Featured Photographer – Nicole Lewis

With Spring right around the corner, today’s featured session is a snow shoot from West Virginia’s Nicole Lewis Photography!  I love sessions in the snow and this one looks amazing!!!.

“Say hello to Sarah! Sarah loves the outdoors and snow so after getting 18+ inches we knew it was the perfect time for her session! The session was photographed in the Monongahela National Forest in southern West Virginia. My inspiration was to bring out the magic of Winter and capture the essence of a new season in life for this beautiful senior.

“Sarah’s outfit choices were right on with my vision so that part was easy. I have to say I love her hooded fur coat! She rocked that coat and left me wanting one for myself.

I photographed the session with a Nikon D800 and primarily used my 85mm 1.4 Nikkor lens. A couple shots were with a 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art and I used a reflector at times.

“I absolutely love senior sessions! I think the most important thing when photographing a senior is to make them comfortable. The more at ease your senior is the more her personality with shine through in your images.

Sarah and I had so much fun during her session and I wish her the very best as she graduates this year!

Thanks so much to Nicole for submitting her gorgeous work! Be sure to check out more from Nicole and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

If you’d like to be a future Featured Artist on the SeniorInspire blog, follow this link for more info and to submit you best six images and a session writeup.

Magic Floating Ring Light

I don’t typically post my own photos on the SeniorInspire page, but a few people have asked about the floating ringlight I occasionally use with seniors. This is an idea I got from David Mullenix when he spoke at Sync several years ago.

The light here is a circular bulb you may be able to find at a local hardware store, but don’t worry if you can’t find one because I’m going to show you where you can get what you need online and the cost is less than $20.

You’re also going to need a ballast and electrical cord with a plug.  If that sounds foreign, don’t worry it’s pretty simple and mostly a matter of twisting a few wires to put everything together. Believe me, if I was able to put this together without electrocuting anyone…  you can do it too.

Here’s a quick pullback of what it looks like before any Photoshop trickery.

 

When I put mine together, I screwed the ballast inside a short piece of pvc to get it out of the way. In the picture you can see where the plug from the ballast comes out of the PVC and gets plugged into the bulb. The connection to the bulb is pretty loose, so I added a safety cord that is attached to each side of the PVC and strung through the bulb. The safety cord has saved me from having to clean up a shattered bulb many, many times.

You also have to attach an electrical cord to the ballast and though you can’t see it here, the plug is coming out of the other end of the PVC. Here’s a crude drawing of the light all put together…

I usually shoot these at ISO 400, 1/125, F4.0. Once I get the image in Photoshop I use the clone stamp tool  to get rid of the wires and finish off the bulb. To make the bulb glow a bit more, I use the Magic Wand to select just the bulb, copy it to a duplicate layer and add some gaussian blur.

Here are links to the bulb and ballast I bough online from lightbulbsurplus.com.
The Bulb
The Ballast

The bulb has been sold out at lightbulbsurplus.com for a while now, but I did find the same one one Amazon…
the bulb on Amazon

I don’t use this contraption every time – maybe once every 10-15 seniors – but when I do the senior always seems to have a fun time with it!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below….

Featured Photographer – Jennifer Wyeth

Today, in a brand new blog feature, we’re spotlighting the work of Colorado’s Jennifer Wyeth Photography!  I’m a huge fan of Jennifer’s work and am excited to feature this session on the SeniorInspire blog…

“Meet Kendall. She is stunning, of course. But her amazing personality far surpasses her gorgeous exterior. She is fun, silly, smart, and so very kind. When planning this session, Kendall came over about a week before and tried on each outfit for me. I like to make sure my clients have a variety of clothing so they are sure to express every part of themselves through fashion. We discuss each outfit, down to the shoes and accessories and how she will wear her hair. I also want to make sure that clothing choices go with the location we have picked out together”

“I line up hair and make-up for each of my seniors. I make sure to speak with both my hair girl and my make-up artist about each client and what they go with their hair/makeup on a daily basis. So, for Kendall, I told my hair girl that she wanted her hair pulled back softly for a few outfits and then down and curled for her other outfits. Because she had this information before hand, it was much easier for accommodate. I made sure my MUA knew that Kendall liked to look natural and didn’t want her make-up over the top.”

“Living in Colorado we frequently have afternoon showers. I was sure to watch the weather all day as Kendall’s shoot time approached. Had we run into potential showers she was willing to move locations to accommodate for the weather. We lucked out and had nothing but fabulous sun shine the entire time!

Kendall’s shoot was fun and full of giggling! I’m so excited she is one of my Spokesmodels and I’ll get to take pictures of her again!!”

Thanks Jennifer for being our first featured photographer. All of these images are wonderful!! Be sure to check out more of Jennifer’s work and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

If you’d like to be a future Featured Artist on the SeniorInspire blog, follow this link for more info and to submit you best six images and a session writeup.

SeniorInspire wants to feature your favorite session on our blog

SeniorInspire wants to feature your very best senior session on our website!

Please go to www.seniorinspire.com/getfeatured to submit your six best images from any one session along with a well thought out write-up.

We’re looking to feature fresh, exciting work! We are looking for consistency throughout all six of your submitted images.

In addition, your words matter! Strong session write ups will definitely help you in the submission process.

Please submit only web ready images that have been sized at 1200px on the long edge. If you’re not sure how to size your images,shoot us a message and we can help.

Please include your logo or web address on all photo submissions, but note that images with large, intrusive watermarks will be much less likely to make the cut.

While we would love to feature every single photographer who submits, the reality is only a few will be featured each month. If your session is chosen for feature, you will be notified by email.

Good luck!

MyPhotoApp Speed Test!!

There are a bunch of smartphone app builders on the market geared towards photographers and some of them are even great at attracting rock stars to advertise for them.

But for my money, MyPhotoApp is the clear winner!

The pro version of MyPhotoApp not only provides a great way to professionally share photos with clients, it also includes powerful features like advanced forms, MailChimp integration, auto-responders and multi-page forms that puts a full suite of powerful marketing tools right in your hands!!

Today I want to look at just one of the advantages of MyPhotoApp – Using templates to DRAMATICALLY speed up app creation.

In the video below I’m going to show you how quickly I can create an app using a template I built for my Model Rep program. Building 50 apps for my Model Reps each year can be a total drag, but with a template I can get all 50 done in right around an hour. 

Check out the video for a quick speed test. And be sure to read to the end of this post because if you’re a MyPhotoApp user, I’m going to give you this template as a free gift!!

 

If you already own MyPhotoApp and you’re not using the advanced features like forms, MailChimp integration, autoresponders and multi-page forms…  WHY THE HELL NOT? You’re missing out on some powerful features that can take your marketing to the next level!! 

Check out SeniorInspire’s MyPhotoApp course for step by step instructions on using MyPhotoApp’s advanced features. The course also includes FOUR pre-made templates to get you up and running right away.

Here’s the link to enroll in the course: www.seniorinspire.com/mpaleadpages  The course is just $39, but if you use the code BLOG10 today you’ll save $10!

And if you don’t already own MyPhotoApp, use the coupon code nfocus to save 25% on your purchase. 

Finally, if you already own the pro version of MyPhotoApp and would like to use the Model Rep template from my video, create a new app and enter my template name in the ‘Use Shared Template’ Box. The template name to enter is nfocus.ModelTemplateShare_template

Any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!!

Using Hootsuite to simplify Instagram posting

Lots of people have been asking about the easiest way to post to Instagram. I think the consensus is to upload your photos to DropBox and then create your post in Instagram using your SmartPhone. But, typing on the phone is no picnic and if you’re like me you waste lots of time dealing with typos and auto-correct.

Lately, I’ve been using Hootsuite to create my Instagram posts and I love it. It allows me to create posts on my computer where I feel comfortable. In addition, I can schedule my posts so I can prep several days of content at a time. That’s been a huge time saver to me, so I created a quick tutorial to show you the Hootsuite interface and how it works with Instagram.

Are you using Hootsuite already? Or do you have another method you prefer? Post in the comments section below if you do. Or if you have any questions let me know and I’ll try to help you out…

Supercharge your Model Rep Program with My Photo App

I’ve been using MyPhotoApp to create branded digital photo albums for my senior clients for a couple years now. I love the potential of Smartphone Apps and believe my clients appreciate having their favorite images available to them on their SmartPhone.

That said, I do question how effectively I’ve been using them to market my work. Particularly with the senior market, I wonder how often the album apps are actually getting shared and viewed by more than a senior’s closest friends and relatives.

That’s all about to change!!!

MyPhotoApp just released the latest version of their AppBuilder utility and it now includes forms! After playing with the new features a little bit yesterday, I’m convinced FORMS ARE A GAME CHANGER!!

As a result I’m completely reworking my Model Rep Program to factor this in.

Here’s what I’m doing…

The last two years each of my fifty Reps received a Smartphone App that I’d create with MyPhotoApp. To encourage my Reps to share their App, I’d incent them by offering rewards based on the number of times the App was installed.

Most of these rewards weren’t monetary – things like additional photos or videos being added to the App. The biggest reward was a free DVD slideshow if they got fifty installs. Only two of my Reps earned the DVD, most didn’t even get the fifteen they needed to have additional photos added to the App.

I’m convinced the lackluster results were due to having the seniors ask other people to install their app. In the words of my daughter – It’s totally AWKS!!!

They may ask a few of their closest friends to help them out, but they’re not going to send the cheerleader they barely know an installation link. No flipping way!!!

This year, I’m going to add an information request form to each App and incent my reps to have other seniors fill out the form. This is much less intrusive to their social standing and kills two birds with one stone! They’ll have to show people the App with their photos to get them to fill out the form AND they’ll be providing me with the contact information of their friends.

No more pestering my Reps to compile a list of friends’ names and contact info. They just have their friends fill out the form and the Rep who has the most people submit (verified) info request forms will win a free buddy session for her and 3 of her friends.

I’m LOVING the simplicity of this!!!

If you want to see the test app I created with the form, follow this link – m.mp-app.com/nfocus/SampleAndi – and let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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Are you using Smartphone Apps as part of your marketing? Have you found them effective? Let me know what’s working and what’s not working for you.

If you’re not currently using SmartPhone Apps, head over to myphotoapp.com and kick the tires. I honestly believe MyPhotoApp is the best AppBuilder for photographers out there.
I have no affiliation with Jim Cook who runs MyPhotoApp, but can tell you he is fully committed to providing the best product out there. I’m continually amazed at how quickly he implements the new ideas he is regularly bombarded with in the MyPhotoApp Facebook Group.

Finally, and this honestly was not the intent of my post, if you do decide to purchase a subscription to MyPhotoApp, the coupon code ‘nfocus’ will buy me a beer or two and get you a bit of a discount…

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