Quick Tip Round-Up

  • Let’s talk taxes! They are the bane of every business owner’s existence, right? Guess what? They don’t have to be. With a really solid plan and consistency, taxes don’t have to be a torture test. I recommend picking a percentage to pay yourself, keep in your business and set aside for taxes. For me that’s 35% every month to taxes, and 32.5% each to pay myself and to stay in the business. It results in running a pretty lean business, but then at the end of the year I generally owe less than 35% in taxes and so I have a chunk of money left that’s like bonus money. Obviously depending on your country and tax brackets that % might change. Do you have a solid plan for tax season? - Kelly

  • Hands up if you ever get nervous before a session? This topic came up in a recent Q&A at UNSCRIPTED and I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone! I started doing sessions 5 years ago and although I don’t get as nervous as I used to, I definitely still get that little pit in my stomach...and even more so if I already know the client. BUT as uncomfortable as it can be, I kind of love it and hope it never goes away. I like to relate it to being an actor and having the pre-stage jitters. It’s the nervous energy that keeps me fresh and on my toes and ultimately helps me be a better photographer. I want to be confident and own my sessions, but if I ever get SO confident that I don’t have the pre-session jitters and think that I can do no wrong, that’s when I’ll know I’m stuck and not growing anymore. I always leave a session thinking of all the things I wished I had done or the things I could have done differently or better, and I take that and use it on my next session. So my advice, get to your session a bit early, blast your fave tunes in the car, review your notes and inspiration images, take a deep breathe and step onto your stage and perform like you never have before...you’ve totally got this! - Jenny

  • For many of us who are primarily unposed photographers, there are times when you will need to give some direction and do some light posing. Maybe it’s a client who just needs direction or maybe it’s a specific assignment you have where you have to highlight something and posing is going to help. I know from first hand experience that it can be SCARY. Yup, that person is looking at YOU to tell them what to do and you have to think of a million and one things AND try and figure out how to get those things out of your mouth in a way that’s understandable. One trick I’ve learned over the years is to give the hands something to do. Slack, dead hands are the worst and can make an image look really unpolished, so just make sure you always have hands doing something. hanging onto a mug, tucking hair behind an ear, grabbing in to a tank top strap, thumb tucked into a pocket, rubbing a face.....the ‘what’ will depend on your end goal, but I promise you that having something for each hand to do will make both you and your subject so much more comfortable. Bonus tip: tell your client/subject to do whatever they are doing with their hands with AUTHORITY. Don’t gently pull at a strap - grab it and PULL. Tucking hair? Tuck and then flip it like you’re in the wind. - Kelly


  • What have you done for your business today? When running your own photography business on your own, especially when you’re just starting out, your to-do list can be a bit overwhelming and it can feel like you’re working all the time. But you shouldn’t be working all day everyday and into the night. A bit of advice is to break down your list into mini goals and aim to do one thing a day. It can be as simple as sending an email, editing 5 photos, writing a blog post or updating your website. You’ll feel accomplished crossing something off the list everyday and if time permits, you can move onto the next task. - Jenny

  • Are you into garage light? If you’ve never tried it before, you really need to as it’s magical! Beautiful catchlights, well lit subjects and dark shadows. Place your subjects just inside the line where the shadow falls so that you get light on their faces and have drop off behind. No garage? No problem....you can use a shed or any other structure with a large door that lets a good amount of light in. - Kelly

  • If you struggle when shooting a scene and end up missing moments because you’re fumbling around with your camera buttons trying to make adjustments, spend some time getting to know your camera blindfolded. Put on a blindfold, throw a sweater over your head or just close your eyes (whatever works for you!), and practice pressing buttons and making adjustments. I don’t recommend trying to shoot or walk around this way (that might end in disaster), just get to know where your buttons are and what they do without seeing them. Once you know you’re camera inside out, making adjustments becomes second nature and you can focus on the subject in front of you! -Jenny