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If you think about it, wedding days are totally against us as photographers, particularly when it comes to light. I mean, who has two thumbs and ends up shooting bridal parties at high noon in July? For four weekends in a row?

This girl.

One of our most frequently asked questions at The Youngrens is “How do you shoot in harsh sunlight?”

The short answer? We don’t. We find shade. Any kind of shade. Shade from a tree, a building, a cloud, a doorway, a diffuser – anything. As much as we humanly can, we try to avoid harsh sunlight.

Which brings me to our second most frequently asked question.

“Ok, but what if there’s no shade to be found? Anywhere.

Fair question. We’ll start with the basics, then throw out a few tips. Continue Reading

Some people ask why we include engagement sessions with every wedding that we photograph, and the answer is simple.

We’re selfish.

The engagement session is the perfect excuse to hang out with our clients, get to know a LOT about them, and allow them to get used to being photographed by us. These are big advantages in crafting a comfortable, smooth, positive experience for our couples.

But what is the key to crafting an amazing experience for your couples during every single engagement session? If you’re shooting more than ten weddings every year, then it can be difficult to help each couple feel unique and appreciated.

You’d be surprised at what the key to a great engagement session really is. It’s not the location or the clothes or the backgrounds. It’s not even your technical abilities with your camera.

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It’s no secret that we LOVE our ProPhoto Blog theme – we’ve been fans of Jared & the gang at NetRivet (the crew behind the whole thing) for years. Not only is it a great platform that’s been built & coded very smartly – it’s also SUPER easy to customize. They’ve included a wide array of point & click options within the admin panel to get things looking how you’d like – and then if you need to get super specific with the look it’s really simple to add custom CSS styles to the theme – which is LARGELY to blame for the custom look of our site.

By FAR, one of the most frequent types of questions we get from photographers is regarding specific customization questions relating to ProPhoto4. So, we thought we’d start compiling a Q&A here! If you’ve got a question, ask it below in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer it.

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No matter how much formal education you’ve had in your life, your true education begins when your business begins. There’s nothing like learning on the job to bring you up to speed on your profession, and every education needs a school book, right? It’s so important to continually educate yourself when it comes to your business, so Erin and I keep constant reading lists of books, both fiction and nonfiction, to keep our minds sharp when it comes to marketing, finances, business, and entrepreneurship.

In fact, our goal is to read at least one business book or audiobook every two months – whether or not that actually happens is debatable! BUT, we certainly try because we realize the importance of staying keen, wise, and thinking critically within our business.

Over the past few years we’ve gathered together a list of books that we’ve found to be the most helpful when it comes to running a small photography business, and as we continue to come across more page turners, we’ll continue to add to this list. And, if your favorite business book isn’t on the list – I’d love it if you dropped the title and a little about the book in the comments!:)

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Confession: I’ve been avoiding this question…

We’re totally digging on our Uservoice page and stoked on all the thoughtful questions people have been asking and voting on, and this is one that has slowly risen to the top, and now I simply can’t ignore it.

The truth is that the answer to this question is super simple for me to state with a quick do this, this, and this, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the most helpful way of explaining this. So, I’m going to do my best to give you some solid tips & tricks to get the skin tones in your images to look more natural and authentic.

All things being equal, your clients will 1) be the most happy with their images and 2) look their best if their skin looks as “naturally” perfect as possible. As much as a photographer cares about the artistry, backgrounds, light, and composition of his or her images (all very important) the thing most clients care about is looking beautiful and natural.

Simply stated, the best way to get your clients to look their best and have the most natural skin tones is to shoot the image “properly” at the time of capture. There’s no magic post processing tricks to get natural skin tones (although there’s a bunch of Photoshop actions that try pretty hard) – it’s really all about how you capture the image. Continue Reading

It’s no secret that Erin and I love our blog. Our blog is much more to us than simply a glimpse into the recent weddings and engagements that we’ve photographed – it’s also a journal of our lives, both photographically and personally. We’ve really enjoyed sharing our journey with all of you over the past few years, and we look forward to sharing more in the future.

For those of you just starting out, I can’t emphasize enough the value of having a blog. Seriously. If you’re debating between a blog and a website, I say blog it up! Not only is having a blog a great way to showcase your recent work to your clients and their loved ones, its also a great place for potential clients to get a glimpse into who you really are beyond a formal portfolio.

There’s a ton of options available as far as blogs go – but here I’m going to talk about what our blog is, and how we went about setting it up.

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