How to Help Couples Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day Once a couple’s wedding day is here, their simply accepting to get married becomes a piece of cake comparing to the ordeal of getting photographed by a stranger. Well, this term is a bit harsh, but you get the picture. Never mind of you’ve known them your whole life or if you’ve just met them, you must be prepared for the worst-case scenario. You are just an outsider meant to mingle with their energy and show it all on camera. But it’s your job to help these couples relax in photographs  of their big day, photographs you are taking. People are different indeed, and so are the couples they form, and it goes without saying that life is better if you have a special someone to share it with, but what can you do, as a photographer witnessing their big day, to make things seem even more perfect than they could ever imagine? Here are some tips and tricks that are meant to keep the most self-aware bride focused on what you really need in order to take the perfect picture. For a more professional tutorial, find out more here.

Give Them Something To Do

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day2 As a general rule, you should never leave your models without a focus point. Professional models are perfectly capable of finding their own concentration points, but as a wedding photographer, chances to work for professional models are quite seldom. So don’t get your hopes up high, but instead develop this simple trick that’s sure to work in every situation. No matter whom you are dealing with, just put your subjects to work. Ask them to tell jokes, to sing, to jump, to surprise each other, to tickle one another, basically any amusing action that crosses your mind. Take advantage of the fact that they can rely on each other. You can also apply this rule when you have to shoot separate frames, with just one member of the couple. Be creative. The explanation is quite simple: once your couple forgets about your being there, instead of struggling to capture natural and genuine beauty, it will just pop out! No one can act natural, they can either be natural or pretend. And we all know how the latter looks like. Not cool.

Make Them Think of Something Nice

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day3 Well, some couples may be too agitated to think of games, or too excited, or too stressed, or too shy… But don’t panic, there’s always a plan B! Here is a softer version of the solution presented above. For introverts, try to delicately guide them into certain states of mind. Instead of bluntly asking them to stare into your lens, with an uptight smile on their faces, try to make them fall into pleasant states of mind.  Get them to tell you the story of how they met, or the day they decided to get married, or the best holiday they’d had so far, or about their honeymoon plans, etc. A nice mental image can always be seen in their eyes as well, and there you go! That’s your Kodak moment! When asked to think happy thoughts, people de-focus from the actual purpose of their being there. Therefore they will stop being uptight, because they will completely forget about you and focus on what made them happy at one time.

Don’t Forget That You Are Also in the Pictures

You’ll just need to click a button, and your work of art is complete. True, but not quite. It goes without saying that genuine human interaction can help you get the best of any situation. And that includes you as well. As a photographer, you are not only an invisible witness, but also an important part of the context. Even though no one seems to care about this, your not appearing in your photos does not mean that you are not there. So in order to help couples relax in photographs, be present, be warm and offer more of your presence in order to get the best from your models.

How To Recover From Online ADD So You Can Grow Your Photography Business

Online ADD. That’s what I call it. And you’re probably a victim of it. It goes something like this …

You decide to build up your photography business, so you head online to start checking things out. You visit site after site, taking in whatever they are talking about. If it’s a great site, you sign up for all you can and start following the advice. UNTIL …

You find the next site. They look great too. So you sign up for their stuff and start following it. Put away the stuff you got last week … that’s soooo last week. And so you start following the steps it tells you to do. UNTIL …

Yep, you get the idea. Everything you read looks like a better shiny object. It seems more relevant to what you want to do today. They sway your decisions and make you want to start down the other path. You may even find yourself saying things like, “Well if he can make $1 million and have hundreds of clients just from a simple Facebook page, I can too.”

Can you see yourself here, or is it just me? Yes, I’ve done this way too many times before. I knew if I just kept reading, I would find the magic key somewhere. What I was going through was an information overload – the more I found, the more I tried to read, the more I wanted to try.

Too Much Of Anything Is Never Good

Do a quick search for things that apply to your photography business. I Googled a variety of key terms, and this is what I found:

Now think about that for a minute. If you wanted to start a photography business, you potentially have over 5 ½ million items you could look through to help you with the process. Once you start your business, you could look through over 451 million things to find the right advice to market it. Or 192 million results to determine what to plan for.

No one could ever get through that kind of content. Its information overload.

But its so easy to do, we Google things all day long.

If you went back 20 years or more, things were different. If you wanted information on building your business, you bought a book. Or you attended a seminar. You learned one thing and began applying it. The only way to increase your knowledge would be to go out and buy another book or attend another seminar. So chances are you invested in just a few things over the course of a year, and found a way to make sure they all applied to each other and helped you build a solid foundation for your business.

In other words, things were easier because you simply didn’t have access to enough information to cause you to go into overload mode.

The Key Is Focus

It was easier to build a business pre-Internet. Without excess information, you could really focus in on the next step, do it, and have results. Once you saw what your results were, you adjusted and tried it again from a slightly different way.

Likewise, prospects attention spans were also easier to capture. When we had a handful of television channels and everyone read the same daily newspaper, you pretty much knew where they were getting their information from. Now we have hundreds of television stations, thousands of options when you add in Internet and satellite channels, movies, DVDs etc. Newspapers are a thing of the past – your prospect could be relying on anything from radio to television, to Facebook or an online news source. People are actually more informed today then they ever have been in history. Which means to capture their attention, your work has increased tenfold.

Yet the solution isn’t trying a hundred or a thousand things. The solution is to focus even more, really narrow down to whom you are trying to reach, and do everything you can to attract attention to your business. Instead of jumping at the “latest and greatest” thing, you know instantly if your audience will be there, and use the best advice possible to make that work for you.

When you discover the next step, its important to spend all the time necessary to put it into place before you move onto the next step. If you are setting up a website, you need to focus on choosing the right  platform (WordPress) and developing the best website possible to showcase your business. Or if marketing is your weak point and you are trying to build up a referral plan, you need to focus in on creating the best program from beginning to end.

The only way to build a successful business is to follow in someone else’s footprints. They’ve done it before you and they will leave bread crumbs to help you along.

Only you can choose how you will do it. Will you constantly search and look through millions of results that pop up when you perform free searches? Or will you take the next step and work with someone who can help you get there twice as fast, and help develop your business as quickly as possible?

It Could Start With An Email

10 people. Yep, currently I’m opening up my email coaching program to 10 people. I haven’t publicly offered my email coaching program in over a year, and I don’t anticipate offering it again any time soon. With some major projects coming up in the summer/fall, it will be at least 2013 before I have any more opportunities for individual coaching.

So if you’ve always wanted a “marketing director” on your team, someone you could run ideas by, get advice from, and learn from, this is your chance. I’ve run 3 successful business over the last 20 years. I took our photography business from start up to over $250,000 in under two years.

If you are ready, now is the time. But with only 10 openings, you have to make the choice now … You can read all about it here.

Focusing On The Wrong Question Could Cost You Millions

Let me ask you a question. If you could ask five million-dollar business owners a question about making your business succeed, what would you ask them? I’ll bet its something like this:

How do I make more money?
How do I find more clients?
How do I get my website more traffic?
How do I make Facebook work for me?

These are detail questions. And while they are important in the overall success of your company, they are leaving out one very important question that most struggling businesses haven’t deciphered yet.

You see, most people start out a business knowing they love what they want to build their business around – photography – yet haven’t thought the entire business strategy out yet.

Facebook. Pinterest. Mobile media. Email campaigns. Search engine optimization. Shopping cart systems. Hosting. Tablets. Smartphones. HTML. WordPress.

I could go on for hours with the buzzwords that can literally leave you breathless and overwhelmed at the end of each day.

But the key with each of these is they are details. There is no way you or I will ever be able to conquer and stay current on each of these items. As soon as you start using one, another jumps on board. Or changes. Or morphs into something new. [Read more…]

Photography – Focus Your Energy

I hear people time and again saying they are so motivated to build up their photography business, and yet there always seems to be a let down because profits don’t keep up with that motivation level. As a start up company, you wear many hats because you have to. Lack of capital and resources hold you back, but you still manage to grow because of the deep commitment level you have, and the long hours you are willing to put in. Then as time goes by, and you continue to grow, you become the controller. The person who has a hand into everything because you are the ultimate caretaker. You started this company; you grew this company, and you’re going to control this company!

The key to focusing your energy is to invest your time at what you’re good at, and let others handle the other stuff. In simple language, that is the key of focusing your energy. As your photography business grows, you can afford to put more of your capital resources into growing your company with people. Hire employees to take over the office and administrative tasks. Hire a bookkeeper to control the data entry. Hire an accountant to control your accounting and your tax information. Hire production people to do day to day production tasks. This will give you the time to do what you need to do – and what you do best!

Jumpstart your photography to the next level

What is it that you like to do best? Chances are its what brought you to self-employment in the first place. You like to do web design. You enjoy photographing families. You love creating images that are appreciated by people throughout your community. This is where you need to focus your energy. You need to continue to think of marketing ideas that will grow the business, to give all of those you have hired more responsibilities to keep them happy! It is truly a circle of life, one that continues to feed off of the next idea. As you grow, so does your business, and your lifestyle!