Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Words from the Wise: Tips from Some of the Best Photographers & My First 5 Lessons Learned the Hardway

I've been learning loads from videos published by some top photographers recently. I wrote down some of my favourite quotes from them and I've typed them up to share with you. These guys have amazing information to share and I feel so inspired after watching. Check them out!!!

Chase Jarvis & Tim Ferriss


How to Improve Your Photos? TAKE MORE OF THEM & MOVE YOUR FEET.


80% content 20% marketing
Good work will get spread and become its own marketing/publicity.

Everyone is doing the same stuff these days. BE DIFFERENT.

Set concrete goals that can be measured. Use numbers, timelines & milestones.

Break through your fear threshold during the first hour of your day before you face anything else, including email. Do something you've been afraid to do/putting off.

Dirty secret of photography: TAKE TONS OF PHOTOS. With digital photography we can delete the bad ones. Good photographers don't just take one perfect photo. They take thousands until they find the perfect one.

DON'T DELETE BAD PHOTOS. They'll make the good ones look even better and they'll show you how you've progressed.

Jasmine Star
"I am a Wedding Photographer." — Make this Your Mantra. Embrace this identity & be confident in it.

So many more from her but I didn't write them down :(

Tamara Lackey
When you're doubting yourself and thinking negatively, ask yourself....would I speak to my children this way? Would I speak to my husband, friends or anybody else in the way that I'm talking to myself? No! Speak to yourself positively! Encourage yourself.

Mistakes I've Made So Far 
Ugh..I don't really want to admit this to the world and by the I mean to my present and future clients but I promised myself I was going to open and real on this blog so the people I get to work with know who I am … who I actually am, and not just a random girl behind a fancy camera & a pretty website that make me look like I know what I'm doing. The truth is I do know what I'm doing, I'm just still trying to work out how to do it best and better. I'm still learning and I will always be learning firstly because I love to learn (you can't stop me muahhah) and secondly because there's more information out there about photography than my puny little brain will ever be able to absorb!! Anyway, onto the lessons I've learned thus far from my mistakes…..

1) Don't be afraid to admit what I don't have/can't offer. Be up front about what I am and be proud of how far I've come. 
I had potential client contact me asking to meet up with me and see my work. When I received the email I didn't have enough photos in my portfolio to impress anybody. The only photos I did have were of fashion not weddings. I was scared that if I told her I had never shot a wedding before she wouldn't hire me. Why would someone want to hire a wedding photographer that had never shot a wedding? I was so unsure of myself I didn't reply to the email…how childish is that!! jeez. I've managed to build up a bit more confident in the last month so when I found her email in my inbox this morning with a wee yellow star beside it I just went for it and answered. I apologised for taking so long to reply and I told her that I wouldn't be able to show he a hardcopy of my portfolio just yet because it hasn't been printed. By the time I'll hopefully meet up with her (provided she hasn't giving up hope on me) I will have done a wedding so I'll have some wedding photos to show! Yay! How stupid of me to essentially turn away a client simply because I was embarrassed by my lack of experience. Amazing how our egos hold us back from reaching our full potential.
2)  Get photos to clients asap.
After I've edited all the photos from a shoot, sometimes they sit dormant on my computer for days or even weeks because I'm nervous about sending them back to the clients. What if they don't like them? Once I send them I can't make any changes. etc… Making the clients wait is not good business Chamonix!! If you have the photos, give them the photos and they'll give you a good review for having such a great turnaround speed. Seriously! What's your problem! Just send the photos! Just send them!
3) Don't over direct your models/subjects.
When I first started shooting I thought I had to shout out directions every few seconds. I thought I was the one who was suppose to be managing/directing everyone in front of the camera. I noticed as I looked through my photos that the best shots were the ones the model did naturally and some of the worst  were the ones I'd directed them into. Now I could be down on myself and say that I'm crap at directing models but from the optimist perspective its not that I'm crap it's that the models will do what comes naturally and that creates a beautiful, nature shot. Just a note: I'm not saying I'm horrible at directing. Of course, I have lots of room for improvement but my main message here is to not underestimate the models.
4) Always have extra batteries — especially if you're shooting all day.
I learned this one the hardway. I was at a beauty shoot in Edinburgh and my camera was on for 5 or 6 hours straight. Towards the end I had to shoot for five minutes and then pause while I charged for a few minutes and then back and forth and back and forth. Ugh what I nightmare. Bring extra batteries! I had the luxury of recharging since I was in a salon with power sockets but a wedding in a field a'int going to be so forgiving. 
5) Slow down and put time in perspective.
I've been working so hard on developing Loveducks Photography, almost literally non-stop for about 2 months now. Because I've been jamming so much work into everyday it's made the last two months feel like eternity. OK, not eternity..more like 6 months or a year. I was getting frustrated when I didn't see the kinds of result I would expect to see after a year's work because I was in that mind frame. I stopped myself the other day and checked how long I have been pursuing professional photography. 2 MONTHS! 2 Months Chamonix..that's it. No wonder you haven't achieved your yearly goal yet!  So I need to have more patient and compassion with myself and my business. When I realise it's only been 2 months I suddenly feel quite proud of my accomplishments thus far. Yay go me :P

Hope this helps somebody out there :)