loha! In case you can't tell, I'm practicing my Hawaiian. Next up is A'a i ka hula, waiho i ka maka'u i ka hale, which means Dare to dance, leave shame at home, which is perfect because I've been working on some smooth breakdancing moves that'll make you cringe impressed. I've got moves you've never seen before.
JD and I are in Maui for the week for an upcoming shoot (more on that later), but I just wanted to put out notice as to why there'll be an email delay. I'll get back into the swing of things upon my return, but until then, Dare To Dance.
Video Interview with Photography Parlour
A couple weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed by Ria Mishaal for the ever amazing Photography Parlour. Besides being a total sweetheart, she asked great questions--even leaving me stumped a couple times--and I was honored to spent 20 minutes chatting with a new friend. If you'd like to watch the interview, grab a frosty beverage and enjoy...we spoke about how I got into photography, my experience with creativeLIVE (and the after affects), as well as advice for new photographers.
utting together the Shooting Star photography tutorials has been a...well...experience, if you will. Every week we film, I cringe, JD edits, and then posts it to YouTube. I don't know if I'll ever get used to watching my face contort, my hands flail like I'm drowning, or the sound of my voice. Speaking of my voice, I asked JD to call a realtor about a house I covet in our neighborhood (forgive me, Lord, for coveting!). I discovered it was bank owned, so I scribbled down the info number and asked JD to call Mr. Realtor. He asked why I couldn't call and I said I sounded like a 13-year-old at a Hannah Montana concert. Yes, he said, but a SMART 13-year-old! Ummm, was that a compliment?!
A few days ago I received a text message from my sister informing me Nigel Barker has photography tutorials on YouTube as well. And, really--she said--she preferred watching his videos because he's better looking and speaks with a British accent...although I have better hair. I texted her back: He's BALD! If I was being honest, Nigel's videos are great...in a hip hip cheerio kind of way. They're produced with lights, multiple cameras, fade aways, and professionally edited, whereas mine are shot in the corner of my office and I'm praying Polo doesn't bark at the mailman when I'm talking. We're so fancy up in these here parts.
I did end up calling Mr. Realtor. I hoped I'd get his voicemail so I could deepen my voice and sound way professional, but he answered on the third ring. He graciously answered my questions and emailed me more information. I marched downstairs and announced that THIS 13-year-old sounding girl just got some 411 on the house. And I did it all without a British accent and a full head of hair.
This week's DISSES go to...
*The Jersey Shore. Yes, I'm watching it...and I can hardly believe I'm admitting this on the world wide web. Sorry, dad!
*Packing Christmas decor. Staring at the tree after Christmas provided the complete opposite emotion of staring at the tree before Christmas.
*My sister. Has she no family allegiance?!
This week's KISSES go to...
*Nigel Barker. Because, really, who can resist him?! ;)
*My Samsonite suitcase. I decided to invest in good luggage and it was one of the best things I did for my business...and sanity.
*Date Day. Today I'm taking a half day and heading to Los Angeles for Date Day with JD. We're off to visit the Getty Museum, watch Blue Valentine, and eat dinner at a dive restaurant...which sounds like a slice of perfection.
Shooting Star : Celebrity Weddings + Shopping
ell, I have to admit I'm a wee bit nervous posting this installment of Shooting Star. This week we decided to take it in a new direction and I'm not sure if it'll fly. But, ehh, 2011 is about taking risks. It's also about eating leafy green vegetables and controlling my tongue, but let's take things slowly. This video isn't so much about photography, but about me. And right about HERE is when I can see eyes rolling and Pffting.
I get it. In fact, I'm not sure we'll do this again, but there were quite a few questions about my personal life, so I decided to answer a couple and see how it goes.
Because we're still tweaking the videos based on your feedback (seriously, for those who comment, thank you!), please note...
*We worked in a bit of music. Some people said it made the video more professional with tuneage, so what sayeth thou?
*I'm still talking fast and making up words. I suspect this will be a recurring thing.
*I referenced Etsy.com, Zara.com, and Lululemon in this video.
In this video, I'll be discussing...
*Whether I have photos hanging around my home.
*My favorite places to shop.
*Whose celebrity wedding I'd like to photograph.
*Whether I work in pj's all day.
For future FAQ Questions, you can submit them on Facebook!
FAQ : Blogging Tips + Tricks
'm often asked for marketing tips or how-to. When trying to build a business, entrepreneurs search for ways to maximize exposure in the shortest amount of time. I get it. I, however, think traditional forms of advertising are fading and new opportunities are sprouting for people to develop a voice. When I first started my business, I understood the value and importance of my website (which is, hands down, the key ingredient), but I used my blog to supplement my online presence. Unbeknownst to me, these two components became the only things I used to grow my business. And it remains the same to this day.
Blogging enabled me to add more flavor to who I am as a person, not just as a photographer. Some bloggers have an easy time posting everyday, I'm not one of those people. Writing everyday is a discipline. I practice and blog as part of my daily workflow. Sure, some might disagree with my approach, but that's fine. I don't blog for them. I write for my family, friends, and clients...and readers who share their lives with me. This site has become a place where people meet, share, and connect. That's precisely what I want.
Because writing can be difficult here's few tips you might useful to support your online voice...
* Keep It Consistent. There's nothing worse than blogging with two-week lapses in between posts. It's hard to cultivate readership when people waste their time visiting a site without new content. At the very minimum, a blog should be updated once a week.
* Personalize. I know some people are leery putting personal elements on the web, but I think that's what makes blogs great. Flaws, idiosyncracies, flubs. It makes a blog relatable and likable. Now, I'm not saying to air your dirty laundry on the web, but incorporating snippets of your life is powerful.
* Schedule. If you've been with me a while, you know I love to make lists. And organize. And keep schedules. Sure, this might not be your cup of tea, but if you think about what you can blog in advance, it takes the pressure off of sitting in front of your blank computer. On Sunday night, I make a list of what I'll blog for the week. Yes, this may seem crazy to most people, but it's how I roll. Don't hate until you try it. Then you'll thank me.
* Create a Series. I love reading Wedding Wednesday, My Favorite Things, and FAQs from other bloggers. In the same vein, I started Kisses+Disses four years ago. Strangely enough, readers responded to things I liked (kissed) and disliked (dissed) and related to random stories I posted. These stories ranged from becoming an unexpected fish sitter to locking JD out of the house, and they were completely banal reflections of my life, but it gave readers a peek into my life.
* Keep It Simple. Don't overthink things. Simply write they way you would talk to a friend. It takes the pressure off and allows you the freedom to express yourself just the way you are.
When it comes to writing about clients, I'm a huge proponent of crafting a personal post all.about.them. I don't have a questionnaire for clients to fill out in advance, I simply ask how they met. During the engagement session--while shooting or walking to a new location--I ask how they met. It's always a simple Boy Meets Girl story, but I ask questions to fill in the gaps and help me develop a story. The best advice I can offer is to listen. Truly hear what's being said in between the lines, then feel the story. If that's not your style, then try out what I refer to as the 3 and 3 Blogging Rule. And, yes, that's a total Chuck Woolery reference.
* Write about 3 things that were unique to the day, and craft a sentence around each idea. (Ex: It was a cloudy day and just before the wedding ceremony, it began to pour.)
* Write about 3 things unique to your clients, and craft a sentence around each idea. (Ex: John is the only person who can make Kate smile so wide her nose scrunches.)
If you write three unique things about the day and three unique things about the client, you'll have a total of six sentences...and last I heard (freshman year of high school, baby!) six sentences make a paragraph. Bam! Now you've crafted a personalized entry for clients and I believe it reveals a new layer to your business. Your personality.
This blog post is way too long, but I hope at least one person finds it helpful. If not, we'll try again next week! If you have blogging tips you might find useful and like to share, please feel free to do so in the comment box.