Instagram: Thoughts on building on rented land

Colorado elopement photographer

Instagram and Business

Over the past few days I have seen more posts than usual about Instagram and reach and likes. So I am writing another post about building on rented territory. Instagram is just a tool. You should never build a business on it. When you build a house you do it on land that you won, and the same with a business. So here are some thoughts from someone who is in the marketing world and how to use Instagram.

1.    Have a strategy. More than just posting once and day and hashtags. Do an analysis of what posts work and what posts do not. Figure out what your target audience is into and craft strategy around that.

2.    This strategy can change. With the algorithm out of your control. You have to be ready to change it. Work to push people to your site or blog or where ever it is that you deliver quality content.  

3.    Deliver quality content.

4.    Likes matter, but not as much as you think. Yes, they stroke your ego when you get a ton. But if you are getting 5K likes and not booking off Instagram does that matter? If you are getting 100 likes and consistently booking is that better? I would rather book more and have less likes. There is always the argument that if you have a ton of likes that people will want to book you more, but I would rather be booked off of my style and who I am rather than how many likes I am getting.

5.    What is your plan for when the algorithm changes? You can spend hours on Instagram and get no where. What are your goals, mine are to run a successful business. So after I took a full time photography and marketing job with an outdoor adventure brand I outsourced. I found something that worked and grew and booked more. Some may say it is not authentic, but I am the one who posts and captions and makes the stories. So it is me. I just don’t have time to spend on Instagram and have a life. So they interact for me. No commenting only likes and follows. But I still push people to my blog and website as much as possible.

So if you are worried about your Instagram reach come up with a plan, create come goals, and make it happen.

If you are interested in the service I used click here. 

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Boundary Supply Prima System Review - Initial Thoughts

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I have a problem, but this problem is not my own. It is shared by many others. 

I am always searching for the perfect camera bag, one that can double as my everyday carry, but I can put everything I need for a shoot.

My standard items that I need are;

2 Nikon d750 bodies, 3 lenses (Primes), microphone, camera stabilizer, and snacks. 

Part of this is that some bags can fit all this, but the shape is awkward, or when they fit all the items, the fit is weird. I had a bag previously, that I loved, but there were a few downfalls, mainly that the compartment that you opened to get to the camera, had the chance of failing (mostly due to the user). 

But then the Boundary Supply Prima System arrived. They had some issues originally with their manufacturers and shipping, but once the bag started to arrive, there was nothing but positive things to say.  

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I have been running around with the bag for several months and wanted to write out some initial thoughts. I am still waiting for MK-1 Insert, to write out a full review, but here are some things that I like about the bag. 

Build Quality

When I first opened the box, this was the first thing that I noticed. This bag was built incredibly well. Its heavy, but when I am carrying several thousand dollars of gear, I don't want a chintzy bag, the last thing you want it a strap to fail and drop. 

I am 100% confident in this bag. I feel like if you filled it with bricks and threw it off a cliff it would still hold together.  The material, the buckles, the straps, literally everything feels like it will last. 

Aesthetics

As I mentioned above, one issue that I have with camera bags is that if they fit all the gear they are too bulky. While I am still waiting for the MK-1 insert, I have so far been able to carry nearly all the things that I would like the carry on/in the bag. I have been using an insert from another bag for the time being as the Verge Case does not fit what I need. (Although the Verge Case is perfect for snacks). 

Use

Since receiving the bag, it has been my daily carry. Car, bike, Tauntan, it works great for all of them. It holds up to pretty much anything. I have had it in water and snow, dust and mud, and it has never failed. Gear inside has stayed dry and protected. There is one issue that I have noticed that really does not have a fix, and that is the magnetic buckles.A few weeks back I was shooting an elopement at the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado and when I was packing up I noticed that I had that magnetic buildup on the buckle. This did not affect the bag buckling, but when you have camera gear, any amount things that can get into your gear is not fun. 

Wishes

I wish it had just a bit more room/organization in the front pocket. There is a magnetic pocket that is nice for separating items, but if there were a spot to organize memory cards, cords, and other accessories that would be the bees knees. The Fieldspace (Laptop case) is very nice, but the organization there could be laid out better, but that is just my opinion. 

 Front Pocket, You can use the magnetic hook for the provided keychain. and the back pocket is magnetic as well. Pockets are big enough for Phones, Hard drives, Snacks. 

Front Pocket, You can use the magnetic hook for the provided keychain. and the back pocket is magnetic as well. Pockets are big enough for Phones, Hard drives, Snacks. 

Other things that I like

 There are some really rad pockets that are hidden on the bag. One behind the water bottle holder and one on the inside flap that is RIFD, as well as two interior pockets that are nice for holding/ dividing things.

The fit of the bag when you are wearing feels really nice. Many of the bags I have had in the past are floppy and not fit for carrying your gear out in the wild. I had the bag in Utah for work and was climbing around in the canyons, sliding down wet rock, and doing a lot of activity. Never once did I feel like the bag was not secure. 

As I mentioned before I use this as my daily bag. I commute by bike about 15 miles each way to work and this bag feels great. While it is heavier than some, the airflow on the back is designed really well. There is no bag that will keep you dry 100%, but this one at least allows for the air to attempt to cool you. 

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Opportunity vs Working For Free

Colorado adventure elopement photographer

I hate working for free, but I love opportunity. There are alot of times when one might be disguised as the other and if you are always chasing a $ sign you might miss something amazing. Recently I was reading Charlamagne Tha God’s book Black Privilege   

“Success is a process: there are no cheat codes, no life hacks, no shortcuts, and no half steps. Opportunity always comes before money, but sadly a lot of us don’t recognize it unless there’s a paycheck attached. Don’t make that mistake.”

I know that this post will rub some the wrong way, and I am prepared to have people throw shade and hate on it. But I am writing from experience. As someone who has seen opportunity and taken it, worked for less than I am worth and done things for free so that I could turn that opportunity into a career.

But there are things that I have learned along the way.

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  1. Not all opportunity is created equal. In fact 98.5% of it is bullshit.

There are alot of people and companies that want things for free. But can you blame them? We all love free things, it is an enticing word. Multi million dollar companies will ask to work for free, trade, or (the best) exposure. But I also get that so here are some thoughts on that.

Free - If a company is making money they should pay in some form. Which leads to…

Trade - In my opinion is a great form of currency. I have shot for restaurants where I have done cash, and gift cards. Getting part paid in $600 to a rad restaurant is a pretty good deal. If I could do trade for an auto mechanic I would totally do that. Some things are mutually beneficial.

Exposure -  Every creative hates this, and for good reason. Exposure doesn’t mean shit. It doesn’t pay bills, and I have never gotten a paid gig from exposure. Don’t be fooled.

(A word about companies, I work for a large international outdoor apparel company, as of now we do not have a budget for models. So we don’t use them, we use employees and other avenues to get the photos we want. We have used trade if people are interested, but I will never ask someone to do it for free, or to devalue themselves and work for exposure. But it is true, sometimes there just isn’t a budget for things, but in that case they should respect themselves and others and just wait till there is a budget)

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2. My opportunity might not be your opportunity

Everyone’s path is different, everyone’s skills are different. What works for me might not work for you. Maybe it was my style of shooting, maybe it was my personality, or maybe I was just at the right place at the right time. But, it usually is one of the first two. Which leads me to number 3.

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3. You have to make it work

Good things come to those who grind everyday, even when they are tired, even when a client is unhappy. When someone doesn’t like your work, don’t complain in a Facebook post. Assess if it is valid, if it is and it aligns with your vision change it. So let’s break this one down.

  • If someone complains saying that they do not look good in your photos there are a couple ways to look at it. You can get mad, post in a Facebook group looking for validation and dwell on it. Or you can assess what the issues is and possibly change it. Is the client just insecure? Possibly. Or is it that you used the wrong lens, unflattering angle? Some issues are their issues and some are your issues, but learn from them and move on.

  • If someone offhandedly says that there is no emotion in your photos and that is something that you are striving for, then maybe look at what you can do better, experiment and change. But only if that is your vision.

  • Many times I see photographers running at every little red flag from a potential client. The client asks for one small thing and the photographers take that to mean that the client is going to be a nightmare, when in reality it is probably the fact that they are wary of spending $2000-$7000 on someone without asking a few questions. Yes, there are clients that won't fit with you. Yes, you should say no to some people. But use the question period to educate and answer. Listen to what is behind the question. If you run every time there seems to be a red flag, you may miss an amazing opportunity. 

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4. You have to make it work Part II

When opportunity comes that is right for you, you have to use it properly. If you choose to do something for travel you can’t just sit back and think that everyone is going to want to book you because you shot in Iceland, or Santorini, or Columbus, Ohio. You have to figure out how you will hustle and work to make that into something that builds your value in a way that no one can take. Opportunity doesn’t come to those who wait, it comes to those that make it happen and keep working when they are burned out.

If all you do is work for travel you will go broke, unless you are a trust fund kid, but then you don't need someone to pay for travel. If you keep working for cheap, you will get burned out so fast that the craft you once loved will feel like listening to Fran Drescher for 8 hours straight. 

If you don't value yourself others wont either. 

So lets end with a story or two. 

This one is different as I made this opportunity from the ground up, but using your craft for networking, on your terms, can lead to rolling opportunity. I got together a styled shoot, just a small one with a few vendors, and out of that shoot I have booked over $10K of work, and some of that work is regular. 

Another opportunity that has brought me to where I wanted to be when I first started was taking a part time internship. I worked for very cheap, If I had booked these shoots at my commercial rate I would have made $3-4000 more a month. But I put in my time, showed my value and have a job that is others would kill for. 

Remember, Opportunity might not aways pay well immediately, but when you put your time in, show your value, and stay positive. It will pay far more than you could hope for. 

The road is yours to make. So get out there and do it. 

 

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#liveauthentic. But really do it

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Time and time again I see stories in my photography groups about people having work stolen. Sometimes it it images, sometimes it is words, or other content. But now matter what there are always feelings of hurt and anger. 

At times these people are just general public, other times it is a business that doesn't want to pay. But in my opinion the worst is when it is another industry person. Another photographer, or videographer, or designer. Someone that should know better. So here is what this blog post is about. 

NO ONE ELSE NEEDS TO FAIL IN ORDER FOR YOU TO SUCCEED 

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You as an individual has the power to set yourself up to succeed. But also to fail. 

When you steal others images in order to gain clients. You will fail. You will get found out and the photography community will rain down a fury that would send Zeus himself into hiding. That would be the easy way out. Worse you will gain a client by showing skills that you do not have, and when images are delivered, they will be disappointed and angry. You may have a lawsuit, you may not. But never the less, you will not last long. You will not succeed. 

This is not an easy job. Yes at times we get to travel and it looks super exciting, and yes we do love it because it fuels a creative fire within us. But what you do not see is the years of working multiple jobs in order to afford gear. The shooting weddings and sessions that were not a good fit, because we did not know any better. The tears, the anger and the despair when after pouring everything into a wedding, the client only has anger and makes you want to quit. 

But all these things are what sharpens you. What builds you up and crafts you into not just an artist, but a business person. You need to make mistakes in order to grow. You cannot, and no one has ever gone from 0 to Pro. It is a long road. 

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NO ONE ELSE NEEDS TO FAIL IN ORDER FOR YOU TO SUCCEED 

This also means that when you get jealous, or angry that you are not at ________ photographers level. Or you just want to book more that you can find an easy path. Trying to defamate someones character or business will not lead to your success. Taking copy from a website, or passing of images as you own will not lead to your success. In fact you will fall faster than you thought possible. 

What will lead to your success?  

I am sorry but the only answer is work. Get out and create. Shoot more. 

Be who you are. Don't try and be another photographer. You will not capture their market share or their clients. Go after different ones. 

Shoot sessions that will fuel your soul. Do them for free as long as they work for you. 

Don't shoot for free when it will suck your soul dry.

Practice. Get out of facebook groups that breed jealousy and popularity and contempt. 

Practice. 

As Rihanna says 

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The more you build into yourself, the better you will become. 

Shooting Commercial Adventure Products - Triple Aught Design

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So recently I took a full time job as a Visual Content Producer with a company out of San Francisco. That is basically fancy wording for I make videos and take photos for them. But the rad part is, I get to do adventure photography. Some of it is talking head video’s and studio shots. The other part of it is that I get to shoot lifestyle photos for our products. The other part of this is that I get to use my MS in Marketing for this job as well.

         When I finished my degree I spent time looking for a job that was a good fit. I held out I was broke, and it was hard. I met with some people and had phone calls with others. I even had one person tell me that I would never make it in the marketing world as I didn’t know how to code. (I had said in my resume and email that I am a creative with a mind for branding and communication, never mentioned coding).

Well, I finally landed this job, and it is a perfect fit, I am still going to shoot weddings but I am going to focus on a different realm of weddings. But the rad part about this job is I get to go to rad places and meet rad people and shoot rad photos. I am writing this to recount the adventure that just happened.

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So we are a two-man marketing team, we pitched this idea for a shoot for our upcoming spring/summer products and get out into the field to test as well as to get epic photos with each product. We planned to shoot in Southern Utah area as we had water, and epic scenes that fit with the story that we want to tell.

Day 1. Really the shoot started in the airport. We knew that as with most adventures, the travel is part of the story, so we spent some time getting some photos with the products we wanted to highlight as we waited for the plane to head out. We arrived in Las Vegas at about 11:30pm and had just enough time to pick up the rental car and to get to In-n-Out. Which is epic. Living in Colorado we keep waiting for In-n-Out to make its way to us. So even though this was only a couple hours, it was still day one.

Day 2. We woke up in Las Vegas, and after a hasty breakfast of waffles, yogurt, and an apple we headed to Hurricane, Utah. The big unknown of our shoot was some underwater photography. I have never shot underwater, or done free diving, so this was going to be exciting, but the wind was blowing really hard and the water was about 50 degrees. After a quick weather check we decided that the next day would be better so we headed to another location. We spent a good portion of our day in Snow Canyon State Park, which was gorgeous, but insanely windy.

Day3. We knew that the weather would be great in the afternoon so in the morning we took off to go check out Kanarraville Falls. It was 50 degrees when we left our hotel, but as we drove we watched the temperature gauge in the car continue to drop. When we arrived at the trailhead it was 32 degrees and there was snow on the ground, and we were wearing shorts. But after the 2.5 mile hike, which part of it is through the stream, which was basically freshly melted snow, we arrived at one of the most epic locations I have ever seen.

After hiking down and bringing life back to our feet, we headed to Sand Hollow to attempt the diving photos. The one thing that we did not take into account when planning this adventure was how cold the water would feel and how hard it is to hold your breath when your lungs seize due to the cold. So shooting underwater, without wetsuits, was extremely difficult. But we got some rad shots.

On the back to Las Vegas to catch our flight, we made one last stop to get some shots and footage in The Valley of Fire. The slot canyons here were insane. You could see where over the centuries the water had shaped and moulded the landscape. 

Even with the flight home being delayed by 4 hours and arriving home at 2am, the adventure was a success, we created epic content, and had a blast.

 

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Vail Elopement - Matt & Lauren - Colorado Elopement Photographer

Recently I had the amazing opportunity to shoot an adventure elopement in Vail, Colorado. Matt & Lauren were up from Arizona and hit me up to do a little elopement session while they were in Vail. Colorado has had an amazingly warm winter so the snow was a little scarce, but I wanted to get them out into nature and have some fun experiencing the beauty that is Vail. 

We didn't have much time so we met in Vail Village by the bridge to get a shot there and then headed up to the trail. 

They were troopers and hiked through the ice and mud to get up to the spots that I had found. 

Finally after slipping through and almost falling, and arriving with the Vans still clean we reached the spot that I had found and had a blast. 

A little further up the trail there was an aspen grove that I wanted to use for the video I was shooting as well. So we hiked up, or slipped up and shot a couple more photos. 

While we had some beautiful scenery, there was one shot that I wanted to get with the mountains in the background. So we headed back to the car and drove to one last spot to snag this photo. 

If you want to watch the video check it out here!

War of the Vendors - Wedding Planners & Photo/Video People

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There are so many vendors that come together to make a wedding day happen. From the planner to the event staff, the entertainment to the bartender, the media people and the florists, along with so many others. The wedding day is constructed in such a way that we all need to work in harmony to provide the best experience for the couple. 

But often time this doesn't happen. It is all unseen, but photographers and videographers tend to have beef. Photographers and planners have issues, and photographers and DJ's can even have problems. Well, maybe the problem is the photographers, we can be a little demanding. But lets be honest, for the media folks, what we provide lasts the couple forever. We do have a little pressure. 

So I started a series for photographers about working with other vendors. So the first one is Wedding Planners. Over the years, I have worked with some that frankly, I am not sure how they are in business. But I have worked with a ton that are amazing and see the fact that we are a team that works together to make the day happen. So I have asked several Colorado Wedding Planners for their thoughts. I sent them several questions that hopefully will open our eyes to their day. 

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Jazmyne Lewis - J. Lewis & Co

1.    As a wedding planner what is the hardest part about your Job?

Hardest part I would say when you cannot be in all places at once and would have to delegate to other people to get the job done. Putting out fires that seem uncontrollable have been a challenge as a planner. Making sure that clients are happy, trying your best to not make a mistake, but overcome them. 

2.    What would you like the Photographers & Videographers know about Planning?

That you have a reliable partner to assist you to make sure the day goes smooth throughout the event-an event planner. Having a strong collaboration and vendor relationship would make a whole lot easier and more opportunity to gain leads.

3.    How can we (Photo& Video help you out)?

Marketing and collaboration are huge key components to getting twice as many leads then as a solo vendor. I would like for photo and video help me by encouraging your clients to have a wedding planner and stress how important and cost effective it is to have one in helping them with the planning process and to run the show the day of their event.

About J. Lewis & Co

J. Lewis & Co is an event planning company that specializes in executing signature events through event design, referrals (invitations, catering, registry and so much more). From pre-planning to day of coordinating- J. Lewis & Co is the company that can do it all. 

Follow on Facebook  J. Lewis & Co, www.facebook.com/jlewiscoevents

Check out our Instagram: www.instagram.com/jlewiscoevents

YouTube channel: J. Lewis & Co

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Aimee Palifroni - Prisma Events

1.    As a wedding planner what is the hardest part about your Job?

As a wedding planner, I think the hardest part about my job is the physical aspect of the day of the wedding. I think people have a generally very romanticized view of what a wedding planner does and it’s much more physical work than they realize! The day of an event we are on our feet for 10-12 hours, moving quickly, setting up décor and details (even moving tables and chairs sometimes!), barely eating, and trying to be in two places at once. I average at least 19,000 steps on wedding day!

2.    What would you like the Photographers & Videographers know about Planning?

I would like photographers and videographers to know that we DO keep you in mind when creating timelines. I think it happens a lot where not enough time is considered for everything that they need to get done so we make sure that we can build in some buffer time and talk with the vendors about how much time is ideal for them to get everything they need. When we are trying to orchestrate a lot of different people and vendors, the timeline is crucial to keep everyone on the same page and keep the event moving at a good pace. If we have changes, we let everyone know so they can be prepared. We want to make sure everyone gets their jobs done and the couple has every shot they want!

3.    How can we (Photo& Video help you out)?

I once had a photographer put reminders in his phone to make sure that they were back to the reception site before cocktail hour ended so he could photograph the room before we let the guests in. That was amazing! We were at Denver Botanic Gardens and it’s nearly impossible to hunt down a couple and the photographer once they have gone off to take couple shots. When I came around the corner and saw him already back, I was so happy! I think the best way photo and video can help us is to be mindful of the timeline and try to stick to it as much as possible. We create the timeline to keep everyone working together, keep the event moving at a good pace, and help the couple maximize their party time! We don’t want you to miss those perfect couple shots – trust me, we love them as much as you do – but planning ahead of time and getting back to the site is super important for the rest of the night.

Check out their website www.prismaeventsllc.com

Follow on Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/prismaweddings/

Follow on Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/prismaweddingsevents/

Follow on Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/prismaweddings/boards/

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Natasha Tuccitto - Sugar Willow Events

1.    As a wedding planner what is the hardest part about your Job?

Hardest part of my job is, time... there is never enough set up time. Keeping large groups of people to a somewhat schedule, when and where during a wedding with the wedding party, parents, grandparents and such.

 

2.    What would you like the Photographers & Videographers know about Planning?

A planner can only do so much, so it is very helpful when the photographers and videographers are working with planners to move things along.

 

3.    How can we (Photo& Video help you out)?

I typically meet with the photographer and videographer before the wedding to work out a timeline together. I will also include the DJ, so we can all work together on the major events of the reception to make sure everything goes as planned. So I guess I would like photo and video to plan to meet with the planner ahead of time. And to always make me look as thin as possible in any shots they get;)

 Check out their website  Sugar Willow Events

Follow them on Facebook   www.facebook.com/Sugarwillowevents/

Follow them on Instagram www.instagram.com/sugarwillowevents/

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My Thoughts

When vendors work together, there is a lot that can be done in a short amount of time. I think that one of the hardest things at a wedding is we all want to do a good job. We all want the bride and groom to be happy. 

As the media people we are the only vendors that are with the couple all day. Often times I start my day at 8am and do not finish till midnight. We have a lot poured into the day as well because when we go home we still have work to do on the wedding. Many times we are editing the photos or video, and building albums for months after the wedding. 

I like to communicate with the planners and coordinators that I work with from the beginning. I insist on building a photo timeline with my couples to ensure that they receive the photos that they have dreamed about. When there is no planner I often become the planner by default. Telling people were to sit, where to be next, and how to cut the cake. When there is a planner if we work together we can make to couples day absolutely amazing. 

I appreciate you reading and to Natasha, Aimee, and Jazmyne for taking the time to help with this post.  

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Dear Photographer - Fight in the Shade

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What is up everyone? Hopefully the slow season has treated you well and you are rejuvenated for this next year. Every so often I will write a little encouraging ditty for all us. I mean, I need it too, but I want to share things that I find encouraging with others. 

So what do I mean fight in the shade?

Remember that movie 300? Well, that actually originates from a true story. While the movie is a bit ridiculous. There are parts that are true and even quotes that have been passed down in oral tradition to remember the Spartans and how 300 (there were more Greeks, but only 300 Spartans) stood against the armies that came at them. 

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So in the oral tradition and history of the battle, when a message is sent to the Spartans that basically they have no chance, because 

"Our arrows will blot out the sun"

The Spartan General is said to have laughed and replied

Than we shall have our battle in the shade!

So why am I writing about history to photographers? Well, here is where I was inspired. There are manny times that are tough as a human, as a small business owner, and as a photographer. We may have times where we want to surrender because the onslaught seems overpowering. It could be clients, it could be life outside of photography, or it could be the drama that unfolds within the photography world itself. But it is all about outlook. The Spartans and their companions at most numbered about 7,000, and the invading Persians had over 300,000 in their army. The Spartans faced certain death, and they did. But their outlook was to laugh in the face of desolation and be mock the threat with the joy of shade in battle. 

So, when the going gets tough. How can you find shade in what you are dealing with? Remember that if people are trying to destroy you, it means that you have something worth defending. When other photographers talk shit about you, it is because they are insecure, and threatened. So your shade is your success. 

When it is a rough client. Remember those who you have given so much joy. 99% of the time it is not you. It is the other people. Unless you are just an ass. Then it is you. 

 

So when the arrows start flying, find your shade... and PARTY!!!

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Epic Groomsmen Gifts

Over the years I have seen a ton of rad bridal party gifts. There are a ton of articles out there that have ideas, and do' and don't for wedding party gifts. A really great one can be found here. 

But here are some of my favorites. Some I cannot find the photos from the weddings, but I have seen them and they are rad. 

One of my favorites is from Groovy Guy Gifts. I liked this one so much I picked up a flask with my logo on it (Although I am changing that soon). This was super rad because it came in a branded wood box. You can find that here.

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        Get your dude's faces on a          flask

One of my favorites. I mean how cool is this. Check it here.

So I have yet to see this one, but I kinda want one just to have. You know in case Zombies attack

I mean you could throw your buddies nicknames on there, and it looks super cool. Check those out here. 


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What guy doesn't like a custom rocks glass. Even if they don't drink, you can have some milk in it. I have shot several weddings where these were given out as gifts and the dudes where super happy. There are a ton of sites for them, but its always cool to support an Etsy Shop. 


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This is one I have seen a couple times but I cannot for the life of me find a photo of one. But you can get a whole variety of Leatherman tools engraved. You can range from $16 - $175. Super rad, and they are always useful. Check out the collection here. 


Finally the Ultimate Groomsman gift. 

2018 Rezvani Tank

The Rezvani Tank. This thing is fully customizable and your grooms dudes will never forget your wedding. Each one will only set you back $225K base price. But is there really a price on friendship?

Food Photography - Denver Food Photographer

Denver Food Photography

So while my website is primarily weddings and couples, something else that I shoot quite a bit is food for restaurants. Mainly I contract out for these, but occasionally I do images for menus and advertisements for restaurant groups. I often get asked about how I got into to shooting food, so I figured that I would talk about that here. 
Several years ago when I was living back in Kansas, I made a friend that owned a restaurant group in the Kansas City area. After talking for a bit, we decided to do a complete menu overhaul. That was my first time shooting food professionally. After this, I connected with a Grocery Co-Op and shot advertising photos for them. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with quite a few restaurants in Denver and Boulder as well as other locations along the Colorado Front Range. 
Here is a gallery of some of my favorite images. 

Process for shooting food.
When I was first starting out in food photography, I read so much on food styling. There is so much that the high-end food photographers do to food, that makes it not even food. I get it, but I also do not get it. I mean using motor oil for syrup on pancakes and waffles is a good idea, as the regular syrup will soak in too fast. I have never in my life received a fast food sandwich that looks as good as the photo. But most of that is fake food anyway. 
When I work with restaurants, I always tell them to present the food as the customer sees it. Chefs will always try to make their food look good for photos, but I want them to plate it as it is normally plated. Sometimes they try and put it on a different style dish, or add garnish on top that is not normally on the plate. My goal is to present the food to the customer would see the dish. 

 You can see the large windows on the right. That is what I use as my light source in 99% of my shoots. 

You can see the large windows on the right. That is what I use as my light source in 99% of my shoots. 

99% of the time I use natural light. There have only been a few places that I have utilized my flash in a shoot. When I shoot, I try and find a table next to a large window, with diffused light. Depending on the situation I will shoot with my 24mm lens or my 35mm lens. I utilize a white foam board to bounce the light to bring out my shadows. 

 Here is a SOOC where you can see the White Foam board. On tables that have a gloss finish it is hard to use this due to the reflection. 

Here is a SOOC where you can see the White Foam board. On tables that have a gloss finish it is hard to use this due to the reflection. 

I spent about ten years in kitchens cooking and working with a variety of chefs. During my time in kitchens, I learned how chefs think about food and all the elements that go into a dish. So when I shoot food, I work to show all the effort that goes into a single entrée or dessert. 
For me, this involves having overhead shots, customer view shots, and close-ups of the main details of the dish. 

When Shooting restaurants I like to get lifestyle shots as well.  These vary, and most times if I am in the kitchen I will shoot at a low shutter speed and ket the movement and action in the kitchen. 

When shooting food you need to understand it. You need to understand how fast things turn in the air. Cheese turns fast. Meat if overcooked looks grey. Refried beans look like doo doo. Learn how food works and it will make shooting easier. 

 

Keep an eye out. I have a couple food photography workshops that I am planning with a local restaraunt group. 

The Pines at Genesee - Landon & Brandi - Denver Wedding Photographer

So I am going to be straight. This is an older wedding. It was on my old blog, but never got transferred over. But I was looking back at old photos, wanted to throw down a re-edit and blog about this. 

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This wedding is special to me because the groom, Landon, was a kid that I coached in track when I was in college in Northern Colorado. Him and I had become friends after I graduated and left and stayed in touch through the years. When he got engaged he contacted me and wanted me to shoot his wedding. I was living in Kansas at the time but its alway good to get back and shoot in Colorado. Now that I moved back I get to shoot all over this beautiful state. These two got hitched at The Pines In Genesee and the rain provided a great backdrop of some of our photos. 

The colors that were around us that day were gorgeous. Fall weddings in Colorado are something else. 

I love when bridal parties are fun and don't take the photos too seriously. Many of these guys have known each other for years so they have a lot of history. You can really tell how close they are. 

The party was pretty baller too. This was my first wedding shooting with a live band. 

I also got to nail an epic backlit image. 

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Take Your Squarespace site to the next Level - Denver Wedding Photographer

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What up fellow Squares! Or Spacers or whatever we are called. I guess it would probably be creatives. Well, I learned a few things today that got my site to do a couple things that I had been wanting to do, but never got around to doing. The best part is it took me no more that 10 minutes. Yes the same amount of time you spend scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and Instagram. Actually probably shorter. 

A few weeks ago I wrote about SEO for Squarespace sites. Things that I did that helped me from not getting picked up on keywords I wanted in my new state to ranking and getting more organic traffic. You can read that post HERE

So here are a few things to help your site out. 

The Announcement Bar

No you cant get drunk here. But it is just as rad. Have a rad promotion? Or want people to notice something when they come to your site? Utilize the announcement bar. 

Cool right? So how do you do this. Simple pay me $5000 and I will do it. Not really. Login to your site, and click the Design tab. 

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Once you click in, make sure that you enable the announcement Bar. Then write whatever you want, hit save and BOOM!!! You have a rad announcement bar. Just remember that if it is a limited time special or something to go in and change it. You don't want to have something for Valentines Day in November. 

Disable Right Click

Ok, so you don't want to let people steal you images. But anyone can right click and save. 

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So how do you stop those people? Well copy this code and inject into either your header or footer. 

<script language=JavaScript> var message="Function Disabled!"; function clickIE4(){ if (event.button==2){ alert(message); return false; } } function clickNS4(e){ if (document.layers||document.getElementById&&!document.all){ if (e.which==2||e.which==3){ alert(message); return false; } } } if (document.layers){ document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEDOWN); document.onmousedown=clickNS4; } else if (document.all&&!document.getElementById){ document.onmousedown=clickIE4; } document.oncontextmenu=new Function("alert(message);return false") </script>

Now if that doesn't work since I disabled the right click, highlight and Command (CTRL)  C   if that doesn't work, then go here and copy. 

So are you confused on how to do this? Super easy! Login to your site and go to any page. Scroll to the bottom and hover. You should see the Footer button. 

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Click edit. 

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Click on the code button and paste. Boom. No more right click. 

EDIT: IT is always possible fo someone who knows what they are doing to work around this. But if someone is dumb enough to try and steal your images and use them without your permission, they probably don't know how to figure that out. 

 

Have any questions or comments? Drop them below. 

Interested in random marketing/advertising/branding tips follow my IG stories HERE.

Preparing for a Wedding - A Vendors Point of View

So, as a wedding vendor, I get the inside look at weddings. I don't get to see the whole planning process, but I do chat with my couples and I do offer them some tips along the way. The thing that I stress the most, from meeting to the day of, is... "The only thing that really matter is that at the end of the day you two are married." I will always stand by that.

As a photographer I may be biased, and I might ad to the thought above that it would be nice to your memories recorded in a photo or video form. Because to be honest, no one else will remember what your flowers looked like, or what food you served. (Although, I remember food at weddings, but that is because I love good food). 

So what are some things that you can do to help your wedding planning? Damn, I am glad you asked because I have just a couple of those things. 

Engagement Photos!

Do get them, especially with the photographer that will shoot your wedding. You will get to learn how they shoot and it will make the wedding day go so much smoother.  I love engagement photos. It can be a great time for us to connect and to get a feel for what we can create together. Engagement sessions are a time to capture your relationship and your story. The best part is that these can be super personal and you can use them for your save the dates and invitations. Think about what kind of fun things you would want to do. We can go out to a lake or a beach, we can hike up into the woods or we can hang out downtown. 

Some Engagement Photo Tips

DO's

Coordinate your outfits.

Launder and iron your clothes, Photoshop won’t take out wrinkles or animal hair.

Bring props: something meaningful to you, your pet, an

instrument, a hobby, sport or whatever suits you the most.

Use it as an excuse to get professional hair and makeup or splurge on those fantastic new shoes you have been wanting.

Some other thoughts

Think about your body type as well; you know what suits you and what doesn’t.Dress for the season, especially if your engagement shoot is outdoors. The most important thing during your engagement shoot is to be yourself! The whole purpose of the shoot is to capture exactly who you are, and show your personalities. If you pick an outfit that just isn’t ‘you’, you’ll feel uncomfortable and that is never fun.

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Speaking of the save the dates Paperless Post  does some amazing work. You can order any of your save the dates here. I don't receive any compensation from them if you do, but their work is stellar. 

BEFORE THE WEDDING

First I suggestfiguring out what the top three things most important things to you are, and plan your day according to those.

Remember that at the end of the day you have your marriage and your memories.

The days timeline:

There are a few people that should be involved in the planning of the timeline.

  1.          The couple
  2.          The wedding planner/coordinator (if you have one)
  3.          And the Photographer.

FIRST LOOKS

Thinking about planning a first look? Great! But what’s so great about a first look? Wedding days move by so fast and seeing each other before the ceremony can really alleviate unnecessary stresses. It can calm your nerves, and give you a more relaxed day. It also provides for some amazing moments and more time for photos. 

First offthings will go wrong. But those things will be the things that you will tell your grandkids. But here are a few tips from my seasons that can help the day go a little smoother and a little more stress free.

Stay hydrated, don’t drink too much alcohol before the reception. Drunk faces do not look good in photos, and staying hydrated can keep away head aches and cramps. If you are looking to have your wedding outside the best time is about 2 hours before sunset. This way you do not have harsh shadows and the light falls more evenly. Remember it is about being married, not just getting married. At the end of the day all that matters is that you have each other. Focus on each other. 

There are so many things that I can talk about when it comes to weddings. As one of the only vendors that has the opportunity to spend the entire day with the couple, and even one of the few that stays in contact after (for delivery and such) I have the rare look into how many would have changed their day. 

Take time to look at a florist. Vibe with them. Make sure that you like who they are and their work.  

Find a DJ who is not cheesy and is involved. let them have fun and read the dance floor. No one but you will know if you have  a pre-arranged list. Most weddings that make the DJ play a certain list struggle with the reception and people having fun on the dance floor. 

There are so many great places online to order stuff from, Etsy is great and you are supporting artists. As I mentioned before a great company to order you wedding invitations from is Paperless Post. 

Food is important, but not as important as you might thing. I have even had other caterers tell me this. 

Remember that I travel all over the world for weddings. I would love to meet at chat with you no matter where you are located! Lets have fun and create some amazing images together. 

 

Are you really re-branding? 6 steps to help.

There is a story of a Jewish Rabbi, that was approaching the city gate in the dark, and the guard yells out, “Who are you and what is your purpose?” The Rabbi yells back, “How much do you get paid to stand there and ask that?” When the guard replies, the Rabbi tells him, “I will pay you triple to come to my house and ask me that question every morning.”

I start with this story and I want you to think about it as you read through this. I will tie it back together at the end.

So, lets talk branding, and while we are at it, lets talk re-branding. First, lets mention what re-branding isn’t. You don’t rebrand by just getting a new logo or a new website. A true re-brand would be looking at how you do business, how you operate, how you interact with your clients, your services, your products, and then a logo and website.

A brand is more than just the visuals.

Yes, a clean, well thought out and designed logo is amazing. It is good to have on a card, contracts or any other things that are part of your visual brand. I mean I love a great logo and even better…a clever logo.

(Some of my favorite clever logos)

The problem is, many photographers, myself included when I first started, think that if we get a logo and a Facebook page we are good. We don’t put in the time or effort to brand in the first place, so when we re-brand, we are actually branding for the first time. So many of us start without looking at our identity. Just like our personal life, once we know our identity, or our business identity, we can make solid decisions that will help make our brand consistent. A consistent brand is a trusted brand, and a trusted brand is a profitable brand.

Consistency is key. Both in visuals and how you operate. If you are starting out, or rebuilding your brand, and you are deciding on if you should remove images are keep them, remember that, if a client sees your portfolio, and the images are not consistent they will be unsure as to what to expect from you. They do not know which images are the new or old, you have to guide them.

That being said, it is my personal opinion that if you do different types of photography, you can edit a family session differently than you may a couple’s session, or a maternity session. Others may disagree with me, but that is the beauty of life, we can all do what we want.

So speaking of guiding, when it does come to building your site, remember that you must guide your potential clients into booking you.

“How do I do this?” you may ask. Well every business has a Unique Selling Point (USP). This is where knowing who you are and having a solid identity will help you. You need to sit down and really think about what it is you offer to the client. If you cannot do this, then how will they?

In the marketing world there is a difference between brand identity and a brand image. There is a very important distinction to make. These two elements of a brand when they work together can help create an extremely strong brand.

Brand Identity – Originates from the business, and is how the business wishes to be perceived.

Brand Image – Is perceived by the external source, or the customer.

These two brand elements are more than just the logo and site. But rather the emotional appeal to the world around us. Companies like Nike, North Face, and Apple are prime examples of a companies that have worked hard to have the two in sync.

The problem arises when you have not thought through your identity and just put it out there, and your image does not fall in line. That is why re-branding is more than just a logo or a website.

Think of the visual elements of your brand as the top of an iceberg.

 Source: &nbsp;Pere - Flickr - Creative Commons

Source:  Pere - Flickr - Creative Commons

Remember in school when we learned that only a small portion of an iceberg is visible? That is the same with brands. Can you see customer service? Can you see/touch when a client feels calm around you when you are shooting? Can you see the emotion when they are overjoyed by how good they look in your photos? You can see the effects.

So how do you operate your brand? Who are you? Remember the story that I started with? Can you verbalize who you are? What your unique selling point? What problem do you solve for your client? Ask yourself “Who am I and what is my purpose?”

 

There are several great resources online to help with this. Hubspot has a great guide.

https://offers.hubspot.com/essential-guide-to-branding-your-company

(I am in no way affiliated with them, nor do I get paid to mention them).

 

There are several key things that you can do.

1.    Start with who you are, why are you in business? What is your purpose?

2.    Who is your target market? Get as specific as possible.

3.    What is your position in the market? Figure out the competition and where you currently land and where you want to land in the market.

4.    Really think about your brand identity, take a look at the guide from Hubspot.

5.    Build your website and make your online presence cohesive

6.    Lay out a plan. Set measurable goals, and evaluate those goals after a preset amount of tim

 

 

If you are interested I offer Brand Strategy Mentoring,  Learn More on my page or contact me directly. 

 

 

 

Surprise Proposal Shoots - Why? How? What? - Colorado Wedding Photographer

Good Morning! I hope you had a stellar holiday. Well, engagement season is upon us, and yes it is a season. So if you are a photographer reading this...get ready. If you are someone who is proposing... congratulations! And if you are expecting a proposal, remember that it is who you are marrying, and not how big the ring is...how extravagant the proposal is, or anything else. It is more about being married than getting married. 

That said, having a proposal photographed can be super rad. You have the memories and the reaction captured forever. You have an epic photo to share with your friends and family as well. But it does take come coordinating. No matter where you are going to be proposing, the time, the plan, and the location are key. Each proposal that I have shot has been different; each one has had its challenges. So here are a few stories of each and the photos and video behind them. 

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1. Trinity Church - Boston, MA

These two got engaged in November of 2015 at Trinity Church courtyard in Boston. All of the proposals that I have shot, I have not met the couples before hand, so I had to be sure where they would walk and what they would wear. Normally the best way is to have the person proposing to send me a selfie or a photo of their partner So I can look for that outfit. For this church courtyard, there are a lot of people taking photos. So the location is key.

For this location he told me the direction/street they would come from, and the spot which he was going to propose on. Earlier that day he had sent me a photo of her so I knew what coat to look for. After the proposal we did a short couples session so they would have photos for their engagement announcement. 

Pouring rain proposal 

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This proposal was interesting. The day of the proposal it was pouring rain. For this proposal, the groom's brother did the organizing. He found me because we used to live in the same town. He wanted to surprise his brother, so he did not tell him until the morning of the proposal. The plan was that they would meet the family at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston right before they went to dinner. While they were all there taking in the view, he would take her down by the water and pop the question. It all went as planned except they were a few minutes late and I was standing out in the rain with my cameras trying not to get them ruined.

This one has a little video that goes with it. 

Arriving by boat

This proposal was super fun. Mike arrived by boat to the dock that Tori was hanging out with a friend at. The best friend and Mike had planned this and worked it so that he had a work "emergency" that took him away for the day. The planning of this one was nice as I blended in with the crow at the dock. There wasn't any way to miss a guy arriving by boat.

Watch the Video for this one here. 

While I have shot several others proposals, these are my favorites. Each one was different. For one proposal we were supposed to be near a statue. The photo that was sent and the location were different, but it was not until arriving that this was figured out. Luckily I realized that it was the wrong statue and made it to the other one before they arrived. 

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP WITH THE SUCCESS OF THE SHOOT. 

  1. Know and confirm the location. 
  2. Know what outfits they will be wearing. 
  3. Arrive early enough to make any changes. i.e., Ask people to move, adjust your location. 
  4. Know your gear. You might be shooting at night, or in the rain. Know what your gear can do. 
  5. Bring a backup person. You might look more natural shooting someone in a location. But they can also have a camera as back up if needed. 
  6. Make sure that the person proposing does so in the right position. The best is to have them angled so that you can see their hands and the other persons face. You need to get the reaction shot. So make sure that when you iron out the details, you let them know where you will be located. 
  7. Have fun! Make sure that you have fun with this, try and think through anything that can go wrong and brainstorm with the person proposing. 

New Hope Photography - 2017 - A year in review - Denver Wedding Photographer

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I cannot believe that this 2017 is nearly over. It feels like yesterday that I was just moving back to Colorado. Well, it has been over a year since I moved back and things have been interesting. 
Moving a business is hard, especially when you have short notice, and this is the third time in 7 years that I have moved. 2017 rolled in like a migraine; my personal life was so tumultuous that I fell behind in shooting, blogging, and any sort of advertising. The wedding side of New Hope Photography suffered, but my commercial side has taken off. Over the past year, I have worked with Open Table, Bon Appetite, Aveda, and over 60 other business along the Colorado Front Range. 

While I had the opportunity to shoot for Bed & Breakfasts, Salons, and other business, I have always loved shooting food. Many of the business that I provided branding services for were restaurants. Here are several of my favorites. 

FOOD

 

Weddings and Couples Portraits

It was a strange year for me; I think due to finishing my Master's degree last year, I only had one wedding in the books. My friend Julia from school got hitched in Dallas and also gave me another state for my 50 states goal. But outside of this single wedding, I shot quite a few couples sessions that stoked my creative fire.  

Styled

I met some amazing people and vendors this year. I worked with Anna Be Bridal, Evolution Salon, and Metalmark Fine Jewelry for a styled shoot in Boulder and Kaysie Modeled for us. It was amazing. You can read the blog posts here & here. 

Vendor's for the styled shoot

Anna Be Bridal - http://anna-be.com/      Instagram

Evolution Salon  - http://evolutionsalondenver.com/     Instagram

Metalmark Fine Jewelry  - https://metalmarkfinejewelry.com/   Instagram

 

STUDIO

I also had the opportunity to do some studio work this year for the Aveda Institute in Denver. While I have dabbled it studio photos, I have never really had the opportunity to flex my muscles and shoot it. But these portraits are some of my favorite that I have ever taken. 

 

Instagram

In 2017 one of my goals was to build my Instagram. In the past I have had no strategy, rather I just posted images and hoped for the best. Follow me here!
 

New Hope Photography Instagram best of 2017

While the move back to Colorado has been rough. It is good to be back in my native state. If you know anyone that is getting married I am offering a $100 referral bonus. Your friend books a wedding, you get $100. Super dope. 

Nikon is Better - Why I left Canon after 10 years

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So to start, I want to say that I do not think Nikon is better. Nor is Canon, or Fuji, or Sony. They are all tools with which we choose to use for our business. So with that said this is a personal story of why I chose to change brands after ten years of shooting. 

It was a mild spring afternoon in Colorado; I was sitting in my college computer lab in a bidding war for a Canon camera.

I won.

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$40 and a couple of weeks and I had my new camera. But when it showed up it was a film SLR. I had no idea what that meant; I was just bidding on what was a cool looking camera and what I thought might be a digital camera. I was wrong, but this was back in 2004 or 05, and digital cameras were not as prevalent. But this is what got me started on Canon. It wasn't hardcore research, or well-thought choices; it was an eBay win. 

I didn't go wrong; Canon treated me well. In fact, the first four years of my professional career were with Canon cameras. I have shot the XS, t1i, t2i, t3i t4i, t5i, The 5D classic, the 5d2, the 6d, the 7d, the 5d3 and eosM (That is not to mention the film cameras). I have used a lot of the Canon lineup. I loved it, and there is nothing wrong with Canon 

And there is always the potential that I will buy a Canon body at some point again in the future, but let's get to why I left. This happened around the time that the 35mm 1.4 II was being released and after the 24-70mm 2.8 II had been released. There were rumors about the Canon 5d IV, and it just seemed to me that Canon was not really in it for the photographer anymore. The sensor was not that much different, the glass was marginally better, and the 24-70 didn’t have any Image Stabilization, but the price tag was $1200+ than what other companies were doing for similar if not better equipment.

(Now remember, these are my opinions, you can disagree).

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I had thought about switching to Nikon before. But in my earlier years, it was because I thought that I sucked because of the tools I had. I realized that my cameras were just that, tools, and I needed to work on who I was as a photographer and my vision.

Then the D750 came out, I had seen some photographers post some amazing shots utilizing the dynamic range of the sensor, and the tones that came from this camera just called to my soul.

So I decided to switch. Like I said before, I knew that these were just tools, but I knew that Nikon was attempting to give photographers something that they wanted. My lenses have been the Sigma lenses for years, so I knew that I could just swap them. So I posted all my gear for sale and hoped that it would all sell before my next wedding.

Yikes!!!

Well, they did. I sold my Canon 5d3, 6d, all my lenses, and flashes and was able to buy brand new Nikon D750’s with the same lens setups and flashes with money left over. That was rad.

Well, I the day after receiving them I had a wedding proposal to shoot, and the following weekend I had a wedding. So there was little testing, just jumping in. I struggled a bit with the dials and lens mounting, and I missed the wheel dial that Canon uses, but when I got my images into Lightroom, I was so stoked. The tones were what I had been chasing after, and I loved Nikon.

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Its been two and a half years since I switched, and I have never really thought about going back. Canon was great for years, they do good things, but my style changed and Nikon fit my vision.

What I really love about Nikon using Sony sensors is the control I have in the Dynamic range of images. I can expose for the sky and capture my sunset that I want and then in post recover the shadows that I want. This way I do not lose the information in the highlights. Back with Canon I used to have to bracket shoot and then mask in the sky from the image and the people from another, it was very time consuming. 

I know that Canon has gotten a little better, but for me the mix of dynamic range and tones was what has me hooked. 

As I explore the world of the video, there is a chance that I may jump back in and buy some Canon bodies for video, but only time will tell.

Christmas Styled Shoot - Lauren Kay Sims - Fashion Blogger

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After moving back to Colorado, I started to look for local vendors and bloggers to colab with on Instagram. This has led to a several shoots that I get to experiment and have fun with.  I started following Lauren on Instagram and figured that someday we might be able to collaborate on a shoot. 

I have wanted to expand my style to get into in-home sessions after the food-fight session I did in Rhode Island. These themed shoots are really fun and make writing blogs more interesting. So I messaged Lauren about shooting a Christmas themed session and to my surprise she responded. She mentioned that it would fit in well with her Nordstrom Mens Gift Guide post, which you can see here. 

Anyway here is the photos, they are much better looking than my words. 

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Their Golden Retriever Beau joined us for the second part. 

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If you are interested in booking a holiday couples session, shoot me an email. Of fill out my contact form here. 

Why Photographers Do Not Give RAW Unedited Images

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Occasionally I get asked if a client can have the Raw images from their wedding, and I know that I am not the only one. I see this come up in my photo groups several times a week. So, I decided to write a short blog on why we do not give our Raw images to clients. 

For one I am confused as to why people think that they need these. I remember a wedding blog somewhere mentioning it but that was a couple years ago, and I think that people feel like they need to have them. But when you hire a photographer, you hire them because you like their style. So, why would you need photos to edit? 

My number one reason is that my photos represent my brand. I have worked hard to get where I am and to establish my brand. My photos represent a part of that. If I give Raw files anyone can edit them and say that it was me. They have the base beginning image, with all my metadata. 

The photos we take with digital cameras now are supposed to be edited. Back in the olden days with film, you know the thing that you can hold and is carbon based, not 0's and 1's, photographers could shape and image in their darkroom. They held on to the negative so they could reproduce it. 

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Some people like to make the analogy that you don't go to the restaurant and order the ingredients to make the food. 

Unless it is a commercial client that has paid for the raw files, I will never give these away. I am an artist and these are my canvas, my manuscript with all its mistakes, markups, and cuts. 

Go ask J.K. Rowling for her unedited manuscripts. She will roast you on Twitter. 

The Raw images are ugly. Well, not really, but I expose for how I will edit. I know what I want my end product to look like. I know my camera, and the capabilities of the sensor, and what I will do with it in post. 

When it comes down to it, unless you pay and pay well, the raw photos are mine. Im not holding an epic photo back from you. I want you to have the best and only the best. 

Boulder Colorado Couples photos before and after

So here are several responses that you can send when you are asked. 


"Hello ______, 

My company policy is that I do not release the raw files. 

Thank you"


Hello ________, 

 In order to maintain the integrity of my brand I do not release the raw files to anyone. The exception to this is when a contract is negotiated, and the appropriate fee is charged. The fee for each raw file is $___ (large amount). Many times this is only for commercial work. If you would like to discuss this option let me know. 

Thank you.  


Before using this one make sure that it is stated in your contract that you do not release raw files. 

Hello _____, 

As pre section _ in my contract I do not release raw files. The final editing style is determined by ________ (company name). We chose only the very best images and spend time making sure that they are perfect for you. 

Thank you. 

 

The Most Comprehensive Photographer Gift Guide Ever (Satire)

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As we all know the holidays are usually no holiday for photographers. We are crushed with all the editing that we are backed up on. We are getting inquiries for family photos and mini sessions. While trying to bake pies and shove bread into a dead bird. 

So I am compiling a list of gifts for that memory maker in your life. 

1. A Day Off

Take their computer, their camera, their phone, and lock them in a room with some ambient music. Like some Enya or something. Tell them to chill out and take a nap. 

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2. A Stiff Drink

Doesn't matter if it is wine, whiskey, or a six pack. Maybe just one, maybe a whole bottle. It all depends on the year that they had.

This is an awesome gift. The Whiskey Advent Calendar

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$165 and it keeps on giving 

3. A Hot Tub

You can sneak into a rec center, or a community pool, a local apartment complex, or just go buy one. After a summer of weddings and sessions a good soak in a hot tub will be good. The best part is there is one for every budget. 

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This one is $299

4. A Puppy 

People with dogs have less stress, and live longer. Buy that special persona puppy. Then they can take photos of the dog instead of you!

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Its not like you have to do anything. They take care of themselves. 

5. Hasselblad H5D-200c

This will shut them up forever. You will never have to give them any other gifts. EVER. 

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$44,995

But lets be honest. On a per year basis that is less than all the gifts ever combined. Purchase here. 

 

6. Large Format Film Camera

Megapixels be damned. If you get them this, they will have a resolution NASA will be jealous of. If it was good enough for Ansel Adams it is good enough for your photographer. 

7. Taco Bell Gift Card

Weddings run late. Help your beloved photographer out and get them the 4th meal. They will thank you later. 

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 $100 should cover the whole year.