You love photography, but you’re frustrated because you know you have it in you to be a better at your craft and run a more successful photography business. You could attend a large workshop or convention, and listen to dozens of speakers, but how will you apply what you learned there and measure your growth?
My mentoring program was created because I wanted to help photographers get from where they are to where they want to be. Together we will work to discover your strengths and your growth areas, then create a plan to get you there.
A Personal Growshop™ is an opportunity to learn in a hands-on fashion. We will spend a fun and productive day together starting with instruction and image review, ending with a hands-on photography experience to apply what you’ve learned.
- 5 hours of one-on-one instruction, image review and discussion
- 2 hour hands-on session, photographing alongside me as I explain my process
- 2 hour image review phone session of photos from session and your follow-up practice session
- a head shot you can use for personal and business purposes
– Additional hours available at $120 per hour
– I am available to travel – travel and lodging fees are additional
– Personal Growshops™ are not available for those in Minnesota wishing to learn equine photography
If you’re someone who learns best by doing, let’s do a session together and I can show you how I use light and location, as well as how I direct and interact with my clients. Then I will turn the reins over to you and act as a coach, cheering you on as you create great images. The session starts with a half hour consultation and camera set up, followed by two hours of hands-on photography.
Don’t live in Minnesota or have the time and resources to come of in-person mentoring? Then perhaps customized phone mentoring is for you. I have helped photographers who live as far away as Belgium and Germany! Sessions can be on any topic from the photography to workflow to business.
- 6 hour block of time
- used in half hour increments
- any topic you wish to discuss
Consultations are aimed at working professional photographers who would like to work smarter and improve their businesses.
- $125/hr by phone
- $150/hr in person (my home/studio)
- $175/hr on location*
Consultation topics include:
- pricing strategies
- marketing and business growth
- workflow for greater efficiency and more profit
- Lightroom editing techniques
- web site evaluation
- data backup strategies
- faith and photography
It’s nearly impossible to know what you don’t know. I believe the fastest way to grow as a photographer is to have someone else review your work and help you know what you don’t know. My critique style is positive and gentle, but honest, with my goal being to encourage you and give practical feedback you can put to use on your next photo session. These sessions can be done in person, by phone, or online using a online gallery that allows commenting..
- $200 two hour phone critique
- $250 two hour in-person critique at my home/studio
- $275 two hour in-person critique at your location*
*additional travel fees may be added for on-location consulting and critiques
“You’ve handed me building blocks that fit who I am as a person and photographer, and set me up for a continuous climb to the potential that I’m still discovering I have.”
“Learning from you has been an incredible experience. Your instruction quickly brought me to a new level of skill that would have taken me years to get to otherwise.”
“I think back to what I was doing before I started mentoring sessions and I can’t even imagine how I would have ever gotten to the point that I have gotten to without you.”
In “The Lazy Photographer’s Guide to Workflow“, you will find a detailed description of my workflow from the first client contact to delivering the final product.
It’s aimed at both portrait and wedding photographers who want a more efficient workflow.
Frequently Asked Questions
What camera gear do you use?
A lot of people ask this question, but before I list my gear, I want to share with you this thought: good photos have a great deal more to do with who is behind the gear than the gear itself. The gear is a means to an end and while I do believe in using the best possible equipment, spending a lot of money does not mean you will take great photos just like having expensive cookware doesn’t mean you will cook a tasty meal. It takes years of practice, learning, and even blood, sweat and tears to become a great photographer.
(Note: these are affiliate links)
Canon 1Dx Mk II
Canon 5D Mk IV
Canon 70-200 2.8 L II IS
Canon 135mm 2.0 L
Canon 100mm Macro 2.8 L IS
Canon 85mm 1.2 L
Canon 50mm 1.2 L
Canon 35mm 1.4 L
Canon 17-40 4.0 L
Canon 580EX II Flash
Canon 550EX Flash
How do you get such crisp, sharp photos?
- A great deal of sharpness comes from the lens you choose to use. Cheap lenses will not give you sharp images, so invest a little more in your lenses if you want sharp images. When considering a lens purchase, read reviews and pay special attention to comments about sharpness. Prime lenses (that don’t zoom) are generally sharper than zoom lenses. Zoom lenses that have a constant aperture setting tend to be sharper than those with variable aperture settings.
- I rarely use a lens “wide open” aka at it’s lowest aperture number. That’s usually where it is the least sharp. For instance, with a 50mm 1.4 lens, you want to try and stay around 1.8 unless you need the light. So then why buy a 1.4 lens instead of a 1.8 lens? Because the overall image quality is better.
- I generally use the center focus point on my camera body. I focus on my subject – the eyes if my subject has eyes (most do!) – and then recompose the image the way I want it to look. If I am working close up or at a very shallow depth of field, I will use other focus points. I only use cross-type focus points, as they are the most accurate.
- I’m careful to keep my shutter speed above 1/focal length. So for a 200mm lens, that would be 1/200th. However, if you know that you are a person who moves a lot while shooting, you might find that’s not enough and then you want to bump it up a bit if you want to be assured of a sharp photo. Using lenses with image stabilization (vibration reduction, for you Nikoners) changes the rules a bit. I will go as low as 1/60 with an image stabilized lens if my subject is not moving. Images stabilized lenses will cost you more, but they really help with sharpness.
Do You Shoot in Manual Mode?
Most of the time I shoot in Manual because it puts me in control of my exposure. When shooting horses in motion, I do sometimes switch to Av (aperture value) because the light is often changing more quickly than I can adjust my camera. Changing to shooting in manual is one of the biggest things I ever did to improve my photography.
What metering mode do you use?
Center Weighted, but when shooting manual, it only serves as a starting point.
How do you process your photos?
I sort the keepers from the tossers in Photo Mechanic, then color/density correct, crop, and convert from RAW to JPEG in Lightroom. Tweak in Photoshop if necessary. I use a few Photoshop actions, but I mostly use actions and Lightroom presets I developed to fit my style of shooting and processing.
I am not big on commercial photo actions and heavy image processing. I prefer rather to let the photograph itself take center stage, not the processing. For more on my workflow, check out my eBook “The Lazy Photographer’s Guide to Workflow“.
How can I take better horse photos?
Visit my video blog or read my article called “5 Steps to Better Horse Photos.”
How did you get started in photography?
My start in photography was gradual. I was a freelance web designer, and had many clients in need of photography. I picked up a basic digital DSLR camera in 2004 and taught myself how to use it. Being a horse owner and lover, of course in my spare time, I pointed my lens at horses. I did web design alongside photography for many years, and in 2010, I focused all of my efforts on photography.