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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Question and Answer

On Facebook I invited my fans to ask any questions they would have and I would answer them as best as I could.

So here goes. 
Thank you everyone for your questions!

  • Julie Boeker How and when did you start into this business?
    13 hours ago ·    Answer:  I have always loved Photography, but I didn't start my actual own business until Spring 2010. 
  • Lauren Zarecor Will you come to Tyler and teach me please? :)
    13 hours ago ·   

    Sure. HA HA HA!  I always say that if I have enough people to hold a workshop in one area I will go. 
  • Amy Terrebonne Luarca turn around time for clients, what you include in sessions
    13 hours ago ·  ·  4

    Answer  A standard client session is about 4 weeks, give or take.  A wedding session is 10 weeks.   I have various collections that a client can purchase that includes the sitting fee.  They includes a small disc, and images and of course time and talent. (The number of prints and images vary depending on the collection purchased)
  • Kaitlyn Alory What is your number one tip for learning lighting.
    13 hours ago ·  ·  8  
    Answer: Practice!  There is no better way then shooting in different types of lighting.   If you are scared to death of shooting outside at noon...then do it.  If you don't know how to shoot indoors then practice.  It's all about taking risks.  Now don't practice on your clients, but on your children or friends.  
  • April Firefly Arnott do you think your girls will get into photography when they are older? Would you want them to?
    13 hours ago ·  ·  3 
    Answer: I don't know.  I just want them to be happy. My girls pretend to do photo shoots in my studio and they think that's really fun so they might.  Would I want them too?  I don't have any problem with them doing it.  I think it's a respectful career.  Right now Elle wants to be a princess and Ava she just wants to be 8.
  • Karen Wood Stewart how many images do you include when you sale a disk?
    13 hours ago ·  ·  2 
    Answer: I used to just give the discs away but now with a standard session they get 10 images that they can print up to 8x10's (the resolution won't go larger then) If they purchase the disc they get all edits which can be 60-100.  I am a custom photographer so I don't sell un-edited photos.  However weddings will get all photos even those I don't edit. (However I do rough RAW edits and convert to JPEG for all images)
  • Lauren Zarecor What is the one edit you to to every photo? and any good editing tips?
    13 hours ago ·  ·  3 
    Answer:RAW edits.  I always warm them up.  Outside of RAW and besides skin?! I sharpen slightly. 
    Good Editing tips?  Learn to use restraint. 
  • Rachel Shearer What would your advice be to someone who is unsure about stepping into photography as a career, because they're afraid that they would be unfairly charging someone for pictures that "aren't that good"?
    13 hours ago ·  ·  2  
    Answer: My best advice is to not jump into it if you're not sure.  Practice and practice and practice some more.  Don't charge till you're ready.  
  • Christy Geller What's your best advice for clear, sharp images?
    13 hours ago ·  ·  2
    To me there's several factors to getting clear sharp images.  One, have the eye for it.  Know when your images are soft and when they are crisp.  Two, Equipment.  I hate to say it but although the camera doesn't make the photographer, better equipment will help a good photographer be better.  I know that having a better camera and better glass has helped to make my images crisper.  Three, pick something to focus on, and always focus on that.  For example when I am shooting portraits, I focus on one eye.  And I always make sure my focus is on that one eye.  Since doing this I've noticed a lot more clarity.

  • Anne Kelley If someone was going to put together a marketing package but is limited on budget...what pieces would you start with first...second and so on? What is necessity? Business labels....custom boutique packaging....letterhead....envelopes....thank you cards etc....
    13 hours ago ·  ·  3
    Answer:  Business cards is a must.  I leave mine everywhere. 
    You can do marketing inexpensive.
    Here is an example.
    I have giftbags that my photographs and cd's go into.  They are just a plain black bag with a handle.  I bought stickers that go on the front of them.  This way I didn't need to have someone make the bags.  I also use the stickers on my CD cases, and my Discs.  I print my own letterhead so I save there too.  You really have to just determine what is most important to you and go from there. 
  • Jess Sather Olsen best tip for building up clientele. And making the leap from being cheap and giving away the farm to get your name out to making people pay for your worth?
    13 hours ago ·  ·  8
    You have to market to those you want to shoot.
    I used to photograph everyone and conform my style to whatever they wanted.
    I hated it.  I wanted to quit. 
    But I loved photography.  So I had a little pow wow with myself and thought about what I really wanted to do and from there I started to make the switch.  Am I as busy as I was when I shot everyone for pennies? Heavens no, but I am happier now and I am still able to make the amount that I was because I am focusing on a higher end client.  
    In the end it's not about being greedy and saying "I want to make money money money." It's about a business.  It's about your lively hood.  Wish Photography is a FULL time job.  
    As much as I love photography I wouldn't do it for nothing, too much time goes into it and I spend far too much time away from my children to do it for nothing.
    Building up your clientele takes patience.  When I came into this I said to myself "this isn't going to happen over night"  And it hasn't.  It's been a long hard road.  So instead of getting down on yourself, encourage yourself to press forward when you feel like giving up.  
    If photography is a business you want to do then you have to keep moving forward.  I know a lot of people who try it out as a photographer but end up quitting because they don't use patience.  
  • Megan Martin How/where did you learn all your awesome editing skills?! And how to make your own actions and such.
    Ps. You rock ;)
    13 hours ago ·  ·  4
    I practice every day.  When I first started using photoshop I was using Photoshop 6.  And I simply had to practice practice practice.  If I had an idea I played around till I figured it out.  I didn't know a lot of the shortcuts because I taught myself.  I am pretty fearless when it comes to photoshop.  If it doesn't work out, I start over.
    For years I have been making my own actions, and once again I taught myself. 
  • Hilary Briscoe The best way (besides the internet) to advertise.

    .Really the internet is the way to go now.  Rarely do people open up the yellow pages to find businesses.  Now they all go online.  You have to utilize it.
    Other then that word of mouth:  I booked a wedding off of another wedding I booked, and both were booked from word of mouth.
    Also leave your business card everywhere!

    13 hours ago · 
  • Vanessa Wilson Biggs Expo disc - do you use one to set white balance?? Is it something use you indoors & outdoors?? As an amateur is it something I should invest in?
    12 hours ago · 
    I don't use any type of exposure discs or gray cards.  I am very familiar with my camera and the different settings to get the right kind of lighting that it just now comes naturally.  
    My best advice is too shoot in RAW, wb is easy to fix in RAW if you have too.
  • Kate Jones What's the worst thing about being a photographer?
    12 hours ago · 
    I am a people pleaser. And so If I have someone who is unhappy that is the worst thing.
    When I came into photography one of my biggest fears was that I wasn't going to please everyone.
    So I had to give that to God.  I know that I won't be able to make everyone happy but as long as I'm doing what I know is right then I know it's okay.
  • Erin Na Q: how old were u when u got into photagraphyy ? Q: what would be the first most important thing a person should know who wants to go inti the perfession
    12 hours ago · 
    I loved photography from a young age, but really didn't start embracing it till I was a senior in high school.
    There was stops and starts along the way. 
    I worked for a photographer when I was 20 and learned how to shoot film.  
    After that business relationship ended I put the camera down for a bit, and just worked with photoshop.  
    It wasn't until after my 3 year old was born that I decided that I needed to do it.
    So when I started my business I was 27-ish.

    The most important thing a person should know to me would be, to know your limits.  Don't tell someone you can do something if you don't feel confident, sure or even know how.  Don't let people walk on you if they want everything for nothing.  Know that you have to continue to grow and get better every day. 
    Know that it is a cutthroat business and clients, customers, fans, critics and other photographers are watching you and they all might not have happy things to say.  And when you come to embrace this you will grow so much stronger as a photographer and as a person.
  • Erin Na Oops profession
    10 hours ago · 
    No worries. 
  • Tia Snyder Thomas I love doing commercial/fashion work, but I don't know how to really "break into it". I do work for a few etsy vendors now as product for picture trades, but I would really love to expand what I am doing to encompass a more broad age range and start getting paid for it. Do you have any suggestions for getting started in this direction?
    4 hours ago ·  ·  1
    I wish I had the answer.  I am still exploring this world myself. 
  • Stephanie Rios Soofi What's the must have lens for portraits and everyday lens that you enjoy using ? Or one that's a inexpensive starter lens ?
    about an hour ago · 
    I love an 85mm fixed.  I think that it's a great lens, not to expensive and it's fast.
  • Jenna Beach What are some tips on balancing business (shooting, editing, book work, learning, etc) and family time?
    41 minutes ago · 
    Oh this is the age old question.
    I so wish I knew and had the perfect answer.
    I personally never feel like there is enough time in the day.
    My number one priority is my family.
    If my children need me, work stops.  If my husband needs me work stops. 
    When I put them first it all falls into place.

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