What ONE THING would you change in 2013?

Now that 2012 has come to a close, hopefully you had some much needed  reflection and R&R and are ready to dive headfirst into 2013. When you think about your successes and mistakes over the past year, are there things you wish you’d done differently? Probably. But that’s the beauty of a new year – it’s a fresh start!

To get you started, we asked YOU to share ONE THING you’ll do differently in 2013. Every week, we’ll be spotlighting one photographer and the ONE THING that they’re doing differently this coming year.

What will you change? Here’s what photographer  Kristi Odom said:

 

About Kristi Odom Kristi Odom has a background in travel and nature photography that she brings into destination wedding photography. She has photographed weddings around the world including Ethiopia, Australia, Ireland, Thailand, amongst other locations. Her adventurous side tends to come out in her shoots; may it be shooting a wedding …

Read more →

Why You Should Sit-In on WPPI’s Print Competition Judging

A few days ago, Kristi Odom shared her wisdom about entering photo contests for self-growth. The benefits to your photo business are clear, but there’s still another benefit. It’s a hand-me-down tip from renowned wedding photographer David Beckstead, but its second-hand nature doesn’t diminish its value one iota!

Here it is: many contests – and you should ask about this for any contest you enter – allow entrants to sit in on the judging process. So, if you entered WPPI’s print competiton this year, you should sit in on the judging process. It can be brutal, but it’s the kind of critique that can change your business forever. 

 “I use it as a teaching lesson,” Kristi Odom says, “seeing hundreds of images submitted by people who think those frames are among their best work – and then hearing them discussed. For one thing, the quality of discussion is typically higher than in …

Read more →

Entering Competitions for Self-Growth: Part 2

Yesterday’s post gave you some background on how entering photo contests for self-growth can fuel both your creativity and your career. Here are specifics about finding and entering great photo contests.

Kristi suggests starting with contests in your specialty, and even in your geographic area. “You have to hunt around,” she laughs, noting that lots of competitions aren’t widely advertised. “It takes some internet time.”

In fact, if you find a contest easily, consider that a potential red flag – there are plenty of would-be contests out there that are nothing more than rights-grabbing companies hoping to score some awesome pics for their own marketing projects. Avoid those!

“The contests that offer prizes are the ones I’m wary of,” Kristi says. She recommends sticking to contests that favor photographers. How do you tell the difference? Read the rules, paying close attention to how the contest is judged, and any legalese about …

Read more →

Entering Competitions for Self-Growth: Part 1

If you knew there was a super-cheap, easy way to get professional feedback on your photography, would you do it? What if that opportunity not only included the ability to see how other photographers approached similar projects, but also happened many times a year?

Yes, we’re talking about photo competitions, and yes, you should try entering them for self-growth. But Kristi Odom taught me a few new ways to use your entries to make your work better, starting today!

A wedding and nature photographer based in northern Virginia, Kristi carries the kind of excitement about improving her shooting that brings me back to my early days just learning photography.

“When you’re in school for photography you get so much valuable critique,” she says. “When you leave school there’s just not a lot of that.” She knew she had a lot to learn, though, and for a couple years out of school …

Read more →

Giving an Image the Time it Deserves

After we had photographed a four-day wedding in Guntur, India, the groom’s family invited us to their home to join them for lunch. Although we arrived rather exhausted, we were quite excited to talk with everyone (without our cameras) over some authentic home-cooked Indian food. The living room was painted with many bright colors, that seemingly shouldn’t work together, but somehow did. Random objects sat in glass shadow boxes mounted on the wall, each of which contained a story. Still glowing with pride from their son’s wedding, the parents pulled out old wedding albums.

My first thought was, It’s been awhile since I sat with family or friends passing around photographs. I kinda miss those days. I didn’t even realize those days had passed until this very moment. Sharing images is something that we now do in solitude.

The first album was from their daughter’s wedding that took place in 2003. The …

Read more →

Love is Gender Neutral: Shooting a Same-Sex Wedding

I recently had the pleasure of shooting my first same-sex wedding. I had shot one other same-sex wedding, but as a second shooter, never for my own clients. I remember meeting with TJ and Marcus at a coffee shop, in which I nervously had crème brûlée and coffee at a quiet corner table while waiting for them to arrive. They came in with so much energy and laughter, some of my favorite types of clients…full of life.

I pulled out my wedding albums, all full of women marrying men. I remember thinking, “There is no way they are going to book me, there are no same-sex weddings in my portfolio.”

This didn’t seem to be an issue at all for TJ and Marcus. They looked right past that; it was just about me and my work. So, I was beyond happy when they called to book me for their wedding! I started prepping a …

Read more →