The AUDIENCE asked the questions that they wanted to be answered! The energy was immediate and electric! The questions are on target for what artists and makers deal with every day.
The discussion was further sparked by the interlaced perspectives and recommended strategies of the Niche Marketing and Photography in Flux speakers during the 2011 SNAG Professional Development Seminar.
Below are TWO SAMPLE QUESTIONS that came up during the PDS Lunch Discussion
"What camera should I buy? There are so many, it is kind of confusing."
"There is a growing number of digital cameras out there. Rather than suggesting specific brands," Roger Schreiber suggests "looking for 'certain features.' It is absolutely important that you be able to control the focus, that you be able to control the aperture, and you be able to control the shutter speed. You should be able to tell the camera what color balance you want to use. And all the major manufacturers make those kinds of cameras. You should also be able to shoot in RAW. You don't necessarily have to have interchangeable lenses."
"I would totally ignore Megapixels. More pixels don't necessarily make for a better photograph. I would think in terms of the size of the sensor. There are some cameras with full-size sensors."
"Look at the features and look at the sensor size. "Point and shoot" cameras have an absolute tiny sensor in them that is less than 1/2" across. Some are packed with 14 megapixels. You are never going to see the details and shadows without a larger sensor. The handout by Roger Schreiber [Download Schreiber_Photo resources] lists a number of websites. "A couple of them will lead you to sites with camera reviews."
Do some research first. Learn what the terms RAW and sensor mean [so you understand the features described in the camera reviews].
emiko oye suggests renting a camera and lenses from your local camera store for a day. You don't need to spend $5,000 to get a professional camera. Her favorite lens is a 24 mm to 104 mm (which is like a portrait lens). She adds, "jewelers should definitely buy a macro lens."
"How do you decide which work should be photographed by a professional photographer?"
Doug Yaple advises, "Look at your work and pick out the strongest pieces. If you have a really low budget,... pick out the five strongest pieces. And if you want, when you go to the photographer, take more than that, and talk about them ALL with the photographer. See what will translate into [the best] image. It may not be the piece you think. Work it down to fit your budget and then use those images as long as you can."
Christopher Conrad says: "Only use the images that are good. If you put out poor images of your work, it reflects on your work. If you can only afford two good shots, only put up two good shots. Don't put up five bad ones."
Hilary Pfeifer says: "I think it takes a lot of time when you're first starting out from school to get a good body of pictures. I remember it felt like four or five years for me until I could pick from the cream of the crop, but it is an investment. It's a really, really important investment to have professional photographers take the most important pieces."
Many more great questions . . . .
Below are a few highlights from the lunch discussion.
What are the ethics of PhotoShopping your work images? Where do you draw the line between taking out dust specks and filling in a solder gap?
Who owns the rights to the photograph? What about "use fees" for a cover shot?
What kind of "master image" should you receive from your photographer?
Where do you find your market? Etsy, websites, or traditional galleries?
Ideas for marketing your work and visibility for your blog.
Roger Schreiber Photo resources with photography links.
DIGITAL IMAGES File Extensions a quick tutorial
PPT and HANDOUT.Digital Images from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar
This post was updated on February 9, 2022, to provide current links.