Goodness this ten day challenge of mine has been difficult. I even fell back a day! I have to catch up now because I’m behind a day. Moving back to once a week after this will be nice 🙂 There honestly have been moments I wanted to quit but thankfully I’ve got encouragement in the form of a husband telling me to keep going and also from readers who have been giving me positive feedback. Thank you so much! It means a lot to me, especially right now since I’m picking up the pace and really going for it. Thank you all so much for the kind words encouraging me to press on.
I’ve gathered up the given questions from both Instagram and Facebook and am going to copy them all here and answer accordingly! If you have a question that you do not see answered here, leave a comment and I will be more than happy to add it to this list when I get the chance! Lets begin...
1) What is your creative process when getting ready for a photo-shoot?
Well this can be answered in two ways. Are we talking a shoot that I have full control of like a model book? Or when I’m on set for a client who desires my input but retains creative control? I’ll answer both! When it’s a shoot that I am entirely in control of, I’m normally inspired by a piece of clothing. Sounds simple right? Or a location or a face. Any of these three can inspire the shoot. There’s no special order, but one always does. If I don’t have all of those three components combined on time, I see it as a failed shoot, I won’t be particularly proud of and probably never care to show. So once I see the face, the piece of clothing or the location, whichever sparks first. I begin to brain storm hard on how to put the rest together. It’s very important to me to have something special in it’s entirety and not to settle for the ordinary. Also, I’m sure that subconsciously my mood and emotions that day somehow affects how I direct my subjects.
If I’m on set shooting for a client that is mostly in control, I start by getting to know the client, reviewing their product, reviewing their last season or last shoot to observe what style they are used to and how much it differs from mine. I then sit on that for a couple days or weeks and brain storm on how to take their brand and put my own twist on it even though the creativity is confined and within boundaries. I try to do what I always do and have confidence in knowing that they hired me for a reason, and so I shoot everything exactly how I would have, without letting the style of the brand affect my natural flow and formation of things.
2) What is the technical aspect like? (your equipment/lighting etc.)
I prefer all natural light. Everything you see on my website is all natural light, shot mostly with a 50mm lens. I recently starting using reflectors and I’m liking it a lot. I may try that out some more now that I have assistance. People seem a little confused when I show up so light on equipment. I’m shooting with a Canon 5D Mark III, and L-Series 50mm. This is my favorite lens, and I do 90% of my work with it.3) What are your morning rituals/ daily routine? How do you spend your average day?
First, a healthy breakfast. Then I like to take 20 minutes on the couch (in my fuzzy robe) to review all things social media and review emails. When I say this, remember I also have another photo business with my husband, Wilhelmina Weddings, so that is included. I try to upkeep social media activity and post, whatever I need to then, having it previously prepared (most of the time). By social media, I don’t mean scrolling mindlessly and socializing, by the way! It’s much more intentional. After that, the gym. Come home, eat lunch and start from the top of the work list. Whether it be editing, blogging, responding to those emails, phoning clients, marketing, all different things that can potentially build your brand. It’s different every day. Some days you feel like the work you’re doing is legitimate: photographing a model/event, coming home and editing; other days, things are less glamorous, but that other stuff is all just as important. There seems to be an idea that when photographers aren’t shooting they’re sitting on their hands all day and relaxing. I could write a blog post dedicated to writings on the consistent work that takes place and how on top of things you have to stay in order for your business to stay alive. As much as I would like to sit back, relax and just be good at what I do to make a living, it’s only the half of it. I won’t write it all out here now, but believe me, there is A LOT REQUIRED on both the creative and business end of it that also takes skill and practice. There is ALWAYS something to do. If I don’t find myself shooting that day and editing is all caught up, I will MAKE something to do, which will eventually turn into the next big project that I work on, because that is what’s going to keep it alive. Since I’m my own boss, I have to constantly keep the wheels turning. Routine is huge. I give myself a bed time. I’ve found that rest is very important – I used to stay up till 3 am editing, but not anymore. I accomplish more with a routine and a schedule.
4) What do you find most important to complete in order to have a defined successful day and what is a successful day for you? Has this all changed since being married?
I’m going to say I answered this one in the above answer! Since being married this has all changed drastically, for the better! My husband is a constant supporter. On days I want to throw the towel in and call it quits he reminds me of all the reasons why I shouldn’t and also talks some sense back into me. We are both photographers, we understand the business and can speak the same language, so that helps extremely. In areas where I am weak, he is strong, leaving me with more time to do the things that I am better at and less time worrying about, well….how to properly organize, store and back up my files. Love you, babe.5) What is your favorite shoot you’ve done?
My favorite shoot that I’ve done… hmmm. I’m not going to go for aesthetics, but simply memory. It would have to be my shoot in Miami with Annie Gustafsson for Elite. (See below photo for a picture from that shoot.) This was a shoot that defined a change in my style. I felt my work went to the next level accompanied by a surge of new inspiration. I remember corresponding with Elite and scheduling a shoot, not knowing where I would photograph Annie, how I would get make-up on her (myself) or where I would apply it, if my old dinky car would break down on the way to Miami (I kinda miss that car) or what clothing she would wear. I had to figure it out in just a couple days. I said a prayer and it all came together. I researched the location online, had never been there in person but it turned out to be incredible. One of my good friends who owned a boutique let me take anything I needed from her shop (Thank you Robyn!) Annie was so cool. She had no problem with me applying my (cheap) drugstore make-up myself in a random, busy Starbucks on Lincoln road. I was so anxious and on the edge of my seat with the entire process but the pictures turned out perfect. I uploaded them and had several blogs email asking to do a write up and re-post the images. That shoot, I believe, changed a lot. My prayers were answered. Here are some links to my work beulahanne.com I have a blog connected to my website that displays a bunch more work.
My husband and I’s wedding work : wilhelminaweddings.com
That’s all for now! These questions can be answered in so many different ways being I shoot weddings, lifestyle, interior, models and brands. If you want to know about more within a specific category, you can also let me know and I will respond.