Category: photography business

Prudence McCabes Confections Downtown Mount Airy

I have had the enormous pleasure of meeting, working, and collaborating with Sue Heckman this year. This beautiful woman is the owner of, ‘Prudence McCabes Confections’ in Downtown Mount Airy, North Carolina. She literally is as sweet as the chocolate confections that she makes. She runs the business with her husband, and has done so for about 5 years now. My favorite is a double dark chocolate treat called, “The Fix”, and ladies, yes this was made for you in mind, for that once a month sweets craving. Sue is partnering with me to make some amazing confections for all of my 2017-2018 high school seniors, and couples that book with me. For now, I hope you enjoy these product shots, and head-shots of this amazing woman, and her business.

Posted in Photography, photography business

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

Stephanie Camino Bakery Lifestyle Session

Hello friends! I am so excited to bring you Stephanie’s shoot from Saturday. She is such a joy to not only photography, but just to be around. We started out our afternoon with a quick stop by Starbucks, then on to downtown Winston. We stumbled on the local food truck festival that was happening, but then I quickly made things adventurous. I won’t go into details, but it may or may not have involved me going down a one way street. Thank the Lord, nothing was coming at the time, but as soon as we parked the car we could not stop laughing.

That’s pretty much how we spent our entire afternoon, talking, and laughing. I hope you enjoy these images just as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Posted in Photography, photography business Tagged with: , , , ,

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

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

Mount Airy Vintage Inspired Shoot

This beautiful lady, Candra, and I had such an adventure on her shoot. Candra loves all things vintage, so I thought it would be perfect to do a shoot like this for her, and that red dress is just amazing. The fact that she was so excited for her shoot made me super excited! I love her personality, her eye for detail, and you honestly need to hear this girl sing!

At this time I do not have a studio, so I try to bring a few things with me to spice up wardrobe, etc. The long pearl necklace added such a beautiful touch.

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Posted in photography business, Senior Photography

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

Making The Most Out of Natural Light || Photography Edition

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I think every photographer when they first start out, they start out doing natural light photography. I still love making the most out of natural light, whether it be high noon, or golden hour. I don’t like sticking with just one, I want to explore light at all hours of the day, and in all situations. It’s good to be versatile, because you never know what kind of situation you will encounter.

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Overcast days will always be one of my top favorite lighting conditions to shoot in. The sun is hidden behind the clouds, and the clouds act as a diffuser for the sun. You get really nice tones, and even lighting.

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Then you have the contrast to shooting overcast which is high noon. It’s not a lot of people’s favorite to shoot in, but I love it because it challenges me. My number one tip for shooting in this lighting is, if you have shade maximize it! For this particular shoot I actually did not have a reflector handy with me, but if you have one this would be the optimal time to use it. The reflector will help you get nice even lighting to your clients face.

Don’t have a reflector? That’s okay! There are natural reflectors all around, you just have to find them. For example: If the sun is hitting a red, or orange wall, face your client towards that wall. The sun will reflect nice warm tones. If you want cooler tones, find a cool colored wall.

Posted in photography business

Taking iPhone Images That Don’t Suck || 3 Tips for Phone Camera Photography

These days everyone is on their phones, and they love having the ability to take photos from their phones without having to invest in a professional grade DSLR. Even though I’m a photographer, and I love my DSLR there are time where I just love having my phone camera handy.

So today I am going to share with you my top 3 tips for getting great photos right from your phone.

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#1. Lighting

The key to any great photo is lighting. I always want to make sure I have my subject, or subjects facing away from the light.

Why?

If you place them in direct sunlight, they’ll squint because the sun is in their eyes. They will also have dark shadows under their eyes, and noses. Those kind of shadows are definitely not flattering.

For phones since you don’t have too much control over aperture settings, ISO settings, If you notice when you tap on the screen where you want your image to be focused, it will either lighten or darken depending on which way you take the image. Your phone is basically is trying to do your settings for you.

I find that if I take photos in a shaded area when the sun is in full view, they end up coming out much better. Magic hour is the absolute best time for capturing photos period. This is the hour in which the sun has not completely set, or has come up yet. But it still provides plenty of light for taking photos.

#2. Composition

— This can be tricky when doing phone photography. Typically we want to share the photos we take on social media. Facebook will let you upload as is without cropping. But Instagram has a specific size set for sharing. If you take a photograph horizontally, and your subject is placed to the far left or far right, chances are they could get cut out.

Make sure to leave a good amount of spacing on the right or left side, and on top, and bottom. As you can see from the image provided below, exactly how much Instagram crops.

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Posted in Business, education session, photography business