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How I am Becoming a Better Photographer

Is there a book, piece of gear, or seminar that can make you the best photographer and business person overnight? Of course not. There are so many things out there that promise you’ll be better and successful after you’ve read or done them. Most of them leave you on your own and you end up falling back to the place you began.

However, there are things that can open your eyes, inspire your creativity, challenge your intellect, fine-tune your business skills and create a community that will forever support you on your endeavor. For me it was: The Genesis Workshop

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I looked for a long time for something that wasn’t just a gimmick. I was tired of things that made empty promises. I wasn’t interested in a seminar with thousands of people all walking away with a catch phrase and no guidance or accountability to execute what they had learned. Then, I found Genesis in 2010 and went again in 2011.

I can’t fully describe how Genesis has changed the way I think about photography and how I do business. The community of other photographers from all over the world and continued support from the instructors are just two things that make Genesis so unique to me. I couldn’t be where I am or know how to get where I want to be without the people of Genesis. Over the last two years, I have become better because of them and their knowledge and encouragement.

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What are you looking for to become a better photographer? 
Will what you choose provide long-lasting community and encouragement? 

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There is one Genesis Workshop left. In Las Vegas. Will I see you there?

Genesis

Came across this article today that has some simple advice for those who are dabbling in pursuing photography.

This is just too cute.

You need to see this:
Book Strap Tutorial

I love How About Orange's blog and it's time you did too. :)

Time Clock

I downloaded an iphone app called, “Hours Tracker”.

Being self-employed is hard, long hours and sometimes things feel so… not concrete.
It’s easy to over-work, not divide your time up well, or just lose track of how much/little you’re working.

I love clocking in and out of my various work activities. It helps me stay accountable to my work hours and helps me evaluate where most of my time is going.
You can make your own categories, pay periods, etc.
I have currently have four working categories: edit, album, office work, and shoot.

Whether or not you’re self-employed, I encourage you to download this app, or one like it, to see where your time is spent. Hopefully it helps you manage and stay accountable to your own work schedule. Because being your own boss is seriously not as easy as it sounds. :)


Hours Tracker Icon

I picked up photography as a hobby not too long ago. I really like it, but I'm still VERY new to it. My friend referred to your page and I LOVE all of your work. Do you have any suggestions on an editing program for someone who is just starting out?

I don’t use it, but for the price and capabilities, Adobe Lightroom is a great program. Many professional photographers use it to edit their images from start to finish. Should have all you need to be able to perfect your images to your liking. :)

Which Nikon lenses would you recommend for someone that wants to start building a portfolio to start their own photography business?
Anonymous

Well, I have to say this first:
Before getting into believing gear is what makes a great photo, study great photography.
Shoot with what you have and know its limitations. If you don’t understand the limitations of the gear you have, you’ll never know what you’ll need and how you can use it.
I know my gear inside and out and know the first time I look at a situation, what camera, lens, and settings I’m gonna use because I have found every usable and unusable boundary of each piece of gear.

But if you are looking for a good-ole trusty lens, the 50/1.8 is a great lens.
It’s good in low light situations and will give you nice Bokeh when you want it. It’s a little slow to focus sometimes, but when it’s in focus, it has a nice lock to it so you know that the focus is on.
50mm is around what our eye sees and its a great lens to learn on.
After you shoot with it a while, you’ll know what focal length you’ll want to go next.
(i.e. After I had the 50/1.8 for a while, I needed something to get closer in to the action of the ceremony without moving around, so I bought the 70-200/2.8. I also knew I wanted something wider for shooting tight spaces in getting-ready rooms and receptions, so I went with the 14-24/2.8 and 24/1.4 soon after.)

Hope this is helpful! :)

Yesterday, I was in heaven…

So with being in the middle of wedding season and glued to a TO-DO list that seems a million tasks long, I decided I needed something to chill me out a bit.

I had received a gift card from one of my fabulous brides to a PAVO Salon in East Memphis.
I was planning on (finally) get my hair done, but with life at its current state, I chose a massage instead.

OH. MY. SWEET. MOTHER. OF. EVERYTHING. THAT. IS. HEAVENLY.

I’m just gonna say this… if you have never had a real massage with atmosphere and everything, you need to get one. ASAP.

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Why am I writing this?

Oh, I don’t know. It could be…
-the migraines I had are gone
-the back pain I have been dealing with for so long is gone
-my eye and knee stopped twitching (after weeks of driving me crazy)
-I slept like a rock (I’ve been sleeping like crap lately)
-my mood is much calmer and I’m able to see clearer
-I feel rejuvenated

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I’m not one of those people that is hooked on the latest trend of how to cure this and fix that, but let me tell you…

Our bodies aren’t meant to be bundled up in knots like a dog’s chew rope. My body was wearing me out because it was so tangled.
My experience with Ashley at PAVO was incredible. I would encourage anyone (especially BRIDES) to take an hour for yourself and go see Ashley.
To be able to shut out the world for a solid hour, relax, and just breathe was the best thing ever. Wow.

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pavo salon

www.pavosalonspa.com

(I was not paid or asked to write this, I just wanted to share an incredible experience for anyone who is struggling with pain, stress, or balance in their life.)