Many of you know about my headshot work, but one of the other major areas of my business is photography for hotels, also known as hospitality photography. Hospitality photography often requires a jack-of-all-trades. I frequently shoot food, cocktails, headshots, mock weddings, and work with models for lifestyle shots. Then add to all that the architectural elements and details of the interior and exterior of the property and you have a shoot that requires quite a bit of different types of gear. When you add it all up, sometimes I’m flying a few hundred pounds worth of gear with me. As I was traveling recently, I thought it was a good time to write up an article about flying and traveling with your gear, and the best way you can minimize the cost of moving it all.
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High-speed sync has been around for quite some time now, and has mostly been limited to speedlights. With Profoto’s recent adoption of the technology into its B1 and B2 Series lighting systems, they are signaling a change that has the potential to bring some much needed relief to the strobist community. This signal hopefully means the beginning of the end of flash sync limitations with DSLR cameras.
The human expression is, for me, the most powerful form of communication we have. We all remember the looks our moms and dads gave us when we did something wrong, or the look on the face of the person we love when we proposed. These looks are just a few of the powerful ways we can communicate with no words, and it’s this that is the holy grail in portrait photography, whether it be stills or video.
Almost four years ago I began a new journey in my photography career. At the time I was still bartending part-time and concentrating on building the headshot side of my business, when hospitality photography came and slapped me upside the head. As it goes with most other good things, it all started over a few drinks with a friend, and has spiraled into a full second stream of income from photography.
When I first began shooting headshots, it was a daunting task. Figuring out a rhythm for how a headshot session should go felt like an overwhelming problem. I slowly began to solve the problem through trial and error. It was when I began to realize that we have no control over almost anything in life that I began to find my own rhythm in this crazy photography business.
Getting your clients comfortable in front of a camera is always a challenge. I still get a little nervous before a shoot so I can imagine what my clients must feel like. In part one of this series, we talked about the importance of the pre-shoot consultation and how it can start you off on a good path toward a successful headshot or portrait session. In this article, I want to talk about ways we can address skin issues with our clients, how to deal with makeup, when to use a makeup artist, and discuss the basics of getting clients comfortable and focused in front of the camera.
One of those most important parts of any portrait sessions is what happens after the shoot is over. In the last part of this series I want to talk a bit about the end of your photo session, and how you can ensure you have a happy client that will not only come back for more but will tell their friends how awesome the experience was. Almost every day I get a call from someone asking me to advertise on Google. I simply reply “no thank you” as I don’t feel that Google can compete with word of mouth. As I have mentioned in first part of this series, word of mouth is one of the most powerful advertising weapons you have, with the ability to grow your business exponentially. This will be a bit different for everyone, but I think you can take this and apply it to any type of photography session you do.
Recently I went to New York City to do a week of headshots. As many of you know, part of my cinematic style involves shooting outdoors, but flying from Los Angeles to New York City to put this on meant I couldn’t rely on the weather. Figuring out how to translate the look and feel of my style indoors was the only way to make it a success. As I’ve had many questions about how to make this look happen inside for those that can’t always be outside, I decided to share my own experience with you.