Rent vs buy. Series post 1
So let's face it, I'm a financially challenged hobbyist photographer. Striving for more, yes, but at this point there's more money going out with this hobby than coming in! And since I didn't come from money, marry into money, or hit the lottery, I have to find a way to try new lenses and equipment without the full retail investment.
I have been very lucky to purchase some excellent equipment, previously loved and broken in, on ebay. However, it's not always feasible price wise, you have to be very careful about what you are getting, and have to research (a lot) to find out what will work with your existing equipment because the listing may not write it out for you.
I have been exploring new lenses for my Nikon D3100. But the lenses I want are just out of my price range right now. Remember the whole, more money going out than coming in? So I had been reading about people renting lenses and I thought.... Well, Jenn, why not check it out? And a new blog series was born! My first blog series actually. I am going to pick three rental companies, rent the same lenses, and relay my experiences with each one. Customer service, price, lens availablilty, discounts/rewards, and shipping. One company per month. Again, more money going out than coming in thing???
I decided to test out a 50mm f1.4 and a 12-24mm f4. I have a 50mm f1.8, but have been reading about the fab bokeh and ultimate focus and clarity you can get with an f1.4. I want to see if the change is noticeable and worth all the hype and extra cash.
I need a good wide angle lense, something that I can potentially shoot large groups with as well as shoot in tight spaces. My friend has a 12-24 and suggested I try it.
November will be ATSRENTALS.com. December will be lensrentals.com, and January will be borrowlenses.com.
I have no affiliation or connection with any of these companies. I found them by doing a google search for "photography lens rental".
What companies have you rented from? Good experience or not?
10 Rules for getting the best pictures on your wedding day. SAVING TIME, MONEY AND STRESS DURING YOUR WEDDING DAY PHOTOS.
Every bride wants the best photos of her wedding day. To have and cherish for years. Knowing your portraits are going to turn out great, will let your breathe a huge sigh of relief! I discuss some great ways to avoid stress on your wedding day in my previous post. photographer should be chosen after careful decision. I chose mine, because he was the same guy who had done my mother's wedding, my aunt's wedding, and my cousin's wedding. I didn't even look at other options! Not great on my part, but hey, I wasn't thinking straight sixteen years ago. I was in love and silly, and just wanted to be married. Looking back I would have like to taken a lot of my advice now. Not about choosing a husband, I still like him! Since I can't change my wedding. I thought I would help you.
I'm not knocking the photographer that we had. He's a very talented photographer. I am just advising you to make your decision carefully, weigh your options. Find a photographer that you are comfortable with when it comes to investment, services offered and someone who's style you like.
What tips do you have for getting great pictures on your wedding day? Feel free to share them!
I have been around weddings. A LOT of weddings. From dropping petals as a flower girl, (and yes, I can remember being embarrassed when the bride and groom kissed!) to bridesmaid, bride, cake baker, directing, photographer and as a bride. Through all of this I have noticed a thing or two. Or three. Or eleven. Most of the time brides are stressed and worried over every little detail. And believe me, if you think you won't be THAT bride, then think again. You will be exactly that bride. You have worked hard up until this day to have everything just the way you want it, because let's be real, if you're not hoping this will be the only time your doing this, then you might want to reconsider your options.
So here you are, you have worked tirelessly, for months or even a year or more, to pick just the right flowers, colors, dress, shoes, food, church, and reception hall. You have probably begged and pleaded for the groom to finalize his guest list, pick his groomsmen, pick his tux and to pahleese, tell his Uncle Ernie, that he can NOT bring his hunting dog as his +1. You have reached this big day with anticipation and full of glee. (The emotion, not the TV show.)
These are just the tips I have come up with. But I can tell you none of them will hurt you or taste bad. I am sure as time goes on I will add to this list. But, here is what I have compiled so far.
IT IS always better TO BE slightly UNDERDRESSED.....COCO CHANEL
I always thought the opposite was true! But, the more I think about it, Coco had right. Being slightly underdressed means you are probably more comfortable. And comfort is key when posing for pictures.
Picking your outfit for pictures is often a daunting task. Pinterest and polyvore are full of searchable tips and ideas. There are some good suggestions all over the internet.
I am going to try to give you my best tips and suggestions.
1. Think about the look you want your portraits to have. If your standing in a hay field with your favorite horse, you may not want to wear an evening gown. Do you want some casual shots or do you want more formal posed shots? This is the time to remind you that you CAN be TOO underdressed. Arm holes that are too big or necklines too low may show more skin than you want in pictures that are going to hang on Grandma's parlor wall. Also, if you don't want to look like you just came from the playground for family portraits, then don't wear your playground clothes.
2. Wear comfortable clothes that fit well. Too tight? It's just going to make you look like you've gained a few pounds. After she sees the picture, Grandma may call and ask if the wedding needs to be moved up a month or two. Too big, kind of the same thing. You won't have a shape to your body that you will be happy with. You will appreciate comfort when the photographer is having you get up and down of the ground and turn half around to shoot different poses.
3. Avoid big allover prints and multiple prints. Well most of the time. You could temper a print dress with a solid color blazer. But, as a general rule you want the focus on you and your face or the faces of everyone in the picture. Not on the big paisley print mumu that Grandma bought you for your bridal shower. (Yes, my Grandma did that. To me. But, that's a story for another day.)
4. Colors should coordinate. Look at the color wheel. I'm not going to get too in depth here, but colors should be beside each other, directly opposite from each other, or on the triangle. I like the one below because it shows multiple shades and tones.
5. Coordinate your styles. One dressed for a run in the park with one dressed for dinner at the governor's mansion will look a little strange.
6. Less is more. More and more flashy jewelry will distract from the actual subject of the photo; you! Really, if your doing your engagement shoot, keep other jewelry simple. Some poses will probably be "all about the ring" and you don't want to change the focus. You don't want jewelry to be a distraction in other types of portraits either.
Those are just my suggestions. I have a Pinterest board to help with this as well.
So I have spent hours and hours on this website and still have to tweak and twist it! It really has been an undertaking to try to start a business. I will say I have had some nice encounters with people though. When I called the State office about business licensing and tax ID's, I got some of the nicest people! Shocking since it was a state department! Much better than dealing with the DMV, that's for sure!
This is more of a diary posting at this point, but maybe one day someone will find some solace from me sharing my experiences. Trying to balance the work that still needs to be done on the business end, with trying to finish post processing on a wedding, and entertain a 6 year old nephew who is spending the day has been fun, maybe?
My tips when trying to start a photography business: Allow plenty of time. You can't do everything in a day, a week, or even a month. Take one thing at a time. (I need to use my own advice here).
1. Find out about the legal stuff. Call your state business licensing office. They can walk you through it all. North Carolina requires a business registration and tax ID. They also require a "privilege" license for photographers that is renewed each year.
2. Develop a system for tracking expenses, invoicing, and tracking receipts at the beginning before you have your first paying customer.
3. Develop a system for cataloging and tracking photos.
4. Have a backup of all your files (external hard drives). I have had too many times when the PC crashes and I think I am not going to be able to retrieve data. I have learned my lesson.
5. Make sure you have a pricing structure set, and do a lot of research about your policies and how you want to run your business. While your policies can change and be added to, you don't want to make it all up as you go along. I have found a lot of good information about what to include by reading other blogs, participating in discussion on FaceBook groups and looking at others' photography contracts.
During all this I have been building my portfolio, shooting, shooting, shooting.
Here are some shots I have had a lot of fun with over the past couple of months.
Wife, daughter, aunt, nurse, biker chic, aspiring photographer, pretend gourmet chef. That's me! I'm living the Just Peachy Life. This Blog will now be more dedicated to photography and the art form that speaks to me the most. I am moving the lifestyle and home-life posts to the Living the Just Peachy Life Blog to separate the two! Read more about me and _Living the Just Peachy Life!
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