btw. these photosare me being happy. ⠀

Whenever you start a business, you need to be aware that an unhappy client will eventually cross your path. How you anticipate and respond on them is crucial. ⠀
Let me give you a few advices. ⠀

The one thing you should always do when running a business is being the most professional version of yourself. If people pay money for a service or product, they expect VALUE.⠀
If you EDUCATE your clients in what to expect, the chances are low that clients will feel disappointed.⠀
Keep your ways of communication stupid simple & clear. Not too many options, but speak your message in a TRANSPARANT way and don’t leave room for interpretations. Never ever keep info behind, make sure your clients knows what he/she is up to when booking you and treat them the way you would like to be treated.⠀
If a client asks you something you can’t deliver or something you don’t feel passionate about, don’t fear to speak your mind, bring him/her to other ideas or insights or, if you don’t ‘feel it’, tell them you are not the one they are looking for. ⠀

If you deliver to your client and either YOU or THE CLIENT is not happy with the result, always try to set things right. ⠀
Some clients will always be a pain in the ass, but that’s only a very small % out there. ⠀

If YOU are not happy with the result, chances are really high that the client is. For your own well feeling, (been there done that), you can offer a small extra to the client as a favor. On your terms. (for ex. I offered a small mini shoot of 30′ this summer because with the previously booked shoot I ‘forgot’ to shoot one important photo. I felt bad about it and offered them a mini shoot close by. Result: Uber happy client).⠀

If THEY are not happy with the result, which normally doesn’t happen a lot, you also try to keep them happy and offer something valuable. BUT always keep some boundaries and don’t let people take benefit of your goodwill and time. Sometimes it is what it is and ‘up to the next’. ⠀


happy portrait in sunflowers Creative portraits happy portraits with flare

I guess there are different ways to do that. Let me tell you the recipe I believe in the most.⁠⠀
1. SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT. Make awesome portraits, let people see you own the light and the techniques. Show what you can do. Even if it’s not a couple in wedding clothes.⁠⠀
2. SECOND SHOOT. Build a network, follow photographers you adore, ask a few if you can hop along for a day. Be nice, make sure you are a help to the main photog and not a pain in the a**. ⁠⠀
Use this opportunity to build a portfolio, but DON’T SHOOT OVER THE SHOULDER of the main photog, cause that’s really not nice. Agree to the Second Shooter Rules the main photog might have. ⁠⠀
Chances are high you won’t get the best out of the couple shoot as you are the 2nd, but you can learn a lot and build some decent portfolio of the rest of the day.⁠⠀
3. GET NOTICED. Share your work. Even if you were second shooter, share it. Make sure you get the word out.⁠⠀
Start small, aim bigger if you gain confidence.⁠⠀
4. START WITH SMALL PRICES, but RAISE THEM SOON AFTER. You will loose credibility if you don’t ask decent prices. People will not book you if you are GOOD but TOO CHEAP. People are willing to pay for VALUE, so create that value. ⁠⠀
5. TIP: don’t spend money on FB or Google ads right away. Try to build a decent portfolio first. Use Social Media, build CONFIDENCE and play BLUFF POKER!⁠⠀
How I started? It was a combo of 1) a decent portrait portfolio and 2) a good dose of luck.⁠⠀
In 2011 a friend of mine was planning her wedding and asked me to shoot it. I told her I never did it before, she trusted me and booked me anyway. She mentioned my name a few times on a wedding forum and 20 other brides found me and put faith in me. Crazy right? ⁠⠀
My cheapass price and some bluffpoker probably had something to do with it, and the weddings I got to shoot were not the most Pinterest worthy, but it made me build A) Portfolio and B) Clients and this resulted in the first flow of WORD OF MOUTH publicity. ⁠⠀

SHARE this post to fellow photographers, we’re all in this together!!! 🤩⁠⠀

bohemian wedding shoot with beautiful light trouwkoppel photoshoot happy wedding photos

Most photographers work with ADOBE LIGHTROOM to edit their photos, and like all software programs, some awesome functions are best to know from the beginning.⁠⠀
Let me tell you 2 tricks for the ultimate use.⁠⠀
1) A Catalogue for every Project. That’s what I do since the last 3 years or so. ⁠⠀
Why? It keeps my catalogues small and this makes sure my catalogue runs fast. So for every wedding / shoot / whatever I make a separate catalogue. The only downside? When you want to hop from one shoot to the other you always have to close/open catalogues, but you’ll get used to that very easily!⁠⠀
2) Import your photos using Smart Previews (Slimme Voorvertoning). Doing this has 2 benefits: ⁠⠀
A) using a laptop you can still edit all your imported photos in Lightroom, but the RAW files (which you have to store on an external HD) don’t have to be connected to your laptop.⁠⠀
B) working on a desktop you can still edit your photos in SP, which will enable that Lightroom runs faster and more smoothly overall. ⁠⠀
You just have to make sure the RAW files are again connected when you want to export the edited photos. ⁠⠀
These 2 hacks will make sure LR runs way faster. Time is money, so the quicker you can edit a set of photos, the better. ⁠⠀
BONUS HACK. Make sure your LR catalogue files are ALWAYS backed-up. If you loose the catalogue file you lose all your important editing work. ⁠⠀
My Catalogue Files are stored on my internal HD, which is backed up hourly by The Time Machine. Every few months, I empty my internal HD of finished products and back up the Cat files once more to my Lacie NAS system. ⁠⠀
backlight couple wedding shoot

This time not my photo, but one from my colleague/friend @filleroelants.
This photo was taken exactly a week ago, during a beautiful winter walk with – as you can see – the craziest light and the most awesome people.⁠⠀
Me? Second on the left, together with a bunch of other photographers.⁠⠀
Some of them are ‘we-go-way-back’ friends already, others were online ‘friends’. All of us photographers, with same goals, same dreams, same struggles. ⁠⠀
I was a 1 day guest at the @firgen_ retreat, organized by heroes @kaatdm and @elkevdende both part of my own ‘oudewijven tribe’. I couldn’t make it for the 3 full days bc of my 37weeks pregnant state haha.
Anyway, what I want to tell you is simple. ⁠⠀
Don’t treat them as competitors.⁠⠀
Treat them as colleagues, make friends, because being a photographer is lonely AF if you don’t socialize with likeminded peeps. ⁠⠀
What we did last week in the Ardennes?⁠⠀
Every single one of us shared some tips. And our failures. We laughed and cried. Cause that’s life. ⁠⠀
Do we speak with each other every day of the week? No, and that’s ok. ⁠⠀
Are they there when I am insecure, in doubt, and in need of someone to talk to? Hell yeah. ⁠⠀
Do they tell me when I might have done something stupid, or do they encourage me when I need some more balls to kick ass? Uhu. Totally.⁠⠀
Lemme tell you one thing: Find your tribe. A handful of people you can relate to. People you trust and are in the same boat. People you can help and receive help from. ⁠⠀
And people who’s work you adore. I will refer to the photographers in my tribe when I get an inquiry but booked already.
And they will return the favor. Your network will grow bigger, and in times of stress, they will be there for you and cover you. ⁠⠀
Wanna know who these photogenic talented weirdo’s are? ⁠⠀
Tap on the picture. They ‘re all there! ⁠⠀
Kaat & Elke. Thanks for letting me be a little part of Firgen. I enjoyed it, every laugh, every tear. ⁠⠀
So sad I couldn’t stay for the party hardy! ⁠(I would probably have gone into labour and I’m not sure how that would have turned out…)⁠⠀
x Leentje
Firgen retreat

haha. this is a fun one to do! ⁠⠀
This first picture is basically everything I need to get me going. SWIPE for more details! ⁠⠀
So let’s start with telling you guys that I don’t own a super fancy schwancy camera backpack. I had one until last year, a super nice one of @compagnonbags , but because I switched to Sony it was too big and I sold it. These days I go out with my Oona Bag (already 9y old, not for sale anymore) which kinda looks like a purse, and a branded LLL tote bag for weddings. I’ll probably buy another backpack this year as I have a few assignments abroad which require flights.⁠⠀
Now, what’s in the bag?⁠⠀
* 2 x Sony a7 III⁠ @sonyalphabelgium
* Sony 55mm Zeiss f/1.8⁠⠀
* Sony 35mm Zeiss f/1.4⁠⠀
* Sony 85mm f/1.8⁠⠀
* Canon 45mm TS f/2.8⁠⠀
* Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 (both canon lenses can still be used with an adaptor ring, it’s working mighty fine for me)⁠⠀
Every lens holds an B+W UV filter, mainly for glass protection reasons.⁠⠀
* 2 x Flash Godox V860II S⁠ @godox_photo_equipment
* Kalahari Memory Card etuit – loaded with 8765789077655 SD cards⁠⠀
* I re-used the leather pouch of a Cluse @cluse watch as my spare battery etuit ⁠⠀
* Hahnel Pro Cube 2 Double battery charger⁠⠀
* Godox Flash charger⁠⠀
* Card reader Sony⁠⠀
* HoldfastGear MoneyMaker⁠ @holdfastgear
* Dr. Organic Deo⁠ @dr_organic
* Voltaren Gel (when shoulders hurt – basically every summer when shooting a wedding every week)⁠⠀
* Mosquito repellant⁠⠀
* Lens cleaning cloth⁠⠀
* Prism⁠⠀
Any questions on this kit? Ask me in DM or COMMENT below! ⁠⠀
#tiptuesday #inmycamerabag #leentjeloveslight

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