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Live AMA with Niah Aldrich


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What would you tell others who are thinking about getting into studio lighting but aren't sure where to start?

Since you're asking me my suggestion for someone starting out in studio is this kit.

It comes with my favorite 7ft umbrella, defuser, a powerful light that i use personally on the daily for indoors and outdoors, and a light stand. Now you wouldn't want to take the 7ft umbrella out doors it'll blow away and break. I would suggest a 36inch soft box which is also great for in studio.

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What is your favorite lens?

My favorite Sony lens right now is the 50gm 1.2 the compression in the background with the bokeh is insane! It's a similar look of my 85, but i can be closer which is so helpful. Sometimes the 85 is just a bit to tight for me. It is also incredibly sharp, and fast to focus.

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What does a typical photoshoot look like you from conception, to conversations, to shooting, proofing, editing, and delivery? How do you go about the experience for your clients/models and how involved are you with every step?

For a creative shoot i'm usually approaching the creative team with photos of the outfits/locations. We'll then together create a mood board on IG or Pinterest to make sure we're all the same page. I love to style my shoots so I'll 90% of the time already have the outfits, and some backups that go with the vibe of the shoot. I will then tell the model to bring anything that she thinks would go with the looks as well as bring shoes, accessories, and if she's doing her own hair and make up we'll go over how we want it. If there is a make up artist we'll do the same with make up and hair direction.

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What does a typical photoshoot look like you from conception, to conversations, to shooting, proofing, editing, and delivery? How do you go about the experience for your clients/models and how involved are you with every step?

We'll have a group chat going if there is multiple people, and find a day and time that works best for everyone. Day of the shoot i'm usually setting up while they're doing hair and make up or am set up and ready to go. We'll try on the outfits make sure everything fits right and try on a few things since i'm a visual person! Once we're all ready I have my iPad ready to tether live as well as the mood board we created to glance over at if needed. We put on some music, laugh, and have a blast! After the shoot I collect e-mails and send to everyone involved so that I can know what everyones favorites are.

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What does a typical photoshoot look like you from conception, to conversations, to shooting, proofing, editing, and delivery? How do you go about the experience for your clients/models and how involved are you with every step?

I HATE choosing photos it's my least favorite thing to do so knowing what everyone else's favorites are helps me A LOT! Plus I want to be editing images everyone loves too! We all see each ourselves different. Then comes the fun part where I get to edit the photos, and be even more creative before I deliver then I get feedback from them make any tweaks and than we get to post and share all the hard work with the world. 🙂

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Niah what do you like best creating a set to shoot and coming up with the clothing for the set.

That is a tough one! I really really like having full control of the shoot from clothing, to creating a set to compliment it. if I had to choose one or the other I think it would be the outfit because I don't always create a set.

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Niah what do you like best creating a set to shoot and coming up with the clothing for the set.

Sometime I love just walking around with a model, and stopping at random spots. I don't always have a plan or location in mind. Or sometimes locations and outfits don't work out. That's why i like to always have a back up plan.

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

Hello! Thank you so much for hopping on! My biggest advice is to shoot as much as you can even if that's new things. Try it all! Find your niche whether that's portraits, food, travel, landscape, and network network network!

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

Don’t be afraid to try new things with your editing style as mine has changed dramatically through the years.

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

Word of mouth is such a powerful thing. If you know the direction you want to go (say family portraits) then ask a family friend “hey can I capture your family for free or for a discounted rate

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

in exchange if you love the photos it would be great if you could write a review/make a fb post and tag me with the photos. Get your name in peoples mouthes, and make sure you’re giving a positive experience with your clients.

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

If this is your first time shooting something then be sure to communicate with the family/model so they know what to expect, and can be more patient with you. Y

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

You can post a model call on social media, but I haven’t had the best experience with that. I’ve found better luck asking people directly. All you need is a few cheerleader clients, and with good work will come people. I just encourage you to put yourself out there.

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

Remember there is a client for every photographer! Find your style, find your confidence, and stick with it. You will find your clients :)

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Can you talk about building up your in house/studio wardrobe? Was it through thrifting, purchasing, brand partnerships, etc.? Also, how often do you or clients reuse those items?

I've built up my home studio wardrobe over many years. Mostly through thrifting, but also online shopping for basic/specific ideas. I do have many pieces from brand partnerships as well from clothing, bags, objects, backdrops and more. I'm running out of room though!

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Can you talk about building up your in house/studio wardrobe? Was it through thrifting, purchasing, brand partnerships, etc.? Also, how often do you or clients reuse those items?

I try to have mostly jackets, blazers, and coats. Those I will reuse as sometimes an outfit just needs something else to finalize the look!

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Hi

👋 I love your work! Any advice for up and coming photographers. I really want to be a full time photographer but having a hard time generating leads without paying for a lead based service.

Thank you! I appreciate you and taking the time to answer my question it really means a lot to me. I followed you on the gram as well. Thanks again Niah.

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Hi Niah. I don't really have a question but would just love to say that I and your other former professors here at Northwest College are really proud of your accomplishments and the amazing work you are doing. Sony is lucky to have you and I think the connection between them and you is a great partnership.

You made my day! 😭 So grateful for all of you for believing and pouring into me at NWC! I'm proud to have attended and cherish my time there with all of you forever! Thank you for believing in me. 💖

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