Professional London Photographers

Portrait Photographers

Love black and white photography?

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Go to a photography exhibition or pick up one of those hefty coffee table photography books and you’ll quickly conclude that black and white photography dominates as an art form. But why? Why do we all respond so much more readily to black and white photography than we do to colour? In fact, there are a number of factors.

 

The lure of black and white photography

Here are just a few of the reasons why black and white images have endured even though colour photographs are just as available.

 

  • Timeless – black and white images often have a beautiful timeless quality to them. For many people there is an air of nostalgia, particularly for those who grew up at a time when black and white photos were the norm. And lots of black and white pictures that were taken years ago still retain a freshness to them that makes them stand out today.
  • Versatile – black and white works well for nearly every field of photography – from landscapes to still life, from portraits to documentary images.
  • Simplicity – black and white images often have a deceptive simplicity compared to their colour counterparts. Because the background is tonally similar to the focus of the image, it doesn’t act as a distraction.
  • Emotion – for some reason, a black and white image has the ability to convey emotion and feeling far more effectively than a colour image. Happiness, sadness, joy, nostalgia, anger, wistfulness – it’s rare to see a monochrome image that doesn’t convey some sort of feeling. Portraits in particular seem to have greater depth in black and white than they do in colour—for some reason it’s easier to discern character in the face of a black and white portrait, and to gain more of a sense of who the sitter is.
  • Drama – on a cloudy day, a colour photograph of a landscape can come across as dull and flat. But take that same picture in black and white, and you instantly add a sense of drama. Dark clouds can look foreboding, a ray of sunlight can appear hopeful, moors will look more desolate and crags more menacing. The contrast between the darkest and the palest tones can be stark and bold – or there can be a soft graduation of greys for a more benign image.
  • Distraction free – without a riot of colours in the background, black and white images are able to focus attention on the subject of the picture far more effectively than full colour images.
  • Texture – by increasing the contrast between light and shadow, rough textures can become far more visible, lending a gritty quality to a black and white image. Tone down the contrast, and the result will be a smoother, softer effect.

 

At the end of the day, because of the simplicity of monochrome and the drama afforded by stark contrast, many black and white images simply have more impact with the viewer than the equivalent colour photo – their appeal is enduring, no matter how photographic technology changes.

For more articles and information please visit the following pages: London portrait photographers, corporate headshots photographers.


How To Become Photographer?

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(c) Photoshoot at Headshot London Photography. All Image rights reserved by Headshot London

For most professionals, photography is a career that grew from a passionate hobby to a full-time job. After all, you have to love being behind the camera to want to do it full-time. So how do you make the transition from skilled amateur to paid professional? There’s more to it than just investing in a camera and advertising your services.   Seven steps to becoming a pro

  1. Nurture your skill – just loving photography isn’t enough to guarantee your success as a pro. You actually need to be good at what you do, so take the time to master all the technicalities and practise at every opportunity you can. Critique your work and analyse areas for improvement, read as widely as you can to improve your technique and become totally familiar with each new piece of gear you purchase.
  2. Search for a strength – don’t be a Jack of all trades and master of none. Finding your own niche as a photographer will make your far more likely to succeed than being a generalist. Work out what sort of pictures you love to take – portraits, wildlife, fashion, macro, artistic – and develop your skills in that area. At the same time, investigate the market for that type of photography – there’s no point in developing a specialism for which there’s minimal demand.
  3. Create a kick-ass portfolio – only ever show your best work in your portfolio and be strict over what you include. This is your most important tool for winning business. You need to show potential clients exactly what they can expect from you, so invest a fair amount of time in building a collection of pictures that is representative and excellent. Furthermore, when you start out, you will probably need to offer different types of photography to different clients. For example, you might want a wedding photography portfolio and a separate corporate portfolio to emphasise different aspects of your portrait work.
  4. Hone your business skills – if you want to run your own business, being a brilliant photographer is only half of the job. You’ll also need to be proficient at running a business. If you’ve never been self-employed before, you’ll be facing a steep learning curve – you’ll need to make a business plan, keep accounts, pay taxes and national insurance, create a website and a marketing plan, take out necessary insurance policies… The admin might seem endless but there’s plenty of help available on line or from your bank manager. Talk to friends and family who run their own businesses or find an experienced freelance photographer who might be willing to act as your mentor and advisor.
  5. Set your rates – the moment your first client picks up the phone, you need to know what you want to charge them. Analyse your costs: fixed costs will include your equipment, rent and utilities if you have your own studio, insurance and so on; variable costs will include transport if you travel to the shoot, consumable items and the cost of your time. Check out what other photographers in your area are charging. Don’t price yourself way below the average as potential clients may view you as an amateur. Likewise, don’t charge way above or your clients will find someone cheaper.
  6. Start marketing – you’ll need a good website that shows off your work to best advantage and business cards you can hand out wherever you go. Even if you can’t afford an advertising budget, start networking and building up your contacts. Learn how to use social networking to promote your business and never fail to take an opportunity to let people know what you do.
  7. Set realistic goals to work towards – new businesses grow slowly and this can be discouraging. However, all the hard work you do at the start will pay off at a future point as long as you keep your mind focused on the job. The best way to do this is to set goals – work out what milestones you want to achieve along the way and a timeframe to aim for. For example, how many shoots per month you want to do, building over time, or average earnings per month. Set specific goals with real deadlines and then do everything you can to achieve them.

Moving from amateur to professional may sound glamorous but really it’s all about hard work. Go in with your eyes open and only do it if you feel you can really make the commitment – in other words, if you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else for a living! That’s when you know you have the passion you need to become a professional.   Find out more: How To Run A Successful Photography Studio? (c) Headshot London Photography – Interior and Still-Life Photographers


Professional Portrait Photographer And An Amateur

There’s a rising trend among the hipsters and the wanna-be ones these days. Apparently, just because prices of DSLR cameras are now more affordable and ergo more and more people can now buy one or two or even several of these for themselves, a lot of people now also introduce themselves as professional photographers. Professional meaning they now think they have the license to charge high rates, introduce themselves as professionals and even demand for certain things and perks that only the veterans used to enjoy. So now the question is – if more people now have the tendency to introduce themselves as photographers, how do you really weed out of the many and see who the real professional portrait photographers are and who the amateurs are?

 

The following points may help you figure out how to determine the professional portrait photographers from the amateurs.

 

1. Amateurs usually want the fast buck. This does not mean, however, that the veterans do not want the fast buck, too. Everyone wants and needs money, after all. The point here is that professionals usually focus on the photos first – the way these should be captured, the way they should evoke a certain emotion, the art and all that technical jazz. Amateurs, on the other hand, still have the tendency to focus on the money aspect – how much to charge, when to present the client with contracts, how to get more clients the faster and easier way. While professional portrait photographers also want to be busy with the money aspect, they would rather focus on keeping themselves busy by doing what they really want in the first place and that is to master the art of photography.

 

2. Professional portrait photographers make it a point to study, study, study. This means they will really allot time to study photography, study photos and even study how other photographers create their own photos. They spend time in improving their own skills. Amateurs, on the other hand, feel that they know enough. They’re the “know it alls.” They feel that they no longer need to improve because they’ve reached a certain status and that they do not have the time to educate themselves. Professionals think that there’s always room for improvement. Professional photographers believe that they should continually evolve and improve themselves and one way of doing this is to study, study, study.

 

3. Professionals think that there’s more to life than photography and that there’s more to photography than just business. Amateurs usually have the tendency to think that because they’re new in this field and that competition is tight, they need to be always on the lookout. Amateurs want to focus on the business aspect all the time – from paper work to business permits to promotion to marketing to sales and even to branding. Amateurs like the business aspect of photography but professionals usually find that balance between business and doing what they love to do in the first place and that is photography.

 

4. Another way to determine which ones are the professional portrait photographers and which ones are the amateurs is to figure out who wants to create his or her own style. Amateurs usually like being copycats – they have favorite photographers and they tend to copy their idols. Professional photographers, on the other hand, quickly learn that to have your own style is really the way to go. Style, after all, will define you and make you different from all the rest. Style will also be the factor that will draw in the clients and not to mention the fans.

 

5. Professionals can do photography even without the money. Now this can be quite tricky. Amateurs usually have the tendency to charge fees anytime and every time their photography skills are put to use. Professional portrait photographers, on the other hand, have had enough saved up and have had enough experience to know that sometimes, there is a need to share your talent without really putting a price tag to it. This is where experience, tact and social responsibility come in. Professionals know that there are times when giving and sharing are far more important than charging fees. Professionals also know that there may be unpaid opportunities but these opportunities will be helpful especially when it comes to honing the skills. And sometimes, too, these opportunities will draw in even better and paid opportunities in the future. It’s really all just a matter of networking and giving back.