Europe through my lens

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from my recent trip to Paris, Switzerland and Italy.

 

Mary - September 17, 2011 - 5:08 pm

Hello talented friend! Beautiful pictorial journey! My faves of your favorites were mom, jewish temple, and priest…probably all for the same reason, if I think about it.

Robin Mourning Clark - October 21, 2012 - 11:35 pm

awesome photographer, your work is amazing.

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The Most Beautiful Place On Earth…Switzerland

Please enjoy this video I shot on my recent trip to Europe.  It’s a combination of several train rides around the Interlaken, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen area of Switzerland.  I was speechless (and still am) at what I saw there.

 

Joy - March 3, 2012 - 5:02 am

Found your site through Pinterest and love the Switzerland video. Can you tell me the artist or name of the song?

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How To Create A Coloring Sheet From Your Own Picture

If you have kids and you have Photoshop, you should give this a try.  I came across this post the other day on Photojojo.  In a nutshell, you can create your own coloring sheets from your own photos.  Your kids will love you and you’ll be a hero!  Here’s a quick video tutorial I did to show you the steps in the process.

 

Here’s the final product…ready to print and color:

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Gary - May 27, 2011 - 2:49 am

I think this is something I could do for my daughter’s birthday next month.

Thanks Kevin.

p/s Those kids are really cute.

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My new portfolio site & a bit of advice

This was an exciting weekend for me, because I crossed a finish line, of sorts. In the fall of 2009, I wrote down the following photography goal:

Create a comprehensive photography website with the following:
1) Blog
2) Client proofing section
3) Portfolio

As of the weekend, I’ve accomplished my goal. A while back I bought a ProPhoto blog and installed this as my main website at kevinhail.com. That’s the landing site you are on right now. A year ago I purchased a SmugMug Pro account for my client proofing/printing service, and I love it. The missing piece for months has been a solid portfolio site. I’ve researched for awhile and there were several critical needs that arose to the surface like:

  • Easily customizable, WordPress back-end
  • iPhone/iPad friendly, non-flash presentation
  • Seamless integration with existing kevinhail.com blog

When time came to really make this happen, I found a site fairly easily, but it was the work of customizing it and integrating into my existing site that required a bit of thought and effort.  I’m telling you all this, because for all of you photographers out there who are overwhelmed by inadequacy when you look at other photographers’ websites in comparison to yours, I want you to know that you can put together a comprehensive site with all of this for under $350.  A portfolio, client proofing/ordering solution, and blog are all vital components for any working photographer.  I remember realizing this about a year and a half ago, but no one that I talked to had any solid advice on how to make all the puzzle pieces fit together.  Well, if you’re in this same spot, just ask me.  I’ll help.  There’s nothing worse than not having someone to ask for help.

When putting together a portfolio, here is some of the advice that I’ve implemented from others, including photography instructor Zack Arias, who frequently does online portfolio reviews:

  • Put forth your best work, only your best. Best first.  People may not go more than 3 or 4 photos deep and they will have already made a judgement about you as a photographer.
  • Target no more than 15-20 images per gallery.  You should never have more than one photo from a photoshoot in the same portfolio gallery.  It makes it look like you don’t shoot very often.
  • Showcase the kind of photography you’d like to keep getting hired for. I am a portrait photographer, so I lead out with my portrait photography. That is my first gallery, and one of only two galleries total.
  • Make the navigation simple and intuitive. If people can’t quickly jump to other pics or see thumbnails, they will get frustrated and may leave your site.
  • No music!  This is kind of a bummer ’cause music and photography go hand in hand, but someone may have their speakers cranked, or they absolutely hate the song/genre you selected and that will reflect on their opinion of your music. I’ve heard so many professional photographers and editors complain about hearing music when they’re reviewing photographers’ sites. Note: You may want to make a slideshow with music for your client. Make sure you know what kind of music they like.  But for the general population, just let your work speak for itself.
  • Brand consistency.  If the colors on your blog are green and yellow, your portfolio should reflect that.  People shouldn’t feel like they’re on two separate sites, just because they are.
  • Keep it clean!  So help me, if you have a Google ad on your portfolio site, I’m going to smash your server with a bat.  People are walking through the Louvre, except it’s just your work hanging on the walls.  Don’t clutter that up with anything that will distract them.

So feel free to go check out my new portfolio and tell me if I took my own advice.  If not, feel free to rip on me in the comments section!  Click on the “Portfolio” button at the top of this page to check it out.

Thorpe - April 18, 2011 - 9:09 am

Good advice to think about Kevin!

Kevin - April 19, 2011 - 9:09 am

Thanks, Thorpe.

Meg - July 26, 2012 - 1:33 pm

Kevin – thank you for this, I just stumbled across this looking for an answer for some of my questions, these kind of outlined it but I have one question in particular I was wondering if you could answer – how can I utilize a proofing site outside of my own WWW and integrate the password protected galleries received from this site into A PAGE onto my own http://WWW.? Is it even possible or am I just running in circles – the answer seems so simple but getting there has become impossible.

Ben O'Neal - August 9, 2012 - 9:54 am

Wow! What a treasure trove of helpful information. I am I’m the early stages of setting everything up for my business and I can already tell that this post alone is going to save me from making a few costly mistakes. Thank you so much for your clean, easy to understand content delivery. Much appreciated.

I love your photography as well. Absolutely beautiful.

Ben O.

admin - August 11, 2012 - 3:48 pm

Thanks, Ben. Best of luck to you!

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