Spring Snapshots: Making Your Photography Bloom

Image Courtesy American Meadows
Image Courtesy of American Meadows

For many, spring is the light at the end of the winter tunnel. Yet for photographers, it is the light at the end of the lens that makes spring most welcome. We find ourselves drawn to the season’s bright colors and warming up to the wanderlust that takes over the coming months.

Whether publishing a photography book or a travel magazine, spring deserves its own place on the page. Especially in an increasingly digital space, we know that outstanding content is best accompanied by outstanding imagery.

In order to do your wanderings justice, it’s important to strengthen the foundation of your photography beforehand. Pack your rucksack full of handy tips and tricks, like those included below, and then go on. Indulge your senses in all that the new seasons have to offer. When you return, share some of it with your readers.

If you’re already out the door, you’ll find a few tips to get you started below. We hope you enjoy these handy tips and links.

  • Get close to the scenery. It was Robert Capa who said, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
  • Leverage the light. Use golden hours like early morning, late afternoon or early evening for the most dramatic effects.
  • Speaking of lighting, watch your white balance. Compliment the natural beauty by turning off your camera’s white balance for the truest, clearest color.
  • Dress for the occasion. Pack on the layers for changing temps, but don’t pack so much you can’t enjoy your journey.
  • Get back to the basics. The Rule of Thirds never goes out of style, so align your subject along the intersections of nine equal squares within the frame for more drama.

For further inspiration:

OneLight Field Guide: A field guide to complement the accessories in your camera bag and make the most of whatever light you may find yourself in.

Composition Rules: A short review of composition rules to help you make better photos.

Fine Art Photography: Eye on Fine Art Photography’s Spring Issue features inspiring photography of places like Wakulla Springs, Yosemite, flower fields of Carlsbad and beyond.

Denim+Grace: Denim+Grace is a Photography Magazine created for Photographers and filled with content from leading artists in the industry.

Digital Compact Photography: A must have magazine, if you are using a compact digital camera and not an SLR. Full of hints and tips, for learning to take the perfect photo using a compact digital camera.

The Canon Spectrum: This magazine gives DSLR camera users a little bit of information on the different lenses that one should use for each kind of photography subject as well as recommendation of a wide price range of recommended lenses.

 

Recommended Reading:

Summer Wanderlust

Travel Photo Tips and Tricks

Q+A with Professional Photographer James Worrell

Celebrate Camera Day

Celebrate Camera Day

iStock_000018371321SmallerHappy Camera Day! There’s no better time than the present to get inspired to publish your own photography creation or cruise over to the MagCloud Shop and check out some amazing photography magazines.

In honor of National Camera Day, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite photography-centric blog posts and some great publications on MagCloud dedicated to photography in all of its forms. Whether you’re a mommy-tog, a professional wedding or portrait photographer, a hobbyist or just a fan of beautiful imagery, you’re sure to find cool ways to use MagCloud or a publication in the Photography category that fits your interest.

Turn your photos into something amazing

Don’t let those photos just sit on your hard drive–they deserve to be in print. To help get you inspired check out some of our past blog posts about using your photographs for unique MagCloud projects:

Still needing some inspiration? Check out our Q&A with photographer Holli True.

Discover Photography Publications on MagCloud

Denim+GraceDenim + Grace

Denim+Grace is a Photography Magazine created for Photographers. The encore issue contains 94 pages of marketing, branding, posing and inspiration. With artists working in genres ranging from weddings to boudoir, children to seniors, and even iPhoneography- there’s sure to be something inspiring and enlightening for even the seasoned artist. Beyond our featured photographer articles and artist pictorials, the June 2013 issue includes an inside look at a new studio, a first-hand experience from an NYC Workshop with Sue Bryce, the highs & lows of being a business owner and so much more!


Lemonade and LensesLemonade & Lenses

Lemonade and Lenses’ second annual senior issue. Featuring Articles by Angela Richardson, Meg Borders, Brittney Zambrowicz, Amanda Holloway, Kalyn Yeager and Leslie Kerrigan.


moziMozi Magazine

Now available, Mozi Magazine’s Wedding Issue! This beautiful new issue is loaded with astounding imagery and inspirational content from some of the industry’s most admired artists, including Simply Bloom, Ben Sasso, Bobbi+Mike, Julie Paisley, Zach and Jody Gray, Totally Rad Actions, Design Aglow, Fotofafa, and more.


seniors style guideSenior Style Guide

Senior Style Guide Magazine Issue 5 features educational articles from Lindsay Horn, Brittni Shroeder, Kody Hadja, Andi Artze, Stephanie Newbold, Kristen Weigel, Feuza Reis, Lexi Vornberg and Addie Gibbons.


dcist exposedDCist Exposed

DCist Exposed is the Exhibition Program for the 2013 DCist Exposed Photography Show.


Lost FreedomLost Freedom

Lost Freedom is an inspirational magazine featuring young and inspiring photographers, writers, and artists.


What’s your favorite photography publication on MagCloud? Share it with us in the comments!

MagCloud iPad App 4.0 Giveaway Week 3– Winner Announcement

For last week’s $40 iTunes gift card giveaway, we asked if you could have dinner with any business leader, who would it be and why? We loved everyone’s answers! From tech leaders to music moguls to photographers, it looks like everyone was inspired by business leaders across a range of industries.

Here were some great answers from Twitter and the comment section of our blog post:

@blakekaplanIf I could have dinner with any biz leader, it would be H. Schultz of Starbucks because he’s got such good biz sense

@sugarpopx143If I could have dinner w/ a business leader, it would be Bill Gates because I want to ask him the future of computing

Matthew Haynes…Blake Mycoskie because I want to learn about his methods for creating a market product while being a humanitarian at the same time. I want to discuss that balance.

DristerrrJay Z because he’d have a lot of insight on how to move to the top while not allowing money and the fame to distract you from making good decisions.

The winner of the $40 iTunes gift card, however, goes to photographer Jana Long, who said:

If I could sit down and have dinner with anyone in the world, I would love to chat with Amanda K Photography. I know there are super famous photographers that I could choose from, but she is the one photographer who truly inspired me from the beginning, and still does today. I would love to just pick her brain on all things wedding/portrait photography, including balancing ‘life’. :-)

Congratulations, Jana! And thank you to everyone who participated!

Stay tuned for more promotions coming in the near future!

Q+A with Merritt Design’s Jennifer Koskinen

No sooner did Jennifer Koskinen begin using MagCloud to showcase her architectural photography work than she found herself designing MagCloud magazines for her clients, too – quickly parlaying her architectural firm into a photography and graphic design boutique. In fact, MagCloud was a source of inspiration for transforming her architectural skills into graphic design skills.

“I love the creativity of designing photographs and then thinking of how to best present them,” Koskinen says. “MagCloud makes it easy and affordable to experiment with design ideas and try new things.”

  How did your architecture work lead to your new career in photography?

Jennifer Koskinen I fell in love with photography when I got my first camera in the eighth grade. But I’d never considered working as a photographer. I pursued a career in architecture, instead.

After a few years of design work, my firm hired me to shoot scouting photos of one of our projects in pursuit of publication. So I submitted my photographs to a magazine, thinking they’d send their own photographer to reshoot them.

The magazine loved what I sent and wanted to publish them. It was just the validation I needed to start shooting more, and soon I realized that I felt more creative photographing architecture than designing it. I absolutely love photography! It’s hard to believe that I get to do this for a living!

  How did MagCloud inspire you in your graphic design business?

JK I started creating my own magazines with MagCloud to give to existing and potential clients. Everyone loved them, right from the start, and wanted me to design magazines for them, too. I’ve created eight MagCloud magazines so far for other architects, builders, chefs, jewelry designers and so forth, with two more in the works. My clients in turn use the magazines to market their work, which makes for fabulous co-marketing for all of us!

  How did you get started publishing through MagCloud?

JK I’d been interested in self-publishing in general, but could find solutions only for books. When I came across MagCloud, I was immediately excited. The first thing I designed was a magazine for my architectural photography. The magazine format was intriguing, so I even wrote stories and included advertisements for some of my clients.

  How has MagCloud made a difference?

JK Next to my website, distributing my MagCloud magazines to potential clients is the most important thing I can do to attract business. I love the reaction that I get from people when I hand them out. People visibly respond to something they can hold in their hands and flip through at their own pace. I see them feel the paper and the weight of it. The pages hold the color so well. It’s one thing to see my images on a computer monitor – it’s nice to see them in print, too.

There’s nothing else out there that beats the quality and the price point better than these magazines. They’re invaluable, and they give my business credibility. There’s no doubt that my sales have dramatically increased because of MagCloud.

  What tips would you give to someone new to self-publishing?

JK Dive in. When I set out to design something, I look at things I love, study graphical trends, fonts, proportions – even white space and how it’s used. It’s really fun to play with, and MagCloud’s templates make everything so easy. I recommend studying what you like and then creating something that’s your own, including things you’ve noticed and like in other people’s designs. Have fun and try things you’ve never done.

  If your publication were a superhero, who would it be?

JK Pixelgirl! She’s a stylish superhero who can fly – cameras in tow – from location to location, harnessing her amazing powers of composition and her ability to capture the most dynamic subjects in the most beautiful light. And she gets home in time to cook dinner for her son!

Q+A with Professional Photographer James Worrell

Simplicity, color and humor. These are the keys to the powerfully graphic images that James Worrell’s clients depend on to tell their stories and sell their products.

When it comes to promoting his work to new clients and keeping connected with previous ones, the New York City-based editorial and advertising photographer uses those same concepts to stand apart from his competitors.

“To have an affordably and beautifully printed version of my portfolio in this day and age when everything is online – it’s extraordinary, and it makes a lasting impression,” Worrell says. “There’s something still wonderful about the printed piece.”

  Tell us more about your work and your “Photography for Thinking” philosophy.

James Worrell I’ve been a still-life photographer for the past 17 years, shooting everything from cosmetics to food. What I love to do the most is conceptualized still life. Clients will call with rough ideas – maybe they’re telling the same story over and over and they need a new way to present it visually.

That’s where “Photography for Thinking” comes in. My wife and I bounce ideas off each other, produce sketches and send them to the client. The back-and-forth process starts from there.

  How does publishing your portfolio fit into your marketing strategy?

JW My clients are inundated with marketing pieces from photographers and other creative types. So if I can do something slightly different and slightly more special, I’ll increase my chances that someone will pick it up, look at it and even save it.

MagCloud is a wonderful tool that allows me to do a substantial piece, in short print runs, and get it out there at a decent price. And, from a visual perspective, it looks really good. A lot of print-on-demand services are expensive and the quality is poor. My brand is my brand – everything I produce is of the highest quality.

I always turn to MagCloud for part of my marketing process. You have to keep working and exploring ideas, and you have to remain excited about your work. MagCloud is one of those platforms that keeps you fresh.

  You did a very special promotional piece this summer.

JW Yes, in July we ordered 70 custom-printed boxes with my logo on them, each with a light bulb jar filled with yellow M&Ms candy – some had a star printed on them; others featured “Think Worrell.” And we included a 40-page printed catalog of my work called “Worrell: Photography for Thinking.” We created the catalog using MagCloud. We hand-delivered about 45 boxes and mailed the rest. Plus, we shot a fun video of how we pulled the whole package together.

That promotion resulted in three strong gigs right away and several nice thank-you emails from clients and potential clients.

  What got you started publishing through MagCloud?

JW I’ve always been an early adopter of technology. I read about MagCloud on a photo blog, right when the service was introduced. I’ve stuck with the service because it works.

  What tips would you give to someone new to self-publishing?

JW My best piece of advice is: Don’t overdo it. MagCloud offers a simple, elegant platform. Just get started. Don’t overthink it. Use it for what it is: a way to show your work.

  If your portfolio was an ice cream flavor, what would it be and why?

JW I see my business as the perfect vanilla ice cream cone – not some crazy Ben and Jerry’s flavor – just a simple, elegant vanilla. Usually, less is more and the simplest idea can be the most effective, if you produce it properly.

Publishers in Their Own Words: Mike Lesnick Photography

My name is Mike Lesnick, I am the owner and photographer of Mike Lesnick Photography. I use MagCloud to make my brochure/portfolio available to all past and future clients. It’s a great way for me to have my information readily available to everyone.

I created my brochure so that anyone could see a sample of my work, pricing and little snippets about myself and the weddings I have photographed. With my brochure I have made an impact on brides and grooms with my neatly presented work, pictures and lay out. My latest brochure was updated to include all pictures from this past wedding season (2011) as well as full-page spreads of previous weddings I have photographed.

MagCloud has provided me with the most cost-effective way to  distribute and manage my brochures; as well as providing the print quality that as a wedding photographer I expect and need to present my work in a manner that I feel is professional. Thanks so much MagCloud, keep up the good work!

Mike Lesnick, Owner/Photographer, Mike Lesnick Photography

Visit Mike’s website to learn more about his work or preview his work on MagCloud.

April’s Monthly Giveaway is Here

A new month means a new giveaway! Starting today, we’re launching our monthly giveaway for three $25 PayPal MagCloud gift cards. You can enter to win by answering the question below in the blog comments section, or tweeting @MagCloud your answer using the #MagCloudQ hashtag. The questions and prizes will change each month so if you don’t win this round, check back in May for another chance.

Photographers! This month’s question is for you. As you may have noticed, we here at MagCloud love photography.  From advancements in camera technology, to the explosion in photo apps across devices, to the astonishing growth in social photo sharing  (uh hello Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram or the Pinterest phenomenon), photography is top of mind with both professional photographers and consumers alike.  So this month we would love to know, from DSLRs to point and shoots to smartphones, what’s your go-to camera when you want to capture that perfect shot?

The details:

  • Post your answer to the above question in the comments section below or tweet @MagCloud with the #MagCloudQ hashtag
  • Responses must be posted by Monday, April 30, 2012 at 5:00pm PST
  • Winners will be announced via Twitter, Facebook, and our blog on Thursday, May 3, 2012 by 12:00pm PST
  • Questions? Post in the comments below or tweet us @MagCloud
  • And don’t forget to follow @MagCloud on Twitter and/or ‘Like’ us on Facebook for the latest MagCloud news and future contest details

The contest opens at 12:00 pm PST on Friday, April 13, 2012. Entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST, Monday, April 30, 2012 and the winner will be announced via Twitter, Facebook, and our blog on Wednesday, May 3, 2012. The prize will be one $25 MagCloud gift card. Three unique winners will be selected at random. All entrants agree to be contacted by Hewlett Packard for prize fulfillment. The drawings are open to MagCloud blog readers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans that reside in the United States and are at least 18 years of age at time of entry. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Limit two entries (one on Twitter and one blog comment) per person, per month. Anyone found to be in violation of any of our rules or third party networks will be ineligible. Entries in this contest will not be carried over into subsequent giveaways or drawings.