But what if you want to take it up a gear? Helping you to make the move from amateur to professional, portrait photographer David Harrison offers his top tips on entering the industry.
Finish what you start: Whether it’s uploading the best pic of your day to Instagram or getting a print made, it’s all too easy to snap away and never have a ‘finished ‘image. Keeping going and putting in that extra bit of effort will make it all worth it in the end when you have the perfect picture.
Keep busy: Motivation is key. Never put pressure on yourself to overdo it, but do make sure you keep busy and have a range of options to work on – this will make the experience more fun! It will also give you a stack of pictures to add to your portfolio.
Be passionate: Photograph what you know, what you love, what you care about and what you have access to. This will make the whole process much more enjoyable, and help you with points 1 and 2. You are unique and so is what you see, so show it!
Network, Network, Network: Important in so many aspects of life – tell everybody what you are doing and, most important for your line of business, show them. You will be surprised how many people will have something you can help them with, and you may even learn something new. The more your work is out there, the more opportunities will come your way.
Keep the day job! Good photography takes time. Nobody is a pro straight off the bat and – as always in life – there’s a lot to learn. If you’re thinking of becoming a professional photographer, start it off as a hobby, learn different skills, techniques and most of all, have fun! In this way you can enjoy your photography, while learning the right skills and making the contacts to take it to the next level.
Set the scene – It’s the 90s. You’re just back from your 2-week holiday in Spain, booked through your trusty high-street travel agent. Spain was beautiful – the sun was splitting the rocks, the food was to die for and the drinks were flowing. Thank god you bought a trusty disposable camera to capture the memories! When you arrive home you will develop your pictures, put them into an album and share them with your friends and family over a cup of tea…
My, how times have changed! We’re more likely to find a travel agent online, to book our trip at the click of a button. We’re also bombarded with imagery daily. People communicate by capturing immediate experiences and moments as photos and sending them directly to their network of friends all over the world, using social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Digital cameras and mobile phones with built-in cameras have been popular for a long time now. Nowadays we also have the added benefit of high spec cameras and sophisticated photography apps, which can be used while on the go. Not everyone is a skilled or talented photographer, but we can at least try to be!
With thousands of photo apps available, it can be difficult to know the best ones to use. How can you make the most our of your smartphone’s camera? What’s on trend? And more importantly – what will help you get the most likes on Facebook? Whether you’re looking to shoot, edit or share with the world, we’ve compiled a list of photography apps you need to download now!
Create a selfie Kim Kardashian would be proud of with this photo-editing app! As per the name, this app allows you to tweak photos of your face, whether you want to hide your blemishes, whiten your teeth, disguise your wrinkles or hide bags under the eyes. It’s really easy to use, and Facetune even provide more than 20 in-app tutorials to help you make the edits look natural. Don’t overdo it though! A little tune up is fine every so often, particularly after a long night on the tiles. But remember your friends have met you in person…
So you’ve got your outstanding #selfie… but where are you going to share it? If you haven’t already hopped on the Instagram bandwagon, you need to do so as soon as possible. Instagram is a photo and video focused social networking service, which allows you to share your life through visual content. Instagram say they “imagine a world more connected through photos”, and that’s exactly what they have achieved. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for a staggering $1 Billion and according to recent data released by the social giant, there are now over 300 million people on Instagram each month – including all the celebs – Taylor Swift, David Beckham and Barack Obama to name but a few. There is also a hashtag functionality, which allows you to browse and follow according to your interests. What will your #PicOfTheDay be? One day you could be insta- famous – better get those modelling lessons in!
Already on Instagram but want to enhance your #InstaExperience? Then download FrameMagic. FrameMagic allows you to compile your favourite photos and videos into one single artwork; be it a photo collage, video collage or video slideshow. A picture says a thousands words, so why not try 5 pictures in one! It’s really simple to use, with a variety of layouts, colours and patterns to choose from. The creative possibilities are endless, and your piece of work can be easily shared across a variety of social networking sites. Leave the actual picture framing to the experts though. Creating for Instagram and creating for above your fireplace are too different things…
Many photo sharing apps have a filter function available, which essentially allows you to enhance colours and tones to customise the photo how you please. Filters are a big hit on Instagram, but the range of filters available is limited. If you’re a filter fanatic, then you need to download Retrica. From 70s inspired themes to a regular black and white, Retrica has got over 100 to choose from. You can even use real-time filters, where you can preview how your photo will look before you even take it. Simple!
There is no app more instant that Snapchat. Users can take photos, record videos, add captions and drawings and send to a defined list of recipents, and even set a time limit for how long recipents can view the snaps! Other functions within the Snapchat app allow you to create your ‘Story’ which can be viewed by your friends for 24 hours* and also the ‘Discover’ feature; a storytelling format which allows you to explore stories from a variety of world-class leaders in media, including Sky News, Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed. We’re tipping this one to become bigger and better as the time goes on… watch this space.
*Note: when you’ve had a few too many at a party, step away from Snapchat. You don’t want to feel like you were the hired clown entertainment the next day…
Did your favourite app make our list? Or maybe you’re feeling inspired to create your own app? Remember, “the best camera is the one you have with you”. Try out the apps we suggested and share the images with us on Twitter – we’re @barkteam. Let your creativity do the talking!
My wife reminded me the other day that it’s coming up to our 4th anniversary and I got to thinking how much easier planning a wedding would have been if Bark.com had existed.
I thought I’d take a look at the categories on Bark to ensure we have everything needed to ensure couple’s special day goes off without a hitch.
It’s vital to have the right catering for guests. Many may have travelled for hours to the venue, waited for the bride, sat through the ceremony, drank the welcome Champagne or Bucks Fizz and be starving by the time food is served. Often a round of canapés after the ceremony while the couple is having their pictures taken is a good idea, followed by the wedding breakfast and whether it’s buffet style or a 3 course silver service meal we can help you choose the best caterers from over 35,000 available.
Often weddings will have a theme – mine was “red” but I’ve heard things like “Frozen”, “flowers” or even “Places we’ve been”. If you’re like me and have the creative flair of a mole then you may need a professional to help bring your vision to life. I’ve seen some fantastic examples at the weddings I’ve been to (I’m at that part of my life where it’s a few weddings every Summer) and some of them must have had professional decorating help from one of the 1500 Wedding Decorators or 1000+ Florists Bark can connect you with.
Wedding Photographer &Videography
One of the best bits of advice given to me was not to scrimp on a wedding photographer and to do some test shoots to see who made you feel most comfortable and therefore got the best shots. I’m so glad we did as the photographer we ended up choosing was just awesome and we were so happy with the eventual pictures. If we ever have a renewal of vows party I’ll either use the same one again or choose from one of the 1000s of expert Wedding Photographers on Bark.
Increasingly couples are using videographers to capture the day and use it to send to relatives around the world who can’t be there in person or to keep for when you’re older to remind you of how slim you were once. Fortunately you can make sure you’re only captured from the best angle by choosing from one of almost 4000 Videographers Bark can connect you with.
The centre piece of the Wedding Breakfast and generally cutting it is the cue to start dancing like a crazy family. Getting the right cake maker can cost a few hundred to a few thousand pounds, but it’s worth it for the intricate icing work and attention to detail you can get. Many cakes are then personalised to the couple – I recall one of my friends having the bride and groom figures in a Costa mug (where they met) and with my own Cake we’d secretly arranged for the colours of the Mauritian Flag to be layered through the top tier in honour of my wife’s family – quite a surprise when it was cut. Bark wasn’t around then so we found Magical Cakery through a friend but if Bark were around we’d have had a choice of over 500 wedding cake makers
I can’t dance – everyone knows it. That made it really awkward when I had to dance with my new bride in front of all my friends and family and ended up looking like a demented octopus. If this is you too you could either ensure the videographer’s gone home, ban videos and hope your friends and family have had too much of the wine you paid for to remember, or you could use Bark to get some dance lessons and come out looking awesome. If your wedding is very traditional you could even go for Ballroom Dance Lessons.
Wedding Band or DJ
Whether it’s a band for the ceremony, a classy String Quartet or an evening DJ for helping your family cast some shapes on the dance floor Bark can help find that too. As a little tip ensure you order an extra meal for the band members and the DJ – always makes them feel good, doesn’t cost too much, and you’ll get a better service from them too.
Bark can take the pain out of finding the best local wedding suppliers and leave you in control of coordinating the gig. If you want even that taken care of, and let’s face it there is a lot to do, then we can also find you a Wedding Planner from the 6000+ we have available.