Hi friends, @simplysarah_photography here for my #pvtakeover! I am so excited and honored to be a host. I live in Georgia with my handsome husband (+ second shooter) and the cutest Golden Retriever you have ever seen. 😍 I’d love to dedicate the next few days here on PV to being as candid as possible while bringing you all the helpful film tips + tricks I can share! ✨💕✨ Stay tuned!!
📷 from our first friends in Montana, @orangephotographie! 💕
Attracting your ideal client // Imagine a perfect world where you only photographed beautiful weddings in your choice of killer locations with the sweetest clients and über talented vendors. #GOALS, right? ✨ These weddings happen every weekend and they can happen to you, too, but they only happen through careful planning, curating and marketing. The very heart of it is finding out who your ideal client is and ruthlessly pursuing them in everything you are putting out for the world to see. For us, our ideal clients are people who are crazy in love, host destination weddings in epic locations and value photography as one of the most important investments they are making in regards to their wedding day. When we first started, we were shooting church and ballroom weddings in Atlanta and quickly realized this was not what lit our creative fires. Can we do them? Absolutely. Did it make us want to quit after 2 years? Yes. So I started putting lots of time and energy into helping plan + style client portrait sessions. We started using editorials to network with other vendors and produce the type of work we wanted to show. Finally, we started curating our social media and website to show only what those ideal clients would relate to. Bottom line, find what lights your fire + chase it. 🔥 You will naturally attract what you put out there for everyone to see and before you know it, that will be the majority of your inquiries! 📸
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @boonehallplantation.
Communication with your lab // The first time we ever shot film, we used PV for processing and of course they killed our scans. ✨ Due to costs, we shopped around with a few different labs and ended up trying an inexpensive lab to try and save costs—dumb—because I ended up spending so much time editing those scans I got back. Was it the way I was shooting? Metering? The way the lab was scanning? I had no idea, but there was zero consistency. I decided to try #PhotoVision again and have never looked back! The PV Team spent countless hours going over my scans + preferences, explaining exactly how to achieve the look I was after. Now when scans come in, I typically don't have to touch them at all! 🙌🏻 Meaning less time behind my computer which = HAPPINESS. So the pro tip is, if you aren't achieving the look you want shooting film, start by finding a #filmlab you love and shoot consistently. Schedule phone calls to discuss your scans when they come in and ask for your lab’s input—they are an invaluable resource to your business.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @castellodibibbione.
Posing // As photographers in 2018, the abundance of inspiration for posing is everywhere you look. @Pinterest, magazines, Prince Harry’s recent engagement photos 😍, etc. It can be easy to see poses that you love + want to reproduce, but if you aren’t careful you can wind up so worried about getting that “perfect shot” that you miss capturing the couple’s real story. That magic is found through getting to know your clients and making them feel comfortable and confident before you even start shooting. Clients who are comfortable around you and trust you allow you into their world. From there, you simply give little prompts and document the love that unfolds between them. 💕
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @vizcayamiami.
Getting Featured // A question we get asked all the time is how to get your work featured! If you check out our @stylemepretty dashboard, you will see lots and lots of NOs that came before the YESes. Something that has been key for us, is to study the blogs and magazines we submit to, and pay close attention to what they publish, then only submit material that aligns with their vision. You really have to have a feel for the publication and their ideal clients—if it isn’t a perfect fit, they aren’t going to run it! Don’t get discouraged if you get a NO—it could just mean they have something similar on their lineup or it’s the wrong season. Don’t take it personal and keep on keeping on! 👍🏻
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @oldedwardsinn.
Take a Hike // How many of you have ever been in the middle of taking portraits and your brain goes BLANK. You have so many good ideas but you can’t think of a single one in that moment! It happens to the best of us, but we have a trick. Next time this brain blank hits, simply have the couple take a little walk, in pretty light of course. In and of itself there are numerous photos here—wide landscapes, close-ups, bride looking back, leaning in for a kiss, him helping her walk with her dress, the dress moving on the ground, etc. Usually by the time I have all those shots, I am drawn to something else to shoot, whether by the way they are interacting with one another or maybe even another location we have found! ✌🏻
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @theranchatrockcreek.
Dark Slide// We are getting really vulnerable here, folks—get ready for pro tip number 7! REMOVE THE DARK SLIDE FROM YOUR CAMERA WHEN SHOOTING. Did you know some cameras will still shoot when the dark slide is still in the camera? To the user it looks + fires exactly as if the slide were removed! It isn’t until your lab calls to tell you that all the rolls from the last engagement session you shot were blank, that you start re-evaluating if you should trust these cameras at all. 😳 Take a lesson from me, though, and check your dark slide today to see if your camera will fire with the slide in! #themoreyouknow
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @borgosantopietro.
Aperture // Did you know the #Contax645 shoots higher than f/2?! #truestory The Zeiss lens is famed for having buttery bokeh that just won't quit, BUT all the #bokeh in the world won’t matter if your bride and groom are out of focus. We found this out the hard way and now shoot f/2.8 almost exclusively for anything but group portraits, which we shoot at f/4 or higher. I would much rather have the satisfaction of a beautiful, in-focus portrait than nailing a handful of images at f/2, which is what I was doing before. 😏
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @villacimbrone
Shooting + Styling Details // Less is always more in our opinion! We created a mini styling bag we can easily transport to destination weddings. Inside it we carry a few rolls of neutral ribbons, neutral ring boxes and a linen backdrop that complement the bride’s overall design. This all folds up to the size of my hand and can easily travel back and forth with me. Since we are almost always traveling for work, it was imperative this little guy take up minimal space in my camera bag. Though it be small, it is MIGHTY. 😉 This little kit can take a plain paper suite and make it super pretty in 0.5 seconds! ♥️
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @castellodibibbione
Finding Community // We lived in the middle of Nowhere, Georgia when we first started photography and often felt alone in our journey. It wasn’t really until the last 2-3 years that we have been intentional about building relationships with fellow film photographers and vendors and it has made such a difference. Being able to chat with friends in our film community to discuss booking, trends, bounce referrals off of and—if we are being honest—sometimes just plain vent to 😉 has been huge for us. I encourage each of you to reach out to others in your film community and start building those relationships!
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @boonehallplantation.
Client Questionnaires // One of the most important things we can do for our clients is be “in the know” on their wedding day! If there is an awkward family dynamic, I need to know about it. If they have a precious family heirloom they are including, I also need to know! Very early on we started sending out questionnaires to our clients a few weeks before the wedding to finalize timeline details, ask for 3 points of contact on the wedding day and address ANY AND ALL things we may need to know. The worst case scenario for me on a wedding day is asking for a photo of the bride or groom with their parents, only to find out one of them has passed away. It brings up all those feelings for the bride or groom and makes me look like an inconsiderate you-know-what for not caring enough to notice or ask discreetly. So be considerate and make yourself look like you know what you are doing and ask ALLLL the questions!
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @bedfordpostinn.
Never Stop Learning // It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey, a great artist will always be open and ready to learn. 3 months, 3 years or 3 decades in, there is always someone who can teach you something new. We make off-season goals every year and one of our main lists is “Things to Improve On.” This pushes us to pursue an area of shooting or business wholeheartedly in the off-season. Our list this year consists of improving SEO, blogging and shooting film with flash. What goals are on your list this year?
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @sweet_meadow_.
Simply Sarah Photography signing off! I hope you have enjoyed our PV takeover and found our tips helpful to you and your business! If you are looking to learn more, please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for info on our 1:1 photography workshops. We love helping other photographers find success in this sometimes crazy industry and would love to help you! As always, a huge thanks to #PhotoVision for being amazing and asking us to host this PV takeover. We love working with y’all and can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!
📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @biltmoreestate.