We are always chasing the sunlight. Whether we are capture our subjects in the stunning golden hour light or strategically setting up our studio lighting, the light is always a focus.
In the Facebook group we challenged you to tag your images with the hashtag #sunlit if they were images that were lit up with the stunning sunlight in unique, creative and awe-inspiring ways. You did not disappoint.
Below is a round up of some of our favorite #sunlit images. These images are emotive, intense, beautiful and creative. Take a look below and give a follow to the incredible photographers.
BEHOLDEN PRESET- 06
Wanderlust Preset- 02
Wanderlust Preset 06
Willow Preset - 2a
Visual Poetry Photography
Wanderlust Preset - 02
Wanderlust Preset- 13
Jade Preset - 03
Province Preset- NWT
Wanderlust Preset- 01
Beholden Preset- 04
Social media is an amazing place to find new clients. I love using social media to connect with people I can collaborate with in my area from models to stylists, but I also love it for how I can market myself to the real people who would love to be my clients and those I would love to work with.
As photographers, we are always posting images on social media. What I am finding lately is that a lot of photographers actually have way better work than what they are choosing to showcase on their social media feeds! Social media is the place to highlight the best of the best-- but how do you know what is really the best you have to offer?
The best work you have to offer the world of social media is the work that represents you best.
First, consider what your brand is. What feeling do you want people to have when they look at your work? Choosing photos for your social media based on the feelings you want to convey is what will engage with people the most and draw them into your profile. I’m all about feeling over perfection and feeling over technical correctness. If an image isn’t technically perfect, but it conveys powerful emotion and makes my heart skip a beat, I know that image is worth showcasing. The truth is, the only other people who won’t know the image isn’t technically sound are other photographers-- the potential clients are just going to see an image that makes them stop scrolling and be taken away by what they are viewing.
Choosing the feelings you want your work to convey is going to make your work recongnizable. There is only one you. There is only one person in the entire universe with your eye, your taste and your color scheme. You are incredibly unique and your take on what you do is unlike anyone else. Own that.
Here’s a little exercise to get you going…
4. Ask yourself the same questions and see if the answers are consistent. Repeat this a few more times then look at your answers. There will probably be some consistencies that start to appear. Images that make you feel THAT way are the ones you should be posting on your social media feed.
It can be hard to take this next piece of advice but please, don’t get distracted by what is trending. There are always going to be trends that seem like the place to be focusing your composition, your editing style, your posing, your coloring and more. Forget the trends and find your taste. Trendy work is everywhere and will come and go-- when you find your taste and stick with posting images that make people FEEL the way you desire them to, the clients that find you will instantly fall in love with your work. And not just your recent 9 posts… all of your work because they will see work that draws them in and connects with them on a deeper level.
Next time you are picking an image to put on social media, look to your list of feelings you want your images to convey and see if the image makes the cut. It may not be the most technical or trendy but if it’s authentically you, it is going to represent you and your brand in a way that is always drawing in your ideal client closer and closer towards you until they book and see their face gracing your social media feed.
When I had the idea for the Wild at Heart Workshop, I had no idea what kind of magic would come with it…
I shared my vision with my girl, Jessica Rae, and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to do this workshop together. Jessica and I think alike and we work our boudoir sessions with the same approach. Even though we are so similar in our approaches, our actual work is different. We have different styles and each of our images has a completely different feel. We are friends, not competitors, and together, we knew Wild at Heart had the potential to be something really special.
It’s magic when you meet someone that thinks the same way as you and approaches work from that same avenue. It’s even more spellbinding when you teach a workshop together in the most mystical of places-- Joshua Tree.
I truly felt like every person who was there, from each eager photographer looking to learn, to myself and Jessica, was really meant to be there at this time. Everything we hoped and dreamed was manifesting into reality.
The first day of the Wild and Heart Workshop we had a nice little ‘get to know you’ get together where we learned where we were all from, why we are passionate about photography and why we were all excited to be here. Breaking the ice led us into a session with Jessica who taught Dark & Moody images. Following Jessica’s session we went out to Joshua Tree where I got to teach Outdoor Boudoir. This session started with some teaching on harsh light that flowed into the rest of the session.
The first day was enchanting. Everyone was so happy and relaxed, ready to be there and willing to learn. Open, wild hearts ready to embrace what was happening around them.
On the second day we woke up early and had a magical sunrise session. Sunrise sessions don’t get enough credit for how breathtaking the light is. Yes, you get up early but it is always worth it. We all thought so!
We had three other models arrive to do some indoor shooting and we ended up rotating groups and models so every person who attended had the opportunity to shoot with instruction and apply what they were learning. No one went home feeling like they missed their shot to try something-- everyone put to practice the new skills they were acquiring during the workshops.
One of the best parts of the whole thing was the free shooting time. The attendees did whatever they wanted and got to let their creative juices flow to create the work they felt represented both where they were at with their skills and where they invisioned their work going as they continued to put their skills to practice.
Artist Jessica Rae
Next, we all went out and got to step out from behind the camera to be the ones in front of the lens! It was amazing and I think it should be a requirement to get in front of the camera at each workshop and just let go and get out of our own heads. It was empowering and so much fun.
We ended the night with drinks that hit the spot and conversations that went deeper than photography which deepend the bonds and friendships that will now last a lifetime. Leaving the next morning was sad, like the spell had run out and we were heading back into our own realities, but I am still feeling the enchantment from The Wild at Heart Workshop and I know all those who attended are too!
Until next time, take chances with your work, try new things and remember to embrace your wild heart.
Of course all photos are edited with Embrace Presets!
Just the right amount of contrast with an overall softer look make the Jade presets a standard for every photographer. The Jade presets stand out among the sea of presets out there for the warm, earthy colors that set the tone for this entire preset collection. Warm, without looking orange, is where this preset really shines and where photographers have noticed a difference in bringing the consistent warmth they are looking for to their outdoor images..
The Jade presets come with 15 color presets for LR and ACR. Believe me when I say, once you load in these presets, they will become your go-to set for all of your work.
The Jade presets are designed to work best for images shot outdoors. They work beautifully for backlight images, those shot in soft light and the coveted golden hour photos. If you’re a photographer who shoots a lot of couples, families and outdoor weddings, adding these presets to the images you already curated is going to make your clients swoon and will make your portfolio and social media feeds consistent and on-trend without looking overdone.
Effortless and earthy are the look you’ll achieve with the Jade presets. Pick them up in the shop here. Be sure to tag us in your images so we can see how much you love the Jade presets!
There are times in our careers when hiring models is the right direction to go. Perhaps you are looking to expand your portfolio to offer sessions to a new target market (like boudoir, bridal boudoir, graduation sessions, branding photography), or you have moved to a new city and need to begin connecting with new people in your area. Perhaps you have a new, fun, creative idea and you’re looking for someone to help you bring your vision to life. No matter what it is, models can be a great choice to work with someone who knows their angles, is connected and can help you make the most out of your time together.
I have gone the model route a number of times and find it’s always a great way to start networking in a new city and build your portfolio. Every time I move, working with models is how I integrate into a new place and begin using word of mouth to grow my business.
So how do you find models?
There are two potential routes you can take to find models…
Route 1 - Hiring from Modelling Agencies
Most larger cities have modelling agencies. Even if you don’t live right in a larger city, there’s probably a big city nearby. You can do a search for agencies in your area, then inquire to hire a model for building your portfolio. The perk of this are these models probably know their stuff-- they’ll know how to position and pose their bodies, they’ll be easy to work with and you’ll get good shots for the amount of money you’ll pay to hire them. Another perk is that you can often see all the models online before so you can select the model or models that would most represent your ideal client.
Route 2 - Social Media aka- my method
I have used social media to find models each and every single time I need them. I start by just browsing through social media for models. When doing this, you can search for local brands in your area and look to see who they have used as a model. You may be directed to a modelling agency or you may find that there are some individuals in your area who enjoy modelling in their free time. These are some of the models I love working with best because your potential clients may feel they can relate better to them when they see your portfolio.
When approaching potential models, I would simply tell them a bit about who I am (providing my website to them as a professional example of my work), tell them that I am new to the area, that I just opened up a boudoir studio and that I’m looking for models who will be able to also use the images for their own portfolio as well.
I let the models know that this is of no charge to them because I want them to share their experience! I want them to talk to their friends and if they didn’t have to pay, they will most likely be more willing to share their story and experience. Plus, models have the ability to connect you with the ‘right’ people who can help you build your business. If someone has been modelling they’ll know other models, amazing hair and makeup artists and other incredible creatives that could be wonderful to collaborate and connect with.
When I first started using social media to connect with models, a big stroke of luck had me end up connecting with a hair and makeup artist in the fashion industry who loved my work and was also looking to build her portfolio. She had connections to a modelling agency so, with her hair and makeup skills and my photography, we worked together to shoot all their new faces. Finding models was no longer a ‘scroll through social media’ to see who could find tunnel-- I now had a list at my fingertips.
Using social media to find models is a great way to find the popular faces in your area that can help propel you in your area. If you find a face that seems to be popping up across different pages of different brands, it’s a model who is probably well known and well connected. Take a leap and introduce yourself! Offer a free session in exchange for images for their portfolio and see what happens. The worst thing that you’ll hear back is they’ll say no and you’re no worse off than when you started your search.
Do you work with models? How do you find them? Share your answer below!
I want to start by saying that I am completely floored by how amazing the submissions were for #holdme and #details. These two hashtags drummed up a lot of attention in Facebook group and seeing all of the stunning images from the talented photographers in the group just made me smile.
Below you’ll find the my top pics celebrating the best of the first quarter of the year. All of the images were found in the Facebook group and were tagged either #holdme or #details and each used one of our presets!
Take a look at the visually stunning images and give the photographers a follow to encourage them along their journey.
Danielle Navratil- Beholden Preset
Camille Wilson - Embrace Preset
Emma Ryan-Beholden Preset
Jessica Sircy- Beholden Preset
Johanna Gronka-Beholden Preset
Katie Ventura- Jade Preset
Korin Hunter-Beholden Preset
Kristi Neff - Wanderlust Preset
Morgan Mcguff- Embrace Preset
Morgan Liberastore - Wanderlust Preset
Morgan Mcguff - Embrace Preset
Julia Robbins- Beholden Preset
Tossama Chiwarak - Wanderlust Preset
Jaydean and Carey Winkworth - Embrace
Ashlyn Hale - Runway
Camille Wilton - Embrace Preset
Erin Cusisk - Wanderlust Preset
Candice Clarke - Embrace Preset
Emma Ryan - Embrace
Stephanie Sanzo -Embrace Preset- Brave
Jess Bryan - Wanderlust Preset
Kelli Neff - Wanderlust Preset
Korin Hunter - Willow Preset
Leonie Hollan - Embrace Preset- Brave
Photoshop and Lightroom are both amazing tools for photographers to use. Each program has their own pros and cons and the more seasoned of a photographer and editor you are, the more you probably enjoy using each program for its unique offerings.
While both programs are wonderful and can be great to use, there’s something to be said for how accessible and effective Lightroom is for photographers. In today’s post, we are breaking down why Lightroom is easier than Photoshop and why, if you’re going to take the time to learn a program, Lightroom should be the first one on your list of the two to tackle.
What’s so great about Lightroom?
Lightroom was designed specifically for photographers. The way Lightroom intuitively and almost seamlessly works for photographers will make it easier for you to use. Lightroom houses most of the image manipulation tools that you’ll need for editing your images. On top of that, importing your images into Lightroom first will help catalogue your images! What a bonus!
Why do people use Photoshop?
Photoshop was originally designed for simple digital photo editing, but as the capabilities grew, photoshop became the go-to for all your graphic design needs-- from architects to graphic designers, publishers and more. Photoshop has such a wide range of capabilities, that it is often overwhelming when you’re starting out. Photoshop now caters more to the graphic designer than the everyday photographer.
Why should I use Lightroom?
Lightroom is a staple because of its easy-to-use format and the way it can also help catalogue your images, apply presets in important and can overall improve your workflow. Here are my top favorite reasons to use Lightroom…
1 - You import your RAW files into Lightroom and can create collections, add keywords, and save all your files into specific catalogues.
2 - You can apply settings on import! If you know you’re going to be applying a certain preset to all if your images, you can apply settings when you import the images so when see them, they already all have the same settings applied. This is especially amazing if you have a studio where you control the lighting. You can apply the same settings to all of your images and just make minor tweaks to images as needed.
3 - No “save” button. Lightroom automatically saves all of your tweaks automatically so you have a database of edits and history of all the images you’ve edited.
4 - The editing panels are easy to understand. Everything is laid out easily and the tools are easy to understand. Each tool does exactly what it says it does-- brightness, saturation, vibrance, noise reduction, lens correction and more. It’s all straightforward and easy to apply with sliders so you can see how the selected tool modifies the image.
5 - Presets! Most presets are designed to work with Lightroom! Presets are total game changers and I love using my presets for all of the images I edit in Lightroom!
These are just a few of the reasons Lightroom has my personal vote as easier to use than photoshop. For the basic editing you need to do to an image you took, this is it! An extra perk is Lightroom for your mobile phone. Presets can work on your phone so any image you take on the go can be edited on-the-go to match your style so you can post to your social media feed or send a client a sneak peek before you even get the images onto your computer.
Do you prefer Lightroom or Photoshop? Why? Share below.
Did you know that you have a superpower?
As boudoir photographers, we are all connected by the superpower we share. The results of our superpower are making our clients feel gorgeous, unstoppable and fierce. The way our client feels ripples out to their creative energy and confidence they bring to us during their session and then they leave their session feeling empowered to be the most amazing and authentic versions of themselves.
The superpower you possess isn’t editing, it isn’t quit wit to make your client laugh and it’s not even an amazing studio setup and flattering lighting.
Your superpower is the power to pose.
The superpower of posing is incredible.
It’s like that saying, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.
With this superpower of yours, it is your responsibility to pose your client in a way that will produce the best possible photograph. Your ability to pose your client and ease them into the poses, ensuring them that they look fabulous, is one of the best ways to use your superpower for good in the photography world.
So how do you hone your superpower?
In all the superhero movies that is always that stage where the superhero is just learning about their ability and just figuring out how to best wield their power.
I want to give you a few tips for posing your client that will help you really get confident in your superpower so you can wow your next client!
TIP 1 - Get to know your client
Get to know your client so you know how to make them feel comfortable. The more you and your client chat and get to know each other before the shoot, the more relaxed they will be during their session, which means they will be willing to do what you say and will feel confident that you are making them look good. Send out questionnaires, help them pick their lingerie and talk during their hair and makeup! Be totally available for them so they understand you are in their corner, ready and willing to be their cheerleader and always keeping their best face (or booty) forward.
TIP 2- Remember the FAB 4
The FAB 4 are the 4 things you should always remember to look for on your client. The hand placement, the facial expression, the curves and the hair. If a client feels uncomfortable, their face and hands will show it. Asking your client to close their eyes and exhale is a great way to help them relax before you take a shot! The client is counting on YOU to make their curves pop and keep their hair looking flawless.
TIP 3 - Posing should make sense!
This shouldn’t come as a surprise for you but posing really should make sense. The pose you put her in should be true to reality, but slightly more exaggerated to really capture all the subtleties. Once you posed your client and captured the photograph, you can prompt your client to move naturally (run her fingers through her hair, close her eyes, etc) which will create new life in the pose and allow you to capture all the sizzling details.
While we can’t all go to superhero skills, I want to be the wise leader who is here to help you! Consider my posing guide in the shop your curriculum in the Academy for the Boudoir Superhero! My guide gives you ALL my best tips and tricks for posing your clients from where to put your focus, the right words to say to encourage and give comfort to your clients and even the exact wording I use to guide my clients into the poses that leave their own jaws dropping when they see the final images.
This guide is seriously going to help your posing superpower impact each and every client you have the opportunity to work with. I even give you my exact posing flows to transition your client from pose to natural movement! Trust me, this guide is worth it! Check it out in the shop here.
I love my studio so much. All the years I’ve shot in a studio it’s been wonderful to have the consistency of the space. From the actual props we used to the lighting, it’s always consistent. Shooting outdoors is a whole different story. As much as you can bring reflectors and can plan for the best time of day to shoot, you will inevitably not be able to always control your light.
So how do I choose the light I am going to shoot in when shooting outdoors?
When you’re on location you’re just working with what you have available to you. Trust me when I tell you, nature doesn’t always give you what you need to create the images you envision in your mind. It’s up to you to be creative and to understand where to best place your subject for the different light available to you.
A couple notes on outdoor lighting…
Sometimes all you have to work with is harsh light. When I have harsh light to work with I find it’s important to place my subjects just right to avoid squinting or harsh shadows. You either avoid the harsh light (finding some shade) or you should fully embrace it. Don’t half ass it or ‘try to make it work’... If you’re going for harsh light, go all out.
The best light is an overcast sky. An overcast sky, filled with wither fluffy clouds covering the sun or the dramatic clouds signaling a rain storm, make everything soft and even. This style of lighting is really perfect for editing with presets. It really is the easiest and safest way to shoot knowing you don’t have to worry about squinty eyes, shadows or where the light is hitting your subject.
My favorite kind of light is, and i’m sure you could guess it because all photographers love it… golden hour. The warm golden tones are simply gorgeous for capturing your subject and always make for lovely images no matter what.
So how do I decide which light to actually shoot in?
For me, it really depends on the mood I am going for. When I’m at a session I look for variety and different lighting situations to see which will best bring my vision to life. Trees will give me shadows and more dappled light when the sun is still high which can give a real dreamy feel to the images you are creating.
I also look for open shade. If this term is unfamiliar to you, open shade is when your subject stands fully in the shade looking towards you. You will be in the sun. It’s the perfect way to keep your subject free of harsh shadows.
If my subject has the availability, I’ll always pick golden hour. Golden hour gives a dreamy feel and I just love how the soft light hits hair and skin makes it all seem to glow. It has an ethereal effect and makes everything look like it could be a fairytale.
The blue hour, which is the hour right after sunset, is perfect for moody tones. If the look you and your subject are going for is more moody and dramatic then this light will work best.
The most important part of all is to learn how to work with all of these different kind of light situations so you can be prepared no matter what the day brings your way. Being prepared is the best way to bring a vision to life, even if it’s not what you originally anticipated. Becoming skilled with your camera and understanding the benefits and tricks to working with each lighting situation is going to make you a stronger photographer for your clients.
When I first found photography I had no idea how much it would change me. When I first picked up a camera it was like being born again. Yes, that does sound cheesy but it’s true! I started seeing things I’ve never seen before and I noticed the intense beauty of the colors around me. I was in Hawaii, which is breathtaking to begin with, so this new light of seeing was addictive. I can remember seeing the sunset with this new perspective and being deeply moved.
I was also addicted to learning everything I could about photography.
I joined a local photography group and received a ton of guidance in my new found passion and even became an intern. During my internship I basically shadowed her sessions and got to carry around her gear. It doesn’t sound glamorous but I learned a lot about working with reflectors and how to work with light, I learned a lot about my gear and the technical aspect of photographer in a short amount of time. I made sure I didn’t miss out a single learning opportunity.
What I wish I had known during this time of learning was that…
- recognizing and developing your own style takes time
- posing people and editing shouldn’t take hours
- skin tones are really important
- seeing how color casts and knowing pure white is crucial
But, what I really want to tell you is this…
Photography is not a destination, it is a way of life.
You will always be learning something new that you didn’t previously know.
You will never stop learning.
You will always feel a bit left out, a bit behind and not good enough.
But that is part of the beauty of being an artist. What I’ve learned is that the beauty of being an artist is the constant state of wanting to improve and grow because what we do as photographers is really a gift. You have the ability to freeze time, you paint with a photo.
I’ve learned that once you start this thing called ‘photography’, you cannot go back because it becomes a part of you. The part of you that you have awakened was always within you and now that it is awake, it becomes an addiction, your way to heal and your source of joy. It’s not that you love photography, you need photography.
After realizing we are all in this perpetual cycle of learning, not feeling good enough, creating something we are proud of, then learning more, I learned a lot about myself. I learned about what makes me happy and where I have found my place in the world. I know what I will do for the rest of my life, my life with a camera in my hand. I learned that you have to take the road less traveled and that you have to find your voice within yourself instead of looking to other places or other artists.
-to let go of old
I've learned that you have to take the road less traveled that you have to find your voice within yourself and not look at other places or other artists.
I've learned to let go of old habits and to welcome new.
I have learned to enjoy the journey of being an artist.
I've learned that I'm in fact an entrepreneur that works until the midnight hours in order to reach my goals.
I did not know this about myself.
I learned that I have grits and that I will keep going no matter what obstacle is in my way.
I want you to know that YOU TOO are an artist, with grit and the ability to reach your dreams. You are allowed to build a brand. You are allowed to fly high.
Images From When I First Started Photography