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Mentoring | Guides | Resources
I'm Heather and I am so happy you're here! I love sharing the love, and I am so happy to have a space here for photographers who are looking to improve their craft and business.
Why learn from me? I have been running a successful and profitable (the two are mutually exclusive!) photography business for 9+ years and have been a full-time portrait photographer since 2017. I've experienced success with SEO, advertising and marketing after a lot of trial and error. I was lucky enough to have a few great mentors early on in my business to help guide me in the right direction and their support and knowledge was invaluable to the success I have now. Business is not easy, and I wish I had known the things I know now when I first started out, or even a few years ago. We live and learn.
I created this space to share my years of knowledge with those who also find joy or purpose in photographing for art or business. To hopefully save you some time and expedite the success you know you can achieve.
Pull up a chair and stay a while. The journey is the fun part!
The Open Book Approach
Everyone's business *should* be different. The needs of one photographer and their strategy will inevitably vary from their peers. My mentoring sessions provide an opportunity to step back and look at what your business has become and approach it with a fresh perspective and clear path that suits your own personal style and circumstances.
This is a session that is as unique as you are. I am an open book, and you can ask me just about anything during our time together. Sessions occur via Skype or in person in Victoria, BC. This session isn't for those who want to be told how to mimic my photography business, but for us to explore together how your own business and goals can thrive. This can include but is not limited to:
Finding your niche/personal style, and pointpointing and attracting your ideal clients (everyone's are completely different)
Working out CODB (Cost of Doing Business) to ensure profitability, bookkeeping strategies and pricing
Opening tax accounts and saving for tax time
Photography workflow from shooting to delivery
Lighting & achieving consistency
Editing & Lightroom/Photoshop instruction
Advertising & social media
Sessions begin at $300+gst/hr
Reduced rate for booking multiple sessions at one time.
Have a group of pals who want to learn in a workshop style format? We'd love to get together and teach in whatever direction your group prefers. We limit our groups to 4 photographers to ensure everyone's needs are met. Group Mentoring Sessions can include all of the above, with the exception of Portfolio/Website review and Editing Instruction (those work better one on one).
Group Sessions start at $500+gst/hr (max 4 people)
Mentoring shoots involve photographing one on one or in a group setting with a real couple. Sessions take place on Vancouver Island. A basic working knowledge of your camera and gear is required. Sessions include:
60 minute photoshoot with a real couple
Posing instruction, direction and composition/lighting tips
Same day session review and critique (60 mins)
One on One Shoots begin at $600+gst for one person.
Group sessions - Add $400 per additional person (up to 4 total)
No photographer is an island. Here are some of the tried and true essentials I use everyday in my business. All of these are actual items I use and love at almost every shoot. Some links are affilliate links.
My Favourite Camera Strap System:
Kelly Moore Bags - The Libby 2.0 (holds 1-2 bodies with lenses, and 1-2 extra lenses or flashes. Also has a tablet/laptop sleeve. I've also managed to fit everything for a wedding in here when I tried really hard)
Vanguard Alta Rise 48 Camera Backpack(15%* off with the code TULLEANDTWEED15). Fits ALL of my gear for the wedding day including my laptop (2 bodies, 5 lenses, 2-3 flashes, laptop, batteries, transmitters, etc.). It's also super rugged and affordable.
I'm a professional Nikon girl, who uses Sony for fun. Here's the gear currently in my bag:
- Nikon D850 Full Frame Body x 2
- Nikon D750 Full Frame Body x 1
- Nikon 24-70mm Lens f2.8
- Nikon 70-200mm Lens f2.8
- Nikon 35mm Lens f1.4
- Sigma 85mm Lens f1.4
- Nikon 105mm Macro Lens f2.8
- Nikon 50mm Lens f1.4
- 2-4 Nikon Flashes
Customer Management System:
I use 17Hats Exclusively and have for about 5 years. It has everything I need to do invoicing, contracts, payments, etc. They have a great referral program: Get Half off their normal pricing for two years. You can save even more if you sign up for longer! Use this referral code kkgwnzkktr to get this invitation-only sale pricing or click here.
Image Delivery System:
Pic-Time: I switched to Pic-time a couple of years ago when I learned they offered drop shipping and automated printing to a couple of Canadian labs. Their galleries are clean and easy to use and support is almost instant when you need help. This has increased my print sales by 400%. Click here and get one month free with any paid plan: http://picti.net/yVOXy
I currently backup to external hard-drives, pic-time for deliverables and CrashPlan for a cloud backup of my raw files, deliverables and business files. CrashPlan is super easy to use and to define what you need backed up. https://www.crashplanpro.com/
I use Lightroom almost exclusively for editing. I used custom created presets, and have cut my workflow in about 1/4 from when I used photoshop for my editing. Every now and again I'll pop into photoshop for a more complex retouching job but live primarily in Lightroom. I personally subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud for their Photography Package.
For Culling my images, I find LR and PS slow, so I found a great program which is a wonderful alternative to PhotoMechanic and FREE! It's called XnViewMP. I love it to bits. Here's where you can download it: https://www.xnview.com/en/xnviewmp/
Pic-time luckily includes a handy album builder for albums ordered through their platform directly, but for sample discounts or other products, or for expedited orders, I use SmartAlbums from Pixellu for all of my album design needs. It's SO easy to use and has a randomize feature so you can toggle through the options for each page based on the images you have chosen for easy design. It aslo includes the templates for each album company within the program (so handy).
I use Wordpress for my website, and ProPhoto for my website builder. The support is really great. The learning curve can vary depending on how saavy you are with computers, but it's fully customizable and I love that. ProPhoto is a theme for wordpress which you can then use as a website builder within Wordpress itself. Use the code HSTO9609 get $20 off your purchase on their site.
Affiliate Disclosure: We share this info openly, however some links may be affiliate links (meaning if you purchase something from the site I may receive a commission on the sale at absolutely no cost to you for sharing a link to that company). I have not been solicted to recommend these products, and have purchased and personally used all of them in my business after seeking them out myself. Some are free, yay! And some have coupon codes to save you some dough. Double yay! Any commission helps me keep my info free and my links up to date.