Understanding Single Points of Failure With Photography

Over the years we’ve heard from countless people who have lost their photos. Usually it’s due to hard drive failure, but unfortunately there are tons of ways to lose your images.

In this past year alone there have been multiple stories of photographers losing their life’s work due to hard drive theft.

It usually takes loss to make you realize you should have been doing something differently.

So today I want to talk about a concept that will help you avoid loss before it happens!

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Don’t Do a Pro Shoot Without These 3 Things

The scariest thing to happen to me during a shoot wasn’t my knee dislocating. It was my camera breaking, right as my couple was about to go frolicking in the ocean in their wedding clothes. Instantly I felt sick to my stomach, my heart lept into my chest, and the sweat rolling down my face had nothing to do with the hot Mexican sun.

But instead of calling a halt to the session, I walked over to the camera bag, pulled out my backup camera, and kept shooting, without them ever noticing.

(Ok, to be totally honest I think I went and took Rob’s camera and made him walk over to camera bag, because I’m kind of a diva like that sometimes. But if I was by myself that’s how things would have gone!)

However things went down, the lesson is simple: if you’re doing a professional shoot (and I count shoots that aren’t for money per se, but for portfolio building or trade of service in there too), you need backup.

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How to Write Effective Client Emails

It’s as easy mistake to make. You’re writing an email to a client late at night. You’re sending them the link to their files, and you type out something quick without giving it much thought.

I mean, you created great images, and got them done on time. That’s what should matter right? A quick email isn’t worth worrying about.


Or maybe it’s the text you’ve put up on your website. After spending days, or even weeks, meticulously choosing all the images, the template, and the colours, most photographers leave the text as an afterthought.

We’re picture makers, after all, not wordsmiths. Our clients will judge us by our photos, not our words.

Wrong again.

As much as your images matter, your words matter as much, if not more.

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51 Ways to Get People To Smile for a Photo


You could just ask them to smile. “Say cheese!” Photographers do it all the time. And (assuming they aren’t toddlers or teenagers) your subjects will probably comply.

But there’s a big difference between the fake smile they’ll plaster on their face for you, and a real, genuine, spontaneous smile – one that came about because they actually were happy, not because they were told to pretend.

I have a feeling that you’re the type of photographer who wants to go for that real smile. You’re awesome like that.

Now getting people to that place where they’re naturally smiling is an art, and one that takes a lot of energy, practice, and persistence.

After photographing hundreds (if not billions) of people, and making a general fool of myself, I’ve compiled 51 ways that I’ve personally used to successfully achieve the genuine smile.

And today I give them to you, in hopes of more happy photos in world! Hooray!

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Should You Go To Photography School?

Ah, the great question: Do photographers need to go to photography school to be successful? If you’re like me, you’ve wondered about this more than a few times. It’s hard to know which path to take in order to create that photo life of your dreams. So join me in the library and let’s chat about it!

Watch the video now to see what we did, and what some of the pros and cons of photography school are.

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Your Clients Are Scared (And Here’s What To Do About It)

The other day I wrote a very different email to help a client prepare for their family photos. Very, very different. Almost the opposite of what I used to write. And it made all the difference in helping them to prepare for their photos, to the point where they thanked me repeatedly for it. It wasn’t challenging to do. In fact, it was easier than usual. It just involved one subtle, but critical, change in thinking.

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8 Reasons to Shoot a Documentary Photography Project

Shooting a documentary project – where you photograph a story out there in the real world – takes some work. But the payoffs from that work have the potential to be huge – for your vision, your skills, your energy levels, your business, and more. It almost doesn’t make sense not to do one!

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