Category Archives: Advice

Pinup Photography and why it is awesome

 

Pinup Photography and why it is awesome

Pinup Photography and why it is awesome

Pinup photography is a fun style of photography to do, and one of the photographic styles that I have been working on diligently over the last couple of years to try to get down. There are a number of standard poses, such as the checking the stockings/nylons poses, as well as the sitting with your legs tucked under you with your arms up around your head sticking your chest out.

Honestly I think that the early 1940’s and 1950’s style pinup is almost a golden age of innocence and lust that keeps people thinking about the potentials. In our overly saturated naked body style photography that is going on now, the more innocent and clothed pinup style really works on a deeper level. We get to imagine what we are going to get when we look at those kinds of pictures.

The problem comes into inspiration, and the photographer knowing how to pose the model. One of the best sites I have for a deep dive on Pinup is the “Pinup Files” web site. You really need to check this place out so that you can get a really good idea of how to pose your models and get them doing what you need to do so you can get the picture you want to have. I have used this web site to work with models to get the posing down so that they have a good idea of what needs to be done on their part, and the photographer can then work on the framing to get it down just right. Posing pinup’s once you have the art down is easy, without stressing out the model too badly in some weird contortion pose that hurts them after only a few minutes.

Personally I love pinup photography and hope to do more of this in the future. Let me know what you think of the genre or what tips you would have for other photographers.

 

 

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Smugmug does something wonderful about their price increases

Don't be a Dick - Thank you Smugmug
Don’t be a Dick – Thank you Smugmug

Smugmug does something wonderful about their price increases, they backed off a little bit and really looked at their customers and how they use the site.

Smugmug is my photo hosting site – I have been with them now for seven wonderful gorgeous years, and at the end of my current yearly payment I was seriously looking at going somewhere else. I just could not afford the price increase because I really use Smugmug for warehousing and not really for making money. I just do not have the traffic or the name to drive any kind of sales. I have however had at least one sale through the site, and I am good with that, so I did want a price list that I could tweak a little so I could make a couple of bucks off a sale if I made one.

This morning Smugmug just made my whole day, and while I won’t change what I have been doing, it is going to be so much easier to stay with Smugmug now, because my price increase of 50 dollars a year rather than 200 dollars a year. Now if Smugmug just raises prices a little every year that will also be easier to afford. Below is the total cut and paste from Smugmug this morning, and I am very glad to be staying with them, they are part of my photographic continuity, and it would have been like chopping off my own arm to leave them. I am a total Smugmug fanboy.

Dear Dan Morrill,

We’re emailing as a result of the passionate feedback many of you gave us after our pricing change–and some incredibly moving stories we heard about your photography.

It’s been two months since we created two Pro accounts, Portfolio and Business, where there once was one. The main difference between them was the ability to price and sell.

Today we’re adding the ability to price and sell to Portfolio accounts. We’re sending this email to you because, based on the features you use now, we think you’ll choose to renew your account as a Portfolio account.

Portfolio accounts are designed for up-and-coming photographers on a budget who don’t need the features higher-volume pros use, such as packages, event marketing, coupons, multiple active pricelists, and order branding. Like Business accounts, they provide deep site customization, image protection, and integration with our professional labs.

You can find a complete list of differences between the accounts now on our pro features page, and more details on our blog.

Your account will automatically renew at the Portfolio rate ($150/year or $20/month), but if you prefer a different account, you can visit your Account Settings.

Our price change was honestly scary and emotional. Two months later, we’re relieved that it’s providing us the ability to invest more in engineering because sales are up. We are gratified by the support we’ve received from so many of you and hope that this change will offer wonderful up-and-coming photographers a chance to pursue their passion.

All the best,

Don and Chris MacAskill

Founders, photographers, regular guys

 

So all I really have to say is yay! Right on Smugmug, this is the right thing to do, this is the right way to listen to your customers, this is the right way to listen to me and what I need out of Smugmug. This is just right, you can’t get any more right. With all the hoopla over price increases, account types, and everything else, I really just want to kiss you full on the lips right now. If you are in town, let me know, I’m buying you folks a drink of choice.

 

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To watermark or not to watermark that is the question

 

To watermark or not to watermark that is the question
To watermark or not to watermark that is the question

To watermark or not to watermark that is the question

There is no easy answer here; I have varied between using watermarks and not using watermarks. I am in a current let’s not use watermarks for my pictures, although I have been known to use them depending on the circumstance. But I tend to agree with Thomas Hawk, not to watermark for many reasons along the way. Thomas Hawk makes a compelling argument – few of the real masters in the field actually use watermarks.

For me it is more of a personal reason, I want to sell my pictures – if I use an embedded watermark that is the last thing someone who buys my picture is going to want to have as part of the picture. It is there, and sales are going to be really difficult on those pictures I have watermarked in the past. I want to sell (not that I am having much luck at that either), and a watermark just gets in the way. The buyer can’t remove it, it is there forever, and shows up on the final print, no one is going to purchase it.

Watermarking is an interesting process where you as a photographer think you are going to generate some buzz for your work, build some name or brand recognition, or otherwise make a valiant attempt at stopping “photo thieves”. Personally I would love to see someone with an image on their web site that they didn’t pay for that I have fully copyrighted because I am sending them a bill, a big bill, a huge bill that will help me feed my cats for a month. I am going to screen cap that puppy, the bill will go out, and if I don’t get payment I am sending it off to the most aggressive angriest most annoying bill collection system that I can find. I’ll enjoy doing that, because at least I’ll get some money for what I am doing.

I have also noticed that most photographers have a pretty unique style when it boils down what kinds of pictures they take. You can include your data in the meta data of the picture even though it can be stripped, heck you could even use stenography with you name embedded in the digital image so that it does not show up on the final print. That final print is everything; there are other ways of protecting your pictures without a horrible watermark.

So right now I am not using a watermark, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. There are other ways of finding out people who are using your pictures without permission or payment. Then send them a huge bill and call it a day. Just remember to make friends with a bill collection agency.  We all have our ways of doing things – for now I am forgoing the watermark in favor of sending Guido over to their place of business.

 

 

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