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Turning Passion into Profit

Lesson 17 from: Capturing Authentic Photos of Children & Families

Chris Orwig

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Lesson Info

17. Turning Passion into Profit

Lesson Info

Turning Passion into Profit

This segment, at least the first part, is this idea of transitioning passion into profit. I'll tell you why we're talking about that in a second, but first, when that idea or that goal is thrown out there, if that's one of those things that says wow, that could be fun, you wanna pay attention to that. Or if you think, no, that isn't my thing, pay attention to that, as well. You don't need to do this just because, if that makes sense. You wanna do the things that really ignite who you are. If you find that to be the case, it's worthwhile to step back a little bit and say, well, we saw the peak, where we wanna go, but then what's the journey to get there? Because there's always a difference between the two. There's like, wow, that'd be really fun to make some money, but then we have to say, well, what does it take to really get there? A couple things why this may be interesting is, one, it's a huge gift to people. It's one of these crazy things. You can work as much or as little as you w...

ant. You can be really flexible with pricing, as we'll talk about. You can even do something like, maybe you want it as a side hustle, which basically means you shoot in the fall for families, cause that's when they do holiday cards mostly, and you say, hey, I wanna do, I don't know, five family sessions at this much a piece, and that will pay for a trip to Hawaii for my whole family. The only reason I shoot families is so my family gets to go to Hawaii. That's a great side hustle. Or you could scale that different ways, as well, and you can really be selective about how much work you take on or you don't. It's a beautiful, flexible, wonderful way to make some income. So, the way to get there, or to discover kind of hitting the mark, is to ask yourself what your goals are, really, as far as doing this type of work. Are you interested in trying to do family and kid stuff that a commercial brand might be interested in, and you're gonna do a look book campaign? That's one specific goal. Are you interested, like my friend Yonis, he's kind of adventurer, camping, hiking, climbing kinda guy. He photographs his kids in those scenarios, and he makes a lot of income from stock photography, because it's authentic, it's real, he's a good photographer. He does commercial work, as well, but that's a side hustle for him. So that's his goal, all of his trips, to also help generate some funds, because then he gets to do more trips, and that's his thing. So, just coming up with your own goals. What's the vision and style, what do you wanna do? No one's telling you here, there's no client saying you need to do this, you get to select. Then, who is the ideal client? Is it that particular family, that publication, or something else? A big part of this, of course, is building a brand and a portfolio, and really the difference a lot of times between someone who's just tinkering with photography and someone who's good is that they have a cohesive brand, and it's all together and in one place, and everyone else is just kinda taking pictures in one spot. With my family photographs, if I didn't put them all together in a slide presentation, you maybe wouldn't even know I do family stuff. But when you see them all together it's like, oh, I get it. I get what he does and who he is, and the same thing is true for you. There are some resources for this. Again, the I'm putting together a course on building brand and portfolio and stuff. That's not out yet, but if you wanna be notified, you can visit that and I'll be doing some stuff. Because like I said, since I had that hard drive crash, this is something I realize I wanna help people with, because this is really meaningful to me. So, there's some more stuff there. But back to us now is thinking about a price strategy. When it comes to pricing, there are a lot of different ways people do family photography. Let me tell you a few, and then you can see if there's one which maybe resonates. There's a person that says, hey, the session is... I'm gonna make up a few numbers here, and realize they'll slide. I'll talk about why, and where and how and why. But the session is 295, and no commitment, no obligation, you don't have to buy any photos. That gets people in with a low amount up front, and then they'll say, if you wanna buy 25 images, digital downloads, it's this much, if you wanna buy everything it's $900. So, they basically know every time the person pays $295 plus 900. Every time, everyone wants all the images. No one wants just 20, cause after you start looking at them and you're like, oh, but that moment, let's just get them. So, that's one model, which is a little bit more of a start low and then grow type of thing. There's other structures to that. Some people will do things where prints cost a certain amount, and then they get a certain number of images, but then they can make prints. Another option is just to do a package. That's what I do, just a fixed amount. I'll do a big one and a small one, and it's pretty simple and straightforward. I like that because there's no hidden costs. What I find with some family photographers, won't name any of them, they do low cost, but then the family ends up spending way more than they wish they had because they kinda got nickeled and dimed, and I just don't ever wanna do that to someone. With your own strategy, why I'm saying that is it's your comfort. How do you like to price? The other thing that we're talking about with pricing is that sometimes you think, well, I wanna price high. Nat and Bill, who are here, do amazing photography and design work. They do a lot with the animal industry, with dogs and different things. One of the things that she had said to me which resonated is, they were charging a certain amount that attracted a certain client, and they realized that that wasn't the client they actually wanted. It was a little bit too high maintenance and particular, if that makes sense. Families are the same way. What I find with the families that come to me, by the time they read a little bit about who I am, see some of my photographs, they get it. I don't even need to put on my website, $50 per image retouching, they know I'm not the guy to go to if you want super perfect images, everyone retouched and this kinda posing, and everyone in the matching outfit in that way, if that makes sense. The way I'm framing my brand, and also my price, is gonna get me somewhere in that way. There's those options. One more, do you wanna hear one more? Another one is what I think of as the experience. There is a photographer in my town who, when you sign up with him, it is a full-on experience. I mean, you get these calls from multiple people. When you drive your car up to his studio, they bring out a clothing rack and they hang all their clothing on the rack, and they bring them in and they have wine for them. It's a real big thing, and after the shoot they come back with champagne and watch a whole production, and then present what package they think this person should have. In that case, for some families, too, it's this really beautiful experience. It's not just like one hour on the beach, if that makes sense. So, what they're selling and the client is buying is more about experience and that thing. That, obviously, is more maintenance for the photographer, and you do fewer amounts, and you charge a lot more. But what's interesting, and I've compared notes and research for this class, I talked with one friend that went from an experience to a model with a lower price point, so he shoots more than he did before, cause before with the experience, you shoot less. Does that make sense? He used to shoot, make this whole experience and make a lot of money off one family. But now maybe it takes him three families or four to get the same amount. But he said, my life is just so much better. I kinda realize that all of that really meant, I would have to come home from the ski trip early, I would have to, cause you really have to cater to that high-end client. The only reason I'm saying that is, usually people say, I wanna make a lot of money, charge as much as I can. Yes, but then maybe not. Process what your own strategy is, which resonates with you. Any questions on this, before I go to the next slide? I have a question about your pricing and what you're giving the client for the pricing. Are you giving them the digital images, or are you having prints made, or making prints? Yeah, this again is sort of the select your strategy, select your delivery mechanism. I'll talk a little bit about it in the guide, but what I tend to do is digital files. Part of the reason I do that is because... And they can order prints through me or they can create their own prints. I like that model because it's a little bit less on my end. I have a full time job, so to speak, and I do this more as a side hustle, side project, side passion. So, if I can keep that simple, I enjoy that. Then other people I know will deliver prints, and other people will do a mixture of the two. It's funny. What you wanna do is look at photographers that you really like. I could give you names, maybe if you wanted to email me or something. I don't necessarily wanna single out photographers now. You could read about their different approaches, and then you select the one that you like. They're all valid. Yeah. I have a concern about giving someone who's not a photographer digital files, to have them make their own prints at Costco or CVS or wherever. Maybe I just am too much of a perfectionist, but that concerns me. What has been your experience with that? Yeah, I think you wanna pay attention to that, meaning, in printing, we all know there's low to high. A late mentor and colleague of mine, every commercial shoot he would do, he would shoot film and he would deliver the client, like Ralph Lauren or whatever, a stack of... I'm blanking on the terminology now, but prints that were made in the darkroom, beautiful artifacts. In the digital age, that was really rare, but that's what set him apart. Those were the proofs. Everyone else proofed in a little online web gallery, he didn't. That's what made his work special in a certain way. So, if you're inclined in that way and you love certain papers and you love certain display, pay attention to that. For me, I do love that, but I don't have the time to invest in it. I find once I start printing for my clients, my profit drops way down because I am so obsessive, and then my other work, which is also important to me, I lose out. So, I'm trying to find a system that makes sense. I may be speaking to the mom at home who's like, this could be great, I could make enough money for shooting family portraits to pay for Christmas. I just need to shoot in September, August, September, and October or something, I'm making it up. In that case, yes, find some that fits with your family, how much time you can actually give to the craft, what your interests are. But is there a value to have really nice prints? Heck, yeah. Do people love beautiful prints, heck yeah. I think you should pay attention to that. Is that a fair answer? Thank you. Yeah. Move on? So we said our little price strategy. Then we talked about branding right, we talked about our goals. So, you're not just falling into this, but you're being intentional. This is what I'm aiming to do. Then you have to do a really, really important step. You ready for this one? You have to hire a photographer to photograph your family. This is true no matter what the field is. If you wanna get great at portraiture, and I'm talking about non-family... Every time I'm with someone, I was with a friend, Elizabeth Messina, who's one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world. I was with her a couple weeks ago, and I said, hey, will you capture a portrait of me? It was fascinating to see how she works. You learn something by being on the other side of the camera that you cannot learn any other way. It's kind of like, if you wanna be someone who specializes in helping people with kids, you gotta have kids yourself. You can't just say, if I had kids, I would discipline them this way. That doesn't mean anything. Well, if I'm gonna photograph... You have to be on the other side, you have to experience what it's like to pay the money, you have to experience what it's like to have the communication, you have to experience what it's like to be directed a certain way, and here's what you'll find. Sometimes you'll discover things you completely overlooked. I hired one of my former students, Car Robbins. She's amazing, and we've used her for years since then. She showed up with a camera and a single lens, and I couldn't believe it. It was a 15 millimeter lens, which I love, and it was so easy. She didn't even have a camera bag on, just a camera and a lens. Most beautiful shots we've ever had of our family. I've had other people who have really complicated bags and all this stuff, and assistants, and I was like, I wanna be like Cara. I never would've learned that had I not hired her. You wanna hire some people that may be a mistake, because if you get a mistake photographer, you'll say, you know what, I'm never gonna do that. I felt so nickeled and dimed. I felt like they cheated me into forcing me to have to buy all these things. Part of the reason I'm getting a little hard with that is, there are some photographers who will donate photography for auctions or different things, you get a free session, but then the family goes and... And that's a great way to do marketing, you should do that. But then the family goes, and I know that's just cause I'm in photography, and have friends happened to, and the photographer's like, yeah, but if you want pictures, now it's $2,000. The family's like, wait, I thought we won this thing, and they're like, yeah, but didn't you know that... And they're like, how would we know that? I just don't think that's right. Hopefully, you don't have that big of a mistake, but the point being is, you experience things through that process. Next one you wanna do is create a printed guide, and you all have these guides for you. These were put together and designed by Nat over here. What's your domain name, cause I've gotta give a shout out to it. Labs & Co. Tell me a little bit about it, just cause you're a good friend, and I wanna highlight it. Well, we do graphic design, illustration, and photography for the pet industry, but we work with photography clients, branding clients all the time, so we understand the industry, we understand from any side. When she says we, it's- Oh, sorry. (laughs) Nat and Bill, over here. He's the other half. They both have a combination of photography shool background, really accomplished photographers, branding and marketing, graphic design, and then a lot of passion for what they do for people, for animals, and that comes out. The reason why I'm highlighting this, too, is if I'm gonna create a printed guide that I hand to the family, I can't do it myself. I need an outsider, even if I'm a decent designer, you need someone. I do have a way that you can use this guide as a template, I'll talk about that in a second. So, I worked with her, and we got these printed out, and basically they have my brand on the front. They have messaging about me. The thing is, you wanna filter out clients before they even get to you. There are some clients who are really high-maintenance, I can think of one in particular, and by the time she got familiar with who I was, didn't wanna hire me. Perfect, problem solved. This kinda thing really helps. Having things that are tactile are huge. So, in this case you can see a little bit about me. You can see, capturing authentic, warm, and timeless moments that will last a lifetime. See some of the photographs that I've made. I actually articulate my approach. My approach is simple, warm, and down to earth. My goal is to connect, have fun, put everyone at ease. I'm flipping fast here. Here's how you plan for the session. As a dad of young kids, I know how complicated life can be. Here are some things to think about when planning ahead. A couple more photographs. Here's my packages and pricing. One that's I call signature, one that's a mini, and then some frequently asked questions and contact information. So, what Nat and Bill have done for us, which is really wonderful, is they helped me put this together, but then they have given us the In Design file. So, what you can do is say, on page one, instead of Chris's logo, I'm gonna put my logo. In page two, instead of a family or a photograph of his family, maybe I'll do one of my family. Instead of his messaging, my messaging. Instead of his pricing, my messaging. You get the idea? Cause this kinda stuff costs big bucks to hire a really good designer. You could also hire her, but you can use this template as part of the bonus material for the course, and I encourage you to take a look at that and have something. These are really great to hand to people, because it's not just a business card. You want those too, but it tells the story. The other thing, I actually, I don't know if... Bill, do you have one of yours handy, or Nat? Oh yeah, it's in that other... Do you wanna try to track one down while I talk? The other thing is, in a world of digital, which I think you were alluding to, tactile prints, whoa, they speak volumes. When it comes to family, that's true. If you're a fashion photographer, a food photographer, would I say create one of these? No. If you're doing family and kids, yeah, because everyone loves prints, right? Digital's good, but tactile prints, that's really the beauty of it. All right, next one leading off of that is create prints and make a book. What I mean by that is print stuff out, different papers, different types, different companies, you've gotta start printing your work and see how it holds up on print. Certain things hold up. You know, like the iPhone pictures of my family in Hawaii or something, that holds up digital, but on print it actually doesn't look very good. You need to know that, you need to know this lens isn't very good, I'm not gonna pull that here. Then you wanna make a book. The one I'm recommending you start with, there's tons of companies out there, but Artifact Uprising, do a five by five book, it costs 30 bucks. If I were in a class at a real... Or, not a real. If I were in a class a brick and mortar photography school and we were gonna show up next week, I would say, next week everyone in here has to hand a book in. You have to have your work in printed form. What that does for you is it starts to see how it fits together or it doesn't, it starts to see what you might be able to deliver to a client, and you start to create connections. Good photographers create sets of images, not single one-off images, and books help you as a photographer grow in that way. Books are an amazing way to grow. Again, it's a low cost investment, as far as that, and a really high return. Then I just wanna highlight this one, and you could reach out to them, as well, Labs & Co. But to see theirs, theirs kinda puts mine to shame I think, but it's cause it's so beautiful, as far as the way they did their branding and messaging. They have quotes in there, and the graphic design and layout. If you wanna look at this, at least those of you here before we leave, what you'll see is how they're doing this in another industry, how they do prints, and then some calendar, some products. This is a great way to make income, to offer these as family photographer, and then some delivery mechanisms and stuff, as well. The whole point with this is, sometimes if you look outside your industry, you can learn a lot about your own industry. So, this would be a great place to look, as well. All right, next one, find a natural marketing path. If you love vintage bikes and you build vintage bikes, you market to people who love vintage bikes and build vintage bikes. That's the thing. You're not marketing to someone else. If your kids all play ice hockey, and every weekend you're around ice hockey people and everything's ice hockey, you market to people who play ice... You find that natural fit of who you are, or your life as it is. Great ways to this, as I mentioned earlier in kind of a negative way, but is doing auctions like at your kid's school, donating at a family session, just be clear about what it entails in the pricing. That's a nice way to give something to the community, but also become known. That's a really good first step. Photographing your friends, for free, of course. Some people say don't do it for free. I say do it, and the reason I say it is you have to practice. If you're gonna photograph a family with one lens and you've never done that before and you've never used that lens before, tell the family, I need to test out this lens. Hopefully, you guys will get some good photographs. And then go out and do that, and then that can help spread the word, as well. Just be very intentional about what you're doing there. That leads to this next thing, is the only way we can intimately get to know gear is by limiting the gear that we have. Most of us have too much gear with too many options, too many dials, too many zoom in, zoom out whatnot. What my mentors have told me to do with a lens where I can change it from 24 to is they, Ralph Clavinger, he had me tape over that focus ring and tape over my controls, so the only control I had was a shutter release button. So, to focus, I couldn't change focus. It would be a focus four feet away, so I'd walk up here and focus, wait, now I'm out, now I'm in. To change the composition, I would have to get low, I'd have to physically be connected and involved. That taught me more than anything I've ever learned in photography. Same thing with one lens for a family. Okay, I have a fisheye lens for a family. How in the world am I gonna only use a fisheye lens? How does a fisheye lens see the world? How do I work this, how does this work well, where does the lens work, what's the sweet spot, where's it fall apart? And by limiting yourself, that's one of the best ways, crazy best ways that you can grow. I encourage you to try to do that. Then, to make it really as a pro, we have to look at delivery. If I deliver photos using... I'll try to leave off the name or something, but, I don't think that's real, but all the ways we can do file transfer, then people kinda think, yeah, they don't really mean anything. But if I deliver, and I'm talking about digital or print, files in a beautiful way that has a nice experience, they think of those things differently. So, we need to think about that cause we need to create the value. Once we do, they'll actually see those things differently. We've all heard those stories of the famous violinist that played in the subway, have you heard that one? Everyone walked by him cause they didn't know, cause it was out of context. We need to create context. What I do, there's a ton out there. This is just the one I use, it's called Pixieset. It creates a little online gallery like this. It's beautiful, it matches my style and look. There are a ton of options, like I said. These do cost money, just like if you get your brother a present for Christmas and pay to have it wrapped, it costs money, and if you don't pay to have it wrapped. But with this type of photography where there is emotion, the delivery matters, if you wanna be a pro. If you're like, I don't care about pro, I wanna shoot my own kids or send photos to my mom and dad, fine, you're off the hook. But if you wanna transition, if you wanna go passion to profit, this is a really huge part of it, and what it does for you, too, it makes you sit up a little taller, a little happier when you look at your work. When I look at my files on this, just pull up Pixieset, I'm like, wow, that was a fun shoot, or that really worked. It's nice to see it all there together. Kinda like if you frame one of your own photographs or someone else does, and you see it on the wall, you're like, that's not that bad. Okay, here are the takeaways. Build some sort of a brand and a site. I know I'm not being specific on which, do you use WordPress, do you use Squarespace. We can follow up on that if you're curious, and I will have a course on that, but you need that. You need a price strategy, so when someone says, how much does it cost, you're not like, uh, maybe $400? You have a strategy, you know what that strategy involves, this much gets you this much, this is how long the session is, and you go from there. You want some kind of printed guide, something that is in print so they know you're not making it up. There it is, it's in print, I'm committing to it. Here's the nice thing, you get 50 copies of it, if you don't like it, make it again. Change the price, change the details. That's the nature of being an entrepreneur. Make a book, so you see how the photographs live together, feel together. Identify weak links, start thinking about being a storyteller in that whole set of images. Create prints in any way, shape, or form that you can, because what can happen is this. Digital files, the way we look at them, is really quick. It's a swipe or it's a scroll, and you're looking for that quick hit off the image. The reason is, we have lots of apps open, music's on, we're multitasking. But prints, typically you like better when it's more subtle, because you have to live with it for a longer amount of time. If a print is too saturated, too over the top, too obvious, too in your face, it actually starts feeling trite over time. This is with family products. You're like, it looks so good in digital, but it feels so sappy in print. Then that teaches you a lot, because with family stuff, at least for me I want it timeless, so that print instructs me, informs me of how I wanna shoot. I encourage you to do that. Deliver with style, and then find some sort of natural marketing path, one that you feel good about, that fits who you are, where you live, what you do. The thing with marketing, I think why it gets a bad name and some artists and photographers have a tough time with it is because they feel like they need to be something they aren't. That usually works in the short term, but be who you are, and long term it works out. Cause you guys know me now, right? I'm like the driftwood guy. People know that, and if I market myself as metal and concrete, it's not gonna work. Who am I gonna fool, a few people, but eventually the whole thing crashes down. Stick to your guns, stick to who you are. Again, some resources there for you on that Then, questions on this segment. Chris, we have a question from the Internet, wanting to know, where do you print out your booklets? These ones, well, we'd have to ask Bill for that question. Do you know the name of the company? Here in San Francisco, we printed those in a local printer. Do you remember the lab, or the name of the- Digitech. Digitech was this one. But a local print shop is where we ended up doing these, and also their one here, too, is that, as well. There are lots of printing options out there. I think why we went local is it's nice to have that connection. If something goes wrong, it's nice to be able to follow up on that. Of course, there are online services, as well, that you can use too. Yeah. How do you determine where to begin with pricing, especially when you're starting, and then how do you feel about mini-sessions as a way to, I guess, advertise or get your name out? Yeah, great question. The question, just to get it in my mind, is mini-sessions, but then pricing, and where do you start. I think a good starting point is trying to get a feel for the pulse in the community that you're in. So, let's say you're in San Francisco, and I did this actually beforehand to see what the pricing is in this town. Look up family photography in San Francisco, you see people's prices posted, and you'll quickly see a range, and you'll see where, in a really metropolitan area like this, people are coming in here. If you're in a small little town in Ohio, you can also sort of get a feel for the pulse on where that is. I think that's helpful, probably in any type of photography or any type of industry, is sort of saying... Cause the reality is, someone in a small town is gonna pay that same photographer, like say I move to Ohio, I can't charge what I can charge in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a pretty well-off town, I guess. Compared to San Francisco, it's not, it's a different price bracket than San Francisco. So, gauge where people are at. We could talk about it specifically. Then, start to also think about... Oh, I know what I didn't talk about. I'm so glad you asked the question. Think about what you're actually investing. There's at least two hours beforehand of client communication. What I mean by that, emails back and forth, rescheduling, all those kinda things. There's at least an hour and a half for the shoot, there's at least five hours of post production. So, you tally up what it is, because some people will say, well, I'll do it for this amount of money, and then they end up making like $5 an hour, because they're like, I'll only work for an hour, but it's not true. It's the gear, of course, it's the communication, it's the shoot itself, it's after work, and it's your talent and skill. So, it's thinking through that equation and making sure that's worthwhile, and then I think the other thing is, you could ask... I asked my sister, she did a mini-session in San Luis Obispo, it's a smaller town. I said, what'd you pay for that? We talked about pricing in her town. Another great way if you're like, I don't even know how to do it, hire a photographer, see what their price is, one you think is amazing. They may say... There's one photographer in my area, which I think is crazy, but they charge $25, for a family session, which is just like, I don't get it. But it would be great to call that person up and say, what does it cost? They say $25,000, you're like, wow. That's, I don't know what to do with that. Call someone else, and they're like, hey, it's $500, but then you pay for these little pieces here, so it ends up being about $900 for your whole thing. Then you can start to gauge and find where it should be. Cause pricing is, it seems arbitrary, but if you start doing your research, you can be a little bit more intelligent about it. Lastly, you'll never feel comfortable right away, cause you're like, it's not worth it, it shouldn't be worth it, it shouldn't cost that much, but that's what we entrepreneurs have to take if you wanna turn passion into profit. If you have all the system in place. The good news is, it's not like you're selling people, I don't know, shoelaces that break or something. You're selling, it's something that they love, it's timeless, their great grandkids will look at the pictures, so you wanna add that to your equation, too, that this isn't, it's worthwhile. It's a wonderful gift. Then, with the pricing thing too, one of the things I do, for good or ill, I always have friends who can't afford photographs from me, and at least once a year I say, hey, we gotta do photographs together, and I shoot their family for free. That keeps me grounded, and it also keeps it really enjoyable for me. That's something to consider, as well. Any other questions? Yeah. Do you, like when you say you give 25 shots, but obviously you have a lot more, I have a really hard time not just giving- Yeah, giving them everything. 60 instead of 25. I end up spending, obviously more time than- Yeah, the lower the amount, the more time you have to spend. But it's so hard, cause I don't want them not to have that shot or that moment. Yeah, and that I think is the balance between your pricing strategy, finding the one that you actually like. I mean, I'm kinda weird, and you guys know that, right? What I mean by I'm weird is I'm kind of a free spirit, I'm pretty down to earth, and I'm not out to nickel and dime people. So, for me, I love that they get everything. Some people could say, but Chris, you could make so much more money. I could, but I love that they get everything. The photos are gone now, but I love that they get the in between shots, cause what happens to the parents is... Even the shot of the little girl who was jumping, the one used for this course, I actually didn't really like that one when I saw it, but the mom said, oh my gosh, that is Gwenny through and through. Had I not given her that, I might have deleted it, and she helped me see the value of it. So, that's just me. But the whole point is, you find out what you really enjoy, also find out what helps meet your needs. Then, if we could talk offline about specifics, as far as pricing structure, cause it does get complicated. Yeah. I have a quick question. I'm assuming you're batch editing, but let's say you have like 250 images, and you're gonna give them all. I'm just thinking of how long it would take to do it, if your lighting is changing so often. I don't know if you're gonna get into that, but what do you do? How do you make it where you're not making $3 an hour? Yeah, on all your post-production, cause that can take forever, especially if you over-shoot, like I did with that family, the pre-shoot one, I felt like I needed to over-shoot, cause it was sort of hard. Yeah, batch process, get really fast and furious with Lightroom. For me, I am incredibly efficient in Lightroom Photoshop, always have been. Back in the day when I was first starting out, people would be like, wow, you're so good at this. I said, yeah, the whole point is so I don't have to do it as much time, so I can go surfing or be with my kids or do these things. True North guides that technical skill, so if that's a weak link, meaning, my post-production is taking too long, I would say, I have one week to watch all these Creative Live courses on Lightroom or whatever, and I'm gonna spend 40 hours this week, and I'm gonna get so fast it's ridiculous. Cause that problem can be solved. If you still aren't solving it, then maybe there's some strategic thing that you are... Basically, we don't wanna create... Can I try an analogy? I think analogies, I'm a backyard beekeeper. Anyone here a backyard beekeeper? So fun, honeybees. What they say is people get into beekeeping for the bees, they get out of it because of the honey. What does that mean? Actually harvesting and processing the honey is pretty involved, cause you take all the frames out, has to go through this whole thing of getting the honey, it's messy, and you have to do it. It's sort of like harvesting, if you have an apple orchard, you can't just let all the apples fall on the ground, you gotta pick them and do the work of all of that stuff, if that makes sense. I don't know if my analogy is gonna work, but what I'm saying is, you never want to lose your interest in your craft because of all the work that you have to do. If someone's like, oh, there's so much honey, there are so many pictures to go through, I'm like, that's awesome. We can solve that. Here's this thing called, in honey stuff, it's a spinner, you spin this, and then it goes down in this little filter and then you get all the honey, and then your kids open up the tap and honey pours out of it, it's like gold, it's amazing. Lightroom's like that too. If you have the right system, it can be beautiful and wonderful, but it takes getting good. What good in Lightroom means isn't that it's tough. Lightroom's easy, that's the trick with Lightroom. Little sliders, like, anyone can do Lightroom. To get fast is a whole nother thing. Isn't that true? Anything else? Speaking of Lightroom- Lightroom, do we do it. Let's do it. Okay, let's get into it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Family Resources

Ratings and Reviews

Meredith Zinner Photography

Chris is a FANTASTIC teacher (and photographer). He is so very very authentic, warm, REAL, talented, knowledgeable, honest, open and true to his wonderful self. This class, in addition to endless nuggets of knowledge and insights, highlights how being true to your own self makes you a better photographer- emphasizing connection, authenticity, fun and easy relaxed simple joy. A refreshing take on children's photography for sure! Thank you Chris and CreativeLive!

lisa james

Wow, I have been in search of my style. I've been reading and researching and listening to inspiring speakers and from each one I've gathered pieces of information that help guide me. This class, however, has been the most successful for me. Chris's approach to teaching and his material that he provides is Spot On for me. Thank you, Chris. I am so inspired and eager to move forward now that I can see my vision more clearly. I highly recommend this class.

Neeraj Arora

Oh my god!!!! What a class. I couldn't stop watching. Chris you are an inspiration, loved every word you said, loved how you said it. I am in the process of getting a plan together for doing photography professionally on the side, on top of my research career, and you just hit a home run in getting me motivated and excited in taking the plunge. My photography of people gives me a lot of satisfaction and meaning and you just validated what I have been thinking of doing lately. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Student Work