More tips coming………

March 30, 2015

Backing up your images, backing up your backup!

July 2, 2014

Recently I experienced a failure in my RAID back up.  The motherboard in the enclosure burnt out.  I called the mfg of the unit and was told it may not be repairable, since that model shell is no longer made.  Needless to say I was not happy with  5TB of images in limbo.  Yes, I have DVD back ups of every job, but all of the retouching etc was not on those.

So off to Chicago I sent my RAID.  Fortunately it was fixed in less than a day, and I had it back within a week.  While it was out for repair, I was able to procure a second enclosure  as a backup for my backup.

Lesson learned?  Cameras and lenses are not the only thing you need more than one of!  Also, if you are not accessing images from your RAID, leave it turned off, that will extend the life of your RAID.


Happy Shooting,

S.A. Levine

Test those batteries!

April 24, 2014

I was recently speaking with a budding Portrait photographer about her frustrations with radio remotes with her flash equipment not being reliable.  We went over the channel selection, made sure the cables where good, etc.  Then I asked how often she changes her batteries.  I was met with a blank stare.   It never occurred to her that it could be that.  We popped them a tester, and sure enough they where culprit!

I always test all of my batteries before going on an assignment.  No reason to get caught off guard for a simple thing like dead batteries.

The Ansman 4000042, will test alkaline, and rechargeable batteries from AAA to D cells.  For less than $30.00, it will give you peace of mind, as well as one less thing to worry about.



S.A. Levine

Electricity!!! Are your conserving enough?

April 2, 2014

As photographers, we use a tremendous amount of electricity.  Wether it be computers or charging batteries, backup drives, etc…we use a lot.

Take a pledge!  If you are going to walk away from your computer for more than 30 minutes, power off.  Even when you put a computer to sleep, it is still drawing down electricity, the same goes for backup drives.  When your batteries are charged, pull those plugs out of the wall.  A plugged in charger, even without a battery on it will use a couple of dollars a month, but more importantly, you are wasting natural resources as well as shortening the life of your equipment.

The upside!  Computers that are left on and just go into sleep mode never have the opportunity for their directories to be cleaned up or the memory to be reallocated.  When a computer is shut down it reduces the strain on the power supply as well as other components.  During the reboot process, memory allocation is cleared and operating system is neatened up as well.  Most monitors also have a certain life expectancy, make it last longer by using the sleep mode.

We have an obligation to future generations to conserve as many resources as possible.  Solar, CFL’s and LED’s can also make a difference.


Recycle and Renew!

March 21, 2014

Todays clients are very savvy when it comes to style.  If your samples are more than a year or two old, it is time to freshen up the selection.  This is the time of year that LustreColor offers discounts on wall portraits, albums and other sample items.  Have you ever displayed Metallic Prints in your office?  What a great opportunity to show off your work with great paper and offer your clients additional options that can increase your bottom line.  Have questions? Give Customer Service a call to get started on updating your Image today.


Happy Shooting!
S.A. Levine


Dress for Success!

March 2, 2014

I recently sat down with a client who had to tell me all about the Wedding she had just attended. “The photographer was so unprofessional, He shirt was wrinkled and he didn’t even have a tie!”  I can’t tell you how often I hear this.  As for the ladies, you’ve got this one down already.

OK, let’s get some basics down.  It’s a Wedding, Bar Mitzvah or corporate event,  it’s not casual Friday at the office.  A fancy shirt from a Department Store and a pair of chinos is not going to cut it, get a suit, a real pair of shoes and take a shave.  You should approach every event like a job interview.  You are meeting dozens of potential clients so make a great first impression.

Your client has gone through a tremendous amount of effort to make this event happen, so let’s show some respect and dress appropriately, unless they advise you otherwise.

Tripods, not as simple as you may think.

February 12, 2014

There seems to be a gravitation to small and light tripods today.  While carbon fiber is light, and travel tripods are small, they can definitely be heavy on the wallet.  A traditional aluminum tripod may weigh a bit more, usually 25%,  the extra weight can give you better stability, plus leave enough money on the table to buy a solid tripod head.

I taught a night photography class this fall and noticed some of the basic principles of a good tripod being ignored.  Here are some tips to rectify this.

1,  Less is more.  For the best stability, a tripod with three leg sections is better than 4 or 5 sections.

2, You should never have to raise the center column more than 2-3 inches to get to eye level.  Better yet, not at all.  Your tripod should be tall enough for your camera to meet your eye without having to bend.

3,  Make sure that the weight rating for the tripod and head can take the weight of your heaviest combination.

4, Never, never, never pick up your tripod with the camera attached and sling it over your shoulder.  You are stressing the weakest point of the tripod and camera.  The quick release plate, and head can only take so much stress, and doing this will loosen up both or worse, snap off.  If you have to carry your tripod with the camera,  do so vertically so there is no stress on the head and camera.

Keep in mind that not all tripods are created equal.   Follow the numbers, hight, weight bearing ability, how many leg sections.  For most working photographers, I would recommend the Manfrotto 055ProXB and if you want to go lighter there is a carbon version.  Heads are another ball of wax, but again, keep the weight bearing ability in mind.

Happy Shooting,
S.A. Levine