Interview With A Photographer: Kristen Smith

Introduce yourself: Where are you from, how old are you, how did you get started with photography?

My name is Kristen, but I’m better known as KristenWithACamera. I’m from New York, but I am currently attending college in New Jersey. I’m going on 21 years old. I was always really interested in photography growing up and tried to immerse myself in it as much as possible. I took pictures for the yearbook, took digital photography and film photography in high school.

One Christmas in high school, my mom had bought me a Canon Powershot, but one of my friends broke the screen on it and I was never able to have it replaced. After that, I didn’t pick up a camera again until I was 18. I was attending college on Long Island and it was the most rebellious time of my life. At the time, no one could tell me anything. I was doing my own thing, hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting into a lot of trouble.

I remember there being a sale on a Fujifilm Finepix S1800 on Amazon (I find it amazing that I still remember that) and something just clicked. I slept on it for a few days and eventually ordered it.

Here’s a few of the first photos that I ever took with it. (Which I thought were great at the time. It is so nostalgic looking back.)

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Photography became so important to me because I felt that I needed something tangible. I felt that memories wouldn’t always be enough. There were a lot of moments in my life when I wish I had my camera present and there are a lot of times when I did and boy, am I glad that I did. I think photography is a magic. It continues to amaze me, every single day, even after years of shooting everything and anything.

Photography changed my life and it wasn’t until recently that I felt comfortable enough to call myself a photographer. It takes time. It takes finding your specialty, paid shoots, unpaid shoots, shoots in the rain, shoots at sunrise.. It takes dedication and passion. It takes 12 hour shoots and sleepless nights up editing those shots when your body is aching and you don’t think you can stay up any longer, but the excitement of the entire process gives you a rush that makes it all worth it.

Sometimes, you may hear that “everyone has a camera, so everyone thinks they are a photographer.” Only half of that is true. Yes, most people have cameras now a days. They are on our cell phones and they are accessible, but the most important thing to remember if you have a talent or are a jack of any trade is that although everyone can own something, it does not make them that thing. For instance, owning a camera doesn’t automatically make you a photographer, just like owning a pen doesn’t make you a poet or owning sneakers doesn’t make you any type of athlete.


What kind of camera and equipment do you use? How did you choose these and what do you like about your equipment?

I’ve jumped from camera to camera over the years, but the one that has stuck has been the Nikon D90. I have been absolutely blown away with what this camera is capable of. Prior to purchasing the D90, I went into B&H Photo in NYC and tested out the Nikon DSLRs. When I fell in love with the D90 initially, some of that had to do with the sound of the shutter. Something just clicked. ;] Although I do have an assortment of lenses, I find that the 18-200mm lens works best in almost all situations. It is a fast lens that produces a nice depth of field.

I’m expecting the Fujifilm Finepix X10 this week. I couldn’t’ be more excited. Big things are on their way.

What are your inspirations for the subjects that you decide to shoot?

Whilst shooting portraiture, the people that I am shooting inspire me endlessly. I am lucky to have many creative people in my life; actors, musicians, aspiring models, athletes. You name it, I probably know someone who is aspiring to be it or at least has at one point.

The thing about shooting portraiture is that your subject gives you a part of them when you photograph them. Whether it be a part of their soul or whatever it is. They trust you to present them as who they are, unless they are purposely trying to misrepresent themselves as something else.

As a photographer, it isn’t always easy to give someone direction, especially if it is your first time really spending time with them and getting to know them, but it is the type of conversation that you have with that person that is unlike a conversation you’d have in the same type of meeting scenario had you not had the camera in your hand.

There are a lot of other photographers that I am inspired by, but lately, I am also inspired by music. Kid Cudi is someone who is frequently playing on my iPod. I’m all about a carefree type attitude lately because I think it is one of the most important things to be successful in anything that one may choose to do. Cudi’s song “Up, Up, and Away” has one of the best lines ever in it, “In the end, they’ll judge me anyway, so whatever.”

Can you share some of your favorite photo shoots with us?

This photo was taken while I was shooting portraits of a friend of mine who is an actress based in NYC. (Her name is Lisa Finn and she is amazing.) It was a cold winter night and I was just taking a quick snapshot. At the time, I never would have expected that it would end up being one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken.

This photo was taken while I was shooting portraits of a friend of mine who is an actress based in NYC. (Her name is Lisa Finn and she is amazing.) It was a cold winter night and I was just taking a quick snapshot. At the time, I never would have expected that it would end up being one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken.


I was walking down 6th avenue and saw a man hailing a taxi. His pose is so carefree and confident.

I was walking down 6th avenue and saw a man hailing a taxi. His pose is so carefree and confident.

This was taken from the roof of a building in the financial district. That was a fantastic day. I had met up with someone for the first time who I met on Tumblr and somehow during the day, we ended up going to this rooftop that had an absolutely amazing view. I will always remember that day. I have this thing about views.

This was taken from the roof of a building in the financial district. That was a fantastic day. I had met up with someone for the first time who I met on Tumblr and somehow during the day, we ended up going to this rooftop that had an absolutely amazing view. I will always remember that day. I have this thing about views.


The photo above was taken on Coney Island on my birthday last year. It was my first photo to be mentioned in the official tags on Tumblr.

The photo above was taken on Coney Island on my birthday last year. It was my first photo to be mentioned in the official tags on Tumblr.

Most memorable shoot and why?

This was from my second shoot ever. One of my close friends, Molly, has been really good about modeling for me. This was taken in November 2011. It was freezing cold that day. She event went in the ocean. The results of this shoot were amazing. I had no idea whatsoever what I was doing. (I can admit that now.) It was one of my first experiences ever using a DSLR.

How do you prep your images for print? What processes do you use in Photoshop?

I’ve used Photoshop for many years, but recently, purchased Adobe Lightroom 4 and I could not be happier. Personally, I feel that Photoshop is more for graphic design type editing and intense retouching. Lightroom 4 is ideal for any photographer. It has all of the controls you could want all in one place. For my photos, I usually add contrast. It is hard to give any kind of generalization because I do all types of different work and every situation is different.


Bookmarks Can Be A Great Marketing Tool For Any Business

Postcard PrintingWant to make your business bigger and better? Then don’t overlook the power of bookmarks. Yes, the power of them. You may already be marketing your company with every social media channel out there. Perhaps you update your Facebook page on a regular basis, you tweet everyday, and you even have a Pinterest board to show off your goods or services. But are you forgetting the basics? Have your efforts to utilize the marketing strategies of the 21st century caused you to overlook the tried and true tactics that have been working for decades? Because bookmarks are the perfect marketing strategy, and we’re going to tell you why:

  1. Everyone loves free stuff, including bookmarks. Who knows from where this rabid instinct comes, but humans just love free stuff. We will snatch up whatever we can if the price tag says $0. T-shirts, mugs, free samples at the grocery store – we’re more than happy to oblige those who want to give us something for nothing. Bookmarks in particular are a tantalizing free item. Create one with an interesting design or quote, and you’ll immediately find that your customers can’t help but pick one up, look it over, and then quickly stuff it into their purse or pocket.
  1. Handing out bookmarks is better than handing out business cards. Asking if someone wants your business card can be tricky, especially if you don’t get an enthusiastic “yes” from the would-be recipient. Yet the continual goal in business is to get your information to prospective customers, so what better way to do that than with bookmarks? Without them realizing it, hundreds if not thousands of people are leaving your store or office with all your contact information – and you didn’t have to pressure them to do it either.


  1. Bookmarks have a way of showing up again and again. As an earlier post alluded to, many times your business card will be thrown in the trash. Yet rarely does a bookmark end up in someone’s garbage. It’s almost as sacrilegious as throwing away a book. Most of the time, people put it immediately to work, marking their place in their current read, or they put it inside another book for future use. Either way, your information is safely tucked away in a spot that potential customers will be continually viewing for weeks or months to come, each time increasing the likelihood that they will use it. Not even a Facebook page can pull those numbers. So what are you waiting for? Let the marketing power of bookmarks work for you.

Bookmark Printing

Bookmark Printing
Bookmark Printing

Bookmark Printing

Bookmark Printing

Bookmark Printing

Marketing, Marketers, Marketing Dead, Market

Is Marketing Dead?

A recent Harvard Business Review article posited the idea that marketing is dead. It argued that not only are buyers not paying attention to traditional means of marketing, including advertising, public relations, and branding, but also that marketing no longer makes sense given the rise of social media over the last several years. Apparently those in the marketing field don’t care either.

The article sited an unflattering study of marketing CEOs, many who claimed to be tired of expending resources on traditional marketing strategies. To avoid becoming an all-out downer piece, HBR offered several alternate promotional tactics that utilize consumers as peer advocates in untapped markets.

Marketing Might Not Be Dead After All

However, marketing is not dead. It’s evolving. Though HBR offers up a valid point; social media does play a large role in how we as consumers now view products and services – literally. Instead of watching television commercials or flipping through magazines to find out about a product, we can simply tap our pool of Facebook friends or Twitter followers and poll them whenever we are considering a new purchase. If we’re not asking our social media community about their buying preferences, we are learning of them by noting what they post on their status updates or Twitter feeds. In today’s social media-driven world, one Tweet praising a new restaurant may hold more persuasive power than a $50K commercial produced specifically to promote it.

That said, who didn’t see “The Force” Volkswagon commercial that featured a mini Darth Vader trying to assert his powers? Given that it has nearly 55 million views on YouTube, a lot of us did. And who doesn’t immediately recognize the Apple logo? The point being, traditional marketing is alive and well. Yet as with any other industry, it must embrace change to remain relevant. That means using social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to bolster marketing campaigns, not replace them. However, no matter how effective a company’s advertising or branding strategy might be, no amount of marketing can substitute for a great product. So yes… marketing pros have a big task ahead of them. They must continue to create memorable TV commercials and eye-catching print ads. They must also adopt social media marketing tactics as well. However, perhaps the question to ask is not whether marketing is dead, but rather can companies live up to the hype that successful marketing campaigns generate?

20 Awesome Facebook Timeline Covers

Facebook launched the Timeline on 22 Sept 2011. Timeline is a new design of the user profiles on Facebook. The first design element that will draw your eye is the Facebook Timeline Cover. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that there have been some clever people out there who have showcased their creativity with the Facebook Timeline Cover.

I have searched the internet to bring you 20 awesome Facebook Timeline Covers. After looking at some of these awesome covers I can’t help but feel the urge to change my own personal cover. Lets begin shall we.

Richard Kastrom 

Ahhh… a time line cover within a time line cover. Pretty clever use of the the Facebook interface no doubt.

Nagaraj Vijayarangan 

This ia a pretty neat cover. There is always a bigger fish out there.

Gabriel Masliah 

I like the playfulness of this concept.

guy  facebook timeline cover

 Krister Nieslen

I love how Krister is posed inside the profile picture frame. I am also digging the awesome vintage robot.

facebook timeline

Graziano Vincini 

I give this guy credit for clever use of head shots, and for the Futurama reference.

facebook cover

Ekkapong Techawongthaworn 

A simplistic Facebook timeline cover. It works rather well.

facebook covers

 Aly Moffatt 

A humorous cover.

Giuseppe Draicchio 

A Facebook timeline cover featuring everyone’s favorite extraterrestrial.

et facebook cover

Oliver Alexander

The yellow immediately catches your attention.  I wonder if anyone has actually taken him up on the offer.

facebook timeline cover

Whiteboard Doodle 

A very whimsical Facebook timeline cover.

doodle facebook timeline cover

Jeremy Isshin Bardou 

I don’t want to be unoriginal but part of me wants to recreate this Facebook timeline cover using CD covers instead. Anyone else agree that Jeremy has great taste in video games?

video game facebook timeline cover

Leo Lee

You get to know much about Leo by just looking at his timeline cover.  This is definitely another idea I might try for my own Facebook timeline cover.

geeky facebook timeline cover

Sudipto Mahato 

Clean and simplistic.
cat facebook timeline cover

Louis Lundberg

Great way to show off your different range of emotions.

hot chick facebook timeline cover

Amber Saenz 

I wonder how many links her site has to rank for the keyword awesome.

Enri Pedernera 

This is a great example of cashing on a popular fad and being relevant. I can’t wait to see what other Facebook covers he will create down the road.

angry birds facebook timeline

Krizel Corpuz 

A collage of pictures creates Krizel’s timeline cover.

facebook covers

Mohammad L. Azzam 

The whimsical interaction between Mohammad is fun.

foolish facebook timeline cover

Ori Hasson 

Another video game related Facebook timeline cover. I love how Ori, incorporated the Doom user interface into his timeline cover.

doom facebook timeline cover

Matthew Inman

As a fan of illustration, I had to include this timeline cover.

cool facebook timeline cover

Do you have a cool Facebook Timeline Cover? If so send us your link and I will add another posts featuring Facebook Timelines Covers from our readers!

Placemat Advertising

Placemat Advertising Strategies

There are a variety of different types of placemats. Some of the common sizes include 10.5” x 16.5”, 10” x 16” and 8.5” x 14”. In addition to size, take into account a few different factors for your placemat advertising strategy.

Use Both Sides

Take advantage of both sides of the placemat printing. It’s fine to print on only one side but why not both? It just gives you extra space. You can use one side for a specific message or offer and the other side for a different one. Perhaps use mostly text on one side and mostly graphics or photographs on the other side.

Use a Logo

If you have a logo – use it! A logo is what stands out in someone’s minds. It is especially powerful when it’s large and in color.

Print in Color

Why would you print in black and white when you can print in color? There is typically no or very miniscule price differences between printing black and white and printing color placemats. Vibrant, bold, colors are by far preferable and more interesting to look at.


There is no reason to fear printing placemats. You don’t need to hire a designer or sweat through the process yourself. Instead, the best printing companies will have easy to use templates. Just upload your files and you’re on your way!

Photo Credit

Business Card Paper Stock

The Very Best Business Card Paper Stocks

The Paper Stock Reflects Your Company

Choosing cheap paper stock cheapens the image of your business. When trying to impress others and increase your business efforts, why would you skimp on the one thing that you are most likely to hand out to people? Consider the impression that it makes on you when someone hands you a flimsy business card. It isn’t memorable nor impressive.

Don’t Use Free Business Cards

Sure, there are online print websites that allow you to print business cards for free. This may seem like an excellent deal. Be warned – it isn’t. Instead, companies that offer free business cards typically advertise on the back of the card. They also do not have dynamic color and the business card paper stock is flimsy and shoddy.

Quality Paper Stock Is Affordable

Part of the reason that you don’t insist on only the top quality paper stocks is likely due to cost. The thing is, people have the misconception that it has to be expensive and it isn’t, not at all. Work with the printing company to work within your budget for the best product possible. Also keep in mind that the more that you order at once, the cheaper that they are. You will get a bulk printing rate and the better card stock will pay for itself in new clients.

Make people want to look at your business card and hold onto them. Business cards are commonly used for handing to people, sending out in mailers and leaving on counters. It shows who you are. It’s a crucial piece of your marketing campaign. It costs hardly any more money to choose the best paper stocks for your business cards so invest wisely!

Photo Credit

Create Your Own Personal Fashion Lookbook

Fashion lookbooks add flair to any fashion marketing campaign. When a designers create their own personal fashion lookbook, they can leaf through them and make sure that the models are outfitted properly, that the shoes and accessories go with the outfits. They could then decide on the best looks for promotional campaigns or runway shows.

So, what if you are not in the fashion or retail industries? Everyone is entitled to their own fashion lookbook! If you are a fashionista, or even a fashion blogger, this is a great way to keep track of outfits. You can put together outfits for work or even going out on dates. Make sure to add in accessories such as jewelry and scarves. All you have to do is flip a page and there are the perfect outfits for you! What a great way to save time and energy!

In addition to those accessories, you can even customize look books so that they contain hairstyles, sunglasses and even perfume. We all know that certain perfumes go with certain outfits! This takes the guesswork and stress out of getting ready for the day or special events.

Luckily, printing fashion lookbooks does not have to be spendy. Choose from a matte or a glossy finish. Make sure that the photographs that you use are good quality. Printing templates can help you design the lookbooks exactly how you like! You will be the envy of all of your friends.

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Digital Printing Vs. Offset Printing

Digital printing has become more common in recent years. Each one offers specific benefits and disadvantages. Let’s explore those so that you can get a better idea as to what will work best for you!

How Does Offset Printing Work?

Offset printing involves three cylinders. The lettering and images are put onto the printing plates. Ink is applied to them, and they are then transferred to the paper. If you are using multiple colors then the same thing repeats until the image is complete. The images created from offset printing tend to create intense images with great clarity.

I recommend offset printing when…

  • Printing large volumes of paper or items. If printing more than 1000 postcards or flyers, this is the best option for you.
  • The materials are large, such as large vinyl banners
  • The documents and paper are thick

How Does Digital Printing Work?

Digital printing is a modern form of printing. It’s done by inkjet or laser printers. Digital printing means to use specialized computer software to transpose images on items, such as banners or flyers. There are no actual presses involves, which is the main difference between digital and offset printing. The great thing about digital printing is that you can print on demand. It’s also environmentally friendly as there is no need for the plates and the ink.

Consider using digital printing when…

  • You are on a tight budget.
  • You need to customize images. Digital printing makes that easier.
  • You are printing small batches. Digital printing is ideal for that.
  • You need them done quickly

As you can see, both digital and offset printing have their place, advantages and disadvantages. Combine them to use in marketing campaigns or use the one that works best for you!

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