The Pitfalls for the Modern Photographer

Being a photographer in the digital era is both exciting and challenging at the same time. Modern technology, retouching tools and social media platforms have allowed for better quality images, post-production enhancements and an immediate platform to share images. With this in mind, photographers really do have all they could want at their fingertips.

Although social media allows photographers to share their work with a wider audience, this can sometimes be discouraging if the photographer feels like they are not getting enough engagement on their posts. It is so easy for people to compare their likes and comments to other peoples. This can cause self-doubt and can make the person have unrealistic expectations.

Digital fixes from social media is starting to be researched more and more, documenting the powerful effects it has on the human mind, with some researchers even calling it digital heroin. It is labelled this due to the addictive nature of social media and the dopamine that is released by the brain when you get a like or a comment.

Like most things that make you feel good, you crave them more and more, but what happens when the likes don’t come? Not getting satisfactory amount of likes or comments when you post a photo that you spent your time creating. This can trigger a whole range of negative emotions.

The mind generally starts to run off in all different directions and people start to think things like “my photos aren’t good enough” or “other people’s photos are better than mine because they got more likes”.

There are many reasons why some photos get heaps of likes and its not always because they are great photos from a photography stand point. Take a step back and focus on creating photos that make you happy, and tell your stories. When other people like your photos it’s a bonus, but don’t let it be your primary reason to take photos.

A parting thought

“Don’t shoot to be liked, instead shoot to be heard”

Happy shooting

Stephen Finkel

Could Photography be a form of Therapy

IMG_7244Photography has become one of the biggest hobbies in the world thanks to digital cameras. With the invention of digital cameras accessibility to cameras has increased and the complexes of film technology are gone, making it easier and cheaper to take up photography as a pastime.

Photography is a creative pursuit, each individual uses their imagination to capture images that are interesting and unique to them. Back to the question, could photography be a form of Therapy ? I have directly asked photographers this question and found that each of these people shared how photography makes them feel.

Many talk about how happy they are when taking photos and feeling at peace with their surroundings. Photography is an outlet for the desire to create something of beauty or spark, an emotional response for others to admire. For many photographers creating images is their happy place , many do it not for financial reward, but for the way it makes them feel, so for many it is a form of therapeutic pastime.

In a world of fast paced lifestyles, taking photos of the world around you is an opportunity to slow things down,  capture the beauty around you and study the details which are often missed. Photography to many people has a different meaning, yet, the memories all remain a moment in time frozen,  and forever viewable.

Whether you’re pursuing photography solo or with a group of people the results are the same to the way it can make you feel, for many it’s an outlet to keep them grounded and feel good about the images they are capturing. So in my way of thinking yes, most definitely, Photography is a great therapy.

Very happy shooting everyone

Enjoy the buzz


What Is A Photomarathon?

203620A3-6CBA-44A5-B17A-CA8FD65AF239A Photomarathon is a photography competition with a difference, it combines photography and the basic elements of a marathon. Participants are required to shoot a series of photographs on predetermined briefs in a set period of time (Typically between 12-24 hours).

Usually Photomarathons involve briefs being released each hour which makes the event more challenging. Photographers have to plan the shoot, pick the location, choose the subject and take the shot within the space of 60 minutes all based on how they interpret the brief.

The concept for a Photomarathon started in Madrid in the early 1980s, courtesy of friends Eduardo Soto & Antonio Bolivar. With an incredible turnout of 2515 photographers  competing all of whom were shooting on film, the judges must have had their work cut out for them when choosing a winner with this amount of entries !
Since this, Photomarathons have been running in different cities all over the world.

Photomarathons are a great way to expand ones photography skills, with a set brief and only a short time to capture the final image this really tests the photographer, sometimes encouraging them to get out of their comfort zone. Many of these photographers surprise themselves with the images they produce throughout the Photomarathon.

Photomarathons are ideal for any skill level from photographers just starting out to seasoned professionals, most let you can shoot with any type of digital camera, including the one you carry everyday in your pocket, yes the camera phone.

This year Photo Mission is hosting the 2018 Photomarathon nation-wide, the event will run over the 13 & ‪14th October‬. For further details, please visit our website at



Bubble Businesses

What is a Bubble Business?  It’s a business opportunity that comes from new technology or new a trend, generally growing quickly and fading just as fast.

With the introduction of social media platforms many new businesses have formed, but, how stable are they compared to traditional business models?

We have already seen the rise and fall of many internet based businesses, many connected to the photography industry.

Instagram has produced businesses dubbed Digital Influencers, these are users who generally have a large following and are paid to post content designed to influence the viewers to buy or use particular products or services.

Some digital influencers have the power to drive share prices to increase/decrease dramatically just by commenting about a company .

The real questions is, are these influencers businesses sustainable? Cracks are appearing in the digital influencers industry, companies who were paying big bucks because they feared they were missing out on market share by not utilising this marketing strategy, are now rethinking how they use their advertising budgets.

An increase of interest has developed around this new founded occupation thanks to the mass earnings these influencers obtain. In recent months we have seen people who are wanting to get into the digital influencing space creating content for businesses for free in the hope they get paid work in the future.

I don’t think in the history of business there has been a business open its doors and give all their merchandise away for free, most will have opening discounts and limited number of free samples.

As technology and social trends progress will we see these bubble businesses pop up and then disappear just as fast?

If you can make hay while the sun shines

Until next time

Stephen Finkel

Is Social Media killing good photographers?

IMG_5692The song ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ written by Trevor Horne, Jeff Downes and Bruce Woolley in 1978 was first recorded by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club. An incredible foresight by the songwriters that video clips would be a major driver to sell records not just airplay on the radio.

Forty years later, we ask has Social Media killed the Pro Photographer as video clips did to radio airplay. Social media has silently crept into all of our lives in one way or another. It has changed the way we live, for better or worse, people will debate both sides of the argument.

I gravitate towards the idea that social media has not been so great for photographers trying to earn a living in the digital age. Hard work and talent- no longer a recipe for success.

The pool of people wishing to earn money from the photography space is growing daily, thanks to the world of Social Media. Many of these people haven’t learn to swim yet, but they are the photographers getting paid work because of their social media footprint.

What does this mean for photographers moving forward? It is hard to predict what the future will bring us who knows? With A.I. technologies maybe robot cameras will capture your wedding day in the future.

On a positive note, great talent is being discovered thanks to Social Media, but it truly remains a double-edged sword.

Oh what a time to be alive, the digital age

Happy shooting!

Stephen Finkel

The Airside Experience

Photo Credit taken by the Canon Collective blog3

For photographers it’s all about getting the shot. We, as photographers, are constantly looking for locations that give us a unique view of an everyday scene.

Air travel has become a regular part of life for many people and is somewhat taken for granted, what happens behind the scenes to keep those planes in the air to many of us is unknown.

Normally the behind the scenes workings of the modern airport is out of sight to the public. This is the stuff we photographers love, getting to see and capture the stuff the average person never sees.

Airports by nature, are very secure places with lots of physical barriers, lots of security checks and clearances which stop photographers getting up close and personal with the day to day operations.

Imagine an opportunity for a photographer to capture some of the magic that happens at airports every day. Getting behind the scenes and having a front row seat to see aircraft takeoff/landing and many of the other things that happen at airports.

Well, at Brisbane Airport a group of 17 photographers got the chance to have this very unique experience and go airside with their cameras, an event organised by BNE Corp and Canon Collective.

So, what were those photographers treated to? They boarded a bus at BNE Corp headquarters which took them airside to a location that is perfect to capture the incoming aircraft. One of the special arrivals on the morning was China Airlines A350-900 [B-18901] first flight into Brisbane.

blog4Photo Credit Stephen Finkel China Airlines A350-900 [B-18901]

After capturing several of the aircraft take offs and landings the photographers were back on the bus to see the operations area where the loading and unloading of the aircraft happens. Also parked at the International Terminal was an Emirates A380 [A6-EDC] and an Antonov 124-100m [UR-82707], what a monster of an aircraft!

The photographers were able to stop and get off the bus for 5 minutes to photograph the A380 and Antonov up close. These are impressive aircrafts and a real treat to be able to capture without the limitation of fences and barriers.

Blog1Photo Credit Stephen Finkel Emirates A380 [A6-EDC]

blog2Photo Credit Stephen Finkel Antonov 124-100m [UR-82707]

Finally, back on the bus to the end of the runway for some final shots. [ Class Photo March 2018 top of post ] How do I know all this? Well I was one of those lucky 17

A very special thanks to Sarah at BNE Corp and the Canon Collective team for allowing us airside access for an up close look at how Brisbane airport works #brisbaneairport #canoncollective

Best Regards



Earth Frequency Festival with the Canon Collective


Wow, what a blast! I was presented with an opportunity to attend this year’s Earth Frequency Festival at Ivory Rock nearby Ipswich, QLD. The experience was made possible by Discover Ipswich, Canon Collective and festival organisers for which I am very thankful for.

It was an all areas access experience and not having been to this festival or any other festival like this before, I did know what to expect, so I had no planned shots in my mind. When we arrived at the festival site, I soon got the vibe of what the festival was about.

Before we could begin Mother Nature was letting us know who’s in charge with an afternoon storm as we arrived at the festival site, it didn’t last too long, and made for a beautiful sunset.

Once we were in the festival ops centre we were introduced to April, the festivals Media Manager who is such a passionate and fun person and totally gets the whole photography thing. April briefed us on the event, and explained the requirements as photographers for the festival.

A little before 5:30pm we ventured in the festival grounds, I was shooting with 5DMk4 with 70-200mm f/2.8 and my second body 5Dmk3 with a L series Mk2 24-105mm f/4 also have a nifty fifty in my bag but only used the other two lenses as these worked well.

There was so much happening with a lot of interesting sights and sounds, there was a real energy and buzz in the air. I shot for 2.5 hours at the festival, such a creative and fun atmosphere to immerse yourself in.

I approached the shoot like it was a street photography project, sometimes you just wait and the shot develops in front of you and there was a few of those, the other shots I had to work for, I took over 700 images.

What stood out for me most at this festival was the beautiful connections between the festival patrons, a real calm and peacefulness which made it so much fun to photograph. For me capturing the world around me with my camera is a kind of therapy, this event took to a whole new level.

Totally enjoyed the experience and if given opportunity again would do so in a heartbeat

Stephen Finkel

Who Should You Trust to Capture Your Special Day?



When two people fall in love, and decide they want to spend their lives together, a wedding is both a happy and stressful time for couples. There are many firsts during this period, one is hiring an experienced photographer to capture that special day, for many people this will be the first time they’re paying someone to take photos of themselves.

They may have been photographed by a professional photographer for school or family photos in the past, but someone else chose the photographers. So, with all the other distractions that are happening during this time, with guest lists, venues, dresses, flowers, cake, budget blowouts plus many more things.

There one thing that you want to get right for your special day, your photos should last a lifetime, well after the flowers have wilted, the cake has been eaten, and the day is just a memory in everyone’s minds. Your wedding photos are a permanent reminder of that day. You can hold them and share them, and they are just as vibrant and alive as you were on your wedding day.

Choosing a photographer can be tough, and setting a budget is important you could consider spending less on cake and flowers or venue as photos are the forever part of the day, having some extra in your budget may mean your photographer can capture more of your day.

Word of mouth is a good way to start, ask friends to look at their photos ask yourself to do you like the style of the photographer, meet with the photographer. I suggest you check out several photographers, your wedding is a very personal day, and you will have chosen elements included in the day that say something about you, so you need a photographer who gets that feeling and can capture it.

There are several questions you should ask the photographer, like what if they become ill who will take over, do they enough equipment with them in the event of something failing in the day, how do they protect the images/backup, etc. the copyright on the images. How do they manage that?

When you find the right photographer, you should feel totally comfortable with them as, they are as responsible for the forever part of capturing the memories of your wedding day.

Your wedding photos, this will be some of the best investments in money you will spend on your special day.

Best Regards Stephen



When Do You Start Calling Yourself a Photographer?

43B5CEDC-7632-46FE-8E67-03DBB4707B07At what point do you stop being a person who takes pictures of things and become a photographer, a few years back I ran social nights for photography enthusiasts where we would have coffee cake and talk all things photography.
One night I  asked the group at the start of the evening how many people in the room take photos all the hands would go it the air , then I would ask how many photographers are in the room only a small percentage of hands when up.

I always found this interesting as they were all photographers but hadn’t realised yet, photography is journey of learning and self belief and when you get to a certain point in the journey you realise your a photographer.
Even the people around you will start calling you a photographer, a few years back we were outside a hotel which we were staying at when a security guard stopped me pointed to my camera and said why do you have that thing with you, before I could said anything, my wife looked straight in the eye told them because he’s a photographer! The security guard said don’t point that thing at our guests ,we have famous people staying here, to which I said well yes we are some of those of people, the security guard didn’t know what to say and left us alone.

So what the difference between someone who take photos and a photographer , for my way of thinking a photographer is someone who is always planning ahead, from what gear you take out and to the route and places you travel , the venues you visit and your purpose for doing this is to capture images that are unique or tells a story, and even when they don’t have a camera in hand they are taking mental snapshots of whats around them.

I wrote a quote a couple years back “You Know Your a Photographer When”
When travelling you pack your camera gear before packing clothes.
When running out of memory cards is worst then running out of milk.
When sometimes everything looks Black and White to you.
When you drop a piece of your equipment you feel sick .
When on a road trip you’re the last to get back in the car .

So are you a photographer?

Best regards