17: How to Work with a Photographer for Your Small Business with Jessica McIntosh

17: How to Work with a Photographer for Your Small Business with Jessica McIntosh

November 22, 2016

This week Amber Hurdle shares how to work with a photographer for your small business during her interview with Jessica McIntosh, who shares her branding expertise from behind the lens. You will learn how to effectively tell a visual story through professional photos on your website and social media, as well as tips and tricks to help you prepare for getting the most out of your photo shoot session.

Learn More About Jessica McIntosh

Connect with Jessica on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jessicamcintoshphotography

Check out Jessica’s website: www.JessicaMcIntosh.net

Contact Jessica via email: Jessica@Jessicamcintosh.net

Contact Jessica via phone: 615-347-8727

Episode 17: How to Work with a Photographer for Your Small Business with Jessica McIntosh Transcription

Amber: Welcome to the bombshell business podcast where driven fem-prenours learn how to become more bold, brave and unwaveringly confident. Turn your dreams into actionable marketable and profitable plans, and make your business irresistible

Welcome back to the Bombshell business podcast where fem-prenours come to learn how to become more bold, brave and unwaveringly confident in their business and in life. This is episode number 16 and I am so freaking excited to welcome my very, very good friend and photographer extraordinaire and the photographer responsible for the amazing images on my own website, Jessica McIntosh.

 

Jessica: Yay! Thank you, I am so happy to be there.

 

Amber: Well I am super excited that you are here too. Now let me give a little background on Jessica, I think our friendship is a total God thing. Absolute God thing. We go, we go on the way back machine together, we have played multiple roles in each other’s life’s and we have grown together professional and personally as well. And our very first encounter wasn’t really a positive one. We kind of just didn’t connect at first, but I think the reason is, neither of us accepts talk. And we need to see action, and the minute we got into a situation where we saw action in each other we like oh we’re besties!

 

Jessica: Yes, absolutely 100%!

 

Amber: So, we have done everything, she has been a client of mine. I have been a client of hers, we have worked in cooperate setting together for a little bit, and there is just nobody in this world whom I trust to capture me, and who I am at more core and in my soul than Jessica.

I am going to read you her professional bio real quick because I know that does explain a lot to somebody who just doesn’t know our relationship but.

Jessica McIntosh, this lovely lady who we are talk to talk too. Owns Jessica McIntosh photography, a wife of Brett and a mama to Wilder the most adorable little boy. She is a native Nashvillian specialising in empowering, encouraging and investing in women through the art of photography. Her passion lies in capturing moments that make up a moments life, whether it’s photographing her on her most important day, marking a significant milestone or helping her confidently share her brand, which we will talk about today. She is dedicated to creating fun, genuine experiences and documents the stories of women worldwide. And she is, she does go worldwide, I can say that the best part of Jessica’s photography is that she is a perfect story teller so —

 

Jessica: Thank you Amber.

 

Amber: Now that I have kind of shared a little bit of my side, why don’t you tell us about you, Jessica the woman. Not necessarily about your business yet, but what’s that like for you?

 

Jessica: Yeah, well I’m a mama and I am a wife. I have a 15 month old son called Wilder. So I get that life is not always glamorous and perfect and that as women we have sick days, and sick baby’s, and husbands and life’s and business to run, so yeah that’s why you have this delightful raspy voice that I am showing you today. Because I have been sick, my son has been sick, that’s just real life.

 

Amber: We are just trying to be sultry in today’s episode.

 

Jessica: That’s right; they are getting my sultry voice. And so I grew up in Nashville, I worked at a bridal boutique and I worked in the modelling industry for a long time. I have worked with cooperate world and look at Amber in that capacity and so, and I have always experienced my own interesting story and tragedies. My dad died when I was 15, and so for me photography sort of started out as this — beautiful, fashion, industry, cool, beautiful ways of fashion in photography. Once my dad died, it kind of took on this whole other meaning of remembrance and kind of a way to our past. So me as the woman i have kind of this battle within me. Maybe not a battle, they work together really well to not only be compassionate and care about people and their stories, but to also marry beauty and fashion — and just making things look awesome, so — there is that. Working in the bridal industry for about 5 years was just huge. I got to meet so many different women and learn more about fashion. As a Entrepreneur it was amazing to get to see and learn in that industry.

And then from there I am just getting to be a mama and a life over the last seven years has really been an amazing journey and I have learned more about myself. I think the longer I married the more I learned that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. And the funny thing is, the older I get, the more I am ok with it. I am like Oh yeah. So yeah that is a little bit about me.

 

Amber: I love it. So let’s talk about the transition and you business maybe, because we can go back. You began in 2008 and you have an extensive history in the wedding world. You had a solid reputation, then you started moving into working and focusing on women and their stories, and what’s going on in their life and — like I said, you did such an incredible job — it was so thoughtful how we went through the process. I have to tell ya’ll people, when I find an expert, when i really trust somebody, I don’t try to make a plan. Everybody knows I am such a control freak and I am a planner.

But when we talked to Anthony Tran, who did my website. I had to turn it over to him and just know he was making the right decisions, and I did the same thing with you. So tell me about how you started figuring out that women especially, was more of your jam than being known as a wedding photographer?

 

Jessica: Yeah, for sure. I think like most people, when you start out, you have something that you love and I loved photography and I loved telling stories. And I think that, even when I was in high school I wanted to photograph bands. Now looking back, I would be a terrible band photographer. But looking back, you just have this kind of evolution, you have to start doing something and it takes time and experience to really develop what you know and love. I knew I loved telling stories, and I loved things just — I loved when things would happen. And I loved getting document these once in a lifetime moments that you see on a wedding day. And that was really amazing. The more that I learned about what I really loved on a wedding day was getting to know someone super intimately.

So I know some photographers, they can go in and shoot a wedding or event and they don’t want to know anything about the client coming in. That was foreign to me. I realise something through talking with them, that I can’t do that. In fact I have to know my client very intimately, and the details, and not just likes and dislikes, but what’s makes them tick in their family life and why they are with the person they are with, why they love what they love, why they hate what they hate. What makes them, them. I need to know those details so I can feel like I can authentically document what’s happening.

And so the more I found that out, i found out through weddings, I just loved getting to know people and typically I would connect really well with women. And I would go to workshops and go to conferences and you talk to people. And the number one thing they tell you is to find your niche. Find you niche, find your niche.

And I always had a real hard time with that. I love doing all these different things, and then it just hit me like a ton of bricks one day. I was looking back at my work and I was looking back at what I love to do and what I was the best at doing. And I noticed that every time that happened, It was when I was helping a woman, kind of tell her story. I was sitting down over coffee and we were talking, I was getting to know her, I was helping her vision come to life. Whether It was a senior in high school, a woman about to have a baby, or like what we do with Amber. Which was actually awesome, Amber’s experience took two times, for us to figure out what she needed. And I loved it because we kept talking through that very first time, and you — I was thinking, I just don’t know if this feels like what she wants, but I am going to let her do her thing. Then it gave me that first time kinda giving me the confidence to — you know what? I kinda need to inset a little bit more of the direction I feel like we need to go and how I am going to pull out what she is seeing and wanting. And just using that expertise to get from point A to point B, so.

I feel like for me, this journey has just taken many years. It is has probably take me 8 years to figure out, this is what I love, this is what I am the best at. And these are the people I can serve the best.

 

Amber: Absolutely. So there are a couple of things I want to touch on in there and I definitely want to move on to all the other questions. The first thing I want to point out that Jessica does that I preach, is that she gets to know her customer. You have to get to know your customer. Even if you have massive amounts of customers. Getting to know them at that individual basis is going to help you sever the broad base much better. And so we talk about that in previous episodes, and of course I talk about it in the Bombshell business boot camp.

The second thing is, is again, I just yesterday got done recording a presentation for a virtual summit that I will be featured in, in November. And, I said the same thing. Its ok, if you don’t know your niche yet, it’s ok.  Because you have to have those experiences to know, like what am I drawn too. You can’t just one day wake up and be like oh this is what I like with no experience. So, yes riches are the niches, yes you want to niche down. But, if you don’t have any breadth of experience to show who is attracted to you naturally, and how you can naturally interact with somebody and find joy in that work. You are going to have a hard time defining that, so. I want to give that permission.

And third, again, you know, I have worked in a creative director role, and that’s pretty much the role I was in, when Jessica and I worked together. So, I was the one that wasn’t necessarily in front of the camera, I was beside the camera or even in the boardroom, figuring out the strategy and this is what we are going to do. I would be there like, what if we got this? I got to be more on — the Jessica side of things, no matter what creative individual I was working with. So I went into my own brand, like ok, we need this [00:12:30.13 – inaudible]; we are going to put this image on that page. It was more about in my mind, putting checks in boxes, telling my story. So we did that dance that day, and we both. I got some beautiful images don’t get me wrong. Some of those, remember when we went to Nashville, you looked and said that’s Amber and I looked and said yeah that’s me? Something important you say is do you see yourself in this?

 

Jessica: Yeah, absolutely.

 

Amber: So we will get to that point, but I just want to say, the second time we worked together, when we redid the images for my website and I was working with Anthony Tran at access pass and redoing it. And really taking it more to the Bombshell brand of working bold, brave and unwaveringly confident women. I was just like, you told me what to do, I am going to [00:13:20.07 – inaudible] and you told me what to do. And it was such a better experience, all these bombshells that are those type ‘A’s because I know that’s who I work with.

 

Jessica: Absolutely.

 

 

Amber: If you work with a professional and you know and you dress that person, you should if you are paying them. We are about to burst into some Frozen here.

 

Jessica: I am.

 

Amber: So, what are some common struggles that people come to you with when they are really to get professional images? If they are working on their website, or maybe they just need a headshot, or — what is the angst they come with?

 

Jessica: So I think a lot of times people start out knowing they need images or they see, maybe there is someone else in their genre of work and they see what they have and they want that but they don’t know how to articulate it. So a lot of times women will start out by saying, I just need a headshot. But really, a head shot is only that. It’s only a headshot. It’s really not going to tell you a whole lot. There are things that can be communicated in those images, absolutely. There can be setting; there can be body language and your outfit. There is a lot that can be said in a simple headshot. So don’t get me wrong they are very important.

However, for a lot of women branding wise, you need so much more than just a head shot. We need to know who you are; you need images for your website or for Instagram or for Facebook or for your podcast or for your book. Maybe you need images that are not necessarily just of you looking right at the camera. We need things to be part of telling a story to give clients an insight of who you are and why they want to work with you.

So I think a lot of times, women, they want that but they don’t know how to ask for that. I don’t think there a lot of photographers out there that are marketing to help women figure that out. You feel like you kind of have to do this awkward dance with your photographer and enquire about a portrait session or just headshots or just this. Instead people aren’t just sayin; ok let me help you with your brand. Do you just need a headshot? Do we need to do a rebrand? Are we doing a headshot plus? A little bit more of a lifestyle?

And I think asking those questions people are afraid because they don’t know what they need. So I think — I think helping women decide what they actually need, versus what they think they can get by with is really important. You can get by with a headshot and a headshot is super important, but what do you need to communicate your brand, and what is your business? A lot of the times I like to start from that point with women. To help debunk this I just need a headshot. Because a lot of the times you are not happy with that 20 minute headshot.

 

Amber: In my headshot that I use, on my bio pick. Isn’t even a head shot. It was more of a — no even the editorial side of things but it wasn’t full body, and you zoomed in and text messaged it to me and said, there is your headshot. That’s the one that I used, like no question there it is.

Knowing that you know all the things that you know, and that women have a hard time, women in general have a hard time asking for help. But maybe they are just also, maybe an accountant, or maybe someone who really doesn’t have a lot of creativity as one of their greater strengths. What can any female do, to prepare, like what steps can they take before they even reach out to you so they have some way of communicating with you what it is that they want?

 

Jessica: That’s a great question. I think i would start by writing down, if they have a website at all or they are seeking to build none. What i it they want to communicate to their audience? Who are they talking to? If it’s an accountant or a lawyer. Think about how they want to be perceived by their audience. So I would say in those settings you want to be perceived as professional, competent, intelligent, so we have all of these things, but maybe you want to show a fun side. You know, start writing down things that you want to communicate to your audience and how you want to be perceived by them.

So I would start with that, start making a list. Start making a Pinterest board. If you have seen photos out there that you like, not that we are trying to copy anything but a lot of time I will have people come with so many ideas, or they don’t think they have any ideas at all. But if they can start to look at pictures of things that they like it will start to stir up, you know what? I really do have a voice, I really do have an opinion, I like how this looks but I don’t. Because specifically in the headshot, I think a lot of people think of a headshot has to be a solid background, and kind of a fake smile, and just that. But it doesn’t. Maybe we shoot something — I think Amber, the shot she uses the most often, I can’t remember if it’s the one of you — is it the one of you at the restaurant?

 

Amber: Yeah it is.

 

Jessica: Yeah so, there was a lot of ambience with that, so it wasn’t just a solid background and you smiling and looking at the camera. There was a lot of background choices that went into that, because, just that headshot gives you insight into Ambers personality. And where she’s gonna be and where are you going to go out with her if you were with her. It kinda of draws you in. So keeping all those thing in mind even for a headshot doesn’t have to be boring. So communicating, do you want just the solid background? Is that what you need? Fabulous let’s do it. But if you also need something that is a little bit more, gives a little bit more — environmental feel to it. Then I need to know that. And in order to see what you like and don’t like, starting that pin interest board is a great springboard to just get your wheels turning.

 

Amber: Yeah.

 

Jessica: What’s out there? What are other people in my line of work doing? What do I like about that? Or what do I not like about it?

Amber: Well, and I know when we were working on my website. It is a balance for me, because one of the key things about my brand — I am almost going to speak in third person here. Remove myself because my brand happens to be me. But, one of the things is that I am just super professional. I am — there is no Mickey mousing around with me. But I don’t want that to be confused with, I am not fun. Because I am fun. So I come with this big bold personally, but I am not going to be flaky, I am going to be there early I am going to think about things that maybe even you didn’t think about. Especially I am thinking when I am working in a cooperate environment, and so how do you say, I am very professional and I am super fun? Like how do you say that? And so we have to — I wore a cheater print dress, I have pictures on my website where I am holding a glass of wine, now that’s not ok for everybody. But I won’t work — most of the cooperate brands I work with are hospitality. That’s not like a thing — it’s almost like you are not legit unless you show that you drink really good read wine.

But on the flip side, if you work with a lot of banks, you probably don’t want to be front and center with a glass of wine in your hand. So these are the types of things that if you show visuals to Jessica before you work with her or whoever your photographer is, they can help guide you. And if you go back, there is a reason that these podcasts episodes are in this order, we talk about our values and who we authentically are with [00:21:12.25 – inaudible] and then in this whole month of gratitude. I totally missed that part in the intro because I was so excited about getting to talk to you.

This whole month is about saying thank you to the people who have helped me shaped my brand and my business, and get me to a place where I feel really good and comfortable about the message that I am sending to the world. And just because there is a huge way of telling that visual story, but I sent you pictures and then you would say, I really don’t like that pose for you, and some of the ways that you touch your body. Because again, with the whole bombshell brand, I loathe — I protest with not buying from particular places and brands. I loathe the objectification of women. But I also honour and celebrate a woman’s femininity.

And so that is a really — as I never wanted to come off as va va vroom. It’s confidence, not sexiness.

 

Jessica: No, absolutely. And something else I also want to say, kind of thinking of hot to get a woman, that first step. What’s something they can do before they contact me. I am happy to work through this, because you and I had to work through this. I would say as women, the number one thing we want to do is we think about ourselves last. So a lot of time this will come through in photos. For instance if I was taking pictures of a woman and her family. She is going to do everything in her power to — her kids are going to look perfect, her husband is going to have the best outfit, she is going to have picked out all this great stuff, but on the way to the photo shoot she is going to be doing her hair and makeup in the car, while eating a burrito. She — she is going to show up and look great. But she is going to feel worn out, she is going to feel like a tornado, as bombshells we work it. You make it work. As moms, as wives, as business owners, we all know what that’s like. But I cannot encourage women in mass, if what we are doing what you would call a simple headshot, or a full brand shoot. You have got to give yourself time and permission to enjoy it and devote yourself to it.

 

 

Amber: Preach!

 

Jessica: Yeah, you have to, because I think a lot of times women just look at it as this thing to get through, like a necessary evil. There is not many of us who would say, yes I love being in front of the camera and having my photo thing and it’s my most favourite thing ever. Very rarely have I ever met a woman that says that. But do they leave with amazing images that they love? Yes, and that’s usually because, they are not skipping out on getting their hair and makeup done.  You are not skipping out on really committing to looking into those images and deciding what you do and don’t like. You are not skipping out making sure you find that outfit that makes you feel good and fits your body the way you want it too. You can’t skip out on the little things that are going to make your experience paramount. Those are the things that women just want to push though. And so I really encourage you through this, whether it’s a head shot for a brand or [00:24:42.23 – inaudible]. You can’t just rush your way through it. And I think you have to be willing to give yourself time, and acknowledge this is important to your business.

 

Amber: Absolutely. I can honestly say, and Jessica knows so well. I am not big on being in front of the camera by myself. I will do a selfie with another person, or three people. I will take a picture with a group. I love taking pictures with people because in the same way as Jessica, that documentation is so important to me. But again, as someone who spent a majority of her career behind the scenes and elevating other people and other brands, and senior leaders or celebrities or whoever I was working with. It wasn’t my job to be in front of the camera, it was my job to make everything else look amazing. That is such a mental shift for me. Even to go from internal relations which is my legal brand name to Amber Hurdle coaching and training, which I didn’t chose, my customers chose because they would send cheques to Amber Hurdle and nobody — they would call me and be like, hey I heard Amber Hurdle coaching — that’s not my name, so I had to make that shift to help me mentally with that. But I can say that, because I felt so prepared, I knew [00:26:03.01 – inaudible] who by the way is moving. I think she is moving down this week so.

 

Jessica: Fabulous hair and makeup artist.

 

Amber: She is so amazing. But she was there for me when I needed her, so that’s good. And I felt really good about it I was looking forward to it. But I can also say I was freaking sore the next day Jessica McIntosh, because lets go back to Jessica’s background in fashion. And she knows how to pose you so you get that best angle, the best shot and the slimmest, everything. So she contorts your body, not just stand there and cheese grin. Foot forward, shoulder forward, tilt your head and your hips go back, you are like holding this yoga post while she is taking these pictures. The next day I was physically sore, i felt like I worked out, I could never be a model, that’s hard work. But it’s worth it and it’s important for somebody to have someone like you who knows how to make all that magic happen.

Ok so, we have kind of talked about the steps you take people through when you are working on — a website or promotional images. I know a lot of women when they comes to me it’s because they want the next level. They want to scale their business or maybe get higher end clientele because they know I am really good at working with luxury clientele. And so the first thing is I go to their website and say this is cute, but this is not who you are and this is not your story and this does not project your competency and experience or your professionalism and all the greatness about you. So we usually dive into websites.

Other than like the pin interest and trying to understand who their audience is which I talked a lot about with [00:28:01.21 – inaudible] in our branding episode. What is that process like? How do you take them through the journey of working with you?

 

Jessica: Yeah so I think first of all, whether they live in Nashville or they live elsewhere, we want to do a consultation, so if they live close I would love to meet up and know you personally. But if not we use a Skype call. And we get to know each other; I get to see you face to face. And I want to hear about, I don’t just want to hear about your brand. It is important, I want to know who — who your audience is and how you are communicating to them. But I always want to know about you. What do you do for fun? Because are going to be, hopefully the things that are coming across in your brand anyway. So what’s your story? How did you get to where you are? What makes you tick? I want to know you as a person; I want to allow you to get to know me as a person. You have to be able to trust me. Trust me that I have your best interests in mind, that I take your business very seriously and what you are trying to communicate very seriously. But I am also a friend, so I need to have that trust and that respect and that [00:29:10.20 – inaudible] so the best way to do that with me is just a good conversation. So that’s going to happen. Whether in person or a Skype call.

And then we are going to start the pin interest boards. We are going to talk about what you need and what you want. I think a lot of times women can get hung up on — they feel afraid to e-mail a photographer and say, I am looking to rebrand, or I am looking to brand because they just see dollar signs. And they get really apprehensive, it seems scary, so a lot of times people will e-mail me first and say [00:29:43.12 – inaudible] a headshot. But what they mean is they really need a rebrand. But they are afraid to say it because they don’t know what that price tag is going to look like.

So know there is lots of spectrums, lots of in-between, if you need to start with a headshot and get that springboard so that later you can get to that re-brand, that’s ok. And I could help you work through that and understanding what you need right now to get you off the ground and going. And what you are maybe able to come back and do once you know more about yourself. Once you are able to invest a little bit more. But don’t — don’t feel intimated to say what you really need, just because you are intimated by dollar signs or things like that, don’t let that freak you out. Because, that investment in your business is going to come back a million fold. When people see how you have invested in yourself, because they are going to invest that same intensity level. So I think that is really important.

And then we are going to walk through hair and makeup. Whether you need me to provide that for you, I can send you to some places that do stuff on the go or quickly, if it’s for a headshot, if it’s for a full rebrand. Do we need to do multiple days? I know that is kind of scary but we needed to do that for Amber. What we wanted to showcase — unless you are a full time model, taking pictures for 5 or 6 hours is something you only do on your wedding day. And there is a reason for it, you get tired, maybe we need to take pictures early in the morning around the breakfast table, but also need to go out to a really cool restaurant that evening. It can’t all happen in the span of an hour.

So we need to talk through what you want to communicate and how you want to communicate it. What does that look like? We are not going to be afraid to say this needs to happen over a two day period, or this needs to happen in an hour. We need to really look at what you need. So we are going to have these conversations, then we are going to figure out how we are going to make this happen. We have to talk about dates, and outfits, hair and makeup artist, locations; we are going to collaborate on that, so I will ask you a lot of questions. I think a lot of the time people come to the photographer and hope that they have this grand plan and we are mind readers. As much as I would love to be a professional mind reader I am not. So I have a ton of questions for you. And sometimes we are going to be like, who is that person you know that has a high rise in downtown Nashville that we can maybe get access to the rooftop.

 

Amber: Not that we know anything about that.

 

Jessica: No not at all. So we are going to be thinking through those questions, maybe something in conversation that we are having, you will be like, Oh my gosh I know this person with the most amazing restaurant that we eat at every week that I think will be a perfect location for this. So we are going to talk through those kinds of things and bounce ideas back and forth. I am going to work hard for you, but I am also going to have a lot of questions for you so that I can do that.

 

Amber: Some of the locations on the first shoot we did rooftop lines then back to that restaurant, that’s [00:33:09.02 – inaudible] in Nashville [00:33:10.02 – inaudible] and that place is very special to me, — the people that are there have always been really great to me and I feel very comfortable there. I celebrated my 30th Birthday there, I have just had a lot of meaningful experiences there, and — there is the whole hospitality side of my business, I do work with salons and spas and that kind of thing. But once I get onto my Fortune 500 customers, that’s my hospitality. So there is just a comfort level there and I feel comfortable. My personal Instagram @Amberhurdle and you will see me at a fine dining restaurant at all times. That is who I am and that is what I do. My comfort level in that space was different for a studio for me, because a studio is foreign to me. It’s like — we got some great shots there too, my personal Facebook profile is one of those shots that I adore. But I do thing that going through that process is so important and finding people who will open up their doors and say — yes you can use this space because — I think we got in there before dinner service.

 

Jessica: Yeah, so sometimes working around weird hours. Maybe we can get into a restaurant before they open for dining service at night, and they have an amazing ambience that we want to utilise for photos just to help tell a story. And so if they let us get in there while they are prepping the kitchen, that’s fabulous. And so it’s all about working around, that’s why we might, need a two day shoot, because the one time we can get into this restaurant is this time. But the other photos that we need go at this time. So don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to cramming in as much as possible into this one time. Maybe it means a couple of days or a couple of hours so don’t be afraid of that in discussing that option. Like I said we are busy women, we have a lot going on, we usually put ourselves last on the list of things to do and take care of. But this investment in your brand is worth it. It is worth the extra time because you are going to be so much happier that you did that.

Then you are going to have these photos to use. It’s not like they are going to expire in a month. You are going to have these photos to use for a year maybe two years, maybe three years. And so that two days investment is going to feel like nothing in the long run. For the value and impact you are going to get from those images in the next couple of years.

 

Amber: Yeah. I know I have worn my out. I was thinking the other day I was well from a [00:36:02.17 – inaudible] perspective maybe it’s time I do this again, but I really like the ones I already have, so we are going to stretch that out a little but more. So hopefully everybody has a [00:36:12.13 – inaudible] and give them a quick shout out and a thank you.

But I think this is a really good opportunity too, to get into, and I am just going to say it so you don’t have too, but everything Jessica just shared, and all the different layers that she goes into and the ways she helps create that perfect environment for delivering the best visual representation of your brand — all of that is why you should go with a Jessica. Instead of your friend’s brother or — maybe a buddy that is a budding photographer. I mean that’s ok, and if you need to start there because you are just that new, then good on you, you rock it and you can have an experience and have exposure or whatever it is you are doing for each other.

But there is a reason why you pay to — and Jessica is not expensive. I’m not trying to paint that picture, but there is a difference between working with a professional photographer with experience, the knowledge and systems — and intuition, and working with somebody who points a camera and takes pictures.

 

Jessica: Yeah. I think there is a big difference between, a lot of times; again, we all have to start somewhere. So you know I had to start somewhere 8 years ago, we all do and so — but the changes I feel as you become and experienced professional, so I would consider myself an experienced professional. So when you work with me, you are not just getting someone who knows how to point a camera or have a good camera, or those types of things. So much more to do with experience. How do I talk to you? It takes hundreds of women to know what it takes to get you where you need to go and so the difference becomes taking a picture and hoping it will work, verses having a photo-shoot where we know you are going to leave with images that are the best representation of you.

And so it’s not just hope and prayer, you know you are going to leave with an excellent product verses maybe something that can work. So yeah, it is a completely different investment. The same goes for your business. For all the bombshells out there whatever line of work you are in, when they come to you, you know they are not just coming to you because you — can do this one service. They are coming to you because of your expertise, because they trust you, because they want the best experience possible and you have something you can provide for them.

Same goes for your photographer. You can find somebody who can take a picture, absolutely. But can you find someone that is going to produce exactly what you need and you need the results that you want the first time.

 

Amber: Feel good about it too.

 

Jessica: You feel good. I think it’s one of those things we talk about like, some women think unfortunately about having their photo made the same way they think about going to the gym. Like I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it, then you go and then you are like this is so great I am so glad I did this. That is how most women leave a photo-shoot with me. They have a really great time and we have fun together, i think that is — so yeah you are going to have fun even if you don’t think you are going to have fun before you jump into it, then you do. Then you feel really great afterwards. After you get your hair and makeup done and you look fabulous you go out for a really great dinner.

 

Amber: Exactly. Don’t let that hair and makeup go to waste.

So this is a good time to kind of bring up what I brought up earlier. And I have worked with a lot of photographers over my career. And some of them are like, I’m in charge, don’t question me, this is what we are doing. Other people are almost like, is this ok? Which puts you at a place like does this person know what they are doing?

You have a great control over the situation while including your subject in the process and the one thing that you do that I love — is that you show me a picture or a couple of pictures and you say, do you see yourself in that image? So there are times when my husband will take a picture and he will show it to me and he will say, oh my gosh Amber you are so beautiful. I will be like, do not post that on Facebook. That is the worst angle ever, I look 900lbs in that picture and it’s angled up, what were you thinking?

I know every women right now is laughing because we have all had that experience and my husband is like, but you are just so beautiful I want to share it with the world. I’m like dude, no. Big no.

So it matters to me that I — you can think it is beautiful all day long, but if I don’t feel good about it then what difference does it make?

So what are you looking for when you do that with your clients?

Jessica: Yeah that’s such a good question. And yeah, the bottom line is, I can think it is the most fabulous photo I have ever taken, but if you don’t feel good about it, you are not going to put it on your website. You are not going to want anyone to see it. And so if you don’t want anyone to see it, I have not done my job. That’s the opposite, we want you to be proud of what you are putting out into the world so — if I have not done that job well, why does it matter? I might as well not have taken your picture at all. So I am looking for a couple of things. I recognise as being in front of the camera or behind the camera, we all see ourselves through a skewed mirror. And so we all have a smile that we prefer even though everyone tells us we look so great when we do this or that. Well I don’t feel great when i do that. So I f