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16 Top Photographers Share the Best Advice They’ve Ever Received

16 Top Photographers Share the Best Advice They’ve Ever Received

Photo Week on CreativeLive every year offers a great resource to photographers. Here are the answers from some of the top photographers in the business which run the gamut from useful reminders to awesomely profound:

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“Make it personal. That is my ultimate goal in my business, no matter what the job is. From social media to volume events with 1000’s of kids: making it personal will help make my business successful.”
— Mike Fulton

“If I don’t go out and get what I want, it likely won’t be handed to me.”
— Brooke Shaden

“Remember to breathe.”
— Khara Plicanic

“Jump first, fear later.” This wasn’t advice that was given to me, but more of an idea that was instilled in me during my time interning for a nonprofit in California after high school. Big ideas are awesome and deserve to be tackled. I think it is so important to decide to do something or not do something based on how much you want to do it. Don’t think about the logistics or the cost, or the time it will take first. Think about whether or not you really want to do it or not. If you do, then just say yes to it and make it happen. Exhibit A: Planes. Can you believe that someone just said, we can do this? Now, there are humongous metal tubes floating through the air all of the time. Figure out what your plan is, and make it happen.”
— Ben Sasso

“However big your camera bag is, you will fill it.”
— John Greengo

“Every time someone books your highest package, raise your prices.”
— Vanessa Joy

“Face the dragon of fear. To me, this meant to go head-on with the things that scare you most. It’s empowering when you realize you can conquer them, and you most often realize they weren’t that scary after all — and the result is huge leaps in your learning, wisdom, and connection with new experiences. Difficult situations are often only difficult in our minds, and once we tackle them, they seem trivial in hindsight. Person-to-person communication is also greatly enhanced when we say the hard things that need to be said as soon as they need to be said. Oh, and my mom also used to share the advice she got from her mom: ‘Be sweet.’”
— Kevin Kubota

“Being a successful professional photographer has less to do with how good your pictures are and more to do with how good your relationship skills are.”
— Mike Kelley

“Don’t attempt to do EVERYTHING just because you need the money.”
— Erin Manning

“Lowering your prices doesn’t necessarily increase perceived value. In fact, when you have the lowest price in the marketplace, people may believe that your value and quality is the lowest. Don’t undervalue your work, because then others will undervalue it as well.”
— Lindsay Adler

“From my Dad: ‘Keep the focus.’ Little did I know how literal those words would be to my life’s calling.”
— Johnny Davenport

“The more ridiculous you look while taking a photo, the better that photo will probably be. Photographers can’t be afraid to get into strange and awkward positions to get the shot they’re after.”
— Pei Ketron

“Don’t take anything personally, it’s just business. If you don’t let things get to you, you’ll be much better off in this field.”
— Pratik Naik

“Stop blowing out your highlights!”
— Courtney Daly

“I was told to photograph 50 strangers in a way revealed something about them. Portrait photography is all about connecting with your subject. That’s a great way to learn how to do it.”
— Brian Smith

“Learn to see light.”
— Ryan Muirhead

This blog post was put together by Whitney Ricketts on creativelive.com

WHY SHOULD YOU AS A PHOTOGRAPHER HAVE INSURANCE

WHY SHOULD YOU AS A PHOTOGRAPHER HAVE INSURANCE

Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes.  As photographers, we are expected to be both an artist and a service to the public.  There’s always going to be a chance that your client is going to be so difficult, uncooperative, or possibly vindictive if they feel as though you’re not up to their expectations for whatever reason. 

It is for this reason that every professional photographer should have their own liability insurance to protect themselves from being taken advantage of.

How Liability Insurance can Save You

If you’re getting a steady flow of work and you consider yourself to be fairly busy as a photographer, you will eventually encounter a situation where you have to make changes and cannot commit to a scheduled photoshoot.  If your client doesn’t take kindly to this suggestion, they may turn on you and decide to sue you for a breach in contract, which they could win if you don’t have anything that states the ability to cancel at any time prior to the appointment.

Insurance can save you from being sued for a client’s negligence, too.  Like, if they were to trip into a piece of your equipment and hurt themselves.  Liability insurance can also cover you if for whatever reason your camera malfunctions and either ruins or renders the customer’s images unrecoverable.

Every potential scenario where things could go wrong, at no fault of your own, should be accounted for, because there are plenty of people out there who try to take advantage of small businesses and avoid having to share whatever losses incurred due to an accident.

Weighing your Options

While these things do happen, it ought to be noted that an occurrence like this is extremely uncommon, as a general rule you have most likely better chances winning the lottery, however, they do happen and in this manner it is imperative that you are not left exposed after a bad turn of events.

Still not persuaded? The other thing liability insurance can help with is damage to other’s property.  This would cover you on the off chance that you harmed another person's property while doing your job.  For instance, you could incline toward a divider and push a portion of it over with your weight as you are taking the photo!  The fact that the divider was not sufficiently secure is no assurance in the courts.  You would be in charge of the repair to it - all things considered, the client would contend that the property was fine before you stepped into it!

A straightforward mishap like this could cost hundreds, maybe thousands - something that could also leave a mark on your career, too.  You can do your best to avoid doing business with people who seem unreasonable or suspicious, but there’s no guarantee that you won’t run a streak of bad luck and end-up losing a ton of sleep, money, and possibly business over an honest mistake while trying your best.

A Closer Look @ Our Spaces

A Closer Look @ Our Spaces

The Production Studio is located on the west end of Toronto minutes from Sherway Gardens. Our 8500 sq ft building offers 4 unique studio spaces ranging from 1100 to 3200 sq ft. complete with 2 kitchenettes, washrooms.

All studios come with a raised shooting platform, a Hollywood mirror, makeup station, portable speakers, change tent, clothing rack, 4 c-stands, sand bags and extension cords.

Book online at www.productionstudio.ca/booking or email us with inquires at sales@productionstudio.ca

If you would like to rent out the entire building (studios 1-3 and kitchenette), the day rate is $700 CDN and a discount for multiple days. 

Please take a look at our galleries below with floor plans and specs for each space, photos from various angles and daylight availability.

If you are a photographer looking for space, we offer a great residency program. It offers a cheaper rate to use our studios and a consistent location to help you build your brand.

Kitchenette

Studio 1 - 1100 sq ft

Studio 2- 1100 sq ft

Studio 3- 1100 sq ft

Studio 4- 3200 sq ft

We Welcome Resident Artist RJA

We Welcome Resident Artist RJA

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Feeling like there was more to life than an intensive job and private family life, a chance google search found a workshop at The Production Studios that rekindled my love of photography.

Attending many many many.... many workshops, I was able to understand and breakdown the details needed to elevate myself from amateur hobbyist to a passionate artist that aspires to eventually rise up as a true professional photographer (some day!).

I enjoy many genres within photography and have produced many photos that I am proud of. Initially, head / beauty shots captivated me. Curiosity eventually rolled into boudoir and fine art. Now, I am taking my interests and focusing on Fashion to see what I can produce.

Should anyone wish to collaborate on future projects, please feel free to contact me.

Samples of RJA's Work

We Welcome Resident Artist Stephen Roberts

We Welcome Resident Artist Stephen Roberts

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As photographers we live for freezing the moment. My passion in photography is for defrosting the moment. Rather than everything being completely sharp and frozen in time. I love to show movement and dreaminess and a sense of the surreal.

Being a dance dad, this is one of the reasons I was attracted to this art form, as well as long exposure landscapes and seascapes. I love to drag the shutter. I could be quite happy shooting for the rest of my life with shutter speeds of a second or longer…..

I am a huge lover of portrait photography. Sitting down with my subject conversing and trying to create a real emotional connection and pose from my sitter is an art form which is a wonderful challenge that I enjoy immensely. A great emotional portrait is not made in camera but on either side of it. One of my favourite portrait photographers Yousuf Karsh says it best: “When one sees the residuum of greatness before ones camera one must recognize it in a flash. There is a brief moment when all that there is in a man’s mind and soul and spirit may be reflected through his eyes, his hands, his attitude. This is the moment to record. This is the elusive moment of truth.

I am a resident photographer at The Production Studio in Mississauga. I am currently booked for my dance series and portraits shoots till October 2017. But I am always looking for models and professional dancers for my creative projects. If you are interested in collaborating with me I would love to hear from you….Visit my site www.floto.ca and book your shoot today.

Samples of Stephen's Work

Video of the Signature Series Workshop w/ Paul Buceta @ The Production Studio

Video of the Signature Series Workshop w/ Paul Buceta @ The Production Studio

Here is a video that we put together to show what we do in our intensive and Signature Series workshops. We want to create the best environment and talent to help you achieve your goals as a photographer, to help build your book and to allow you to have fun while doing it. For more information and to register for workshops check us out online at www.productionstudio.ca/workshops or www.meetup.com/ProdStudioTO 

Don't forget that we can also assist you with all of your studio rental or commercial needs. You can find more information about that at www.productionstudio.ca

We Welcome Rayven Martinez - Resident Artist

We Welcome Rayven Martinez - Resident Artist

Filmmaker + Fashion/Fine Art Photographer and Cinematographer in Toronto, Canada.
(Fashion, Editorial and Commercial)

Rayven’s love for imagery began with a Canon A1 in High School shooting for Yearbook Yearly and School Sport Meets. After Graduating High School he had upgraded to a Canon 10's 35mm SLR with Prime Lenses started shooting Events. He had taken Art Workshops in his early 20's from Painting to Sculptor. Since those fledgling days, Rayven expanded his horizons to the Film Industry and found himself Directing, Managing and Producing Videos, while maintaining his passion for Photography. He has work for Grants such as BravoFact, MuchFact, OAC (Ontario Art Coucil), The Canada Council for the Arts, Tele Film and OMDC (Ontario Media Developement Corporation).Some of his clients include: Sony, Visa, Samsung, Rogers and TIFF.

On the side, this shutterbug can be found watching films from his Criterion Collection, Animations by Studio Ghibli and Tim Burton. He loves Horror movies from Director Dario Argento's Films, to Old Classics to New. A Collector of Vintage Films and Cameras, his most current set includes a Horseman VCC Converter Tilt-Shift and Polaroid SLR 680.

Rayven knows how to stay on the Budget learning from working as Producer and Production Manager on Commercials and Music Videos. He also knows how to work on a pressure specially important Deadlines!

Written by Roseanne Dela Rosa Ricasio (Editor Wedding Bell)

For inquiries please contact: Rayven@rayvenphotography.com
Website: www.Rayvenphotography.com (Under Construction)
Porfolio: www.500px.com/Rayven

SAMPLE WORK

We Welcome Billy Vasilios - Residency Artist

We Welcome Billy Vasilios - Residency Artist

I was 8 years old when my mother first let me take a photo with her bulky Polaroid instant camera.

Even though it was 1979, I can still remember the feeling, the weight, and the joy of being able to capture real, genuine moments.

It wasn’t long after that my appreciation turned into a passion, and that passion led me to a career.

Having studied Journalism at Humber College in the 90s, I decided to merge my two interests of photography and journalism, and dive into the diverse and wonderful world of photo-journalism.

It’s been many years since those initial days, but that same journalistic tendency to genuinely appreciate that around me and to find ways of capturing it organically has stuck with me ever since.

Flash forward to today, and I now find myself shooting everything from beauty to commercial and everything in between.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for capturing things as they actually happen.
It’s why I pride myself so much on not just taking great pictures, but on creating great environments to have a really memorable shoot.

Because when clients look back at my pictures, I don’t just want them to see joy, I want them to remember it.

To check out more of my work head to: www.vasilocity.com

Biography written by Ashley J. Hassard

Signature Series | BTS w/ Della Pham & Pires Photography

Signature Series | BTS w/ Della Pham & Pires Photography

Take a look at the BTS video with Della Melinda Pham and Pires Photographyy at The Production Studio as they help to design and create amazing portfolio images for photographers.

Thank you to everyone who came out and made the day such a success. We are looking forward to the next collaboration between these two photographers in our spaces on Sunday, January 29th. For more information visit www.productionstudio.ca/workshops or sign up on our meetup page www.meetup.com/ProdStudioTO

The Headshot Intensive Toronto March 2017

The Headshot Intensive Toronto March 2017

The Production Studio is excited to announce that world renowned photographer Peter Hurley will be bringing SHABANG! to our studios in March.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Peter Hurley is a premier portrait and headshot photographer with studios in New York City and Los Angeles. He is known for the genuine expressions he captures in his actors headshots and executive portraits.

EDUCATOR

He is an expert on human facial expression and has spoken on the subject for TEDx, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and GoDaddy to name a few. Peter is also a Canon Explorer of Light and teaches his signature photography workshops all over the world. He is the author of the recently published book The Headshot the definitive guide to headshot photography.

SIGN UP

You can sign up via the buttons below linking to the two events at our studios and check out the video for more information.

Studio 4 - A Great Creative Space

Studio 4 - A Great Creative Space

Our 4th studio space has opened and has lends itself to many creative and commercial projects. Spanning 3500 sq ft, this space has already been used for photography and video projects.

Combined with our existing 3 spaces, The Production Studio now offers over 8500 sq ft of shooting space, two load in bays, two kitchenettes and 4 bathrooms. Contact us at sales@productionstudio.ca for a custom quote or for more information.

November 25th e-letter - Take a look and subscribe online

November 25th e-letter - Take a look and subscribe online

Take a look at our latest e-letter online to check out the great workshops we have lined up.

Subscribe below to stay informed about changes to our studios, special pricing and upcoming workshops.

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The Production Studio Residency Program

The Production Studio Residency Program

Our Residency Program offers access to The Production Studio at a more affordable rate while also providing promotional services for you and your work.

The program affords photographers the space and time to advance their careers and to strengthen their skills, perfect for both emerging and professional photographers at phenomenal value.

The Production Studio is a spacious 4500+ sq ft facility with access to 3 distinct studios (1500 sq ft each) ideal for those equipped with their own gear.

Our Residency Program is here to take your photography to the next level. If you have any questions or would like to sign up email us at sales@productionstudio.ca