Friday, November 8, 2019

My Most Recent Session

My most recent session happened to be held at one of my favorite locations (Infinity c Ranch) in Farmersville Texas and was with a few of my favorite ladies since I picked up my camera.

When Alyson contacted me for a quick shoot she wanted something special with herself and her daughter.  We originally planned to have the session at the State Park close to Sanger, but ended up moving the location due to some obligations closer to home for this duo.

I remember walking around thinking, Boy this Sun is harsh, there's not this, there's not that and I had all this worry I wasn't going to get them something to brag about.  I walked here, walked there, held my camera up, down, upside down (haha) and then finally walked to a spot and turned 1/2 way around and knew that was the spot.

Even with all of the scouting, all the prep sometimes things aren't ideal, but that teaches us as artist to just take a look around your surroundings.  You will be surprised what is right in front of you.  I ended up being very blessed with this golden field with the sun just right and the ladies so beautiful there was no way we were going to walk away unhappy.  That little 15-20 minutes in that field turned out to be some of my most favorite work as an artists.  It helped that I had two beautiful ladies in front of me and gorgeous horses as their props.

As an artist if your a photographer, painter, sketch artist, anything just look around without walking in all directions and you will be surprised what's in front of you.  Picture a person or thing in that spot and you can make magic.  Don't overthink it, let the artist in you go free and you will capture a memory for someone that they will proudly display on their wall.

My most recent session made me happy because the mother/daughter that I photographed were happy with their photos and displayed them proudly on facebook and I know will display them on their wall.  #johphotography

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Communicating with your Client

As a photographer or any small business its our job to make sure we communicate to the client/customer so they have full understanding and no confusion in any way.

I like when I receive messages thru email, Facebook messenger or even text.  Having it all written out to me is very helpful so they can go back and read over your answers and have everything in writing. Even if someone calls me I will do a follow up of what we talked about in writing so they have the discussion in text form to refer to.

Being clear on "What they get" for the price your asking is very important.  How many photos are included, Do they get digitals, do they get prints, will it be emailed, is it flash drive.  All of those things should be very clear and discussed with your customers.

How many outfit changes do I get?  I'm one of those that I don't care if they change clothes 20 times, it's their time slot if they book me for 1 1/2 hours they can change clothes over and over, that their time to do as they wish.  They need to know the more they change clothes the less photos I am taking but I feel if they want to change thats up to them and I want them to be happy.

I often scout or ask for photos of the location so I can have an understanding of the area, where is the sun coming from, are there props for us to use to help pose them.  Those things help when planning a session.  I often write a script based on the location and the outfits, horses, dogs or just the people; that way we can utilize our time wisely and they will get the most for their money.

I do my best to deliver 50 to 75 proofs that might be a 15 digital package; I want to make sure I capture a variety of backgrounds so they don't have the same boring background photo after photo.

When I finish a session, I also hand the customer / client a "Whats going to happen next" page that they keep.

I go over my process and tell them when I get home this is what happens, they know exactly they will be seeing their proofs by a certain time, they get a free photo to share immediately, their photos are ordered, I touch up and do. my best to enhance the photos in a certain way, what edits are done, when they will be finished, where to order their prints from.

They shouldn't have any questions after they finish a session with me, moving forward I plan to move that process into the next level and I'm excited at the changes that are coming up for Jo. H Photography to make the customer experience a quicker and more efficient process.  Speed and accuracy is a must and thats something I am always working on.

Make sure as a business you discuss everything, don't assume anything, explain, type it out, say it over and over so you are doing your job of letting the customer know that their money is well spent. to book your session

Friday, October 11, 2019

Your Ah-Ha moment

Photography is kind of confusing when your first staring out.  There wasn’t a lot of youtube on photography back then and you had to read articles and try to learn from other photographers.

Well we are kind of a weird bunch when it comes to learning, a lot of photographers just won’t help you because they are afraid you will get there clients (theres only a bazillion people on earth believe me there are plenty of clients to go around).  I was told large amounts of money to work with me and the articles I didn’t understand.

I remember reading over and over the same articles to try to understand camera settings.  ISO, F stop, ISO, Shutter Speed all of that is very confusing to a new photographer.  I remember when I was first learning rodeo photography I belonged to a camera club (no longer a club) and a few of the members helped me out.  I wanted to freeze action, I wanted you to look at a photo and think “Wow how did she do that”.  My Ah-Ha moment was practicing in my front yard on a very small sprinkler and trying to stop the water droplets in the air.

I spent so much time practicing on that water sprinkler, uploading photos, adjusting settings (I had no idea what I was doing or why) and then seeing how things looked then again uploading photos re looking at them.

It took awhile for me to make sense of all those camera settings, but that practice time in my front yard on that little water sprinkler was my ah-ha moment that helped me be the photographer I am today.  Mainly learning my camera, not shooting on auto and adjusting settings to make the most of my photos.

When a new photographer messages me I always recommend a lot of practice like the one I used to do, its the best way to learn.  Shoot, download, look and edit, reshoot, download, look and edit.

Your an work with the best in the world but if you don’t practice you won’t improve and you won’t have your ah-ha moment

Friday, September 27, 2019

Tips for the Bride and her Upcoming Wedding

Its that time of year where the 2020 brides are working on their weddings for next year.  This is what I have to say "SMART GIRL".

The best tip I can give any bride is "Don't wait too long" to book anything for a wedding 8 months to a year out.  Vendors, and anyone working around a wedding will book up that far in advance.  I currently have 3 weddings in my calendar for 2020 and they have been booked 8 months in advance.

Look up a checklist of everything that needs to be done on Pinterest if you are planning yourself, even if you are hiring a wedding planner.  Get started early with everything for your very special day - if its choosing colors to choosing venues, vendors, anything that applies to your wedding.

Get started on that checklist early, venues go fast very fast, don't just rely on a message on email, or facebook, go visit those venues.  For example.  I photograph at Hollow Hill Event Center in Weatherford (located off hwy 199 between Springtown and Azle). they offer multiple wedding spots within their one facility, you can be indoors, outdoors, under the trees, under the stars.  You need to visit this location at the time of your ceremony so you can see how the light will hit that location and decide which best fits what your lookin for and I'm sure each location has a different price with it.  So visit with them, I know they take clients around on a Golf Cart and show them each location to help you decide, I'm pretty sure all venues do a tour at no charge to you but make sure to ask

Florist is another big one, depending on if you would like artificial or real flowers they need to know far in advance because if its live flowers those may be out of season.  Talk to your floral arrangement specialist as soon as you can so they can start trying to find what your looking for to work on a budget for you.  I can recommend a few for you reach out to me and from experience and photographing arrangements up close I would be happy to pass along some names and phone numbers

Your cake can be made in so many different ways, use your imagination when creating that special table for the bride and groom, the bakers are artists, you never know what fun creative thing they can create.  Contact them early they are one of the busiest of all the vendors and making sure you have them on your day is going to be one of those early phone calls you need to make, visit and see examples to help you decide.

The Dress!  Oh my goodness the dress, there are so many places to choose a dress, I think visiting some bridal shows is a great way to see the best variety in one location, if not, ask for recommendations from your friends and visit a few shops in your area.  They will have a wide range to fit any budget.  Pick the dress that will be the dress you always imagined when you were a little girl and you knew your dress was going to the prettiest dress ever.  This is your Princess day, make it so special you will remember it for a lifetime.

Make up- a lot of people do their own makeup that day, nothing wrong with that, I always recommend for ladies senior photos and weddings, go that extra step and book someone to help you look more beautiful than you already are.  MaddGlam has been my #officialmua for the past few years and I can't recommend her enough.

Last but not least of course is your photographer and videographer.  There is a budget and experience with both of those, when you ask if someone photographs weddings, make sure you see photos of weddings, ask "What is included in your price" So many times someone asks what I charge, I tell them they disappear, but they never ask me what I offer.  I offer 4, 6 and 8 hour packages, each one includes all photos GASP! photographers are falling dead all over.  I give ALL photos because thats the day they need to have every memory, it might be uncle bob laughing so hard his teeth fell out, or Dad crying when he gives his daughter away. The bride (in my opinion) should not have to choose the memory she wishes to receive.  I go against all the rules on the wedding and give them all the photos.  my prices are not cheap, but their not expensive either, they fit what I know I am offering.

ASK! ask the photographer, for the price what do I get, make sure you understand exactly and you know the work of the photographer before you agree.  I also offer gift certificates so people can help you pay for those weddings, lay a way to pay it out.  There are so many options to help you not be under stress when everyone is needing payment to help you with your wedding.

Vidoegraphers, same, see a body of their work, ask what is the time frame you will receive your finished video - ask how busy they are, what equipment they use, everything.... there is a lot behind what videographers do they have to watch tons of footage to build your story that will remind you of the day you said "I Do".

All in All - Don't wait to the last minute, plan far in advance so you can book the vendors you wish, the venues you want.  Ask for lay a way plans, ask do you offer gift certificates and put those on your wedding gift list.  Its your day, you don't want to worry, have everything in place, make your list check it twice then stop worrying and enjoy your day.  PICK a Go To person for all he vendors to go to in case they have questions, I always ask Who is my Go To person, because the bride has enough on her mind.

I'm not an expert but if you ever need help don't hesitate to reach out to me and I'm willing to help in anyway, if you book me or not, I'm happy to recommend and offer any advice to help you on your wedding.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Giving back thru Photography

One of the most rewarding things that has happened to me is using my photography and photography gear to “Give Back”.  Doing for others and giving back to a good cause has come to my heart more and more this past year.

I decided to find some organizations to help with my camera, being a HUGE animal lover I thought what better way than reaching out to a few rescue programs to help them find loving homes for the animals they are rescuing.

I reached out to TWO organizations in this area (Wild Heart Rescue in Boyd Texas) and (ShelterHearts in Bowie).  Both are great organizations with loving people with huge hearts doing everything they can to find homes for loving pets wanting a forever home.  I took photos of each of the pets and then they posted them on their site for families to see and hopefully not live without and adopt and take home forever and love them the way God intended when he created these beautiful creatures.

For Wild Heart Rescue in Boyd we did something a little different, we had pet mini sessions, donation only so the families that showed up to have photos taken with their pets made a donation of their choice direct to the Wild Heart Rescue.  It was so much fun and I felt so good helping out a great cause.  We are putting on two more of these this fall November 3, 2019 (this one is full) and November 10, 2019 has a few openings left.  This mini session set will be a little different, we will be creating a Christmas Card for them to share with their friends.
The second rescue program I was happy to help is Sacred Heart from Bowie, I found 
them thru a shared post on facebook and on that post was the dog that would find
his forever home with OUR family.  Ted the beagle/basset mix was a little guy in
the back yard of the shelter, all alone, the saddest face I had ever seen but something
in that face pulled at me and I had to bring him home.  So happy that I found him because
he has made a special place in our family and in our hearts and if I hadn't showed up that
day to photograph and help other dogs find homes, I may not of found him.

If you have a talent, be it photography, videography, graphics, marketing, ANYTHING give back to a good cause.  use your talent to help others, it will make your heart feel so good.

Friday, September 13, 2019

What Inspires Me to Photograph

I don't have the years behind me that a lot of photographers do, but I know I have found what I love to do and it was thru a hobby.  I started out around 2013 by going to Wolfe Camera (out of business now) and walking in to say "I've always been interested in photography".  The man behind the counter handed me a Nikon D40 and a kit lens.  I looked at it and thought "Crud, now what? I have no idea what to do with this".  They offered 6 weeks of lessons to anyone that bought a camera so I signed up and tried to understand the lingo they threw my way (ISO, F-Stop, Shutter Speed, etc).
Through those lessons, I learned a few things which got me on my journey.

What inspires me to photograph is getting better!  Each and every time I pick up my camera to photograph barrel racing, portraits, weddings, newborns, sale horses, I want it to be better than the last time I photographed.  When I started with Barrel racing photography I discovered "Pixel Worx" Their photos are famous by photographing BBR, I wanted my photos to be that good and I told myself even though my sights were not to go to NFR or BBR World or NBHA World I wanted to be the Pixel Worx or the small arena.  After time I would try different angles, but the barrel racers do love that famous 2nd barrel photo that shows everything going right.

What inspires me to photograph?  Trying new things with new lighting and new angles. You never know what you will get and when your lucky enough to get Multiple NFR contestant Stevi Hillman in front of your camera you know your going to get a good action photo.  Trying new angles inspires me to bring out the most in a photo, a photo should tell a story and draw the viewer in for a closer look.  Thats what inspires me!
What Inspires me to photograph?  doing a great job for the client! When I get a call and someone needs photos for a sale catalog I know that horse has got to stand out from the other photos in the catalog, something I've been working on is my equine sale photos.  I have to bring out the best in that horse in order to draw a potential buyer to the sale or to the seller.  I get inspired knowing that I can bring out the natural beauty in what God Created.  The HORSE!
What Inspires me to photograph? I love to create an image thru my camera for a mom and she falls in love with it so much she will put a 20x30 canvas or print on her wall to show the photo off to anyone visiting her home.  I look forward to each and every session and when someone comes to me with a unique idea I absolutely cannot wait to photograph and capture what they want for their home art.

What Inspires me to Photograph?  Doing my best each and every time I pick up the camera and doing a great job for someone paying me to do what I already love to do. to book your session

Barrel Racing (limited events each year)
Sale Horses
"For all your photography needs"

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Tips for Photographing Horses

I am no way an expert in the field of Equine Photography and poses, it is something I work at each and every time I am asked to photograph for the owners.  If it's a sale photo, stallion photo or just sentimental photo.

One of the things I require is that the person asking me to come out has a "handler" a person that will help.  Unless you have a world champion halter horse, you have to put a lot of work into getting the horse in the best position to show off what God created.

It's not easy, its hot, its sweaty, its cold, its irritating, but if your going to do a job for a client you want to do a good job.  I apologize throughout the session because their having to bend over, repeatedly and move the horse in the position I am asking them to.

The end result will be so much better than just a quick iPhone photo, when your needing photos like this ask for a extra person to help you.  The photographer can't move back and forth and place legs because the horse will move before she gets back in place and that makes the process so much more slower.  I would recommend having a person hold the horse, one to work with positioning and if your lucky you have a third to get ears up, if not the person moving the legs has 2 jobs.

This allows the photographer to be ready to take that photo before the horse moves.

contact me if you need professional equine photos