Badass Women Gallery Show

Inspiration

I’m so excited to announce my art gallery show happening this March in NYC! The event is called Badass Women, and it will feature 50 portraits of women entrepreneurs and female founders in NYC that I’ve photographed over the past year. It will also be a great networking opportunity and is free and open to the public. Feel free to share with your friends and network! You can check out the attached poster, the Eventbrite page, and the fb page for all the details. 

You can learn more about the project at my website or on Instagram. Thanks so much and looking forward to seeing you there!

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 🙂

The Butcher’s Daughter Nolita Shoot

Uncategorized

I had a super fun shoot at The Butcher’s Daughter in Nolita the other day, so I thought I would share it with you! My friend Emily Kammeyer had the idea to shoot there and I’m glad she did because I’ve been wanting to shoot there for awhile. It actually started raining during our shoot, but luckily you can’t tell in the images!

One thing I love with bright colored buildings is that they just look so crisp against light outfits. Her white top and jeans ensemble made the shoot feel light and fun against the backdrop of The Butcher’s Daughter. We went to the Nolita location at 19 Kenmare Street and it wasn’t busy at all. They have adorable yellow tables (although I did have to move a table and bench away so it didn’t distract from Emily as the focus).

She had also just gotten a cheetah print bag in the mail from Burberry (!!!) and it was the perfect pop of color to match the table. We also did some shots of her walking across the street with The Butcher’s Daughter in the background to add a street style feel.

I don’t shoot black and white very often, but we snapped a few at the end that I loved! The contrast is so nice against her white shirt and the black wall. Love how these turned out, and it just goes to show that you never know what cool shots you’ll end up with when you’re free to be creative and try new things on a shoot.

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 🙂

2019 Photo Recap

Uncategorized

It’s been a totally crazy year! I’ve photographed more than ever in my entire life, and gotten to work on some super cool projects. So I thought it would be fun to collect all the stats and make a recap of all the photography I’ve done. Check it out below!

I also made a fun video from that information, including hundreds of photos from various shoots I’ve done this year. It’s so crazy to me that none of those photos existed one year ago. I love that I get to be creative and make so many fun images. I hope I beat my record next year!

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.