Tips for Booking and Rocking Same-Sex Wedding Shoots

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

Documenting the story of a same-sex wedding is really not that different from documenting the story of any wedding, at least from the perspective of a wedding photojournalist. In both, a photojournalist’s job is to capture the personalities, the emotions, the moments, the context and the details that work together to give viewers a sense of the love shared by the couple, their family and friends on that one special day.

© 2012 Sharon McMahon

So, how do I go about booking same-sex weddings?

1)  Seek this business only if you are truly supportive. If you have any reservations about the right of gays and lesbians to make meaningful, legal and sacred commitments to each other, that uncertainty will likely show when you meet with couples.

2) Make it clear on your website that you’re open to photographing same-sex unions. Show photos of same-sex couples if …

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How to Collaborate with Clients to Create Inspiring Images

sara_france1

I am living my dream. It’s the truth. I wake up every day and create art. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Beyond the blessings I feel that I have being a photographer, even more important to me is that I am shooting work that inspires me and others. I ask myself all the time, “What am I shooting that not only inspires me, but others as well?”

If you are familiar with my work, you have seen an image of a bride facing a giraffe. It’s my favorite image right now and, admittedly, I’ve put it everywhere! The home page of my website, and on most of my marketing materials. I am asked often how I created this image. How was I able to get a bride and giraffe together for a shoot?

The real question is, what can YOU DO to create images you are proud of? …

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Make More Money with Event Cards

customeventcards

If you’re an event photographer, there’s no better opportunity to reach your target market than at an actual event. No matter what kind of event it is — a wedding, mitzvah or birthday party — most of your client’s guests are potential NEW clients for you! Traditionally, client communities consist of similar socioeconomic classes and aesthetic preferences. So, the guests at that event this weekend are prime examples of your target market! And if your client liked you enough to hire you, then many of their guests might too. Don’t pass up an opportunity to market directly to them.

Spread the word at the event – use event cards! Not only will you give them a take-away with your contact information, but you’ll also give them the keys to access the photos from the event.

Many companies, like Pictage, provide turnkey solutions for event cards. Or you can make them yourself. Here are …

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How to Create Blog Posts that Appeal to your Ideal Client

how-to-create-great-blog-posts-that-appeal-to-your-ideal-client

A few years ago, photography sites were often built in Flash and were complicated to update. Now, thanks to technology (and WordPress), you can create an awesome website without being a ‘techy’ person. That also means you can update your blog by yourself, without having to pay a designer and wait for them to do the job. But creating content means understanding how to create blog posts that appeal to your ideal client.

Why blog, anyway?

Your blog keeps you in continual conversation with past clients, future clients and professional partners. It showcases your latest work and your unique style. Blog visitors want to see the latest, newest, freshest thing. If they get hooked, they may check past blog posts to find a specific location or shoot. Regardless, blog visitors instinctively go to the most recent post.

It’s easy to put together a wedding gallery with “best of” images, but blog visitors are …

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4 Tips to Finding Your Photography Style

Finding your photography style can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting. It takes time, but once you begin working on finding your style, it actually gets easier. Here are 4 tips for finding your photography style:

1. Study other images. Determine why you truly like a photo. Is it the light, the angle at which the photograph was taken, the subject’s expression, the bokeh, the layering of compositional elements? The list of why you like a photo could be really long or very simple – maybe you just like the way the subject is backlit. Once you start to realize what you like about other photos, you can start to hone your style by emulating those elements.

2. Start studying your photographs. What are your favorite portfolio photographs and why are they your favorites? You can use Pinterest to help organize your style. For example, you can create a Pinterest board …

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A Wedding Photographer Reviews the Leica Monochrom

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach

I love this quote and I think it fits perfectly with photography.

I started out with Rangefinders in wedding photography. Partly because those are the tools I had but also because I loved the intimacy I could achieve with a Leica due to it’s small size.

I’ll probably get some flack for this from film lovers (hey, I’m one too) but with their new Monochrom  – black and white 18mp digital Rangefinder, Leica has put the “Tri-X” back into digital photography. Perhaps they’ve even put the tried-and-true love of black-and-white back into wedding photography.

I think there’s a different thought process with black-and-white photography versus color photography. With the Monochrom, I don’t have the mindset, “I’ll just convert to black-and-white during post processing,” which can sometimes be lazy. I find myself taking time to think about the image before creating it, just …

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The Pro Photographer’s Guide to WPPI

Headed to WPPI this week and next? Like 15,000 wedding and portrait photographers, you are headed to one of the biggest gatherings of people from our industry, that you’re ever likely to encounter. Whether you’ve been a dozen times, or are headed out for your first time, the entire experience can be a bit overwhelming (to say the least). Between the platform classes, master classes, impromptu classes, shooting experiences, mentoring, and of course – the parties – there’s a lot happening. Want to come back in one piece?

Here are my WPPI Survival Tips:

1. Don’t try to do everything. You’ll hear this a lot from many people who have been there, but seriously – DON’T try to see everything. You can’t. It’s too big, and you’ll end up robbing yourself of the benefit of what you DO take in. Be picky about where you spend your time. You’ll get the most …

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Monitor Calibration: Are Your Prints Too Dark?

Calibrator

Are Your Prints Too Dark?

If your answer is yes, then improper monitor calibration is probably the reason. Have you ever wondered why when you get your WYSIWG (what you see is what you get) prints back from the lab they look darker than they do on your monitor? As professional photographers, we have a responsibility to make sure our monitor’s profile “matches” or is in “sync” with our primary print lab provider.

Your computer, monitor and printer are all connected by cables tethering them to each other. This allows your printer to recognize your monitor profile. It should print accurately because of this. But what happens when a lab prints images for you, and the lab is thousands of miles away? In many cases you get prints back and they appear a little darker – or a LOT darker – than what you see on your monitor. This is most likely …

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6 Ways to Affect SEO: Part 1

Flickr User SuperBoreen http://www.flickr.com/photos/superboreen/

Photo by Flickr User SuperBoreen

For many of us, getting viewers to our site from a search engine is one of the best ways of finding new clients. Here are six ways that you can affect the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your site in order to get a little bit closer to that coveted first page on a Google search.

But before we start, let me make a note about keywords. There is much talk about keywording, but in simple terms, this is all you need to know: what searches do you want to be at the top of?

In other words, what will people be looking for when your site shows up at the top?

For example, Amber and I want to be at the top of a Google search when people search for “Huntsville Wedding Photographers.” So those are our three main keywords; Huntsville, Wedding, Photographers. I don’t want to show …

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What’s NEW with ShootQ for Photographers?

What’s new with ShootQ? That’s right – there’s a new a batch of updates to ShootQ that will help you streamline your photography business. This release is the second part of a two-phaser. The first phase was especially popular with portrait photographers. Here’s what’s new with ShootQ in this second release…

1. Product Options Visible to Clients – This feature lets your clients choose product options from the “share pricing” pages and proposals. While this has been an awesome internal tool for photographers to keep their product options organized, it is now also available for clients to view and choose options. With this release, the feature now works for ShootQ accounts…and our January Nimbus release will update this feature there as well! Read More Here >>>

2. Calendar Filtering For Users – We’ve added a side panel on the calendar tab for easy navigation to see who is scheduled for a shoot or appointment …

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