5 Photo RULES You DON’T know About | Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy

5 Photo RULES You DON’T know About | Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy


All right we’re driving to the city today. Look mom…. no hands! This is my first series of ten videos… this is gonna be like your marketing course… as a photographer, really as a small business owner… even if you’re not an actual photographer… you’re a creative of any kind… this next ten weeks that I’m doing for you… buckle down, you were gonna learn some stuff… let me tell you… leave your butt’s at the door, and I don’t mean it your derriere, I mean your rebuttals…. your job is not to search for what you can’t do, your job is to find what you can do. I need you in the comments of these videos to tell me what you’re doing, what’s working for you, and tell me when it’s not working for you… because I’m gonna read these comments, get in there with you, and give you other suggestions when things that I’ve said aren’t working for you. So we’re gonna do this together let’s go… So five wedding rules that you probably don’t know about… Number 1 – Know when to shut up.. I’ve had a lot of assistants or second shooters… they just didn’t know when to shut up, and it became awkward… because they just kept talking, and everything was like ooohh and ahhhh and it’s beautiful… and oh my gosh…. it’s like read the room… don’t suggest photo ideas… lighting poses anything like that to the main photographer while you are in front of a client… all right the second wedding rule can help you whenever you’re working with other human beings… you have to understand their style… now for me it’s all about weddings… so my goal is to understand their relationship style and I only figure this out because I wildly failed at it once… I was shooting an engagement session and the whole engagement session they were like kind of stiff… I wasn’t really getting to them… and then the last 10 minutes naturally of the engagement session it’s like I finally found them, and finally found who they were, and I turn to my assistant afterward I said you know what Shane… that was my fault, and it was it was my fault, I realized I didn’t take the time to get to know them ahead of time, and don’t like get me wrong here I am NOT to have 16 dinners with my couples before I shoot their wedding… and I know a lot of photographers are like that… and that’s great, but there are ways that you can get to know your clients very simply. I send them a five question survey… that’s a week or two before shoot… I say what’s your typical date night look like? Tell me something that you like about your spouse or your significant other, what side of your relationship do you want to capture… Since then I am so much better at pulling emotion, and pulling the right kind of relationship style out of my clients. As photographers you know we have a style and sometimes we perceive our clients as being one thing, or the other… but it’s no good.. if your couple is fun and quirky and you’re trying to get them in like romantic poses, I don’t care how good at posing you are, if they are naturally more of a fun-loving wild couple, and you’re trying to get them in these like you know sensual moments together.. it’s just not gonna look natural. It might even look natural… but then when they look at the photos later they’re gonna look at them and not connect to them… because that’s not them, it’s not their relationship style. That is a huge rule for me. You have to know your couples style, Rule number 3…. repeatedly ask your clients what they want… this is huge! And the reason I know about this… I’m going to tell you story number two.. is a recent wedding that I photographed, and I just failed miserably at getting a specific photo that the bride wanted… now granted… I didn’t know she wanted it and I did a similar photo… but with a different pose variation, it just wasn’t what she wanted, and you know what ultimately that kind of thing could have been avoided… if you know obviously … 1….she would’ve told me what she wanted but 2. if I had just kept asking.. ‘Hey is there anything else you want?’ Is there a specific type of pose… even on the job, I sent all those questionnaire… a special shot request list, but communicating during the shoot and continued asking will save you a ton of aggravation.. and guilt, and sleepless nights over the fact that I can’t create this shot that this poor bride just wants so badly. Tell me in the comments… I want to know if you have ever missed a shot on a job… and tell me what it was… tell me how you rectified the situation with your client… With weddings I can’t rectify it by shooting it again… but I’m trying to rectify it by you know going above beyond, just anything they can do to make up for it, and really the last I left it was… you know what can I do like tell me what I could do… but you guys tell me in the comments, I want to know if you’ve ever missed a shot on the shoot and how you rectified that situation… all right… number 4 and don’t shoot the messenger… you need to dress better on jobs… I’m not saying every job depending on what type of photography you’re doing you know you need to be comfortable… you need to be in durable gear, but if you’re shooting events, weddings, you need to step up how you look.. I hated this when I first started, I was like no, but this is not my brand, my brand is like bright colorful… Why are you making me wear all black at these weddings.. and I actually got in fights with maitre d’s at wedding halls in front of the mother of the bride’s, about what I was wearing… embarrassing… you know what, just dress nicer alright.. and I know it can be hard, especially for us ladies, with you know the types of shoes that we wear, and things like that but just dress a step ahead, because think about this… every other person at that event is a potential client, so when you are shooting an event it’s like a first interview with a potential client… it’s like a consultation, it’s the first time they’ve seen you work, they may have an event coming up, so dress more appropriately… Dressed 50% better than you think you’re supposed to, because you know… quite frankly, by the end of the day… we look 300% more crappy because we’ve really been through it.. by the end of an event.. Just a side note by the way guys about shoes… people ask me this all the time or for all-day weddings the key is not which shoe is perfect.. the key is having multiple shoes that brings me to my fifth point though… that your goal at a wedding, or any job is to play up to everyone. One of the most annoying things to me is when like Grandma is on the dance floor, and I’ve been photographing it for the past 15 minutes, and the guests come up and their like… ‘That’s the brides Grandma… did you photograph that yet? But the truth is you have to play to everyone. You have to be like ‘yes.. oh my gosh isn’t this amazing… Maybe not that totally campy and cheesy.. but those people… like we were saying about you know dressing up, like that’s your next client, that’s your mini interview. Especially with like bridal party and family members. They are going to remember how you were during those annoying family photos. During you know, when the whole entire bridal party is drunk. They will remember how you are, smile, play everyone, because they are all watching you, and they’re going to remember this when it’s time for them to hire a photographer. All right so that’s five wedding rules that you didn’t know about! They actually aren’t even wedding rules, they’re just kind of photography rules… professional rules. So much of what we do as photographers… and why we succeed, or why we don’t, have to do with how you’re perceived as a human being. So over the next nine weeks… we’re going to talk about things like.. how to find your first client. How to start a wedding photography business from scratch? Networking marketing… we’ve got tons… I’ve got tons of stuff for you, and lots of guest appearances.. so you’re not just hearing from me, you’re hearing from other photographers, and other genres outside of weddings… so I’m excited join me for the ride! Quite literally we’ll be walking through New York City, it’s gonna be a lot fun. Thanks for joining me on this 10-week marketing course here on AdoramaTV. Make sure you subscribe… hit the bell so you don’t miss a thing… don’t forget to leave comments. Tell me how these things are working for you… or aren’t working for you… and I will do my best to answer them, give you new suggestions, and really follow along this entire course… so leave a comment hold the hate cuz very frankly you’re somebody that I don’t know and you’re taking shots at me like it’s patron… ain’t trying to mess with your self-expression but I learned a lesson that’s dressing and obsessing about somebody else is no fun!

45 thoughts on “5 Photo RULES You DON’T know About | Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy

  • September 20, 2019 at 2:05 pm
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    Why is wedding and newborn photography dominated by women shooters? Is it because as men we're creepy?

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:09 pm
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    What’s not working for me is listening to unsuccessful photographer’s preach about how to be successful. If you don’t bring in between 100k to 200k in straight photography sales. Why should we listen to you? Show us your tax returns, last years client list? Your sold advertising work. Any proof is good.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:09 pm
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    So … the photo shoot is about… mmm … them…. and not about you and what you want ????? 0.o

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:12 pm
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    Looking for great things…. love your videos. I'll be watching, that's for sure.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:24 pm
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    Looking forward to it!

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:27 pm
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    I have been very successful with word of mouth, but Instagram and Facebook marketing seems to have very good results. Can’t wait to learn more about it. Keep these amazing materials rolling. 👌🏽

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:28 pm
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    Rule number 6 don’t drive around in a car when you are explaining things to your audience – Other than that very helpful video 😉

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:29 pm
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    I would like to know when you receivce an email from a client. Requesting information and/or rates. Do you need to reply immediately or take 5 to 10 minutes?

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:38 pm
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    Awesome closing!
    Thank you for your generosity!

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:39 pm
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    If you were a professional you would know this is not how you record a video for your viewers. You know nothing about presentation. This is why nobody takes YouTubers seriously. I'd give you a lesson on how to present yourself in front of a camera but you seem too stupid.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm
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    I’ve used a lot of word of mouth but it feels like it’s time to start branching out! Looking forward to this series!

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm
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    LOL at the T Swift reference!

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  • September 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm
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    Question about dress: I’m a male photographer in early 60’s. My typical attire is nice shoes, dress slacks, light button down shirt and sport coat. To go up 50% I should be in a suit and tie minimum. Is that the expectation you think we should go to (suit) or is my normal attire (business casual ok)? Thanks!

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:01 pm
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    Word of mouth is definitely the best for business- however, HOW to get that word of mouth is a struggle! Social media always helps too 🙂

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm
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    What should a photographer charge for their first paying job?

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm
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    Thank you, Vanessa!!! I'm just starting. I'm sure these rules can transfer over to what I do. I have to say for number 4, when I go to the animal shelter, I have to do the opposite. I need to dress down because I deal with lots of fur, low shots, drool and possibly some accidents, LOL

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:06 pm
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    at the beginning of the video, like what you said about don't search for what you can't do, search for what you can do. had one of those earlier this year. i had always thought of me a wedding photographer, but after shooting a few weddings, and shot this portrait of their (at the time in May, 3 months old, now 7 months going 8, image not posted to my public page) wedding photography is not my cup of tea. ohhhh, man….marketing to me is like (show in emojis) 😬👎😬😬😬👎👎👎i almost had another client. she was a bridesmaid from the wedding i had done few years ago and she made the comment ' i think i want her as the photographer' some times goes by and i didn't hear anything. so i almost had one, but guess they brought in a different photographer.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:07 pm
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    I only shoot for my enjoyment now (mostly) and try my utmost to avoid people in my own work!. BUT your right about playing up to everyone in an event, including the event staff
    get the staff happy, leave a card and you never know they might just point people your way too. As a guy it was always black pants, white shirt and a tie, slip in padded insoles for the shoes. Ah the good old days running around London looking for interesting and unusual
    spots to shoot in. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.

    Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:19 pm
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    Hey Vanessa, great video! Thumbs up.

    Thanks for sharing some stories from your experience, you can never go wrong with those. Always helpful!

    This was like one of those always great Daniel Norton Front Porch Chat videos, except with a slightly increased chance of accidentally smashing into the back of a semi that had to brake real fast. 🙂

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:41 pm
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    Looking forward to the ride :{))) Though I've several roadblocks to overcome first, homelessness and a broken camera. You can believe that I'll be indulging every word, for there's currently no where else to go, but UP!!!

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  • September 20, 2019 at 3:46 pm
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    Thanks Vanessa, I am now more interested in business side of things than I am the gear. So this is helpful

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  • September 20, 2019 at 4:07 pm
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    Looking forward to the rest of the series. As an old guy, weddings call for my suit and tie, out of respect for this occasion, nominally to celebrate a once in a lifetime experience. The help should not dress in disrespectful ways, nor stand out in any way.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 4:25 pm
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    Like, like, like, like, I'm like gone.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 4:27 pm
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    A missed shot. I was photographing a wedding and I didn't know that after the Bride and Groom were "pronounced" and they kissed that they were going to do a high five. I was walking away down the aisle when they did that. I have always regretted that I didn't get that moment. I was forgiven but I learned from that mistake.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 4:53 pm
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    Marketing. So damn hard. Looking forward to watching this series V. Thank you.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm
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    Loved the video. Hit me directly between eyes about dressing better.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:10 pm
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    My marketing has been limited to my website, business cards, and word of mouth. Trying to learn social media but have been afraid to start.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm
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    Distracted driving is always good advice!

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:26 pm
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    MISSED SHOTS BEFORE and had questionnaires with specific questions asking about photos they would want. Sometimes it ends up being the mother or sister wanted a specific shot like a "generation shot" and since it wasn't discussed and not on the radar for that evening, it got missed and somehow BECOMES important because the sister planted that seed and now everyone is like "well yeah, he SHOULD have gotten it" I have other examples but most are specific shots, now I try to ask about generation shots (learned that lesson) but do you have a shot list for "unique shots" that may have come up for you?

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:29 pm
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    I’m in a high saturated market. How do I get my name out? I have some business but not enough for full time. Help.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:31 pm
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    Currently I consider myself a "Professional Amateur"; I do Church events and family/friends; not ready yet for business but I'm hoping with more time I'll feel confident on what I'm learning and take the leap. Currently when I "miss" a shot I'm the only one that gets upset. Looking forward to learning from you.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:42 pm
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    Excellent, Vanessa! This will be fun to watch and learn from.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    Driving with both hands on the steering wheel should be number one on your list. You may not get to the wedding shoot otherwise. Safety first ! Great vid otherwise.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 6:07 pm
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    Great information! Thank you!
    I need better shoes! Haha

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  • September 20, 2019 at 6:27 pm
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    Thanks for your thoughts but, sometimes less (talk) is more. Include a pause between key sentence's. Trying to be constructive here 😊😊

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  • September 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm
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    GREAT Advice Vanessa..Looking forward to the series

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  • September 20, 2019 at 7:23 pm
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    Great inside info. TY Vanessa :o)

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  • September 20, 2019 at 8:34 pm
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    Word of mouth has been the only thing that worked for me. I've tried:

    – Facebook (FB) Ads;
    – WeddingWire.com

    – The Knot.com
    – Instagram ads

    I maybe got one person through the FB ads–and that was only because I was available as the couple had to make last minute changes to their weddings plans.

    So, again, word of mouth has worked best for me .Everything else has been pretty much a goose egg.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 10:58 pm
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    I missed a shoot of a mother with her child in a first communion session. She had three children and two had received their first communion together. I've offered to shoot her with each of those two children, but I didn't check the list of photographs to make and forgot to shoot her with her son. I told her and set another date for just that photo. They had to make up and brush her hair and everything for that second shoot. It was really embarrassing for me, not professional.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 11:08 pm
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    Good information, not so good video, driving was so distracting, road noise, odd head movements, kind of left a disrespectful feeling as the viewer, real bad example of safety. Was good information, just odd delivery, very nice closing remarks!

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  • September 21, 2019 at 12:16 am
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    Looking forward to this. I’m not a wedding photographer more of a generalist who would like to be more specialized. So I suppose I’m struggling with what that looks like. I’m curious how others sort of determine their specialties. Also, you sounded great… lol.

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  • September 21, 2019 at 12:54 am
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    Great info, and yes, beyond just wedding events. Dress appropriately and yes, we ARE advertising. Many guests may only see us once…just once and what they see is what's going to stay with them the longest. We can produce OUTSTANDING AND EPIC SHOTS….however, if only the wedding party sees those images and that potential client (guest at the ceremony) does not, guess what that guest is going to go by? How you look….how you interact (or not)….how you present yourself and…and…remember WE are representing our employer (THE WEDDING PARTY). We are a direct reflection on them and their taste in choosing a pro to entrust their once in a lifetime images to. WE owe it to them, ourselves and those in attendance to give them the very best of us; appearance (no…not a tux…come on…but decent and presentable. WASH and comb your damn hair…put some cologne on….BATH before the event, you know….look and smell like you give a damn!!). I just shot a wedding last weekend and the bride's response was, "Our guests LOVED you!! They loved your interaction with everyone". And this we from guests who ONLY saw me shooting…nothing else. Now, when they look for an event photographer or portraits or headshot photographer….guess who they're going to recall seeing that they liked???! There ya go!!

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  • September 21, 2019 at 1:10 am
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    Thank you for sharing your tips to make us better photographers!!!

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  • September 21, 2019 at 2:29 am
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    Word of mouth has been my best source for leads. My website occasionally brings in leads, usually pending when I get a bunch of reviews on Google and I get an SEO boost. Instagram has been useless and Facebook has gotten me a few leads when I’ve run ads for free shoots to build my portfolio. Excited for this course!

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  • September 21, 2019 at 2:48 am
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    Vanessa, I hope you don't mind me asking, but what is the meaning of the tatoo on your arm? Great video as always. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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