portrait photographer

Patel Valentine's Day Party

I was recently hired through referral to shoot a Valentine's Day party. I was happy to get out and shoot! The Patel's went all out on this party. The party was catered, bartender, and photographer (obviously me). I was hired to shoot a "photo booth" style as well as just photos of the party. I set up a background to allow couples get a nice professional photo. Below are just some of the images I captured.

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Senior Photos: Mahak

Another successful Thumbtack job is in the books! This time was for Mahak's senior pictures. We walked around downtown Pittsburgh visiting picturesque locations such as Point State Park, Roberto Clemente Bridge, and PPG Place. If you or someone you know is looking for senior pictures, head over to my contact page and shoot me an email!

3 ways to earn extra income as a photographer

Stock photography

One way to earn extra income as a photographer (besides your normal photography gigs) is to upload your images to a stock photography website. I know this may sound non traditional or you may not want to sell your image but this can be a lucrative deal if your images are bought. Many websites charge 20-50% royalties depending on the stock photography website and how well your photo is selling. Check out this website to compare which stock website works best for you.

Smug Mug lets you keep 85% of your revenue.

Smug Mug lets you keep 85% of your revenue.

Photo editing jobs

If you think you have decent editing skills, another great way to earn extra income is photo editing jobs. You can google freelance photo editing jobs and find a numerous people looking to have their photos edited. There are also jobs for designing logos and other marketing materials if you have those kind of skills. 

Freelancer.com is a great tool to find photo editing jobs.

Freelancer.com is a great tool to find photo editing jobs.

Writing for photography blogs

This may not get you money directly but writing for photography blog could be a way to to earn extra income. By writing for photography blogs you are getting your name “out there”. I know some people may not want to hear, “Oh this will get your name out there and bring you potential clients”. However, by getting your content on photography blogs that already have an audience of hundreds to thousands that you can reach those without all the work. I suggest you sending your blogs to known photography blogs such as fstoppers.com or Petapixel who have a network of photographers who write for them. Hopefully, they like what you have written and post your article.

thephoblographer.com is another great place for photography articles and blogs.

thephoblographer.com is another great place for photography articles and blogs.

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(My) 5 favorite street photographers

During this past week, I was on a photography documentary/show binge. After watching most of Tales of Light (Netflix) and having just finished season 1 of Top Photographer by Nigel Barker (AdoramaTV, YouTube), I watched Everybody Street (Netflix). Everybody Street follows the street photographers of New York City. 

    Street photography is something I’ve always been interested in. I love how it captions human life and interaction in its true form. The surprise, the candidness, and the reality are what make street photography what it is. So I’ve decided to compile a list of my 5 favorite street photographers. 

Jeff Mermelstein

Jeff was one of the many photographers on Everybody Street. Jeff is more of a run and gun style of street photography, weaving in and out of people snapping pictures. You can check out more of Jeff’s work on his website.

Jill Freedman

Jill is another photographer from Everybody Street. She almost exclusively shoots black and white. She is known for her work following the police and firefighters of New York City. More of her work can be found at http://www.jillfreedman.com.

Vivian Maier

Vivian was actually not known as a street photographer until her images were posted in 2008. She was a nanny and took pictures whenever she had time. None of her negatives were every published or printed until they were found. You can find more of her work at http://www.vivianmaier.com.

Boogie

Boogie aka Vladimir Milivojevich was born in Serbia and is currently based out of Brooklyn. Boogie is known for his gritty gang and drug related street photography. He was able to “get in” with local gangs and get some incredible images. You can check out more of his work on his website.

Eric Kim

Eric is relatively new to being known as a street photography even though he's been shooting for years. He is also a fellow Eagle Scout like me. Eric is highly involved in street photography, running his personal blog to hosting street photography workshops. You can check out his work and blog at http://erickimphotography.com

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(Update) Switching from Photoshop to Lightroom

Image courtesy of Digital Photography School.

Image courtesy of Digital Photography School.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article on how I would be switching from Photoshop to Lightroom. I stated in this article that I hoped to achieved three things with switching from Photoshop to Lightroom. After using Lightroom for a couple of weeks, I can say my hopes have come true.

  1. A faster workflow, indeed.

    When I was using Photoshop, I would have to open each image, adjust the raw file, make other adjustments, save the PSD, and then save a JPEG. Obviously, this involved a lot of steps as well as time. I dreaded editing photos because I knew it would be long and tedious. 

    Since using Lightroom, the steps and time have been drastically cut down. When you import photos into Lightroom, you have quite a few options. Copying the files off the SD card while retaining the files on the card or moving files from one hard drive to another. What Lightroom has does best is that it enables the imported Lightroom files to save all adjustments even if you move the files to a new hard drive. However, the files transferred must be transferred through Lightroom (to save the adjustments).

    Once the files have been imported, I am able to browse through the photos and flag/rate the photos I like. From there, I am able to adjust a photo and move right on to the next. But the best part comes at exporting. Since Lightroom saves all the adjustments in the program itself, I don't have to save the “raw” file, instead I can just export to the file type and size I need. This has been a God send. 

2. Presets, Presets, Presets. 

    When dealing with presets, Lightroom is and has been quite a bit easier than Photoshop.  I knew when I first got Lightroom I wanted to use presets. Not because I am lazy, but because it provides a starting ground. Presets are actually used as a starting ground rather than slap it on and that’s it. In Lightroom, using presets are super easy. Even installing them is super easy.

    Before purchasing any presets, I researched quite a bit. I look at numerous companies such as Mastin Labs, Totally Rad, and VSCO. I decided on VSCO. I wanted presets that simulated legendary film stocks like Portra. VSCO was at a good price point and was widely used among other photographers. 

    After using the presets, I have noticed a bump in my photos. This is not due to the preset look but it provides me with a look that I want and I can build off it. Not only has this improved my workflow but also my editing skills.

3. Better editing skills?

    While writing this, my mind might have changed. How is a editing program going to improve my editing skills? After some thought I realized that it does not necessarily work like that. A photo editing program will not make someone a photographer overnight. But it allows you to become a better photographer/editor. 

    Photoshop and Lightroom are just tools to a photographer/editor just like a camera is a tool. Everyone has access to these tools but it does not make a everyone a photographer. It all depends on how one uses these tools. These tools allow me to adjust and improve my photos. I am able to cut down time, apply a look, and adjust the look to fit my style. 

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