How To Pump Up Your Senior Model Program

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s article is from .

Tosha Says:

This session was so much fun for me and my spokesmodels. I went with a fun theme – Jewel tones – to inspire their clothing choices and makeup. I think it turned out better than I had anticipated and the girls love sharing their images with their friends which brings me more referrals…SCORE!

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This was my second year with my Senior Spokesmodel program and I had made some huge changes to pump it up! Here are the major changes I made to the fashion shoot to generate a ton of interest and help my girls promote me as much as possible:

1. Offering two different shoots.

My first change was offering two different fashion shoots instead of one. I broke the girls in to two groups so they could decide which one they were most interested in. One of them was a winter wonderland shoot and the other was the jewel tone inspired spring shoot (which is the one I’m featuring here).

This gave my models some options in case they weren’t interested in a jewel shoot or a winter wonderland shoot; they at least had another option to choose from.

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2. I spoiled my girls.

The next change was how I set up the shoot and spoiled the girls throughout the whole thing. When I was planning for my shoot I gave each girl a jewel tone color that would compliment their skin tone, hair and eye color. I worked closely with my MUA to help me make that decision and to determine how their makeup would feature that color. We decided to focus the color on their eyes and lips (one or the other on each girl).

This made each model feel pampered, and like I was paying close attention to each and every one (because of course, I was!).

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3. Color swatches.

Next I gave each girl their color swatch (just picked up some color swatches from my local hardware store) and told them to go shopping! I started a GroupMe group for my Spokesmodels where they could share their finds with me and each other. This helped me make sure their outfits meshed well together and it showed the other girls what to expect. (And it made them totally excited for the shoot too!)

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4. Snacks.

During hair and makeup I had yummy snacks and a lunch ready to go since this was going to be a long day. I made sure of any food allergies ahead of time (one of them ended up being allergic to gluten). Making sure there is enough for the moms is important too! Don’t forget them 🙂

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5. SnapChat.

Yes, SnapChat! One of the funnest and best marketing things I did was had a SnapChat takeover the day of the shoot. I got the idea from Ari Dorfman, who shared this with all the Seniors Ignite followers. I gave each girl a pre-designed image to post on their Instagram, the day before the shoot, that said they would be taking over my SnapChat for the next day and to follow me @toshacolephoto.

Then, the day of the shoot I had them post pics and video during their hair and makeup, during the shoot, and so on. I gained a ton of followers and had over 100 people viewing my story from that day!

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6. Easy Promotion.

Finally, I focused on making sure my models could easily promote my studio with these images. I made sure that each Spokesmodel had a mobile app from StickyAlbums of the best images from the day. I even ran a contest that whoever got the most views and shares by the end of the month won an awesome prize.

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There’s so much more to planning a Spokesmodel shoot than just picking outfits and makeup. You have to make sure it will generate interest and excitement that will lead to new clients.

I hope this helped give you some great ideas to pump up your Spokesmodel program!

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Tosha used a Nikon D700 (affiliate link) & Nikon D300(affiliate link) with a Nikkor 85mm 1.4 lens (affiliate link) and a Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Tosha Lijewski is a Saginaw, Michigan Seniors Portraits photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Wardrobe and Styled Shoots.

 


Tosha has some great ideas regarding senior portrait photography, but if you’re looking for more, Seniors Ignite is really the place to get it. Everything from lighting to marketing to sales, you name it, they have information about it.

 

f/1.8 lenses vs. f/1.2L lenses

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Kat Gill.

Kat says:

“These were from Alessandra & Daniel’s Engagement Session. It was shot at sunset in a field in rural Edmonton.”

Kat’s Photography Tip:

Something that really changed the way I shoot and how my photos looked was investing in really, really great lenses. Up until only a few years ago, my main go-to lens was my 50mm f1.8 lens and I thought it was just fine.

That is, until I invested in the 50mm f1.2L and the 85mm f1.2L. These 2 lenses have really blown my mind with their clarity, brightness, and sharpness.

The lower aperture allows me to shoot really wide open (f1.2) and achieve a gorgeous buttery smooth look and super shallow depth of field (giving my images a beautiful bokeh).

My style of photography can best be described as soft and romantic, so shooting with a very shallow depth of field is key for achieving that look.

These lenses also let in the maximum amount of light which means when I’m shooting at twilight after the sun has gone down, or in a room with only a little natural light coming in, I’m able to get some of the most beautiful shots in lower light situations.

These lenses are both from Canon’s professional “L Series” so they’re definitely on the pricier side which means it might be best to save up for them, but if you’re mainly a portrait or wedding photographer, they could be worth that initial big investment.

I use these 2 lenses about 80% of the time when I’m shooting.

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Kat used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 50mm f1.2L lens (affiliate link), a Canon 85mm f1.2L lens (affiliate link), and a Canon 28mm f1.8 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Kat Gill is a Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Wedding and Boudoir photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Gear.


If you’re looking to snag a sweet deal on one of the lenses Kat talks about (or looking to get other new equipment), Adorama carries used and refurbished photography equipment. Check them out here.

Mountain Engagement Session

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Travis Richardson.

Travis says:

“This is a fun engagement session I did earlier this year. The couple has been following me for while now and know how much I love the mountains and unique locations. We picked a hike that I had yet to try. We got to know each other on the hike and had so much fun at the top.”

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Travis used a Canon 5d MKIII (affiliate link) for digital images and Mamiya RZII for his film images. For lenses, he used a 50mm, a 35mm, and a 110mm.

Travis Richardson is a Salt Lake City, Utah Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Simple Poses for Every Baby Session

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]

Milestone sessions are for babies 6 months and up, usually up to a year or so. These sessions typically last 20 minutes at most, though I always deliver a full gallery of over 25-30 images to share with the parents!

I LOVE shooting babies this age…..they are smiley, happy, and generally stay still. (Note I said “generally” though!)

I also like to keep my sessions simple, and only use a couple of props. (in the pics below you can even see that I use them over and over again.)

Here are a few of my go-to poses for kids of this age:

Pose #1 – Simple Sitting Pose

I usually start with this one, as it lets me make sure my lighting is correct and if I need to move them to a different angle.

This is where Mom gets a workout though as they tend to crawl away quickly!

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Pose #2 – The Toy Pose

Usually these babes do not like to sit still. That is where a simple toy comes in. I tell clients to bring a favourite neutral stuffy or toy.

I also have some simple stuffies and wooden toys they can use. This keeps baby somewhat occupied for a few moments, enough to get some cute shots!

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lifestyle and portrait wedding and family photographer

Pose #3 – The Belly Pose

This is a great pose for babies who may not be standing or holding themselves up yet. It gets a really cute shot of their faces and they tend to get really happy and excited in this position!

However, this pose is an easy one to crawl away from, so again, Mom gets a workout!

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Pose #4 – The Standing Pose

Kids love this one, especially if they are not yet standing alone. Make sure you use a sturdy prop, one that will not fall forward or topple over with their weight, as they are likely not too steady.

And Mom stays right beside always!!

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lifestyle and portrait wedding and family photographer

Pose #5 – The Close Up

Always, always get some close ups! You can do this in any of the above poses.

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Pose #6 – The Sitting Prop Pose

Put the baby on a chair, crate, prop and they usually stay put..they are so fascinated with the fact they are sitting up high on something that they rarely wiggle.

And if they do, Mom is ALWAYS there for safety!! Safety first and if baby is too young or unsteady to hold himself up on something like this, do not attempt!

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Pose #7 – The Outtake

Self explanatory and this usually happens at least once a session…and yes I photograph and edit one or two. And yes, parents love it.

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Want to see more tips on posing? Click here!


About The Author

Bobbi-Jo Stuart is a lifestyle wedding and portrait photographer living in Ontario Canada. She fell in love with photography as a young child and has taken used passion to create a successful business. Bobbi-Jo loves finding interesting ways to use light and breaking all the photography “rules” to create thoughtful imagery.

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Google+

Tips On Planning and Posing for Family Sessions

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Tiffany Bender.

Tiffany says:

“I am so blessed to work with amazing clients, they are what make my job an absolute dream. For this session I was working with a repeat client with whom I really connected with, both personally and professionally.

The first shoot I had with them was epic – and this had to be even more than that! This required a LOT of brainstorming, inspiration, styling and prepping.

I wanted my clients to enjoy the time were spending together and feel like we were creating something magical. The family was full of laughs all evening, we all had so much fun!”

Tiffany’s Photography Tip:

There’s a lot of planning that goes into a Munchkins and Mohawks session, particularly with posing.

A notebook and pen are the perfect tools for creating the list of shots I’m going to capture at the session. I am known to draw stick figure scenes of all the shots I want to capture – they’re not pretty, but they do the trick!

When I’m drawing my stick figures, I’m thinking about creating triangles so that my clients’ heads are at different levels. I start with the family grouping and have poses for them in positions where they’re all standing up and then sitting down.

With groups, I want them to get as close together as possible because I don’t want any gaps between individuals. Most importantly, I draw the scenes exactly as I intend to shoot them, and I don’t compromise when it comes to carrying it out.

It is my job to provide the client with a session that is magical as well as innovative. If it takes 15 minutes to get set up for 1 shot, that’s what we do.

Drawing out the scene shots also helps commit it to my memory as well, and while I’m shooting the session I can also see the little stick drawings in my mind (I still carry my notebook with me though too for quick reference).

That way I also know what setup and posing scene comes next. A posing plan helps me have a smooth session and it ensures that I capture all the posing possibilities I’ve come up with!

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Tiffany used a Nikon D3s (affiliate link) with a Nikon 35mm lens (affiliate link), a Nikon 50mm lens (affiliate link), a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens (affiliate link), and a Nikon 200mm 2.0 lens (affiliate link)to capture these images.

Tiffany Bender is a Pittsburgh, PA Children’s photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Posing.


Composition is a big part of posing. If you need help drawing out some of your own diagrams, we highly suggest this guide all about the breakdown of composition.

How to keep children authentic during family sessions

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Cadence Feeley.

Cadence says:

“Jaymie and her family live in upcountry Maui, so they decided to do their session near home. Spending time with Jaymie, Mike, and Wesley was a dream — we played disc golf at the Poli Poli course, and explored the forest and fields at sunset.

On our way down the mountain, I couldn’t help but pull over at a gorgeous Jacaranda Tree on Kula Highway for a few more shots. If anyone has experienced Kula when these amazing trees go off, it is unexplainable – bursts of vibrant purple that seem to come from another planet!

I’m always so grateful for adventurous families. Mahalo to the Harrison’s!”

Cadence’s Photography Tip:

Wesley was full of energy — not unlike many other little ones around his age! Here are some tips and tricks I use to keep children engaged and authentic during family sessions:

1. Move around. Don’t spend too much time in one position. By keeping things moving quickly and exploring the area you are shooting in, little ones will not get restless and stiff! They will be their wild and free selves.

2. Let them play. Taking quick breaks makes a huge difference. I let the little ones chill while I get portraits of mom and dad, and after a couple of minutes they want to be back in the center of attention — sometimes they even sneak back in the shot when we see how much fun we’re having!

3. Get down on their level. I always squat down when talking to kids, and sometimes whisper to let them feel like they are in on a secret! This helps me get to know a few things about them that help me photograph their true essence.

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Cadence used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 50mm 1.2 lens (affiliate link) and a Canon 35mm 1.4 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Cadence Feeley is a Maui Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working with Children.


Cadence, unlike a lot of us, doesn’t have to travel too far for an exotic location (being she lives in Hawaii!).

If you’re thinking about getting into travel photography though so you can take awesome pics of your own in crazy cool locals, check out this article here about travel photography.

Mentorships with Susan Stripling

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If you’ve been around in the wedding photography world at all, there’s a good chance you know who Susan Stripling is.

If you don’t, we’ll just say that we’ve been drooling over her images for years now. (You can check her work out on her site here.)

Susan’s been a leader in the wedding industry for some time as well, constantly pushing the boundaries of what wedding photography is.

And now, she’s offering a mentorship program where she’ll teach you what she knows.

Mentoring with Susan

Susan’s broken down her approach to wedding photography in 8 weeks of online course study.

Each week for 6 weeks you’ll get video lessons covering various parts of wedding photography – Details shots, Portraits, etc. – that you can use to learn at your own pace (though the lessons are designed to only take you about 20 minutes per day).

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of all of the topics covered:

  • Photographing Details (things like ring shots and other macro photography fine tuning)
  • Photographing the Bride Getting Ready
  • Family Formals
  • Bridal Portraits
  • Bride and Groom Portraits
  • Photographing the Reception

Then, at the end of the 6 weeks, you’ll get two weeks of image critiques where you submit your images for Susan’s review. The reviews will be recorded too, and available to other students to learn from.

So you not only get to learn from your own images, but from other photographers as well – sort of like sitting in on a print competition judging.

Registration is Limited

Registration is only open until October 11th, and right now during the launch the course is $100 off (so the next time it opens it’ll be more expensive!).

Susan has over a decade of experience in the wedding industry, and has taught on multiple platforms (including WPPI, PPA, and Creative Live, among others), so if you’d really like to learn from the best, this is the place to do it.

Click here to check out more details about the course.

 

 

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help support us and what we do so we can keep the site free for everyone.

Tips on Hindu Weddings

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Haley Shandro of Shandro Photo.

Haley says:

“I’ve chosen images from a recent Hindu wedding which exemplify the diversity of images required from these chaotic, colourful, and charismatic weddings!”

Haley’s Photography Tip:

Hindu weddings have so many moving parts and so many different things that need to be photographed. Some are more traditional (formal family photos), some are more interesting (tiny details), some have emotion (candid moments during different ceremonies).

The challenge of photographing these weddings is to know what what to focus on. At the same time you may be required to take a photo of the bride with an aunt participating in a ceremony, but you also want to take a close up detail photo of her mehndi on her hands (like the image at the top of the page) clasped in front of her.

The balance is to know what is most important to your client at any given moment. Some of that purely comes from experience (foregoing an artistic shot in order to get a family portrait that they need) and also from keeping an incredibly high energy level to cover everything that is required.

Indian weddings more than any other can drain me…it’s often 5 days of different functions, sometimes not running on time, sometimes changing plans last minute.

I hate to admit that caffeine is essential but whatever you need to do to make it through these weddings…just do it! You need to stay on your toes and constantly be hunting for the photos you need to take.

Sometimes you may only have 20 minutes to do all of the portraits of your couple, so you need to be prepared to work extremely quickly during these weddings.

You also can’t be shy – often I’m positioned right up in the middle of the action! I may be in the way of some guests, but I know where I need to be, and that the couple is completely fine with it.

PRO TIP: if you haven’t photographed and Indian wedding before and you are about to, make sure to spend some quality time with your couple having them explain to you exactly what the ceremonies are, what the timeline looks like, and what is expected of you. It’s better to admit inexperience than to miss something important!

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Haley used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 24-70mm II lens(affiliate link), a Canon 70-200mm IS II lens(affiliate link), a Canon 100mm IS II lens(affiliate link), and a Simga Art 50mm 1.4 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Haley Shandro (and Shandro Photo) is a Edmonton, Alberta, and International Wedding, Portrait, and Commercial photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Multicultural Weddings.

 


If you’ve never done a Hindu or multicultural wedding before, they can be a bit daunting.

Haley definitely has the right approach with making sure you talk in length with your couple, but if you need help figuring out some of the technical aspects (like lighting) we suggest you check out this book specifically written on how to light multicultural weddings. You can find it here.

 

How to Identify Your Ideal Client and Speak Their Language

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Today’s article is from .

Kristin says:

As photographers, we work endlessly to market ourselves, spread our name, and consistently book clients. Still, our marketing efforts are futile if we are spending our time and effort speaking a language our ideal client doesn’t understand.

So, if you are going to do all that hard work, make sure you are at least speaking their language – if you do, you will no longer miss out on valuable opportunities to find (and keep) your ideal client.

What’s an ideal client? These are the ones that love not only who you are or what you do, but love what you believe in. They believe what you believe in, because they believe in the same thing. Identifying your ideal client may sound complicated, but it’s really quite simple.

Let’s get started…

 

Who is Your “Ideal” Client?

That’s an excellent question and only one YOU can answer. Before you go any further thinking about them, think about you. What do you value in your life? What are you emotionally drawn to? What do you believe in? And what are your interests?

Life is busy and it is really easy to forgo asking ourselves these deep questions. But the sooner you truly know these answers, the closer you are to knowing your ideal client, and thus a thriving business.

People are naturally drawn to others that value what they value. Take your closest friend for instance. Overall you may be somewhat different but you likely have lots of common values and interests.

You may have a similar strong work ethic, be devoted moms, sob over Pampers commercials…or even share a strong passion for traveling. These are combined interests that link you together.

And believe it or not, the same goes for our ideal clients.

We are who we surround ourselves with, and this rings true for our clients as well. How much do you truly believe in what you do and what you sell?

Even if you may not be able to afford the type of custom photography you sell, do you still believe in the importance of beautiful family photography?

Hopefully you do! And guess what, your ideal client believes the same! On the contrary, if you’re not quite sure of yourself and believe that most people will not pay for what you provide then that is the type of client you will attract…and I don’t think you want that!

 

What Defines An Ideal Client?

An ideal client is one that helps you reach your goals. Is your goal trying to make” X” this year? Is it to create a certain look in your portfolio? Maybe it is to get featured in a certain magazine or blog.

Whatever your goals are, the client who can help you reach your goals is your ideal client. Maybe it’s a person who makes enough money to have disposable income to spend on boutique photography, or clients that really like pushing the creative envelope and trying wacky and crazy stuff.

Regardless of what your goals are, if a client will not help you reach your goals, than (you guessed it), they are NOT your ideal client.

 

How do I Identify My Ideal Client?

Ask yourself the questions mentioned above and as you do, make as long of a list as you can. Now think of 5 of your most favorite clients that you enjoyed working with the most. (You may want to write these down as well.)

Notice the similar qualities that exist across the board of your 5 clients. Now notice what similarities and values you share with each of those clients.

Do you see the pattern? You like what they like, they like what you like. It is also likely you have shared values with them. These are your ideal clients.

 

How Do I Speak their Language?

Fortunately, people who share parallel values and interests have a strong influence over each other. That’s why it’s so important to spend our time with the right people. (But that’s another article!)

Once you have identified the common values between yourself and your ideal client, you can speak their language by letting the real you shine through. And then do it with a sprinkle of charm and a dash of captivation. Yep…it’s kind of like dating!

Now you know what your ideal client is thinking and what they value. As a result, you are now able to authentically engage them. As you begin to speak your ideal clients’ language, all of your marketing and sales efforts become acutely effective. Imagine that!

It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

 

How Can I Implement This?

You understand how to speak your ideal clients’ language but how are you going to interact with them? First, evaluate the efforts you have made in your business thus far. How have you been “putting yourself out there” in the eyes of the client you are trying to engage?

Think about what you can change with this newfound information. Begin to think about how you can tailor your efforts to show that you are LIKE them – that you believe what they believe, you value what they value, and, most importantly, that you understand them.

Your goal should be to display these qualities in your marketplace and adjust your branding to attract more clients that you already love so much, and have loved working with.

This is another list you may want to jot down and keep in front of you at all times when you are marketing yourself through your website, creating blog copy, and expressing yourself on any social media outlets.

Ultimately, we love what we do and we all want to be valued for our work. Simply be sure to communicate to your ideal client that you value it as well. Because if you don’t…no one one else will.

 

 


About The Author

DSC_9528-widget-3.10.15Kristin Milito is a leading Chicago newborn and family photographer. Kristin has been photographing children since 2007 and has an obsession for photographing sweet babies only days old. Kristin’s photographic style transcends organic imagery. Her photography has been referred to as instinctive, poignant, and natural.

Website | Facebook | Google+

Creating Golden Hour Lighting on a Rainy Day

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Sean Scheidt.

Sean says:

“This session was a fashion editorial shot for Girls Life Magazine maybe 4 years ago now. It still remains one of my favorite and (I think) a really good teaching model as to why being able to know your way around lighting is super important.”

Sean’s Photography Tip:

The exciting part of doing a fashion editorial for a national magazine or ad work is that you are a part of the creative team – from conception through finalization of the series.

The challenge there is that you have to deliver a specific number of images. In this case, 8 images. Every scene is planned out weeks, if not months, in advance.

We aren’t simply showing up at a location with models and a team and just shooting whatever looks cool. No, each shot was planned out and thought about in advance, including the overall story.

In this case we thought it would make a cute fashion story if two girls were hanging out at a diner after school. We wanted that warm golden hour light, bright oranges and chrome. So we scouted the perfect location, arranged wardrobe and found our models and set our date.

However, the day of the shoot was a partially cloudy one with on and off again rain – not ideal for the golden hour light we were trying to capture, but a crucial reminder of how important it is to be able to expertly use studio lighting since our shoot depended on that type of light.

Shoots like these can also take 8-10 hours, so relying on natural light just won’t cut it even on a beautiful day. So in order to achieve the lighting that we wanted and needed, we surround our diner (on one side) with sets of lights with CTO (orange-ish) gels.

Each of these lights would have a reflector dish (increasing the output of the light) and would be shooting through a large panel of theatre diffusion set up a few feet in front of each of them. This would ensure that we have an even, soft, beautifully warm light streaming in all day.

We set one of my assistants outside with a walkie talkie to monitor the lights during the shoot and make sure everything was firing. On the inside, I lit the models simply with one light with a Photek Softlighter, letting the light we were pumping in from the outside of the diner supply the majority of the light for the session.

The results were beautiful! Our lighting setup gave us that steady sunset look all day and made it possible for us to meet the clients’ expectations.

This for me is why pre-planning your shoots is the most important: shot lists, having more than enough lighting, knowing your lighting, and having the ability to troubleshoot allows me to never go into a shoot blind.

Sets are really active and lots can and do go wrong during the day. If you can have your end of the work as tightly controlled as possible it will help you to deal with all the other variables that are bound to arise without compromising the shots.

On a recent shoot (which is not out yet so I can’t share) we had everything go wrong but still were able to produce excellent images despite having a car broken into, wedding rings stolen, credit cards stolen, models late, flights delayed, broken rental equipment and really hot weather.

And we only pulled it off because we had a plan. So do your homework, plan each shot, and you’ll be much more likely to end up with a successful shoot.

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Sean used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 24-105mm L (affiliate link) lens to capture these images.

Sean Scheidt is a Baltimore, NYC, LA, and DC Portrait and Fashion photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting.

 

Finding Locations with Diversity

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Today’s feature is from Tracy Waitkus.

Tracy says:

“These images are from a Class of 2016 senior portrait session that I took in August.”

Tracy’s Photography Tip:

My tip is location, location, location!

I do a lot of two-hour senior portrait sessions, where we have lots of time to shoot different outfits and go to two separate locations.

This particular senior portrait session was only a one-hour session, but I still wanted to deliver to my client a nice variety of images with different backgrounds, colors, textures, and moods. So, choosing a versatile location was key.

We decided to shoot this session in the Village of Arroyo Grande, which is an historic downtown area. Within just a few blocks, we had access to storefronts, vintage buildings, a swinging foot bridge, a green park with white fencing and a gazebo, and a creek area with lots of foliage.

What more could you want? And with one outfit change and the addition of a denim jacket, I was able to get a lot of different looks for my client to choose from.

So, if your shoot time is limited, you can still get the illusion of a longer, multi-location session by finding a location with diversity.

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Tracy used a Nikon D610 (affiliate link) with a Nikkor 85mm 1.8G AF-S lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Tracy Waitkus is a San Luis Obispo County, California Portrait and Performing Arts photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


If you’re looking for more tips on all things Seniors, we highly recommend you check out everything by Seniors Ignite. They provide tons of free info on their blog about the senior portrait photography biz, plus produce tons of products and opportunities to learn more.

Read more about Seniors Ignite here (affiliate link).

 

4 Tips for Portraits that Pop

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What You Need:

  • Camera body of choice (a Nikon D800 [affiliate link] was used for these images)
  • A really long lens, such as a 70-200mm zoom lens (a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens [affiliate link] was used for these images)
  • Photoshop for post-production editing

How It’s Done:

I adore child portrait photography. My goal at each shoot is to tell a brief story about my young subject, and get the viewer thinking about who the subject is and what makes him or her tick.

One of the hallmarks of a good portrait is that it draws the viewer’s eye to its subject. So while it’s important to scout a good location for your shoot, ultimately the image should be about the child, and not just the setting or the props.

To create portraits that pop, I like to use vibrant, moody colors, and separate the subject from the background.

There are innumerable ways to achieve this, but here are some techniques that have worked for me:

1. Use a Long Lens

I shot the images here using a Nikon 70 – 200mm zoom lens. I chose this lens in particular because it is a long lens, and long lenses create something called lens compression, which blurs the background of the image and makes it difficult to tell how far it is from the subject.

This has an effect that is somewhat similar to shooting with a shallow depth of field, but doesn’t increase your odds of shooting out focus.

2. Zoom In and Stand Back from the Subject

If you’re zoomed in, you’ll achieve great lens compression and your subject will pop more. Of course, with a lens as long as a 70 – 200mm, you’re going to have move pretty far back in order to get the shot.

If fact, a lens like this won’t even focus close up, so forget using this lens in a cramped setting. Take this baby outside! It might seem a little odd to shoot far away from your subject, but sometimes it can allow the child to relax and be more natural – some children understandably feel a bit shy or self-conscious with a big lens in their face.

The diagram illustrates a typical setup in which I am about 15 feet away from the subject.

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3. Shoot Wide Open, or Almost Wide Open

To enhance the blurred background, set your aperture to a low number. Shooting wide open is tricky, and takes some mastery: it’s easy to screw up the focus. Focus on the subject’s eyes and take a couple of photos – it can be difficult to tell in camera if you got it right.

4. Amp It Up in Post Production

There are endless ways to push your photo farther in photoshop, but a good starting point is to use a curve layer to darken the entire image, then take it off your subject using a soft brush and a vector mask.

Here are a few more images from the same session that I used these techniques for:

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Click here to read more Tutorials.


 

About The Author

Daisy Beatty is a portrait photographer serving NYC, the Hamptons, Boston, and Los Angeles. She is known for her stylish portraits of children, newborns, maternity, and families.

Website | Facebook

Cameras, Lenses, and 3 Easy Tips for Wedding Photography

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Today’s feature is from .

Matt and Ann say:

“These are a few captures from Janelle and Erik’s beautiful wedding in downtown Ottawa. Erik is a mountie for the RCMP and wore his vibrant red uniform for first portion of the day.

They chose one of the most beautiful churches in the area, the Notre Dame Cathedral and a had their reception in the super bling Mezzanotte Italian Bistro where we had to consume copious amounts of delicious food!

Janelle is one of Matt’s cousin’s best friends and we were fortunate enough to have been connected through her.”

Matt and Ann’s Photography Tips:

What’s in their Bag:

Camera Bodies:

  • 3 Nikon D750’s
  • A D90 for backup

Lenses:

  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G (FX)
  • Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Micro
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
  • Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4G

About Cameras:

We both use Nikon D750’s and carry three bodies at all times between the two of us. Matt photographs with two bodies whereas Ann photographs with one.

We also have our trusty D90 as a back-up, which a few years ago we would have been absolutely terrified to photograph a wedding with, but today would feel totally confident that we would deliver outstanding images with little to no sacrifice in quality.

We now rarely go above ISO 1600 as we tend to bring in off-camera flash for anything above this so the D90 works perfectly as a nice little back-up weight in our kit.

About Lenses:

We’ve been alternating our lenses (all Nikon) back and forth for the past three years and are always choosing the opposite of one another. This year Ann is totally into our primes and shoots primarily with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G (FX), Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Micro and the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G.

Matt on the other hand shoots with the 24-70mm f/2.8 on one body and alternates between the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro and the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G depending on whether he wants more reach/tighter crop/portraits or wants to produce epic flare for effect (the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G produces gorgeous flare if done right and used in moderation).

Last year it was largely the opposite set of lenses per photographer. We still do share though!

3 Simple Tips to Keep In Mind:

These are three of the simplest, and yet biggest, tips that completely changed the way we see the world through our cameras on the big day:

  1. Create clean compositions with light on dark, or dark on light.
  2. See ambient light, where it is falling, and the direction it is traveling.
  3. Expose for highlights.

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Matt and Ann of Green Tea Photography are Ottawa, Canada, and International Family, Engagement, and Wedding photographers.

Click here to see more tips on Gear.


For more tips on gear for weddings, we highly recommend Susan Stripling‘s Thinkbook: Gear + Equipment. In it, Susan discusses the gear she has in her bag, plus what each piece is used for and when. You can check it out here.

 

 

*Please note: many of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help us earn a commission. The price is no different to the consumer, but each percentage of a sale helps support us, what we do, and keeps the site free for everyone.

Snow White Inspired Styled Bridal Shoot

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Ashley dePencier.

Ashley says:

“This is a styled model shoot inspired by Snow White. We chose to photograph in the almond orchards (or as I call it, the “Bakersfield Snow”).

We were inspired by the theme of Snow White while using colors that existed in the location we were shooting (white, brown, peach, red….and, of course, some golds and slivers).”

Ashley’s Photography Tip:

I could not have pulled this shoot off without the team of lovely vendors that I got involved! The cake was by Gimme Some Sugar, the flowers are by House of Flowers, the dress is from Enchanted Bridal Boutique, the dress is the 2011 Snow White dress from from Alfred Angelo’s Disney collection, and the mirrored piece is from Simply Shabby Chic.

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Ashley used a Canon 6D (affiliate link) and a Mamiya 645 AFD (affiliate link) with a 50mm 1.4 lens, a 85mm 1.2 lens, a 100 macro lens, and a 70-200 2.8 lens to capture these images.

Ashley dePencier is a Bakersfield and Central California Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more Styled Shoots.


If you’re a hybrid shooter and struggle to get your film scans to match your digital images, we highly suggest these Lightroom presets. They were created directly from film scans, and are the closest presets for matching film that we’ve seen yet.

The Magic Hour Charity

Photography Charity

Being a photographer, you already know and understand the value of your work: you capture memories and moments for your clients to cherish for years to come.

And while this is an important thing for any family to have, there are some families that just can’t put it off – like families who have a member (or members) suffering from cancer. Their time together as a family may be limited, and with the excessive cost of medical bills, photography isn’t always something that the families can financially prioritize.

This is exactly the situation a couple photographers found themselves in around 2007, when a fellow church member was sick and his daughter was offering to sell her car to pay for family portraits. Knowing how much the family of the sick church member really needed to document the time they had left together, the photographers told the daughter to keep her car and that they’d do the session for free.

And thus, the idea for The Magic Hour was born.

What Is The Magic Hour?

The Magic Hour was named for the golden, yellow light that can be found at both the beginning and end of each and every day, and aims to match families in need with a photographer willing to donate their time and a free session.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Sunstrom Photography

Each family also receives digital images along with professional prints in a handcrafted box that they can cherish for years to come.

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To read more about The Magic Hour and see some of the sessions that have already taken place, head over to their recent shoots section and check them out.

If you’d like to donate your time and skills or want more information about how to become a photographer for The Magic Hour, you can read more on their website here.

 

Creating Unique Wedding Reception Lighting

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Barbara says:

“Melissa and Tyler met at work and simply wanted a wedding that brought their two families together. The relationships between everyone was a high priority.”

Barbara’s Photography Tip:

Lighting is the key to well-composed reception shots. I set up 3 – 600ex Canon flashes that are remotely triggered with an ST-E3.

I put two of the speedlights on either sides of the head table and a third is across the dance floor opposite to the head table (creating a triangle).

Bonus tip: if you want to create some awesome layering, shoot through stuff like the decor (see my last shot for an example!).

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Barbara used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 LII lens, a Canon 35mm 2.8L lens, and a Canon 100mm macro 2.8 L lens to capture these images.

Barbara Cameron is a Ottawa, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Scotland, and Ireland Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting


Have a wedding you’d like to submit?

Send it our way! We’d love to feature you!

How To Stand Out In Your Market

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Rya Duncklee.

Rya says:

“This session was captured for a client for Mother’s Day. I wanted to convey the special bond between mother and child, so we let Dad sit this one out.

I used a combination of photo and video to capture the relationship images as well as the candids, and edited the final video fusion product for my client to assure that she walked away from our session with a tangible heirloom that she could pass on to her children.

The voice-over in the video portion is my client, the subject’s mother. Her words are a reading from letters to her children that she wrote. It was important for me to capture her guidance and advice to them during this time in their lives.

I love that she describes them a little in her reading. They can loook back on this session 20 years from now and see how much she loved (and still does) love them.”

Rya’s Photography Tip:

Try to incorporate little 10-second video clips into your client portrait sessions. If you have a camera that can do both, you can use a monopod for stability and switch back and forth while shooting.

This added little bonus will not only wow your clients, but it gives you added variety and a leg up on your competition, helping you to really stand out in your marketplace.

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Rya used a Nikon D4 and Nikon D4s with a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens and a Nikon 35mm lens to capture these images.

Rya Duncklee is a Jacksonville, Florida Children and Family Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Marketing.


 

By the way, if you need help with your marketing game, Jamie from The Modern Tog created a marketing course just for photographers. I definitely recommend checking it out if you don’t have the client volume you want.

 

Why Awesome Customer Service Matters

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this awesome photography tutorial on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]

A few weeks ago I wanted to send flowers to my mom for Mother’s Day. She lives in a small town in Arizona so I Googled florists in that area. Two came up, the first one had a 4 star Google rating, and the second one had no ratings, so I gave the first one a call.

The woman who picked up the phone sounded almost irritated that I called and was pretty short with me, even a little sarcastic and condescending. I asked a few questions which seemed to irritate her even more so I let her off the hook.

Then I called the second one and it was a totally different experience. She was friendly, seemed happy to answer all my questions regarding types of bouquets offered, price points, etc.

Her prices were about the same, but her service was outstanding. My mom received her flowers a couple days before Mother’s Day and she was thrilled with them. I wrote the florist’s name in my day planner so that next year I won’t even have to search Google. I’ll know exactly who to call.

What’s my point?

Customer service makes all the difference. Potential consumers may be lured in by your 5 star rating or the high number of Facebook fans you have, but if their experience isn’t a pleasant one, that is what will determine if they will do business with you, how much they’ll spend with you and whether or not you will ever get their business again.

In fact, in a study performed by Oracle, as much as 89% of consumers began doing business with a company’s competitor following a poor customer service experience. And this is true for every industry, whether it’s service based, product based, lawyers, bakers, photographers, etc.

A few More Statistics:

Have you ever seen that commercial for Faberge shampoo? Made in the 80’s, it’s a marketing class staple. “They told two friends and they told two friends and so on…on and so on…”

And while the commercial itself may be a little outdated (no offense Heather Locklear), the idea behind it is not: word-of-mouth advertising (affiliate link) and ‘telling your friends’ is the absolute best form of advertising you can get.

In fact, according to a Nielson study, 84% of consumers believe Word of Mouth (WOM) above all forms of advertising.

Nowadays, social media has made it easier than ever for consumers to do just that. Now a post to a hundred of their closest friends about a great experience can spread to 100 of their closest friends, and so on, turning into thousands.

(But unfortunately, as many of you may have already found out the hard way – that number is even higher if the experience was poor.)

There are so many benefits to WOM clients. They are usually pre-qualified, they love your work (they’ve seen so and so’s album and loved it), they know what you cost, and they are excited to work with you.

Remember, they came to you! Gain their loyalty through great customer service and you have a client for life.

How important is Customer Service to brand loyalty?

In a Brand Loyalty Study by Clickfox, consumers were asked what makes them loyal to a brand:

  • 88% of respondents said Quality
  • 72% said Customer Service
  • 50% said Price

When asked how they show their loyalty to brands:

  • 78% said they spread the word and tell others
  • 69% buy more from the company
  • 54% won’t consider other competing products – yep, even if another company comes along offering a better deal, they will not consider changing.

Being in a saturated market makes it even more important to differentiate yourself by offering great customer service, at any price point.

Remember the florists? They were right around the same price, but which one got my business and will continue to get my business? Maybe the first florist was just having a really bad day. Perhaps, but that first impression was paramount in my decision making process.

Florist number 2 didn’t go above and beyond my expectations, she just met my expectations. She was friendly, helpful, understood my needs and met them within the time frame promised.

How Does Your Customer Service Rate?

Whether you follow a low cost-high volume model or a boutique model there is a minimum standard in customer service. Here are a few basics:

How fast do you respond to initial inquiries? In this day and age, being connected to our phones, emails and text, means clients expect much faster response times. In fact, a study conducted by Oracle found that 50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them. Here’s a simple guideline:

  • Within 2 hours = Great
  • 12-24 Hours = Good
  • 24-48 = Acceptable
  • 48 or longer = Poor (If you are unavailable for any length of time, explain this in an auto responder email or voicemail recording so that customers will know when they can expect a response. Also make sure to have a FAQ’s page available on your website to answer your most common questions.)

What kind of first impression are you leaving? Are you personable? A good listener? Is it all about you? Do clients feel like you genuinely care about them and the outcome of their session?

Are you taking the time to find out your clients’ needs and wants? To quote Roy Hollister Williams, “The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.”

How accessible are you to your clients after they’ve hired you? Do you return their calls or emails in a timely manner or do you wait days to reply?

Are you clearly and effectively educating and communicating with your client to manage expectations? And if so, are you meeting those expectations or promises? If you tell a client they can expect their image gallery or products in 2-3 weeks are you delivering within that timeframe? Are the images you give them consistent with the images in your portfolio?

Do you under promise and over deliver, or the other way around?

Low cost should not equal low quality service.

While cost will alter your client’s expectations of service a little bit, there is still a standard that is expected to be met.

For example – clients shopping at Walmart will have lower expectations of the quality of customer service than those who shop at Nordstrom’s; however, they still have expectations of decent or at least satisfactory customer service. If their experience is poor, they will stop shopping there.

Low cost clients expect basic standards to be met while boutique models are held to a higher standard; their customers expect service to exceed the basic standards, go above and beyond, and they are willing to pay a higher premium for the experience.

How Can You Improve Your Customer Service?

Three words: Customer Feedback Surveys. These are a great way to find out your strengths and weaknesses. I send an email to all my clients after I’ve delivered their products with a link to my Customer Feed Back Survey and have yet to have a client not return it.

The information gathered is invaluable. A couple favorites of mine are MachForms and 17 Hats (17 Hats is built into their platform). These are easy to create and easy for clients to fill out, so a win/win on both sides.

There are of course other options out there besides MachForms and 17 Hats, these are just the ones I’m familiar with (and you can even create your own easily for free with something like Google Forms).

Another great way is to stay organized. If you don’t have an organizational system in place, create one. Studio Management Platforms such as 17 Hats or Iris Works make it much easier to stay organized. The auto responders and follow up emails alone make them invaluable for quickly answering client inquiries.

When in Doubt, A Good Rule of Thumb:

Whenever I’m unsure about how to give a client a great experience I ask myself what I would want if I were that potential client. If you have never hired a professional photographer to photograph you or your family I highly recommend it.

I don’t mean ask a photographer friend to take your pictures. You will have lower expectations than a paying client would. I mean actually hire and pay for a professional photo session. Seeing it from the client’s perspective is such a great way to gain insight into their needs and expectations.

Ultimately, good customer service leads to increased positive WOM, brand loyalty, bigger sales, and less need for mass marketing strategies. Do not underestimate the importance of customer service. In the long run, especially in such a saturated industry, that is what is going to keep your business sustainable and profitable.

 


About the Author 
 Shellie Mooney is a portrait and lifestyle photographer specializing in children, tweens and teens. She also holds a BS in Business/HR Management. While she lives and works in the Las Vegas, NV area she is always up for a road trip.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

How Customer Service and Referrals are Related

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from El Hogan.

El says:

“This is a family session I shot in January with a lovely family in Currumbin Valley. The mum spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what she wanted and why, and it really suited my work.

I loved that her style and vision really complimented my own. Its great to collaborate with a client who gives over her full trust to you.”

El’s Photography Tip:

We shot this day late in the afternoon, in a spot we had both picked especially. I love that golden time of the afternoon. My go-to lens is my 35mm, and I shoot mainly with it wide open so I can take advantage of and manipulate that delicious light.

I only ever shoot manual, as it gives me total control over the light. I shoot many water and ocean sessions, and I have an SPL warehousing for my camera.

I spent a lot of time before the session day talking to the client about exactly what she wanted, from her vision, to location, to what she wanted to do with the final images.

I communicate like this with every client so I can gauge exactly what they want, before the session, so I turn up prepared.

For example: if I know that she has a big wall at home that she wants to fill with a huge family portrait, or a gallery wall with many images telling a story, I keep that in mind while I’m shooting.

This client had voiced to me the kinds of images she wanted (knowing they suit my style of work), as well as the details of her children she loved and wanted to remember.

From the first point of contact (whether by email or phone) right up until the handover of images and products, education and communication is vital to giving your client a wonderful experience throughout the whole process – not just during the actual shoot.

Referrals are by far the most important and valuable source for continued work, so I try hard to give clients a wonderful experience throughout.

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El used a Nikon D4 with a Nikon 35mm lens (affiliate link) and a Nikon 50mm lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

El Hogan is a Gold Coast Hinterland, SE QLD, Northern NSW, and Sydney, Australia Family Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Customer Service.


El is right – referrals are one of the best forms of marketing you can get.

Learn how to create a solid referral program for your photography business here (affiliate link).

 

Fine Art Photography Time Lapse

Brooke Shaden is an amazing Fine Art photographer. Recently, she created a time-lapse video of some of the shoots she did while traveling:

A scroll through the images I captured while traveling this last month. I did a total of 30 photo shoots, 28 of which are represented here. Many are self-portraits, and the others are modeled by my amazing friends: Jen Brook, Lieke Anna Photography, Bonnie Caton Photography, Zuke Photography, Mia Hutchinson, Kelly McGrady, KD Stapleton. 33 down, 27 to go! Lots of death in these new pictures, going back to my roots, and asking myself why, truly, I love to create.Music: “Glacial Skies” (how perfect!) by Robin Housman & Russell Kostulin.

–Brooke Shaden

 

We’ve featured Brooke’s work before, and you can check it out here.

Tips for Urban Family Portraits

Tips for Urban Family Portraits // Belovely You

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Edyta Grazman.

Edyta says:

“This session was scheduled around the younger child’s 1st birthday, though I had previously photographed him when he was a newborn and when he was six months old.

I love returning clients! There are so many benefits to working with a family you know; everyone is more relaxed, comfortable, and knows just what to expect.”

Edyta’s Photography Tip:

This session was shot in downtown Chicago, where I shoot most of my sessions. The city look is fantastic, but it can get busy so you have to be careful to consciously choose what you want to include in the shot and not let things get distracting or full of clutter.

With that in mind, I shot this session wide open to separate my subjects from the busy backdrop.

I also picked a spot in the city where the sidewalks were light and would act as reflectors bouncing the light back onto my subjects along with pretty landscaping for the nice backdrop.

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Edyta used a Nikon D750 (affiliate link) with a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens (affiliate link) and a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Edyta Grazman is a Chicago, San Francisco, and New York Children and Family photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Camera Settings, Lighting, and Location.


 

 

 

Making Something Ugly Into Something Beautiful

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Brooke says:

“These images are all from a photo series I am working on that were all photographed in a sewer or underpass.

The goal was to show how even a disgusting or disregarded place can be turned into something beautiful if the artist has a different vision of the space.

I utilized the naturally dark background and filled the space with something dreamy, whimsical, or even dark. I chose one main color for each image and worked from that inspiration.

I am always interested in life vs. death, and that also plays a big part in this series.”

Brooke’s Photography Tip:

I photographed these images mostly as self-portraits in which I place myself in the underpass.

Once there, the backdrop is naturally dark because of light falloff, and I use that to my advance to create a dark, night-like atmosphere.

I add in a different ground, be it clouds, a field, or a forest, and then make it look like I am standing in a different place.

From there it is a matter of making the color pop, some image compositing, and playing with overall light and composition to get the final look.

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Brooke used a Canon 5D Mark II with a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens and a Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Brooke Shaden is a Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Need some help navigating Photoshop? Brooke clearly shows a mastery of the program, but not all of us are up to her level of talent.

However, Lynda.com is full of Photoshop tutorials and can help you learn how to master the program so you can be on your way to creating masterpieces like the ones shown in today’s feature! Click here to check out a 7-day free trial!

 

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

Off Camera Flash Tutorial

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Lens: Nikon 85mm f/1.8
Focal Length: 85mm
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 160

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]

For this tutorial, the photographer recommends the following equipment:
  • Camera and lens of your choice (this photographer used a Nikon D800 with varying lenses, including a Nikon 85mm 1.8 lens, a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens, and a Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 lens)
  • A Nikon SB 800 (or Canon or other camera make equivalent)
  • A Photoflex Octodome
  • Either a light stand or a hand-held pole attachment and assistant

Sometimes the difference between a stunning portrait and one that falls a little short is just a small pop of light. Whether you are working outdoors or indoors, combining natural light with off camera flash to highlight your subject can take an image to the next level.

Sometimes, all you need is a reflector to pop more light onto your subject in order to make them stand out from the background. A lot of natural light photographers do this, and it can definitely do the trick.

But it doesn’t work in all cases, like on cloudy days where there is no real sun to reflect, or in cases where your composition doesn’t allow the sun to hit the reflector at the right angle, or where the reflection is too bright and hurts your subject’s eyes. And even though I always bring a reflector with me, I still like to have something else in my arsenal in case it’s not enough.

That’s where off-camera flash comes in.

Using off camera flash, or OCF, can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be once you understand the basic concepts and how to modify the light to get your desired effect. In this article, I’ll go over some of the tips and setups that will help you tackle OCF like a pro.

Off Camera Flash – Make It Natural

The main rule about off-camera flash is to make it look as natural as possible. The best portraits that pull it off effectively are those where you can’t tell that anything was used.

In order to make the flash as natural looking as possible, I like to use a diffuser on the flash. Diffusers, if you haven’t use one before, soften the harshness of the flash and the shadows created by the flash.

There are a plethora of flash diffusers on the market, but the one that I like the best for portraits is the Photoflex Octodome. They come in various sizes, but for portraits of one or two people the small one is great and very portable.

After placing the speedlight/flash (I use a Nikon SB 800) in the Octodome, attach it to either a light stand or, if you have an assistant, a hand-held pole attachment. The latter can be more ideal because it allows for more flexibility with the direction of the light, as an assistant is able to move and adjust it as needed.

Once it’s set up, I like to position it at a 45 degree angle anywhere from a foot to a few feet away from the subject depending on how much light is needed (see below) – the closer to the subject it is, the brighter your subject will be.

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Settings

Now that everything is positioned correctly, I use a flash trigger to trigger the flash from my camera and use manual mode on both flash and camera.

As a general starting point for camera settings, I set the flash to ¼ power. I then set the correct exposure for my image without flash, and then I underexpose my image by about one stop by adjusting the shutter speed.

Underexposing like this will underexpose your subject so that the flash can provide the additional light needed on your subject without being overpowering.

Now that everything is set up and my settings are locked in, I take the photo and then analyze the image on the camera display. If I want more light then I set the power of the OCF to a higher setting, such as ½ power.

Conversely, if the image is too bright then I adjust it to a lower power, around maybe 1/8 power. If I find that I need just a minor tweak I adjust the shutter speed up or down 1/3 stop.

Taking a few shots to perfect the light will really benefit you in the long run because after you have found the best combination of ambient light and flash for your setup, you can lock it in for as many poses as you like a long as you stay in the same lighting situation and at approximately the same distance from the flash and your subject.

Restrictions to OCF

One thing to keep in mind is that the sync speed of your flash is generally about 1/250th of a second. What this means is that if you go higher than 1/250 of a second shutter speed, the flash will not sync with your shutter and not let the right amount of light in.

So, due to this restriction, the flash is best used indoors, on cloudy days, or in shady areas where it’s not so bright that the shutter speed needs to be set really high when using low apertures.

There are solutions for this as well (such as neutral density filters) but to keep things simple when first learning this technique, stay in environments that tend to be less bright.

It takes a little while to get the hang of balancing the ambient light with the flash but once you get to a point where you can get a great exposure within a few shots you will fall in love difference it makes in your portraits.

Most of us do not want to dwell in the super technical, but hopefully by practicing these few easy steps you will have another tool that you can use confidently to create the images that you envision.

The images below (along with the one at the top) are a few different examples of using off camera flash in different lighting situations. In all of these images I balanced the ambient light with a flash with an Octodome diffuser.

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Lens: Nikon 85mm f/1.8
Focal Length: 85mm
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Aperture: f/3.2
ISO: 250

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Lens: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 35mm
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Aperture: f/3.2
ISO: 320

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Lens: Nikon 85mm f/1.8
Focal Length: 85mm
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 160

Click here to see more tips on Lighting and Flash.

 

 

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An Introduction to Light Painting

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Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 17mm
Exposure: 67s
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 100

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Michael Newcomer.

Michael says:

“Throughout my life, I have taken courses on painting, drawing, stained glass and jewelry making and have always been a visually creative person. It wasn’t until I picked up a digital camera that I found a medium where I was able to create the ideas I had in my head.

I have been studying light painting since 2010. I first discovered it when some friends presented images for a local meetup contest. I was amazed and instantly hooked! I’ve been exploring this craft ever since.”

Michael’s Photography Tip:

Photographers have been playing with this technique for quite a while (as early as the 1930’s even), and Man Ray holds the title for the first light painted image in 1935. Even Picasso did some light painting.

For those of you not familiar with light painting, it is the art of creating a hand-lit image in a single long exposure. It’s actually quite easy, and a lot of fun!

All you need to light paint is a tripod and a camera that can do a long exposure of at least 30 seconds (though most of image creations take several minutes to create). The camera specs and settings for a lot of the images in this post are also listed below the image if you’re curious to how I set up my gear.

Just open the exposure and wave some lights around in front of the camera and BOOM – you are light painting!

If you’re curious to see a little bit more about the world of light painting, check out either the Light Painting World Alliance (where the world’s best painters showcase their work), or 200 Orbs – a project that took place in the summer of 2014 where some light painting junkies got together in a field in VA to attempt a new world record of creating 200 orbs of light in a single long exposure image.

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Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 37mm
Exposure: 27s
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 250
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Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 23mm
Exposure: 39s
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 100
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Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 21mm
Exposure: 80s
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 200

Michael Newcomer is a Charlotte, NC Fine Art and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting.

Seeing Things in a New Light

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Julie Dessureault.

Julie says:

“Laurie and Nicolas’s story is so touching, beautiful and truthful that I wanted to share it.

Laurie used to be a competitive figure skater, but lately her biggest battle has been with cancer.

Her fiance Nicolas, however, was not a figure skater – until recently.

During the fall and winter, Nicolas secretly started learning how to figure skate. He would practice several times a week, sometimes with coaches, and sometimes alone, keeping it all a secret from their friends and families for months.

His idea? To create a figure skating choreography for his girlfriend that he would use to propose to her.

Nicolas wanted to prove his commitment to Laurie, and prove to her that no matter what, no matter how hard things got and how hard she had to fight, he was committed to her, loving her, and their life together.

Needless to say, she said yes.

Julie’s Photography Tip:

Even though I’ve photographed in Old Montreal a thousand times, I decided on this particular session to look at it as if I’ve never been there before.

I paid close attention to things I may otherwise overlook, and really focused on light, texture, and flection, and using them to my advantage.

This session also took place later in the day and the light was amazing. I made sure to take advantage of that by having my subjects face the sun with their chin up so as to beautifully expose their faces with lovely, Golden-Hour light.

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Julie used a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 35mm lens and a Canon 135mm lens to capture these images.

Julie Dessureault is a Montreal Wedding, Portrait and Headshot photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting and Location.

Newborns and Your Perspective

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this awesome photography tutorial on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s tutorial is from Brandie Coe.

Brandie says:

Do you ever feel like your on auto-pilot during your newborn sessions and every session ends up looking the same? Of course, this isn’t entirely a bad thing since our clients hire us for what they have seen online, and want us to be able to replicate it for them.

But wouldn’t it be nice to keep things the same but with a slight twist? Here’s my solution to that very problem.

Recently, I felt this exact feeling and decided that when my client came in, I would get up, walk around, and really look at the baby to see things from a new perspective. And I loved the way the shot ended up looking from the bird’s eye view as well as the front and close in images.

Not only do you get to give mom and dad a great variety of poses of their sweet new baby, but now these different shots from the same scene would look gorgeous in a canvas trio over the baby’s crib, or s a series of images in an album.

Another tip is to not only get up, but get down (insert music here “get low”) 😉

When your baby is on a prop, we tend to take a shot that feels like we are taking it straight on, but ends up actually looking slightly down on the baby.

Instead, try lying flat on the ground. You’ll see the shot in a whole new way, and I find it focuses even more on the baby.

So do yourself and your creative spirit a favour and slow down during your next newborn session. Do your usual shots and once you have those, get up or low and observe things differently!

Have fun!!!

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Brandie used a Nikon D4 (affiliate link) with a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Brandie Coe is a Vancouver, BC Newborn, Maternity, Family, and Children’s photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Posing.


If you love newborns and newborn portrait photography but are just getting started, check out our articles written by a seasoned newborn photography pro about newborn safety.

Current Trends in Senior Portrait Photography

Current Trends in Senior Photography - Priscilla Davis Studio

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]

If there’s one sect of the photography industry that’s constantly changing – it’s definitely the senior portrait market. One of our readers who specializes in Senior Portrait Photography, Priscilla Davis, shares some of the current trends in senior portrait photography industry – from makeup to unique shoot ideas – to help you stay on top of your senior portrait game.

Hair & Makeup

Professional Hair & Makeup - Priscilla Davis Studio

Getting all glammed up once or twice a year for homecoming or prom isn’t the only time to get pampered. Instead of just showing up for a photoshoot, girls these days LOVE getting some special treatment in the form of a great hair blowout, a styled hairstyle and/or some professional makeup to be photo-ready.

Some photographers include professional hair and makeup in their services while others only offer it if their client feels like it. I find that most teenage girls will opt in for the professional makeup because unlike simple hair curls and every-day makeup, most girls do not know how to do/wear the heavier makeup that works best for a photoshoot.

Plus, they want to play dress up a little bit! They love it.

Concept Shoots

Concept Shoots - Priscilla Davis Studio

Whether the idea comes from the photographer or the senior, I find that many photoshoots now have a concept or a “theme” to it. I love this idea of a concept shoot because it gives the photoshoot such a great sense of direction.

Many times the senior and the photographer will collaborate together to see what outfits photograph best, what type of makeup should be applied, and even what hairstyle fits best.

If a teen girl wants to look like Cinderella for an evening shoot, why not! It’s probably the one and only time she’ll have the chance and photographers will wind up with amazing images to add to their portfolio – so it’s a win win.

I also see photographers who can easily get burnt out from the day-to-day normal shooting, so a concept shoot is a great personal project to get them out of a rut and spark that creativity.

Candid Shots

Candid Shots - Priscilla Davis Studio

What is a candid shot? Well it’s certainly not a yearbook mugshot! Sometimes portrait photography can look so stiff and posed and even though models look amazing in certain poses in the pages of a magazine, teenage girls might have a hard time connecting with a certain pose or look.

A candid shot is capturing a natural expression or movement from the senior. A young girl laughing at something funny, strolling down the street and twirling in a fluffy dress are all examples of a candid shot.

These shots still require some direction from the photographer but I find that they are more relaxed and often result in genuine smiles and expressions from the senior.

Moms love these candid shots too because it reminds them of their little girl who is all grown up but still has the same smile since she was a toddler.

Unique Locations

Unique Locations - Priscilla Davis Studio

Teens are often thrown into a pool of uncertainty when they enter high school and they graduate with a newfound confidence. Photographs during their senior year should demonstrate that confidence, which why many seniors request a location that is either unique or their friends haven’t used.

Teens do not want to have their graduations announcements or pictures looking the same. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “everyone one else just goes to the park” for their senior shoot.

It’s important to work with teens on a great location that still has amazing light and opportunities for great images. Seniors and the photographers should work together to find a great location that matches the teens personality, wardrobe, and stands out.

Best Friends Shoot

Bes tFriends Photoshoot - Priscilla Davis Studio

Sometimes a photoshoot all by yourself can be scary and awkward, so what is the best way to remedy this? A Best Friends photoshoot!

Having two girls or a group of friends is a great way to get some of the most amazing candid shots and heartfelt photographs because teens tend to open up so much more when they are around their friends.

Documenting a friendship is especially important during Senior year because honestly, sometimes you don’t know if you really will be able to keep in touch with everyone.

Having images with your best friend is truly priceless and it makes a photoshoot so much fun. Everyone in the shoot has their own individual shots of course but when you get everyone together, it’s a full blown party.

 

For more killer tips on Senior Portrait Photography, Seniors Ignite (affiliate link) offers some of the most comprehensive, up-to-date info on the senior portrait photography market. Check them out here (affiliate link).

 


About the Author

Priscilla Davis a Las Vegas Senior Photographer who loves getting to know her wonderful teenage clients! Her clients become her friends and she captures their journey through their school achievements, their sports, their talents, their beliefs and their dreams. She’s a Canon girl all the way and is obsessed with all things Tiffany Blue and Apple.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

4 Things To Tell Parents Before a Family Session

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Madeleine Jonsson Licht.

Madeleine says:

“This session was shot at sunset at Seal Beach in southern California. The location is very near and dear to the clients’ hearts as they live nearby and visit several times a week.”

Madeleine’s Photography Tip:

I love working with kids! But as we all know it can be challenging photographing families with younger kids.

To get mom and dad in the right mindset for the session and to relax, I always send out an email before our session letting them know what to expect – not just from me, but from the kids.

Here are some of the things I go over:

  1. The kids will probably try to run away. Or cry. Or hide behind mom/dad, nor not look at the camera, etc. etc. – and that this is all totally fine! If the kids start to act up, it is OK! I want parents to know this is normal so they don’t freak out.
  2. I ask them to not tell the kids what to do or where to look. Having more than one person giving you directions can be super frustrating for a child.
  3. Don’t yell or raise their voice. If the child doesn’t want to cooperate, yelling and/or raising voices will only make for a bad experience for everyone. You want your clients (big and small) to enjoy the session, not remember it as one big family fight.
  4. Ask if I can bring snacks for the kids. These don’t have to be complicated, and can be things like raisins, M&K’s, a sucker, etc. I want mom and dad to feel like the only thing they need to do is show up and be relaxed, and that I will handle the rest.

When it comes time for the session, my sessions are always about the kids. Right when they pull up to the location I greet the kids before I even talk to the parents.

I’ll ask them things like, “Hey who’s ready to play some games? If you do good I have a surprise for you! Don’t tell mom and dad.. it’s a secret!”

That way, you have the kids on-board from the get-go. If a pose or game isn’t working out the way I planned it, if I can tell the kids are getting restless or bored, we move on right away.

I always follow the kids’ lead and never make them do something they don’t want to do (like holding hands, sitting down if they want to stand up, etc).

All this makes for a smooth session – happy photographer, happy parents, and most importantly – happy kids.

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Madeleine used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Sigma 50mm ART lens and a Canon 35mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Madeleine Jonsson Licht is a Southern California Maternity, Newborn, Family and Children’s portraiture photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working with Children.


Prepping clients for a session via email is fun – it gets them excited, makes sure they’re ready and know what to expect, etc.

But how do you deal with the difficult client situations and emails? It’s not easy. Pick up a package of templates to help you through it and make sure you not only cover the situation, but also do it with the best possible customer service.

5 Easy SEO Tips for Photographers

5 Easy SEO Tips for Photographers

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]

Nowadays, more than likely a good majority of your clients find you on the internet. So how do you make sure that out of the hundreds of photography websites out there, your potential clients pick you as the proverbial needle from the haystack?

By making sure your site has solid SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

In this article, we’ll give you a few things you can do that will help your site’s SEO, along with point you in the direction of some tools you can use to help you out.

Let’s get started.

5 Easy SEO Tips for Photographers

1. Your site should be mobile-friendly. This is pretty new, but starting on April 21st, 2015, Google has started giving ranking preference to sites that are mobile-friendly. What does that mean for you? If your site is not mobile-friendly, you won’t show up as well in search results as  you did before April 21st. Google knows that more and more people are depending on mobile devices to browse the web, so they want to make sure their search results are returning relevant websites that will be easier to browse and will display properly on mobile devices. (Basically, they’re keeping up with the times.)

At this point I’m guessing you’re asking yourself, ‘Is my website mobile-friendly?’ And while we can’t tell you that directly, Google did create a mobile-friendly test you can run that will determine how mobile-friendly your website is. You can check that out here, and if your site isn’t mobile friendly, there’s some great tips there on how to start correcting that.

2. Get featured on other websites that link back to your website. Believe it or not, being featured on Belovely You is actually really good for SEO for your website. Here’s why.

The more sites you have linking back to your website, the more Google thinks your website is good and contains quality information. (After all, people generally don’t link to websites that contain bad information.)

It’s sort of like a referral: if someone is looking for a portrait photographer and a lot of people recommend your photography services to that person, the better chance they have of believing that your services will fit their needs (which makes it more likely that they’ll hire you). Google sort of works the same way: the more that Google sees that your website is linked to by other sites, the more Google will believe that your site contains good info and the more likely it is that Google will return your website in search results. These other sites that link to your website are basically acting as ‘referrals’ for your website.

That’s why when we publish a post on the site, we link the text of what area you serve and what kind of photography services you offer to your website:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.39.46 PMNow when anyone searches for a portrait photographer in Southern Nevada, Belovely You acts as a referral to Suzy Mead’s website, making it more likely that Suzy’s website will show up in search results for “Souther Nevada Portrait Photographer.”

3. Don’t do keyword stuffing. You want to rank on Google for Chicago Newborn Photographer, so the best way to do that is to make sure you have the phrase “Chicago Newborn Photographer” as many times on every page of your website, right?

Wrong.

This is what’s known as keyword stuffing. Google wants to make sure that the search results it’s returning contain useful, relevant content that makes sense. But (following Google’s example) if you have something like “XYZ Photography is a Chicago Newborn Photographer that specializes in Chicago Newborn Photography. If you’re looking for a Chicago Newborn Photographer, look no further, XYZ Photography is the best Chicago Newborn Photographer there is.”

That phrase is really redundant. No one likes reading it, and it doesn’t really give the reader any relevant or good information. Yes, that blurb contains a lot of keyword phrases if you’re trying to rank for “Chicago Newborn Photographer”, but it contains so many keyword phrases that the content doesn’t even really make sense.

You’re much better off just writing naturally on your website and filling it with good, useful content (that other websites want to link to, right??).

4. Don’t use Flash! This one is pretty big for photographers, because so many photography websites contain Flash. Why is this bad? Let’s go over that.

Google works by ‘reading’ your website and looking for certain keywords in the text, image file names, alt text, image captions, video descriptions, and so on. However, because of how Flash websites are coded (which is different than YouTube videos or other video platforms), Google has a really hard time reading them. If Google can’t read them, Google can’t tell what it’s about. If Google doesn’t know what your website is about, it’s not going to be able to return your website in the list of search results.

Plus, not all devices or browsers (*cough*Apple*cough*) can even play Flash videos, so even if Flash wasn’t bad for your website, a good percentage of the people who visit your website can’t even see it.

Have Flash on your website? Do yourself a favor and get rid of it.

5. Alt text and file names. Google understands your website by essentially reading your website for certain words and phrases (like “Los Angeles Wedding Photographer”). Google can’t, however, look at an image to know what it’s about; instead, it has to depend on the text around and associated with the image to tell it what the picture is about.

What does that mean? File names like IMG_3968 have to go. Think of it this way.

When you read an image file name like “IMG_3968,” you have no idea what the image is about unless you can also see the image itself. But remember what we said above, Google can’t see images (it’s a program, not a person), so it has to depend on the text associated with an image to know what it’s about – and in this example, the file name tells Google absolutely nothing about what the image is a picture of. 

The file name ‘Los-Angeles-Wedding-Ceremony,’ however, does give you (and Google) a better idea of what the picture is actually about even if you can’t see the image itself. So make sure you rename your files appropriately before you upload them to your site.

Another great way to make sure Google knows what a picture is about is to use descriptive alt text, which is short for alternative text. Alt text is text that is associated with an image that describes what the image is about. Something like, “Bride throwing the bouquet at XYZ Reception Hall in San Diego” is a good example of alt text (as long as the image it’s being used for is indeed a picture of a bride throwing a bouquet at XYZ Reception Hall in San Diego).

You can find and add/edit alt text for your images in WordPress in the right-hand column when you go to “Add Media” and choose an image to insert into a blog post or page:

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(And you can find a more detailed tutorial of how to add alt text to your images with a quick Google search.)

Tools To Help

This is just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to SEO, and if you’re already a little overwhelmed the idea of doing SEO for your entire website could seem a bit intimidating.

Here are some of our favorite tools and guides you can use to help you out:

WordPress SEO by YoastThis is a free plugin you can use for your website that helps you navigate SEO for any blog post and page on your site. You choose a keyword or phrase, and then Yoast helps you make sure that that page or post is optimized for that keyword or phrase. It is very slick, very easy to use, and intuitive. I use it on every site I work with too, and it’s a very commonly used plugin for WordPress as well.

Free Info From Google. Google Support has a plethora of free information about SEO. Guides, definitions, tutorials – anything from basic beginner’s info to more advanced, technical info.

seo for photographers

The SEO Cookbook for Photographers. This guide is created specifically for photographers, and is pretty comprehensive. How to rank locally, optimize images, optimize a blog, SEO practices that you need to avoid, etc. Basically everything we covered in this blog post, and tons more. Plus for the month of May, it’s $20 off. You can check it out here.

 

How can you tell if your site’s SEO is working?

SEO is something that takes time to work, and isn’t really an overnight success story. So how do you know if it’s working?

First off, Google is really smart. It knows a lot of the websites you use and work with regularly. So if you do a Google search for “Austin Texas Newborn Photographer” and your website is the first to pop up on the first page of the Google search results, don’t get too excited. At least not yet. Because chances are Google knows that this is your website because you’ve gone to it yourself many times and it’s stored in your browser’s cache.

So how do you search for “Austin Texas Newborn Photographer” on Google to see where you rank without Google knowing it’s you?

It’s super simple: go Incognito.

How you do this will depend on which browser you’re using (and a quick Google search will tell you how it’s done), but usually it’s just one or two clicks. Once you’re in Incognito mode, your browser is no longer storing your search history ad the browser cache has been disabled. Aka, you’ve turned off Google’s ability to know which website is yours.

Now search for “Austin Texas Newborn Photographer” and see where your site is on the list. Watch it over time – if you’ve gotten serious about instilling good SEO practices, you should notice your site slowly climbing up the search results list.

 

 

Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, and help support us and what we do and keep the site free for everyone. However, some of the links are not affiliate links, because we feel that many of the products here are solid, amazing products that we love to use and love promoting and recommending too.

Get In Front of the Camera – Not Just Behind It

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[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Alan says:

“Lee is a local photographer and our daughters are friends so we connected that way. Like many photographers Lee was great at shooting other families but her own family had been neglected, especially when it came to having her in the photos with her family.

So the session was set to go play and have some family photos as well as some cuteness from the kids. We are lucky to have a heap of great beach locations around us and were able to find a quiet beach so we would only have to contend with the dog walkers at sunset.

And of course the weather ended up being very warm so it turned into a very busy beach. Some preconceived ideas were forgotten about and the fun of improvising started – including how to get great family shots of just the family and not everyone else at the beach.”

Alan’s Photography Tip:

Honestly, my biggest tip for this shoot is to and get family portraits of yourself and your family every year, and get it done professionally.

If this is what you love to do, make sure you get in front of a real camera (selfies don’t count).

Get to understand what goes on at the other side of the session, as it will help you sympathise more with your clients on things like deciding what to wear, getting the kids ready, talking the partner into playing along, sorting out what props to bring, and also what it is like being directed, how it makes you feel, what you like and don’t like about the experience, etc.

Understanding these sorts of things will improve the way you shoot and handle your clients.

Once the session is over, the anticipation to see the images beings!  I guarantee you will want to see the photos ASAP, so it gives you a reminder that you need to turn around your images quickly for your clients. Don’t let the excitement fade!

Plus in the future, your kids will have photos to look back on like all the other families you’ve taken pictures for in your career.

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Alan used a Nikon D600 with a Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens, a Nikon 85mm 1.8 lens, and a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens to capture these images.

Alan Moyle is a Melbourne, Australia, and International Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Direction.


Like Alan said, family portraits are a great thing to pass on to your children. Leaving them the digitals is great, but the best way to do it is with physical prints and canvases.

However, getting your client to understand why this is important is hard. So start small – just start by showing them how great the prints will look displayed in their home.