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

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

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

Is Self Doubt Holding You Back


Have you hit the wall with your photography?

1. lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.

One of the things I have noticed about photographers is the high level of self doubt, I seen this in photography forums as many photographers are reluctant to post images because they don’t believe their images are good enough , compared to other photographers.

Photography is highly subjective and each photographer has their own style, as a photographer the only comparisons you should make are on your own work , now do your shots compare that you took 12 months ago to the ones you take today.
Not everyone going to like all your images.

We are all different, and if I can use food as an example we all like and enjoy different foods and this doesn’t stop us eating the things we love even when everyone around you is saying how can you eat that, if we could apply this thinking to our photography and create the types of images we love but knowing not everyone going to like them , but that’s ok.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever does , surround yourself with likeminded people, there are plenty of good ideas for helping overcome self doubt on the internet.
One thing to remember no one is immune to self doubt, even the best photographers in the world at times will suffer from self doubt , your not alone as a photographer, to avoid hitting the brick wall , so maybe it’s a good time to learn how to climb over it, and take you photography to a whole new level.

Best Regards Stephen


Camera Phones Training Wheels for the Next Generation of Great Photographers

IMG_2071Never has there been a time where so many people have access to a camera, with the invention of the camera phone everyday people who would not normally own a camera now have one by default.

Camera phones have changed the way world takes photos, I was speaking to a pro wedding photographer the other day about camera phones and how popular they are, he told me that the weddings he has shot in the last 2 years he can’t recall any guests putting out a camera to take photos, they were all shooting on camera phones, it’s been reported that photography is now Australia’s number one hobby, with a camera in everyone’s pocket no wonder.

On a photo sharing social media sites the camera phones normally as a capture device out ranks in numbers all the other camera devices together, the next generation of great photographers are in training using their phones to capture the world around us, and it’s not just teens it’s spreading across all age groups.

Photography is a creative pursuit, and by the fact of the number people who dip their toe in the pond that is photography, many are naturally talented so we are discovering more and more people with a talent for photography.

If only a matter of time we see a camera phone photographer winning the major photographic awards.

So what’s that mean for the DSLR market at the top end it will be business as normal, but the mid and amateur DSLR users, they are already reaching for their camera phones, a good friend and amateur photographer recently took an overseas holiday , they normally shoot with a high end full frame DSLR but chose to leave it at home and shoot the whole holiday on an iPhone 7.

When I asked why to leave the DSLR at home, they said the weight and security concerns of carrying it with them everywhere, I also asked were they happy with the images they captured on their camera phone, they were more them happy with the results.

For some forms of photography like street and travel photography the camera phone is an natural being small compact easy to use and also capture video without impacting on the scene around you, people seem more intimidated when you point a DSLR in their direction.

So what next for camera phones, the technology is moving quickly with more resolution and low light capabilities and manual control features being added to each new model, people are how choosing handsets based on the camera performance.

On the other side of this, camera phones are changing the world of photography and how we store images, the older generations have prints of those important occasions and milestones as memories, the younger generations have also captured those events but whether they still have them in 30 years from now we have to wait and see.

Best Regards

Stephen Finkel

Photography can be an Adventure

Can photography be an adventure, or is the adventure just part of the process to capture images, if the end game is to capture a particular image, the journey to achieve that outcome becomes the adventure, which is a part of the process.

Images rarely come to us, as photographers we go to the place where we believe we can capture the images we want to create, for some photographers to create those images that journey is a real adventure with lots of elements driving, flying, hiking, climbing etc.

So what will make your images standout from the crowd, when the image has an element of adventure behind its making, it shines through the image and the viewer is taken to a place they would normally never be able to visit.

Recently got the opportunely to see and hear Adventure Photographer Krystle Wright give us an insight to her creative process of committing to an idea and the process to make it into an image.

For a lot of Krystle’s work there is an adventure attached to getting the shot, with true blood, sweat and tears along the way and that shines though in her work.

There was a part during the presentation Krystle spoke about the types of fun she experience’s during that process or adventure to get that image she is chasing,

Type 1 Fun – Everyone is having fun.

Type 2 Fun – Wasn’t fun at the time, but it was after the fact.

Type 3 Fun – Your having fun but no one else is.

Type 4 Fun – Everyone else is having fun except you.

Type 5 fun – No one had fun, nor was it fun after the fact. It was horrible idea.

So next time you pick up your camera and head off on an adventure, I hope your photography experiences are mainly Type 1 & 2 Fun.

You can check out Krystle’s work at http://www.wrightfoto.com.au

Fun filled adventures everyone

Regards Stephen

About this Image ,captured on a Hot Air Balloon adventure in Byron Bay NSW on a Canon 5DMk3 400mm lens 1/400sec f/6.3 ISO400  so this was Type 1 Fun