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Friday 5


1. What works the best for you in getting children and family groups to all be looking at you?

As long as Mom and Dad are looking at the camera, I am bound to eventually get one shot of the whole family looking at the camera at the same time. With children, they'll look at me for a few seconds and then check out the squirrel to my right. I usually just regroup and ask, "Oh - look right here at the camera! Oh, perfect! That's great!" I try to be friendly and encouraging to keep their spirits up.

With babies and infants, I have found that shaking my car keys works great. The sound is what I think does it. However, when I was just being photographed by my friend Melanie Rice, she used balloons and party blowout noise makers (those things you blow into and unravel). They really got my little girls attention!

If I'm not able to get "the shot", I am usually able to piece together different faces and smiles from multiple photographs into one keeper. It takes more work, but I'm there to get the shot, and by dang I'll get it!

2. How do your techniques differ when serving a client that is totally unfamiliar to you...ie. some person who found your blog and loved your work and called you up and hired you for a session. How do you cope with nerves in these situations? It's one thing to do photography for someone you know or at least someone who knows someone vs. total stranger :)

The very first session I conducted with someone I'd never met before or that was not a friend was nerve wracking... How would I know who they were? Will it be awkward? What if it's a murderer luring me into some crazy location to get me alone! Seriously - all things I fretted about the night before.

I'm seasoned now to the point where I don't even think about it. I love meeting new clients for the first time. I cultivate a relationship with my clients through numerous emails prior to the session that when it finally arrives and we meet for the first time, I feel like they're old friends. I consider myself fairly personable and always find something to talk about. Getting to know the family and learning more about their story helps them open up to me and really comes through their photographs.

3. Do you use a battery pack or grip when shooting?

I do not. At this point I don't have a need for one. My battery life on my D7000 is amazing - I can shoot a whole wedding (8+ hours) and not even use half my battery.

4. Are you nervous to show clients straight out of the camera images?

If I were to process or even soft-edit all of a client's images before showing them, that would severely delay how soon their galleries would be available given the number of clients I am working with. More importantly, editing images a client will not purchase is poor time management and would result in a higher cost to the client. I've done it both ways, and my currently workflow process is much more time efficient and enables clients to see more of their images, faster. 


By providing edited previews on the blog prior to the release of their proofing gallery, I give clients an opportunity to see what the finished products will look like and allow them to make selections based solely on poses and composition of each photograph. This is just simply what works for me!

5. Where did you learn to use Photoshop? Can you recommend any online courses?

I am self taught! I have been using Adobe Photoshop since version 4, and we're now on CS5! It's been years of practice and experimenting. I also find I benefit from my training as a graphic designer as well. 


As for online courses, there are a number of photographers who offer Photoshop mentoring and blogs with more tutorials that are specifically photography related. I highly suggest MCP Actions - they offer a lot of classes and articles that are beneficial to all skill levels!



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