Complete Guide on Photography

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What is photography?

The term Photography has a Greek origin"photos" means "light" or "clarity" and "graphein" means "to write" or "to draw". It can therefore be translated as "writing of light". The word was attested in 1832 in the French dictionary, but the conventional date of its invention was January 7, 1839. The first photographs were first in black and white, the very first colour illustration was made later in 1861. It has evolved since then and is used in all kinds of fields.

Photography is the art of capturing light on an object or landscape. It is a process by which with the help of techniques, an optical chamber, chemicals and supports prepared for this purpose, one can record on a sensitive surface and then obtain real and permanent images on a paper or photosensitive surface. Finally, it is mainly used in silver photography.

The different types of photography

Photography has developed over time. Initially used by painters to preserve images that their eyes could not remember, it is now within everyone's reach and has become a working tool for some, especially photographers. To this day, there are many categories, depending on the subject chosen. Here are some of them:

  • Nature photography: when you take pictures of wildlife, be it terrestrial, aerial or marine life, clouds, stars, etc., you are taking pictures of the nature.
  • Experiential photography: the set of photos you take in everyday life or during events to keep them as a souvenir of a moment you spent alone, with family, friends...
  • Artistic photography: nude photographs, any photo or portrait overflowing with aesthetics and artistic effect. This type of photography is mostly done by a photographer, then retouched with a software.
  • Photojournalism: to capture important moments during sports and socio-political events, etc.
  • Architectural photography: taking pictures of monuments or buildings at different stages: during their construction, during renovation or once they are completed.
  • Street photography: this photography allows to perpetuate images taken during past events in the streets. It could be a festival, an event, street performances...
  • Travel photography: when you visit a place far from home and, thinking of immortalizing your travels, you take a few shots here and there with your camera.
  • Professional or technical photography: this category refers to images taken by photographers that will be used for professional purposes such as your website, company brochures, books...
  • Reproduction of works of art: This refers to photographing various works of art for a photo exhibition or to optimize the content of a document.

The photographer

In French "photographe" and in English "photographer", these terms designate the person who masters photography and exercises this vast and fascinating profession. There are still photographers who practice silver photography, but the equipment now rare on the market has become a hindrance for many. Today, most professionals work in digital technology.

Professional photographers have a complete equipment with which they carry out the projects requested by their clients. This equipment may vary depending on the photographer's purchasing capacity or as they gain experience, but in general they need external equipment, cleaning and protective accessories.

  • External equipment: tripod, shutter release, photographer's seat, gorillapod.
  • Cleaning accessories: blower stone, microfibre cloth or towel.
  • Protective accessories: rain cover, silicone protection, sun visor.

In addition, a photographer aspiring to become a professional photographer must master the operation of at least one photo program to edit a picture of his or her subject, add a background. These include photo editing software such as Photoshop, Paint.net, PhotoScape, Pixlr, etc.

What are the basics of digital photography?

The difference between film and digital photography

Silver photography is done with a film camera. Once the subject has been photographed, a negative photographic image is obtained on the film, which is then developed on paper to the desired size and format. The film camera has interchangeable lenses and only one type of film can be used at a time: black and white or colour. It is sometimes necessary to wait until the end of a film to be able to develop the images that have been taken, and the subject must be well contrasted to see it properly.

Photography is digital when all the techniques are used to obtain a photograph by using an electronic sensor to take a picture, and then various other tools are used to process this image. For this type of photography, the photographer uses a digital camera: a moving image recording device that uses an electronic sensor to transform light into an electrical signal. It can take a colour or black-and-white shot and has a screen on the back to view any image taken. It can also be connected to a computer to view images and print them on paper.

Today's photographers prefer digital. Although it better withstands overexposure to light, film is altered by weather or other external factors. Film cameras are also increasingly difficult to find. Moreover, once the image is developed, it is impossible to retouch it, whereas with a digital camera you can keep a photograph for a long time in a computer and retouch it as you wish. And then, to be used in webdesign or to be shared on networks, digital is more practical.

The basics of digital photography

To become a photographer, it's not enough to have the equipment and capture pictures of landscapes or objects. You have to know how to determine the point of view, know the concepts of exposing a surface to light, the rules of composition, sensitivity and all the other settings.

The camera mode

There are so-called automatic and semi-automatic modes. The photographer can use the automatic mode so that the camera recognizes a scene and automatically makes the appropriate settings. Semi-automatic modes give the photographer partial or complete control over the settings:

  • Program mode: adjusts the exposure automatically, but lets the photographer set the aperture, shutter speed and flash.
  • Aperture priority mode: designed to control aperture, white balance and sharpness.
  • Shutter priority mode: for motion photography, recommended for wildlife or sports activities. You can set the shutter speed.
  • Manual mode: Provides access to all the above settings. However, you will need to be familiar with the operation of the camera.

Setting the Aperture

This concerns the diaphragm, an internal component of the camera and a vital part of the lens. It reacts to light in the same way as the pupil of our eye and thus defines the light that reaches the sensor, which is quantified and noted as follows: f/2, f/2.3, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/22... The smaller the number, the brighter the lens.

Shutter speed

This setting is made in the housing of your device. The shutter is the mechanism that lets the light pass through and impresses the sensor for a given period of time. The speed is calculated in seconds or thousandths of a second.

Of course, this camera has much more complex parts and there are many other techniques to learn to fully tame it.

What is a photo studio?

A photography studio can be both a workplace and a business. It is a set of equipment that allows photographers to make high-end photographs of the objects we see in everyday life, they are called packshots. This studio can be operational even in a small room in the house and can be moved at will, even outdoors.

What you can do with

It is in this studio that the photo shootings and the photo production take place, although the shootings can be done outdoors as well. The different kinds of photography that can be done are as follows:

  • Product and packshot photographs
  • Photographic portraits
  • Ground-level and staged photographs
  • Videos

What does it consist of

A photo studio is not complete without its equipment. Indeed, it is impossible for a photographer to work without his camera, but he will also need other tools such as:

  • Lighting equipment
  • Shooting equipment
  • A cyclorama or "cyclo"
  • Digital equipment
  • A stage assistant
  • A make-up booth
  • Decorations

Sortlist offers you its catalogue of agencies equipped and mastering the technique of photography. Find yours now.

What is the importance of photography in webdesign?

Photography is now a branch of art accessible to all. It can be used in everyday life, but it is also useful in web marketing, especially in the design of a website, which is essential for any company that wants to stand out from the crowd.

Picture marketing

It is said that sometimes a single picture is worth a thousand words, it may be enough to explain years of history. On social networks, a publication with a picture is more likely to break through compared to a text without any illustration, like when you try to grab a child's attention with a book without a picture.

In principle, picture marketing encompasses all the techniques of image promotion. This helps you to enhance the value of your visual identity, to have more sharing and not to be part of information that is too difficult to read.

Using images in any article makes it more attractive to internet users. For this reason, no matter what your interface will look like, if you don't include photographs, your site can't get their attention. By using photography wisely, you will have a better visibility and an excellent promotion to your targets.

Use photography in your digital strategy

To seduce your customers and convey your brand, you need to accompany the contents of your site with illustrations. In this way, you are more likely to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Use original illustrations and reinforce your impact on the web.

In order to succeed in your digital communication strategy, it is in your best interest to seek the help of the photographer and the contemporary art of photography. However, this is not done just anyhow. Here are a few tips to help you optimize your website.

  • Use high quality images. To get them, you can hire a professional photographer, buy shots from online image banks or hire a graphic designer to get the most out of your photographs.
  • Choose large images with good resolution: it's wiser if you want to seduce your audience. A small, low-resolution image is difficult to look at and appreciate, especially when it is a large area captured by aerial photography.
  • Highlight your business: use elements that showcase your company, your staff, your products. You can promote yourself by using designs, photographs of your premises, etc.
  • Optimize your texts and file names: even if the image can replace words, we still advise you to use good texts and to choose the names of your files before putting them online.
  • Use legally obtained photos: you can certainly not just take any photo you find on the internet and use it as you wish. Many of these images are protected by copyright. Therefore, only use photos that you have obtained legally, or those that are offered for free on legal websites.

To help you find the best pictures to use for your websites, find your photo agency at Sortlist.

Why use professional photographers?

Taking pictures of objects and putting them on your site seems easy, but creating a page that can be attractive to Internet users is certainly not a piece of cake. To optimize a website, you need more studied images. So, if you want to opt for a technology photo or a magazine photo, it is best to seek the expertise of experienced photographers or those belonging to a production studio.

An excellent review

Photographers working in production studios are not only more experienced, but also more qualified and better equipped to provide you with black and white or color photographs that can be used in the realization of your project. Calling on a professional who masters the techniques of photography allows you to have a perfect image report.

A knowledgeable photographer will be able to listen and analyze your needs. He can advise you on what subject to photograph, what paper to use to print a photo, how to use an image according to your article.

Improve your company's reputation

The implementation of visual communication is an excellent initiative for the reputation of your company. In fact, many companies rely on aesthetic photography to attract more subscribers and reach a larger audience.

Develop your brand image

Thanks to picture marketing, you have the opportunity to promote your brand even more and attract more customers. By using the photographer's know-how, you can optimise your website page or your photo exhibition and thus gain visibility and awareness. A good photograph can be as relevant as a logo or slogan. Qualified photographers will know what makes your product or item more unique and how to use it to set you apart from your competition.

Trust us to put you in touch with the agency that will showcase your brand.

How to choose your photographic agency?

A photographic agency has photographers and other photographic experts on its staff. In addition to this, it can offer other services such as photo shooting, reporting, training and studio rental for your exhibitions. If you are looking for an agency to collaborate with, you should first find out about the best photography agencies by going to their websites.

Get information from reliable sources

Take a look at their website. Under an article about their work, you will find comments that have been written by previous clients. Browsing sites that recommend photographers or agencies like Sortlist is also a great way to go, or ask people who have worked with the agency yourself.

Define your project well

It is obviously necessary to have a set of specifications before the realization of each project. You must first define the subject you want to deal with without forgetting to plan everything on the strategic, budgetary and marketing level of the project. After that, you can start explaining your plans to your service provider and avoid any confusion.

Check the projects the agency has completed

The portfolio is always the best way to judge the qualitative value of a photographer or photographic agency. The more diverse the portfolio, the more likely you are to find an agency that will be able to take into account and understand your ideas and execute them. An agency that follows trends and technological advances is also more likely to meet your expectations.

Value for money

After going through the portfolio, you can now make an assessment of the price the agency offered you in relation to their returns, the equipment used, the customer service. Once all these checks have been made, you can decide with which agency to sign a contract.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find photography agencies?

Photographing objects is one thing, getting the best possible image is another. To find French studios that are experts in photography, you can request a list of the 10 best agencies that Sortlist has to offer.

How can Sortlist help me find a good photographer?

The best photographers are in the photo agencies listed on Sortlist. In order to find the right one for you, we will shed light on your needs and provide you with a selection of specialized photography studios that match your criteria.

How much does Sortlist cost?

The process of finding your agency on Sortlist is completely free of charge. The only payment you will have to make will be between you and the agency you are going to collaborate with.

How long does it take Sortlist to provide me with a list of photo agencies?

In order to find the right agency to help you with your photo project, Sortlist will only ask you 3 minutes to fill in a questionnaire and we will then contact the 10 best agencies near you.

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