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A Lovely Workshop 2012

27 Apr

If you love film, or beautiful, whimsical images, you’ve likely heard of Elizabeth Messina or her super sweet blog, Kiss the Groom. Her work is ethereal, adorned with lovely light and has a truly distinctive, feminine flair. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her speak at WPPI, and her personality, kindness and down-to-earth nature match her work to a “t”.

Elizabeth just recently announced that registration for her “A Lovely Workshop” is open – and it’s coming to the East Coast, right in our backyard actually! The 800-acre farm is just outside of Philadelphia, where “we will explore the country side & the many acres of the beautiful farm, home to 100’s of horses.” The three-day event is being held on July 10-12th, with a welcome gathering on the 9th, and includes a long list of impressive collaborators, including Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty, Leah MacDonald of Waxworks (who you may remember from our meeting in 2011!), Shira Savada of Martha Stewart Weddings, Claire Pettibone of Twigs & Honey, Adrienne Page of Velvet Raptor and Wiley Valentine.

Shoots are scheduled each day where Elizabeth will educate and inspire attendees on light, branding, marketing and getting published, connecting with your clients, booking destination weddings, expanding your business and much more. There’s also tons of goodies, including a signed copy of her new book, The Luminous Portrait.

Check out the website for details, investment and specifics. And if you’re interested, don’t wait! Registration is limited to 20 students!

Welcome to 2012! Betties 2.0!

6 Jan

Welcome to the New Year! We know that things have been a little quiet lately, and we all know why – two words: Wedding Season. But that’s not the only reason we’ve been busy. Behind the scenes we’ve been hard at work crafting some new ideas and directions for our organization that we hope will add value and benefit to each and every one of our members that has supported us so far!

First of all – we have a new URL! Though our old one will still remain active and redirect, our new and improved web address is www.photobetties.org. Update your bookmarks!

Also, you may have noticed a few guest posts authored by Betty Editors. This is a new featured role we’re offering to our most enthusiastic members to help bring a fresh voice to the blog and to inspire new thoughts and ideas beyond the founders. Look for more great additions to this program throughout 2012 – and if you are interested in becoming a Betty Editor, let us know!

We’re also working on partnerships with vendors such as Two Bright Lights and other local and national brands that we all know and love to bring special offers and exposure exclusively to verified members. We also plan to implement more events for non-members to network with us – second shooters, assistants, industry vendors etc.  This is an area we will be focusing on greatly as the organization continues to expand. After all, membership should have it’s priviledges, right?

Finally, we’re just tickled pink to see how quickly we have grown! Thanks to all of you, we have been able to make a real difference in the lives and businesses of so many photographers in our area and we want to continue to do so! Many of the changes coming about are in response to the overwhelming support we’ve gained since June 2010. As a result, we’ll be rolling out real, bona fide membership guidelines soon to help grow our organization and allow us to focus our efforts on rewarding those who really embody the Betty spirit! All of you!

So strap on your hats, we’re in for an even more exciting ride this year!

Shoot the Shot Workshop

5 Dec

One of our fabulous Photo Betties, Isabel March, is hosting a workshop on January 26th at her studio in Perkasie, PA. She’ll be covering tons of great topics including business, getting started, client meetings, branding, marketing, social media, creating a signature style and more! Space is limited so act fast! Here’s the 411:

2011 Photographer’s Holiday Gift Guide

25 Nov

Last year it was a huge hit, so we’re back with the 2nd Photo Betties Holiday Gift Guide – filled with camera-inspired gifts for the holidays! We’ve got gift ideas for the tech-lover, the design-obsessed, the old-school film devotee, the iPhone shooter, the smaller-sized “assistant”, the sports / outdoors / fearless photographer, the crafty, the well-accessorized and many more…

Post it to your Facebook wall! Tweet it! Leave it open on family members’ browsers! (They’ll get the hint…)

The iPhone Telephoto Lens: 8x the view!

The iPhone SLR Mount: For realsies.

The Instant Camera iPhone Decal: Too cool for school.

Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone 4/4S: Video-a-go-go!

iPhone Artistry: Tips, techniques and inspiration

Vintage Camera Coaster Set: A Must for the Photographer/Hostess

Snap Frames: Print, Personalize & Post!

Vintage Camera Bags: The perfect accessory!

Polaroid Camera Poster: For those who do…

The Old School Camera Belt Buckle: A subtle fashion statement

Seat Belt Camera Straps: Buckle Up!

Twin Lens Reflex Pint Glasses: You know you want ’em…

My First “Camera” Baby Bib: Start ’em young

Alphabet City: An über hip bedtime story

“Assistant” Onesie: Too cute for words!

Polaroid Plush Camera: Instant fun!

Kids Ringer Camera T-Shirt: For the coolest kid on the block

Felt Camera with Photo Screen Kit: For you crafty types

iPad CF and SD Card Readers: For lighting-fast uploads!

Camera Dial Laptop Decal: Badge of honor

F-Stop Watch: What aperture is it?

360 Degree Spinner Camera: Capture it all!

The Happy Helmet Bike Camera Mount: The name says it all!

The Monsterpod: The hoverboard of tripods

Etre Touchy Gloves: Cute, cozy and practical!

BlackRapid Camera Straps: Way above average

Photojojo’s Rare Film Gift Pack: A real hard-to-find find!

Cigar Box Pinhole Polaroid Camera: One-of-a-kind

Paint Can Pinhole: A more affordable Pinhole Camera

Vintage NYC Photo Pendant Necklaces: Modern yet nostalgic

Classy Camera Flash Tie: The camera Weegee made famous

Antique Bronze Camera Ring: Adjustable cuteness!

Camera Cufflinks: Wear with pride!

Classic Luggage Style Camera Straps: Upcycled & Vegan Friendly

Modern Camera Stamp: Make an impression

Retro Camera Pencil Sharpener: Coolest in its class

Vogue, The Covers: Over 300 stylish photos

Camera Scarf: An ICP exclusive

The Ray Flash Ringflash Adapter: An affordable ring-flash add-on

This is only a small sampling of fun stuff we came across – if you have more gift ideas, please share them in the comments section!

And don’t be shy… tell us which one’s your favorite!

Snap to It: “Fall” Submissions

15 Nov

Noelle Andrews

Melania Shertzer

Benjamin James

Amanda Young

William Ohl

Kelly Wilson

Cindi Jones

Brianna Saban

Monique Duke

Brittany Ostrov

Dawn Stephens

Heather DiPiazza

Abbey Bradshaw

Jenna Walcott

Thank you to all who submitted a picture that shows what fall means to you! Everyone sees the world around us a bit differently and we wanted to capture that in this series. The images from our contributors offered a wide range of interpretations from fall foliage to Halloween to the delicious foods that fall brings with it. We were looking for inspiring images and you definitely delivered!

Hope you enjoyed our tribute to Fall! A new Snap to It! will be announced soon!

Marketing Mojo with Two Bright Lights

4 Nov

Images courtesy of Jessica Claire Photography

A few months ago a good friend and fellow Betty Susannah Gill, told me about Two Bright Lights, an online service which offers image sharing, networking and analytics to help wedding business’ improve their marketing. They offer a free 30-day trial, so I thought I’d give it a try – and I have to say, I was very happy with the results!

In just three weeks of submitting to a half dozen blogs, four were approved! You can submit weddings, engagement sessions, portraits and styled shoots – when you login you check out what their Editorial Partners are looking for and submit in a few quick and simple steps. There are blogs you’ll know well, others that are pleasant surprises; certainly something for everyone. Here’s a sampling:

FREE Bootcamp

For those of you in the Philadelphia area next Wednesday night, Two Bright Lights is offering a FREE Bootcamp hosted by one of their recent Philly transplants, Shalyn Hockey. Some details from their email invite:

What: A fantastic chance to learn about Two Bright Lights as well as mix and mingle with your fellow industry colleagues from the area.

When: November 9, 2011 | 7-9 pm

Where: Locust on the Park at 201 S. 25th St, Philadelphia, PA (In Center City a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square)

RSVP: The event is FREE, but space is limited so you must RSVP to attend.

Questions? Call Shalyn Hockey at 805-975-2932 or email shalyn@twobrightlights.com

Snap to It: October Deadline Extended

20 Oct

It’s been a busy month for Betties near and far, so we’re extending the submission deadline for the October “Snap to It” until Halloween!

This Month’s Theme: Fall

Back to school, changing leaves, hustle and bustle, family gatherings… We want to see what this crisp, lovely season means to you! There are no requirements to participate; everyone’s welcome to submit.

Please send your autumnal-inspired photo (from your iPhone, iPad, Droid, point-and-shoot, dSLR, old school SLR, pinhole camera – your choice!) to snaptoit@phillyphotobetties.com by Monday, October 31, 2011. Please size images to 600 pixels on the long edge. Don’t forget to include a URL for your blog OR website.

C’mon Betties… Snap To It!

Snap to It!

4 Oct

Hi Betties! Abbey here. I’d like to introduce to you a new monthly post we’re starting here at Photo Betties that we loving call “Snap to It!”

We each perceive the world differently through our lenses – and I personally love to see how others interpret the world around them. The idea behind “Snap to It!” is to showcase our work for pure enjoyment and inspiration, and to celebrate our different interpretations and creativity! There are no requirements to participate; everyone is welcome to submit.

How Does “Snap to It” Work?

Each month we’ll post a theme and open call for submissions to all you photographers out there. You can send one photo that you think best represents your interpretation of the theme. You can use images from past or present, but they need to be your photos which you personally shot and own rights to (and have permission to display publicly). There will be a two week deadline for submissions, and at the end of the month we’ll display the images on the Photo Betties website.

This Month’s Theme: Fall

Since the weather is turning cool I thought the perfect theme for our first Snap to It! would be “fall”. Let’s see what this crisp, lovely season means to each of us. To kick things off, here’s my interpretation of this month’s theme…what’s YOURS?

Send your submissions to snaptoit@phillyphotobetties.com by Friday, October 21st, 2012. Please size images to 600 pixels on the long edge. Don’t forget to include a URL for your blog OR website.

C’mon Betties… Snap To It!

Conferences, Tradeshows, Conventions, Oh My!

3 Oct

Unless you’re shooting in some deliciously warm and perpetually sunny locale, chances are the late autumn and winter months are when you rest, recharge and revamp. It’s also a perfect time to invest in a conference to get inspired, learn some new tricks and techniques, see what kinds of cool products and gadgets are out there, and meet other wonderful photogs like yourself! Here’s our abbreviated list of conferences coming up; some are geared towards wedding and portrait photographers, but we also threw in a few others for those who want to explore outside their comfort zone.

2011

PDN & WPPI PhotoPlus

October 27-29, 2011 | NY, NY
“Get ready for the hottest industry event for photographers and image-makers, PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, brought to you by PDN. It’s the only place where you have infinite access to emerging technology, trends and talent while test driving new imaging tools, discovering creative solutions and expanding your network. And this year PDN and WPPI are joining forces in New York City to roll out WPPI NYC, an entire expo dedicated to wedding and portrait photography, making PhotoPlus Expo even better. Choose from over 115 educational seminars and hands-on labs to expand your expertise. Come be informed and entertained, leave inspired.” (c/o website)

Her Photography Conference

November 1-3, 2011 | Grand Rapids, MI

“Be a part of the ONLY boutique women’s photography conference! With a limited number of attendees, HER PHOTOGRAPHY CONFERENCE provides a boutique atmosphere that facilitates empowering relationships for female photographers as well as the opportunity to spend time with the photography industry’s elite professionals. If you are a woman, a photographer, and you have a strong desire to grow your business and build empowering relationships with other female business owners then this is the conference for you! Our hope is that you walk away from this conference inspired, motivated and ready to take your business to the next level!” (c/o website)

The Foundation Conference

November 7-8, 2011 | New Orleans, LA
“Foundation Conference 2009 was an incredible opportunity to connect with old friends, make new friends, and hear from some of the world’s best documentary style photographers in one place! Egos were left aside, as teaching and learning flowed from speaker to audience and back to the speaker. It was a wonderful environment to push the boundaries of creativity, to critique and be mentored, and to be introduced to new ways of seeing. It is safe to say that there is no other photography conference like FC, and I can’t wait to go to the next one!” – Kate (c/o website)

2012

Digital Wedding Forum

January 15-18, 2012 | New Orleans, LA

“It’s Friday afternoon and I’m still sitting at the hotel bar reminiscing about the weeks events. I had the best week at DWF to date! Not only were the speakers fabulous… but everyone really opened up and shared a bit about themselves and their passions…. usually at the bar at 2:30am. Looking forward to seeing you all in New Orleans! – buttermedia” (c/o website)

Imaging USA

January 15-17, 2012 | New Orleans, LA
“At Imaging USA, you’ll find just what you need to breathe life into your photographic dreams—no matter where you are in your business! Art and business education, inspiration and great trade show deals await both established professionals and newcomers to the professional photo industry. It’s the convention and expo that was created with your needs in mind, so what are you waiting for? Register Today.” (c/o website)

Senior Photographers International

January 24-27, 2012 | Buena Vista, FL
“Senior Photographers International Inc., is an organization of professional photographers specializing in High School Senior Portraits. We are dedicated to bringing the best in photography and business practices to our members. The organization was founded on the principle of photographers sharing information with one another. We remain committed to that philosophy. All newsletter articles and convention programs pertain specifically to the subject of senior photography.” (c/o website)

PhotoPro Network

February 2-5, 2012 | Covington, KY
“4 Full Days! 10 World Class Speakers! 1 Fantastic Opportunity! PhotoPro Expo 2012 is shaping up to be one of the top 2012 photography conventions nationwide! The anticipated speaker line up will blow you away!” (c/o website)

WPPI

February 16-23, 2012 | Las Vegas, NV

“Last year, WPPI attracted over 16,000 attendees. This year, we are expecting WPPI to be the biggest and best event in our history. With an all-star speaker lineup and a diverse and unparalleled menu of special events, WPPI 2012 is primed for another banner year. Winning programs like WPPI Plus, Photographers Ignite and the Awards Night extravaganza, as well as helpful features like Pre-Board, will make WPPI 2012 our best show ever. And don’t forget about the amazing WPPI Trade Show, where you’ll find the best deals anywhere. We’ll see you in February!” (c/o website)

Society for Photographic Education

March 22-25, 2012 | San Francisco, CA
Intimacy and Voyeurism: The Public / Private Divide in Photography
“Photography’s relationship with intimacy and voyeurism is as old as the medium itself. From its inception photographs have been used to sustain, affirm, or remember loved ones, expressing intimate and profound connections between people. At the same time photography has offered voyeuristic pleasure, allowing the viewer to see without being seen, to take visual pleasure without risk to oneself. Rarely can photographs themselves be clearly divided into one or the other of these categories. Images become voyeuristic or intimate based on context, societal expectations and interpretations.” (c/o website)

Photoshop World

March 24-26, 2012 | Washington DC

“Most photography conferences consist mainly of one huge photography Expo with some peripheral classes on the side that require pre-registration. Photoshop World is almost the opposite. Here’s you’ll find an enormous line-up of Photoshop and photography classes on subjects ranging from portrait to outdoor photography and more that require no pre-registration (you can come and go in between classes as you please) in addition to a huge expo floor with even more bonus classes. If there’s one thing Photoshop World can guarantee, it’s that you will come away reeling with knowledge and inspiration after three short days.” (c/o website)

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference

August 9-12, 2012 | Corte Madera, CA
“The Premier Conference in the World for Travel Writers and Photographers!

The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. This four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more. There are hours of informal interaction between faculty and students during lunch and in discussions that often last late into the evening.” (c/o website)

Portraits and Making Your Subjects at Ease

15 Sep

Anyone who’s every shot a portrait – professional or novice – knows that a comfortable subject makes for much more natural photos. Putting people at ease takes practice and good people skills (a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either!). Add on top of that getting inspired, capturing the style or type of shots they have in mind, working with the light and environment around you… there’s a lot to juggle. Here are a few starters to help get them – and you – relaxed and ready to capture some magical moments:

1. Set it Up

Talk to your clients before the session. Get to know them. Make decisions together about locations they like and even the style of images that gets them excited. Offer ideas about what to wear. Emphasize choosing clothes and accessories that show off their individual personality – and make them feel like a million bucks.

2. Be Prepared

It’s a no brainer, but still the most important part of the session. Know your gear well, think about the session in advance, have a plan for poses and settings that will make for great shots. A good photographer is constantly learning and growing. Never let your skills get stale!

3. Sweat the Details

Get your gear in order. Lenses cleaned, batteries charged, cards formatted, reflectors and props packed (and whatever else you’ve got in mind for the shoot). You’ll be like a well-oiled machine with nothing incidental to distract you.

4. Relax and Have Fun

When you’re feeling good and exuding confidence, your clients will sense it and know they can trust you, your skills and your creativity. If you’re feeling a bit nervous in advance (which is totally normal!) set the mood on your way there with a song that gets you positive and pumped!

5. Start the conversation

Get to know them. Ask questions and learn about what makes them tick. Take any great trips lately? What’s your favorite restaurant? How about them Phillies? Most importantly, be yourself. Get to know them like you would at a party – not like it’s an interview. Great conversation can help their mind wander, get them to relax and even lead to some fun expressions!

6. Give them a Sneak Peek

Being in front of the lens when you’re camera shy can make you feel vulnerable. When I start a portrait session and notice any anxiety, hesitation or awkwardness, I’ll often show the couple (or kids or family) a frame or two on the back of my camera to get them excited and show them how great they look.

7. Master your Poker Face

If you’re not in love with a shot – the composition, lighting, expression, anything – don’t give it away. Keep smiling. Set the tone. Adjust, move, give direction; do whatever you need to in order improve the shot – but don’t let it stress you out. Stay fluid and keep shooting. That amazing shot could be your next one!

8. Be intuitive

– Don’t get so wrapped up in the aperture, light, composition or lens choice that you aren’t in tune to your subject and their expression, body language or comfort level.

– If they’re shy or hands-off, don’t get in their personal space. Instead provide clear direction and helpful tips. Show them with your own body, what you have in mind. If there’s a stray hair out of place, or a strap or tag showing, be polite and ask permission to adjust it, or ask them to fix it themselves.

– Gauge their comfort level and choose poses accordingly. Personally I like to start with something natural and move around my subjects, giving them little tips if needed, and only occasionally. Eventually they start to ignore me, relax and not think so much about what they’re doing, how they are smiling, etc.

9. Share your Enthusiasm

Every photographer I have ever met is absolutely head over heels in love with what they do. You are too, am I right? So while you’re shooting, share your enthusiasm and love for photography! Let your subjects know what amazing light you’re seeing or the fact that you love the bright green wall across the street. It’s contagious and they’ll get excited too!

Do you have great tips or advice on portraits and getting your subjects comfortable? Add a comment and share!