Selling a Pakistani Show on Netflix and Other Streaming Services

Over the last decade it is difficult to find a company with a greater meteoric rise than Netflix. Often cited among the biggest media conglomerates of the world, Netflix seems to be ever-growing, here Global Village Space examines the company’s road to eminence and its potential in Pakistan.

Growth of this Giant 

The company founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Rudolph started as the first online DVD rental facility back in 1997. Initially, progress was slow as the company failed to attract subscribers to its monthly plans but post 9/11, the company’s popularity registered a tangible boom. With DVDs being cheaper than ever, it became easier to post and by 2005 the company was sending out a million DVDs throughout the USA each day.

Netflix toyed with the idea of selling a “Netflix box” that could function as a DVR for Netflix content but with the popularity of YouTube in 2005, the idea was redirected to pave for the creation of a streaming site instead. Post-2007, the company focused more on its streaming service, effectively making streaming the flagship component of the company. As its grasp further widened throughout the USA, the company began to expand its control outside the country. Beginning in 2010, the company launched its services in other parts of the world.

It turns out that Pakistanis are willing to pay for content platforms that work well and have a large content library. By Profit’s estimates based on publicly reported and disclosed data, Netflix – the biggest streaming service doing business in Pakistan – is on track to make Rs1.2 billion ($7.1 million) in revenue from Pakistan this year, its sixth operating in the country.

That may be chump change for Netflix, but consider the following: Hum Networks, Pakistan’s largest entertainment television network, made a total of Rs4 billion ($29.2 million) in 2019 after having been in business for 15 years and owning four television channels and a movie studio. In other words, Netflix is already bigger than most smaller entertainment channels, and may be on its way to overtaking some of the biggest players in Pakistan.

And Netflix is just getting started. There are other services that Pakistanis also pay for, despite the existence of many illegal avenues to download pirated content for free. It turns out that if you offer a solid product at the right price, Pakistanis will very much want in.

o what does this mean for the Pakistani content market? Three things: more revenue sources for both content owners and producers, and therefore a much wider diversity of content for viewers, including a wider range of local content (think Churails on Zee5).

It is an exciting time to be in the content business in Pakistan, and an exciting time to be a fan of the cinematic and television arts. So, naturally, the government of Pakistan thinks to itself: “how can we completely destroy this nice thing?” Why has the freedom to create when you can have a stifling dictatorship instead?

Who owns the streaming space in Pakistan?

The biggest player in Pakistan right now, hands down, is Netflix. With its vast library of content that includes top names in Hollywood, Bollywood and local Pakistani content at around Rs1,500 a month for a premium account (and Rs950 for a basic one), there is no better option, and none so widely used as Netflix. The content ranges based on what location you use your account in. The platform houses their own original movies and series in addition to independently produced content. The platform also makes the task of watching foreign language content easier with English language dubbing and subtitles, case in point, La Casa de Papel or Money Heist as we all know it.

Netflix, being an intuitively designed platform, uses its smart learning and data to provide sophisticated recommendations based on watch and search history. In order to compete in terms of pricing, there are three main subscription options, Basic, Standard, and Premium that determine the number of screens a user can view simultaneously (yes, Netflix knows you share your passwords, and charges you a higher price for sharing it with more people).

Its main global competitor that operates in Pakistan is Amazon Prime. Known for its intuitive algorithm that gives excellent suggestions, Prime costs around Rs1,000 a month for its premium account. While it comes with features such as X-ray, which gives you the characters and background information on any scene in a movie or show, it is not compatible with Google Chromecast, has very little local Pakistani content (though it has a significant library of Indian content popular with Pakistani audiences), and does not have a party watching option. Despite this, Amazon Prime has made a relevantly successful entry into Pakistan with its limited content library. Other than these two global players, there are also a few regional services on the market.

One of these is Iflix, which is based in Kuala Lampur. When it was first launched, Iflix made a name for itself due to the fact that the subscription cost was cheaper and the content library included popular Pakistani TV dramas and movies, as well as international content. The platform was also known for its variety of children’s content, and soon became known as a family service.

The other streaming on demand service closer to home is Starz Play, which is more popular in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Created in the mena but brought to Pakistan through a partnership by Cinepax, it enables subscribers to stream Hollywood movies, TV shows, documentaries, and children’s content, and watch series as they are released in the US. The platform also houses dedicated Arabic, Bollywood, and Pakistani content. The platform is available in 20 countries across MENA and Pakistan. Payment packages vary whereby consumers are able to choose between daily, weekly and monthly bundles.

The size of the Pakistani streaming market

This is the real question. Pakistanis are already spending money on these services. According to a recent report in Dawn, this trend has seen a massive uptake because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report states that back in February, 36,000 people were using Netflix. The platform now has over 87,000 people using the media streaming service in Pakistan. A recent story in Arab News mentioned that Netflix may have already increased its subscriber base to 100,000 in Pakistan.

Assuming that most Pakistanis only subscribe to the very basic level of subscription, that implies that Netflix is on track to make at least Rs1.2 billion ($7.1 million) in revenue from Pakistan this year. And at the pace that it has started growing – given the fact that more people have become comfortable with e-commerce and electronic payments during the coronavirus pandemic – it has the potential to become the largest entertainment company in Pakistan by revenue.

That increase in revenues has come after substantial investment on the part of Netflix and other streaming services to acquire the licenses to Pakistani content. For instance, one of the networks  that is most sophisticated about working with streaming services is Hum Networks, one of the largest entertainment companies in Pakistan, and probably one that has invested most heavily in establishing a digital future for itself that does not rely on advertising-based revenues from its cable television channels.

“Hum Network has a well-established digital wing to entertain the ever-increasing number of broadband users within the country as well as the audience worldwide, who are increasingly turning to online sources for viewing and purchasing of content through video on demand platforms,” read the Hum Networks 2019 Annual Report. “Hum Network has also been the first Pakistani channel to have its content available on Netflix and Iflix, first to collaborate with ErosNow and first to have direct channels on YouTube and DailyMotion,” it goes on to say.

Is the Pakistani media ready for this change?

What Pakistani channels are failing to acknowledge is that unless the diaspora is watching their content for free on YouTube, they have to pay additional for Pakistani channels. Placing their premium content on SVODs will enable them to capture a larger audience.

While a number of individuals compare Pakistan to India with regards to content, the fact remains that the market for Indian content is bigger and will always remain bigger considering their large population within the country and across the globe. The broadband penetration and telecom users further enables India to take precedence over Pakistan.

The potential

As mentioned earlier, Netflix users in Pakistan have nearly tripled in the last few months. This is not just because of the pandemic, but because internet coverage has vastly improved in Pakistan. As of 2019-2020, the PTA states that Pakistan has 167 million cellular subscribers and a total of 83 million broadband subscribers in Pakistan.

While the number of broadband users in Pakistan remains low, the number is increasing and has been increasing over the years. As this statistic grows, the market for these SVOD will grow too.

Internationally, the industry is in its growth stages with a strong compound growth rate of 17% from 2017 onto 2035. A number of new entrants include Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Apple, Disney, and Google who have either entered the market or diversified from their existing services.

While it is great that there are no major barriers to entry, the flipside is that there are no major barriers to entry other than capital requirement. As a customer, it cost nothing to change subscriptions because no additional equipment is needed. This means that subscribers can switch services at a whim without incurring any additional hardware costs.

Photography business

Tips For Developing Your Photography Business

It’s the drive to showcase their innovation or helping people eternalize what is special to them, that tempt photographers to turn their passion into a business. If you are running a photography business or plan for a photography startup, it pays to know what can be done to ameliorate your enterprise so you can establish a firm foothold in the photography industry

#1. Act Like A Professional

Growing your photography business requires a lot of hard work, determination, commitment, and enthusiasm. Professionals follow through on their allegiance and deliver their products and services on time. They show up on time and always deliver great customer experiences.

They answer their phone on time, return calls and are easily accessible. Mentor young people and provide internships with professionalism, this is the only way to generate good reviews and future business.

#2. Write A Business Plan

A successful business begins with building a perfect plan, a design draft that will guide you in creating a strong foundation of your firm which is a solid support. The simple act of writing down your vision and working on it accordingly gives you a outline of how the business will operate.

It is very helpful to assure that your idea is conveyed more effectively and all your customers are on the same page. You will find a clear path to your destination, if you set your business goals and work according to that outline .

Looking For a Photography Logo Design?

We have helped thousands of business owners from all around the world with their graphic design needs such as a logo design, website design, social media posts, banner and much more.

#3. Have A Professional Looking Website

Once you’ve come up with a idea to start a photography business, you’ll need an attractive and impressive website as your website is like your store front. So, it’s best to take guidance from professional web designers as they have a huge amount of innovative and creative photo website design templates that better suits your photographic style.

Your website is like a showcase of your work which your customers will visit to see your sample work. It should include samples of your work and a page that describes your background and experience. It’s a good idea to list your pricing details. It will help in managing customer expectations and keeps people from trying to negotiate for a lower price. Contact information is also mandatory.

Your photography website is the most powerful tool to propagandize your brand to a global audience. In today’s digital era, usually most of the clients will find out about your business and interact with you through your website.

#4. Engage In Social Media Marketing

Social media is the best platform for promoting your brand especially when it comes to photography so you must add a social icons at the top of your website. Social media is a best platform where you can join social media groups and online forums that are involved in your industry so that they can help you in promoting your business and reach new heights of success. Apart from posting your own work, you can hire a graphic designer to create amazing social media content for your business.

You can also learn a lot from fellow photographers and other experts of your industry and you can use that knowledge to further take your business to next level. You’ll be astonished to know that many people in the social groups are actually eager to know you. Introduce yourself, share your working experience, give some useful photography marketing tips, provide exhilarated opinions, or connect with industry experts all over the word.

#5. Expand Your Network

Expand your network of customers, experienced photographers, and other people engaged in the field of photography. They offer indispensable help in the form of knowledge, constructive advice, referrals, and much more. You can expand your network by attending valuable seminars, joining photography networking events and photo shoots.

You can also grandstand your work by organizing a photo exhibition, whether on your own or with a group of photographer friends. Exhibitions attract a lot of forthcoming clients and professionals whom you could add to your network.

#6. Clearly Define Your Service

A mistake that most embryonic photographers make is that they fail to identify themselves as experts in one circumstantial niche. Always Remember that potential clients need to know the type of photographer you are, your photography style, what kind of best mirrorless cameras you use and your ability to aspire their specific needs.

#7. Come Up With A Pricing Plan

The most challenging question for every photographer is- How much will you charge for your services? Especially when you have just started your Photography business. Figure out the worth of one hour of your time.

For every hour you spend while shooting, you’ll spend about three hours editing the photographs. You need to include all the factors in your pricing. Of course, your pricing pattern is your own, this is just a way to come up with a starting point. Therefore, Clearly state the price of your service in your photography to avoid any future complications.

Camera price in pakistan

The Best Camera Rumors of 2021

What new camera gear can we expect in the coming months? These are the best camera rumours and likely product announcements for 2021

The last few years have seen a major change in the camera market. DSLRs once dominated, but now we’re seeing mirrorless cameras becoming increasingly popular and overtaking mirrored camera sales. Even Canon and Nikon, companies that were keen to protect their DSLR sales, have got serious about mirrorless cameras.

We’re also seeing more full-frame and medium format cameras and increased emphasis on high-end features such as subject recognition and Eye AF in video mode.

Canon and Nikon introduced top-end professional-level DSLR cameras in 2020 but Nikon has announced that it is developing the Z9, a mirrorless flagship camera with 8K video capability. Surely it can’t be too much longer before Canon does something similar, perhaps announcing that an EOS R1 is in development.

It will be interesting to see which cameras are alongside the Sony A1s during the Olympic Games when they take place (hopefully) in the summer.

It’s an exciting time for photography, so let’s take a look at the new cameras that may be announced over the coming months. I’ll draw on our experience of camera development over the years to make a

Camera Rumours Summary

I’ll look at the rumours surrounding all the camera manufacturers, but here’s a quick summary of the biggest camera rumors and what we’re expecting/hoping to see in the near future as well as the questions we want answering:

Canon rumors

Canon really pulled out the stops in 2020 and delivered two incredibly exciting cameras, the Canon EOS R6 and Canon EOS R5, which use the RF mount that was introduced with the Canon EOS R. This mount has a flange diameter of 54mm, which is larger than the EF, EF-S and EF-M mounts, which means that faster lenses can be made. But what does the new lens mount mean for its APS-C format mirrorless cameras? Canon says the EOS M system will continue, but having four lens mounts is confusing, so we’re hoping for an RF-mount APS-C format camera in 2021.

Panasonic rumors

In 2020, Panasonic introduced the Lumix S5, an enticingly-priced full-frame mirrorless camera and the Lumix G100,  which is aimed at vloggers. And at last, it seems that 2021 will be the year that we see the incredibly popular Panasonic GH5 replaced with the Panasonic GH5 II.

Sony rumors

Sony has been pushing Nikon and Canon for market position all the time, and the Sony A1 looks like being the camera of 2021 (it’s an early call), but both of those older camera manufacturers are now taking the mirrorless market much more seriously.

With the Sony A7S III and Sony A1 we’ve seen Sony finally listen to all the requests for more touch-control and a better menu system, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that these features and the A7S III’s vari-angle screen are carried over to the Sony A7 IV which must be waiting in the wings.

DJI Phantom Pro 5 Rumors

There have also been rumours circulating for ages that the announcement of the DJI Phantom 5 isn’t too far away, but we’re still waiting. It’s been quite some time since we saw an update to DJI’s Phantom or Inspire range of drones. Will 2021 and the new drone regulations see something new in the manufacturer’s high-end drone ranges?

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen some interesting smaller drones from DJI, for example, the Mavic Air has been updated to the Mavic Air 2, and the Mavic Mini came along towards the end of 2019 but has now been replaced by the DJI Mini 2.

The Mini and Mini2 are especially interesting because they weigh less than 250g. Once the new drone regulations come in, they will still need to be registered because they’ve got cameras mounted, but you’ll be able to fly them pretty much wherever you like as long as you’re not trespassing or endangering people or property.

What many drone pilots are waiting for though, is the first drone that is certified as class C2 under the regulations. This will weigh under 4Kg but pilots with the A2 Certificate of Competency will be able fly down to 30m from uninvolved people or 5m from uninvolved people in the slow mode. That will make life easier for a lot of hobbyist and commercial pilots.

Interestingly, when the DJI FPV was announced, we asked DJI about its classification and we were told that there currently aren’t any notified bodies for agreeing the classifications.

The Best Full-Frame Cameras for 2021

The best full frame DSLRs don’t have to cost a fortune. Here are the top choices for amateurs, enthusiasts and pros.

It’s a fact: the best full-frame DSLRs remain some of the best cameras ever made. Yes, mirrorless gets a lot of attention, with cameras boasting cutting-edge technology, ever-higher video resolutions, and shiny new features. But for a reliable, mechanically sound camera that just works, and keeps working, a DSLR is tough to beat.

There’s a lot more to the differences between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, of course. If you find it all a little confusing, we have a DSLR vs mirrorless camera article that spells out the key differences between the two types and is useful if you’re still figuring out which one is right for you.

DSLRs may be older, but they are very much still alive and kicking. Manufacturers are still bringing out new DSLRs, albeit now at a slower pace than their mirrorless offerings. Right now, some of the finest DSLRs include the Nikon D780, and the genuinely ground-breaking Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. Both of these models are full-frame, and you can find out more about them further down this list. Without a doubt, the full-frame DSLR is still very much a viable prospect for photographers and videographers.

In this particular guide, we’re focusing entirely on DSLRs that house full frame sensors. These are the most sophisticated DSLRs available and also the most expensive, so if you are looking for a more mid-range model that’s more affordable, we have a separate guide to the best DSLR, which provides a broader perspective and includes models across the spectrum. If, however, you’re set on getting full frame but aren’t necessarily sold on the idea of getting a DSLR versus a mirrorless camera, then we’d recommend checking out our guide to the cheapest full-frame cameras.

When putting together this list, we haven’t just put the newest and most advanced cameras at the top. We’ve weighed up all the different factors that users are likely to consider when choosing a camera, including price. We’ll never recommend a camera we don’t think is worth the price that’s being asked for it, so you can be confident you’re getting the best deal for your money.

Read on as we count off the best full frame DSLRs you can buy right now…

Why use full frame?

  • Full frame sensors have a larger area, which means that for any given resolution, the individual photosites (light receptors) are larger. This means images with less noise and higher dynamic range.
  • Alternatively, the larger sensor in a full frame camera can have more photosites (megapixels) but keep them the same size as in a smaller sensor. This means more resolution without any extra noise.
  • Full frame cameras use longer focal length lenses to get the same angle of view, which means the depth of field is more shallow – this is great for background defocus effects.
  • Camera makers tend to put most of their lens design efforts into full frame cameras, so you get the best choice of lenses and often the best lens quality.

The best full frame DSLRs in 2021

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

For top performance without spending over the odds, this is the best buy

Type: DSLR | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 26.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF | Screen: 3.2in touch, pivot 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 6.5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Enthusiast

Nikon D780

A great value full frame DSLR packing up-to-date tech

Type: DSLR | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 24.4MP | Screen: 3.2in tilting screen, 2,359,800 dots | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 12fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast/professional

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

The best of DSLRs and mirrorless? It can be done, and now it has!

Type: DSLR | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Screen: 3.2in fixed touchscreen, 2.1million dots | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 16fps (mechanical shutter) / 20fps (Live View + mechanical or electronic shutter) | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Professional

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Jack of all trades and master of most of them

Type: DSLR | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 30.4MP | Screen: 3.0in fixed touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 7fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Professional

Get the Right Camera

It’s easy to buy a full-frame camera—you just need a credit card. It’s getting the right one that can be tricky. Once you’ve settled in on the right system, make sure the model you choose meets your needs. Photographers interested in action should look for one with great autofocus and a fast burst rate, while fine art and landscape specialists will seek out high resolution and extreme dynamic range.

You can take a look at our latest reviews to see what’s just come to market. We also have some tips for enthusiasts who want to get more out of their camera, and guides with instructions on getting great shots of fireworks and lightning.  

The Right One: Why and How You Probably Bought the Wrong Camera.

We often say there are lots of cameras on the market feel and act the same. And that’s true. In fact, many even share the same sensor. So to differentiate them all, manufacturers have tried new things. The big differences are ergonomics, autofocus, menu systems, and more. And overall, the thing needs to feel right in your hands. The right camera needs to jive with your mind. Most of all, you can’t get over buyer’s remorse. 

Manufacturers say that you’ll get over it as time goes on. But that doesn’t really come true. Many years ago, I bought a Nikon camera. It just didn’t work for me. And I accepted that. But I acknowledge that they make good products despite doing so many things backward. And I also think that they do work for someone else. As a reviewer, I have to try pretty much every camera on the market. But I’ve only ever purchased into three systems. I bought Sony because of its autofocus performance and versatility. I bought Canon for the lenses. And I bought Fujifilm for its ergonomics and unique image quality. I own Leica film cameras for their unique feeling. And I’d probably buy another Leica or a Panasonic camera easily. 

But I’m not like most folks. Most photographers stick to one camera system. Lots of new shooters like the marketing that Sony does. And they’re fine enough with the camera bodies. But if you’re more experienced, you’re probably not a fan of the very-computer driven interface. If you’ve shot Canon for many years, then you’ll like what the Canon RF cameras are. 

And it’s totally okay to move in and out of systems. As you change, they will too. Being a creator is important. If a system just isn’t working for you, then you should move. It’s often made me wonder what would truly work for me. If I wasn’t a camera reviewer and had to start back all over from scratch, what would you buy? Would you want Sony for their small, quality lenses and bodies? Would you prefer Canon for their lens innovations? Would you want Nikon because of the feeling? Or how about Fujifilm for the look and ergonomics? Or would you want Olympus for the small size? Or Panasonic because you care so much about video?

This is a bigger reason for every camera manufacturer to try harder without violating trust. Look at phones! You can go iOS or Android. But if you go Android, you’re probably best with one system. And if you go iOS, you’re better off being in the whole Apple ecosystem.

Of course, the same goes for computers. I love Apple’s keyboards. And every time I use Lenovo’s keyboards, I want to scream. Similarly, you won’t ever really get over buyer’s remorse. It’ll just get worse. 

Again, pick the system that’s right for you. Put them all in your hands. And go make mistakes.

Photography business

How To Easily Set Your Photography Price List in 2021

Determining a feasible pricing structure is one of the most daunting tasks a new photography entrepreneur faces. There’s not a magic formula when deciding how much to charge for your work, but there are some helpful guidelines you can follow.

Pricing strategies

The proliferation of digital media has made it much harder for photographers to charge for prints in the traditional way. So rather than adopt a “nickel and dime” pricing strategy where you charge for each print of an image (or photo shoot, proofs, photo album, and/or prints), consider charging only for what clients really value — your ability to capture moments.

One way you can capitalize on that is by offering specials on your social media

accounts. For example, many family photographers offer “mini-sessions” themed to various holidays or times of year via their social media channels. Sign-up is available to social followers only, and the price is a set one — usually a basic sitting fee for a small package of photos.

A photographer’s estimate is usually based on two elements: creative fees and expenses. On the creative side, you need to think about the quality of the image and what value you place on it. Photographer Jerry Clement says his formula for gallery prints includes the cost of production and what he calls an “intrinsic, artistic value,” with some profit margin on top of that. “You also have to take into account the gallery’s commission,” Clement says, “which usually averages 30 to 40 percent.”

You might also want to charge a sitting fee when working with clients. The sitting fee should cover your time as the photographer, editing of images, and, if you offer one, an online gallery of the client’s photos they can share with family and friends.

As part of your fees, factor in labor, supplies, and materials. Will the images be shot on location or in a studio? If you’re operating a studio, take a long, hard look at your local competitors to see what they’re charging for similar services, then start your pricing somewhere in the middle.

Wedding, portrait, and event photographers have an easier time scoping out the competition because it’s easy to stop by and pick up a price list and other information from competitors or simply visit their respective websites. Although it’s simple enough to pick up the phone and call a commercial photographer about their fees, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a standard rate because fees are usually developed on a project-by-project basis. To cover yourself, be sure to pad your fee a bit to include unexpected issues.

Location shoots are more complex and involve considerations like site logistics, travel, special equipment, lighting equipment, props and additional personnel (e.g., models, assistants, technicians). In addition to the complexity of the project, you also need to consider the number of finished images needed, scheduling and pre- and post-production time.

Pre-production responsibilities may include client meetings, site location and/or visits, and set arrangements. After the shoot is over, post-production tasks may consist of restoring a site to its original state, returning props and equipment, and more client meetings — along with image editing, selecting, and finalizing the images.

Many commercial or location photographers charge day or half-day rates, with fees adjusted to weekly for long-term shoots or hourly for shorter projects. Don’t forget to add overtime (hourly rate plus 50 percent) for days that go longer than eight hours or for weekend assignments.

Whenever in doubt, use the industry standards found through different photography associations and organizations, like American Society for Media Photographers (ASMP) or Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Local chapters have monthly meetings where members can network and learn a wealth of information, including local marketing and industry standards.

Expenses

The other part of the pricing equation is expenses. Many photographers — especially in the beginning — try to absorb minor expenses, like supplies, postage and basic camera gear. But these little things quickly add up and chip away at your profits. Your fee structure should cover these incidentals. For example, if you decide $50 is a fair hourly rate, charge $75. Then use the hourly charge to calculate daily and weekly rates.

Overhead should also be a calculated expense that includes rent, utilities, insurance, gas, mileage, and anything else that you’re not billing clients separately for. Big ticket expenses for individual assignments, like travel, equipment, or personnel, should be billed separately, depending on your — or the client’s — preferences.

And don’t forget to include your own salary in your cost of doing business — if you do, then you’ve made a grave business error. Pay yourself first, then consider the rest of your costs as overhead. Ultimately, if your business can’t cover its payroll and expenses, you’ll need to charge more for your work, find other ways to increase revenue and/or cut costs.

After factoring your costs into your pricing structure, find ways to reduce those costs and increase profits. Monitor your progress each month by using profit and loss reports, which your bookkeeping or accounting software should allow you to generate with ease if you’re using it correctly.

If you want to become successful and grow your business, you’re going to have to handle tasks you don’t like, including bookkeeping and accounting. Many photographers think of themselves as “creative types” who don’t deal with numbers. However, if you don’t understand the finances related to your business and maintain proper records using accounting or bookkeeping software, you’ll quickly find yourself in financial crisis.

Photography tips

Soft Proofing: Cut Your Editing Time in Half!

Stop over-editing. Start soft proofing!

From a purely technical standpoint, soft proofing is all about color management and getting your on-screen photos to match the prints you get from your pro lab. 

For photographers, however, there’s an earlier step in the soft proofing process, and it’s all about your clients.

“Soft proofing means allowing your clients to choose the images that they’d like fully edited from a gallery of proofs,” explains family photographer Stefanie Cole.

“Depending on your style of editing, the proofs can be SOOC (straight out of camera) or given a quick, preliminary edit,” Stefanie suggests. “My packages come with a set number of digitals, so soft proofing allows them to choose their purchased images while also giving them the option to buy more.”Portrait of a couple by a lake. Portrait of a baby in a basket.

Here’s why clients love soft proofing:

Soft proofing allows Stefanie’s clients see more of their images faster. They don’t have to wait for every image to be edited to perfect, and they’re never left wondering if a “better” photo was excluded from their gallery. “They feel more in control of the images that they receive,” says Stefanie, “and are happier as a result.”

But soft proofing isn’t only great for clients.

“I never edit a photo that I haven’t been paid for!” Stefanie shares. “It has sped up my workflow drastically, and it’s taken a lot of the difficult choices out of culling.”

Soft proofing in 5 steps

These are the steps Stefanie follows to create a streamlined, inclusive ordering process for her clients:

#1: Add your images to Lightroom and cull

  • Add the session’s photos to a Lightroom catalog
  • Tap “P” to “Pick” your keepers
  • You can also tap “X” to “Reject” a photo you don’t want to show
  • Or tap numbers 1-5 to give each image a star rating

Stefanie admits that culling is a bit of a balancing act. Show too few images, and your clients may wonder, “Where are the rest?” Show too many, and they may become overwhelmed, which can result in smaller purchases.

#2: Apply your preset

You may choose to soft proof with photos that are SOOC, but Stefanie finds it beneficial to perform a light edit on the photos she’ll show.

“I don’t worry about proofs being perfect,” she clarifies, “but if any are drastically off-center or need cropping, I will do that. If any head swaps are necessary, I’ll go ahead and do that, too, but that’s rare.”

#3: Edit a few favorites

  • Choose 1-3 favorites from the shoot
  • Give those picks your full post-production treatment
  • Share these to social media (with your client’s permission, of course!)

These fully-edited favorites help Stefanie’s clients to envision what their finished products will look like.

#ShootProofPRO Tip: Final edits

The way your photographs appear to your clients is largely dependent upon their computer monitor, color profile and display options, and (if they’re trying to make their own prints) their printer profile. This is why it’s important for your final output to be created with print quality in mind.

An accurate soft proof is one that looks phenomenal when printed by your preferred professional lab. Make sure your clients know that you can only guarantee the print quality of photographs ordered directly through you.

#4: Export the soft proofs

Stefanie exports her soft proofs into a client folder on her desktop, then uploads those images into a ShootProof gallery.

“Once uploaded, be sure to turn the download feature OFF,” reminds Stefanie, “and add a nice, big watermark that is vivid enough that people won’t screenshot your work, but transparent enough that they can clearly see their faces in the images.”

Photography tips

Photography Tip: The difference between fixed and variable aperture

Variable aperture comes into play if you have a zoom lens. If your lens has two numbers, i.e., F/3.5 to F/5.6, you have what’s called a variable aperture lens. This means your widest aperture (lower number) is different at different focal lengths.

The variable aperture allows the camera manufacturer to make the lens for less money. These lenses are often smaller and lighter than their fixed aperture counterparts.

Constant aperture lenses are heavier and require more sophisticated glass, which costs more money. They are generally of higher quality than variable aperture lenses.

The aperture functions independently of the lens focal length on a fixed aperture lens. Another advantage of fixed aperture lenses is that typically, their lens barrel doesn’t extend or retract when the focal length changes. This means they don’t get physically longer when you zoom.

Should you buy fixed or variable aperture glass? It depends on how serious you are about your photography, what your goals are and how skilled you are.

Most beginners, casual amateurs and snap shooters will never need the fixed aperture zooms. And all zooms made within the last five years are significantly better than the zoom lenses (even the expensive ones) I used in the 70s and early 80s.

Variable aperture lenses

Lenses with variable apertures mean that the aperture changes based on your focal length. On my 18-55mm lens, I could achieve a f/3.5 aperture when zoomed all the way out to 18mm. When I zoomed in to 55mm, the widest aperture available was f/5.6.

These lenses are typically lighter and are great travel options. They’re also great because they’re much more cost-effective.

The downside here is the limitation of aperture choices, which affects not only depth-of-field but the range of exposure choices as well. If I’m photographing an event with a variable aperture lens, it means that each time I zoom to bring the subject closer, I lose light, because the front element of my lens’ isn’t big enough to let in more light. If I photograph an event outside this gets even more challenging, especially with clouds changing the light source on a constant basis. Long story short, it can be more difficult to control your exposure with a variable aperture lens.

Outside of exposure, variable aperture lenses allow camera manufacturers to produce lenses for a lot less money. They pass these savings on to the consumer, resulting in a lower-priced, and quite often an inferior quality lens.

Fixed aperture lenses

The opposite is true of fixed aperture lenses. These lenses are heavier in comparison to their variable aperture brethren. These lenses come with some serious glass and mechanics packed inside. Of course, this leads to higher-priced lenses, but the benefits are manyfold.

With a fixed aperture lens, the aperture functions independently from the focal length of the lens. Meaning, whether you’re zooming in or not, your aperture stays constant until you adjust it either within your camera. Remember that event I was photographing? I can photograph someone right next to me, or 50 feet away, and get the same exposure levels. My aperture won’t change automatically when the focal length increases to bring the subject closer — instead, I’ll have complete control over it, no matter if it’s set at a wider angle or full telephoto.

So what’s best?

If you’re talking mechanics and technology, fixed focal length lenses will provide a sharper photograph. But they’re much more expensive. They are heavier, making them more difficult to travel with or carry around for long periods of time.

There’s no globally best option here — it’s really what’s best for your situation. If you photograph in a lot of dark environments, being able to open your aperture to f/2.8 or better is most definitely a benefit. That fixed aperture will come in handy. Likewise, if you’re trying to narrow down your travel kit to one body and one or two lenses, a variable aperture lens might give you an option that can let you capture a wide array of situations. Remember, most kit lenses are cost and quality cutters. There are good variable aperture alternatives even though they do cost more.

For guidance or more information, please contact us.

Photography gadgets

Incredibly Useful Photography Gadgets

Photographers love their gadgets, and gadgets are fantastic go-to’s when the gift-giving season rolls around. There’s certainly no shortage of toys on the market, but it’s overwhelming figuring out what’s worth the buy. If the photographer in your life hasn’t provided you with a wish list, it feels like a shot in the dark trying to pick out what they need. This might help. Here are key photography accessories that make for awesome gifts.

White-Balancing Tools

Most digital cameras have an Auto White Balance function that works in a pinch. But, for many pros and serious hobbyists, it’s preferable to customize WB right on the spot. Impact’s QuikBalance Collapsible 12″ Gray Panel, a modern twist on the classic gray card, is one way to do this. One side is 18% gray, and the other is neutral white. When placed in the same lighting as the subject, photographers can adjust their settings accordingly or use it as a base point for accurate post-processing later. The same concept applies to the X-Rite Original ColorChecker Card, which features 24 colors that mimic things they might be shooting (skin tones, sky, foliage, etc.) as well as neutral grays.

Replacement Camera Straps

The neck straps that come with bigger cameras typically aren’t designed for comfort. On longer shots, they can become downright painful. The best way to avoid strain is to get the camera off the neck altogether, and these several fantastic alternatives can do just that. Black straps are designed to be worn from shoulder to hip, distributing weight evenly across the body. They come in a range of designs, depending on how much or what type of support is needed. Peak Design also has a great line of versatile straps that can be worn around the neck or across the shoulder, along with a quick-connecting handgrip and tethered wrist cuff (great for lighter cameras). Hand straps are also available from Vello, who sells some great little padded attachments that can be used with or without battery grips. To go hands-free altogether, hip holsters are lifesavers. Spider is famous for its heavy-duty SpiderPro Single and Dual holster systems, and its smaller Black Widow for lightweight DSLRs. 

Memory-Card Wallets

A memory-card wallet is a downright necessary organizational tool for any photographer. Memory cards are small and delicate, a bad combination without somewhere safe to keep them. Check out the colorful little SD Pixel Pocket Rocket from ThinkTank. This wallet will hold 9 SD cards in clear slots, along with a few business cards in the back. It folds up nice and flat so it hardly takes up any room. For a more protective way to store cards, Pelican offers some great hardcover cases made of polycarbonate resin. These are water-resistant and shock absorbent, so they’ll gladly take a beating. The 0915 is perfect for SD or Mini SD cards, while the 0945 is designed for CF cards.

Camera Bag

A good camera bag is a necessity. It will be heavily used, so put some thought into what’ll serve someone best. Lowepro is a good place to start, since the company offers just about any style of carrying case a person could need. Sleek black shoulder bags are available in a range of sizes, each with padded interiors and retractable rain flaps. Lowepro also offers similarly-built backpacks, which come in assorted colors and are well suited to the mobile photographer. If you’re looking for something that offers style as well a protection

Tripod

Every photographer needs a tripod. Whether you decide to shell out a lot or a little, having something to safely stabilize a camera is a must-have for certain kinds of shots. The MeFOTO’s aluminum construction can support up to 26.4 lb of equipment. One of its key features is its portability: it collapses into a mere 16.1″, which is remarkably convenient for a tripod of its size. But if that’s still too big, the flexible little Joby Gorillapod is a perfect mini-tripod to stabilize up to 6.6 lb of camera. Its bendy joints can be flexed to grip or wrap around almost any object.

Filters

Filters can be somewhat underrated these days, but they definitely serve a purpose, even in the age of digital photography. Warming or cooling filters can be used for adjusting color temperatures, and a multitude of specialty filters can be used to achieve different creative effects. For landscape photographers, two of the most beloved types of filters are neutral density and circular polarizers. ND filters come solid, graduated, or center-weighted, and cut the light entering a lens by several stops. These are great for long-exposure shots, letting the photographer dictate the shutter speed and aperture without worrying about overexposing in bright ambient light. Circular polarizers work by changing the way lenses takes in light. They eliminate reflections and glare (water, glass, etc.), as well as darken blue skies for rich, gorgeous color.

Memory Card Reader

High-volume photographers need a way to quickly and efficiently get their digital images uploaded to a computer. The best way to do this is with a memory card reader, and the Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot device is perfectly cut out for the job. This portable reader is compatible with CF, SDXC/ SDHC UHS-I, and SD cards, and is fully capable of simultaneous transfer. Its pop-up design protects inner circuitry when not in use, and it’s compatible with both USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports.

What is a go to gadget you recommend photographers think about picking up for their travels, studios, or just to have around the house? Let me know in the comments below!

Wedding photography business

How to Start a Wedding Photography Business In Pakistan

As it is all the more a known fact that with the passage of time the demand and popularity of the photo shoot business is getting high in success and popularity! Almost each single wants to know that how you can easily get on with the starting of the business on the easiest terms that is related with the photo shoot.

Well, when establishing the photoshoot business, there are so many minor and major things that you do need to keep in mind. You should know that whether you want to start the business from home or from the assistance of the team members. This is an important question to learn it all through!

Right below we will be explaining out with some of the important guidelines which you should be discussing around when it comes to the start up of the photography wedding business in Pakistan.

Types of Services You Will Offer

You should know the varied types of the services that are to be given away in the wedding photography business. Almost all the business sectors and so as the individuals are always in want to get the photographer services as meant best for so many of the reasons. Business sectors do want to take the services of the photographers just for the purpose of promotion of their products for the side of the brochures. Most of the time realtors also take the services of the photographers too as where they can find it easy to sell their homes.

Create a Business Plan

In the next step, you should be heading on with the creation of the business plan to bring the development aspects in it. You should be adding the business plan with the features of the services you are offering, details about your business and financial aspects too. You should be highlighting your mission and vision too. You should not be missing out giving a quick timeline details about the pricing structure as well. This is an important thing to look out for!

Create an Attractive Business Name

Now it’s time to give a name to your business! Always remember that your brand name is very much important in order to make your business identified inside the marketplaces.  You should be setting it with something that is really inspiring and should be targeting the audience too.

Start Establishing your Business Officially

In the next step it’s time when you should be thinking about giving your business with the establishment of being official on terms. As you are all set with the name of the business and so as its settings, you should obtain business license or permits as required by your city or county. You should be clear much in giving your brand name with the legal registration inside the marketplaces.

So, these have been few of the important and main points which you probably do need to keep in mind when it comes to the successful establishment of the photography business in Pakistan.

Follow the guidelines carefully! All the Best!