Over the past six years, Suzy and I have shot over 500 weddings and on average we do about 500 sessions a year. We are very blessed to say the least.
Whenever we go and speak at photography conventions, like WPPI, SPA or SYNC, we always get asked the same question each time: “How in the world do you do what you do?” Now, I just want to put it out there. There isn’t anything particular special about either one of us except for the fact that “we want it!” We want to succeed. We want to make a name for ourselves. We want to help people because we have been helped. That is what keeps us going and we’ve found ways, despite the economy and where we live, to really succeed and prosper. It all takes a little bit of marketing, education and a truck load of determination. When you want it bad enough, you’ll succeed. Lance Armstrong didn’t win the Tour de France seven times by sitting back and watching other cyclists, wishing he could ride like them. He got out there, trained, practiced and became a world renowned cyclist. You, as a photographer, are no different.
When we first started, because of our desire to learn and prosper, we soaked up any form of education we could find. We went to WPPI, SPA and various other conventions, tuned into webinars and purchased books and products from photographers we looked up to, including Jim Garner and Doug Gordon, because obviously, they were doing something right. It was the best thing we could have ever done. That education became the foundation of where we are today. Of course, we didn’t do everything the way we were told and taught to do it. We had to go out on a limb and find our style and brand. We had to find out what worked best for us while still holding onto that amazing foundational education. After six years, because of determination and education, we have a pretty good thing going. I get to do what I love, spend all day with my wife and provide jobs for several people in our studio. It is a great feeling.
Since we’ve been speaking, which has been a couple of years now, people have been asking if we had any books or products that share exactly how we do what we do. I simply told them “no” and hoped that one day we would. That day has finally come. After working long nights and weekends for the past several months, we have finally release several products that spill it all. When we share with other photographers, our philosophy is “Spill it.” We hold absolutely nothing back because we want you to succeed just as much, if not more, than us. Here are a few products that we are now offering at our Online Store.
We start the book out by discussing our marketing techniques and strategies to possible bridal clients. If you don’t know who you are, they’ll never come to your studio right? We touch on Social Networking, mall kiosks, phone training, and even how to get your prints up in all your surrounding bridal boutiques. After marketing, we dive right into the wedding day. I go over all the equipment we use, outdoor lighting using my LR-02 Light Rover, some posing and, due to popular demand, our wedding timeline. Suzy and I shoot a wedding in 6 hours. Period. This timeline will show you how we are able to make it work.
If you’re a wedding photographer, this is a great investment for you. We love shooting weddings because we’ve learned how to manage them well. This book will help you make the most out of your weddings as well.
While Weddings Exposed: A Guide to Rocking Out The Wedding Market touches on Posing, our Wedding Posing guides give you almost every single pose Suzanne and I use at each wedding. Posing is one of those things that can make or break an image. The last thing you want to do is have an amazing location and let a bad pose ruin what could have been fantastic photograph.
Each Posing Guide includes 15 or more poses on a beautiful, double-sided card. The front of the card showcases the pose while on the back, I break down the pose so that you can nail it each and every time. All of these cards come packaged in an amazingly gorgeous metal tin. There are 3 Volumes to Wedding Posing including Brides & Bridesmaids, Grooms & Groomsmen, and The Couple and Wedding Party. These Posing Guides will be available on April 1. (no joke)
High school seniors are some of the most exciting people you’ll meet so, their poses need to be just as exciting.
Senior Posing, much like Wedding Posing, shares all of our high school senior poses. Volume One showcases 20 poses and includes 1 Blair’s Tip card where I share some of the theories behind my posing. Volume Two shares 15 poses with you and also has 5 Blair’s Tip cards. Both of these Posing Guides are presented in the metal tin, just like the Wedding Posing Guides. Volume One is available now and Volume Two will be available on April 1.
Without a well designed workflow, you can easily waste time and never get anything accomplished. This is something that we struggled with a lot when we dove into this business head first but we later found out, with the help of H&H Color Lab, what was the best workflow for us. Workflow: Travelers, Forms and More is a data disc that includes all the documents and forms that allow our studio to function efficiently. On the disc, you’ll find our coveted “Traveler” system that keeps our jobs in check, weddings contracts, “terms and conditions” forms, model releases, client cards (which are used to gather up-to-date contact information on each client), order forms and more.
Without these forms and “Travelers”, our studio would have a very, very hard time keeping up with over 500 sessions a year. If you’ve lost files and misplaced orders, Workflow: Travelers, Forms and More will help you manage the work load, cutting back your time involved in a project and maximizing your profit margin. Workflow will become available on March 9.
Out of all of these products, this may be the one that I’m most excited about sharing with everyone. Learning how to shoot outdoors was a major struggle for me. I had learned how to shoot in the studio using studio lighting but taking all that equipment outdoors would be too much of a pain. So, instead of taking studio equipment outdoors, I tried out E-TTL speed lights.
For a while, everything was looking great. Late in the evenings, I could get some fairly dramatic looking images but I never could over power the sun enough to get a really rich blue sky. I simply didn’t have enough power in a speedlight, or ever two. I went back to the drawing board and developed the LR-02. This product allows me to easily take studio quality lighting outdoors without the help of an assistant. It truly is amazing.
The process is really simple: I place my portable power pack ( like a Vagabond II) into the battery box at the bottom of the LR-02. This not only keeps me from having to carry this heavy battery but it also weights down the LR-02 so there is no chance that the wind may blow it over, damaging my equipment. Above the battery box, there is a shelf where I can attach my favorite camera bag. Now, my lenses and accessories are only feet away instead of back at the studio or in the car. The handle of the LR-02 extends to about 4 1/2 feet tall, making it the perfect height for my monolight. I place my studio light on the stand with my softbox, attach a PocketWizard and presto! I now have a studio quality setup that is extremely mobile. The awesome thing is that I can now overpower the sun with ease. It would take 4 speedlights to equal just one of my studio lights, which by the way, costs 1/2 the price of just one speedlight.
If you want to you’re ready to create beautiful, studio quality images outdoors, this is the only way to go. Without the LR-02, I don’t know what I would do. I do know that I wouldn’t be able to photograph a high school senior are 1 p.m. though. The LR-02 is available now!
Suzanne, our staff and myself are all very excited about these products because we truly want to help. We want to see everyone be able to do what they love and be profitable at it. Without products like these, we wouldn’t have made it to where we are today. If you have any questions about any of these products, please feel free to leave a comment, email us, or call the studio. Don’t forget to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. All you have to do is click the little buttons at the top of the post!