The “Hey Photographer” is a series of blog posts from the episodes of my podcast Boudoir Business Education. The podcast is chuck full of information specifically for those who are interested in becoming a boudoir or empowerment photographer.
Back in August I had a collaboration with a writer in a local magazine and thought this would be a good experience to share for the podcast as a lot of photographers love the idea being published.
Most magazine publications you submit work. But it’s always better when the publication reaches out to you with an invitation to collaborate. But before you reach out or decide to collaborate make sure your ducks are in a row. If you’re just starting out and barely have a portfolio, maybe it’s not a great idea to shoot for a magazine yet.
Don’t let your first shoot ever be with a publication. If so, it could be a red flag.There are a lot of opportunities where publications are requesting photographers to pay to be featured when in fact, it should be the opposite. These types of publications or blogs only have a photographer client base. I like to be invited and there should be no cost to you, unless you want to buy the issue you’re featured in for your Dad. Which brings me to my next point.
Think about why you want to be in a magazine. Do you like how it feels to your ego? Or are you trying to reach your ideal clients? And if so, do your ideal clients read or subscribe to that publication?
Remember how I was talking about how you need to have your ducks in a row? Well, here are some non-negotiable necessities that you need in order to appear appealing to a publication. Or anyone for that matter.
Your Website-I will say this until I’m blue in the face. I don’t care if you think everyone is on Instagram, every professional photographer has a link to their website in their bio on the gram. Prospecting clients and publications need to get a feel for you and your work. If you’re a little lost on what to do for your website, visit episode 8. “8 Must Haves for Your Boudoir Website”.
The next thing you’ll want to have set up is your networking game. You don’t have to shake every person’s hand in the room, you just need to be intentional about who you want to meet and make a lasting impression that will build a connection with them.
You’ll also want to bring a tangible piece, like a portfolio or album with you. But make it purse size. We are all familiar with the power of print and how we feel seeing our work in a tangible format. It’s nice to have your portfolio as an album on your phone, but if you want to make an impact, bring something that’s tangible. I’m not talking about those tri-fold billfold things Sue Bryce tells you to carry around. (No shade, Sue if you’re listening. Love you!) I’m talking about passing around something that has some serious weight. I did the trifold, the digital album on my phone, but nothing stopped the show faster than when I brought an 8x8, 10 page album from Millers of my boudoir work to a women’s networking event. Also, do yourself a favor and put your branding on this album somewhere with a way for people to contact you, because when it gets passed around, you never know who’s hands it will fall in. You may be engaged in another conversation and this album can be a CTA for you. It was the smartest networking move I’ve ever done. You never know when these opportunities will show.
So, let’s get back to why I shared all of that with you. I met Arianna Cruz through a women’s networking event. I don’t do them much anymore, so I’m very selective about who are in these groups. Anyway! I started following Arianna on Instagram, she is the founder of More Magazine, introduced myself, the opportunity arose to share what I do, and finally got to meet her at an event for this group. After the networking event, we would still engage on social media and one day she reached out to see if I was interested in collaborating with a fabulous writer, Charlotte Stefanski, for More Magazine.
MORE stands for Making Opportunities Reachable for Everyone. It’s a women owned print and online publication here in Indianapolis. I’ll include their link in the show notes, you can also find them on instagram @_moremagazine
I had an interview with Charlotte, the writer, to help her conjure up the article. This was maybe a month prior to shooting anything.
Leading up to the shoot, I had full creative control. The only requests were that it be photographed at Selfie Wrld at a certain time in one set. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Selfie Wrld, it’s a national chain of businesses that house multiple sets for people to create content on social media. It’s pretty fun. We were expected to stay in the one set, it had a heart swing and interesting heart wall paper. Being someone who is a little bit of , ok a lot a bit of a rebel and can’t be held down by shooting in one set. I also shot in the neighboring sets. I’m a huge fan of asking for forgiveness over permission. They loved those photos.
My model was a previous client of mine, Audrey. Good lord! I love that girl! We shot behind the scenes footage for their social media as well. Prior to the shoot, I had Audrey bring 5 different looks and arrive with her hair and makeup done. That way she would arrive, get into look 1 and we were ready to jam. I have a list of poses seared in the back of my mind. Shameless plug, I use the poses from my freebie to help me stay on track and honestly you get more than 5 poses, because there’s different crops and angles that you can do.
It has been quite a long time since I shot anything on location and had a few challenges that I prepped for. Lighting. Brought my own as a backup and looked at what was in the space and how I could use it to my advantage. Unfortunately, my light wasn’t powerful enough to out shine the ambient lights and we couldn’t shut the lights off specifically to that set without making the whole place go dark.
If I were to do it all again, Here’s what I would do differently. I would narrow down my looks from 5 to 3. In my studio, I’m use to shooting 4-5 looks with different sets for each look. With only having one set to shoot in, I could’ve done laying down posing for one outfit, seated or have her sit in the heart swing for another, and have the final look with her standing against the wall. I would also request more background options. Unbeknownst to me, there were other shoots being conducted in some of the other sets, so that would have been a little redundant.
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Bethany Quinn is the photographer behind Bethany Quinn Studios where she helps modern women feel more confident in their own skin through black + white boudoir photography sessions. We encourage you to grab a glass of wine or sparkling cider, hang out for awhile, and check out more that the blog has to offer!
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