Friday, February 19, 2016

The Photographer's Handbook. Go Big or Go Home!

We all run our photography businesses in a way that we feel is right.  I just wanted to share the way I do things and maybe help out some photographers that are just beginning or need some guidance.
Here are my guidelines that I follow. They have helped me grow my business, and I hope maybe they can help grow yours.


It is true, people look at you  differently when you are dressed professionally.  I am a professional, so I want to look the part.  Now, I am not going into a photo session in heels and business jackets.  That would make it incredibly hard to move and photograph comfortably, but I do make sure that I am dressed nicely.  I want to look like I care about myself and my job.  I find that in a world of yoga pants and sloppy buns, this sets me apart.  Without sounding completely vein,  first impressions are important.  Think about when a person goes into an interview for a job opportunity, they dress for success, and that is the way I uphold myself. When a person hires me to photograph them, they are hiring me because they love my work, but they are also going to be giving me recommendations, I want to look the part.  I personally feel that a photography session, is something special.  I ask my clients to dress up and commemorate their day with me, I expect no less from myself. Dressing for success is a mindset.  If you feel good about yourself, others will see it.  Be confident and professional.  Have your self image reflect your style and how you want to be perceived in the professional world. NOW GO ROCK YOUR PERSONAL STYLE!


Create your own style.  Make it yours.  DO NOT COMPARE yourself to other photographers.  We all have different backgrounds and years of experience. Evaluate your own work.  I can see a vast difference in my abilities from a year ago.  Each time I look back, I see my old work and see things that I would now fix.  That is self improvement and that is what is important.  Your own self reflection will help you learn and grow each time you do that.  Photograph and edit in a way that makes you feel good.  I love warm tones.  I know many photographers go with cool tones.  I just feel so drawn to the warmness.  That is what I do with my photos.  It feels right to me.  I tend to be super creative with my work.  I own it and love it!


Fads in photography happen all the time.  Selective coloring is a big one.  I remember when I first started out, I did so much selective coloring.  Also dark and white vignettes are dated now.  I used to utilize them all the time as well.  Other fads that have came and went are "the vintage look". radial blurs and adding lens flares.  I have learned to stick with the basics the hard way. Sessions I photographed with these in use, make me wonder why the heck I thought they looked good. Fads are fads, and they fade out for a reason.  I try and keep my images warm and classic and fun, I tend to stick to certain times of days when shooting outdoors to keep my lighting consistent. I have over used props in the past as well.  Live and learn,:)   When I photograph clients, I try and pose them traditionally and intimately and make the image more about the clients and how they interact with each other and less about a "look".  I want the people to sell the image, not my editing.  I, of course want my editing to enrich the image, but not make it.


A positive outlook goes a long way.  I like to always post positive posts.  I keep my tone and mood,light and happy.  We all have bad days or feel like venting, but it is highly unprofessional to do so on any social media.  It does not do anything for us professionally and it does not help us gain any fans.  I have seen countless photographers post negative and nasty posts.  Some of these photographers are very well known and famous.  I have stopped following some of them because of their hateful and spiteful words about other photographers or because they are venting their issues for all to read.  There are support groups and photography groups we all can join, and as peers, vent and ask for help.  These issues should stay off of our professional pages.  Whining and complaining, is just PLAIN UNPROFESSIONAL.  Be uplifting, be happy and most importantly have fun posting.  Make it a positive experience. 


BE YOU!  I am a bit quarky and I walk my own path in life, and I am not afraid to not fit into the "mold"  I let that reflect in my work.  I am not afraid to push some boundaries and GO BIG, however that may be.  Do what you feel is you and never let anyone make you feel bad about your work.  Take constructive criticism and learn from it.  Most of all have fun!