact. The key when shooting a black object on a black background is to create separation from the background. The best way to create separation from the background is creating highlights on the black dress. This was accomplished by placing two edge lights behind the model at a 45 degree angle. See lighting diagram below.


The Set Up:
Main light – 4′ x 6′ softbox
Fill – 4′ x 6′ silver reflector
Edge lights – 1′ x 4′ soft box


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Butterfly Lighting Pattern

Hope everyone is having a good day. I just finished editing this image for a new training video I am working on about Studio Lighting. This shot was taken during a set-up where I was demonstrating a butterfly lighting pattern.


Butterfly lighting is frequently used in creating fashion and glamour head shots. This style of lighting is very glamourous and has the effect of eliminating any shadows or wrinkles or lines in the face.


The light source comes from directly above the camera and is in front of the subject. Butterfly lighting is so named due to the butterfly shaped shadow under the nose.


Steps for achieving the perfect Butterfly Lighting pattern.

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Window Light Photography

This shot was taken during a seminar at my studio a last month ago with Rick Ferro. It was raining outside and we had promise as part of the class to do some available light shooting. So we placed the subject next to the window in the lobby.


Window light is one of the most beautiful (and cheapest) types of light a photographer can use.


Where do you think soft boxes came from? Photographers trying emulate this beautiful quality of light in the studio. The easiest way to understand window light is to think of the windows as a very fixed soft box. Therefore, the size of the window will affect the quality of light just like the size of the soft box in the studio will affect the quality of light on the subject. The larger the window, the softer the light.


The biggest difference between window light and a soft box is in the studio you can move the soft box in relation to the subject to achieve the quality of light and the lighting pattern you want. When working with window light you will have to move the subject in relation to the window. For the image below, we positioned the subject to achieve a short lighting pattern on her face and used a silver reflector as the fill (see set shot).

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How to Sell More Team Banners & Pano’s this Season

I think most sports photographers are missing a lot team banner sales and other opportunities simply because the parents and coaches don’t think about us when it’s time to create their team banner. Many teams are having a mom on the team do a team shot and sending it to a local sign company to do the design and print the team banners.


To help increase team banners sales this season we have create an ad that will be included in every players SportsPress book this season. This will definitely help create awareness about the teamed banner program and you will be on their coaches and parents mind when it comes time to create that all-star banner. If if you aren’t using the SportsPress program and are still delivering traditional packages, this could also be an insert into every player’s picture package. Here’s a sample of the ad we created for this Spring season.


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5 Ideas That Can Have a Big Impact on Your Bottom Line

Most photographers spend the majority of their time and energy focused on trying to book new business, at the cost of missing out on the plethora of sales opportunities right under their nose. In todays post I wanted to give you five strategies that can have a big impact on your sales without booking any new business.


1. Create An Offer that Your Customers Can’t Resist


Over the years we’ve used a number of different techniques too entice customer to purchase a larger package. The key to a success is to make the offer so irresistible that it’s almost impossible to say for the customer to say no. People will take action if the perceived value of the offer it seems higher than the risk.


For example, this season we have an offer for our dance schools that seems to be working great this season. Here’s the deal… last year we ran a $90 average order with dance schools orders, but wanted to try and increase the average this year.


First, we introduced a new 5×10 framed portrait with a retail price of $29. While this product has a high perceived value, it actually cost the studio less than $4 to produce. Since this product has such a high perceived value, we used it as a free bonus item for parents who placed an order of one $125 or more. For this to work, make please make sure you have samples on hand for the parents to see. This promotion has been so successful this year we are about to order another five cases of frames.


We have an exciting new offer we are finalizing now for Fall that looks like it’s going to be a real winner.. Stay tuned.



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