Heike Delmore Photography Education Blog

Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Badly Until You Get it Right

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly until you get it right Heike Delmore


How Comparison helped me grow


If the title of this article resonates with you - know that I’ve felt the same way! Any of these sound familiar?

You’re afraid to start your business.
You’re friends and family are discouraging you.
You don’t think you are good enough yet.
You’re afraid to start charging.
You feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
You feel like you’ll never be as good as others.


I’ve got two pieces of advice for you.

  1. Everyone started out somewhere.

  2. Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to their Chapter 20.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly until you get it right” - Les Brown



I discovered Flickr a month after I got my first semi-pro camera. I fell in love with so many photographers and their beautiful images (Anastasia Volkova and Julia Trotti were huge influences on me). I had no idea how they lit or exposed their photos or even what lenses they might have been using. I'd feverishly set up shots in my livingroom while my baby daughter slept. I tried to recreate the beautiful images I was so inspired by. I’d load the images onto my computer just to feel a huge let down. I mean, the difference was night and day. But I pushed on… I'd bring my favourites of the bunch into photoshop because I was determined to elevate the style and give my photos some allure. The look improved, don’t get me wrong, but still I was nowhere near my photographic idols… in fact I wasn’t in the ballpark or even the stadium in terms of comparison.  

You see… I compared my photos to those of my idols.  We’ve been taught that comparison is bad.  

But...


Comparison made me strive. 
Comparison gave me the desire to learn and educate myself. 
Comparison showed me the difference between good and great.


I understand when people tell you not to compare yourself with others. They say - be happy with your own work and your own style.


Now, I agree with this statement and I do think comparison can be a deadly trap - that can literally paralyze and stop you from moving forward. And it can get your inner negative voice to tell you all sorts of tales, like... 


….you’ll never be that good, 
….it will take forever to learn how to do that why bother, 
….she can do it because she has _____ and you don’t.

But stop!


Realize, you’ve gone too far.


Be sure that when you look at others and compare, that you do so in a way that feeds your soul and motivates you to improve yourself. Interpret it as a soft nudge to go learn something new or develop/polish a new skill. 


But remember that it will take a series of steps to grow and reach certain goals.

Be kind to yourself. After you learn something new, make a list of everything you now know that you didn’t before. I bet you’ll surprise yourself.


Just as we have growth spurts and lulls… have the faith, determination and, most importantly, patience as you grow.


P.S. Just to let you know...when I first started in photography, I tried reverse engineering other people’s photos.  Then I learned about and enrolled in online courses...which has made all the difference.  This important step helped me fast track my progress and success.

With love and gratitude and to YOUR success,

heike_delmore_signature+(1).jpeg
 

 

P.S. If you know someone who might benefit from this, go ahead and share it with them.


Portrait Photography and Business: I highly recommend Sue Bryce Education.
Wedding Photography and Business: My e-course is NOW OPEN: Stand out. Save time. Sell more.


 

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My biggest No-No's when photographing Personal Branding or Corporate Headshots

Biggest No-No's when photographing Personal Branding
 

My Biggest
No-No's when photographing Personal Branding or Corporate Headshots

A a couple months ago, I added my Personal Branding Photoshop Template to my online store.

The idea to create the template, came after I did an interview with Sue Bryce, and we spoke about how I market & sell corporate headshots  (a.k.a personal branding shoots).

This led me to writing today’s article - to share with you all the things I wish photographers knew before shooting corporate headshots/personal branding.

All the things I wasted a lot of time learning - the hard way!

Here we go...

1. You shouldn’t...
shoot before having a consultation

Because every client and every business is unique and needs to stand out from the competition, it's imperative you chat (in-person, or on the phone) with your personal branding clients before photographing them.

“Every day we are selling our most important asset: ourselves.” - Fredrick Eklund

Use your consultation time to do two important things: 

  1. Ask specific questions about your client, her business and where she wants to use her photos.

  2. Suggest new ideas of where she can use her photos (i.e social media, magazine features, etc)

Be sure to take notes and use those notes to plan out your photo shoot (see #5). (Having trouble making suggestions on new places where your client can use their photos? Check out the Photoshop Price-list Template for ideas).

SUMMARY:

Your consultation will:

  • tell you what your client wants

  • suggest new places/strategies your client can use her photos

  • help you collect information on how to approach her shoot

“The personal branding consultation is both a gathering of information and a creator used to fulfill your client’s photography needs and elevate her success.” - Heike Delmore

2. You shouldn’t...
consult with your client before doing your research

Similar to point number one, do your leg work before the consultation. 

Why you ask? Because it’s important you be specific and take a personal interest in your client.

With personal branding one size does not fit all. If you have a consultation before doing any initial research, you won’t be prepared and your suggestions, if any, will sound very generic. Show your client that you're taking an interest in them personally.

When researching your client you are looking for the following:

    1.    Is she currently using any personal branding photos?
    2.    If yes, where is she currently using her photos?
    3.    Where might she be looking to update them?
    4.    Where could she be using them - but is currently not?
    5.    Think of completely new strategies she could impliment

SUMMARY:

  • Gather as much information on where your client is currently using her photos and note where she could be using them in the future.

  • This information will prepare you for a finely tailored consult

3. You shouldn’t...  
have an inconsistent price-list

What's an inconsistent price-list? 

An inconsistent price-list is a price-list where the same product is priced differently across different genres.

Let’s say you sell 7x10s. And you price a 7x10 for family portraits higher than a 7x10 for corporate headshots. Why are they priced differently? Is one 7x10 better than the other? 

This is why consistency is important: let me tell you a story where this became a big problem for me. 

When I started out in this genre, I was charging really low prices for my corporate headshots. Lower than my glamour portraits. I told myself I was getting clients in the door. The problem arose when my headshot clients would bring in a couple of gowns to shoot at the end of the session... "just for fun". The photos with the gowns would usually qualify as a portrait or glamour photo. When the client came in to select and purchase their photos, it seemed ridiculous to charge one amount for the corporate headshots and another for the glammed up photos. Having a consistent price-list across the board solved this problem.

SUMMARY:

  • Using a consistent price-list will streamline your business

  • Repeat clients will not longer be confused (and you’ll feel clearer - trust me)

  • Now, I’m not saying have 1 generic pricing brochure for all genres. No! Absolutely design them differently target each market you shoot. But keep your pricing the same.

4. You shouldn’t...  
shoot personal branding without a checklist

What kind of checklist you ask? 

If you’ve you’ve done your pre-consultation research and had your in-person or telephone consultation, you can easily put together a shooting checklist.

Your checklist should consist of:

  1. Shots your client says they want or need

  2. It should also indicate the photographic style

  3. Where your client plans on using the images

  4. Where your client may try using their photos in the future based on your suggestions.

For example, if you client is going to open a Facebook business page, you check off vertical/square profile image and horizontal image for the cover image. And shoot to fulfill those requirements. 

SUMMARY:

  • Your checklist will act as a photo shoot planner.

5. You shouldn’t...  
shoot to fit IN

Many of us were taught that to be in business we nee to fit a certain look or mold. 

When shooting personal branding photos, I suggest getting a few safe photos at the beginning. 

But be sure to branch out and capture your client’s authentic self. From your pre-consultation to your in-person or telephone consultation, you should have a good idea who your client is and what they’re trying to express to the world. 

Aim to capture all of this your shoot.

“You are your brand. Failure to share yourself in an open, honest way is a costly miscalculation. Who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s comfy in their own skin? On the contrary, who likes hanging around phonies?... Who were you as a carefree six year old, before the world taught you to play it safe and blend in with everyone else? Find yourself; be yourself; sell yourself.”
- Fredrik Eklund

SUMMARY:

  • When shooting personal branding start with a few safe photos

  • Then branch out and get creative to capture your client’s true self.

I hope you found this helpful. Leave me a comment below.

With love and gratitude and wishing you all the happiness and success,

 

 

P.S. If you know someone who will find this article helpful go ahead and share it with them!

Are you thinking about incorporating WEDDING photography into your studio? And you're interested in how you can easily build a profitable wedding photography business. Check out the coming soon: E-Course: For those with a creative background not a business background - how to easily create a successful and profitable wedding photography business.


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5 Ways to make clients feel more comfortable

5-ways-make-clients-comfortable-photo-shoot-heike-delmore

Understandably, people are usually feeling pretty nervous, vulnerable or anxious before a photo shoot. And I can totally relate! However after the photo shoot, my clients often tell me that it was easier than they had anticipated. Mainly because I made them feel comfortable!

To get that special connection in your photos - in the eyes and body language of your client - these are 5 things I do with my clients to make them feel more comfortable during their photo shoot.  Remember to always smile + listen when using any of these 5 methods:

 

1. MAKING A NEW FRIEND

When a client is booking her photo shoot, be sure to ask her a lot of questions about herself.

It’s like making a new friend! Asking questions helps me get to know my client’s personality and also what she likes in terms of style and imagery. It gives us something to talk about. And finding any similarities between us, helps the conversation flow easily on the day of the photo shoot.

 

2.  PROCESS

Just before the photo shoot begins, I warn my client that I will most likely be talking throughout the entire session - often gently repeating myself with posing and coaching instructions.

By informing my client of my process ahead of time, she never feels discouraged or like she is doing something wrong. She interprets my repetitious instructing as encouragement rather than criticism.

 

3. TELL A STORY TO SET THE SCENE

Tell a story to get your client into the right mindset or character.

Sometimes if can’t get my client to give me the connection or body language I am looking for, I tell her a story to get her into character. With couples for example, I may say “you both just snuck out of a formal dinner party and met up in this secluded area to share a private moment”. Or with a couture portrait client, I may tell her to picture herself as a celebrity she likes and ask her to show me how that celebrity would portray this look.  This works wonders!

 

4. SHARE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Share your own experience of being photographed focusing on how you felt during the process.

I often share my personal experience of being in front of the camera and how nervous and vulnerable I felt. Let your client know that you can relate to how she is feeling. And how the poses may feel really awkward, they actually look good in camera. This will help reduce your client’s stress and you will see her shoulders relax.

 

5. SHOW POSITIVE EMOTIONS

When a shot looks great don’t be afraid to show your excitement!

During the photo shoot when a pose or shot looks great, I can’t help but get excited and let out a little squeal! This always gives the client an extra boost of confidence and reinforces that she is doing a great job! She will also inject more effort and enthusiasm in her next poses.

I hope you found these tips helpful! I’d love to hear any tips you have on making your clients feel more comfortable in front of the camera.

Thanks for reading! Leave your comments below!

With much gratitude,

 

 

 

 
 
 

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