for photographers

Hi there!

I receive emails and phone calls on a regular basis from people asking questions about this or that…

I don’t have perfect advice to give but I certainly don’t mind sharing things I have learned through this process.

I do also offer one and one mentorships. I have limited availability for this… but love to do them when I can. The cost is $300 an hour. I will have you fill out a questionnaire so we can talk about specific questions you may have. We can also shoot and work on your camera skills if needed. Please email me if you are interested in getting on the schedule!

Here are some common questions I receive…


What equipment do you use?

2 Canon 5D Mark III

2 Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 50mm 1.4

Canon 50mm f/1.2

Canon 85mm f/1.2

Canon 24mm f/2.8

Canon 35mm f/1.4

Canon 135mm f/2.0

Canon 70-200mm IS f/2.8

Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro

Canon 580 EX II Speedlites

where do you buy your equipment?

We buy most of our gear from B&H photo and Adorama. These guys have great prices and awesome customer service.

I have enough money to buy one lens, which one would you recommend?

Good Question. I prefer to shoot only with prime lenses with the exception of my 70-200mm which I use for ceremonies. I would definitely recommend you invest in a good lens. I know they can get expensive, but it makes a huge difference. I think a 50 mm is a great way to start. That’s what you will usually find on my camera for everyday shots. If you can swing it, go for the 50 mm 1.4

do you use apple or pc?

We use Apple computers in the office

what’s been the biggest challenge in your business?

Balancing having a business with being a mommy and wife.

what are other words of advice?

– BE YOURSELF. Photography is an art and very much your interpretation of an event, a person, family, etc. So when you are establishing your style and look make sure it is you. Don’t just try and copy what everyone else is doing.

– DON’T COMPARE. Photographers are notorious for looking at other photographer’s blogs. In fact, that’s probably how you landed on mine. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily… but it can become bad when you start to compare yourself to others. Listen, everyone, and I mean everyone, started off somewhere.

– READ GOOD BOOKS. Some books that really have impacted my business… The Bible (God), How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie), Perfect Guide to Wedding Photography Pricing that ever was and ever will be (Stacey Reeves),  Get it Together (Mille Holloman), Jasmine Star’s Exposed.. are just some that come to mind.

-SHOOT IN MANUAL. It took me awhile to get the image I was seeing in my head to come out on my camera. Now, I can’t imagine shooting any other way than manual. You have control. My goal each shot is to nail the exposure, focus, framing, everything… so I have very little post work.

-GET TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS- Get to know the people you are photographing. TALK with them throughout the session. Getting your picture taken is kind of nerve-wracking! It will help them feel more at ease to be themselves in front of your lens.

-LEARN TO SAY NO. This is still hard for me, but you really have learn to say no. You are going to get this bride who’s on the tightest budget ever asking to do your wedding for a discounted rate (I was that bride…so I know it is hard)… but, have a plan of what you can and can’t do when it comes to discounts.

-DON’T GO IN TO DEBT. Don’t start your business buying a buttload of stuff (stuff you probably won’t need). I remember I went to my first photography conference trade show and immediately felt pressure to get what I saw displayed everywhere. Now that I look back, I realize I didn’t need most of the things. It is better to wait, save up, and buy as you go. Buying things in cash have been HUGE for me. I have my husband to thank really… because this is how he runs our personal family finances. Also, read Dave Ramsey’s book “Total Money Makeover.” AWESOME.

-BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VENDORS. One, it is so nice to know other people in your shoes. Two, you can learn so much from each other. I am member of a local group called Sofly. This group has already helped me learn so many things. It is so nice to hang out, be honest, and just talk shop with each other.

-PREPARE TO BE FRUSTRATED. Being a photographer is actually a really, really hard job. You can get one email or phone call and it can send your day in to bummer mode. At least this is true for me. Just realize that people are people. Don’t take things personal… just try and make people as happy as you can (without overstepping your boundaries… this is still your business) and move on!

-MORE WORK, LESS FUN. Realize that really like 75 percent of having a photography business is the BUSINESS part. Accounting, Shipping, Organizing, Backing Up, Emails, Phone Calls, Marketing, Web Updating, etc,etc,etc! Be organized. Pay your taxes, have insurance, and do what you need to do become a business people can trust.

-COVER YOUR BOOTY. Make sure you always carry extra cards, batteries and a back up camera. And when you get home… dump those pics on your computer asap and back them up asap. Millie Holloman’s kit (Get it Together) has some awesome plans for organization and backing up. Really try and have a plan. My house got hit by lightning last fall… and if I didn’t have my shoots backed up… I would have been in serious trouble. I back up my shoots on two different external drives and I also have an internet back up.

-TRY AND FIND BALANCE. Learn to schedule yourself in some down time. You need days and weeks to just recharge or to organize. Also take time to shoot for fun. It keeps you creative.

[…] for photographers […]

Alena JarquinDecember 22, 2015 - 11:38 pm

Hi!!! Wow this was such an amazing find. My name is Alena I’m 32 oops I mean 33 now :/ and recently I was gifted a camera it’s nothing special but my husband saw something in me and took a leap of faith and said go capture something. So I thought what a cool name captured by Alena. So I thought let me look it up to see if there’s any other captured photography names (which I knew there was) but I didn’t think I was come across you. I live in Riverside, CA so not close to you but man to I want to pick your brain… I love your honesty and would love to learn more. Do you have a FB page?

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