PDN Photo District News

08/20/2014

Leverage Your Web site: Four Tips for Strengthening Your Brand

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The following post is brought to you by Squarespace, the leading Web site-publishing platform built with professional and amateur photographers in mind.

As a photographer, your Web site is your most valuable asset to promote yourself; it is the fastest way for a potential client to get a sense of your style, your experience and your brand. As Maren Levinson*, founder of Redeye Reps, puts it: “It’s the single most visible sales tool these days.”

Levinson is an acclaimed authority within the photography community (PDN photo editor Amy Wolff notes, “Everyone wants her to edit their work.”) and her advice for how to utilize your Web site as both a tool in itself, and the starting point for your overall branding, can be broken down into four things to consider.

1. The First Impression

Levinson says she learns a lot about a photographer’s style and attention to detail based on how he or she presents him or herself online. “The design or template selection should match the aesthetic of the photographer or their work,” she explains. “It should be a framework that mimics, complements, supports or plays off the work itself. So, it can be loud and colorful, quiet and elegant or bold and simple, but whatever a photographer chooses, they should choose it thoughtfully and with purpose.”

Squarespace Shortcut: The Style Editor gives you the creative control to personalize each carefully considered template through fonts, colors, layouts and custom CSS to achieve a custom design that’s all your own, all without writing a line of code.

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2. Your Web site’s Functionality

A good Web site loads quickly, with clean organization and navigation, and no guesswork involved as to where your contact information is located. Beyond the basics, photographers need to continually update their site design and functionality to stay ahead of the curve. Levinson urges photographers to stand out from the crowd by being amongst the first to adopt new technology and platforms into their online presence. She points out that professional photographers who utilized Instagram early on are “very happy right about now.” All social media pages should be integrated with your website.

Squarespace Shortcut: In addition to using the latest HTML, CSS and Javascript techniques, the site’s reliable cloud infrastructure ensures there is never anything to install, patch or upgrade. Squarespace also offers diverse and powerful social integrations, from Twitter and Instagram to Flickr and Smugmug, that let you connect with your audience everywhere. Each design has also been carefully considered and crafted to make your photos look spectacular on any device.

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3. Your Photo Edit & Gallery Organization

Take a critical eye to your work. Levinson says she asks photographers to consider the same question on every image: “Is this a photograph that only I could make?” She says, “Don’t include [a photo] because you think it’s what people want to see. Include the pictures you are most passionate about; the pictures where someone would say ‘that is such a you picture.’”

When organizing your galleries, lead with the group that is the most robust or will have the most impact. She notes that viewers will form an impression of your work from the first gallery, so choose something that represents you and the direction you want to go in. Within each gallery, choose your order carefully. “The first image is the defining image and carries the responsibility of saying what the rest of gallery will be like.” She suggests, “ Start on an upbeat, get into the thoughtfulness and beauty of the series, then end with a contemplative or uplifting punch. There’s a lyricism to it, in the best-case scenarios.”

Squarespace shortcut: Utilize Squarespace’s multiple options for presentation, including full-screen, slideshow and lightbox layout with easy drag-and-drop management, display effects and the ability to mix still, video and audio content within the same gallery. All features can be found here.

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4. Align your brand through consistent, thoughtful and personal promotions.

Whoever is viewing your site, your potential clients are “highly visually literate,” says Levinson. They have experience in communications design, creative direction, or photo editing and buying. She emphasizes that these potential clients are looking for someone who can execute their vision, so consistency is the fastest way to gain the trust of creatives. For example, inconsistency in your logo from Web site to mobile, to book to promo cards, can imply a larger sloppiness towards business practices or quality of imagery. She advises, “Use your branding and presentation to show who you are, not only visually, but as an artist, businessperson and collaborator.”

In her experience, the best promotions are personal: postcards with a strong image, a quarterly newsletter sent out to a list of people you have met (and would have an interest in what you’ve been working on), and custom letters, booklets and print promotional pieces. Avoid impersonal emails, and make sure printed pieces are flawlessly printed. Overall, Levinson says, “Show what makes you exceptional.”

Squarespace shortcut: Create your logo using Squarespace’s custom logo designer and keep continuity across all your marketing. All aspects of your Web site design will seamlessly transition to any device display.

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Squarespace is offering a discount to PDN, Rangefinder, WPPI and ShutterLove audience. Use promo code PDN10 upon checkout for 10% off your subscription!

Get started on building or improving your brand. Squarespace is a Web site publishing platform that provides an easy way to create galleries, portfolio sites, blogs and more, without touching a line of code. The completely inclusive, all-in-one service provides content management, hosting, domains, social integrations, e-commerce, and 24-hour customer support.

*Maren Levinson is not affiliated with Squarespace and was interviewed independently.

07/24/2014

PDN PhotoPlus Expo Deals for Educators and Students

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While it still feels like a far cry from autumn, it’s not too early to register for PDN’s PhotoPlus Expo (PPE), which will be held at New York’s Jacob Javits Center from October 29 to November 1. Featuring 225 exhibitors, more than 80 seminars and master classes, engaging new photo walks, a myriad of portfolio review opportunities and a trilogy of world-class keynotes, PPE is the essential event of the coming season for photography professionals, emerging talents and students alike.

PPE’s seminar program offers something for everyone, from business and marketing to lighting and post production to portraiture and weddings to filmmaking and photographic genres such as architecture, travel and sports.

Educators and students get preferred pricing and can save up to 50 percent on a full conference pass, one-day passes and individual seminars. Take advantage of early bird pricing on a full conference pass until July 31.

To find out more, visit the PPE Web site , then click here to register today.

06/18/2014

Ian Parry Scholarship Supports Outstanding Student Work

Book  2014 is the 25th Anniversary of the Ian Parry Scholarship. This coveted prize could become the opportunity of a lifetime for a current full-time photography student or an emerging photographer under 24 years of age who submits a compelling selection of images and a synopsis for a proposed assignment before the July 7 deadline.

Widely recognized as one of the most important awards available for aspiring documentary photographers and visual journalists, the scholarship was initiated by renowned photo editor Aidan Sullivan, currently vice president of photo assignments for Getty Images, UK, in memory of his colleague Parry, a young photojournalist killed while on assignment for the Sunday Times during the 1989 Romanian Revolution.

The scholarship winner will receive a monetary award of £3,500 ($5,930) to put towards the completion of the proposed assignment. In addition, the winner will receive camera gear, representation from Reportage by Getty Images as part of their Emerging Talent group and addition to the list of nominees to be selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass, conducted by World Press Photo.

Several commended photographers will also receive a monetary award of £500 ($847). All finalists will be published in the Sunday Times Magazine, have their work exhibited at Downstairs at MOTHER in London and be considered for an assignment from Save the Children.

Says Sullivan of the award, “The Ian Parry Scholarship is not an event where you get a shiny trophy, a cheque, a handshake and then a fond farewell. This is a community comprising of all of the friends of Ian, the majority of who never knew him but have all become part of his legacy.”

Past scholarship winners include Farzana Hossen (2013), Adrian Fussell (2012), Rasel Chowdhury (2011), Sebastian Liste (2010), Maisie Crow (2009), Jonas Bendicksen (2002), Marcus Bleasdale (2000) and Simon Roberts (1998).

All applicants must submit a portfolio of 12 captioned images from the past year and a detailed written proposal of a project to be undertaken if selected for the scholarship. Full details for uploading images to the scholarship Web site are available here.

05/28/2014

Get in Our Face with Your Best Portrait Work!

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Image © Adam Crowley, 2013 Faces contest winner

We’re looking for a few good Faces to feature in PDN‘s September issue, as the winning entrants in our latest portrait competition! We’ve extended the deadline to June 13, so you still have time to submit your best work for a chance to win the grand prize of an iPad Air, a $575 credit to the Santa Fe Workshops, a $500 Adorama gift card, a digital camera and a one-page profile in PDN‘s October issue. First place winners in our five categories of Animal Portraits, Celebrities, Babies/Children, Commercial/Editorial/Assignment and Personal Work will receive a digital camera, a $100 Adorama gift card, a Photoserve portfolio and a one-year subscription to PDN. All winners’ work is featured on an extended online contest gallery. View the work from our 2013 Faces winners here, then click here to register and get your work in our face!

05/2/2014

Apply Now for a Career Changing Weekend

EAW_Poster_CropThe coming of May signals the final countdown to apply for a coveted spot among 100 top photo students and emerging professionals picked for the 2014 Eddie Adams Workshop. This tuition-free, four-day workshop is one of the most prestigious photo education and networking events in our field. Attendees, who are selected based on the merits of their submitted images, get a rare opportunity to work alongside and learn from 150 of the best photo editors, producers and photojournalists in the business. The annual mid-October gathering at Adams’s bucolic upstate New York farm is a career-changing weekend, packed with shooting, editing, lectures and panel discussions from before dawn to well past midnight, when attendees have the opportunity for one-on-one time with editors during the 11:30 Club portfolio reviews. In spring 2014, PDNedu featured stories on 2013 Workshop attendees Maddie Meyer and Supranav Dash after discovering them through the workshop. To be considered for a spot on this year’s roster, apply online before May 31. And for a comprehensive view of the workshop experience, follow them on Facebook and download the cool new Eddie Adams Workshop app.

04/7/2014

Concerned Photographers, Listen Up

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The 2014 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography is currently accepting submissions by photographers whose past work and proposed project follows the tradition and dedicated compassion of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography. Now in its 35th year, the Smith Award was established in 1978 in honor of the legendary American photo essayist. Recent grant recipients include Robin Hammond, Peter van Agtmael, Krisanne Johnson, Darcy Padilla and Lu Guang.

The 2014 award winner, as judged by a three-member international jury, will receive $30,000 to complete a current or future documentary project. In addition, one or more $5,000 fellowships will be awarded to photographers whom the judges feel represent exemplary efforts in humanistic photography. A $50 application fee is required of all projects submitted for the Smith Award. Online entries containing up to 40 images must be received by May 31, 2014.

A second award, the Howard Chapnick Grant, was established in 1996 for leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing, research, education and management. The deadline for this $5,000 award is July 15.

“The Smith Fund has supported dozens of world-class photographers who have created bodies of work that illustrate the human condition and provide a voice for those who cannot provide one for themselves,” explains Marcel Saba, president of the Smith Fund board of trustees.”

Grant recipients will be announced at a public ceremony in New York City during the month of October. To learn more and apply for each award, click here.

03/28/2014

Photo Group / PDN Summer Internships

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The Emerald Expositions Photo Group, parent company of Photo District News, PDNedu and Rangefinder magazines, PhotoPlus Expo and WPPI photography trade shows, Web sites such as Photoserve and Shutterlove among other custom media properties, is looking for summer interns to assist in editorial, marketing and sales capacities.  These positions offer an opportunity to learn all aspects of editorial production and marketing for the magazines, Web sites, trade shows, custom publishing and event projects. Help editors in researching, proofreading, fact-checking, reporting and writing about news from all aspects of the professional photography world. Other tasks may include researching and writing blog posts, proofing magazine layouts and attending editorial meetings. Interest in photography is appreciated, but not required. Experience with HTML and content management systems a plus.

These are paid internships with a full time schedule of four days a week for seven weeks in June and July, and offers a unique opportunity to experience the Emerald Expo Photo Group culture and team while enhancing your professional and personal skills. Position is located at our 85 Broad Street office. No relocation or housing assistance is provided. All applicants must be currently enrolled in school or a graduating senior to qualify.For consideration, please send a resume and short cover letter explaining your interest in magazines, online publishing and/or photography to jill.waterman@emeraldexpo.com.

 

03/19/2014

Your Chance to Network with PDN’s 30 Photographers

 

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The first PDN‘s 30 seminar of 2014 will be held next Wednesday, March 26 at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues). PDN managing editor Meghan Ahearn will moderate presentations by three PDN’s 30 honorees, Sony Artisan Tony Gale and a noted industry creative for multiple viewpoints on how to get started in the photo industry. Learn how these rising stars and industry pros got to where they are today, including how they got their first jobs and how they structure promotional efforts. Panelists will each share what they learned in school as well as what they wish they’d been taught, for career advice you won’t hear anywhere else. All are welcome at the free panel from 6:30 to 8 pm, then stick around for our networking reception from 8 to 9.
03/7/2014

On Your Mark… Get Ready… Go Get PDNedu’s Sports and Adventure issue!

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PDNedu‘s Spring 2014 issue has just debuted at the Society for Photographic Education’s 51st national conference, which runs through Saturday, March 8, at the Hilton Baltimore in the scenic Inner Harbor district.

While the conference is a ticketed event, the exhibits fair is open to the public and we’re handing out magazines at booth #13, so if you’re in the Baltimore area this Friday or Saturday, please stop by to say hello and pick up a copy.

In addition to the print issue, check out our online gallery with the winning work and honorable mentions from PDNedu’s eleventh annual student photography contest. Additionally, keep an eye out for PDNedu‘s digital edition—enhanced with streaming videos and hotlinks—which will be going live next week.

PDNedu‘s cover feature on Dustin Snipes and his iconic brand of sports portraiture proves that this One to Watch continues to take each photographic challenge to new heights. After reading the story in print, step behind the scenes in our digital edition to see Snipes in the studio during a shoot with Nascar sprint cup driver Kasey Kahne.

It’s a Living profiles extreme adventure and sports photographer Corey Rich. Read about his steady ascent as a visual storyteller in both motion and stills and watch his remarkable film WHY in our digital edition.

Step X Step features a recap of last fall’s exclusive PDNedu/Nikon Photo Industry Mashup panel discussion, where Ami Vitale, Corey Rich and Jerry Ghionis offered valuable insights about how to maintain a solid presence in a shifting field.

And, in our Business Smarts story Ivory Tower or Job Center Colleen Mullins delves into the framework for the Obama administration’s upcoming College Affordability Plan, which signals high adventure of another sort.

All this and much, much more are packed into the issue, including cost breakdowns for studying, living and working in Salt Lake City, reviews of the latest and greatest in photo gear and a Q&A with Rich Clarkson, legendary director of photography and founder/director of the sports photography agency Clarkson Creative.

For those not in Baltimore, PDNedu’s Sports and Adventure issue is currently shipping to photography programs nationwide. We hope you’ll enjoy it, and, by all means, please let us know what you think!

02/26/2014

International Journalism in Valencia, Spain

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Are you looking to improve your photography, multimedia and writing skills in an international setting? If so, then look no further than this summer’s international journalism workshop in Valencia, Spain, from July 11 to August 8, 2014. An award-winning faculty—including Jeff Brody, communications professor at California State University, Fullerton; Bruce Strong, Department chair and associate professor at Syracuse University and noted photographer and filmmaker Maisie Crow—are leading this month-long session.

The program will run as a workshop, giving participants intensive experience in producing a range of individual stories and group projects. Mornings will be dedicated to review of and discussion about assignments in the classroom, and afternoons will be spent shooting under the assistance of the professors. Translators will be available to help with language skills and students will get a unique window into Spanish culture and life by boarding with local host families.

Coursework is scheduled from Monday through Thursday, allowing plenty of time from Friday to Sunday to enjoy the nearby Valencia beaches or explore further afield. At the end of the session, class work will be presented on a dedicated Web site.

The program cost is $4,995, plus airfare, and includes tuition (three credits), home stay accommodation with host family (two students per room), all meals with family, travel insurance, welcome and farewell dinners, special Spanish dinner and Flamenco Show, guided tours of the city, paella cooking lesson, aquarium visit, and a choice of optional activities and weekend trips.

College credits are offered through California State University, Fullerton, by enrolling in the course Communications 472, News Media Production. These credits are transferable and may be accepted for journalism elective credit at your university.

The deadline for online application is March 1, with final bills due by March 15. Students are admitted on a rolling basis after a reference check. A $500 deposit is fully refundable until official notice of acceptance. For further details and to sign up, visit the ieiMedia Web site.