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If you have ever wanted to have a super light flash set-up that is able to create studio quality lighting while shooting on-location, then you are not alone. We have used speedlites for years, but always felt like we were compromising light quality when doing so. Now, with these new modifiers we have, today we are going to show you how to create some really cool photos using speedlites and a steel wall!

 

Oct
14
2014

Someone To Guide You

by Zach on October 14, 2014, posted in Photo Tips & Tricks,Photography Workshops

Post By Zach|

I was 22 years old and my biggest hope for my life was being the assistant manager at a tie store and getting a raise to $7.75 an hour so I could live on my own without the help of my mom. I didn’t go to school past the 3rd grade and my dad left when I was 5 years old and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I had a deep need for someone to guide me. I needed someone to see that I could be and do more with my life because I certainly couldn’t see it.

One day the youth pastor from my small church took me out to a lunch that would change my life. He told me he believed in me and knew I could do more. Something amazing happened. I believed what he said and did it. I left Northern Minnesota 3 months later and never came back. That youth pastor was my first of many coaches (or mentors) over the years that would help me learn to see what I could’t and inspire me to something greater.

Do you ever feel that you are stuck like I was back in MN? Do you feel like you want this business to move forward but are just running in place? Do you feel like you can’t see past today and don’t really know what tomorrow could hold for you? You might need a coach. Someone that can look you straight in the eye and tell you that they believe in you, that you can and will move forward and achieve what you have dreamt of.

Here are four powerful ways to get a coach that can change all that for you!

1. Read about One:

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Reading business books is the most consistent coach we have had over the years. We read Purple Cow by Seth Godin in late 2007 and that is the main reason that our business stood out in 2008 and helped us make a six-figure income that year. Even though this kind of coach is not personally invested in your business, you do get to glean from their wisdom for only $12 or so.

2. Be One to get One:

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Starting a MasterMind Group 2 years ago was one of the greatest things I have ever done for our business. A MasterMind Group consists of 8-12 members that are all dedicated to meeting each week, learning new things together, becoming each others board of directors, and opening up their business mind to you and you to them. They are very difficult to create (mine took 4 months just to get all the guys in a room together), but once there is a commitment, it can be powerful. Dan Miller says that 1+1=3 meaning that when you get two great business minds together, it is like creating a 3rd mind because of the new ideas you both spawn.

(If you are interested in starting a legit MasterMind Group, then reply to this email from our newsletter and I will send you a PDF on how to create one).

3. Subscribe to One:

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There are tons of inspiring videos, Newsletters and courses from great coaches out there that you can get your hands on for free or for small monthly or one time fees. We subscribe to Jeff Walker, Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins and CopyBlogger for great marketing and life balance coaching on a weekly basis.

Zach and Jody Coaching – Jody and I also have weekly coaching through our newsletter, and we offer DVD courses on Shooting, Lighting, Editing, Studio Work and Business Strategy which have helped thousands of photographers shoot better and make more money.

4. Book One:

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(Image from a Skype Coaching session we did last week for UK wedding photographers Sansom Photography)

Hiring a coach that you look up to is powerful because you get them personally. Jody and I spent over $5,000 last year hiring a coach to help us transition our business into more online teaching & to help Jody work less and be a mom more. It was WELL worth the investment!

Jody and I have been personally coaching other photographers since 2009 and set aside time each month for different types of coaching sessions.

We offer:

Skype Sessions so that we can have real face time with you, and a look at specific strategies to help you move forward. These sessions are either for photographers that need specific issues adressed, or for photographers that need follow up sessions after our full-day mentoring.

Full-Day Coaching is our most powerful and effective mentoring that we do. We spend an entire day with your studio, and days before hand deep-diving into your brand to really pull it apart and see how it can best move forward. We did this for Luke and Cat in 2011 after that had made just $150 per wedding in 10 weddings. They booked a full-day coaching session and 3 follow up Skype Sessions and to date since we coached them, they have grossed over 1 million dollars in just 3 short years! yes, you heard that right, One Million Doallars.

Don’t Hesitate

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If you want to book a one of our limited Skype Coaching Session with us that are now becoming available for 2015, you can do that HERE

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Our Full-Day Coaching sessions are now available for 2015 and will sell out fast, so if you need a deep-dive, you can book a full-day session HERE and get ready to have your business completely changed.

 

Whatever path you decide to take with coaching, just be sure you do it. If you don’t have a coach, it will be hard to know where you are going and you may never get your business moving forward.

Do you already have a coach? If so, share with us how they have inspired you and helped your business move forward in the comments below!

Oct
9
2014

Using speedlites in tight spaces | Video

by Zach on October 9, 2014, posted in Uncategorized

Today we have a brand new video that shows you a simple way to get great light from your off-camera speedlites and shows you how to use them in tight spaces with a simple piece of gear.

 

westcott pro-grip The Westcott Pro-Grip is a simple to use handle to get into tight spaces for those of us that don’t want to carry a stand around and need a fast and easy way to get light where you need it.

 

Do you have a good system that you use to get some flash into small spaces? Share with us below your secrets!

 

Oct
7
2014

Sales Strategy (part 1) – Persuasion

by Zach on October 7, 2014, posted in Uncategorized

“90% of selling is conviction, and 10% is persuasion.”

-Shiv Khera

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What do you want more than anything when you walk into a meeting with a potential client? You want to book them, right? Of course we want the right clients, fun clients and clients that “click” with us, but at the end of the meeting, you want ONE thing more than anything else – the retainer.

[click to continue…]

Sep
25
2014

3 Ways to Shoot at sunset | Part 3

by Zach on September 25, 2014, posted in Photo Tips & Tricks,Uncategorized

(This is a 3 part series, and you can access part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE for further images, diagrams and info!) 

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In part 1, we talked through shooting backlit as the sun is still a little high in the sky and how to get that “glow” on your images that all portrait shooters love. In part 2, we talked about adding contrast to your images by using the just-setting sun directly to get a completely different look. Now, here in part 3, we are going to cover shooting with highly reduced contrast as the sun finally goes down.

The image above was shot AFTER the sun had completely set. This is a great time to shoot because the sun itself is not a source of light that we have to deal with, but rather the sky (that the set sun is still lighting up). The sky is now one HUGE soft-box that creates really soft light that has reduced contrast due to its large size in comparison to our subjects.

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As you can see in the final images, the shots are soft, slightly flat, and have a very low contrast ratio from highlight to dark.

This time of day looks best with clear to partly cloudy skies so that the sun can bounce off the sky and send light our way. If we have an overcast day, then this timeframe for shooting can look really dreary and dark without some sort of additional lighting or lighting modifiers.

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The great thing about shooting in this light, is there is not much instruction needed for HOW to do it, because we just have one gigantic light that is really easy to deal with. We can have our subjects posed in ways that flatter them, and then just expect to see everything since the light is hitting it all. You do have to be careful at this time of day because you can’t use light (or the lack thereof) to hide any parts of your client that you may not want to see. You have to use posing and correct lens choices to get flattering images. But, as you can see, the images will all have very soft skin tones that is flattering in that respect.

With these three options for shooting at sunset, you should be able to get a great wide variety of images in a very short amount of time that your clients will love! Now get out there and shoot!