N-Grace Photography – St. Petersburg, FL

November 17, 2011

Nina sent in her interview in February of this year and between moving, traveling and living in our car for four months, and then having our own wedding celebration to plan, things just got away from us and with best intentions of posting this lovely photographer’s profile months and months and months ago, it unfortunately never happened.  And I am very upset at myself right now for overlooking it for so long!  Please forgive us Nina!

So, without further ado, I present to you Nina Barron, of N~Grace Photography, based in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Nina is the sole owner of her business and focuses on weddings, lifestyle, and portrait photography.  She is a Nikon girl, and shoots manual in not only both JPEG and RAW, but she also often shoots with both eyes open 🙂  She thinks that might be weird, but leave a comment if you also shoot this way!  (I know I can’t keep one eye closed for an entire 8 hour wedding day!  Plus I make really weird grimacing faces when I try to keep one eye closed.)  Her favorite actions are Kubota’s Magic Sharp, and The NEW BW Midbright.

www.ngracephotography.com

 www.ngracephotography.blogspot.com

Facebook

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I’ve always had a passion for photography but in 2009 I took a photography class and was so inspired by the professionals in the class that I decided I too could take my love of photography to another level. So I did, and that is what planted the seed to this idea of creating a business, N~Grace Photography.

24-70mm,  62mm, 200iso, 1/250, f/3.5

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

Be true to yourself.

What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

Well, what makes anyone different? I think it is my personality. No two people are exactly the same and I’ll admit I can be very shy and soft spoken at times (which in my opinion makes me very different from most photographers because so many of them are very outgoing) however, I am so in love with what I do! I love capturing the essence of real life and real relationships. I want to capture emotional moments – the good, the bad, and the ugly – during portrait sessions sometimes you have the occasional disagreement between husband and wife or parents and children; I like to capture the real, so I may snap a few shots of your unpleasant expressions and hope that you will be able to laugh about it years from now. Everyone has a story and I want to capture it, the way it is told.

35mm, 100iso, 1/125, f/2.2

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?

Ah man, just one?! Her name is Vida Carson, (http://vidacarson.com/blog) I absolutely adore her photos!

One item you can’t live without?

I’m gonna go with the keys to my car loL

35mm, 100iso, 1/160, f/6.3

Your best bokeh image and why?

He is so adorable isn’t he? I don’t have any real explanation, I just love this picture.

18-55mm, 55mm. 250iso, 1/125, f/5.6

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

What a wonderful website! I think this is such a great community for photographers – to draw inspiration, meet other photographers, and learn some valuable information.

Favorite book?

“Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom – You have to just read it for yourself.

50mm, 100iso, 1/200, f/2.5

Favorite movie?

“Love and Basketball” (along with “The Notebook” and “Eat. Pray. Love”)

Favorite songs to work to?

I actually listen to Pandora as I work, on the “Amel Larrieux” station. So calming 🙂

35mm, 200iso, 1/500, f/2.8

Where do you find inspiration?

Blogs, Magazines, but for the most part as I shoot, I am inspired by the relationships shown naturally by the clients.

Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

My clients! I know this sounds so cliche but “without you I wouldn’t be where I am today” loL…seriously though, I mean that. The clients I have are the value of my business. They are the ones that support my business and I don’t just mean financially; when I started this business a year ago I was very unsure of how I would be able to succeed and of course I don’t feel that I’ve “succeeded” yet, but they support my work by wanting to be photographed by me and recommending me to others. They show me love by supporting what I do and I am forever grateful.

24mm, 200iso, 1/1250, f/3.2

Do you use a second shooter?

I haven’t yet, I’ve only used assistants thus far.

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Just send me an email (ngracephoto@gmail.com) I’d love to have you as a second shooter!

35mm, 200iso, 1/30, f/2.8

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Jasmine Star or Jamie Delaine

 What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through? 

I am still in the process of jumping through hoops. But the first thing I had to do was buy my equipment, which was a jump in itself loL I also talked to established photographers who were successful with their businesses and asked how they got started. Actually, I interned with a local photographer for about 4 or 5 months before I really got started with N~Grace Photography.

24mm, 200iso, 1/1250, f/3.2

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

If you want to be a photographer, go out and shoot, learn the basics (aperture, iso, and shutter speed), talk to other photographers, ask questions! HOWEVER, if you want to start a business, remember knowing how to properly take a picture is only half the work. You need to know how to run a successful business! Do your research, ask other small business owners, take a class or two on budgeting, marketing, etc. If this is what you want to do, understand what you need to do but remember to have fun 🙂

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Nothing creative, sad to say. But I did just get this wonderful idea from Brian Jones’ (http://www.idreamimages.com) interview: connecting with my local jewelry store and offer a complementary engagement session every time someone buys an engagement ring! Thanks Brian 🙂

24-70mm, 62mm, 200iso, 1/160, f/3.5

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?

The only advertising I’ve done is post my pictures on my facebook profile, fan page, and website. All of my clients have come from word of mouth, whether it be from someone who is a fan or friend of mine on facebook or someone who has been photographed by me before. So I’m not really against advertising, I just haven’t paid for it.

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?

Honestly, I just make sure I take pictures of them – pictures of the DJ in action, pictures of the venue itself, the flowers, cake, etc. I’ll get a card or contact information from each vendor and send or e-mail them pictures from that night with a personal note/greeting attached and my contact information.

24-70mm, 48mm, 200iso, 1/2500, f2.8

What does an overview of your typical work flow look like?

Shoot an event, start the editing process, blog about the event (about a week after the event) posting a few favorite photos, once all the editing is done upload the pictures to a private online gallery, contact the client, send them their products.

How do you stay organized?
My planner!
24-70mm, 70mm, 100iso, 1/800, f3.2
 What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Getting a bite to eat and talking about our love of photography, life, love, or whatever else comes up! Then going out to shoot! Letting our creative juices flow loL
Anything else you would like to share?
Enjoy yourself 🙂 If photography is what you’d like to pursue, then do it! Have confidence in yourself and your abilities! Oh and by the way, I know most people already know about this site, but in case you don’t Digital Photography School is one of the best resources out there for the “up and coming” photographer!
35mm, 800iso, 1/25, f/1.8

Who wants to see this blog going again?

November 17, 2011

Do we have any followers out there?  If we did, you’ve probably all left by now since we haven’t posted new content in over a year!

Things have been crazy around here as most of you can relate, it gets that way sometimes… but this little project still holds a special place in my heart and I’ve had high hopes of being able to maintain it once again….

But only if you want me to!

If you want to see The Bokeh Pot revived, I need to see a show of hands and I need to get some questionnaire requests from you guys… so let’s see ’em!

-Crystal

 


Goldenview Photography – Brantford, ON

June 14, 2010

Meet Karina, of Goldenview Photography.  Karina focuses on weddings and portraits with a little bit of commercial work sometimes thrown in.  She shoots Nikon with her right eye.  She shoots JPEG with aperture priority.  She loves the MCP Actions and onOne software… particularly their Magic Portrait Fixer.

www.goldenviewphotography.com

www.goldenviewphotography.wordpress.com

Facebook

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

Do you ever have that feeling where you love something so badly that you get an ache in your chest? Well that’s the way I felt about photography. I just LOVED it so much. I knew this was my calling in life. I had gone to school for Interior Design and didn’t feel this was where I was being led. I had always had a passion for photography but never thought to make it my career. Until one day that ache in my chest was so real and wouldn’t go away until I started my own business.

18-200mm, 18mm, 400iso, 1/60 f/5.6

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

Communication is key with your clients! Also to be myself as a photographer and not compare myself to others. I am realizing that if I am myself my creativeness will shine through and set me apart.

What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

I am not rigid in my structure and I am very accommodating to my clients needs.

One item you can’t live without?

My camera & Music.
Your favorite bokeh image and why?

50mm, 50mm, 400iso, 1/1000, f/1.6

I just LOVE the colours and how much the rings stand out among the branches they were placed on. It adds such depth to the photo.
Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

I thought it would be a great way to put myself out there and meet other new photographers. It awesome to hear other photographers stories and share learning experiences to better help each other.
Favorite book?

The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers

Favorite songs to work to?

hmmm… I LOVE music. anything. but I love my country!!

18-200mm, 90mm, 400iso, 1/250. f/10

Where do you find inspiration?

I love to sit on the computer researching other photographers! It gets me totally pumped and ready to shoot. Looking through bridal magazines as well.
Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

My Camera and my attitude. I try to make a wedding day fun, relaxed and not worrisome for the bride and groom. I can be laid back and very accommodating so clients find that very appealing.

18-200mm, 95mm, 200iso, 1/160, f/6.3

Do you use a second shooter?

Sometimes. When a couple asks for 2 photographers I will. Sometimes I have an assistant (my husband) with me to help out with other things such as driving, ideas and anything else that may come up unexpectedly.

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Just email me! I love to help others out especially starting out in the business.

18-200mm, 135mm, 640iso, 1/60, f5.6

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

I think it would have to be Jamie Delaine, Skye Hardwick of Work of Heart Photography, and Jessica & David from Beach Bum Photography

Have you won any awards?

Does the Rockton Worlds Fair Count? Then yes!

18-200mm, 31mm, 800iso, 1/1250, f/4.0

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?

Well I guess I am still in the middle of my leap. I am currently working another full time job. But I have set some goals for my future in photography. I have a number in mind of how many weddings I want in a year before I can manage to do just photography! I absolutely love photography and I am super excited for what the future holds.

18-200mm, 28mm, 400iso, 1/160, f/6.3

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

Don’t let other people discourage you. If you love this then go for it!! I know I had so many questions about how to do things or questions about my camera and everyone I asked for help were very rude and really put a bad taste in my mouth about photography. But then I came across a group of wedding photographers and vendors in my area and then were soooo giving and helpful. So find other local people to talk to and encourage you. It makes a huge difference!!
oh and just take your camera with you everywhere and take pictures!! Practice.

18-200mm, 24mm, 400iso, 1/125, f/5.6

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Just be ME! I draw in clients through word of mouth.
Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?

I am kinda on the fence about this one. I have done one paid advertisement for the year and haven’t got much out of it. So I was willing to give it another chance and tried a magazine. We will see if that works better. However, I get all my business from word of mouth and Facebook!! It honestly works the best. If you do well with a couple they will pass your name out time and time again!!

18-200mm, 95mm, 640iso, 1/1250, f/5.3

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?

Through Facebook. There is a group for our area and we pass along all kinds of info to each other.

What does an overview of your typical workflow look like?

Download all pictures and burn a dvd of originals and back them up on a second hard drive
Start going through a few photos to edit for a preview
Then upload them to my blog & facebook
Email the clients to let them know they have a few photos to look at -usually about 7-10 images
Then begins editing all of the images

50mm, 50mm, 400iso, 1/60, f/5.6

How do you stay organized?

Notes!! I love my notebooks and sharpies. A little obsessed actually. But I really just write to do lists all the time!! It feels so good to cross an item off the list! Very rewarding. My husband also makes up excel spreadsheets for me.

18-200mm, 46mm, 200iso, 1/200, f/5.6

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?

Well first all going for coffee to Starbucks!! Hang out there for a bit talking/taking pictures. No time constraints.
Then continuing to a photo shoot together with some models to take photos of! Maybe somewhere downtown or in the country. Just a gorgeous sunny summer day.

18-200mm, 42mm, 400iso, 1/160, f/4.5

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Erin Scott Photography – Washington, DC

May 31, 2010

Meet Erin, a Nikon user who specializes in portraits and weddings.  She shoots with her left eye but is trying to learn using her right eye so that her nose doesn’t get in the way:)  She shoots in RAW using manual mode.  She loves Kubota’s Magic Sharp Action most.


Linked In
Wedding Wire
Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
In college I majored in journalism, so when I got out of school I applied for a reporting job at a newspaper.  Part of the interview process included writing an assigned story with accompanying photos. A few days after turning in my story, the editor called me with a job offer– as a photographer, not a writer!  I like to think it meant that I was an awesome photographer and not a terrible writer!

24mm, 100iso, 1/1600, f/2.8

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

You are reflected in the faces of your subjects.  A fellow photographer gave me this wise insight during a critique of my work.  I couldn’t quite figure out what was lacking in my images, and he said it was my confidence.  My nervousness was felt by my subjects, who in turn became less confident in front of the camera.  That idea pretty much blew my mind the first time I heard it, and now it has shaped the way I interact with my clients.

24mm, 2500iso, 1/100, f/2.8

What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

Ha, well, I am still trying to put this into marketable terms, but it comes down to my personality and experience. I’m a pretty laid-back, flexible person, and I think that shows in my work.  It’s less formal and more relaxed.  I’m also a former photojournalist, which has given me tons of challenges and growth opportunities (how many wedding photographers have also shot alongside the FBI and SWAT team?  Now that’s pressure!). The journalism experience also means I’m trained to do more than make a nice photo– I want to tell a story as well.

50mm, 100iso, 1/500, f/1.4


Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
I currently stalk Michelle Moore via her awesome blog!

One item you can’t live without?

I would probably have a panic attack if my computer blew up…

Your best bokeh image and why?

50mm, 160iso, 1/200, f/1.4


I have photos (probably some in this article) with better technical bokeh, but I simply love how it works with the moment in this one. The groom has just whispered an inside joke to the bride, and she responded in such an emotional way. The bokeh here adds to the intimacy and solidarity of the moment.

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

I love seeing what other photographers out there are doing and learning, and so I wanted to contribute!


Favorite book?
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

17-55mm, 17mm, 320iso, 1.3, f/2.8, flash
Favorite movie?
It’s a toss up… O Brother Where Art Thou, The first Matrix and Clueless.  I know, I’m weird.
Favorite songs to work to?
My awesome 90’s mix!

17-55mm, 20mm, 250iso, 1/125, f/4

Where do you find inspiration?

DC is such a vibrant city; it’s almost impossible to ignore inspiration here! Historic row houses, street murals, monuments, gritty urban textures, blooming cherry blossoms, I could go on and on.

Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

My talent and good business skills (something I am honing by reading everything I can about business practices!).


Do you use a second shooter?
Nope.

17-55mm, 18mm, 500iso, 1/2000, f/4

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Email me with a link to your work, and, unfortunately, be prepared to shoot for free.  I don’t normally offer a 2nd shooter so my brides aren’t paying extra for the service.

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

That’s a tough one!  I’m torn between Michelle Moore (whom like I said, I stalk regularly) and Zack Arias, who is basically the man, an awesome inspiration, and resident of my hometown.

24mm, 100iso, 1/250, f/3.5

Are you a member of any organizations?

Women Photojournalists of Washington

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?

I had to listen to my husband!  After my newspaper job I worked in a private studio doing weddings and portraits. After awhile I was the unofficial manager and started to feel I had the tools to do it on my own.  But I was a scaredy-cat.  My husband’s encouragement and support is what really made it happen.

50mm, 250iso, 1/100, f/1.4

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

Learn as much as you can before creating your own business. Assist, work in a studio, volunteer, read books and get critique. Some people think they’re ready and get in too deep too quick.  There’s a lot more to owning a business than picking out a name and logo.  I spent most of my first year filling out paperwork for business licenses, taxes, insurance, credentials, IRS notifications, etc.  Not too fun!

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Joining a VIP shopping network. People with the VIP card get emailed promotions and discounts from businesses all over my area. I’m one of those businesses.  Brides show me their VIP card and get the current promotion.

20mm, 125iso, 1/400, f/2.8

What are some of your weaknesses as a photographer?
My biggest weakness is that I don’t shoot for fun enough.  I can see a big difference in the client shoots where I have been shooting regularly on my own and the shoots where I hadn’t been doing that as much.  Shooting without paid clients helps me feel more comfortable to try super-creative, crazy things, which later I can tweak and use for paid shoots.  I also compose vertically way too much, and have to force myself to think horizontally.


Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?

You have to be for it if you want to make money, haha.  I have had the most success advertising on Facebook, Google searches, and word-of-mouth.

50mm, 160iso, 1/250, f/1.4

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?
Make a point to meet and exchange cards with vendors at wedding shows, join local clubs, join linked in and Facebook groups with local vendors. And of course you can always email people directly!

20mm, 250iso, 1/125, f/2.8

What does an overview of your typical workflow look like?

1. Shoot

2. Download

3. Edit down images in Lightroom, ranking favorites as I go
4. Adjust color/exposure of remaining images
5. Open top 5-10 images in Photoshop for tweaking and watermark
6. Upload those 5-10 to the blog/Facebook as a preview
7. Tweak any other images that need it in PS
8. Batch sharpen everything
9. Upload to online gallery
10. Burn DVD if purchased
If the shoot is a wedding, I always wait a day between steps 2 and 3.  I need to detach myself from the images a bit before I can edit objectively.

50mm, 100iso, 1/800, f/1.4

How do you stay organized?

It’s not easy, and honestly I am not the most organized person, but I try to keep both my physical and digital workstation organized by specific categories and folders. I keep lots of lists.  And I love gmail’s search feature for anything that falls through the cracks!

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?

Good food and comfy chairs should always be involved!  I think shooting “dates” are really more successful and fun in a larger group.

50mm, 100iso, 1/800, f/1.8

Anything else you would like to share?

Thanks for reading!  If you’re ever in DC and want some touristy suggestions I have a lot of them!

24mm, 100iso, 1/400, f/2.8


***ENJOY THIS FEATURE? LEAVE A COMMENT TO LET US KNOW!***


Betsy Wall Photography – Minneapolis, MN

May 17, 2010

Meet Betsy, a wedding photojournalist who shoots a Canon 5D Mk. II with her right eye.  She shoots in RAW with mostly manual settings, but occasionally uses aperture priority.  She uses mostly Lightroom for post processing, but loves Kevin Kubota’s Essentials Pack, especially the Magic Sharp action.

betsywall.com
betsywall.com/blog

Facebook

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
It’s taken a while for me to get here!  I’ve always been the nerdy art kid…  in college I was torn between Computer Science and a Studio Art degree, but because people kept asking me, “What are you going to do with an art degree?” I chickened out and went the computer science track for college, and then for a few years after school.  A few years ago my sister-in-law was engaged and asked me to do some engagement pictures.  I had a lot of fun during the session and the pictures turned out decent for someone’s first try.  I somehow mustered up the courage to write her wedding photographer an email asking to tag along to a shoot.  Bless her heart, she hired me as an associate shortly after.  If it was not for her, I’m not sure where I would be today.  It didn’t take long before I realized this is what I was meant to do.  Even though for a while I was working a ridiculous number or hours between my computer day job and photography – I started to have more energy and enthusiasm about work, life, and everything.  Getting to be creative, and doing something I love for a career has truly affected all areas of my life in a positive way!
50mm, 50mm, 200iso, 1/1250, f/1.8
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
I know this is probably an obvious statement for photographers to read, but understanding the technical part of photography – and getting composition/exposure/lighting correct straight out of the camera really makes a big difference in the work…  At some point I realized a creative eye can only go so far.  When I started I’d have clients push to have photos taken in places where the lighting was bad – like next to a statue or fountain or other setting during a time where the sun was harsh and not flattering.  While I knew the photos wouldn’t look great, I didn’t always have the confidence to take control of the situation.  I’ve learned to develop a trust with my clients where I work with them to photograph in situations that yield the best results.
70 – 200mm, 155mm, 500iso, 1/1600, f/2.8
What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?
For me, wedding photography is so much more than photographing and delivering a product.  I hope I can offer photography with heart…  through my work and interactions with others.  I truly am passionate about the craft, but I also genuinely care about the people I work with.  I enjoy connecting and developing relationships with clients – so by the time the wedding comes around it feels like we are old friends.  I hope it also makes everyone very relaxed in front of my camera.  I also care about the flow of the wedding day – so while I do my photography in an unobtrusive way, in the background I’m working with vendors and staff to help everything go smoothly.  For the bride, groom, family and guests – a wedding should only be about love and celebration – leave it up to us to worry about running the show!
16-35mm, 16mm, 1600iso, 1/20, f/2.8

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?

I can only choose just one?  I admire and follow several including Jasmine Star, Melissa Jill, & Jennifer Bowen….  but my favorites are right here in the Twin Cities-  my peers, who support me, challenge me, and who are creating fantastic work.
One item you can’t live without?
My iPhone.  It’s pretty sad, but I’m so addicted… but I actually purchased it primarily for my business.  Having my email, calendar, online access, and a GPS has been invaluable for my business.
Your favorite bokeh image and why?

50mm, 50mm, 1600iso, 1/80, f/1.6
The bokeh makes this picture pretty… but the moment between Mindy and her father makes this image special.
Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

I have this magnet on my refrigerator that says, “It is never too late to be what you might have been” (George Elliot).  That phrase has inspired and helped me push through this career transition.  I’ve been working to get here for about three years now, and I’ve been a full time photographer for about two weeks.  I’m so ridiculously excited to be doing this, that I feel like a completely different (and better) person for it!  I’d like to encourage anyone who wants to do something artistic for a living to go after it.

I also am completely in debt to a handful of photographers- as most of what I’ve learned has been with the help of FAQ blogs (Lawrence Kim, Melissa Jill, Jasmine Star, Jessica Claire) and online forums (OSP).  The more I learn, I hope to be able to give back and share with others starting out.
50mm, 50mm, 1600iso, 1/50, f/1.4
Favorite book?
I’m embarrassed to say I’m not much of a reader, although I’d like to do more of it.  When I spend time with books, they are mostly picture and photography books.  The Harry Potter series is good, as is World War Z.
Favorite movie?
Now we’re talkin’.  It’s so hard to pick just one!  Star Wars (episodes 4 – 6).  And What About Bob.  And Little Women.  And Best In Show.  And The Royal Tenenbaums.  I could go on and on… I’m definitely a movie person. 🙂
16-35mm, 16mm, 1600iso, 1/50, f/2.8
Favorite songs to work to?
Sufjan Stevens, Sea Wolf, Regina Spektor, Rosie Thomas, Michael Jackson, Passion Pit…  lots of Indy music.  I’m also a public radio fanatic and love listening to ‘This American Life’ while I edit.
Where do you find inspiration?
Cinematography.  I can’t watch movies or television without constantly looking at the lighting and composition.  Often when I photograph I shoot scenes like I’d imagine them to appear in a movie.
Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
My husband, Pete.  I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for him.  For the last couple of years,  with having two jobs I was working way too many hours a week.  I regret putting him in this position- he served me dinner while I worked at my computer, cleaned the house, did the chores and pretty much ran the household because I was over-committed.  He encourages me when I’m down and completely supports me in every way.  Thank you Pete for all that you have done for me!
50mm, 50mm, 640iso, 1/1250, f/1.4
Do you use a second shooter?
This season I offered a 2nd shooter as a package addition, but I see the value of always having one.  From now on I will always be shooting weddings with a 2nd.
How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
The portfolio needs to be photojournalistic in nature, and they need to show that they understand how to use their equipment (or at least that they have the desire to learn the techie stuff)… but equally important is personality.  I only want to work with people who can provide my clients with the dedication, kindness, enthusiasm, and professionalism they all deserve!
50mm, 50mm, 640iso, 1/1250, f/1.4
If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to work with Jasmine Star??!
Are you a member of any organizations?
WPJA and Twin Cities Photographer Network
Have you won any awards?
In college I won an award for some polaroid work I did… but nothing for wedding photography yet!
16-35mm, 35mm, 800iso, 1/500, f/2.8
What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
It was a long process.  The idea of being self-employed kind of freaked me out.  I worked two jobs for a couple years, so I was able to purchase my equipment as I went without creating any debt.  I also built up a decent client base, so by the time I was full time I was pretty sure I would book a full season.  Last year I also worked on getting a handle on the whole business thing – taxes, organization, finances, etc.  I still have tons to learn about being a business woman, but I feel like I’m off to a good start.
50mm, 50mm, 125iso, 1/1250, f/1.2
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Get a handle of the business thing before you make the leap.  Being a photographer is equally about the business as it is the photography itself.
What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
Because I just started doing this full time, I keep it pretty simple at the moment…  do the best job I possibly can and provide my clients with great customer service.  Most of the business I have has come from referrals.
70-200mm, 130mm, 400iso, 1/1999, f/2.8
Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?
I could go either way.  I have an ad on theknot.com, but would love to be 100% referral based in the future.
How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?
I enjoy meeting vendors when I work weddings… and am always happy to donate a couple of photographs for their portfolios.  The way I see it, all of us vendors have a common purpose of giving a bride and groom a beautiful, stress-free, smooth running event, so I typically work and coordinate with them before and after the event.  Over time, if I develop a relationship and trust in a vendor’s professionalism and quality of service, I’m happy to start recommending them!
16-35mm, 16mm, 1000iso, 1/30, f/4
What does an overview of your typical workflow look like?
Shoot – download – backup (a couple of onsite and offsite backups), edit…. nothing too unique here!  I can’t stress backups enough.  I think my background in computer science adds to my paranoia and I try to be as safe as can be.
70-200mm, 200mm, 160iso, 1/320, f/2.8
How do you stay organized?
I organize and file everything – emails, papers, files, purchases, income, by date.  I keep electronic copies (sync’d offsite as well) of most of my paper documents.
16-35mm, 16mm, 400iso, 1/1000, f/11
What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
A great start is anything involving a cup of coffee…   I like getting to a person first before the conversation launches into anything business related.
Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for kindly sharing your blog with me! 🙂
70-200mm, 78mm, 160iso, 1/125, f/2.8

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Isabel Sam Photography – Cincinnati, OH

May 4, 2010

Meet Isabel, of Isabel Sam Photography, a husband and wife team in the suburbs of Cincinnati, OH.  Their focus is being creative and fun with people.  They are Nikon shooters and shoot with their right eyes.  They shoot in RAW using manual 99% of the time and AV 1% of the time.  Isabel’s favorite actions are Claire-ify and Pool Party by TRA.

image by Bernie Sam

www.isabelsam.com

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Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I don’t think I had a specific moment. I never really saw photography as an option until I thought I was going to take a photog class for fun and then I found out it was an interview for a job. Eventually I saw that I was good and that I had potential…and then figured out that this would be the best career for my family. My husband and I both have advanced degrees, but this job gives me flexibility with my family life that no corporate job ever offered. So, it’s been a blessing!

17-55 55mm 2.8  1/1600 ISO 320

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

I cannot do it all and I must be patient with myself.
What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

Outstanding customer service. My brides love me to death for all the extra joys I add to their experience of having me as their photographer.

17-55 17mm 2.8 1/2500 ISO 400

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?

Hmmm….I don’t know…maybe myself? 😉
One item you can’t live without?

My eyes, everything else is just a tool.
Your favorite bokeh image and why?

85mm 1.8 1/640 ISO 320

I think this one is my favorite – I have issues saying this, because my mind changes like every day! Anyway, I’ve received TONS of comments on this image that it just brings out his personality and I’ve even had other clients ask if I can do a similar image for them.
Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

I think this blog is a seriously wonderful tool for many newcomers!
Favorite book?

The Bible

17-55 17mm 2.8 1/2000 ISO 250

Favorite movie?

I really loved the Mexican film “El Crimen del Padre Amaro”, it’s really sad, but it’s just great.
Favorite songs to work to?

Anything that makes me happy and helps make my fingers work faster. 🙂
Where do you find inspiration?

I find a lot from fashion, architecture, and nature. I feel like that helps me from letting my images look exactly the same as others.

17-55 48mm 2.8 1/4000 ISO 250

Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

Probably my husband and baby sitter. They help me keep my business separate from my family – because when I feel like those worlds are colliding –  I’m losing my mind!
Do you use a second shooter?

Yep, mostly my husband.
How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Shoot me an email with a link to your site!

12-24 12mm 4.0 1/800 ISO 250

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Probably Fuller Edge in Canada. I really love their sexiness in their images!
Are you a member of any organizations?

Eh, PPA and a bunch of nerdy engineering and computer ones. 🙂

17-55 17mm 2.8 1/2500 ISO 200

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?

My husband and I put a chunk of money into savings and when it looked like God was opening up some doors – I just did it cold turkey!
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

Be patient and always keep on trying to think outside of the box. If something isn’t working, be ready and flexible to try something new.

17-55 17mm 2.8 1/1250 ISO 200

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Senior model program for my high school students and a fashion show.

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)? If for, who have you had the most success with?

I think that some paid advertising does work – you just have to be smart about how  you do it. I’ve advertised, for instance, in high school papers for my senior shoots, but I used my models from those schools in the ad. That helped bring in a lot of new business.

85mm 2.5 1/320 ISO 320

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?

I started going to their parties they have at the end of the wedding season or openings of new locations. I just get to talking with them and if they seem to want to work with me we set up a time to chat and figure out how we can help each other.
What does an overview of your typical workflow look like?

It could probably be better. But I dump all my cards after  a wedding and then sort according to the images time stamps. Then a day later I just sit down and go through the whole folder and start “starring” the ones I like. I get to the end and see how many I starred and sift through them to get to the number I give my clients. From there I take my favorite 100-150 to very specifically retouch in photoshop. The rest get batched or something like that.

17-55 38mm 2.8 1/640 ISO 250

How do you stay organized?

I have all these envelopes that hold contracts, dates when checks were paid to me, dates of  engagement shoot, etc…that all pertain to one client. I then also have all the dates in my phone and on my calendar so I can immediately tell a phone inquiry if I’m available or not.
What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?

Probably hot chocolate together and discussing our businesses and how we can help each other.

17-55 20mm 4.5 1/640 ISO 200


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Jenni Marie Photography – Winston Salem, NC

February 22, 2010

Meet Jennifer Pinkerton of Jenni Marie Photography.  Jenni focuses on weddings and portraits and her sister helps her with styling, shooting, and prop-handling.  She’s a nikon girl and uses her left eye for shooting.  She shoots RAW in manual mode and has just started dabbling with some of the Totally Rad Actions and MCP Actions.  So far she really adores TRA’s LUX action and MCP’s SEVENTIES action.


http://jennimarie.com
http://jenniferpinkerton.com
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Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I was sitting on an airplane from Phoenix to Raleigh. My life was in pieces after some devastating transitions in my life and I had spent a therapeutic weekend with friends, shooting (almost non-stop) the whole time I was out west. I boarded the plane dreading my return to a boring reality but exhilarated by all the camera time. So I sat on the airplane and made a list of goals; deadlines for myself for the coming year. Almost all of them involved my camera, equipment to buy, and shoots to do. Five months later and I am on track (and ahead of schedule!) in my photographic goals for 2009-2010. Definitely evidence of God’s power in my life.

50mm, 800iso, 1/1250, f/1.8
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
Its silly, but I think of  Hillary Duff’s line in Cinderella Story: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” I am most often challenged by a crippling fear. “I can’t do this!” or “I’m going to fail!” or “No one likes my pictures!” or “I’m not really a photographer!”  But camera-in-hand is who I am. I can’t deny that. And even if I’m never a super star photographer, I can own my zip code and be the best Jenni Marie possible – falling or standing, succeeding or failing, living and learning. I’ve learned (or *cough* am STILL learning) that it doesn’t matter what other people think. If I’m happy, if I’m learning and growing, if I’m doing my best…then I can’t let someone else’s opinion stop me.

50mm, 400iso, 1/250, f/4.5

What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

Goofiness!  When I’m with my camera, I do the. stupidest. things. ever. so that my clients will laugh and I will get a genuine smile — none of this cheesy grin stuff. And the great part? It works! (Even if I do look ridiculous in the process.)

50mm, 200iso, 1/400, f/2.5
Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Up-and-coming? As in amazing-but-not-quite-world-famous? Kristen Leigh (kristenleigh.net). Except that she’s already fabulous, so maybe she’s already up-and-gone beyond the world of up-and-coming?

50mm, 1000iso, 1/1000, f/11
One item you can’t live without?
My running shoes. Me ‘n the pavement and the endorphins wipe out many a stressful day.
Your favorite bokeh image?
50mm, 250iso, 1/1250, f/1.8

I think this is my favorite. Emphasis on the hesitation in naming it my favorite. I love playing around with Bokeh — in fact, when I first stumbled across Bokeh Pot over a year ago, I had to go google a definition and try to figure out what in the world all these photographers were talking about – and then realized I was already doing it, even if I didn’t know the technical term! But in this image, we have bokeh on both sides of the focal point and, wow, that eye pops, eh?

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

Its super duper exciting for me to realize that there’s a  network of talented, fabulous photographers outside of the mecca of California and NYC; and, hey, I want part of the fun!

50mm, 200iso, 1/2500, f/4.0

Favorite book?

“The Harvester” by Gene Stratton Porter.Favorite movie?
Anne of Green Gables
. Its amazing. Beautiful, funny, whimsical… and Anne Shirley is a little too much like me.

Favorite songs to work to?
I’m all over the spectrum. Christian to classical to jazz to country (in very small doses) to pop to musicals. See? Eclectic!

50mm, 1/320, f/2.5

Where do you find inspiration?

I have a blog roll of over 150 photographer blogs and wedding planning websites to read weekly and I have Vogue magazine, Anthropologie catalogue, and wedding mags to round out my reading list. Plus, everything I look at — and I do mean EVERYTHING — I’m evaluating for lighting, composition, and posing.

Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
My sister. She listens to my crazy ideas, helps me implement the schemes, tells me when I’m insane, reminds me to dream big, and makes me laugh.

85mm, 800iso, 1/125, f/8.0
Do you use a second shooter?
Occasionally. Definitely try to have a second camera going at weddings, and sometimes I let aspiring photographers control one of my cameras and practice out their skills at a portrait shoot.

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Ask! The worst that could happen is I say no! 😛 (Cuz I definitely don’t bite. Promise.)
50mm, 125iso, 1/80, f/2.8

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Sigh. Do you have to ask all the hard questions? Can I pick two or three? Well, I’m going to because I simply can’t pick one. =) Jasmine Star, Jamie Delaine, and Kristen Leigh.

Are you a member of any organizations?

In the process of joining, but not yet!

Have you won any awards?
Wedding Wire named me Brides Choice 2010! I got the email and literally deleted it, thinking it was a scam or a “make everyone feel special” scheme. But it looks legit! =)

50mm, 200iso, 1/200, f/1.8
What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
For me, “the leap” has meant viewing myself as a photographer and taking the associated risks. Don’t get me wrong — I am still light years away from being anywhere near where I want to be. But I had to overcome self-doubt, fear, and insecurities before I was willing to spend thousands of dollars on the computer, software, lenses, and camera body necessary to begin the transition from “loving photography” to “photographer,” from “laptop-and-Picasa” to “beastly computer and Photoshop.”

50mm, 500iso, f/100, f/8.0

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?

Word of mouth, word of mouth, word of mouth! Nothing says “wow” better than a happy client. Seriously. Nothing.

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?

I’ve attended wedding shows, emailed local folks, made friends at weddings.

50mm, 200iso, 1/125, f/1.8
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Ohmyword! So many things come to mind. Mostly facts and questions I’ve only very recently struggled with. But definitely surround yourself with a solid group of cheerleaders, people who will tell you the truth while still providing encouragement to keep improving and to keep plugging along.  And don’t be afraid to fall. Use failing as a learning opportunity and make sure to keep on going.

24mm, 1600iso, 1/50, f/1.8

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Nothing says “JenniMarie” better than a happy client. Nothing. In fact, add happy client with the viral epidemic of facebook, and big things can happen. Just saying.

What does an overview of your typical workflow look like?
1. Download to computer.
2. Cull images in Lightroom
3. Tweak exposure/blacks in lightroom then — as necessary — open in Photoshop for more detailed tweaks.
4. Add watermark to blog/facebook picks.
5. Upload web preview album for client.

50mm, 1000iso, 1/400, f/1.8

How do you stay organized?

Lists, lists, and more lists! I keep a notebook for shoot ideas and inspiration clips. Gmail is my bestest friend and keeps all my lists, bookmarks, emails perfectly organized. Sticky notes are my weakness. And – oh yeah – did I mention lists?!

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”
A couple photographers, their cameras, a couple models, and everyone’s creative genius working together to create some fabulous images. Throw in some coffee and a glowing sunset. Whew. Does life get any better than that?

50mm, 200iso, 1/1000, f/5.0

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