New book

Photo Nuts and Post is the third installation in the Photo Nuts series and it just launched!
Written by professional photographer, Neil Creek, it gives you the tools you need to make processing work for you. Even if you have experience in editing, you can always learn new tricks.
To celebrate, they are offering 33% off if you buy today -Click here to read more!

Monday, February 20, 2012

What DSLR Camera Should I Buy?

Some of you may be out there spending your tax refund on goodies, so just in case you might be thinking about investing in a camera, I wanted to talk about which camera might be the best to start out with.

I get a lot of questions from readers about what camera would be a good one to buy. Most beginners want to know about Nikon or Canon, though there are other great cameras out there too. I know that most help is geared towards using either of these brands as well, so I will stick to these. I want to point out though, in the end it’s not about what brand/model camera you have, but the person taking the photos that matters.


Purchasing glass (lens) is a very important step in starting your photography journey. I cannot stress enough - do not buy the “kit” lens that is offered. Instead, buy a 50mm f/1.8 lens for Canon or the 35mm f/1.8 for Nikon. These lens will allow you to take photos in lower light and create bokeh (images with the subject in focus and the background blurry).

Buy the Canon 50mm f/1.8 Lens

Buy Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens

You will also want a telephoto lens like the 24-70mm f2.8 lens available for both brands. This lens works well for walk around and portrait.

Both lens types are great lens to start out with until you get the hang of it and want to buy more, and trust me, you will!


Sticking with the Canon and Nikon, the Canon Rebel T1i for Canon users, or the Nikon D5000 are good camera to have for your first couple of years-or longer if you want. They have excellent sized megapixels and handle well for portrait photographers. Either of these cameras would be enough to use in a portrait business. If you are thinking of becoming a wedding photographer, you will want to upgrade before going pro (another post in the making!.

Buy Canon EOS Rebel T1i (Body Only)

Buy Nikon D5000 (Body Only)

Recommended Places to Buy your Camera

Just my two cents worth, I buy all my equipment on these three sites; Amazon,
Adorama, and B&H.

Learn How to use Your Awesome New Camera

My favorite recommendation to learn about your camera would be the Photo Nuts and Bolts: Know Your Camera and Take Better Photos

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Photo Nuts and Post ebook-It's a contest!

I've been heavily promoting this awesome new book, Photo Nuts and Post. If you've been thinking about getting this, I've got a great incentive for you to buy it!

Pick up a copy of Photo Nuts and Post before midnight (US Eastern time) 21 February and you’ll go in the draw to win one of the following great prizes to help you improve your photography:

-a Canon 60D DSLR with 18-135mm lens – worth $1180 USD

-a 21.5 inch Apple iMac (2.5 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with 500GB Hard Drive) – worth $1199 USD

-Adobe Photoshop CS5 and a 16GB Wifi iPad 2 – worth $1200 USD
The winner will be chosen at random from those who purchase Photo Nuts and Post and will be given the choice of one of the above 3 prizes. This competition is open to buyers in any part of the world – we’ll ship the prize to you at no cost.

This competition is for a limited time only, so go now!! ;)

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's you, not me-dealing with difficult clients

Back last summer, I shot a senior girl session which turned out beautiful. I sent the gallery proof to the mom and she picked out her favorites for the prints and I ordered her package. Everything went smoothly-so I thought.

When she received her prints, she said her daughter's face looked pink in print in one of the photos. She was up against a red brick wall and it was a hot day, so she did have a "hot" face. I did, however, touch it up as much as I could before she saw them. She didn't look unnatural in coloring though. She (mom) began complaining about other photos as well.

I offered to do a retouch and take out more red and "fixed" the other photos as well. She agreed and I had them reprinted (shipping at my cost) and sent them out to her once again. I didn't hear from her until almost two months later by email telling me she still wasn't happy with the photos. Well, since she waited so long, I couldn't send them back to the lab. Frustrated, I asked her just what was she was looking for? She just wasn't happy with the coloring once again and added new complaints this time!

At this point, I wasn't sure if she was just trying to get everything for free. I have been using her daughter's photos in my senior advertising since summer and they look great, so I was lost at what she wanted me to do.

I decided that I would just offer her the amount it would cost ME to print them and let her be the printer's problem. Maybe that wasn't the right thing to do, but eliminating the stress was worth it. I think this client was just one of those people who aren't happy unless they feel they got away with some deal.

Dealing with difficult clients can be hard. A few tips to follow may help you to deal with a difficult client, or avoid them in the first place.

Just say no.

This word is the hardest word to say sometimes. Guilt works big time on me and the need to please all my clients no matter what. Used appropriately though, this word sets boundaries for the client that might not otherwise be apparent.

Offer a solution.

Clients have a tendency to be single-minded when it comes to voicing their request. Find out what their underlying reason is for their demands. Maybe they don't have the money, or a specific location they didn't know you would go to. You might turn their demand into a positive.

Pre-qualify your clients.

This is such an important step in the photography business! Don't just book your clients. Instead, hold a phone or in person consultation to feel your client out. Understand their wishes and let them know what you are all about as well.
I turned down a wedding couple just the other day because I didn't feel we were a great fit during our interview. Pre-qualifying your customers saves a lot of headaches!

Write up a contract!

I've learned first hand what to put in your policies contract through trial and error with clients. My contract has changed over the years to include things I didn't think about until after I lived them. Very important to protect yourself and save yourself money and time in the long run.

Be professional-always.

It was so hard to just bite my tongue when dealing with this client. I just wanted to shake her and shout, these are beautiful-why don't you see that?! lol A client may just want to keep pushing your buttons over and over so you will cave. I know that as artists, we take things personally more than the average Joe. Just simply stand firm and stay professional. Once again, that's why I recommend pre-qualifying to avoid hassles!

I admit, I didn't follow all of these rules with that client and look where it got me-over 6 months later I was still dealing with her.