Ten Tips for Collaborating Musicians

Ten Tips for Collaborating Musicians


Few things in life bring as much joy as collaborative music making. When we create music together, we ascend to loftier planes.

Still, such transcendent artistry grows on foundations of collective culture. Ensembles that sustain healthy cultures are primed to thrive; those that don’t typically crumble.

Here are 10 ways that ensembles can fuel collective success.

  1. Clarify your structure. Musical groups come in two basic structures: egalitarian or leader-run. A third form functions as a hybrid of the two. Be sure that every member of your ensemble understands which type you correspond to and what your individual roles are. Also, if your ensemble writes original material, earns income, or has a unique name or website, it’s wise to spell out your structure in a written partnership agreement.
  2. Articulate your mission. Is everyone clear about the sorts of music you’ll play, your long-term objectives, and where and how often you’ll rehearse and perform? See page 127 of The Musician’s Way for a list of 12 questions that collaborating musicians should ask themselves and each other to ensure that they steer in matching directions.
  3. Commit to professionalism. I distill professionalism into four elements: punctuality, preparation, courtesy, and integrity. When ensemble members abide by professional standards, they foster

4 Tips for Photographing your First Wedding

4 Tips for Photographing your First Wedding


Offering wedding photography services in your area can be a great full time venture, or even a freelance specialty used to expand your portfolio and supplement your income.

If you’ve ever considered trying your hand at the art of wedding photography, here are four things to keep in mind:

1. Get to know the couple– This is especially important when working with a more eccentric group who have unique interests worth capturing in your photos. If the groom mentions, for example, that he’s planning to wear his lucky socks to the wedding reception, a photo of those on the big day might be worth adding to the gallery. If you don’t sit down and talk to the family before the big day, these are intimate, fun details you might otherwise miss out on.

2. Explore the venue– If you can, stop by before the wedding day to explore the entire location- outdoors, indoors, hallways, entryways- anything you might discover and may be able to suggest to the couple as unique locational options may be greatly appreciated. Wouldn’t it be a shame for you to discover a beautiful, winding staircase at the end of

Ten Best Photographer Websites

Ten Best Photographer Websites

10 Best Photographer Websites

The Internet is a vast resource of information. We’re able to research basically everything, from a scholarly journal to the latest news in pop culture. But it can get rather daunting. Thinking of the right terms to use in your search, or even thinking of something fun to look into can be a little tedious – and, let’s be honest, how often do we go past the front page of Google’s results?

Sometimes it’s rather nice to just stumble upon a great website, then dig into it and explore. But what I always found most convenient, are blog posts listing their opinions on top websites regarding a specific hobby or passion. And since we here at CameraLends are really nice people, we’ve compiled such a list – just for you! Here are the best photography websites, researched and categorized for your convenience.



The iron workhorse of photo-sharing websites, Flickr has been around since 2004 and is host to some ~87 million users. With over 6 billion images uploaded and continuing to grow, it’s safe to say it’s

Buying Limited Edition Art Prints

Buying Limited Edition Art Prints

Art PrintsArt is extremely subjective and comes in many different forms and guises. It appeals to all ages and tastes and evolves to take account of different ways of seeing the world. However, although egalitarian in itself, the purchasing and displaying of art is often associated with the wealthy elite due to the extortionate price tag often associated with original pieces of art.

An affordable option for those looking to start their own art collection is to choose limited prints of the art works, signed by the artist themselves. Artists will often release a limited number of copies of their artwork, signed and numbered, to authenticate the release of their work. Due to the increasing demand for access to these signed pieces, the internet is often the best place to go to get the best variety and choice for adding to your own personal art collection.

Once you have decided to purchase a limited edition art print, you will need to ensure that you are buying from a reputable online dealer. You should check to see that

Can I Record and Mix Music Just Using Headphones

Can I Record and Mix Music Just Using Headphones

Are studio monitor speakers essential for home/mobile studio owners?

In a perfect world we’d all have a collection of pro audio studio monitors plus a brace of super-accurate studio headphones with a top-notch headphone amp/mixer to share and customize the mix with other performers. And while we’re dreaming, why not racks and lockers full of primo vintage recording mics and preamps too?

Back to reality and the question: Can I get away with just using a pair of headphones to record and mix my next project? The answer is a highly qualified maybe—the main qualification being your ears and mixing skill. Listening critically then knowing what tweaks to make beats owning any amount of gear. That said, having an inexpensive yet decent pair of audio monitors will help you judge your mix better. For most of us, studio monitors are essential.

Headphones can lead you astray

That’s because they tend to make everything sound great. Even cheap ear buds sound okay. Their intensified stereo field and hyped-up frequency response may make your mixes sound crazy-good. But try playing those same mixes back on studio monitors, your car speakers, phone or tablet. Unless you have remarkable ears that know how to allow for the

10 Steps to Success for Independent Music Artists

10 Steps to Success for Independent Music Artists

Step #1

Realize that no one is waiting for your music. If people are going to become fans of your music, you must approach the promoting of your live shows and the promotion of your CD releases with the same planning and professionalism as the artists whom you admire have promoted their music. Marketing music has changed radically in the age of the Internet and social media. That technology has the potential to take your music to the world. But knowing that it is up to you to let the world know about your music, is an important first step to take as a responsible independent musician.

Step #2

Avoid telling people in the music business that your music is “good”. It is a much overused and weak word. A&R reps, music directors at radio stations, the music press, and buyers at distributors and stores presume you think your music is “good,” because you put it out to begin with! When they listen to it, they will decide if it is the kind of “good” music that they feel can get behind and be proud of supporting from their position of power in the music industry. And let’s face it, it is the

How to Mic Guitar Amps and Cabs in the Studio

How to Mic Guitar Amps and Cabs in the Studio

Tips to help you capture great-sounding guitar tracks on your recordings.

Although audio engineers have been recording electric guitars for many decades now, there are no strict rules when it comes to exactly how it should be done. That said, there are several techniques that turn up regularly in recording studios. Each will yield a different sound, so find the one that’s appropriate for your music.

These tried and true techniques make good starting points, but experimentation is called for. Moving a mic slightly can often result in a significant change in the way it “hears” the amp. The key is to listen critically to how mic placement is impacting the sound reaching your recording rig or DAW.

1) Place a dynamic mic pointed at the center of the amp’s speaker cone, up against the grille cloth. If the cab has more than one speaker, find the speaker that sounds the best and point the mic at it. This placement is good for a driving, punchy sound. Some engineers prefer pointing the microphone about a third of the way toward the rim of the speaker. Again, experiment to find what works for your situation,

2) Point the mic at or near the center of the

5 Finance Tips for Indie Musicians

5 Finance Tips for Indie Musicians

There are many articles out there telling indie musicians about all the cool ways they can make money in today’s music industry. However, all that money that you could potentially make probably won’t equate to very much if you don’t have an understanding of personal finance and budgeting. Without a sense of finance you could see your hard-earned cash going down the drain as a result of impulse buys, unstructured saving, and over-spending for your projects and tours.

If you’re far enough along in your career, your manager or accountant may take care of budgeting and finance, but, especially in today’s industry, most musicians starting out may only have a friend or classmate acting as their manager. With all the stuff you need to get done, something as mind numbing as finance tends to get pushed under the rug in favor of more glamorous activities like recording, writing, and talking with fans on social media. But the fact of the matter is, it’s not glamorous to throw money away. And that’s exactly what you could be doing with poor budgeting and finance.

So how can you get a better handle on your finances and get the most money out of your music?

15 Tips Creating the Perfect Photography Portfolio Website

15 Tips Creating the Perfect Photography Portfolio Website

Showcasing an image based portfolio on a website can be a tricky task. It’s usually a lot different than a normal client or business website. With a normal website, there is usually a consistent structure, which includes a header, a navigation menu, sometimes a sidebar, and usually a footer. However, when showcasing photography, there are no limits. You don’t need a navigation bar, header, or footer, if you don’t want to have them. The more creative you can be, while still focusing on the main goal of your site, the more attention you’ll gain.

Note from the editor: Today we’ll be taking a peek at a very special niche inside web design: Photography portfolios. Owen Conti is an author from our sister site,Phototuts+, and he’ll be walking us through some useful tips for creating a great portfolio. He’ll be speaking with photography in mind, but just about any image based portfolio (illustration, graphic design, painting, or even web design) can benefit from these tips… so we hope you enjoy them!

Tomorrow we’ll be rounding up some of the best 30 photography and image-based portfolios on the web right now!


Your online photography portfolio is intended to either attract clientele or show off your photos and images.

14 Tips to be a Successful Freelance Photographer

14 Tips to be a Successful Freelance Photographer

For some, working for yourself is one of those great dreams. The satisfaction, freedom, nobody looking over your shoulder (except your significant other), ah the life right? Well not in every case. The freelance photography life can be hard. Long hours for little pay, alone with no co-workers to speak to or have lunch with, the lack of stability of a weekly check. You have to be dedicated and follow some specific rules to make it work.
1. Create a good website with a daily blog

website.jpgYour website is going to be your most important ally. It is what most people will look at when considering you for a job and so your effort and/or money should be invested here. Make sure it is easy to navigate and in HTML (NO FLASH!). Keep in mind that you are only as good as your worst photo, so don’t just throw up every photo that you think looks decent. Sometimes less is more.

If you don’t have enough content, create some! Set up shoots with friends or seek out aspiring models who are willing to work in exchange for photos. As long as the finished product looks great, your clients don’t have to know

How to Create an excellent Observational Drawing: 11 Tips for High School Art Students

How to Create an excellent Observational Drawing: 11 Tips for High School Art Students

Observational drawing is an integral component of many high school Art courses, including GCSE/IGCSE and A Level Art. Often, drawing is the core method of researching, investigating, developing and communicating ideas. While it is accepted that there are many wondrous types of drawings – and that non-representational drawing methods have an important role in student Art projects – it is usually advantageous to demonstrate competent, realistic observational drawing skills to the examiner (particularly in the early stage of a project).

What follows is a list of tips that have been written specifically for high school art students who are looking to improve the realism of their observational drawings. It is for those who have already selected something appropriate to draw (see this guide for selecting subject matter if you need help with this) and who understand how to compose a drawing well (this will be covered in a subsequent article).

Tip 1: Look at what you are drawingFailing to look at what you are drawing is one of the most fundamental errors an Art student can make


Failing to look at what you are drawing is one of the most fundamental errors an Art student can make

This sounds obvious, but it is the most

How to Build Micro Niche Sites to Earn More

How to Build Micro Niche Sites to Earn More

What are Microniche Websites?

Micro-Niche websites are the perfect way to add some extra amount of money in your monthly income.  Niche websites are specific and targeted towards a micro-topic or keyword. These websites do not exactly get a lot of traffic but they tend to make more money in less traffic. One reason for the same is, you get quality targeted traffic, and they convert better than un-targeted traffic. You can use any monetization techniques like- AdSense, ClickBank, Affiliate program, CPA or use it to sell eBooks.

An example for such micro niche sites are:

  • Hostgator Coupons
  • Cydia guide
  • Buy fake iPhone

There are lot of things to be done before making a micro-niche website.  Simply making a website on a certain keyword is not going to to do well. You have to make sure that your niche website is going to earn money as expected else there is no point of making it. Here I am going to explain few things that you need to do and the success of your niche website will totally depend upon it.

Building a Profitable Micro Niche Site:

Few important point that you must understood are:

  1. The Right Keyword for Domain Name
  2. Primary Keyword of Your Website
  3. Niche Website Content Strategy
  4. Monetizing the Niche Website
  5. Google

How to Photograph Fireworks Displays

How to Photograph Fireworks Displays

Do you want to know how to photograph fireworks? With New Year’s Eve just days away I thought I’d refresh this article in which I give 10 Fireworks Photography tips to help you get started.

Fireworks Displays are something that evoke a lot of emotion in people as they are not only beautiful and spectacular to watch but they also are often used to celebrate momentous occasions.

I’ve had many emails from readers asking how to photograph fireworks displays, quite a few of whom have expressed concern that they might just be too hard to really photograph. My response is always the same – ‘give it a go – you might be surprised at what you end up with’.

My reason for this advice is that back when I bought my first ever SLR (a film one) one of the first things I photographed was fireworks and I was amazed by how easy it was and how spectacular the results were. I think it’s even easier with a digital camera as you can get immediate feedback as to whether the shots you’ve taken are good or not and then make adjustments.

Of course it’s not just a matter of going out finding a fireworks

The Art of Conversation

The Art of Conversation

How to improve face-to-face communication in a digital world.

On a sunny day last fall, Taylor Baldry set up a card table and three folding chairs on a well-traveled street corner in Minneapolis. He stationed a sandwich board nearby that announced “Free Conversations.” Almost immediately, a couple joined him, and they spent the next 20 minutes discussing ghost stories, a topic they selected from Baldry’s menu of conversation options, which on this day ranged from the weather and dinosaurs to “things you can do with an egg.”

When the couple left, others sat down, and Baldry spent the afternoon chatting amiably with a steady stream of strangers, doing his part to restore the practice of in-person conversation.

Since that October afternoon, Baldry, a performance artist, has taken his Conversationalist project to parks, theaters and other venues in the city, and has learned something about his fellow citizens: People are starved for authentic interactions. “Most people think it’s a trick at first — that I’m selling something,” says the 28-year-old. “When they realize there are no strings attached, they’ll really start talking.”

From the salons of 19th-century Paris to the contemporary cocktail party, conversation has long been celebrated as a social art. But today it’s increasingly being

Make friends with other photography bloggers, so you can both benefit from it. For example, you will feature their posts, services or products in your posts and they will do the same. Promoting your blog on the ongoing basis is as important as regularly add new content.

Make friends with other photography bloggers, so you can both benefit from it. For example, you will feature their posts, services or products in your posts and they will do the same. Promoting your blog on the ongoing basis is as important as regularly add new content.

The question I get asked the most is: “Wow, nice pic! Which camera are you using?” Does that sound familiar? In the past, every time I heard this question I would answer in the same way: by telling people which camera I was using, but that it didn’t really matter in my opinion.

Beginners and hobby photographers usually expect that, if they can only save enough money to buy much better equipment, this will improve their results in a linear way. Maybe that’s the reason so many people are buying DSLR cameras without knowing how or even having an open mind about learning how to use one.

You recognize these types of photographers pretty easily… they’re the ones using flash in auto mode to brighten up the whole skyline of New York. 😉

I understand that behavior because all of us want to take great pictures without having to invest too much work at first (or at all). I also started my landscape and cityscape photography like this, until I realized that there is no need to understand all these settings and things your camera is doing for you until you really want to get creative.

6 Strategies for Launching a Successful Photography Blog

6 Strategies for Launching a Successful Photography Blog

Blogging become one of the most popular pastime and income source for photographers these days. If you’re going to start a photography blog, you have probably faced with a lot of issues which are quite confusing.

And the very first question is: where to start out? Fortunately, modern software solutions enable everyone to create a blog easily with no coding skills or technical knowledge required.

So if you haven’t yet leveraged this powerful tool to market your photo business online, better start later than never. The six strategies I outline in this post will help you make a good start with your own blog. From selecting the best blogging platform to promoting your blog posts, it covers some basic, essential steps to successful blogging.

1. Choose Proper Blogging Platform

The very first thing you should consider while creating a blog is a blogging platform. When it comes to blog, we’re spoiled for choice: there are a lot of solutions available. Take into consideration a few important things:

  • intuitive dashboard to upload your new posts;
  • available customer support 24/7;
  • working with website builder without coding;
  • various features to customize website design;
  • an option to create a mobile-friendly blog.

The most popular choice of software is WordPress with its various

How To Say No Without Losing Portrait Clients

How To Say No Without Losing Portrait Clients

Welcome to Time Out with Tanya, where I’ve put my fast paced graphic design career on hold in favor of adventures in motherhood. I’m capturing every moment on camera and you can come along, if you’d like. Sign up for my weekly email here so you’ll never miss a Time Out.

As budding photographers, it seems we’ll do anything to get people in front of our camera. We’ll bend over backwards for exposure. We’ll work for free. We’ll give a discount. We might even break the rules or the law to get the shot. As I’ve gained experience over the years, I’m finding none of these things are worth it. They simply end up hurting us in the end. But it’s so hard to say no. Especially if you have a people pleasing personality type like myself. If you’re struggling with the same thing, read on, because I’m arming you with some communication tips for how to say no without necessarily losing clients or sounding like a jerk.

When They Ask for a Discount

I admit, in the past I have not handled some discount inquiries with grace. At one point, I suggested a discount seeking client go to the Wal-mart

10 Quick Photography Business Tips to Kickstart The New Year

10 Quick Photography Business Tips to Kickstart The New Year

#1 Legitimize your business

This can mean different things in different parts of the world. But the end result is almost always the same. Take whatever steps needed to ensure you are following the law in setting up your business the right way legally. In most countries, that means registering your business name, getting a tax ID number, and filing the appropriate paperwork with the local government. When you are legitimate, clients will appreciate and respect you even more.

#2 Create tangible, measurable and achievable goals

I cannot stress enough the importance of creating professional goals. They form the anchor for your business and help you navigate the waters when things are going great, and when the waters turn rough. When you have a clear vision of where you want to go, nothing can stand in your way. When you are having a bad photography day where everything seems to be going wrong, revisit your goals and they will help you correct your course.

#3 Invest in education

The photography industry, like most industries, is constantly changing and evolving. As professionals we often forget to take the time to update our own skills and knowledge. Luckily there are many different avenues to get an update

The New Style of Wedding Photography and Tips on How to Embody It

The New Style of Wedding Photography and Tips on How to Embody It

The phrase “destination wedding photographer” never held much meaning to me, other than the rare couple who I assumed was eloping in Bora Bora. Lately that phrase is turning into something completely different and it’s being referred to more as “adventure photography.” It’s slightly different in the fact that these people aren’t necessarily having destination weddings because they’re still being planned in their home states. 

Last year I shot a wedding with Southern California Wedding Photographer Greg Balkin. He’s an amazing human and had been camping for years. That doesn’t include the tents he pitched in the woods behind his house when he was little! During the wedding day he talked about how he was in the process of rebranding his business to something he was already doing with couples. Exploring. He always loved camping, hiking, and anything to do with the outdoors and he decided that since he was drawing in couples who loved the same thing he should be marketing to them. He was already putting out the work with couples but his website didn’t reflect it. Later that year he re-launched his website with the tagline “wedding and adventure photography.” 

The term adventure photography leads you to picture treks through the mountains and deserts.

Adaptive Web Design: Designing Experiences for People

Adaptive Web Design: Designing Experiences for People

The one constant on the Web is change. There’s always a new design fad; a new darling language, framework, or tool; a shiny new device to view it on; or new ideas of what it means to be “on the Web.”

It’s exceptionally difficult to wrap your head around an industry that is constantly in flux. It makes my head hurt, and if you’ve been working on the web for a while, I suspect you might feel the same.

Having worked on the Web for nearly two decades, I’ve seen the cycle play out over and over. Java applets, Shockwave, Flash, Prototype, jQuery, 960gs, Bootstrap, Angular, React…. Technologies come and go, but the Web remains. Screens went from tiny to huge and then back to tiny again, but the Web remains. Walled gardens were built and then torn asunder to make way for “app” stores and (yes) more walled gardens, but the Web remains.

The Web remains because it is not a fixed screen size. The Web remains because it is not a specific device. The Web doesn’t need to be installed. The Web is inherently resilient and infinitely malleable. The Web has the capacity to go anywhere, do anything, and reach anyone.