Episode 66: Wildlife Photography with Kathleen Reeder

This episode was so much fun to record… we could have recorded hours upon hours of content for you guys! Kathleen Reeder is a photographer, educator, and author specializing in wildlife photography! She chatted with Kate & Ashley about wildlife photography, and told some awesome animal stories! If you’ve ever fantasized about photographing big cats on a safari in Africa, or if you’re just thinking of taking a trip to your local zoo, this is a great episode for you! Here are some of our favorite tips about achieving great images of wildlife from Kathleen!

wildlife photography

Our Favorite Wildlife Photography Tips

  1. Get technical. Wildlife photography is definitely going to give you a chance to test your skills using the manual mode on your camera. The entire trifecta of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed play a huge role in being successful and getting great shots. Starting with shutter speed, you’ll typically want a pretty quick speed to allow for zooming without camera shake, as well as any movements the animal may make. Since this should typically be no less than 1/focal length of your lens, it will likely be pretty fast (as you’re going to most likely be shooting with long lenses). You also might be shooting from far away or through a fence (like at a zoo), so shooting wide open with a low aperture is a great way to make a fence disappear. Lastly, you’ll obviously want your ISO to be as low as possible but high enough to expose correctly with the high shutter speeds.
  2. Check your gear. As portrait/wedding photographers, a lot of us carry cute camera bags, which is great for most shoots, but not necessary good for wildlife photography. The lenses tend to be larger and heavier for this genre of photography, so you might want to consider using a backpack instead. A backpack will also allow you to keep all gear on-hand and easy to reach (with no risk of something trampling or eating your bag (I recently had a goat eat a huge chunk out of my shirt in a manner of about 3 seconds so I’m very sensitive to this right now!), and allows you to move around quickly as needed. Also, we don’t always use tripods in portrait photography but they’re super important in wildlife photography. I mean… have you seen the size of some of those lenses?! Speaking of lenses… you’ll want some pretty big ones! Kathleen gave us some hints about ideal starting lenses for wildlife photography… for Nikon she likes the 80-400 lens, and for Canon she likes the 100-500. Both are decently light and good walk around lenses to use to photograph animals!
  3. Like always… it’s all about lighting! Ok, maybe not ALL about lighting. But lighting is very important in wildlife photography! Kathleen prefers to photograph bears early in the morning, as the higher the sun gets in the sky, the harder it is to see the contrast between their fur and their eyes. This is the rule for most dark-furred animals! Also, cloudy days are GREAT for wildlife photography because you’re basically shooting in a natural soft box. Lastly, Kathleen suggests bringing a flash along to pop the colors a bit, and make your subject stand out from the background!

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Seriously, we aren’t exaggerating when we say we could have chatted with Kathleen all day! She had some AWESOME stories to tell too (listen to hear her bear & hyena stories!), so this is definitely an episode worth downloading!

wildlife photography

Relevent Links

Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here

Episode 65: Networking Beyond the Photography World

networking beyond the photography world

Very people on earth are cooler than Tim King. There, we said it! Tim is just one of those people who exudes confidence, both personally and in business. He’s a professional when he needs to be, and a goofball when he doesn’t. And somehow he’s found a way to combine both of those traits when in professional situations and it works great for him! He’s very social, and very curious about just about everything, so he was a great person to chat with this week about networking beyond the photography world!

networking beyond the photography world

We are so used to attended photographer events, that when we think about networking outside of our comfy, photographer-filled circles, it gets a little daunting. Why should we be networking beyond the photography world? What “non-photographers” should we seek out to network with? These are all questions we’ve faced at some point in our careers, and Tim has the answers! Check out a few of our favorite talking points below, and be sure to tune into the whole episode for more!

networking beyond the photography world

Key Takeaways

  1. Networking beyond the photography world leads to better opportunities. Maybe I shouldn’t say better opportunities… but different ones for sure! Not only do you get to hang out with someone who isn’t in your area of expertise, but you (hopefully) become that person’s favorite photographer, and (hopefully) they’ll pass your information on to their friends. When you only network with photographers, they might pass you work here & there, but you’re getting their sloppy seconds… jobs they don’t want for themselves. Tim finds himself in many circles due to his “networking” (I find it funny that the people who have been on the podcast as networking experts tend to hate the word “networking,” but we haven’t quite figured out what else to call it yet. Any ideas?
  2. Check out local magazines. Photographing for local magazines might not pay much in itself, but it’s an opportunity to learn “who’s who” in a certain area central to your business. Not only will it be cool to see your work on the cover of a magazine, but this opportunity to photograph people in your community will hopefully lead to more opportunities down the line. Many people who are featured in (or just people who read!) these magazines will need headshots or family photos down the line, and if they’ve already worked with you and gotten to know you on a professional level, they’re likely to decide to work with you again… and pay you this time!
  3. Interview interesting people. Tim has a project (the link is below!) where he interviews people with unique jobs. He seeks out people who love their work, do something cool or interesting, and contribute to the community in some way. He even interviewed a jiggalo in Las Vegas recently!! This sounds totally crazy, and I’m really excited to read the interview. Networking beyond the photography world allows him to meet ALL sorts of different types of people, who he might not normally get to hang out with. Ideally, he’s now in the circle of all these people, and hopefully it will lead to photography jobs in the future!

networking beyond the photography world

Relevent Links

networking beyond the photography world

At the end of the episode, we were finishing up chatting with Tim, and he decided Ashley’s roof looked like a great spot to dive from into her pool. He proceeded to grab some board shorts out of his car, change into his swimsuit, and jump off her roof. There’s a first time for everything! We love Tim’s work hard, play hard mentality & it was a blast to hang out with him in the studio! Be sure to download the full episode below!

Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here

Episode 64: Effective Communication with Monica Royal

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Did you guys know that March is Women’s History Month? We wanted to take advantage of that, and chat a bit about what it’s like to be a female business owner. Women tend to face obstacles and challenges that men don’t always face. We invited San Diego photographer Monica Royal to be a guest this week & she was the perfect person to chat about this topic with! Monica has experienced many of these hurdles herself, and talks with us about how to be assertive and quit apologizing, which leads to more effective communication.

Download from iTunes Here

DISCLAIMER: While we recorded this particular episode with women in mind, we are well-aware that there are also many men out there who struggle with effective communication and suffer from these same obstacles! This episode isn’t intended to exclude anyone, so you’ll likely get some great tips from listening, no matter your gender!

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Photo Credit: Monica Royal

Key Takeaways

  1. Quit apologizing!! We are ALL most likely guilty of apologizing way more than we need to. Have you ever received the incorrect at a restaurant and apologized to the waiter about wanting to return it? We have! It makes no sense, but as women we oftentimes feel like the peacemakers of awkward situations, both in business and in our personal lives, so “I’m sorry” tends to be a go-to phrase in those cases. Instead of apologizing, try to reword your apology as a thank you. For example, “I’m sorry I’m late” can turn into “Thank you so much for being patient with me.” This will help you appear stronger, and will also make TRUE apologies mean more!
  2. Communicate better… by saying less. Monica tells us a story about a situation where she presented an art package to a large biotech firm. The price she came up with for the proper size artwork that fit the space ended up being a couple thousand dollars more than the company had anticipated. Long story short, she KNEW when she presented the package price to the CEO that she HAD to hold her breath & not speak. If she had started to speak, she would have rambled off reasons and excuses for the price (maybe even apologies for it), which would have weakened her stance as a professional photographer & business owner. Spoiler alert, the sale went in her favor. She stresses the importance of knowing when to shut up. This is KEY in being successful in sales & in business, and not something that always comes naturally to us.
  3. Fake it till you make it. If you struggle with effective communication, and you don’t have time to start therapy sessions to figure out WHY you are the way you are (undervaluing yourself, apologizing often, etc), Monica suggests the ever-popular “fake it till you make it” approach. Find a role model who is assertive, tough, and unapologetic, and model yourself after that. It’s most likely going to be VERY difficult and uncomfortable. However, in the end, you’ll probably come out alive, and better for it.

effective communication

If you guys haven’t listened to this full episode yet, you really should. Monica is a freaking hoot, and she’s extremely knowledgable and informative about this topic. You ALSO should check out her work. She’s a very talented macro photographer and she creates stunning works of art. Check her website out below & thanks for tuning in!!

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Relevant Links

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Photo Credit: Monica Royal

Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here



Shop great Cards for great Photos at Tinyprints.com!

Episode 63: The Ins & Outs of Working for Free

working for free

No matter how long you’ve been in business as a photographer, it’s a guarantee that you will be asked to work for free at some point. Whether it’s a friend or family member looking for a hook up, a wedding vendor looking for photos of their product and offering “exposure” in return, or a charity looking for a donation, we’re constantly bombarded with opportunities to give away our time & photos for free. Local photographer Cavin Elizabeth (Cavin Elizabeth Photography) knows this struggle well! In fact, in 2015 she calculated that she gave away thousands of dollars in free photography services. This is obviously a crippling amount. She learned a lot of lessons about working for free in this year, and she’s on the show to chat with us about what she learned!

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Photo Credit: Arielle Levy

Key Takeaways

  1. How could working for free HELP your business? Make sure the job you are taking benefits YOU. Figure out criteria to help judge these jobs, and run every potential free shoot through your criteria before saying yes. Is there a possibility to make money from this experience (whether directly, in the future, or via referrals)? Is it an opportunity you could benefit from? Maybe it’s a unique venue you want to shoot, or a florist you want to network with. Make sure it’s an experience you can benefit from as well, and you’ll prevent burning out by working for free.
  2. How could working for free HURT your business? Well, if you’re doing a free shoot, you are blocking out time on your calendar that could be used for paying clients. So if you do that too often, you’ll be hurting your business by not making money. Also, some people who search out photographers for free work are looking to take advantage of them. Working with these people repeatedly will drain your energy. Cavin noted that many vendors she provided free images to in the past didn’t even write her a thank you email. The lack of communication in turn made her self conscious & question her work, which is emotionally draining in itself!
  3. What are some alternatives to working for free? We’ve spoken about this on the show before, but we LOVE offering trades in lieu of working for free. Ashley trades for all sorts of things… fitness memberships, hotel rooms, even her dog’s recent eye surgery! Trades are an amazing way to show the person you’ll be working with that you value your time, but you still want to work with them. Plus, you’ll be less likely to burn out if you are getting something from the deal also!

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Cavin is seriously a plethora of knowledge on this topic and was such a great guest! We loved her energy in studio, and she made so many great points about working for free! Be sure to tune in!

Relavent Links:

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Photo Credit: Arielle Levy

 

Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here



Shop great Cards for great Photos at Tinyprints.com!

Episode 62: Staying Inspired in the Wedding Industry

staying inspired in the wedding industry

We think one of the hardest aspects of working in the wedding industry is staying inspired and ahead of the current trends. It’s so easy to browse wedding magazines & inspirational, styled blog posts, but by the time you figure out what’s currently trendy, it’s probably almost too late to actually use it!

staying inspired in the wedding industry

Kim Sayatovic is the founder and chief creative officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans. She was the perfect person to chat with about staying inspired in the wedding industry because she is creative, artistic, and full of advice! Tune in to the podcast to hear some tips about staying inspired (along with some hilarious stories about New Orleans & the south in general… including some wacky bride ideas), but feel free to read our favorite points below!

Key Takeaways

  1. Don’t look for inspiration… create inspiration! The best way to be unique & stay ahead of the trend is to find your own inspiration! Pinterest & blogs are great, but they’re full of ideas that have already been done. Kim mentions she looks at the world as if she’s looking through a lens. She finds inspiration from nature & often figures out ways to incorporate different things she’s seen outdoors in her wedding designs. She’s constantly creating a vision in her head that hasn’t been done before, which is key to staying inspired in the wedding industry!
  2. Pull inspiration from the fashion industry. One of the reasons why the fashion industry is a great method of inspiration is because they also stay ahead of trends. Thumbing through fashion magazines is an excellent way to find new styles, see what’s trendy & popular, and create some awesome designs and portraits based off these styles! Textures, colors, and materials that show up on the runway are typically up next in the event world as well!
  3. Consider your geographic location & find inspiration around you! Kim is lucky enough to work in New Orleans, which is full of rich history, vibrant colors, and (as we learn on this podcast) AWESOME wedding traditions! Seriously, is there anything cooler than a second line?! Anyway, a traditional New Orleans wedding will probably be styled very differently from a San Diego beach wedding. Play to your city’s strengths when drawing inspiration for your wedding or your photoshoot and you’ll likely come up with something unique & awesome!

Tune in to hear more tips & stories from Kim & be sure to check her out online! Thanks for listening!

Relavent Links

Download from iTunes Here

Download from iTunes Here

 

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