Category: Business

How to Plan For Your Portrait & Engagement Session

Often people look around gaining inspiration for their portrait, or engagement session from Pinterest, and Instagram. They spend hours pinning, and creating the “perfect” session board, only to find in the end they are unhappy with their session when the images are delivered.

Why?

They didn’t infuse their personalities, or story into any of their images. Your story is your life, and is filled the things that make you, YOU! You can’t copy that. So let’s dive right in to planning YOUR session.

Choosing the RIGHT Photographer FOR YOU!

— Photographers all have different styles of images, and different personalities, so choosing someone that fits with you is essential to planning your session. If you have a bright, bubbly personality, and you want that conveyed in your images,  you wouldn’t want to go with someone who has a darker, edgier style. For me, when I’ve planned my own sessions, I make sure to go with photographers whose personalities match mine. For my head-shots, I went with Hope Taylor, who has a bright, bubbly personality, and our styles just seemed to fit really well. It made the whole experience flow seamlessly, and we constantly laughed through the entire session.

Location

— I always encourage clients to think of a location that is special to them, or I help them choose a location that fits their personality, and style. For a high school senior, they may want to choose to have their session downtown in the city, because that’s relevant to their style. For a couple, it could be the place they had their first date, or the place he proposed.

Clothing

— Long gone are the days of the white button up, and denim jeans(thank goodness!). This is where choosing the right photographer can help you decide on what to wear as well. If you want a more luxurious feel, and look to your images try that cute LBD, a pair of pumps, and statement jewelry. If you’re style is laid back, and casual, go for minimal jewelry, a nice pair of jeans with emphasis on the shoes, and pair your casual top with a jacket.

Posted in education session, Engagements and Weddings, Photography, Senior Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

What Season Is Better For Portrait, & Engagement Sessions?

So often people will plan their portrait sessions, and not infuse their own personalities, and preferences into the mix. They simply copy what they see others doing on Pinterest, or Instagram. While it’s great to gather inspiration from those sources, don’t copy exactly what you see. 

This blog post, will be one of two in a mini-series about planning your own unique session that feels like you. The first step is very simple, you just have to answer one question: “What season is your favorite?” , or “What season holds the best memories for you?” 

My answer is fall all the way! Some of my best memories with friends, family, and business happen in the fall.

Below, I have images from every season that I have shot in, and each one is unique, and beautiful.

Spring: If you love fluffy flowers already in bloom, or are blooming(Cherry Blossom Trees are life, and  Dogwoods), if you love pastel colors, spring dresses, warm days that still turn into cool nights, then this is perfect for you.

Summer: The summer days are hot, but those summer evenings last, and last. The summer flowers are out in their full on bright colors(Red Hot Pokers are my favorite, and my second are Sunflowers!!). The sunsets later in the day, making an evening session so enjoyable.

Posted in Business, education session, Engagements and Weddings, Photography, photography business, Senior Photography Tagged with: , , , , ,

The Importance of Professional Head Shots

Hello sweet friends! I recently had the wonderful opportunity to work with Hope Taylor Photography in Richmond, VA on some brand new head-shots for my business. If you didn’t hear, or see my Instagram in May, I have recently made several changes to my brand, and wanted head-shots to complete the new look. Head-shots are very important to a business, for several reasons, but I’ll stick to listing just 3 below.

1. It makes your brand look more professional.

               

This is before my branded head-shots, and below is the after.

It makes the whole website flow much smoother when all your images look the same. You are viewed more professionally.

2. Professional head-shots create trust.

— Along with having a more professional look to your website, clients will in return trust you more. When you use the same head-shot all across all social media platforms, potential clients immediately recognize you, and will start trusting your brand. If you are using different head-shots, or your images don’t all seem to match, it may start looking a little suspicious.

3. You will be helping a fellow creative in your industry. 

— We can all agree as creatives there are times in our businesses when we need a little help, or we just want to support a fellow creative who is just rocking it out in their business. While other photographers around me in my own community turned their backs on me, I still have always believed very strongly in community over competition. I love traveling all over the state to meet awesome creatives who share the same values, and thats why I packed up my car, and drove 3 1/2 hours away to Richmond, V.A., and met up with Hope Taylor. She’s super sweet, fun, and while we were talking it was as if I had known her forever!

Now, let’s get to the fun stuff. I am so excited to share with you my new head shots! Enjoy!

Posted in Business, photography business

2016: A Year In Review Part 1

2016, I can say was the most challenging year I have faced in a long time. It was more so in my personal life than in my business life, but what do you do when life knocks you to your knees? You pray, and you keep moving forward. So on into 2017 we go! I’ll share with you what I’ve learned, what is going to change, and more throughout the blog. Part II will be going up next Wednesday. I just had so many good highlights to show you. I really hope you enjoy seeing the highlights as you scroll down.

The beginning of this year was almost like a dream. Everything had started coming together, and I was putting myself out there more with my work. (Please notice the progression of my images throughout the course of this year) 

Over the years I have been so back and fourth with my photography, and I finally put my foot down, and said this will be a full time career. Before 2016 I had actually put down my camera for several months. I had been tired, worn,  restless, and just ready to give up. I wasn’t happy with the quality of work I produced, but something kept drawing me back to photography. So in January I started really thinking about where I wanted to be, and what I wanted out of photography. I wanted to start out specializing in high school senior portraits.

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Why high school senior photography? My senior year was not the best it could have been, and I really wasn’t happy with the images that I received. Around this time I found, Hope Taylor Photography, and started listening, and reading her educational material. Something about it just hit me, and it started making sense.

I want to create an unforgettable senior experience for all high school seniors who cross my path. As of right now, I still want to work towards that goal. I want them to leave me happier, than when they came.

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I love the friendship Kelsey, and Hannah have. They were just so fun to work with. This was the first attempt at trying to put together a senior styled shoot at Cross Creek Country Club. I still had a lot to learn at this time.

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I wanted to keep up with my shooting, and continue to get better so I asked Abby if she wouldn’t mind letting me take her portrait. We met up, grabbed something sweet from Starbucks, and we headed off to TangleWood Park on this beautiful, but very cold day.

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When it first it spring, and started to get warm, I took a day at the park just for myself. There are many things I would love to openly share with you about this day, but for personal reasons I want to keep that to myself. Just trust me when I say it was a beautiful, warm day full of love, and laughter. Full of memories that I will always treasure.

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I couldn’t resist capturing this little couple just enjoying a nice day. Are they not precious? 

Posted in Business, Inspiration and Encouragement, Life, Photography, photography business, Senior Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Top 5 Must Haves For Photo Shoots

Top 5 Must Haves For PhotoShoots

There are 5 major things I love to bring with me, because you never know what will happen, or if someone forgets something. It really pays to be prepared.

Extra Bobby Pins

— Bobby pins are a must in case of hair emergencies, or you want to do a beautiful up-do for your portrait shoot.

Tulle

— Tulle is just beautiful when you photograph it. So I always bring extra in different colors with me. You can use it for a backdrop on the go, or use it to add to your outfit. In Candra’s shoot we used tulle to add to her already beautiful black dress.

Sneek Peek, And What Does It Mean?

Accessories

— I love bringing a variety of necklaces, and other things with me to add to the image. For example I used this necklace to add to my senior, Madison’s outfit. It had such a boho-chic vibe to it, and using this necklace as a headband worked out perfectly.

Dobson North Carolina Senior Session Dobson North Carolina Senior Session

Posted in Business, photography business

Sneak Peek, And What Does It Mean?

Have you ever had so many passions that you are interested in that you can’t narrow it down? Well my friend you are what they call, multi-passionate. For years I have tried to narrow my creativity to just one type of outlet: photography. And that has not worked out well for me. I find myself drifting all over the place, not being able to concentrate, and trying to force myself to do so.

I’ve decided to embrace my multi-passionate side, and make it work for the vision that I have for this little business. I am taking the rest of 2015 to work on the re-brand of the business, and working on creating quality content for you.

read more

Posted in Business, Senior Photography

Apps For Editing on Your Phone || iPhone Edition

These apps are the only apps I am using at the moment for editing images taken on my iPhone. I currently use VSCOcam, and Afterlight. Those 2 are pretty much the only apps I need at the moment to edit my photos for Instagram use. I’ll show you how I use each one to get a consistent edit for my Instagram feed.

How To VSCOcam:

If you do that matte, film style of editing then VSCOcam is going to fit your needs perfectly. Especially for getting those dreamy black, and white images.

*You’ll notice that when you open up VSCOcam you will get a navigation system on the left-hand side. You can choose to either go ahead, and take an image with the app, or upload one you have recently taken on your phone to edit. To do that, simply tap or swipe on the text Library.

*You will see your images hosted here, and when you swipe down on the gallery it will reveal the upload sign (+). Click this to access your images. When you click on All Photos at the top you can choose where you would like to access your images from. I chose, ‘My Photo Stream’.

*Highlight your image you wish to edit, and you’ll notice you get some options at the bottom. The backwards flag icon simply un-highlights your image. The tools icon is were you will find your editing system. The arrow icon is how you will upload to your social media accounts. And of course the trash icon will delete the photo you no longer want.

*Click on your tools icon, and you will be given a lot of filters to choose one. I try to choose the one that fits my editing style the best, and then I simply adjust it. I chose T1, and now if I tap on it again a scale shows up. So if it’s a bit too much for my editing style I can simply choose to bring it down to my desired taste. Click the check icon, and you are done.

*Now if you want to edit your images a little bit more then click on the white strip with the downward facing arrow. The tool icon again will lead you to more advanced tools to edit with. You can adjust the temperature of the image, the contrast, hue/saturation, etc. The backwards arrow will re-adjust the last edit you made on your image, and the u-shaped image will revert it back to it’s original state.

*Once your image looks consistent click the check icon, and it will take you back to the Library where you are ready to upload your image.Apps For Editing Images || iPhone Edition

Posted in Business, photography business

Make It Happen: A 3 Month Update || Goal Setting And Planning

Make It Happen: 3 Month Update ||Goal Setting and PlanningGood Monday morning! Go ahead, and grab your favorite coffee drink (or iced coffee), and let’s get caught up. If you are just tuning in, then you may want to start with this blog post first: Live Intentional in 2015. This is the introduction to the Make It Happen process that I have been working through this entire year.

Now that you are all caught up, welcome back! It’s already August, and it seems to be flying by already. So a few nights ago I sat down, and re-evaluated my goals that I made at the very beginning of the year. As you can see they really haven’t changed, and I added one more to the list. These goals have meaning to them. They aren’t just mindless goals that I jotted down on a whim, I had some time to think through the, ‘why’ behind each goal.

Make It Happen: 3 Month Update ||Goal Setting and Planning

Posted in Life, Make It Happen: The Book

17Hats || Production Tools For Creatives || Must-Have Business Tools

17 Hats Product For Creatives

17 Hats is the best workflow tool I’ve ever come across, and I would recommend it to any creative whether you are a seasoned professional, or new to being an entrepreneur. You can create contact lists, projects for each contact, input your own contract templates, e-mail templates, create a calendar for each area of your business, etc.

As a business owner you literally wear about , “17 different hats”. You have to play business owner, editor, photographer, writer, social media expert, be a computer tech, graphic designer, etc. While you can outsource a majority of this to people who are professionals in those fields, sometimes you find that you just don’t have the money you need in the very beginning, and no money to hire an assistant to keep up with your contacts, and workflow.

That’s where 17 Hats comes in, it’s very affordable, and there are different plans for each type of business.

The In-Depth Look

When you get signed up, and log into your account this is what you will see. This is your dashboard. Of course mine may look different from yours right now, but that’s because you can personalize it. I personalized mine to fit the look of my branding.

From here you can see the weather in your area(perfect for photographers), you can see all upcoming events, invoices, and contracts that are due. Then on the left hand side you see your navigation station.

17 Hats Product For Creatives

The projects tab is my favorite, because you can assign different tasks to each up and coming shoot, or project that you have. By different tasks I simply mean, you can assign different contracts to each client, different to do lists that are due at different times, etc. Each client is going to be different, and you can customize each project for specific client needs.

17 Hats Product For Creatives

Posted in Business, photography business

Why Starting Your Business Young Is A Great Idea

Today I want to share with you, why I think starting your business while you are young is a fantastic idea.

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If you are blessed enough to figure out what your passion is, and want to go for it while you are still in school, or just graduated, or even in your late twenties, then I want to say, ‘Kudos to you!’. Some people will go most of their life not knowing what they are really good at, or just have to get a job to make rent, and pay the bills.

At this time in my life, I’m not in a relationship, and I don’t have children so this is the prime time for me(personally) to start a full time business. Honestly, that is the best time to start a business, when you are experiencing more free time than most. So if you are single right now, enjoy this season, and get creative with the time you have. You will never have this free moment again.

Get Creative With The Time You Have

Posted in Business, lifestyle