did we have any questions from what we did this morning are actually any questions from the last two days that you felt that we should address absolutely any in the audience for starters yeah they're just overwhelmed with what's been your favorite part so far here making that favor dress ex nay on the just ah about how you approach your your thought process going into stuff I mean when when you say plus size girls we've learned recently we don't say plus size girls on this show but but you're not thinking plus size girls you're thinking people who have a concern about something about the way they look and that um just just that shift in the in the way you think about how you approach something is has been really great for me and and the way you approach you know you said yesterday every picture should evoke some emotion goto her bad it doesn't matter but if it's not evoking emotion it's boring and I'm not doing my job yeah and I like that very much too from am how do you take candid ph...
otos at the wedding what is your oh no that's a great question actually my candid the philosophy on candid photography is no different then my philosophy on structured or post pictures because you still need to know you need to pay attention to the direction of light and or create the direction of light and if I can I don't want to I don't want a flat like that face I wantto either bounce it off the wall are bouncing off some sort of card or something so that I can alter that so that I can create a more of a three to one lighting ratio if possible um in candid photography if I'm going to use just the available light in a room whether it be you know sharking myself with the videographer or you know just watching the way the light falls naturally in a room unless there is no light unless it is a closet there is a direction of light somewhere and it's interesting if you start moving yourself around that room and studying the highlights in the shadows on someone you can find where the better angle is and you know while you can't always help especially in candid photography they may be facing a dark area be conscious of that so that when they are when they're face does move into neri where you have a little bit of a prettier light source if you're prepared in your cameras that your eye then you have the ability to capture it the more candid photography is actually my personal favorite style I love if I if I had to make a choice if I had to make a choice I would choose to photograph very photo journalistically period if I could because I love the unprompted moment and it takes a lot of skill to get it to get it right the way that I shoot in other words which is not holding the trigger down on your camera and just spraying the room for twenty five minutes you know and when you get a good shot but I use my camera on one shot mode on slow mode so that it forces me to look and pay attention and feel it when it's happening and then press that shudder at absolutely the decisive moment and so because of that I really find myself I love that that kind of arena but it does take skill and I think that you have the choice on where you position yourself always you have a choice and so I think that we could do beautiful candid images we just have to take the take it out of our repertoire can't take it out of your vocabulary and I'm glad and I feel blessed that I'm one of those people that if you tell me I can't do something you might as well just wave the green or the black and white checkered flag because I'm going to find a way to do it the gentlemen who hired me to begin with I told you he told me to shoot everything at f ated a sixteenth of a second I'm not joking you when I say to you the first time I shot it a fifteenth of a second I was terrified what was gonna happen and yet when I realized that what he had been telling me all these years wasn't really true it was what he was comfortable with that really opened my eyes I see that's often when people tell you it can't be done it's not that it can't be done is that it's not comfortable to them to do it and so I say that is that I don't ever say I can't just be willing to say well you know maybe I don't have the skill level to do it the way I want to yet but I'm sure going to get there I can tell you that and I think one of the biggest lessons I've ever learned in my life is the importance of not paying attention to only the gps do you know what I mean by that like this morning on the news they were talking about gps and how this little couple from a foreign company was using gps and they were driving in some island here in the states and that they actually drove their car into a lake and I'm thinking I'm sorry first of all I'm thinking okay were you just not even looking ahead I mean come on really where you're just not looking at all were you watching the gps as you drove your car into a lake I mean really I mean you'd listen to some additions makes no sense to me at all and yet the scary part is that they see only people who ever did that before you know it has gps can fool you and so my think our internal compass our internal gps could tell us we can't do things or that we should do it on lee this way that this is the way to go and that's where you're going to go to do the job when in reality there are so many roads to get there there's this way and those that wear and there's some of them are more difficulty to do there's some of them are much more difficult and they require a lot more energy from you and they require ah lot more work but boil boy the payoff is huge if you want to be a lazy photographer if you want your lazy photography is not the place for you personally because those are the people who set up the blue background okay get this my old boss he was adorable I love him dearly I would not be a photographer if it weren't for his patients with me but I'm sorry the man had a string hanging off his lights so that if you pulled on that string the first knot was f ate the second knot was five six okay it is I'm not kidding you so you just grab that so you could be a complete moron okay right here that string you knew exactly how far they were from the light so that to me is the kind of mentality you the thought process of ok we're just going to do it one way and I begged him and begged him and beg him I say you know I would say well why can't we do it this way there's no you can't do it that when you just can't do it that way when it came to came to raising his race I kept begging him to please charge a bit mohr because I could see that his business was going into the toilet because he was paying us and he was buying and having all these products and and he kept single baby we can't we cannot not offer them an album they have to have that but you which he was charging such a small amount of money that the client he was paying the client for the privilege of photographing their wedding because he was giving so much product away and and he refused in his mind which is why he's not a photographer today to do that and when I finally left I worked for him for about five years and in working with him we would go back and forth and back and forth and I asked him after five years I said look I want a twenty five dollar raise I want him to pay me two hundred and twenty five dollars to shoot a wedding not two hundred dollars and he wouldn't give it to me said well baby he says I don't think anyone should make two hundred and twenty five dollars for one day's work and he wasn't willing to do it so I said you know what that's it forced me to start my own business I don't want own my own business if any of you folks out there want to hire me I can be bought just you know it's a lot of work having your own company and being and I'm sorry it's no fun doing sales tax and all that you know that you know the handing all the funds and the money and everything and what I do is I pay people to do all that stupid stuff so I don't have to think about it if you ask me right now how much money I have my checking account for business I have not got a clue I don't want to know I don't care about it I'm not a big spender I'm very very frugal with my money and I have a life outside of photography but my operations officer gives me that little call if I'm getting below a certain my kirk comforts us that's okay man we got like you know we've gotto get busy and do some stuff so it's the best check I write every month her is it fair to charge a lot if you are a beginner is it fair to charge a lot if you're a beginner you know that's a really good question I would say let's see that's a hard question for me to answer because beginner by what standard I mean are you just a person who just picked up a camera for the first time and you don't know the difference between an f stop and a bus stop well maybe not you know but it also there are some people who are naturally gifted I'm not one of them I worked really hard to learn my craft is a photographer and I have struggled with the artist excited that I'm not in created by by by natural process there are some people who naturally are very creative but I would say rather than let that be your criteria don't allow how many years you've been in business to hold you back so many photographers just think because they are fairly new in business that they should not charge a reasonable amount of money my thought to you is how much is your time worth you see you have time and it is valuable you see when you're not shooting a wedding that it's time that you're not spending with your children and let me tell you I only have one child and not having that time with your child is really critical I lie I think that that's something that we really sacrifice is not having that time with our family and sometimes because in our own mind we do it for free would we because we love it it's our passion and so I won't I will not do it for free ever ever ever again and I used to do those and you the funny thing is it's not about the money it's about when you do something for you for someone they don't appreciate it and they have no respect for the work which by the way leads me to one of the thing I want to make sure that I tell you guys before I go and that is the fact that for those of you that have hourly or you know hourly time frames for your wedding events if you have like a few if you have a five seven or nine hour coverage or something of that nature and you have overtime that you charge your clients make sure you charge a truck load of money for one hour's worth of overtime you know why because first of all it makes people realize that your time is valuable because you don't sit and get in gabon on the phone with your attorney d'oh you you get on the phone and when I talk to my attorney charges four hundred dollars an hour and I got it I'm off that for like thirty seconds I have like that I mean I talked the fastest I've ever talked to my whole life when I talked to him because I know the longer I sit in gabon that phone I am not going to ask him about his kids it is not gonna happen because he's gonna rattle on and I'm gonna pay for it so the moral of the story is is our time is valuable so even if you're charging and again this is not about how much you charge you see it's not how much you charge for any event it's how much do you get to keep that's that's what matters so I know many photographers who are extremely successful who's charged you know a very modest amount of of money to photograph but they don't give their house away and they think smart about how much time that they've invested you like for instance in the south many of the weddings and georgia where I come from our only four hours long so if that that photographer in that town charges maybe you know three thousand or whatever dollars to shoot that event and they're not giving them their their their cost of goods is no more than twenty percent is that a bad that's not all that bad is it I mean my weddings are like twelve hours so I have to you know I charge a lot more than that so you have to think in relation to your you know to what your comfort zone is and I just say don't limit because here's the deal here's the actual double edge of that sword the less you charge to photograph anything the less your product is worth in other words so if you charge a small amount to photograph than you obviously are not any good because you know what is really inexpensive cubic zirconia rings why in the world would a man buy his wife a real diamond and spend five thousand dollars on maybe a carrot if he's lucky when he'd go buy her a three carat beautiful almost lifelike cubic zirconia okay my husband tried to do that like when we were married for five years let me tell you that was the last time we ever went down that path again okay he don't buy me no the cubic zirconia is not that I'm like all that fussy but still fake it's fake and the thing is one of the things I've learned is that if you are too inexpensive that people don't feel secure in it you know there's times in our lives when we give ourselves permission to spend more money we give ourselves permission it's okay what kim your time how about christmas oh honey it's her wedding that's an excuse to spend more money I mean routinely before that event you better get us much out of those people as you possibly can because after that wedding has taken place in the honeymoon's over it is over no one has any money just spend anymore so get us much as you can before the event and you'll be you'll be really in a good place okay one last question then we're gonna get started ah a lot of photographers either a they used the same three to five or they want cheap okay and I will not result and I will not lower my prices he achieved photographer okay I get increased for boudoir weddings everything but my prices are not cheap but I don't the booking but it doesn't hurt my feeling because that's not the client I want but how would would a person what advice would you give me besides move and trust me I do want to move I mean I just don't know it is you're frustrated okay here this is there's a two fold and you actually brought very much a segway into this next thiss next thing that we're going to discuss because they go hand in hand it's not just photography that is involved there is more to it than that what you would I would I would recommend that you do when you go home is you wanna analyze a couple of other factors maybe there are other reasons why they're not hiring you besides price maybe what they're seeing on your portfolio in your portfolio what they're seeing on your website is so similar in nature in style to what other people are doing they don't see any difference so then they can't validate the price and I'll tell you here's a dead giveaway as to your work being boring if it's boring and if it's a little bit too yeah been there done that if they come into your studio and they open your books wedding albums reports or whatever and they go flip flip flip shut that book and it's done that tells me that there's nothing in that book that grabs their attention because if it does feel good even if it's a bad thing if they don't like wow look at that room that's a little scary but if it's boring they will go flip real fast and that's why you want to listen in study fashion magazines because when you see things in there that are a bit shocking not vulgar I'm not saying in bad taste but I'm saying that are a bit surprising or interesting that that are just as the juxtaposed to normal then it becomes something that people just go wow that's really cool and the crazy part is they will hire you because they saw that crazy thing on your website that really wacky picture but they won't want that photograph for themselves but that's me I'm that person and everybody else I'm from rule south texas you know what text I would really like to see your website personally I want to see what you're doing and I can tell you immediately what what are some of the factors that are there that are hindering you but those are those are two key elements that go into cross the board that we have to analyse ourselves also and this is another good thing but you have some really great questions forming ramona because the other thing that goes into you cannot expect to charge a higher price for something if you hand them a stupid piece of copy paper with your pricing on it for instance if you go into the gucci store and I highly recommend all of you go into gucci and armani and louis vuitton onda the gucci store some of my favorite so because I went in about two years ago I do this research all the time I really do and my husband rolls his eyes and so yeah she's going to do research again when I come home with that beautiful pair of sunglasses or something but this is what you do I went into gucci and and I was gonna buy pair sunglasses I bought a pair of sunglasses and they were expensive there were three hundred dollars on don't usually spend that much on a pair of sunglasses but I went in there she says oh is this a gift would you like us to wrap it and what yeah it's a gift it's a gift to me and you know what that was the best money I've ever spent because when I saw the way they validated that cost of those sunglasses it was a huge it taught me more than spending a year in college and I told you I have I have a two point o g p a I never went to college I do not have a degree in marketing so you know what I decided to do I said under the study people who are successful study cos that spent billions of dollars trying to attract the same one that I'm trying to get which leads me to what we're going to do this afternoon because you have to be willing to push yourself and do something that they're not willing to do and so it means you're packaging needs to be pristine it needs to be beautiful when someone comes in for a portrait session in my studio when they buy an eight by ten I charge a substantial amount for any of my prince and occasionally I will have some he'll say oh my goodness baby on you're a prince or you know blah blah blah amount of money and I could go get a costco print for three dollars and twenty five cents and I go would you like me to give you a photograph for three dollars and twenty five cents and I walk in my camera room and I walk into a world of my my my printer is I pull out of people's piece of copy paper that is blank and I bring it out and I say how would you like to pay for that and they handed me a blank piece of paper because if you want to ban be control image on that paper will then that's I'm sorry it's a different story you cannot get it for free and you're not going to get it for a small amount of money because it is worth mohr again it's like buying a monet you're not going to get a real monet for you know three dollars twenty five cents and I don't care how many good paint brushes you get you're not going to get one so it's really important that we package ourselves so in my studio when someone purchases a print an eight by ten or smaller they're all the same price if you buy an eight by ten it cost the same amount for that eight by ten is it does for a four by six why because it takes me just as much time and it's just a cz much work for me to make a small print is it is a bigger print like that and then once we've printed the photograph we we do a lot of our printing ourselves on dh I love printing on my absent printers we print on beautiful very very good paper on dh there absolutely gorgeous we spray all of our prince and then we mount each photograph that's purchased an eight apply acid free matt that's hinged so on the back the back matting is a real thick mat board and then the math that comes down over it it's a hinge matt is eight ply it's an eleven by fourteen matt so it is a gorgeous peace it's a beautiful piece of artwork and I love that because it validates the cost and validate somebody purchasing that photograph so that when I hand them I'm not just handing on picture like they could go by costco they're getting something that's beautiful and that it's a hand signed piece of artwork from me to them so it validates them and I think that's the thing you want to think about for those of you that are newer photographers I'd say spend your money in a couple of areas don't buy a four fifth lens go but you go rent them from borrow lenses dot com but use the money that you were going to use on that for your beautiful marketing material because it'll go for much farther and it's much more important get somebody who knows what they're doing to design your website like smugmug get somebody who knows what they do that they what they're doing when it comes to designing your logo and think carefully about the name that you name your company if you name your company's something like snapshot photography I'm sorry that amateurs take snapshots you know clicking moms and I don't I'm not saying anything about that organization I think they're great people but that tells me something that's a bit more less sophisticated so whatever you're doing think about you know your business that's a real business and then have someone who knows what they're doing to help you with that because it really doesn't make a difference before we go into the next segment that just led into quickly question that a pretty pedal photography had asked what do you think about not naming your business as your name I don't think that's a bad idea I know a lot of photography companies are very successful doing that I have an alternative name for my company that's called focus on fabulous andi we at some future point my my goal is to brand into that as additional product so that I can have others working for me and not have it just be my name so I love my name cattle portrait design on and I'm really happy with that but I don't think there's a problem at all about about naming it something other than that but just please stay away from tender moments or something like that because it's been I mean you know just some of those things there and if that's already your name you probably thought of it first okay and every coffee juice so
Bambi Cantrell has been photographing in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 25 years. Her passion for capturing the decisive moment and her subsequent creative style have made her a household name in the photographic industry.Among her many accomplishments,
I almost didn't bought this course due to low rating and what other reviewers were saying about her, but because it was on sale at incredibly low price that i decided to bite the bullet. And I am so glad I did.
First of, for those reviewer that find her offensive, because she talks loud or make some jokes to her models or her audience, i don't think that it is offensive at all and neither did her audience or everyone in the studio. As a matter of fact, they were enjoying it. And I did too, was laughing while watching them laugh and having a good time.
There was nothing wrong with the audio. I heard her just fine.
I found her class to be the best class ever because she only not answers questions by theory, she demonstrate them live with the participation of her audience and the creative live crew and that's what made her class very interesting and not boring.
She also uses real people and not models with perfect sizes or figures and it really helped me a lot because i have a challenge when it comes to posing plus sized people.
I love her sense of bluntness, humor and at the same time, all the wonderful nuggets of wisdom she shared to her audience. I had purchased tons of creative class about photography and to tell you honestly, i haven even watched the full content on some of these classes because i get sleepy and bored but with Bambi's class, i watched her class in just 2 days without even feeling bored.
I don't write reviews and in fact this is my first time to write a review here on creative live because i just feel the need to say that it's very unfair for her to be criticized liked that.
I love you Bambi, I love your personality, I love your style and the information you taught were very invaluable.
Melissa Baker Griffin
Loved the invaluable lessons! I can't wait to go through them all again. They are jam packed with valuable and tactical information that creatives on every level can take from. Her energy and personal style creates a great experience! I can only imagine how cool it would be to take a class from her in person! She is such a treat and so inspiring! I LOVE how enthusiastic Bambi is about the questions she receives and encourages phototgraphers to continue to grow, learn, and think out of the box. Thank you creative live! I feel like there should've been something like fire works at the end because she did outstanding!
I’ll be honest. Ms Cantrell moves very fast, but her experience, humor and confidence are infectious. I thought I would check out a lesson or two and ended up watching and listening to her entire program.
She is clear about her process and why it works so well. Her portraits are beautiful, whether individual or group situations.
I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations, and I am a landscape and pet photographer. But I feel like I learned a lot about seeing, and was reminded of approaches to running your own creative business that are valuable for anyone.
I have been very impressed by the professional instructors in every one of the CreativeLive courses I’ve watched or bought. It’s not every professional who can teach! I know. I am one who could not handle classroom situations.
So happy I was able to join in on these classes.
Thank you, Bambi, for all of your energy, and for sharing your knowledge with all of us. This was quite a ride!