An Outsider’s Perspective: Tips for Developing Your Brand

Early in 2008, I was introduced to the photography world by my good friend, Justine Ungaro. Upon hearing that I was a brand designer and seeing my work she exclaimed, “You should do this for photographers.” To which I responded, “How many photographers can there be?” Two years later, after attending a few conventions, I realized there are quite a few of you…and your industry is growing. Which is why the PartnerCon message of “differentiation” is very sound marketing advice indeed.

Being a designer in a sea of photographers, at PartnerCon, I spent quite a bit of time listening and watching. I could not believe how transparent photographers are with their businesses. I was so enthralled by how supportive and generous you are with the information and tactics you have used to become successful. You refer work to each other, which naturally builds a strong network. Many of you intrinsically …

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The Youngren’s Wedding Photography Schedule

There’s nothing better than a stress-free wedding day when everything runs on time, people are ready to take pictures when you need them, and you have creative freedom to do your job well. Can I get a ‘fo-sho’ from my wedding peeps out there?

And you know what the best part is? There’s a lot that you can do as a photographer to make sure that these kinds of wedding days happen more often than not, which is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. In fact, the photographer and the wedding coordinator have the most control over how a wedding day is run, which means two things:

1) You get to create the best photography schedule to help make you successful 2) You need to figure out the best photography schedule to help make the wedding successful

The Why: Everything we do centers upon the client experience. We need to set ourselves up for …

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Battle the Burn

Professional Photography Books - photographed by Millie Holloman

It’s that time of year. You’ve shot weddings all season long, you’re knee-deep in edits, and you’re exhausted. After all you’ve been through, haven’t you earned just one session where you take the easy way out? Bringing your clients to that same tried and true location, walking them through the poses that have worked before, and trying not to look at your watch too often. But that’s not fun–for you or your client. It really doesn’t take much to access fresh ideas, new inspiration, and great locations. Here’s what I do to battle the burnout:

Rip It Out: My staff and I keep a series of loose leaf binders filled with plastic sleeves in my studio. There’s one for engagement and family session ideas, one for weddings, one for female portraits, and one for male portraits. I subscribe to a lot of magazines–everything …

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Keys to A Successful Client Consultation

It’s intimidating!  The very first time you sit down across a table from a potential client.  ‘Will they like me?!’  Trust me, I understand.  I also understand that the client consultation can be the most important interaction you have with a client.  It sets the tone and direction for the entire relationship – so here’s a few things that might help the next time you meet with a client.

1. Consider Your Environment.

Where do you meet with clients?  It might seem like such a small detail, but where you meet with clients is one of the most important aspects of your client meeting.  It dictates the very first impression your client will have, and first impressions matter.

It seems that photographers are sort of split among three groups – those who meet in their studio, those who meet in their home, and those who meet at a coffee shop or restaurant.  I’m …

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Understanding White Balance & Color Temperatures in 8 Simple Steps

Like articles on many photography concepts, white balance tutorials can range from overly technical and hard-to-understand to basic and lacking information. We’re here to give you the SLR Lounge spin on the concept and present you with enough information to help you have full control over your photography while staying away from the technical terms and “astro-physics” that can make it hard for many of us to grasp these concepts. If you follow these 8 steps, you should have a good enough understanding of white balance, kelvins, and color temperature to start experimenting with the different settings and lighting set ups. As with almost any photography concept, after enough experimentation, you should eventually have a full mastery of the subjects.

1) Realize Your Limitations

Before dismissing this article as irrelevant, realize that shooting in RAW is not the absolute white balance fix. First and most importantly, there may …

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Tips for Storytelling

I am not a photojournalist. I am not a traditional wedding photographer. I actually don’t really claim any particular genre at all. When it comes to wedding photography, I am sort of a jack of all trades. But I try to be the best jack that I can possibly be. I will never be the best photojournalist out there. I will never be the finest at portraits or fashion or architecture or details. Someone who specializes will be the best at those things. And do you know what, I’m very okay with not being the best. But do you know what I am? Pretty darn decent at most of those things. And I think that this has been the simple key to my success. Consistency across the board and good solid storytelling. So today I want to share with you some tips for how to tell a great story and …

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4 Tips for Shooting in Manual

1. Manual White Balance

Basing your exposure and white balance on skin tones is the best way to get consistent and beautiful results when photographing wedding or portraits clients. I like to use manual with balance when shooting my events. I use the Kelvin Scale, which goes from 2,000k to 10,000k. It’s easy to remember because it’s just like regular temperature, warmer skin tones equals a higher kelvin number, cooler skin tones equals a lower number. Common kelvin settings I use when I am shooting natural light are as follows; (Daylight 5200K), (Overcast 6000k), (Shade 7000k). For indoor lighting I use the following settings; (Tungsten 3200k), (Fluorescent 4000K), and for flash shooting, I tend to shoot around (5,500k). Remember that these numbers are approximate numbers, and can be adjusted up, or down, based on personal preference. Adjusting that temperature and basing it off skin …

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Online Educational Resources — Adorama Learning Center

We’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the team over at Adorama on some rewarding projects recently.  In particular, we’ve benefitted from Adorama’s generous support of our national Lens & Learn program, and their commitment to community and education.

A great resource we want to share with all of you is the Adorama Learning Center.  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all the online and in-person educational content for professional photographers. Specifically, you’ll find in-depth how-to articles, tutorials, product reviews, buying guides and contests…all accessible free of charge.

One of our favorite content sources within the Learning Center is Adorama TV, featuring new episodes on a daily basis where you can learn all about camera techniques, tips & tricks and reviews of ipad and iphone apps for photographers.  The Adorama editorial team answers your questions directly, so if you want to learn or ask a specific question you …

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SEO Tip – Search Engine Optimize Your Images.

Today I am wrapping up this blog post as we fly to our first wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! If you are like us, weddings during this time of year are often met with equal parts excitement and that overwhelmed feeling you get in the midst of the busy season. I started thinking about SEO tips that I could contribute this month that didn’t create any extra work on your part since the consensus seems to be that we all have enough going on at the moment. Who wants to add major site changes or web presence growth campaigns to their to-do list right now anyway? We’ll save that stuff for the slower winter months. Besides, you still have to pack for PartnerCon 🙂

Today we’re going to talk about something you (hopefully) already do on a regular basis. Uploading images to your blog or website! More specifically, the best …

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Top Ten Tips for Getting Ready Wedding Pictures

1. Start slow. Don’t come right in with guns blazing and start firing off a bunch of shots right away. Usually the bride & bridesmaids don’t have their hair or makeup done yet, so they aren’t going to be a huge fan of having a camera in their face yet. Instead, Justin & I will usually come in first without our gear. I’ll hug the bride, meet and hug her mom (who is usually already a fan from the engagement shoot) and get introduced to the bridesmaids (whose names I will already start to try to memorize for the bridal party pictures later). Only then will we go get our gear, and even then we start with shooting the details (dress, shoes, jewelry, a grandmother’s something, bouquet, etc).

2. Use that time shooting the details to warm up. By getting there early, we can be calm (and bring a calming …

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