You are previewing The Five-Minute Fix: 200 Tips for Improving Your Photography and Growing Your Business.
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The Five-Minute Fix: 200 Tips for Improving Your Photography and Growing Your Business

Book Description

Learning about photography and how to use a camera can be overwhelming to a newbie and frustrating to keep up with for a seasoned photographer. Benfield’s book will take away that sense of urgency and leave you feeling satisfied by seamlessly (with a bit of humor–so it’s a great read!) guiding you through his all-inclusive toolkit of photography “how-tos” that are necessary to establish yourself as a serious player in the game. 

Breanne Schaap, Drop It Modern Design House   


The Five-Minute Fix began as a way for photographer Dale Benfield to share his photography and business knowledge with a growing base of photographers who followed his business, Benfield Photography. These tips evolved into a huge collection of techniques, tricks, and advice for beginning through early-professional photographers, covering a variety of topics, from posing, shooting, and lighting to social media and sales–and much more!

Unlike many books for “beginners,” Dale takes photographers from the beginning stages and continues nurturing them into starting a business and becoming a professional. His approach of providing a lot of bite-sized chunks of information on photography techniques, business, and marketing in one book is truly unique. For the photographer who wants both business and photography knowledge, this single book takes the place of two! Plus, with Dale’s accessible, conversational voice, you’ll not only find the book informative–but fun and engaging, too. 

  • Includes over 200 bite-sized, easy-to-read tips to help photographers with technique, business strategies, and marketing

  • Applies to photographers at all stages of their business, from aspiring to professionals

  • Features beautiful imagery and the friendly, accessible approach of award-winning photographer Dale Benfield

  • Dale Benfield started photographing weddings in 1998 and later taught college photography courses while growing his photography business. In 2006, Dale moved his business from Joplin, MO, to Fayetteville, AR, to begin shooting full time. The move proved beneficial, and as the face of Benfield Photography, Dale has become one of the most sought-after wedding photographers in Arkansas, expanding to include destination weddings as well. He is on the speaking team for Miller’s Professional Imaging and has spoken at major photography tradeshows such as Wedding Portrait Photographers International (WPPI). 

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication Page
    4. Contents
    5. A Little Thanks...
    6. Introduction
      1. Downloading Bonus Materials
    7. Section I: Photography Tips
      1. One. Camera Settings
        1. 1 Blurry Backgrounds and Shallow Depth of Field
        2. 2 Two More Ways to Attain Shallow Depth of Field
        3. 3 Focusing Modes: Still Subjects
        4. 4 Focusing Modes: Moving Subjects
        5. 5 Ghosting (Dragging the Shutter)
        6. 6 How to Get Straight Vertical Lines
        7. 7 Adjust Image Size In-Camera
        8. 8 Spinning Motion
        9. 9 Minimum Focusing Distance
        10. 10 Preset Your Camera to Capture Moments
        11. 11 Macro Photography Without a Macro Lens
        12. 12 Color Temperature and Custom White Balance
        13. 13 Shooting in RAW
        14. 14 Shooting Group Shots at Receptions
        15. 15 Tilt-Shift Lenses: Fad or Fancy?
        16. 16 Underexpose the Flash to Protect Skin Tones
        17. 17 Exposure Compensation: When to Go Over and Under
        18. 18 Understand Infinity Focus
        19. 19 Use Shade White Balance in the Sun
        20. 20 What a Difference a Lens Makes
      2. Two. Lighting
        1. 21 Bounce It Off the Wall
        2. 22 Catching Streaky Light
        3. 23 Devil Eyes: Three Ways to Fix Red Eyes
        4. 24 Diffuse Flash
        5. 25 Grab a Video Light
        6. 26 Eliminate Bright Areas
        7. 27 Get Your Subject in the Perfect Light
        8. 28 How to Look at Light: Backlight
        9. 29 How to Look at Light: Sidelight
        10. 30 How to Look at Light: Overhead Light
        11. 31 How to Look at Light: Front Light
        12. 32 How to Look at Light: Lighting Ratios
        13. 33 Use North Light
        14. 34 Reflect Color
        15. 35 Use Natural Reflectors
        16. 36 Using “Blue Light” and White Balance
        17. 37 Using Creative Lighting Sources
        18. 38 Off-Camera Flash Tips
      3. Three. Composition
        1. 39 Change Your Angle
        2. 40 Use the Foreground/Background Technique
        3. 41 Use the Rule of Thirds
        4. 42 Use Objects to Frame Your Subject
        5. 43 Look to Layer Objects
        6. 44 Make Subjects Pop
        7. 45 Match Pretty with Ugly
        8. 46 Shoot Patterns to Add Spice
        9. 47 Shoot Vertical
        10. 48 Kid Level for Kid Pics
        11. 49 Simple Is Beautiful
        12. 50 Avoid Overuse of the Tilted Camera
        13. 51 Use a Size Contrast for Drama
        14. 52 Use Leading Lines to Draw the Eye
        15. 53 Addition Not Distraction
      4. Four. Posing
        1. 54 Chin Up, Buttercup!
        2. 55 Chin Down, Charlie Brown!
        3. 56 Listen to Your Clients
        4. 57 Play Games with Your Couples
        5. 58 Pop That Shoulder
        6. 59 Posing Newborns
        7. 60 “What Do I Do With My Hands?”
        8. 61 Look Away
        9. 62 The Almost Kiss
        10. 63 Posing by the Book
        11. 64 The Universally Great Pose
      5. Five. Shooting
        1. 65 Accentuate the Positive
        2. 66 Action and Reaction
        3. 67 Anticipate the Action
        4. 68 Be Picky About Focus
        5. 69 Create a Consistent Wedding Feel
        6. 70 Dare to Be Different
        7. 71 Day After: Take Risks
        8. 72 Don’t Let the Wind Stop You
        9. 73 Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
        10. 74 Educate Your Clients
        11. 75 Eliminate Objects with Your Feet
        12. 76 Find the Ending Shot
        13. 77 Get Close for the Best Shots
        14. 78 The Perfect Veil Shot
        15. 79 Have Your Picture Taken!
        16. 80 It’s Okay to Forget the Groom
        17. 81 Keep Shooting and Be Sneaky
        18. 82 Let Kids Be Kids
        19. 83 Location Isn’t Everything
        20. 84 Look Behind You
        21. 85 Wind Up the Wind
        22. 86 Make Clients Feel Relaxed
        23. 87 Moment Conquers All
        24. 88 New Twists on Old Classics
        25. 89 Overshoot: Especially with Children
        26. 90 Safety Shots: Photographer as Record Keeper
        27. 91 Tips for the Second Shooter
        28. 92 Second Shooting for Fun
        29. 93 See in Black and White
        30. 94 Be Prepared for Better Dress Shots
        31. 95 Shooting Cop/Funny Cop
        32. 96 Start Early, Shoot Often
        33. 97 Start the Photograph Without the Camera
        34. 98 Think Outside the Studio
        35. 99 Three Shots to Get at Every Shoot
        36. 100 Develop Your Own Style
      6. Six. Post-Production
        1. 101 Image Finder Software
        2. 102 The Risks of Deleting Photos in the Camera
        3. 103 Don’t Be Destructive in Photoshop
        4. 104 Use Photoshop for Diffuse Glow
        5. 105 Warm Up Your Images
        6. 106 Saving for Web Viewing
        7. 107 Sharpen Your Images
        8. 108 Adobe Bridge Time Savers
        9. 109 Edit Phone Pics with Snapseed
        10. 110 Use Custom Actions to Prep Images for Blogging
        11. 111 Use Eyes to Help Design
        12. 112 Use Layer Masks to Perfect Your Image
        13. 113 Use InDesign for Album Design
        14. 114 Dominant Elements Are a Must
    8. Section II: Business Tips
      1. Seven. Infrastructure and General Practices
        1. 115 Have a Backup Plan
        2. 116 Use a Quality Lab
        3. 117 Second-Shooter Agreements
        4. 118 Be Yourself
        5. 119 Be Insured
        6. 120 Be Prepared with Backups
        7. 121 Delegate Responsibilities
        8. 122 Write Down Your Goals
        9. 123 Getting Jobs Second Shooting
        10. 124 Save Time for Yourself
        11. 125 Specialize and Customize
        12. 126 Balance Family and Work
        13. 127 Keep Them Coming Back
        14. 128 Stack Travel
        15. 129 Set a Wedding Agenda in Advance
        16. 130 Three Reasons to Attend Conferences
        17. 131 Don’t Be Lazy
        18. 132 Try Before You Buy
        19. 133 Two Things to Consider in Decision-Making
        20. 134 What to Wear for Weddings
        21. 135 Help! Somebody Copied My Work
        22. 136 A Little Paranoid Is Good
        23. 137 Own Your Own ZIP Code
      2. Eight. Workflow
        1. 138 Recycle Responses
        2. 139 Get Rid of Unwanted Emails
        3. 140 Manage Minutes
        4. 141 Use Photo Mechanic for Image Selection
        5. 142 Save Time By Doubling Up on Work
        6. 143 Set Up a Server for File Sharing
      3. Nine. Marketing
        1. 144 Be Searchable
        2. 145 Use Adobe Muse to Design Websites
        3. 146 It’s Okay to Be Sold Out
        4. 147 Be Transparent
        5. 148 Get Featured in Magazines and Blogs
        6. 149 Extend Your Market
        7. 150 Put Your Logo on Images
        8. 151 Giving Back Helps Your Business
        9. 152 I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends
        10. 153 Offer Custom Engagement Websites
        11. 154 Post Travel Notices
        12. 155 Should I Go to Bridal Fairs?
        13. 156 Be in a Bridal Fair Without Going
        14. 157 Running Polls
        15. 158 Keep Helping Each Other Out
        16. 159 Share the Love
        17. 160 Shoot Your Vendors
        18. 161 Have Vision
        19. 162 Increase Client Referrals
        20. 163 Wrap It Up Pretty
        21. 164 How Do I Find Clients in Other Markets?
      4. Ten. Sales
        1. 165 Believe in Your Concept
        2. 166 Create a Loyalty Program
        3. 167 How to Keep Clients Coming Back
        4. 168 Figure Your Needs to Figure Your Prices
        5. 169 Beware: The Paradox of Choice
        6. 170 Charge a Price that Makes You Happy
        7. 171 Family Money Matters
        8. 172 How to Deal with Minimum Orders
        9. 173 More Products Means More Money
        10. 174 Brainstorm Multiple Income Streams
        11. 175 Tap Advertising Income
        12. 176 Hire Associate Photographers
        13. 177 Be Persuasive, Not Pushy
        14. 178 Perceived Value: Maximize Your Money
        15. 179 Am I Too Cheap?
        16. 180 Raising Prices: Face Your Fears
        17. 181 I Raised My Prices, Now What?
        18. 182 Sell Holiday Cards
        19. 183 Sell Files for Christmas Cards
        20. 184 What to Do When a Client Asks for a Deal
        21. 185 You Sell What You Show
      5. Eleven. Social Media
        1. 186 Avoid Overload
        2. 187 Get Pinned
        3. 188 Alerts and Beeps
        4. 189 Increase Your Facebook Likes
        5. 190 Know Your Unfollowers
        6. 191 Find Time to Blog Every Day
        7. 192 Shoot for the Facebook Crop
        8. 193 Show One Image for Impact
        9. 194 The Facebook Flytrap: Driving Traffic to Your Site
        10. 195 Use Instagram to Get New Clients
      6. Twelve. Read for Inspiration
        1. 196 Service Inspirations: Delivering Happiness
        2. 197 Leadership Essentials: Good to Great
        3. 198 What I Read: Inc. Magazine
        4. 199 Advertising Savvy: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be
        5. 200 Recharge: Raving Fans
    9. Index