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About Politics, Life in New York, Photography Tips and Everything Interesting.

Surviving life as a freelance photographer

Surviving life as a freelance photographer

Freelance photography is one of the most underrated professions that exist today. Since you don’t work for a studio, a magazine, or a newspaper, people look at your job as some sort of hobby. They don’t take you seriously, and they only see you like some kid with an excellent camera. You have no steady income and because of this, even your loved ones won’t put a high regard for your talent behind the lens. Worse, they completely discourage you in pursuing your dream.

We can’t blame them. The world is ruthless and unless you’re someone as good as Steve McCurry who can animate people through incredible portraits, it would be so hard to stand out and gain recognition through your shots.

It’s hard, but not impossible.

Just like every other job, working as a freelance photographer has its pros and cons.

Freelance photographers have the freedom of time. In exchange for this freedom, you will not get a secured paycheck if you do not produce anything worth paying. Having no authorities to follow also means having to be self-directed, marketing your own brand, sending pitches, and doing everything on your own. Being a freelance photographer, basically, is running a start-up business alone.

But that’s the thing: it is a business. It takes guts, grit, determination, and perseverance for everything to pay off. Nothing happens overnight. Just tread on and take pictures everyday. At the same time, find a way to pay the bills.

Photography is a great form of art; it’s a booming field for business as well.

Aside from photography being an emotional outlet, you have to realize that it can also be an opportunity to build a massive business.

The emergence of the internet makes it nearly impossible to not think of something that will reach people all over the globe. All it takes are your skills, a lot of time, effort, and your willingness to learn, create new things, go outside of your comfort zone, and venture into the complex world of business and finance.

You can build something epic!

It is vital for you to find your forte as an artist. Much like building a business, you must know your niche and your target audience. Concentrate on a particular type of photography that you can capitalize on. Your forte might not even be about taking photos, but may be about building brands through photos, creating quality social media presence through photos, increasing company sales through photos, or writing lead-generating camera product reviews. Thinking beyond the photographer role and adding a little entrepreneurial spice will definitely make the future look brighter.

You can’t just be a photographer. You have to be a photographer that gives great value.

Let’s take Timothy Hogan as an example. Hogan is a famous still life photographer of luxury goods in New York, Los Angeles, and London. If a client wants photos of landscapes and real estates, will they look for him? Of course not. However, expensive luxury products that need professional photography services will hire Hogan in an instant. Why?  There are a lot of other photographers out there who are probably ask for lower rates, even. What does Timothy Hogan do that no matter how high his value becomes, luxury brands go to him?

What makes Timothy Hogan thrive as a photographer is his ability to market himself and his skills. He’s not just a photographer. Timothy Hogan is an effective luxury brand sales professional. Through his effective visual communication skills, luxury companies generate more sales. Timothy Hogan is a self-made business.

This can happen to you as well. There are tons of opportunities in the field of photography. There are a lot of projects that can be built on being a photographer. You probably know by now the typical photographer jobs. Either you work as portrait photographer, an events photographer, or a studio photographer. But you can still find the entrepreneur within and juice out what else can be done with the skills that you have. Here are some examples.

Aerial & Drone Photography Services

Have you ever wondered how they took those great shots of New York from the skies?

Due to the advancement of mobile applications and technology, aerial and drone photography is now easily accessible and customizable. Aside from the aesthetic pleasure that it gives its viewers, photographers can earn from this area by providing photography services for news teams, organizations, companies, groups, and individuals who may need shots from above.

There is long list of the need for aerial shots. It may be used in important news reports, in calamity check-ups, in huge group pictures, or in area mapping. Get creative and think of other uses. Offer great value beyond your skills and provide efficient and world-class bird’s eye view to your clients.

Social Media Content Management Services

In today’s world, companies who are not in social media are as good as dead. This is why companies are spending so much money on social media content management services.

Salaries of photographers, graphic designers, writers, and social media specialists have soared. Companies are hiring the tech-savvy individuals who will ensure quality lead generation for increased sales. Good photographers can leverage on this by providing attention-grabbing pictures. The goal of social selling is stealing the attention of the cyber citizens despite all of the distractions online.

Find companies looking for social media content management services and offer great value by telling them how your pictures can convince people to stop and take a look at their website or their social accounts. It’s not about how good you are as a photographer. It’s about how good you are as a communicator.

City Photographer-Tour Guide Services

Have ever gone to a trip just to return home frustrated because while you took great photos of other people, they took crappy photos of you? I know, it’s a common problem for photographers.

You can leverage on this issue by providing city photographer-tour guide services. You don’t have to be the tour guide; you can collaborate with someone more knowledgeable in this field and work on a good package. The tour guide provides private tour services, while you ensure that the tourists get to keep their memories locked in nicely printed photographs. 

Photographer-Blogger Affiliate Marketing Services

The internet has provided great opportunities for online marketers since its inception. Until now, they are still booming. Students can earn just by blogging and some people are earning six figures straight from their bed.

Photographers can make use of this by giving great value for effective affiliate marketing services. Try hunting for photography-related affiliate marketing programs online and you’ll get hundreds and thousands of sources. All you have to do is find programs that will fit you and provide great content for your viewers. Your content can simply be a blog about your recent photography escapades or it can be a lengthy product review. Somewhere within the content is a link that leads to the affiliate marketing program you chose. When your viewers click that link and it leads to a sale, you get a commission.

Commissions can range from US $5 to US$300, depending on the industry.

Technical Product Reviewer

Since you are a great photographer, I am assuming that you know your gear well. You know how to spot good lenses, how to take care your equipment, and how to compare the many choices of camera parts and accessories in the market.

If you can write or take videos, you can create a business out of technical product reviews. A lot of companies in different countries look for remote reviewers and get paid with a base salary. Every lead and sale closed because of your content means added commission for you. Definitely a great way to hone your other skills while earning from what you love.

Don’t wait for your value to increase. Offer great value deliberately.

One of the biggest mistakes photographers do is to depend on their skills alone with the hopes of someone discovering them and making it big. Though skills are important, they are only composed of a part of what makes a successful photographer.

Instead of just waiting for your value to increase overtime, offer great value to potential clients by thinking beyond taking photos. What else can I do with my camera? What else can I provide with my skills? What kind of money-making gigs can I create with my equipment? How can I build a business around my skill and equipment capital?

Remove the photography stigma. There is money in photography. Study the market and find out what you can give. Great ideas founded on sheer grit and perseverance will take you to places.

Top Ten New York Attractions

Top Ten New York Attractions

“I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps,” Frank Sinatra once sang. And we’d have to agree, you’ll definitely want to stay awake while New York City, if you want to cover a lot of ground. With hundreds of attractions to choose from, here are the top attractions that you absolutely must visit.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building, opened in 1931, is one of the world’s tallest structures, instantly recognizable by its spire.

The observatories at the 86th and 102nd floors can be reached by high speed elevators from the ground level. The upper observatory allows an 80-mile view in any direction. Visitors can see the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut on a clear day.

The skyscraper is well known among film enthusiasts as the structure climbed by the titular character in the 1933 film King Kong.

The Empire State Building is located at 350 5th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets.

The Statue of Liberty

If there is one landmark that represents the City of New York, it’s the Statue of Liberty. Designed and built as a gift by the people of France to the United States and dedicated in 1886, the monument remains a symbol of freedom recognized worldwide. Visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan from Liberty Island.

Round trip fare plus admission to the island is available from the Battery Park ferry for $12 per adult, available 7 days a week from 9:30am to 5:00pm. Ellis and Liberty Islands are open to the public, however access to the interior of the Statue is restricted as a security measure.

Times Square and Broadway

Known for its mammoth billboards, Times Square is bustling with activity day and night, perfect for those late night jaunts. And if you happen to be spending New Year’s Eve here, you absolutely must attend the famous Times Square Ball, attended by almost a million spectators annually.

Theater enthusiasts will be glad to know that Theater District–AKA Broadway–is just a few minutes’ walk away. If you plan to watch a show, be sure to book your tickets well in advance.

Central Park

843 acres is certainly a lot of ground to cover, but this means that there is enough room for everyone wanting a little break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Attractions within Central Park include the Central Park Zoo and Strawberry Fields, a two and a half acre memorial dedicated to former Beatle John Lennon.

Visiting couples should not miss taking the horse-and-carriage ride. The romantic 45-minute ride starts at $155. There are other guided tour packages available on the Central Park website, if you’re looking for something different.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Located on the eastern edge of Central Park, the Met is the largest art museum in the United States and is the fourth most visited art museum in the world. It is home to a vast collection of Asian, European and Egyptian pieces, most notable of which is the massive Temple of Dendur installation.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is open 7 days a week from 10:00am to 5:30pm. Admission costs $25 per adult, but if you plan on being a frequent visitor, we recommend getting a membership for as low as $80 annually, which allows free unlimited admission among other benefits.

Fifth Avenue

Right outside the Met is New York’s premier shopping area, Fifth Avenue. The mile between 39th and 60th Streets is lined with prestigious shops and flagship stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue and the Apple store with its impressive all-glass exterior.

We recommend going to 5th Avenue by bus or subway: parking is hard to find and expensive.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is a vast entertainment and shopping complex located between 48th and 51st streets in Midtown Manhattan. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987, Rockefeller Center was opened to the public in 1939. It was named after its founder John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

The centerpiece of the complex is the 70-floor NBC Building, also known as 30 Rock. The skyscraper is best known for being the home of NBC’s shows including The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live (David Letterman and Conan O’Brien’s Late Night shows were also broadcast from here).

A recommended tourist stop is the Top of the Rock, an observation deck located at the top level of the NBC building. Adult tickets start at $32 and can be purchased online.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1943, is a work of art in itself. Located at the corner of 5th Avenue and East 89th Street, the cylindrical structure is hard to miss. Visitors enter from the top through an elevator, then walk down a single spiral ramp that circles the entire building – one continuous floor spread over several levels. Over time, the museum had displayed works by Picasso, Chagall and Manet, among others others.

The museum is open every day except Thursdays. Adult admission starts at $25. Similar to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim is offering annual membership starting at $75, which includes unlimited admission.

Recommendations

There are hundreds of other stops to choose from, and these are merely the proverbial icing on the cake. There are also guided bus and cruise tours available. For a more somber tone, go to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. We recommend planning your route ahead of time to maximize coverage, especially during holidays. A New York Pass allows entry to over 80 attractions and can save up to 70% on gate prices alone.

List of Great Hobbies to Try Out

List of Great Hobbies to Try Out

At first glance, you might think this is the same old tired list of Hobbies You Should Try, so we decided to put a spin on common hobbies. Before you say “pass,” know that each chapter has its own plot twist.

Learn How to Bake

The great thing about cooking in general is that it’s a universally enjoyed activity, and it’s something that anyone can learn to do, and can adjust the final product to taste. Baking is a bit of a learning curve, as it requires a certain level of exactness to its process; it’s the science class of cooking. However, once learned, baking is something that you will want to do again and again, with friends and family.

Here’s a challenge: after learning how to make your own bread and cake, learn how to make bagels. There are several instructional videos and recipes online, and once you master the complicated recipe, you’ll never have to fall in line in a bagel shop again.

Gardening

Many people find gardening relaxing despite the amount of labor required, which probably has something to do with the concept of making things grow. It doesn’t take much to get started on gardening. A lawn-sized plot is best, but growing plants in pots is a great alternative, especially if you’re living in an apartment; you can dedicate a portion of your balcony to a small garden.

Here’s a little twist: instead of houseplants, try growing fresh herbs in your garden: basil, chives, coriander (cilantro), dill, mint and thyme can be grown relatively easy and with minimal space required. Nothing beats the taste of fresh herbs on home cooking. Seeds are surprisingly easy to purchase online and you can even a get assorted seed “starter kits” for under $20.

Write a Blog

Setting up a personal blog costs almost nothing to set up, and you can write just about anything. Mark Twain once wrote “write what you know,” and it certainly applies here. Write about daily experiences, or some new music you heard. Write about your other hobbies. Even write about writing about hobbies. To borrow a cliche, the possibilities are endless.

A good blog articles needs a good layout. While there are thousands of free templates available, using your own design and layout gives your blog a unique look. Have a programmer friend help you design a logo, color scheme and overall theme. And you’ll definitely need pictures. Speaking of which…

Take Pictures

Amateur photography remains a popular hobby, from the days when the amateur photographer has to handle chemicals in a darkly-lit room just to get their photographs printed on paper. The advent of the digital camera has made photography more accessible. And it’s never been easier to take professional quality pictures.

With the recent advances in smartphone technology, smartphones have caught up. Forget those Instagram filters. Smartphone photography is a great hobby for those who are just getting started. Once you master the manual controls of your camera app, you can take professional quality photos, and no one would know the better. And the best part? You’re not spending hundreds of dollars on expensive camera equipment.

Play a Musical Instrument

Playing a musical instrument is a great hobby. But buying a quality instrument isn’t cheap. An entry level acoustic guitar could easily cost about a hundred dollars; a fairly decent drum kit even more so. The latter could also be a problem if you live in an apartment.

If you’re just getting into playing an instrument, learning the ukulele isn’t a bad place to start: it’s small, not loud, and simple to learn to play; best of all, it won’t break the bank. If you’re already playing guitar,

Why not challenge yourself to play your repertoire entirely on a ukulele?

Bonus: Learn How to Do Card Tricks

“If it were easy, everyone would do it,” Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks, said in the film A League of Their Own. He might as well be talking about card tricks, or more generally known as sleight-of-hand tricks. Learning how to do card tricks require a lot of patience and dexterity. Start with disappearing card or coin tricks and work your way up to more complicated tricks. You just might find yourself the center of attention at parties if you’re not careful.

An Overview of New York Politics

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I’m gonna start this by saying I’m sorry to all people reading this who are not American. This could get quite confusing. Don’t worry, I don’t mean it to be that way and I’ll to to clear everything up as I go along.

A lot of people wonder about politics in New York. Where DOES New York fall on the political spectrum? You have a lot of conflicting things coming from all over the place. No two ideas seem to match when it comes to New York politics. Hillary Clinton was the senator, but Trump is a born and raised New York kid, and loves the city a lot. But there is a huge amount of anti-Trump sentiment, countered by quite a bit of pro-Trump sentiment.

What in the world is going on here?

I think to really understand New York, you have to understand that as a whole, the city and state lean liberal. Quite a bit liberal at that. I can’t think of an election in recent history that had New York falling conservative. So for the most part, New York is quite liberal and tends to vote that way. They firmly voted for Clinton in the last election.

There are really two classes of people in New York: the more “common people” type of people, for lack of a better term, and the richer elites. The rich tend to fall conservative, but there are not as many of them. People like Wall Street Execs, business owners, people like that fall under the rich banner.

The more working class people are still fairly well off, as they make much more than the average worker in the US would. But the wages are higher because the cost of living is so high, so they come out to pretty much the same as anyone else. You might make more stacking pallet collars from Kronus Collars in New York City than you would in Indiana, but the cost of living is the great equalizer.

For that reason, the rich vote conservative because conservatives typically side with businesses more than liberals do. The liberals tend to be more concerned with the people left behind when the economy surges forward. Some people feel that they have no reason to be quite as concerned about poorer people, because their lives are such that they can’t really imagine what the poor are going through.

And that is why you can get people like Trump and Hillary Clinton from the same city, even though they come from totally opposite ends of the political spectrum. The divide between the rich and the poor is true of almost every country and civilization. Trump believes the economy needs to be pushed forward as much as possible, Clinton believes that more work needs to be done in race relations and related issues before we do much economic surging.

Me?

I just like to take pictures, man. Don’t get too involved in politics. Understand it, then go do something else!

Why I Love New York City

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When a lot of people think about big cities, the first one that pops into their head is New York City. NYC has inspired people from all walks of life; business, music, cooking, acting… And obviously photography as well! But I want to talk about why I personally find NYC amazing and inspiring, and why I love this city so much.

The Sheer Size

Some people don’t like the size of New York. That’s ok! But I think that the sheer size of the city is what makes me love it so much. New York City is the perfect size to be totally anonymous and be alone, or to find people that you like! You can be with a ton of people or hang out totally alone. The choice is all yours! The size also captures my imagination… When I look out at the city from the Rockefeller Center, it’s hard to NOT be impressed with how massive and amazing the city looks. And then…

There’s the Diversity

All kinds of people live in New York. It is not unusual to run into a local NYC family, then a family from Ethiopia, and then a musician from France! I’ve seen all that and more just walking around NYC. And that’s not all… The cultural diversity leads to a diversity of food like you’ve never seen before! The Chinese food, the sushi, the pizza, the Italian places, the burgers… They’re amazing and make you want to do nothing but eat!

Things to Do

Because of the size of the city, there have to be all kinds of things for people to do. There are the favorites like Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There’s also the Zoo, Broadway, and Times Square shopping centers.

But there are some even more odd and different things to do in NYC! For example, off of 6th Ave. there is an air rifles range where you can get do some target practice with your air rifles from Rifle Judge! There are also some random laser tag places, bowling alleys, and more restaurants and bars than you know what to do with!

It’s Just… New York

It’s hard to capture the feel of what i’m talking about unless you’ve been there yourself and been impressed with how massive the whole place is. Try this. Take a short vacation there. Go to Central Park and look at all the buildings. Go to the top of the Rockefeller. You won’t be disappointed.

Maybe you’ll even wanna move there! Just be sure to visit http://riflejudge.com/best-air-rifle-reviews/ and pick up a high-quality air rifle to try on the range on 6th, and tell the owner I said hello! You’ll never run out of things to do, and if you’re anything like me you’ll never tire of watching the sunset over the city, and see all the lights go out one by one. It’s a sight that few people appreciate enough.

Common Photography Terms and What They Mean

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When you hear photographers talking together you’ll hear a lot of terms like ISO, depth of field, aperture, and shutter speed. What do these terms mean? And how can they make your photos look better? Well have no fear, these terms are not hard to understand at all! They are just surrounded with a lot of tech jargon which makes them much more difficult to grasp easily; it’ll be easy to clear all those terms up!

ISO

ISO is an easy one to understand! ISO simply refers to how sensitive your camera is to light. Back in the day, this referred to the type of film that was used. Now it’s just a series of digital settings. 100 ISO is the default setting; 100 is a lower ISO setting.

3200 ISO would be used for much darker shots, especially ones taken at dusk. When you raise the ISO you let in more light, but the picture will look a little fuzzier because of all the light that is coming in. You have to experiment with those settings a lot to get them just right.

Aperture

Aperture is exactly what it sounds like: how wide the camera hole is. It is measure in f-stops; for example f/5.6, f/2, and f/1.4. Large f-stop numbers have smaller apertures; for example f/5.6 is MUCH smaller than f/1.4. Why would you want to do this? I’m so glad you asked! I could list tons of reasons, but there really is one main one: your depth of focus.

When you have a very small aperture, you will have a very narrow depth of focus, but whatever is in the MIDDLE of your shot and far away will be in focus. Wider apertures means that you can get a very wide shot, but only what is close up and in the middle will be in focus. Wide aperture is how people get shots where something very close up is in focus but the background is blurred.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is how long your shutter is open, measure in fractions of a second. Standard is 1/60 seconds, but you can go for faster (1/1000) or slower (1 second). The problem you’ll run into here is that on slower speeds you can get a lot of blur as your hands move slightly; therefore you’ll need a tripod! You’ll use this setting in two types of situations.

Use a really fast speed when capturing a still action shot, such as hummingbird wings or someone surfing. This “freezes” the drops of water or the wings of the bird. Use slow speeds during low-movement, low-light settings. This is how people getting stunning pictures of the Milky Way Galaxy or “car trails” at night.

All of these take some practice! And each affects the other. For example, you can tune your photo using a combination of ISO and aperture, and leaving the shutter speed the same. It’s just like learning a new instrument from Wind Plays: it takes practice!

How To Photograph a Wedding

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Well you’ve gone and done it: you’ve gotten one of the best freelance photo gigs that you can get! Shooting photos for a wedding is one of the most rewarding experiences a photographer can have. But on the flip side, it is incredibly nerve-wracking to try and photograph someone’s special day. What if you mess it up?

What if they don’t like how the photos turn out? Well never fear: I’ve been there too. Here are tips that I’ve found really propel my photoshoots to the next level. And by the end you shouldn’t have any lingering anxiety about the wedding you’ll soon photograph!

Tip 1: Talk With the Couple

The worst thing you can do as a wedding photographer is assume what the couple wants. There is often a dream that couples have of how the wedding photos will turn out, and if you don’t know at least a part of this vision that they have together you’ll never make them fully happy with the final product. So make sure you talk to the couple OR the wedding planner as much as possible so you can figure out exactly how the photos should look.

Tip 2: Have the Alertness of a Soldier

Cute and priceless moments happen every second during a good wedding. See the parents dancing? Catch that! See a boy work up the courage to ask a girl to dance? Catch it on camera! See the bride and groom sharing a moment during the reception?

You better catch that! You need to stay alert the entire time at the ceremony. I have a personal rule that I NEVER drink even one small beer when I’m doing the shoot, even if the bar is open and free. It’s not worth it. You’re not paid to drink, you’re paid to capture beautiful moments. You have to be more alert than a ninja to capture all of the moments you need.

I remember one time I was just floating during one wedding, and I heard a noise. In one of the back rooms, the family was playing a piano; I believe it was a nice keyboard from DigitalPianoJudge.Com. They were all playing and singing, and I never would have captured that moment if I hadn’t have been watching. It was a beautiful picture in the end. Stay alert!

Tip 3: Be Invisible

As best you can, make everyone forget you’re there. If you can possibly lower the flash or turn it off altogether and hide away in corners, you’re set. If you can make people forget you’re there you will get stunning action shots that people would never pose for.

That is what truly makes a great wedding photo album: a series of action shots that are 100% natural and in the moment. That kind of beauty can’t be posed or faked. So blend in, and make people forget you’re there. That is how you will get truly amazing wedding photos.  

Best Gigs for Beginning Photographers

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Not all gigs are created equal! There are some that are easy to get for beginners, and some that are VERY hard to get early on. Which one you end up getting depends largely on your skill level and your amount of drive. Once you have those sorted, it’s much easier to figure out what you can do with your photo skills!

Here are a few gigs that in my experience have been much easier for the average beginning photographer to get!

best-gigs-for-beginning-photographers-1Birthday Parties

Especially for children of more upper-class families, birthday parties can be the perfect place to start honing your skills. Parents are not quite as picky as the bride and groom at a wedding (which is one of the harder gigs to get initially!) and you will be capturing almost 100% action shots. Very rarely do the kids care that there is a photographer there, so you have free reign to take all the photos the parents could want!

Engagement Photos

If you are friends with people who have recently gotten engaged, taking some engagement photos is the perfect way to get started in the professional world. If you can get them to pay you a small fee for taking a few great photos, perfect! And you can use them for your portfolio later to help you get even more gigs. Engagement photos are a little more advanced, because you need a little more knowledge of lighting and positioning. But since there are only two people, it’s not as difficult to get everyone looking good!

Concert Photos

This is perfect if you are able to sell those photos to outlets that cover music. Concerts are great practice for other gigs of this type because they are not too hard to get, and they require you to have a great grasp of lighting and dynamic photos. If you can shoot a concert and have the photos come out looking good, you WILL be able to get more gigs. For sure. Those action shots of the drummer pounding away at his drum set from BarkingDrum.Com are not easy to get!

Couple Photos

Sometimes a couple will just want to take some photos together. If you can find a couple that a) wants to do this and b) is willing to pay for it, you’ve got the best intro gig that you could ask for.

This type of gig is the most low-pressure type you could ask for because you can constantly ask the couple (if you need to) if the pictures that you’re taking are of the kind that they want.

And if they look good, you know where to put them: right in the ole portfolio! Hopefully you can see that your portfolio is worth more than anything you own; it’s how you will be able to make money at all!

Hopefully you’ve seen a gig that either appeals to you or that you can easily get. Happy photo shooting!

Why I Love Photography? A Question I Love to Answer

Why I Love Photography A Question I Love to AnswerI couldn’t count how many times I’ve been asked this question. But it’s a question I’d never get tired to answer.

But before that let me introduce myself – I’m Mo. I’m just like any of the New Yorker guys you bump into every day. But unlike many, I love to see the world through the lens.

I’ve been a freelance photographer for a few years now. And my God! You just don’t know how much I’m passionate about my craft!

So, back to the question: Why the heck do I love photography?

There are too many reasons I can think of, but let me just give you a few things many will be able to relate to.

See the world in a whole different perspective

For most of us, everyday life can be very boring. Things almost seem very common and repetitive. But the world is entirely different when you see it through the lens! Just last week, I was asked to take photos of an indoor garden.

For those who are not into photography, perhaps, the LED lights (like the ones found at Plantozoid.com) may be an unsightly thing to see in an almost perfect view. But looking through the lens of my camera, the light adds crispness and value to the scene. With the right angle and composition, the images look very live and powerful. Photography has changed the way I see the world!

Meet amazing people

I’ve met countless interesting people through photography. But I’m not talking about celebrities or high profile individuals. I’ve learned that you don’t have to travel far to meet the best people in the world. It turns out that the most interesting people are the average guys and gals who surround our every daily lives. Each has a unique story to tell that we hardly know. When you take their photos, you get to know them on a deeper level and you can always find inspiration in their stories.

Capture memories and history

What better way to immortalize memories than photos? Everything in this world is fleeting. The smiles, the laughter, the tears. Everything happens in just a flick of an eye. In photography, you get to capture these events and immortalize them forever. You can go back and relish all the good (and hopefully not, the bad) memories in your life.

Travel and experience the world

As a freelance photographer, I’ve been to different parts of the country and experienced different things. My most recent gig – photographing an indoor garden with all its weird looking plasma grow light – was shot in an ultra modern facility. I know I wouldn’t be able to get inside such a building if not for photography.

Through photography, I’ve travelled the US for free and even with income. I’ve attended a lot of festivals and events. I’ve enjoyed each and every second touring and seeing different parts of our country. What could be better than that?

Lastly, what I love most about photography is that it lets me be more appreciative of life. Photography is life! It’s my passion! And I’ll never get tired answering this million-dollar question.

Feeling the Bern

Feeling the BernWith the elections heating up as primaries and caucuses run their courses around the United States, I find that it’s just about time for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to start pushing hard here in New York, which will be the site of the next big election event. I don’t know how all of you are going to vote and I’m not too interested in that anyhow – what really gets me right now is that the two leading runners for the democratic nomination are going to be debating and clashing very close to where I live, and very soon too. The New York primary is on April 19th this year.

Before the primary rolls through though, there are going to be some debates, and this is what I’m most excited about. Clinton and Sanders have been going back and forth for months now, with Clinton, the front-runner, refusing to debate Sanders at just about every junction where the demand came up. But now, on April 14th, the two will be debating here in New York, at the Bronx. I’ve watched a handful of the Republican “debates” over the last several months and they’ve certainly been a spectacle, so I’m curious about how the Democrats will fare here in New York.

According to just about every major news outlet here in the United States, New York is a “must-win” state for both Sanders and Clinton, which may or may not be what has my interest piqued as far as how those two will do in their upcoming debate. One of the two seems to wear his policies and decisions on his cuff where everyone can see them, and the other is currently under investigation by the FBI for some sort of private email server thing. I wish this was the sort of situation where a little extra light would help make the candidates easier to see and understand, but Light Bar Report isn’t going to help here.

Actually, this brings me to Sanders’ slogan, or at least the slogan being touted by his supporters – Feel the Bern. If he really wanted people to feel the burn, he ought to put them down under some of the lights I use when I’m taking pictures. Those things are bright, sure, they have to be, but that radiance also makes them very hot, hot enough to cause first degree burns for people who touch them or their housing after they’ve been running for long enough to get hot. There’s a Bern for you.

While I wouldn’t say I’m supporting any specific candidate just yet, I’m very interested to see how things will go between Clinton and Sanders, mostly because they’re getting the biggest numbers from the primaries and caucuses around the United States. Sure, Donald Trump is leading the Republican party, but even Bernie Sanders, who is far behind Hillary Clinton, has more pledged delegates to his name than the Republican front-runner. This makes me think our next president will be from the left, which in turn makes me very interested in their debates.

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