It feels like a while since I was here, and that’s because it is. All the way back in 2020 (I won’t ask if you remember it…).
I always take some time out at the start of the year to review, plan, explore and play: it felt good to have some time out to focus on me and the business, including my hopes for LC Photography for this year.
When allowed I’ve also been taking photographs, of houses, people and things – I love what I do.
While they were still working out the details for next steps out of lockdown, I’ve had the pleasure of a few commercial shoots. I’ve set up the system and we can now work together again. As I post the studio is now allowed to open to families again. I will be taking it slow and making sure a lot of cleaning happens. There's also some great offers on location shoots if you'd prefer.
If you’ve been thinking about your product photography, do get in touch. I’ve really enjoyed being back in the studio even for the odd few shoots I've been allowed to do – and that’s not only because I had the chance to capture the beauty of Fannie-Anne’s bakes (honest – mind you they were SO good).
Geeking Out Over Lighting and Afros (see blog image)
I have this amazing client, I mean – obviously – I have lots of amazing clients but I want to tell you about a particular one today. Her name is Bella and she’s been with me for years, both as a boss lady to be and having photographs done with her family. We were talking a while back (as we do when I’m making people pose for me) and discovered a joint wish that we were able to fulfil together.
Bella is beautiful with an amazing sense of style and ideas for gorgeous hair; together we were lamenting the general lack of images of black women showing natural hair (or natural style), so we decided to create some of our own.
The photographs I took of Bella are stunning – because she’s stunning. Not only did I get to take beautiful pictures celebrating her natural beauty and awesomeness, I got to geek out with themes, lighting and editing, creating something which fulfilled her vision and mine. (Possibly the best photographs I’ve ever taken – ssh!)
How Are These Houses Moving So Quickly – They Don’t Even Have Legs?
One element of my business which has been incredibly busy recently, is the property work I do for Russell & Butler. Whether people are relocating because their life has changed or they are taking up the opportunity of stamp duty relief, house sales are going through quickly right now. (I want you to know how much I’d like to make more house moving puns here… but I won’t.)
When You Want to DIY
During this most recent lockdown, I spent some time helping someone desperate to get some awesome product photography and frustrated when – despite lots of Googling and YouTube research – she wasn’t getting the shots she wanted.
The thing is, these ‘one size fits all’ tutorials don’t actually work for ‘all’. I was pleased to be able to help her set up her shots, suggest lighting fixes and get the images she wanted. If you’re struggling to get the photos you want, I’d love to help – or I could always take them for you.
Early 2021 Top Tip: Editing with Stored Actions
Once the shots are taken, there’s another level of skill required in editing to create the perfect photograph. Whether you use Lightroom or Photoshop, using stored actions for repeatable effects is incredibly useful - allowing you to create the perfect atmosphere or look.
One of my favourite resources comes from LSP-Actions.com. Created by award winning photographer Lauren Bennett, these presets were created for her own benefit to make editing easier and they definitely do. Not only that, Lauren is also incredibly supportive, signing up for her products I’ve become part of her group and been truly impressed by how helpful she is.
If you love taking photographs but don’t have the same love for editing, have a look at this site and see how it could help you create better pictures and processes.
Getting Your Orders In
The last thing I wanted to mention this month is a bit of a random one, it’s about sales. As a business owner you won’t be surprised that some of my time is spent thinking about sales, but I don’t often talk about it.
But recently, I did something I wouldn’t normally do and it’s made me consider my own prejudices. Having sent out my usual emails requesting orders, I had a reason to follow up with a further, later, email contacting those who hadn’t got their orders in. What surprised me, was how many people responded positively.
I’ve never wanted to do pushy sales, so my process has always been – a couple of emails and then leave it, let’s not nag. But the response to this recent mailing made me wonder, perhaps I’d actually been letting my clients down. Picking photographs is often something people like to take their time over – and that time for consideration can inevitably lead to things being forgotten.
So, how do you feel about being sold to? Written to? Reminded?
How many communications is too pushy and how many just useful nudging?
I’d love to know what you think
In fact, whether it’s your thoughts on obnoxious salespeople, product photography, editing, or the imminent arrival of Spring, I’d really like to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment below or get in touch.