So, as it seems, I’ve been much better lately about blogging than usual. Also, as it seems today, I’m not very focused on cleaning my kitchen now that I’m officially “off work” for the day. These, my friends, are the advantages of having your office in your home, being able to run in when the inspiration strikes and create a masterpiece of words, colors, and anything that will appeal to the visual sense and imagination. These are also the disadvantages, when that mood strikes, I just might be making dinner and then my family ends up with something way short of an oven masterpiece, but I digress. Back to the point… ME. Ha! For today’s lesson, we are going to learn all about your photographer, as Miss Piggy likes to say, “Moi!” The things I am about to tell you will most likely have no positive or negative impact on your life, nor will they make you in any which way smarter for having known them, I just want to tell you. ß That was my disclaimer, take it for what it’s worth.
I really, really, REALLY love Jesus. Period. I just do. If it weren’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and you would be finding something other than blog reading to do with the next precious 5 minutes of your life because this blog would not exist!
I am addicted to coffee, oh, and hazelnut creamer. Wanna impress me? Buy me a
bucketHUGE cup of coffee with Hazelnut flavor/creamer/whatever, and we’ll be fast friends. P.S. Hot Apple Cider takes a REALLY close second place, just sayin’.
My family tree is full of nuts. Seriously, they’re crazy, but I love every last one of them. I think, and I must say this incase they’re reading that I’m more crazy than any of them put together, but crazy makes the world go round and certainly makes things more interesting! My family may not be perfect, but they’re perfect for me!
I drive a mini-van. Yes, really, it’s true. I know what you must be thinking, “Lindsay, you are just toooooo cool for a gas efficient-grocery gettin’-kid haulin’-minivan!” And since you said it first, I am compelled to agree, I SHOULD be driving a Corvette, but then, and this is kind of important, how in the world would I ever be able to lug around all my cool props?!? My chariot is silver, I like to think of her as “The Silver Bullet” and whether I’m chauffeuring an engaged couple around on an all day e-session, or just running to Kroger, I like to close my eyes (only at the stop lights, I’m driving after all) and pretend that I’m in the fastest little sports car known to man. So, at the end of the day, it’s cool, I actually do find practicality in my vehicle.
I am a sister, and my siblings are pretty stellar people.
I’m married to Wayne King, of the Ida Kings. That sounded kinda fancy, “The Ida Kings” but really, they’re just down to earth, hard working, good people. Wayne and I met on a blind date at….wait for it….Denny’s. Yes sir, we fell in love over the Moons Over My Hammy platter. Listen, before you judge, it was a spur of the moment date, my BFF was trying to get me out of a slump I was in and when you live in a small town with only a Taco Bell, McDonalds, Burger King, and Denny’s, well, it seems like a logical choice that we’d select the most romantic restaurant in town. Again, don’t judge, its 10.5 (yeah, I’m a kid like that and I DO count the ½ years) years later and we’re still going strong! Wayne is pretty lucky, although, my Grandma always tells me that I’M really lucky, and I have to agree, I am.
I fell in love with photography when I was about 8, all in thanks to my Mom. She’s a pretty awesome photographer, but better yet, she’s an encourager of dreams. I loved that little “clicky” sound her old SLR used to make, and she never told me to put it down, instead, she showed me how to use it, taught me how to develop film in the dark room, and encouraged me when I decided to quit my job as a cosmetologist to go full time in to the photography business. That will lead us to the next tidbit, and I know you MUST be on the edge of your chair because this is all so intriguing HAHA.
Yes, as referenced before, I am a board licensed cosmetologist with the great state of Michigan. Somewhere inside of me, I always knew photography was my passion, but I never knew if I could do it full time. I thought I might need something to “fall back on” and everyone needs a hair cut once in a while so it seemed perfect. I absolutely love doing hair…on occasion…when I feel like it. I even won two hair shows, one for Avant’ Garte styling, (that’s the crazy stuff) and one for Brides. The one for Brides was a group effort, I had a partner, but still, it was a great accomplishment after much time, energy, and creativity were put to work. Hair styling has come in handy quite a few times in my career as a photographer, sometimes when a client comes with a “bad” hair day, I know just the right tricks to make that weave camera ready. Yes, I just said weave, that’s how I roll.
I am REALLY afraid of bats, bears, and frogs. Bats are scary because they come out of nowhere and swoop in! Once, when I was about 10, my mom and I were playing catch in the back yard around sunset and a bat swooped in and touched her hair. Now, it doesn’t seem like big deal, BUT, my mom is a firm supporter of Aqua Net, and so maybe, just maybe I’m remembering this a little more dramatically than it actually happened, but I swear that bat got its feet tangled in my mom’s hair from all the Aqua Net, and I’m pretty sure it looked at me and said, “HELP!” My mom may remember it a little differently, but that’s how I remember, and I’m still traumatized, 19 years later. Bears, well, I had an experience with one camping once and needless to say I’m once again traumatized. Oh, and frogs, don’t even get me started! I just don’t like the way they jump at you! Every time I see one, it’s like a Wild West show down! That little whistle-y kind of music starts playing in my head, he’s not sure which way I’m going to step, I don’t know where he’s going to leap, and it’s a show down, pure and simple. You never can tell if they’re going to jump toward you or away from you, and I am just NOT a fan of slimy-smooshy-flying-objects.
I have had every hair color under the sun. Seriously. Sometimes it’s a blond base with blue low lights, or an entire head of purple and engine red, but I’ve had it. If you see me today with brown hair, don’t be surprised if tomorrow it’s cut off short and black. I like to change it up when I can, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself!
I have a scar on my forehead all in thanks to my Uncles, who happen to be my Mom’s younger brothers. It was the summer of ’83, and it was sweaty hot day from what I’ve been told. My Mom left me with my Aunt who decided to leave me with “the boys” to go on a bike ride or something like that. If you’re reading Aunt Jen, I don’t fault you for this little beauty on my forehead, how were you supposed to know those boys would be thoughtful and try to make me a swimming pool out of visquine, cinderblocks, and Playboy pictures? I heard the pictures were placed under the visquine to add “a dash of color.” You know, now that I’m thinking about this, I should probably go thank my Uncles for such a successful Boudoir division of my business, I mean, I had to find the inspiration somewhere after all. SO here it is, Uncle Chris, Uncle Jeff, Uncle Eric, (not sure which of “the boys” it was so I’ll address you all) thank you!
I have a birthmark in the shape of Ireland on my right arm, it’s pretty sweet. Oh, and fitting, I’m Irish after all, I come from a long line of O’Brien’s, Kavanaghs, Fitzsimmons, Moores, you get the picture. Lindsay Erin O’Brien was the name I went by for 21 years before I officially became, as you know me, “Lindsay King.” I visited Ireland this past fall while there to shoot a wedding, and although the weather was awful almost the entire time, it was the experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait to go back.
Ok my friend, I think that sums it all up for now, remember what I said in the opening paragraph about dinner? Yes, that’s right; my family would like to eat sometime before tomorrow so I must be on my way to domestic fabulousness!
So, you wanna break into modeling, huh? Being “camera ready” will make or break your session so remember to prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more!
Skin, and this is a big one, make sure it’s exfoliated! Dry, ashy looking skin doesn’t look good on anyone, even someone as pretty as a picture perfect model, so make sure you exfoliate the night before and moisturize the morning of.
Nails, these grow on hands AND toes, so make sure you cover all your bases! A French manicure is always a great way to put your best foot forward so to speak. And check those cuticles are they looking a little crusty? Oil them up! Don’t have the extra funds to get a professional manicure with cuticle oil and all that jazz? Go check your cupboard, I bet you have some cooking oil, sounds silly but I have a friend who swears by it and her cuticles are just lovely!
Hair, there, and everywhere… Let’s start with the hair on top of your head. Make sure your hair has been trimmed recently, but not too recent. Going to your session with locks trimmed this morning is a huge NO-NO! Why, you ask? Because in my experience (and yes, I actually AM a licensed cosmetologist thank-you-very-much!) hair curls better after it’s been trimmed and RE-WASHED. Now, it will curl just fine if you’re in a pinch, but my two cents says to wait at least a few days.
Now, about the hair in, well, other places… I really am NOT a fan of retouching hairy arm pits because a model didn’t make time to shave them! Not cool ladies, not cool at all. Make sure you pay close attention to the armpits and bikini area as these areas are more sensitive than the legs and sometimes result in rashy bumps. Each body is different so do a run though, I know, silly, but shave a few days before and see if and how quickly you rash or bump up.
Makeup, this is my favorite! Bring your make up along to the shoot with you if there is no HMUA/MUA provided for you. Your “look” may need to change depending on the theme or outfits selected by your photographer. When you apply your base or foundation, start with a clean palette. Make sure your skin is dirt and oil free, and apply a moisturizer before the base. After applying your foundation/base, apply your loose powder, NOT bronzer. Loose powder should be applied from the hair line to the bra line due to the micro light reflecting minerals; otherwise you’ll have a lighter face and darker chest in your pictures. Blush comes next, followed by eyebrow pencil, eye shadow, and eyeliner. Don’t forget to take along lip liner and lipstick, as well as lip gloss!
Wardrobe is a major factor in any session, let alone a modeling session. My rule is if you think you maybe-might use it, BRING IT! Better to arrive with too much selection than too little, and I promise, your photographer will be thankful! My last model brought around 25 outfits, of which I think we used somewhere between 6 and 8. Now, typically, we would have only used 2-3, but I couldn’t help but want to use more, so it worked out in her favor. Bring along jewelry, hats, shoes, boots, accessories, or any other props that would possibly be useful in creating new and unique looks for your portfolio.
Openness, is that a word? If not, it’s a new one I’m adding to my vocab. Anyway, as you build your portfolio with different photographers, you’ll see that different photographers have different ideas about how to shoot you. Be open to the process, if you don’t like an idea and don’t see the “vision” that the photographer is explaining, just be a sport and go with it, this photographer, after all, probably ISN’T at their first modeling session. Now, if it’s an idea that you’re just not comfortable with, as in, puts you in a position that would offend your sense of morality or physical comfort, then absolutely put your foot down and just say that you don’t feel like that idea is something you’re comfortable portraying. In general though, be open to the process, after all, you’ve probably picked a photographer whose work you absolutely adore so give them a chance to work their magic!
Last but certainly not least, be prompt and on time. Whether you’re a new model paying someone for a portfolio session, or a seasoned model being paid for a modeling campaign, it’s always important to run ON TIME, and on time means 15 minutes early! If you’re late to a job that is paying you, no matter how beautiful and fabulous you are, you won’t be hired again by that client, period. If you’re late to a session where YOU are paying the photographer, they may not shoot you again, period. Always respect the time of the MUA, photographer, session stylist, or anyone else involved in your shoot. Being on time can be the difference between a phenomenal shoot and just a good shoot, so, again, the moral of the story, be.on.time.!!!
So that’s it in a nutshell, just a few tips to making the most of your portfolio session. Have more unanswered questions? Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com!
When Your Friend IS the Professional….
I hear a lot from potential Brides that the most important thing to them in their wedding planning process is finding the right photographer to fit all the every last dream and vision. I also hear a lot that someone, a friend, a family member, or someone in the Bride’s inner circle has offered to do their pictures but this isn’t usually an option that the Bride is comfortable with. Let’s face it, we all know at least one person who has a decent camera and takes nice little pictures of their kids, but does that translate to great wedding pictures? Sometimes working with friends and family isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but then, sometimes it is.
Let’s just pretend for a moment that your cousin Joe is a photographer, professionally, of course, and you sorta kinda like his work, and you know he’s probably going to cut you a deal because he’s family, right? I mean, it’s kind of a no brainer, save a few bucks and give him more shots for his portfolio…STOP RIGHT THERE I SAY!!! Why in the world would you put the task of capturing your WEDDING portraits in the hands of someone who’s work that you only kinda sorta like?! Saving a buck now is going to cause you heartache down the line when you’re looking back at what were supposed to be the most amazing photos of your entire life, but frankly, they’re just so-so. Now, let’s say, on the other hand, that Joe is the most-amazing-splendiferous-phonomenal-photographer-in-all-the-land-kind-of guy, and you just L.O.V.E his work, only THEN can you proceed. If Joe is fabulous, then that, my friend, is a no brainer!
So you find yourself, just for giggles, checking out Joe’s website and you happen to run across the “Investment” tab. You think, “I’ll just peek over and see what EVERYONE ELSE is paying, surely, these won’t be MY prices!” You pop over and you see that for a basic day of coverage, around eight hours, two photographers, and printing rights to your images, Joe starts his service fee at $2500.00, you’re thinking, “Wow, WHO would pay that much money for some pictures?!” You follow up that thought with a phone call to Joe, great news, he’s available…. But he wants to do a consultation. Seems strange that Joe wants to do a consultation, I mean, you love his work and you know that you get along great so what really is there to consult about? ??……
Three Days Later… You meet Joe at the coffee shop that is much closer to your home than his, and he greets you with smile….and a folder full of paperwork and information. Silly, your thinking, we don’t really need to be this formal, but you’ll go with it, you’re a good sport after all. So as Joe carefully pulls out each packet of information, one for you and one for himself, you sit, your mind in a million other places, sipping your latte that Joe so generously purchased for you. He begins to tell you about his style… (You’re thinking about the new Private Practice coming on tonight) he lists his credentials… (You’re thinking about how good a hot ham and cheese sandwich would be right now, it is, after all, almost lunch time) and then he tells you about his prices… WHAT? Back up the bus sister, did he just say, PRICES?! As in, you’re payin’ his REGULAR RATES? NO DISCOUNT?! What about the whole “family” thing?!? (This is the part where you nearly choke on your latte!) ::: Joe carefully reaches over and flips the page in your info packet as you’re staring at him like a deer in the headlights and can no longer seem to function: You compose your face, and look down at this new page of information, and this is what you see:
Joe Smith Photography: Wedding Related Fee Schedule
Consultation & Client Communications 8 billable hours
Final Wedding meeting
Travel & Related Fees 11 billable hours + mileage
Roundtrip trip travel for consultation
Roundtrip trip travel for engagement session
Roundtrip trip travel for picking up e-session pictures from lab
Roundtrip trip travel for delivering e-session pictures
Roundtrip trip travel for final wedding meeting
Roundtrip trip travel for rehearsal dinner
Roundtrip trip travel for wedding
Roundtrip trip travel for second shooter to wedding
Roundtrip trip travel for delivery of finished wedding photos
Engagement Session 20 billable hours Total
Prep & planning 2 hours
Actual shoot time 2 hours
Time spent retouching Images 16 hours
The Rehearsal 3 billable hours
Time spent shooting the rehearsal 90 minutes
Time spent after the rehearsal uploading and correcting any color or lighting issues in the ceremony venue 90 minutes
The Wedding 16 billable hours
Actual Coverage by photographer Joe Smith
Actual Coverage by photographer Mary Jones, assistant to Joe Smith
The Retouch 48 billable hours
Actual time retouching images
Miscellaneous 4 billable hours
*Additional Expenses 8 billable hours
Total Billable Hours……………………… 121 billable hours
Travel Fee’s, Consultation & Communication, Planning, Miscellaneous, and Additional Expenses billed at a rate of $10 per hour x 25 hours= $250.00
Creative Hourly Fee’s, Shooting, and Retouching billed at a rate of $25.00 x 85 hours=$2125.00
Estimated Mileage for this event 250 Miles x .50 per mile $125.00
Total Cost for Example Wedding $2500.00
*Additional Expenses cover a pro-rated percentage of the following expenses, as well as others not listed, incurred by your photographer:
-Website and Maintenance
-Internet & Phone Bills
-Retouching Software and Updates
-Batteries, Memory Cards, and Equipment Updates
-Continued Education Fees
Joe looks at the overwhelmed expression on your face and starts to explain the fee schedule to you. You realize, as he’s going over it, that this IS your rate, and he’s not cutting you a deal. But, as he explains where each of your hard earned pennies will be going to, you realize that this isn’t personal, and while yes, he does love you, he has expenses to pay if he takes on your wedding. The expenses never change, only the Bride and Groom. Now, they may change by a few hours, depending on the coverage and time needs of the Bride and Groom, but for the most part, every wedding is billed the same way in Joe’s business. You also realize that Joe takes his job very seriously you start to see that he puts 110% of himself into EVERY wedding he does, not just the ones for people he may know. You get a sense that Joe is going to be working very hard and earning everything you’ll end up paying him so your shock is starting to fade and excitement is the starting to creep back in. You see, Joe not only values your time, he also values his, which means that he charges for it. In the long run, Joe won’t cut corners or get burnt out working on your photos because he didn’t devalue the experience by pretending that it was “no big deal” to shoot your wedding for free. Joe sees a value in your wedding photography and his work, and by charging you the same thing he charges everyone else, he hopes that you will see the value too. And you do, you see the value now, the attention to detail, time, creative processes, and the whole she-bang. You value the quality that you’ll be receiving OVER the price you’ll be paying, and you know from previous life experience that in the end, value beats price almost any day of the week. You jump up, hug Joe, and realize that his prices are peanuts compared to his ability to give you the amazing photography you’ve always imagined.
Now, we’ve got the pricing thing out of the way, but there’s one last part of the Great Expectations section that we must discuss, the expectations (minus the financial, we’ve covered that) of each you and Joe.
Since you’ll be paying Joe’s regular rates, you have every right to expect his regular timely services. You should also expect to sign his contract. The contract should outline all of the things that can be expected of him, as well as deadlines and service fees. The contract may also state what is expected of you the client. My best advice to you is to walk into the transaction with the thought in place that you’re doing business with someone new, not someone you know. Respect the fee deadlines, business hours, and business related practices of Joe Smith Photography, not Joe Smith Your Cousin, because you’re doing business with the photographer, not the family member. Helping to build a business relationship based on mutual respect for you as a client and Joe as a business owner will make your transaction smooth, productive, and rewarding.
In The End
Wedding photography, as well as any other custom photography, has a much greater value than the amount you’re writing your check for. You will cherish your memories for a life time, you’ll smile when you think about pulling out that old album in 40 years to show your grand children, but most likely, if your value is in the right place, you’ll forget how much you actually paid, because in the end, memories are priceless.