appy Friday and I'm so ready for the weekend. I RSVP'd for this weekend. Okay, that didn't make sense, but I don't care because like my best friend Rihanna says, Cheers for the freakin weekend...yeah yeah yeah. Yes, I listen to Rihanna. I mean, who else would teach me smooth dance moves? Speaking of shaking your hips, you might start doing so if you win something today.
The lovely people at WPPI gave me the chance for a FREE GIVEAWAY!!
I'm speaking in Atlanta on Monday, September 25 at 8:30am for WPPI U and I'm also speaking at Photo Plus Expo/WPPI East in New York City on Wednesday, October 26 at 8:30am. If you'd like to win a ticket to your choice of these events, simply leave your name and email in the comment box. Feel free to share anything else you'd like since Rhianna said it was okay.
The best news? If you win this ticket, it also includes a free registration for WPPI in Las Vegas. Booyah.
The winner will be contacted on Monday morning and I hope to see you there! Oh, and because every post is better with a picture, here's a sneak peek of a shoot last week...
ast week I told JD a lifelong dream: I want to own a ranch in Montecito and wear cowboy boots and ride a horse overlooking a field of free range chickens. He blinked a few times, shook his head, and wondered aloud who he was married to. You don't even like chickens, he said in disbelief. I responded with a convoluted answer referencing Hemingway, willow trees and hot wings, but he went back to reading.
Yesterday I sat outside of a ranch with a group of photographers in the hills of Santa Ynez (more on that later) and realized how many bugs existed in farm life. Like, tons. And the flies are bigger when animals are around, especially in wide open spaces. I casually mentioned to JD as we walked the property that the weather was so beautiful it made me want to open a window and watch reality tv.
AND THERE GOES MY DREAMS FOR RANCH LIVING.
When I saw this picture, I looked at two grown-up versions of JD and I...and it made me think that one day we'd show our family a time in our lives when we dreamed ridiculous dreams, making some of them come to life along the way.
What Do You Want to Learn from CreativeLive?
ast week I received a phone call that made my day...whenever I speak to the crew at creativeLIVE, I always get excited because they're consistently leading the way in photography education and I'm incredibly blessed to collaborate on courses with with such a stellar team. As most of you know, I've taught two online photography classes over the last year, but I just got news I'll be headed back to Seattle for another course! Holllllla! Looks like your spouses need to get their earplugs out because I'll be back at it for a three-day course.
Yes, I know your spouses get annoyed with my voice. Let's be real.
Now, here's where I can use your help. In fact, I'd be quite appreciative. We're trying to lock in the details and the course content, but what do you want to learn from me? You're the driving force behind me being there, so hook a sister up with what you want and I'll do my best to deliver. Feel free to let me know in the comment box and the cL producers and myself will work on developing what will best serve the online viewers.
Oh, and friends...thank you. Really.
Here's a few random pictures I found on the web of people watching...
Thanks, Wanda for tuning in...
Big ups to Gwen for highlighting her favorite quotes...
And here's Adam watching in Nova Scotia and being all fancy on his phone...
Again, thanks for your support and if you give me some ideas, I'd owe you!
Shooting Star : Shooting in the Same Location
ave you ever been on Facebook and then been all, Whoa, it's 2am in the morning or went on to check one small thing to later resurrect in a different decade? No? Only me? Well, then. Clearly I need to exert a little more self control and not read about what my 9th grade teacher ate for lunch yesterday. Oh, yea, you read that right. I'm friends with my 9th grade teacher. I believe that's what you refer to as ICE DRIPPINGLY COOL. In 12th grade I was voted Most Likely To...give a teacher an apple. While my friends were voted Most Likely To...succeed or Most Likely To...become an Olympian, I was voted a world class kiss up friend.
Back to Facebook, today's installment of Shooting Star was based on a question from the Discussions section of my Facebook page. There I'm able to connect with people (teachers included) and I love it. This video addresses the issue of consistently photographing at the same location and not shooting it the same way and/or feeling stagnant
*Top 5 Tips Photographing the Same Location Uniquely
1. Use Light to Make the Environment Different.
2. Swap Out Lenses.
3. Use Second Shooter as a Buffer.
4. Use Environmental Elements.
5. Talk To Your Clients.
I hope this helps and, if not, I'll try again in a few weeks. Or give you an apple.
Finding YOUR Ideal Client
appy Monday and here's to hoping this week yields great things. Like a delicious nonfat ice cream, unchippable nail polish, and a cure to cancer. But not in that order. If anyone is working on making these things a reality, feel free to let me know because I'm here to help in any way possible. Speaking of helping, sometimes I blog and it leaves readers wanting more information. Almost like I ended a sentence with a... and then failed to follow up with a cohesive way to tie up loose ends. My bad.
Often times I've referred to attracting your ideal client (caveat: there is no such thing as a universally ideal client...what works for me may drive you crazy, and vice versa). A lot of times photographers will follow up with questions relating to the HOW. Namely, how does one attract her ideal client? Now, I don't have a concrete answer, but a key component is showcasing images of what you want to photograph...not merely what's available to you. This statement is usually met with reasons why IT WON'T WORK (and, Internet, resistance is the easy way out), but here are three examples of ways you might get started.
Misnomers for Attracting YOUR Ideal Client
1. But I only shoot in churches... A lot of times, I get feedback from photographers who spend most their weekends photographing the wedding and reception in one location: the neighborhood church. And this isn't a bad thing (y'all know I love me some God), but it can sometimes prove difficult when wanting to get creative with preparation photos. For the most part, bridal prep rooms at a church leave little to be desired and the lighting is atrocious difficult to work in. When/if this happens, I suggest asking for permission to photograph the details outdoors...yes, including the dress. Natural lighting is more complimentary and even if the space is small, challenge yourself to make things work. A couple weeks ago, my bride opted to prep at her church due to an early morning ceremony, so I asked for permission to move about and shoot how I thought best. Without hesitation, she said yes. I had a 10-foot patch of grass, a tree, and a small wooden footbridge to work with, so I did the best I could.
At the end of the day, I'm proud with what I produced because the alternative was a dimly lit room and beige walls. My bride's trust and support helped us reach a place of benefit for everyone involved.
2. But I don't have enough time to shoot the wedding details... I'm usually asked how long I've given to photograph wedding and reception details, but the answer varies per wedding. A rough estimate is 15-20 minutes, but if it's a large wedding and/or is detail-intensive, I need more time. Always. When I arrive, I immediately map out the location and figure out ways to photograph details beyond the allotted time given in the timeline. Translation: I find ways to give myself time to shoot details in 5-minute increments in between the day's progression (example: as the family waits to gather for formal pictures, I'll leave JD to organize the group and I'll run off to shoot the placecard set up before guests remove them). This usually happens just before cocktail hour and since JD and I are in sync, a simple nod lets him know he's in charge for five minutes while I'm balancing our objectives.
This is just one small way we make time on the wedding day. There are tons of ways to make the timeline work in a favorable fashion that are also conducive to how you manage your time.
3. But I don't know how to get more of the type of client I enjoy working with...
I've said this before, but it bears repeating: my largest marketing component is word of mouth. My clients--and their friends--are staunch supporters of what I do and they're the reason I'm able to do what I love. Without them, I'm nothing. One way we connect with the guests on the wedding day is photographing the cocktail hour, if time allows. I want to ensure my bride gets photos of her guests and cocktail hour is a great time to capture candids and complete her wedding day portfolio. I have a blast shooting during this time because chances are the bride's guests are a lot like her...and since I love my brides, I'll likely love her friends too...and if any of them are single, I want them to give me a jingle! HOLLLLLA!
In all seriousness, I love what I do. I adore connecting with people and capturing them in their element...photos of guests during cocktail hour allow me to do just this and I feel so blessed to do what I love. It makes the bride happy, it makes the guests happy, and this--in turn--makes me happy too.
I hope this helped connect some dots...and if you have suggestions, questions, or nonfat ice recommendations, feel free to drop in comment box!