25: How The Interview Series Has Helped My Photography Business



Chamira_Headshot_Cropped_WebIn this episode, I take a moment to discuss some lessons learned over the past 24 episodes. It is our quarter century episode after all! It’s been a wild ride, and I look forward to more awesome interviews.

To be brutally honest, you can self-educate all you want, but goals don’t become a reality until we get off our artsy-fartsy duffs and take action. That’s why I wanted to share how this interview series has forced me to take action in my own young photography business. It was inevitable, I suppose: surrounding myself with driven, super-talented photographers has caused the way I take photos and do business to gradually change over time. After hearing my fellow cohorts’ past mistakes and lessons learned — and also sharing my own mistakes, which have been plenty — I couldn’t help but rethink and tweak the way I do everything in my business. I’ve still got a ways to go, but it’s an awesome feeling knowing I’ve come a heck of a long ways from where I started.

And I hope it’s the same for you as well in your professional journey. Here’s to many more awesome upcoming interviews!


“The preparation before any kind of photo shoot is absolutely key to its success.”

Top 3 Takeaways From This Episode:

1. My preparation and technique have changed.

The time you take to prepare and do research before your photo gig is as important as the gig itself, whether it’s a family that you’re working with, or a national magazine that you’re submitting to. The preparation before any kind of photo shoot is key to its success.

In addition, having your technique nailed down never hurts either. Actually, it’s crucial. George Clarence from Episode 11 mentioned the value in constantly practicing your craft, which means picking up your camera and shooting, even when you don’t have a “gig” lined up. This is important because during high pressure shoots (weddings, for example), the last thing you want to be doing if fiddling with the settings on your camera while photo opportunities literally pass you by. In addition, learning proper photo techniques (lighting, composition, etc) can drastically reduce the amount of time you spend post processing the photos and trying to correct your mistakes. In my case, I was able to turn around a recent wedding client’s photos in a half the time it used to take me, due to improved technique. And Lightroom. Speaking of Lightroom…

2. Tweak your workflow and make it as efficient as you can.

Whatever you choose to work in (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc), make sure you are doing things in a time effective way. After working inefficiently for quite a while (um, years *cough *), it finally dawned on me that I should dip my toes into the waters of Lightroom. I was initially trained in Photoshop, and while it’s still an awesome tool that I use for specific touch-up work, I’ve found that bringing my photos into Lightroom and mass processing them saves me loads of time, with the end result being a happier client, and therefore, a happier me.

It’s easy to fall into the groove of doing things a certain way because, well, that’s just the way you’ve always done them. However, re-examining your workflow and constantly updating them can make your life a whole lot easier.

3. This series has changed how I interact with my clients, as well as how I have the “money conversation” with them.

Speaking with the pros from this series is causing me to evolve and improve how I interact with my clients. It’s a constant work in progress, but I’m learning how to more quickly put a person at ease during their shoot, which inevitably results in better photos. Photographer and instructor Bernie Raffe, form Episode 7, is a great example of someone who uses humor to help his clients relax.

And then there was “the money conversation.”

I’ve noticed with many creatives, we seem to struggle with having the money conversation early on in our careers. I am no exception. It can feel awkward, especially when you’re first starting your photography career and encounter the need to contantly justify your pricing to clients on a budget. However, it gets easier with time, and with practice. I have a little of both under my belt at this point, but also have a ways to go. Rosh Sillars from Episode 16 talked about the value of our work, as well as some techniques that I have found particularly helpful for me. It’s worth learning to charge what you’re worth; then you can pay bills. And eat regularly.


My Photography Portfolio

» Chamira Studios Photography: A sampling of photos from shoots I’ve done.


Resources Mentioned in This Episode.

» Adobe Lightroom: Awesome wonderful photo editing software.