FAQ : Reader Questions, VII

Photography

Forget having a bad hair day. I’ve been having bad hair MONTHS. I recently got it cut and I feel like I could have done a better job with gardening tools and a weed whacker. I’ve tried every hair product and curling tool, but I think I’ll be donning a ponytail for the next few months because this whole style thing isn’t my cup of tea. I guess that’s what I get for randomly stopping by a salon after grocery shopping because of a sign that read Summer Cutz R Cool.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

In hopes of proving I’m not as dumb as I appear (whateva, Cutz could’ve been cool…you never know!), I’m posting a round of FAQs

Brian asked:
How do you like the Sunpak video light? How does it work for you?
In case some of you are wondering, Brian is referring to this blog post when I mentioned the Sunpak Readylite 20. I use this video light in emergency situations, which means I don’t use it that much. The light is quite small, so I carry it with me all day instead of mounting a flash on my camera in case I walk into a dark room, need to photograph details with minimal light, or simply want a second light source. It’s a great light and totally worth the $25 investment!

Molly asked:
My question is this: Did you go to a photography school? Would you suggest getting an educational background in photography? Or perhaps were you self-taught? And if you went to school for photography, where did you go and how did you decide on the school?
No, I didn’t go to photography school. But I thought I would. It wasn’t until my good friend David Jay talked me out of it. I was too afraid to teach myself and try to make things work on my own…so I thought school would be the best route. He said going to school for wedding photography wouldn’t be worth the time or investment and if I was up for the challenge, I could make things work. I just had to believe they could.
Three years later, I’m writing on this blog as proof that anyone can learn photography and follow their passion if they’re willing to try, fail, and try again.

Danielle asked:
What is your advice for shooting in full sun, besides looking for shade? Do you use reflectors?
I shoot my clients without the use of flash or reflectors, but I’m always in search of nature’s way helping a sistah out. This is made easier when I photograph in urban areas because tall buildings are comprised of reflective glass. I try to place my subject in an evenly shaded area, but in the path of the reflected light. The same ideology applies when shooting in earthy environments as well. I’m always on the hunt for a white/beige wall with the sun shining directly on it. I then place the subjects perpendicular to the wall so the reflected light is favorably pushed in their direction. I want to stress the importance of natural reflectors when shooting in harsh light. I prefer shooting subjects backlit, but if the sun is too high or too bright, I look for natural reflectors instead of facing the subjects toward the sun. I do this because I think direct sun in midday is quite unflattering and squint-inducing. Again, most things in life are sweeter when you have to work at making things work. When you discover natural reflectors, you’ll see your work take on a new shape and give you the confidence to take a harsh situation and make it into something you’re proud to show your clients.

Joel asked:
How did you overcome your (what’s the word I’m looking for) “fear” of just diving into it? I just need one little tidbit of your retrospect.
Okay, so this is a complicated question to answer. Because, really, I STILL haven’t overcome my fear. I know that’s totally lame to admit right out on the web for everyone and their mother to read, but it’s the truth. I still get nervous before shoots, I get nervous before I shoot a wedding, I am nervous about booking 2010 weddings…I suppose fear is always around.
But the thing that matters most–the precipice of differentiation–is how you handle fear.
When I made the decision to dive into photography I was fearful. Of course. But this fear was shadowed by my fear of not living the life I wanted. The fear of being trapped in a 9-5, wearing a black suit, and having power meetings. Ugh. I dove head first into my business when I realized fear shouldn’t dictate how I live my life…because the life I wanted to live was trapped in a Canon camera, a unknown blog, and 250 black business cards. That’s all I had, but fear couldn’t rob me of following my dreams. It shouldn’t rob anyone of them.

And because posts are always better with a picture, here’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s wedding blog…

Happy Tuesday!