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For Photographers: When Clients Request Privacy

What do you do when your photography clients request their images not be shared online? How to handle this tricky situation.

It’s somewhat rare that this happens, but every once in a while you’ll work with a couple who would rather that their images not be shared online. This could be for any number of reasons, but the key (like with everything else) is how you handle it! Here are some of my thoughts on how to do so with grace:

Weigh the benefits/negatives before deciding on your policy
Whether or not you are able to accommodate their request depends on a couple of things…do you really need work to show for your portfolio OR do you need business from a couple that’s bound to tell others about how much they loved the experience working for you? For me, at this point in my business, though I really love creating new work to show off for my portfolio, I also don’t necessarily need it if the couple is a really good fit. The benefits of working with them can outweigh the potential benefits of securing a few new portfolio images! I take these situations on a case by case basis and it usually depends on the couple and how well I think we will work together!

Agree on a set of boundaries
It could be that they’d be fine with you sharing photos as long as you use only their first initials rather than their names, or if you share the images using pseudonyms. Or they may be okay with you sharing detail images but nothing showing their faces. Would they be okay with you sharing some of their images with potential clients who are getting married at their venue? What about how you handle sharing with vendors that you normally work with? I think it’s important to discuss and agree on mutually beneficial terms and work them into your contract if you find that they’re a good fit for you!

At the end of the day, what people remember about us is how we treat them and how we make them feel. It’s important to take our ego and our feelings as artists out of the equation (we all really love sharing gorgeous images don’t we??) when clients come to us with requests for privacy and determine what makes the most sense for us as business owners. Put yourself in the mindset of a kind business owner instead of that of an artist and think about things from your clients’ perspective!

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Monthly Meeting – March 2017

It’s a new month and I’m ready to try out something new…namely a new series here on the blog! Over the years I’ve had a few different blog series, but it’s been a while since I’ve started a new one. My hope for this new series is that I’ll be able to keep myself accountable and on track through the rest of the year (and possibly beyond). What I’ve found though other experiences (like running my marathon a few years ago) is that publicly stating them helps with getting them done.

The idea behind “monthly meetings” is sitting down once a month the same way any other type of company to take stock of how I’m doing and what I’d like to do in the future. I’m hoping this will be a good tool for me going forward and I’m excited to have you guys follow along!

With that being said, I am excited about this month because things are starting to get busier for me again, and I LOVE being busy. We’ve got a fun trip planned at the end of the month, we’re MOVING (!!!), and engagement session season is ramping up as well. I’ve missed shooting, so I am especially happy about the last one. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather continues to be beautiful!

Here are a few business goals I’ve got for myself this month:

– Blog 3 times a week
– Finish submitting the remainder of my 2016 work
– Finish reading “Everybody Writes” and blog about it
– Finalize tax preparation for 2016 taxes
– Work on putting together a list of bigger goals for the business
– Take some stock photos for future use in blog posts and on social media

Some personal goals:

PR my deadlifts. I’m getting SOOO close to my goal of 230 by July (I previously set a goal to be able to deadlift 2x my body weight by my next birthday). I’m not going to put pressure on myself to hit 230 next month, but I do want to surpass my last PR of 210!
Have the new place unpacked within two weeks of moving in. One of the big reasons we are moving this month is because moving last year during wedding season was really stressful. I’d like to get settled before things start getting busy again!
Eat at home 3-4 nights a week. We’ll see how this goes. I haven’t been cooking much, and with moving it might be a bit difficult, but I’m going to set it as my intention to eat at home a bit more and hopefully it will happen!

This month I am excited for:
– Our trip to Charleston at the end of the month
– Moving into our new apartment!
– Engagement session season beginning again
– Warmer weather (fingers crossed)

As we move into March (and hopefully the official start of Spring) I am hoping for a really productive, exciting month! It’s already shaping up to be packed full of good things, and I’m so excited about that. Hope you all have a great March as well!

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Tips for Including your Pets in your Photos

We are totally “those people” when it comes to pets. Our cat, Lucy is an important member of our family, which is why we included her in our promo film a couple of years ago! While Lucy doesn’t leave the house very often for photo sessions, we work with a lot of couples who have a pup they want to include in their photos. After shooting lots of sessions with dogs included, I decided to share a few tips for including pets in photos!

Know your pet’s personality
Some pets are just not going to do well in photos. If you have a pet that’s very anxious or is aggressive around new people, they may not do well with having their photo taken. If your pet doesn’t like other animals (you never know when there might be some other animals in the vicinity…especially outdoors!) it might not go well either. Does your pet tend to be really wild and unruly? Or is your pet pretty calm and easy going? Knowing your pets personality and making decisions based on that will help set you up for success!

Pack all of your pet’s necessities
While you’re packing up the essentials for your shoot (lipstick or gloss for touch ups, props, etc) you should think about packing your pet’s necessities too! This might include treats, a favorite toy, poop bags, or any other extras that might help put your pet at ease or enhance the session.

Wear them out before the shoot
This is especially helpful if you have a puppy or a pet that’s very hyper. The day of the photos be sure to take them to the park or get them out on a run ahead of time so that you can help get some of their energy out!

Bring along a pet sitter
We like to suggest bringing along an additional set of hands to help out with your pet. This person can walk your pet while we are shooting without it, can carry treats, and can help me catch your pets attention if I need it in the photos. They can even take your pet home after we’ve shot some photos with him or her if you prefer! In general, bringing along a “pet sitter” makes things much less stressful for you and less stress = a better photo experience.

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For Photographers: Being an Introvert

If I had to guess, I’d venture to say that the majority of wedding photographers out there are extroverts at heart. Our job is one that requires us to spend a good amount of time interacting with all kinds of different people, so it seems only natural that someone who is outgoing would thrive in a job like this! On the other hand, I think introverts also have a big advantage since much of what we do is done behind the scenes, often solo. I’m an introvert myself and deal with shyness (not as much so on the internet, where it is way easier to be bold!) so I wanted to share some things I’ve learned that will hopefully help other introvert photographers!

The first, and possibly most important thing to remember is: Be genuine and true to yourself in all of your interactions.
If you aren’t loud and outgoing, don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not, even if you wish that’s how you were! If people can’t 100 percent see through the facade you’re trying to create, they’ll still be able to tell something’s a little off. Authenticity is so huge for creating real and genuine interactions. Whoever you are, and whatever your personality, own it! On wedding days I’ve gotten so many compliments from our clients and their friends and family for being a calming influence on the wedding day because my voice is more quiet and calm rather than bold and loud. Find your strengths and use them to your advantage!

Use the Internet and social media to interact
Sometimes if you deal with shyness like I do, it can be hard to approach people in public, especially if you can’t think of something really good to say right away. So much of our communication these days is based on social media, it’s much more acceptable to “break the ice” so to speak using the internet. That can make it a little more comfortable for you to reach out to people! By interacting on Instagram, FB, Snapchat, etc, you’ll start to get to know people, which will make it easier when it comes to in-person interactions! Interacting online (and having a great blog for people to read!) really helps people get a sense for YOU, too, which helps put them at ease. That’s a win/win!

Focus on developing relationships
This is SO huge. I’m not really big into networking myself because I don’t like what it stands for. I don’t want to get to know people just in case they can do something for me in the future or vice versa. I want to create real relationships with people that I really connect with. I focus on creating relationships with my clients and other wedding professionals in a way I’d nurture any other relationships in my life, by showing genuine interest in them! This has proved to be so much more valuable to me over time than it would be to spend a lot of my time working on networking. I think this is huge for developing relationships with clients as well because getting to know them will help you provide them with an experience that really speaks to who they are!

Work with people you mesh well with
I have learned over the years that it really helps to work with couples (and wedding pros!) who get you. I tend to ask a few questions of each couple early on into the potential booking process to gauge whether or not I’m the photographer they’re looking for. I really love to work with people who consider John and I trusted friends who have their best interests at heart (and are also wedding professionals!) rather than hired hands, so looking for “my people” helps immensely because our interactions never feel stiff or weird, because we’re on the same page in more ways than one. I also work well with vendors who all feel that we’re working on the same team (for the bride and groom) rather than working against each other’s interests.

Create a list of  icebreaker questions
I love to ask our couples things about how they met, how they got engaged, and what they like to do for fun. Not only do I love hearing about them and getting to know them, it helps me find common ground, which makes it easier to chat easily!

Put yourself out there
I think for me, many of the best things in my life have happened because I just put myself out there and went for it. Sometimes life is about getting outside of your comfort zone and for introverts that might not always come as naturally as it would to other personality types. The times when I raised my hand to ask questions at a workshop I’ve attended or gone out of my way to meet someone new at an event, etc were the things that have really helped broaden my circle and put myself out there!

There are so many pros and cons to running a business with any kind of personality type, but I think as introverts it can be challenging to not give in to being shy or wanting to stay more behind the scenes. I hope that this post helps you put yourself out there in a new situation!!!

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Albums – Maggie and Taylor

Wrapping up an album is one of those things that can be a little bit bittersweet. It means that my time working with the couple has truly come to an end! I still wouldn’t trade doing albums for anything, though, because I strongly believe they are the best way to preserve your wedding photos for generations to come! Yes, of course, you can always create your own photo books (I’ve been known to put them together using our iPhone photos) but your wedding photos deserve something a little more special! After all, they’re probably likely the biggest investment you will ever make as far as photos go…so you should invest in preserving them in a way that will allow you to enjoy them for many years to come!

Maggie and Taylor’s linen album came out beautifully! They chose the light gray linen, which is one of my favorite choices because it’s so timeless and chic! Working with them on this was a dream because they’ve got such great taste…all of the revisions they’d email over were things that I thought looked so great!

Here’s a little peek into their book:

To see more of Maggie and Taylor’s beautiful wedding at the Comus Inn, view their blog post here!

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