Tuesday, September 22, 2009

are you ready?


oh boy. here we go! remember last year's q and a? well, it's about that time again. to celebrate my two year photo-versary, i am going do another one. i get lots of questions about lighting, photoshop, camera use, clothing, blogging, getting started .... you name it! i wish i had more time to answer everyone's questions personally and in full detail, but i'm a busy girl and it doesn't always work out that way. sooooo, here's your chance. ask away and let everyone benefit from the answers. let's make it an annual thing, shall we? you have until sunday night. ready, set, go!!


Elldub said...

I like this type of celebration. You're like the Godfather on the day of your daughter's wedding.
Here we go;
1. How do you get the colors so vidid without making them look over saturated?

2) How are you able to get the colored tones to look so natural? Like the couple kissing in your blog banner, or the shot of the shoe?

These two things vex me so. Save me :).

Happy anniversary btw :)


Katie Cook Oborn said...

You're fabulous to do this! I learned a lot from your last session. I'm trying to shorten my work flow. I love shooting, but the post-processing can slow me down at times. What are some time-saving tricks you use in photoshop? Do you use actions? If so, which ones do you recommend?

Camille said...

When you shoot in low light situations, how do your images still come out sharp? When I use a high ISO and/or low aperture, my photos come out more grainy/blurry than I'd like. Any tips on that besides using more light or longer exposure?

The Talbi said...

i second what camille said. I do great when I have the right light, but when I don't...well...it's not always so pretty! You are so fabulous! I have learned so much from you and I am so inspired by your work and style!

marissa moss said...

ohmygosh, ohmygosh! i am so excited about this!
i have your last Q&A session printed and highlighted… seriously.

okay, I might have to come back later in the week if i think of others, but my big hurdle right now is lighting. currently, I’m using 100% daylight, which is great… until it’s not. i think you’ve mentioned using the gary fong lightsphere before, but lately I think you mentioned speedlights. do you use both? Is it one or the other depending on the situation? or have the speedlights replaced the lightsphere? also, are the speedlights on or off your camera?

also, do you have use a 2nd shooter for weddings?

and thirdly, who do you use for your prints and albums?

again, thank you, thank you for doing this. it is really amazing.

TheReadFam said...

La la love your work! How you get your skin tones so creamy and clear?

Thanks! Steph

Melissa said...

I love Q & A's it helps me learn so much as I have so much to learn as a new photographer!

I primarily use my 50mm 1.4 lens to shoot. I have two others that came with the camera (I shoot Canon)--but I think they are pretty crappy. So with this lens I am pretty limited. My question is what lens would you recommend I get next? I am mostly shooting portraits but want to start doing families and be more versatile. I would love some advise as I am ready to start looking seriously at getting a new lens.

Not to sound cheesy but I love your work and you give me much inspiration!

TheReadFam said...

Another one, am I allowed to have 2 questions?

Do you use a reflector? If so, what kind?

A and L Stapley said...

Sweet! I am so happy you are doing this, I love your style...

1... So I love that your pictures look slightly overexposed... what is your secret? Do you overexpose your picture when you talk it, or do slight editing after?

2... what is your all time fav lens? I'm looking to purchase my second lens (the first one just came with the camera, and I don't LOVE it). I want something that is quite versatile since they are pricey and I don't know when i'll be able to purchase another one. I use canon if that makes a difference...

3... I second the creamy skin tone question. Its crisp, but creamy...

4... Last one, promise. When do you get to the point that you can start charging? I'm totally a beginner, but I have friends/family that have asked me to take pics and I have just done it for free, but when do you say... ok, i'm gonna start charging?

Basically, your amazing and i'm so glad I stumbled onto your blog.

A and L Stapley said...

meant to say 'take it' not 'talk it'... wow, i'm cool. First time commenting and I make a typo!

Amy! said...

Well you already know how awesome I think you are... If I were to get a camera (some day when I have lots of dollars) which would be the best? What is your fave?? Yay for the blog-aversary!!!!!

Amber Duron said...

I am SO excited! Okay. So how do you get that realllly sweet honey effect to your photos?

thanks jess- you are seriously awesome for doing this again!

and happy anniversary btw =)

Erin said...

Love that you're doing this! And I'm loving everyone's questions - can't wait to see the answers :)

1) Do you strictly use Photoshop for your editing? If not, what else do you use?

2) Ditto on the creamy skin tomes - how do you do it?? Or do all of your models just have that perfect of skin? :)

Thank you!

Melissa said...

Yay! Thanks for taking the time to do this Jess!

My question: Can you give us a run down on your technique for getting the sun flares?

I also second the low light question!

kg said...

I have the same equipment as you, so it's fun to always see the results of your pictures, I love your work. Questions...what's your favorite action(s)/most used, any tricks for full sun shooting? This one might seem like an odd question, but when/if you have second shooter for weddings do you pay them or just provide them with the opportunity to get some experience :) Thanks for letting us ask away! I might be back with more questions...

Brittany Stucki said...

Hi, I also love your work. The question I have is how do you decide what props to bring, do you have your clients bring props, do you have a bag full you bring to each session? Do you have a place you like to buy them at? I love the little boys hat, and even before I saw this site I was trying to find something like it and have had a hard time. Anyways thanks for doing this, I am excited to hear all your answers!!

Ashley said...

jess, You are really neat to do this. I also would liek to know some of your tips for editing to get those bright crisp images. I love it!

missliss5/Melissa said...

Yay!!! I would like so so much to learn your favorite thing or two that you do in photoshop to photos.

Kylee said...

Jess, I am going to rack your brain at Lindsey's wedding...so get ready! :) Here are a few questions off the top of my head -

1. I got a Nikon D90, and you mentioned that there was one lens that you loved for Nikons. Which one was it?

2. What were some of your favorite books that you looked at when you were getting all your info?

3. Where do you get all your ideas for posing, etc?

You are a photo genius! I LOVE looking at all your pics. You are incredible!!

Brittany Stucki said...

Okay so I already left a question but then I started thinking and I have a couple more, so hopefully you don't mind. I am starting to do proofs, what size do you do on your CD's for proofs, you give the clients so they can see them but not print them??
Also, any tips on posing? Do you try to pose the little ones at the beginning and then just go with it?? Okay I won't ask anymore and hope others ask them :-) Thanks. You can see my stuff. Myframedphotography.com I just started a in May.

Ally said...


I want to know if you like Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi better? :) The answer to this is keeping me breathless with anticipation.

HAPPY 2 YeAr ANniVeSaRY! You are great!! You just keep getting better.

Rob, Ann, Ava, and Brooklyn said...

I love your work! Thanks for doing this!
What type of metering mode do you use most? And could you explain how to use spot metering?

Nicole Udy Photography said...

Oh yay!! I have a million and one questions but one thing that still vexes me is color settings and calibration and trying to get the color to match prints and on my blog.

What color settings do you use in camera, photoshop, and saving them for your blog and website?

What do you use for monitor calibration?

Thank you so much for doing this you are totally awesome!

Emily Hartvigsen said...

I'm always curious how other photographers advertise.
What do you do to get the word out about your business? You probably don't have to do much currently, because you're so well known now, so what did you do to advertise when you first started your business?
I know photographers get lot of business through word of mouth, but have you ever advertised in any other way?
I just need some advice on how to spread the word, so I can get more clients.
Thanks! :)

heather said...

how did you get to be so radical? (yep, I said it... radical) do you take supplements, a special lotion? do tell.
and congrats on year 2!

Andrew and Rachel said...

Hopefully this isn't a stupid question. How do you make your pictures so big on the blog? Is it just the type of camera you have? Photography looks more impressive it is big enough to see some of the details!

kalls_n_joel said...

Hey girl, love your work! you are so generous to share your knowledge with us! I would like to know...
1. where do you get all your sweet furnature??? please don't say D.I. (I love D.I. but I never luck out in the furnature dept)
2. Did you notice a huge difference between your new cam and your old one? If yes, what was the thing you noticed most?
Thank you thank you!

Heidi said...

Hi there! I'm so excited you are doing this -- as I (like most of these people posting questions it seems like) am working on my photography with the long-term goal of starting a business some day, and love hearing from people who have already slogged their way through the trenches. Some of the things I have been wondering lately. These aren't in any order, just comin' off the top of my brain here:

1. Do you shoot in RAW? I'm assuming yes, but I guess you should never assume anything :).

2. Do you use a reflector or any type of diffuser outside when you shoot in sunshine?

3. Opinion on spot metering vs. matrix metering?

4. How the D300 compares to other cameras? I'm trying to convince my hubby I need the D700 because it will help me take much better pictures. Is this a valid argument? :)

5. Anything you used to do that you don't do anymore and why? Also, as you have continued learning and practicing over the last year, what have you focused on the most? (sharper pictures, better editing, etc.)

6. Any particular actions that you consider "must have"? Or steps you take in photoshop that you seem to do on every picture?

7. Have you set up any sort of home studio?

8. What would you consider your best photography purchases you have made, and what is next on your wishlist?

Hmmm. That's probably a few too many questions. Thanks again for helping a newbie like myself out!

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

I remember your Q&A from last year. You're so gracious to share your brilliance! So fun.

Here's my contribution:
1-What's your favorite restaurant?
2-What's your guilty pleasure?
3-What's the most common color in your wardrobe?

Oh did these have to be about photography? :) I think everyone's asked what I was curious about. But really I am curious about these too!

Vanessa said...

CONGRATS Girl...You ROCK! My question is...who is your biggest inspiration {photographer, that is} and why? ~V

karlee said...

Yes!!! The first time I checked into your blog was at your last Q&A and I never looked away.

Who do you use for a photolab?

Do you use Raw? Why? I don't know enough yet to understand why it's such a big deal. Seems like more of a hassle to change all the images to jpeg after.

I know you gave some great locations in your Studio 5 interview (Thanks!!!) Fill us in with some more!? Please! The ones of you in that old (creepy) house.. i've seen that house on a lot of sites and want to know where it is!

Candi & Ezra said...

Your images are so sharp. Besides using a nice fast lens like the 50mm 1.4, what do you do in photoshop to further sharpen your image? Do you use the clarity slider in camera RAW? unsharpen mask? smart sharpen? Also, do you set custom white balance before you shot a session or just fix skin tones, etc. in RAW?

Candi & Ezra said...

Opps! One more question...what is the best way to make sure the you are not blowing parts of your image? Whenever I try to use various actions my image will often have blown highlights...or the red channel will blow? Any tricks besides just closely watching the histogram after every step? Thanks so much for being willing to share some of your expertise. I check your blog at least 3 times a week...very inspiring.

Janice Twitchell said...

Jess......for one you are about the raddest gal out there! I LOVE, LOVE LOVED your Q&A last year!! So glad you decided to do it again! Happy anniversary btw!
I think almost all my questions have been asked on here already. But one that is driving me crazy is that I have been doing photography professionally for one year now (if you could call me that) I literally have no education on photography at all. I just bought a camera and photoshop elements and just started a business. I have been learning as I go. But I would love to take a tutorial from you or something where I could learn what all these things are that people are talking about. Like light spheres and metoring and shtuff. :) Do you still offer stuff like that. I would love to just learn how to use my camera more correctly and things about lighting techniques, photoshop stuff (I just bought cs4 and am totally lost!) And also studio lighting, props, etc...
I'm pretty comfortable with my photography, but I just want to get better!
You are so awesome for doing this and I can't wait till I see all your awesome answers! If you have time check my stuff out again and if you could give me a critiquing of it (you did it about this time last year-I would like to see if you think I've improved or just sucked it up continuously! :) my website is janicetwitchellphotography.blogspot.com
have a rockin' anniversary.
If I didn't know that you have been doing photography for 2 years. I would swear you have been doing it longer. Yeah girl...YOU'RE THAT GOOD!! :)
oh. sorry this is super long.
one more I promise!
I use a Canon xsi and I just have been using the 18-55 mm lens for all my shooting. lenses are expensive and I want to buy one that is versatile that I can do most of my shooting in, that's really fast, what do you recommend I buy?

Karenin Jaar Robison said...

i found your blog a couple of days ago and i think i have gone through every single page. amazing! i also sent you an email about reaching a class or workshop.... i am so glad you do q/a. thanks for sharing your knowledge.
i feel like i got all the basic elements down, iso, manual shooting aperture and all.
but i really struggle with the editing process.
i usually use cs3 but my pictures do not compare to yours at all.
how do you make the colors pop?
how do you put the little twinkle in the eyes?
how do you make the face look so creamy and smooth?
where did you learn all your photoshop skills? are there any books? classes?
also i have a t1i, the kit lens and the 50 mm 1.8 which i love. but i feel like it doens't do the trick for group shots. what is a good overall wide angle lens?
thanks! you are amazing.
happy anniversary!!!

Jayme said...

Hey Jess,
I love your Q&A's, can't wait for the answers!!

I've been racking my brain as to how you post processed the last bride you posted (the one with the tattoos.) I would love to know the secrets because everything I do is not even coming close. Thanks for always being so willing to share your knowledge... it's seriously amazing how generous you are! Oh, and thank you for sharing your fun location with me... it was fabulous!!

Oh, one more thing, how do you sharpen for web? And also wondering if you use a callibrator?

Melanie said...

I found you a while back and I think your work is amazing and so inspiring!! I think everyone asked mostly all of the questions I was thinking of, but here's one: What settings do you use most of the time when shooting outdoor portraits? Say, if you are shooting with a 50mm? Do you shoot wide open or like f4? I recently got a 50 mm f/1.8 and initially was shooting wide open apertures and then I went back and looked closer and it seemed like NOTHING (not the person, or much of anything) was in sharp focus. What is your trick for getting great bokeh but still keeping the subject sharp?

Thanks for doing this! I think you are awesome!!


P.S. You can check my photography out at www.melaniericephotography.blogspot.com

Declutter Your Life said...

LOVE your blog, I wish I had your talent. Here's my question:

What camera do you recommend for beginners who don't have a large budget?

Amy said...

At risk of wasting time and embarrassing myself, I'm wondering what the first few steps are if I want to be a portrait photographer. Are there free or at least public classes I can take anywhere? I've got a camera, a tripod, and a little instruction book, what's the next step?

Camille Jensen said...

I have this photo I'm DYING to create. I need an abandoned (dare I say) mansion or upper-class interesting house to shoot in. How do you find interesting locations? Do you know of a place like the one I've described above?

Happy anniversary!


jer said...

Hi, thanks for sharing your techniques!
Just wondering what your favorite method is to soften a face in photoshop? do you use surface or gaussian blur? or just the blur brush tool?



H. said...

Wowzers Jess!
1st of all you are amazing. and i have followed you for a while. and have fun reading all of these comments. I love that you are doing this. and i hope that in 2 Yrs i can be were you are today! that is my goal...
1st of all i would love you to teach me how your pictures are so sharp.
2. I want to know about the creamy skin tones too, and the bright colors that you get.
I have so many more questions but i think everyone else asked the same ones we all want to know the secret and i am sure you will say practice practice... haha j/k i just want to tell you i have be doing this since march only a short while and i have the nikon d200 and the 50mm 1.8 85mm 1.8 and the wide angle 17-55mm f2.8 I swear i cant get my images as sharp as yours please look at my stuff and tell me in any way where i can improve... I feel if you seceed we all seceed!
Thank you.
Happy anniversary! here is to more wonderful yrs.

Kelty said...

Hoo wee! I love this time of year. :) I'm sure I'm going to learn oodles anyway, but I'm curious how you work out a partnership with a second shooter. Responsibilities, pay, crediting, etc! Mwa!

Cody and Brittany (probably Brittany) said...

What are some of your favorite locations in the SLC/Davis county area?

Alycia said...

Wow, you already have a lot of comments, and I'm sure almost all my questions have already been asked, and I know your busy. I just have two quick ones. I heard that you're selling some of your equipment. I might be interested. ;) I was also wondering where you got your pictures taken, I love that old house, and the grasses around it... and do what are your favorite locations in the Seattle area? Sorry if that's too much. :)

Elise said...

Wow! I ABSOLUTELY loved when you did this last year. I've been following your blog for a while and I L.O.V.E. your work. I think it's just amazing.

Here are a few of the questions I have (most of them have already been asked).

Like everyone else, I would love to know how you get your images so sharp, and how you get the gorgeous creamy skin tones.

Do you use an expo disc or what do you do for your WB settings?

What print lab, or labs, you recommend.

Are there any workshops that you've taken that you feel have really helped you improve your techniques?

You are so generous in sharing all the knowledge and insight you've gained. Thanks so much!

Travis and Amanda said...

Hey-- it's your biggest fan, here. :)

Question: when you shoot against industrial/brick backgrounds, how do your backgrounds come out with so much great texture? I'm semi-fluent in PS4, but I can't seem to figure it out.

THANKS SO MUCH for doing this! I'm excited to hear your answers to everyone's questions!

Sara Jane said...

Love your blog and I check it regularly. I was wondering at what point did you start using photoshop. Have you ever not used it and what can you do to get the best SOOC shot possible. Maybe you could share a few SOOC vs. photoshop.

Photoshop is just so expensive and it'd be nice to know what the advantages to having it are.

alma and nicole smith said...

CONGRATS jessica! what do you shoot with (camera, lenses, reflectors, etc)? i know you have had fun experimenting with lighting recently...what do you use and how?
thanks, i think you are awesome.

Clayton Austin said...

Hey Jessica, I would like to kow how you deal with couples who are dead set against seeing each other prior to the "sunset" ceremony. How do you fit all the necessary portraits in with what little available light is left, if any.

Little Cherry Blossoms said...

Any advice for me who takes product shots... What do you think is the best way to take a product shot?
Any organizational tools that you use that you just love?

Sandi said...

How do you get your skin tones so smooth and clear? How do you get the color in the eyes to stand out so much? How do you get you pictures so crisp, clear, and colorful? How do get your Black and Whites to not look gray and bland? Thanks for doing this. You're an amazing photographer, and I can't wait to learn more from you.

Crystal said...

How do you get those backlit/flash pictures with all the dust motes lit up like that? Do you use off camera flashes or any other flash-type equipment? How do you set that stuff up?

Tonic said...

You are awesome and everyone has covered EVERYTHING already. My only question is how do you recommend I maintain a patient composure while I wait for all the answers? :) I am kind of wondering if you are considering upgrading from the 300.. I go back and forth on whether it'd be worth it but it doesn't seem to be for me because I mostly do pictures for myself.

Mandy Chiappini Photography said...

I think your work is just amazing! I love coming to your blog, such an inspiration! I'm getting myself off the ground in the photography department but still come accross so many things I have questions about.

1. How do you work out a relationship with a second shooter? (I think someone already asked this, not sure)
2. In low lighting situations, do you use a flash of any kind? If so - which kind? If not - how do you still make them look so amazing without changing the ISO? (or do you?)
3. Do you tend to do all your editing yourself, or do you use a set of actions?
4. Do you use a proofing site? I'm toying around with Printroom, but am looking for any other suggestions?

Thanks so much for offering up your time to answer everyone's questions!

The Gulls said...

how do you get your clients to relax and have fun? When I tell couple to relax and have fun they seem to get shy and cant relax..thanks for doing this your awesome!

Karen Scoffield said...

You are so cool to do this! I love that about you.

Anyway, I really just need to hire you for a one on one but I am not ready for it yet. I have a ways to go.

For now, I just want to know if you could give a percentage on how important good equipment is vs. good photoshop skills. I really want to invest in a good lens but I also want to learn photoshop. I know I need both but I would love to know your opinion on how important they each are.

Heidi said...

I already left one comment but then thought of another question :). When you started charging people money, did you get yourself a business license? And what did you do about figuring out taxes?

Cris, Callie, and Cayten said...

I have a major problem with posing families. More like telling them how to position themselves. How do you find new unique ways to pose and how do you explain what you are trying to get them to do? Does that make sense?

Erin said...

Just found your blog after a visit to Sassy Babies--love your work! I see you have the 1.8 85 mm in your bag (not the 1.2). . .do you think it is as sharp and fun as the 1.2, even though the price difference is pretty big? I am trying to decide if the difference is worth the cash. I rented the 1.2 and loved it.
Can't wait to hear the answers to all these questions. . .
:)Happy Anniversary!

Melissa said...

Can't wait to hear all these questions answered. I second them all! YOU ROCK JESS!

Jess said...

I Love how you are into the Vintage style of Photos its my favorite!!! Where are some of your favorite places to go to take cute amazing pictures?? Do you have a them all staked out?? Do you ever have to ask permission to take pictures there??


Allison said...

Love your work. Thanks for creating beautiful images and putting them out there for all to see. Happy Anniversary!

jer said...

Hi, sorry one more question:
Recently i took some pictures for my sister and she tried to have them printed at walmart, but they told her they wouldn't print them without the "photographers signed permission"...
I was wondering if there is some sort of standard document out there that I can have ready/signed for clients or friends when they take the photos to be printed at places like walmart, costco, etc... in order for them to avoid hassle/embarrassment?

Lyndsey said...

Jess-How do you get your pics on your blog to be so crisp? I just figured out actions and the pics look amazing on photoshop, then I try tons of different ways to upload and it looks pixelated! I have blogger for my blog and you do too, right? Even on my blu domain site, some just don't look like they should and it's driving me crazy!! hehe. Do you have a set way to upload the pics to make them look the way they do in photoshop and lightroom?

Lyndsey said...

Oh, I guess I should tell you too that I am doubling the sizes so they are large. My blog is at www.seenboxphotography.com :)

Natalie Park said...

1.Can you change the amount of Pixels your camera takes your photo in? I like to upload them in 300 but I am thinking that my camera is not taking them in 300 so that's why my photos look so grainy on my blog. How do I check this or change this?

2. Do you ever do professional wedding books? If so can you explain what program you use, how you do it, and who you publish them through...PLEASE!

3. I would love to know some more of your favorite locations!

I am sure I will have more questions by Sunday :) THANKS!

Oh, and my sister in law would LOVE to know where you shop! In your CRAVE photos, where did you get your boots....where did you get your cute outfits? :)

Follow Your Art Photography said...

I know it will be hard to choose....but what's your favorite picture you've taken in the last 2 years??

kathy said...

ok...where to begin
#1 if you could only have two lens to use professionally and personally what would they be?

#2 How do you get your colors in your photos so vivid, bright and crisp? is it the lens or the lighting.

#3 Do you buy your actions? if you could only use a few which ones would they be and where did you get them or are they your own personal ones?

Your amazing, I have been following you since you started...what talent you have!! I wish a little could rub off on me

kathy wright

kathy said...

hey jess,
i just left a couple of questions but thought of another..

Where do you get your photos printed, enlarged, and books made and who does your canvas'.
i think thats it...haha

kathy wright

shara said...

What are some of your favorite locations to shoot at in the SL Valley? How to do approach a new location you've never shot at before? Do you scout it out before you go there with your clients or just let your creative spark lead you with your clients.

heather said...

how are going to answer all these questions? holy toledo! you're super duper!

Brad and Alison said...

How do you get multiple people in focus when they are in different planes? Does that make sense? It seems like somebody is always out of focus. Do I just up the aperature? What focus mode is the best? Do you use a specific setting on your camera?

Is there another photo editing program that you would recommend other than photoshop?

Thanks a bunch!

andrea said...

hello! :) I love that you do this Q&A thing -- it is very beneficial! Thank You (in advance)!! :)

How do you go about getting prints to your clients? I have heard of Masterlab in SLC but am not familiar with them so much or anyothers...

How do you keep all your shoots organized? External hard drive? Do you keep every picture you take, or just the ones you give to the client?

What all do you take with you on a shoot? How do you manage to carry your photo equipment AND your furniture?

Do you do anything specific to captivate childrens attention to make them look in your direction for a picture? Or do you take someone with you to be silly behind the camera while you snap away?

How long did it take you to become comfortable with photoshop? I have Photoshoop Elements and let's face it...I am clueless! I want to be able to put text on top of my pictures and once I do it and try to save it...it won't save! Do you know what I am doing wrong? Is PS Elements the jist of regular Photoshop or should I bite the bullet and just buy PS? Urgh...I loathe not being tech-savy.

Thanks! Can't wait to see your answers!

P.S. One more question! Where do you shop for clothes?! I love your outfits! You are absolutely stunning!!

Lyndsey said...

Okay Jessica, I figured it out! I'm too determined and impatient when I have a question! hehe. I'm doing it through flickr and it looks great...just have to change out all my photos now! And on blu domain I resized it to the suggested pixel sizes and am doubling up on vertical pics like you do in your galleries. I'm glad I could save you one answer-again, SO cool you are doing this for people!

Sweet Shibui Photography said...

Congrats on your photo-versary!! Your work is so great and it's incredibly obvious that you throughly enjoy what you do. Rock it!

I guess my questions has to do with prints/albums/canvas. How did you decide what you wanted to offer and then, once you decided, how did you figure on prices? That's my huge hang-up right now. I want to offer EVERYTHING, but know that's just unrealistic.

Do you have meetings with your clients to discuss ordering and options, or do you mostly rely on emailing/calling them?

I swear, it's the most painful part of my workflow... :-)

THANKS!!!!! :-)

Julie said...

Hi Jess,

Is their an easier and quicker way to give the skin a nice glow without having to use the Pro retouch on each individuals face?


Rebekah Towers said...

Okay so are you posting all the answers to everyone questions where we can all see them? I have alot of the same questions as everyone else.

My two most important questions though are:
1.How do you get peoples skin tones so creamy?
2.What action sis you use on the photos in your blog header? Love that composition. :)

Rebekah Towers said...

Oh almost forgot..What are your favorite locations to shoot at?

tanalicious said...

whoa.. you really got yourself into one now! my question is more family based.

how many clients do you take a month/week? how do you schedule enough time for work and family?
how do you balance your family life/work?

when do you do your editing (late at night? during the day? etc) how long do you spend on average per photo session?

for your weddings, how many photos do you normally give the client?

and does your hubby think you are married to your computer?

;) good luck.

Marla said...

When shooting kids - toddlers like Max's age - do you have a preferred setting (app and shutter), or do you change that up? I struggle to change my camera settings and my focus area before the kiddos move or run or jump away . . . .

Awesome that you are doing this. I can't wait to read all your answers!

Amber Duron said...

another question- i checked out your family blog and i have been dying to ask you- how did you make your headband?! i love it!

Caroline said...

You are so great to do this. I love your last Q and A. So helpful!

Ok here goes...What do you do exactly in RAW? What are your defaults set to? What does your image look like when you take it into photoshop? Would you maybe include a screen shoot of what you do in raw?

You are incredibly talented.


Amy said...

BLESS YOU for doing this!!! No one gets tired of hearing how amazing they are so here you go..... YOU"RE AMAZING!!! I love looking to see what you will do next.
Many people have asked a lot of the same questions I have but I have a couple more.

#1 I am considering attending the WPPI in March, do you recommend this and what tips do you have for a first year rookie?
#2 What are some of your favorite locations to shoot at?
#3 Do you use an assistant when shooting? If so do you take volunteers, because if so I would love to be inspired by you. (is that enought butt kissing?)

Thanks again you rock!

jill said...

i am good friends with brittany asay and that is how i stumbled on your blog. you are incredibly talented and very inspitational. i am just starting out in my photog business and have a lot to learn. most of my questions, people have already asked, so i will just stay tuned. i don't think anyone has asked this one though...

Nikon vs. Canon
I noticed you are a nikon girl and wondered how/why you choose nikon. do you have any experience with canon or did you just start with a nikon and fell in love? i use canon and i'm just curious.

ok...one more.
how do you know what lens to use when. would you say your 50mm is your most versitile? what needs to be in every photographer's bag (as far as lenses go) and would i be better off saving up for a new body with more megapixels or spending the $$ on lenses on an older camera body? hope that makes sense.

keep up the good work. i hope to take a class from you someday when you come to southern california.

Jess said...

I am so grateful that you are willing to take the time to do this! I realize that I love capturing people on camera. I think I am pretty good. BUT...I don't have any technical experience. When you first realized you wanted to get better and learn what did you do? Did you have someone to shadow? A class you recommend? I look at your blog and get so discouraged because I have so much to learn and don't know the best place. PLEASE ADVISE! Also, how much editing do you do after a photo is taken? WOuld you be willing to post a before and after and walk through what you did to give it a certain look? That is where I'm frustrated. I don't know if it's changes on the camera when the pic is taken or changes made after editing. Lastly, what exact editing software do you use? The exact name and I'll go buy it and read the whole manual. Thanks you so much for your time! You have amazing talent!!

Isaac and Jenni Marshall said...

Look at all these questions!!! How awesome is it to know you have so many friendly blog-stalkers admiring you?!?! Happy 2nd photo-versary and thank you so much for offering to share your perspective=). I cannot wait to read all your answers! A few questions similar to others above...
Posing- ANY and ALL tips you have on posing for groups would be so helpful... especially when it comes to maintaining the attention of numerous kiddos. Do you have someone standing behind you, helping? Do you give specific or general posing suggestions to your clients? Do you have any resources that have been helpful in teaching you more about posing?
Newborns- since most sessions are taken inside, do you have a suggestion for what time of day provides the best lighting?
Albums/coffee table books- do you have a recommended company you love? Do you create your layout templates from scratch or have you purchased them?
Whew! Lots of little wonderings floating around my head. Thanks again!

Julie Parker said...

Congrats Jessica!!! You are a sweetie! We need to shoot together soon!

Katie Blacker said...

I love your pictures. And your style. I just came accross your blog while blog-surfing. I like the blogs that offer "eye candy" -as a very amature photog - I have tried to make mine that way as well.

Here are my questions:

I want to know how you get that creamy look to your pics -the background a soft color contrasted with the bright colors! (i.e. in the post just above this one - the last 3 pictures are a good example of this)

also, how do you shoot in the sunlight with out overexposing the "whites" in the picture. My pictures tend to have the "whites" blown out.

Thank you for doing this - you have no idea how helpful just looking at your pictures is to me! And, thank you for your talent - you make me miss living in beautiful Utah!

Jessica Rae said...

Uhh.... You freakin rock...

1) Explain RAW... The benefits, is it worth the extra time editing.. etc

2) I am in the Utah County area.. Do you know of any good printers? How do you I get my prints to match my monitor? SRGB? What the beef is that? Help me puleeessee:0

But seriously... Thank you so much for doing all this. THis is totally time consuming for you and your selflessness really is not going unnoticed. You are totally going to be rocking it up with all the blessing you are going to receive for all this. THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Raquel said...

Hey Jessica, Thanks for doing this, I learned so much from you during the mentoring session. I have a few questions I forgot to ask.
1. What is your white balance set at for indoor shoots?

2. Do you ever mess with the color balance and or the hue/saturation to make skin tones less red/yellow or is the first question my problem?
3. And yes what about the actions used to get that color of the bride in your banner! I did end up buying the TRA2 also!

TRICKY said...

Hey Girl! Thanks for your help!

What are the 3 most common TRA you use?

How do you get the kid's eyes to have that special shine?

TRICKY said...

Hey Girl! Thanks for your help!

What are the 3 most common TRA you use?

How do you get the kid's eyes to have that special shine?

Marcie Meredith said...

I just discovered your photos. They are beautiful. I don't know if someone already asked, but I am trying to explore lighting in outdoor situations. So, do you use a flash very often? Also, do you use your flash on-camera or do you do alot of remote flash work? One more- Do you prefer posing your subjects in a certain light? Thanks for this!

Ashley Henry Photography said...

Thanks so much for doing this Jess! You are an amazing talent and it is so so fun to follow your work. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us! I have a million questions so don't feel like you have to answer them all...:)

1. I know some about light, but I can never get over how amazing your light looks! I swear even at the most perfect times of the day it is so hard to get the light quality to my images that yours have. So how do you pick your light? Especially in less than ideal situations and times of day? Why does some shade look better than others? Do you usually shoot at the same time every day? How do you get such amazing window light quality such as in your newborn shoots?

2. How do you get your inspiration on composition and posing subjects? I know you are an artist so most of it I'm sure is all your creativity, but what advice on this could you give to a not-as-creatively gifted person? :)

3. I notice that my straight out of camera images look so muted sometimes when I open them in camera raw. They are soooo dull and sometimes feel really grey--even when I've captured good light and exposure. (They look even more dull and grey than they look on my camera screen or in Bridge--is this possibly something with photoshop? or a camera setting?) I use auto white-balance most of the time and I have all my basic in-camera settings on average such as contrast, etc. Any ideas why this might be happening?

4. Do you mess with any of your in-camera settings such as brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.? Or do you leave all those on just average settings? Are there any other in-camera tricks you could recommend to help improve images?

5. Lastly.....:) Do you have any post-processing tricks to help save time on the images you choose to individually retouch?? I am dying in this area. I know how to batch and do synchronized fixes in camera raw, but don't you specifically retouch 30 or 40 images from each shoot after opening them in PS? How do you keep your time down on these pictures where you are putting special effects and skin retouches on each image? It just takes me so long.


Andee said...

I am still having post sharpening issues grrrr! What post sharpening techniques work best for you to get the crisp yet creamy smooth pictures?

You are so kind to do this when you could totally charge money! I am impressed :)

Marcie Meredith said...

I have one more question I forgot to ask. Do you use reflectors? If so, when and what kinds? Thanks!

Belinda Olsen said...

Happy Anniversary. Good luck answering these questions as there are MANY and I am about to add mine to the list....sorry and thank you all in the same breath! I love your blog and one day when you do a class/workshop...SIGN ME UP!

1. Where do you meet clients for signing contracts, giving prints, getting to know them, etc.?

2. Do you have questionnaires you have your clients fill out before your shoots? If so, what's in them? How do you help the session have the personal touch for each client?

Thank you again!

Tiffany said...

Thank you so much for doing this I can't wait to read all your answers .... you're awfully sweet! Maybe this has already been asked but I'm wondering when you do weddings how many images do they receive on disk and approximately how many do you edit? Do you only give the edited images or do you give some that are unedited also?

Kyle and Lesley said...

Happy Anniversary! Looks like all my questions have been answered, I just had to comment since I'm number 100. Sweeet.

Can't wait to see your answers- I'm sure these will keep you busy for a while :)

Mindy said...

I'm just getting started but I was wondering why you chose nikon over canon?

Also, I read your last q and a and it said that you use pin light fill layer and then a tannish orange color to get that cool yellow/honey tone to your highlights but I can't figure the right color it just looks off, mind explaining a little more this technique or maybe you found a new way.

Do you have any other cool ways to add a hazy tone and also cross processed vintage look to your photos?

Lastly, where is that wild flower field from your most recent session? It is beautiful!

Thank you for all your help and congratulations on your 2 years!

Kami and Karson said...

Ohh Ohh! I've been wanting to ask you...what are your favorite urban locations in Weber and Davis county areas?

modell said...

I'm sure that most of these questions have been asked by now...thank you SO much for offering to do this! I LOVE your photography!

1)I'm struggling with my workflow. What are the steps you take as soon as you put the pictures on your computer? Do you edit each picture individually or do you do some batch processing? How much time do you spend editing each photoshoot? Do your clients see any unedited photos to choose from OR do you pick the best images and automatically edit those to give to them? Do you convert all images to a black/white or other conversion OR do you just convert a few select images for your clients.

2) Your images look so great on your blog. Do you have a separate web sharpening action specifically for those images? How many different formats of an image do you save (blog image, image for client to print, etc)

3) What format, size and type of cds do you use to save clients pictures? Do you release the copyrights for an additional fee? If so, do you have any additional restrictions on the sizes they can print?

4) I have a really hard time getting good family shots. I end up with a lot of blur in my photos because of movement since we typically shoot in the evening. What is the lowest aperture that you use for group photos? What is the highest that you kick up your ISO to avoid grain when you have low light conditions in situations like this? What settings do you use on your camera when you want to get those "action" family shots?

5) It seems like you have really mastered photoshop. What has been the most helpful training you've received?

6) When you are doing a photoshoot that requires the use of reflectors or big furniture props, do you bring an assistant? Do you pay this assistant a portion of your earnings?

7)I've loved the infant photoshoots that you have posted on your blog so far. I'm about to have my baby and wondered if you have any tips on taking infant photos. I'm upgrading to the 50mm 1.4, but do you have any additional props or tools that you'd suggest using to get that perfect shot?

8) When you are out doing a photoshoot, do you review over the images as you go to make sure you are getting them properly exposed? Do you just zoom in and "eye it" or do you use histograms or highlights on your camera to make sure you've had a successful shoot? How far do you zoom in to make sure that everything is in focus? I swear I can't figure this out. I look on my camera and it looks like it will be a sharp image, but when I put it on the big screen, it is blurry!

Again, THANKS SO MUCH for being so willing to answer these questions! Happy Anniversary!