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Rim Lighting

Photography TipsHave you ever tried to use rim lighting? It's a great thing to know if you haven't learned yet, and here's a short refresher if you already know. When there's a light on the far side of someone, the light leaks through right around their head illuminating their hair or hat. Sometimes the line can be so crisp that it looks as though they're being cut out. Rim light is beautiful, and it adds a ton of visual interest to a photo. The real win here is taking an extra second to try and look around your environment for some kind of rim lighting. Don't settle for the light you're given, find better light. And also plan to show up during golden hour, instead of trying to do photoshop later and add in something fake. More about rim lighting from New York Institute Of Photography: https://www.nyip.edu/photo-articles/cameras-and-gear/what-is-rim-lighting

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Let’s Talk About HATERS (w/John Yates) – QPT 028

[powerpress] John shares an awesome/horrible story about a hater. Someone sent him multiple anonymous emails just tearing him apart, his website, his work, everything. Then he found out that this person sent similar emails to 5-6 other photographers. But the funny part is that John looks up to these other 5-6 photographers, so it was almost nice that he was included in the same list haha. You kind of have to feel bad for this person! They wasted their whole day hating on people instead of going out and making a productive day happen With any level of success comes with haters. Think Justin Bieber — so so loved by some people and so so hated by others. If your work is forgettable and lukewarm, you probably won’t have many haters because people won’t really notice you. But if you’re polarizing, you’ll be remembered, even if people don’t like it. “If your work is forgettable and lukewarm, you probably won’t have many haters because people won’t really notice you. But if you’re polarizing, you’ll be remembered, even if people don’t like it.” You have to be okay with taking some criticism! Have a small circle of trust for people to give you feedback, and listen to THEM. Don’t listen to anonymous angry people that are probably discouraged artists themselves. Don’t be in the business of pleasing everyone. If you create something that people LOVE, that very same exact thing will probably also be hated by someone, somewhere, somehow. Even if you’re someone who LOVES everyone, there will still be someone who hates people who love everyone In the words of Tay Swift, HATERS GONNA HATE. So just SHAKE IT OFF

Why Set Goals? (w/John Yates) – QPT 027

[powerpress] It’s January 1st and we’re talking goals. But if you just say that you want to “make it” in your industry, what does that even mean? We dive in with John Yates of Celladora Photography: Here’s the system John uses — S.M.A.R.T. goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) If you say you want to “make it”, it’s not clear and not specific, because that could be different for each person. For example, if you were a musician, instead make a goal like “We want to be signed to a major record label” or  “We want to play 150 shows a year.” Way more specific, and a lot more helpful. Being “better” creatively is insanely hard if not impossible to measure. For a beginner photographer, good measurable goals are: the amount of inquiries you get, the percentage of inquiries that turn into paid clients, how many referrals you get, etc. Once you start to measure goals, you can change your behavior to help your progress! WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN. Don’t just keep your goals in your head. Make sure you have a time value connected to your goals. This means…make a deadline. Deadlines are huge for humans. Humans NEED deadlines. Jobs will expand to fill the time you give them. GET A SYSTEM. Doesn’t have to be this one, but GET and USE a system. My personal system is different than John’s — I have a list of things that I need to do every day that I check off, and I write down my BIG WINS down. Getting those big wins done FIRST is essential because otherwise the URGENT yet NON-ESSENTIAL tasks will get done instead (like replying to emails that won’t help me grow the business). If you want to read more about how to succeed in this new year, take a […]

Guest Views (w/John Yates): You Need To Know Your Client Before You Meet Them

[powerpress] John Yates (from Celladora Photography) joins us and shares with us everything you NEED to know about your client before you even meet them in person! Think more specific instead of abstract John explains what he knows about his fictional client: what she does for fun, where she goes to school, what websites she visits You’ll still get diversity in your clients, but it helps you hone in when you try to find those clients It’s MORE important the clients you say NO to, than the clients you say YES to What is your bride searching for? If you “know” her, it’ll be a lot easier for you to put yourself in the right place so she can find you You don’t have to BE this type of personality, you just have to understand this type of personality Adapt your idea based on the REALLY successful clients you have John’s first wedding was BALLER. On a beach, at a resort, in Mexico. Talk about an awesome start haha. As a photographer, you’re basically tethered to the bride’s side for the entire wedding day. THE PERSONALITY HAS TO MATCH. If you shoot a wedding that is NOT a great fit, that could actually hurt your brand because the referrals you’ll get from that wedding probably won’t fit either Be a strong personality so that your website does some of that filtering — make sure you really put your personality on your website in the way you word things, the way you talk about yourself, and the way you talk about your photography. PUT YOURSELF INTO YOUR BRAND. Don’t be afraid of repelling people.

Separate Your Work From Others

[powerpress] “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” — Andy Warhol Think through all the ways you can differentiate. The content (dreamscapes/young kids/couples/street), The editing, The display (printed out and putting it somewhere vs your blog/insta), Your personality (the way you see the world will be reflected in your shots), Your gear (the 16mm almost-fish-eye vs the 200mm zoom shot. tilt-shift lens etc), Your location (if you go places no one else goes, you will separate yourself a lot quicker), Being less technical and more artistic (does it need to be super sharp if the content of the image knocks you down with emotion?), Honesty in editing (will you post-process the crap out of it, or will you keep it closer to reality?), Follow your heart vs. following common advice (if you follow the mainstream advice, your work will look mainstream) There will always be someone who looks at your image and has issue with it. If you allow others to tell you what you should do with your art, it will end up lifeless and boring. My wife and I don’t have the same eye, we don’t edit the same way. So with our business, we had to come together to decide on the style we were going with. If you want shots that don’t look like anybody else’s, be strong enough to stick with your own opinion. How many paintings do you think Picasso would have released just the way they are if he cared to ask a group of people what he could do to make his work “better”?

When No One Will Hire You

[powerpress] How do you break this cycle?? : So you don’t have any wedding photos in your portfolio –> so no one will hire you –> so you can’t take any wedding photos –> so you don’t have any wedding photos in your portfolio. Reach out to other people who know what they’re doing and have done it before and try to hop on their train, however you can Reach out on Facebook forums/ Put out a Craigslist ad Do your own styled shoot! As a second shooter it’s hard to get the perfect angle, and you’re not able to call the shots, so you’re not able to get the exact photos you might want. Make your own situation happen! Figure it out. Offer to friends to shoot their wedding. But make sure you’re prepared, because there are a lot of things that can go wrong. It’s not worth wrecking a friendship over wedding photography gone bad. When you feel confident enough, talking through the day and knowing in all the different situations you’ll be shooting in that you’ll be prepared (super-dark reception, blazing sun outside, camera breaks, you drop a lens, etc) Ask me anything photo/business related on twitter @grainhappy !

QPT 018 – Focus Your Business

[powerpress] Deliver a product that other people can count on. Customers that see your work will hire you for what you’ve done before. Coca-cola looks a specific way, always tastes the same, in the same bottle with the same colors. You KNOW WHAT IT IS because they’ve stuck with it. The opposite of that is a photographer who shoots EVERY kind of photography and edits many different ways and delivers a different experience every time. To succeed with business, you need to be very clear who you are and what you do. It’s okay to find SOME ruts to stay in. Ruts aren’t all bad. Don’t keep being unique and changing your product once you develop a winning product. Imagine if Coca-Cola kept changing. If you thought about buying a coke but saw that came in a bag or a pouch, had a different color, had a different font for the logo and had totally different coloring on the package, you wouldn’t trust the product as much. You might not even buy it. CREATIVITY IS BEAUTIFUL. You have to keep being creative. But you must understand that as far as developing a wedding photography business or photography business where you serve clients directly, you need to be able to deliver the same type of service. And the same style of images. And the same branding/packaging and the same type of experience. That way, people will know that they can trust you enough to pass your name onto other clients.