5 Important Photography Business Tips to Start the Year Off Right

5 Important Photography Business Tips to Start the Year Off Right

The holidays are prime season for getting new cameras and lenses. It is also when photographers take stock of their images as well as their income and expenses. Here are 5 important recourses for any business-minded photographer, whether you’re a seasoned shooter looking to hone your business skills or a complete novice who wants to get a jump start on organizing their future.


Never Shoot for Free

In this interview with freelance photographer Court Leve, you’ll discover how important it is to find financial value in your work as well as artistic value.

Register Your Gear

Insuring your camera equipment is essential but did you know you can also register it for free? Register your serials online with Lenstag and it will send out indexed alerts in the unfortunate event that your gear gets stolen. read more…

Behind The Shot: Above the Bar

Behind The Shot: Above the Bar

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

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Photographer: Scott Roeder

Gear: Nikon D3sNikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S, Monopod

Settings: ISO 320, f/2.8, 1/6400

Backstory: Track and field is among my favorite sports to shoot. There are plenty of different individual events, the athletes are amazing, and the opportunities for making a creative image are endless. It also gives me a great chance to work on shooting tight and challenging myself.

I wanted a clean background so I chose to shoot sitting on the ground and as close as possible, while still being able to capture the high jumpers full body within the frame. Usually my camera is set to a single focus point in the center for increased focusing response, and AI SERVO so that I can track my subjects. After a few shots I noticed two issues, first that I had empty space at the top of the frame and that the high jumpers feet were getting cut off, and secondly that my focus had jumped to the bar. Tracking the athletes as they made their approach to the bar and keeping my focus on their face led to the framing being off, and the quick focus of the D3s allowed the focus to switch when the bar crossed the center focus point. To fix both of these issues, I decided to manually focus roughly 8-10 inches in front of the bar, where I knew I wanted to catch the high jumpers at their peak. Having the focus preset also allowed me to concentrate on getting the whole body of the athletes in the frame. The expression, body position, and clean background really made this image a keeper for me!

Scott lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and shoots weddings, sports, portraits, products, or anything else you throw at him.

Check out more of Scott’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

The Coolest Stuff of 2013

The Coolest Stuff of 2013

Every week we curate the coolest recent video tutorials, time lapses, tips, and behind-the-scenes shoots. As the year draws to a close, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites of 2013. There is a little something for everyone in this list of 10. We hope these videos teach you new tricks, inspire you to take on interesting projects, and help you meet greater personal goals in 2014.


This video is meditative, showing Luis Oliveira Santos’ exacting process of palladium printing. Modernity and tradition collide when he tries printing the Leica Monochrom’s digital files in a way typically only suited for medium and large format film. The results are beautiful:

read more…

Behind The Shot: Remote Birding

Behind The Shot: Remote Birding

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Anna's Hummingbird Nest

Photographer: Michael Chen

Gear: Nikon D3Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S, TC-14E II 1.4x, Nikon SB-900 SpeedlightsPocket Wizard MultiMAX transceiversManfrotto Magic Arms, Gitzo 3-series Tripod

Settings: ISO 1600, f/9, 1/250 – Flash Power @ 1/16

Backstory: One of the most frequently asked questions that I’ve been getting is how I shot the hummingbird nests with the mother feeding her chick.  Most of the time, I actually trigger a camera remotely using Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers.  A remote camera allows me to keep some distance between me and the nest, lessening the amount of attention I draw to the nest area.  In general, nesting hummingbirds in a suburban environment do not mind a human presence and adapt quickly to a humans that they perceive as nonthreatening; however, one’s presence will draw and hold the attention of predators, such as crows and jays, and make it easier for the nest to be discovered.  The angles I can shoot from are also expanded by using the remote camera, as I can squeeze the camera and lens into places where it would be hard for me to be looking through the viewfinder.

Here, I’ve taken advantage of a nearby tree house-type structure and have placed the still camera on a tripod; the tree house allows me to simply use a tripod instead of having to be more creative in safely suspending the camera up in a tree.  The lens on the Nikon D3 camera is a Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S; the tripod used here is a Gitzo 3-series.  I used a TC-14E II 1.4x teleconverter on the 400mm f/2.8 to fill more of the frame with the hummingbird and her nest, though I ultimately still had to crop off quite a bit of empty space.  Two SB-900 flashes, also triggered by the Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers (using the relay mode function), freeze the motion of the mother and chick, and allowing me to shoot at f/16 for sufficient depth of field to keep everything important in focus.  The flashes are held in place by Manfrotto Magic Arms and allow me to position the flashes wherever I need them.

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After I set everything up- carefully and hopefully unnoticed by predators- all I have left to do is find a place to stay out of sight while being able to observe when the mother has returned to the nest, and then trigger the camera to make some images.  Remaining vigilant and patient at the same time is key to capturing the mother feeding the chick, as while the mother will feed the chick many times per hour, the actual moment of feeding is quick and fleeting; one can easily miss the mother entirely even while positioned close to the nest.

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More of Michael’s hummingbird photos can be seen here and here.

Check out more of Michael’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Things to Know about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Raw Update (with Some Sample Footage)

Things to Know about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Raw Update (with Some Sample Footage)

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is one of the newest additions to our inventory, and is already in demand — every single unit we currently have in our inventory is checked out for the next two weeks at least, so get your orders in as soon as possible. This tiny little package packs a wallop when it comes to delivering outstanding image quality, and as of a couple of weeks ago, it is also the smallest camera in the world that shoots RAW video. read more…

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