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.

@naritasavoorphoto

@lelburnet

@benbentleyphoto

@danimarinphoto

@mattleachphotography

@mattwilsonphoto

@fordtography

@ruthrosephotos

@chloeannecharnock

@cravenator

@wjrphoto

@zed.photo

 

 

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.

How to Quit Your Day Job to Become a Full-Time Photographer and Make it Work

How to Quit Your Day Job to Become a Full-Time Photographer and Make it Work

By  Ted Mercede
Instagram @ted_mercede

Seems like this is always a hot topic, everyone thinks about quitting their day-gig to become the glorious full-time photographer to make the large money and to do what you enjoy doing. Of course, you have the skills required and the quality of equipment to compete in the professional world, there’s no question on that, right? The jobs will start rolling in as soon as you let your friends know that you have quit your day job and are ready to start booking their weddings and company events. You have your portfolio ready, you had your cousin pose for you in the backyard a few months back and those shots turned out good. Your mom loved them, right?

 

Don’t be surprised if the jobs don’t start rolling in, especially on the level of giving you the financial gains that you require to support yourself and those counting on you. It takes planning and time to be able to make it as a full-time photographer. I have yet to make the jump myself at this point, but my instances may not be the same as yours.

Regardless, my thoughts on this are to take a safe, well planned out, and probably the least risky method of making this kind of career change. Let us not kid ourselves on this either, it’s a career change that is in a field that appears on the surface to become ever more populated with competition (regardless of being quality competition or not). A profession that requires a level of equipment that can run into tens of thousands if allowed, and the knowledge and skills to be able to operate this equipment. Also, let’s not forget about the computer equipment and software that’s required to produce the final product that will get you the return business down the road.

  • The bottom line is that there is a lot to take into consideration when contemplating a major career change like this, and its best to take your time and plan it out before doing so.

 

First things first, you need to understand the job market for the area that you live in. Do some research; see how many opportunities are available for where you believe your skills are strongest. Try to check out how many photographers are already working in the area; what fields of photography are they shooting (maybe check-out their websites or advertising to see what they specialize in)? Maybe you already know people in the business, ask for their opinion or what they think. Maybe you know someone that recently was married; ask them about what they found when looking for a wedding photographer.

This will more than likely be difficult to get a full understanding of the potential market and competition, but the better you can honestly see what kind of opportunities are in your area, the better chance of keeping busy when starting out. Better also to enter into a market that may be light on competition than to try and enter an already heavy field.

  • Get a full understanding of the photography market that you want to enter into before making the jump.

 

Another point to consider prior to quitting the day job is, do you have the equipment you feel that you will need to pursue the new career as a full-time photographer? It is said that a great photographer can shoot with any gear and get quality, but this also adds risk and requires great knowledge and skill to produce good work with inferior equipment. It also doesn’t mean that the photographer couldn’t have produced better work with better gear either.

So while you have a steady job and income, this is the time to build up the equipment you will want to make your living by. You can also take the time to do a few jobs on your terms to see how the equipment works for you with much less risk at this time.

  • Build-up the necessary photography equipment for full-time work while having the steady known income and budgets.

 

Once it’s clear that you understand the market opportunities and you are ready to make the jump to becoming a full-time photographer, the path-forward is probably not much different from being in any other profession and making the change to a new career with the added challenges of potentially running your own business.

 

You need to be responsible to yourself and to the others that count on you. You need to understand the differences in pay scale on what you are currently making to what you may have to accept going into what may be a career with a not-so-steady income.

Also while talking about the financial end of things, try to understand what you will require an income. There has been a lot of good advice on what to charge for your work, but I feel that the best is to first understand how many jobs you will expect to book. Based on this, its really simple math to understand how much you will need to charge for the required income you need to make. Of course, you need to try and understand what your expenses will be, but the understanding of jobs-to-income requirements alone may be a shock to many to understand the financials of this change in profession.

  • Understand the financial implications of making the career change and how this will affect others that you are responsible for.

 

There are so many other elements to take into consideration, but as the heading of this article is titled on how to make this change work, my take on this is to try to understand as much about this as possible, and to plan for everything.

I myself have a BSEE and work full-time in management for a high-tech energy company. I don’t like risk and try to minimize it whenever possible. I like to plan for the known (and unknown) so I am not caught with my “britches-down”. I also have financial responsibilities that I don’t want to fall short on, with a family that counts on my steady income. I feel that this is no different than anyone else these days and that we all need to be responsible.

Someday I may make the change to being a full-time photographer/videographer, but for now, I will choose the jobs that I take, and take it slow. When the time is right, I will make the move knowing as certainly as possible that it will work.

 

 

flawless-magazine-submission

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