Master Mind Video Series | Jared Bauman

Jared Bauman Reaching my Perfect Clients In video 8 of our MasterMind Series we are going to hear from the marketing expert Jared Bauman. Jared runs ShootDotEdit and has been teaching sales, marketing and more for years. He helped us make TONS of money when we were shooting weddings and we know this video is going to be just what you guys need to take your business to the next level. Check out his FREE video HERE using the password “mastermindsecrets” Be sure to grab the ShootDotEdit Marketing Guide while you are... Read More

Master Mind Video Series | Courtney Slaznik

Courtney Slaznik Double your Facebook Fans! In video 7 of our MasterMind Series we are going to hear from the insanely talented Courtney Slaznik! Courtney runs Click it Up a Notch where she teaches over 45,000 photographers how to improve their photography, and today she is sharing her top secret techniques for increasing your Facebook fans which will help you get more clients looking at your work. Check out her FREE video HERE using the password “mastermindsecrets” Be sure to grab her Facebook Scheduling Guide while you are... Read More

Master Mind Video Series | Jared Platt

Jared Platt Cut Your Workflow in Half! In video 6 of our MasterMind Series we are going to hear from THE authority on editing – Jared Platt. Jared literally cut our workflow in half back in 2009 and we have been close friends with him ever since. He is outstanding at teaching you simple concepts that you can start using right now to get more time back in your life and this video is amazing! Check out the FREE video HERE using the password “mastermindsecrets” Be sure to grab his Lightroom Controller Settings while you are... Read More

Master Mind Video Series | Luke & Cat

Luke & Cat 3 Ways to Sell Big! In video 5 of our MasterMind Series we are going to hear from Texas photographers Luke & Cat! Luke and Cat run one of the most profitable wedding businesses in the country and know how to sell a unique experience like few others do. Today they are going to share with you their keys for selling, and selling big and this is one video you do NOT want to miss! Check out the FREE video HERE using the password “mastermindsecrets” Be sure to grab their Custom Email Template while you are... Read More

Master Mind Video Series | Matt & Carissa Kennedy

Matt & Carissa Kennedy The Balanced Life In video 4 of our MasterMind Series we are going to hear from Canadian shooters Matt & Carissa Kennedy. They teach photographers through their Acadamy of Wedding Photography and are uniquely skilled in many areas. Today they are going to share with you their keys for keeping a healthy work and life balance with keeping your kids in mind! Check out the FREE video HERE using the password “mastermindsecrets” Be sure to grab their Get More Time Guide while you are... Read More

Master Mind Video Series | Amy & Jordan Demos

Amy & Jordan Demos 3 Steps to Going Full-Time|video In video 3 of our MasterMind Series we are going to hear from Amy & Jordan Demos, from Phoenix, AZ. They were voted one of the Top Ten to Watch by Rangefinder Magazine, have been featured in People, and are teaching photographers how to run highly successful brands with their incredible workshops! Today they are going to share with you their 3 steps you need to follow to go from your day job to your dream job! Check out the FREE video HERE using the password “mastermindsecrets” Be sure to grab their dream job PDF while you are... Read More

Master Mind Video Series | Cole Joseph

Cole Joseph 3 Keys to Client Referrals In video 2 of our MasterMind Series we are going to hear form Cole Joseph who runs a highly successful wedding brand in CA, and teachers over 90,000 photographers on Cole’s Classroom each week! He is going to share with you his 3 keys to getting clients to refer you and the tools he has used to make it happen. Check out the FREE video HERE. (Password is mastermindsecrets) Pick up Cole’s Lightroom pres-sets while you are... Read More

Mastermind Video Series | Katelyn James

We are honored to have over 34,000 photographers (that inlcudes you) that read our newsletters and blogs each week. Because you are a faithful reader of ours, we wanted to do something special for you. 9 new 100% free business teaching videos! Each Tuesday over the next 9 weeks, we are going to be bringing you 1 video from our brand new MasterMind Video Series featuring some of the top photographers and business minds in our industry! This first video features the incredible Katelyn James who has taken the wedding photography industry by storm the last few years. She has build an almost cult-following of brides that refer her like crazy, and in this free video she is sharing exactly HOW she did that! Katelyn James Creating Community Watch the video here. (Password is... Read More

FREE Webinar! 3 Simple Keys to Reception Lighting Made Easy

  Here’s the bottom line: we’re doing a free webinar this Monday, Sep. 7, but spaces are limited! So make sure you sign up… Register for 3 Keys to Reception Lighting Made Easy Webinar For the past several years, we’ve heard heard from literally thousands of photographers who have all shared the same struggle – how to get great lighting in not-so-great scenarios. (Top Image: Horrible lighting available. Bottom Image: Bringing in our own lights to capture a dynamic shot) Nothing will kill your photography career faster than poorly lit images. No matter the setting, if you don’t have great lighting, you aren’t going to get great images. And the truth is you have more control over this than you realize. But most people don’t know where to start. That’s why we’re excited to share with you a live workshop we’re teaching this Monday at no charge to you. We’ll teach you three simple keys we’ve been using for years to get great reception lighting every time using off-camera flash. By the end of this webinar, you’ll learn: * How to handle the worst lighting situations and still get incredible reception images! * The best way to flatter your clients with flash * How to easily use off-camera flash for incredible results And more! Almost every time we do a webinar, they tend to max out on capacity. So don’t wait! Register for the webinar here. See you... Read More

3 Reception Lighting Tips Every Photographer Can’t go Without

“The most difficult part of shooting a reception is walking into the unknown.”  -Jody Gray No one likes being caught off-guard, and shooting wedding receptions can have many unknowns. We wanted to address a few of the problems wedding photographers can encounter. Problem 1:  When you walk into any reception, you need to quickly assess the situation, make a decision on HOW you are going to light it, and then set up your gear (oh yeah, and take amazing images!). It can be super fast-paced at that moment, and can cause some anxiety each time you shoot a wedding. How to Solve this stress-inducing problem: 1. Send out a questionnaire before the wedding (ours has 56 questions on it!) and have part of that questionnaire ask what the bride and groom will be doing when they FIRST walk into the reception. Will they be introduced and go straight into first dances, or will dinner start? Once you know that, then you know what you need to be prepped for. 2. We also always ask the bride and groom to give us 10 minutes from the time we all arrive at the reception to when they come into the hall. This gives us the time to assess the room, set up our gear, and take a few test shots. That way we never miss a key shot that is happening with our clients! Problem 2:  The other huge problem that you run into at wedding receptions is getting great quality light on your subject with off-camera flash.Sometimes we can simply bounce flash and that is awesome when we can do it. But other... Read More

How to Master Reception Lighting Once & For All!

Can you answer “YES!” to any of the below questions? Do you ever feel anxious heading into a wedding reception about the lighting situation? Have you ever looked at your flash in your hand and wondered if it’s going to be able to do the job you want it to do? Have you ever looked at your reception shots knowing they could be better but not quite sure how to get them there? We know many of you are answered YES to these questions, because we have been hearing your pain for years. We have sat down one-on-one with many photographers and heard them voice the above worries.  Thousands of wedding photographers have these exact same concerns. You are not alone. We’ve heard you. This is exactly why we have this brand new project that we are beyond excited about. We have spent 5 months creating this. This is the solution. This is the answer. This will solve your reception lighting problems. It’s Finally Here! IN-CAMERA Lighting: Low-Light Receptions Made Easy  You’ve asked…. You’ve waited… And now, it’s here!!!! The IN-CAMERA: Low-Light Receptions Made Easy video workshop will:  Equip you to use your speedlite for incredible results Show you easy to use off-camera flash techniques for killer results when you can’t bounce flash Boost your confidence in any low-lit situation Teach you our time-tested and simple to understand Reception Lighting System Show you how to nail exit shots even in pitch black environments Give you complete confidence shooting receptions and low-lit events! The IN-CAMERA: Low-Light Receptions Made Easy video workshop includes:  2+ hours of training as you join Zach &... Read More

5 Big Giveaways Start Now! Enter now!

We are super excited to be giving away 5 (you read that right!) Low-Light Flash Kits valued at $550! If you shoot in low-light situations then this giveaway is one you don’t want to miss out on! All you have to do to enter is CLICK HERE! Once you do, you will have a chance to get 3 more entries by sharing about the giveaway to your friends which will increase your chances big time! Good luck! PS. For those of you who want to be able to confidently rock your low-lit shoots, specifically RECEPTIONS, then we have some exciting news headed your way soon, so stay tuned!... Read More

4 Key Areas to Building Wealth | Part II

Do what you love and the money will follow… “The average middle class American believes this statement to be true, but when I surveyed the most successful people in America, they overwhelmingly disagreed with that notion.”  -Lewis Schiff, Business Brilliant It is not enough to THINK that what you do (take awesome photos) is valuable and then spend all of your time trying to sell that work. If you are not making money then you MUST change direction. You have to follow the money trail in order to win in business. How do we practically follow the money? Here are 3 keys that we have used to make our work valuable in a business that is constantly devaluing art. 1. Become a powerful story-teller.  If you can engage people with stories that ring true to their heart, then you can create value that is worth paying for. When people are engaged with your brand emotionally, they will pay more for it. 2. Add value that enhances others lives.  No one cares about you and your business (sorry!). They care about themselves. So make your brand about other people and what is in it for them on a deep emotional level. Speak to their hearts and to their needs and not to yours. Your wants might be for people to value the hard work you put in to be a great photographer, or the sacrifice you made to edit for long hours on their images, or your investment into your gear. Well, the client doesn’t care. They care about how the experience of working with you makes them feel. Focus on that. 3. Don’t be... Read More

It had been awhile since we had done this…

We did it… As a photographer, one of the most valuable experiences you can have that will benefit you AND your clients is to get IN FRONT of the camera every now and then. Yes, in front. Not behind. A couple weeks ago we had the huge honor of having our maternity/family photos taken by none other than Katelyn James & Amy Demos. (Above Image by Amy Demos) (Above Image by Katelyn James) We loooooooooooove the shots they took of our family and we can’t thank them enough! It’s always a great experience being shot by another photographer (or in our case, TWO photographers) and we can’t encourage you enough to make an effort to get in front of the camera on a semi regular basis. Not only do we want to share with you images from the session (I mean, come on, how can we not? We LOVE these photos!), but we want to share our top 3 reasons why you can benefit from getting a professional photoshoot.  >> Visit Katelyn’s blog featuring our family session! >> Visit Amy’s blog featuring our family session! Why You can Benefit from Having Your Own Professional Photoshoot #1. It helps you relate to your clients better Doing photoshoots can become second nature and we can often forget how our clients feel! They are thinking about it the week leading up, trying to plan what they are going to wear, and may even be pretty nervous the day of and at the shoot. When you schedule your own photoshoot, you are reminded of all of this and it helps you empathize with your clients so you... Read More

The 6 Keys to a 6 Figure Photography Business – Webinar

Is there a formula for success? Are there steps you can follow to achieve the goals and dreams that you have for your business? We believe that there are and that if you listen to and follow the steps in this webinar, that you can have a more exciting and fulfilling brand! To watch this free 1 hour webinar, click HERE! PS: Do us a huge favor and share this exclusive content on your social network. – Click HERE to tweet it out!   – Copy and paste the below to share this on Facebook! “Our friends from @ZachAndJody have a free webinar on the 6 Keys to Building a 6 Figure Wedding Brand! Check it out... Read More

Photo Tellers Podcast featuring Zach Gray

“When you are unqualified to succeed, prove them wrong.” Join me on this podcast with the Fireside Network as I share how becoming qualified to be a success may not be what you think it is. I get into my past, our present and where we are going next and give you guys some powerful tools to help you get exactly where you want to go. Listen to the podcast HERE PS. Are you stuck and can’t seem to get your brand moving? Now is the time to make a serious change. Get the Harvest DVD HERE and we know it will move you... Read More

We are complete frauds

Have you ever felt like you don’t really run a REAL business and that you are just sort of faking it? We know we have. One of the hardest things about running a business is believing in yourself and what you do. We struggle with these thoughts all the time – feeling like we don’t really create anything of value and no one is paying attention.   You are Normal It is totally normal to feel that way, especially because many of us run a non-traditional business. We don’t get up and “go to work” for 8 hours a day and then come home to see the kids. Many of us work at Starbucks for a few hours (which is where I am when I am writing this post:) or our kids are in and out of our home office/living room while we are getting things done. The nature of this job makes it feel fake sometimes, but we want to let you know that what you do is anything but. You guys are impacting marriages, creating amazing memories for people that love each other and their families, and you are making a huge difference. Even though it may not always feel like it, you are impacting the world one shoot at a time.   Let this simple blog post be encouragement to you that you are doing something that matters – and it is very real.   PS. Do you have any friends that need to hear this message? Click here to tweet this blog post out to any friends that need to hear about... Read More

4 key areas to building wealth | part I

“The difference between running a business and becoming ‘Business Brilliant’ is the difference between driving a Toyota versus a BMW.” The average wedding photographer salary can be as low as 15k per year according to the New York Film Academy. The reason that so many portrait and wedding photographers earn a relatively low income, is that they turn a hobby or a passion into a business, but never seem to focus on what really makes a serious income, which is becoming brilliant at business. In this 4 part series starting today, we are going to look at ONE of the 4 key areas that Lewis Schiff says each Brilliant Business owner (who he defines as self-made millionaires) must focus on in order to take their earnings from average to amazing. Key 1 – Learn what you do Best  “Give me 6 hours to cut down a tree and I will spend 4 of them sharpening my axe.” -Abraham Lincoln Lewis Schiff (from his book Business Brilliant) says that millionaires spend lots of their time discovering what they do best, and then pursuing opportunities related to what they do well in order to succeed. They don’t spend their time focused on their weaknesses. If you want to do the same, here is what you need to do starting TODAY: 1. Write down your goals If you don’t write it down, it won’t happen. Having written financial goals will help you gauge how to manage them. You can’t leave finances to chance, but have to work toward a goal in order to achieve it. •Set your net worth for 10 years from... Read More

We received the coolest award… but our Bride didn’t care | (Guest post)

At any point in your life have you ever stopped and realized that you were completely focused on the wrong thing? Today, we want to share with you a guest post from none other than our good and ridiculously talented friends, Luke & Cat, who want to help your business grow by making sure you’re not putting ALL your attention on the wrong thing. For those of you who may not be familiar with this dynamic duo, four years ago they took a step away from their generational cattle business and dived into photography. Through implementing many marketing and branding tactics, and focusing on giving their clients a unique experience, they became extremely successful in their 2nd year in business, and have continued to make an incredible income each year thereafter. On a personal note, these two crack us up with their big hearts and laughter, and we hope you have the pleasure of meeting them one day soon :) Blessings,     Hey Friends! We are Luke & Cat, cattle ranchers turned wedding photographers, and we are beyond excited to share how we found out that getting published wasn’t what our brides really wanted. Magazine covers and editorial awards are worth celebrating, but they aren’t what have generated our leads or our six-figure salaries.  We can’t wait to reveal why—read on: At the tender age of eight, Cat was competing against grown men at cattle shows—and beating them, too. She was even on the front cover of Shorthorn Country magazine, which in Cat’s world was better than Seventeen. Her family loved the fact that she was embracing the cattle world and... Read More

How Elmo can Change your Business

I didn’t care if my son ever knew who Elmo was… …until now. Let’s rewind… Many years ago when I (Jody) was young, I remember babysitting and being SO sick of watching Barney and Sesame Street over and over again, I knew I didn’t want that insanity going on in my own home (ha ha) and now we have an 18 month old son and I am proud to say he has no idea who Barney, Big Bird, Mickey Mouse, Dora and all the other characters are. HOWEVER, as we were walking through the store the other day, we decided to walk through the kids department (bad idea if you aren’t looking to spend money : ) and I saw this box: All of a sudden I had this overwhelming desire to buy this Elmo doll for our son. What changed in me? Did the box demonstrate how soft Elmo was or how he has this amazing (or annoying, depending on how you look at it ;) laugh? Or was it even the price point that caught my attention? Nope! What got me was the shot of this young boy with such joy as Elmo was hugging him and I wanted Jaxon to experience that joy. Your potential clients feel the same way. Jack Trout in, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing says, “People make purchasing decisions based on their emotional connection to a product.” Ask yourself these questions… What images are you showing on your site that connects to your client’s emotionally? Are you showing only cool, images like this? Or are you also including image that are... Read More

How to succeed at work without blowing up your marriage… (Excerpt by Michael Hyatt)

For those of us who are married, probably one of the last reasons we wanted to start our business was so we could have a below average marriage. But, let’s be honest, running a business (whether with your spouse or not) can definitely take its toll. We are big followers of Michael Hyatt, and in honor of us just coming off theCONNECT retreat (a Christian retreat for couples in business) we wanted to share with you part of a post he recently published… Enjoy! How Entrepreneurs Can Succeed at Work Without Blowing Up Their Marriages 5 Gifts for Building a Great Relationship with Your Spouse Excerpt from Michael #1. The Gift of Honor Our spouses are more important than our work, whatever that work may be. To give this gift, we esteem and value what our spouses esteem and value. We give priority to their priorities, and use our words to praise and uplift, especially when our spouses are absent. #2. The Gift of Awareness It’s easy in the hyper focus of hard-drivers to see themselves as the center of the show. We’re not—no matter how much money we make. We need to be aware of all the material and nonmaterial contributions our spouses make to our lives. #3. The Gift of Inclusion Including our spouses in our businesses creates intimacy, builds trust, and brings us together. Whether it’s just receiving input or counsel, or getting into the nitty-gritty details of the business, our marriages win if we keep our spouses in the loop. #4. The Gift of Commitment Given the risk inherent to the entrepreneurial lifestyle, some... Read More

Friday Fun | Adding to our home..

  We’re pregnant, y’all! … and you thought since we were in a newly built house we were were talking about putting an addition on…  :) Yes, we’ll be adding to our house, but not with construction – with a baby! We are SUPER excited for our family to be growing and I have been so ready to be pregnant again! We knew we always wanted more than one kid and were hoping and praying that it would happen, and here we are! Pregnant once again! Ahhhhhhhhh! Jaxon is going to be a big brother! We’re going to be a family of FOUR… that’s crazy. And awesome. And exciting. REALLY exciting. YAYyayayayayay! Here are the answers to the most common questions we get: How far along are you? 19 weeks this Thursday (4/16) When’s your due date? Mid September How have you been feeling? I’ve been feeling GREAT! With Jaxon’s pregnancy I felt pretty normal besides being a little tired and my growing midsection and this pregnancy has pretty much been the same! I had about 2 weeks (around 8 and 9) where I would feel slightly queezy in the evenings, but that went away and I’ve been feeling great ever since. Are you going to find out what it is? As a matter of fact we are pretty much 100% certain it’s a human… Hahaha. We’re so funny. But in all seriousness, heck yes. We are totally going to find out the gender. Are you crazy?? We gotta plan AND we’ll need time to mentally prepare ourselves if I (Jody) am going to be REALLY outnumbered with the... Read More

Reset your business now

“Success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.” Greg Mckeown – Essentialism Reset Conference We just returned from teaching as the keynote speakers of the Reset Conference in Champaign, IL and it was an awesome time hanging with the sold-out crowd of 150 photographers that attended. Being at a conference with the name “Reset” reminded us of something really key. All these photographers were coming to step back and take a look at what they were REALLY doing in their business, and reset if they needed to. All of us want to get on track and get successful, but we learned to navigate what we all want more than anything, success, with a little caution. One of the worst things that can happen in your brand is to get successful. Because when that happens, you now have tons of great opportunities coming at you and it becomes hard to say YES to what TRULY matters.   Speaking with our son in tow Here we were taking 2.5 days to travel, teach, leave our home and our business for the weekend and bring our son along. And you know what? It was really easy and fun! The reason for that is that we have already “reset” our business and started many years ago to focus on what truly matters most, and not allow lots of opportunity to distract us from our purpose. We have created a business that has margin, so our lives can have the space we need to do things like this and bring our son along for the ride. How We Made a business with margin... Read More