In our ongoing Shoot Like A Pro series we teamed up with our sister title, the Nikon magazine N-Photo, to explore the many different ways you can sell photos online, in print, and elsewhere in ways you might not have considered before.
This week we continue by introducing you to a photographer, Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz, who’s innovative project to throw milk over nude models and photograph them with high-speed flash became a viral sensation on the internet. Below, Jaroslav shares 13 of his best tips for creating a unique photography project, culled from his own experience.
How to make sure your photo project is unique
01 Be unique
Liquid photography has been around for years, but I decided to give it my own twist by combining freeze flash techniques with the classic pinup style of Gil Elvgren.
02 Find a hero
When I was starting out I would obsess over the work of great photographers like Paulo Vainer, Christophe Gilbert or Bill Cahill, and I’d contact them asking if I could assist on shoots.
03 Work nights
I still work as an architect too so my time is precious. I’ll often sit down at 10pm and edit shots till 4am. If you’re passionate enough about photography, you’ll make the time.
04 Don’t over-share
I don’t actually like social media that much, mainly because some photographers abuse it and bombard the world with tons of terrible images. I only share my best shots, and not too often.
05 Put your time into shooting, instead
I prefer to focus on taking amazing and unusual pictures, and they take a huge amount of time. For example, I spent 15 months shooting my set of 12 milky pinup images.
06 Get into video
If you can shoot great pictures with your Nikon D-SLR then you can shoot great video too. It’s a great extra skill to offer clients, and you can create behind-the-scenes peeks at your shoots which drive traffic to your site.
07 Get Photoshop savvy
Post-production on a single image can take me anything from a few hours to a few days. Photoshop is the 21st century’s darkroom; using it is an essential skill.
08 Be strict with admin
There’s no point trying to sell your shots if you aren’t going to keep up with admin. Recently it took me a whole month just to agree the brief and fee with a client – there’s a lot of phone calling and emailing to do every day.
09 Storyboard your shoots
As you can see on my blog (blog.aurumlight.com) I always plan and design how a set of images is going to look. A shoot is a lot easier if everyone can see a sketch of what you want to achieve.
10 Make your own props
People are always surprised to hear that I make and source almost all the props in my pictures, but it saves a lot of money and means I get exactly the look I want.
11 Tour your workshops
I don’t just recreate my shots in workshops, I actually shoot new images and have photography students come along to watch and help. I head round the world shooting and teaching my techniques in England, America and Australia.
12 Hire, don’t buy
Until the end of 2012 I had just one camera, a Nikon D300, and two lenses. If I needed more kit for a big photography job I’d hire it from websites such as www.lensesforhire.co.uk.
13 Plug the work of others
I always big up the great models, makeup artists and designers I’ve worked with on my shoots through my blog posts, making sure I link to their own websites. It’s polite, it shows off the diverse people I work with and they’ll often link back to me.
Name: Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz
Location: London, UK
▪ What is your specialist subject?
Liquid photography, plus commercial and advertising shoots.
▪ Best paid shoot?
One assignment for a client was worth $50,000. That’s small potatoes compared to some of my commissions as an architect, so I wasn’t as nervous as I might have been!
▪ Biggest photo disaster?
No huge ones so far! I often come up with new ideas and they fail the first time I try them out, but that’s not a bad thing.
▪ First time you knew you’d made it?
When journalists and TV stations picked up on my milk images.
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