Logo

Monthly Archives: June 2015

29 
Jun

16 great ways to annoy your photographer

Written by Martin Neeves – Commercial Portrait Photographer Leicester

annoy your photographer
How to annoy your photographer

Over the many years I have been a professional photographer I hear so many gratuitous or ill thought out comments from people.  Some are just out of genuinely not understanding photography, whilst some are just a bit dumb.  Some make me mentally “roll my eyes” because “I’ve never heard that before”, whilst others make me groan with annoyance.  I know that most professional or serious photographers have similar frustrations.

So I thought I would give you a few tips on how to annoy your photographer, just in case you had not thought of some of them yet.

  1. “It must be really easy to take great photographs with that expensive camera.”  I mean please don’t think that the photographer has any input to the framing, lighting, quality, focus or creativity in the final photograph, let alone setting up the photographing or seeing it (if it is a candid shot) and pressing the button at the decisive moment.   It’s as if all professional cameras have a genius or creativity setting that makes the photography dead easy.  The implication is that “if I had that camera, then I could take as good a photograph as you”.  Imagine saying to a chef, that food was great you must have a great cooker!  Yes you can spend several thousand pounds on a camera, but you cannot buy technique and creativity.  There are plenty of people out there with all the gear but no idea.
  2. “Hey, if you do these photographs for me I will give you a credit on my website.” What a great idea, I mean all sensible photographers will realise that your website is going to make their fortune.  Not only that a good photographer will be able to live on the proceeds of your website credit won’t they?  I think not.  When was the last time you went in a shop and said, “I will give you credit for letting me wear your clothes or eat your food for free?”
  3. “Great shot, pretty much as I would have taken.” Just like Santa said ho ho ho, really.   So why aren’t you here taking the photograph?   Part of the skill of being a professional or good photographer is about being in the right location, at the right time and you have to set up the camera and lighting correctly as well.
  4. “Pity your lens doesn’t have zoom.” Yep that is right I mean having zoom really does make the camera and the professional better.  There are many times when a prime lens is better than a zoom lens.  Most prime lenses (the ones that are not zoom) give better quality photographs because their optics are set up and optimised for just one focal length, whereas zoom lenses have to compromise as they have to do the best they can across a range of focal lengths.
  5. “Of course most mobile phones have great cameras these days.”  This they do (as long as you stay within their limitations), but they are designed to take snapshots, a good DSLR will outperform a mobile phone in the same hands.  BUT, it doesn’t matter about the camera; it is the photographer who makes the photograph not the camera.  If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this subject, take a look at a previous article I wrote.
  6. “The background looks a bit blurred.”  I mean that is sheer incompetence having the background out of focus, but having the subject in focus isn’t it? I mean, as a photographer, you wouldn’t want to emphasise the subject and subdue the background would you?  I mean it would be much smarter to have everything in focus and make the subject less prominent wouldn’t it?  Or would it?
  7. “Taking a photograph is easy; you just point the camera and press a button.”  Yes I know it is a real drag that I have to be such a nerd to take that great photograph that you would take by pointing and clicking.  I mean I go to all the trouble composing a photograph, getting the lighting right and getting the camera settings right each time and you do it by pressing a button, I really must get better at my job.
  8. “Your watermark is distracting on that proof photograph.”  Yes I know, how mean of me for doing that.  If I wasn’t so inconsiderate you could make a copy of the image without having to pay for it.  It’s to stop you or someone else stealing my work.  It’s also there to show that the photo has not yet had the optimisation needed to make it of professional quality, so it stops the proof being used as it is.
  9. “Hey, would you like to come to my wedding? You could bring your camera.”  Yes what a great idea and then you could get some wedding photographs for free.  That would save you having to pay me for working; I think that is a great idea – not – see point 2 above!!  Or the other back-handed compliment – you could shoot my wedding to get some practice.
  10. “One of our colleagues can’t make it today, can you just Photoshop them in later?”    While almost anything is possible in Photoshop, working miracles can take many hours to do as Photoshop doesn’t work by itself.  are you prepared to pay for the extra post-production time?  Also, adding someone in to a photo later invariably looks obvious unless both shots have been specifically taken for that purpose from the same viewpoint, with the same lens and in the same lighting.
  11. “Would it be cheaper if I edited the picture or can you email me the RAWs?”   Well of course I am going to allow that, after all I only took the photograph and my reputation is unimportant if you make a right hash of the editing process.  If I don’t optimise the photos, you are only utilising half of my experience and how could anyone else know what my vision is of how I want each picture to look?  Click here to view some examples of the difference optimisation makes to photographs.
  12. “Your photos look so perfect, do you Photoshop them?”  So you want the natural look.  Well photographers using film used to do the same thing in the darkroom to get the best photograph for the client.  Photoshop is just the digital version of the modern darkroom.
  13. “I guess if you take 1000s of shots you will get a good one now and again!”  Like it is an accident that I take a good photograph.  There seems to be this idea that all you have to do is point and click enough times and you will find one that is good.  “That is why you photographers take so many and then thin them out for us to see”.  I am afraid that if I did that I would be out of business; yes I will take several shots of each photograph in order to capture the best expressions, but then I choose the best of those and I can delete any shots where people have blinked etc.
  14. “How much do you charge for a wedding!!!!!!  You are only there a couple of hours, boy you must be rich.” Rich, no I am the guy responsible for paying for my family’s food and mortgage.  The wedding is 8 hours long, and then I need to spend another 3 or 4 days editing and optimising the photographs.  I have to buy and maintain some very expensive equipment and I have to travel to and from the wedding and don’t forget the time spent meeting the couple and promoting the business to get the job in the first place.  Oh and I pay tax as well!
  15. “I know a bloke who can do it cheaper.”   Please see the last point, but also remember that you may get it cheaper but are you getting a professional?  Listen Mercedes do not compete with Vauxhall and I do not compete with a hobby photographer.  You get what you pay for!  Whatever service or product you buy, you will always be able to get something cheaper, but will it/they be any good?  https://youtu.be/R2a8TRSgzZY
  16. “You’re pretty good; if you wanted you could get a job.”  As if not being salaried is a lower form of life.  I have worked for newspapers and for myself and the self-employed route has allowed me to develop my skills even further.

In response to all the above, I charge reasonable fees, bring a great deal of skill and creativity to my photography and deliver the high quality photography that you would expect from a professional photographer.  I am passionate about quality, but in my view, that’s the way it should be.

Now, is it OK for me to have a lie down in a dark corner?…

Please call Martin Neeves for top quality commercial photography by a Leicestershire Professional Photographer on 01455 271 849 or 07973 638 591 or email me.

Readmore..

Published Date: 29th June 2015
Category: General


 

29 
Jun

16 great ways to annoy your photographer

Written by Martin Neeves – Commercial Portrait Photographer Leicester

annoy your photographer
How to annoy your photographer

Over the many years I have been a professional photographer I hear so many gratuitous or ill thought out comments from people.  Some are just out of genuinely not understanding photography, whilst some are just a bit dumb.  Some make me mentally “roll my eyes” because “I’ve never heard that before”, whilst others make me groan with annoyance.  I know that most professional or serious photographers have similar frustrations.

So I thought I would give you a few tips on how to annoy your photographer, just in case you had not thought of some of them yet.

  1. “It must be really easy to take great photographs with that expensive camera.”  I mean please don’t think that the photographer has any input to the framing, lighting, quality, focus or creativity in the final photograph, let alone setting up the photographing or seeing it (if it is a candid shot) and pressing the button at the decisive moment.   It’s as if all professional cameras have a genius or creativity setting that makes the photography dead easy.  The implication is that “if I had that camera, then I could take as good a photograph as you”.  Imagine saying to a chef, that food was great you must have a great cooker!  Yes you can spend several thousand pounds on a camera, but you cannot buy technique and creativity.  There are plenty of people out there with all the gear but no idea.
  2. “Hey, if you do these photographs for me I will give you a credit on my website.” What a great idea, I mean all sensible photographers will realise that your website is going to make their fortune.  Not only that a good photographer will be able to live on the proceeds of your website credit won’t they?  I think not.  When was the last time you went in a shop and said, “I will give you credit for letting me wear your clothes or eat your food for free?”
  3. “Great shot, pretty much as I would have taken.” Just like Santa said ho ho ho, really.   So why aren’t you here taking the photograph?   Part of the skill of being a professional or good photographer is about being in the right location, at the right time and you have to set up the camera and lighting correctly as well.
  4. “Pity your lens doesn’t have zoom.” Yep that is right I mean having zoom really does make the camera and the professional better.  There are many times when a prime lens is better than a zoom lens.  Most prime lenses (the ones that are not zoom) give better quality photographs because their optics are set up and optimised for just one focal length, whereas zoom lenses have to compromise as they have to do the best they can across a range of focal lengths.
  5. “Of course most mobile phones have great cameras these days.”  This they do (as long as you stay within their limitations), but they are designed to take snapshots, a good DSLR will outperform a mobile phone in the same hands.  BUT, it doesn’t matter about the camera; it is the photographer who makes the photograph not the camera.  If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this subject, take a look at a previous article I wrote.
  6. “The background looks a bit blurred.”  I mean that is sheer incompetence having the background out of focus, but having the subject in focus isn’t it? I mean, as a photographer, you wouldn’t want to emphasise the subject and subdue the background would you?  I mean it would be much smarter to have everything in focus and make the subject less prominent wouldn’t it?  Or would it?
  7. “Taking a photograph is easy; you just point the camera and press a button.”  Yes I know it is a real drag that I have to be such a nerd to take that great photograph that you would take by pointing and clicking.  I mean I go to all the trouble composing a photograph, getting the lighting right and getting the camera settings right each time and you do it by pressing a button, I really must get better at my job.
  8. “Your watermark is distracting on that proof photograph.”  Yes I know, how mean of me for doing that.  If I wasn’t so inconsiderate you could make a copy of the image without having to pay for it.  It’s to stop you or someone else stealing my work.  It’s also there to show that the photo has not yet had the optimisation needed to make it of professional quality, so it stops the proof being used as it is.
  9. “Hey, would you like to come to my wedding? You could bring your camera.”  Yes what a great idea and then you could get some wedding photographs for free.  That would save you having to pay me for working; I think that is a great idea – not – see point 2 above!!  Or the other back-handed compliment – you could shoot my wedding to get some practice.
  10. “One of our colleagues can’t make it today, can you just Photoshop them in later?”    While almost anything is possible in Photoshop, working miracles can take many hours to do as Photoshop doesn’t work by itself.  are you prepared to pay for the extra post-production time?  Also, adding someone in to a photo later invariably looks obvious unless both shots have been specifically taken for that purpose from the same viewpoint, with the same lens and in the same lighting.
  11. “Would it be cheaper if I edited the picture or can you email me the RAWs?”   Well of course I am going to allow that, after all I only took the photograph and my reputation is unimportant if you make a right hash of the editing process.  If I don’t optimise the photos, you are only utilising half of my experience and how could anyone else know what my vision is of how I want each picture to look?  Click here to view some examples of the difference optimisation makes to photographs.
  12. “Your photos look so perfect, do you Photoshop them?”  So you want the natural look.  Well photographers using film used to do the same thing in the darkroom to get the best photograph for the client.  Photoshop is just the digital version of the modern darkroom.
  13. “I guess if you take 1000s of shots you will get a good one now and again!”  Like it is an accident that I take a good photograph.  There seems to be this idea that all you have to do is point and click enough times and you will find one that is good.  “That is why you photographers take so many and then thin them out for us to see”.  I am afraid that if I did that I would be out of business; yes I will take several shots of each photograph in order to capture the best expressions, but then I choose the best of those and I can delete any shots where people have blinked etc.
  14. “How much do you charge for a wedding!!!!!!  You are only there a couple of hours, boy you must be rich.” Rich, no I am the guy responsible for paying for my family’s food and mortgage.  The wedding is 8 hours long, and then I need to spend another 3 or 4 days editing and optimising the photographs.  I have to buy and maintain some very expensive equipment and I have to travel to and from the wedding and don’t forget the time spent meeting the couple and promoting the business to get the job in the first place.  Oh and I pay tax as well!
  15. “I know a bloke who can do it cheaper.”   Please see the last point, but also remember that you may get it cheaper but are you getting a professional?  Listen Mercedes do not compete with Vauxhall and I do not compete with a hobby photographer.  You get what you pay for!  Whatever service or product you buy, you will always be able to get something cheaper, but will it/they be any good?  https://youtu.be/R2a8TRSgzZY
  16. “You’re pretty good; if you wanted you could get a job.”  As if not being salaried is a lower form of life.  I have worked for newspapers and for myself and the self-employed route has allowed me to develop my skills even further.

In response to all the above, I charge reasonable fees, bring a great deal of skill and creativity to my photography and deliver the high quality photography that you would expect from a professional photographer.  I am passionate about quality, but in my view, that’s the way it should be.

Now, is it OK for me to have a lie down in a dark corner?…

Please call Martin Neeves for top quality commercial photography by a Leicestershire Professional Photographer on 01455 271 849 or 07973 638 591 or email me.

Readmore..

Published Date: 29th June 2015
Category: General


 

21 
Jun

How to make an effective video for your website – Seminar

Have you ever wondered how to make a video for your website that works for your business?  If so, come along to Hinckley Business Market this Thursday (25th June) at 11.45am where I will be giving a FREE seminar on How to make an effective video for your website.  I will also have an exhibition stand at the show all day.

Hinckley Business Market 2015
Hinckley Business Market 2015

While I have been a professional photographer for 28 years, I have also been producing corporate videos for the last 5 years and it is an increasing side of my business.  So much so, that I now shoot as much video as stills photography.  Videos are here to stay and if you have not yet got any video content on your website, you are losing out big time.  Please view my Corporate Videography page to see lots examples of videos I have made for websites.

Hinckley Business Market will be held at the Atkins Building, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 1QU from 9.30am until 4pm and it is free to attend.  There will be 5 exhibitors and lots of networking opportunities too.  As well as my seminar on making a video for your website, there will be seminars from The SFB Group, Bright Owl Copywriting and also from former Olympian and World Champion Derek Redmond.

To book your FREE place at any of the seminars CLICK HERE, but hurry as tickets are strictly limited.

Alternatively, if you are not bothered about learning how to make a video for your website, but you would like someone to make a video for you, please either call in for a chat at my stand (I will be running a special offer to attendees of the show), CONTACT ME via my contacts page or give me a call on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591.

Readmore..

Published Date: 21st June 2015
Category: Videographer
Tags: , , ,


 

01 
Jun

Good portrait photography can make a difference

Martin Neeves – Commercial Portrait Photographer LeicesterWritten by Martin Neeves – Commercial Portrait Photographer Leicester

The need for good portrait photography has increased in the modern technological world we live in.  From marketing ourselves or our businesses, to passport photographs, profile images on social media or CVs.  I look around business websites, social media and many portals and see some amazingly bad photographs.

ugly1The problem seems to be that people think that a “selfie” or a pose that has a face pulled give them personality.  Others are images cropped from random snapshots or scanned photographs. But I am afraid these profile photographs say so much about you. Let us remember that “people buy from people”, whether it is products or services, or you if you are job hunting.

Online or on CVs you have about 10 seconds to be accepted or rejected.  Now the photograph on the right may look all “smiley and human” but it so obviously cropped from somewhere else and the quality is not great.  Imagine putting that on a CV for a senior management job or to sell your products?  The photograph screams amateur, it does not sell the person or a business well and the smile is too contrived and “sickly”.  There are dark shadows on the face and these almost look like black eyes – possible great if you are looking to hire a bouncer.

good portrait photographyThe use of a professional photograph would allow for better lighting, better posing and a photograph that looks fit for purpose.  The photograph can be taken “in context” – so if the image is to complement a CV, it should be more of a true portrait.  If it is to sell a brand or product then it will come across as more relevant if the person is photographed in a situation that is relevant to that product or brand.   A good photograph can speak loudly about the person and the situation that the image is trying to promote.

A well-focused, framed and posed photograph speaks volumes. Which of the 2 photographs on the right look most like a professional person? One looks like a some bloke on holiday and the other a thoughtful intelligent professional, even though the first man is actually as thoughtful, intelligent and as professional as the second man in reality.  I see so many profile pictures on social media, especially LinkedIn that have the first type of photograph.  Such an image is great for your mates and possibly Facebook, but certainly not for LinkedIn which is primarily used to promote you and/or your business.  The second photograph shows the facial features well with good lighting and a thoughtful look.  Moreover, it is more flattering and therefore is a face that looks more trustworthy.

Contact Martin Neeves if you want a photographer who is going to produce really professional and good portrait photography to market you and your business more effectively.  Call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now.

Readmore..

Published Date: 1st June 2015
Category: General
Tags: