The Impact of Gay Marriage on Wedding Photography


Gay Marriage Cake Topper

I wanted to write a blog about gay marriage more than a year ago. I never did for two reasons: First, I didn’t have a lot of facts and figures and secondly, I don’t mix politics with business. But wherever you stand politically, you can’t deny the business-side of it. Now I have some facts and figures.

[EDIT 6/29/13: The link to the AP article no longer works. Here is a recent ABC news report about the economic impact after the June 2013 Supremer Court ruling on California’s Prop 8: http://abcn.ws/155Ri6c]

A recent Associated Press article about the recent passage of gay marriage proposals in Maine, Maryland and Washington looks at the economic impact of gay marriage. This is a no brainer to anyone who is married or planning a wedding: Weddings are EXPENSIVE! The AP reports:

… the laws should generate at least $166 million in wedding spending in the three states over the next three years from in-state couples alone, boosting tax revenues and creating new jobs.

Wedding-related spending for in-state couples is projected be about $16 million in Maine, $63 million in Maryland and $89 million in Washington.

The numbers go up when figuring in out-of-staters who travel to those states to be wed.

With local and state governments looking for ways to make ends meet, having an influx of marriage licenses certainly can’t hurt. Then think of all the business owners that are in the wedding industry:

  • Tuxedo/Dress
  • DJ
  • Florist
  • Caterer
  • Venue
  • Jeweler

And last but not least…PHOTOGRAPHER! Opening up marriage to more people is essentially opening your doors to more customers. If you are a wedding photographer in one of the states mentioned above, start planning now on how you will market to your new customer base. You’re about to get a lot busier.

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Why Photographers Need Liability Insurance


Article in NY Daily News

In a recent post, I glossed over liability insurance. Well here’s a good example of why a photographer might need it. A photographer taking pictures of a client’s art work allegedly moved an ancient statue to take advantage of the light. It seems the statue was placed on uneven wood floor and toppled over. The piece was valued at $300,000 and the owner is suing. In this case the photographer was working for an art magazine which says they have no liability.

You can read more on the story HERE.

Now imagine you are a wedding photographer and at the reception you accidentally knock over a priceless piece of art or break a piece of furniture. Do you have thousands or tens-of-thousands of dollars to pay for it? I know some reception halls require photographers to carry liability insurance. Not all photographers need it; but if you shoot on location (weddings, events, corporate settings, commercial clients, etc.) then it’s something worth looking into.

Canon 5D MKII Price Drop Begins


Canon 5D MKII

Let the price drop begin. When Canon announced the 5D MKIII two days ago, I was expecting the price of the MKII to drop in the coming weeks (the MKIII is expected to begin shipping in late March). I had no idea how soon the price would drop.

I tracked price fluctuations last year; from a hike to about $2,700 after the Japan earthquake to a low of about $2,100 for the Christmas shopping season. It stabilized to the usual $2,500 after the holidays.

Now it’s down to $2,200 on Amazon. [UPDATE 3/5/12: Another $50 drop. It’s down to $2,149.] How low will it go? We’ll see in the next few weeks. So if you’ve been eyeing a full frame camera, you might save some money by opting for the MKII over the newer MKIII.

Is the MKIII worth the extra $1,300? I did a comparison using SnapSort and found mostly minor differences.

  • A screen that is .2-inches larger with better resolution. The image on the screen does not reflect what you’ll see on your computer or print.
  • 6 frames per second vs. 3.9. If you don’t shoot action, then this won’t matter to you.
  • 22.1 megapixels vs. 21. ‘Nuff said.

The differences that might sway me are:

  • ISO 25,600 vs. 6,400
  • 100% viewfinder coverage vs. 98%. As an interior photographer, this is actually a big deal for me

Other features that might interest you:

  • More focus points and more cross type focus points
  • In camera HDR
  • Silent mode for video recording

The question is: is that worth the extra money? Hit me up in the comments with your thoughts. If the MKII drops to $2,000 would you get it instead of the MKIII or is the MKIII clearly superior?

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals for Photographers


screenshot of Adobe Black Friday ad

I haven’t seen too many Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals of interest for photographers recently. So on this Thanksgiving-eve, I thought I’d pass along a couple of items.

First up, I got an email from Adobe offering deals on its software titles until November 29. I’m always a little skeptical because I can usually find better prices on Amazon; but this is actually a good one. You can buy the full version of Photoshop CS5 for $549. The best price I found on Amazon was $610. Lightroom 3 is $199 which is about 3-dollars less than the price on Amazon. The fine print says you have to click the “buy” button and the discount will be applied when you add it to your cart. Click the image above for the link.

This may not be breaking news, but did you know you can subscribe to Adobe titles instead of paying the full price? In the screen where you select the version, platform etc.; click the drop down menu for “version” and select “subscription”. For Photoshop CS5, for example, you can pay $49 every month or $35 a month with a yearly plan. Excluding the deal mentioned above, it could save you money over buying the full version; not to mention having to pay the upgrade price when a new version comes out.

Speaking of which, Scott Kelby recently wrote Adobe a letter regarding their upgrade policy. You can read it over at his blog.

That leads me to the next Cyber Monday deal: UPDATE 11/29/11: The following offer from NAPP and Kelby Training have been extended through Tuesday.

NAPP Black Friday Deals

The folks over at NAPP and KelbyTraining.com are offering some pretty sweet deals on Monday. NOTE: I did read on Facebook that these deals are active now, so you don’t have to wait; but I haven’t tested it myself. Some of the deals include 6-months added to your NAPP subscription, $50 off one year of KelbyTraining or get one year of both NAPP and KelbyTraining for $199. If you’ve never heard of it, KelbyTraining is a great educational resource with online courses covering photography and software training. I credit it with teaching me Photoshop. Check out NAPP, if for nothing else, the discounts they offer on products and services photographers use. The discounts I got from Adobe and Apple  more than paid for my membership fee.

That’s it for now. If you see any deals out there, let me know. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!

Adobe Photoshop Touch for Android Tablets





Adobe just announced a tablet application for Photoshop. It’s called Photoshop Touch and right now it’s just for Android tablets. That alone is a bit puzzling given the dominance of the iPad, but I’m sure it had something to do with programming on the Android platform that’s a bit over my head. Over on the Chase Jarvis blog, however, he says it’s coming to iOS.

The video looks like it has some pretty cool features including some quick search tools and compositing tools. I’m still trying to figure out who it’s for or what direction Adobe wants to go in. On the one hand, lots of  people use their phones to take pictures and then use apps to add effects. Photoshop Touch might be useful to an on-the-go photographer who can’t be tied down to a desktop or might not have Photoshop on a laptop. Then again, this initial roll-out seems aimed at the more casual photographer; giving them some basic tools to start with. Adobe also seems to be emphasizing the social sharing and cloud-based aspects as it did when it announced Carousel a few weeks ago. From the Photoshop blog:

Photoshop users interested in mobile design and photo editing will have the freedom to brainstorm and create in Photoshop Touch, and then access their artwork through the newly announced Adobe Creative Cloud to take it further in Photoshop CS5. Anyone can enjoy Photoshop Touch for quick social photo compositing…and share it out with friends.

Assuming you had an Android tablet, would you use Photoshop Touch?

Nikon’s New Red D3100


Nikon's red D3100

Last June, Canon launched a red Rebel T3. Now Nikon is out with a red version of its D3100 DSLR. Monkey see, monkey do?

Would you buy a red DSLR? Do you wish other models came in a color other than black? If so, what color would you want?

Nikon, Sony, Scott Kelby Launch New Products


Nikon P7100

Ok, so if you read yesterday’s blog, you know Nikon and Scott Kelby planned big announcements a day after Canon announced new point and shoots. I really wonder if the Nikon and Canon PR people hang out; you know, maybe have lunch or meet for drinks. It would go something like this:

Nikon: Hey, when are you announcing those point-and-shoots?

Canon: August 23rd. Why?

Nikon: Oh, shoot, we’re rolling out new point-and-shoots too.

Canon: Well, should we flip a coin to see who goes first?

Nikon: Nah, you go first. We’ll just announce ours the very next day!

Canon: Well that’s jolly good of you…. OMG, look who just walked in! It’s Sony.

Nikon: Pfft. Don’t make eye contact.

Canon: Crap, they totally see us. They’re coming this way. Act natural.

Yes, despite fever-pitch speculation about a new DSLR, Nikon updated it’s P7000 with the P7100 as well other Coolpix point-and-shoots. Read more about it here:

Nikon Rumors

PDN Online

Not to be left out of the party, Sony refreshed it’s DSLR line, introducing four new Alphas including one which it calls the “fastest continuous autofocus” with 12 frames per second at 24 megapixels.

Sony Alpha 77

 

Lastly, Scott Kelby let the cat of of the bag on his big news. I read yesterday that the announcement would not be Nikon related and “rdavisphoto” commented on my blog yesterday telling us to get our IPads ready. It turns out, Kelby is launching a new magazine designed for the IPad aimed at teaching photographers about lighting. Check out the video:

 

So there you have it. Those are the big announcements. Now we can all go back to grinding our teeth until Canon or Nikon update its DSLRs. There are still a few months left in the year and the latest rumor is to expect a Canon 5D MKIII in October.

Damn, here comes Olympus…pretend you don’t see them!