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Friday, February 13, 2015

6 Hours Driving, 4 Hours Shooting

I spent a lot of time on the road today. Drove from Orlando to West Palm and back, thats six hours total, for a four hour shoot. Sometimes that's just the way it works out. 

Unfortunately, as far as lighting is concerned, it was during the worst part of the day. We started at 10:00 am and ended at 2:00. The cloudless blue sky in combination with the high sun was not flattering. Most of the shots were outside, so I did my best to seek out shade. 

The last shot of the day was in a rental studio. This was not your modern studio. It had the feel of an old worn shoe, and had definitely been in existence since the film days with minimal updates. A very small, 80+ year old man with only a few whispy grey hairs owned the place and was very confused when I told him I was the photographer. Our conversation went like this:

Me, "Hi, I'm the photographer for the group that booked the studio for today."
Him, "The guy was just in here." 
Me, "I'm the photographer."
Him, "The photographer just went out there."
Me, "No, I'm the photographer."
Him, "Huh?"
Me, "I'll just wait until the rest of the group gets here."

Apparently, I couldn't have been the photographer because I'm not the correct gender. I totally threw the man off. I didn't have a safari photo vest on, but I did have my Canon camera hanging off my hip.  

It was an interesting day, but we figured it out, and now I'm on to the next!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Advice for Emerging Photographers

I wanted to give a little bit of advice today for those new photographers who are working hard to become pro. The best way to become a more experienced photographer is to not only learn the step-by-step process, but to also understand it inside and out. Dive into the details. Learn why light acts the way it does, what makes shadows fill certain spaces and how the camera translates them both into an image.

At some point in your career, you will achieve clarity. The camera won't tell you what to do. Instead, you will tell the camera what your plan is and how it can help you execute it.

I encourage students and emerging professionals to never put down their camera. It is one of the worst things you can do in the development of a career. The only way to keep moving forward is practice. Shoot, process and have your work critiqued as much as possible. The only way to grow is through doing.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Seven Shoots in Three Days

Talk about a roller coaster. During the month of November, I booked 19 shoots over a three week time period, and one of those weeks had seven shoots scheduled over a three days. Those days didn't only include editorial photography, but also processing and image delivery. Below I included behind the scenes photos from each shoot.

11/12 @10:00 am - Vero Beach Magazine Headquarters
Shooting jewelry for their next issue's fashion department. This was the tedious part where the jeweler had to place the pieces.

11/12 @3:00 pm - Dr McGarry/Vero Beach, FL
Lauren standing in for Dr McGarry in the chemo room in his office. I loved the funny cartoon on the wall about the scale making you cry. Had to share that one...

11/12 @5:00 pm - Joe and Carolyn/Rock City Gardens in Vero Beach, FL
Lauren with the color checker at the beginning of our shoot.

11/13 @7:00 am - John's Island West Course/Vero Beach, FL
Lauren's arm with the color checker after taking a few portraits of some golf pros.

11/13 @3:00 pm - BG Polo & Equestrian/Vero Beach, FL
Lauren being blinded by what I considered beautiful sun light during our sessions with the polo players.

11/14 @8:00 am - Doug and Sharon/Rock City Gardens in Vero Beach, FL
Me shooting a very nice couple at a beautiful garden and landscaping outfit.

11/14 @1:00 pm - YMCA/Winter Park, FL
The background set up in the basketball gym in the YMCA in Winter Park.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Books to Get Your Photography Business Started

professional photography books for freelancers

I was going through my library of books this weekend and came across the stack of very useful books I read when I was first starting my freelance photography business. I held one book up to my husband and asked, "Do you believe that I read this book cover to cover?" That book was Tax Smarts for Small Business by James O. Parker. At the time, this book was full of fascination and excitement for me because it was one small step in the building blocks of my career. Yes, I actually enjoyed reading it!

This morning I wanted to share the books I read to establish my base knowledge for building my business. They were all helpful to me in one form or another. Many of these books now have updated versions, which is great if you run out and grab a copy. They all contain relavant information for starting and sustaining a successful photography business, and I highly recommend them.

Professional Business Practices in Photography
by the American Society of Media Photographers

Pricing Photography, the Complete Guide to Assignment and Stock Prices
by Michal Heron and David MacTavish

Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow Handbook
by Patricia Russotti and Richard Anderson

Business and Legal Forms for Photographers
by Tad Crawford

Sucessful Self-Promotion for Photographers
by Elyse Weisberg

Best Business Practices for Photographers
by John Harrington

How to Communicate
by Matthew McKay, Martha Davis and Patrick Fanning

Tax Smarts for Small Business
by James O. Parker

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fashion Photographer BTS with Camy Couture

One of the things I never seem to have time for, but absolutely LOVE to do is capture what goes on behind the scenes, especially when I am in a unique location. I made a point to have my second camera set up with my 50mm lens at this shoot, just to use as a BTS camera. We were at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center photographing clothing from Camy Couture Orlando for Lake Mary Healthy Living Magazine.

There were a couple of fun last minute surprises, including Mosaic Marketing Solutions, who came to get behind the scenes video for an augmented reality piece for the magazine's app. WKMG Channel 6 also sent a camera man to film the shoot for a local news piece. I wore a mic for the piece while we were shooting the first two looks. It's an out of the ordinary experience wearing a mic for over an hour. I felt like I had to watch what I said. I was most worried about saying something absolutely ridiculous that the editing crew would have to edit out later; I'm sure they get a great laugh occasionally!

Hopefully I will be able to share more of these behind the scenes photos with you in the near future.
Lauren with BMG Models
I couldnt get over Lauren's "That's Awesome" shirt. What a fun way to cheer on our crew! 
Todd, Videographer from Mosaic Marketing Solutions.
Smile Todd!
Props from the prop room that I pulled out for the models to play with. You'll see these again in one of the final shots.
Alien Bee's. BZZZZ!
Judith Topper, publisher of Lake Mary Healthy Living, and Lauren's Mom chatting next to the grand piano prop.
The very organized electrical non-hazards, backstage just behind the stage curtain.
I love this intimate view of Ali putting the finishing touches on Lauren's hair.
I couldn't resist myself when Renee Blair pointed out this paper mache corn in the prop room! YES! It was not used in the photos. I pulled it out merely for my own amusement.
Natalie with BMG Models Florida
Right to Left: Judith Topper (Publisher Lake Mary Healthy Living magazine), Renee Blair (Renee Blair Graphic Design), Betsy Hansen (me), Ali Lee (Ali Artistry), Lauren and Natalie (BMG Models)
Say cheese, Ali!
Photography by Betsy Hansen
Styling by Becky Neimann, owner of Camy Couture Orlando
Wardrobe provided by Camy Couture Orlando
Hair and Makeup by Ali Lee
Models Lauren and Natalie with BMG Orlando/Miami