Working with a Photographer as a Blogger

If you've ever wondered how I take photos for this blog I'm going to share all the details with you today! You'll get the ins and outs of shooting with a professional photographer and my tips if you are considering it.

Photos by Madeline Harper

There are many reasons I shoot with a professional photographer.

1.) It helps my marriage. When Alex shoots me it's a s#*@ show. No offense Alex, but he doesn't have the experience or eye a professional photographer does. He also doesn't have the equipment and editing tools. It's better for our marriage when I work with a professional. Alex does shoot stuff for me occasionally, but even he can agree he's not a fan.

2.) I use the professional photos for my blog posts and integrating in to my social feed. I use iPhone pics all the time in to my feed, but for blog posts I like to have a higher quality feel. In the past when I would write a monthly update or budget post, I would have to scramble to find photos but having a library of high quality photos to choose from is amazing!

3.) Time Saver. I can shoot a ton of content in one hour. No kids running around, no fighting with Alex, simple and to the point! I'm less stressed and I can focus on what I need to get done. I'm also confident my photographer is getting great shots so that's one less thing I have to worry about!

Each photographer is different on how they charge. Some photographers will charge per outfit, common in Austin would be $25-$40 per outfit. Other photographers will charge by the hour and they may limit on how many outfits you shoot within that hour. I try to get 5 outfits in an hour. Within that price they will also edit the photos and send you a link to download the digital files. It's usually a 2-3 week turnaround time, and I usually book a shoot a month in advance.

When it comes to choosing a photographer search for someone that has a similar style of photography you are looking for. Do you want more natural light? Moody? Sharp contrast? Vibrant color? Don't assume the photographer is going to change up their editing to suit your style.

A lot goes in to prepping for a shoot! I usually schedule a hair appointment the day of or the day before. I tend to shoot after work so I'll get my hair done during lunch and change in my car after work. My car is filled with duffle bags of shoes, clothes, hats and purses. I also like to pick up some flowers to add depth and color to the photos. I would love to get more creative with props but to be honest, I usually run out of time as I wait till the last minute to prep.

When it comes to choosing a location I look for one where I can get 5 different unique areas and still have time to run to my car and change. I've shot in some of the craziest weather. Below freezing temps at the Domain shooting a workout outfit where I was only wearing leggings and a sports bra. My hands were purple and I was worried I would look like E.T. in all my photos. I shot on South Congress in the nastiest rain with the worst humidity. My hair is usually done after the second outfit in most shoots, which is a great time to add a hat! In the moment though you MAKE IT WORK! Also, don't assume you can shoot anywhere. Rarely the case. If you are shooting inside a business make sure to ask ahead of time if you are allowed to take photos.

I was spoiled with this shoot at Woodbine Mansion because I was able to change in one of the rooms which allowed me to spread out my outfits. It was over 100 degrees that day as well, so shooting outdoors in downtown Austin would have sucked!

I also like to look through my saved photos folder on Instagram and get inspiration for poses. It's easy to get stuck in a rut but try to integrate something new with each look. Maybe jumping? Running? Yelling? Spinning? Kissing? New props? Don't be afraid to ask your photographer to try something new. Step outside your comfort zone.

It's important to find a photographer you feel comfortable with. Someone you aren't scared to try a new idea out with. I love shooting with Madeline Harper because we laugh together and she isn't afraid to try new things. She encourages me and guides me in to poses. Sometimes you just don't know what to do with your hands so you want a photographer that will gladly help you!

I hope this post is helpful for you! For years I was against spending the money, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. It's worth every penny in my opinion!

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