You have questions? Well I have answers.

I was inspired today by a photographer whose link I got from a forum I am a member of (thanks Nicole!). Her name is Joyce Smith, she is a talented child and family portrait photographer in Philadelphia and she has this awesome Photographer Q & A part of her blog. Answers specifically by, and for, photographers. Also, I have other pet photographer friends who have been so open about their backgrounds, businesses and technical processes, namely Grace Chon, who did an awesome post recently about shooting in natural light, and Mia Clapton, who did a very interesting and detailed post on composition. I have tried to do some of my own helpful posts that you will find in the ‘digital editing’ category, but haven’t felt like it’s enough. 

I get so many regular inquiries from photographers via email that I have stopped reading them. Christina knows when something comes in to answer it for me. If it looks like it needs my attention she will tell me about it. Although doing this has been wholly necessary for me to do my job and best serve my clients, it leaves me with strong feelings of guilt. Yes I have the workshops, but so often the questions are ones that are simple enough to answer, and I end up feeling like a horrible person that I can’t reply to them all (or, ahem, most, or, uh, any of them). So when I saw Joyce’s Q & A on her site, I thought “having that would help me”. Not just to help assuage my guilt, but, more importantly (hopefully) help all of the poor photographers out there who contact me seeking advice, only to be greeted with a sweet, but entirely unhelpful email from my assistant. Now she can send them to the page instead. Ha! Kidding! (sort of). hee hee…

So I present to you my very own Photographer Q & A, shamelessly stolen from Joyce Smith. But with my answers of course. If you are a photographer and have a question of your own feel free to leave it in the comments section here. As you can see by the Q & A, I am pretty open and don’t have anything to hide. Hope this helps somebody out there! 🙂

Cowbelly Photographer Q & A

(woops! I updated the link above- it works now. In the future you can find the Q + A link in the menu above)

Also, while we are on the topic, I am not looking for a 2nd assistant. But thanks for asking anyway! 

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January 26, 2009 - 12:43 pm

haley - OMG. Thank you.

January 26, 2009 - 12:46 pm

lin - Awesome read through. Thanks for taking the time to put the Q&A together!

January 26, 2009 - 1:03 pm

Grace - Awesome FAQs. Thanks for the shout out!

January 26, 2009 - 3:54 pm

Melissa - These are awesome Q&As, Jamie! You’ve inspired me to try to market myself more (among working full time at an office, going to vet tech school, and everything else dog-related) and try to make more of a “go” of my little dog photography business. I would love to know more (if you’re willing to share) about making the transition to owning your full-time business and being the sole bread-winner. Most of the time I just don’t see how I could do it.

January 26, 2009 - 5:20 pm

nick - Thanks for sharing it all 🙂 I am currently temped to buy either a 135/2 L or a 24-70 to go with my new(third-hand) 5D now heh.. And yes i wholeheartedly agree that once you go full frame you dont ever want to go back. I upgraded from a Rebel XT and it was like WHOA…

January 26, 2009 - 8:12 pm

Jamie 'Cowbelly' - Thank you guys, and you are so welcome. @Melissa, I think I understand your situation after reading your blog last week- you have A LOT going on girlfriend! I am happy to talk more about transitioning to full time. Do you have a specific question or do you just want me to talk about how and when and why I went to full time? What that experience was like? In a word, scary! I will do another Q/A on the Q/A page for it. @Nick- get the 24-70, you won’t regret it! If you change your mind, you can always sell it, that lens is a hot commodity. And welcome to the 5D club, you must love it! 🙂

January 27, 2009 - 9:16 am

Melissa - Hi, Jamie – yeah I am just curious about all of it I guess – I feel a little trapped and comfortable in my day job ‘cuz it pays the bills, yet working for myself doing what I love is where my heart needs to be I think. I just can’t make the leap in my head, and I think to myself if I can just stay in the job long enough to graduate VT school…oh but that pains me since I probably won’t graduate till end of 2011! Thanks for all your advice and sharing your experiences with everyone. It helps probably more than you know.

January 27, 2009 - 10:08 am

Becky - I’m glad to hear I’ve inspired another question…curious to see what it is! I did think of a couple other questions for you…1)In general, how do you feel about selling cds/dvds of high res images to clients? (I think I might know the answer, but I thought I’d ask.) 2) (This one’s a little more deep.) One of the [many] things I’ve contemplated lately is whether or not it is a good idea to start a “luxury business” during a much-talked-about recession. Any thoughts?

January 27, 2009 - 11:28 am

Jill - Thanks for this! 🙂

January 27, 2009 - 11:54 am

Pammy - Joyce Smith is a sweetheart. But so are you to disclose such interesting facts about yourself! I learn something new about you all the time.

January 28, 2009 - 7:41 am

Simon - Very interesting…I have to say the 1DS Mk3 is an odd choice for your kind of work IMO. The D700’s 51 point 3D Tracking AF is in a different universe to Canon’s dude, seriously! And it’s about 1/3 of the price. 21mp RAW’s X 350 shots…rather you than me PP’ing and storing those. Try a D700 for a couple of days and see what you think before spending a zillion dollars on a huuuuuge, inferior camera (for action). Just my opinion…I sold my Canon gear and switched when it became obvious that Nikon were making my perfect camera and Canon weren’t.

January 28, 2009 - 3:32 pm

Emilee - Thanks for taking the time to write this and share all of this great info, Jamie! Awesome! 😀

February 3, 2009 - 7:30 am

Joyce - I just got home from vacation and saw this in my stats. Thank you so very much for the kind words! I can’t wait to read your Q&A, as I’m hoping to add more doggie sessions to my books this spring and LOVE your work. Thanks for the inspiration!

May 9, 2009 - 4:36 pm

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