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As the summer really gets moving and plans for a vacation fall into place, families and couples alike are realizing they can’t forget to pack a professional photographer. Wait, what? Turns out, this is a real gig – a growing number of hotels and resorts are offering photo sessions so guests can professionally chronicle their trip, reports The Wall Street Journal. It’s an interesting idea for a new revenue stream, so check out the details below. All that and more in this week’s Friday Happy Hour.
Increasing number of hotels start offering photography packages
What’s more stressful than trying to relax and enjoy your vacation while simultaneously trying to photograph it all so you have ever-lasting memories? That appears to be the dilemma facing luxury travelers these days, as more and more hotels and resorts start offering sessions with photographers to document their trip. A resort on the Caribbean island of Antigua and the Four Season in Bora Bora offer a two-hour shoot with a pro for couples, while Walt Disney World has been selling a $350/hour “Enhanced Portrait Session” since 2010.
Vacationers appreciate having “one less thing to worry about,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “They just want to enjoy the destination without anyone [in the family] being responsible and having to worry about missing a shot or a memorable experience,” says Rob Veden, manager of private luxury travel at Abercrombie & Kent. (via online.wsj.com)
Some freelance and wedding photographers argue it’s a great additional source of revenue. What do you think – would you take a gig shooting romantic couples in Bora Bora?
How to save enough money for a Canon 5D Mark III
If you’re not looking to add to your revenue by photographing vacationers anytime soon, PhotoShelter member and nature photographer Greg Basco has some tips for how you can save enough to buy a Canon 5D Mark III (and Nikon D800 for that matter). The Canon 5D Mark III is selling for a hefty $3,500 while the Nikon D800 is a mere $500 cheaper at $3,000.
Before diving into the deep end and spending your retirement money, Greg suggests asking yourself three basic questions:
- Does this new gadget/product allow me to do things I couldn’t do without it?
- Are those things I could now do going to make a difference in the quality of my work and thus my income?
- Is there a cheaper but equally or sufficiently good alternative to the new gadget/product that would still allow me to do what I want now and in the future?
If the answer’s yes, Greg has some advice on places you can save a little cash. Take all his tips to heart and you’ll end up saving yourself $3,941! Read more.
Contest: Photograph for The Photo Brigade
Editorial and corporate photographer Robert Caplin started The Photo Brigade community to serve as a resource for freelance photographers to showcase their work to a larger audience and raise awareness for photographers who might not have otherwise been noted. Now Robert is teaming up with LUCEO photographer Matt Eich to invite photographers to submit their best documentary photograph for the chance to win big prizes.
Robert and Matt’s choice winner will have their photograph featured on The Photo Brigade’s website and Facebook page, as well as:
- A standard one-year PhotoShelter account valued at $329
- $250 Adorama gift card
- Two tickets to PhotoShelter’s conference, Luminance 2012 in New York City
There are also prizes for the runner-ups and people’s choice, so if you think you’ve got what it takes, submit your photograph for consideration! Learn more about the terms and conditions, and make your submission here.
Breathtaking entries from the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2012
Speaking of photo contests, National Geographic Traveler is hosting its 24th annual photo contest, which has extended its deadline for submissions to July 11. There are over 9,000 entries so far, some of which caught our eye:
See all the entries and get more information about how to enter here.
How to integrate a watermark without ruining your images
We’ve all seen images with an ugly watermark streaked across the center (maybe even in Comic Sans to really top it off). But what if you stopped thinking of your watermark as an image theft guard and treated it more like your personal signature?
Photographer Klaus Herrmann, who’s known for his HDR tutorials, advises photographers to think of the watermark as a well-placed signature that reveals information about the original artist if the image is stolen in any way. His intention is not for the viewer to even notice the signature right away. While his methods apply more for fine art photography, any photographer with Photoshop skills could mimic his ways (thought keep in mind you’d have to upload watermarked images to your website, which isn’t recommended if you plan to sell downloads directly to clients).
Klaus outlines four basic steps to applying a “signature” to your images:
- Create your signature template.
- Select the right spot for the signature.
- Apply the correct perspective distortion to the signature.
- Blend the signature with the rest of the image.
The tutorial offers more details step-by-step, so check it out here.
Thoughts, advice, and inspiration from Steve McCurry
Photojournalist Steve McCurry, who’s perhaps best known for his unforgettable Afghan Girl image, has spent considerable time in both Afghanistan and India over the years. In the following video, Steve goes through some of his favorite shots from that time and follows him through the streets as he speaks to what he thinks makes a great portrait.