Tag Archives: photography

how to Monetize Photos

Did you know that the photos you take on your phone can earn you money? Whether you do it professionally or just for fun, there is a gigantic market for mobile photography. In this era of smartphones, you can take a photo of anything or anywhere and sell it on numerous platforms available. Amazing, right? Take a look at some of the best available services and apps.

Snapwire is an app available for both android and iOS users. It enables users to upload and sell their photos to a wide pool of buyers. Simple as it may sound, you can make up to $100 from a single photo. One advantage of Snapwire is that when you build your credibility, buyers are able to send you special requests.

Foap is also an app very similar to Snapwire. However, it is simpler to use. You just have to upload a photo and make it available for purchase. You can make an average of $5 per photo on Foap, which is not bad. The good news is that you can sell the same photo to different buyers, as many as possible.

Snapcape is a great place to start if you love detailed instructions and guidelines. You do not sell photos randomly. Rather, you sell them in categories. Depending on your particular photo you can send it under the category as maybe nature, pets or hotels. But first, your photo has to go through the administrators so they can refine it and find a specific buyer for it.

Clashot is the most popular app in this category. It is, therefore, the best since more people have a chance to view and buy your work. You can earn from $0.50 to $80 for a photo. Just upload your photo to the site and let potential buyers review.

Stockimo’s reputation speaks for itself. Stockimo has paid over $150M to photographers ever since it was founded. It is simple to use compared to Snapcape. The rules are simple; upload your best photo and allow the administrators to review and process it. When they approve the photo goes directly into the market. If you want, you can retain your photo’s copyright. You will still be able to receive commission once it is purchased.

Shutterstock is much more like Stockimo but with added advantages. You can choose to keep a copyright of your photo and still earn up to 30% of its price. The amount of money you earn for each download rises with time. A single photo can also earn you more money depending on its size.

These amazing apps could not have come at a better time. They all differ in one way or the other. But they have one thing in common; they are here to add more meaning to mobile photography. They have introduced an easier way to earn revenue with mobile photography. It is also an amazing way to share your photography skills and see what others are doing.

How to Shoot Etsy Products

Just because you are not a professional photographer or cannot access a photography studio does not mean that you can’t have amazing photos. Use these tips to take great photos outdoors or create your own photography set up at home. Prepare for the shoot; know the various aspects that you are trying to capture on your products and how you can highlight them.

This makes it easy to come up with an order for the session and choose the perfect equipment. Photo shoots can be draining and time consuming but shooting several items at once will speed up the process and create consistency. If a session goes well, note the time of day, date, lighting conditions, and weather so you can always replicate the conditions in your future shoots.

Gather Your Materials

Photo shoot Checklist

Essential

  • Camera or smartphone
  • Lighting (natural or artificial)
  • Hard surface/Table
  • Tripod
  • Background

Recommended

  • Light reflectors
  • Shutter release cable
  • Props
  • Camera lenses
  • Clips for securing background
  • Back-ups: spare batteries, chargers, memory cards, etc.
  1. Choose Your Background

Simple and orderly backgrounds draw attention to the product and not the surrounding. Clean light-colored walls, smooth fabrics, or seamless rolls of paper make for great backgrounds. Consistent backgrounds for all your shoots are also good for your brand and shop.

Using A Seamless Background

Hang your background material behind your product. You can hang it from a backdrop frame or attach it on a wall or cardboard. Let it flow down and extend it on your surface (table or floor), then place your object on it, a few inches from the curve. 

Using Outdoors Backgrounds

Outdoor backgrounds enable you to portray the context of your commodities through lifestyle photos. Use outdoor photos for context and indoor shots to give customers a closer look. 

  1. Light Your Shot

Good lighting and good photography go hand in hand. Always avoid harsh light; camera flashes, a strong fluorescent bulb or direct sunlight. 

Using Natural Light

Diffuse The Light: Use indirect sunlight. For outdoor shoots, a cloudy day ensures no harsh shadows. For indoor shoots, place your products several feet from the window. Take photos when you have plenty of light, but not too bright. 

Use bounce cards: a bounce card focuses light on your product on cloudy days. Make your own DIY bounce cards if you do not have any. 

Do not mix the light: do not mix artificial and natural light. 

Using Artificial Light

Invest in box lights: three soft box lights are enough to illuminate your product.

For small items, use a tent or light box: a light tent or light box streamlines your shoots with consistent light source and background.

Be careful with flash: avoid using the built-in flash in your camera and opt for an external flash instead. 

  1. Steady Your Shot

Anchor Your Camera

Place your cameras on a solid surface or tripod stand because if you hold it with your hands you might move and cause blurry photos.

Use Autofocus

Turn on your camera’s autofocus function for sharper images. 

Be Careful With Slow Shutter Speeds

Slower shutter speed leads to blurry images especially in a low light environment. 

Get the right Equipment

Use a macro-lens or shutter release cable to enhance focus.

  1. Frame Your Shot

Choose The Position and Angle

How would you like to position your image? Do you want to take a vertical or horizontal shot? Using the “rule of thirds” will also guide you. 

Eliminate Potential Distractions

If an object does not highlight your product, it should not show in the frame. 

  1. Test Your Setup

Take a few test shots and view them on a large monitor. 

The right equipment will help you get fantastic shots of your products. In this chapter, you will see the advantages and disadvantages of various cameras and learn about accessories that will make your photos stand out. You will come across four major types of cameras when shopping.  Smartphone cameras are pretty good and they keep getting better.

With a decent photography setup, good lighting, and of course practice, you can take great photos of your products with your mobile phone camera. Pros: smartphones are small and portable. They help you save time when you need to snap your products on the go. What’s more, you can edit and list the photos wherever you are.

Cons: unlike high quality cameras, smartphone cameras do not use a lens for optical zooming. If you zoom while taking photos with your phone, it will be low quality. Moreover, smartphone cameras are not the best for low-light environments. Compact/Point-and-Shoot Cameras come in a wide variety of styles. They can either be limited when it comes to manual settings or have fully automatic settings. Pros: they are small and portable.

They are easy to use as they have more presets (built-in settings) automatic modes. They are cheaper than premium cameras. As long as a point-and-shoot camera has a macro setting and at least 10 megapixels, you can take decent photos. Cons: the automatic mode on a compact camera limits your control over the shots. Since these cameras also have built-in flashes, they may not be the best for product photography.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras have a lot of options for manual settings and interchangeable lenses. These expensive cameras are more complex than the point-to-shoot cameras and they take outstanding photos. Pros: These premium cameras are versatile. They are easy to use and take perfect pictures even in low light. Their large image sensors absorb more light resulting in larger pixel sizes and sharper images. Cons: they are a little expensive.

They are bulky and not fun to carry around. For someone who does not know much about cameras, learning the manual settings can be a challenge. Instead of using a mirror, light just goes through the lens, then to the image sensor and the image is relay to the rear screen. Pros: They are light. They have more functions and manual capabilities. They might be easier to use for a beginner than DSLR cameras. Cons: a little pricier than compact and smartphone cameras.

They have less functionality than DSLR cameras. Older models might not take great photos. With camera lenses, you can take crystal clear photos of your product. Always consider “minimum focusing distance” when buying a lens. A specialized macro-lens enhances your camera focus when the object is close. Tripods help you take a steady shot and are available for technically any camera type.

Get one with extendable legs so you can adjust the height of your camera. While taking photos, pressing a button may cause the camera to move. A cable release or remote control takes care of this problem. Seamless Backdrops/Sweep are usually a fabric or long sheet of paper flowing from the wall to the floor, with no creases. The continuous background makes your products pop. 

Lighting Tools

Good lighting is paramount for flattering features.

Bounce cards and reflectors

Soft box Lights

Light boxes and light tents

External flashes 

Flash diffusers

Substandard product photography, be it overexposed images or blurry close-ups, can really hurt your online sales. The following five photography mistakes are very common among new online sellers. Learn how to avoid them.  When the light is less than enough, your camera lengthens the exposure to try and compensate for that.

The result may be a grainy or blurry image. Shoppers love a clear photo of the product they are buying. So even though you are selling outstanding goods, dimly lit photos will turn away potential customers. How to fix it: conduct your photography by a sunny window and also use a reflector (a piece of white poster board will do) to focus more light on the product and eliminate shadows. 

Sometimes when you are shooting indoors, you might be tempted to use the built-in flash in your camera to make things a little brighter. What you do not know is that flash can cause shadows, mess with the colors of your product, and create unflattering glares. How to fix it: when you want to shoot your items and there doesn’t seem to be enough natural light, try using soft box lights or a light box to illuminate the product and avoid harsh glares.

Out-of-focus photos portray un-professionalism and buyers will highly doubt the quality of your products if they are considering it. If they cannot see the photos clearly, it is unlikely they will make a purchase. How to fix it: play around with focus settings. A lot of digital cameras are prompted to create a new focal point when you hold the camera’s shutter button halfway down. Likewise, for smartphones, you can tap the screen on the spot you want focused on before taking the shot.

For close up photos where you need to bring out the details of an item or for small products like jewelry, enhance focus using the macro setting on digital cameras. It is usually represented with a flower symbol. Setting your camera on a stack of books or a tripod also makes for crispier photos. Too many props in a photo leave potential customers wondering what exactly is being sold. This can happen when shooting items in a context environment like a pillow on a bed. Although it helps buyers envision the product in their lives, it can be confusing. How to fix it: avoid backdrops and too many props as they can overwhelm shoppers.

The item on sale should be the center of attention. If you are not sure, use a simple and solid backdrop to take photos of your product by itself. For you to sell your products, online buyers need to assess all the important details of the item from your photos. They should be able to tell the size, color, and other details. Otherwise, you will lose them. How to fix it: include photos taken from several angles in your listings. If there are damages, capture them as well. For items such as clothes, shoot them on a model for the shoppers to get a clear image. High quality photos and enough information will attract and keep customers. 

Marketing Drone Photography Business

The arrival of drones and the internet seems to be perfect timing for the technological world, especially for photography enthusiasts. If you love everything photography, you can build a business online using your drone and make the best of both worlds. This may sound a bit complicated, but it is the easiest type of business that you can start with the least capital requirement. 

Use Social Quant

This tool helps you increase your presence on Twitter, depending on your keywords input. The Quant scans twitter automatically, searching conversations with the input keywords. It then analyzes the profiles to determine their worthiness. Besides, the tool will also automatically follow the profile owners, in which case some of them are likely to follow you back. But if they do not follow you for some time, it will unfollow them to keep your follower and following ratio at optimum. 

Emailing

Email is essential in the digital world, having been around for a number of years but still valuable. It is still one of the best ways of connecting with others and can be helpful if you want to get in touch with several people. You can use cold emailing to build your online business by bringing potential clients your way. These can be realtors, golf courses, hotels, construction companies, and resorts to mention but a few.

LinkedIn

This platform is among the best places online to bring businesses your way, especially in cases where you engage a business to business approach. Most drone pilot pros use this trick, and it can work for you as well. It all starts by ensuring your LinkedIn profile reflects what you do as well as why you do it. Also, remember to link your account to your other sites and contact information to keep your prospect clients well-directed. 

Facebook ads

Most business owners do not seem to recognize the power of Facebook in growing their enterprises. This platform is among the most important areas you can advertise your content to your target audience with impressive results. The best thing about it is that the audience here is well detailed. So you can target people according to their particular occupation in a certain city, state or country or several areas all at once. You can also target people on what they like, whether it’s a hobby, food, games, magazine or such. 

Craigslist

When it comes to some of the best sources of online classified ads, this has to be one of them. Craigslist is useful if you are looking to attract new potential clients effortlessly and passively. All you need to do is put up a Craigslist ad to promote your service.

In today’s world, technology has seen significant developments to the realization of small unmanned aerial systems in the public markets. This has seen much innovation as well. At last, the two can be useful together, and with a high level of performance in photography. However, drones have also been used for other purposes as well. But when it comes to using them for commercial functions, these machines have proved reliable, and enterprises are taking advantage of the opportunity to the fullest.

Aerial surveys have dominated in topography, cartography, archaeology, and feature recognition as well as GIS applications. It has been reliable in helping get a clear picture on terrestrial sites, which is hard to measure from the ground. And while this sector has been dominated by piloted helicopters and planes, drones are proving to be a match for the task and becoming a darling for many.

 With these machines, many operators are making a breakthrough in digital photogrammetric mapping as well as photography services. This is all thanks to the drone’s cost efficiency and ability to descend to lower altitudes that are not possible with the heavier crafts.

Aerial photography involves the capture of photographs on the ground surface from an elevated/eye in the sky to earth (bird’s eye view) position. Usually, in such a setting, the photo-taking device is not hinged to any ground based foundation. Equipment used for the eye in the sky photo sessions are inclusive of helicopters, light fixed wing planes, drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), hot air balloons, helium balloons, kites, dirigibles and blimps, sizable rockets, specially trained birds, parachutes, self-standing telescopes and auto-mobile mounted poles.

Drone utility is rapidly growing around the world outside the renowned confines of the military sector. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are remotely controlled and used majorly by the military in battlefronts for ambushing the enemy’s camp by dropping bombs or other improvised explosives. The military also utilizes drones for surveillance purposes to collect intelligence on their adversary.

The military could also use particular drones to deliver food to troops on the front lines in warring times. The lightweight UAVs come in handy in case of difficulty and risk tasking if the warfare operation is too dangerous for the soldiers.

In the past, however, civilians and corporations have gained traction in developing and using drones to wade through non-combat applications such as surveying vast terrain of farm land (plantations and ranches), photography and motion picture film-making for commercial interests.

There is a lot involved that anyone should consider and understand about UAVs technology before deciding to venture into unmanned aerial vehicle photography. In such, if you have made up your mind to invest in an aerial drone photography enterprise, you must gather all available literature and know how to have access regarding drone technology and thoroughly understand the pros and cons.

Just like every other business, there is the possibility of emerging obstacles now and then regarding being an amateur or not having prior knowledge in the field. Competition in the industry could also prove a hindrance, but if the drone operator remains focused and disciplined to the course of growing and expanding the firm, the chances are high in achieving success. If you are deliberating on establishing an aerial photography company, you must remain dedicated, willful and focused towards ascending the enterprise towards a set goal.

The industry to which drone photography business falls into is indeed very fast. This coupled with the fact that it is still an expanding field of expertise and very much alive and dynamic in the United States of America, South Korea, Russia, China, Germany, Japan and even most recently in the developing continents of the world, including Africa.

Despite the fact that the UAV photography industry seems fragile and young, there is a positive prospect for the sector especially when it cascades to leveraging the emerging trends in tech-knowledge. Encouragement is accorded to potential investors to go into the drone photography field because of the vast opportunities available in the industry. The industry is, in fact, a growing and profitable sector especially if it is adequately set and promoted. An aspiring entrepreneur could start on a relative scale working for just a private company or could go full blown on a mega-scale working for both government establishments and big corporations who are into research and such fields of work.

If interested in starting a drone photography company, you may carve a niche per your custom specifics. Whatever niche you venture into, you must ensure to research your market and survey to ascertain that indeed you are capable of attracting enough profitable contracts.

Popularity and actual accessibility of drone technology have opened up unlimited possibilities for aviation enthusiasts and videographers in equal measures. Mastering a tactful takeoff and landing, and skillful maneuver of drones through a series of drill accords give you the basic command needed to translate a UAV flying hobby into profits as an entrepreneur.

Regulations could usher in unprecedented obstacles to a fledgling enterprise, but, if catered to cautiously, you could generate extra income on the side transacting above head clips of weddings, real estate, and other scenarios regarding demanded aerial footage.

Below are some vital considerations to make while assessing a startup in drone technology video coverage on a commercial basis.

The highest costs you will encounter in drone-entrepreneurship are the legal fees involved. UAV enterprise is to date a relatively novel entity, and authorities tasked with streamlining such as the Federal Aviation Administration (or FAA) are continually developing dynamics meant to deal with the establishment.

If you wish to venture into flying drones around covering photos and video (profitable enterprise) in events and for maintenance, or for security services, you must go through an approval process that in turn allows them to apply for and obtain a Section 333 Exemption. The process will be undoubtedly demanding. This legal aid is critical. A drone law specialized team will come in handy when you fill out needed applications; collect, assembly of, and submission of all the required documents. They will also assist in following up with the regulators once your paperwork has been received.

To prospective drone-entrepreneurs some of the costs would prove too steep, however not all is lost. Other avenues like repair and maintenance services or training other individuals interested that are viable for exploration and engagement.

Regardless of the drone-related enterprise, you want to invest in; it’s vital to ensure you are on the safe side with the stipulated regulations to avoid boisterous fine slaps. Listen to an expert legal aid, and take the time to ensure this is the right thing to do.

Drones are different shapes, sizes, and pricing. The reality of cost could be anywhere from one hundred dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars. 

One of the biggest cost denominators is the camera mounted to the UAV. To capture professional studio-quality images, you will need a drone with a 4K camera. The 4K camera ensures that the videos shot will be of a horizontal resolution of around 4,000 pixels.

The drone selected is one of the most prime decisions in establishing your drone enterprise, and thus you must deeply deliberate soberly before making any decisions. It is a prerequisite to finding a drone that is convenient to fly and is assembled to your specific comfort level. 

You need to go into your venture prepared for any event of accidentally damaging the drone. Drone liability insurance protects not only the hardware, but also from any liability in the unfortunate occurrence you crash your drone into something of value or happen to injure someone. Note that as the regulations around drones shift, insurance requirements will as well. Keep a keen eye on emerging policies to be sure.

The Ultimate DIY Guide to Beautiful Product Photography

 A potential customer will judge your brand and products based on how you visually represent your items. This means that your photos should be beautiful and of high-quality. 

For new store owners, a professional photography studio can be a little costly. DIY product photography is the perfect alternative. You can take compelling photos as long as you have the right tools and use proper techniques.

The technique outlined below is referred to as The Window Light Technique. It is the best for those on a budget. It is a simple technique aimed at producing high-quality photos.

What You Will Need

The gear you use will greatly impact your photography. This is an issue that can be confusing to newcomers. High-end gadgets are not necessary. The only costly thing is probably the camera.

Camera

A super expensive Nikon camera gives awesome results but you can do without it. In fact, you can use your smartphone. 

The Canon G10 is modest but you can shoot outstanding photos with it. 

Start with what you have for now and see if the pictures are fine. The photo quality depends on more than just the camera.

Tripod

If you are working with a slow shutter camera and you hold it, you are likely to end up with blurry photos. That is why you need a tripod. 

There are many cheap options on Amazon—there is no need to spend too much.

White Background

As a store owner, you may end up doing so many shoots. A white sweep is ideal because when it gets dirty, you can remove that dirty part.

For an even cheaper option, buy a poster board at the local art or drug store. When buying, choose pure white.

White Bounce Cards

When using window light, one side of your object will be directly struck by light while the other side will be the shadow side. Bounce cards are used to reflect light onto the shadow. The best material for bounce cards is foam board. 

Another tactic is using a black foam board to deepen the shadow. It is useful when both the background and the product are white.

Table

A regular folding table will work just fine.

Tape

Clamps or tapes help to secure the board for a perfect sweep. 

The Right Room

A window or windows close to a wall make the best room. A big window will let in more light. 

How to Take Photos of Your Product

  • Set up the table: place it very close to the window and turn off lights in the room.
  • Set up the sweep: the sweep should be vertical. 
  • Set up the camera: set the white balance to auto AWB. Turn the flash setting off then set the image settings to RAW or the largest JPG setting.
  • Set up the product: place it at the center of the surface.
  • Set up your reflector card: feel free to try different angles.
  • Take the picture and evaluate it.
  • Retouch your pictures.