Episode 6: Interview With Scott Wyden Kivowitz

Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Photographer, Blogger & Educator

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO INTERVIEW:

scott-wyden-kivowitz-portrait-600pxScott Wyden Kivowitz is the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati. Scott is a photographer, blogger and educator who runs a freelance photography business in New Jersey.

I want to give a huge thank you to Scott for taking the time to chat with us! I consider myself as much a student as the listening audience, and appreciate him sharing his extensive knowledge.

Transcript of Scott’s Answers, Including Resources and Links (Thanks, Scott!)

1. Give us an overview of yourself and your background. How did you end up where you are now as a photographer? (education, schooling, work experience, etc)

I started with photography in high school but decided to go to college for music instead. After a couple years focusing on music I decided that I enjoyed photography a lot more. So I changed majors and got my degree in photography. During college I assisted and worked part time for various portrait photographers and even a forensic photography company. After college I went on to working at the largest camera warranty company in the world. I spent 6 years there, then left the photography industry for a short period of time until I was contact by Photocrati to see if I was looking for a job. The rest is history.

2. How would you describe your current style?

Some people have compared my work to Lee Friedlander, but I don’t really have one specific style. I just make photographs that are in my head and look for inspiration on processing, angles, etc.

3. How do you get yourself inspired for a photo shoot?

I’m a huge advocate of social media so I’ll spend time browsing Google Plus, 500px, Flickr or other places for inspiration. Austin Kleon, author of Steal This Art said “You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.” and I think that says inspiration so well.

4. What’s your go-to gear in your typical shoot?

It really depends on the situation. If I am photographing landscapes the gear would be much different than portraits.

Typical Landscape Gear:
Nikon D800
20mm
24-70
70-200
Lee filter neutral density
Cable release
Tripod

Typical portrait Gear:
Nikon D800
24-70
85mm
70-200
PocketWizards
Alien Bees/LumoPro/Nikon strobes
various Light modifiers

5. What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera? Why?

My favorite is the ColorChecker Password from XRite because I’m color blind and it helps me process color photographers so much better than any other tool.

6. Can you describe what your post-process workflow is like? (software, etc)

Lightroom and online software.

7. What is the most common mistake you see professional photographers make? (It can be a technical mistake, or a business mistake.)

Business mistake: Reading the wrong SEO advice and implementing horrible practices like comment spamming (they think it’s link building) and keyword stuffing.

8. In your opinion, what makes a good photo stand out from an average photo?

A good photo shows the care in framing, exposure and processing. It’s not a simple point, click, share. That doesn’t inspire others.

9. What is the one thing you wish you knew before you went professional?

I wish I knew the right gear to purchase instead of buying, trying and selling until I got it right.

10. Is there a particular photography resource, tool, book, or even software that you would recommend to listeners?

There are so many! I’d highly recommend The Modern Tog, The Law Tog, Preveal, Tiffinbox.org, Steel Toe Images, Google Plus and of course the Photocrati websites and products:

11. Tell us where we can find you.

http://scottwyden.com

http://scottwyden.com/long-exposure-photography

http://photocrati.com

http://nextgen-gallery.com

http://photographers-seo.com

Read The Full Interview Transcript Here

[spoiler title=’Click To Read Full Interview Transcript’ collapse_link=’false’]
Chamira Young: Hi everybody! This is Chamira Young with Zenjoyable.com. And I’m bringing you our Pro Photographer Interview Series, Episode no. 6. Today’s interview is with Scott Wyden Kivowitz. Now, Scott is the Community & Blog Wrangler at photocrati.com. He’s a blogger, photographer and an educator who runs a freelance photography business in New Jersey. Now, for today’s interview, Scott actually went the extra miles and provided his written answer in the interviewed question so you will find very detailed show notes for this episode. And we thank you so much for this guide. So, without further ado, let’s get to the awesome interview.
Chamira Young: Hi everybody! I’m hanging with Scott and I’m so excited to just chill and chat with him. I wanna thank you Scott for just taking time out of your schedule to share your photography expertise with us.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, no problem. Thanks for having me.
Chamira Young: And actually, first of all, I’m gonna have you say your entire name for us because I’m going to mess it up. How do you say your full name?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Hehe… So my full name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz. I go by Scott Wyden Pilsberg – am happy to share why. But, so… Scott Wyden Kivowitz is my full name.
Chamira Young: Haha. Okay. You said you’re happy to share why I’m curious.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. So, my biological father left or passed away when I was two (2) and I learned later in life that he was a very huge fan of photography. He was a hobbyist not a professional anyway. And so, it sorts of…. And my grandfather as well, his father, was a definitely a hobbyist. So I have both of their cameras, they’re basically what got me in photography. To honor both of them, I use Wyden as my photography, photography name even though my legal last name is Kivowitz. So…
Chamira Young: Wow! Oh, that’s awesome. I didn’t know that about you. How cool is that!
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah… so, it’s sort of like a pen name in a way… Haha.
Chamira Young: Yeah. Okay. Good. Thanks for setting that straight forward. I know your name got a little bit mangled in an earlier interview. Haha…
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Haha. It’s okay, it happens.
Chamira Young: Alright. Well first I want our audience to really learn about you. Give us an overview of yourself, your background. How you ended up where you are now as a photographer?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yes, so I started with photography in high school. I did not focus on it or whatsoever… attend photo classes… I went to a very small high school I graduated with E9 people. So…
Chamira Young: Wow.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Very small high school.
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And yeah. There was under 400 kids in the school… so it’s very small high school. And so, I didn’t focus on photography in high school. I did take photo classes but I actually was focusing on music and I went to Berklee College of Music in Boston right after high school. And so I was doing that in like side of Berklee and I came back home went to a county school here in New Jersey and after couple of years of focusing in music I decided I don’t wanna be in music for the rest of my life. So I switched to photography and it turned out that the county school that I was going to actually has the best photo department in the state.
Chamira Young: Wow.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And actually one of the largest and one of the most {fun day} which is crazy. So every student had a… you had to use your own DSLR 35mm but every student had their own rented, pre-rented large format and medium format camera. So, it was fantastic learning experience. So while I was going to school, I was assisting variety photographers, mostly portrait photographers at {Knowle} Events. I did some fashion work; I did some corporate work things like that. I was also working part time for a forensic photography company.
Chamira Young: Oh wow.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Which is interesting… So I saw some nice and not so nice things. Haha…
Chamira Young: Uh… Uh…
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. And when I got out of there I actually worked for 6 years I’ve not added there but when I finished college.. hehe… I’ve spent 6 years working for the largest camera work company in the world. What happen for they still exist; they still located in my hometown. It’s nice to be able to just you know, walk right there but…
Chamira Young: Uhuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, I’ve spent 6 years there, still shooting of course on my own, working in the photo industry. And then, after 6 years I left I actually was not in the photo industry for small period of time and I was contacted by Photocrati to see if I was looking for a job which I wasn’t.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: But the rest is history. So I’m now with Photocrati and still shooting for my own freelance business doing mostly portrait work and landscape work and corporate work and things like that… and then doing the community and blogging for Photocrati.
Chamira Young: You know you have quite a history. I was reading about you on your website I couldn’t help but be just a little bit jealous, you know kind of everyone’s dream to be contacted out of the blue by a company that already does what you love and they want you to insert into their culture, that is just awesome!
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. So, my wife and I were really driving to this barbecue place for dinner which we always wanted to try and when we were driving there. We now like to say that the job didn’t just land on my lap but it was thrown at my lap. Coz it really did come out of the blue, it was a total shocker.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I was literally not looking for a job. I was you know, I was literally happy with what I ‘m doing even though it wasn’t the photo industry. And yeah, I couldn’t be happier now, I mean it takes 2 of my favorite things: photography and work less and it measure them together in a daily basis. It basically the job for me, I’m so happy that I was given the opportunity to even be considered.
Chamira Young: Awesome. Okay. So, it sounds like you have, you’ve done several form of photography: landscape, portrait photography. How would you describe your current style? What’s do you do the most of right now?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, so… hehe… For myself mostly I’m doing landscape photography. And I don’t really have a style or say, I just go out there and if I see something that looks or seems inspiring that I wanna make photograph, I will do it. I do a lot of long exposure photography with my landscape. And I do a lot of long exposure to taught education along with that. But portrait wise, I’ve been compared to Lee Friedlander sometimes.
Chamira Young: Okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Lee Friedlander – I actually did a final… one of my final projects for college was actually replicating a Lee Friedlander style and it came a little bit easier for me because I do see myself or I do see him in me or vice versa.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And so, I’ve been compared to that but I don’t know. I really don’t have a style or say. I know a lot of people say they have a work style in cinematic or this or that… I just make photographs and whatever is in my head I wanna get out there or whatever inspires me up in the moment, I’ll do it. That’s really about it. Yeah…
Chamira Young: Okay. And speaking of inspiration, I’m so glad you mentioned that, how do you get yourself inspired for a photo shoot or project?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, so… This is a lot of fun. I’m huge advocate for social media. I’m in social media – everyday all day. We all have that on our phone now whether we like it or not. Hahaha So I’ll spend time depending on what… whatever I’m photographing if it’s for myself I’ll go certain places, if it’s for you know a job that I’m shooting I’ll go somewhere else be more specific about what I’m looking for. But most of the time in general, I’ll spend time browsing Google Plus communities because in communities, that’s where you can find a niche. So if I wanna be inspired by something long exposure, I’ll go to long exposure community in Google Plus. If I wanna find something that’s HDR then I go to HDR community in Google Plus.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, that’s a good place and actually whenever I have time I do weekend shares: Saturday and Sundays I’ll do 3 shares of photos that have inspires me in Google Plus. So anybody who follows me in Google Plus every Saturday and Sundays you’ll see some news you know, some fresh photography that inspires me that I think is worth sharing. But you’ll also gonna find me in pixels. Now, 500px came out as a competitor of Flicker in a way. And the comments that you get when you shared photos on 500px are not very helpful sometimes. They’re just like “Hey, great photos! Check out mine.”
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, it’s not helpful anyway. But the photography that’s here there, a lot of it is just amazing. So, 500px will go to or you’ll at a certain category or look at just upcoming or what’s popular and the editor’s choice and usually that’s stuff is just amazing! So that is always inspiring if you wanna do better and flicker of course it’s been be around forever for photographers to share and its final laugh on a list of any place of virgin now because I feel like Flicker has a long way to get back compete with their new competition.
Chamira Young:
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: You know, they’ll now the underdog when they used to be the fourth forward company.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, I’ll do that. But then, it’s like… Have you ever heard of {Boston Cleon}?
Chamira Young: I have not.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yes, he’s the author of {Steal This Park}. Great book! It’s basically were saying, he’s saying “Here’s artwork. Now, I want you to take this and make it your own.” He’s not saying just copy the book, he’s saying “be inspired by this” or/and “turn into your own art”. Dude, you can do the same thing but make your own way. So, one of his cool tip is “You are in fact the lesson that you choose of what let into your life.” And I think that says an inspiration very well. So, I try to do that I look at something and be like “Wow, how can I do that? Or how can I do different all span it with lightning or what not or if I’m doing with land cablem, mess with what filters I’m using. Things like that… or the post processing style.”
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I look at what other people are doing and see if I can do it in my own way. So…
Chamira Young: Awesome. Awesome. You know, you just gave a list of a few really great resources there. We’ll definitely have to include those in the show notes for people who wanna check those out. And also, one thing I really like with you searching for inspiration be it social media channels that you have mentioned. It is accomplishing 2 purposes there because you’re getting inspired but there’s also that aspect of marketing that you’re incorporating into your business as well. I think that’s super super important. And I think a lot of photographers, I mean myself included, we can really struggle with the social media aspect of it especially when we wanna be out on a field taking photos but really the marketing is just as important.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Oh yeah. For the paying of what you’re trying to do with your photography, you’re trying to make it into full time business. And nobody else has time for the social media.
Chamira Young: Right.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So that gets really difficult. And there really is no easy way. Haha… To manage our time… But…
Chamira Young: Haha… Yeah…
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It is important, very important.
Chamira Young: It is. I just had an interview with Christine Lee Smith, and she’s up on Zenjoyable under the interview series but one thing she mentioned was that one of the things that she wished that she really knew in the beginning about professional photography is that taking a photo is just a portion of what you will be doing. And if you really wanna roll it out to you know, a bigger business then it takes marketing, it takes social media, you know it takes handling your finances a lot of photographers who try to do it themselves which for some people is fine but a lot of them have to learn the hard way that they either have to build the team or just find ways to work more efficiently after other aspects.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Oh yeah. So here’s something interesting on that sort of the same line. Every so often I’ll host every event in New Jersey; I have a Google Plus community for New Jersey photographers. So, we try to get together in… go on photo walks or have certain events. And with the new one that I’m doing is there is photo Q&A portion in person and we try to do it at photographer’s studio. Photographers actually have studios.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Try to do it there where the community can come and ask these photographers who are doing it full time. Whatever the questions they want…
Chamira Young: Oh awesome.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Just a very informal, relaxed… Hey, we’re in a studio, that’s pretty cool environment, you know.
Chamira Young: Yeah.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And so there’s a very well photographer Vanessa Joy who lives in the town next to me and she’s given classes, her and husband actually gives classes and created live in all this like big you know online places in she teaches at I think behind… things like that.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Very well-known photographers – her and husband. Her husband does the video aspect. And so, they’re building a new studio so they couldn’t’ do it after studio but she played the role of the first host for this new event that I’m doing. And so, we sat down and one of the questions that we asked was, or someone asked, was along the line of the time and how you called about the business without killing yourself, really? And so, she has a team that would handle a lot of the post production work. And so, she’ll send it actually sends it out to another third party who would do the editing for and send it back or she’ll have her team do it. So that actually takes a lot of the time off her so she can keep shooting coz the bride or groom was her issue. They don’t want her to hurt her system issue.
Chamira Young: Right. Right.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And at the same time she also offer her service where she does onsite wedding editing.
Chamira Young: Oh okay. Okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And she charged a lot of money for this, because it’s very difficult and extremely stressful.
Chamira Young: Haha. Yeah.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: But her whole routine of how she goes about things changes with this. And it really doesn’t matter; it does make a difference of what your business is, of what you’re trying to do, do you need to do the post production by yourself? It really depends, you know.
Chamira Young: Hhmm. That’s a good question.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Sometimes, you do. Sometimes you don’t.
Chamira Young: Yeah. Yeah. I think everyone initially makes the assumption that they do and you know, myself included especially in the beginning, we don’t realize that it’s okay to just send out work all the time, you know. You really have to maximize your time.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And this is definitely for wedding photographers where your time is very limited and you know…
Chamira Young: Oh yes.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: You’ve got albums to create, you’ve got so many other things in person meetings to do, seldom to do and the one that. And so, you know for someone like me where I’m mostly doing landscape, mostly doing {warn-off} portraits for businesses, you know I’ll do it myself, I don’t need to send it out. It all depends on what you’re doing, what your needs are.
Chamira Young: Right. And kudos to her by the way for even doing, I’ve heard of a photographer doing onsite editing. That’s something that I have not yet attempted at a wedding because it is soo chaotic at time. And you know it’s kinda like playing duo-roles at a wedding. You’re the photographer but generally what kind of, at least in my experience, gathering up and organizing everybody and letting them to know where they need to be of course everyone were scatters and disperses in. It’s kinda like you’re running things a little bit.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. Definitely intense. You know, she’s… we’re talking about it at this event. She actually teaches how to do it effectively.
Chamira Young: Oh wow.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Or efficiently I should say. Hehe…
Chamira Young: Wow. Awesome.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, yeah. And stuff…
Chamira Young: Yeah, If ever I’m in New Jersey area I’m gonna have to look into that, definitely. Well, next. Let’s talk about the tools-of-the-trade. Tell us, what’s your typical go-to-gear for your shoot… for photo shoot, or even for a photo walk, what would you like to bring with you?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, definitely depends on the situation like everything else. Like if I’m doing landscape work then, my gears can be very different than portrait work.
Chamira Young: Ahmm.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I do use a Nikon D800, allow that camera. I use that to D700. I have sold them both and currently I only have one DSLR because I don’t really have the volume where I need the extra buddy or the faster buddy or whatever. So I decided to go the gear when to grab or whenever I need to.
Chamira Young: Oh okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: But I’m using a D800 buddy. For landscape I typically am using a 20mm icon, a 24-70 and 70-200 so I have my entire range covered. And I use the Lee filters neutral density kits that hold sliding filter style, cable release and really right stuff tripod. That’s typically what tweet me for that and for… Sometimes I’ll mixed it up and go all primes. So, I’ll go 24-70mm, 35-80 or 55 instead of the heavier lenses. But it’s fun especially with the photo walks, it’s fun to change it up and do the prime.
Chamira Young: Nice… Ahmm.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: My typical portrait Gear: I will have the 85mm and a 70-200. And I usually have 24-70 even though I really rarely use that for portraits. If I ever needed it for worst case scenarios, say something happened to the other lenses, I have that with me.
Chamira Young: Okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And then, PocketWizards, they’re my triggers of choice. I will never go to another brand. And Alien Bees, LumoPro, small flash and Nikon strobesm various Light modifiers are what I need.
Chamira Young: Nice. Very nice. Out of all that, what is your favorite accessory, other than your camera?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, so very interesting question. And the answers can be more interesting. My favorite accessory is the ColorChecker Password. That’s right.
Chamira Young: Aaaah.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And the reason is because I’m color-blind.
Chamira Young: Really?! Oh, that is interesting.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, and I’ve written about this on my website and I’ve always dealt with it especially going to this school for photography, taking color classes, how is someone color-blind get through that? So..
Chamira Young: Wow.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: The ColorChecker Password is definitely the best because it helps me… I still look like my color you know very accurate.
Chamira Young: Ahuh.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: For most that I can tell but my color-blindness is really when 2 similar colors are… like there’s orange and a brown are similar shades, they’ll look like one for me.
Chamira Young: Okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, it helps me just nature that as close as it can be with colors.
Chamira Young: And actually, I want to dig on that just a little more just to make audience and my self understands. Because we hear about color-blindness all the time, so for you then, specifically is it always be or can it be any color? If there’s two next to each other that are similar like a light blue and a medium blue? Can it be any color or is there any particular color?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It’s really any color that is just very similar. So a dark navy blue next to black looks the same to me. So..
Chamira Young: Okay, okay. And when did you find out that you are color-blind?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Oh when I was young. My father, father’s father, were also color-blind, same exact it… Some people call it color-deficient instead of color-blind. But it teaches own…
Chamira Young: Okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, my biological father had the same exact thing. So, I’ve known forever. And I’ve always have my mom making sure that I’m matched and my wife making sure that I’m match… hahaha.
Chamira Young: Haha.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, I tend to wear the same colors with all my clothing just to make sure and okay. But yeah, in college I was lucky enough that I have my color photography professors would help they’d say “get another filter or make it a little longer” you know that. The sort of, nudge me a little bit to help me out.
Chamira Young: Were you the only one in your class that was dealing with that?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: With that? Oh yeah, yeah yeah. It’s a common for photographers, well not that common. I actually have a friend named Brian {Metia}. He’s actually the Google Plus Photos Community Manager.
Chamira Young: Okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And he’s very color-blind. He can’t see red.
Chamira Young: Oh my favorite color, no!
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah and his photography is amazing. I love his photography. And I always forget that he’s a lot worse than I am with it. And one time we walked around New York City, and we were just you know, shooting and having a blast in I was like, “Check out that woman’s coat!” And she’s like bright red and he’s breath and he’s like “Where?” You know, I forget that sometimes, that I’m color-blind when I’m shooting and I forget that he’s color-red blinded. I actually know a variety of photographers who are color-blinds, it’s interesting. It’s a… it’s out there… Hehe.
Chamira Young: Yeah. You’re the first one that I’ve personally talked to that’s color-blinds, that’s so fascinating. Aaah, now I need to… I wanna look up a percentage or something to see what percentage of photographers are color-blind. Thank you for sharing that with us.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: No problem. There’s actually a website for colorblindphotographers.org or .com or something. It’s another color-blind photography websites.
Chamira Young: Awesome. I would have to really check that out. Now, tell us next about your post-production workflow. Can you describe your process is like after you’ve finished a photography shoot? What kind of software you use, any of that?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah. So I’m always in Adobe Lightroom at where my catalogue is that’s where all of my digital negatives are originally are at, I always import to DNG and so, everything is organized by: I go Year and then Month and then, Day. I know that some people think that silly but I have I guess that little of OCD where it have to happen to be organized like that. And so, I keep everything in my Lightroom I do most of my core edits in Lightroom. And then, I would typically if I need some extra work, I would bring it in to online photo perfect photos separately which version E just came in, it’s amazing.
Chamira Young: Hmmm.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: And I’ll typically use that. And then, if I need to very… I sometimes credit but Photoshop. I can’t stand Photoshop but I gotta have it, it’s part of the trade and…
Chamira Young: Ohh, am curious why don’t you like Photoshop?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It’s just… it has so much more than what you need for as a photographer. It’s a lot slower for when you need to do many photos. But, right currently, it’s the best way to do panoramics.
Chamira Young: Hhmmm.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It’s the best way to do focus at and there’s no other option. I have a feeling, knock on wood, that online software will add those features in the future. I’m just not in my desk like my cat just thought that there’s someone at the front of the door.
Chamira Young: Hahaha…
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So yeah. Typically, I’m between Lightroom and online software. Sometimes I’ll go to Photoshop and then, depending on a situation… If I need… Like… I don’t like Adobe Lightroom’s noise reduction, so I’ll bring it into {Niche Define} which now Google makes and sometimes I used to have two (2) pads a lot, I use less much but sometimes, you know they’re using for certain things. But yeah, that’s typically my two (2) of software is Lightroom and online software.
Chamira Young: Okay, okay. I myself, I’m a Photoshop junkie. But I totally agree, it can be slow, it really can be, especially when you’re working through a heavy bulk of photos.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yep.
Chamira Young: Next, let’s talk about the lessons that you’ve learned throughout your professional history as a photographer. What would you say is the most common mistake that you see professional photographers make or that you yourself have made?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, using the wrong lightning for the wrong situation as far as the photography process goes, using the wrong lightning to the wrong situation. I’ve done it, we all done it.
Chamira Young: Yeah. Haha.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So I guess you have to learn from it, whether you need to use natural light or needs six (6) lights or just one (1) light and things like that. One of the things I started doing recently is simplifying. So, now I go out in case or in session, I actually have a friend or an assistant or whoever hold a {Hop Up} reflector, a lap to light reflector, one look like a hand-grip which makes it easy to hold for a person and bounce a stroke walk of it and there’s like big SoftBox without carrying big SoftBox.
Chamira Young: Hmmm.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, I do that and back play with another stroke so just simplifying instead of trying to compensate when you don’t need to.
Chamira Young: Yeah.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: But then again, knowing when you do need to compensate. So, as far as the photography process goes, that’s what I would say not using light the correct way and learning from it is important and there’s just so many tools to learn from it. But for business wise, there’s actually, a very big mistake that I see a lot of photographers are doing is reading and learning the wrong SEO advices in implementing horrible process like comments, expanding or keyword stuffing.
Chamira Young: Interesting. Okay.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It gets done soo often, it’s get out of hand. And one of the things that we do for Photocrati is to educate our corporate to SEO. So, it drives me nuts when I see it and thought in incorrect way.
Chamira Young: Hhmmm.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So, we try to clear things up for people whenever we can.
Chamira Young: Excellent. Good stuff, good stuff. Alright, and in your opinion, what makes a good photo stand out from an average photo?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: So a good photo shows the care and passion in the framing.
Chamira Young: Ahmm.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Of seeing the exposure… Is it just a boring close card exposure or something done to make it dramatic, what processing was done to it. You could tell if both in care went into it versus someone just pointing, cooking, sharing it…
Chamira Young: Ahmm. Absolutely.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: That that’s inspires the people, they wanna see the care behind a photograph.
Chamira Young: Right, right. And one thing I say is, even if people sometimes they can’t quite put their finger on why they like a particular photo especially non-photographers you know. Or they look at it and some of them they would recognize that the framing and that there’s care in the framing or even the angle or the lightning. They recognize that instantly even if they can’t immediately verbalize why they like it, they know why they like it. And our job as professional photographers is to capture that, to take such care in those details that it really makes a huge difference. So now tell us, what is the one thing that you wish you knew before you went professional as a photographer?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: I wish that I knew the right gear that I have purchased instead of buying and trying and selling it…
Chamira Young: Haha…
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: A lot of us do that. Zacharias, we were talking about a banana, amazing photographer talks about this and call it the Greed Acquisition Syndrome or GAS. He talks about this a lot, he also has {Calvien} training on this too. He talks about the fact that he went bankrupt. He literally went bankrupt buying the gear that he thought he needed when he didn’t.
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: He went bankrupt and managed to get back into it. Now he’s doing things the right way. I wish that I knew that too, I could go bankrupt, unfortunately, but you know I’ve definitely made mistakes about buying things I don’t need. So, I’ve wished that you know, whether it was in college or whether while I was assisting and whatever that I was thought… “You don’t need this. You do need this.” You know, what’s worth it.
Chamira Young: Yeah. I think there is, even on the flip side of that, I think there’s quite a bit of pressure that we even put on ourselves to have the best gear. I mean, I’m certainly guilty of believing that if I’m out somewhere shooting even just for fun and another photographer might walk by and if their lenses you know, their lenses bigger than my lenses, I’m looking at my camera and I’m like “Oh you know” or they have better gear that I’ve I put that pressure on myself instantly. And I mean, you’re right, money is only you know, it’s not infinite and you do run out at some point. And so really, it’s about maximizing the gear that you have, definitely. Definitely. Now is there a particular photography resource and you’ve mentioned a bunch in this interview I can’t wait to get them all in the show notes. But, are there couple of that you’d like to highlight for us particular photography resource, tool, book, software that you would recommend to our listeners today?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Oh I can give you a list. I’m actually working on something new on my website that has a bunch of this listed. So I’m actually working on best of business, Best Core Business for photographers.
Chamira Young: Perfect.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It’s sort of like a word tech thing where every year I’m just gonna say “These are the website created products that I feel are worth promoting for the New Year.” It actually gonna be out in January 7, 2014 and I’m gonna have this list posted. And we’re actually working one for Photocrati as well in a word. But so, some of the ones that I would say are Jamie Wanston’s “The Modern Tog”. She talks about the business in marketing, in social media and all these things that have all the products like accounting products and email templates – things that can really help a photographer’s business for sale. So that’s Jamie Wanston’s “The Modern Tog”. Rachel Brenky’s “The Law Tog”, so she is actually a lawyer and a photographer. And so her whole website all she goes into some business and marketing and stuff as well and I think I guest a lot there but see once in a while. But they go through resource for me, for any legal advice, contracts, anything I need that round for legal aspects of photography business. She’s well recommend. Preveal is an iPad App for helping the cell canvass prints or just frames prints or anything in person through your iPad to your client. And it does it in such a cool way. Sort of like walk into reality without doing it in real time. It’s sort of like you take a picture of your client’s wall and you can actually markup how collage would look or just single print in the exact size. It’s a really nice cool App. It’s actually kinda pricey but the return on investment is huge if you actually sell print. Tippingbox.org, my friend {Steve Sue} run this on his fantastic blog, interviews like what you’re doing. It has lots of a different device from business and the shooting style and things like that. Steel Toe Images by {Elena Poen}and a good friend of mine, fantastic educator. She talks about marketing business all for creative, of course it’s in Google Plus you I really can’t let that go. Google Plus is larger than Twitter now. It’s just under Facebook.
Chamira Young: Yes.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: It’s here to stay. And of course all for the Protocrati website I gotta plug the company I work for… haha. Sorry…
Chamira Young: Of course, of course.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: We actually talk about a lot of our business in SEO and stuff on a photo credit blog, photography SEO communities where we talk about SEO mostly and next to our gallery. We have a WordPress plug in that has almost $10 million approaching to $10 million tweets, it was crazy.
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness. Congratulations, that’s awesome.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, thanks. We acquired it about one before I came on board. We acquired it I think for 4million or so downloads and we’re just about to hit 9, so, it’s pretty awesome. And then, we really stepped premium version of it which has a Google Dialer style, for adding e-commerce into that and stuff like that so…
Chamira Young: Excellent, excellent. Now, last but certainly not a least, tell us where we can find you, your website, any online courses or products that you would like to mention?
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Yeah, so my website is scottwyden.com and I’m everywhere on social media, it’s Scott Wyden as well: @Scott Wyden you know wherever you go, just search for me and I’ll be there. If you go to my website, there’s actually link to Long Exposure Photography education, so I have some e-books in a variety of things, I have Lightroom Album Presets and I also have study resource e-course as well on long exposure photography. That’s all around in there. And so yeah scottwyden.com and photocrati.com you can find all of that, all of our stuff out there. All of that… So…
Chamira Young: Awesome, awesome. Thank you, Scott for just chatting with us and providing so many awesome resources. We just really appreciate you talking to us.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz: Oh, no problem. Thanks for having me here, and God bless!
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Chamira_Headshot_1500x1500I'm Chamira Young. I admit it. I'm an art nerd, Photoshop geek, and photographer with an obsession for productivity and creativity. Through online teaching and podcasting...Read More

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