Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 1 of 33

Where I Came From

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 1 of 33

Where I Came From

 

Lesson Info

Where I Came From

This has been a long time in the making, and when I first got the phone call that said, hey, you have creative live, yeah, who hasn't? And so what we like for you to join us for creative live I said, oh my gosh, get him and I'm gonna have to sit down for just a minute. You sure you sure you have the right number? But I got really nervous in the beginning, but now totally cool I'm good I got in yesterday they took great care of us on dh I'm here ready to do my thing and I think what makes this not quite so nerve racking is this is what I do. This is who I am this is what I do. I've been doing it for nine years and I look forward to going to work every day and being put in compromising situations and compromising positions and having to figure out a way to create something that is sellable and that's what a lot of you guys have to do is well, we go out and everything's not perfect every day, at least not in my world it could be in yours, but it's not a perfect world, so I go out and I fi...

gured out a way I basically dig the biggest hole that I confined and I'll get into it and then I have to work my way out of it and that's really how my life has been up to this point and that's why I'm so excited to be here because I figure out ways to make things work and probably in ways that probably shouldn't be able to do him but I kind of have like a little cheat system that I use and I say all right if I have to do this first of all what is the most efficient and the most easy way that I can do it because I'm a one man band I'm not really a good musician but I'm a one man band so how do I how am I going to make this work so I appreciate you guys and the online audience we have a trip amend this amount of material to cover in three days so your head is literally going to be spinning after three days but in a good way so I want you to prepare a large notebook and because your mind is not gonna be able to grasp everything there's no way so at the end of this you're hair is probably going to look very similar to mine unfortunately there's no help for you years you're too late we're too late for that too late for that so with that being said again I want to thank creative live for allowing me to be here and share what I do because I'm probably not supposed to be here and someone will make sense in just a little while on also would love to think of h and h color lab there's no way I would be in the position I am now without my family there at hh color lab, take care, bother printing and there's, they've helped me grow my business just like a family member, so I would definitely not be there with them without them. And thanks to my family, my little girl will get into that in a little while. She is a big reason I'm here years ago, I would have probably been too nervous and said, uh, yeah, I'll call you back on that creative life thing, and but I want to be someone that my family is proud of, and I want to be someone that you guys are proud of his well, so I'm looking so forward to it. A lot of times I get to going down this little rabbit trail and start to running my mouth too much if you ever see that feel free just to give the little rodeo son and say, hey, wrap it up, buddy, let's, let's, move on here, not here to hear your life story, but again, thanks to everybody, something with that being said this is a senior photography program, so I want to set the tone a little bit, and I will let everyone know that just because this is senior specific, everything I'm going to teach you today can apply to every realm of photography, and you'll see in a little while do a little bit of everything just enough to be very dangerous at a lot of stuff. So just because this is senior photography is still relative toe every realm of photography, this course is really truly designed for everyone, and when I say that, I really mean it. If you're just starting out, I don't feel like there's no there's, no question that is dumb or ignorant, or I can't believe that she asked that or he asked that there's, none of that we're gonna break down all those barriers here, and we're all on the same page. Everyone here is in the same boat, same page, so no one is superior. I'm not superior to anyone, you're not superior. We're all just like friends hanging out and that's what creative lives about? They've put together awesome atmosphere to allow everyone to open up and ask questions, and I just feel like you're you're part of everything. And that's, why? There was no hesitation when I got the call to come to create a block of wow, I can actually be myself there, and I don't have to put on this persona to be someone that I'm not, and b let me wear my tie because, um, I'm from the south way do things a little differently there, so I will apologize of my accent is a little southern, but, you know, I can't help that just how it is, but anyways, no question is dumb, we're gonna break it down so that even if you're just starting, I'm gonna break it down in a way that you can understand it. And then if you're that photographer that's that's been photographing for quite some time and you just feel like you're struggling and you're saying, man, I just I just don't feel like I could ever get to that point and trust me, if you just pay attention to what I'm going to teach, you put together even small points, small points along the way, it's going to make a will wealth of difference in your business, and this isn't just about photography. I wanna uplift you as a person, I want to make you a better person, I want to make myself a better person, so with that being said, I noticed I'm saying with that being said a lot have you noticed that? So with that being said so with that being said I say so a lot of times as well but with that being said initially a little video and this is just kind of a good mix of what I photograph kind of let you know a little bit of my background, what all I work on and what validates me as a senior photography working photographer I don't just shoot one or two sessions a week and then go teach or something so let's check this out see what this is all about here ah, wait good deal so you guys I feel like I just aged about five years from watching that because mike man do a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff and one of the most aggravating things being in a seat where you guys are is ok I'm gonna see every three days and really just looking a bunch of slide shows of some of the work this guy's done, I just got really gonna bring it so we're really going to bring in I'm gonna bring it pretty hard core here so everyone in this audience has a past, everyone has a future you can't necessarily control where you came from, but you can most certainly control where ugo correct you would agree with me on that so let's take a look at this guy here let's talk about the good, the bad and obviously really ugly I was not that beautiful of a kid unfortunately and things have pretty much been downhill ever since then but but it's not about where you come from and it's not about the past it's not about the opportunities you've been given the opportunities that you didn't have that your neighbour had you know I had very little opportunity growing up aunt, I used to be really, really afraid to tell people my true self and what I really came from. So you know what it's me this is really this is creative lives. This is what this is about so I need to open up to you guys first of all, to let you know where I come from so you can understand the amount of passion that is going to come from me for the next three days I was taken away from my parents at a very young age. My mother unfortunately is a product of living in a very small town with not much ambition and very little parental guidance and my mother she started using drugs when I was very, very little ah lot of people say that it was before I was born because of the way act, but that's a different story, so moving forward I wasn't supposed to be funny, but moving forward uh, moving forward lady shows up at the house one day and she says, blair, I need you to grab all of your things I was like, all right, cool, I'll get a few things like what? What's that? What do we do it? She said, we're gonna go stay with grandma, I was like, oh, cool, let me get my little g I joe here, I don't want to take that. I said, I'm ready, she said, no, you you pretty much need to get everything that you ever want to see again, because, unfortunately, sweetie, you're never coming back, nothing. What you talking about, willis? And she said, yeah, you're never coming back and as a little child, you know, you don't know how you expect, you don't have to take that. So I went with the flow and I said, all right, cool grandma, you know, she's got a pretty cool pad. I go stay with her for a little while, this might work, so I get into the back of this this'll lady station wagon and off we go, moving my grandparent's four hours away. Life was pretty good, you know, it was a fifth grade student. And I never really gave them a lot of trouble, you know, I was a little wild, but I knew exactly where the boundaries were just like in my own business, I know that if this is the edge right here, this is the line I might go up to the line every once in a while ago who? But I never crossed that line so he's a good kid, my grandparents did the best they could, they were on fixed income, they did the best they could provide me with opportunities. Most importantly, they helped shape me into someone that I'm proud of by giving me good morals and good values. And I took those few key things and I fuck him in my heart, and I said, I'm gonna make my parents proud and meet my grand parents proud I'm gonna make myself proud and now I'm working to make my daughter proud. So it's not about where you come from, it has nothing to do with that. So those people that make excuses about well, I'll never have that type of studio because there's just not this here or I can't make it in this it's in your market because it's just not here in my town, well, you know what? It was never in my town, which is even more of a reason to go and produce it go on, make it work if it's not there go make it work give it a shot so more of where I came from what I used to do I really, really interesting job here. I used to be the guy that would come to your house and replaced the windshield in your car. Nothing wrong with that. But that wasn't the life that I wanted to live that's not something that I would have been able to do forever after about five or six years with the company they're like blair good job, buddy. Uh give you presents you with your gold watch here you pretty much tapped out with us, so this is take a good look here. This is good it's going to get buddy that's an honest that's gotta be better than this gotta be now I developed a love for photography. I was out on the road every day driving around from job to job and I would see meat and intriguing things and I would pull over and jump out, take a few images and it all started taking pictures of like a barn and an old car, just random stuff a guy that wrecked on this mope ed really random stuff and I started developing that stuff uh, take it to the to the drugstore lab started getting a process and lady was like come here just a minute. She's like these were some of the best pictures I've seen come through here. I was like, really? You think so? So this was a lady giving me encouragement and boy, did she she had no clue what she was getting herself into or what she was creating. Now my decision making sometimes along the way, I forgot to tell you this my grand parents passed away when I was in the eleventh grade, so there it was again. Are you serious right now? Like you're going to do this to me so I could have very easily just said all poor me, I'm never gonna have this or that or I could say all right, you know what? I don't know what is behind this door, but I'm most certain of what's behind this door, I'm not I'm not going back this way, so I'm gonna go with door number two here and I'm gonna keep march and I'm gonna keep going so I stayed in school and I will tell you it's really hard in eleventh grade, young man toe, wake yourself up and go to school and work two jobs is very difficult so for me no excuse that you guys are anyone can give is going to be valid, unfortunately because I'm going to say, well, look, you can you can work that out, you can work it out so part of my decision making was I took all the money that I had, which was not very much and I started drag racing motorcycles like I'm on I'm on a good career path here I'm going to make it yeah, not so much so I met this guy the track and he said, you know, I've been watching you recently uh I was like, well, that's kind of weird andi said with your body type he said you have a good body type now even more weird, so they're again like I where we going with this right here where we're going and he said, man for drag racing, you are textbook perfect for drag racing. You got it, I was like, yeah, I'm pretty good on a pretty good he said, look, you give me four grand, he said, I'll build you a race engine that no one will be able to touch nobody it's like, you know what? I've got thirty eight hundred dollars saved up at home by next friday, I can have two hundred mohr not thinking that wait a minute, I gotta pay my power bill, but you know I'm not making good decisions at this point, so I go home and I pull this money out from underneath my mattress, and I give it to him and I even helped him put the bike on his truck. So your time I see you in a couple of weeks, buddy, a couple weeks rolled by, and I'm like, yeah, tom, I've left you several messages, man, but for some reason, I don't know what's going on, I can't seem to get you, tom, I'm tell you right now, then I work out a lot you can pretty you can tell by my body type that I don't play around man never saw him again, so there again are really we're going to go through this again. So what could I have done at that point? Oh, me, I don't have those things or I said, you know what day it is, what it is, I have to build another future, so I saw that man years later, three years later actually, he called me out of the blue and he said, yeah, I'm embarrassed, he said, look, I don't have everything, I don't even have the bike, he said. Honestly, I sold, he said, I'll meet you at the bank and give you some of this money back what I have if you promise not to do bodily harm to me and because I mean let's let's all face it you don't want to make somebody with my stature mad you know I'm a big guy right? Um I would flex for you but I don't want to bust out of this shirt but so he needs me the bank he gives me a little money it's enough money to buy my first digital slr and we just just so happened that we were going to the beach that next day with with my wife and family so my wife surprised me and she bought me my first digital slr and had it waiting on the counter when I got off work and she said blair I've got something for your birthday I want you take to the beach we took it to the beach and I was on cloud nine the whole way there I made her drive so I could read the manual like I'm trying to figure out all these settings and things like that but the best way to do it is to get out on the beach which is exactly what I did went out on the beach these are the first images I ever shot and man only tell you I was rolling around in the sand I was like it makes you look like a pro if you get down on your knees really low you know it makes you look the part took those images loved him went back to the to the condo we were staying in another one those moments happen I plugged it into had cords all these cables you could plug your camera into the television I plug it in this was my big debut alright all the family gather around let's see my handiwork and I'll pull it up and it says format was like yeah probably to format it for some sort of a television I guess a format yes and I watched all of my work just like this that went all down to a blue screen and I was like all right uh learn something every day so there again another point in my life are really like we're going to go there seriously so what did I do? I took it in stride and I said, hey, things happen but look we'll get up in the morning we'll do it all over again what other choice do you have? You know you can make excuses or you can make it work so we got up the next morning I went and created the images all over again and quite frankly I think put more effort into on the second go around I did not show them on the television because I was scared to even get near that thing anything I turned it on after that now the funny thing is this was years ago photo shop was foreign I honestly thought that it was a little place that some guy had, like in his house and he would take your pictures there and he would doctor him up, make him look really pretty that's what I thought, well, I was kind of way off their little did I know the photo shop was going to be a big game changer for me, but one thing that was important for me is I didn't rely on photo shop in the very beginning because I'm a j peg shooter, so don't throw anything at me. I know this seems crazy, but why would you not shoot raul? Raul is so much better. I understand that that raul, you have a lot more parameters, but I taught myself in the very beginning to be a j peg shooter to try your best to get it as perfect as you can in camera, because I'm doing a lot of volume and I don't want to be tied to the computer for months on end I want to shoot it, edit it really quick, sell it be with my family and that is what I'm so excited to teach you guys how to be so streamlined that you khun, shoot at it, be with your family. And it's this simple is that so a lot of times we spend an hour capturing, but we're spending four hours and photoshopped, you know and you don't need to do it you don't have to do it, but we do it because the tools are there and they're available for us to do right, but we don't we don't want to do that I'm gonna teach you how to do that. I got my start I got really brave and said I'm gonna take a few these images that I have of my dog some random person's child that I don't even know that I took pictures of what the park I just met these people say, hey, can I take a couple pictures of your daughter like I don't care so took pictures of daughter had on process never forget man put up this little easy up tent at a street festival that's where I got my start is a street festival and where we are street festival you normally hear music kind of like did that aaron aaron, aaron, aaron aaron here followed by some good old to stay, but that was what I had that's where I started, I said I'm easy up tent that morning and I was like, it's game face home and you're gonna be flooded with people want to look at these images here so I stood there everybody was like going down to the fried oreos stand and fried twinkie stand and like all right this is not working good but after lunch everybody wised up and they stopped by on their life what you got in here first they came in looking for something free she got in here is free so that was my target market but a few people sent me and what I love that image of that little girl and I was like, okay, I'm listening yeah yeah that's pretty good right? I put on this charm that I didn't know that I had and she said I want to book an appointment I said I'm just going to go grab my calendar here this is what I was looking at basically and I was like let me see here you said you said february the third uh you know I'm all both that day what about I could do it the very next day would that work okay, yeah I'll pencil you in here but I don't have a pencil but yeah I'll pencil you in here cover that up so you can't see it so I had to kind of fake it till I made you know fake it till you make it what I had to do so move forward lady comes in and she's like all right here for my session I will listen I forgot to tell you I don't really have studio per se but I'm glad to meet you at your house and I can do about in your yard you know if your yard is really pretty which I'm sure it issue oh no not at all well we'll find someone's yard teo work on so there it was like I started this business but I knew I could do it but man I just didn't have the tools but no one ever has everything given to him so I had to make something work there was no excuses so I met the lady off we went there we have it everything was great now it's snowballed from there she showed her friends and then she showed her friends and the next thing you know her friends were calling hey, I want the same type of thing and by being in those types of environments I have been in every situation you can imagine every situation stepping in fire ant bids and having having to rip my pants off on a wedding like that is pretty embarrassing I've been in you name it people call say you got a rooster that plays tic tack toe at the state fair can you do a a session for him? Yeah, sure. You know it's so funny you called and said I had a guy last week they did the yeah come on down man no problem you hang on phone you're like what in the world am I going to do with that? But if I said no, where would I be? I don't know what I would do. You know where someone calls and says, you know, hey, I want you to come, I've got a three point, nine million dollar house for sale. I need beautiful architectural architectural pictures. Can you do that? Yeah, no problem, mr davis. Yeah, I'll be there tomorrow at nine. Thirty. No problem and then freak out like, oh, my gosh, what am I going to do? But I knew that if I didn't go on, of course I'm never goingto never gonna be able to do it. And by putting myself in all those situations, this this is easy. Now, this is easy it's so easy, because no matter what comes along, I've got it. So I'm thinking a little bit of a background about a young lady I have ever seen ducks you've seen ducks in the park. Imagine little baby ducks. You got mama duck behind a little baby duck. I was that does that look so here's like let's? Go check this out and mama dogs got her wing allie ah, back over here, uh, back over here, that is exactly what my wife is now. I'm a very serious guy I don't really I don't really have a sense of humor I'm very serious obviously as you can see this is our staff photos this is me this is what people see when they see me I want people to know the true me I'm not a suit and tie type of guy let's just not make been married ten years which is crazy to me I don't know how in the world that woman puts up with what she does for ten years five full time years in the business and the only studio for tiger so I get a lot done being the only studio photographer so you don't have to have three or four shooters to be successful you can do it all by yourself a shoot twenty to thirty weddings a year as you heard, I'm slowly thinking about maybe kind of phasing a little bit into something else well talk about diversity here in a little while which is very very important and recently to diversify I picked up five high schools sports contracts and I do too dance studios which I've got a section in there I want to share with you guys now do have two additional employees have adam shana adam that he makes me look really good tiana she handles all the office stuff she's awesome and I definitely couldn't do it without either one of them it is awesome to have them so moving forward that lady I was telling you about I don't know how the world I've scored a woman that is so beautiful is her either, but charm definitely can kill a long way in the south evidently plus she hadn't really low standards for some reason. So part of my upbringing I guess I don't know now I'm kidding, but she is my editor she handles all the photo shop I do not do photo shop that's not my gig I don't enjoy it. I would go crazy if I had to sit down at a desk I guess they said blair, do you want a chair? You know something? You take that chair on out here that I don't even know how to relax. You know, last night I think I went to bed maybe around three because I was up pacing, pretending like I was in front of you guys, which is ridiculous. I was the first one I was the door wouldn't even unlocked. When I got here this morning, I was outside like, hurry up around here right where we don't go until nine I guess it is six thirty, so I guess I'm asking a little much, but I'm prepared I'm prepared marketing her marketing ideas, she'll see the train go by, but they will say barnum and bailey circus and she's like yet mr bailey, listen eyes there any way that we can rent an elephant for thursday I've got a senior session is there anywhere a giraffe or something? You got to help me here. She sometimes goes a little too deep and I'm like baby, they're well come come here then I like the mama duck I'm like, get back in here because sometimes we can stretch yourself out so wide with their ideas we really need to hone in and make money make sure we're making money instead of just trying to look really good, which obviously looking good part I don't know I'm not a good fan, not a big fan of that she does all the album design she is she used to photograph weddings with me, but we had about two years ago something happened and she said, I'm not actually told her I said, you're not shooting weddings anymore not a bad thing said just take it easy what would you imagine? One of our hardest jobs would be at the studio just take a guess. All right, managing time if my name were time, that would be correct but her hardest job is managing blair I'm that guy that like if you're ever in a boutique somewhere and you hear a loud crash where's my wife where's blair, where is that blair she's winning where I'm nomi that guy that gets into something I'm veer off the beaten path so to speak and like I said about three I just wanna be almost three years ago now, three years ago the most all something to date and probably forever happened and it's the birth of my little girl and you can just imagine the way that I grew up there was not a lot of parental support there, so can you just imagine the type of dad I'm going to be? Goodness gracious, this little girl she's gonna be like dad, get away from me but like, I take her to do things that we probably shouldn't do already, you know, she's only to but I've got her doing things that you know, ten year old should be doing my hairless code skydiver not we don't do that, but but I love it. And again, one hundred percent daddy's girl that this is my biggest motivation today. So how many of you guys have children? Wow, this gracious every one of you um, how many of you maybe have a little girl but a girl? Okay, I got you awesome. Good. So answer me this should have more than one, I guess you hear that, baby, we gotta gotta do it again, all right, eso moving forward I'm not going to say with that being said you see how switched out of that right now I'm saying moving moving forward you get that first studio do you think that you have tohave an eloquent studio game business no not at all you don't even have to have a studio but in my area I chose to go the studio route because nine years ago that's what I thought you had to do you have to have a studio to be successful and that's what I'm gonna do so my wife and her mother had a collectible doll business like barbie dolls and things like that and I said hey let me have like the front little quarter of this I've got a broad coming next week that I've you know kind of rope here and let me do a wedding for like five hundred dollars on the album calls me like eight hundred like a good decision there so I met with her on this little wicker table and she booked on us are you serious like you really want me to do it yeah yeah it works great so I got a small portion of their space and I built a little wall put up some big canvas prints I mean man I looked like I was doing it I mean I was like I was doing this full time I would get off I would get down on my day job and I would run home not run I would drive it in the car but I would run and I run in the studio. Mr johnson, how are you, man? They had just been ah, you know, I've been working today and that wasn't lying I still had your thing on my hands and stopped so I'll keep my hands in my pockets, but I had to I had to give it all that I knew what I was doing and I didn't know what I was doing, so I stayed in this business in this building here for probably about six years small space, but I made it work now every time you turn on the news nine out of ten times it's negative right bunch of negativity and it's so easy to get caught up in that well, I know we don't get involved in that I don't pay attention to that and our economy, the economy is what like the worst is every band I mean, our government can't seem to even get it together, so where does that leave us? And we're in itself spot. So in a time when the economy is like the worst in history, what do you do let's? Just take a giant risk? You can see my decision making to this point hasn't been stellar, right? I put myself in that situation then I say oh, this is gonna hurt a little bit but I'm not gonna back down I'm gonna make it work so in a bad economy go by nine thousand square feet of property oh gosh, what did I do? And there I am and the front I'm like yeah I just bought nine thousand square feet of commercial space and I don't have a clue what I'm gonna do with it no plan in place at all but something work I know it will so there it was again like all right, we're going to start you know, start helping me out a little bit here so I started tearing everything apart way let's just rebuild it I don't know how to rebuild it or what to do but let's just rebuild it all and finally through some guidance of my lab h in each color lab worked with them on being efficient and figure out my most spaces and I would sit down literally I would spray paint on the floor the circumference of my desk and I would sit there for like an hour and think about is this the best place to put this no let's move it over here now let's moved up here so we did so we slowly started to build and slowly started to build a little bit more and I mean I had brought like high end brides and I had almost seniors coming in my work took a big shift during that time, and it went mohr construction. So most of my seniors were being photographed in construction zones because that's just what I had so they would come in and say, hey, look, I've got some awesome new props today, you are going to love it like I got a table soul jake saw like, you are going to love it. So put on your prom dress, and I'm gonna lay you up on this table, saul, right here. Okay, is that cool, mom? And you're good with that. Like I don't care and that's where my style stop it. That is what started my style was because I just used what I had and I had to be creative with it. So if all you have is a rose garden, then you be a rose garden photographer. But you figure out how to go in there and all of that rose garden. You have a construction site, you go in there and own it. You don't have to have a plethora of everything to be successful in life. It just doesn't work that way. None of us have that. So I went to construction zone. And then my brides I would put them in the construction zone and then the phone started ringing and all of a sudden that work shifted and people said blair you just do your thing like you just do whatever it is that you do that's what we want wait a minute so photography can be fun because they used to get you guys have had it you get that checklist okay I want this this this this this this this this this I'm like all right good so this leaves me zero room to be creative after follow all this list here so yeah that's gonna work out great so then I started not liking my life because I started hating the photography I was doing I'm not interested in that shooting on just a plain white background with you know, a wicker basket there's nothing wrong with that but for me it just takes a lot more to excite me that's what my work is continuing teo always change like this next season for for seniors is going to completely different I've got I'm gonna add even more lighting I'm gonna make it even better because what I did last year it's not always gonna work so advancing forward instead of moving forward see I'm switching switching it up here life after construction I was blessed to be able to buy this space and I'll be honest with you tell you how it happened as well the old fellow that owned it I went to him one day and I said sir, is there any way that that I may be able to buy this property one day, sir? Because I'm just a young guy trying to trying to make it for my family I'm struggling and I want to he said, look cut the chit chat what do you want to do here? And I told him he said fine, I'll work it out he gave me a price and I said now look, don't you go dying on me until tomorrow? Okay there before tomorrow because I want you to sign off on this he signed off on it and in seven years from now it'll be mine and what's great about that is in seven years we'll probably all be about ready to fall apart so I'll find myself another one those deals like are you really here we go again but we bought it we own it we made it our own and we created an environment that is our brand it's one hundred percent who we are it's a place that I love to go to a place that that I enjoy it's a place that feels like home is it necessary again no it's not necessary but from my area I have to attract a high end client because I live in a very small small town thirty, five hundred people the meal the cotton meal is the number one provider and it is on ly running at a thirty percent capacity so there's no money, no money so if I just say well it is what it is you know we're going to photograph you know, people with their biggles and I'm never gonna make it so I had to think outside of my area and I said if I ever want to do this I got to reach out so that's what I started doing built a place that that did have a high end field because I was wanting to attract the high end client it gives you justification in your pricing if I have someone from the country that has never had pictures made maybe one time when there were four and they come in and you throw in the price of an eight by ten let's just make something up and say an eight by ten one hundred dollars in my area they would probably stick you with a knife for that he must be out of your dago mind boy that's what they would say so I have to reach out get those other clients to come to me now if my brand and my studio matched aesthetically everything else in the town they would walk in and be like oh dear this is quite horrid no, it has to be upscale because these client they're used to that think about you ladies all right let's get personal here for a minute you just say help me out here because I don't get my hair done obviously when you get your hair done is it common to spend one hundred dollars to get your hair completely cut don however it gets done it's reasonable some people could probably spend two hundred right would you spend too does it feel good to spend two hundred dollars on your hair if when you're sitting there the girl comes and puts lotions on your lotion on your hands and rub your hands and they put a cool rag or view they bring you cucumber water you got a girl that's massaging your feet while you're getting all this sun and you spent two hundred dollars to get something done there theoretically you could probably get it done for forty dollars somewhere else but it feels better if everything around you matches the service you're getting which is exactly why I had to build something that was a little bit nicer than everything I want to stick out like a sore thumb and in my studio people come in and they're like and walking on them look around and go back outside look outside look down the street this way this way man what? Er what where you from where you from? You're not from around here are you saying actually I'm said why did you put this here and I said, why not? The rent is way cheaper, like I got this for a portion of what she would down in charlotte. So it's, not about how much money you can spend and it's, not about how little you can spend it's about finding a comfort zone. You know, if you want a high end studio, get high and studio, if you don't know there's, no right or wrong way. I'm just showing you how, how I've done things.

Class Description

Are you ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join award-winning photographer Blair Phillips for an introduction to everything you need to know about taking portraits for high school seniors.

In this three-day course, you’ll learn about how to market yourself to the high school audience, no matter where you live or who you know. Blair will discuss his signature techniques for effortless, versatile posing. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about both off-camera and natural lighting, including how to create foolproof lighting setups, even if you’re working without an assistant. Blair will also cover strategies for creating a productive workflow and working confidently in a wide variety of settings.

By the end of this course, you’ll have be equipped with the core marketing techniques and one-of-a-kind photography skills needed to connect with high school seniors, give them results they’ll love, and grow your business.

Reviews

David - Muse 10
 

As an experienced photographer myself, this class was both helpful and inspirational…we're never too experienced to learn from someone. Blair is really a lot of fun to watch and listen to. He has a way of making things fun with his high energy and dry sense of humor. To be completely honest in my review of this class, the lighting and posing sections, while VERY good, have been done over and over again by lots of photographers and didn't offer much in the way of new ideas. The real value was in the customer service and marketing techniques presented here. Blair's use of video as a marketing and communication tool with his clients is very unique and sparked TONS of ideas I would like to implement in my studio. His simple pricing structure and the way he presents it to his clients is also unique and has helped me rethink some of my own methods. "That being said" (Blair should appreciate that phrase) this class is totally worth the price and will continue to be a good reference for me. Some photographers are excellent at their craft but are dry teachers; others are great teachers but their "real-life" work doesn't live up to their classroom presentations. Blair is the real deal and makes this class very exciting.

a Creativelive Student
 

Blair is great. This class is packed full of great info and is a genuine good hearted person.. Really like his approach with high school seniors. I recommend it.

a Creativelive Student
 

This has been my favorite class on Creative Live. I loved how Blair explained exactly how he landed dance and sports contracts. This class was packed full of ideas for marketing and selling products. There was just so much great information. Thanks, Blair!