Have you ever ordered an image on canvas or giant print and realised that there are things you hadn’t thought of before ordering? Here are 3 things I’ve learned from personal experience: {Larger than life} I got this lovely canvas of my daughter in 20×28. What I didn’t consider is that since it’s such a […]

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  • Andy Mills - It’t definitely worth casting an eye over the image at 100% before sending it off for printing. I have a canvas of my dog running on a beach and there’s a bit of bright yellow green something (I think it used to be part of a ball) right in front of her.

    It’s not big, but it’s something that distracts me and could have been cloned out easily.

  • Lauren - Hi Elizabeth thanks for this post it was really useful!! On the topic of testing colours, how far into setting up your business did you sort out colour management? Is there a way to calibrate my monitor for free?? Many thanks

  • Ivan - Great tips.
    Will keep them in mind when I want to print a huge one.
    Finally, pixel peeping is legal. 🙂

  • Sheri Beavers - Great info as always! I really appreciate all of your tips!
    You said in your post, “This was back when I used the Lightroom adjustment brush to clean up my white background”. I’m very interested to know how you clean up your white backgrounds now. I love white, but I’ve gotten away from it because I’m tired of having to do so much clean up work! (I use the Lightroom adjustment brush.) Thanks Elizabeth!

  • elizabethhalford - @Sheri: Hi! I’m using an amazing action from MCP’s ‘Bag of Tricks’ set called ‘Studio White Bright Spell’. It’s amazing! Here: http://bit.ly/9P1W4n

This week, I’m going to talk about booking a client. Today, it’s about the first conversation. My most shakey, unstable appointments that led to no-shows or small sales have started this way: Friend: “Hey, we should get some photos done by you some day.” Me with diary in hand: “Ok how about —insert date—?” I’ve […]

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  • Genevieve - Great article- I sometimes have trouble with this part and just want to get to the photography, but all these details certainly add to the professionalism of your business!

Last night after dinner, I glanced out the window at the empty lot across the street with gorgeous light peeking through the trees at the last hour of daylight.   I spontaneously announced that in the next five minutes we were having our family pictures taken and I grabbed my tri-pod and trekked across the street.  With […]

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  • Marcie - We do this every year as well and though I usually only get one perfect photo, the outtakes are pretty funny too 🙂 We did try to do lifestyle ones with the kids and the timer but that didn’t work out. Too many kids — at least one was always feeling grumpy 😉 BUT it doesn’t even bother me because I get to take lifestyle shots of my family every single day. Being your own family photographer is the best!

  • Laurie @ Pride in Photos - Brooke, you just rocked this family photo shoot my friend! This will definitely be a goal of mine after I am done with all your courses♥

  • Mindy - I LOVED these when I saw them on facebook, and now that I know that you took them yourself, I am even more amazed. You rock the timer. 😉 (And you look gorgeous… do you always look gorgeous enough to take family photos on a whim??)

  • Trisha - Amen!

  • brookesnow - Ah yes… I have yet to see how this will play out when we add more people to our family 🙂 As it is, this 3 year old is totally wild and crazy so getting him to look charming in any picture takes a whole lot of strategy…My hope is that if we can get him to look good we can get ANYONE to cooperate and look great 🙂

    Love that you shoot your own images! Would love to see them!

  • brookesnow - Of course Mindy… I’m always photo ready at any moment of the night or day 🙂

    bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

    But thank you 🙂 I did have my hair cut earlier in the day and knew I should take advantage of having good hair…since I can NEVER get it to look as good as it does when my stylist does it 🙂

  • Jessica Carney - Stunning!! The are simply wonderful.

  • Sarah - Love these. This statement really resonated with me: “Shooting professionally for all those years was so worth all the experiences, just for this moment. To be able to take our own family pictures any time I want and have them look exactly like I envisioned.” This is the reason I have been “doing the work”…. So I can capture myself, my family, my friends and my life in the way I want to remember. And to be practiced enough that I don’t have to think too much and I can still be in the moment.

I’ve got a lovely couple coming to me today all the way from Wales! I’m just taking a breather from my preparations to write this post and let other photographers know what I’m doing to prepare. It’s one hour until our session and I’m… Looking over all of our emails to make sure I remember their […]

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  • Texan Mama - Thanks for posting this! It makes me ask a few questions… feel free to refer me to your other poests if you’ve already answered these questions.

    What do you use, or recommend, for cleaning lenses?

    What kind of forms do you have for clients to sign for a session? Can you share them or are they copyrighted to you? (I need to figure out what kind of forms I need for all that legal mumbo-jumbo).

    How much time do you typically spend at a portrait session? (just the time on location, not back at home editing)

    How often do you hire an assistant? What are his/her responsibilities? How much do you pay him/her?

    What kind of outdoor situations would necessitate a flash?

    Sorry, I know, lots of questions. But it’s me, so I’m sure you expect nothing less! ha ha

  • Tanya Rudman - Great ideas here! I should get myself an iPhone as well for inspiration 😀

  • elizabethhalford - @TexanMama:
    1. I just clean my lenses with a cleaning cloth. You know, the same type that you can use on your glasses or computer screen.

    2. I talked about my client release here: http://bit.ly/d1AUYm

    3. I spend as much time as we need in a session. There’s no limit but I do make sure that I’m the one who says when I’ve gotten all the shots and it’s time to end. Some clients would want to go on forever which will just bog you down with too many shots to sort through.

    4. I have an assistant as often as she’s available. I generally pay £10 per hour but she does so much more than hold stuff. She’s great at posing, moving clients around and talking to them. Last time, she also held my iPhone and prompted ideas from my inspiration folder. When I work, I really retreat within my own mind and become sort of incapable of holding a conversation or speaking intelligibly! She’s great in so many ways.

    5. Most recently, I have used a flash outdoors to compensate for extreme backlighting of the setting sun behind subjects. I avoid it at all costs, though, because even outside, the flash is so obvious in photos and I just hate the flash look :*(

  • Martin - Some good tips about final preparations before a shoot, although leaving batteries for the flash until the last minute is bad planning 😉

    In relation to your point 5 in the comment above, I disagree about flash being obvious. If you use a flash appropriately (and definitely off the camera’s hot-shoe!), balancing the flash with ambient light, it doesn’t look obvious at all, and can definitely provide much better results than not using a flash.

  • elizabethhalford - @Martin: I can always tell when flash was used, even off camera. And I don’t like it. My two cents 🙂