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Be an Amazing Second Shooter

In a recent post, we talked about how to find your style as it relates to photography and the discussion was really centered around just getting out there and shooting a whole lot. One of the ways to do this while also refining your style is to second shoot for other photographers during weddings whenever possible, which means coming along as the assistant (or second) photographer for the wedding day.

This is something that Erin and I still do ourselves from time to time, and we really enjoy it because it allows us to push ourselves creatively in a low-pressure environment. Since the primary photographer is taking responsibility for the must-have images, the second shooter gets a chance to experiment and try those risky shots that might not turn out. It’s a wonderful environment in which to learn from a primary photographer as well as practice your technical skills inside the camera during an actual wedding scenario.

Since second shooting is such a valuable thing, how can you be an amazing second shooter so that you can get more experience shooting? If you do a great job for one primary photographer, not only will they hire you again, but they will refer you to other photographers that need reliable, excellent assistants. So here’s my tips on how to be a GREAT second shooter. Continue Reading

Capturing Authentic Emotion on the Wedding Day

A while back, I wrote an article about how to bring out authentic emotion in your couples.

In that article, I introduced the concept of Emotional Grounding, the idea of leading your couples into their core feelings for each other. It’s something Jeff and I have been developing and using with our subjects for a few years. While it’s not a revolutionary idea – we’re not the only photographers who engage with subjects emotionally – putting an actual name to this concept helped us identify and improve how we do it in practice.

My initial article covered part one of the Emotional Grounding concept, introducing an emotionally-engaging style of shooting at the engagement session. Now, I want to talk about part two of the Emotional Grounding concept, how we employ this style during weddings.

The Power We Possess

Since photographers spend so much time with the bride and groom during the wedding, we have a big influence on the pace and the emotional atmosphere of the day. That’s quite a bit of power! And it can be beneficial power. Think of it this way – what if we viewed photographs not just as a way of capturing and preserving moments, but as a way of jogging our clients’ emotions? What if photos weren’t just meant to help them remember moments as much as to re-feel moments? Continue Reading

10 Insider Tips to Thrive at WPPI

Oh the stories from our very first trip to WPPI… No, Jeff and I didn’t get crazy, stay up all night, and party until the wee hours of the morning doing Saki bombs and shouting “this is sooooooo staying in Vegas! WOO HOO!” Nope. We woke up, wandered the trade show floor by our two little selves, sipped some coffee (by ourselves), and tried to make eye contact with anybody that would talk to us (again, by ourselves). Awesome.

I can say with confidence that it got better than that. Eventually.

Even though we felt completely overwhelmed at our first WPPI, this conference has proven to be a dynamic and integral experience for our business. Even though we felt totally isolated going into it that first time, we made quite a few friends that first year that made the entire trip more than worth it. And I say that with fervor because those friendships are ones we still cherish.

So if it’s your first time to WPPI, here’s what Jeff and I have learned over our years of wandering the trade show floor. And this is the kind of advice that’s only been learned through years of experience. Continue Reading

Married to Your Business Partner? The Key to How We Do It

I’m not gonna lie – owning my own business with my hubby is a pretty cool gig. Nay, it’s better than just cool.


When we dream, we dream together. When we travel, we travel together. When we shoot, we shoot together. We when we wake up, go to bed, work all day, eat our lunch, make our dinner, go to meetings, head to happy hour, and scoot around town – you got it – we’re TOGETHER.

As my cheerleading squad in high school would say, “that’s a whole lotta togetherness.”

And as most of our friends ask us, “Ummmm, how do you do it without, you know… strangling each other?”

There’s so much that goes into that answer (we’re best friends, we know our boundaries, we keep business outside of the bedroom), but there’s definitely one key thing that has helped us succeed as business partners while keeping our marriage intact.

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Your Business is Not About You

“Your photography business is not about you.”

That’s not something we hear very much these days. In fact, I feel sometimes that one of the strongest messages we hear during this rapid growth of the industry is the exact opposite. We hear that it’s all about us. That we need to market ourselves in order to stand apart from the crowds. That it’s not about the photography, it’s about the photographer. That it’s about our unique personality, our particular eye, and our ability to make photographic art that nobody else can create. It’s YOU that defines your brand and separates your business from everyone else in the market.

I would agree 100% with those statements. But I still submit to you guys that your business is not about you.

Let me explain.

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Album Companies We Love

Welcome to another Reader FAQ! Thanks for submitting your questions to us - we get such a thrill out of answering our readers most pressing questions about their businesses. This is an ongoing series, so make sure to read the rest of our Reader FAQ posts.

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered already, check out the info at the bottom of this post for how to submit. You never know, it just may be featured here on the bloggy-blog!

On with today’s question…

Who do you use to print your albums?

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