Quick Tip Round-Up

  • When you’re shooting a session, do you incorporate still life or detail shots into your galleries? When I have a quiet moment (usually when mom is just starting to feed, or during a bathroom break of a family session), I’ll generally look around for little details I can incorporate into a gallery and slideshow. I want my detail shots to be able to tell a story all on their own, so even though they aren’t of my main subjects (the family), they still need to be intentional. - Kelly

  • If you’re anything like me and edit your sessions or series of photos over the span of a few days, or even weeks, and you want to check them for consistency in exposure, white balance, editing style etc before exporting and uploading them to an online gallery try popping over to the Web panel in Lightroom. It’s my last step in my editing process to quickly check the images as a whole cohesive set and if one or two need adjusting it’s a one-click jump back to Develop. I’d much rather do this and notice the adjustments needed BEFORE having them uploaded rather than spotting them later which would mean deleting, back to LR, re-editing, re-exporting, re-uploading. Anything to save some time! -Jenny

  • Let’s talk about letting go of expectations. I don’t know about you, but I can very easily get wrapped up in photography and the things I want to do. For the past few years every summer we’ve done a road trip and every summer I’ve done a slideshow/video of our vacation. They are some of my very favourite personal slideshows. This year I had full intentions of doing one again, plus I had a list of shots I wanted to get for a tutorial about documenting your vacation that I’m working on. But, sometimes life has other plans and things don’t go exactly as you expect. For us, this time around that meant that my husband got super sick and I was single parenting for most of our vacation, and when I’d finally had enough, we called it quits and came home half a week early. About 3 days in I gave up on my slideshow and my shot list because my sanity was just more important than checking those shot boxes. Am I annoyed that I don’t have a slideshow of this vacation? Yes. But also the vacation was a gong show, so maybe it’s ok that it wasn’t documented. A few years ago though, I would have pushed through and kept taking photos because I couldn’t just let things be, but this year I realized that goals are just those - goals, and sometimes they aren’t always reached and that doesn’t make me any better or worse of a photographer. Just some random thoughts for tonight, but if you have any thoughts on letting go of expectation when it comes to projects or shot lists I’d love to hear them! - Kelly

  • Running a business is hard! Building a business is even harder! As a photographer, I love the creative side of shooting and editing sessions and telling my client’s stories, but unfortunately shooting and editing sessions isn’t going to build my business. I try to spend at least 30min a day during the week working on the non-creative stuff to help build and grow my business...updating my website, working on my SEO, blogging, posting to social media, networking, etc. It might not always be fun, but if 30min a day helps me get clients so I can get back to the fun and artistic stuff, I make sure to put the time in! - Jenny

  • One of the things I’m always aware of when I’m shooting a client session is to capture the full range of emotions. I actually joke with my clients that it’s not a good session unless there’s crying of some sort (sometimes it’s even me!). Over the years there have been happy tears, sad and frustrated tears, and even tears from the very best belly laughs. But truly, I mean that, because if a child (or adult) who is in front of my camera doesn’t feel comfortable enough to express real emotions, then it means I’m not doing a good enough job on my end making the environment conducive to natural interactions and so that they mostly forget I’m there. Do I always include tantrum photos in the final gallery? Not always. But just the fact that my clients were able to be themselves, lends to a better overall gallery. - Kelly

  • Ever sit down at your desk knowing you have heaps to do but end up mindlessly browsing social media and doing online window shopping instead, and then you realise you’ve accomplished nothing? I’m a queen procrastinator but with kids to entertain, a house to run and a business to manage, I need to be productive with my time and the only way I can do that is with lists. I LOVE my lists! At the start of each month I sit down with my diary and list out everything that needs to doing (it’s usually pretty long!) - session work, articles due, images submitted, website update, etc. Then each week on Sun eve or Mon morn I make a smaller list from my monthly list focusing on just the tasks for the week - confirm client, submit images by Tuesday, finish article by Fri, etc. Then each morning, I take my weekly list and make one more shorter list of the tasks for the day - call client, send off gallery, etc. This forces me to focus my time on those few small tasks only rather than feel overwhelmed with a giant list in front of me. If I finish my list for the day and have extra time, I don’t waste it on social media, I go back to my weekly list and start working through those tasks. I also feel accomplished crossing things off my lists everyday! -Jenny

  • How do you cull your images? I use a super simple system in Lightroom, but I always start from the last frame of the session (or day) and work backwards. For years I’d start at the beginning, and then realized that my best work is generally at the end, so it made more sense to start there and work backwards. Doing it this way makes it way faster plus it makes me feel better about my work as generally the last frame of a certain scene is the best one as I take the safe shot and then continually try and make it better. - Kelly

  • If you’re a business owner, post to Google +! I know, I know, it’s one more thing to do and yet another social media platform that no one is actually on. Except Google IS on there! It only takes a minute to copy and paste your IG posts onto it and then you can get off (no need to scroll, like and comment) and Google will reward you for being active! Just be sure you have your website linked in your profile. -Jenny

  • Embrace the chaos. That’s my motto when it comes to large families. Truthfully they are some of my favourite families to work with as they generally have no choice except to go with the flow. But, even through the chaos, I always work hard to make sure that I capture everyone’s unique personalities. One of my tricks, that I mentioned in our stories last week, is to make sure to get all the larger group shots out of the way at the beginning of the session. That way, if one kid (or all kids!), decide they are 100% through with sitting still, we’re all good as we already have what we need. -Kelly

  • Crop With Care! I’m a huge lover of the limb chop in my work and do it all the time, often intentionally. BUT sometimes it’s an accident and you just clip off the top edge of the head, or half of the hand. In this case, I’ll crop in hard and cut off a good chunk of the body and make it LOOK like it was intentional all along (just try to avoid chopping on the joint). Remember limb chops are more than acceptable, just do so with care! -Jenny