Phillip and Abby Wedding at the Venue at 501 in Clare, Michigan

I had an amazing time photographing Phillip and Abby’s wedding at the beautiful Venue at 501 in downtown Clare. I’ve never laughed so much during a wedding!

Clayton and Alexis Engagement Session at Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan

I had a great time photographing Clayton and Alexis’ engagement session at Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan. I can’t wait to photograph their wedding next year!

Riley and Katie Wedding in Mattawan, Michigan

I had a great time photographing Riley and Katie’s beautiful wedding in Western Michigan. Here are my favorite images from the wedding.

Josh and Lisa Elopement in Ithaca, Michigan

I had great time photographing Josh and Lisa’s quick and fun elopement in Ithaca, Michigan!

Justin and Lauren Engagement Session in Fremont, Michigan

I had a great time photographing Justin and Lauren on their property in Fremont, Michigan back in October. I can’t wait to photograph their wedding next year!

The Importance of Pre-Session Consultations

One of the most important parts of any wedding or portrait shoot is the pre-session consultation. During the pre-session consultation we meet ideally in person, but if the client lives far away via skype or facetime, to discuss the session or wedding. By meeting prior and going thru my detailed worksheets both the client and I get on the same page. I figure out what they are looking for and how we can achieve it. This helps prevent many issues from happening during the shoot or wedding. Nearly any shoot I have where issues have arised it was due to a lack of planning or lack of communication. This is why I always do a consultation before a shoot or wedding.

Productivity Hacks: Todoist, Evernote, and a Calendar

Ever since reading the E-Myth Revisited back in late 2016, I’ve been all about trying to be more efficient and productive in my business. I primarily go about this by setting up internal systems for how I go about doing things. In late 2016 my method for organizing my schedule, tasks, and notes was disheveled and disorderly at best. In early 2017 I ended up reading the book Do More Better by Tim Challies. The book dealt with how to be more productive. The first part of the book deals with why productivity is important from a Christian theological perspective and the later part deals with how to practically be productive. Since reading his book I have been using this system ever since.

First for my daily tasks I use Todoist. This is an app and a website. I use this for keeping track of all of the things I need to get done that day. I have the tasks split into different categories like personal, business, and off season to do list. Examples of tasks include Contact Client Name, Prep for Shoot, Write Blog Post, Buy Groceries, etc.

Next I started using Evernote for all of my note taking purposes. Evernote is an app and website. I use this for everything from notes from books I’m reading, notes from client consultations, business ideas, and saving articles I’ve read. I organize the notes into various Notebooks for business, personal, etc. Notebook examples include Business Brainstorming, Business Client, and Personal Book Notes.

Lastly I use Apple Calendar to keep track of when I have shoots, consultations, and other personal things going on. Being self employed I have a very fickle schedule and being able to update and check my calendar quickly is a must. I’ll put the time and location of the appointment I’m going to in the Calendar but keep any notes pertaining to the appointment in Evernote and tasks I must complete prior to the event in ToDoist. By using this system I can easily keep track of my tasks, notes, and calendar.

Productivity Hacks: Roller Cart

As photographers it is easy for us to get caught up in buying new gear. A lot of times it is the less sexy gear that makes the big difference. It is easy to drool over the new camera, lens, or flash, while it is other little things which make the big difference. My red roller cart is a perfect example of this.

Before buying this red roller cart, I would carry around several large bags. A big camera bag with all of my lenses and a wide variety of accessories. Plus a big lighting bag with light stands, Alienbee, and modifiers. This was a pain. Especially for shoots in new locations I was less familiar with. It got to the point in many new locations I simply shot with natural light, instead of lugging around my massive kit. In 2018 I switched up how I carried my gear and got several smaller bags. I started only bringing the gear I needed to shoots. This was a big step forward, but still not as efficient as it could be. I ended up buying this red roller cart at Shopko in September 2018. Now I will load the cart with the gear I’ll be using on location, instead of lugging around several large bags. This makes doing shoots with off camera flash much easier. I have used this cart on almost every outdoor portrait session I have done since buying it.

Keith and Shannon Landon Engagement Session at Kensington Metropark

I had a great time photographing Keith and Shannon’s engagement session at the Kensington Metropark downstate. I can’t wait to photograph their wedding next year!