Freelance Round-up: This month in photography
For those of you using Photoshop image manipulation software, MCP Actions have some great free Actions, some of which I use all the time. A Photoshop Action is a series of steps recorded in Photoshopcreating a shortcut, enabling you, with one click of the mouse, to carry out frequently used tasks such as skin softening, sharpening or colour correction in a fraction of the time. Of course, if you have your own series of image editing that you use frequently you can always make your own actions. Blog Epic Edits will show you how.
Shed Some Light
If you’re just starting out and want to know more about lighting and photography in general, or even if you are a seasoned pro but would like more in-depth information about a particular area, the Photography section on About.com has a wide range of information on everything photography. This may be a little basic for some, but after 15 years as a photographer I still find some of the information useful on this site.
Forum This Month
A question on the Forum this month related to online profiles and free ones in particular. I would urge a certain amount of caution when opting for a free online portfolio if you want to give your clients the feeling of professionalism . That said, a free online provider is Flickr, it's easy to upload photographs once you have opened an account. I have not used this site or any other free site myself so respectfully suggest that anyone doing so runs a check on any ‘small print’ to ensure that by uploading photographs to a site you are not automatically allowing the site use of the images in some way. My own website was created using Clikpic, with which I have no affiliation whatsoever other than being a satisfied customer. I have found it very easy to use and manage and it has an entry level site that only costs £37 per year with the option to upgrade to more images if you wish.
Presentation is almost as important
as the image itself, and portrait and wedding photographers are always on the lookout
for reasonably priced, good quality frames and mounts. A couple of sites I have
used recently are PhotomountsUK and Denis Wright, (no relation) .
When buying from trade sites always make sure you know when the VAT is being
added. Trade sites sometimes add the VAT at the checkout stage so prices may
not be as reasonable as first thought, especially with VAT going up to 20% shortly.
Photographic competitions can be a good way of raising your profile as well as your confidence. There is a site dedicated to competition lists which is called, strangely enough, Photography Competitions Network . It appears to have a large selection of competitions worldwide covering a vast range of genres. However, there are a few points to remember when entering photographic competitions. Not all competitions are free to enter and some require the photographer to sign away rights to the image whether it wins or not.
The SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) is holding its 10th annual Convention at the Novotel, Hammersmith West London from 10th to 17th January 2011. There are workshops and seminars by some of the leaders in the profession, which can be booked and paid for online. There is also a Trade Show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (14th, 15th & 16th respectively). The Trade Show is free providing you pre-register before 7th January. I have visited the Trade Show for the last 5 years and I can heartily recommend it. There are free seminars and it’s an ideal opportunity to check out the latest software, hardware, digital and printing equipment and there are some great Convention bargains to be had too.
Happy freelancingJan Wright
16th November 2010