When all of the servers crash at once.

When the editor says I have a “good eye”.

When a client accidentally deletes their photos and is surprised I have them on backup.

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Disclaimer:

On living in NYC…

When the perfect styling, perfect makeup, perfect lighting, perfect posing, and perfect composition come together with perfect focus…

Whenever I tell a ‘clever’ joke that no one likes…

5 Tips for Newcomer Photographers and Retouchers

Last week, I was contacted by a model visiting town wanting to shoot. We arranged the details, then met up, but to my surprise, she had a family member in tow. Granted, this didn’t bother me, and he was young and spry and seemingly eager to learn. His camera constantly emitting clicks and slung around his neck was a surefire sign that he was interested in photography.

Over the course of the evening, he offered to carry my bag, and we got to talking. He asked for advice and questioned me on various formats, bells, and whistles of the trade. For everyone starting out, I give you my 5 basic on how to be your best and not make people hate you doing it.

Be kind.

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Looking back through clients, collaborators, and photographers I’ve worked with, I can assure you that someone with a bad attitude will put everyone on edge, and will do nothing for morale or the likelihood they will be called back.

Besides, don’t be surprised if that lowly intern you brushed off becomes your equal or superior one day. When that day comes, would you rather they remember you as someone who gave them killer advice, or someone who gave them killer instincts?

Be patient.

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This applies to others as well as yourself.

Everyone has a bad day. Do your best to stay calm, cool, and collected. Be considerate, and they won’t forget it.

In addition, you need to be patient with your own career. In this digital age, we are used to near-instant results, but I assure you that growth and career movability are not overnight. You too will have bad days. Enjoy the successes, and learn from the failures. It’s all part of the process.

Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be an ass.

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Be firm with others, and don’t let them walk all over you. Sometimes you have clients or co-workers who just don’t know any better, and unless you lay out your terms, you could give the wrong impression and cause some heartache down the line. Remember, be a calm, courteous, and stand-up professional.

Be organized.

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You too can be this organized.

This applies to your equipment and the guts of your computer. People spend between 16-55 minutes a day looking for things in ordinary life. Now imagine it in your professional life… where did that model release form go? Which invoice was that? Where the @#$! are the batteries???

Streamline your day-to-day life, and streamline your business – your body and mind will thank you with low cortisol levels, and you can relax with all of that new free time you have.

Never stop learning.

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Don’t be silly, studying photography and editing IS fun!

To be a creative, you need to always be looking, always be reading, and always be pushing yourself to be better. Never accept anything lower than perfect, and always strive to make things work and learn more.

And, a freebee!

Shot in RAW.

I remember I shot at a workshop with some very talented MUA’s and models, and the conditions were perfect. Back then, I was shooting interchangeably between JPEG and RAW. Fast forward to a few months later, and I was learning about why RAW format was going to rock my socks off. I quickly scanned my drive for those shots, excited about pulling out even more information from my favorite workshop images. Then it happened.

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My images were in JPEG.

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Although much larger than JPEGs in file size and therefore requiring more space on your computer and camera card, RAW format photos are worth their weight in gold. The flexibility that it gives you in altering your image ensures that it can be tweaked to your own personal preference without degrading the image.

So if you shoot in JPEG, STOP… NOW!!! 

And good luck!