Making me happy, one new friend at a time!

So I’ve been asked for about a year now to host photography workshops, and I made my first solid attempt last December at hosting a small group workshop with a couple of talented photographers. I took their feedback and re-focused some of my energy on producing a day workshop that catered more specifically to the attendee. Some custom one-on-one time, if you will!

After just finishing my second full-day photographer workshop, I wanted to share a little bit of what we do, and show you some of the amazing shoots we worked on!

First, I met with children and family photographer Melanie Poteat from Snaps by Poteat photography in Arkansas. Melanie is working on structuring her business to be more market correct in her area and competing with the big name photographers that surround her. She’s looking to bring a bigger market of couples and weddings to her current business, so we discussed a lot of pricing, marketing and business plans. For her shoots, we focused on a couple’s session and a bridal session – 2 of my favorites!

At our couple’s session, we met with my recently married clients, Mindy and Josh! Melanie was abruptly welcomed to Florida with 85 degree mid-November weather, and stepping in a fire-ant pile (with flip-flops nonetheless). Poor girl!

In the afternoon, we switched gears and met with my Oct. 23rd bride, Kristan, for a bridal session in Celebration! Melanie took more of the driver’s seat with posing Kristan – who’s a REAL bride, not a model. Perfect workshop practice!

Here’s a quick shot of Melanie doing her thing :)

Best treat of the day! A chocolate lab puppy named Rocket who showed up!

So now let’s move on to my second workshop with a Senior Portrait photographer from Jacksonville, Rachael Shepherd! Rachael and I did a lot of talking about marketing and branding her Seniors business, focusing on how to cater to the needs of a younger market while still getting in good with the parents! We brainstormed and came up with some really great ideas of how she can expand and brand her budding business and I can’t wait to see how it grows in this coming year!

So we started with a young couple, Breeyona and Quinton! I’m actually going to start with one of my favorite’s from the day and how we got it!

I do a lot of hands-on training for posing, so I worked with Rachael to show her how I get my clients at ease and put them in different natural poses. Rachael is normally a Canon shooter, but I handed her my spare D700 and introduced her to the wonderful world of Nikon! I’m not trying to convert her or anything, but she was looking at investing in some new lenses and I wanted her to play around with the 50 and 85mm 1.4 to get a little experience on both.

For this shot, I set Breeyona and Quinton up and let Rachael take it away shooting! She captured the perfect moment between them. We brought her images back to my office and I did a full edit on this image, making it the final shot you see below!

And then, we headed back to the studio (which is really just a fancy name for my garage) and did some basic lighting and beauty shots with one of my brides (she’s getting married next October!), Allison. During the shoot, we were focused on the eyes, the lighting, and the perfect mood music! Then, in post processing, I went for something a little more gritty.

And I couldn’t finish off this post without sharing some of the great things from my Workshop girls!

“It’s difficult to pin-point one most important thing that I took away from this workshop. :) This workshop built up so much confidence in me. Being able to see how Kristen works with her clients and why she makes the choices that she does with posing has made such a positive difference for me. Kristen really helped stir up ideas on how to market my business better. She gave suggestions of unordinary products that I could offer to my clients and honestly, I was not expecting her to do that. That made my day and I felt that she really did want to help and see me succeed. I know she is there for me when I need her expertise and guidance.” – Rachael Shepherd

“I had a great time with Kristen Weaver! As a hands on learner I knew a sit down and listen to a bunch of people talk type of workshop was not going to be for me. Back in July I started researching photographers in the Orlando area who did one-on-one workshops. I came across Kristen Weaver and immediately was drawn to her type of work and style. When I contacted her I was  impressed by her quick reply and enthusiasm to help me as an up & coming photographer!
On my day with Kristen, I learned a great deal of new ways to improve my business! It’s hard to wrap up into a little review how my day went with her- I learned so much, by the end of the day my brain was literally fried! The one-on-one personalized attention that day was exactly what I needed! I think the most important thing I learned that day was confidence! Since that workshop I increased the prices of my wedding packages, have already booked a wedding with a package value that I know I am worth and I am proud to say that!! I know the confidence I gained alone will be invaluable to my business along with all the awesome posing, editing & marketing material we went over!  I also love the fact that Kristen is still willing to help me as I’ve emailed her several times since the workshop!!” – Melanie Poteat