Maybe Later: The Procrastination Episode!

We think one of the BIGGEST hurdles in owning your own business is pretty much being on your own timeline. Without a boss lurking around, it’s very easy to put tasks off until later & chill on the couch bingewatching Grey’s Anatomy instead of doing your work. The three of us definitely struggle with procrastination on a regular basis, so we decided to do an episode all about it! Tune in while we chitchat about ways we put off important tasks, haha, and hear how we deal with fixing it!


Key Takeaways

  1. UNPLUG. We might be beating a dead horse on this one because we’ve totally talked about this in the past but it’s the EASIEST way to keep yourself from procrastinating. Unplugging from social media, Netflix, texting, heck even your family sometimes will really help you be more efficient with your workflow.
  2. Just do it. This applies to that stuff that’s awkward or hard that you just kind of don’t want to deal with. The longer you put off that uncomfortable phone call, the harder it will be to make it. Ashley’s strategy is to pick up the phone immediately and tackle the awkwardness. She makes a great point that she doesn’t want her clients to linger on their feelings waiting for a response from her. The faster you just do whatever it is you aren’t looking forward to, the easier it will be in the long run.
  3. Reward yourself. This is another thing that’s tough about not being in a typical office job, you don’t really get accolades for your hard work. I mean, at least not from other people. Clients loving their photos is amazing, but at the end of the day, a lot of us need little rewards along the way. This can be something as small as getting your nails done after finishing culling a long wedding, or as big as giving yourself a raise & increasing your prices! Set a goal, finish that goal, and reward yourself. Even tiny things like a cup of coffee or a 30 minute break to watch a TV show will go a long way in keeping you productive & preventing procrastination.

Relevant Links

Episode 81: Creativity & Vision Wake Up Call!

Anyone who has been in business awhile will struggle from time to time with creativity. Shoots can start to feel very monotonous and routine, and it’s easy to catch yourself capturing the same shots over & over again.

This week, we are joined by the absolutely amazing Alexis Cuarezma! If you don’t know who this is yet, you totally should! He has been commissioned by big names like Nike, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times (among others!) and is known for his vibrant aesthetic for editorial and commercial shoots. Alexis often shoots celebrity athletes on a VERY strict time crunch, so he is very familiar with tapping into his creativity quickly! He chatted with us this week about awakening your creativity.. and he tells some awesome stories too!

Key Takeaways

  1. Connect with your subjects: Alexis stresses the importance of developing a connection with your subjects before, during, and after your shoots. Since he only has a few minutes with most of his clients, Alexis does a lot of research beforehand. He learns personal facts, stories, and the history of each subject so he has things to chat with them about during their shoot. He finds this is a great way to connect quickly with his subjects & get those awesome shots!
  2. Know who you’re shooting for: As wedding & portrait photographers, a lot of us are shooting for the client. Our style, posing, location, etc all have to please the client in the end. So we need to make sure we keep that in mind while shooting. Commercial photographers oftentimes are shooting for magazine editors. They have to have a style and set up that pleases the company they’re representing. Alexis is so established in his field that he usually gets to shoot for HIMSELF! How rad is that? He gets to incorporate his own vision & creativity in his shoots, which is a luxury not everyone has. However, there’s nothing wrong with shooting for yourself from time to time, whether that’s by incorporating something new & creative in your family shoots, or doing your own side projects. Keeping your creativity alive is easier when you get to use it!
  3. Leave your comfort zone behind! A great way to ignite your creativity is to jump outside your comfort zone. You want to find something that makes you excited and tests your creativity a bit! Kate mentions a shoot she did recently with some pirates that challenged her but ended up totally amazing. Sprinkling shoots like that among your regular shoots (I mean… we have to pay the bills, right?) is a surefire way to help spark some creativity in your schedule!

We really hope you tune in to this full episode; Alexis has some awesome stories & is such an inspirational person!

Relavent Links



Wwwwwwww…. long time no see!! We are SOOO excited to bring you the new, revamped PhotoSpark… season TWO! This season is going to be full of awesome guests, new topics, and maybe even a few special get-togethers to meet you guys!! This first episode is just a quick one to catch you guys up on what’s been going on in OUR lives since we last chatted, so tune in to hear some updates from the PhotoSpark ladies!

Julie Ferneau

For those of you who don’t already know Julie, she’s the wedding photographer of the group! She is a social butterfly who is amazing at keeping up with networking on TOP of her booming photography business! The past few months have been packed with second shooting gigs in addition to her own clients. Julie has had a few THREE wedding weekends over the summer, which to me is completely crazy!

There’s really no end to the “wedding season” in San Diego. The weather is amazing year round, and couples take advantage of the cooler fall and winter weather in addition to the spring & summer! So Julie has been knocking it out of the park all year!

Julie gives some tips in this episode about second shooting, as well as outsourcing editing, which she has done for the very first time! For the listeners who have been with us for (almost) two years, you’ll love to hear that Julie is outsourcing to Lauren Nygard, one of the original PhotoSpark hosts! She’s a new mom now, living in North Carolina, and is helping Julie with editing & matched her style perfectly! Julie is loving the smooth process & having a little less on her plate!

Ashley DuChene

Ashley is a family & child photographer, who also takes on some corporate clients throughout the year! She is keeping busy for sure!! It’s been a long road, but Ashley now officially has an assistant, who she trained to help with her photography business. The training process was lengthy; Ashley had to make training videos and teach her assistant all about photography, but she is SUCH a great fit for Ashley! Ashley is enjoying having someone write emails, make/answer phone calls, and help at shoots too! Her assistant has been taking behind the scenes video for Ashley’s Instagram feed, so make sure you follow her to watch her stories/live updates!

Ashley gives some tips about having an assistant in this episode. She talks about the benefits of an assistant, as well as the time it took to get everything in place. There were some financial commitments she had to make to get her started, and it’s still a little tough for Ashley to be spending more money. She’s DEFINITELY making more money though, so it has been worth it for her so far!

Having an assistant & being able to delegate tasks has helped Ashley plow through this busy season successfully! Be sure to tune in to hear about her process!

Kate Mills

Kate is also a family & child photographer who is laughing at the term “busy season” because really it feels like we go from one busy season (summer) to the next (fall/holiday shoots). There isn’t anything super new or exciting in her life at the moment, she’s just trying to find that work/life balance & chats about how she is starting to wonder if there really IS a balance or if that is just a myth! Currently, she’s doing her best to streamline her business better, which will really help get through this NEXT busy season and come out alive!

The best thing she did this year was automating her mini session scheduling! She used BookedIN and set it up so clients could pick their desired date & location from her calendar. They’d click on the time slot they wanted, fill out their contact info, and pay their session fee via PayPal right then & there. This has helped TREMENDOUSLY and has cut out the back and forth that mini sessions usually bring! It also ensures Kate isn’t chasing down any session payments. It took some time to set up, but saved a lot in the long run!

Kate also speaks about mini sessions… a lot of photographers are moving away from them which is totally fine, but she finds that they do provide some financial security during the holidays. She talks about why she does them, some regrets about them, and how to make them work for you!

THANK YOU so much you guys for your patience with the launch of Season Two! I promise we’ll be good with our weekly episodes from here on out! Please feel free to check us out on social media & drop us a line!



Episode 79: THROWBACK- Newborn Photography with Sophie Crew


For this week’s throwback episode, we decided to re-release a fan favorite episode about newborn photography with Sophie Crew! Sophie is a top photographer here in San Diego and her work is BEAUTIFUL. She joined us to chat about how she became a newborn photographer and what she’s learned along the way, so we decided to re-share some of her tips on the blog! Download the episode to hear more about Sophie’s story & how she gets those stunningly perfect shots!

Sophie’s Tips:

  • Age- Ideal age for newborn photos is 7-8 days. However, she still has luck with older babies, even up to 4 weeks old! They just take a little longer to get to sleep, and they’re a little bigger so poses and props are different sometimes.
  • The 5 S’s- A soothing technique for babies! The 5 S’s are: Side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, swaddling, and sucking. It’s her go-to when babies are super fussy and having trouble falling asleep!
  • White Noise- When making white noise/shushing, make it REALLY loud. Like… way louder than you think you should. Babies love it because it reminds them of the womb!
  • Maternity Photos- Sophie also photographs maternity clients; she suggests scheduling between 34 & 36 weeks.
  • Feeding- Sophie always sends out a pre-shoot email to her parents before a newborn shoot. In this email she suggests they feed the baby RIGHT before leaving for the studio. She also suggests they arrive a little early to the studio to feed once more. A full baby is a sleepy, happy baby!!
  • Length- Sophie’s typical newborn session lasts approximately 3 hours.

Be sure to download this episode to hear more tips from Sophie! And get excited about Season Two of PhotoSpark… coming soon! Follow us on Facebook to be the first to hear our special announcement!

Relavent Links

Sophie Crew


Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here

Episode 78: THROWBACK- Our Embarrassing Stories!

embarrassing stories

We LOVED recording this embarrassing stories episode last year… it’s my absolute favorite personally. So we wanted to share it again while we prep for Season Two! This is definitely an episode you need to listen to to get the full impact, so this blog post won’t really do it any justice!

Ok… now that I’m listening to this, it’s definitely mostly MY embarrassing stories (spoiler alert, Kate does the blog posts). So if you want to hear about the time I swallowed a fly and barfed during a shoot, ran into a client at a concert while reeeeally drunk, and/or the time I got pooped on by a pelican, tune in! Julie, Ashley, and guesthouse Terran DO contribute some funny stories too, don’t get me wrong! But I’m starting to think this is maybe my issue…. hm…..

embarrassing storiesLet us know what you think!! And PLEASE share some of your own embarrassing stories on our Facebook page to make me feel better!


Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here

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