My Top 5 iPhone Apps for Photography

Whether you are in the photography business, or just simply want a way to improve your iPhone pictures, I am here to share with you my top 5 iPhone apps that I personally use almost EVERYDAY as a photographer. My picks go from apps you can use to edit better iPhone pictures, create incredible Instagram stories, and even manage your photography business on the go. Let’s get started!

1. Lightroom Mobile

Photo Edited with Lightroom Mobile app

Photo Edited with Lightroom Mobile app

This one might be obvious to some, but you would be surprised at how many people still use VSCO to edit pictures on the go when they don’t have their laptop handy or might be out of town. If you are a photographer who uses Lightroom frequently you can sync you Lightroom account to your Lightroom Mobile app, and edit pictures just how you would on your laptop at home. Lightroom mobile offers almost all of the same features as your desktop Lightroom might, and best of all, IT’S FREE.

This last month I went to California, and I decided to leave my laptop at home. Of course while we were there we were shooting and taking a lot of pictures. As soon as we got home for the night, I used my cameras wifi capability to directly send images from the day to my iPhone, and from there I edited the pictures on my Lightroom Mobile app.

2. Unfold

I get asked sometimes what apps I use for my Instagram Stories. Another wildly popular app that I absolutely love is Unfold. I like to use it when I want to post several images from a gallery to my Instagram story without over-posting. Some of the templates require a small purchase, but I love being able to compress my images into one single post!

Another thing I like to use unfold for is when I want to promote a specific service, or tell a story. Unfold has multiple fonts and a lot of different features to layer, collage, and make your story posts unique and eye-catching.

3. Canva

Mood board created using Canva

Mood board created using Canva

What if I told you I designed my business card, and had it printed and sent to my house all from my iPhone? Canva allowed me to do just that. I go to Canva for almost all of my design needs. Personally I have used it to create invitations, my wedding pricing guide, mood boards for styled shoots, and my business card. You can also use Canva to create logos, unique Instagram stories, flyers, posters, presentations, brochures, and resumes that stand out.

Canva is free to use and very simple if you are too afraid to dive into photoshop, or short on time.

4. UNUM

People are more likely to follow an Instagram feed that is pleasing to the eye. UNUM is the app I use to plan my Instagram feed, and ultimately make Instagram an easier task on my to-do list. I have been using UNUM for my Instagram feed since I was in high school. I have always been OCD about the colors on my Instagram feed and how cohesive everything looks. UNUM makes it easy to move around images to find out which pattern best fits your desired aesthetic.

Not only does UNUM allow you to plan how your feed works, you can also caption photos, and schedule times to post. That way, when it is time to post you already have your post ready and all you need is one simple click. Another feature I love about UNUM is that they share analytics from your past 20 posts. UNUM lets you know your best hashtags used based on engagement, the best times to post, and your top posts based on engagement.

5. HoneyBook

HoneyBook is a business management program that changed the game for my photography business. Everything from calendars, bookkeeping, contracts, invoices and email templates are all in one place. My favorite thing about Honeybook is their iPhone app. With their iPhone app I can easily send proposals, contracts, invoices and emails all from my phone. If you aren’t already using HoneyBook in your business, send me a quick email and I would love to give you more information on HoneyBook as a whole and the benefits of using it. HoneyBook is a monthly subscription, and worth the investment. If you are on the fence because of the investment, I would like to offer you 50% HoneyBook for entire year with my personal discount.

Follow this link to get the 50% off for a year.

http://share.honeybook.com/jessalyn94536

The Price of a Photographer

I’m here to talk about something that not many photographers will tell you about in the business. It’s awkward, and it’s weird. MONEY. PRICING. EXPENSES. Those are just a few words that constantly rack my brain. Have you ever wondered why professional photography is such a big investment? I mean I admit it, my prices used to be a lot lower because I could not justify raising them. It is not until I went full time that I understood the true price of running a business, and STAYING in business. I used to throw around discounts and low numbers because I couldn’t imagine paying more than $100 for a session. For what? A few pictures with fancy edits?

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I know there are many other people out there who think the same way that I used to think. Photographers, don’t stop reading. This post is for you guys too. I know how hard it is to price your worth and become comfortable with people paying you for your talents. Until you REALLY understand the true price of a photographer, you may always have this mindset. No worries, I am here to lay it all out in the open for you guys, and get real vulnerable while doing it.

When I decided to go full time, it took months to prepare. I worked another full time job at Sally’s in order to buy new gear, new EVERYTHING I completely revamped. Even though I was doing all these things to prepare myself for my new job, there was always one thing I could not get around to doing. Pricing, and the investment I expect others to pay for my work. On slow days at work I would sit in the back room writing in my notebook all my expenses I would have to take into consideration before coming up with a single number. Knowing it would be a a lot easier to just write a random number on my website and call it good, I still sat down and did the math, because I wanted my prices to be honest, and make sense. These are the things I took into consideration.

Cost per hour

Transportation

Average Assets

Average Monthly Fees/ Expenses

How many Photos I give back $/Photo

Taxes

Emergency Savings

With all these factors I did the math, plugged in numbers and created a formula, to accurately price my work. I’m sure other photographers do their pricing similarly. The number you see on a pricing guide, is not the amount a photographer pockets. Not even close. In fact, to get extra vulnerable with you, I added up my monthly average cost of living, and I pay myself twice a month in order to fit my needs. That is it.

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I know there are price shoppers out there, and that is okay. Photographers understand that it is an investment, but I also know they are usually open to working with budgets, and many offer payment plans. Before you ghost another wedding photographer, I want you to know this one simple thing. Whoever you hire, is going to be super stoked. I get super excited and grateful every time someone says, “Hey Jessa, we would LOVE to book with you!” I get excited because I get to meet new people/ friends and be a big part of a huge milestone in a couples life, I truly LOVE the people who book with me. I always have the biggest smile on my face when editing wedding pictures because I can physically feel the joy radiating from the images. I say grateful because it allows me to do more of what I am passionate about everyday. You’re booking allows me to pay my bills, upgrade my gear, and improve my business. Most of all it allows me to live. Think of it this way, every photographer you ghost, is a broken heart. Even if you don’t wish to book after receiving the pricing guide, a polite, “ thank you, we will get back to you!” is very much appreciated. The Photographer took the time to reply to you with a heartfelt message, and send you their pricing guide. There is a real person on the other side of the email waiting for a reply, and when you don’t they sit in anguish for at least a year wondering what they did wrong!

Being a photographer is just as expensive as you would think, and its 10x harder than what you think. There are countless sleepless nights, and hard worked days just to serve you. In this business photographers wear many hats. When I went full time, suddenly I became a blogger (LOL), social media marketer, business owner, accountant, and a website designer. Those are just a few of my roles through out my work day. I only spend about 15% my job doing what I actually came here to do, photograph beautiful people and places.

Next time you hop on a photographers website and wonder what gives us the audacity to charge so much for our work, I hope you remember this blog post. We aren’t just greedy people with cameras pocketing every penny. Photographers are real people, trying to pay their bills just like you.

Style Guide: Seniors

The time has finally come. Graduation is just around the corner, and if you are like how I was as a senior, you just can’t wait to get out into the open world and experience life outside of high school. On the other hand you might not know how you feel about this big grand adventure you’re about to embark on , but HEY at least you can look good while doing it!

Now that you have your senior session booked, what on earth are you supposed to wear? I get a lot of questions about this around this time of year, and while I am not Amber Fillerup Clark, I know a thing or two about trends, and what type of colors/looks look best on camera. All the things you need to know about styling your senior session will be condensed into this blog post, including my favorite places to shop for a perfect spring wardrobe!

Flowers, Blossoms, and Greenery

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A hot spot this spring ( and every spring) is The Capitol Building in downtown Salt Lake City. If you want hills of green, flowers, and cherry blossoms, this is the place to go. There are also many surrounding areas such as Memory Grove Park with great photo opportunities. The blossoms at The Capitol Building pull very light pink in the background, and the gravel on the ground is light gray. Because of this the subject ( you ) can easily blend into the background if you wear whites, grays, pale pinks and reds. Especially if you have blonde or light colored hair. A color that will stand out and pop in a location like this is a navy blue or denim blue. Stay away from big busy patterns and don’t be afraid to layer!

Some locations have a lot of flowers, trees, branches and other distracting elements. I love pictures with any sort of flower, but any time you take pictures with a busy background, avoid big patterns and loud pieces. Anything that would distract from your pretty face is a no-go. Instead of patterns, go for texture, frills, or pretty details. I like anything light and airy when it comes to this type of location. I recommend a white or neutral colored blouse or dress with lace details, or even a yellow or red jumpsuit, sweater or dress.

Shooting in greenery is easy. Almost anything goes with green. My absolute favorite color to pair with green scenery is reds and pinks. They pop and show`` really well in a green setting.

Below are my favorite spring trends, with colors and styles that would fit perfectly for your outdoor senior session.

Urban Settings

Street style has become one of my favorite styles to shoot. I love the edgy pieces that are in style right now. The pieces linked below would work perfect for shooting around downtown Salt Lake City, an open field, or an indoor studio.

Full Time Baby

Customer after customer, hour after hour. A job in retail sales can really put a damper on someones boss babe vibes. SO I QUIT!

No it wasn’t irrational for me to quit my retail job to become a “photographer”. I already am a photographer. Am I scared to go full time and throw myself into the unknown? YES. But if other people can do it, why can’t I?

I remember the day I decided that I wanted to take my photography full time. I was sitting on Indeed ( you know, the job hunting website that FLOODS your email inbox). I desperately wanted a change. I wasn’t learning and there was no room for growth in the position I was in at my current job. I sat and felt stuck. So help me if I had to work at another call center, retail store or carwash ever again I WOULD LOSE MY MIND. Keep in mind that at this point I’m at the awkward stage of not knowing what the heck I want to do with my life. The more I sat scrolling through jobs the more I realized, I had something I loved doing. I did it all the time, and it was something that could fulfill me and give me purpose. For once in my life it all clicked and I decided to go for it!

Once I made my mind up that I would become a full time photographer, I have been working non-stop ever since. I am living the dream, and doing all of the things I never imagined myself doing. I love to create and all this hard work is paying off my friends. After months of preparation, growth, and a passion, I finally found myself in a position to put my two weeks in at my current job and say “CATCH YOU ON THE FLIPPITY FLIP!” Let me tell you it feels SO GOOD.

I’m not telling you this so you will all think I’m some successful woman who does whatever the heck she wants. Because TRUST ME I have a lot to get done still, and a long long ways to go. There is so much room for me to grow and learn about business. There is so much I still need to accomplish. If anything, I’m telling you this because if there is something you want to do or start doing. JUST DO IT! Honestly there is no better time then now. I see people on the street, at restaurants, at airports, and parties who just look miserable. They are miserable with their life and what they are doing. I decided that will never be me. Open that salon, start that course, take your big ideas to an investor, BUY THOSE SHOES. Do whatever will bring you the most happiness.

I know that this will not be all butterflies and rainbows for me. I am aware of the hard work that goes into running a business of any type, but I know if I didn’t take this leap now, I never would. I finally have found my purpose, and I can’t wait to show you all what I can do.

Featured Shoot: Laura at Utah Lake. One of my new favs.

Where It All Began

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten on this little blog of mine. I guess I’m just not used to having a blog. I’m going to make this short because I’ve got a Valentines Day date with bae I’m supposed to be getting ready for.

To start off, I just wanted to give you a little background on my photography journey. Photography is not something new for me. It’s not something I just decided to do one day because “everyone else is doing it”. Heck no. I got my first camera when I was a sophomore in high school ( and I would be lying if I said I just barely didn’t upgrade, which is proof that you don’t need a  super fancy camera to be  a  good photographer). I wanted to start taking better quality pictures of me and my friends, and have a way to be more creative. I don’t know when my need for photography started. All I remember is being in elementary school walking around my hometown with my best friends doing photoshoots on an iPad, or walking around at recess taking pictures of everyone for a photo album.  If only I could find those pictures! Photography was something that I have always done, I have always been drawn to it.

When I got my first DSLR camera, I began taking pictures for people at my school here and there. Mostly just senior pictures. I thought it was THEE COOLEST thing ever that people were actually trusting me with their senior pictures because I have always thought that senior pictures are a huge huge deal. Eventually I became known as the “photographer” of the town and was doing weddings for friends and family members. Let me tell you. I had no idea what I was doing. It is all a process. Just like everything in life, photography was something I had to work hard for, especially to get where I am today.

Now I am 20 years old and living in my parents basement. Going to be real with you it’s not as bad as it sounds. I love my house, and I love my parents. I have easily lived on my own before, but this just feels right for me right now. This time last year I was going to college at UVU, taking classes and doing everything they teach you to do. Everything that society thinks you NEED to do in order to be successful. I mean if I wanted to be a doctor or a teacher or something of that nature I would definitely go to school and do it. That life never was for me though. I remember just yesterday at a restaurant I overheard someone talking about all the classes they needed to finish for their major and they still have 3 years left and they don’t even like it. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard people say “I went to school to do this and this and now I’m not even doing it and I hate my current job”. It has taken me about a year to show up to my own life and say THAT WILL NEVER EVER BE ME. Why would I do something I don’t want to do just because everyone else is doing it.  That just sounds lame. I choose my path. I choose to do what I want to do. I am not afraid and I am determined to live my best life, my own way.

I have chosen to focus my talents and creative endeavors on something much bigger to me than a degree. Something I am passionate about. I am passionate about living and exploring. I am passionate about serving others iby giving them a way  to step out of reality and visit moments from the past.

One of my most recent shoots was at Miesh Studio with Ypsilon Dresses. Let me tell you that will forever be the best shoot of my life. I was on such a high and I will always look back on that day with fondness. I remember the next day I was SO SAD to go back to my regular day job. I hope you like the heck out of these pictures.

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Lucia And Tyler

Oh man, where do I even begin. This is my first ever blog post. It is super exciting for me to finally be getting around to doing this. First of all, if you’re reading this right now, I’m saying this in my head “ asdfghjkljhgfd!!!” I can’t believe your’e actually taking the time to read this little post I am sitting here writing at 1:11 am on a Monday morning! Sleep? Who is she?

This post will feature photographs of two very photogenic and beautiful people I had the honor of photographing a couple of weeks ago. We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon and walked around in snow to our knees to get these pictures so you better believe they deserve the first blog post. That is enough from me, please take a seat, sit back and relax . Enjoy these beautiful photos.

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