6 TikTok Ideas for Photographers

Inspiration, photography tips

If you’re a photographer that’s new to TikTok and you have no idea what to post, then this is the article for you! I’ve been using and learning TikTok for a few months now, and I wanted to share with you some of the ideas I’ve tried on TikTok as a photographer! I compiled six ideas that you can use to get started on TikTok today!

#1: A Day In The Life

People want to see what your life as a photographer is like, whether that’s heading to a photoshoot, working on some edits, or even something wild like photographing a music festival. Here’s the TikTok I made about one of my favorite days ever, when I got to photograph Post Malone at VooDoo Fest in New Orleans.

@gdeimz

This is the story of the best day of my life 🙌🏼🎶📷💥 #postmalone #concert #photography

♬ original sound – gdeimz

#2: Before-After Photos

These can be so much fun because you get to see the process from the original unedited photo to the final beautiful image! You can also show off your Photoshop skills with a Before/After photo. Here’s one I made, and I combined it with the Wipe It Down challenge to try to widen my audience.

#3: Your Photography Glow Up

You know those terrible photos you took five years ago? Pull those out, because a new trend on TikTok is to show your photography glow up. Put the photos in order of oldest to newest, so people can see how much you’ve improved. It actually took me a few hours to go into the archives and pull out these old photos, but I love how it turned out.

@gdeimz

Here’s my photography #glowup from 2010-2020 📷✨😁 #HiddenGems

♬ original sound – gdeimz

#4: Behind the Scenes of a Photoshoot

This can be an on-location shoot, or even a product shoot at home. People love to see how photoshoots happen in real time. Here’s one I did of a donut photoshoot in my house. Make sure you end the video with the final images so people can see the end result.

#5: An Editing Video

As cool as photoshoots are, editing videos are just as cool! Show people the process you go through on Lightroom or Photoshop. You’d be surprised how impressed people can be by some simple spot removing and color corrections. Here’s a pretty extravagant Photoshop session I did for a TikTok. It took a few hours, but simpler edits work fine too!

#6: Photography Tips

This one is gold on TikTok. Any advice or tips you have to share as a photographer is really valuable. People want to know how to pose better, how to get great shots with their iPhone, outfits that work great for photoshoots, and much more related to photography. Here’s one I made called 5 Prompts to Pose Couples.

Bonus: Whatever is Trending Right Now, But with a Photography Take

This one works great to get new audiences to see you. Go on the trending page and see what people are making videos about (or what songs they’re using) and try to make one, but with a photography spin. Here’s an example of one I did when it was trending.

And most importantly, have fun! This is a totally new way to share your art, so go try making some TikToks! Make sure to tag me if you do use any of these ideas. I’m @gdeimz on social media, and I can’t wait to see your TikToks!!

How To Make A Successful Pitch

Inspiration, photography tips

Today I’m going to explain how to pitch an idea to a brand. A pitch is basically a proposal or idea that you have for working with a company, in exchange for a trade, collaboration, or to be paid. This can often be a great deal for both parties, because you can offer your services and trade the company for whatever you’re looking for–from a free night’s stay at a hotel to a music festival ticket to clothes from a particular brand you love.

Pitching to organizations or businesses can be really intimidating, but it’s not as hard as you think. In my experience, if you have a solid idea and approach the business thoughtfully, they are very likely to work with you. Here’s what I do!

1. Formulate an Idea & Decide Who To Pitch To

The first thing you need to do is come up with an idea. Something a lot of people don’t realize is you can brainstorm ideas for projects on your own and pitch them to any brand or business, and they might say yes! I do this all the time with brands that are aligned with mine, and it’s a great way to collaborate, extend my outreach, and get awesome products. In the past, I’ve pitched doing photoshoots for social media for food brands such as YumButter, Ona, and EPIC. I’ve asked for a free ticket to a music festival in exchange for photos, a night’s stay at a hotel, and I’ve pitched clothing and product brands in exchange for free swag.

The options are essentially endless, as long as you make sure that the brand you’re reaching out to aligns well with yours. If you do all portrait photography, asking a food company to shoot product shots wouldn’t make much sense. If you’re a wedding photographer, asking for concert tickets isn’t very likely to work. Start thinking of brands you interact with on a daily basis–ads you get as you scroll social media, products in stores you shop in, etc. Once you know the brand you want to work with, come up with a pitch idea that relates to your and their brand. Don’t be vague. Have a specific idea in mind, like planning to pitch a Valentine’s Day lifestyle shoot to a flower company, or an on-the-go shoot for a granola bar brand.

2. Put Together a Pitch Deck

The next step is to create a pitch deck, which is basically a proposal that you create for the company you want to work with. This doesn’t have to be a 20-page document. It can be as simple as 3-4 pages containing the synopsis of the idea, examples of your previous work, and a mood board for the shoot. You should include your information, a link to your portfolio, the concept, and what you’re looking for in the trade.

Taking a little bit of time to create an aesthetically pleasing pitch can really go a long way in getting brands to notice you. Many people simply message a business on Instagram DM or drop them an email, so if they open yours and you have a PDF that looks like you’ve invested more than 5 minutes creating, that immediately makes you stand out.

3. Curate a Thoughtful Email

Draft an email to the brand and attach the pitch. Then give a summary of your idea in the body of the email. Here are a few questions that your email should answer:

  • Who are you and what do you shoot?
  • What is your project or idea about?
  • Are there any important dates/deadlines (i.e. if the shoot is Valentine’s Day themed and time sensitive)?
  • How will you do it?
  • Where did the creative inspiration come from?
  • Why should we feature this?

I’ve attached a few proposals that I’ve recently created to give you an idea of what to create. Canva is a great free resource that let’s you create proposals and PDFs, so if you haven’t tried it yet, I’d highly recommend it. This first pitch is for Getaway House, a brand that focuses on adorable tiny cabins for people to rent to get out of the city. I asked to trade a photoshoot of 20 images for one night’s free stay. They ended up accepting my proposal.

This was a really fun one. I saw Babeland stores around NYC and loved the pink theme. Since that’s super on-brand for me, I reached out and told them I’d love to do a shoot in exchange for free product. Not only did they love the idea and the resulting photos, but they later hired me to shoot a campaign for them. So, it can also be awesome exposure.

This pitch was for a contest for a free music festival ticket at Electric Forest in exchange for photography. You can get creative with it too! Who said a proposal had to be one paragraph of dull text? Make it colorful, exciting, inviting. Along with the pitch PDF, I also included a video. The requirements didn’t even ask for one, but I wanted to introduce myself and make myself stand out from the group!

Check out the video below:

Making the video took about 2 hours, and it gave me a huge leg up in the competition. Which do you think the judges will remember more, a one-page piece of paper with writing or a vibrant multi-page PDF with a fun video with graphics bouncing around?

I hope this sparks your inspiration and gets you excited about collaborating with other brands. Good luck and happy pitch creating! If you liked this article, make sure to have a look at my website,  InstagramYouTube and Pinterest!  Tag me @gdeimz on social if you make any pitch decks using these techniques!

Pink Photoshoot Locations in NYC

Inspiration, photography tips

If you’re like me, you might be kinda obsessed with the color pink. One of my favorite pastimes is wandering around New York and finding perfect pink spots to set up photoshoots. So, I thought it would be awesome to compile all the information into one article. After two years of exploring, here are my personal recommendations for the best pink photoshoot locations in NYC.

Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream is a fabulous playground in NYC for all things ice cream related. As an added bonus, the entire building is painted head to toe with pink pastels. We spent almost three hours exploring and taking tons of pictures, and it’s a super fun activity for an afternoon. We went on a weekday, which was way less busy than the weekends.

Cha Cha Matcha

This pink matcha heaven also doubles as a great spot to grab a drink or even some soft serve! They have multiple locations, but the biggest one with the pink doorway is the 1558 Broadway location. This just proves that we love pink so matcha!

M Tea

M Tea just opened up in Flushing, Queens, and it is a lovely space that does not disappoint. It will take you some time to trek to Flushing from the city, but I promise it will be worth it for the amazing photos! It’s a two story building that includes clusters of pink chair pods, a massive pink hot air balloon that ascends to the ceiling, and a pink phone booth upstairs. I had the pink smoothie (big surprise) and it was as delicious as it was pink!

Pietro Nolita

Pietro Nolita is a very pink restaurant that prides itself on being “Pink as F*ck.” I went there for my birthday this year and took some fun pink inspired photos, as well as tried some of their amazing pasta. There’s lots of options, because the inside is just as pink as the outside benches. Also, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the bathroom, as it’s completely pink as well!

Pixinity

The Pixinity Pop-Up was an immersive experience complete with pixelated icons, a New York themed room, a giant avocado, and a massive pink ball pit. The pop up ended in November, but creator Tianyu Qiu told me that he has some more pop up ideas up his sleeve, so keep an eye out for his next project!

Central Park

Central Park in the spring is the perfect place to get your pink on! When the Crabapple trees start blooming, pink petals create a stunning pastel spectacle in the park. Check out Conservatory Garden’s Center Garden from mid-April to mid-May, that’s when they’re typically in bloom.

Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs

This adorable pink building is the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot in NYC. You do have to be careful though, because that street can get busy with traffic, but we went on a Sunday morning and it was completely empty. I’ve also eaten at Tiny’s and the food is phenomenal!

Your Apartment

Look, when all else fails, buy some confetti and have your own shoot in your room! We bought a pack of pink confetti from Amazon for less than $10 and had a mini photoshoot against a white wall in our apartment. Pro tip: use a wall that’s facing a window, so you get the best lighting. Second pro tip: use the slow-mo option on your iPhone and take an awesome video throwing the confetti!

I hope these locations got you excited to take some pink photos around the city! If you liked this article, have a look at my website, InstagramYouTube and Pinterest! I hope this gave you some new ideas to try out on your next photoshoot. Tag me @gdeimz on social if you go to any of the pink spots for a photoshoot in NYC!

9 Poses in 9 Minutes

photography tips

If you never quite sure just how to pose with your partner for a great picture, or you’re a photographer looking for posing ideas, then this is the article for you! I’ve compiled a list of my go-to poses for couples, and I have a one-page freebie at the bottom for you to keep as a helpful guide! Big thanks to my favorite couple Jersey and Luis for being my models for this project (and standing in the freezing New York City winter weather to get these shots!) Now let’s dive into these poses.

Lean Toward Each Other

Position the couple so one person’s shoulder is leaning into the other person’s chest, and have the person behind wrap their arm around and lightly grab the right arm of the first person. It helps to mention to lean their heads toward each other and getting their noses close together. This cozy pose is great for a mid shot, or a close up.

Facing Each Other

This one is an easy one. Have the two look at each other while holding hands. Can be used for a wide shot or a close up, and you can play with how close they are standing to each other. One person can also wrap their hands around the other person’s neck and lean in close for a kiss (warning: it’s adorable!!)

Facing The Camera

The classic shot shows the couple fairly close together with one person wrapping their arm around the other. You can vary the hands–hands in pockets, hands straight down, or like in this shot, Jersey had her hand by her face, tucking her hair behind her ear. Do whatever feels most natural for you.

Half Looking at the Camera

This can be a great moment. Have one person look at their partner while the other person looks at the camera. This usually results in some natural smiles and laughs, because who doesn’t get excited when they spend a few seconds taking in how lovely their partner looks?! A great variation of this can be to alternate having both partners look at each other at the same time.

The Ear Whisper

Alright, now that you are warmed up and have the basic poses down, here are a few advanced level poses! This one is a great prompt I use with couples. When a couple is already fairly close to each other, I’ll tell one partner to lean in and whisper something into the other person’s ear. It’s great for capturing a candid moment, because generally one of them will say something silly, or sweet, and the other person will break out into a huge smile or laugh. If you’re not great with posed photos, I recommend a pose like this, which can help bring out your personality and feel really natural.

Arm Around The Shoulder

Have one or both partners wrap their arm around the shoulder or waist of the other person. A few variations are to have them both look at each other, at the camera, and one person looking down candidly. You can also alternate between serious expressions and smiles.

Touching Foreheads

I love this pose so much! Why? Because look at how cute it is! It’s pretty simple too: hold hands and touch foreheads. For a more intimate moment, you can have them get close and close their eyes, too. For a more playful and fun shot, tell them to smile and laugh. Leaning in for a kiss is also an easy pose to go to from this one!

Walking

This can be another great natural moment between the two. You can walk toward the camera, hold hands while walking away from the camera, and even start walking away and then turn around and look back at the camera. I usually tell my couples to walk in “slow motion” so they’re relaxed and not rushed. In terms of eye contact, they can look forward, at each other, down and around. I usually tell them not to look directly at the camera, so the shot comes out looking a little more like a candid moment.

The Finale: Kiss and Foot Pop!

This is a great shot to do toward the end of the shoot. Have the couple get really close to each other, put their hands on each other’s waist or around their neck, and smooch! Jersey did the foot pop with her right foot, which I love. An advanced level variation of this is to do the dip: dip your partner halfway and then have a dramatic kiss. This might not be the pose for everyone, but if you like a grand gesture (and I do) then this can be the perfect pose!

I’ll be honest, I wrote this in part because my partner hates posing and I wanted to have a quick page of ideas that I could glance at when we’re out and I want to get a cute shot. So, I made a one-page PDF with pictures of all the poses and I’m giving it to you, too! Click here to download the freebie couple posing guide!

And if you liked this, have a look at my website, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest! I hope this gave you some ideas to try out on your next photoshoot, and good luck to everyone with your posing! Tag me @gdeimz on social if you post any of the ideas you try out!

West Village Photoshoot with Melissa Frusco

Inspiration, photography tips

This was a fun one! Melissa and I decided to meet by Christopher Street Station in West Village in NYC for a street style shoot. It was a bit of a moody day, but I love the foggy atmosphere it provided. Her overall outfit and look fit the vibe really well, and we had a great time shooting some portraits and street shots.

One thing I love to do on city shoots is have the model walk right in the middle of the street (while the walk sign is a go, only!). It creates beautiful lines from the street, especially if there are traffic lights and cars in the background that you can blue out a little bit with bokeh. These two shots are great examples of that! It really adds an urban vibe while still focusing on the subject.

There was also a crazy man that stopped us along the way, but honestly not too surprising in NYC, haha. I also loved the pops of yellow from the signs and taxi cabs. You can use elements like this to add to the overall visual story of the shoot. And I thought the old wine store across the street made for a great grungy backdrop to match her outfit.

If you liked these photos, make sure to have a look at my website and follow me on Instagram! Feel free to drop me an email at gdeimz@gmail.com for any shoot requests, questions, or just to chat! If you’re in the NYC area, let’s grab coffee and talk lenses and shoot locations 🙂

High Line NYC Photoshoot

photography tips

It’s January in New York City! You might be wondering, why, Gaby, are you doing outdoor photoshoots in January? Well, the answer is I can’t get enough of photography. I didn’t get to do too many shoots in December with the holidays and once January rolled around I was itching to get back to it and do some fun shoots to get my creative energy going for 2020!

So I asked my friend Anisa if she wanted to do a shoot on one of the rare warm days this week. We decided to shoot along the High Line and the sun came out for the shoot, which I was very excited for! I love how these shots turned out. Sometimes shooting with the sun in the background can be tricky, you just need to make sure the subject is still correctly exposed. That caused the sky to be a little overexposed, but I like that look and tend to shoot a little bright anyway, so that doesn’t bother me too much.

The shot on the left is when the sun went away for a second and the sky got more blue, and then on the right is when the sun popped back out and made the shot super warm toned. I love her sunglasses in this shot. This just goes to show how different of a mood you can get depending on how the lighting changes in natural light.

My favorite part of the shoot was when we stumbled on this cool walkway on the high line with awesome industrial metal. The wind even blew Anisa’s hair back to add to the epicness of the shot! I think the lines really add to the confidence in her pose and they both work together nicely.

If you liked these photos, make sure to have a look at my website and follow me on Instagram! Feel free to drop me an email at gdeimz@gmail.com for any shoot requests, questions, or just to chat! If you’re in the NYC area, let’s grab coffee and talk lenses and shoot locations 🙂

Why does it cost so much for a professional photoshoot?

photography tips

Hey there! My name’s Gaby and I’m a professional photographer based out of New York City. I get this question a lot, so I thought I’d make a blog post about it. Oftentimes I’ll send a potential client my rates, and they’ll go, “Oh…” and then there will be this awkward silence until they say, “Well, it’s just an hour shoot, so can you do it for $150 instead?”

Face. Palm. There’s soooo much more that goes into a photoshoot than just the hour of the shoot. There’s the time the photographer has involved, and then the expenses to run the business. Let’s break it down:

Photographer’s Time for a 1-Hour Shoot

  • Prepping all the camera gear, charging batteries, sending lenses in to be repaired – 1 hour
  • Travel time to and from the shoot – 1 hour
  • The shoot itself – 1 hour
  • Culling and sorting through all of the images post-shoot – 30 minutes
  • Editing and retouching the selects – 1 hour
  • Uploading and sending to the client for final approval – 30 minutes
  • Archiving and long-term storage of the images – 1 hour

That’s already 6 hours of the photographer’s time invested for a 1-hour shoot! And we haven’t even talked about the fixed costs for running the photography business or the creative fee.

Annual Photography Expenses

  • 2 Canon 5D Camera Bodies – $6,000
  • Lenses – $10,000
  • Annual website and domain name – $200 yearly
  • Memory cards and batteries – $400
  • Seamless backdrop – $200
  • Lighting equipment – $650
  • Laptop – $2,500
  • Adobe subscription – $400 yearly
  • External Hard Drives – $500 yearly
  • Google Drive Cloud Storage – $100 yearly
  • Business cards – $50
  • Photography memberships – $100 yearly
  • Subway Card – $1560 yearly
  • Graphic Designer – $400
  • Advertising on The Knot – $2,000
  • Business Thank You Cards – $100
  • Logo stickers – $70

That totals to almost $30,000 in flat costs to run the business, and doesn’t include ANY of my time. Not to mention the cost of my college and master’s degrees, or any of my day to day living expenses, like rent or food. I love being a photographer because I get to use my creativity and artistry to capture moments for folks, but I can’t do my job if I can’t afford to live.

The Creative Fee

What’s a creative fee, you ask? It’s the special services or talents that I bring to the project. So, for example, if you hire me to shoot a wedding, you’re choosing me because I have ten years of experience in wedding photography, and I bring a certain style and skill to the project that other people do not have.

According to the American Society of Media Photographers, here are a few things photographers consider when calculating their creative fee:

  • Tight deadline
  • Specific style
  • Creative solutions needed (looking for conceptual input)
  • Expectations of high end service (catering lunch rather than McDonald’s)
  • Logistical difficulties (a factory that cannot stop production or a mountain to climb)
  • Experience
  • Extreme limits on subject availability (like 2 minutes with the CEO for a portrait)
  • Technical expertise
  • Geographic location
  • Reputation

And then, since I’m a freelancer, I have to take out a percentage of the income I make for taxes. Guess how much that is in New York City? It’s between 6-7% for my tax bracket. Sometimes it sounds like I’m making buckets of money in just one day, but when you factor in my expenses and setting money aside for taxes, it’s not as lucrative as you might think.

Calculating My Rates

So, with all that in mind, here’s how I calculate my rates. I add my expenses plus the amount of money I need to live and divide it by the number of workable days I have in a year (or how many sessions I want to shoot). And funnily enough, guess what happens when I calculate how much I’m being paid for the time I have invested and my annual expenses? I’m not exactly rolling in the dough.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do with my whole heart, but I work hard to be a freelance photographer. I hustle every day to get enough shoots to make enough money so I can keep doing this as my career, and I understand how it can seem like I’m making a lot of money in a little amount of time, but it really does even out.

Here’s my point: I have a lot of time and money invested in my gear and my craft, so that’s where I come up with my rates. I believe that with photography, you get what you pay for, and with me, you’re paying for a quality experience with the highest quality images. So the next time you are talking to someone in a creative field and you think, “Wow, they’re getting paid hundreds of dollars for one hour,” think again.

There’s a lot more that goes into it than an hour of work, and there’s a lot of time, experience, and equipment costs invested. I hope this educated you and gave you some things to think about in regards to creatives and photography rates.

Victoria’s Boston Photoshoot

Inspiration, photography tips

I hadn’t seen my friend Victoria since we studied in London together a few years ago, so when I traveled to Boston this weekend to shoot a wedding, I knew we had to get together and do a shoot in Boston! We did a super fun photoshoot in London at Regents Park, so round 2 was in order!

We started at the gorgeous bridge in Boston Common and wandered from there. I was obsessed with the willow trees around the park, so I’m glad I captured them in the background of the shot. This is the lake where they do the iconic swan boating in Boston! The lighting was a little overcast, but it made for really nice even lighting for her portraits, so I shot everything natural light.

Then we stumbled onto the new carousel, and I thought it would be a great spot for some colorful shots. I tried a technique at the carousel that ended up looking really cool. I slowed down the shutter speed (also called dragging) so as it moved around, it created the blurry effect on the background. I had Victoria stand really still while I dragged the shutter so she would still be really sharp in focus. I also had a little fun with the editing, using Color Selection to make the shadows blue (one of my favorite techniques–I think it adds a really editorial effect).

Then she got out her fun rainbow umbrella and we did some colorful shots around the garden. I love any excuse to add lots of vibrant color, and I think the close up portrait of Victoria looks great with the rainbow in the background.

We ended by these old cobblestone streets and tried some movement and walking shots. I edited the first one by adding a pink gradient over the image and fading it. Something simple like a gradient can totally change the vibe of the image and make it look really unique! I hope this shoot illustrates that you don’t have to shoot for a long time or with a lot of different outfits to create images that are vibrant and different from each other. Here’s one more example of a gradient I used over a black and white shot:

Send me your street style shoots in different cities, I would love to see them! If you like these photos, make sure to have a look at my website and follow me on Instagram! Feel free to drop me an email at gdeimz@gmail.com for any shoot requests, questions, or just to chat! If you’re in the NYC area, let’s grab coffee and talk lenses and shoot locations 🙂

Top 10 Photography Questions I Get Asked

photography tips

What kind of camera should I buy? I can’t tell you what to buy, but I can tell you what I use. I’ve used Nikon and Canon gear and I prefer Canon. I love the image quality, the crispness of the images, the colors, the low light compensation. I shoot with a 5D Mark iii and Mark iv, but I honestly think any DSLR body can get you started. It’s a lot more about the experience level of the person holding the camera than the camera itself. That being said, lenses can help a lot, too. I love the 50mm and the 24-70. Start playing around and see what you like!

Why is hiring a photographer so expensive? I’m glad you asked! It’s expensive because we’re a business and we incur other costs besides just paying for the camera. Here are just a few annual costs photographers have: the Adobe Suite, computer updates, external hard drives, cloud storage, memory cards, seamless backdrops, lighting equipment, props, insurance, lenses, flashes, website yearly hosting and domain costs, accounting services, legal fees for photography contracts, workshops and classes. Not to mention the time and expertise you are paying for when you hire a photographer. A lot more goes into it than people think.

What’s the difference between an iPhone and a DSLR? Don’t get me wrong, you can take awesome pictures on your iPhone. But not quality ones. I use my phone every day to capture the city and document the world around me. But to really get quality images, I use my DSLR. There are so many more pixels and the file is so much bigger on a professional camera, so you can do more with the image. Higher quality and more options for lenses and depth of field creates more room to explore and experiment. But at the same time, start exploring with photography on your phone if you don’t want to buy a camera just yet. It’s supposed to be fun and creative!

How can I get the blurry background on my photos? That’s called Bokeh. You can learn all about it and how to get it on my article right here.

Do I need to learn manual mode on my camera? Yes! I think that Manual mode is key to understanding your camera and photography. You have a lot more room for creative expression if you are aware of the technical side of photography and can adjust it on-the-go. I learned by playing around with my camera, but a good place to start is with YouTube tutorials (or Linda.com if you have a library card!). When you know how to change the lighting, white balance, ISO, aperture and shutter speed on your own, you can be really sure you’re creating the types of images that you want. In my experience, learning more about my camera has only helped make my images more fun and creative!

Is editing photos important? I think it’s the crucial second step after shooting the image itself. To me, capturing the shot is a special art that takes practice and intuition, but editing that photo to your final vision is like sculpting the final details of an art piece. I use it to remove unnecessary elements from the shot, be it distracting spots in the background, wrinkles on a shirt, or cropping out space that doesn’t add to the focal point of the shot. Then I fix the white balance and adjust the color, usually making the shot more vibrant and punchy. The last thing I do is smooth out skin, whiten teeth, remove stray hair, and any other soft adjustments to enhance the subject. That might sound pretty simple, but it’s taken me years and years to perfect my editing style and find a balance of enhancing without overdoing.

How do you get paid to do photography? It’s a long process that won’t happen overnight. First you need to build a portfolio in the area that you want to produce work in. That might mean doing free or trade shoots with other vendors. For example, when I first moved to NYC, I produced styled shoots for wedding photography to build my portfolio. I got makeup artists, florists, and dress designers to lend me their products or skills in exchange for the photos to add to their portfolio as well. Other times I did free shoots for people to build my portfolio and gain experience. Once you feel you’re at a point where you have the knowledge and skillset to charge people, start doing it! Talk to other photographers and learn their pricing structure so you have something to base your rates off of. Increase as you become more skilled. It might take a few years, but your client base will grow as you do!

Is being a photographer hard? Yes and no. But mostly yes. It’s a career that you have to be really passionate about, and it will take a lot of work to be successful. I put in work almost every evening and weekend because I want my photography business to succeed. I reach out to potential clients and collaborators every week because I want to progress my brand. I shoot day in and day out and edit every free chance I get because I want to get better. So I guess no, on the surface being a photographer isn’t hard. But wanting to be a great photographer is. You have to put in the work to see results.

What do you use to edit photos and do you make your own presets? I do a base cull and edit in Lightroom and then I do all my final retouching in Photoshop. I generally make my own presets, but I also have some from photographers I like that I play around with on occasion. Presets are really nice when you have a lot of photos to edit at once–like a wedding for instance, but I like to mix things up for beauty and styled shoots. I find that I usually have a bit of a vision when I bring the raw photos into Lightroom, and I explore from there. Once I find a color and balance that I like, I’ll apply the preset to the batch and then go in and do adjustments per image.

How do you get the perfect shot? There’s really no perfect shot, just the right movements at the right time. I think being patient helps. For example, when I shoot concerts, I usually have an idea of the type of shot I’m looking for, and then I just wait ready to shoot when the artists is moving around stage. Framing is key for good shots, as well as being able to change the exposure in camera quickly. Being skilled at Manual mode really helps with this. Also, practice helps. As many times as I’ve gotten a really cool shot, I’ve also missed the shot because it was out of focus or overexposed (this happens with concerts a lot) or I just framed it wrong. The good news is that the more photos you take, the bigger chance you have of getting “the shot.”

The Color Factory NYC Photoshoot

Inspiration, photography tips

My friend Cameisha modeled for The Color Factory for their opening last year, so she asked me if I wanted to go back and take some fun fashion shots! I knew that the pop up was filled with dozens of colorfully painted rooms with awesome activities, so I was super excited to explore with her and shoot some photos.

One of the first rooms we walked in was bright ombre red and orange. There are all these balloons that are blowing around with words and phrases on them (my favorite was “a lot of pizza”). We had fun trying to make the balloons stay still long enough for a quick photo.

Another cool thing about The Color Factory is that all the walls have stripes, rainbows, and colors galore! Literally every hallway, door, room, and corner are covered with colors, murals, and art pieces. It makes the entire experience a prime spot for all photo taking. Of course we had to do a quick outfit change with her fun sequin pants to match the vibrant walls.

My personal favorite room is the Disco room! It’s covered in sequins, a dance floor, neon, and is blasting with music. You feel like you’re in a nightclub of color. Cameisha’s black feather coat and neon pink bodysuit made for the perfect combination.

We went a little crazy and even had Cameisha lay on the disco lit floor for a few shots. People did stare, just a little bit. That’s the only downside of shooting in a public place–you have to be okay causing a bit of a scene. Fashion shoots in public are not for the faint of heart!

The last room is definitely the best–a massive blue ball pit filled with literally thousands of balls to jump in, play with, and of course, take photos with. To get this shot, I had to dive in with her so I could shoot from a little bit of an overhead angle. I highly recommend flash for these types of pictures, because lighting was a little dark. The last thing is to be patient, because there were a lot of people also playing in the ball pit, and the last thing you want in a fashion shot is random strangers in the background.

Overall, we had a blast, and I highly recommend you check out The Color Factory, or maybe The Pint Shop, or the newest pop-up in NYC, Pixinity. Pop-ups are a such a fun way to take unique photos and get creative!

If you like these photos, make sure to have a look at my website and follow me on Instagram! Feel free to drop me an email at gdeimz@gmail.com for any shoot requests, questions, or just to chat! If you’re in the NYC area, let’s grab coffee and talk lenses and shoot locations 🙂