business advice

Work smarter, not harder in your photography business

work smarter not harder with honeybook Elena S Blair Education For Photographers

I get asked about time management literally every day. Listen, I don't have more hours in my day than you do.

I am a single mom. I have a full time business. It's a lot.

But what I have learned is that you have to streamline your work and develop systems in order to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

This past year I signed up with Honeybook. Honeybook is a super easy to use studio management software that has so much power. But my favorite thing Honeybook does is that it allows me to quickly respond to inquires with click of the button email templates.

I made a little video to show you this feature and why I love it so much. If you sign up with Honeybook using any of the links I have shared in this email or in the description on the video you will get 50% off your first year. That is a HUGE saving.

Work smarter, not harder! 

You can see the video by going to the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NNXLfujTRI&feature=youtu.be

I hope this is helpful for you. :)

xo,

Elena

P.S. You can try Honeybook for 50% off by clicking the button below!

The gear you need to get started as a photographer

camera gear minimalist amazon influencer Elena S Blair Education For Photographers

I don't know about you, but when I was first starting out I thought I needed a ton of expensive camera gear to be a good photographer. I also thought to be considered a "professional" I had to have the latest camera body and a bag full of lenses. Not to mention an expensive camera bag at that! 

This was a major point of stress for me as we were on a very tight budget seven years ago. The only reason we had a DSLR was because we used our tax return money for it. But I wanted to make this business work so bad! So bad! So I decided to forge ahead with my Canon 50D and a 50mm 1.4 lens. 

I grew my business from nothing to a regular business with that gear alone. No other lenses. I made a pact to myself that I would not spend money on my business that I didn't make from my business. 

Of course, I have since upgraded but I still remain very minimal with my gear. I have a Canon 5D mark iv, a 35 mm 1.4, a 50mm 1.2, and a 135 mm 2.0. I also have a macro (non L) lens that I bought used. 

I use a combo of the 35 and 135 for family sessions and occasionally bring out the 50. 

I use the 35 almost exclusively for newborn sessions. I bring out the macro lens for about 5 minutes of each shoot. 

I use the 50 exclusively for school shoots. 

Everyone asks me when I plan to upgrade to the Mark IV. At this point I have no plans to. My miii works just fine and I have no need to drop nearly 4K just to have the latest gear. I will need a real reason to do that. 

I think starting my journey with a basic body and one lens made me a better photographer. It forced me to get creative in tight spaces (the 50D is a crop censor) and it inspired me to learn how to be *really* good with minimal gear rather than relying on lenses for effect or quality. 

If you are ready to upgrade, I recommend renting first. You may not love a lens that someone else is raving about. It really is a personal preference. 

So don't let other peoples massive gear stashes pressure you. The gear is nice, but it's the artist behind the lens that makes the photograph. 

xo,

Elena

P.S. I have a list on Amazon with all of my gear! Click the button below to check it out.

Why saying no is actually good for your photography business

it's okay to say no business advice Elena S Blair Education For Photographers

A friend and I were chatting today about when you just know you should say no yet you don't. In the world of social media we see so many people doing so many things. It seems like everyone is traveling, buying new gear, getting their hair done, going to epic locations to do epic shoots, and the list goes on. 

It makes us want all those things. And trust me, it happens to me every day. 

But you have to know that every time you say yes you are also saying no to something else you could be doing during that time.

For instance... I have had an unusual amount of inquiries for births lately. And I LOVE shooting births. So much intensity and joy to be captured. However, if I said yes to two of the births I was offered, I would literally have to forego all travel this summer with my family. Not okay.

But I considered it. Then I took pause and said "Elena, get your priorities straight. You only have 10 summers before Cooper goes off to college, use them wisely." 

Or another example, a beloved past client asked me to photograph her dental office. I LOVE this client and I considered doing it for her because of how much I love her. But I realized that this would be be satisfying to me which would in turn lead to me doing sub par work, not good for her or me. So I referred her out. 

So remember, even though new opportunities are shiny and enticing, it's okay to say NO and important to stay true to yourself and your business. 

Believe in you and know that I believe in you. :)

xo,

Elena

P.S. Are you a family photographer looking to create a more relaxed and meaningful session experience for your clients? I have just the thing for you! Click the button below to download my free mini course.