How to Select the Right Light and Cameras for Every Shoot

All photo shoots were not created equal. To select the best camera equipment for every shoot, consider a few important details. Here’s my gear selection process:

Determine the shoot location Identify the lighting scenario Research the subject thoroughly Storyboard the desired mood and select the lighting that will best convey that feeling. Carefully consider which camera body and lenses are necessary to capture different angles desired for each shot.

Controlled Light in Studio or On Location

If I am shooting in studio or I simply want more controlled light on a location shoot, I have a variety of lights that I pack. Much depends on the mood I am trying to achieve. I use Broncolor and Profoto heads and packs as my main light sources and use a variety of softboxes, umbrellas and diffusers to mold and shape the light to my liking. I sometimes use strip lights because they produce a very narrow output of light …

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How to Donate Your Photography Services to a Cause or Charity

Everyone has a story, and every photographer wants to tell stories. But it’s not that simple. Some stories are difficult, but they still deserve to be told. How do you photograph mental illness, autism, cancer?

With compassion, respect, kindness, dedication…and patience.

Both of my grandmothers had breast cancer, so it was natural for me to get involved with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and even more so after I spoke to breast cancer survivors about Boudoir Photography. After volunteering at the Susan G. Komen Gala, I was inspired to organize a fundraiser. Even though I had volunteered for other charities, I had never organized anything this extensive! Regardless, I decided to jump right in, to the deep end!

So how did we organize and host a successful fundraiser?

With lots of generosity! We were fortunate to have many great companies involved who wanted to collaborate to make a difference. We held the event …

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Relocating Your Business: Tips for Starting Your Business in a New Location

Relocating your business can be a daunting task. Like Idon’tevenknowwheretostartmaybeIshouldstaycurledupinthisfetalpositionthisseemsnice scary… if you let it. I should know, I practically just finished unpacking the last of my shoes into a new home on the island of O’ahu.

I left a city where my business was established and past clients were referring me for a new home where nobody knew my name. Along with deciding on new curtains, I was left to decipher how to pick my business back up and get to work.

Here’s what I learned in the process:

Spread the word: Let the world know when and where you are moving. Blog it, tweet it, change your city on LinkedIn. Okay, that last one was clearly a joke. The more people know that you are moving, the greater the odds of them suggesting connections you can make when you are there. A Facebook post from a mutual friend was how I …

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Wedding Day Portraits, Part 2: Quick & Dirty Solutions to a Common Challenge

Rarely are we handed THE perfect wedding day (at least not in New England!). We’re always going to face challenges. Try as you may to help clients and advise them as they plan their wedding timeline, more often than not, wedding photography is as much about problem solving as it is about capturing moments. As in, how can I make this situation as beautiful as possible, given the conditions I’m facing?

Rather than try to think of every possible variable that could go wrong, I’ve picked a common situation that often challenges me and described ways I’ve dealt with it in the past. As with all my articles, it’s not rocket science, but hopefully you can take away one or two tidbits that will help you problem solve in a pinch!

Harsh Light & Midday Sun

No matter how hard you try to advise a client that mid-day might not necessarily be the …

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Price Objections: How to Deal

Statements such as, “Your prices are out of my budget” and “It costs too much” are the number one reasons for stalled sales. Yep, I said stall, not obstruction or objection. How do most of us respond when we hear these things? We get angry or offended or, worst of all, we drop the price! If you go that route, it pretty much implies that you were charging too much to begin with. So not only are you left with a potential client who doesn’t trust you, you lost some of your profit margin.

But I digress.

Potential clients complain about prices all the time. Heck, we even do this from time to time as consumers. When you realize why you ask these same questions yourself, you can understand why you get them from your clients. As consumers, we want to be in control, but we also want to be nice. You …

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Boudoir: A Clients’ Perspective

Introduction by Kelly Segré

Many times photographers receive thank you letters and testimonials from clients. It is wonderful to know how much they appreciate what you did for them, but it is not often we realize the entire experience from their perspective. Some boudoir photographers say to fully understand what it is like you need to pose for your own boudoir session. While this is exciting and fun, it is not always the same for a photographer-turned-client as it is for the everyday woman who decides to experience her first boudoir session!

This article was written by an actual boudoir client about her experience from beginning to end – the words are her own.

My Experience with an Intimate Portrait Session by Pamela Fletcher Several times over the years I have seen ads for boudoir portraits offering a photo experience with professional hair and makeup like models and celebrities receive for their photo shoots. You …

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The W100K Bike Ride: Combining Passions for a Greater Cause

My introduction to photography came from a cycling and photography class in sixth grade. Both have been a constant in my life since then. Most recently, I had the honor to combine both to share moments of the W100K bike ride, hosted by President George W. Bush.

The W100K highlights the bravery and sacrifice of warriors wounded in the global war on terror, as well as organizations that have made continuing commitments to support America’s heroes. The ride is 100 kilometers (62 miles) and is spread over three days in the Spring and takes place at different state parks in Texas.

I served as Deputy Director of Photography for the White House Photo Office from 2001 to 2007. A mutual love of mountain biking created a close bond between President Bush and me when we started riding together in 2004. After leaving office, the President asked me to contribute my time and talents …

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A Lesson for Portrait Photographers: Keeping Clients for the Long Haul

We all know that the world of wedding and portrait photography has become more competitive than ever. So how do we create a business that continues to thrive even in periods of economic downturn and industry turmoil? How do we win lifetime portrait clients by collecting and keeping them for the long haul? Not by continuing to beat the pavement year after year, constantly analyzing ROI based on old school advertising and traditional marketing, struggling for every new lead that comes our way!

This, my friends, is not how I want to live, not how I want to run my business. I believe there is a simpler way, one that I have been living for years. It sounds simple and it is.

Our businesses can thrive by collecting and keeping clients for the long haul.

Now if you specialize too much, this isn’t quite possible. If you say, “I only shoot weddings,” well then …

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Remote Camera Setup Made Simple

When you don’t want to put your expensive camera far from where you’re working, or prefer to avoid hoisting thousands of dollars of camera gear on a stand surrounded by crowds of people, a simple solution is the GoPro.

There are no remote controls, no triggers to plug in, and the camera is half the size of an iPhone. The camera easily attaches to a tripod, light clamp or light stand. While the GoPro can record in still and video mode, I use it only for still images so I can create a time lapse video of the event, wedding, conference, etc.

Recently I was asked by a charity group to create a time-lapse of a playground being built in New Orleans. I was also photographing the event with my Leica rangefinders. I needed to find a simple solution for a few reasons. First, there’s not a remote method to record stills with …

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Destination Wedding Photography: How to Set Up A Business on the Road

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As wedding photographers, we have lofty dreams and wishes of photographing destination weddings one day (if you have not done so already). When we hear the term “destination weddings,” we imagine photographing a bride and groom against a backdrop of a tropical island in the Caribbean or a medieval castle tucked away in the Italian Alps. We get excited by the idea of having clients cover travel expenses so that we can fly to the other side of the world to do what we love – make beautiful photographs. While the above benefits are definitely true, there are many other things to consider when it comes to having a successful destination wedding photography career.

I have taught workshops and seminars on this topic and I wish I could take the next several hours just to talk about it here. However, for the purpose of this post, I will focus …

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