Why You Need a Photography Mentor

Why You Need a Photography Mentor

When I first started my photography career, I didn’t realize the benefit of having a mentor who was in this business. I have since realized several very important things about why having one is such a valuable thing, especially in a creative business such as photography.

  1. Mentors have been in your shoes. They know where you are coming from and where you have the potential to go. They know how to grab their boot straps and carry on, lifting themselves and others up one step or one day at a time.
  2. Mentors can guide you, especially when you ask questions, towards greater growth and expanding your potential. They may not know what you don’t know which is why asking questions is so important for your growth.
  3. Mentors are usually at a point further along in their career than you are and therefore able to inspire you by their own business acumen.
  4. Mentors enable you to laugh at your mistakes without making you feel like throwing in the towel.
  5. Mentors (or at least good ones) encourage you to put your best foot forward even when you don’t feel much like it and even when you don’t want to. This enables you to get past obstacles you see as standing in your way when really they are just hurdles you are jumping on your climb to the top of your game.
  6. Mentors applaud you for your successes and don’t think you’re a fool when you fail. This one is critical, because if they are putting you down then they aren’t your mentor at all even if they have more or better experience than you do and even if they are where you want to be.
  7. And last, great mentors are so excited when you move past them and need to seek another mentor who can make you want to reach even further. They are your biggest champions and some of your biggest fans.

So take the time to seek out a mentor – find someone you admire and follow them on social media, comment on their blog posts (not just on Facebook) and send them a message asking if they would be willing to mentor you. Be understanding if they simply don’t have time – they have a life and a business to run also so they may not have time to take on another mentee. But it will make a big difference in your lives when you find the right mentor.

What I Learned About Being an Introverted Photographer




So you may or may not know this but I am an introvert. That means I generally don’t like being around people for too long, I’m terrible at starting up conversations, I like shopping by myself, and I like silence and alone time. Being introverted is a challenge, especially when you own your own business. I have to step out of my comfort zone to talk to clients and have to get to know people I’ve never met so I can best service them during their shoot. Since starting my business, I have learned a few things about myself and my introvertedness and thought I would share what I have discovered.


  1. I get awkared if you touch me- A hug is fine but anything past that and I might freak out. Physical touch is one of my love languages but only if I’ve known you for a long time. If you touch me (like put your hand on my shoulder) I literally don’t know what to do. Do I touch your shoulder back? Do I touch your hand on my shoulder? Your hand is on my shoulder, how do I not think about it being there? I just get really awkward and I learned that because one of my clients had so much fun during our session she couldn’t stop hugging me and patting my shoulder. Like, your welcome but, please stop lol.
  2. Do you need me? Email or text please- It’s true. I don’t like talking on the phone. I know it’s a little absured for someone who has a business but I much prefer emails. I will talk on the phone if a client asks or calls me first but I never look forward to it. A phone call for me takes mental preparations so a warning before you call will be appreciated!
  3. I just finished a wedding, I don’t want to go out for days- Weddings are one of my favorite things to photograph but after 6-10 hours of constantly being “on” and being around so many people, recoup days are definitely necessary. Not only am I usually physically tired but also I’m mentally and emotionally drained and need some major recharging.

So there you have it. Us introverts may be quiet, may need some alone time, and may not liked to be touched but it’s not because we don’t like you. It’s just ’cause we were born that way.



A Huge List of Hashtags to Grow Your Instagram Community

Hashtag list to grow your InstagramHashtags are still a puzzler for most people when it comes to how they’re used. On Facebook they apparently don’t work very well so don’t bother. Some research has shown that posts on Facebook without hashtags perform those that do. Despite that, hashtags are a great way to expand your reach on Instagram. Even though Instagram has some new structure to their newsfeed that had us all upset, hashtags are still a really great way to be found.

Hashtags are clickable links on Instagram that will show you all the posts from everyone who has that hashtag on one of their posts. It’s a great way to find people you like and to be found. I put together a few categories of popular hashtags that I’ve used and see a lot of other peeps using too. So if you really want to grow your feed, pick out a few you like and start adding them to your photos on Instagram and see if it makes any changes.

Instagram-Related – #‎instagram‬ ‪#‎instagrammers‬ ‪#‎igers‬ ‪#‎instalove‬ ‪#‎instagood‬‪ #‎followme‬ ‪#‎insta‬ ‪#‎instadaily‬ ‪#‎instalovers‬ ‪#‎tagsforlikes‬ ‪#‎follow‬

Photography – #‎portrait‬ ‪#‎portraits‬ ‪#‎portraiture‬ ‪#‎feelgoodphoto‬ ‪#‎lessismore‬‪#‎negativespace‬  ‪#‎blackandwhite‬ ‪#‎bnw‬ ‪#‎monochrome‬ ‪#‎photo‬ ‪#‎photos ‬‪#‎photographer‬ ‪#‎photooftheday‬ ‪#‎color‬ ‪#‎capture‬ ‪#‎chasinglight‬ ‪#‎justgoshoot‬‪ #‎lifeofaphotographer‬ ‪#‎canon‬

General – #creative #artsy #beautiful #art #me #tbt #throwbackthursday #cute #happy #smile #lifestyle #success #passion #dreams #happiness #believe #strength #morningslikethese #mymondaymugshot #humpday #transformationtuesday #flashbackfriday #followfriday #fridayintroductions #sundayfunday #mcm #wcw

Entrepreneur and Business – #entrepreneur #business #mindset #wontstop #businessowner #smallbiz #entrepreneurlife #leadership #mentoring #onlinebusiness #coaching #inspire #ambition #wisdom #thinkbig #hardworkpaysoff #workhardplayhard #beyourownboss #smallbusiness #future #biztip #b2b #howto #innovation #marketing #solopreneur #bosslady #womeninbusiness

Creative – #calledtobecreative #creativepreneur #creativityisfound #designisinthedetails #dowhatyoulove #exploretocreate #fromwhereistand #lifeofanartist #liveauthentic #livefullyalive #makeithappen #makersgonnamake #makersmovement #pursuepretty #sayyestosuccess #thehappynow #communityovercompetition #tuesdaystogether #risingtidesociety #tablescapetuesday #flashesofdelight #ohwowyes #thatsdarling #theeverydayproject #creatives

Wedding Photography – #howheasked #thedailywedding #theknot #theknotrings #brideandgroom #weddingdress #weddingphotographer #weddingphotography #wedding #weddingphoto #weddingring #realweddings #weddinginspo #strictlyweddings #matrimonyhomies #weddingsquad #bridalbrigade #friendsofhonor – I also post my businesshashtags here.

Travel – #tasteintravel #traveltuesday #travel #wanderlust #jetsetting #dametraveler

Dogs – #weeklyfluff #delight_pets #dogsofinstagram #inspiredbypets #mydogiscutest #petfancy #petstagram #instadog #doglover #dogs_of_instagram #instagramdogs #dogoftheday #ilovemydog #dogstagram #lovedogs

If you don’t know what any of these mean, ask in the comments, search Google, or better yet – search Instagram. Here’s a couple extra tips I recommend when using hashtags.

  • They go great in the first comment instead of the actual caption. That way if your posts are shared automatically from Instagram to things like Facebook and Twitter, they translate better because the first comment doesn’t come with them.
  • You don’t need to go out and overload your posts with tons of hashtags.
  • Instagram does have a limit to how many hashtags you can use on a post, so keep that in mind.
  • Use location based hashtags as well for where you’re at. You can search Instagram for popular hashtags that are local to your areas and start using them to reach more local clients!

If you want to learn more awesome behind the business stuff like this make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we’ll be giving out extra special discounts and a few free products only for subscribers this Winter. You can also join our Facebook group, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and even follow me on Pinterest where I love to pin social media, blogging, business, and photography tips from all over the web! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll need to head on over to your email after you hit the submit button here to confirm your subscription. If you don’t see a confirmation check your junk/spam!


Four Ways to Instagram for Your Brand


Happy Monday Awesomesaucers! I’m sure you’ve all seen that Instgram is rolling out some big changes, making it harder and harder to reach your audience. While change is hard, today I’m sharing three ways to Instagram for your brand, creating consistency and reaching your audience.

1.) Mix it Up – Only showing business posts can get boring, out of all the mediums, Instagram gives your audience the easiest access to you and your awesome personality. Post pictures of -gasp- yourself every few posts. Your feed doesn’t have to be non stop styled perfect everything, a mix of personal posts showing who you are and what you like PLUS images showing what you want to shoot is a great way to curate your brand beyond your website.

2.) Be Consistent – While it’s fun to go crazy with your personal posts, remember you are still building up your brand. Consistent editing of the photos you post will keep your Instagram feed clean, you can even try to use your branding color palate as inspiration, and stick to those colors. Try to be consistent with your posting day too, so you aren’t going weeks without new content.

3.) Know Your Message – Instagram’s not only to show your recent work, but to attract future clients. Once you know your message, use that to your advantage. As yourself, does this photo portray my message? If so, post it! If not, find another one that speaks to your ideal client. If your message is lets say, bright and fun, posting dark, super moody serious images isn’t helping you attract the type of client you want down the road. Pick two or three words that define your ideal client and use those as the threshold to what work gets posted online.

4.) Interact with Your Audience – Encourage questions, and spend a little bit of time each day commenting and replying to comments on Instagram. The more interaction you have, the more likely those people are going to see your photos in your feed (yes, sometimes you have to put the social in social media). The biggest thing that has helped this not take over my life has been turning off notifications (counter intuitive right? No….totally works!). I found I’m much more motivated to interact and schedule in 5-10 minutes to comment and reply to posters if I haven’t been seeing notifications all day long. Instagram should be fun, so don’t make it a chore!

While we have no control over Instagram’s features, we do have control over what content we create which will attract an audience that can help your brand. Get out there, take a selfie, and connect to your ideal client!

12 Tools to Rock Your Photography Business This Year

12 Tools to Rock Your Photography Business This YearDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means Photography Awesomesauce receives commission if you make a purchase using affiliate links.

Hey hey! Today I put together a list of some of my favorite tools I use to rock my photography business daily. Everything from gear related tools to business tools. If you’re really looking for a way to level up your business this year and take something that’s a weakness for you (maybe it’s social media) having the tools available to help you make it a strength can make a huge difference in your business.

I’m not saying you need to run out and buy all these things right now. Everyone has a budget for your business, but I strongly encourage each of you to sit down and figure out what you’re strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to business and how you can use one of these tools to make a weakness into a strength. I’ve always been a believer in investing in your business and looking at these types of purchases as an investment that lets me get my life back and do a better job for my clients.

  1. Fundy Designer – Fundy is an album design software program – primarily. The cool thing is that Fundy has also come out with software to help you design wall galleries for your clients, or to help you collage blog posts and more. If you’re going to invest in some software to automate processes like album design Fundy is simply the best there is out there.
  2. Pixifi – Pixifi is my favorite tool for studio management. I run all my contracts and payments digitally through Pixifi, but it also automates my client reminders and communications as well, which means I get to take back my life and let Pixifi do the hard work for me so I can enjoy more time with family or getting out and shooting!
  3. Made in the Lab – If you haven’t heard of my new business venture with my business partners, Rachael and Jason, then you need to get over and read all about it. Made in the Lab is a web design focused company. We’re dedicated to creating affordable website templates for creative business owners like photographers. If you need a professionally designed website but typically can’t afford all the high fees associated with purchasing a template to design one, well look no further. You can grab a template for only $60.
  4. Showit5 – Showit5 is a brand new website design platform geared specifically toward photographers. It’s all about simple drag and drop website creation, no need to know how to code! Right now Showit5 is invite only based, but you can grab an invite for free from Made in the Lab over here.
  5. Lens Flipper – The Lens Flipper might be my favorite new thing I’ve found at WPPI this past year! If you’re a photographer then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about when you want to switch lenses and you just don’t have enough hands, or a place to set down a lens to do it properly. The lens flipper is a little attachment cap so you don’t have to worry about swapping lenses and having extra hands. It’s so cool. I was able to use it at weddings already and I’m in love. It’s incredibly helpful for swapping out lenses on the go.
  6. Holdfast Moneymaker – I struggle a lot with neck and back problems so the Holdfast Moneymaker harness system is the best way ever for me to hold my cameras. Whether you shoot with two cameras at once, or one (you can attach a lens bag on the other side to even out the weight), it’s perfect for keeping your back happy and healthy. Plus you look badass.
  7. Shootproof – Photo CDs and USBs are out for me and I love delivering photos through digital download with Shootproof. If digital download isn’t your thing that’s okay too, you can still use them as an online proofing gallery and sell prints! There are tons of reasons I could go on about why I love Shootproof, but instead you can read about how Shootproof’s automated email system can help you sell more prints, 9 reasons Shootproof is the best, and this review about Shootproof. You can also take 25% off any annual plan on Shootproof if you use the code SWAILS25.
  8. Lens Rentals Membership – For $79 a year you can never pay shipping fees ever again from Lens Rentals. I’ve only rented a few times and it paid for itself multiple times over already. It can cost $25-50 per rental to ship, so if you plan on renting more than once a year – you already save money. Lens Rentals is also Lens Authority, a used gear sales shop. They are seriously my favorite place to buy used gear. Everything is in pristine condition and the customer service is out of this world.
  9. Professional Graphic Designer – If you’re not into templates for web design (as mentioned earlier) and you want something a little more custom then I highly recommend hiring a professional designer. I’m terrible at design myself, and having Rachael Earl on my team to custom design two websites for me this year (among other projects) has been one of the best investments in life ever. Professional design can go such a long way to making your business look professional. After all, if it doesn’t look like you invest in your business, you can’t expect your clients to as well.
  10. Coschedule – Struggle with blogging? Writing and scheduling posts in advance is an amazing way to keep up with blogging and take advantage of all its marketing benefits. One of the best ways to help me with scheduling is Coschedule. It’s a plugin for WordPress blogs that adds an editorial schedule, but most importantly, it adds a box under each blog post that allows you to schedule social media blasts in advance for after your post is scheduled to go live. It means you can automate the blogging process, write when it works best for you, and then not have to worry about remembering to post on social media about your blogs.
  11. Edgar – Speaking of social media scheduling tools, let me tell you about Edgar. Edgar is a bit pricey in terms of scheduling, but if social media is something you majorly struggle with – Edgar can also be a lifesaver. I would say it’s definitely one of the best investments I have spent in the last year. It’s a social media scheduling tool for Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Hootsuite, where you have to go in and schedule posts, Edgar allows you to create a huge library of updates and sort them into various categories. Then you can assign the categories to post at specific times of the week to specific accounts. So Edgar actually does the scheduling for you, by cycling through your library and then making the posts go live. Even though it seems pricey in terms of a monthly investment, it’s WAY cheaper than hiring a social media assistant and it makes your social media basically hands free.
  12. Schedugram – The only thing Edgar can’t do is schedule on Instagram. In fact, a lot of Instagram scheduling programs still don’t fully automate the process. They have to send a reminder to your phone to post something. You have to drop everything you’re doing to post it at the time you wanted it to go live and then who knows…you’re probably off track chasing down weird hashtags on Instagram.  Hours later you’ve lost tons of productive work time. Am I right? That’s where Schedugram is different, it schedules and fully automates the process for you, unlike Latergram. You just schedule everything by logging into your browser on your desktop and then voila – it takes care of Instagram for you and you get your editing done. Between this and Edgar, I do often feel like I’m spending a big investment on social media, but I can’t tell you enough how much I’ve also earned back from that investment in terms of followers, leads, and actual bookings…plus happier clients and a happier husband who I can actually spend time with! Here’s a blog post I wrote about Schedugram and how to actually automate your Instagram posts.

If you want to learn more awesome behind the business stuff like this make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we’ll be giving out extra special discounts and a few free products only for subscribers this Winter. You can also join our Facebook group, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and even follow me on Pinterest where I love to pin social media, blogging, business, and photography tips from all over the web! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll need to head on over to your email after you hit the submit button here to confirm your subscription. If you don’t see a confirmation check your junk/spam!