Editing Photos

      I’ve been doing this work for a couple of years now, and as such I’ve developed a process for editing and selecting photos. Indeed, I hope that one of our biggest draws to our company is our editing styles.

      While I am most often pleased with my work, there are always specific photos or shoots where I feel that my style suffers, or because of lighting/colour of the shoot itself, the way I usually edit does not work. One of the biggest problems I run into when colour correcting is trying to do the same thing on images where that clearly is not going to work. What I need to do, and what I am always trying to do, is have a more fluid style, that I can apply to a wider set of images.

      Consistency is key, especially when building a portfolio, but for stock photography consistency can also be a problem. Something I’ve come to learn over time is this: rigidity will not be rewarded. For example, say we have an outdoor shoot on a summer day. In that case I will try for a radiant, sunny look, and I’ll want everything to look more washed out, brighter than the typical clear, bold, and full look I am often trying for.

      Another example are athletic/exercise photos. These types of photos can mean something totally different depending on the editing style. A person stretching before a run with a lens flare that looks bright and sunny has a totally different meaning (and more importantly, a totally different commercial use) than that same photo edited to look much darker, with lots of contrast and shadow.

      Variety is important when selling images, especially on stock websites. With stock, every potential customer is looking for something different. What is perfect for one designer is not right at all for another. Therefore, you’re looking to create a variety of images to hopefully have enough content that makes many customers say “That’s exactly what I’m looking for!” to the different images you have.

      In that same vein, being in a partnership is excellent for the development of our editing style. What Katey does and what I do look notably different, and that’s great because not everyone will love everything we do. As mentioned above, this allows us to create content that is useful to a wider array of customers. Further, it allows us to constantly give each other feedback, and to more quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.

      Editing is tricky, and it takes a long time to be content and comfortable with a consistent style. I’m very happy with how most of my editing turns out these days, but it took me a long time to get here. Feedback is critical because it can be hard to see what you’re doing wrong, and you need to get that feedback before you develop too many bad editing habits. Researching trending styles and different techniques is equally important. Those are the two tools I’ve used, feedback and research.

      Both Katey and myself have a lot to learn in regards to editing and recolouring images, and hopefully our style will consistently be good while constantly changing and updating.

Thanks for reading,
Wes

Difficulties Starting a Business

Screenshot 2018-03-24 07.30.04

      Starting a business is tough, and anyone who has done so can attest to that. There are heaps and heaps of doubt, fear, and confusion. Here I’m going to write a little about the difficulties of starting a business from our experience, but ultimately why it’s worth it and what keeps us going.

      The uncertainty that your business model will work is scary and will continue to haunt you at the beginning, but for Katey and myself we have to believe that our combined 3+ years of experience and knowledge in the field will get us to where we want to be. The partnership helps immensely, without that other person to keep you accountable while also being supportive of your end goals, it would be easy to become lazy or stop believing in yourself. That is why you need someone else to believe in you, and why they need you to believe in them.

      To make matters worse, your personal doubt will likely echoed by anyone who doesn’t believe in you or your business, or more specifically, thinks you should be committing to a more stable job instead of going your own way. I feel that is the worst because it often comes from a genuine kind place of concern, but makes you feel much more terrible than you already do. As if anyone serious about starting a business needs to feel more unsure of what they’re doing.

      Starting any business will always involve some sort of risk, most often large financial risk, and that leads to a lot of fear. This fear can make you back out, be hesitant to growth, and make it harder to persevere. That fear is a good response, and definitely helps keep your expenses realistic, but it can also be limiting. In our experience it’s always a balance of needs versus wants which evolves over time. At the beginning our needs seemed clear, but now some of our wants are becoming needs if we want to expand our quality and type of products.

      I never pictured myself as becoming a business owner, and I don’t see myself as a photographer either. Not that either are labels I disagree with, because I am definitely, professionally both. Instead, I simply just see myself doing the work I’m doing, and I believe and trust that the end results will pay off, while I get to do work that I care about and know that I am good at.

      You have to be your own pillar of self confidence to lean on, look at the facts that you know about your abilities and your field/market, and if you and your business model are smart, adaptive, consistent, and patient, I believe that anyone’s business can take off. That is what makes the stress and uncertainty worth it.

Thanks for reading,
Wes

Winter Couple Session

March has rolled around and I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m pretty done with snow that just keeps coming back. Bring on the sunshine and weather that doesn’t require a minimum of 4 layers, please!

That being said, there are parts of winter that I can definitely handle. As much as snow is cold and wet and uncomfortable, I definitely can’t fault its looks. I love the way it piles up on tree branches and on the select sunny days, it glitters in the sun like fields of diamonds.

The session with this couple and their handsome dog was on one of those days that makes it hard to hate the snow, and to be honest the way they look at each other makes it hard for any setting to seem anything but perfect. We wandered around in their favourite places to walk, stopping at the top of a hill, below a gorgeous snowy canopy, and next to a group of snow-kissed pines. Henry the golden retriever raced and rolled through the familiar trees, to him this was just a regular walk with an extra person tagging along. 

As a photographer I often worry about all sorts of things that go into a good photo shoot – lighting, weather, composition, wardrobe, location. But at the end of the day, photos are about getting as close to capturing as many emotions within a split second as you can, and for that you only need two people and the mountain of love they have for each other.

~ Katey
Winter Couple Pinterest

Choosing a Name for your Company

We have always loved Peterborough, both myself and my business partner have spent most of our lives here and have grown up here. While many of our friends have moved away from Peterborough, both Katey and myself made the decision a long time ago to stay here and thrive, to prosper in the city and surrounding area that we both hold so dear.

When we were trying to come up with a name for our company, we really wanted something that said “Peterborough” while also maintaining a name that sounded more universal, that is, not specific to just the city of Peterborough. We wanted this duality in the meaning behind our name because we offer client photography, something very local and close to us, while also shooting stock photography, a worldwide market, and our company has seen that already by having sales across the globe.

We also wanted something that sounded unique, that was not specifically “Peterborough Client and Stock Photography”, but when people heard it, it was kind of obvious the type of style our company was going for.

It is difficult to choose a name for your company, it’s one of the first things you do, but is likely to be permanent for the entire duration for your business. In a way, that is very odd, because it is hard to say what name might be the best suited to your business before you even start it.

We had a few brainstorming sessions, and came up with a few possibilities. We tried to come up with something that included little lake, the clocktower, the lift locks, etc… but nothing really stuck. We had a few other ideas that sounded okay but after a few days we stopped liking. Eventually, we came up with Little City Lifestyle Photography, almost an oxymoron, a cute but descriptive name that said everything we wanted to say.

Thanks for reading,
Wes