What separates an Amateur from a Professional Photographer?

What separates an Amateur from a Professional Photographer?

By Nicoletta Kavvadia 


In an online social world where anyone, who owns a full frame camera or a smartphone with a high definition camera, can automatically call themselves a “photographer”, we found ourselves wondering; “What is the difference between a professional and amateur photographer”?


While back in the day, a photographer would be someone who would have mastered the craft, by assisting a Master Photographer as an apprentice and later on practice the craft as a professional himself, nowadays, anyone, can be called a photographer. By attending online classes, either from well-established institutions schools and online platforms and personalised photography workshops, which, however, are sometimes organised by under qualified “professionals”, everyone, wherever in the world they may be, can provide themselves with credentials, “proving” the mastering of the Art of Photography.


In general, amateur photographers are the ones who take up photography as a hobby, an escape from everyday’s obligations. Some of them don’t even know the fundamentals of lighting and posing when it comes to portraits, however, being behind a camera and capturing whatever catches their eye attention makes them happy and that is why the continue to do it. Although amateur photographers have full-time jobs and a standard salary at the end of the month, some pursue photography learning in a deeper level.


As photography technology has been improving more and more over the years, photography enthusiasts have been growing alongside it as well.  Passionate amateur photographers, who need some time off from their full-time jobs, their everyday family stresses and personal anxieties, have been buying camera bodies and lenses to ensure the best quality possible for their hobby. To ensure that all these expenses do not burden their families, these group of  photographers, tend to create for themselves take upon them small, part-time photography careers, photographing small weddings in the weekends and family portraits on Sunday mornings, so they can earn some extra money for this expensive hobby/occupation while doing something they truly love. In many cases, photographers who started of as amateurs grew to become top in their craft.


Having said that, we ask ourselves again, what will separate an amateur photographer from a professional one?


Differences can be found in every aspect of this artistic occupation, however, it is very difficult for one to distinguish one from the other, especially when many “professional” characteristics are adopted by amateurs and many “amateur” attributes are used by professionals.


Trying to shed some light in this mystery and taking quality into consideration, we can’t help but notice that many amateur photographers produce some ah-mazing photographs, while professionals of the craft share some mediocre photos as a result of their paid services, that disappoint their clients, rather than pleasing them. Needless to say that these disappointed clients, who are fed up with paying such big sums of money and not get the images they’ve been paying for, tend to hire now more than ever before, amateur photographers who deliver them the quality they want and need for their businesses, when professionals, most of the times, lack to deliver.


Since quality did not lead to a satisfactory explanation / answer to the main question in hand, consequently, the only real difference, nowadays, between a professional and an amateur photographer (at least the one who is taking on paid work), is that the first is trying  to sustain a successful business through photography.


A licensed professional photographer will take care of how he presents himself on a potential client. His spelling and grammar are spot on and he responds to all inquiries in a polite and professional way, whether he is hired for the job or not.


Furthermore, price range vary from professional photographers and amateur ones and here’s why; every professional photographer, making a sustainable business out of his name, has to pay taxes, whereas amateurs do not. Taxation requires to be making a living on a regular base so it can be paid off. That is one of the reasons professionals get frustrated when amateur photographers take on paid jobs. The later can afford not to charge extra money for taxes, which makes them more eligible to be hired for a venue than the former.


However, in a similar, business-wise concept,  on one hand, professional photographers have the ability and are able to provide, at any given time, a sample of work for a client to review his work / portfolio, in order to decide upon hiring him or not. On the other hand, amateurs, who start their part time, often illegal, photography career don’t have the same ability.


One can also add to the whole issue that professional photographers can be characterised often as more dedicated to their own brand, exactly because they need to make a living out of it.  Being a professional photographer is all about branding your own name and letting potential clients know the worth, value and quality that separates you from other, fellow professionals and, better yet, amateurs.


The fact will remain as is; professional and amateurs will always be “at war” when the later intervene in the former’s fields, however, every day is a new day and one can learn new things, arts and crafts. No one should be prevented from doing so, and if a creative career is what makes one happy, he should do so, no matter who will be insulted or not.


In the end, photography is a form of art and whether you do it for full-time, part-time of for a hobby, it should be treated with love and respect.


Nicoletta Kavvadia
Fashion Photographer/Videographer
Banner Image credit Tamara Williams.






How To Build A Career As A Fashion Stylist


How To Build A Career As Fashion Stylist

Submitted by Gisela Viera @giselavierastyle

Your friends are always commenting on your fabulous wardrobe. You get stopped in the street by random people wanting to take your picture for their IG feed, and asking you where you got your shoes. You are obsessed with hunting down all of the little-hidden boutiques with the coolest selections of obscure designers and vintage finds. Friends text you pictures when they’re getting ready for a night out, seeking your style-savvy advice. And you’ve suddenly realized that maybe you can make some money with your talent! You might even be able to turn it into a career! But how to go about it? Where to begin?


As you start down the road of building your career as a Fashion Stylist, I’d like to share some insight from my time working as a stylist in Barcelona, Spain. I currently live in NYC, and my styling career has branched out into wardrobe consulting, professional dressing, and style writing. I’ve had the honor of being backstage, dressing for Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, Tom Ford, Valentino, Michael Kors, and Philipp Plein, proof that investing in your love of fashion can lead to a fun and fulfilling career.


At the beginning of your career, the most important thing is to begin building both your network and your portfolio, and the easiest way to do this is to test, test, test. Fashion photography is created as a team comprised of a photographer, stylist, makeup artist, hairstylist, and model. Often, the photographer and stylist work together to art direct the shoot, creating the inspiration and vision for the fashion story. They work together to choose the perfect backdrop for the looks, or to create a set that makes the looks pop. Every person on a fashion shoot is important to the success of the shoot. Being reliable is key; showing up organized, prepared, and ready to shoot. If you flake the day of the shoot, everyone will remember, and you will probably never work with these people again.


So, how do you build your looks? The images that you’re creating will tell a story with pictures. They have to have something in common to tie them all together. Elements you can use to create a cohesive fashion editorial story are color, texture, clothing category (denim, bathing suits, 1920s inspired, B-girl, etc.), a distinct hair/makeup look, or a memorable location. Keep the publication you’ll be submitting to in mind when you pull your looks. Each publication prefers certain brands, depending on the clients that are buying the magazine’s advertising space. If you can use brands that are advertising with the publication you’re submitting to, your submission will have a greater chance of being published.


So as a fledgling Fashion Stylist, how do you pull looks? Perhaps you are working with a photographer who has already established a relationship with a magazine, and who can provide a pull letter for you to present to showrooms. Showrooms represent designers and want to make sure that they loan out the collection to stylists who will get the clothing into magazines in a cool way that’s relevant to the brand. Building a strong relationship with a showroom includes treating the borrowed clothing respectfully, returning all borrowed items damage-free and in a timely manner, and sharing published images with them. By showing the showroom that you’re a talented and creative person who’s also responsible and reliable, they’ll be happy to work with you again the next time you reach out with an editorial project.


You’ve created your looks for your first editorial shoot, but are still missing some items…shoes to go with the fierce red leather asymmetrical skirt? A statement necklace to pair with the plunging neckline of the slinky metallic maxi dress? Be brave and reach out to shoe and jewelry designers directly to see if they’d like to collaborate. A “no” today may turn into a “yes” down the road. At least now you’ve made a new connection, and you’re on their radar. Also, keep in mind that many stores offer a flexible buy and return policy. If you choose to complete your looks in this manner, it’s super important to protect the merchandise so that you’ll be able to return it and get your money back. Stylist tricks include taping the bottom of shoes with masking tape to avoid dirt on the soles (don’t let models walk in the shoes either), and using a make-up hood when dressing the model to keep all clothing stain free.


An editorial shoot is a fashion fantasy captured in photographs. Many times, the clothing that you’re working with doesn’t fit the model properly. This is when stylist’s get to work their magic with their prop kit, using pins, flash tape, and clips to tailor the style on the model’s body and make the look picture perfect. Don’t forget to pack your steamer, so your looks will be fresh and wrinkle-free.


Fashion editorials are a fantastic way to flex your creative muscle, build your portfolio, and expand your network. There are also some downsides that you need to know about. Fashion editorials are time and energy intensive; a successful shoot takes many hours of preparation, shooting, and return time. It’s also rare for a fashion editorial to generate any income. The purpose of fashion editorials is to create a strong portfolio to show to clients who are willing to pay for your styling talents. Paying clients include E-Commerce styling, advertising campaigns, lookbooks, images for model’s books, individual client styling, portraiture, and headshots. Also keep in mind that photographers, make-up artists, and hairstylists in your network will get booked for jobs. If you make a good impression, they’ll be happy to recommend you when the client asks for a stylist referral.


Does all of this sound overwhelming? Take a deep breath and take it one step at a time, one look at a time, one editorial at a time. And if this seems like too much to take on solo, finding a seasoned stylist to assist is a fantastic way to gain knowledge and experience. Being open and willing to be mentored by someone with more experience and connections than you is a fantastic way to open the door to your own Fashion Styling career. And down the road, when you’re super busy with your own paying projects and clients, you’ll be happy to say yes to your own assistant to share your Fashion Stylist skills with.



Banner Image Credit solve sundsbo


A brief bio:
Gisela Viera has had a lifelong love affair with fashion, design, and personal style. This passion led her to obtain a degree in fashion design from Polimoda Istituto Internazionale di Disegno Moda, a premiere design school in Florence, Italy. After working with several design companies, Gisela began working as a fashion stylist in Barcelona, Spain. Stylists work with dreams and fantasies, teling a story through clothes, accessories, make-up, props, and locations. Gisela received the Silver Lux Prize from the Spanish Professional Photographers Society in honor of her styling talent. Gisela currently lives in New York City. Her personal style and wardrobe styling business allows her to share her years of fashion experience and style expertise in a very personal and individualized manner.

10 Mistakes Photographers Make When Submitting Their Work

10 Mistakes Photographers Make When Submitting Their Work

The common goal for any aspiring photographer is to one day see their work in the glossy pages of a magazine. Unfortunately, many photographers make several common mistakes when submitting their hard work to publications. In order to avoid rejection and set yourself apart from the herd, read on to find out 10 mistakes photographers make when submitting to magazines:


KNOW YOUR STYLE- For every interest, hobby or art form there is a magazine. It is important to do your research and find the right magazines that fit your personal style. Even if you’re sights are set solely on fashion and beauty, understand not all fashion and beauty magazines are created the same. Some are more artsy and experimental, some are minimal, others provocative. Find the magazines that match your personal aesthetic and focus on them.


ResolutionYou want the pictures you submit to represent you at your best. Sending poorly pixilated pictures or files that are too large won’t do you any favors. Lowering resolution might save you some space on your computer, but will convey a negative message to those you’re submitting to. Sending files that are too large can be a nuisance to those trying to download them. If you don’t know what size your pictures should be, fret not, most magazines provide the answer, all one must do is search their submission page. For example, Flawless magazine requires pictures to not exceed 1024 pixels. If you can’t find a submission page, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.


Theme- Every so often a magazine decides it wants to center an issue around a certain theme. If you are going to be submitting to a magazine like this, you must make sure your photos fit the theme. Even if the magazine itself does not require a theme, your photo set should still have one. Your images should form a cohesive story. Having one picture dark and Gothic while the next one is flowery and bright doesn’t make much sense. Let your images tell a story that is truly captivating as a whole.


Credit- It wouldn’t be very nice if someone used your images without crediting you, so why do it to someone else? It’s proper decorum to make sure you attach a list of all contributing creatives with your submissions. Everyone who helped work on the photo-shoot with you should get a credit as well as all labels worn by your model. Most magazines require this and won’t even look twice at your submission if credits are not included.


Editing- You’re photos need to look professional. Over editing images or using filters can make you look like a big amateur. Your main goal when taking pictures is to get the lighting right before the camera even clicks. A great picture should require very little tweaking. Let your photography skills shine through in every photo you take.


Emails- Take your submissions seriously. Having your images in a magazine is a great way to get your foot in the door of an incredibly competitive industry. Magazine editors tend to be busy people so remember to be courteous of their time. If they respond back to your submission, be sure to answer in a promptly fashion. Failure to answer on time can potentially result in your images not being published. They are busy and they have deadlines, respect it.


Photo Limit-  Magazines set specific guidelines. They let you know exactly what they want for a good reason. You might think all three hundred pictures you took are top notch but no one has time to look through them all. Editors are busy, often spending their days pouring over dozens of submissions. Flawless Magazine asks photographers to only send ten images, other magazines commonly ask for less. If they like what they see they might ask for more.


Simultaneous Submissions- Submitting to different magazines at the same time is absolutely fine and encouraged. What’s seriously frowned upon, however, is sending the same photos to multiple magazines at the same time. It’dbe mighty embarrassing to have separate magazines like your work only to realize someone else wants to publish it too. Publications want pictures that have never been seen before so be sure to keep track of simultaneous submissions. Know who you sent to, who rejected you, and be sure not to resend anyone the same pictures again.


Unoriginal- What’s the best way to ensure no one will notice you? Blend in. It’s a good idea to take a look at the kind of images a magazine publishes. It’s not a good idea to try to replicate them. Use them as inspiration but don’t try to emulate flat out. Magazines want fresh and new images, so originality is extremely important. Be creative and be yourself. Let your artistry be apparent.


Deadlines- Every magazine has a deadline for submissions. They must get everything compiled in a timely manner to send off to the press or to publish online. It does not matter how good you are, a magazine will not hold the presses for you. Be sure to check deadlines and to respect them.

Submissions | Flawless Fashion Magazinesubmit

A day in the life of Talia White

Tell us a day in the life of Talia White?

My days aren’t quite as easy as they use to be, I have a 1 year old daughter so my day starts sorting her out before anything else. I check Instagram and my emails, get all my equipment together and then depending on where I am shooting I will either make my way to my studio or location.  The day will be spent shooting for a number of different companies and brands, whether that is campaign or e-commerce.  As soon as I am done I make my way home and start editing the pictures from the shoot. This would be a typical shoot day, however, sometimes I have admin and editing days where I tie up any loose ends and finalise paperwork.

Growing up did you know you wanted to be a photographer, if so who were you influenced by?

When I was growing up I wanted to be an artist and I suppose this is what I am now in my own right, but it wasn’t a career in photography that I imagined. It was when I started a college course in Art and Design that I was required to study a unit in photography and I found it really enjoyable. However it took me two years to discover my true passion. I would photograph landscape, food, portraits and still life, but the feeling of excitement came when I took a photo of my niece in a creative fashion shoot and it was here I knew I wanted to make a career out shooting fashion photography.  Early in my career I admired David LaChapelle’s use of colour, set design and how extravagant his work is and I think perhaps this has influenced my work at times and how I use colour in my photographs.

How did you start your photography business?

Straight out of college I worked in a family portrait studio to develop confidence, as well becoming more familiar with lighting and editing techniques, and dealing with clients.  It also enabled me to build a portfolio of work as I was able to use the studio when the shop was closed. In 2015 I arranged a test shoot with a model who was the face of an up and coming brand, I asked her to bring some clothing from the brand and when the company saw the pictures they loved my work and booked me from then on as their photographer. After shooting with this company I was able to leave my day job because I was getting enough work as a freelance photographer and building up a reputation via Instagram and Facebook.

What interesting projects have you worked on recently or about to work on?

Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph Toff from Made in Chelsea just before she went on to win ‘I’m a Celebrity’ for With Love Lilly a lingerie company which was amazing. I do have a really exciting trip coming up in Mykonos, I can’t say too much about it just yet but I would say it is my most exciting project yet to date.

Provide us some illustrations of how your work have transformed over the years?


2009                                                      2018


How did you to develop your Own Unique Style of Photography?

I suppose it developed over a period of time, my style has changed from when I started out. To begin my style was very vintage and ethereal but it didn’t get me any work. It was at this point where I realised I had to look at what brands were shooting to figure out what was current and on-trend so I switched up my style. I also find a lot of my style comes into my work during editing.

How do you create a Fashion or Beauty Shoot?

It will all start with a brief, usually sent over by the company.  This will include the themes, make-up, posing styles, models and inspiration pictures. From this we design a set to fit the brief (if needed) and everything else just falls into place.

What are 10 Things clients look for when hiring a Photographer in your opinion?

Reputation, professional, personality, quick turnaround of images, passionate about the work you are producing, loyalty, organised, making the whole experience as seamless as possible and adaptable.

How did you grow Your Photography Business with Instagram?

By shooting with brands and models with large followings, constantly networking with different models and makeup artists on the social media platform.

What are some of the Risks Every Photographer Needs to Take to Be Successful?

Even if you are absolutely terrified do it, I’m quite a nervous person, my nerves always get the better of me but whatever the task/job, I say yes because I’d never get anywhere if I didn’t. I recently had to do Demos at The Photography Show for Interfit UK, which back when I started I could have only dreamed of. I was totally nervous but knew it was something I needed to do.

I know it’s cliché but NOTHING comes from your comfort zone, your comfort zone is your failure zone, so take risks. Do something every day that scares you, contact the clients you dream of shooting for.

Who are some of your 10 Must-Follow Photographers on Instagram       ?

I could probably list 100, but here are some amazing talented and supportive photographers I enjoy seeing on my insta feed. I think there are more than 10 here.















What are some advice on how to Get Your Photos Published?

Find magazines that are accepting submissions, check out the up and coming themes, get a great team together and produce something Insane.

How do you Find Models for Your Photo Shoot?

I usually find them via Instagram or I contact agencies.


Any advice for up and coming Photographers?

First of all just test, test, and test. Test with friends, family members and models that are building a portfolio to find your style.

Secondly, my favourite saying is ‘talent will get your far but ambition will get you further’.  There will be knockbacks, it happens to us all, however, if you want something bad enough and you eat, sleep and breathe it, work day and night for it. You’ll reach all your goals.

10 Risks Every Designer Needs to Take to be Successful

10 Risks Every Designer Needs to Take to be Successful


By Beth Diamond (@bethisqueen)


It takes true grit to succeed in an industry as cut throat as Fashion. Success does not happen overnight and it certainly won’t all be glitter and gold, but with risk comes reward. For those willing to take a chance, taking necessary risks might be the key to success. What risk should you consider? Here are 10 risks every designer needs to take:


BE GOOD. This might sound obvious, but when the competition is fierce, the fierce get competitive. Being good doesn’t mean your designs are pretty, it means you’ve done your research, you have the education or experience necessary to start in a competitive business and you’ve prepared yourself for an upward climb. You may have planned to go at it on your own but one of the best ways to test your knowledge and skill is with an internship or apprenticeship. Learn all you can and absorb as much knowledge from those with more experience.


DRIVE. What separates the wildly successful from everyone else? Drive! Those at the top never gave up. You will face difficulties that may make you want to throw in the towel, but your dream will never be realized if you do. You will have to work long hours, make sacrifices and stay incredibly focused. Sometimes this means saying no to plans and fun gatherings with friends and family. Stay focused on your goal, those who love and support you will understand.


BE UNIQUE. Following trends is easy; setting them takes a brave soul willing to step outside comfort zones. If you want to stand out from the hoards of other brands start thinking outside the box. Following a fickle trend might seem like a good idea to garner capital, but doing the same thing as everyone else means you fade into the background.  If you want people to take notice and keep coming back for more, do something different. Use your artistic and creative skills to offer the world something new.


INVEST. Don’t have a lot of money? Most people don’t when starting a new business. That’s why investors exist. It’s a scary thought to give up some control of a dream you’ve worked so hard to build, but the resources investors can provide can be pivotal to building an empire. PR maven, Adrienne Mazzone of TransMedia Group says, “Avoid a long-term partnership, and make the investor a buy out should you start to make money, so there are no permanent attachments.”


MARKETING/PR. Unless you’re already famous or have millions of Instagram followers you probably won’t know how to get your amazing designs out there for the world to see. Hiring a Marketing/PR firm might sound expensive but it’s a worthwhile investment. You design, let someone else worry about getting your product out there.


COLLABORATION. Find other creative souls and ask to collaborate. It can be anyone. Find a jewelry or accessories designer and set up a photo-shoot. Submit those photos to magazines or plaster them all over social media. Have a favorite band? Design something amazing for them to wear on stage. Offer your designs to local charity events and put on a stunning fashion show. Getting your name out into the community creates great exposure as well as establishes a potential client base.


INSPIRATION. Be vulnerable. Inspiration is everywhere; one must only open their eyes. Using your own life experiences as inspirations behind your product might be a scary thought, but being vulnerable and sharing your story can make people feel like they have something to relate to. When others relate, they are paying attention. Showing the world who you truly are and putting meaning behind every piece will make what you have to offer truly one of a kind.


REALISM. Understand what you’re doing and be absolutely realistic about it. Never give up your dreams and goals but always be aware of the reality of your situation. Fashion is a competitive business and you are unlikely to become the next Marc Jacobs or Calvin Klein. Even if you never reach superstar status you can still be crazy successful. Also, understand that for a while anyway, you will need to cope with the idea of giving up a steady paycheck. Quitting your job and focusing on your dream of designing is a huge deal, but one that must happen if you ever want to see that dream flourish.


WHERE TO SELL.  Opening up your own boutique at the very beginning of your career might be unrealistic. There are plenty of other options available to those not able to have their own brick and mortar. Consider hiring an expert to create an app or website, most people shop online anyway. There are also many e-commerce stores where selling is made easy. Etsy and eBay are two obvious choices but websites like notjustalabel.com and ustrendy.com exist to help emerging designers establish themselves.


BE PRESENT. Blogs, Social media, LinkedIn, and charity events are all important tools to stay active in the community and will ultimately help grow your business. Actively engaging online will help draw people into your creative world and make them feel more connected to what you are building. Keeping people updated on exciting happening like new products and launch dates will keep them wanting more.















10 Things Clients Look for when Hiring a Photographer

10 Things Clients Look for when Hiring a Photographer


You have a camera and you’ve been gaining experience in the field and now it’s time to drop the hobby charade and get down to brass tacks.  You want to be financially appreciated for the great photography you’re capable of and there’s no time like the present. But in a world where everyone and their neighbor is a photographer, standing out in the sea of entry-level DSLRs is a daunting task. However, people do it every day with confidence and gusto.  There is not a reason fathomable as to why you shouldn’t be able to do the same!  Of course, there are some things worth noting, as the professional world is a beast waiting to be conquered -and conquer you will!


Here is what your future clients are looking for…


1     A Respectable Website


Attracting clients is very possible via social media, but an Instagram or Facebook page doesn’t quite cut it. Instagram is a great photography outlet, however, the people expecting to pay good money for quality images aren’t looking to see the personal input on your work so much as they are trying to see an organized flow of credibility and consistency. Clients want a catalogue of images to inspire them to shoot with you. Give them what they want.  No matter the site provider, (Wix, Squarespace, WordPress etc.)  your site must be attractive and flow like a large river into clean, fresh tributaries.  In other words, there should be no inconvenience nor distractions when people want to explore your photography.  Keep your site neat and simple.  Imagine yourself entering someone else’s website.  You want the photographs to be the main attraction with few distractions, like outrageous fonts or wide arrays of colors elsewhere.  It should be simple, organized, and to the point.

 2   A Consistent Theme

Find a theme that you enjoy and stick with it! The photography world begs for new ideas, experience, and techniques all the time, but volatility in the professional photography world when hiring a photographer is a red flag. When a prospective couple sees that you have taken some lovely shots of past couples in a grassy field with warm tones and lights, they don’t want to see your experimentation in Russian Minimalist fashion photography right next to them do they? Not really. Clients want to feel confident in their general expectations as to what their shots will come out like. So, make like grandma and keep it cookie-cutter because we are a species of habit and no one wants to feel like their photos might come from left field.

3 Good Communication Is Key


Make sure to check your emails, DMs, and even voicemail (if you’re into that) for messages and inquiries about your service!  If someone is trying to get in touch with you to get photos taken, they’re probably asking elsewhere too. Be snappy and prompt.  Losing business to a lack of replies is pitiful and should be avoided at all costs. When you do reply, make sure to give options. A lot of times, people aren’t exactly certain on what they want, which leads directly into the next point.

4  Visual Guidance


A lot of clients will have an idea of what they’re looking for, but they won’t know the depth of the field like you do.  (Pun totally intended.)Understand that, conceptually, they don’t see what you see. Often a client’s frame of reference is from the photos hanging on the walls at their friend’s place or your website. So, when you discuss concepts, location, and clothing for your prospective clients, paint the picture for them!  Have an array of mood boards ready for them to browse with the different shoot locations, postures, clothing etc. that might appeal to them. Zone in on what they want and sculpt the shoot with them. Bring your prospective clients into your world so they will have much more confidence in your ability to satisfy their needs.  Pinterest is a great place to create a mood board or even a Google drive of images will work just fine.

5  Direction


Whether you’re working with professional models or the minivan-Nancy down the block, your clients want direction.  Make them know that you’re attentive to their posture.  Before each position change, act it out before-hand and make sure that they have a good idea of what’s going on.  Be patient with your clients.  They are putting their trust in your hands to make their photos look as natural as they feel awkward.  Even if their positioning is all kosher, make sure to give frequent reassurance to ease their anxiety of being in front of a camera. It’s all good, you just need to make sure that the clients know that!

6   Activities


Shooting can get monotonous and sometimes every shot will feel redundant, so mix it up. For instance, if you’re out in a field with flowers, ask your client to pick a flower.  Ask them what it smells like.  Tell them a joke to ease the mood and if they think its funny, snap away!  If you’re in an urban environment, have them take sunglasses off and on and snap the in between shots. What time is it? Do they wear a watch? Snap! Snap! Snap! Keep it interesting and simple and make each moment count!


7   Location Familiarity


Hobby photography starts with, “This place looks cool let’s explore …”  but as a professional, that won’t fly.  Make sure you have a decent knowledge of your locations.  Is it important to know where the sun hits best in different locations and which shadows cast where and when? You bet!  Is it worth the trouble when it not only gives you better shots but an edge on your competition? Absolutely.  Know where you’ll be shooting, know which poses are shot where. Map it out. There will always be room for spontaneity-the perfect candid shots, but standing there, with a blank stare on your face, to figure out the next part of the shoot never looks good.

8   Post Production Updates


After the shoot, when all the pleasantries are exchanged, give your clients a time frame of edit completion. Your clients will feel better about the shoot and will not have to worry about the time between shoot day and when they receive their photos. Make the time frame wide enough to accommodate for edit delays, because they do happen. Or, if you give them a short time frame and be prepared to email your clients to ask them for more time.

9    Better Professional Relationship!

We live in a society of services and consumer goods. It is very easy to slip into the habit of making each new client a part of the same ritual. People pick up on that, so get to know who you’re shooting.  What are they like? Where have they been? What music do they like?  Getting to know your clients makes it a relationship beyond mere finances and you never know what could come from a good referral!

10  Be yourself


When all is said and done, just be yourself. There is no persona or expectations you need to have of yourself, and the clients aren’t going to feel comfortable when they get the feeling you’re putting on a show. Just relax and let each shoot become a new experience with new people.

Submitted by Brandon Gorrie

IG: @Whoshot.gorrie





quality and quantity

Quality & Quantity

It is  not the quantity of work put out by a creative that will make the phone ring, but rather the quality.  Less is more !  i want to take   that even further. sometimes simplicity and putting out less stuff is actually better in the long run than mixing the crap with the good.  I know a lot of creatives make the mistake of  putting out great stuff with the crap. This can have the result of devaluing the great stuff and becomes  counter productive.

quality and quantity

I recently organised and directed a shoot.I came up with a concept, that took 6-7 weeks of planning. The reason i highlight this fact, is because a lot of newcomers,schedule shoots 2-3 times a week, while shooting clients work also.  I can relate to this because I think in the beginning you want to do as much as possible until you develop a certain style. it’s more about the art rather than the end product or the process rather than product.


There’s this misconception that if you don’t post photos everyday it means that you don’t have clients and you’re not successful. How do you handle this dilemma?

I’d like to answer that with the following. time is the currency of  every creatives’ life; to maximize benefit, we want the most quality for the least amount of time. If you can get quality things from life in short order, do so. That’s much more valuable in the grand scheme of things than spending your life accumulating crappy things.

There are many successful photographers who really turn this theory on its head. Kirsty Mitchell Photography is a great example. Her shoots take months of planning but everyone still wants to see her work and there is much demand for her..

There are even some fashion photographers who are not yet at the top of their game and post 1 or 2 shoots a month or even every couple of months and still get booked solid because of the high quality of their work. Joanna Kustra is an example of this.

Many creatives try to get as many shoots in as possible, this can eventually lead to disinterest. Perhaps you might begin to lose enthusiasm for what you used to love.  But once you cut  back  the amount you shoot and plan thoroughly to the T , it can be  more energizing and refreshing going out and shooting. Being able to express  yourself more and put passion into what you’re  producing. This is what separates the success of the Famous vs The Hobbyists .  The hobbyist shoots as often as he or she likes where as, the more famous creative knows their work is being judged  by the public. Therefore,  there’s an emphasis to put more effort into  the process of the shoot and have a well  planned concept  rather than shoot tons of editorials only to end up with a vanilla type of shoot.


Let’s look at it from a different angle in terms of Quality Vs Quantity.

Would you be happiest having only one perfect meal per month or one average meal whenever you were hungry.? You need a degree of quantity to experience quality.

Chuck Close says it perfectly.


“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”

Chuck Close

quality and quantity

I think what chuck meant by this there has to be a balance between quality and quantity. In my honest opinion I think balance is key. To keep posting content regularly enough to remain visible, but to sum up what  Chuck  is trying to get across , really try to make every shot or project count. So that your skills and experience are really being enhanced. That way, you will attract a better audience who really appreciate what you do. whilst it is nice to have lots of followers and fans for recognition, it is actually better to have fewer followers who will engage and connect with your work more and look forward to seeing it. They are the ones who will really help promote you. I believe this is how many other talented artists started who now have a successful brand.  By speaking to people who really connected with them.


Like Ira Glass Previously stated in his tastes video, you can watch it here


There are pros and cons of shooting randomly, but mostly for beginners. If you are guilty of doing way too many shoots,  you’d  find many lacking in quality when  you look back at them.. but the experience and knowledge you’ve gained are invaluable as you would have tried so many different things… But you’d find that what you were missing out on are important techniques and  attention to details.  I would have to end this post with  saying definitely quality content is better , as I’ve learned the hard way.  As my mentor taught me let your work speak for itself. what better way to do that than a quality portfolio.