BPP 149: Sara Blanco - Creating Family Photography

Todays guest is Sara Blanco, a family lifestyle photographer in San Antonio, TX using natural light to capture those little moments that mean everything to you. Her website says "I wake up every day excited to meet new people and create images they will carry for the rest of their lives." Today I am excited to talk about creating more personal family photography!

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Sara got her start in Photography despite not being drawn to it from an early age

  • How Sara learned photography

  • What was most challenging for Sara to learn about photography

  • The important roll Light played in Saras photography

  • How Sara creates interactions with the families she photographs

  • Saras editing workflow

  • reoccurring challenges she faces when shooting and how she handles them

  • and bad info that commonly told to new photographers

Premium Members Also Learn:

  • How to know what to charge what youre worth

  • Why so many photographers are not booking sessions and loosing out on money

  • How Sara handles prints with her packages



Did you enjoy this episode? Check out more recent interviews with other great guests!

Full Interview Transcription:

Disclaimer: The transcript was transcribed electronically and may contain errors that do not reflect accurately what the speaker said. Because of this, please do not quote this automated transcript.

Raymond: 00:00 Hey Raymond here from the beginner photography podcast. And today we are talking all about family photography. So let's get into it.

Intro: 00:08 Welcome to the beginner photography podcast with Raymond Hatfield, the podcast dedicated to helping you grow your photography skills. Raymond interviews the world's top photographers in their field to ask questions that will get you taking better photos today. Now with you as always, husband, father, home brewer, La Dodger Fan, an Indianapolis wedding photographer, Raymond Hatfield. Welcome back

Raymond: 00:38 Welcome back to this episode of the beginner photography podcast. I am Raymond Hatfield is always your host. And today we got a great show lined up. It is with a family photographer who is doing some really fun and interesting things. So I'm excited to get into this interview. But first I wanted to share a quick, quick story last week in the beginning of photography podcast at Facebook group. Now there's questions that, that group members posts all the time and sometimes one of them will catch me off guard. And it was a from Fabiola this week. She asked how do you call through images that you're attached to, right? She took a ton of photos of her Kiddo. And if you have kids, I'm sure that you can relate. You don't want to delete any of them. It's hard. It's a tough thing to select a photo of your child and then press that delete button.

Raymond: 01:28 I get it. I get it. You don't want to delete any of them. But she also still wants to improve her skills as a photographer, which part of that includes choosing the best photos. So I told her that while you can keep way more photos of your kids than you do for like a portrait session, you know, no, nobody's gonna look at you strange for having like 204 photos of your kids, like at, from one from one sitting from one session, like going out to the park or whatever. But you would never deliver like that many photos from a portrait session. Cause it's just, it just too many. I did say though that if, if a photo doesn't elicit any sort of emotional response, if nothing incredible, you know, I guess that's, that's, that's too hyped up. If nothing is going on in the photo that makes you like, stop and say like, Oh wow, like I see his personality or I see you know, like that's typically something that they would do.

Raymond: 02:27 If the photo doesn't have any of that and it has a poor composition and the photos out of focus toss it, you have to toss it. You know, nobody's gonna want to keep those photos. And I can tell you from personal experience that the more photos that you get rid of. Now again, I know this is hard and that it's something that you're going to have to work on, but the more photos that you get rid of as time goes on and you go back and look at the photos that you kept, it's going to like boost your your spirit. Because

suddenly you have just like, you know, a, a selection of like a dozen or great photos, like the best photos and you're gonna feel like, wow, I'm a, I'm a pretty good photographer. This is, this is awesome. You know? And then of course as the kids get older, they're going to be even more powerful.

Raymond: 03:11 But if you had to go through 10,000 photos you know, to pick out, you know, 10 good ones, no, nobody's gonna want to do that. And that just takes up more of your time and everybody else's time as well. So so that was my advice to Fabiola. And then right after that I went back to editing a video for my upcoming course called auto to amazing. Now when I wrote out auto to amazing, I thought this is going to have everything in it. Nobody's going to have any questions about photography afterwards whatsoever. So I started writing, I started coming up with all these videos and these modules, I mean, I think that we recorded like, like more than 20 hours of video, right? And then I got to work and I started editing it all and then I thought I was thinking more about, you know, photos of the kids and what I had just said to Fabiola and I thought to myself, well wait a second, nobody needs all of this extra info to to start taking amazing photos, right?

Raymond: 04:13 Nobody needs to know things like a back button focus or or what is chromatic aberration and how to deal with it just to take good photos. No, nobody needs that to get started. All that you need to know is when and why to change your settings and that. That's it. That's it. So even though I had recorded so many videos, I started taking those videos out of the course because there is no need for something that advanced that doesn't help the cause, right? When all that you want to do is consistently take photos that you are proud of. Like I said earlier, if you took 10,000 photos, but there's 10 good ones in there, it's almost not worth it to look through all 10,000 photos to find the 10 good ones. If you as the photographer call throughout the other your 90 photos to get to the 10 good ones, those 10 good ones are going to be way more impactful.

Raymond: 05:11 And that's what I knew that I had to do. I had to take out all the stuff that didn't matter to you to, to learn to, to, to have an impact from this course. So I went through and I cut out all the fluff and that's it. And how this course is, it is so lean and it is so powerful just to get you to, to, to shoot manual, to get you to see new compositions and to get you to understand light as well. So I was really excited about that. And, and now, you know, I wouldn't have got that if it wasn't for fabulous question. So Febrile if you're listening, thank you so much for, for, for being vulnerable and asking those, those questions. So I'm just putting the finishing touches on the course now and it will actually Beta launch here June 4th to just a small group of members who are in the beginning photography podcast, Facebook group, which is another reason why you should join is to get access to things like this and then it will launch to the public June 27th.

Raymond: 06:11 So again, that is my auto two amazing course that I am so excited to release for you guys. So if you're interested, I will have more details as we get closer to June 27th. Okay. So let's go ahead and get on into this interview right now with Sarah Blanco. Now, this was, this was just a fun, fun, fun interview. She is she's full of life and loves to talk. So we had a great time together and I think, I know that you're going to get a lot out of this interview just about her, her, her style of shooting and just the way that she sees a shooting family's so really exciting. And as always, I save a portion of our interview together where we talk about business and, and making more money for premium members. So in today's interview with Sara, premium members are going to hear how to know what your worth is and how to charge your worth.

Raymond: 07:04 A why so many photographers struggle to book sessions and of course make more money. And lastly, how Sarah works her portrait packages when it comes to prints. So that is something that I hear all the time. People want to know about prints, how

many, where do you get 'em and we cover that here with Sarah. So if you are a free listener and want to hear the full interview with all the extra business information, all you got to do is become a premium member by going to beginner photography podcast.com and click that premium membership button up at the top, right? Yep. Okay. That's it. Let's go ahead and get on into this interview with Sarah Blanco.

Raymond: 07:44 Today's guest is Sara Blanco, a family lifestyle photographer in San Antonio, Texas. Using natural light to create those little moments that mean everything to you. Her website says, I wake up everyday excited to meet new people and create images that they will carry for the rest of their lives. I love that philosophy today. I'm really excited to talk about creating more personal family photography. So Sara, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Thank you for having me. Of course. As I mentioned you are a family lifestyle photographer in San Antonio and I usually start off the podcast by just starting off with the like the beginning, right? Where did it start for you? I want to know how you got started in photography.

Sara Blanco: 08:29 Well it was a million years ago. I am great. I try. No, I was a, I was 17 and I was working as a receptionist or the hair salon and loving the environment of being the greeter for people and meeting New People and getting to know new people. And I got the opportunity to start managing a studio. I basically was taking over the position for someone who was going on maternity leave. And so at 17 I started managing photography studios. Yeah. It was a, it was kind of crazy, but I, what I loved about that position was that again, I was kind of thrown into it as the person that everybody saw, the first person that people talk to. I helped brides design their books, I helped moms order photographs, I did everything. And so for me, my first introduction into photography was dealing with people and really like discovering my love for working with people and getting to know all kinds of different people. And that was from there. From there I just, I really, it's, I managed studios at for about, I would say two different studios, one, three years, one six years. And then I started my business when I was 24 full time.

Raymond: 10:00 Wow. So did you, had you had any like, photography experience before you started as a greeter at the studio? No, none.

Sara Blanco: 10:07 None. It was one of those fluke positions that it was a friend of a friend and they just kind of took a chance on this 17 year old who wasn't, I didn't go to college because I was really, really bad in school and I knew for me I think a lot of creatives are. It just, the idea of going to college was like an overwhelming obstacle for me. Where as just working really, really hard doing something I love was the easy path. So it's never been easy like financially and all of that. It's always taken me a lot, a lot of work, but it's been fulfilling.

Raymond: 10:50 Good, good. So without having really like picked up that camera, you know, like a lot of photographers stories that, you know, they have a camera in their hands since they were young. My self included, having been on the other side of that. Yes. Kind of falling into the business side. Like oh this is, I work for a photography studio and then having to learn photography. How, how, how did you educate yourself about photography? Cause obviously it can be pretty technical.

Sara Blanco: 11:17 Yes. Well, this was 20 years ago, so everybody was still film a. So learning was actually like easier. I bought an old Nikon and just started practicing and have my little Nikon FM two. I still have it. And I, I just, I shot everything. I, the, the second photographer that I worked for, she actually taught me the photography side of it. I became her second shooter for weddings and, and she was all film. She still is all film. So everything that we did was film and it was just, it was learning by doing. And I learned the technical, I learned the ass of the just the creative side from her. I learned how to see light. I learned how to interact with

people, learn how to make people feel comfortable around me, which I had already pretty much learned because my job was to be the face of these businesses. So yeah, I mean it was just a lot of years of just learning by doing.

Raymond: 12:21 So like you, I also started shooting on film and I know that like you didn't have that instant gratification to see exactly the changes that you are making. So how did you know that the decisions that you were making were right? Like was there some sort of review process after you shot a roll?

Sara Blanco: 12:42 I'm just kind of finding what I liked, like the kind of light that I liked. I did a lot as a second shooter. I did a lot of black and whites for her, so we would do, you know, 3,200 speed, all natural light and a dark reception and just kind of seeing what we got. I dunno, we did, we did just, she would review my images, she would kind of show me what she liked about what I was doing. But then at the end it was really more like what, what I liked what finding my voice. It, it was expensive. You know, film film is Pricey, so I, you would have to be the, I would have to be very selective. I would have to know exactly what I wanted to take before I took it. And just years of, of kind of doing that.

Raymond: 13:30 Can you give me just one second? Okay. So sorry.

Raymond: 14:00 I have those little curtains put up for that, for that exact reason they went to, to go get groceries and I guess they're back now. So thank you. I apologize for that. Yeah. so I want to get back to what it was like experimenting with Film cause like you said, it can be expensive, it can be a hard thing. Can you take me, like, can you get back into that headspace and was there anything that you found to be extremely challenging for you to, to understand and was there a moment that you kind of had this Aha where it kind of all came together?

Sara Blanco: 14:41 MMM. Like specifically when photographing or, or with photographing like a certain subject or

Raymond: 14:47 I suppose just learning how a camera works because I think a lot of people get a lot of people get wrapped up in that, right? They don't understand how aperture affects or I guess, you know, aperture is pretty easy to see visually, but you know, they don't understand how like everything works together. And now more than ever, we can see that instant like feedback. Right. Right. When it was back in those days of film I kind of, I want to know a deeper understanding of what challenges it was that that you faced.

Sara Blanco: 15:22 My, my biggest challenge was learning light. Like that is what took me the longest to learn, like learning how to shoot and learning what I liked to shoot, like learning. I guess for, with film it was so different because right. You would, you would, your ISO didn't change. You would put your film in, that was your ISO and so really it was just a matter of I like a really open what would you put it? Aperture? Yeah, I told you I'm not technical, so I knew like, I always wanted to shoot everything at like one, eight . And so it was really just a matter of changing my shutter speed. Like it was, I took two photography in a very simple, easy way. I learned very simply like give me the easiest explanation and that is what I'm going to go with. So I didn't really have a hard time understanding how the camera works. Like I just kind of understood that it was all connected. Right. Your, your, your ISO, your aperture, your shutter speed. You just had to kind of figure out how all that was going to work, where you were. If I was inside it would be, you know, one eight at, you know what I mean? It just, I guess I didn't really have a hard time understanding that concept.

Raymond: 16:48 Would you say that it was because of the amount of practice that you put in behind the camera

Sara Blanco: 16:52 Probably. Yeah. Yeah. And just having a professional photographer who shot 100% film being like, Sara, it's not that hard, just like, this is it, you know, when I switched to digital, then it became a little bit different and then there was definitely a learning curve for me with digital for sure. Why is that? Can you expand on that? With film you, you didn't never want to underexpose, right? Like if you underexposed, you ruined your image, you can overexpose as a full stop and still have a great image. And we would actually, we liked kind of that brighter area look back then with film and so we would overexpose everything then going to digital. If you underexposed, I mean if you overexpose you've lost half your information. So it's just kind of a flip flop way of looking at it. For me, digital is a lot harder. It's interesting. It's nice because you can see exactly what you're getting. You can it's that instant gratification. You can shoot a million frames and not, you know, not feel bad about it. Like you did not going to have to pay for that

Raymond: 18:07 To get out a re mortgage my house.

Sara Blanco: 18:10 Exactly. But like with digital, it's, it's just, there's so much more in the back end and it's like you got to put it all on your computer and you have to edit. And it just, there's so much more of a time commitment there that I think it ends up evening out. Like the time we spend with digital, it evens out financially with what we would spend on film.

Raymond: 18:29 Yeah, no, I think that makes sense. And I think that that is something that a lot of people don't think of. But you know, just looking at the, you know, your bank account, you think, oh, digital is a, is much cheaper. But yeah, the time in the backend is, it's, it's not quick, it's not quick. But so lighting is obviously something that it takes a long time to see. You know, you can have hours and hours and hours of just talking about seeing light. Right? Yeah. And you kinda touched on that a little bit, but not gonna want to talk about composition. Composition is something that doesn't get taught very often. I think it doesn't really come up a lot in conversation because it's not super technical. It's not, if you're in this situation, this is what you do. If you're in this situation, this is what you do. It's a lot of it is up to you, the photographer. But in the early days after learning those technical abilities, next is the light in the composition. So how did you go through the process of of figuring out what style of like where you like to hold the camera,

Sara Blanco: 19:32 Right. Well when I was second shooting weddings, it was a lot of what she wanted me to do. So it was standing where she needed me to be capturing what she needed. Once I started really shooting for myself I kind of did everything differently than she, then she preferred. And I don't know if it was because I just had a different style, but I, I don't know, I would just play. I, you know, you sort of have, when you're photographing a child, what do you want to see with that child? You want to see everything. You want to remember everything you want to remember. One of my very favorite first images that I took was of my niece and she was two years old. Completely insane. Like the most hyper child you have ever met.

Raymond: 20:24 I would challenge you, but okay.

Sara Blanco: 20:26 She just was, she was fire all the time. And so I, I loved photographing her because she challenged me, challenged everybody with whatever they said with me, especially because she knew I was trying so hard to like practice photography and she would just take off running. And so one of my very images that I took of her, I was trying to get a portrait of her looking up at me. And so I had my camera and she ran past me and looked at it and it was, I somehow got it in focus at the perfect time when she was looking up at me. And it just, that whole little series that I did of her was one of my favorites. It was her standing on her tip toes looking up at it, like touching a gate. It was her hands, that was her. So I've kind

of just played with a million different angles that told a story about that 10 minutes we spent in her front yard. So it was the, the ground is the background, the fences, the background, her feet, her hands. And so just getting, you know, a million different compositions and ways of photographing her that really told this story. So I think that at the end of the day, that's all I'm trying to do is tell a story.

Raymond: 21:41 I was like, right as you kind of started your explanation, I think I picked up on that, right? That answer was much less technical. And it was much more emotion driven. And I liked that because I was, I was thinking about this while I was going over your work before I reached down. I thought looking at your photos, there is a lot of there's a lot of emotion. There's a lot of play with colors, which I love. So why don't you share right now when you're photographing families, how do you create an emotion, how you create that interaction between your families?

Sara Blanco: 22:17 So a lot of it comes from just being a mother myself and knowing the effort that has gone into this family even meeting me. You know, there's convincing dad most of, most of the time convincing dad to show up and be happy about it. And so for me, just being very, very present with my clients, I'm talking to them beforehand about what the expectations are of me, what they want to see from me the way that I work when I'm working with a family, kind of giving them a little bit of insight into what is going on in my mind while I'm shooting them.

Raymond: 22:55 So just making sure that they are prepared in the van. Understand that they're kind of along with you in this journey.

Sara Blanco: 23:01 Yes, exactly. And, and also me, myself, you know, showing up ready and being, being vulnerable being just 100% there for them. This isn't for me, this is for them. And so I'm an observer. I really like to watch people watch the way that they interact and it sounds kinda weird, but kind of read their energy like from the minute they get out of the car, you can tell how dad's feeling.

Raymond: 23:31 Oh yes. You sure can.

Sara Blanco: 23:34 You can see how dad's feeling. You can, you can hear kind of the frazzled newness and mom's voice trying to make everybody happy and just like make this all go smoothly. She's usually already apologizing for one of the children being in a mood or something. So for me to just show up and be like immediately try to just make them happy and like, this is going to be so fun. And let me tell you about this butterfly I saw on the field and dad, how was that traffic? Are you doing okay? Like just trying to immediately break down their barriers without being like a, like a force. You want to be a gentle force with your, with your people, right? You want to let them be comfortable and let them be vulnerable. And how do you do that? You have to be that yourself first. So really just creating an energy with them among us of just happiness and love and I'm not stressed out. Your kid is screaming his head off, but that's okay because we're going to play over here for a minute while you handle that and don't worry, it is perfectly fine. And just really creating an environment where they can be themselves. I do give prompts, I do direct quite a bit. But really it's a, it's a direction. It's a prompt and then it's stepping back to let them be normal, be themselves.

Raymond: 24:54 You know, what's interesting is a few years ago I remember hearing the story of a doctor who was a like let go from a hospital because he had poor bedside manner. And I remember being young thinking like that's not his job. Like he's a doctor. Like his job is to said you have cancer, you know, sorry. You know what I mean? But as I've kind of went into business for myself and dealing directly with people especially with that answer right there, that is so true. You know, cause she, because photography is, is much

more of a service than it is a product. And making sure that people feel good and are comfortable is so important. So I love, I love that you shared that. Thank you. Thank you. So you said that you weren't a little bit like with some prompts and you work you work heavily to direct the type of photo that you are looking to get. So let me ask, what are you trying to get as a family photographer? What, what, what's that shot that you're trying to get?

Sara Blanco: 25:54 Their life, their energy, their, their you know, every family has a certain language, right? We all kind of, we have a look that we give our partners. We there's a way that we touch our children. So for me it's not, it's not a image. It's not a particular like this, this is always what I'm aiming for because this is what I want on my website. It's, that's never it for me. I mean there's certain ways that we start. Like, we'll start by walking through the field and then I'll have you stop and I'll ask dad to throw the youngest in the air while mom, you know, holds the, the older child or just certain things like that. But really it's more of a it's more like a, just a, it just a story. I'm looking to tell a story about your family and however I can do that. So if it's if it's a day at the park, if it's a morning in your home, if it's meeting a baby sister for the first time or something, it's, it's just looking for the images that reflect that moment and how we all felt that day. You know what I mean?

Raymond: 27:08 I don't know if that answered your question. No. So perfectly. It answered so, so, so perfectly. So then my next question, my followup question would be, how do you prepare for something like that? Because you can't just show up and you know, I mean, you can to some degree, you can show up, get a feel for who people are and then go based on that. But do you have any sort of interaction with or do you do any sort of like research before you show up with a family? Do you send out questionnaires or anything to better learn who they are?

Raymond: 27:39 Hey Raymond here and if you're listening to this, it means that you are listening to the free version of today's podcast, which means that you are missing out big time. You know if you become a premium member, not only do you unlock the full interview with today's guests where they share so much more valuable information on how to become a successful photographer, but you also get access to the entire back catalog of past interviews with some of the world's most renowned and experienced photographers who open up and share how they got to where they are and what they would do if they had to start all over again today. Now, if you want to find out, become a premium member by heading over to Patreon.com/Beginnerphotographypodcast Or just head on over to the beginning photography podcast.com and click the link on our homepage. That's it and hope to see you there. Awesome. Awesome.

Raymond: 28:32 Okay, so now we've we've talked about where you got started. We talked a lot there about business that was more than 15 minutes of business talk, right then we were worried about that. Right.

Sara Blanco: 28:43 I'm very passionate about, I'm very passionate about business and, and photographers being able to create a sustainable income from their business. If you are spending the majority of your time on your business, your business needs to be feeding your family.

Raymond: 28:58 Yeah. Yeah. That's a, that's a great point. That's a great point. So one of the, one of the things that Carrie said that you struggled with, right, was the idea of going and doing the shoot, which was fine with, but then the fact that she was going to have to come home and spend a lot of time editing those photos and that's where she was worried about the the worth. So can you walk me through your editing workflow? What happens right after you get home from a session?

Sara Blanco: 29:24 So at right after I get home from a session, it's usually late at night because, you know, sunset sessions. I basically download everything to an external. I back it up and I go to bed. I, my editing process is, I put through light room and that's pretty much Ed. I mean from a, from a final session, I will end up with anywhere from four to 600 images that I'll call down to about 125 to 150.

Raymond: 29:56 Okay. So when you say that you get home, you backup the files to a, a, an external hard drive and then you back that up, what do you mean you back, you back that up. What tools do you use?

Sara Blanco: up on.


Sara Blanco:
actually store anything on my computer because computers are 10 die. Yeah. If they do, they've died on me many times. So I just have two external hard drives. I have one that I store everything on and then when that is just a backup of that storage. Gotcha. Okay. And I played around with like crash plan in bed cloud storage and I haven't really found anything that I love. So I'm open to suggestion.

Raymond: 30:41 Ion. I don't really have any suggestions as I think that, you know, having a backup strategy is, is is, is kind of a personal thing, which I don't think a lot of other people think that, but that's Kinda how I see it. What works for me will not work for you and we'll wait for other photographers will not work for me as well. But I started using a backblaze so I was using crash plan for awhile and then I switched to backblaze because I think crash plan just went to like exclusively business and then they raised their prices. But it's not, the way that I look at it is that it's not like a backup that I can just like access all the time. Go, oh crap, I gotta, you know, I got to get that thing. It is really like the last line of defense.

Raymond: 31:23 Like if my house burns down tomorrow, yes. I just want to make sure that, you know, I find work that I'm currently working on and like family photos, like I can retrieve that. So but I, I will say that our Internet bill was through the roof and I had no idea that was gonna happen because I guess we get like one, a terabyte of data that we can use a month and a, in that month it goes backing up. I used over five terabytes of data, so I had to remortgage our house. But yeah, so, so like I said, it's, it, it's a lot. But I had another question for you right there. I was. Oh what do you think are just some general overall challenges that you see a lot of other photographers facing when photographing or no, I think that back. What are some challenges that you face when, when photographing families? I mean there's,

Sara Blanco: 32:24 There's just the standard challenges of every session. It's getting to know someone, making them feel comfortable. It, sometimes you run into the situation where let's just, I sound like I pick on dads. It's not always dad. But let's just say that it's a dad who is just emotionally unavailable that day and kind of trying to, to find the n trying to kind of like break down the walls a little bit that it's like, I'm not here to judge you. I'm really just here to provide this service for your wife because this is really important to her. Sometimes when it's just a shutdown emotional situation, it's, it's a little tricky to work around and you really, it's, those are for me the most emotionally taxing sessions where I am just trying everything I can to make everybody happy and it's not working.

Sara Blanco: 33:21 It doesn't happen very often anymore. I really, I think that when people go onto my website, they talk to me, they, they're ready to hire me for a session. They kind of already get a really good sense of who I am. And what I'm after. So by the time that the

30:07 I am very, very simple. I have two external hard drives that I back

30:14 Okay. Yeah. Just using like time machine or something.

30:17 Ah, well I have time machine, but that's for my computer. I don't

session comes, there's not a whole lot of explanation. Right. They kind of know what they're in for. I do a lot of pre educating on like, we're here to play. Please don't just stand there and smile at me. But you know, sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes it's a lot of pulling, pulling, pulling that emotion out of them. And that vulnerability.

Raymond: 34:02 I've I've, I've witnessed very similar situations when it comes to engagement sessions where she is obviously very excited. She's, yeah, she really looking forward to this and sometimes the, the creme to be, we'll be a little more emotionally detached. Right. so a little trick if you want to take this, do it, is that when you show up, like you said, you can kind of get a read for these people, right? Yeah. I'm just mentioning that like, hey look, you know like I'm trying to think of how to phrase it for like dads and stuff, but essentially just saying like, look, you know I know that, you know, you're probably feeling like in this, like you're going to be stuffy, you know, like you're just standing there smiling against the camera. And right now like, just think like what we're going to capture for you. Like it's gonna be for the kids. Like the kids are going to look back and this a long time and we're going to have fun. You know? How often do you like truly get to have fun and like enjoy your time with your kids and not be distracted? I guess that wasn't as good of a, a, I guess it sounded better. Yeah.

Sara Blanco: 35:05 I have to say truthfully, I think too, like kind of making fun of this situation. Like when you're, when you're asking the parents, like it's the parents turned to be all snuggly together and I'm like, oh, come on. I know you guys are always embracing like this in the middle of nowhere with your kids, like frolicking in the field nearby. Like Kinda just like making fun of this ridiculous situation that we're in. Like you guys do this all the time. You have kids, I know you kiss. Yeah. Just stuff like that to kind of down the barrier a little bit to help. I feel like a jerk. Hey, here's how you should run your business. Actually I don't have a good example.

Raymond: 35:51 I want to know, do you think is a, you talked there about,ufollowing,utrying to impress photographers, right? As something that a lot of newer photographers do. But aside from that, is there any other commonly bad information that you hear being taught to photographers or new new photographers specifically,

Sara Blanco: 36:12 style styled shoots and style sessions, styling your clients? Like as the, the end all be all, like that's not the most important thing that we could be doing as photographers. I think giving styling assistance and helping helping your mom to feel confident and the choices that she's making. You know, like a lot of people are like, what do we wear? So I do give, I do give them access to a styling site that kind of helps them choose outfits and kind of lays something out for them. But at the, at the end of the day, I do not make a really big deal about what they were. I think if mom feels beautiful and the dress she's wearing, then it is the most perfect dress she could be wearing. Yeah. I think that I think that a lot of emphasis and the industry right now has been put on what people are wearing and

Raymond: 37:09 I think that might go back to the trying to please have the photographers, you know what I mean? Cause a lot of times people don't just dress, you know, the way that they do for photos. Right? So when somebody takes it even a step further, I think a lot of photographers get really excited about something like that. But you're right,

Sara Blanco: 37:25 It'd be the, yeah. Trying to just, you know, like you're shooting every single session so that it's going to look good on your Instagram feed or it's going to look good on your website. Every single session isn't going to, to be the perfect session. Right.

Raymond: 37:39 I'm living proof of that. Yeah.

Sara Blanco: 37:43 you're, you're ultimately there to create for them and, and that should be your focus. You should, it should never be about the images that you want for yourself, I think. I think, and I've heard the thing, you know, take one for them, take one for me. But to me, I, they're hiring me because they want to, to see the way that I see them. So every single image that I'm taking for them is my interpretation of their family. So every single image just for them is kind of the way that I see it in my mind.

Raymond: 38:19 Ah, I see. I see. Then, you know what, that's really interesting a way of putting it that I haven't I haven't put it as eloquently as you have right there. So thank you for sharing that.

Sara Blanco: 38:33 I'm all, should I write that down? Was good.

Raymond: 38:36 That was a really good one. Well, I think, I think, I think what it is, is that for me, a lot of beginners come in and they're like, you know, I like what poses should we do? You know what this, and went that and it's like, well, it's not, it's not as easy as that because the first thing that I say to every couple when I show up to an engagement session is, look, you know, your your relationship better than I do. So I'm not going to pose you in like a certain way every single time. I'll give you, you know, a guide. But I want you to default to whatever is most comfortable to you. Right? Yeah. Because I want these images for them. I want them to see these images years from now and think like, this is really us and this is how the, you know, the photographer wanted us to stand for 30 minutes while she took our photo or whatever. And the way that you put it right there, it was just a just much, much better. It flown a whole lot easier. So great. Yeah. Great Chair.

Sara Blanco: 39:24 And I think too, like every prompt or direction that we give is, is kind of cracking the door to see what, what is really them. Right? So like we're telling them to embrace each other and we may tell you know him to put his hand on her tea, Cup her cheek and give her a kiss. But if that's not like who they are as a couple, that's not going to translate well. Right. So it's like you're with every direction you give, you're opening a door to letting them show you who they really are and you need to give them the space to show you that. So like you, like you just said, like kind of giving them a heads up like, hey, this is what I'm going to tell you to do, but that's not the final result. Like you do what feels comfortable.

Raymond: 40:07 Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. That was awesome. That was a cool little... I feel like my brain is like on fire right now. It's really cool. Really cool. One question that I love to ask, cause I would love to hear these answers. Have you ever had an embarrassing moment behind the camera on the job that you would be willing to share?

Sara Blanco: 40:26 Oh my God. Yeah. I mean like so many, so many, so hard to pick. The very most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was second shooting a wedding and the main photographer had the entire bridal party, the wedding party, and all of the extended parents, everybody, like the whole damn family was there and she, she was photographing them. So they were facing us and she asked me to run and get something for her real quick. And I, I was running, they were obviously all looking at me. I ran and just slipped and fell flat on my face. My camera actually like over my head, slammed onto the hard ground. Luckily it was film like bohemoth. Like nothing happened to that camera. It was totally fine. But I was, I just wanted to die. And that was, that was not the most embarrassing part. The most embarrassing part was the most precious, kindest mother of the groom. The rest of the day kept checking on me, making sure that I was okay and offering me Advil. Like it was a bad spell like I was. Yeah, it was bad. That was the most embarrassing thing.

Raymond: 41:47 Well I'm sure that you just gave hope to a lot of other people out there who will eventually do the same thing because I'll get through it. You will get through it.

And when you're at a wedding, it's a, I mean, it's understandable, you know, it's understandable to, you know, make, make a mistake or something like that. So I'm glad that you came out on the other side, stronger human being

Sara Blanco: 42:05 Oh yeah. You gotta roll with it and you got a good story out of it, so, you know.

Raymond: 42:10 Yeah. But you can share with the world on a podcast years later. That's funny. Sara, I want to thank you for coming on the podcast. You've shared a ton that I know that the listeners are going to truly enjoy and get a lot of value out of this interview with you. Before I let you go, can you share with the listeners where they can find you online?

Sara Blanco: 42:32 I'm on Instagram. And I'm also on my website, Sara k blanco.com and Instagram, Sara k Blanca photography.

Raymond: 42:40 Perfect. Now side question before I let you go, is Instagram your favorite Social Media and platform of choice?

Sara Blanco: 42:47 Yeah, I think so. I I don't love any social media. But yeah, I do. I do dedicate some time to Instagram. I've found great friends through Instagram. I will tell you I don't get a lot of clients from there. I do get, no, I don't get a lot of clients. My clients find me online or they find me through a referral. Yeah.

Raymond: 43:12 All right. Well if you want to connect with Sara, Instagram is going to be the place to do it. So Sara, again, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and I look forward to keeping up with you and everything that you do in the future.

Sara Blanco: 43:22 Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Raymond: 43:24 How much fun was that, Sara? If you are listening right now, I just want to say thank you again for coming on the podcast and sharing what you did and just having a good time and being open and able to laugh at me and at yourself. So you really did share a time and I know that the listeners are going to get a lot of information out of this episode. So again, thank you very much. I think my biggest takeaway from this episode was, you know, just that, just that there's this, there's this idea that you can't be a great photographer in the last, you know, you grew up with a camera in your hand and you've been shooting since you were four and you know, capturing moments and all, all these things like that. Right? But he was Sara. She is not only like successful, but she's taking incredible images and photography discovered her.

Raymond: 44:18 She wasn't into it as a super young child. It wasn't until she got a job working the front desk of a photography studio that she started to learn these things and then she got interested and then it just took over and is, that's awesome. You know, and maybe you're in a similar situation to where you feel like you're not a quote unquote real photographer because you haven't been doing it since you were, you know, one years old. You know, some people just have this idea that that starting young automatically makes you better. And while there's some merit to that, it's not the age at which you start. It's, it's the amount of effort that you put into it and the amount of work that you put into it. And you can start at any age, at any age, wherever you are right now, you can start and become a successful photographer as long as you define what success is to you.

Raymond: 45:07 So that was definitely my biggest takeaway for them from my, my interview here with Sara. So that is it for this week. I cannot wait until next week. We got somebody who I've, I've, I've never, not that I've never interviewed them before, but I've never

interviewed this type of photographer before and I know that that's all I'm going to say. It's a really fun and interesting interview. So like I said, come back next week. I will see you then, but until next week, I want you to get out. I want you to keep shooting, stay safe, and focus on yourself. All right. I love you all.

outro: 45:43 If you enjoy today's podcast, please leave us a review in iTunes or your favorite podcast player and continue the conversation with Raymond and other listeners of the podcast by joining the beginner photography podcast Facebook group today. Thank you. We'll see you again next week.

BPP 149: Sara Blanco - Creating Family Photography

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