Category: Product Review

Buying Used Camera Equipment Online? Read These 5 Tips First

Before buying a used camera or lens, it’s important to ask yourself what it is you like to shoot, why you’re shooting and how you plan to use the camera. Once you have that information, do plenty of research. Have a look at the product photos for damage, shutter counts, condition rating and pricing. Does it meet your expectations? The best way to ensure that you are paying true market value is to compare against reputable companies that specialize in second-hand camera equipment. Traditional peer-to-peer marketplaces tend to have skewed pricing, that can end up costing you a fortune! Read the fine print and check that a warranty is included, to avoid losing money in the case of any problems with the equipment in the future.  

Be Conscious Of Fraud:

There have been plenty of situations where sellers have scammed photographers with false advertisement and sketchy payment methods. Before checkout, make sure the site you are using has a trusted payment gateway like Braintree or Paypal, and for extra protection, pay with your credit or debit card instead of cash. Also check for Trustpilot reviews and their Facebook page, as reviews regarding the buying experience can be in depth.

Buy At The Right Time:

The top of the year is when you can get your best bargains. The supply of secondhand cameras and lenses surge after the holidays because of the increase of unwanted presents being sold.  

Trade In:

Trade in any equipment you don’t use when buying to offset the cost. No point in hanging onto equipment unnecessarily when it’s only going to lose value over time. Due to digital technologies improving so fast, cameras depreciate quickly. If you have any camera bodies that are surplus to your needs, part exchanging your equipment at the right time can save you quite a bit of cash.

Test, Test And Test:

Whether you are switching brands or staying loyal to what you use now, try before you buy. This isn’t always easy as rentals aren’t always available in your area, but don’t let that discourage you. If you are investing in an expensive camera or lens this step is definitely worth doing. Although the image quality might be your ultimate deciding factor, also check to see whether you’re happy with button placement, menu systems and all the features that might be important to you.

There are very few options when it comes to trading, buying and selling used cameras and lenses. MPB was started because photographers and videographers were being underserved. Unlike Ebay, Craigslist or your local camera store, MPB avoid the hassles that come with traditional peer-to-peer marketplaces. MPB provide a trusted end-to-end customer experience in addition to offering the best prices on the market.  Take a browse through their current stock here

Please note BANPAS is an affiliate for products and services we have used and trust.  This article contains affiliate links. 

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook GroupRead the rest

Read More

Bundle of Posing Guides – REVIEW

As affiliates for BP4U we like to test and review their amazing value products (if you have a product our readers might be interested in, we’d also love too hear from you!) and this week we’re taking a look at this bundle of posing guides.

These guides are written by Kimberly Reed and the bundle includes guides for maternity, newborns, family and older boys.  They are currently on sale for $20 for the bundle !

The newborn guide is 49 pages long and covers a natural light studio set up and preparing for the session.  The poses covered are all of the poses I would expect to see a newborn photographer offer.  There are some behind the scenes images showing how baby is kept safe but there is not a lot of detail in how to composite poses like froggy.  Some of the posing shown could maybe do with further detail on refinements like having baby’s fingers stretched out rather than curled up.   There is also a section on including parents in images but nothing on including sibling poses.  You are then taken through Kimberly’s workflow including detailing the actions she uses.  There are images to demonstrate how she does this though I feel some of the editing is just a little dated now.  A handy set of 25 posing cards are also included which you can print out or display on your phone or tablet.

newborn2_fb7eddd4-fb52-428b-987d-d36292656c58_grande

The guide to maternity posing is 56 pages long and I feel offers a little more than the newborn guide.  Kimberly shows us how to pose mum naturally outdoors and indoors and I particularly like the section where she has included dad.  There are some poses here which are a little different and would definitely help in getting a really varied gallery from a maternity session.

 

The section on adding in siblings and shooting lifestyle images is lovely.  I think it’s very difficult to sell maternity images of mum on her own so I think this section is a winner in terms of monetizing your maternity sessions well.  Kimberly again shares her workflow and use of actions showing some before and afters as an example.  She also shows some lovely black and white conversions.  The FAQ section at the back is full of useful information such as when is best for sessions to take place and tips on helping mum to feel comfortable in front of the camera.  This guide also comes with 38 posing cards for you to print or display digitally which serve as a great prompt during sessions.  In all a really useful guide, particularly if maternity sessions have you stumped for posing ideas.

The Family posing guide is a colourful 55 page guide which only covers location sessions.  That said, location shoots in my opinion, are my favourite for family sessions – I find it difficult to capture a family’s personality in a studio.  I really like how Kimberly has mixed it up with some rural and urban locations.  In fact, the urban shots in the guide are my favourites.  The guide covers large and older families as well as young children which is great because I think larger families often pose the biggest problem for photographers.

There are some very natural captures as well as how to pose more ‘formally’ and the guide includes tips to include family members who are not so keen to be in front of the camera.  There is a slo a charming section on posing children on their own.  This will definitely help to give your gallery variety and increase sales!  Kimberly shares her workflow and actions again with some great before and after examples.  The FAQ sections is full of tips and tricks on clothing, scheduling and basically controlling the session.  Again a set of handy posing cards are included.

Finally, the bundle includes a senior boys guide.  Admittedly this is an area where I have the least experience and it’s one where I would struggle!  The guide is 41 pages long and actually makes a pretty good job of showing you how to create masculine portraits.  Hand placement is always a struggle for me in guys portraits and Kimberly shows lots of ways to pose them naturally.

 

I think I would find this guide invaluable as a starting point if I were asked to shoot an older teen boy either on his own or as part of a family sesssion.  As with the other guides there is a workflow section with before and after images and a FAQ section which covers session prep and clothing advice.  Again as with all of the other guides there is a set of posing cards (29 this time) to keep your session on track.

In summary, I’d say this bundle is amazing value – especially with the discount – and that the maternity and family posing guides are particularly useful.  Some of the editing, I found to be slightly dated, but I can overlook that with the wealth of information contained on actual posing.

To purchase this guide click here

If you are looking for a great beginners guide to newborn posing you might also want to look at this guide we recently reviewed.

Please note that BANPAS are affiliates for BP4U

If you’d like more business support you can subscribe to our Business Club HERE as well as join our free Facebook GroupRead the rest

Read More

Newborn Posing Guide – REVIEW

We love BP4U products at BANPAS.  The fact we use their products ourselves means becoming affiliates for them was a small leap to take.  They offer a variety of guides, templates and actions for photographers and have a large library of resources for newborn and baby photographers.   You can always find useful freebies and regular huge discounts too!  We decided to take a closer look at “A Guide To Natural Light Newborn Sessions and let you know what we think.

 

This guide is written by Wendy of Five Eleven Photography. And includes a short bio and introduction to newborn photography.  Wendy begins by going through the essential kit for a newborn photographer and some of the basics that are great purchases for those just starting out.

Wendy goes on to provide a really handy sheet of tips that she gives to clients to help her sessions run smoothly.  It includes prep for the parents in terms of what they need to do before the session and a  little of what happens during the session.  Bear in mind this is an American guide which uses terms like ‘pacifier’ and ‘diapers’ so if you were going to use this as a starting point to prepare your own guide for parent, you would definitely need to rewrite this for your own market.

Wendy then shares details of her set up using natural light – as well as written instruction there are images of her studio set up.  This section also covers heating, white noise and organisation.

Wendy then goes step by step through her whole session and flow posing.  It’s nice to see that the images that should be composites are described as such – she goes into detail on how to achieve each pose in the flow as well as images showing the pose.

We all know parents love an awake shot (it’s definitely a best seller for me) and there is a section dedicated to getting beautiful images from awake babies.

The next section of the guide is dedicated to achieving beautiful prop poses and again, Wendy covers how to do this safely.  My only reservation here is it would be nice to see some ‘Behind the Scenes’ images where a spotter is actually touching baby.  She does talk about having a spotter close by but my personal preference is for my spotter to be touching the baby.

 

 

Wendy does cover every pose for baby on their own in detail using lovely images to demonstrate them before moving onto setting up parent and sibling poses.  I found this part of the guide really useful as it gives lots of hint and tips on overcoming some of the very common issues you find with bringing in parents and siblings.  Getting two year olds to co-operate or mums who don’t feel (understandably!) at their very best.

The final posing section covers twins.  In four years shooting newborns I’ve only ever had 2 sets of twins but this would have been really handy to have had before those sessions!

Wendy then moves on to editing and shows some nice before and after images.  However, her editing workflow is mainly the use of actions and portraiture so if you are looking for tips on hand editing, this section will not be relevant to you.

The next section explains how to edit composite images.  2 or 3 images are shown along with the final image and instruction on how to achieve this in Photoshop.  The final section is really useful and is pages of FAQs which reveal some very useful hints and tips.

In summary, I’d say this guide is PERFECT for you if you are fairly new to newborn photography or have not attended a training course yet and need a well rounded guide to set you on your way.  It certainly doesn’t replace a hands on training course but has it’s place.

In addition to this guide you also get a brilliant set of Posing cards to download.  You can either print these or have them displayed digitally but they serve as brilliant reminders of your flow posing as you move through a session

And finally if all this isn’t enough,  you also get a  bonus pack which includes three different sessions set out with images from each showing how the session flowed, a questionnaire for parents to complete which helps you to write a blog about the session and finally a blog template where you literally fill in the gaps to create a blog post.

Please note that BANPAS is an affiliate for BP4U.… Read the rest

Read More