New Skills!

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New Skills!

New year and learning new photography skills!Our latest edition of Sunday Intro to Photography DSLR class ! We offer this core classes ongoing and multiple times a month because of their popularity and success in teaching everything needed to start out in photography or taking your skills to the next level! In addition, we offer our core photography classes and all of our specialty photography classes as private lessons if you prefer a more one-on-one learning experience!

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Weekend Photography!

A fun Saturday edition of our Intro to Photography DSLR class! This core class is our most popular photography class so we hold it multiple times a month including nights and weekends! This 4 hour class will teach you everything you need to know about your camera and all its settings and functions. In addition, you will learn how to take better pictures!

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Last Minute Gifts!

Need the perfect gift for that special someone in your life? Or perhaps you need to treat yourself with a gift!  We offer Gift Certificates which can be used towards any of our classes, workshops, private lessons and photo shoots!  As with all of our specialty workshops, including this Headshot Photography Workshop, there are smaller class sizes so there is plenty of one on one time with the instructor and the ability to put your newly learned skills to work with plenty of shooting time with the model. Our gift certificates make the perfect gift for anyone special in your life!

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Out of Town Lesson!

Start out your new year with a private photography lesson to enhance your photography skills! Here’s an image captured during a Private Nature Photography lesson held out of town around Yuma! With a private lesson, the student had the chance to receive one on one instruction and put their new skills to the test out in the field of a beautiful nature setting, while still having the instructor by their side to ask questions and help them take their skills to the next level!



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Students of Photography!

Students from last weekend and weekday evening beating the heat in full Intro to Photography DSLR classes! We offer this core class ongoing and multiple times a month because of its popularity and success in teaching everything needed to start out in photography or taking your skills to the next level! In addition, we offer our core photography classes and all of our specialty photography classes as private lessons if you prefer a more one-on-one learning experience! Sign up for a class and take your photography skills to the next level! In addition, we offer gift certificates which would make a perfect holiday gift for that special someone in your life!



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How to succeed as a photographer – Part III

This is part three on succeeding as a professional photographer. The question that I am always getting asked is what equipment and tools should I buy. “Canon, Nikon or Sony is coming out with a new whiz-bang gizmo, should I buy it?” In short, probably not. I am not going to recommend brands, because as long as you stick to the major manufacturers it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference in the long run.

First lets look at cameras. The body you choose depends a lot on what you will actually be shooting. If you are shooting action sports a camera with decent frame rate should be considered. Also read up on focus speed and focus tracking. Portraits are your primary business, then low light might be important, so look at noise levels for these images. In the end a lot of photographers choose a camera which does well in both areas, but isn’t the best at any. Another option is two cameras, one suited for each style.

Eventually you are going to need to have two cameras. As a professional you need to have a back-up available for emergency. In the beginning it may make sense to rent your back-up camera until revenues justify owning a second. Also remember your back-up does not need to be the same model as your primary. A lower end camera can work fine. Typically I rotate cameras from primary to back-up to sold. Last year’s model is often a great way to save.

Which brand of camera should you be using? If you know other photographers, using the same brand may be beneficial. You may have the ability to borrow a lens for flash in an emergency if you use the same gear. Also you will have someone to ask questions.

Lenses are another area of debate among photographers. A prime vs. a zoom is the one of the biggest questions. Primes will almost always give better results than zooms. But in the real world, it can be very difficult to tell the difference in a final print if you have good zooms. The most important thing is to buy good lenses. You will have them for a long time, whereas camera bodies in the digital world have become consumables unfortunately. Again, rent the specialty lenses as you need them. Owning a seldom used lens is a waste of precious money.

Lighting is the last key piece of equipment. Reflectors and bounce cards are your friend. Learn to use them and you will need fewer lights, saving money. If you are shooting outside the studio you need a good on camera flash. Lots of modifiers are available read reviews and get one you like, or make one. The ability to use your flash off of the camera will come in handy, so consider this as a future upgrade – brackets with cords or wireless remotes for longer distances.

In studio you can do a lot with as few as two lights, especially with the use of reflectors and a few good modifiers. Umbrellas are the lowest cost modifier, but softboxes tend to be the favorites among the pros. Get some decent stands and some sandbags to keep the lights from falling over. Once again look at wireless remotes, you can use cords to save some dollars, just be careful about tripping. Some lights have them built-in. This equipment can be rented too as needed when you are starting out.

Renting a whole studio for your shoots is a good idea when starting. A studio is a huge overhead with rent, utilities, alarms, insurance… Many studios rent to other photographers, and some cities have studios that only exist for rental purposes. Some rent equipment too making it every easier, albeit a bit more expensive.

Insurance is probably one of the most important areas that photographers will overlook. You need to not only insure all your equipment but also have general liability insurance protection. This can help you when you need financial assistance if any damage claims are alleged against you while working from your home studio. You may be able to add it to your home owner’s policy when you start out. Check as if you use your equipment for business, it is often excluded or requires a special rider.

The biggest equipment area to watch is spending. Don’t buy until you can justify with revenue. It is so easy to want the latest and greatest. Manufactures love to push this, but buy with caution. If you don’t manage your money, there will be no money to manage.

Next week I will continue this discussion and talk about computers, software and organizations.

Orcatek Photography – Phoenix

Studio Rental in Phoenix