Going Pro with Portrait Photography: How to Turn Your Photography Hobby into a Job | Sean Dalton | Skillshare

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Going Pro with Portrait Photography: How to Turn Your Photography Hobby into a Job

teacher avatar Sean Dalton, Travel Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Establishing a Portfolio


    • 3.

      Class Project


    • 4.

      Entire Portrait Process


    • 5.

      Attributes of a good portrait photographer


    • 6.

      Finding your First Client


    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.

      Before the Shoot


    • 10.



    • 11.

      Sending Proofs to Clients


    • 12.



    • 13.

      After the Shoot


    • 14.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

Always dreamed of turning your photography hobby into a job? It's easier than you think. Travel to Thailand with iconic Instagrammer Sean Dalton as he takes you through everything you need to know in order to start making money as a professional photographer.

Within 6 months of shooting his first portrait for $60, Sean was making a over $4000 per month in portrait sales. In this 90 minute straightforward and practical course, Sean shares all of his secrets of success, speaking about topics such as:

  • Finding your first paid client
  • Planning your shoot 
  • Identifying shooting locations
  • Best gear for portrait photography
  • How to shoot and edit a professional portrait
  • and so much more.

Whether you're an aspiring freelance photographer or simply a hobbyist that enjoys shooting portraits, this class tackles everything you need to know about becoming a professional photographer. Learn directly from pro photographer Sean Dalton, and gain direct behind the scenes access to a professional photo shoot. 


COURSE RESOURCES (Mentioned in course)

Subscribe to Sean on YouTube

Check out Sean's Instagram

Visit Sean's website.

Check out Sean's other Skillshare Classes

Questions about the project or not sure where to start? Contact Sean directly at info@daltonstills.com or on Instagram at @seandalt.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sean Dalton

Travel Photographer

Top Teacher

Hey guys! I'm Sean.

For the last 5 years I've been traveling the world capturing as many photos as I possibly can. I'm drawn to a wide range of photography styles, and constantly striving to improve my art. Emotion and storytelling are two central pillars of my artwork, and I am always looking for new and interesting stories to tell via my camera.

I'm originally from San Francisco, California, but have spent the last few years chasing stories and light throughout Asia.

Most of what I teach relates to my background with travel and lifestyle photography, but I am constantly expanding my focus as I continue to grow as a photographer. I'm pumped that you are here, let's grow together!

I'm active on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube.... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Class Introduction: I think for many of us photography starts as a hobby. When I was a kid, I remember growing up and wanting to be a professional photographer, but just not thinking that it was realistic. Fast-forward 10 years, when I shot my very first professional portrait, I shot it for about 60 bucks. But within six months of that first portrait shoot, I was making over $4,000 a month from portrait photography. I think that goes to speak that, if you are a hobbyist, you only have one more step to take to become a professional photographer, and that's just making it happen. My name is Sean Dolan, I'm a professional photographer and Instagram influencer. I shoot portraits on a weekly basis, and for me, it's still one of the most profound art forms when it comes to photography. I think portrait photography tells so much about a person. You have the opportunity to really explore who they are as a person and depict that in an art form that can last really forever. I also think that portrait photography is a fantastic place to start as a young photographer who wants to turn professional. The reason for this is portrait photography is in demand, and it's in demand everywhere for many different industries for many different businesses, and I think it's a really great place to start if you're a hobbyist photographer and you want to turn professional. In this course, we're going to cover pretty much everything you need to know about becoming a professional portrait photographer. We're going to start with the basics, we're going to start with establishing a portfolio, finding your first client. We're going to talk about what gear to use, and we're going to move on to more advanced topics like pricing and choosing your location, choosing clothing, and how to really communicate with your client to make sure that they're getting exactly what they need and what they envision their portrait to look like. I'm actually going to take you with me on a shoot and show you exactly how I engage with my client, and make sure that they're comfortable and I'm comfortable, and that we're creating an environment that's conducive to not only beautiful portraits but a really meaningful relationship between you and the client, which is important for portrait photography. I'm going to teach you these things in a really easy to understand and practical way so that you can apply all of these topics to your portrait shoots, and ensure that you capture beautiful portraits as well. I think this course is definitely for anybody that wants to become a professional portrait photographer. If you're a hobbyist photographer and an amateur photographer, and you really want to make the next step into becoming a professional and making money from your craft, then this course is definitely for you. If you're an advanced photographer and you're already professional and you just want to learn a few more shooting techniques, then this course is also for you because there's going to be some more advanced techniques in here as well. With that said guys, if you think this course is for you then I really hope that you take the time to enroll, and I will see you in the course dashboard where we can start learning from step number 1, and that is establishing a portfolio that's good after. 2. Establishing a Portfolio: So you've taken the step. You've enrolled in the class. Thank you so much for being here I'm excited. We're going to start with perhaps one of the most important things you need to do before you get the ball rolling, and that is to have a portfolio. I think establishing a portfolio is establishing your credibility as a portrait photographer. If you want to show people that you're a good portrait photography, you have to go show them that you have good portraits and that comes from your portfolio. One of the best things about a portfolio is that you can do it for free. I mean, you don't have to have paid clients in your portfolio. I mean, for when I started photography and I wanted to turn pro, I had a really hard time finding paid clients and nobody would pay me. It's because it didn't have a good portfolio. I didn't have a centralized location on the internet where it had all of my photos that I'd taken to show the work that I've done. The good thing is that creating a good portfolio is actually completely free. You don't have to stress about having clients to create a good portfolio. Start with your friends, go out and say to your friends or your neighbors or your parents and say, can I take your portrait and take their portrait upload it online. But one of the things I really want to highlight about it is that it's not as simple as just taking their portrait, I want you to have a theme behind that portrait, so is it a business portrait? Is it a graduation photo? Is it a fashion portrait? Think about these different categories of portrait photography and shoot with that in mind. I think business style portrait photography is really, really great place to start and it doesn't have to be corporate style. Business casual is super in right now and I'd say most of my clientele right now are actually coming to me in need of business style portraits for their LinkedIn profiles, for their business Facebook pages, for their freelancer profiles. It's really important topic right now. Find a young, maybe young adults, put them in a blazer or just a nice t-shirt. Take them to a cafe or somewhere where there's nicer and neutral tones and take their portrait. But one of the things I wanted to do is just get your friends and go out into a field and into a beautiful environment and just start taking pictures because I think that's one of the biggest mistakes a lot of young photographers make. They just go out and start taking pictures of their friends. While that's a great way to learn, it is, I really recommend doing this as a great way to learn, but I want to upload these on your portfolio because this shows that you can execute a theme. If it's a graduation photo, that's great. Have a graduation gown in the photo, have a graduation hat and put graduation photo shoot on the caption of those images so it's showing that you can't execute a specific theme in your shoot. I think those are great if you wanted do graduation style photos for your portfolio, you can do those for free. You can hit up. There's just people that are always graduating or even if they graduated six months ago, they'd just like hey, can I take your picture. People love free photos, so you can do that. You can do business style photos, you can do even elderly couples that might be a really good way to not only engaged with the community and engage with a lovely older couple, but also take their portraits and tell their story. Those are really profound images. You can also do things like a fashion style portrait shoot. You have your model and say that they're wearing a very specific t-shirt and you want to model that t-shirt, but you're also utilizing it as a portrait shoot and you can do that as well. You can do a full body portraits in order to show the t-shirt. That's a really good way to add to your portfolio. As long as it's a beautiful image, people will trust you. If you can have a good portfolio that shows your ability to take beautiful photos, then it's much easier to score your first client. I do want to note though, in terms of working for free, I think this is a big issue with a lot of photographers is, I think it's okay to work for free at first. But once you get a few page to use under your belt, by all means, do not work for free. I mean, you're providing a service and you're an artist and your services were something and don't let somebody else undermine that. Really make sure that they know that it's not okay to ask you to work for free. You did that in the beginning because you were starting out and you need to establish yourself and that's okay for establishing a portfolio. But as you grow as a photographer, move away from that and start charging money because your services are worth something, you're worth something as an artist and you're worth something as a businessman. So think about that. When it comes to creating a portfolio, you have a few different options. I personally use Squarespace and that's because I have a dedicated online platform where I have all of my portrait photos and all of my courses and everything there. I have an online store as well. For me it makes sense to have a Squarespace site. It just looks really nice, it's beautiful. I would recommend Squarespace to anybody that wants are really beautiful and easy to use site. But there are better and free options that you can use. I think WIX is a really good website. You can create really beautiful portfolios there that look grates and really easy to use. A few of my friends used that, and I've never used this, but Adobe also offers a portfolio service so if you do have a Creative Cloud membership, which is only like $10 a month, you do have access to a free online portfolio that links with Lightroom and Photoshop, I believed, so it's very easy to create that portfolio. But you can easily go on Google and type in free portfolio of services and you can have access to plenty of different websites that will offer you free portfolio. I also think Instagram is a really great tool for portfolios nowadays, since they've upped the images. It's a really good way to get your photos out there and not only show that utilize it as your portfolio, but also for marketing as well. Instagram has turned into a huge marketing tool. If you've seen my other course on Instagram, you know that that's true. So I do want to highlight Instagram, Squarespace, WIX, Adobe portfolio, and then a simple quick Google charts will turn up so many different options that you can utilize. The most important thing here is to have your photos in a beautiful setting on a website that looks good, that people can easily access and easily associated with you so that you can get hired in the future. 3. Class Project: Hi, guys. Now I want to highlight the class project, and I really hope you take the time to do this because it's a great opportunity to gets to know me as a person, to get my feedback, and just engage in communication with me and other people in this course. For this class project, I want you to find three portrait photos that really inspire you. It can be any type of portrait. It can be be business. It can be graduation. It could be just a really moody portrait of an author that really strikes you. It doesn't have to be your photo. If it is, that's awesome. If it's not, no problem. Find three photos that really inspire you. That speak to you beyond them. Post them in this group, and tell me a little bit about why you like them. I love seeing the stuff that you guys like. It's so interesting, so please take the time to do this. I would definitely comment and check it out, and also leave a link to your Instagram or Facebook page. I really like to get to know you guys, so check those out. If you want, I can give you feedback, whatever. Also leave a link to your portfolio. That'll be a really great way for other people to see your portfolio and see the work that you've done, or you plan to do. Please take the time to do this, and with that said, let's move onto the next section. 4. Entire Portrait Process: Hey guys. Now, we're going to talk about the entire portrait process from start to finish, and everything you need to know in between. I've got my notes here, hope you don't mind. The very first thing you're going to want to do is market yourself. That's basically putting yourself out there and getting yourself seen. The second thing you're going do is lock down that client, secure that client. You're going do that by communicating with them and making sure that you're on the same page and that you have the same expectations, and securing that client. The third thing you're going do is discuss the expectations and develop plans. You are going to sit down with that client, you're going to ask them, what do they need? What kind of portrait are they in need of? What kind of emotions are they trying to express? Where are you going to shoot? Work out the details a little bit, and just get to know them as well. I think this is a really good time to get to know the client. After you've discussed, you've created a plan, the next thing you need to do is sign a contract. We're going to chat about contracts. It gets a little bit tricky, but it's actually very easy to get a good contract and a good model release, so don't worry too much about that. That's just something that has to happen in every page shoot. After that, the contract is squared away, it's time to shoot. It's funny that shooting is only such a small part of this process. I think people neglect the planning phases of a portrait shoot, but they're really important. We're going to shoot. After the shoot, we're going to send the proofs to the clients. I'm going to show you exactly how to do that. I'm going to show you exactly what I used to do that. Then once they select their favorite photos, were going to edit those photos, and then we're going to send those photos off to the client and accept the payment. That's it. That's the entire process from start to finish. That's how I do everything. Now, let's get into the details of those and talk about how you can do each one effectively. 5. Attributes of a good portrait photographer: Hi, guys. Now we're going to take a second to talk about some of the attributes that characterize a really good portrait photographer, a talented portrait photographer. I sat down and thought about this and there's five things that I think that a good portrait photographer embodies. The first one is confidence. I say this for a few different reasons. Being confident behind the camera and being confident in the room with a client allows your client to relax. If you're taking control of the situation, you're telling them how to pose, you're moving things around, and you're just kind of owning the shoots, that will allow your clients to feel relaxed and comfortable and know that you're doing a good job. It'll make them confident in your services, make them confident in you. The other reason why confidence is so important is because when you're confident, it enhances your creativity. You're able to try new things and experiment. Being creative as a portrait photographer is an essential tool and that's why creativity is number two on my list. If you can think outside the box and you can move your client around and try new things and put them in different locations and try new lighting techniques, you're going to have really interesting and unique results. I think that creativity aspect is something that is really important and often overlooked, especially when you come to things like business portraiture. People think that there's not a lot of creativity involved and I think that is so not true. The corporate, 1990s, 1980s, business corporate studio photo is so outdated. Now people want something that speaks more to who they are and they want more creative style portrait. Being creative in the marketplace is helpful. It allows you to capture some really really amazing portraits. That's a really crucial attribute for any photographer, especially portrait photographers. The third thing I have on my list is being friendly and guys, this is so important. If you're not friendly, it's going to be so hard to connect with your client. If you're a food photographer or a product photographer and you're not friendly, that's fine. Like you don't have to interact with the client. But when it comes to portrait photography, you know you're interacting with this person like very deeply. You're sitting in a room with them, you're pointing a camera through their soul. You know what I mean? Like a lot of people are really uncomfortable with that. That's why, like I said, confidence and creativity are important, but being friendly and it allowing to speak to them in a way and use that credit voice so that they can relax and accept you and trust you. That's such an important way to really connect with that person and make them feel comfortable behind the camera and feel comfortable with the photos that you're going to get. It's also great for marketing and creating relationships. I mean, if you create a good relationship with a client, they're going to be so much more likely to recommend you to their friends, their families, whoever. Because they had a good shoot with you and they had a really good experience and they want to share that experience with their friends and family. Being friendly really cannot underline that enough, it's really important. The fourth thing I have on my attributes list is being technical. We've talked about all the emotional things like confidence and creativity and being friendly, but you also have to be technical. When I say technical, I mean, being able to utilize the gear. Whatever you have, whatever gear you have and a lot of your equipment and the location to capture the mood that you're trying to capture. If you sit down with your client and you have this goal to capture a really moody portrait. Well, you have to have the technical abilities, the technical knowledge to be able to do that. You have to have an understanding of light, you have to have an understanding of how your camera can handle that light and you have to have a basic understanding of how apertures is going to affect your scene in terms of focus and you're going to have to have a basic understanding of how your your light manipulator, your reflector is going to handle that light and redirect it. You don't need too much technical knowledge. That comes with time. Don't be too stressed out if you're really not that technical yet. That comes with shooting and learning. The more you shoot, the more you're going to learn, the more you're going to feel comfortable with the technical side of photography. That comes with time. But a good portrait photographer is very very technical and they can break down a scene and know exactly what kind of cameras and things they need to capture that scene and to capture the emotion that they have. Or to capture the emotion that they're going for. The last thing, and this is really only relative to professional portrait photographers. If you're an amateur reporter photographer, you can disregard this point. The last thing I have is you've got to be a good business person. The reason for that is, photography can be tough. Everything we've talked about in this course, we've talked about some of the more intangible things like confidence and creativity and friendliness, but if you can't be a good business person, you're not going to make it. You have to be able to market yourself. You have to be able to choose proper pricing and that's where we've chatted about these things. Kind of like the technicality that comes with time. You're not just going to a good business person. People aren't born good business people. You know, you become a good business person. Just as you become a technical photographer. Just as you become a confident photographer. These things take time to build and you shouldn't feel stressed out if you haven't perfected all five of these categories. I sure haven't. I don't think anybody ever does perfect them. But these are really important attributes to good professional photographer. When I first started shooting, I was not confident at all and now I can tell and I look back at my shoots and I see how it affected my shoots and definitely affected my shoots, you know. But over time, as I started getting more creative and I started feeling more comfortable with my camera and my lighting equipment and how to utilize light properly and when to shoot during the day, that confidence became very strong. Now when I shoot, I'm very confident, I have a big smile on my face and I see it in my client. My client is also positive. I'm throwing compliments at them. It just makes them relax. It makes the shoot so much better. Be patient. These things aren't going to happen overnight. But I did want to highlight them because I think that, it's something to think about, something to work towards as you pursue your journey of becoming a professional portrait photographer. 6. Finding your First Client: Hi guys. Now we're going to talk about finding your very first client. I think for a lot of people, this is a really tough phase because it's having the confidence to go out and quote your price, that's difficult to do. That's why at the beginning of this course, I recommended shooting for free for those first few shoots, and that is such a crucial aspect for not only increasing your confidence, but also for finding your first clients because those first free shoots that you're going to do, hopefully you're having those people share those photos on social media and that can be such a crucial, crucial marketing tool for you in finding your first client. Those first few shoots you do have those your friends or whoever you shot, post those photos on social media and say, "Hey, well, I got these photos done by Shawn." Or whatever your name is and have them post that and give a good review. That word of mouth is such a good way to find your first clients. Even today, I would say 90 percent of my clientele is through word of mouth, I don't do any outward marketing and I still have recurring clients coming to me every week saying, "Hey, I need work done." Those first few shoots that are going to be parcel on social media are absolutely crucial. I think it's really important to have other people post them and not just to you because that gives you credibility outside of yourself. In the portfolio section of this course, I talked a little bit about Instagram and I want to highlight instrument again because Instagram is such a crucial tool for finding clients. The reason for that is Instagram is a completely visual platform, so it's created for images and you're going to be ranked based on how good your image is and how many likes you're getting and how many comments you're getting and stuff like that. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, you can take my other course, but Instagram is a really powerful tool and a lot of the photographers that I know all of their work comes from Instagram, which is amazing because 10 years ago that was like so unheard of, but now Instagram just completely dominates the photography field. I know a portrait photographer that's making $250,000 a year, and all of her clients come from Instagram, which is amazing. If you're not at Instagram, I recommend getting it. Facebook is also crucial it's a little bit more complicated that's why I really would recommend Instagram for a portrait photographers, but I really need to highlight that resource. If you're old fashioned, old-fashioned methods work as well, so if you want to post flyers around your town, go right ahead, that's not a bad away. If a graduations coming up, post flyers for a graduation photos. People look at these things and they work so they're tested through and through, so I do recommend that as well. That's a great way to find your first client. There's certainly more advanced marketing strategies like Facebook and Google ads, but we're really not going to get into that in this course, those and you can go on forever and ever. I just want to focus on finding your first client using more basic word of mouth and social media marketing. Really simple stuff, it's amazing how far even just a little bit of marketing can take you in finding your first client and going from there. I think after you find your first client, you're going to be amazed at how many more clients come from that just based on the recommendations that that person gives for you and they're friends seeing your photos and word just spreads and it just keeps going and the clients just keep coming. The most important thing is to find your first client and go from there, and I hope that you have the confidence to do that, and I hope you have the knowledge to do that now as well. I just watched that video back then, I totally forgot to mention one of the best ways to find clients when you're first starting out or even later on, after you've been treating portraits for awhile. When I was shooting events, guys, I'd go to events on a weekly basis, and I high forgot to mention this, and I shot those events for free. It's an event so you're not shooting anything complicated. It's just showing up, taking some photos, and giving those photos to that group or that community for free. There are a lot of Facebook events, they're happening all over, everywhere in your city. You just go on Facebook, find them, maybe shoot the group, the group leader, a message and say, "Hey, can I come to your meet up and shoot the event for free?" Blah blah blah, and most of them will be like, yeah, sure because they get free photos. Why not? It's good for you to go network, that's a really, really good opportunity for you to network and establish yourself as a photographer within that community, especially because a lot of those people you've never met before, so if you're going and you're taking photos, they know you, they associate you as being a photographer. If they need a photographer, guest who comes into their brain, you and then boom, you have your card, you pass it your cards, and you're good to go. That's a really, really, really great way to market yourself. I'll say that's one of my biggest successes is, is doing that and that helps you build that word of mouth marketing as well, and it just works together into this system that gets you clients. It's a really good way to get your first client and it's a really good way to get more clients after you've really establish yourself as a portrait photographer. I didn't want to leave that out, that's why I found this extra segment just so you guys can have that information. That's really crucial, I think it's a really good technique for you to use. Let's move on to the next section. 7. Gear: Hi guys. Now we're going to get into the sexy stuff. We're going to start talking about gear. I know everyone wants to hear about gear, we all love gear. Let's chat a little bit about the gear I use and the gear that you could use. As a portrait photographer, I use three lenses that cover pretty much all of my basis. I have a 35 millimeter lens which can be used for more environmental portraits if I want to show, say there's, somebody has a fashion like a leather worker and I want to show them in their studio, the 35-millimeter is great for that because I can show the studio around them and pull a little bit more on the environment into the photo to add to that move or that emotion. The next lens I use, which is just a really great all around lens, is a 55 millimeter F1.8. This is Sony's version of the 50 millimeter 1.8. It's great. I'm holding a 55 millimeter here in my right hand, and I'm holding an 85 millimeter F1.4 lens here in my left hand. This is the end-all, be-all headshot portrait lens. I mean, it's an amazing portrait lens. It's also very expensive, so it's not something that you need in the beginning. You're watching me on the 35-millimeter right now so that's why I'm not holding it, and you're also watching me on a Sony A7 R II, which is one of Sony's flagship mirror-less cameras, which is beautiful, really high resolution and nice contrast so that camera is really great for portraits. But guys, you don't need this gear. I've been shooting professionally for a while now and that's why I have this expensive gear. You can shoot professionally on a very entry level camera. If you have a starter camera, like a Canon Rebel, or Nikon D 3300 or 5400 or whatever, or an entry-level Sony camera, go to the store and pick up a 50 millimeter F1.8 lens, and that will cost you anywhere from a $150 to $300. It's cheap and it's going to be just a really, really great way to set yourself apart and step beyond that kit lens. I do have a blog post where I go all in depth about portrait photography lenses and your first lens. I'll link to that below. But a 50 millimeter F1.8 is, they call it the nifty 50 for a reason. It's a great lens, it's sharp, and it gives you a really unique look that you can use in your photos. I think that's a really, really good place to start. I do want to take a second to talk about full-frame sensor versus crop sensor. I do have another video on this that you can go check out, but I do think that having a full frame sensor is not necessarily necessary, but it is helpful for achieving more shallow depth of field and better in low light, which are both central tools for portrait photography. But you definitely don't need one. I started on a crop sensor camera. I'm in a lot of commercials are in crop sensor cameras, Fuji shooters shoot crop sensor. I mean, if you're confused as to what crop sensor is, basically a full-frame sensor is 35 millimeters. It's about that big. I'm shooting on a full frame sensor camera. Crop sensor, the sensor itself that's recording the information is actually smaller. What that do is it crops your lenses a little bit so if you're shooting on a 50 millimeter lens and nifty 50, it's actually going to be 75 millimeters. That's something to think about when you're buying lenses. If you're buying a 35-millimeter lens, it's actually about 52 millimeters and if you're shooting on a 50 millimeter lens, it's actually about 75 millimeters. If you're shooting out of the 85 millimeter lens, it's actually like 100-and-something, so it's really far zoom. That is something to think about when you are buying your first camera. But yes, you don't need a full-frame camera. If you do want to go full-frame, the Canon 6D is great. The Sony A 7 II are both great budget options. You can pick up a cheap lens. You can get both of those cameras, either one of those and a good lens for less than US$ 2,000 which is great. But you don't even need to spend that much money. You guys, you can sure have much cheaper cameras. All right guys, so now that we've got the cameras stuff out of the way. I do want to highlight a really useful tool that you can use in your shoots. Super cheap. You don't have to go out and spend a lot of money on lighting equipment, but I do recommend picking up a 5-in-1 reflector. Get it for 20, 30 bucks on Amazon. I got this from a local photographer store. I'm going to pop it over here so hopefully it doesn't knock over anything in a corner. You can see here on this side we have a silver reflective surface which is just great for redirecting light. Say you want to light the front of someone's face and the sun's behind them. You can put this underneath their chin, shoot that light backup into their face. You have a dark one to block light. You want to block some light and you can use this black side. If you unzip it, inside you have a gold reflective surface. You can see that here and then if you take off this cover, it's a white transparent surface like a bed sheet, which is great for defusing light, which is really, really great. I mean, if you have a really hot sun, you are shooting on daytime, you're going to have shadows underneath the eyes. I mean, maybe on one side of the nose or under the nose. Even above the chin so you get these really weird shadows that just makes people look weird. Diffuser is really good for that and a reflector is really good for that as well. A good use of the reflector, if this curtain wasn't here, for example, I would be in the bright sun. You can see here. I might be a little bit overexposed. What I would do is put that reflector in the window, soften that light coming in the window and just make it a little bit easier to capture more neutral lighting across the model's face. Really, really good tool, I highly recommend picking that up. It's super cheap and it does wonders for you as a portrait photographer or I mean, any type of photographer in general. I think every photographer needs one of these. The last thing I want to highlight is this little speaker, a little Bluetooth speaker that I bring on some of my shoots and I play music during the shoots and I do that because, it just keeps the flow going and keeps the workflow going. It also just lets your model relax if you're playing music that they like. You can ask them to hook up their Bluetooth to your speaker and play some gems. It's just nice. It makes a good shooting environment. Obviously it's not appropriate in every situation, like from shooting in a cafe. I'm not going to bring my own music because they usually have music playing on. It's a work environment. I won't do that but if we're shooting outside or we're shooting in a venue or hotel room or something, then I will definitely bring a speaker and play some music because why not? Everyone likes music and it helps us relax and open up so I think that's a really great tool for using in your shoots. Obviously more important tools like a good camera and a reflector, but that's just something I like to use. I hope you guys found that helpful. 8. Pricing: Hi guys. Now we're going to talk about everyone's favorite topic, pricing. Pricing is complicated, and pricing will always be complicated. I think pricing is one of the hardest things for many young photographers to establish. It certainly was for me, it took me a long time for me to establish a good pricing scheme that I thought worked for me. I do have set pricing for my portraits, but I do take them on a case by case basis. I mean, you're going to meet people that you really want to work with and their story is meaningful for you but they don't have the budget to meet your needs. You can make the decision if you want to work for them or not. Sometimes you will, sometimes you won't. But for the most part, I think it's good to stick to your pricing. Some people charge per hour. This is the debate, like per hour or per session. I personally don't like charging per hour, because it leads to people feeling uneasy, like if the shoot goes over they're like, "Our shoot went over time, that wasn't part of the deal." Or if it goes too fast, then you're not making as much money if you're an efficient shooter. What I do personally for pricing is, I don't like to charge per hour. What I do is I break it down per hour, so I figure out about how long the shoot is going to take. Say I'm giving the client eight photos and two locations. Usually they're charged per photo and per location. So eight photos and two locations is my standard for my business portraits. I know that that's going to take me about an hour and a half. I can finish shooting in about an hour and a half. I like to charge usually 100-150 bucks an hour. So an hour an a half I charge, 250 bucks for an hour and a half. I don't know how much that is per hour, but that's how much I like to charge. The reason I charge that is based on a few different factors. The number one is, what level photographer are you? How is your quality of work? I think I'm a good photographer and I'm confident in charging that because I think that I have the ability to do so. I think I'm providing somebody with enough value that $250 for an hour and a half is worth it. I think it's a good deal. If you're a beginner photographer, if you're student photographer, I think anywhere from $25 to $75 an hour is great. You still don't have to charge per hour or like I said, you can break it down and charge of set price. But we're going to talk about per hour just because it's easier to understand. So $25 to $75 an hour, if you're intermediate photographer, $75 to $150 an hour. If you're advanced photographer $150 an hour to, it just keeps going. I mean, there's photographers that make so much money because it's one of those things that you're paying for the quality. It's a crucial service that a lot of people need. So people will pay a lot of money for it. Yeah, the first thing to think about what level of photographer are you? That's the first factor in establishing your prices. The second factor is, what are your competitors charging? This for me as important. You don't necessarily want to charge less than your competitors because then it makes you look like you're not as good. So if you're charging more, maybe it looks like you're better, but it also might make you lose out on some clients. Think about that, what your competitors are charging. Are you confident in your service? This goes off the first point, what level photographer are you? If you're confident in your services, charge more money. The last thing is, what kind of value are you providing? I think this relates to the other ones. If you're confident that you can provide really good value, then by all means, charge a lot of money. If you're working for big corporate businesses, and they're going to be using these in the Forbes Magazine, charge a lot of money. You're providing them with a lot of value. You're making them look good. That's something to think about. The other thing to think about is your own cost. The cost of labor, cost of goods, are you having to drive somewhere? Is your gas costing money? How much time is it going to take you, to edit the photo? Think about that. You're not just charging for the shoot, but you have to go home, you have to upload the photos, you have to import the photos, you have to edit them and everything. That takes time, so you need to include that. You can also include your camera costs. Say you bought a $3,000 camera and how many shoots is it going to take you to pay it off, if you're putting $25 from each shoot into that camera, that you paid for. You can include that into your pricing as well. That something to think about. Another reason why I like to charge per set period of time, or per session is because, if my shoot goes over time, it's it's usually okay. Unless I have a shoot right after. I have to be somewhere right after that can cause a problem, but the shoot goes over time, that's all right, and if the shoot goes under time, that's great as well. You're not set to 1.5 hours. Then if you go over that, they have to pay more and if you go under that, you don't make as much money. I'm just not into that. I like to have a set price, you know how much you're getting paid, makes things nice and easy. I think it really does strike a balance between customer satisfaction and fair monetary gain. At the end of the day, that's what you want to do. We're not only in this to make money, we're in this to develop relationships. You have good relationships with our clients and have good experiences. I think it's important that your client is happy and you're happy. For me, by pricing per session, I think that it just works better. Now I know it all ready seems confusing and these topics can get very complicated very quickly, we're only just touching the beginning here. I think the things start to get really complicated, once you start doing this full time, and this becomes your main job. Then you really have to buckle down and look at your accounting and and see basically how much do I need to charge in order to make a living, in order to make a profit based on my living expenses, my business expenses, everything. I think once you get there, you're going to approach that, and that's a case by case basis. There's only so much we can cover in this course. But for your first shoot, and determining your prices, I think that these few tips are really a good thing to think about. Especially the level of photographer you are. Like I said, remember that students can charge $25-$75, intermediate $75-$150, and beyond. Those are really good pricing tiers that I think you can follow and then based on the other factors as well. Like I said, guys, pricing is very subjective. You can take everything I say with a grain of salt. I just want to have you start thinking about this because pricing is very important. Like I said, my first portrait was $65, and I think we shot for like four hours and the photos weren't that good. But it's a great starting point. I was like, "Wow, I made money from photography. This is a big deal." It was exciting for me, 65 bucks, that was great. Then my pricing continued to grow and it went up slowly and slowly until I found a price that I was comfortable with and I could make a decent living off of. Some portrait photographers will charge a lot of money. Just do what you feel comfortable with. It's okay to be cheap in the beginning when you're starting out, don't think that you have to start charging a ton of money right off the bat. I think you should charge based on the quality that you're delivering. I did want to talk about pricing in this course because it's super important. Do you guys have any questions about this or any of the topics in particular, feel free to post in the discussion below, because if you're thinking about this question, undoubtedly, other people are too. Please post your questions in the discussion and we'll chat about it. We'll cover it, and we'll see if anybody else can shed insight on in this world, because there's a lot of photographers in this course. We also learn from each other. That's all I got in the pricing scheme. Let's move on to the next section. 9. Before the Shoot: Okay guys, so now we're going to talk about what you need to do before the shoot actually starts. I think this is something that's so many photographers neglect is taking their time to plan the shoot, to get to know thier client, to lay everything else. So when you do go to shoot you know exactly what you're looking to do, what you're looking to accomplish. You can do it in an efficient and very fun way. The first thing you want to do is get to know the client. With portrait photography it can be intimate and you're sitting there with another person and you're shining a camera through their soul. You know a lot of people are uncomfortable in front of cameras. I think it's important to be very personable when you're doing a portrait shoot. That is much much easier if you can sit down with that person before the shoot. You can chat and get to know them, you can ask them very generic questions about where they went to school, blah, blah, blah. Just let them relax a little bit. You can do this on the day of the shoot before the shoot, or you can do this a few weeks before in the planning phase. I do both personally because I like to really get to know my clients. It is interesting getting to know them as well. So really get to know the client, that is truly important thing to do. Yes, at the end of the day you are providing a service and I guess you can consider photography a commodity but it's a personal experience, so treat it as such. The next thing you're going to do is pick a theme. You're going to basically talk to the client and figure out exactly what they're looking for. So is it a professional business style portrait? Is it a graduation photo? Is it a couple photo? Is it a fashion shoot? Figure out the goal of the shoot and then build a theme off of that. In this course we're going to do a professional photo shoot later on, so we'll use that as an example theme. So say that there is a girl and she's an artist. She is a freelancer artist and she creates beautiful work. She wants a portrait that really embodies her sense of artistic style. So it's not going to be a corporate style business photo where you're in a studio, she got her arms crossed, she's wearing a suit. Not at all. There's many different types of business photos. I'll talk to her, I'll get to know her, I'll figure out what kind of colors she likes, I'll figure out what kind of clothing she likes to wear. Then we'll formulate a plan off of that and we'll choose a location based on all of the things that she wants to accomplish in that portrait. So say she likes the color green in her artwork, she wants her artwork in the photo. I'll find a location that's suitable for that. I very rarely shoot in studios because I think the studios, yes you have complete control of the lighting but you have so much less control over the environment. I think the environment really speaks to the beauty of a portrait and it can really enhance the person as well in your photo. So I'll find a cafe or a coffee shop or a restaurant that has a lot of greenery and nice tables that we can utilize for this style portrait, and we go from there. I think it's also really important to think about clothing before you do this as well. You want clothing that's not going to reflect weird colors into the face. I often say neutral silk clothing is the best for business style portraits. But if your client has blue eyes, maybe you want to enhance though she have to wear a blue shirt, something like that. It really just depends on each client. You're going to be shooting so many different styles of portraits, and I think it's just important to choose good clothing. Another thing is know some poses. I think Pinterest is a really great way to learn posing techniques. You can go on Pinterest and type in professional business photos or just type in portrait and look at some of the poses there. I mean there's some really amazing work on Pinterest and I highly recommend checking that out. I use it so much for finding influence from my shoots and establishing a really consistent theme in my shoots. I use Pinterest a lot and I have at many different boards, I pretty much create a new board for every client to show them what I'm thinking and I'll have them painted in that board as well, so they can show me what they're thinking. Then we can come together and create a really nice solid theme from there. The posing is great. I really recommend finding some good poses. You don't have to know a lot. What I did for my first few shoots is I looked at Pinterest on my phone and I screenshotted poses. So that when I came down to the shoot, instead of just sitting there scrambling trying to find good poses, I whipped out my phone and I knew exactly I could just see it and then I would just mimic it. You know what? I think it's fine and it might look a little bit unprofessional, but at the end of the day if the client is happy, that's fine. Once you grow as a photographer, you'll know those poses. You'll internalize those poses and you won't need a guide to look over as you do them. 10. Shooting: Hi, guys. Now, we've talked about everything you need to do before the shoot and now it's actually time to shoot. I'm here with my friend James and he's helping me out for the course. James, say hi. [LAUGHTER] James and I sat down yesterday and we talked about everything we needed do, everything we wanted to accomplish with this shoot. James is an online freelancer, he's a developer and he works exclusively on the internet, so he really needs to have a good online presence, and one of the biggest parts of the online presence is having a really good profile picture. We sat down and he said he want to show that he was accessible, intelligent, and just easygoing, but that he was going to do a really good job. We selected this location based of those things. First of all, the lighting in this location is really, really interesting. We have a nice soft light coming in. Luckily, it's a cloudy day, so the lights coming in, it's creating this really nice soft gradient across James's face. You can see the interior of the cafe is a little bit dark, which is nice because we have a nice moody lighting scenario. If it wasn't a cloudy day, the cool thing is I can just pull these over and we get a natural light diffuser or I could use my diffuser reflector that I showed you in the gear video, really, really useful for these type of shoots. I'm shooting with an 85 millimeter F/1.4 and the reason I choose this lens is because it's just a really, really great portrait lens. I can blur the background, put the focus on James, and not have anything distracting in the frame. That's really, really crucial lens for this type of shooting. You can use a 50 millimeter. That's fine, 50 millimeter is great, but I prefer the 85. Another reason why James wore this blue shirt is because it adds to that mood, so it's a nice shirt. It's not too sinister. If it was red, it would be really distracting from James and the overall environment. It doesn't look good in this cafe either, and the overall setting of this place is really, really nice. It's white and not too distracting. Everything just plays into this idea that we want to capture in James' photo for his online profile. One of the first things I do is James and I got here earlier and we chat a little bit and I think this really helps the client relax. I do this with all of my clients, so I meet with them before, and then on the day of the shoot, I meet with them once again and we have some coffee, and we just talk and chat, and it just dispels any nervousness that they might have and it just makes things easier because for James and for a lot of people, this is their first time in front of a camera for a professional style shoot. One of the things I do when I'm ready to start shooting, just to help them relax even more is, I'll say, I'm going to take some sample shots, I'm just sample lighting. Don't worry about posing or anything. James, I'm going to take some sample shots here, and just testing the lighting here. In reality, I've tested the lighting before they got there. It just helps them be more comfortable in front of the camera. James knows everything now unfortunately. Get in a position that's comfortable for you. Do you put the arm on the table? Good, good. A little tip about posing, posing is very, very important and it really adds to the mood and the emotion of the setting, but natural poses look the best and oftentimes, if you have somebody assume a pose, let them put their own twist on it. Don't overcorrect the pose too much so it looks super natural. I told James to get comfortable and look, he's in a great pose, and that's a really, really great place to start. Get a little time you look over here, James, with big smile, nice man. Look at this handsome guy, man, jeez. Just makes it super, super easy. One of the things I like to do in my shoots is, I like to really shower people with compliments. This helps them relax, it makes them more confident, and it just makes the shoot goes so much more smooth and plus when I'm talking, I like to talk when I'm doing things, it just help me focus. It just creates a better environment overall for a shoot. If you're really quiet, it can create a really awkward shooting scenario, and you don't want that. You want to make sure everything is nice, happy, bright, and fun. It should be fun. Good. Let's keep that pose there, nice. Let's have you look out the window a little bit, maybe like right there. Perfect. Love that. Nice. Now, flash a big smile looking at the window. Nice, man looking great. Jeez, these are great. Move up closer a little bit, get some tight head shots, and we'll go from there. Looking at me. Nice. Now, looking at the window. Good, and let's have you do no smile looking at the window. Nice, dude. Let's have you lean over, so put your elbows on your knees. Lean over looking at me. Good, man. Dude. Look at this stagger here. Yeah, big smile looking good. Once you look out the window now a little bit. Perfect. Jeez, he made a model over here. I am lucky James is a super, super handsome guy so it makes you shoot a lot easier, but if somebody does have something that they're self-conscious about, you can ask them. I have clients that maybe they feel like they're a little bit overweight and they want to hide that factor, so you can find poses that attack those things and try to diminish whatever effect they're are having on the photo. Maybe they're holding a pillow on a couch or they're bending over, you're keeping their chin up to make sure that their double chin won't show just different things like that. You can negate some of the negative things that people see in themselves and make them feel more confident in front of the camera. Good, let's do that one again. Let's have you lean over. Look at me straight on. Good. I'm going to come up top here a little bit. Nice, dude. Really nice. Once you turn the chair towards the window, so you're still on that same pose but then you're just looking at me. Good. I'm angling James here to get a little bit more interest in lines on the photo and luckily the background is nice and easy, nothing too crazy going on. You don't want a crazy background that distracts from the actual person. Good. No smile now? Nice dude. Really, really good. Let's do one more pose, let's turn the chair around. A lot of the poses that I do, I have a database of poses in my mind that I like for male clients or for female clients or if they want a more natural approach, I have more naturalistic looking poses. This just comes with time. If you are having a hard time posing your client, at first, one of the things I recommend is going on Pinterest or Google and just searching portraits and looking at some little poses that they do. That's a really, really good place to start, and take a screenshot on your phone and just have aside, all these different poses that you can check out on your phone while you're doing the shoot. Just makes its easier and it makes things flow much, much better. There's no shame in that. I did that for my first few shoots. Let's have you sit backwards on the chair, James, and put your elbows up leaning over the chair, perfect, just like that, and look in straight here at the camera. Nice man. Really good. Let's have you look at the window a little bit. Nice. No smile, and look at me, no smile. Really good man. Wow. Let's have you turn the chair towards the window again, you start keeping that same pose. Awesome, just like that and look into me. Wow dude. Really love this. Coming in tight again, for a head shot. James is easy, he's switching it up between smile and no smile. We're getting a lot of diverse shots and it looks really good. To be honest, I think we've got everything that we need up here. If you're doing everything right and you kind of doing the preplanning, the shooting phase can go really quickly. It's amazing how fast things can go. We're going to do one more Shoot downstairs. We want to get some shots with James and his laptop. I think that he can have to his online profile thing that he wants to get across. We're going downstairs, do that and then we're going to wrap up the shoot and go edit. Why don't we head downstairs and check it out. Let's go. All right, guys, what's up? We have moved downstairs, and I just want you to take a second to look at this cafe, look how beautiful it is from the top to the bottom. So I do want to say before we shot here, we've got permission to shoot here, we paid a fee. Often times, before you shoot in a cafe or a private location, you should contact them and say, "hey, can we shoot here?". "Is that okay". See if they have a price for that. If they do just relay that price on to the client and just tell them, you know, there's a fee to shoot in here, are you okay with that. So in this case, everything is taken care of in our shooting. I moved downstairs because I really like this white couch. You can see here, James is looking really nice on this couch, and then we have this plant just makes things balanced in the frame. Now, I switched to the 55 millimeter F1.8, and that's because the width of this part of the cafe is actually small and skinny and I can't shoot with the 85. So the 55 is fine for this. Let's see what we can do here. So I've got James with the laptop and that's because he's an online freelancer. We talked about that and it just looks nice. James, let's have you act like you're typing and looking at the computer. Nice, just like that. Now give me a big smile at your computer, like you just love your work dude, it's so much fun, typing it all that code and stuff. Can you bring your other leg under the table? Nice. I'm focusing on every little aspect of the frame. Everything has to be perfect, so his leg was sticking out a little bit, I didn't like that. This plant it's kind of cutting James in half, So I'm going to move it over here, just like that so I can shoot from the angle. All right, good. Look at the laptop, James. Nice bro, and looking at me, give a big smile, nice, good. Moving back straight ahead and look at me James. Give me a big Smile, nice man. Gosh, such a handsome dude. I do like to shoot from the LCD, like if I can't get down low, but I will also shoot through the viewfinder as well, I like both of those things. Back here and go ahead and type like you're typing and talking to a client. Nice. Now let's have you move your hands, maybe just rest them on the table. Good, like you taken a break and you're looking at me like we're chatting good right there. Perfect, really nice man. All right now let's close the laptop and do that without the laptop. Let's move this over here. A little tip on props, you can do anything that kind of adds to the scene. Sometimes coffee is a really good prop. I don't think coffee would distract at all from what we're trying to accomplish here. A nice cup of coffee will look really nice. But we're just going to proceed without any other props. The laptop is fine, James, let's have you put your hands on the table. Just fold them just like that. Yeah, nice, good man. Smile over here are really good. Once you look out the window, if you move. Big smile now, yeah, say yes. Yes. Nice. Yes. I do want to highlight why this part of the cafe is really nice. We have these windows here and they're shedding in all this natural light. Like I said before, it's a cloudy day, so it's super diffused already and the light on James is perfect. Then behind you, the camera man, we have this, another window which is adding a nice side light, so we have James perfectly lit, and another thing white is reflective, So the light just comes in this cafe and it bounces off the walls and it just hits James with this nice soft reflective light. If it was black walls, then we would have much more shadowy, darker, moodier vibe. It's amazing how much the paint can play into the actual lighting of the room. The other thing is, because it's white, it's not reflecting any colors, so that's nice. If there was like a green wall over there, we might have green tint on James, which it just doesn't look good. So shooting in a neutral environment is really important. Also, the clothes that you're wearing. I'm wearing black, oftentimes I'll wear a white. And that's because if I'm standing closer, James, say if I'm shooting with a 35 or even at 55, and if I'm wearing green or something or red, you'll be amazed at how much that can, that can play into the scene just because of the light bouncing throughout the room. So subtle or neutral colors try to keep your client and neutral colors. I think that's best for these types of chutes and that's why this cafe is just really, really lovely for portraits. We're lucky to have this here in Chang Mai. But you can kind of experiment with places that you have. maybe you're not shooting in a cafe. Maybe it's a restaurant, maybe it's a bookstore, I don't, there could be anything. The possibilities are endless. Good bro looking good. I wanted to say, I'm having James say yes, and that's just because when you say, yes, it's like yes, it's like a smile. But it's good to just crack jokes and just kind of make light of the situation that you're in. So just trying to be funny and be outgoing. I think that's where confidence really plays in. I talked about why confidence is so important for a portrait photographer. That's because you can be more funny, you can be outgoing and that's really important for helping your client relax. In this situation, James is my friend so we're already comfortable with each other, but I think it's really important to be comfortable and just be as funny as you can because that just makes them smile much more naturally. You don't want a fake smile it looks really not that good. Good bro, looking good. Do you have a boyfriend, dude, are you single or what? Dad jokes are fine too. But guys I think we got all that we need. I mean, there's some really, really amazing stuff in here. These portraits are great and I think James' online profile is going to look really great. With that said, we're pretty much done shooting and it's time to move on to the editing phase. So I will catch you guys in the editing room. 11. Sending Proofs to Clients: All right guys. We finished the shoot with James. I think it went really well. James is a really good subject. Now I'm going to take you through the steps that I go through after I finish a shoot with a client. We finished up, I said, all right James, I'll see you later. We talked a little bit after the shoot. Had a good time. I came home and I uploaded the photos. I uploaded them onto Lightroom, and that is my working process. I upload all my photos into Lightroom and you can see here, I got them all right here. All the photos I took of James. Then what I do is I won't select the photos myself. I'll let James select the photos. I'll actually select all by holding Shift and clicking the very end, go to "File", and then I'll go to "Export" and I'll export into the folder that I imported all of James' raw photos into and I'll do a separate folder, James low-quality, you can see here and I'll set there the file setting to just like 10. I'm going to export those. I already exported them. I won't do that now. What that will do is It'll give me low-quality versions of all of these photos that I took of James, so he can check them out. I load them onto website called Shoot Proof. You can see that here. I already made James's gallery. But why don't we go to my "Galleries". Shoot Proof is a really, really good way to send proofs to your clients. You can see all of these. These are some of my clients in the past and I already made one for James, but if I was going to make another one, I could go to "New Gallery", James, go to James 2 and "Create". Boom. What this does is allows me to post all of these low-quality photos so James can see them. Here I open them up. Boom, James, low-quality. I can add all of these to Shoot Proof, and I can do that because I already have a gallery for James. This is what it looks like after you've completed the upload. Here we have James's gallery and this is my view here, and these are all the photos. I left the file names, out of the camera so I can find them easier later. But basically what you do is you add the photos and then you send this to the client. They can still see they can see all the photos. I sent it to James and this is what James sees. James Sean Dalton Photography as a cover image there. Ignore that software update. "Open gallery" and James will see all of his photos just like this. The cool thing is, is that he can favorite his photos. The ones that he chooses, say your package has eight photos. Or James can choose eight of it's photos that he really likes. I'm just taking a look at these now, think they look really, really nice. This is what the client sees, which is awesome. After the client selects their favorites. I had James go through and select his favorites. So in my dashboard, now it'll say, okay, James, "Recent Gallery Activity". James. I can click here and boom, I can see James favorite photos, DSC07574, 7595, and 7649. Then I'll go back to Lightroom. I'll find those photos and I'll mark them as five-stars. I already did that. I added this extra one. Here's the photos. Essentially these are the photos that I'm going to edit. It was really, really simple process to send my photos to James so he could check them out and select his favorites. Then I have access to the ones that he really likes, then I can edit those. It's a really, really good way to send the proofs to clients, you can use Dropbox or something, but I really like this website because it's cheap, it's fast, it's beautiful and it makes your business look legit because you can send these galleries to your clients and it's like all the raw photos, but it looks really nice. I highly recommend using this. If you guys do want to sign up for this service, you can sign up using my link below, its a referral link. It really helps me. But I wouldn't recommend this service if I didn't think that it was actually useful for you guys. I really do think it's useful. Once again, it's called ShootProof. com. That's a really good tool to use to send those proofs to your clients so then you can make sure that you're on the same page as to which photos they want and which photos they don't want. With that said, let's move on to the editing phase. 12. Editing: All right guys, so I sent all the raw photos to James and he favored the ones that he really likes. Now it's time to edit. You can see here, I got all the fours photos here, and they're great. They're really nice. I like them a lot. Honestly, that location is just awesome. I love shooting in that cafe. It is beautiful. By the way, I'm editing on a dell XPS 15. The reason I edit on this laptop, it's because it's fast and I like the Windows operating system. I used MAC for years, but I'm really liking Windows with the recent Windows 10. It's really nice. Anyways, so here we've got James, James his photo here, and I add it with presets. That's just how I do things. It makes my work process so much faster. My workflow is just on point when I'm editing with presets. I have my own preset packs and I know which presets work, for which type of photos. In this situation, we have a lot of even tones, and I'm going to use probably my go-to photo filter, and that's Contemporary Contrast. I really, really loved this filter I use it for pretty much everything. By the way if you guys are interested in my portrait presets, I sell them on my website for really reasonable price. You can go check that out and the link below. But I really like using this preset because it just makes everything pop. You can see it's got beautiful skin tones. You can see that the underlying tones in the back are bluish. I'm really, really into that look. It's nice and clean. It's got sharpening tools. Honestly, I don't even know what else I would do to this thing. It looks really good with this filter on. I think it's a little bright, so I want to bring down the Highlights, maybe minus 50. There we go. I think that looks really good. Gosh. I think the Contrast is still a little bit high, so I want to make that minus 15, minus 10. That's good. Some tips on portrait editing. Clarity brings out some of the bad things in people's faces, in my opinion, it brings out the wrinkles, brings up that acne, not a huge fan of Clarity in the portrait realm for other things, absolutely like still life. If you want to mess with skin tones, a really good way to play with the skin tones is using the Luminance slider. You can click here and you can adjust that skin tone up or down. You can see, look at what that does. There's albino there because the faces too bright. Yeah, that's too bright. Bring it down there. What this does is it targets the color that you're clicking on. In this case, James skin is orange, so it's going to move that orange slider up and down. That's I'll do for this one. If it's similar lighting scenarios, what you can do is you can click on your first photo and then click on your second photo, holding Shift and you can sync them. You can sync these. Then this photo is already edited, the second photo is already edited. If you have a list, a bunch of photo shown the similar lighting scenarios, you can do that for all of them. In this situation, I can , do that, I want to show you guys some of my other presets that I will use to edit our portraits. The first one is Contemporary Contrast. It's got some really nice contrast, but it's flat. This one is Classic Contrasts. It's a little bit more faded into the difference there. This one's a little more contrast. It's a little bit more faded. We've got Balanced, which has a lot of interesting colors here. We have deep, which I will not use for this one. This is for like dark and moody portraits. Actually that looks really cool. Not expecting that. We've got to Go To, and this is just a good filter and you can use it a lot of situations. I think it has really nice, interesting color. We're going to use Contemporary Contrast because honestly, I think it just looks the best. I think it looks really good in this situation. Faces a little bit bright. I'm going to bring that Orange illuminates down like right there. Perfect, another thing you can do is you can sharpen. Where's that? You can sharpen the image if you want to get a little bit more sharpness have really deep sharpness. If their teeth are showing, you can whiten their teeth by using the brush here, the Adjustment Brush. James has really nice white teeth. You can go down here. Teeth whitening and boom, do that. Another really good one is skin smoothing, Softens Skin, so you can do that and you can paint over the skin, which is really, really nice effect. If they do have, you know not the best skin, no worries, you can just add that. Moving onto this one. Once again, I use my, filter again, my Contemporary Contrasts. Guys, you don't have to edit with presets like I didn't edit with presets for the longest time. I edited with just my skills. I would not do anything crazy to the photos. I would just brighten them up add some contrast, make sure the colors are okay. You know, I didn't care about the tone curve or anything like that. You don't need to worry about that stuff at first. These presets, I've taken the time to really dive in and get the look that I want to get. But if you're just starting out, you can certainly get beautiful looks using the basic sliders here guys. That's all you really need. I mean that you can do some really powerful stuff there. For this last one, I'm going to do that. I'm going to not going to edit with the preset. I'm going to edit with just the sliders. One of the first things I'll do is I'll bring down the highlights and all our presets are edited very, very similar to this. I'll bring up the Shadows, gets a more dynamic range. I'll click here, and this to get a good white balance. But I think that looks to orange, so I'm going to go undo that. I think the white balance is fine where it's actually. I'm going to bring you the Exposure up like a tad. It's nice and bright, sweet. You can bring the Whites up. I don't care if I'm losing detail here. I don't really care. But if you're afraid of that, you can click here so you make sure that if we go all the way up, look at all that detail, we're losing. I'm just looking at James. I want to make sure James looks good. I think that's good there. I'm going to bring his skin tones up little bit. I think he looks a little bit orange. I'm going to brighten that up. Nice. Then I'm going to paint over his teeth just to show you guys what that looks, when you do whiten their teeth. Sometimes it's too white, but there. That's it. There's the before and there is the after. That was like a 30 second edit guys. You can do that too. Like I said, I've taken the time to hone in on my presets and I really liked them. There's presets you can get anywhere that are really good that just make the portraits look awesome. If you do want to get mine there are on my website. The editing, you know, it's important guys, it takes time to master it, but it's a really crucial aspect of any photography businesses is being able to edit photos efficiently and in a really beautiful way that is consistent with your own artistic look. It might take time to find the artistic look, that's okay. Take your time, enjoy the process, it's fun. You should enjoy the work that you're doing here. Being a professional photographer is fun. It's really fun in editing as part of that. But I hope this was hoped for you guys. If you do have any more questions about editing, go ahead and feel free to ask me personally. I love to answer questions about Lightroom. I edit mostly in Lightroom, sometimes in photoshop when I have to do more extreme changes. But that's why in this tutorial I'm just focusing on Lightroom itself. My you tube channel has a tone of Lightroom video, so really good editing tools there. But that's basically all I got for the editing phase, why don't we move on to the next section. 13. After the Shoot: I guess now I want to take a second to talk about what you should do after your shoot is over. I think a lot of people they think the shoot's over, they've sent the edited photos to the clients and then they're done, they have nothing more to do with that client. I think that is the wrong way of thinking because that client you spent time with them, you developed a relationship with them and you need to keep fostering that relationship and that is going to be a big part of your marketing. First thing I do after I send photos to a client what I ask them then, how are the photos? What do you think? If I get good reviews, that's great and because I've gotten to know them, I know what they're going to be using the photos for. Say that they've wanted to take graduation photos to send to their family, to their grandparents, something nice like that. Maybe I'll hit them up like a week later, a week after that I sent them the photos or two weeks after. I'll say, "Hey, I just wanted to check up, what did your family think about your photos? Did they work out for you?" If it's for a business photo, "Is your page getting more hits? Are you get more clients?" I'll ask them that. Most of the time the reviews are going to be good. What that does is it allows you to keep in touch and it helps you stay in touch with that person and it reminds them well, I had a good relationship with this photographer that was great. Once again, it just opens the door to more word of mouth. You need to foster these relationships after you have them. We're not treating the client as a 100 percent commodity. We're not treating them as something that's bringing us money. We're treating them as human beings and that's what they are, and you did have a really meaningful shoot with them hopefully you had a good shoot with them. Yeah, keep chatting with them. The other thing I would say is ask if they will share your photos on Facebook. I talked about this in the marketing section, the word of mouth. If they can share those photos and leave you a review, that's huge. That's going to be such a good tool for their friends, their family members to contact you and employ you. Definitely do that. Ask if they'll share your photos. Ask if you can use their photos in your portfolio. I ask that with all of my clients. The reason for this is because if they're really good shots, you want to be able to show other people those photos as well. That's great. If so, update your portfolio, update those photos. Another thing I'll do is I'll ask them for a testimonial. I ask a lot of my clients for testimonials, especially if I think we had a good shoot. I'll ask for a written testimonial. If they want to do a video testimonial, that's awesome. That's a lot of work though, so I don't typically ask of that. The last thing I do is, I continue to build an online presence. I chatted about this with asking if they will post your photos on Facebook. Asking if you can use these photos in your portfolio. I'll continue to build an online presence and I utilize their photos in ways so other people can see them. I'll post them on Instagram, or my Instagram stories so people can see them. We're not just try to get them out there, it's really important to have an online presence. Social media's so powerful nowadays. After the shoot, just stay in touch with the client and keep chatting with them and just see how they are, see how they're doing and see how the photos are going. I think it's really important to continue that process because you never know how those relationships can translate to future work. Don't give up right after you finish and send them the photos, follow-up after a few weeks. 14. Closing Thoughts: Hi guys. Well, we have talked about a lot of different things in this course, and I hope that it wasn't overwhelming. I've tried my best to lay out everything as simple as possible and talk about all the crucial aspects of being a good portrait photographer. But there is the last few things that I would like to say before we go here. I did allude to this earlier in the course. That is that these things take time. I know in the beginning of the video I said within six months of shooting my first portrait, I was making $4,000 a month. That happened, that's real. The reason that happened was because, before that first shoot, I was shooting a lot of free shoots and I was doing things to bolster myself, and I was learning the process. It's a process, and it takes time to learn. But don't let yourself get down. You're going to see other people's photos and you're going, "This photographer is way better than me. How am I ever going to compete in this field?" Well, you can compete in this field, anybody can compete in this field, and I guarantee that you can do it, as long as you take the time to really focus on the things that we've chatted about in this course, having a good portfolio, marketing yourself, having that confidence to take the next step and establish yourself as a good photographer. Keep fighting. It's going to happen. I promise it's going to happen. I can't wait to hear your stories. I really, really hope you guys enjoyed this class. There's a ton of resources down below, pretty much everything I talked about in this course. I'm going to have a downloadable resources link on my website so you can download that and just have a cheat sheet with all the resources I've talked about. Head to my website and download that. That's going to be great. Please get in touch with me. I love hearing from you. I want to see your work. Do the class project. Thank you guys so much for watching. I really, really appreciated it. I know this was a long course, but it's really good to have you guys here. I really hope that you will check out my other courses and follow me, so then you can see more courses in the future. I'm hoping to do one per month. So if you have a recommendation on the next course, please let me know. With that said, guys, I wish you the best of luck in your journey to becoming a professional photographer, and I can't wait to hear from you. Have a great day, guys. Thanks again.