BLOG + VLOG of AUTUMN THEODORE PHOTOGRAPHY
Interview: Sam Hartman
How long have you been a photographer? What kind of work do you do?
That's a tough question to answer, because I feel like the lead-up to being a "professional" photographer has been years. Where does one draw the line between critiquing iPhone photography and editing in Lightroom? I've been taking photos ever since my parents showed me what a camera was, but I suppose my first foray into the world of DSLRs and detachable lenses was about 16 months ago. From there, it's been a nearly insatiable addiction.
What is your favorite thing to photograph? Why?
It is often someone's face when they are laughing. I think there's a fair amount of research on why this sight is so pleasing to humans, but in particular for what I do, I feel as if it's one of the rare moments where a subject isn't concerned with "how they look," which typically results in a more generically photogenic, and pleasing shot. In our world of Photoshop and Facebook it is incredibly difficult to ask someone to appear natural. We're all aware, so hyper-aware of how we look and compare ourselves to others constantly, that to see someone have an unconscious response to a word, phrase, or joke, and capture that, is perhaps the only real thing left to photograph anymore.
When was the last time you felt frustrated about your work as a photographer? How did get get past it?
Ah, I am frustrated almost every time I edit my photos; the lighting wasn't good, that photo is blurry, there's someone in the way, etc. Put bluntly, this is why I almost always shoot with "burst" on. I don't trust myself to take good shots. I only believe that if I take enough, a few will come out. The locations and places I find myself into to take photos are often quite genuine, but it is often the technology, or my inability to understand the technology, that gets in the way of capturing the truth of the situation. This, however, is compared with the nearly flawless photos that are displayed to us on the Internet every day; a very difficult trophy to compare our own work to.
Do you have a muse? (This can be a person, a city, an Instagram account, anything!)
I like to imagine that my best photographs are simply stills from a movie that has never been made. Thus when I look for inspiration for my photography, it is as much to look at what happened before and after the photo as it is the moment the shutter clicked.
What's something you haven't yet learned how to do yet (in photography), but want to learn soon?
That thing where you take a picture of someone and it looks like they weren't aware they were having their picture taken? Yeah, that.
So happy to have connected with Sam. :) Check out his work!
To be honest, I feel just fine. :)
We should try to avoid visualizing marketing emails the same way as we see friendships, client relationships, or even a personal email. It's different, because it's sent to a large group. Would you ever ask 100 friends to dinner at the same time to catch up? Of course not! So why expect people to feel incredibly engaged in your mass email?
Marketing emails are used to inform/educate a large group of people about something. When writing a marketing email, don't pretend like you're talking to everyone separately - they'll know that you're not. It's ok! Be quick, make it fun (if that matches your brand), and give them a reason to enjoy it.
Remember that people don't always see your emails - and that's ok! And it's totally fine if they unsubscribe, too.
After this, if you decide to unsubscribe, you know I'm not mad. :)
Sooooo I started a podcast...!
Hellooo...my industry is all about photos!
I'm a photographer - which means I create images. This is exactly why I use Instagram (IMAGES!) and not Twitter (WORDS!). Consider what that means for your business, and choose what's best!
Where does engagement work best?
Engagement happens most on Instagram for me. People like, comment, watch videos, and engage with posts in several ways. Facebook wasn't doing that for me, so I unpublished my Autumn Theodore Photography Facebook account.
What about algorithms (for now)?
For now, these choices work best for me, especially due to algorithms. I also wrote a bit about bots and algorithms a few weeks ago. Do some research to find out what makes sense for you!
Dying to know what works best for you and why. Comment below to tell me your tips!
This should be obvious - but consider what to expect if you choose an amateur. Is their skill/competence at a level that matches your expectations? Will they make you feel comfortable working with them? Do they have a positive attitude?
QUALITY OF WORK
Don't hire someone just because you've seen a few of their photos that look great. Consider what your needs are (brand? products? portraits?) and ask the photographer for samples of that type of work, then make your decision.
ORGANIZATION / ACCOUNTABILITY
This is a big one. Do they answer your emails? Do they show up on time? Do they show up at all? Do they clearly explain what it's like to work with them (when to expect communication, images, invoice, etc.)?
UNDERSTANDING YOUR NEEDS
Photographers should be asking you lots of questions about the types of photos you need. Oh, they haven't? Walk away.
HEARING YOUR FEEDBACK
Something amateurs might not have learned yet is that their ego shouldn't be hurt by getting constructive client feedback. If they're not there yet, it might be an awkward conversation for both sides. Yikes.
I hope this is helpful as you look for your next photographer!
Writing and vlogging to entertain, educate, expose, and encourage.
A few of my favorite shots, available for purchase for both personal and commercial use. SEE GALLERY
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