DIY Photography for Your Small Business Part 4

For all you small business owners, the tailors, cobblers, innkeepers and bakers this photography education series is for you. In Part 4, I’ll talk about how to edit and use your images in creative ways. 
Your images can be displayed on your business walls, in ad campaigns, on social media or online stores. You can create graphics out of your pictures that can be used in clever layout and designs. You’re only as limited as your imagination. 
The font, or typeface, you choose can make or break your design so choose wisely. Serif fonts like TIMES NEW ROMAN have little bars on top and bottom and are perceived to be more clinical, professional and stately while san serif fonts like ARIAL are slick and clean and thought as more relaxed, hip and cool. For this series, I used a custom san serif font called LEAH GAVIOTA BOLD that I purchased through the graphics licensing company, Envato. 
You can create symbolic images like the one in this example that’s universally recognizable employing the tips I shared in Part 1 and 2. From there, you can convert those notable silhouettes into graphics in a few easy steps. This example logo took under ten minutes in Adobe Photoshop. I set my color swatches to magenta and white, launched the Filters Gallery, applied the Stamp Filter, added type and saved. Something like this could be used on mugs and t’s. 
Editing suites like Adobe Photoshop are very robust and can be intimidating at first. There are several resources online that can walk you through step-by-step so you don’t get overwhelmed. Check out Kelby One and Creative Live for online tutorials (note: these cost money) or you can check out Adobe Photoshop, Terry White, Glyn Dewis and Dave Clayton on YouTube. 
By photographing and isolating an iconic tool of your trade, you can incorporate it into a memorable marking tool. This eyelash curler image is now duo toned and can be printed on Plexiglas, lit from behind and hung on the wall in the salon as a graphic art piece. The eyelash curler can be further isolated and used as a character, aka letter, in a marketing campaign.
Objects often have shapes that mimic letters in the alphabet. In this example marketing campaign, an eyelash curler silhouette takes the place of the ‘Y’ in yes. A simple hand-sketched eyelash is added to give the curler a human appearance and a font that matches the curler is used. 
Self-generated campaigns don’t have to be complicated or involve computer work. Nikon cameras can connect to your smart phone via Bluetooth where you can select and download images using SnapBridge. From there, you can use image-editing applications you’re familiar with like Snapseed. You can use apps like PhotoGrid to ad type and graphics too. It’s so easy and fun! 

DIY Photography for Your Small Business Part 3

Nikon Z 7 Photo by Stacy Pearsall
Having a lens that allows you to open your Aperture to F/1.4 or F/2.8 is great because it will give your portraits that “dreamy” look. Remember from Part 1, Aperture impacts depth of field and the more open your Aperture is, the blurrier the background appears. I mainly use the NIKKOR 105mm F/1.4 for my portraits. Don’t worry, you can achieve lovely portraits with your 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses too. Just as I explained in Part 2, manipulating light helps improve your pictures too. There is a tool you can use to improve the quality of light for your portraits. Investing $20 in a diffuser/reflector combo will make a big difference. 
Most cameras allow you to have a Manual Focus, Continuous Auto Focus, Group Auto Focus or Single Point Auto Focus. I recommend the Single Point Auto Focus feature because you can move the focus point over your subject’s eye and ensure critical focus is where you need it most. When taking portraits, ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE EYE(S). When your subject is angled to the camera, focus on the eye nearest the camera. 
A window is a ready-made light source that’s perfect for run-and-gun portraits. Get your subject as close to the window as possible. Rotate their face until the shadow falls pleasingly on their face. You can also face your subject directly toward the window so there’s no shadow at all.
Find open-shade under an awning or porch. Make sure there’s no direct light or dappled light falling on your subject. The light in open shade is often soft and wraps your subject’s face without creating harsh shadows. You can “kick” more light into the shadows by using a piece of white foam core. I realize your hands will be full of camera, but it can be done with practice. If you’re having trouble, ask your subject to hold the white foam board at chest level and tip it back toward their face. Make sure the board is just out of frame. A dedicated reflector and diffuser is ergonomically friendly and designed for you to be able to hold, manipulate and shoot at the same time. It’s definitely worth the $20!
If you have to shoot in the sun, try rotating your subject so their back is to the sun and their face is in shade. The sun will rim their hair and the shade will be soft, pleasant light. Since the face is most important, expose for the lightest part of the face. As I mentioned in Part 1, Aperture Priority Exposure Mode allows you to set your ISO for the available light, pick an Aperture for desired depth of field, meter for your desired area and the camera chooses the Shutter Speed accordingly. It also lets you use Exposure Compensation to make your picture lighter or darker if you don’t like the outcome.
Posing is the fun part. You can shoot tight with just eyes, nose and mouth, which is a great pose for make-up artists who want to showcase their masterpiece. You can capture a headshot that includes the neck and a portion of the shoulders, which is perfect for jewelry designers who want to show their pieces. Try angling your subject’s face away for a profile. If you’re a hairstyle and want to show the color and style of your subject’s hair, this would be an ideal pose. 
Mid-length and full-length poses are great for those who want to show off clothes, shoes and hats. With both you want to make sure you give your subject head space – don’t crop too tightly above their head. Mid-length means you crop your subject between the hip and knee – don’t crop at the knee, crop above it. Full-length is the entire body – don’t crop off or into the feet. 
I’ll talk more about editing your photos in Part 4 but it’s important to mention in this segment. There are computer software suites like Adobe Photoshop, Nikon Capture NX and One1 that give you the ability to touch up acne, brighten/darken, crop and add a cool toning. If you’re not ready for the computer suites, send your pictures from your camera to your phone and use the apps you’re familiar with like Snapseed and Edit.Lab.