Portfolio Review 2018

Hi All! I wanted to share my experience attending a photography portfolio review for the first time this last week in New York. A lot of people have been asking me about it and how it went so I wanted to share that with you here! I'm so glad you're interested, please feel free to reach out and ask me any follow up questions here 

Every so often I interview photographers who I admire and want to be like and during one of my interviews this woman told me about Fotoworks and that it helped her start getting bigger jobs based off the connections she made. This was about 3 years ago that she told me this and when I got an email from them this year I recognized a lot of the reviewers and thought 'Why not.'

Fotoworks has 3 different kinds of review sessions, one in Los Angeles, New York, and another called BLVD Reviews which is mainly creative directors and they go to more cities aside from NYC and LA. They have a variety of packages all at different price points I chose to talk with 12 reviewers which was $1199. My travel from Burbank to New York was $509.00 round trip and I gave myself a budget of $50/day and was there for 5 days. I was lucky enough to stay with a family friend so I didn't have to pay for a place to stay.  The whole trip cost me about $2000. I was told by someone I met there that since going to the reviews he's earned his money back from the jobs he's gotten, so that was promising. 

I mainly chose reviewers that were in the fashion industry, but they have reviewers who do lifestyle, sports, advertising, photojournalism, food photography and more that you can speak with. I'd say for me 12 reviewers was perfect because there weren't a ton of people from the fashion world and any more than 12 and I might be talking with people where my work didn't align with them. I was able to squeeze in a few more reviewers while I was there though. Reviewers who had empty slots were up for grabs every day and you didn't have to pay extra which was awesome. 

The week before the event they sent out the reviewers and I got to pick my top 12, and I, for the most part, got all the people I wanted to see which I was worried about. Once I got my list I looked up each reviewer and started writing down specific questions I wanted to ask each of them. Some generic questions I asked were: 

"What do you look for in the photographers you hire?"

"Do you think I'm ready to shoot for you? And if not what needs improvement?'

"What are things you've done in your career that have helped you stand out?"

I would also try and ask one specific question to that reviewer, mostly revolving around something that I saw they worked on and wanted to know more about. 

That being said you only have about 15 min with each person and that time usually goes very quickly. I was more interested in hearing what they had to say about my work than asking my questions and a lot of the times the conversations flowed very easily, but for those that weren't as smooth I was glad I had some stocked up questions prepared, anything to keep them talking either about themselves and/or my work and stay interested in me.

There is a lot of downtime in between meetings so you just hang out with a bunch of other photographers and look at their books and talk photography which was so fun. It's much more relaxing than I pictured it was going to be which was great and the man running everything there was super nice and did his best to get you into meetings that maybe you weren't originally able to get into. They had food and drinks, Sony, Fuji, and Hasselblad all had tables set up where you could talk with reps and play with cameras as well. 

My prep work:

I put together a book using Blurb and it came out really nice. I hired a graphic designer to make a flyer for me to hand out to all the people I spoke with. I read that you should leave something other than a business card and if you can make it creative all the better. I saw a lot of other really nicely done books. Some people had really big books and others, like me, were smaller. I had about 20 pages double-sided, I wanted a nice balance of looking through my photos and time to talk, which I felt like I got so I don't know if I'd go much over 20 pages next time either. 

My last piece of advice is to ask to record your meetings. For the most part, everyone was totally fine with it, I did get some questions like 'why' but once I explained that I didn't want to forget any of their feedback people were fine with it. I'm so glad I did do it because usually information goes in and out of my head pretty quickly and I didn't have to worry about that. Also be sure to ask for their cards to stay in contact and send a follow up email afterwards. If they don't have cards ask if you can still get their emails and write them down in your phone.

Ok I don't want to make this crazy long so if I missed something or you have a question please let me know!

Thanks for reading! 

What I charge for my photography services

Hi All! I wanted to share with you how I put together my rate for my photography services. I'm no expert on this by all means, this is just what has been working for me presently! 

1. Think about all your expenses and then think about how much you want to make/ hour. For me right now I do about $100/hour depending on the job. It changes because every job is different, but that's usually my starting point.

2. Make sure you factor in all the work you do before and after the shoot. Are you finding the models and scouting the location? Do you usually do a lot of back and forth with clients when planning a shoot? How long do you think it will take you to edit the photos? Don't be afraid to ask your clients questions like how many hours the shoot will be, how many edits their looking for, how many models etc. to help you get an idea of how much time you think everything will take. 

3. Don't forget to add in a little extra money for growing your business or buying new equipment. It's hard to be making the bare minimum and growing your business at the same time. I usually give myself $50 or $100 for that per shoot.

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4. This is hard for me to always stick too because when you need that money it's hard to say no, but don't forget to ask for what your worth. Have you been doing photography for 5+ years now? Did you go to school for photography? Are you a photoshop wiz? Do you make people feel their best in front of the camera and give great results? Then charge for it! You didn't just wake up and have these skills, they took time, money, blood, sweat, and tears so don't go giving yourself $50 for a 3 hour shoot when you have 5+ years of skill under your belt. 

5. Lastly, don't forget to pay yourself first. Save money for taxes, emergency fund, and your retirement account. It's hard to do, believe me, I know, you get money and you're like 'MONEY!! LET'S BUY STUFF! or pay bills' and then it's gone in the blink of an eye, but let's work together to make sure we save for our futures!

And now some not so fun statistics about women and money:

*Only 49% of women contribute to their 401K and are more likely to end up using social security and having less money than men after age 65.

*On average women in the US will lose their husbands at 65 years old, and most women on average still have 14 years of life left, we need to prepare for that time now. Women are set up at a disadvantage, since we like to know all the facts before we make decisions which holds us back from investing earlier in our lives. Plus the .82 cents we earn per every dollar earned by a man doesn't help, even though more women are getting higher degrees and are taking more positions in male dominated areas than ever before.

As a freelancer, I do not have a 401K, but I have opened up a Roth IRA which is a nice alternative for freelancers who aren't getting matches from their employers. Set aside some time, maybe 30 min two days a week to start learning about investing and how to make your money work for you! 

I'd love to know how you figure out your rates and what you charge. Shoot me a message or comment below with any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

Also check out fellow Los Angeles photographer Champagne Victoria's post about how she prices herself here for more tips!

Thank you!

Dead City

As soon as I moved to LA I was fortunate enough to meet some super cool ladies. They asked me to photograph a shoot they've been wanting to do for a long time inspired by Patti Smith. We recently got it published on Fashion Grunge and I'm so excited to share with you the colored version here! Check out the published version @ Fashion Grunge 

Model: @mariaamargarita

Styling: @rocketjackson

Red

Here are some images that I did with two amazingly beautiful sisters, Shaylyn & Taryn, in San Francisco. I met Shaylyn about two years ago, when I found out her sister also modeled I told her that whenever her sister was in town I'd love to shoot them. Right before I moved to LA, she hit me up and we all had a magical day on one of the hottest days in San Francisco. Enjoy! 

 

Models: @tarynelisco @shaylyn.riane

Hallows Eve

Before I left the bay my dream team and I put together a great Halloween shoot. Here are the images plus a video put together by the talented @jessiemariec

Check out a feature on this shoot by @catalystwedco

 

Crew:

Styling & Art Direction: @bridalmarche

Models: @devonmariep_l @shallowthenhalo

Photography: Me @mterrisphoto

Jewelry & Art Direction: @hollybobisuthi

Assistant: Brian Loftus, Michael Reagan, Sam Prest 

Road Trip Recap

This past summer I was fortunate enough to go on a month long road trip through the US. It has always been a dream of mine to hop in the car and explore and I did just that. My partner and I packed our camping gear in the trunk and our suitcases in the back seat and hit the road. We left Oakland, CA and headed south to Los Angeles. From there we stopped at Joshua Tree, then on to Flagstaff and Sedona in AZ. From there we kept going east through the beautiful colors of Santa Fe, along the vast Texas desert to Austin, to the vibrant musical paradise of New Orleans. Then we went up toward Memphis and back across through Missouri, Kansas, Denver, Arches National Park in Utah, a pit stop in Lake Tahoe and finally ended in Sea Ranch, CA for a family get together. 

It was an amazing trip that I will never forget. I was able to work with many other artist, eat tons of food, get a tattoo, listen to great music, make new friends, and do it all with my best friend. Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip! 

Rainy Days

Loving all the rain we're getting here in the bay area. While driving into the SF over the Bay Bridge there was so much fog, I felt like I was driving in a cloud, it was amazing. That feeling inspired me to contact Devon & plan a spontaneous shoot up in the Berkeley hills. Being up there in the hills, fog, and rain was so peaceful. Here are some of my favorites. 

2015

A few of some of my favorite colorful images from 2105!

Open Light Workshop

Last month I had the privilege of attending a workshop put on by photographer Lars kommienezuspadt called 'Open Light'. I first came across Lars' work on Doris Mayday's Instagram page and was blown away by the photos he took of her. Not only were they of course stunning but when I saw them I thought "Yes, this is exactly what I want to do." All of his photos give off a certain feeling, kind of dark, sexy, and mysterious. Pin up but not your traditional pin up style with the bright backgrounds and the expressive faces. More serious and seductive. When I later learned that he shot using only natural light I was like, "Ok, sold! This guy is officially the best!" I too use only natural light in my shoots. I'm not opposed to using studio lights, I think you can do amazing things with that style as well, but since I'm not too savvy with studios and don't have a spot or lights to shoot with I always go outdoors.

Lars' workshop took place at this giant mansion in Los Angeles. I had never been inside a mansion before so naturally I had to go exploring. It reminded me of a real life Haunted Mansion from Disneyland-or maybe because that's the only other mansion I've been in...You walk down this long hallway and there are huge baroque style paintings that lead you into a round foyer. In this Foyer you have the choice to ascend the tall staircase or walk into the family or dining rooms or into a full bar. During our break I wandered down a long hallway into the library. Soft light peaked in through the dusty thick curtains and books lined the walls and tables of the room. I thought, "Ok great! This is creepy but I also probably just walked right into the best room in the house." I love libraries...I think it comes from that amazing library Belle has in Beauty in the Beast. I wish I had enough time to see which book pulled down and opened into a secret room...If you'd seen that room you too would have been certain that there was a secret room behind that bookshelf. 

Bernadette Library

Lars went over etiquette and posing with the help of Rivi Madison, (she has her own album here) a sensational artist and model. She spoke of how she carries herself in shoots and how she has yet to be in a bad situation with a photographer (working with creeps) because she knows what she wants and wont take anyones bull. She inspired me with her amazing confidence and the way she carried herself like such a badass... I could have photographed her all day. Both Lars and Rivi together shared such useful information and were both so kind and helpful. I hope we can all work together again someday. 

vicky blog

Credits:

Andrea Hausmann-Photographer @workshop

Instragram @coquetteinspiration

Website: andreahausmannphotography.com

Vanessa Foerster-Photographer @workshop

@illnessink

Rivi Madison-Model on table

Instagram @rivimadison

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RiviMadison

Vicky Tran-Model in chair

Instagram @theventurarose

Bernadette Marion-Model in library

Instagram @bernadette_marion

Jenny Rieu-Model with gold bow

Instagram @jennyrieu

Website: jennyrieu.book.fr

Mara Rouse-Make up 

Website: www.mararouse.com

Rocky Cauldron-Make up

Website: www.rocknmakeup.wix.com

 

 

 

The Lady in Red

Here are a few photos from a shoot I did with the lovely Kiki in Berkeley, CA back in July.