Photography Session Systems
Do you overshoot aah laughter I mean digital it's so easy, right? I just last june I splurged and bought myself a contact six forty five medium format film camera so it takes one twenty two twenty film um and you know you're literally shooting from you gotta measure exposure there's no chipping on the back and each frame cost me about two dollars to develop okay, so and that I only have twelve shots a role okay, so I can only take twelve images at a time in that contacts so it really kind of show me oh my gosh I need to be very deliberate and what I shoot and how I shoot it and make sure everything is right before I go click and I really want to translate that to you guys in this lesson because I think it's such a valuable application over digital photography has made us shudder trigger happy you know bam bam bam bam bam weakness of these high fast six frames per second type cameras we just go oh, we'll worry about it later, right? Just get the shot sometimes that's very effective when...
you have a two year old running around clearly or a dog that's going crazy or coming at you full speed and you want that amazing shot yeah, you're going to burst mode and you're going to really get a lot of shots and then we'd out but those are very specific circumstances you know, sports photography things like that they need that technology us as wedding photographers and portrait photographers even especially commercial you do not need to be taking tons of images the really good commercial photographers out there shoot tethered okay they shoot one frame and then they look at it and analyze it on the computer before they go back and take another shot commercial photographers tend to have the system of limiting how much they shoot down and we can learn a lot from them I think in the portrait and wedding world sometimes photographers think more is more and that is not always the case because what happens when we shoot more we show more and then we end up in a hole we can't get out of and the client suffers for that so how many images do you show? Ten twenty thirty fifty talk me throw out some numbers thirty about that's an awesome number that's getting much better it's not so much that the client gets overwhelmed and there are times when I will show fifty easily when you have a session where you have family members or especially multiple family members you're doing sibling sets etcetera etcetera that can add up really fast but you want to be cognizant of that when you're shooting the session if you do have a big group family and you're not gonna be doing is money set ups because you don't want to show the photo of the client so many images you want to show them the money images right the ones that are really going to sell for me and my industry it's the sibling shot in the newborn world it's the two year old with the new born that is the money shot the second money shot is the family shot the sibling shot cells every single session they're hard to dio and when you master them with a newborn you become coveted in your town because parents know that you can get the sibling okay moms tend to be little critical themselves so the family shot is in second place ok so sometimes they'll they'll pick the sibling shot over the family shot because they're self conscious you know most moms have twenty pounds to lose after giving birth and they don't exactly feel the greatest so they will be a little self critical of themselves but those two shots right there are the big ticket money shots so I make sure that I plan for that in my head when I'm about to shoot the session if I miss one of those my fault okay some photographers really do think showing mohr images provides more value to the client that is so far from the truth it's not even funny the less you show that our individual unique and high quality the more the overall session in the client mind elevate if you have several images that are very much the same with teeny tiny variations oh the heads this way, the heads that way, the client's going to look at that go with all same, and the value of them lowers in their head. So it's your job to make sure that each image in the session is unique, high end, beautiful. So that's, where culling comes into play, you really want to call your image is down to on ly the best. And you want to show a few images so that the whole session as a whole elevates in the client's mind, because each image is unique and individual does that make sense? So each image has that scarcity factor there's on ly one or two of them that raises the value of them up in their head. And so it's a little counterintuitive to think that but it really is the truth, showing mohr images and shooting mohr images is not the means to a bigger sale. As a matter of fact, it is the path to a crappy sale. Okay, so if you are assessed your session systems and how you're shooting and go, ok, am I over doing it? I used to shoot six or seven hundred images in a session, a newborn session, and I hired my first assistant, tiffany, and she hounded me because she was doing on my culling. She was having to call my images and she would score of one. That one that has to do the work is the one that's gonna complain, but rightfully so she should have. And she did. And I'm glad she did because she made me realize julia. We're calling this down to thirty images. That's less than five percent of what we shoot that's. Ridiculous. Why are you paying me to spend all this time going through these extra images when if you just were more efficient in your shooting, I would call the session in a third of the time. And that, like hit home. And I went, yes. So now when I shoot it's very deliberate now there are times when that goes out the window officially really cute baby and really good session. I kind of get well, snap happy. It happens to the best of us, but my goal is to take. I'll talk to you exactly what our kind of shooting workflow is and how we how we do a newborn session. But my goal is to take maybe three to five shots of each post that's it and then we you know, it's one of those things where it's all about focus because I can't fix focus and photoshopped you know, some like it has to be right this focus has to be right like I got to get focused I gotta get exposure so and I'm really insecure about my cameras focusing mechanism so I will shoot wanna go ok that's in focus but let's just take one more for safety okay? So I do that all the time and so I do end up with a couple extras that are the same so we'll have to move to sigh beside zuman and bridge make sure each one's and focused kick that one to move on it's less than two second procedure okay, but the goal is to not overshoot and to create a system oppose list a shot list a perspective list so that you're getting the same thing for every client every time and so many photographers say to me but they want something different you know they want something creative and unique I'm an artist I'm supposed to create something different for every client no that's the last thing your client wants can you imagine if you went to nike and bought a pair of tennis shoes one had leather laces and then the next day you went to go get another pair for your husband and they had nylon lace is on him he'd be like women. I bought the same shoes yesterday, they would look, you don't want your product to vary now clearly colors, set design, different textures and tones that changes. I'm not going to shoot the same setup with every single baby, but I am going to shoot similar poses. I'll explain what that all means here in a minute. Uh, so your clients want that consistency of look ok, what? It comes down to it if you want to lose clients in a hurry, show a lot of images because they get overwhelmed and especially if you're still selling online, how many of you are online selling? Okay, how many of your doing? Yes? Okay, hopefully I will talk you into doing I p s but it's not the be all end all if you don't okay, but if you are selling online, we're going to set some rules for you and strong ones and your clients. I'm going, of course, throughout this entire class teach you and show you the pros and cons the different methods so you can choose for yourself what works for you online selling did not work for me, some people it works great for I've seen photographers out there make a killing it online sales sales, it is harder, it may not seem like it because you go I just put the images online and then they pick that seems easier but when you step back and look at it from forty thousand feet like I've been telling you guys this whole time to dio you will see that there are flaws in that system and this whole course is about finding those flaws and fixing the system so everything is seen listen works well for you so I'm going to show you the difference in the efficiency between online sales and gps and then I'm going to show you the pros and cons and teach you what you need to know about each system so that you can make that decision for yourself ultimately guys, your business is your baby you get to raise it however you want it's your child okay? You can take advice from all the other parents in the world but ultimately what it comes down to is how do you want to run your business and what are your strength? Everybody has different strength and everybody can run a business based on their strength okay? My sister and I are wildly different she's like shy introverted doesn't want to talk to people yadi I mean she's the sweetest thing on the planet and I'm the kind of I'm an introvert but I'm the social introvert social situations but I kind of need to recover on my own type of thing but I'm the gregarious one and I've been trained in communication in television news and so that lends itself well to being that in my in my business I'm a risk taker I jump off a cliff easily knowing all swim on the way down, she freaks out, it has to, like assess everything the distance and the analysis and what are going to be consequences in the audio t I'm johnny just jump, okay? Everybody has a different personality, everyone going about their business differently, so you have to assess what your personality is and what works best for you. You will see there are times when you get really uncomfortable with a method like a gps in person sales, you're gonna be like, oh, I don't want to do that does really scary ok, but once you learn the techniques and you jumped into it, really, the fear was just in you, and when you realize how effective it is for your business and what it can do to improve your brand, your customer service you will you might say that it's worth it to switch so that's kind of a little rabbit trail there, but I wanted to point that out because what it comes down to when you're shooting in your session is really the number of images you're showing your client and how much time it takes you post process really right that's what it comes down to and how long your sessions are you should be extremely efficient when you show a lot of images you overwhelm the client and this is worse when you're online and we'll explain that when we get to the pipe a portion of all of this in the selling systems you cheapen your brand when you show a lot of images because if you're showing the same image with slight minor variations the client goes they start weeding stuff out and realizing they don't need them all right you drag out the sales appointment if you're doing in person sales and you're showing too many images it's like takes two hours instead of forty five minutes most of my I p s sessions take about forty five minutes right now and people are always shocked at that but that's a combination of things you know most most photographers I ps is air around an hour and a half to two hours minor under an hour and the reason is because it's down to a system and the pricing makes it easy there's one package that's it if you want it you buy the package okay so it's very simple very efficient the clients appreciate that less is more or less is more or less is more repetition of your images degrades the value of them you know how in an art museum there's only one original right there's on ly one edward munch is the scream right when that thing was stolen a few years back, was it like, ten, fifteen years ago? So I think they just recovered it recently it was stolen it was like, oh my god, this one painting that's one of those famous paintings in the world is gone it was valued so highly and I'm obviously speaking in extremes, but your image is of the same way. If you're showing images that are very similar to one another, you're an artist treat your art like it's art, treat your art like it's one of a kind. So what that means is that you need to have a system of shooting, so you provide enough images tio have the value, you know that twenty two, thirty two, forty images, but also enough variety to make each one seam in unique and individual correct. Okay, so how do you do this? You make a shot list. I know this sounds really second grade and trivial, but it's true, if you make a shot list and have something to follow and this is especially important in the beginning, so once you're into it, you'll have memorized in your head you'd be like, okay, I know how to do this same with phone conversations, all that, but when you're first starting out, if you make a shot list very specific and stick to that from five or ten sessions, you're going to get really good at those shots really good and each one of those is gonna be super unique, you're going to memorize the flow and then every session will be the same reliable product for your clients. Now, can you venture off into the little wall, the land into see the squirrels and go that's pretty much try that today, of course, after you get the reliable, consistent stuff. So for example, in newborn photography, will dio four looks on the beanbag with our super four poses on the beanbag with two separate, like backgrounds. Every once in a while I'll decide to see squirrels and do something fun and different and all the babies being really good let's try really hard post let's do tissue because it's one of my hardest poses that I that I accomplished, so we'll do that, okay, but then I know in the back of my head that I'm showing more images to the client, so I need to be very careful about what else I shoot. Now there are certain clients, and in this boot camp we have an actual in person sales session with one of my clients we taped the entire session, it is a real client, a real sale and they are a great client I showed them fifty images, which is a lot, but I knew they could handle it. Oftentimes with repeat clients in particular, I will show a little bit more. Okay, each one is still unique, but I'll do go the extra mile little bit in each session, so in that in that day africa, africa. Today we're actually doing it, but the the session is totally authentic. And I really wanted that to be the case it's almost like a hidden camera situation. They knew they were being recorded, but we told them it was for education purposes and to just, you know, like a training video, and they were totally fine with that. It was it was no big problem, and they pretty much forgot about the cameras after a while, so but I wanted to kind of put the caviar on jaime images you show because that particular client I showed them more than I would because the client can handle it. So you need to assess your different clients if you have a repeat client who comes to all the time. I have a client who has that's the first time she came to me, she had a newborn triplets and two year old twins. Yeah, I know stephanie's amazing, like stephanie is awesome and they've been my client. The triplets are now six be with me for four years and the the triplets are about to turn four and they come to me twice a year in studio session and on because this is my ideal client because she's like my favorite plant one of my favorite clients and she I always show her more than normal because she could take it you know and I know she's gonna buy him all I can pretty much list to t what stephanie is gonna order okay I can pretty create it and like great let's do it here is my card I mean that's like how she's drink point okay, but she can handle a higher number of images so just once you get into a system assess that be consistent with every client especially those clients you don't know start a swipe file what is this white file spy pilot a swipe file is basically a folder on your desktop were you stealing swipe images yeah stealing okay picasso said good artists copy and great artists steal and he's absolutely right. Okay, this is pablo picasso a great artist said that and he's right good artists copy great artists steal what is stealing me? You take something and make it your own yes you copy a color scheme you take a prop you copy, oppose you steal a a certain lighting technique ok, you steal a concept and then use your own subject matter inside that concept okay, so with shot lists what I would recommend this is what I did when I first started out is I went, teo all the poor doctors I loved and this is for me, it's not for anybody else. I am not selling this stuff. I am not trying to replicate it. I'm being inspired by it, but I made I stole from everything, even fit over each pose that I loved. And then I started practicing those poses and really realizing which one's come easy to me, which ones I can do quickly and efficiently, and those are the ones that I stuck into my shot list. So same thing goes for high school seniors for weddings, weddings are a little bit more intense because you have so much going on in the day. It's more about the story that is about the portrait so you want a section off each story line of the day, so you have the getting ready part both broom, broom and gripe bride and groom, groom and bride, bride and groom you have the family members, you have reactions, so write that shot list down and what you need in that. So, like the biggest thing I miss at a wedding is the reactions because I haven't been shot list if I make a charlotte's of reactions whose reaction do I need to get father the bride's mother of the bride father's groom mother the groom uh flower girls those were like the money shots right there right? Your money shots the ones that are going to sell the ones that are going to make the album incredible ok really good photographers have their shot lists in their head committed to memory and the first path to doing that is making a swipe file figure out what your shot list it's going to be and actually writing it down and carry it with you in a little book I have ah little leather book that I carry with me everywhere it is my inspiration journal and anytime I have a concept for an artistic piece a competition image anything like that I draw it out we're talking like stick figures here. I mean, I'm not a car it's pretty funny you look at me like what is that doing? It literally looks like you know, first second grade scribbling but I know what this it's inspired me I the experience of knowing the concept I just translated into the image so every time I look at the image I'm gonna think of that in my head the experience in my head okay that's how I remember it right just like we do with photography okay, so when you make your own posing guide essentially a shot list you make a plan for a specific number of images and you can plan for the desired product your client wants. We're going to talk extensively about free consultations and howto system eyes those if you're not doing pre consultations, come find me afterwards. I'm going to take a baseball bat and beat it to your head. Seriously free consultations and man she's violent. I speak figuratively. Not literally, but seriously. Pretty consultations are the number one thing that's going to improve yourself. That and in person sales if you pronunciations, sameer number one. So when you talk to your client and plan for the shoot, what are they going to do with the images? How do they see these? Five, ten years from now? Do you want to walk by him every day in your home? Or do you want a book or an airline that you can pass on to your children when you kick the bucket? Well, larry, what I say to my fans and they laughed at me and I kind of get going. It lightens the mood, okay? But then they think about it and they're like, how do and I always see them is one thing to hire professional is another thing to do something with them consumers are very much in tune with the hindrances and disadvantages of digital they know that those files stay on the hard drive trust me they've all done it with their own snapshots I'm guilty of it too. I got hard drive sitting full of pictures of my kid and only a few on the wall okay she maker whose kids have no shoes it's a reality of the digital age your clients know it so when you go into the pre consultation with the plan for the images, not only does that help you down the road in the cell session right but it also helps you in the session itself you're creating a plan for the product if my clients tell me they want me for the wall I am shooting that way differently than I am an album, right? Yeah, an album tells a story it has a little more variety, innit? Ah wall portrait especially if it's a big one do not do a close up of that face. Whoa movie theater front row oh, okay, we don't want to do that to our clients. So we have to plan for these products. We have to communicate that to our clients as well that we're doing that because then there's, that soft commitment implied that they're going to be purchasing that product there's a sense of craftsmanship and handmade quality that we're not just shooting your session, we're we're planning for the end result the final goal not just cause you want a cute picture of johnny okay so when you switch that education in your client's mind and change their mind set all of a sudden what have you done elevated brand elevated the customer service made a plan for your session and solidified your ever sail? Yep that's how pre complications are so important and planning for the shoot so what's coming of course in the in the assignment list is a shot list you'll get to see the entire shot list when you download the the session this assignments on the sessions on session systems so go ahead and take a look at that that'll help you really create a session shot list and plan for your swipe file and all that so who cares about this? Well, obviously your clients care clients want what every other customer got, so make sure you are consistent make a shot list okay, so who needs one? Well, pretty much everybody you all need shot list it doesn't matter what you're doing if you're mood if you're doing multiple, uh genres of photography you want to make a shot list for each one wedding starts in particular, I don't know how if you're doing weddings and not doing shot let's, I don't know how you're doing it because you're going to miss so much and you can't repeat that right there's no way newborn babies similar but different, especially on location people if you're in on location photographer in someone's home you want to make a shot list? Of course. It's going to give or take depending on the environment you get in the lighting and all that. But if you make a general plan, you're going to go in so much more prepared. So much for fared okay, so what to put in it, right? First thing you do is make a swipe file on your desk top and really all this is and I have this on my desktop. I still have it to this day make a list, wait, basically collect images and poses that you love in each of the genres that you shoot. So, like, you make a swipe file and then make subsequent folders inside that that have the different tanya genres. So seniors, newborns, wedding, whatever. Okay, and this is just brain vomiting. Okay, this is just throwing your ideas and what you love into a file or it organize it later. Okay, so just whatever you love, just conflict throat in and pinterest is great for this. I do this kind of all the time on pinterest if you see an image you love and oppose, you love to say that, okay, so that's a great technique for that then you're going to start sorting it down to a specific number of poses and shots that you need for a session so for example a portrait session of a family of four you know kind of know what you need right you're going to need the full I usually do two varieties of family shot so with babies it's mama holding baby and dad and sibling piled in and then dad holding baby and mom and sibling piled in okay so I create that that counter the two different families images so that there's different variety in the family session but I only show like two images from each pose that's all the show and then a black and white but that's five images right there I still gotta do the baby and somebody's together and all that so that you don't have to do as much as you think so separate that out into specific shot list okay then print a personal posing guide so this is personal okay this is not this is just for you it's for your inspiration okay so you can make a pdf for your iphone flip snack dot com is a great service for doing this you make a pdf and then upload it to flip snack and that turns it into a magazine style where you can flip for it and put that on your ipad or your iphone or anything that goes with you to a session and, um, you know, flip through it when you need it, so go. Okay, I gotta get this, okay? The same poses and angles will get you. These are the same poses and angles you will get with every single session. Okay, now in that swiped file, as you organize it into what you really need, I want you to make an extra folder that says random, okay, random are the poses and looks that you won't get it every session, but that you want to try. Okay? Those are the ones where you're like, ooh, this is really need this would go great with a newborn baby. This would go great with high school senior I want to try this concept someday, pop it into your random folder and that'll, like give you ideas, you'll realize you you're having a great session, you'll look at your phone and at the end of your pdf, you'll have your random like who we should try the random today because trust me, when you're in the heat of it, you're in the middle of a field with a high school senior trying to think of different poses, trying to think of different looks and looking for the light and the color and the composition with the scene behind you, you are not concentrating on the random poses but if you make it a habit to take out your little posing guide every single time and look at your random list with each session you teo I've heard about that one I should try that today is his perfect conditions for this and the model's perfect for it and all of a sudden you're gonna get incredible money shot that you would have never gotten before that the client will look at is that one unique like oh wow thing that they got yet the session was consistent on par with what they expected high end lots of variety organized and the same as susie joe got when she came in last week but mary sue got something a little extra ok not a ton but that little extra that adds in that customer service so make the random file okay and add that to the end of your pdf as your random shots and make it a habit to just check the random shot file at every session and ask yourself is this a good time to try these today sometimes not sometimes you're so day exhausted you're like I can another thing okay and that happens all the time with me and like end of a three hour newborn session there's no way I'm going to do an extra stuff okay you need the must have and the random hope for okay take into account the product the client wants what are you shooting for? If you go into a session not taking into account what you discussed in the pre consultation that's bad customer service okay you're not producing the product your client is expecting out of you and when you shoot for the product and the client has softly committed to that product in the pre consultation you know you're selling it so chances are you won't forget it but just don't forget it do you know I mean like really focus on that being the be all end all and then add in the extra flavor and icing for the additional wall portrait sale or the additional album sale or whatever but make your main focus that product okay this is a classic newborn session for me delay this is what I would call a gem's session we have two types of sessions we have gems were platinum gems is for baby on lee okay this daddy was the fisherman he was a fly fisherman so we added in a few fly fishing props and did her birth announcement with the vice like he ties flies so we put like a little tag with her birth weight on the vice put the fishing pole in there to determine her length how you measure a fish by the length of your pole um so we did that and made put a clock in there in a little birth announcement on what time they caught her when she was born basically herbert statistics so something a little custom because they brought in the props nine times out of ten I don't use a proper my clients bring in because they're usually just ridiculously ugly and it's not gonna work so I tell them pretty honestly that it won't work and sometimes they don't believe me and I have actually shoot it for them to see and they never buy the one where they brought the profits and then we put a little fly like we took the hook off pride the hook off and then put the little fly on the headband so there's a little fly sitting on her on her head obviously you can see that but this is the session a little bit of repetition in here if you don't know but she was too small to see but the green wrap up here image number fifty one sixty four she was making really awesome faces so they look similar because she was going like a little cranky and colonel about doing cute things which parents left so that's why there's some repetition there? Okay, but you can see there's a definite rhythm far medium close and a black and white when I should've baby far far, medium close to this one I don't think I took it far medium close there's a definite system to the way I shoot a session okay here it is a little bit bigger and then, of course, we do macros. So this one here, I did a little bit to to faraway shots and then a medium, the close up one didn't really turn out. I was in a hurry and shoot it enough. It happens, okay? Macros, but you can see that there's variety now granted, my black and white and color are duplicates, right? So I have a color and the same version of black and white. I don't do that with every image, just the ones I know we'll look in black and white, okay, but the kick in the pants for me, as a lot of photographers do, like they'll do all forty color images and then they'll on ly pick a certain few to go into black and white and not show the color version of that in my market. That bit me in the foot because people were like, oh, I like that one, but I want to see in color and then I'd be like, well, I don't have a color. Why not? Because I don't think it looking color well, why? That argument to me was really challenging, and so I just decided to go this route and to the color and the black. Version okay, so I end up in a gem session. This is a lot for a gym session I think this is about thirty images and then a few black and white in there which is actually quite a bit usually really show about twenty this is another gym session. Okay, but look at the pattern close medium, far close medium far you'll see that repeated this one here baby made a cute face right here so this is why that ones are pretty much replication this one two um macros close medium far to see it so there's definitely a system to howie shoot here's another one just same thing jim session this is not a family session but same concept lots of cute funny faces close medium far creating that variety there's some to eliminate but not a lot everything's different so here's how we do it on the beanbag we do four poses to the few background okay, so let me show you that really briefly back here so here we're on the way back to hear ok be back so I've done three different backgrounds you can see it one, two, three, four actually we did four on the session okay, we did potato sack rap with a hat angel rap nighty night pose bull wrapped pose for poses for background usually two to three backgrounds then we do macros and a bucket ok that's it my jam sessions take less than an hour and a half that's always shoot but that's consistent every single client gets that but you see there's plenty of variety right is enough to make an album there's enough to wall portrait okay, so this is basically how it goes four poses to three backgrounds, one bucket and then if I have it's a platinum session I have family all dio mom and baby a family shot or with siblings dada baby family shot if there's a sibling clearly although a sibling shot obviously okay and that gets me forty images no problem, no problem almost too much okay, you don't have to shoot that many setups and the same thing rings true for seniors pick the number of out mints outfit pick the number of poses pick the number of locations make it definite so it's a system and every client gets the same thing so we have these set ups, right? So one too three four, five, six setups at the most in a session that's actually a lot okay three to five shots for each set up close medium and far so three times six eighteen right away that doesn't include back in life so I'm showing five which is not a big number per set up right that's thirty images in the can right there, no problem so I shoot close, medium and far to create that sense of difference in the images with different cropping, cropping methods, composition, et cetera. Okay, the key things that I remember when it comes to shooting are one the camera angle to the lighting angle and three the opposing angle that's what creates high end, unique quality images every one of those you have to nail in every single shot in order to get a really high quality images image the camera angle, especially with a newborn, you don't want to be shooting up a baby's nose, okay, you want the face to be the closest thing to the camera so the babies kind of fading off into the background. Okay, if I shoot to the side like this, where the button is the biggest thing and they can't just doesn't look right, it looks terrible all okay, my posing angle, how is the baby post are the feet and hands in the right position? Is everything looking peaceful and calm? Is are there any distractions? And then the lighting angle is the light falling on the face correctly? Do I have funky, harsh shadows that are making the baby looked like hatchet lighting or something like that? I want soft, smooth, consistent light on a baby because babies really innocent, soft, light kind of candidates that right senior may be totally different off camera flash really high end against the car you know, whatever it is it's totally a different genre so you have to find the right camera angle lighting angle and posing angle for each subject that you shoot what are you doing right now that you can streamline when I go into a newborn session I meet the family meet the baby and I kind of play with him for a second and then I decide I'm going to do this shot or this pose or that pose I kind of go into it a little more loose, luther yeah, and I think that that gives me some trouble with my session time frame because I'm shooting for three, three and a half hours yeah, and I get enough images and whatnot but not to say that there's not consistency but it's just a little sporadic for me tight I would like to streamline and have it be much more consistent as far as these air my definite go too. So that's got me thinking I really need to just pick those for poses or five poses or whatever that I'm just going to do every time and then if something works into the randomness yeah, I think that's great tested and that's that's really what I can recommend is tested and if you're insecure doing it on a client do a model call and test yourself to see if you could do it in under an hour and a half, you know, it's a model so it's okay, give him for everything for free and you, khun, try stuff out with a model, whether your newborn or not for me just to give you some comfort that you're not alone in the boat. I first thing I do is put baby my chest to see how flexible they are when I first get him out of the car seat that's like, can they put their hips in the taco thing that we love so much with their feet or like right by their faith? Can they do that? So I'm like testing and pushing them against my chest kind of really feeling out if they get fussy or not on me, you know, how far can I push them into the pose that I want? Then we feed them if they walk out, I'm going to start with a different pose that if they're awake, okay, so if they're zonked out, I'm going straight to taco. I'm going straight to the hard stuff because I know that babies out he's asleep is going to be dead to the world, and I can get the really cool stuff right away. If that baby is wide awake, first thing we do potato sack rap, get that sucker wrapped up, cozy and calm. I don't care if I've awake shots or asleep nine times out of ten they fall asleep during that post because they're all wrapped up in cozy and warm and snuggly, and then I could move on to the more advanced things. So you're right, there is there is a balance you want to, like feel out your subject and there's some subjects where even adults seniors, weddings, where they're just kind of awkward and uncomfortable, they need to warm up a little bit, so have an arsenal of warm up poses in your in your bag, things that you could do that that'll get people kind of in the groove and warmed up, but don't give away your best poses right away, especially with adult, because nobody I mean everybody's always uncomfortable from the camera, unless you've got, like a covergirl model or something who just strikes a pose. Okay, so if you're a commercial photographer, obviously you don't have to deal with those kinds of issues, but us and portrait world need to and wedding world especially especially they're being watched by all their family and friends it's like, oh, kiss the bride awkward, you know, get him comfortable first, okay? Same with baby it's the same thing you're getting baby comfortable, and when you see that they're comfortable, I go into those complicated poses right away if they're awake or I'm borderline like, I'm not really sure they're going to dio there's babies where you're just like, okay, if I touch you, you kind of wake up, but you're not really awake, you're kind of half awake, and I'm not sure if you're in deep sleep yet. I can't really do advance things with you, all right? When in doubt I rap first, but it's always for president of the bag two to three different backgrounds, bucket family system, yeah, go ahead, double question do you tell the parents ahead of time that you're going to do that? Being back a couple of backdrops and then one bucket, eh? So that they're prepared for that? And what do you do if they come in and see, like, a different bucket or basket? And they want multiple look it's too used to you? I don't tell them in advance if they want to see a full session advance, of course I'll show them. Um I explained to them, well, I should take that back, I don't I don't tell them in advance what we're going to do before they arrive. But when they get there and they're feeding the baby there's a different scenario for if they have siblings versus if it's just a baby alone so if it's a first time parent and they just have a bit newborn I will and you will see this in the in the tapes recordings we did we did a full session and the conversations that we had with parents and all that is ready to go through all this five weeks but the uh I will talk while mom's feeding baby I will basically tell her what's going to happen I'll say we're going to work with you know johnny on the beanbag first, then we're gonna move the bucket and they're going to family your job during that time when we're working with johnny by himself is to keep your voice down and stay out of smelling range and they kind of go in the beginning it's not so important but as we move through the session and baby starts to get hungry again, your smell and voice triggers the feeding instinct and so if we can keep your voice down sometimes we can squeeze that one last look out of him and we want to create the best session possible for you so if you could keep your voice down throughout session it's really helpful to us? What did I just do? Number one kept her out of my hair number two made my session better so she knows exactly I don't show her the exact poses and the looks I control the color tones of schemes, the props everything now do they always bring in stuff? Yes, of course they dio and I will try to accommodate them and it's very laid out clearly in our communication with our client, but if they have special things to bring them in that we will try to incorporate them but we can't always guarantee it now if it's a little blanket or chris shade the grandma me, you bet your bums I'm going to try to get it into the session because that's sentimental and but I have to do it well, I don't just throw it in, it is very much plant and sometimes it's really hard to get that stuff in effectively because I'm very calm muted colors is it was a really hot pink stuff in and grandma made it oh good we're gonna do with this, you know? So that happens a lot and I have to train myself that's when it really challenges my creativity and I have to really think outside the box and go ok, how am I going to make this hot pink blanket look good when I don't own one single hot pink thing in my entire life, let alone in my studio okay so that's where you just have to practice and get good with creativity but I do tell them what's gonna happen during the session but I don't say oh I'm gonna do for looks on the beanbag and one bucket and yada yada now I do have clients tell me oh we just love the bucket shots all those wood floors they look so pretty well we can certainly substitute one of the normal looks we do for an extra bucket shot if you want that oh, we would love that I love the bucket shot if I really like him don't just an extra bucket shot that makes sense um I tend to be a pushover sometimes you know you wanna make your client happy but at the same time you don't want to cause more work for yourself did they have extra images? Yes, they did that's perfectly okay okay um so that introduction okay yes so my question was when you're shooting the families and they have young children like toddlers do you shoot those first because you know I'm working in a spare bedroom where ideally I would want the being bag and everything set up right when they get there and do the beanbag furs and then move on but the toddlers can't wait and and I want them out of there as soon as possible if I can so that's a challenge for me I just had a session and it took a long time tio break that down from the family session and then put up the bean bag and they just extended the session even longer it didn't help that they didn't choose to take the toddler after we were done, but when they're yeah so that's my question because I don't have I only have one wall that I'm able to shoot at ideally, I would have to set ups for the family and then when one with the beanbag that I would never tear down but I'm not there yet, so yeah, it's kind of my yeah, and it is a dilemma and honestly, you're probably probably have to put up with it a little bit um, I do the same thing when a toddler comes in, I want the sibling shots first because I have a four year old and I know that he is going to be on his best behavior the first twenty to thirty minutes in a new environment most kids are like that not all trust me, I've had some who need a lot of warm up time and they're better at the end, okay, I asked this question of my clients before I come see them if they have, if they have a sibling, tell me about your daughter's personality is number one, is she helpful with the baby? Does she want to hold the baby? And number two is she slow to warm up or does she get warmed up quickly and want a terror places apart? Does she behave better for strangers than she does for her parents? My child is a saint with other with other people with me I'm like wondering what happened do you think my child's great yeah they're always nine times out of ten they're better for someone else than they are for you okay, so I take advantage of that because the child the sibling clearly doesn't know me and so I'm going to use that to my advantage right at the beginning and when they're still warming up to the environment and kind of unsure of what's going on that's when they're gonna listen to you the stranger the most okay the stranger that the parents trust does that make sense so the parents clearly have introduced you to the child and all is good but they're going to be on their best behavior those first twenty minutes nine times out of ten not always but most the time so yeah, those sibling of family shots when there's a sibling right away first thing out of the gate then we moved to being back and then to bucket ok if I had a small space where only had one wall set up I would know fully firsthand what I was dealing with before I set up for the client to come and if I knew that sibling needed warm up time, then I would do being back first and set up that area you're you're limited to the mount of space you have really I mean, we all are and I would love to have a bunch of different setups too and I don't and you just have to break stuff down it's kind of the nature of the beast but if you know in advance what's going on, then you can plan for family sessions first or being back first depending on the personality of the child nine times out of ten you're going this family just first now setting up the beanbag it's complicated you know, I think the thing to do is to get your equipment down to such a system that you can break it apart in the smallest sections as possible you have one of those tube things around your bean bag and you probably ought to break it all the way down here to bring all the way down there can you just, like, set it up against the wall? Not all the way down, but yeah, I do need to break it down to get it out because the room is in that big yeah yeah well molly has a thirteen foot room right thirteen feet and she has both her seamus paper and her bean bag set up in the same room I don't know how big your room is, but it is possible. Is it tight in there? Yeah, it's tight, but she gets amazing images out of it. So don't ask yourself if it's really valuable to put constraints on your efficiency and your system just because you think your space is not appropriate for it, ask yourself if it truly is appropriate or not. Can you make it work? Because if you can set up both in the same space your golden will be tight. Yeah, but that might be better than having to deal with breaking stuff down all the time. Okay, you know, you want to talk to her? She's really managed to make a very small room with low ceilings. What, eight ten foot ceilings, the most a field eight foot ceilings and it's fine shooting entire side was I did it last week we shot an entire newborn session in her studio in a thirteen foot room thirteen foot room is like like that that's that's. What it was it's, a standard bedroom no bigger knows no smaller. So she had a beanbag shoved all the way over here against the wall. Her light was right here, and then the seamless paper was over here you just living foot, the light around to be able to shoot the family image is so ask yourself of your space truly is limited in that way and if you joon if you could swing it put both in the same room if you can't then you're gonna have to make a plan for in advance for each session and go ok what I need to set up first and you make sure and contact the client and find out about the siblings of the family determine what needs to be done before they get here to make things more efficient help okay, there was one more question yeah, it was kind of off of your question do you have like the with the one bucket I know a lot of people have come in and they'll start the bean bag and we'll put him in the prop and then I'm like, okay here's your baby and then they'll do the o but I saw this other one on your website or oh, I saw that on pinterest what about this problem? How do you yeah let them know that no really we're done yeah like really russian I've had it happen before what did I say? He showed that the problem first no, no, no they don't get a pick some try if they do get obnoxious about it, I'll let him contribute, but I will also say to them, um you hired me for a reason because of my creativity and you trusted me to do that I'm so grateful it will really help me if you kind of give me my bubble to create I'm so glad you're excited about this it's gonna be really fun and I'm going to definitely get your opinion on some colors and things but in order to be fully creative and in my zone, I need to be able to think and make some decisions as I go here. Are you ok with that? Of course they're like, oh yes, of course, because they want you to be the most creative that you can be okay that's kind of during the session if they start hounding me and going, I know what I'm like leave me alone I'm gonna shoot your session fine, you know, just just get over yourself usually what that is is the control freak and we're gonna talk about client objections and difficult personalities and people who are just like absolute control freak what's really happening in a control freak mind they don't trust they don't trust that you're going to do it right that's the real deep seated psychological reason for their nitpicking and the why they're asking for all these things you need to reassure them that they can trust you so kitchen's just second um you need to reassure them that they can trust you and that you do this all the time you know, I say in my client's we've shot almost five hundred babies in our career and were so passionate about this and we're going to give you the best we possibly can and you recently saying let me alone but in a nice way if someone does after the fact it's happened I'll say, well, you know what way definitely and for a certain number of images and a certain number of poses during our session to keep ourselves efficient systemized I can't show you two minute minute are you seriously you will just get overwhelmed and you know, this is really something we should have discussed beforehand if you really really have your heart set on something else, we can add one more, but we have to put a limit on it so we don't overdo it literally the truth. Oh yeah can you just, um okay, fine, we'll do the one more has happened a couple times and nowadays first and when I get all the time as people want the specialty shot this hanging scale, all that stuff and to me a nice to dad all the time in the beginning so I have, like in my hospital display of a bunch of those images which they need to come down because I don't like doing them anymore but they're composites so they take a lot of time in photo shop, so I tell people there's an extra charge for it is a seventy five dollar charge addition in the session fee, let alone the products for me to do a composite specialty shot and your baby have to be okay with it. Your baby has to be sleeping. So it's very, um not it's very contingent upon certain conditions in the session and I tell them that so they want a specialty shot. No problem. All give it to them there's an extra charge for it and we need to make sure babies okay with it. So with those caveats and stipulations, they agreed to it or not, okay? And I have had people come and say, yeah, we want to check in hand shall hate the chin and hand it to me it's just like she's. Like I love it to me it's just so unnatural. I mean, some parents love it and some parents hated it, and I've just got to the point where to me it's trendy and it'll be done in five years and people are gonna want more natural, normal shots and my brand is very classic, elegant and timeless, so that's why I don't do it um if ever impressed it, yes, of course we'll do it and do I show my website? Yes, of course because it's an attention grabber tracks that that skill level but when it comes to that kind of thing, I just so yes but no compromise I'll say yes in a way that says now if that makes sense, so I hope that helped you if someone's really bugging me then yeah, I'm gonna be a good customer service giver here and do an extra shot it has happened to me in the past, but I will also say you know what we've really planned for the session and the way to nip that in the butt if it ever happens tio is next time make sure you talk about it before you run into the problem, so if the pre consultation say you can say we do do specialty shots, we do do bucket shot if there is anything on our website that you really love, please make sure and tell us we actually had that question on our procession complication questionnaire we say is there anything on our website that you really love and sometimes parents will say, yeah, we love the scale shot okay then when they come in for the session I say I saw on your paperwork that you like the scale shot I want to talk to you about that if this is something we're going to do when you plan for it so if you run into that problem after the fact, learn your lesson and then next time make sure you ask before you have the issue that helpful okay? Clients want consistency, guys, they really d'oh photographers freak out it will all look the same. I mean, my sessions kind of look the same but that's ok, right? You didn't think that anything of it did you when I showed you the three different sessions? Really? What it comes down to is balance client consistency with your creative needs to the random shot balance client consistency with your time and system efficiency. If you're doing three and four our newborn sessions fixit make a plan to shorten it, then test it on a model challenge yourself to see if you can do it and still get the number of images you want to show a client. If you get this down to efficiency, we'll take more sessions during the day. I can't do it creatively. I can only do one today it makes my brain go to mush more than one a day. Um but some people can. So if you've got your newborn sessions down on our half two hours, you can pack in three today six a week shop, baby let's rock this town twenty sessions a month, two thousand piece home we got a business, okay, so evaluate your own methods your own you know what you do and how we how you work, what makes you feel good what you can tolerate what your band with is okay with your time and efficiency how many images you're going to show how many poses you're gonna d'oh and create a system that will foster that efficiency and then of course provide happy clients who want and get it a consistent product making fence resonating. So are you overshooting? Are you getting consistent? Fort poses make that swiped idea file turn it into a shot list and opposing guide that you can put somewhere electronically you so I bought a few, but when I first started out I used to buy a few posing guys from the rock star photographer that I really looked up to and I would like to keep it and hide it like under the being back so bad you know the phone everybody checked her phone they're not going to know what you're checking so if you could make a nice little pdf he's coming and I always use my phone as my little white noise of the white noise app, so use it underneath the bank and so and senior progress our wedding keep in your back pocket oh yeah, I got it this this and this is I mean your phone is like you're godsend use it so um you know, thinking this the white noise that exist on my phone because then I can go check on my post it and now I'm still committed to memory but use your phone in the white noise that keep it in there underneath of being bad when you need it and then when you come home what poses next pull it out go put on white women oh oh yeah check my phone waiting for important email okay, shoot for the product the client wants okay, make sure you know what that product is to begin with so that means doing a good pre complication of course we're going to talk about that all in weeks. Three I believe too with two or three so make sure you have a good pre complication that plans for that product okay? Balance creativity and efficiency. Okay, I am constantly thinking in my business how can I make this more efficient? How can I streamline? How can I save time when you don't have a lot of clients you don't really care about this too much really right? He just kind of go uh whatever it's okay, I'll deal with later photoshopped right? I did it to trust me I'll fix a photo shop I'll call it I'll fix it it's okay, but as you become more more advanced your business and you realize that being in business really in business as a true professional that means doing things consistently efficiently and was saving time maximizing your time to cost value that's what every major corporation in the world does. So do you want to be a really serious professional business? Start making those systems now because here's what's gonna happen when you don't have systems you got okay? I don't have to worry about this one right now you know it's it's, it's no big deal how many clients I could take the time it's true you can't right now, but just imagine if you did save that time what you could be doing with that time to bring in new clients. My dad used to always tell me when I used to complain about not having clients and being scared like julia god is giving you an opportunity to grow your business ticket. I'm like what do you make sense that's what he meant wass the time that god has given me now is time I need to use to efficiency, make efficiency, maximize market analyst, pricing all the things that set up the business and make it run well that way, when the clients do come, I create a better experience for them think of it this way every single ounce of time you waste on your client's it's time you can't be working on your business sound cool oxymoronic doesn't because you want to spend time on your client but it's kind of like dating the more spent time you spend with the wrong guy the less time you're out hunting for the right one remember when your friends you break up you know you're with it in a bad relationship you know the guy kind of treats in nasty or the girls that brat or whatever you know like the longer you are with that person the last time you have to find someone who's awesome and it's the same thing with their business the more inefficient time you spend on things the last time you have toe really build other things well so that when you do have more clients you khun take him without a hilt there won't be any mistakes okay? So shoot consistently shoot with a system so let's talk about homework and then I'll take questions, create an in studio and or on location shot lists for each subject you shoot okay, great a swipe file and shot list so this is fun just go through pinterest go through other photographer sites whom you love and start a screenshot ing I know people like gets home at me when I say this and they think I'm talking about like stealing images no, I'm talking about inspiration artists do this all the time with each other okay, different genres different mediums people are like making inspiration files lesson, right? Nothing is new under the sun, you guys, we all just take each genre painting impressionism, cubism the renaissance is all inspiration from the previous john or before it. Okay, same thing with photography, so find your inspiration and make us white file plan for twenty five to forty images. Think about close medium, far camera angle lighting, opposing angle plan for different products that you're going to be shooting for for that client based on what they want plan for that variety in your images so that each one is unique and the client can't resist any of them and then make that personal posing guide with flip, snack or whatever that you can keep on your phone in the beginning, you know if you can commit all the memory great, but I'm one of the people that have to, like, look at it copy and then after three or four times I've got it down to memory and then I could put the guide away. Okay? And don't forget the random file. Don't forget the random pose is that you know you want to accomplish someday, but not with every session and look at it at every session see if there's one you can accomplish that day and that's what helps grow your work so you do things really consistently and then you ever want to know you throw in a random and that grows your portfolio and grocer skill level and makes you a better artist because you're trying something out of the box okay for those of you online let's continue this discussion online on the facebook group so go ahead and goto www dot facebook dot com forward slash groups forward such julia kelleher and we will continue the discussion I am in there literally every single day especially during this boot camp to answer questions and help you out with issues and there's a wonderful group of people in there I have come to adore them so so much so make sure you go in there and make friends because it's an amazing amazing very inspirational and happy group people don't forget the live periscope sessions in the afternoons at four thirty pacific I will go ahead and do it quick q and a there for folks who have just dying questions so we'll approach that that of course tomorrow we're gonna work on studio organization yeah keep the clutter out of your hair exactly of course with the course when you r s v p you get the first five or the first a week of cheat cheat sheets, checklists and assignments for free you also get access to the periscope sessions as well as the jewel education app and of course you also get information on the the syllabus for the course so you'll have a complete access to everything we're going to be covering in this course when you buy the course, you get a lot of stuff, you get forty percent off coupon at our shop, you also get the entire workbooks so all hundred one hundred and seven pages that we like to go along with the course and keep up with it of course do the homework and make the actionable plan for your business and we are doing thirty days after the boot camp alive webinar so those folks who actually purchased the course get to come in and a follow up webinar thirty days afterwards where we'll do answer your questions deal with issues you're having with all these topics that we're discussing over five weeks etcetera, etcetera and of course, if you buy the class, you are eligible for the big deal that we're announcing on october fourteenth she can't say much yet it's been kind of keeping this hush hush for a little bit all we can tell you something huge is coming, you're gonna want to take apartment and you could do so if you purchase the course, so from there on I'll go ahead and ask the audience for some questions you guys have anything pressing about your sessions concerns I know we did approach some some things, but I'd love t hear more yeah, s o I do newborns and family right now, and I am I overshoot and I overshare s o I'm living there like that. I am trying teo get better calling, but my thing is so right now I just do digital, so they get to choose twenty images that comes with our session thing, and if they want to purchase more, they can't. So what I've noticed is that they always choose the images that I wouldn't have chosen, and I would pick twenty different images. So how I need advice on how to get better at calling it down, yeah, and choosing the image that I want them to choose my images because I think they're creative and different, but they always seem to choose something I would never have picked like why did you pick that one? And then after the fact you're like julia, why did you show that one? If you didn't want him to pick it, why did you show it? Because it happened to me so many times and I'll try to do the one thing that you can help yourself with is if you do want to touch ups, then you have the influence of the artist. I do all my sessions, I will not let my staff do them and I've toyed with that idea should I hand that over or not? But the client wants my artistic input, and I have sold the I p a session and educated the client and marketed it to be my input, the artist's input into the work, and so when you elevate it to that level and then you're sitting on the appia session and they're trying to decide between two nowadays, I don't even show images. I don't want them to pick number one. Number two, if we're the hard part for me comes tonight, we're doing the birth announcement and I like only picked two images. That one is so cute. Pick one, pick one you know, you really want them to be men, but they want to close in one day with one. You can see all the features in the face and I knew they were gonna pick that one. But I want the big one that's gonna look awesome like competition image. You know, I want the one that that's got the best of both the best impact and so, but at that point, if I really feel strongly about it, I can usually slay them because I'm in the room with them. And I could explain why the one with negative space is going to be better for the car because of this reason this was this was ok where if they had been online there's no way I have any control over that at all so one way to combat that is to switch in person even if you do like a quick consultation with them and then they buy online and afterwards you know that's better than then just leaving them to their own devices and that's the problem with online sales that the client is just left to their own decisions and they're goingto buy what's safe right what's safe what's a safe purchase for client yeah eight by ten she said what else you know that's not digital no we can do anything we want with him later and then I got shoved in a drawer and they're done right digitals and gift prints are safe what's risky campus wall portrait album's things that involve design the cool stuff so you as a photographer have to educate them and help give them confidence that a risk you're decision is a good one they won't do that without a professional advice and you're the professional in their mind so when you can start advising them on what to purchase in the I p a session or even a preview I ps session to online sales you're going to at least help sway the vote in your direction okay? But yeah, getting clients to buy the ones you want really will only happen if you're giving your influence number two calling down the images to your favorites it's really a matter of getting brutal I mean really what it comes now that we're actually call a session I'm gonna call and show you what I do and it's bringing a two minute process bam bam bam no no yes no no no and it's done I am so brutal I get rid of all the crap and oftentimes there's like five images of the same and like okay, which one sharper that one bam done. Okay, this easy is that sometimes sometimes like oh god that's cute oh shoot! I have too many which one which one? Which one? Which one's the client gonna love and I'll pick the one that I think the client will really love or the one that I love there are times when I'm between two images and I'm like, oh god there's a really cute they're really same I can't show both they'll like that one because the expression that one's better because the light I'm picking that one okay sometimes technical quality trumps expression sometimes or technical issues trump emotion not very often though usually emotion trumps technique it's that way and print competition in print competition if you have a good story impact and emotion, that image is going to score high what brings it down is technical difficulty, technical problems so if you think like that we're selling emotion right? We don't sell paper we sell the emotion associated with that paper, correct. So if you are calling for emotion nine times out of ten, you're going to be right. Is it always your favorite image? No, is it the one that's gonna sell? Um, yeah, money in my pocket, which one you want, you're running a business. Sometimes you'll want us. You show the prettier one. If that's the case, then just get rid of the other one. That way, they can't even choose it. Be brutal and your calling, but we will call here when we talk about work flow and be brutal. It's kind of fun to be brutal. Yeah, talk nasty, you know.