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Top Tips, Tricks & Tools – Featuring Courtney DeLaura

Posted by on May 14, 2014 with 0 Comments


Luxe Workshop Speakers Feature



Over the next several weeks, every Wednesday I’ll be featureing the top 3 tips, tricks and tools of The Luxe Shootout Speakers.

Today we are kicking things off with Courtney DeLaura of Get Schooled Photo. Is there significance to starting this series you may ask??? Hmmm…the only way to find out is to make sure you’re on THIS LIST  (scroll to the bottom of the page).  


top tricks

3.  Location scout at the time you will actually be shooting. No matter how beautiful the location, if the light is harsh, dark or flat than the image just won’t be worth the location.

2.  Go to the source and ask what they want. Don’t look to other photographers to tell you what your target market wants, ask your area teens. Set up a teen panel and ask them to show you images from magazines they love, clothes they love and music that makes them feel young and happy.

1.  To get the serious look without a teen looking mean or too sexy, tell them a little fib. Pose them and then let them know to just relax and look into your lens, tell your client you are metering the light and that these few shots are light tests. Typically your client will look super relaxed and soft without even trying. They don’t need to know that you actually had the light perfectly dialed in before those few frames.


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top tips

3. Every area of the country is different and every town is different. Do not get hard on yourself if you do not reach the same level of success over the same course of time that another photographer across the country reaches. Work your business and stop comparing yourself to others. Comparisons are a huge drain on your creativity and in turn will stunt your success.

2. Rent before you buy. Before investing over 1500 on a new lens or even more for a camera body. Rent that particular piece of equipment for at least 3 sessions. If after 3 sessions you see a huge difference in your work that will result in higher sales then go for it! I am a huge fan of lensrentals.com. Great customer service.

1. I have heard time and time again in my online course Senior Blueprint that taking online sales out of the clients offerings has easily tripled sales, but the fear of having to invest in tons of technology scares photographers away. You don’t need anything fancy! You can even simply use printed proofs in a cupcake shop and I promise you will yield higher results then an online gallery or shop. Go old school with the printed proofs and a paper order form. Then save your pennies for an iPad or laptop.


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top tools
3.   85mm 1.2 is the most stunning lens I’ve every used and I can tell you that I rent it often. I head my own advice and rent plenty of times before I make the big purchase. Lensrental.com is one of my favorite tools to creating amazing images that yield big profits.

2. My iPad. Instant in-person sales anywhere!

1.  My old 5D without the word Mark after it. This camera body is the original Digital 5D and I still shoot happily with it. Remember that it isn’t the equipment it is the operator.


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Courtney, Kelli France, Brittney Kluse, Leslie Kerrigan and I have a big surprise announcement coming up…you may want to be on THIS LIST to find out what it is! (Hint: You really do want to be on that list!) 

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Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

We Need You To Shine

Posted by on May 12, 2014 with 0 Comments


Monday Motivation from Go4ProPhotos.com/ We Need You to Shine/ Nelson Mandela

Source:  Margie Roomney-Aslett

Filed Under: Inspiration
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

This Mom’s Perspective

Posted by on May 9, 2014 with 12 Comments

I’ve been struggling. I’ve always promised that when I am struggling, I will share it with you.  I made this promise because I never wanted you to be under this false impression that everything is always perfect over here on my end of the monitor. If you did think that, I would worry that somehow you would think it means you’re doing something wrong. 

The last several months have been…let’s use the word, intense. We found ourselves moving unexpectedly, planning for a new job, trying to sell our Christmas tree farm and buy a new house almost 4 hours away. I was also working to launch 3 new brands and websites, relaunch The Thriving Photographer™ (my business training program) and get ready for the school’s spring dance that I had volunteered to co-chair. Oh, and my little 5 year old was having surgery on both of his eyes. 

We took one thing at a time. Some days I needed chocolate, other days I need something stronger (Dungeness Crab and a cube of butter). There were moments when the pressure got the best of me and I’d felt the tears welling up just before I had to run into the school for a PTA meeting or right when I needed to jump into making dinner. 

All the while, I also knew how blessed I was…how many of these trials were just the ground work for later blessings. I tried to keep perspective, but I will admit that more than once I couldn’t find it anywhere. 

Then 2 weeks ago the eye of the storm came down. There were so many things we were waiting on…when would Taylor’s job start and when would he be leaving for training, when would our house close, when would little man’s surgery be scheduled…when? And then it happened. 

My whirlwind of crazy. Two days after little man’s second post op appointment we were moving. On Friday, the kids tearfully said goodbye to their classmates and we piled into the car to make the drive to our new city. On Saturday we spent the day shopping, packing suitcases and finishing paper work. On Sunday we brought Daddy to the airport and kissed him goodbye for 6 weeks as he headed to Texas for training at his new company headquarters. We headed back to get settled into our adventure at Grammy and Papa’s while we wait for our house to close. On Monday, with nervous jitters (both them and me!) the children started their new school. On Monday night the dog ran away…several hours later, way past the children’s bed time, we found her! On Tuesday the dog ran away again. On Thursday morning I left for Chic Retreat and on Sunday I was home. On Tuesday the dog went into heat (and by the way they bleed for 3 weeks – are you freaking kidding me?!?). On Wednesday I found out our close date was being postponed because they still didn’t have this years taxes from the IRS. On Thursday I found out that my CPA mistakenly did not file one of my returns and that brings us to today. 

Just in case you thought the rest of us lived calm, serene lives. I just wanted to raise my hand and shout, ‘not me! I’m living in crazy-town!’ So we just might be neighbors!

Anyway…through all of the crazy and chaos, I have felt so worried for the kids. I have felt inadequate and powerless. Discouraged that a day didn’t workout as I wanted, heartbroken when my oldest broke into tears because she’s having to stay in at recess to practice her multiplication facts and defeated when I had to spend 3 hours trying to build a dog kennel, with no directions that she then escaped from the next day (the dog of course). I have felt out of control and in reality…most of this is out of my control right now and that’s just not my normal reality. 

Sometimes we get lost in seeing what we’re not doing good enough and we lose sight of the good that is happening. My sweet assistant shared this video (see below) with me as an idea to share with all of you and when I saw it, I knew that not only did I want to share it, but that it was time to admit my crazy.

And so, here’s to us! To the crazy mamma’s who work harder than most humans realize possible. Who will stay up till all hours to make, print and cut out flash cards. Who send silent prayers up hoping we are enough. Who always feel we could be more, do more and help more despite volunteering to take on Spring dances, bringing dinner to a friend, volunteering to babysit even though what we really need is a babysitter ourselves and who stop on the way past our children’s door (with laundry in hand) and stand in awe over the little miracles that have been entrusted into our care…all the while hoping, wishing and praying that we (their mothers) are enough. 

Let me tell you who we truly are…we are mothers! There is no more profound profession on the planet. “I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.” - Elder Russell M. Ballard

We are the spilled milk and crooked pig tail mommies, the worn-out shoes and forgotten homework assignment mommies. The needed a pedicure 3 months ago and was wishing for a shower yesterday mommies. The mommies who despite it all – won’t give up and will strive every day to be better than yesterday because we know how valuable the treasures we’ve been entrusted with are. Remember — this job never required perfection, only love. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature.” -Sherri Dew 
Filed Under: Personal
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

a work space at its best

Posted by on May 8, 2014 with 2 Comments
I’m so excited to be sharing the home office space of Sabrina from Pink Little Notebook.  I am in love with her big striped wall, storage functionality and the overall beauty of her work space!  

Creating a work environement you love will have benefits reaching far past great images for Instagram. When you have a space you love it shows in your productivity! Below is a little inspiration that might help get your office revitalized. 

Sabrina’s office goes from drab to fab and I think you’ll agree, the results are pretty spectacular.
   
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What was the most important thing you wanted to achieve in your workspace?
I’ve always dreamed of having a home office that was both chic and functional.  I converted one of our empty bedrooms into a workspace that I can call my own!  With lots of feminine touches, soft colors and a huge work surface, it definitely satisfies my every need.


How did you begin to create the concept for your office re-design?
With any design I do, I start with one piece that inspires me and I kind of just go crazy from there. I love combining different styles together and I believe in no rules. In this case, I found a great desk unit that someone was selling online. I repainted it with an unexpected color and the rest was history!


How did you find the items for your office? (New, re-purposed, garage sales?)
I bought the desk off Kijiji (the Canadian version of craigslist), the chandelier and some frames where second hand purchases from my local thrift store that needed a little DIY love. The rest of the accessories came from either Home Sense or Ikea.


What’s your #1 Tip for an Office Makeover
It’s important to have a space that appeals to your senses, not only will you work harder but you will be happier! Think of your current work space and consider things that you could change in order to make your space a place you craved instead of dreaded.


Check out Sabrina’s Blog for more amazing design ideas and before and after photos that might inspire you to revamp other rooms besides your office space.


Filed Under: Office & Studios
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Starting is the Hard Part

Posted by on May 5, 2014 with 1 Comments

Goals…Dreams…Plans…How do we transform what can sometimes feel like nothing more than a wish, into our personal reality?

This past weekend I was so incredibly honored to get to be a speaker for The Chic Retreat in Seattle, WA (I’ll write a full post with tons of pics and behind the scenes secrets on Wednesday). On the last night several of the girls and I went out for pho (my first time having Pho – Vietnamese noodle soup). Anywho…as we sat around the table talking, one of the girls asked me if I was surprised to be where I was today in my business.

Surprised, isn’t even a big enough word. 

Chir Retreat Photography Dinner

Often I catch myself in moments where I can’t even rationalize or fathom or believe that this is my reality. I told the girls about this moment that I can remember so clearly – I was sitting on the edge of our bed talking to my husband. We were living in our little red duplex back then. He was a full time grad student and I was just starting the idea of my photography business. Filled with delight and hope I said, “could you imagine if I could bring in $1000 a month?? I really think I can do it!”

Well, I did do it and then I set my aspirations higher and higher.  I can remember several years back saying, “Could you imagine if I could bring in 6 figures?? I really think I can do it!” And then I did it.

As I look back at all of these aspirations that seemed so crazy at first, I realize that the crucial moment took place when I took THE FIRST STEP. Just deciding to start and taking that first step is what creates the momentum we need to move in the direction of our dreams. It’s that simple and that difficult!

Just imagine what could be possible for you, if you started today.  You’d already be a whole lot closer than you were yesterday. 


Monday Motivation from Go4ProPhotos.com/ Starting is the Hard Part/ Etsy
Source:  Etsy

Filed Under: Inspiration
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Attract What You Wish For

Posted by on April 28, 2014 with 0 Comments

Monday Motivation from Go4ProPhotos.com// No Negative Thoughts Allowed
Source:  The Motivated Type

Filed Under: Inspiration
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Be The You, You Dream About

Posted by on April 21, 2014 with 0 Comments


Moday Motivation from Go4ProPhotos.com// Be the you, you dream about

Source:  Castles Crowns Cottages

Filed Under: Inspiration
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).