I love doing engagement photography for cute couples. And the thing about my idea of a cute couple is that you don’t have to be particularly attractive, young, or thin in order to be a cute couple. To be a cute couple, you have to be in love. You look at each other with that little mix of adoration and let everything else (including my presence) slip away. Be willing to look stupid and try funny things because some lady with a camera told you to. Giggle, tickle, and be ready to tell your significant other what they mean.
This baby was so dynamic! Her different faces were hilarious! I love doing newborn photography in Los Angeles. I typically do in-home sessions because it’s easier for parents, but I also take portraits in my studio. This session brought tears to my eyes, because I photographed the parents getting engaged, their wedding, maternity photos, and now it’s come full circle and I got to photograph this little new life!
The thing about photos is that they don’t say a lot about the person’s soul. Their inner being. Because although this girl is beautiful on the outside, her soul is amazing. Although this started out being a hike with a friend, I have a thing for photographing redheads. So I brought an epic skirt and made her run around in the foothills at sunset in it. The varied scenery had so much to offer, and the gentle undulations of the hills are a fashion photographer’s dream.
After a long day of wedding photography, I go home, put on my sweats, get some tea, and start going through photos. As you may know, I send couples as many pictures as soon as possible. So that typically means I’m up for a good 5-6 hours after I leave a 12 hour wedding. As I scroll through the photos, I find myself falling in love with certain photos. As they come up, I melt and remember why I love doing wedding photography.
I love photographing simple weddings. It’s one reason I still offer budget photography packages in Los Angeles. It’s a lot less pressure and sometimes you get to meet amazing, adorable couples like Brenna and Matt. These two tied the knot at Alpine Ponds Event Center. I’d never photographed there before and it’s a beautiful, unassuming location outside of Eagle. Well, it’s 2am and I’m exhausted, so going to sleep now. 🙂
I loved photographing this little thing. There’s something about newborn photography in Los Angeles that I really love. Everything’s super quiet and low-stress. I get to know the families in their own environment and see parents interact in real life with their little ones. This family had a beautiful, mostly-empty front room with AMAZING natural light, and this giant bean bag that was perfect for the baby and for laying on. This was Emily’s second child, as you can see, so she was a confident, knowledgeable mother. She was feeding the little one when I came, and he was happy and awake for a little while, then went to sleep. Both he and his brother got the big, beautiful blue eyes of their mom, and I had a hard time not photographing them more than the new little one.
Although I’ve never gotten this question from a client, a lot of other photographers tell me I should raise my prices. My prices are still considered cheap wedding photography in Los Angeles. I like to consider myself an affordable wedding photographer in Los Angeles and Boise. Although I have more expensive packages, I still keep one that is just enough for the time I spend working the wedding. Compared to a lot of GOOD wedding photographers, it’s very affordable. If you want to know why wedding photography costs so much, head over to this blog. So, here’s why I keep a low-cost wedding photography package in my prices.
So it seems like I met these two ages ago. We went on a grand adventure taking beautiful engagement photos in the mountains, and then met periodically until their wedding, which was last weekend. These two are so beautiful together. They obviously love each other so much and were ready to be married. Everyone was amazing at the wedding and we got family photos done in record time. It was beautiful.
So I’ve known this beautiful soul since we were kids. In an attempt to be a semi-normal friend, we decided to hang out. But in typical Mercy fashion, I wanted to photograph her. There’s something special about adventuring with someone and taking their photo. You get to see different sides of them. It gives you something to do and talk about as you wander around and re-acquaint yourselves with each other.
So this year, I was determined to get a few sessions when the orchards were in full bloom. Most people think of these gorgeous pink blossoms as cherry blossoms, but these are actually peaches. They’re pink now, then they turn purple and the leaves start to grow. This cute couple contacted me and soon revealed that they had just been engaged and were looking for engagement photography in the Boise area. Immediately thinking of the orchard blossoms, we booked and agreed to meet at Hell’s Canyon Winery out near Caldwell. I grew up in that area and knew the area was in full bloom. The weather cooperated (despite threatening rain all day) and the photos turned out amazing!
Everyone wants to wear cowgirl boots. Nobody wants to wake up at 6am to break the ice on the trough. I love capturing daily life in photography. In a way, it’s a form of unique family photos. More accurate photos. I love giving people memories that they can look back on later and see, “oh yeah! Life was like that!” It gives us perspective, and helps us remember how far we’ve come. That’s why it’s been on my list for awhile to go out and capture morning chores with my big sister, Faith. She and I have always been close. We were the teammates who conquered the outside chores. She was just a little over a year older than me, and we had similar interests in many ways.
Hi! So, obviously, when people come to me, they’ve already decided they can afford a Los Angeles wedding photographer. But what if you, like so many, are on a tight budget and can’t afford a wedding photographer? What are some good alternatives or avenues you can explore?
Hello amazing person! So, as a wedding photographer in Los Angeles and Boise, I get asked a lot of different questions. But a lot of times, people don’t know what to ask. So here are a few suggested topics/questions for a wedding photographer. Before you even sit down to chat with them, however, make sure you’ve looked at their portfolio and reviews carefully. Look for examples of weddings or venues similar to yours. If you’re a bigger person, make sure they’ve photographed people like you before. If you’re of unique racial background, look for people with similar skin tones or style in the portfolio. For tips on spotting an amateur photographer, read this.
Today’s guest post is from a very cool wedding planner, Anna. She runs Fancy That Event Planning out of Boise. I’ve done wedding photography for her events before, and she always does her best to work within parameters to put together the best wedding she can plan.
So… we got a Dodge Ram Promaster van awhile back and were planning on putting a bed and compartments in it for when we travel for film and photo shoots. After looking at dozens of different options, I decided I could do it myself. So these are some pictures of our Dodge Ram Promaster van conversion. Details about the conversion are down below, as well!
So although I’m categorizing this as an engagement shoot, it was actually an anniversary shoot. These two have been married TEN YEARS. I couldn’t believe it when they told me. They both look incredible and are so in love. They are adorable. As a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I see a lot of couples in the prime of their “in-love” life. But I rarely see what happens after the last bit of cake has been eaten, the last good-bye said. I absolutely loved getting to capture these two lovebirds ten years after their wedding. People, do anniversary pictures, at least every ten years! It can show you that you’re still in love with each other!
So after the van conversion, Matt and I went on a trip down the California coast. We were really relaxed with our route and schedule, since we just had to find a space to park every night and our food/shelter was right there. 🙂 It was super fun and I LOVED stopping wherever we wanted to take photos. As a professional Los Angeles lifestyle photographer, I sometimes don’t have a chance to really take pictures of whatever I want. So this was super fun! We also took our two Border Collie dogs, Sam and Sherlock. They traveled so easily, just looking out the windows, chasing the frisbee when we found a park, and just hanging out with us. The beach photos were taken at the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and the others were taken at various places along the coast.
Normally during a wedding there’s time set aside to take posed “looking-at-the-camera” family and bridal party photos. While bridal party photos are usually really straight-forward, family photos can be an organizing mess. So here are a few things we can do ahead of time to make picture time go fast on your wedding day!
I loved reading The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and recently I used it while teaching my design class as a project for laying out books. Mine turned out really cute so I thought some of you might like to have it. It’s a free ebook formatted so it’s easy to read on your phone! Download to your heart’s content! The book is in the public domain, feel free to link to this page, please just don’t say the design is yours! 🙂
These two were so much fun! We went up to Idaho City one cold (but sunny) day to do engagement pictures in the mountains. I’m always up to photograph adorable couples in the mountains. As an Idaho engagement photographer, I love using the available nature as a backdrop, and Idaho is the perfect place for it. This was only about an hour outside of Boise. Although the icy roads slightly scared me, and there’s no phone service for a good portion of the trip, it’s all worth it, as you can see from these photos!
On a typical Idaho day in February (i.e. snow one minute, sunshine 5 minutes later), family and friends assembled to witness the union of Kelsey and Jake. This is also the first time I shot with Abby Blossom, another amazing Idaho photographer who is getting into weddings! The day was such an adventure, but all throughout it, Kelsey showed an amazing amount of patience and calm. The weather was absolute haywire. But we got some amazing photos early in the day, and the rest of the day we let the weather run its course!
I’ve known Brittney and Zach since they got married! I was honored to do their wedding photos early in my career and now they’re having a baby! I loved doing their maternity photos and was honored to be asked!
Originally, these two were going to have an all-out wedding later in the year, but couldn’t wait. So they had an intimate wedding a few weeks ago. It’s been on my photographer’s bucket list to photograph a small mountain wedding. It was simple, easy, and beautiful!! They got married at a courthouse in Boise, then met me at the Capitol building for a few romantic shots. Then we all caravaned up to the parents’ cabin in the mountains for a reception with their friends and family.
Hannah and Matt were so much fun. I was adopted into Hannah’s awesome, big family that was eerily similar to mine. That basically summarizes how much I loved doing wedding photography in Boise for these two.
Hey Everyone! So a little bit ago, I was approached by an international friend who is getting married to a man on the other side of the world. The catch? They only had ONE photo of them together. So I came up with this free save the date design. It lets you use a low-quality image and actually looks decent. It’s kind of a retro pop-art look Polaroid design. Most Save the Date templates look AMAZING when you have a really good photo (which I always recommend, haha), but sometimes don’t work in the off-situation you can’t get a good photo.
These two were so adorable and happy on their wedding day! I was honored to be their wedding photographer in Boise, Idaho a couple of Saturdays ago! They met doing ministry together and they were so happy to be getting married. Their joyful presence was so easy to photograph. I’d always much rather photograph authentic joy than perfection. These two were both.
So, when I was getting married, a seemingly unjustifiable cost was engagement photos. You get enough pictures on your wedding day, right??? As a Boise and Los Angeles wedding photographer, I’ve seen couples do them, and do without them. So, here are the pros and cons of doing engagement pictures.
Matt was creating a video, so I wanted to use the opportunity to do some creative set design and lighting! Usually I do wedding photography Los Angeles, but I love doing creative work when I can.
I love this family. I’ve done family photography for them a couple of times before and I always love seeing them. And this Santa couple is absolutely AMAZING! I met them at a fund-raising event and they are so authentic, kind, and heartwarming. You can tell from the pictures that baby Troy loved his first visit with Santa. Afterwards, we did a family photo session with just him and his brother. They’re always so good together. So many things came together perfectly for this to happen. John and Janelle had a free night, The Ambrose School said it would be totally fine, and I was available. Thanks to all who made this possible, the results will be treasured for years to come.
So I was shopping around for gifts the other day and stumbled across some interesting vintage, industrial-style camera wall decor. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I loved the idea. I did a little digging and found the original patents for a bunch of old camera stuff. A couple of them are really interesting! Just seeing the inner workings of some of the really old cameras gives me some insight into modern technology. So this is my set of free vintage camera wall decor! Feel free to download and print them wherever you want! If you want to share them, feel free, just please link them back to my site instead of uploading them somewhere else, please!
And since I was going to do it anyway, I thought I’d share it for free for anyone who would use it. The original size it’s meant for is an 8″x10″, but I’d imagine it could go significantly bigger if you wanted. It’s fairly high resolution. I print my canvases or prints at Walgreens, I’ve had people do it at Costco, etc. If you can wait for a sale, you can usually get them for fairly cheap.
Vintage Camera Wall Art Preview
Do NOT try to download these, they’re low resolution. Please download the .zip file above. 🙂
So a lot of parents, spouses, and friends ask me about gifts for photographers. So, in this season of gift-giving and love, I wanted to compile a list of some cute gifts for photographers, from the cheaper ones to the extravagant. I don’t get any profit from this, I just thought it was about time I put together a list.
This darling little family was so much fun! Matt and I met Brandon through some video work we did with his church, and when they wanted fall family photos in Idaho, I was honored when they asked me to do it!
I’m a big fan of thank you gifts. If you’re looking for a good bridesmaid gift, check these out:
One of the things (besides robes) that I see most often used on a wedding day is a wine or water glass. The problem, however, is that everyone gets them mixed up. Or they fall and last only as long as the getting ready party. This is a thermos-style, personalized wine glass that is under $25. It’s super cute and perfect for everyone to use on the actual wedding day.
This one is from bridesmaidgiftsboutique.com. They have a ton of other cute ideas, everything you need to thank the ladies who spend a lot of time and money to help make your day!
These two have become life-long friends. I loved photographing their wedding and creating their wedding album!
This newborn photography session was amazing and significant in so many ways. I loved seeing the love and adoration poured upon this little girl. I pray the years coming bless this little family and the devotion I see in their eyes, for each other and for this newborn girl. This was an in-home newborn photography session in Boise. I love doing in-home newborn sessions because it’s a lot less work for the parents and looking back on the photos reminds you of the entire world that surrounded the entrance of this new life. A lot of times, our memories are charged with tiny elements that aren’t just faces.
When I woke up in the morning and rain was pouring down, I was a little concerned for Vicki and Tim’s Boise wedding photography. Boise usually isn’t rainy, and they had said they were having it at Barber Park. Concerned and going over solutions in my head, I drove to the address on my GPS. When I got there, I discovered a whole new building in the park that I had never seen before and sure enough, the wedding was there! Barber Park has an event center, everyone! It’s a beautiful little building, perfect for weddings, and big windows let the outdoors come in without the inconvenient parts (like the rain).
These two were perfect. I knew from the moment I met Emily that it would be a blast to be their wedding photographer Meridian.
Coolant is about a couple who gets stuck on the side of the road. They have to learn to work together to get out of the sticky situation. These were a few of the behind-the-scenes pictures from this weekend! Thanks to everyone who made this possible! Ronn, Dana, Joe, Audrey and her mom, Abe and his mom and sister, Riley, Bryce, Eddie, Faith, Scott, and Talia! You were all awesome!! Matt and I couldn’t have done it without you!
I love adventuring, especially when it takes me to the mountains with an awesome couple that lets me take their engagement pictures in the mountains. The mountains near Cascade, just an hour or so outside of Boise, are incredible. I fell in love all over again with doing engagement photos.
These two were so much fun! I knew from the moment I met them that I would love taking their engagement pictures in Boise. They both harbor this aura of funky charm. Her choice of clothing and accessories was artsy. His beard tickled her when they hugged. Their ideas for their engagement pictures inspired me. And the final results were AMAZING. Thank you, Koye and Mitch!
I was very honored when Gracia asked me to do her senior pictures in Nampa this past weekend. She’s a beautiful, confident young woman whose family knew my husband as he grew up. We wandered around on her school grounds, met up with one of her best friends, and then got coffee together! They were some of the funnest graduation portraits I’ve done in awhile, I love these two!
I loved being Sarah and Marc’s Boise wedding photographer. These two were adorable, scheduled well, and gave me all the time I wanted to wander around with them and chase light. It was a beautiful day.
I love these two. I’ve never had so much fun doing senior pictures in Nampa. But, of course, it’s not quite fair because I’ve known these two for quite a few years and always love a good excuse to hang out with them. We ran all around Nampa and downtown, goofing off and getting amazing pictures. They had a few ideas they wanted to accomplish, we hit a coffee shop first, then ran around doing different things based loosely on some ideas they had.
I’m always extra honored when people we know ask us to photograph their wedding. In this case, Matt had known Liberty since his high school days, and we had both met Daniel at Sarah and Jacob’s wedding. So we were so excited to be their Meridian wedding photographers. They got married in Meridian at the Valley Shepherd Church. It’s a beautiful, classic building with traditional arches and stained glass. The families were kind and considerate, and the entire event was a perfect mix of perfection and fun.
I love this picture because it’s you. In all the messy smiles and shy eyes, it’s you. And you’re beautiful. Not like a supermodel. Like a you. In all the unique ways and little gold nuggets in your heart. It’s you. And I love you. Not just when you’re perfectly fashionable and gorgeous, but also when you’re messy and your makeup is old. Because that’s how I know you. I love this picture because it’s you.
I did this family photography session awhile back while I was switching websites and forgot to post these AMAZING photos. Ami and Andy, one of my favorite couples to photograph, referred these two to me. They just had their first little baby and needed photos of them and this new little life. So we met at the Boise Train Depot and took some beautiful first photos of this adorable little family. There was lots of laughter and all the feels of a new family. I love doing family photography in Boise.
Ever since I met them last fall, I’ve been excited for to photograph their wedding. Gavin and Jordan are a beautiful pair. Jordan was a tall, graceful bride and Gavin was an athletic, cheerful groom.
Exactly when you get your photos back varies depending on when you go through your proofs, my work load, and your package. But here are some examples of real weddings and when couples got their photos back. A wedding photo timeline is when you can expect to get proofs, pictures, and edited photos after your wedding.
Being a wedding photographer in Boise is not always easy. But Ami and Jonathan were awesome and planned everything out so well! Ami is an amazing, bright person and their friends reflected their personalities, both individually and as a couple. The wedding was held at Sandstone Vineyards in Star, Idaho. Everyone got ready at the Downtown Marriot in Boise. The gorgeous dress was created by Baby Doll Shop. Hair by Ariana O’Leary, makeup by Alyssa, ring by Precious Metal Arts. Working with all these amazing people, particularly Chyrell Debenham (the Day of Coordinator) was such a pleasure. Vince with VCI Wedding DJ’s was also very helpful and working together with these two was an amazing experience. Congratulations you two! It’s super obvious that you love each other a lot, I’m glad you’re married. 🙂
So I’ve made several wedding albums over the years. I have a feeling my best is yet to come. But THIS was so fun to make! I like to integrate and include things that are usually left behind or forgotten. A big part of that is photographing everything, but another part is putting together the album in such a way that you remember those little, cute, romantic details. With this one, I noticed a LOT of people were commenting and wishing the couple well on FaceBook. So I took that into consideration when making the album and tried to include some of those comments and people that would ordinarily be lost.
These two were so beautiful together. Sharla is a charming, graceful nurse, and David is a classic, easygoing lawyer. Their wedding album was a classic linen-bound 12″x12″. It’s a big bigger than the wedding albums I normally design, but it’s more of a classic look. It’s still a lay-flat, which I always recommend.
Adrian and Melissa contacted me awhile ago, looking for engagement photography in Boise. They already had a wedding photographer in Utah but wanted some sweet before-wedding photos. So we started at the Boise Train Depot, then met later in the day in McCall, Idaho.
Hannah found me on The Knot. When she contacted me, I was so excited. I felt her kindred spirit immediately. Part of my silver wedding photography package includes free engagement photography. I love getting to know my couples before their wedding day. It makes it much easier to communicate on the day of the wedding.
So Matt and I haven’t had pictures of us together in a long time. We’ve taken a few here and there on our travels. But for being an Idaho photographer, I have very few pictures of us together! So this trip to Los Angeles, we went to the beach and did some pictures together. I love him.
Although wedding planning is always hectic, these two had a lot of extra challenges on their plates. However, the actual wedding was beautiful and doing wedding photography for them was easy (and more relaxing than any other wedding this year). Ashlee’s princess gown was easy to photograph, and they obviously loved each other. Doing their wedding photos in Mountain Home was interesting, since I’ve actually only been out there a few times. But it worked out and we ended up with some beautiful images. All the best to you two!
This sister shoot blew my expectations out of the water. They redefined the idea of family photography in Idaho. These two were so much fun, and you can tell from the pictures!
I was doing event photography in Meridian awhile ago for a “learning about the government” convention. A bunch of kids got together and learned directly from senators, financial managers, professors, etc. One line kept coming up that bothered me. “What makes America the greatest is…” fill in the blank. Because of our constitution. Our rights. Whatever.
So we sat down on the floor together. Away from the noise of the reunion, my little subject calmed down and started to get more comfortable. I was in the middle of photography for a crazy family reunion in Boise, Idaho, and was required to get pictures of certain family members. My last one was on the floor beside me, and had successfully evaded my camera all day. So, as I do a lot, I tried to make him more comfortable by showing him how my camera worked, the pictures that I had taken, and how to click the shudder button.
I was discouraged after this shoot because I couldn’t get the husband to smile for the camera. Reluctantly, I started going through the edits. Then, I stopped. Wait a second. He had smiled. He just never smiled at the camera. He was always smiling when he gazed at his wife, though. His wife of 52 years.
I’m on my way out the door for a long day of shooting in the hot Idaho sun, but I was doing some last minute notes and edits for a wedding client. Then I thought, “Oh! Other people might want to know this.” Non-photography people rarely think about color correction or the work that goes into a photo AFTER it is taken. But a lot of the unique style of a particular photographer depends on their skill in Lightroom or Photoshop. So here, I’m going to cover three popular editing techniques. Most experienced photographers have a style they use dominantly. So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Idaho (or anywhere) make sure he or she likes the same style that you do.
As an Idaho wedding photographer, one of the things I do is look around, try to learn from others, and figure out people I can recommend if I can’t do a wedding. There are a lot of bad photographers in Boise, Idaho, even if they are cheap. It drives me crazy when people advertise themselves as wedding photographers, and then don’t take their job seriously enough to do good work. A wedding is the most important day in a person’s life, and although it’s a stressful job, wedding photography is a hugely important part of that! A wedding photographer is recording what you’ll remember forever. A bad photographer will come out with mediocre photos you don’t care to hang. A good one will help you remember all the best and brightest things and will show your love as worthy of art.
Wishing these two all the best! As an Idaho wedding photographer, I love getting to shoot out in nature and in all the amazing locations that are hidden around the valley, and Fox Canyon has some beautiful gardens and an epic view. I really enjoyed getting to know David and Sharla and then getting to meet the amazing people around them!
So the other day a friend asked me about being a wedding photographer in Boise for another friend’s wedding. “That would be awesome!” I said, then asked about things like date and location. I happened to be booked for that day, but I asked about her budget, thinking I could refer another photographer in Idaho based on the budget.
So, I was getting the photography itch one day. The maternity session in the afternoon went amazing, and I decided to make the drive out and see the Bruneau Sand Dunes (after having lived in Idaho all my life but never having seen them). And by “see” I mean “photograph.”
Last week I became the official photographer for a magazine based in Eagle, Idaho, called Eagle Rim Living. I’m honored with the confidence the publisher has placed in me, and I was so happy with how my first shoot turned out!
One of the things I love to do is mentor young photographers. Matt and I work with a children’s home called Hope House. We do portrait photography, web work, teaching design, and helping with tech. This past week we went camping with them. It was an amazing opportunity to be a positive influence, talk about their future, and just relax and play games with them. These are some of my favorite shots from the trip. A few of these were even taken by one of my apprentices, Ali!
These two were so sweet and easy to photograph! They were referred to my by another client for wedding photography in Star, Idaho last summer. We have a ton of mutual friends and instantly hit it off. Emma is one of those people that you can meet, then 5 minutes later feel like you’ve known each other in a past life. I’m so proud to show off these beautiful images. There were so many from their wedding that have become some of my favorite wedding pictures of all time.
This was a question I always wondered… sometimes I still wonder. As far as cost goes, our wedding photography and videography is one of the cheapest QUALITY options. There are quite a few rookie people out there who will do it for cheaper or free, but it’s usually because they aren’t any good and can’t get anyone to hire them. So here are 4 reasons wedding photography costs what it does.
Hi! Let’s pretend we’re in a meeting here. You contacted me, looking for inexpensive wedding photography in the Boise area. I gave you my price list, which you liked, and we decided to meet. Here’s a bit of background I may not have given you.
As always, the beauty of nature is seasonal, so it depends on what you’re going for, but certain spots aren’t open all year round. People always ask me the best spots for engagement photography in Boise, though, so I’ve compiled a list and I’m including how far it is from downtown Boise.
One stormy day, I went out to shoot. And a storm rolled in, determined to conquer us. We bloomed, danced, and got some amazing shots in the storm. Photographed at Lake Lowell, Caldwell, Idaho.
I had the opportunity to do event photography for Show Her Off, a dance instruction company based in Denver, CO, when they came to Kuna to give a free lesson. Show Her Off is an amazing company dedicated to helping couples connect via the shared activity of dance.
These two were one of my first jobs doing wedding photography. I loved creating their wedding album. This is a satin-feel, full-image wrap cover with lay-flat interior pages. I’ve experimented a lot with different papers, cover styles, and cost balance, and this is one of my favorites. It’s 8.5″x11″, so it fits on a shelf with most larger books, but it feels special with the very soft cover and the lay-flat pages. For the interior, I focused on telling the story of the day through visuals. I included their wedding invitation design, their vows, and some lyrics from their song. I also styled it patriotic/country because that was the theme of their wedding.
Along with wedding photography in Boise, I also work as a freelancer in design and development. I’ve done everything: product labels, posters, brochures, logos, mockups, infographics, UI design, buttons, websites, etc. I even designed a reusable bag for Walmart. But freelancing online offers some unique challenges.
In real life, I’ve met freelance clients a total of twice. The vast majority of communication happens online, most of the time through email or chat. This has, at times, been very successful, and then sometimes we slip up over each other and fail. So, learning from my best projects, these are some tips I’ve picked up over the years.
Over-communication is better than under-communication.
One-word responses, one-sentence project descriptions, and waiting a week for any sort of response is writing a death warrant for your project. These usually happen in two different scenarios:
- The client doesn’t really know what they want. Maybe they think they’ll know it when they see it or they just don’t know the words to say.
- The client doesn’t have time for this project or doesn’t really want to do it.
Both of these scenarios mean that the freelancer either has to drag some sort of direction out of you, or they have to take shots in the dark until they hit something. Both of things things take a lot of extra time, which delays the project and frustrates both of you.
How to fix it.
Most freelancers are used to working with various degrees of experience, from the amateur startup owner to international CEOs. We will not laugh at you if you say you want to be just like Nike (okay, we might laugh, but it’s good-natured and we’ll at least know what you mean). I also love it when clients admit they honestly don’t know what they’re doing and ask for my best judgement on designs.
If you’re inexperienced, just get a good, experienced designer. They’ll usually steer you the right way. For example, I’ve worked with dozens of startups over the years. My favorite words to hear are: “I’m going to let you use your creative judgement for this one.” That means I can do what I think is best, based on the brand and intended target audience. Some of my favorite designs ever have come out of a client letting me use my best judgement.
If you really do have something in mind, communicating that is VITAL to getting a good result. Sketch it out, send examples of similar things with notes, ANYTHING. Put together a mess of words that describe what you want it to feel like. ANYTHING. I will not laugh at your messy sketches, I will not say you’re plagiarizing (unless you tell me you want something duplicated EXACTLY and it’s not yours, haha).
Another thing that leads to project death is slow responses (on both ends). Both of us have lives outside of the project. We both have other projects on our plates. So when we’re waiting for days with no response to a simple question, the silence can be deathly.
How to fix it.
I used to laugh at fellow freelancers who were neurotic about responding to emails, chats, and texts. Now I’m one of them. During business hours, I always have notifications on for clients, and I do my best to respond within a couple of hours. This makes projects go much quicker and smoother.
Honest, Kind communication.
Most people today could benefit from remembering this. Honest, gentle communication is key to a finished product that you both like. I take my work very seriously, it’s an art form for me. Although I’ve developed a thick skin for criticism, I absolutely melt when clients take the time and effort to give honest, sensitive feedback. Mostly, it’s taking the time to tell me what they like AND what they don’t like about a particular design. “I love the curve of that line and the font, but I don’t like this color.” I think the rule is two compliments for every criticism? Something like that.
If you want to throw a good, caring designer into a heart attack, just tell them you hate it all. The only time I’ve ever walked away from a project was when a client told me that. We were almost done with the project, he hadn’t said anything along the way. I had done what he asked (although his product sucked) and thought he was joking when he said he hated it all and I had to start over. So I quit. I didn’t want to deal with that type of attitude, and I was already booked for other projects in the next week.
For more advice on client/freelancer communication, there’s this great article on Toptal, a high-quality freelancing website.
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