BPP 114: Megan DiPiero - Photography Business Set Up For Success

Todays guest, Megan DiPiero is a well known headshot and beauty portrait photographer from southwest Florida. She is also an acclaimed photography business mentor and coach for photographers and the creator of the the popular Rise to the Top Facebook group where she shares her business tips to help and encourage other photographers to grow and live a life of abundance. Today I welcome Megan DiPiero

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • When Megan Started to take photography seriously

  • How Megan learned photography

  • How Megan built a photography business while raising kids

  • What is Womans beauty photography

  • Who inspired Megan to pursue beauty photogrpahy

  • How Megan deals with “Difficult” clients

  • Why Megan does not recommend going to college to learn photography

  • How to figure out what to charge for your photography

  • How to handle clients when you have raised your photography pricing

  • How Megan defines marketing for photographers

  • Simple marketing tips that new photographers can impliment

  • How Megan makes decisions on what to work on in her business

  • The one thing Megan wants all photographers to know about shooting manual

Resources:

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BPP 113: Natalie Greenroyd - Authentic Family and Children Photography

This week I chat with Oklahoma city family photographer Natalie Greenroyd who shares her tips on getting started with family and children photography and some mistakes to avoid when you are fresh in photography. 

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Natalie got into photography
  • The main source of Natalies Photography education
  • What Natalie would say is the job description of a family photographer
  • The story of how Natalie got her first client and how it went
  • Common mistakes Natalie sees amateur photographers making 
  • How Natalie gets kids to be open and comfortable around her and her camera
  • Natalie's tricks on taking more authentic photos of your family
  • Natalie's process when posing families vs capturing them candidly
  • An embarrassing moment Natalie had while working
  • Where you can find Natalie Online

Resources:

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BPP 112: Photographer Friend Ruins Wedding, How Not to Make The Same Mistakes

This Week I share the Story of how Indianapolis Wedding Photographer Raymond Hatfield helped a couple get closure after their wedding photographer never delivered their wedding photos from more than 5 years ago. The bride, Tracy had became good friends with a girl who wanted to get into photography and begged to shoot their wedding. She knew her friend took great photos but she also wanted to make sure her wedding day was captured professionally. Tracy reluctantly agreed. She shares her story of what happened and what she would do differently if she could do it all over again. Watch the video below

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How to avoid being the friend that won't deliver. 

1: Put yourself in check

You know how to shoot in manual, you have shot some pretty awesome photos of your dog or your kids that your friends on facebook and instagram love. These are important steps in your photography journey but know that you have so much more to learn about photography. Take a moment to think about how important of a day this is for your couple. Watch the video above and see how it has affected them and their lives. I'm not trying to add pressure but I just want you to remember that you are working with the couples best interests in mind today. Even if you REALLY want that awesome creative shot you see in your head, get everything else they need first.  

2: Be Prepared

Wedding days can be hectic so do your best to prepare before hand. Ask the couple for a timeline. Even if it very basic it will help you look for any potential problems. If the couple are taking a limo from the ceremony to the reception, do they want you in the limo? What will you do with your car? 

3: Have a shot list

As you progress shooting wedding you may not need a shot list but for your first 5-10 weddings its smart to have a shot list as a reference guide. This is primarily helpful for portraits. You know you need a shot of the cake and decorations, no need for that to take up space on the list. Things like. Bride on grooms shoulder looking back at camera, wide shot of couple walking towards camera laughing, groom facing bride smiling, bride and groom close together looking at camera. Come up with half a dozen shots you know you have to get and then get them. If there is any time left to shoot, you can streach your creative muscles. 

4: Get help with family photos

Family photos are always a mess. There is 100 people walking around talking not paying attention and you don't know who anyone is. Ask the couple for a list of must have family photos and ask them to designate one person to help you help call out the family members you don't know. 

5: Shoot on small cards

I think want happened to the photographer in Tracy and Durans story is either camera or card failure. While its hard to prepare for these things, there is something you can do. Some cameras have dual card slots, space for 2 memory cards. If one memory card fails, you still have the other to save the day. If your camera does not have dual card slots I highly recommend using small memory cards like 4-8gb. The reason being if you shoot a whole wedding on one memory card and it fails... the whole wedding is gone. If you shoot with multiple cards and one card fails, well then you just lost a small portion of the day and can still deliver the majority of their wedding day.  

6: Have a contract

They may be your best friends and would never screw you over but a contract will not only protect you but also them. Write in the contract exactly what they will receive so there is no confusion later and also state exactly when you will deliver the wedding by. This will keep you on track and keep them from asking when the photos will be ready. 

7: Be Honest every step of the way

Lastly, if something goes wrong, be honest. Tracy had said that if her friend was just honest then she would be more understanding but by covering it up, saying that she had send it and it must have got lost in the mail made the whole situation worse. 

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BPP 111: Matt Payne - Tall Mountains, Amazing Photos. Combining Passions

Matt Payne is a Colorado Landscape Photographer and host of the "F-Stop Collaborate and Listen" Photography podcast

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Matt got his start in photography
  • How Matt used his first camera
  • What motivated Matt to learn photography
  • Where Matt got inspired to grow his knowledge of photography
  • How much photography is planned vs how much of a shot is magic
  • The best thing Matt ever did to grow his photography community
  • The lessons Matt's parents instilled in him to make him a better photographer
  • Some must have gear for getting started with Landscape photography
  • How night photography helped Matt better understand his camera settings 
  • One of the hardest aspects of landscape photography to learn
  • Immediate signs of an amateur landscape photographer
  • What Matt does when he shows up at a location and the conditions do not work out

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • When I first started, I just pointed the camera at everything and didn't know what I was doing.
  • I checked out every photography book at the library and became self-taught 
  • I have this struggle between my passions of climbing tall mountains and taking photos
  • I would spend a couple hours a night experimenting with my camera to gain a better understanding of settings.
  • Don't be afraid to other photographers question
  • Sometimes you have to make the best of what nature gives you

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BPP 110: Abe Kislevitz - Tips From GoPro’s Senior Creative Director

Abe Kislevitz is the Senior Creative Director for GoPro. That means he is in charge of shooting those incredible images you see plastered on billboards and videos shown to millions on TV commercials. He has been with the company almost since the start and today I talk with him about the in's and out's to shooting with a camera with little to no manual controls.   

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • What Abe does at GoPro
  • The coolest thing Abe has seen done with a GoPro
  • How Abe made the transition in his life from Mechanical Engineering to producing content with the GoPro
  • Why you get terrible results from your DSLR when shooting in Auto
  • Why you get amazing results from your GoPro when shooting in Auto
  • How shooting with such a wide perspective forces you to see the world differently
  • How to edit your GoPro Images
  • How to get the most out of cameras with small sensors
  • How much of your photography should be intentional vs spontaneous
  • The best investment Abe has ever made in himself
  • The best advice Abe would give a smart and driven new photographer about to start out on their journey
  • The most embarrassing moment Abe had while using a GoPro   

Resources:

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BPP 109: The 7 Things I Learned Shooting A Wedding In Alaska

I just got back from shooting my first wedding in Alaska. I'm not a destination wedding photographer so traveling with my gear did not come naturally to me. I learned a lot about my photography and shooting wedding during this trip. Today I share the 7 things I learned while shooting a destination wedding in Alaska. 

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The 7 Things I Learned While Photographing A Wedding In Alaska

1: Scout Locations

When shooting destination weddings or shooting in a location you are not familiar with, do your due diligence and scout locations. Know where the couple will be getting married and how much time you will have for photos as this will determine how far to look for locations to shoot at. Use tools like google maps to street-view a location or google "Location Name Wedding" to see what other photographers have done when in your shoes. 

2: Don't Pack Everything You Own

Being in a new location offers several challenge for photographers but the biggest is the fear of not being prepared. So we will bring every piece of gear we have ever bought so that we don't miss anything. This causes too much weight and stress. Maybe you don't need the drone or film cameras. Pack just the essentials and shoot within your limitations.

3: Get a Timeline and Addresses

Having a timeline will ensure you are prepared. Even if the wedding day does not go according to plan you will still have one less thing to worry about. Be sure to get address of where every one will be getting ready as well! I've seen some timelines that show a 15 mile distance between getting ready locations but only 5 mins of travel time budgeted.  Being able to foresee any potential problems can save the day,

4: Find the Best Light

Getting the address is crucial to being able to find the best light. Knowing that the reception was going to be in the mountains I could find out that even thought the sunset is officially at 9pm the light would pass over the mountian at 745 and I needed to be outside shooting by then if I want to capture great images. You can use apps like "Golden Hour" Or "SOL" for iOS

5: Rent A Car

This can be quite an expense. About $100/day for several days but it will save you a world of headaches. Ive been to wedding where everyone could get TO the first location but once you fill the car with extras that need to be taken to the second location there is no more room. So having your own transportation is essential for a stress free wedding day when travilng.

6: The iPad Can't Replace A Computer, Yet.

Since my main editing rig is an iMac and not portable and I don't have a laptop decided to try using an iPad and a wireless hard drive to backup my photos. Its not like I had lofty ideas of being able to edit the wedding by the time I was home but it would have been nice to cull through some images. This was just to painfully slow of a process to be effective. It took me 10x longer (5 hours vs 30mins) to use an iPad vs doing the same task on a computer. 

7: Don't Work Too Hard

I am going to guess that the reason you got into shooting destination weddings was because you want to travel more and see cool things. Not fly in hours before a wedding, work all day and then fly right back out without enjoying any of the local sites. So do your preparation before you arrive so you can take 2-3 hours to see the town or do some cool touristy stuff and get your travel fix. 

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BPP 108: Colby Brown - Using Your Photography to Help Others

Colby Brown is a world class travel, landscape, and philanthropic photographer who's portfolio covers all 4 corners of the globe. His world wide organization, The Giving Lens is helping connect photographers who want to give back with non profits in need of rich media. 

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How long Colby has been shooting
  • Why Colby started a photography business
  • How Colby made money as a photographer early on
  • How Colby has such a diverse range of shooting
  • Where Colby learned photography
  • Why Colby started The Giving Lens
  • How the Giving Lens is changing the world
  • How to get involved in your local community
  • How to get over the feeling of being in a creative rut
  • One of the best investments Colby has mad in himself to become a better photographer

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • I felt that I know I want to do THIS but I don't really know what THIS is
  • If I'm bored, I lose my creativity, that's why I like to shoot a wide variety of things
  • After a shoot, I'll dive into the 93 crap photos to become my biggest critic
  • Photography is a visual artform you can use to tell a story
  • You have to figure out how to turn the photo you want to shoot into reality
  • We give people the opportunity the document their lives 
  • If you want something bad enough, you will always find a way to make it happen
  • There will always be people who will tell you, you can't do things
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BPP 106: Jessica Whitaker - Youtube, Social Media, Build and Bloom

Todays guest is Jessica Whitaker, a New York City photographer, social media influencer, and founder of Build and Bloom, a free workshop and photography resource center for young photographers. Today she shares how she got her start, tips she has learned from her youtube videos, and why she started Build and Bloom. 

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Jessica got her start in Photography
  • How Jessica learned to pose
  • Why Jessica switched from Canon to Nikon
  • Some of the challenges Jessica faces when moving from the PNW to NYC
  • Something that surprises Jessica to read in the comments of her youtube videos
  • Jessicas experience with her first paid clients
  • The different types of clients Jessica would work with in Seattle and New York
  • How Jessica makes her clients so comfortable 
  • How to deal with inner comparison 
  • Jessica's Tips for learning from the pros

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • Photography gear can be expensive, the education can be free
  • You don't have to start learning photography young. The internet is an awesome teacher
  • Continue to learn and interact with other photographers
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BPP 105: Jenny Stein - Family, Life, Photography

Today's guest will be a familiar voice to a lot of you. She's the host of the Family Photographer podcast. Another podcast focused less on the gear and technicals and more on the legacy and power of storytelling through the photos you take. In this interview we talk about so much more than photography like the importance your photos have on your children and  being self aware enough to live the life you want to through photography. I'm excited to talk with Jenny Stein.

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In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Jenny got her start in photography early
  • What was the hardest part about photography to learn for her
  • How starting to shoot in manual set Jenny up for success
  • How a daily photo project really pushed Jenny creatively 
  • How looking at your past photos can grow your skills
  • How to take photos of kids that are not your own
  • How to share your photos with your family
  • What advice Jenny would give to eager new photographers
  • Why taking your camera out for the first time at your child's birthday is a terrible idea
  • How to stop worrying about your camera, and focus more on getting the shot

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • Look at your photos everyday, and you will grow
  • Take time practicing photography before an important event like a birthday
  • Give yourself time. 
  • Work on your thing, don't worry about what others think
  • An expensive lens won't change the essence of what you do as a photographer
  • The camera doesnt matter as much as you think, but you need something
  • Find something to do with your photography that takes you out of your self
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BPP 104: Wade Steelman - The Competitive World of Architecture Photography

Wade Steelman is a San Diego based commercial and real estate photographer with a focus on architecture. Today he shares how a gap in the market got him interested in real estate photography and how you can make your way into the world of architecture photography too!

In this interview, you'll learn

  • How Wade got his unconventional  start in photography
  • How Wade chose his gear
  • How Wade stopped focusing on the technicals and more on creative composition
  • Where Wade places his tripod to showcase the size of a room
  • Some of the technical tricks Wade uses in architecture that other genres of photography don't
  • Some clear signs of amateur architecture photography
  • The hardest part about getting started with architecture photography
  • How Wade would recommend a new photographer builds their portfolio. 
  • Why Wade recommends you save money on gear
  • How Wade handled an embarrassing mistake he made when shooting

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • I focus on what a viewer will see when they walk into the property
  • If you can produce great images with cheap gear you will be miles ahead of everyone else.
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BPP 103: Brian Rodgers Jr - Product Photography and Photoshop

Brian Rodgers Jr. is a commercial photographer and digital artist specializing in product photography. He’s also the founder of Digital Art That Rocks, a company that creates high-end commercial photography with an emphasis on the post production process. Watch just one of his slew of photoshop time-lapse on youtube and you will be blown away! Today I welcome Brian Rodgers Jr

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Brian's high school class prepared him for photography and graphic design
  • Why Brian walked away from what he thought was a dream job
  • What book gave Brian a heightened sense of creativity
  • How a $9 hardware store item taught Brian lighting
  • The importance of photoshop in product photography
  • Some obvious signs of amateur product photography
  • Some of the most important tools Brian uses in Photoshop and what you can do with them
  • An embarrassing moment Brian had while photographing architecture 
  • Why Brian loves to photograph watches
  • Some of the challenges of photographing small products and how Focus stacking helps

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • I wanted a career in photography, so I just started producing my own work
  • After reading Scott Kelby's book, I had a heightened sense of creativity! 
  • I spent hours studying light with those cheap hardware store clamp lights
  • Product photography is all about perfection

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BPP 102: Creating Community with Your Photography

Photography is a much more powerful tool than you can imagine. There are so many ways you can create community and do good for the world with your photography. If you want to make the world a better place, you can do so with your camera. I promise you. You can change someone's life with your photography. If someone asked you if you wanted to change someone's life, would you do it? Being able to do it with the tool in your hand that you know and love makes this a win win. Today I talk all about the community that photography naturally creates and the communities you can better through your camera. 

Resources:

 

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BPP 101: Rob Andrew - Making Food Look Irresistible

Rob Andrew is a food and lifestyle photographer from San Diego. Today he talks about the art of making food look delicious, how to light it, important food styling tips, and how I can up my Instagram game! 

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Rob got his start in photography
  • How a mentor helped Rob jumpstart his career
  • How Rob transitioned from photographing products to food 
  • What Food Styling is
  • How to find your cheeseburgers "good side"
  • Simple tips to make your place look better
  • How long it takes to photograph a cheeseburger
  • Does Rob Instagram his food
  • How to create a compelling image from a subject with no emotion
  • How much creative freedom Rob has in his food photography
  • A $2 piece of gear that Rob uses at almost every shoot
  • Why lighting is so important when it comes to photographing food

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • Sometimes Daylight and a window is all you need for great food photos
  • My average food edit is about 5 minutes

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BPP 100: Callum Pinkney Returns! Mega Celebration!

Callum Pinkney is a Toronto Wedding Photographer and co Creator of the Beginner Photography Podcast. Today he returns to share what he has been up to and how taking a 6-month road trip has improved his wedding photography

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • Where Callum has been for the past year and a half
  • How Callum got his start in photography
  • Why story is so important to Callum
  • What simple techniques you can use to take better photos
  • How to add more context to your wedding photos
  • How to not get burnt out createily 

Resources:

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098: Ryan Schembri - Master Wedding Story Telling

Ryan Schembri is the youngest recipient of the Austrailian Institute of professional photography's "Master Photographer" award. He is a Canon ambassador, wedding and portrait photographer who has shot all around the world he is also an educator and advocates to fellow photographers to help them grow their skills and knowledge about the world of photography

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How Ryan got into the photography business so young
  • Ryans first mentor and what he was taught
  • Ryan's main goal for the day when he shows up to every wedding
  • How to build a relationship with your clients
  • Why Ryan thinks wedding photography is the hardest form of photography
  • How Ryan was taught to read light for 2 years before taking a photo
  • How to deal with less than ideal lighting conditions
  • What Ryan see new photographers missing out on and how it set him up for success
  • How to determine the most important story to tell of the wedding day
  • The biggest shifts in wedding photography he has seen since watching the wedding photography of his fathers day
  • How to keep your photography fresh
  • How to cultivate a philosophy of your photography 
  • Simple mistakes Ryan sees amateurs making when judging photography competitions
  • What inspires Ryan to be better at lighting

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • What I do as a photographer is irrelevant. The people and their story is what matters
  • Great moments in life are meant to be created
  • Stop looking for light and start looking for shadow
  • The shift between highlight and shadow is what creates depth
  • Most amateurs underexpose their photos. I don't know why.
  • Expose for the highlight. If your subjects face is underexposed your lighting is wrong.
  • Often times people make photography overcomplicated. It's really simple. 

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Photography Basics for Beginners: 14 Days To Better Photos

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097: Mark Silber - The Secrets to Creating Amazing Photos

Today's guest is known around the world to many budding photographers for his constant thirst for photography education. An author, his last book "Advancing Your Photography: Secrets to Amazing Photos from the Masters" taught us how to take your photos past "point and shoot" his NEW book "The Secrets to Creating Amazing Photos: 83 Composition Tools from the Masters" dives deeper into one of my favorite subjects Composition. You remember him when he came on the podcast back in interview 065, today I'm excited to welcome BACK Marc Silber!

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • What composition is
  • How Marc defines composition
  • What Marc sees happening to most photographers over and over
  • How to learn the language of composition 
  • Marcs favorite compositional tools
  • What to look for in your everyday world to add interest in your photographs
  • The power of pre visualization 
  • Where to get started using composition
  • How to use composition for portraits
  • How lighting can affect/create composition
  • What wrong piece of information Marc hears new photographers being taught
  • How to spice up your iPhone photos 

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • Composition is where you place your subject to the most ascetically pleasing place within your frame
  • Once you understand your camera, there are only two things you need to control. Lighting and Composition. 
  • When shooting portraits, less is more
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096: Ryan Brenizer Finding and Fueling your creativity

Ryan Brenizer is an NYC Wedding Photographer with a long list of credentials. Starting out as a newspaper editor who was given a camera he eventually grew and worked his way into weddings where he focuses on standing out and telling the best story possible. Probably most known to other photographers for his Brenizer Method of shooting today we talk about creativity, style, and lighting. 

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How many weddings Ryan Brenizer shoots in a year
  • How Ryan shot 5 weddings in a row
  • How Ryan Brenizer got his start in photography
  • How Ryan and his wife has joined forces to create a photography business they love
  • What is the Brenizer Method 
  • How Ryan Brenizer developed the Brenizer method
  • Why is it so important to develop a photography style
  • Why shooting manual might not be the most important skill for beginners to learn
  • How Experimenting in your photography will push you forward
  • Why Ryan Brenizer envies new photographers
  • Where Ryan finds inspiration
  • What piece of information Ryan Brenizer thinks beginners should ignore 

Resources:

Memorable Quotes:

  • The Important thing to learn as a photographer, is to learn how your camera sees
  • For good photography pre visuilization is critical
  • Everytime you put a new lens on your camera, you are putting on a new set of eyes
  • (Things evolve all the time) I've changed my Lightroom workflow like 3 times this week
  • The photo I am taking is a reflection of what looks good to me at that time. However if you look at 10,000 photos of mine, it becomes a self portrait
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095: Jerry Ghionis - Wedding Photography Masterclass

Jerry Ghionis is one of the top 5 wedding photographers in the world, WPPI Grand Master, Inventor of several photography lighting tools, Nikon ambassador, Educator, Author, and Philanthropist, I am incredibly grateful to be talking to Jerry Ghionis

In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • Why Jerry dropped out of formal photography education
  • Jerry's 7 Do or Die photos to shoot after the wedding ceremony
  • The simple mindset shift Jerry made to push himself to create better images
  • The problem Jerry sees with the incoming generation of wedding photographers
  • How to get started with and understand lighting 
  • How to photograph the Taj Mahal
  • Jerry teaches some advanced posing methods
  • Why Jerry started teaching photography to others
  • The importance of honing in your style
  • Why Photography competitions are so important for your growth

Resources:

Bride groom blue wedding reception
Bride with jewel crown looking out the window
Bridal dress at the bottom of golden staircase

Looking to grow your photography skills and become a better photographer with our free 14-day photography video course??

Photography Basics for Beginners: 14 Days To Better Photos

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094: Making Your Photography Stand Out

Youtube Cover Photo by Flickr user Jonathan Leung

Standing out as a photographer is the best way to differentiate yourself from your competition but standing out can be difficult. How do you stand out? What can you do to stand out? Can I just pick something right now? Standing out with your photography is the best way to separate yourself from your competition. There are a lot of ways to stand out as a photographer and today I talk about how you can find your unique thing that makes you stand out. 

Looking to grow your photography skills and become a better photographer with our free 14-day photography video course??

Photography Basics for Beginners: 14 Days To Better Photos

camera-in-grass.jpeg

Like this episode? Check out more recent episodes with great guests!