LRMedia

My Advice to You

Being in photography and videography is hard. It is a creative field of work and anytime that is the case, things can get difficult. The reason being that your creativity is different from others. Not everyone is going to appreciate your work, juts like you may not always appreciate or like someone else’s work

With that being said, take pride in your work. If you are happy with it, then that it all that matters. You will attract people with the same creative eye that you have.

Another important part of being good in this field of work is to have passion for what you are doing. A lack of passion is easily visible in video and even in photos.

Always learn, always grow, and always do new things. Keep what you are doing interesting and if you’re not happy, then change it.

It is as simple as that.

Don’t let negative criticism get you down. It is inevitable that people are going to have negative things to say about you and the work that you do. It is so important to disregard what these people have to say. Take constructive criticism when needed and listen to nay sayers with a deaf ear.

Creating content of any kind is one of the most fun, enjoyable, and rewarding jobs that you can have. You capture memories that will be around for forever and that is such a special thing to people.

I hope that some of what I have said in this blog, and the others, has been helpful to you in some way.

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LRMedia

Building Clientele

When beginning with photography/videography, the hardest part can simply be getting clients. When I first started I always thought to myself, “If people would just let me, I would do a great job for them.”

That being said, there was a way to go about creating clientele that I hadn’t yet figured out, and it was so simple.

Start small.

You can’t start a new business and expect it to blossom immediately. That is not the way that it works. It takes time just like everything else in this world.

The thing about small, new businesses is that they spread best by word of mouth. Sure you can advertise and use social media to try and get your name out but nothing is as effective as the word of mouth. Think about how many times you look up reviews on the internet or you ask a friend for advice on a particular thing.

People want to know what other people think.

The way to get this going is to practice with family and friends. Take pictures and videos of the people and things around you to get good at what you are doing. Do it all for free. When you are in the early stages, it is important to get as much practice as possible and it is not fair to charge for practice.

Once you feel that you have gotten good enough, charge the tiniest amount for something. The difference between you and a professional, is that they are a professional. They have way more experience than you so they should charge way more than you. Do not overcharge when you are still perfecting your craft.

Slowly raise prices the better you get. And when you get to a point where you know your work is good, don’t keep doing free sessions with people. At some point it becomes a waste of time for you that you could be doing something else. Of course give your friends and family a little discount or even do it for free for the special ones, but you get the point. At some point it becomes a business, so it should be treated as one.

Also, be nice to people. Your work is important but so is your attitude towards clients. People want to feel special. If people like your work and feel special, they are going to keep coming back to you and recommending you to people.

Lastly, get outside of your comfort zone. You should always be learning new things and growing in your profession. You can never become complacent if you want to be successful.

LRMedia

What I Use to Edit

Editing in Post production is the most important part of the content creating process. Of course shooting the material is important, but editing can make all the difference in the world in both photography and videography. Saying this, it is important to have decent editing software. So, I though I would talk about what I use.

I use all Adobe programs. Adobe is what I started off using when doing my first job, It is what I was taught with so I have stuck with it ever since. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Adobe has always been good to me so I don’t plan on changing.

There are a few programs in particular that I use and they are all for different things.

Photography:

  1. Lightroom. All photographers should use Lightroom. A lot of people assume that when editing pictures, you should use photoshop, but that is not necessarily always they case. Lightroom is a program where you can manipulate the tones, colors, lights, shadows, highlights, saturations, tints, and so much more. Possibilities are endless in Lightroom. You can also use it to bulk edit and add watermarks.  You can edit a picture the way you want and then apply that same look to every single one of your pictures with a few clicks instead of doing every picture individually.
  2. Photoshop. I know I just said Photoshop is not a necessity, and it’s not! But I definitely do use it for some more advanced editing. Usually the only time I use it is if I have done some really close up shots of people. I will use Photoshop to fix gaps in a persons hair, edit out acne, smooth skin, whiten teeth, etc. All things that Lightroom is not capable of.

Videography:

  1. Premiere Pro. Premiere is the ultimate video editing software available. Final cut is good but I find Premiere more useful. This is the only thing that I use to edit videos. Possibilities are endless for what anyone could want to do as far as cuts, effects, color grading, and anything else. I definitely recommend Premiere Pro.
  2. After Effects. This is a program that I rarely use. It is like advanced math with editing software. It is difficult but the things that people create in After Effects is incredible. Probably once of the most advanced of editing softwares, its incredible. I do not use this much at all, I have not yet taught myself how to navigate it. The only time I do use it is the random occasion that I want to use a preset that is offered through After Effects and that is just click and drag type stuff.

 

Some of these programs a pretty pricey but they are so needed in this industry!

LRMedia

What’s in your camera bag?

A question that I get asked a lot is “what all am I supposed to have in my camera bag?”

That’s a difficult question because it really depends on what you are  doing. There is a huge difference in photography and videography, whether you plan on doing both or just one. Even if you choose just one, there is a huge difference in cinematic videography and vlog style videography.

For what I do though, which is both photography and videography, I do have some staple that I believe all aspiring content creators should have.

  1. A camera. Obvious I know. But I thought I would put it on here to talk a bit about cameras. You do not have to have a $5,000 camera to create good content. You can use a gopro, a DSLR, a drone, or whatever else. Cinematic movies have been shot on Iphones, keep that in mind
  2. Extra batteries and memory cards. These are things you use every time you shoot and things that can be used up, so having backups is very important and professional.
  3. Tripod. preferably a tall and a short one. This is important for so many reasons but one of the biggest is that it holds your camera steady and reduces shake which is so important in any content you create.
  4. Lenses. Personally I have long and short lenses for my cameras and one prime lens. This is not as important but still necessary. You can use a point and shoot lens for everything if you choose to. Having a variety of lenses just opens up your range of what you can shoot and makes you more well-rounded.
  5. Camera Backpack. This is simply so your equipment stays safe.

Those are the absolute basics and really all you need to create content. You could stop there if you wanted. Now, if you want really advanced and professional looking content, the list continues. This stuff is completely optional though.

  1. A steady cam or gimbal. Using one of these automatically creates more cinematic film. It keeps your camera steady when filming and reduces almost all of the shake when moving.
  2. Drone. A drone can capture shots that you would never be able to otherwise capture. They add a whole different effect to any video or photo shoot.
  3. ND Filter. Using one of these allows you to manipulate the light that reached your camera which can be really useful for shoots.
  4. Macro/Micro Lenses. These widen your lens capabilities which can prevent having to buy expensive wide angle lenses.
LRMedia

A Checklist

When I first came up with the idea to actually start a business for my photography and videography, I was not really sure where to start. The truth is, I made a checklist.

The checklist was simple, not much to it. My goals were small when I first started LRMedia. They grew slowly. But that is important when starting a business. You have to set realistic and reachable goals for yourself.

So thats what I did.

I made a checklist.

The checklist was for the basic things that I thought I needed to do to have a professional and functional business. So I thought I would share the checklist I made.

It was simple:

  1. Create a still logo for the company. One that is clean, simple, and can be put on anything that I create.
  2. Create an animated logo for the company. A moving logo that could be put at the beginning of all of my videos.
  3. Create a website that portrays my work in an effective and aesthetically pleasing way.
  4. Buy a domain name.
  5. Create social media accounts for LRMedia (Instagram and Facebook) that are linked to my website and will portray my work to others.
  6. Save money – build clientele and equipment storage.

This is not a breakthrough list with ideas different from what most other people do. This is simply where I started. Once I completed this list I felt accomplished and ready to do more with LRMedia.

So the point of this is not to copy my list or get people to say “Wow! What a genius list-maker!”

It is simply to say, if you don’t know where to start, make a checklist.

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Importance of Details

In the media field, there are so many different things to specialize in. Some people can be good at filming, but are not creative enough to make videos. Maybe they are creative, but are not tech savvy enough to edit. Some people may be great photographers but can’t edit their own pictures while others can edit and can’t work a camera.

So what? You can do what you can do and you’ll get an employee or coworker to do the parts you can’t do. Right?

This could be the case but think about it this way:

You do a $200 job photographing a couples engagement pictures. These pictures need to be edited but you have no idea how to do it. You have two choices-

  1. Give the couple unedited pictures which look okay and have them be partly satisfied with you work.
  2. Pay a cut of your money to someone who can edit the pictures for you.

Either way you lose.

You either lose future business through a lack of recommendation from your partly satisfied client or you lose money from your gig.

This is why it is so important to be well-rounded in your practice. If you choose to do video, learn to both shoot AND edit. If you choose to do photography, learn to take photos AND edit them. If you want to make graphics, practice graphics but also practice taking the photos yourself.

This will make you more qualified as an employee. You also will not have to take a cut out of your money to pay someone else to do something for you. Also, doing everything yourself, you can ensure that the job will get done right.

Learn everything you can and be good at everything in your power. It will benefit you in the long run.

Here are some head shots I did yesterday. I will put before and after editing to show you the difference that it makes to do the little things. In this shoot I did hair, makeup, photos, and editing myself.

If you would like to see more, visit my website: LRMedia

LRMedia

An Opportunity

One of the experiences I remember very clearly is when I got a call from a guy with a fashion line called EKWEL. He said he had heard about me through a friend and wanted me to shoot some pictures and video for him.

I was stoked.

So we met at Starbucks to talk about some details and we ended up being there for hours. Three whole hours. He told me about having a business and getting started and having the motivation to be successful.

He had me so excited to work.

We met again to do the shoot. We shot at a library downtown and also at a coffee shop. He was introducing his new black polo.

The shoot went great and I spent about a week editing his pictures and making him a video. He loved them.

I loved this experienced because it gave me knowledge and an opportunity to network and expand horizons. So if you get anything from this blog, understand that every opportunity, good or bad, is a learning experience and will make you better at whatever you goal is.

Here are some photos from that day