Does “Diffusion” Actually Soften Light?

“Soft light is a thing of beauty in photography – finding it is the real trick.” -Zach Gray There is some information in the photography world that says diffusion can make your flash images look better by “softening” the light. Today we are going to explore this and see if it is true or false. When we first started shooting, the first thing we bought was a Canon 580ex speedlight so we could light our subjects at dark receptions. The issue with that light was if we pointed it directly at our subject, or even moved it off-camera and pointed it at our subject, we would get lots of contrast and “hard” lighting on our subjects. Hard lighting is caused by having a small light source and the result is having “specular highlights” or bright spots right next to dark spots that create lots of contrast. You can see when you use a small light source like the one used above, that you get a very defined line from highlight to shadow, and the skin can look worse than it really is. There are some hot spots on the right side of the frame and you can see that “specularity” we mention earlier.  This lighting is not right or wrong, but it definitely is not forgiving when not used just right. Does Diffusion Really Solve this Problem and make light softer?  Early on, we got sold on this idea that if you added “diffusion” (or something that evened out the light coming from our flash), we could then get soft light. The myth here is that there is only a partial truth in that.... Read More

Small Flashes with Stunning Light (video!)

When out on-location doing portraits for weddings, seniors or any type of shoot, sometimes you need an EASY and portable way to get the job done AND make the images look beautiful. Speedlites are great for portability, but other than not having a lot of power output, their biggest issue is the QUALITY of the light is not so good. They look harsh and “flashy” and rarely produce AMAZING light. In this short video shot on-location in Nevada, we show you how to not only execute great flash shots using a speedlite, but how to make that light look AMAZING on your subject!     Gear used: Canon 85 1.2 L lens  Canon 5d3 Body Cyber Sync Transmitters and receivers (the CST and CSRB models) Rapid Box 26 inch from Westcott Lighting with the deflector... Read More

Master Mind Video Series | Zach & Jody

Zach & Jody Experiential Marketing In the final video of our MasterMind Series we are going to share with you guys are top keys for experiential marketing. Now you may be asking “why does that matter?” It matters to you because when you create a dynamic and repeatable client experience, people will pay you MORE money for what you do and will send you all their friends in the process. We did this in our wedding brand, and now we do it in our photographer brand which has helped us gain tens of thousands of fans that want to be a part of what we do here each week. If you want that too, then don’t miss this final free video! Check out our FREE video HERE using the password “mastermindsecrets” Be sure to check out Shootflow if you want to have a way to create this experience at the push of a... Read More

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

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

Video | Behind the Scenes with the George Twins!

I finally can post up the video of the shoot we did last fall of the  George Twins! I shot their promo material for their YouTube Channel and their marketing and some of their recent videos have gotten up to 4.5 million views! These guys are about to explode and I am so stoked I got to shoot them early on! I just wrapped a second shoot of them last week and have more videos coming with some cool behind the scenes teaching you how I did it all! Check out the behind the scenes video at link below, and while you are there, follow our Youtube channel for more videos that will give your brand a kick in the pants! CLICK HERE to see the video! PS. Are you interested in learning more studio lighting techniques? Check out our RAW DVD for only... Read More

Did you miss the big announcement?

Are you a wedding photographer looking to get your life back? ​ Instead of trying to figure out the best system to keep your clients happy, organized, and energized to tell all their friends about you, wouldn’t it be awesome to just HAVE the perfect system? This is exactly what we have been working on, just for you. For more information you can sign up HERE. Watch our videos that released last week sharing more about this exciting piece of software! The #1 Question Photographers Ask   The Biggest Pain You Face as a Photographer   What it Really takes to Succeed   PS. Shootflow will go into Beta soon, and we are only taking a very limited amount of sign-ups when it launches, so if you want it, sign up... Read More

Growing your Photography Business in the slow season | How to Get Referred | Part 3 of 4 (video)

When we started shooting weddings back in 2007 there was just one thing we needed more than anything else. Clients! The problem was, we had never really worked with anyone in order to get referred, and in order to get referred, we need to work with someone. Sound familiar? This catch-22 is a problem that needs to be solved, and this video is the first step to start getting MORE referrals now when you needed them more than ever! (To watch video 1 in this series on standing out, click HERE) (To watch video 2 in this series on pricing, click HERE) If you thought this video was the best video that we put on our blog today (it is because it is the only one) then click HERE to instantly tweet about it OR, copy and paste the below into FB:   “This 3rd video from @zachandjody on growing your photography business in the slow season is just what I need to get more referrals!”   If you have a unique way that you are “remarkable” with your team, then share with us below what you do and how you do it!   PS.  Did you miss the first two videos? Follow the below links to view them: Video 1: Growing your business in the slow season Video 2: How to gross $90,000 in your photography... Read More

Growing your Photography Business in the slow season | How to gross $90,000 | Part 2 of 4 (video)

In this second video of our four-part series on growing your photography business in the slow season, we are going to be talking about something that most of us DREAD. Pricing. Pricing is complex and sometimes feels like a crapshoot. Today we are going to bring some much needed clarity to the pricing problem and help you guys get paid MORE and get paid more often!  (To watch video 1 in this series on standing out, click HERE) If you enjoyed this video, then share it with your followers by clicking HERE to tweet it out instantly!   If you have had pricing issues, let us know about them in the comments below and we would love to chime in!   (All pricing data is from the 2009 national averages)  ... Read More

Growing your Business in the Slow Season | How to Stand Out | Part 1 of 4 (video)

As the days get shorter and we start to head into the holidays and into a slower season for most of our photography businesses, we know that it is actually a great time to focus on growing your business! We have created a 4 part video series just for you that gives you some powerful solutions for your photography brand so you can start working ON your business instead of just maintaining it. This first video in this 4 part series focuses on how to stand out in a sea of photographers and get your brand noticed!   If you loved this video, then tweet it out and share it with your friends! Click HERE to instantly tweet it out! What other ways are YOU standing out and being remarkable to your clients? Please share below!    ... Read More

Multiple Speedlites with high quality lighting | Video

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!... Read More

Using speedlites in tight spaces (Video)

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.   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!... Read More

Table Rock Mountain Shoot + Business Interview | Framed

We are super excited to finally share our Table Rock Mountain shoot and extended (and exclusive) interview we did for the Framed Network! It is now available to see right here for free! Watch us in-action shooting an engagement session in the blistering winds of Table Rock in Boise, ID, hear an interview with us about what we believe, think and how we interact with each other in business, and watch it all from the comfort of your office or living room! Check out the video... Read More

How to Create Stunning Black & White Images (Video)

  Do you ever pull images into Lightroom or Photoshop and decide to make a black and white image of one of your shots, and when you do, it just seems to lack a little life and vibrance? When we first starting shooting, I would always feel like my black and white images lacked something, that little bit of extra POP that would make them come alive. What I discovered was a simple technique that takes your images from just a regular black and white, to an image that really stands out. That trick is explained in this short, 7 minute video!   If you want to grab our full-set of 29 Lightroom Presets, you can do that today over at the store! Did you enjoy this video? If so, then please share it with your network! Click HERE to Tweet it... Read More

4 Simple Steps to great Wedding Day Portraits + Video

Have you ever been on a shoot, and just KNOW that your client is feeling uncomfortable? Then you start to feel uncomfortable and things just go downhill from there? We have felt that way before and it is not a fun experience for anyone! (image from Daniel & Stacia’s super fun non-awkward wedding!) Because we know that clients are not always sure what might happen at a shoot, and there is a chance that they might feel awkward and not know what to do, a number of years ago we decided to create a system that gave us a great chance to combat the very beginning of the shoot and get our clients feeling calm and comfortable in no time! Making your client feel calm and relaxed is SUPER important.  The more calm and comfortable they are feeling the better chance you have to get amazing, natural shots of them (and of course, they then feel better their whole experience with you because they felt so comfortable!).   Now we want to share with you our 4 steps to awesome wedding day portraits! 1. Encourage Clients always have a fear going into their portrait sessions that they won’t look as good as what they saw in your portfolio. We realize that our number one job is to make our clients FEEL good about the shoot, and when we they feel good, they loosen up and we get great pics every time! Most of what we do and say to our clients is for the sole purpose of encouraging them in everything that they are doing. If a client moves in a way that does not work for a shot, we... Read More

IN-THE-RAW Video Teaching Series

We have just released the brand new In the Raw Video Series!       Why In the Raw?   – How to shoot more creative portraits – Using Multiple Lights indoors – Ground Glass photography for in-camera effects – Full Post-Production workflow for the entire shoot including Photoshop enhancement of images ….. Much much more! GUESSING IS FRUSTRATING How did they do that?? How many times have you seen an image from a photographer wondering how in the world they were able to capture that? What gear did they use? How did they shoot it? What were their camera settings? What post processing was done to the image? It’s so frustrating having to guess at all those unknowns.   WE ALL START SOMEWHERE When I (Zach) was trying to learn more about creative lighting and portraiture I was devouring any resource that I could – from books to blogs – you name it (and no, at that time big, online teaching resources were non-existent). I found it so hard to get detailed instructions on how to shoot creative lighting images, and was frustrated not knowing all the nitty-gritty details of how to specifically do it.   I DID THE HARD WORK After reading and watching whatever content was available, I went out, I spent hours practicing, and had a LOT of trial and error refining these techniques on my own. I finally was able to get my creative portraiture to a skill and level that I was proud of, and I knew exactly what I was doing. I could now take the knowledge I knew and add it... Read More